When I was a kid in junior high I wasn't always the nicest kid. The mental health experts would probably say I was a product of being bullied in grade school. In my post bully world, I would do things like upset a board game if I wasn't winning or cut someone down with words. In my mind I would justify and rationalize my behavior and somehow make them the cause ... the reason ... it was their fault I was this way.
Have you ever heard of the butterfly effect? Essentially, it means that small seemingly insignificant events can have major consequences. I think a lot about this as a CEO. I think about how one decision or action can potentially affect and impact the system down the road. If I apply this to my life, I wonder if I wasn't bullied or was a bully, how would that change me ... as a leader, today?
If you know anything about me, you know I love watching and discussing politics. I find it interesting that such a large part of America is supporting an outright bully. Someone who calls people liars, boring, "sweats too much", "she's really ugly" ... As someone who in the past used words to cut people down and make them feel horrible, this makes me really sad. Going forward - how are parents going to teach their kids that calling each other "liars", "stupid" and "ugly" is not nice?
If I didn't have experience in my life as a bully and being bullied, I wouldn't have the appreciation to see it when it happens. I wouldn't have the wisdom to head it off and deal with it in an adult assertive manner. If the "boring", "sweating" and "stupid" candidates came together early and calmly laid out the facts and rose above the negativity ... perhaps we would have seen a different outcome. I fear it's too late.
-Steve Simonin, President & CEO