It is always sad to see a bright, competent human being fall from grace. And we have to wonder how this happens when there have been opportunities galore for the younger generation.
Take Arianna Huffington’s daughter, Christina, who was recently on The Today Show with her mother to talk about her years of cocaine addiction.
Last week, it was announced that Jesse Jackson Jr. will go to jail for misusing $750,000 of funds from his campaign for himself.
I know there was complexity in the Huffington family when the dad said he was bi-sexual and the parents divorced.
I also know that there had to be pain in the Jackson family when Reverend Jackson admitted to an affair with staffer, Karin Stanford (she had his daughter, Ashley, who is now 14 years old). He used funds from his organization to pay her $36,000 with the promise of additional money that was stopped when the affair became public.
As parents, do we just say it is an illness in the individual or do we look deeper at what may or may not have gone on in the family?
In Don’t Bring It to Work, the patterns we learned in our original organization, the family, are looked at in detail. For it is there we learned about fairness, favoritism, betrayal, backbiting, authenticity and altruism.
Now, please, I am not judging the parents of children who have difficulty with addictions (to pills, money, fame, sex or whatever), I am simply saying that we need to look at the larger picture, and if we do, we will all be the better for it.
In Total Leadership Connections there is a session devoted to looking back at the patterns that have been handed through the generations. There is a song that we use from Stephen Sondheim’s play Into the Woods, that ends with, “…careful the tale you tell, children will listen”.
Maybe it is time for all leaders to look at the patterns that have been passed from generation to generation and choose to become better role models for the next generations to come.