The HR Juggler

We Can Be Heroes

Posted on: July 10, 2011


Like countless others in the UK and elsewhere, I have been following reports of the closure of News of the World, the allegations of phone hacking and the apparent corporate cover-up of News International.  I am genuinely shocked by the tactics of intimidation, the extent of collusion between politicians and media and the perceived inability or lack of will of anyone in power to change the status quo. I have clearly been highly naive about how things truly operate..

This type of topic is way out of my blogging comfort zone and others are far more qualified, knowledgeable and insightful than me on it (check out Flip Chart Fairy Tales and the Pub Philosopher to name a few). But there are many aspects of the events which make me truly angry: not least the fact that the Editor at the time of some of the worst alleged hacking incidents, remains in her very senior post within News International (at the time of writing!) whilst 200 current staff are losing their jobs.

This afternoon I heard David Bowie’s ‘Heroes’ on the radio and it really struck a chord with me about the power and courage of ordinary individuals to make a stand. The News International saga has a few of these, without whom the full extent of what has been going on would never have been widely publicised: Tom Watson and Chris Bryant both Labour MPs and Nick Davies, a reporter for the Guardian newspaper in particular.

The song inspires me to think about how we as people, as business leaders and as HR professionals can make a difference, to challenge the status quo, to make sure we bring our values to work. To ensure that we prevent anything like this happening in our organisations and on our watch.

I, I will be king
And you, you will be queen
Though nothing will
Drive them away
We can beat them
Just for one day
We can be Heroes
Just for one day

6 Responses to "We Can Be Heroes"

I have considered saying why I left Sky in the middle of all this.

Suffice to say that my standards were not met, and I was asked to do things that I could not.

Thanks for commenting – certainly sounds like a story behind that one and well done to you for sticking to your values.

When I am asked why I left my last post I use to feel embarrassed and mumble something trying to change the conversation. Then my OH told me of one of his colleagues who when asked the same thing would say that “When one’s values no longer match not only the rhetoric but the actions in an organization, it’s time to move on to other pastures”. This is courageous thinking and anyone who does this with grace is certainly a hero in their own way in my books.
Another thought provoking post. S

Fab post and comments. I agree … keep rocking that status quo!! Does take me back in time to a role that I ‘handed back’ – simply, but most acutely, because of a major clash in values and integrity. I remember the day I resigned and being quite taken aback by how much passion and emotion I had tied up both in the role and the organisation. It was certainly a great life lesson in when to stop being a ‘solo’ hero and how/when to call others into their truth 🙂

Really appreciate all of you taking the time to stop by, to comment and to share your experiences.

Sara, so glad you’ve found a way to articulate why you left, without feeling that you have something to hide.

Natasha, you’re so right that often when we work counter to our values and our own sense of integrity, it drains the life-blood out of us. Good for you for moving on 🙂

Good article.
I find that real success (not necessarily only monetary) comes first from integrity.

As a Yank we are, of course, in the midst of a graduate level course on how not to lead. Don’t worry, I’m not going there in this comment. I occasionally do on my blog, however.

I’m the Operations Officer for a small company and I do write fairly often about leadership. A good overview of my beliefs is in this post:
http://nebraskaenergyobserver.wordpress.com/2011/08/09/leadership-part-ii/

We all have somewhat different styles, but the basics remain. Thanks again for the article.

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