Can We Learn from the Duggers?

Some thoughts about the Dugger family drama and our reactions to it.

There are lots of opinions, questions, and emotions swirling into a tornado of drama. There are opinions about the family, who they REALLY are, what they SHOULD have done, and their motives for what they are doing now.

The questions circulating include the following: Should TLC put the Duggers back on the air? Should the Duggers sue for records being released? What is the distinction between a true pedophile and  juvenile curiosity? Why are the Duggers justifying not reporting the issues to authorities when it happened?

Emotions range from disappointment, shock, rage, and smugness.

The disappointment is because we wanted to believe in the fairy tale. We are let down because we bought into the story that someone had it all figured out.

The shock is because we are completely clueless about how often this kind of thing happens right under our noses.

The rage is because it’s someone else’s issue and you can’t do anything to help.

The smugness is because you want to be right and you don’t think it could happen to you.

While we are busy sharing our opinions, and becoming slaves to our emotions, what if we are missing out on the opportunity for understanding, education and even transformation?

Our collective drama and outward focus  does not turn on the light.

It takes courage and enlightened leadership to look in the mirror instead of out the window.

It starts by asking different questions: What is happening in YOUR family?  What can we all learn from this?

Marlene-Blk4Marlene Chism is an executive educator, consultant, and author of Stop Workplace Drama, (Wiley 2011) and No-Drama Leadership (Bibliomotion 2015). She works with executives, and high-performing leaders who want to transform culture in the workplace. To explore opportunities please email