Sorry that I have been absent for a few days, but I would rather not put out a product at all, than insult all of your intelligence by recycling the same ideas over and over.  With Easter weekend and a busy time at work, I haven’t had much time to put together my usual ideas.  Today though something came down the pike, that to me is simply an affront to everything I consider right about how a leader.  So I simply have to share, and try to find some way that this makes sense.

If you happen to follow my personal Facebook page in addition to The Tribal Future, you already saw me mention this, but I didn’t expound on it.  I needed some time to let this simmer and percolate.  Unfortunately, now that the time has passed.  I still can’t make hide nor hair of it.  I know this isn’t really a homesteading topic, but it’s something that affects all of us on some level.  We always say we want people to do the right thing, so why does it so often end badly for the person that does?

So today, one of my good friends and early mentor at my company way fired.  This is the guy that gave a break to a scared kid in a new city, and gave me the confidence to run a store.  I thought I knew how to sell before I met this guy, but man, I didn’t know crap.

So what horrible thing did he do to get himself fired?  Was it sexual harassment?  Was it theft?  Did he call a customer an idiot?  Did he cheat the system to get a bonus?

No.  He did the right thing for an employee, because by doing that, he made that person’s life better.  His words to me on the phone were, “If I had it to do over again, even knowing I would get fired, I would do it again”.  So is this all hyperbole spouted by an angry friend?  You tell me.

My friend Chris leads a store in Las Vegas.  One of his guys owns his own landscaping business on the side.  Times got tough for him, and the guy fell behind on his truck payments.  Obviously for a landscaper, your truck is your business.  If you lose it, you are toast.  So Chris, being a stand up guy, decided to help him out.  Did he give him a hand out?  Did he loan him money?  NO.  God forbid, Chris did the right and American thing, and hired the kid to do his front yard.

Chris helped him by giving him a job.  Isn’t that what we always say we want to happen in this country? We don’t want handouts, people should work for it.

There was no conflict here.  They weren’t competing with the company.  They weren’t effecting other employees.  They were doing nothing wrong.  Yet another employee was able to call up the Ethics people and say it was a conflict of interest.  Since landscaping and what I do on a daily basis overlap SO far.  Chris’ boss agreed that it was bullshit, and fired him anyway.  So Chris did the right thing, and lost his job.

I know this is something personal to me, so I am making more out of it than most people will, but to me that is a powerful message.  My company that I am leaving is saying that it’s not OK for us to be concerned with the welfare of our people beyond the 4 walls in which we operate.  That we need to be cold and distant, lest we be punished.  I work in an industry where the average turn over is about 3 months.  You know what Chris had created?  A lifer.  That man would have worked for us forever, because we were GOOD.

This is happening everywhere though.  The Autozone employee that got fired for saving his bosses life with a gun he had stashed in his truck, because Autozone says no guns in a personal vehicle.  People afraid to do CPR because of liability.  Telling a woman dieing of cancer that she is having excessive yard sales as she parts with her worldly possessions.  We are punishing those people for standing up for what is right.

So think about this as you go through your day.  Are you rewarding or punishing those who do good in the world?  This can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make it.  You can boycott Autozone for being stupid, or you can say Thank you when you see someone do a kindness.  The saying goes, “All it takes for evil to triumph, is for Good men to do nothing”.  Well, we seem to be encouraging that right now, so lets push the other way.

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