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Pizza Palace Revolt

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Opening Insights: Leaders Beware

Et tu Brute?

At one time all roads led to Rome, but due to a corrosive and out-of-control national culture, Rome fell, and then it vanished. History doesn't repeat itself, WE repeat history.

Not long ago, the founder and chairman of Papa John's, John Schnatter, was ousted by the board of directors of the company he built. He was forced to quit as a result of the backlash from a poor choice of words during a company conference call.

"I never dreamed that people that I cared about, that I loved, that I made multimillionaires, would do what they did," Schnatter said. "Shame on them."

It just goes to show how, in today's backward and dangerous world, that if an angry group of people feels that you don't think the same way they do, they'll use any means necessary to destroy you. This is an example of the Shadow Culture, which has infiltrated every level of business, government, school and community culture. It is the plague of our modern world – a plague of Deceive, Divide and Conquer.

The Shadow Culture is an undercurrent of hidden agenda and control characterized by:

  • Deceive – removing The Truth, replacing it with a truth
  • Divide – fanning the flames of adversity, pitting people against each other
  • Conquer – fighting among themselves, people hardly notice when their choices are removed

There are those who can see the effects of the Shadow Culture and can see what is happening to our country. These people know what is right, but they're too afraid to say anything, because they don't want the angry gaze of the mob to become fixed on them. This is how Hitler controlled the people of a country using the Gestapo – through fear.

What happened at Papa John's was nothing short of a Palace Revolt in which the private grumblings of a few became emboldened and strengthened by a culture of anger, which resulted in the destruction of the leader and the organization vision.

Soon, destruction of the organization will follow.

Informational Insights: Betrayal First Requires Trust

The following article was published by Newsweek, "a premier news magazine and website." It was written by Ewan Palmer, "a Newsweek reporter based in the London bureau."

Papa John's founder John Schnatter has launched a scathing attack against the current owners of the pizza company, claiming they conspired to oust him.

Speaking to WDRB, Schnatter alleges the conference call in which he used a racial slur that forced him to resign last year was "fabricated" by others in the company who conspired againt him.

"I never dreamed that people that I cared about, that I loved, that I made multimillionaires, would do what they did," Schnatter said. "Shame on them."

Schnatter admitted to using the n-word during a media training call in May 2018, as well as describing graphic violence against black people. He claimed he used the word as an example while pointing out that KFC owner Colonel Sanders never received backlash for using the n-word.

Reports of the call arrived months after Schnatter appeared to blame the company's losses at the time on NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem in protest against police brutality towards minorities.

The fallout of the conference call resulted in his image being removed from the pizza boxes and Schnatter eventually stepping away from the company he set up in 1984 last July.

During the interview, Schnatter claims that Steve Ritchie, who became CEO when Schnatter left, chairman Olivia Kirtley and the boards of directors all "used the black community and race" to conspire against him and "steal the company."

"They stole the company, and now they've destroyed the company," he added.

"Olivia Kirtley and [director] Mark Shapiro should be in jail. It's that bad," Schnatter said. "What they've done is just wrong, and they've hurt a lot of people."

Schnatter also had some additional criticism for Ritchie, who he claims "has never been a CEO."

"He has no pizza experience. He has never been in the pizza category. He doesn't really know quality. Probably most important, he doesn't have a passion for people," Schnatter said.

Schnatter also said that the quality of pizza has gotten worse since he left the company last year, claiming he has tasted more than 40 pizzas in the last 30 days.

"It's not the same product. It just doesn't taste as good," Schnatter said. "The way they're making the pizza is just not fundamental to what makes a Papa John's pizza."

Schnatter made a similar claim about the state of Papa John's pizza in a comment piece for the New York Post last month, describing how they "don't appear to be made the way that I made them" just a few years ago.

"'Better Ingredients. Better Pizza.' isn't just a slogan—it represents our core belief about the quality of our products, starting with the signature ingredients in my original recipes, including fresh-packed proprietary pizza sauce, original fresh dough and garlic butter," he added.

Speaking to WDRB, Schnatter reiterated he believes it was a mistake for Papa John's to force him to quit, but he has no real desire to come back in its current form.

He also promised that the "day of reckoning will come" to those he claims went behind his back.

"The record will be straight," he added.

Papa John's did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

This article originally appeared in NEWSWEEK: Papa John's Founder John Schnatter Says Board Conspired to Oust Him, Vows 'Day of Reckoning Will Come'

Possibilities for Consideration: A Warning to All Leaders

How could the Papa John's board have possibly pulled off a coup without the existence of the Shadow Culture? Without a culture of Deceive, Divide and Conquer, their emotion-laden claims would have found little traction. Today's culture of execute first, then check for innocence has made it possible.

Our culture has taught us to destroy those that don't agree with us. This is sick and wrong but it's the way of the millennial generation and many others in the preceding and following generations. What it right doesn't matter. The Truth doesn't matter. All that matters is the resolution of the feelings of those who believe they have been injured. If satisfactory resolution is not achieved, then they seek to destroy.

If you don't think it can happen to you, then think again. It happened to the Papa John's founder, it happened to the founder of the largest independent power company in the world and it's happening in all areas of our country. Leaders and leadership everywhere are being destroyed by the Shadow Culture.

This isn't about pizza. It is an example of the destruction of the Shadow Culture and our leaders have no idea how to stop it – all they know how to do is point fingers and dodge the fingers pointing at them.

It's often said that many top executives are paranoid. The old joke is, are you really paranoid when everyone really is out to get you? Leaders need a way to assess their organization culture, so they can see how their teammates are thinking, not just what. That way, measures may be taken to heal the culture and bridge the divides.

AwareComm's Culture Value-ation Indicator assesses how and why organization members think the way they do, thus providing situational awareness and direction for resolution.

If you'd like to learn how to resolve the cause of the Shadow Culture and heal the damage then share your thoughts in the SocraticQ below.

If you're curious to learn how people could become so angry as to oust their leader, then Anne Helen Peterson's essay on Millennial Burnout will be of great interest. Click here to explore Are They Nuts, Or Do They See Reality?

Add Your Insight

Take a moment and examine…

  • As you reviewed the material above, what stood out to you?
  • What is the potential impact, economically and/or socially?
  • What action is needed to stop or support this idea?
  • You may want to consider whether you:
    • want to be aware of,
    • should become supportive of,
    • would want to be active in this topic?

I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply.
Being willing is not enough; we must do.


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FOOTNOTE of Importance

Our world is experiencing an incredible revolution powered by technology that has used its tools to:

  • deceive the public
  • disrupt tradition
  • divide the people

This has inadvertently resulted in a Fear-based Shadow Culture™ that has hurt many people.
A powerful group of influence has joined together to deliver a proven antidote by shifting from impersonal development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to replace people to utilize AI to empower Human Intelligence (HI).


To Empower The People:


Distraction Junction


What is a Modern Hero?:


We invite Heroes and Visionaries
to explore accessing these powerful methodologies and resources
to achieve their individual visions.

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