By Steve Moran

Lessons from the Jeffrey Epstein Conspiracy Theory

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Everyone Has a Theory  

To read social media or mainstream media everyone has a theory, including me, but mine is not all that interesting. Here are some of the most popular:

  • Trump is behind it
  • The Clintons are behind it
  • He faked his own death and is still alive is South America or someplace . . .
  • He was murdered by someone
  • He paid off the guards to look the other way (that’s my favorite and lightly held and certainly not as salacious compared to the others)

But what is fascinating here is that millions of people, maybe even most Americans have latched on to one of these theories based 100% on a set of preconceived notions that really have nothing to do with Epstein or the facts (which we have few of).

So What? 

I am not diving into the broader social implications of these conspiracy theories and what they mean to society,  there are as many ideas about that as there are conspiracy theories. What I find most interesting to those of us who are leaders of people is that it is so easy to believe things and act on things that are not true or might be true but might also not be true, based only or primarily on preconceived notions. 

In senior living, this can impact what we believe and how we behave toward prospects, residents, family members, and team members. It can be situational and even isolated to a specific person.

Over the last several months, I have seen this play out in meetings where there are silent but powerful eye rolls discounting important thinking. I have seen too many amazing leaders who have the ability to transform organizations, not get hired or fired because they did not fit some preconceived bias. I would even argue that the reason Brookdale would never take me up on my suggestion to put me on the board or hire me as a consultant, falls into this category.

I have also seen some pretty terrible leaders get hired or contracted because they had the right look even though they had no track record or, even worse, a track record that’s not so good.

There is no easy solution to this except that we need to be aware and thinking about it. Otherwise what happens is that organizations recycle the same old people, the same kinds of people, and the same old ideas expecting different results . . .

Actually, there is one thing that can be done and that is to take some risks and go outside your natural comfort zone.