Yesterday in Melbourne the Melbourne Cup was run. A race commonly known as the race that stops a nation. And there was I in a pub full of happy people watching the race. I couldn’t hear a thing it was so noisy. As the horses ran the marathon 3,200 metre, I along with a host of people I have never met and will never met again were screaming ‘Go Go Go’. As I screamed one horse pulled up during the race; we heard no more about it. All I knew after the race, was that my horse had not won. Oh well that’s $10.00 down the drain, no biggy. But later that night I found out that it was Verema who had pulled up during the race, the horse I had backed and she was so badly injured she was put down.
So what has this got to do with leadership? Well days before the Melbourne Cup I was getting Facebook posts telling me about the thousands of race horses that do not make the grade and are killed, about the horrific injuries race horses sustain and how their life is considerably shortened by a career in horse racing.’ Okay’ I said two days before the race, ‘I’m not putting on a bet. I will catch up with my friends and make my stance known’. Did I do as I said I would? Not a bit of it. I didn’t want to be the wet blanket; the one that stood out from the crowd. Anyway I told no one I wasn’t going to place a bet so who would say anything if I did place a bet.
So what did I do that was wrong? Why when I found out what happened to Verema did I feel so bad ? Lets face it whether I placed a bet or not, would have had no bearing on what happened to Verema yesterday.
It was not wrong to put a bet of the Melbourne Cup hundreds of thousands of good people do so every year. I was wrong to put on a bet because I had come to conclusion days before based upon information I had received that it was wrong for me to place a bet. I did not follow through with what I thought was right.
Everyday managers and leaders in the community and workplace make the same mistake I did. They don’t speak aloud what they believe to be true, they do not have the difficult conversations with their colleagues, staff and managers , they are not prepared to say what they think may be unpopular. But instead of horses dying great ideas die and people’s spirit and dignity are crushed .
Again it is reinforced to me that I need to:
- be prepared to have difficult convesrations
- be prepared to be different if I believe in what I am saying
- not keep silent because those I should stand up for have no voice or power
- acknowledge a wrong and a take positive action to correct the wrong as soon as possible
So yesterday was my last horse bet and I have made a small donation to Horse Rescue Australia. And I am posting this admission of wrong doing so that my error can serve others.
If you to would like to make a donation please consider donating to Horse Rescue Australia. Here is the link.
Until next time