By now most everyone has heard about Steve Slater. In case you have been hiding under a rock somewhere, Mr.Slater recently took a unique approach to quitting a rather long career with Jet Blue. After a heated exchange with a passenger, Slater went to the back of the plane, shared some choice words over the intercom, and exited out an emergency evacuation chute.
Since then he has been arrested, released, and become an internet sensation. Some are even calling hi a “hero”. So my question is when is it OK to celebrate bad behavior? To be fair, there were triggers to Slater’s actions. The passenger who launched this chain of events appears to be as guilty of slinging the expletives as Mr. Slater in this case. But should two wrongs make a right?
It seems our society is becoming increasingly angry. Whether it’s politics, work, or lifestyle, as a group we are more polarized than ever. I think the stresses of a struggling economy, stressful work conditions, and the constant bombardment of negative information has made people more cynical. I am seeing it everywhere from Facebook comments to golf league. People are angry and in some cases willing to exert bad behavior to get their frustrations out. To accept it, and in certain cases even praise it, is not good. At what point will these actions not be OK?
As leaders and employers it is important that we do what we can to change the momentum being created. In our own way, we need to start changing the mindsets of others. We need to start finding what is working. We need to get back to finding ways to grow and innovate. This country was created by people who took it upon themselves to create a strong, prosperous nation and as leaders we need to focus on that again. It’s time to stop pointing fingers and blaming. If you are angry, take positive action to change your environment.
It is time for us to be the positive example. Instead of celebrating our anger, we need to be celebrating our successes.