It’s Not the Glass Ceiling, It’s the Jackass Ceiling
Posted on 16 July 2010
After seeing several of these creatures kick up their heels and stomp around breathing fire from their snouts throughout the decades, I discovered a pattern to when the jackass would stomp onto the scene. Without fail, it was whenever I need to make an ethical decision. It seemed this would set off their baying and kicking. In one instance, it was disciplining individuals for looking at porn on work computers; in another, it was moving to terminate an employee because they were threatening team members in their workplace; in yet another, it was removing an employee for performance issues. I’ve also had jackasses kick dirt in my face and flay their hooves at me for paying and promoting people fairly, insisting we follow our human resources handbook in dealing with personnel discipline issues and removing non performers in order to maximize productivity and profitability.
Maybe I’m naïve, but I do think if a man tried to do the same things he would also incur the wrath of the jackass. So I didn’t butt my head up against a glass ceiling, I came face to face with the foul smelling spewing of a rabid jackass up the chain. But it wasn’t all bad. These jackasses showed me that I was operating in a barnyard that did not care about ethics. And that’s no barnyard I wanted to build my stall in. James MacGregor Burns said, “Divorced from ethics, leadership is reduced to management and politics to mere techniques.” And I wanted to be a leader, not a manager or politician.
So consider this: when ceilings or jackasses happen to good people, be glad it did so you can see the reality of what you are dealing with and move onto a place that’s better suited for your standards. As Ethel Watts Munford so aptly stated; “You may lead an ass to knowledge, but you can’t make him think.”