First, refreshing to hear someone say in effect, “This…is a reflection of me.” This is who I am. The expected response in these moments of recorded embarrassment is, “Everyone who knows me knows this is NOT who I am”, Travis Kalanick finds the courage to speak a truth he discovers in himself. There’s a place on the Energy Management Model for this; Self-Aware.
Second, each person in this conflict brought his own emotional triangle into the car. In the car, another triangle emerged. It’s members were the driver, the passenger and probably each’s own anxiety about how their common business is affecting their lives. Stress venting was required. From this emotional envelop the argument was born. Conflict exited without resolution does lasting harm to the participants.
Third, There is no doubting the evidence that toxic leaders create toxic environments. Those in such environments suffer. I know people who made risky decisions to exit such organizations in order to, as one once told me, “Save my own life!”
By now I’m sure you’ve seen the video where I treated an Uber driver disrespectfully. To say that I am ashamed is an extreme understatement. My job as your leader is to lead…and that starts with behaving in a way that makes us all proud. That is not what I did, and it cannot be explained away.
It’s clear this video is a reflection of me—and the criticism we’ve received is a stark reminder that I must fundamentally change as a leader and grow up. This is the first time I’ve been willing to admit that I need leadership help and I intend to get it.
I want to profoundly apologize to Fawzi, as well as the driver and rider community, and to the Uber team.
Peace and Courage,