Sunday – November 16th 2014. A lazy winter Sunday in Brussels.
On such days I am just good enough to make some food for my lady and me and to watch a good classic movie. So we made some typical Belgian chicory with ham and watched the classic: “Mutiny on the Cain”, with Humphrey Bogaert.
The story goes goes about a destroyer crew in second world war where the second in command and his assistant take over the command from the captain in the middle of a a storm because they think the Captain is mentally unstable at that moment.
The mutineers get finally acquitted, while the captain does not loose his image nor honor.
Apart from being a good old classic movie, the story and especially one personage are interesting,
There is an officer on board who is an author and who started the rumor that the Captain was crazy and mentally insane, leading to the other officers to think the same and to act, but without him, because when the mutiny starts he does as if his noose bleeds and when later on he was interrogated in martial court he again did as if his noose bleeds, although inciting a person to mutiny is as important a crime as mutiny is.
Such persons in a team who incite others to act without acting themselves are the real “viruses” in a team. They use sly means of creating doubts in good people, they spread negative opinions about others in a way that all agree or they bluntly spread out rumors on others. Mostly – unless facts are shown the light, one does not know them and wrongly accuses others who act against command.
Letting such people go unpunished is the fastest way to kill a team. One rumor spread out can kill in seconds the authority of a captain or a manager or any other person in a team and unless the “virus” is really stopped the rumors will continue and the team will completely disappear.
Rumors are not coming from Heaven, with all my respect for any religious identity there might be on this planet. Rumors are created in vicious minds, out of the day light by people with – the least to say – interesting intentions.
And if one does not kill does rumors and one does not find the real source if them, mutiny or even shipwreck will most probably follow.
So a good leader has zero tolerance for rumors and works with FACTS.
In our team whenever there is someone saying something wrong about someone else without giving facts, we immediately stop the person to give facts or to talk int he presence of the other.
Any other alternative is risky business.
Up to you to see for yourselves. But for me the fastest way to rebuild a team is to stop rumors.
Marc J. de Turck