Why Cancel Culture Isn’t Good Leadership
on May 14, 2022
The World is a better place because we are different.
Different tastes, beliefs in religion, science, mysticism, sexual preferences, lifestyle, and more.
It’s really what makes the world a beautiful place.
I’m thankful I don’t live on the planet Conformia with a bunch of group-thinking cone heads (sorry not sorry if you have a cone head).
Canceling a group of people (or person) because they don’t share the same opinion or beliefs that you do is not the way forward to a better future and it’s no way to lead.
I’d argue that most people I’ve heard use the definition of “woke” for describing themselves are the furthest thing from being enlightened.
Most people I’ve encountered claiming wokeness are in fact ideologists who can’t change the subject and are unlikely to change their minds. I think Churchill described these kinds of people as extremists!
Don’t be an extremist, it’s not vogue.
Imagine if the board of Twitter was conservative(instead of obviously liberal) and deleted Joe Biden’s account because, well…they just didn’t like what he was saying.
“Too divisive that one….let’s just cancel culture his account.”
I’ll take freedom of speech over living in a government like the one we saw in the movie, The Hunger Games.
And like him or hate him (have you noticed there’s not much middle ground?), former President Trump’s behavior agitated enough people into action that propelled women’s equality, among other social causes, in the workplace (about time, my mom and grandma were both badass entrepreneurs!) to where it is post-Trump.
Had Hilary been elected it could have been status quo.
In fact, someone was talking about an alternative reality tv show that had an imaginary President Hillary Rodham elected and she actually awarded Harvey Weinstein a Presidential Freedom Medal….hello hashtag MeToo.
So to whoever at Twitter made the decision to cancel Trump and others on the platform because they didn’t share your world view, shame on you. It’s this type of signaling that just encourages the cancel mob to grab more pitch forks.
Now let’s look at this in the workplace.
I remember a friend in YPO.org (names left out to keep it confidential) who described an interaction at the height of modern woke-ism.
“I really don’t like your tone of voice, it feels aggressive.”, said a new hire in the middle of a company presentation being led by the CEO.
“Excuse me, who the hell are you?!”, said the CEO.
“I’m the intern.”
The internship didn’t last long, to say the least.
I’ve always said having an HR department is like giving yourself the sexual version of cauliflower….but that’s my opinion, and not having HR has worked for our remote workforce of 10 years and I like being incredibly candid with each other bottom up and top down.
“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” -Nelson Mandela
I hate to break it to you, voting only works in some situations, like on that show, “Survivor”, and it’s sure as hell no way to lead a SEAL Team, run a college classroom, an orchestra, ballet troop, movie production or a business.
Imagine putting up every major decision in an organization to a vote!
Someone has to be in charge, and feelings will always get hurt, it comes with territory.
You think Anna Wintour gives a damn what the interns are “feeling”?
“Wait professor! We voted, everyone gets an A!”
Leadership is about putting an experienced person in charge and having them make tough decisions.
There has to be someone experienced at the helm and sometimes a benevolent dictator like Jobs of Apple or Whitney Herd of Bumble is what it takes to shake up the salad dressing. Hurt feelings and a hypersensitivity to micro-aggressions didn’t get the iPhone made.
I remember breaking a story on our Defense and Foreign Policy news site, SOFREP.com, and getting a petition, signed by over 50,000 demanding we take the story down because it featured American soldiers being ambushed in Niger. They all died but their GoPro cameras were captured by terrorists and they were using the footage for their own propaganda purposes.
Up to the point we published the story and re-published the footage, everyone had long forgotten about these men who died in some faraway place for what I am still trying to figure out just like I am trying to make sense of 20 years and a trillion dollars in Afghanistan. Sigh…Afghanistan.
As soon as we did a whole bunch of people decided it gave them the chance to engage in public virtue signaling because they believed they had the power to censor news they didn’t like or if it made them uncomfortable to read or watch.
Imagine if we just published news that our readership already agreed with, or if we asked permission of our readers before we published anything to assure it didn’t trigger anyone?
Oh wait, most of the news media today is already pandering like this!
Most the news today feels like we stepped in warm dog poop on a dirty chewing gum crusted New York sidewalk. And that smell! Have you noticed that stench?
So SOFREP (my decision) kept the story up, we lost some subscribers and in the end the members that stayed respected us more for doing what we thought was the right thing.
Some people are Apple and some are Android.. Others like the blues and some like trance music. Some like whisky and some pot edibles.
And that’s just ok with me, it all makes the world more beautiful, colorful, and interesting.
It also makes the world more free.