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She is just being 'oversensitive'.

The most introspective of souls are often those that have been hurt the most

- Shannon Alder 

 

One of the many reasons I love Foxtel is the fact that on any given day there is at least one episode of Law & Order or CSI I can record to watch at some later point.  I quite enjoy the forensic nature of this stable of shows (for obvious reasons).  In addition, I quite enjoy seeing rapists,  murderers and child molesters get their come-uppance.  It’s very rare that I don't have a wide selection of these shows on my planner to watch at my leisure.

In Law & Order: Criminal Intent recently (Ok , it was a repeat, as are most of them) – a show called Baggage – Goren and Eames were investigating the murder of a female supervisor at an airline.  The woman supervised a number of  baggage handlers, all men, some of whom had been sexually harassing her.  At the risk of spoiling the ending, the murder actually had nothing to do with the sexual harassment, but her promotion to a management position.

This was a fictional story, yet it was easy to imagine this happening in real life

I found my blood boiling though at some of the detail of her claims of sexual harassment and bullying and how they were investigated.  The victim had kept a journal detailing the harassment, which included:

  • physical intimidation (standing in her way in passageways, requiring her to brush past them, standing over her desk)
  • organising team drinks at strip clubs
  • putting up playboy posters next to her locker
  • sexual, anonymous phone calls
  • unwelcome text messages
  • comments on her clothing and looks
  • threats of rape if she reported the harassment
  • urine and semen on her belongings in her locker

As well as her journal, she had told her father about the harassment.  His advice was to ignore it, and it would go away.  Which of course it didn't.

Regrettably, the HR Manager did not engage an external, independent investigator when the employee raised her concerns.  In the words of the Manager, it was determined, without investigating thoroughly, that she was ‘over-sensitive’ and exaggerating. 

Investigations involving sexual harassment are often difficult when only the complainant and the respondent have their versions of events. If this were a real case, a good investigator would have been able to speak to the father, would have seen her journal, and accessed phone records to back up claims of the harassing phone calls and texts, without pre-judging the issue based on personalities or biases.

Why an external investigator?

Dispassionate objectivity is itself a passion, for the real and for the truth.

- Abraham Maslow

Many organisations, when faced with a complaint of bullying or sexual harassment, or other misconduct, elect to conduct the investigation ‘in-house’.  The ‘easy’ path is not necessarily the best one.  There are numerous examples of flawed or incomplete internal investigations resulting in criticisms from the Fair Work Commission and in some cases reinstatement following termination.  This, to be honest, is just awkward.

There are many advantages in engaging one:

  • Your internal resources may be stretched.  Investigations can be very time consuming and an external investigator can dedicate the necessary time and resources to get it completed in a timely way.
  • It is a stressful process for all involved — complainant, respondent and the witnesses, as well as other senior staff.  An external investigator can complete the investigation in a way that reduces the stress for the parties, and your internal HR team.
  • Investigations can have an enormous emotional impact on staff when they are conducted internally, when they know the people involved, as well as a strain on them intellectually, if they are not familiar with process and procedure.  External investigators are not emotionally invested in the outcome of the investigation, being engaged to investigate and report on the facts.  
  • An external investigator is completely impartial.  Without knowing the personalities of the people involved an external investigator brings no pre-conceived ideas or biases to the investigation.  This means it is likely to be perceived as a 'fairer' process.
  • Having an external investigator means that your HR Manager, or other senior staff member who would ordinarily conduct the investigation, is able to provide 'emotional scaffolding', if needed, to the staff involved.
  • The seniority of the people involved may require an external investigator.  If, for example, the complaint involves someone to whom your HR Manager reports, it is not appropriate for that person to conduct the investigation.
  • Perceptions of other staff can be more easily managed — internal investigations might be perceived as a ‘white wash’ or a ‘ticking boxes’ exercise, and looked upon with cynicism.  Bringing in an external investigator shows staff that management takes the issue seriously.
  • An external investigator is more experienced in conducting investigations and able to extract information others may not be able to.  Professional investigators are very used to the charmers, the silent aggressors, the blamers, the people who don’t want to be involved and the underminers, and know how to deal with them.
  • When an external investigator is engaged, it is unlikely to result in allegations of a lack of natural justice.
  • Where recommendations are called for, management can act on them, as advice from the Investigator.  This takes some pressure off management in terms of perceptions of staff in how the matter has been handled.

There is always a place for investigations to be conducted internally, but don’t under-estimate the value in having an external investigator deal with a difficult issue for you.

