Rap singer Tekashi 6ix9ine recently made $2 million in a week after launching his comeback single, video, and merchandise line. Online, the 24-year-old flashed stacks of cash and a $1 million diamond-encrusted pendant. He also tried to donate $200,000 to No Kid Hungry, a national campaign that primarily strives to end child hunger. However, No Kid Hungry declined his money because, “It is our policy to decline funding from donors whose activities do not align with our mission and values.”
6ix9ine was granted an early prison release in April for racketeering and firearms charges because of the pandemic. In 2015, he pleaded guilty to three felony counts for use of a 13-year-old girl in a sexual performance, and he breached his plea deal when he was arrested for misdemeanor assault in 2018 after allegedly choking a 16-year-old boy in a Houston mall.
What does this have to do with the workplace? No Kid Hungry isn’t alone. More and more people are declining interviews and job offers from organizations whose activities do not align with their mission and values. For many people, it’s simply not about the money – it’s about working for a reputable firm with a compelling mission, whose leaders are trustworthy, honest, and exhibit strong values. Absent this, you risk the ability to attract, retain, hire, and engage the best and brightest talent, which – undoubtedly – will impact your bottom line.
Can people and organizations change for the better? Yes, but at this time, 6ix9ine does not appear to be on a positive path.
JILL, WHAT CAN I DO? Did I hear someone say, “Audit?” Annually, organizations should review their mission, vision, and values to ensure they align with reality. Other questions to ask: Do we act with integrity and are people being held accountable if they veer from the tenants of who we say we are? Once you complete the audit, cascade results throughout the organization, so employees can commit to making your mission, vision, and values a reality. Nothing is more powerful than an organization whose employees are aligned, marching forward connected toward the same North Star. Nothing.