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Here’s one truth you should take from the controversy that erupted after the New York Times’s scathing expose of the work environment at Amazon (“Inside Amazon: Wrestling Big Ideas in a Bruising Workplace“).

The higher up you are in your company structure, the more insulated you are from the consequences of your policy decisions, and the less likely your reporting chain is to let you know that the consequences are toxic. If you have to resort to encouraging people to report problems to HR, you’ve waited too late.

Another truth you should take from the controversy is that you’ll get the work environment that you nurture. It may be what you prefer, but you may not get the results you want.

And yet another truth – if you’re asking “if it’s really so bad, why would people stay?” you’ve forgotten the stark realities of an uncertain economy, the time involved in job searching, the disruption of uprooting yourself and your family and the myriad reasons why there’s no “just” about leaving a job.

So don’t be Jeff Bezos. Or if you want to be, know the consequences.

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