 

Power, Position, Prestige - and deafening silence

Every closed eye is not sleeping, and every open eye is not seeing.

- Bill Cosby

I used to be a huge Bill Cosby fan.  I was a fan long before his days as Dr Cliff Huxtable, the patriarch of the Huxtable family in The Cosby Show (it never occurred to me to query then why it was called The Cosby Show when the main character was Dr Huxtable, but I suspect narcissism is the answer.  But I digress...)

When he was just a comedian, I used to listen to many audio recordings of his comedy routines including Fat Albert (“Fat Albert had a car”) and his hilarious take on parenthood (“I ran out of petrol, just shutting the car door”).  When he starred in The Cosby Show as Dr Huxtable, the head of a household of five children with a working wife (a lawyer, no less) it was both hilarious and honest, and he became much admired as not just a comedian, but a successful TV star and an admired family man.  Many grieved when his only son was killed in a tragic accident, because they felt they knew him.

Sadly my fan girl days for Bill Cosby are long gone with the increasingly long line of women alleging sexual harassment, sexual assault and rape at his hands.  At last count there were more than 50 women who have come forward with these allegations.

I am far from a fan of trial by media; however even if only 10% of the claims are true, they are horrifying.  It is not a numbers game — that figure of 10% is to answer the many people who are asking 'why now?', and 'are they just in it for the money?'.  Let’s assume for a moment that all of the claims are true (and note that none of these claims have yet been tested in Court) —  how is it possible for a man to avoid prosecution or publicity over the course of  such a long career of harassing women?

The answer is that power, prestige and position engender silence.

Clint Smith (educator and poet), in an excellent, and short, TED talk on the danger of silence, said:

“Silence is the residue of fear.”

He was not talking about sexual harassment specifically, but his words are very true.

In my work as an Investigator, I find that very often women who claim to have been sexually harassed have been reluctant to make the allegations, and this is largely borne out of fear.  They are still fearful even once they have plucked up the courage to come forward- and that decision is not taken lightly.

Fear takes many forms.  One of them is fear for your job.  For example, I once listened to a single mother of two children who was, or had been, on probation in a new job when she experienced sexual harassment.  She said at the time that she feared being terminated while on probation if she raised the issue at the time.  She said “What chance did I have of succeeding in bringing this to a good resolution, when he could have terminated me at any time, and for no reason?  I had two children to feed and I needed that job”.  Unfortunately she tolerated sexual harassment and, from what she told me, sexual assault for fear of being sacked, until she found another job and left.  She left, and her boss is probably treating someone else the same way.

Another very genuine fear  for women is job prospects.  If the person doing the harassing is someone with decision making power over salary or promotions, raising an allegation of sexual harassment can put someone in a difficult position, particularly when there was no one else able to make that kind of decision.  Also, in a structure where the perpetrator is the only one 'talking up' to his immediate supervisor, the likeliood of support is perceived as low.

In Bill Cosby’s case, many of the women were young actresses hoping for a “break” in the industry who needed to work, and the old adage that “You’ll never work in this town again” was no doubt going through their minds at the thought of raising an allegation against the much loved Bill Cosby, after the shock of discovering that the person they were meeting with was not the loveable Cliff Huxtable, but a sexual predator.

Fear of not being believed is  another very genuine fear that women have.  And this is more relevant where the perpetrator does have power, prestige and position.  Who would believe that Dr Cliff Huxtable, the loveable father of five (and note Bill Cosby was also a “happily married” father of five children at the time) could be responsible for such despicable acts?

The same goes for senior men in organisations who appear to have a lot of power and prestige that goes with their position.  When men put on a public face of being happily married, a good boss, kind to animals, or whatever else they want people to believe, it is hard for people to believe they could be capable of assualt or sexual harassment.  In fact, peopld don't want to believe it.

At work, as much as in Hollywood, women fear not being believed, fear losing their jobs or fear that their careers will stall if they speak up.

Silence can be deafening.  Shame associated with the events surrounding the allegations can also be responsible for the silence around this issue.  In cases where alcohol or drug use is involved, after hours, many women feel partially or completely responsible for what happened and do not want the spotlight turned on them, questioning their own behaviour and their contribution to the events that transpired.  This is so akin to victim blaming in rape cases it’s not funny — it's just a question of degrees.  In the words of Beverly Johnson in Vanity Fair:

“I sat there still stunned by what happened the night before, confused and devastated by the idea that someone I admired so much had tried to take advantage of me, and use drugs to do so.  Had I done something to encourage his actions? …

For a long time I thought it was something that only happened to me, and that I was somehow responsible.  So I kept my secret to myself, believing this truth needed to remain in the darkness.  But the last four weeks have changed everything, as so many women have shared similar stories, of which the press have belatedly taken heed.”

