The other morning I was listening to NPR where the topic was regarding the financial meltdown attributed to Credit Defalt Swaps, and other financial manipulations. The commentator was placing blame in a host of people and organizations laps, to which I wanted to call in and offer my opinion. I decided to not pollute the air waves with my personal diatribe but level it here.
The reality is that people don’t want the “Truth”. Regardless of any particular individuals role personally or professionally, the truth has been completely replaced with Pragmatism, and Moral Relativism. Any decision or transaction which has any monetary value is impacted by these two drivers, being Pragmatic and subjective understanding of Truth. Stock brokers recommend the stocks which give them the best return. Insurance brokers recommend the policy which nets them the best payout. Retailers promote the product with the best back-end spiff. This is may be known or simply ignored. Pragmatism and subjective truth eliminates the ability to stand in a singular, firm position. Offering individuals and organizations the ability to shift or change in a moments notice.
Where science was once based upon creating a hypothesis and observing, the observation is myopic to gather data only specifically which supports the hypothesis. Big pharma adheres to double blind studies, but has the ability to throwout the results of studies which don’t meet their desired outcome.
I was having a conversation with a colleague about his challenges in penetrating corporations with his (product/service). In corporate america the preponderance of organizations feel that regardless of the business which they are involved, that they know your business better than you. Taking an example of airlines, they are effective in moving people from point A to point B and reasonably effective at attaching the right people to the right baggage. Yet, in the airline price wars, and associated baggage fees they totally stink at managing the relationships of their customers.
Auto manufacturers are great in producing vehicles, and implementing reverse auction procedures for their supply partners. But looking at the working environment, housekeeping, and overall morale makes one wonder how effective this strategy is in building long-term value based relationships.
I am going to take off the gloves and call a spade a spade. The Elephant in the room is EGO. We all have to be careful to not offend ones sensibilities, and to not challenge the fragile ego. The “Truth” is, you might be bright, you might have experience, and you might have had serial success. But, you do not Know everything their is to be known.
The problem occurs in submission. Truly effective leaders, organizations, and family dynamics understand that submission is part of our required experience. Our language has gotten so off track that we don’t even understand the impact of our words.
Your thinking I am full of it. Sure, Think of the simple statement “I’m sorry.” For the egocentric being this is probably not part of their vocabulary. But this statement means Jack Squat! When the statement is uttered, the recipient is now holding the burden, and you have shifted any responsibility off of yourself. Imaging the difference in saying “Will you forgive me.” You have placed the power in the hands of the one you transgressed, where it should vest to begin with.
End result, the financial meltdown is just deserts for our wretched existence. We are a self indulgent, self centered, entitled lot who can’t stand in front of the mirror and acknowledge who we are. And oh by the way, I am guilty as well. It is amazing to what lengths we will rationalize and remain in denial all in an effort to not offend.
My quote returns: “Define who you are, lest you risk being defined by others and deserving the title of Sell Out.”