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Don’t Blame the Culture for Being an A-hole!

By Scott Span | Small Business

Don’t Blame the Culture for Being an A hole! image Incognito4Don’t Blame the Culture for Being an A hole!So by now you may have heard the news regarding Miami Dolphins offensive guard (ironic position to play for a guy who is so – offensive) Richie Incognito, suspended for his racist slurs toward fellow teammate Jonathan Martin.

In addition to the racist slurs allegations emerged that Incognito had been bullying Martin and threatening him with him not just racist voicemails but homophobic texts – way to be a role model buddy! One of his messages to Martin – contains such insults and language that I’ll refrain from quoting…suffice to say it includes a few mentions of the “N” word and a few mentions of the”F” word…and I’m not talking about “nice and fluffy!”

In a recent interview Incognito deflected his actions and accountability by blaming the culture – the culture of the NFL is to blame for his stupidity and poor judgment– lame excuse! Now, as an avid football fan, I understand the NFL has a culture all to its own – however “the culture” itself is no excuse for an individual, and public figure, to act like such a – well A-hole! Many media outlets are even reporting that Martin is a wimp, a coward, and not a tough guy for not sticking up for himself and challenging Incognito’s behavior. Perhaps he should’ve spoke up, told Incognito where to shove it, and handled the situation directly – though that doesn’t change the fact this type of behavior – which even requires retaliation of any kind – is deemed “ok” within NFL culture.

That being said, this is a great example of how the culture of an organization can perpetuate certain poor and negative behaviors. It’s also a great refresher of what makes for a high performing culture:

Don’t Blame the Culture for Being an A hole! image culture4Don’t Blame the Culture for Being an A hole!

As an Organization Development and Culture practitioner, I’ve seen firsthand the impacts culture can have on a business, both positive and negative. For your business to succeed you can’t maintain a “locker room” culture. I mean really, even if you want your team to succeed it’s a bad idea – just look at the Miami Dolphins standing in the AFC East – I’m pretty sure the culture and team dynamics are a contributing factor. Here’s hoping that most of you desire to be part of creating a high performance culture (see our checklist for tips on how) –and strive to create and maintain an organization where people feel they can be themselves and give their all to help the organization succeed!

Oh, and I can’t close without adding my personal 2 cents…leadership, culture, and team dynamics issues aside…an A-hole is just an A-hole…and Incognito…well…you get the gist!

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