Food Network Leadership Lesson

Our Takeaway from the Food Network and Paula Deen

In Tips and Tricks by Jason Cortel

I admit that when I heard the Food Network fired Paula Deen after she admitted to using the N word in “the past” I was a little shocked. Of course we don’t know what “the past” really means. We do know this is the second scandal (at least that I am aware of) involving Paula Deen, the other one had something to do with Smithfield and its treatment of animals.

Tony Hsieh famously says “I fire those who don’t fit our company culture”. I believe the Food Network just demonstrated the same. They also demonstrated a seemingly true zero tolerance policy. In business, it seems we have grown accustomed to second, third, fourth and fifth chances. Slaps on the wrist have become so common that we don’t know how to react when swift and dire action is taken.

The problem with inaction is that you send a message to everyone else in your organization that you accept that behavior and that it is OK. If one employee is disrespectful to you and nothing happens, pretty soon all of them will begin to disrespect you. If one employee cheats on their sales numbers and nothing happens, soon they all will start doing it. When doing the right thing is less rewarded than doing the wrong thing, employees will start doing the wrong things.

When an employee does something so egregiously against the rules, the culture or towards you, addresses it immediately. The longer you wait to address it, the quicker others will begin to think they can act inappropriately. The longer you wait to address it, the lower the chances are that you even will.

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Jason Cortel

Jason Cortel

Call Center Manager
An accomplished sales and marketing operations executive in demand generation, client services and technical support industries. Jason has proven leadership, strategic planning, and problem solving skills. He is recognized for having the ability to develop client-focused organizational cultures resulting in significantly higher customer satisfaction and retention.
Jason CortelOur Takeaway from the Food Network and Paula Deen