they just don’t want to speak up
through fear of being misinterpreted.”
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Over five months, I’ve commanded the listenership of a growing audience that have looked to me almost as a (grand)father figure. A ripple became a groundswell and, before I knew it, seven people were tuning into every episode.
However, all good things come to an end. Where fanfare greeted me as I burst into the blogosphere, a Boy Scout can be heard slobbering into a bugle somewhere in the distance as I depart.
I’ll explain why…
You’ll forgive me for reading from a prepared statement…
In the previous episode, I called an English (former) friend “Unshaven, Gaunt, and Disheveled”. In reflection I recognize that these comments could have caused offense, particularly at a time when an enduring lockdown across the UK has made it difficult for people to remain well groomed.
With hindsight, I acknowledge that my comments could have caused particular damage to my peer—who I’ve been advised not to name this time—given that morale within the country is low following the government’s announcement that restrictions will not be fully lifted until the end of June.
It is an especially delicate time across the pond as pub closures are included in the draconian measures we discussed during that podcast.
I wish to extend a full and frank apology to Her Majesty, Elizabeth the Second, Queen of the United Kingdom and 15 other Commonwealth realms, who wrote to me directly to express her concern that calling one of her most upstanding PR professionals “Unshaven, Gaunt, and Disheveled” could be catastrophic as her country tries to find its feet again.
L… O… L
Did I get ‘ya?!
The reality is, when Rich heard my podcast, he laughed, and when I last spoke to him we giggled again. He still looked like he’d been dragged through a hedge backwards… And he poked fun at my suggestion that I have any resemblance to Brad Pitt, as I jested in the episode.
“A Bloated Bruce Willis, maybe,” he quipped.
And as if the Queen would be tuning into ThoughtLeadership.Biz after what Meghan Markle and Prince Harry dumped on her plate in THAT Oprah interview.
Can you imagine that?:
“Ma’am, we need to respond to these allegations.”
“Yes, hang on, Chris is explaining why one should never apply technology for technology’s sake. Aren’t we looking for someone to lead the Palace’s tech team?”
I’ll be honest, this podcast is my attempt at satire. In other words, it’s really a response to the Woke or Cancel Culture.
To clarify, this platform is 100% apolitical. In any case, I’m no Liberal or Conservative… or any other organization that charges membership and gives you a badge to wear. I boldly and proudly support an ideology of common sense and equal rights, with a segue to management culture, technology and innovation.
Machutism, you could call it.
I’m bold as brass too. I need automated alerts in meetings that flash up S.T.F.U. (I’ll let you work it out).
I don’t want sympathy but my personality puts me, and others who dare to have an opinion or share an emotion, in a difficult position in a world where an increasing number of people would want us banished from social or professional circles. They wouldn’t need a pandemic to put us in masks.
In fact, I can’t operate in such a place.
And I don’t want to.
I refuse to.
So I’m not canceling this podcast. Unlucky!
That said, as you’ll see in future episodes, I do plan to tweak the concept slightly. Watch this space, but don’t expect me to soften it or make it less likely to cause offense.
I don’t condone rudeness, but I’m not going to call stuff OK if it isn’t. If someone has the audacity to log onto a video call looking like a scarecrow, I’m going to tell them. I don’t expect an email titled, ‘Bullying in the Workplace’ in return. And, if they RESPECT me, they will dig me in the ribs sometimes as well.
I subscribe to the Club of Good Vibes. And membership requires me to continue to act in good faith and on gut instinct.
(I can hear Rich now… “That’s a lotta instinct, Chris!”)
Importantly, you don’t have to like me, listen to my podcasts, or read my blogs. But, if you do, it’s ok to tell me and others about it. You wouldn’t be signing up to a weird cult where, guess what? We’re HONEST and have OPINIONS. Remember those?!
On the flip side, it’s ok to openly dislike me, reject wholeheartedly everything I say, or print my articles only to mop up kitchen spillages. That’s healthy, normal debate and disagreement. Let’s have some dialog about it.
To take the opposite viewpoint to me isn’t unkind. The best way to tackle society’s issues and eradicate discrimination is to have conversations, not suppress them. The most efficient method we can employ to rid the world of harassment is to not call everything harassment. Where’s the scope or scale if everyone’s a victim?
The truth is, more people think like this, they just don’t want to speak up through fear of being misinterpreted. I want to empower, uplift, encourage, enrich, support… even love a little… but I’m not cuddly every minute of every day (cue waistline jokes).
“About time,” someone said to me recently, having listened to one of my earlier podcasts.
“How refreshing. There’s too much stuffiness in boardrooms,” another added.
“This is the best podcast in the world…” No, ok, nobody said that.
But, seriously, the second comment resonated with me because it’s important that we don’t completely lose our direction at executive level within the business world.
Owners and leaders should commentate with passion, vigor, and openness. Executives are human beings too and if we all become robots, everyone else will follow. I love tech, but I don’t want to live in a world of machines that have had their human instincts and emotions programmed out.
Podcast, Blog—Reinstated, indeed.
We have some work to do around here.