Shame is easy to come by; hard to get rid of.  A client I spoke to recently said that she once offered to drive her very drunk boss home from a work function, and that he made a pass at her in the car — at the time she was embarrassed but made no complaint.  However, having rejected his advances, she then became the target of bullying behaviour.  When she plucked up the courage to speak to HR, the first words she was greeted with was 'Why on earth did you get into a car with him?'.  The first reaction was to somehow hold her responsible for his actions.

What is interesting is that in the Bill Cosby case, once someone came forward, other alleged victims of Bill Cosby have also come forward and their stories are disturbingly similar.  In workplaces, it is unlikely that someone who indulges in the sexual harassment of female employees does it only once.  Whilst silence can be golden, it can also mean that the act goes unpunished and other women will suffer the consequences.

Break the silence.  Tell your truth.

 

 

Investigations - so you think your Facebook is private?

A team is not a group of people who work together.  A team is a group of people who trust each other

- Simon Sinek

More and more in my work as an investigator, the use of social media is brought into complaints about behaviour, predominantly as evidence of bullying or other misconduct.

A recent investigation into bullying produced an interesting turn of events.  A witness produced a screen shot of a Facebook group message sent to her and others in the workplace.  She said she had felt uncomfortable about it at the time, but had mentioned it to no one at the time at the time either, not wanting to 'get involved'.  She told me that she had not participated in the conversation and had 'left' the conversation once other messages came in so she only had the one screen shot.  What was telling, was that the respondent to the bullying allegation had sent a group message saying:

'I can't stand that stupid bitch. I  am determined to make her life so f***ing miserable that she'll wish she had never applied for the job in the first place.  Who's with me?'

Case closed?  Not so fast, unfortunately.  Bullying has to happen 'at work' for it to be considered to be workplace bullying, so the usefulness of this one Facebook message, between several people from the workplace, sent at night outside work hours, only goes so far.  It is important to note that no name was mentioned in the Facebook message, even though the witness said she understood it to be referring to the complainant.

The behaviour complained of 'at work' needs to meet the litmus test, on the balance of probabilities, that it is bullying.  The screen shot however was useful as supporting material as to intent, and the probability that the behaviour was unreasonable.  The evidence of bullying was such that it was proven, on the balance of probabilities, to have occurred, over several months and in several different ways.  The person who sent the message was the respondent, and the behaviour complained of commenced at approximately the same time as the message.  But the message itself, was not sufficient.

The important lesson for both employees and employers is that even if Facebook pages and other forms of social media are set to 'private', it is still possible to access this information.  Others may copy or print off posts or forward them to other people, in the workplace and to a wider audience.  Technological advances also mean that employees with smart phones provided by their employer may have their private social media presence monitored from time to time.  Employers must review their policies on a regular basis to ensure their policies keep pace with technology, and that staff are aware of those policies.  This client also amended their policy to include a 'bystander' clause to encourage those who witness inappropriate behaviour to step up and support the recipient.

Of course, the number one lesson is that people should always treat their work colleagues with respect - it is not that hard to be kind, to be honest.

Social media has many advantages but it comes with great responsibility as well.  Anything you post, even if you think it is private, can still be used as evidence against you, and others in some cases,  in an investigation

 

 

Inclusive behaviour may prevent bullying claims

There is only one way to look at things until someone shows us how to look at them with different eyes.

-Pablo Picasso

In my work, I am often appointed as an independent investigator in relation to complaints of workplace behaviour – most often these are bullying complaints and occasionally sexual harassment.    Complaints of sexual  harassment are often difficult because without witnesses it is usually a case of ‘he said, she said’.  Occasionally there will be a ‘smoking gun’.

In relation to bullying, these cases are difficult for entirely different reasons.  I often say that ‘bullying is in the eye of the beholder’.  What might be perceived as bullying by one person would not bother another.  Regardless of the sensitivities of the complainant, bullying claims all have to be investigated in light of the relevant legislative definitions, which involve what is meant to be an objective test but is in fact the very subjective test of reasonableness.

A few things have been made clear over the course of my work in this area, combined with the work I have done with Diversity Partners recently in relation to inclusive leadership.  Inclusion is about how people feel at work, and it is possible to bully by exclusion.  So the very behaviours that go with being an inclusive leader can also help prevent  a bullying claim.

