It has happened to celebrities, news anchors, reality stars, and politicians. No one is immune. Say, do, or tweet something highly offensive in the wrong moment and get walked to the door. Leaders are held to an even higher standard. Once a leader says, does, or writes something decidedly offensive, the career curtains come crashing down. Leaders who let their guard down and speak their minds without thought of how they might be interpreted court major trouble. They will eventually find themselves on the outside looking in.
Sadly, it seems like this used to be much more the case than it is now. The belligerence, doubling down, and unwillingness to apologize or concede (particularly from the political class) is troublesome. I hope it doesn't spill over into business leadership.
Interesting way to use this in today's Field Note. I'm familiar with the below in which Randall talked about being unable to unring the bell at orgs where the CEO/c-suite take strong stances on social and political issues.
"From an Admired Leadership perspective:
The superseding value should be to celebrate a diversity of viewpoints.
People should be free to live their personal beliefs and pursue those issues as their conscience guides but at the same time to respect other voices by not using the organization for social debate. That may mean that your org may not be right for some employees because it isn’t activist enough for them. That’s ok.
If you take a strong position, you create a chilling effect that creates disrespect within the organization and team. You can’t “unring” the bell of disrespect within a team. You will immediately begin to feel differently about individuals that hold a different view than you and that will undermine relationships. The chilling effect is real and must be avoided.
Feel free to discuss these and other issues openly with your colleagues but do so in private conversations without any endorsement of the organization."