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Forget about the caution. Just do not proceed.
Defy will never reach its full potential because despite having a noble premise, the organization is marred by a toxic work culture and a megalomaniacal and manipulative leader who is heavily involved in its day-to-day operations. Defy will make you jump through a number of hoops before extending an offer to you. You may find the interview process arduous, or at least a bit strange, but you will proceed out of sheer excitement over the cause. If you are perceptive at all, you may notice a few red flags: 1. The apathetic, if not downright exhausted demeanor of the majority of current staff members; 2. The paternalistic and exploitative undertones at events supposedly designed to support and encourage Defy?s ?Entrepreneurs-in-Training?; and/or 3. The CEO?s need to be the center of attention and micromanage everything and everyone. Unfortunately, most applicants ignore the warning signs. The CEO appeals to the egos and drives of highly capable individuals by making them believe "YOU are the talent Defy has been looking for all along. No one on staff has yet been able to accomplish what YOU will accomplish." Spoiler alert: These are the first seeds of division being sown. The CEO is not above pitting staff members against each other. Know that everyone at Defy starts out as "the golden child" being "love bombed" (that's what the leadership calls it) excessively and strategically. The adulation will not last. Don't take the bait. Defy does one thing extremely well - it attracts high achievers. So, as you?re reading this, you?re probably telling yourself that you can handle a ?difficult work environment,? and you are capable of helping steer the organization in the right direction. Trust the reviews here ? this is not a legitimate career move. Please save yourself the trouble of having to explain in future interviews why you spent only a few months working for an organization that is so admirable at first glance. If you are still not convinced that working here is a bad idea, please keep scrolling. While Defy has a revolving door of staff members, its deficiencies remain constant - particularly its questionable statistics, half-baked approach to rolling out new initiatives, lack of supplemental resources which are so necessary for the population being served, and the CEO's blatant ignorance on key political issues and national conversations around prison reform and criminal justice. Any efforts to provide constructive feedback regarding these flaws will be met with a disturbing mix of flagrant and passive aggressive retaliation. The CEO?s idealized sense of self makes her highly averse to criticism, and she will go so far as to engage in revisionist history and blame everyone but herself for the organization?s shortcomings. She is involved in every detail of how the organization is run, but is somehow never at fault. Hopefully, the irony is not lost here. This kind of behavior is a sad and difficult thing to observe on a daily basis. For this reason, most staff members (particularly those with strong morals and high self-esteem) do not last long. Before you assume that those writing negative reviews are maliciously conspiring to bring one person down, consider this: why would the same people who jumped through countless hoops to work for a nonprofit definitely NOT because of the pay, but out of pure passion for the work, leave in record time, then go out of their way to make false accusations? They wouldn't. Many are simply trying to recover from the consequences of making a poor career decision, resolve their moral dilemmas around having furthered the mission of someone whose heart is not in the right place, rebuild their professional lives and warn others along the way. Defy is not a "fast-paced, scrappy startup.? It is, at best, a poorly run nonprofit plagued by extremely high turnover, low employee morale, and pervasive inappropriate, if not downright abusive conduct by its leadership. At its worst, it is an elaborate attempt at fame by a charismatic salesperson who has mastered the art of assuaging white guilt and tapping into people?s personal pain.
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