We often attribute certain behaviours to a person rather than a situation they are in.  I can recall starting a new school in year 6 – it was a small school and I started in the middle of a term. There were 16 eleven year olds in the class before I joined.  Binna Kandola talks about the effects of ‘In Groups’ and ‘Out Groups’ in his book ‘The Value of Difference:  Eliminating Bias in Organisations' and I was very much a one girl member of the out group that year.  That group of students made me feel isolated, strange, different and unwelcome.  I can recall walking into the classroom and they were looking at my report card from my previous school which had been on the teacher’s desk, and one of them said ‘you must think you’re really smart’.  I said nothing.  I was very quiet and tried to physically shrink in the classroom.  After a while I became angry and my natural extraversion kicked in and I started fighting back verbally.  This made it worse of course.

I was then labelled arrogant, rude, and bitchy.

Did I feel bullied?  Absolutely.  Did they intend to make me feel like that?  Probably not. 

Children of course don’t think as adults – but imagine the above scenario in a work situation.  A new team member starts, and feels excluded, different.  She sees the team members looking at her CV or performance review documents and making snarky comments.  She goes quiet then gets angry.  Does she feel bullied? Absolutely.  Did they intend to make her feel like that?  Probably not.  But the potential for a bullying claim is there.

Had this behaviour been properly attributed to the situation and NOT the person, the result would have been entirely different.  Had those school children or the team members chosen to think and act inclusively, the situation would never have deteriorated.  So think about your behaviour – are you acting inclusively?  Are you inviting this person to be involved, getting to know them, asking how they are getting on, offering to help with the new environment and introducing them to the people they need to know?

Inclusive behaviour, along with reflection on your communication style, will go a long way to preventing a bullying claim

Wanting equality is not about 'hating' men

All that is valuable in human society depends upon the opportunity for development accorded the individual

Albert Einstein

 

Natalie Barr from Channel 7's Sunrise program has caused a stir with an opinion piece describing how she has never experienced discrimination.  The first two paragraphs of her article state:

'Am I the only woman who's not angry at men?  I'm a woman and I have never felt discriminated against.  There.  I've said it.  I'm not angry at men.  I can't remember being passed over for a promotion because of a man and I have never felt undervalued because I'm a woman'

I'm pleased for Natalie Barr.  Seriously pleased she has never experienced discrimination.  That's assuming she knows she actually has not been discriminated against — that decisions about pay and promotion in relation to her career have resulted in equal treatment for her.  And as she works in the media I sincerely hope that as she ages, she is not moved aside for someone younger, or that her salary stagnates to the point that she is earning much less than her male counterparts.  Of which, as she states, she knows nothing.

What troubles me most is her question 'Am I the only woman who's not angry at men?'    Wanting equality in the workplace is not about being angry at men, or hating men. It's not high school.  It is quite possible  however that there are a lot of women out there who ARE angry — not at men, but at a system, unconsciously or otherwise, that holds women back in ways both big and small because of their gender, not their actual abilities.  One need only look at the statistics to see there is something going on other than a 'them vs us' thing — a 17% pay differential, graduate salaries less for women than men, fewer women in leadership, at a time when more and more women are graduating from universities across the nation.

I have worked for many years in a profession that is often in the news, lamented for the lack of women at the top of the career ladder.  It is a source of constant conversationa and tomes have been written - and yet nothing changes.  I continue to work now across a variety of industries and also coach and mentor many women who have or who are currently experiencing discrimination.  And it is not about their abilities.

Here are but a few examples:

When a group of men go to a strip club after a conference dinner and take their male client with them, leaving the only female behind — that's discrimination.

When entertaining a client involves going to a game a rugby and only the male practitioners are invited — that's discrimination.

When a woman is told, to her face, that at 40, she is 'too old' to be considered for promotion to partnership, regardless of her contribution or performance — that's discrimination

When a senior practitioner announces that a particular person would be a good candidate for partnership because at 'her age' she is unlikely to have children — that's discrimination.

When a group of people all at the same level include one woman, who is paid a minimum of  $30K less in salary than the lowest paid of the males in that group — that's discrimination.

When the possibility of a transfer and consequent promotion is discussed with a number of males and not one female — that's discrimination.

When a woman is told at a performance review that there is a perception she is 'not committed' to career advancement because she chooses to go home at 5pm on a Friday (note this is ONE day a week) to be with her family while her male colleagues go out for drinks — that's discrimination.

