I’ve been out and about lately reconnecting with former colleagues and old friends. It’s fun to catch up on things and have a few laughs about some of the stunts we pulled back in the day. It’s also interesting to see how time is treating them.
While they all have their flaws, they’re all business leaders of great character and integrity. I trust them implicitly and would be honored to work with them again, anytime, anywhere.
And yet, there seems to be one scandalous story after another about morally corrupt creeps masquerading as VCs and CEOs of high-flying startups. SoFi CEO Mike Cagney stepping down over allegations that he ran the Fintech unicorn like a frat house may be the latest but it certainly won’t be the last.
The thing is, I have trouble reconciling those two contrasting views of tech executives. They simply couldn’t be more different. So what gives?
For the record, I’m no pollyanna. I’ve seen and done some things over the years that probably wouldn’t make a mother proud, but nothing that compares to the sort of immature, unethical and unprofessional behavior that some seem to think is OK to inflict on employees who are just trying to make a living.
What it really comes down to I think is this: You can’t reconcile a broad spectrum of human behavior over a large sample space. There will always be do gooders, do badders, and everything in between.
The problem arises when you try to paint an entire group of people with the same broad brush. It simply doesn’t work. And yet, we see rampant stereotyping these days, especially in the media and on social media. You know what I’m talking about.
Of course, sweeping generalizations are wrong — not just in the sense that they’re dehumanizing and divisive, but more important, they lead you to draw conclusions that are simply unfounded and untrue. Every human is an individual. Maybe someday we’ll learn to treat each other that way.
Image credit Kathryn Alberts via Flickr