A year ago today I had to make a tough decision. I thought I had found the place that I could work at until retirement, or at least until I was ready to do my own thing. I thought I worked for people of integrity. But, I was always open to new information, and some finally was revealed that called all of that into question.
I'd like to think that if I had been present for the now leaked "Got Your Six" meeting (my family was in Florida boarding a cruise that day), I might have left sooner, or at least reached out to people I directly knew and respected to get their side of things. Someone leaked a recording of that meeting to a reporter in early 2021 as part of a bigger story, so I finally got the chance to hear it and not just hear it summarized.
The first sentence in the quote below is almost certainly about two people that I had worked under or along side for years, and maybe a few others.
We had folks working here that heard things and believed that we were covering ... and quit."Got Your Six" meeting, May 2019
If you don't believe I've got integrity … you should quit. And if you don't have the backbone to come ask what the flip is going on, you should quit.
Loyalty is a character trait. Toxic loyalty is not called for, that is a cult trait, but loyalty, I've got your six, is a character trait. And what you can hear from this is I've got, we've got your six, and we expect reciprocation, its mandatory. You either fer me or again' me.
Since then, information continues come out that shows that these people were right to question those who exclaim repeatedly to have "fanatical integrity". I've since re-learned those who have integrity typically don't need announce it. That, and after learning what gaslighting is, can now appreciate its use in that last quoted paragraph.
Tonight while doing chores with my kids in the kitchen, I had to remind my oldest about respecting those in authority over them. "One day you will have a job and a boss, and you will need to show proper respect, even if you have disagreements" His response: "What if they are doing something hypocritical?" My response: "You could choose to not work for someone like that, or you could humbly go to them, say you are concerned about something you think is inconsistent, and see if you could work it out." He then got to hear me recount what I had been through last year.
Not knowing the "don't have the backbone to come and ask" quote, I was still familiar with the sentiment. I had a great working relationship with my direct leader, a man I still respect to this day. True to the operating procedures in the book EntreLeadership, I passed the negative up through him. I won't go into the details of what happened internally, but the end result is old news - "If you don't believe I've got integrity ... you should quit."
Events of the past year that have played out publicly have only reaffirmed that decision. Having a great cloud of witnesses who have since made the same choice with similar information has been reassuring as well.
This week has been the one year mark for a lot of strange things have happened not only to myself but to others I worked with.
Four people I worked with for years had some really strange legal threats issued against them two days after I resigned. The wives of two of them have been somewhat public about what happened from their perspectives. If you knew Nathan or Greg, I'd recommend you see what happened to them.