I could go on.  I could write a book if I had the time as it is a long list. I see it or hear of it every day, and stand up to it, and help women stand up to it as it is not acceptable.

What is missing from your piece, Natalie, is a discussion of opportunity.  Opportunity begets experience which begets more opportunity then promotion and pay rises.  You are fortunate that you had opportunity presented to you, or that you were able to take it. Many women are consciously, but mostly unconsciously, excluded from opportunity because of their gender and because of assumptions made about them  This is a result of years of ingrained thought patterns by decision makers and is not easily challenged because it is often hard to identify.  

It is not about being angry at men, but rather the systems created within organisations by decision makers who are for the most part, male.  So yes, I'm angry.  And I became angrier after reading your opinion piece because frankly, it makes it easy for those who don't believe unconscious bias is an issue to point to this and say 'There.  See.  It IS just about ability'.

No one says it better than Ita Buttrose and Sarah Harris on Studio 10 via the Hoopla website.

I really enjoyed that!

 

 

 

CYA - Manage performance, but don't leave yourself open to a bullying claim

'There's a fine line between character building and soul destroying'

Colin Hay

In my line of work I have seen and investigated far too many genuine cases of bullying, and have witnessed the effects this has on the victims of it.  I have also seen far too many disingenuous claims, used as a tactic against a manager for various reasons, but usually when a manager has been addressing performance issues.   Regardless of the outcome, an investigation into bullying or workplace harassment is very stressful for all involved.  So of course the easy solution is — don't be a bully, and even if you're not, don't set yourself up for a bullying claim.

So if you are a manager of people, experienced or not, and you need to address some performance issues with one of your staff, how do you avoid a bullying claim when you genuinely want only the best for your employee and the business?  I have previously give some 'how to' tips in relation to giving effective feedback here .  Given that the definition of bullying is that it is repeated unreasonable behaviour etc, there should be no confusion between  the process of managers or supervisors giving feedback on performance, and bullying. Sounds simple, doesn't it? Unfortunately, bullying is sometimes in the eye of the beholder, and there is nothing to STOP a claim being made regardless of the merits.  So how best to protect yourself?

First of all there is a difference between giving general performance feedback and formal performance management.  Giving feedback on an employee's performance should be regular.  And it should be often, especially if it is positive feedback. Positive feedback builds confidence and engagement. Oftentimes people tell me they only get feedback when they've done something wrong or at their annual performance review.  Annual reviews should be seen as an opportunity to record a formal discussion and set goals, and there should be no surprises for the employee if regular feedback has been given. Performance management is of course more serious — where you need a fundamental change in order for someone's employment to continue. 

There are a number of ways to reduce the risk of a bullying claim following or during the process of performance feedback or management in any form.  Essentially, put yourself in the shoes of the employee and see things from their perspective. Little things can add up to big trouble for you, especially where nuances of behaviour or perceptions come into play.

Regardless of whether it is general performance feedback or performance management, document all discussions, whatever the behaviour that needs improving; big issue or relatively minor.  I call this 'CYA' or 'Cover your Arse'.  You never know when a conversation, combined with other events, can come back to bite you!

Keep it confidential.  Other than having a confidential discussion with your own supervisor, if you have one, never discuss it with another employee.  Small things and changes in behaviour can lead to unwarranted perceptions on the part of the employee.

Don't try to soften the blow, by, for example suggesting you go for a coffee, or have a chat.  Be clear about what the conversation is going to be about, to avoid allegations that the employee was unable to prepare or was 'ambushed'.  If it is the first time you have had to speak to them, make sure they understand they have the opportunity to come back to you at a later stage if they want to address any issues.  This is particularly important if you are dealing with an introvert. Introverts need time to process their thoughts and may wish to have the opportunity to address your concerns after they have had a chance to think about the feedback they have been given.  So be alert to an employee who sits there in silence.  You may well go back to your office, breathing a sigh of relief,  thinking 'so that went well' while your employee is seething with resentment.

Give the employee an opportunity to come up with solutions to the problem themselves, rather than necessarily dictating them.  They are far more likely to be engaged in the process of improvement if they themselves have thought of ways to improve.

Beware of  your body language after the discussion - I know it can be uncomfortable having had a difficult discussion, but if your employee perceives you to be behaving differently afterwards, this can add to any negative feelings they may have towards you.  Related to this — keep an eye on other team members' behaviour as well.  If they know or suspect a colleague has been having performance discussions, they may change their behaviour, and avoid eye contact or any contact at all, just due to discomfort with the situation.  

