The Rise of the Banana
There is a seismic shift going on in the world. Finally, certainly in corporate America and Australia, we have decided that bad behaviour is no longer acceptable.
From Harvey Weinstein to Rolf Harris, from Kevin Spacey to Don Burke, people, but particularly men, are being accused of conduct that we have accepted for way too long. The feminists have been fighting it for years but for most of us, we thought it was just the way it was. While the spotlight is on the media and entertainment industry, the problem is endemic to the business world.
I’m sure for you, like me, recent events have sparked many conversations and slowly it emerges that everyone, and I mean, every woman I speak to over the age of 30 – and some under, have been exposed to unacceptable behaviour in the workplace.
It ranges from vile, illegal conduct to simply bad behaviour.
It’s not just predatory sexual stuff either, it’s just shit behaviour that also includes bullying and narcissism.
Rudeness. Lack of respect. Lack of empathy. Unkindness. Impatience. Bullying. Aggression. Undermining. Manipulation. Invalidation.
For so long this has been seen as the mark of a confident, strong, decisive leader who gets things done even if he rapes and pillages along the way. Literally.
Millenials find this puzzling. I have two sons in their twenties. The sort of behaviour portrayed by the corporate porkers in our society is unthinkable to them. And fortunately for the world, the Millenials are a big cohort and their leadership will help provide the shift.
I’ve been working with someone the last few months who is the ultimate nice guy. (Check out Andrew Cochrane from Decodeu - he deserves a mention and he's doing some great cultural workplace stuff). We were discussing this the other day and he firmly believes the Rise of the Nice Guy is happening.
I’m calling it the Rise of the Banana. Because we need to find goodness, energy and humour to come out of this.
In 2004 I developed a pop psyche behavioural profiling system with the usual four types which I flippantly called Apples, Limes, Mangoes and Bananas.
And my Bananas are the nice guys, the ones that cop a lot of flack.
They are called weak for being accommodating.
Wishy washy for not fighting back with fire.
Procrastinators for thinking things through.
Overly emotional for being sensitive.
Martyrs for being giving.
Let’s rethink those qualities. Leaders who are brave enough to be vulnerable, collaborative, caring and empathic. Who look after their people, and their people give them blood in return. Absenteeism decreases, and so does turnover.
The Banana’s time has come. Farewell and begone rank and vile scumbags of the workplace!
We no longer accept bad behaviour, from sexual harassment to aggressive bullying.
Welcome to the Nice Guys.
Welcome to the age of the Rising Banana.
Lynne Schinella is a conference speaker, speaker coach, and author of Bite Me! and other do's and don'ts of dealing with our differences.
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