A few leadership talking points from 2019, so far
I sometimes imagine my present self can talk to my past self.
I recently told my past self that in 2019 everyone will have a walkaround telephone like they do on Star Trek — and every phone will have a camera.
What’s the camera for? Good question, I replied to my past self. It’s for taking pictures of your privates.
My past self, from about 1976 or so, was incredulous.
No really, I insisted to my past self. It’s a thing. All kinds of people do this in the 21st century: celebrities, congressmen, captains of industry.
In fact, there was this one Congressman named Weiner and he lost his seat after taking such a picture. Oh, and if you don’t believe that, there’s this guy running the National Enquirer these days named Pecker. Yep, David Pecker, and he got a hold of a compromising photo, and then tried to extort the CEO to whom it belonged.
No, really. It happened just last week. The CEO was a guy named Jeff Bezos who owns a company called Amazon.com, which can deliver anything to your doorstep with a few clicks of your Star Trek, walkaround telephone. Yep.
He is considered one of the smartest businessmen in the world, and certainly one of the richest — and yet he was dumb enough to take one of these pictures, too, because, I guess, it’s 2019.
So then what’d he do?
Instead of a cowardly capitulation to alleged extortion threats, Bezos exposed them. A headline in the
New York Post declared: “Bezos Exposes Pecker.”
No, really. I’m not creative enough to make this up. This is really happening in 2019. And it looks like Bezos did the right thing since he also owns the Washington Post and champions journalistic principles such as telling the truth even if it hurts badly.
There is a lot of other intrigue here, too, including the Saudis and President Trump. Yes, I tell my past self, in 2019 Donald Trump is our president. And for all his alleged follies, at least there are no pictures …
Texas Inc. is all about ideas and advice for business leaders, so here’s a few leadership lessons from this latest corporate spectacle.
1. Don’t take compromising pictures of yourself. This should be obvious, but apparently it isn’t.
2. Always remember that your private behavior can reflect on your leadership. With modern communications technology, it may all get out.
3. If you do get caught with your pants down, get in front of the controversy by breaking the news yourself. Hey, at least Bezos got this part right.
“Bezos Exposes Pecker.” — A headline in the New York Post last week.
The Jan. 28 edition of the National Enquirer featured a story about Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos' divorce. Bezos claims American Media Inc. threatened to publish intimate photos of him.