Don't try to make it easy for them, even if you feel some sympathy for them, by taking work away from them without discussing it first.  If they suddenly feel like they are being excluded from certain work, or opportunities, not included in emails and so on,  a small resentment can easily develop into a view that 'they're trying to get rid of me'.

Don't suddenly start micro managing the employee — again this will lead to a perception that they are being watched, picked on, etc.

And whatever you do, do not, ever, lose your temper with that person.  While being angry once in a blue moon is certainly not bullying in any definition, and perfectly understandable from time to time, combined with all of the above, it will form of a bullying claim.

Many different behaviours, taken together, rather than in isolation, are likely to form the basis of a bullying claim given that there has to be a 'repeated behaviour' to establish a claim — make sure your intentions are genuine, and your own behaviour is beyond reproach.  If a bullying claim is made, regardless of merit, you will need to be able to answer all allegations.

Most good workplace behaviour policies and the new legislation have a definition of what bullying is NOT - reasonable management action conducted in a reasonable way.  So while discussing performance issues is of course reasonable management action, it must also be conducted in a reasonable way.  Shouting, banging the desk, swearing, telling someone they're useless, excluding them from work opportunities, ignoring them, is NOT reasonable and a bullying claim is likely to be proven.

There is no definition of what is reasonable in these circumstances and there will be cases no doubt that will define it or give examples of it.  The easiest test is: Ask yourself — how would I like to be treated in this situation?  That's usually the best test of reasonableness.  

 

 

The standard you walk past is the standard you accept

"The standard you walk past is the standard you accept"

- Lieutenant General David Morrison

This post was first published by Diversity Partners. Imagine going to work every day, knowing that a colleague has taken photos or video of you, of a sexual nature, and distributed them not just to other work colleagues, but via work email, sent them outside the organisation, and published them on the Internet. Imagine then, if you had no way of raising this with a person in a leadership role, or worse, doing that and having nothing done about it. I imagine I would leave that organisation knowing the humiliation would last a lifetime.

I have been involved in many workplace disputes, investigations, conflict resolution, and discipline around inappropriate behaviours – from what some would perceive as minor to the very major. It would be a rare organisation, which did not go through something like this at least once. There have been many public examples as well.

The very worst cases, the ones that generally make the media, have been those where the complainant has felt let down by their employer in either not dealing appropriately with the situation when it was brought to their attention or having no means by which they felt able to raise a concern. The army is no longer prepared to be one of those employers.

If only every CEO of every organisation could take a leaf out of the book of Head of the Australian Defence Force, Lieutenant General David Morrison.

Recently, the Australian Defence Force has been the subject of very public sexual harassment claims, and allegations of inappropriate conduct. Lieutenant General Morrison made an announcement regarding his attitude to this sort of behaviour and the culture of the ADF for all its employees - view the full Message from the Chief of Army. He makes absolutely no bones about his attitude to this behaviour and what he thinks of those who not just perpetrate it, but those who know about it and do nothing. It makes me want to join the army.

Take a moment to think about that incredible speech. Replace the word 'army' with the name of your own organisation. Think of this speech as if it is also referring to bullying or any other kind of harassment or discrimination, towards anyone, male or female. Any CEO who honestly wants a diverse, inclusive and safe workplace should read, mark, learn and inwardly digest his words. And live them. Here are some of my favourite quotes (taking out the reference to the army). This is true leadership in action:

"Every one of us is responsible for the culture and reputation of [your company] and the environment in which we work'

'If you become aware of any individual degrading another then show moral courage and take a stand against it. No one has ever explained to me how the exploitation or degradation of others enhances capability or honours the tradition of [your company] and the environment in which we work'

'I will be ruthless in ridding [your company] and the environment in which we work of people who cannot live up to its values and I need every one of you to support me in achieving this'

'The standard you walk past is the standard you accept." That goes for all of us but especially those who ...have a leadership role."

The entire speech is inspiring but the reason these are my favourite quotes is that Morrison entreats his entire workforce to join him in this cultural revolution of the army. And it is not about how men treat women. It is about how people treat other people in the organisation. It is not just him but each and every member of the ADF who will take responsibility for living the values. Great leaders cast long, deep and broad shadows - their influence reaches beyond those with whom they come into direct contact because they are symbolic of the values of the entire organisation. Lieutenant General Morrison already has a long shadow.

We can all learn from this speech. And we can all do something to show our respect and care for others today and every day.