ABC has placed itself in a perilous place. Its credibility and reputation, assets critical in the media industry, could end up absorbing heavy media and reputation backlash at the conclusion of a $10 million lawsuit filed by a former employee that attorneys claim has been made a scapegoat.

Ashley Bianco, a former ABC junior producer, and her legal team have sued the network for allegedly inaccurately identifying, wrongly terminating and defaming her.

They say ABC erred when it decided it was Bianco who leaked a tape to Project Veritas that details ‘Good Morning America’ reporter Amber Robach complaining that her…


Priya Jindal, founder of Nextpat

Carrying a bad attitude through life makes for difficult experiences. Not being conscious of how we’re acting and perceived negatively affects outcomes.

Developing a chronic negative viewpoint might seem like we’re in control yet it is the opposite. We’re being controlled, by the beliefs we’re attaching to our perceptions and the feelings that result. We often don’t recognize how we’re coming across to other people, to our detriment. This can be in our professional lives, our personal lives or both.

“I talk to a lot of my clients about how they approach things and what small shifts might look like,”…


Leslie Austin, Ph.D., founder of Austin Consulting

If the news is an accurate gauge of the severity and frequency of CEO and organizational misconduct, then that dysfunction is at least semi regular.

Not all of it is scandalous and external crisis. Yes, that certainly is a problem but a truism is the majority of significant problems don’t make it to the media. Employees view, experience, endure and suffer these issues though.

“Decisions and deals are often made to keep the stock price and the value of the company ever-rising as the priority…while ignoring creating a strong and healthy corporate culture that supports its people,” says Leslie Austin…


Doug Noll, lawyer, law professor and professional mediator

Leadership misconduct — is there responsibility for it beyond the leader themselves? If so, at whose feet does that responsibility lie? Some look at human resources and others point fingers at boards of directors. Others still say the leader alone owns it. The debate is a worthy one.

“The board has the ultimate responsibility for overseeing corporate leadership,” says Doug Noll, a lawyer, law professor and professional mediator with two decades plus experience resolving corporate and board of directors conflicts.

“Generally, if a board suspects leadership problems, it should conduct an investigation using independent board members and outside investigators, usually…


Two reports and entirely different conclusions about Johnny Depp’s future, in response to his crisis of reputation. One is of doom and the other of cynicism that could be interpreted as blue sky optimism. This says something, but what?

Neither Depp’s personal character or reputation is respected right now after his scandalous, abusive behavior towards Amber Heard and subsequently, his lost libel case in the U.K. regarding it. It’s significant enough of a problem that his career could very well be on the rocks.

Newspaper headlines of ‘wife beater’ tend to make a professional difficult to hire, especially when that…


(Laura Handrick, contributing HR Professional at Choosing Therapy)

Some executives will eventually and maybe repeatedly reveal character deficiencies, act unethically, prove to be narcissistic and in rarer instances, lead or partake in corrupt practices. A question that organizations and media don’t seem to consistently ask is where all does the responsibility lie for these severe errors, scandal and crisis?

Yes, the individual executive and organization regularly get taken to task when the misconduct is sufficiently exposed. Yet other problems in leadership have to be present for these problems to emerge and rapidly escalate into large and costly trouble.

Boards of directors and human resources seem to escape scrutiny…


Michael Sherlock, Chief Potential Officer for Shock Your Potential

Human resources contributes to hiring skilled executives and yet also allowing problematic organizational leadership behavior to grow more pronounced. Boards of Directors are not blameless either.

“Most people don’t realize that HRs function is not to protect the employee, but to protect the company. And often that means supporting the executive players that are responsible for revenue,” says Michael Sherlock, Chief Potential Officer for Shock Your Potential, an international leadership and professional development training company.

“In this type of environment it is easy to have bad apples who are not only allowed to stay in operation but who are, by…


The news is plump with regular stories about leadership acting in ways that is unethical. While organizations get named and stained by the media and public, the brunt of the negativity falls on the particular person, an executive. Maybe, however, responsibility also belongs on other people.

“HR and boards are responsible for creating a highly ethical culture in the company and should lead by example when it comes to setting the ethical tone in a company,” says William Taylor, a Career Development Manager at VelvetJobs, an employer branding, career path guidance and job search facility.

“Both HR and the board…


What doesn’t get prioritized doesn’t receive attention, focus, commitment and perseverance. That becomes a socially expensive problem.

It’s no surprise, despite pain, anger and rage, that the results are upsetting.

“When I think about the rampant lack of emotional intelligence in Western society, it’s hard for me not to think about the bigger picture,” says David Fornos, a psychotherapist in clinical, outpatient and inpatient settings.

“Emotional intelligence, like its name implies, is partly an aptitude for understanding and regulating emotions but it’s also a learned skill. A skill that modern Western society has not prioritized,” he says.

Humanity is not…


Use the term emotional intelligence and you might notice many leader’s facial expressions signal boredom, impatience or disgust.

Yet to the people who work in organizations and to those outside the organization who are affected by deficiencies or absence of emotional intelligence, the outcomes — healthy or unhealthy — are extremely meaningful, valued, desired and in more cases today, demanded.

Study the news, read message boards on websites where professionals gather, such as LinkedIn, or on industry-specific websites and it is clear to see that emotional intelligence (yawn, respond many organizational leaders) is underwhelming or badly, painfully missing in practice…

Red Diamonds Essays: Michael Toebe

Michael Toebe is a specialist for reputation, scandal and crisis, writing about organizations and individuals.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store