Lesson 7. Compliance Activism Belongs in a Rodeo

I was driving into work one day and got a call from my second-in-command. She was beside herself. The office had been broken into. Computers were missing.

“It’s all gone. Everything is gone,” she said.

I knew we had locked down many of our computers with cables, so I asked her if all the computers were gone. Again, she told me that they were all gone.

When I arrived at work, I found that the situation was pretty bad . . . but many of the computers were still there, including our server. It was not nearly as bad as what she had described to me. This person was young and the circumstances were not good, so her reaction was somewhat understandable. Yet after that incident, I was forced to question what she told me. It only takes one bad moment like that to lose some of your credibility, and a number of positive moments to gain it back. It’s not logical. It may not be fair. But it is the way it is.

I don’t know why some people overreact. It’s not always caused by immaturity, inexperience, or some other more “understandable” explanation. Some people overreact on purpose. They believe that it is the only way to get people’s attention. They’re the indignant crowd—people who are kind of lazy, if you ask me. Instead of working hard to try to move things along, they just start screaming, pointing fingers, making exaggerated accusations, and inflaming people. They think most people are bad and most leaders are bad actors who are unsupportive of doing the right thing.

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