When Lip-Service Will Eventually Fail You

Politicians are notorious for hypocrisy. They will preach morality and then get caught with their proverbial or literal pants down. Scandal ensues followed by the requisite mea culpa. But too often, traditional business and public institutions fall prey to the same “do as I say, not as I do” behavior.

I subscribe to a popular course creation and sharing platform that was renowned for their hands-on, personal tech support. They have become so successful over the past year that they took their eye off the ball. They no longer provide live support beyond AI chatbots and personal text chat or email support. They blame high demand for yanking the rug out from under their members and then they thank us for our patience. They built their platform on the back of great support and then told us they no longer have time for those who made them successful. A formerly great company that will fail.

My daughter and her fellow classmates at Northern Arizona University received crushing news this week that their graduation ceremony would be virtual. The “abundance of caution” is code for “astonishing laziness.” It’s been a year since the pandemic began and institutions have learned to access alternative venues, create physical distance and hybrid opportunities. My alma mater is holding theirs on the football field and the students will walk across the stage.

Sure, moving events outdoors is logistically challenging. Adding additional ceremonies might take extra time and dealing with restricting the numbers of guests would be hard. Do you know what is also hard? College. The NAU staff and faculty worked very hard to teach their students the value of hard work, resilience in the face of adversity and the importance of pushing through tough times. But when push came to shove on what is arguably the most important days for the students, administration failed them, took the easy way out and chose the easy “wrong” over the hard “right.” 

Success in life is pretty straightforward, if not always simple. Say what you’ll do and do what you say. Step-up and honor your word and do the right thing. People notice. We always notice.

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