Stand for what you believe in

So I was reading the recent story about the claims of harassment at Uber.

And while I don’t know if the claims are true it made me think back to when I faced a similar situation.

It all started as a late night at the office. I had some extra work to catch up on and was sitting in my office trying to think through the issues without the distractions of the day. There were only two other co-workers, one male and one female, on the floor both of whom I knew. I saw both working at the same desk trying to solve a customer problem.

Without warning, the female co-worker came into my office and closed the door. She was visibly shaken. When I asked her what was the matter she told me that her male co-worker had made unwelcome advances on her as they were working.

Now, it just so happened I was also a senior manager and not just another co-worker. Even though neither of these co-workers reported to me I had the responsibility to handle the situation. So I had to make a “management decision”.

Was this a “minor” incident that I should calm her down about and try to defuse? I knew our company rules were very clear as we had a Zero Tolerance policy for harassment of any kind.

All of these thoughts went through my head and in a few seconds I came to my decision.

I told her to go and gather her things and called the male co-worker to my office. I directly confronted him about what occurred and he admitted it was true. So there was no doubting the story or the facts. I told him that I would be filing a report and pursuing the incident with Human Resources.

So I ended up escorting the female co-worker out of the office while assuring her that the rules would be enforced.

In conclusion, I pursued the matter with Human Resources and the male employee was dismissed.

Could I have ignored the situation — certainly. Was it distracting and disruptive? Sure it was. Did it impact client deliverables — it certainly delayed them. Did we lose an otherwise good and productive employee — yes.

However, sometimes there are things that you know you have to take a stand for. Things that you would always regret if you sacrificed your beliefs. When I look back at my career to date, this way my proudest achievement because I did what was right — what I would never regret doing again.

It’s certainly the main reason I found the idea of ImpactSeeker attractive because our mission is to help you support what you believe in.

And that’s a cause I find worthy to stand up for.