Can you remember when the rule was; “No religion or politics at the dinner table or work”?
Clearly the world of not only leadership, but also business in general has vastly changed. Through open forums like Face Book and Twitter etc, who we are personally is no longer separate from who we are professionally.
Where we stand religiously and politically has become part of doing business…but is this a place where Transparent Leadership may backfire?
You may remember the big hoo-haa when Chick-fil-A, CEO Dan Cathy spoke out against same sex marriage? Well this week the CEO of Mozilla (the Fire Fox browser you may reading this on) Brendan Eich was removed from his position because he too is against same sex marriage.
I want to be crystal clear here and say: I am totally in favour of same sex marriage and all the rights that go with it. (that’s not the point)
My point is this; to me it has always seemed like the whole “politically correct” thing has gotten out of hand. It seems to me that it’s a very slippery slop leading to a place where it can seem like the “thought police” could take us away for thinking the “wrong” thoughts.
My question for you is this:
Have we gone too far in our desire to have everyone included, that we are prepared to exclude, even chase out of town, anyone with a contradictory option?
If we are going to truly embrace the model of transparent leadership it would need to be one that sincerely includes freedom of speech. Actually, not only embrace but also encourage it!
Let’s not forget that if a CEO would have stood up and said that s/he was in favour of of gay marriage as little as 15–20 years ago, that CEO would have received at least as much backlash as Eich has received for saying he’s against it.
For me, transparency is always the way to go. Not because everyone will like what’s being said, but because we are all empowered by it. What I mean is; if you work for someone, or by the products of someone whose religious or sexual orientation is offensive to you, you are empowered to go somewhere else.
It seems to me that if Brendan Eich was a good CEO (and I’m not saying he was or wasn’t) and his religious beliefs were not being forced upon anyone else, then it’s no ones business.
As I said just a few moments ago; as consumers we are not powerless! We may in fact hold the ultimate power, in that we all have the power to vote with both our wallets and out feet.
In a time where there are many wonderful forums that facilitate free speech, there are many who would like to check, censor and control those outlets (the internet). It seems to me that we need to be very cautious about shutting up the people whose opinions we don’t like. Because, there could very quickly come a day where the powers that be don’t like what it is you have to say and they may come silence you.
So again I ask: Have we gone too far in our desire to have everyone included, that we are prepared to exclude, even chase out of town, anyone with a contradictory option?
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Copyright: Dov Baron International 2020