With the recent scandal on school admission bribery in the US, eight universities are being investigated by the US Education Department.
When wealth, abuse of power, lack of accountability corrupt institutions such as colleges and universities, it showed two things:
That people in power and authority that are supposed to be bastions of integrity, ethics, and high moral leadership can give in to the temptations of the job. This begs the questions about the effectiveness (ineffectiveness) of the people that should be guarding the process, ensuring clear lines of reporting and accountability, supervision, and guidance. Where are they and what were they doing when these things have been going on for years?!
When institutions are weak, corruption can take its place without detection. It is allowed to be bought by people who doesn't care about rules and equity for all. The moment greed and personal self-indulgence and selfishness rule in any place, there is no more meritocracy and respect for individual achievement through hard work and ethical performance, it is all about who can buy its own way to success and stay unscathed when the hands of justice will swing again.
This is an unfair world. A deserving student who had no pedigree or family wealth to back him/her out cannot dream of an Ivy League education or more less get it in these times. But when wealth/power overrule merit, then this country (or any country) for that matter is on its way to ruins.
You know the saying from the Bible, "bad company corrupts good character."
Well, I have more permutations along that line.
Bad ideas corrupt good morals.
Bad attitude corrupts good opportunities.
Bad assumptions spoil the relationship.
Bad appearance decreases the restaurant's value.
Bad analysis creates false convictions.
Bad manners dissolve good impression.
Bad customer service leaves money on the table.
Bad boss means high turn-over of staff.
You know the drift, it goes on and on.
If you have a bad input, the output wont be that far behind.
If you can't take the consequences, change now before it's too late.
Sam Walton's (Made in America: My Story) rule No:10 is Swim upstream.
"Go the other way. Ignore the conventional wisdom. If everybody else is doing it one way, there's a good chance you can find your niche by going in exactly the opposite direction. But be prepared for a lot of folks to wave you down and tell you you're headed in the wrong way."
He built the first discount store in a town with less than 50,000 population and from 1 to 8 to hundred stores in US, and now in North America and overseas. He totally proved a lot of skeptics wrong and made the competitors baffled. Walmart is truly an American success story.
Reflecting on his life and experiencing the sickness brought by cancer, he bemoaned, "I don't know that anybody else has ever done it quite like me: started out as pure neophyte, learned his trade, swept the floor, rung the cash register, installed the fixtures, remodeled the stores, built the organization, etc."
It takes a lot of courage to swim upstream, where there are less pathways made out for the traveller. Beware of the people that you listen to and seek counsel with, a wrong advice can bring down faster down the drain. Commit to your enterprise and wholeheartedly believe that it will happen for you.
There is a prevailing misconception that only those that are in Fortune 500 companies have a corporate culture.
Small organizations have culture too. Every organization has culture if its made up of people. People have culture.
Culture is anything that governs behavior. It could be the founding principles, values, beliefs, ethos, and assumptions about the organization. It could be how the Founder thought the business should be. It could be anything that is accepted tacitly but never consciously questioned.
While culture is never stagnant, it could get stale and could be fossilized into something that your organization is fighting against. It could be a tradition devoid of any pragmatic and practical use for the organization. It could be a culture fighting a new strategy that is bent on bringing new and fresh perspective with the way things are done. It could be anything that is made to become the standard of behavior of people in the organization.
Culture cannot be static and immutable. It has to grow and flourish in the service of the company's goals and objectives. It has to be tended as people and culture go along together in creating the best company/organization where people prefer to work, invest, and support through patronage and client loyalty.
Show me your office culture and I will show you who you are!
If you are the best at what you do, then you are the expert.
Then, stop doing these things to undermine that.
1. Asking people about what to do next.
2. Accepting bad advice from people that do not have the credibility or success for themselves.
3. Asking people to give you the chance. You are not auditioning.
4. Having self-doubt all the time.
5. Getting intimidated in front of people with PhDs, and other initials in their names.
6. Getting intimidated with people in high positions.
7. Trying to be somebody else's that you are not.
8. Creating opportunities for people to doubt you.
9. Agreeing to every one's opinion no matter how incredulous it is.
10. Complying instead of negotiating for your interest.
When we talk about disruption in our economies, we rarely talk about how these changes impact on our careers and professions.
Disruption is the new normal. It is becoming trite and tired already.
The reason why organizations get disrupted is because they fail to anticipate the obvious- the sea of change that is enveloping their very existence.
If you are not innovating, you are not growing. And if you are not growing, you will be disrupted. Innovation in my vocabulary is not about invention. Innovation is the engine of disruption.