Entrepreneurs and Innovators Create ‘Life’ in Different Forms
Remember Mary Shelley famous novel Frankenstein? It tells of a promising scientist called Victor Frankenstein who created ‘life’ out of dead flesh. This new life manages to educate itself, becomes an astute thinker and resents its creator. As a result, the monster begins to take revenge by lashing out on loved ones, a process accelerated when the creator failed to meet the monster’s simple demands.
Some modern day entrepreneurs and innovators are creating ‘life’ in different forms for example Uber and Airbnb. However, several have been tarnished by the Frankenstein brush of playing God while serving the ego in an attempt to manipulate the lives of those that are connected to them, creating change that brings to the surface fears and anxiety. Manipulation is a skilled art of management.
The story is an event of unfortunate incidences which has caused Uber to be in the limelight for the wrong reasons.
As Travis Kalanick CEO of Uber resigns to grieve the death of his mother, one would like to believe that it was not Travis’s intention to destroy countless of lives, as he attempted to make Uber the dominant player in the ride hailing business worth $70billion.
Travis ideology was to create a service that could easily arrange chauffeured transportation for urbanites and non-drivers.
The unintended consequences of Travis Kalanik beliefs , actions and success has only amplified the CEO’s neglect of the simple demands of treating employees with respect and acknowledging them as an invaluable business assets. Like Victor Frankenstein disgruntled creation, the lives of loved ones were destroyed, similar to way Uber has created a ‘toxic culture’ that may have contributed to the sorrows of the family of computer engineer Joseph Thomas.
Joseph had declined a job to work with apple in preference for a job with Uber. Was Joseph total personality change as mentioned by his widow influenced by Uber’s corporate values, beliefs and thinking patterns? Two hundred and fifteen employee complaints later, charges of sexual harassment and discrimination within Uber may have been as a result of this ‘toxic’ culture. A culture that the widow of Joseph Thomas believes perhaps contributed to the suicide of her husband.
A Professional and Personal ‘Void’ in Awareness & Impact of Power
Has Travis created a monster by his inability to take responsibility for what he has shaped? Has he undertaken the duty of a leader to model the way, inspire a shared vision with his employees and to have a shared understanding?
In order for Uber to succeed Eric Lolder USA Attorney General believes Uber needs to dedicate its time rebuilding a leadership team. Leadership that re-visits its true values and purpose, He adds “Uber needs to mature as a corporation” It appears Travis would agree.
Travis Kalanik, grieving of his mother has brought home to him that ‘people’ are more important than work, he understands now, according to his email to his employees that he now has a ‘new story’ a story where people come first.
Coaching2transform believes entrepreneurship and its accomplishments should be handled with care. Let this be a warning about the ways innovations can fall short of their ambitions, even in their greatest moment of triumph (paraphrased Jacob Brogan quote) .
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