This week the Obama administration accepted full responsibility for the hasty firing of Shirley Sherrod, State Director of Rural Development for the United States Department of Agriculture.
After an excerpt of her address to a March 2010 NAACP meeting was posted on the Andrew Breitbart Big Government website July 19, both right wing and left media commented on what seemed a blatant act of reverse racism.
Was Sherrod declaring she had misgivings about helping a farmer keep his farm because he was White?
In truth, Sherrod, a black woman, described her understanding of the situation and her struggle to make a decision that would help the white farmer. Her speech was about racism – and not racist.
White House spokesperson, Robert Gibbs, said,
“I can’t speak for everybody involved, but I think we live in a culture [where] things whip around. People want fast responses, we want to give fast responses, and I don’t think there’s any doubt that if we look at this, one of the great lessons we take away from this is to ask all of the questions first and to come to that full understanding.”
As a result Sherrod’s ousting and the subsequent media blitz, the entire week seemed devoted to sidestepping, apologizes, angry vindictive against the left and right media.
And though a majority of politicians and journalists slammed the blogger for “jumping the gun,” Ann Coulter defended him. “He’s the victim!” she screamed.
The time and money spent to clear up an issue that might have been dismissed in seconds is symptomatic of our need to say things quickly without thinking them out first.
As a manager or supervisor, do you ever jump to conclusions? Have you ever fired anyone too quickly? Do you look at financial figures and immediately cut jobs cut marketing, cut inventory without carefully poring over the numbers?
What’s it take to change the way we think so we avoid making hasty, unfortunate decisions?
Tune in this week to Dr. Brian and Dr. Gary’s insultant/consultant show, Sunday July 25, 2010, http://www.blogtalkradio.com/consultantinsultant to learn some tips for avoiding this misguided behavior.