We’ve seen a remarkable shift recently – a shift that is long overdue. It’s the #MeToo shift.

Sexual harassment and assault has been an all too common experience for too many women at the hands of men in power – in workplaces and in communities – for decades. Probably for centuries.

Today, victims – mostly women and a few men – are finding their voice to explain their experiences, their fears, and their shame, even though they were not at fault.

At the root of sexual harassment are cultures that not only tolerate predatory behavior, they sometimes encourage it.

Sexual predators (mostly men in power) act from self-gratifying desires. Their actions demonstrate that they have no qualms about taking advantage of others (usually women) who are “lower” in the organization or in society than they are.

Their power enables predators to act on their selfish desires with little concern for retribution.

Consistently kind, respectful behavior between colleagues is not, unfortunately, the norm in many organizations.

We know better. In purposeful, positive, productive work cultures, no one is superior to anyone else in the organization. Everyone is treated with trust, respect, and dignity in every interaction.

In today’s three-minute episode of my Culture Leadership Charge video series, I describe how making values as measurable as results – and holding everyone accountable for treating others with trust, respect, and dignity in every interaction, can eliminate sexual harassment in our workplaces.

My Culture Leadership Charge series features short (two-to-three-minute) videos that describe proven culture leadership and servant leadership practices that boost engagement, service, and results across your work teams, departments, regions, and even your entire company.

Each episode’s “charge” is a challenge for everyone in your organization – not just leaders – to refine their behaviors and ensure everyone is treated respectfully at all times.

You’ll find my Culture Leadership Charge episodes and more on my YouTube channel. If you like what you see, please subscribe!

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Photo © Adobe Stock – Jacob Lund. All rights reserved.

To what degree is your workplace free from aggressive, predatory behavior? Share your insights on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

S. Chris Edmonds

S. Chris Edmonds

Chris helps leaders create purposeful, positive, productive work cultures. He's a speaker, author, and executive consultant. He blogs, podcasts, and video casts. He is the author of The Culture Engine and six other books.
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Reader Interactions


  1. AvatarDave Howe says

    Chris, a couple of thoughts: retaliation for reporting hostile workplace conditions can also be a part of a predatory culture, and standing by while someone else mistreats a fellow employee is essentially collusion with the perp. It’s hard to find people, on a random basis, who are willing to stick their necks out in public for what is right, but a culture by design can accomplish that. I came into this organization when it was an ad hoc culture, made up by whoever came through the door. We were lucky to get a Chief who intuitively realized that this would be a better place if we could have a say in the core values: the whole community has benefitted from his vision.
    You might check out Gordon Graham on YouTube, see if he has any harassment prewsentations. His in-person ones are unbelievably effective. (There are two Gordon Grahams: I mean the one who works with public safety agencies…the funny one)

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