Last week I was at yet another high technology conference. I love technology–my fondest early memories were of things such as peering through a microscope at pond water, looking at the moon through my small telescope or building electronic circuits from Heathkit and other sources. However, once again conversation was around the point that it’s not all about technology, but about people.
The most important things are about people and how we grow as people. Do we continue to learn? How do we relate to others? How do we relate to our spouses and children? How do we act? Are we honest and ethical?
Much of ancient philosophy and certainly the writings collected in The Bible are there to teach us how to live. We probably took courses in philosophy and religion if we went to a university. The professors probably taught it as either history or an intellectual pastime. But most of them missed the point.
This post’s title comes from Proverbs 19. People are still people, no matter how sophisticated or rich we become. During the past couple of weeks we’ve witnessed more cases of people in power acting like emotional children. And the effect was devastating.
Yahoo! is one of the oldest and most respected brands on the Web. Yet lately it has had trouble finding a chief executive officer to lead it to new heights. Then it settled on a guy by the name of Scott Thompson. Then, oops, it came out that his resume said he had a degree in computer science. That gave him technical credibility in Silicon Valley where he felt he needed it (evidently). Trouble is–he never earned such a degree. Well, he won’t be poor. He was paid $6.2 million for his four months at the company. But he is far poorer in both wealth and reputation for lying and then trying to mumble his way out of it by blaming others.
Then I read about the technology products retailer Best Buy. Seems the CEO of that company had an inappropriate relationship with a female employee according to news reports. Those reports appeared just after he resigned after a quarter of poor financial performance. Although nothing was said at the time, the assumption was he resigned due to performance. Over the weekend, news appeared that the founder and chairman of the board resigned as chairman because he knew about the relationship and did not tell the internal audit committee.
If it’s all about people, then it’s all about us. Have you ever lied on your resume? Or stretched the truth when seeking a job? I have a weird educational history–partly because even though I have a college degree, I’m mostly self-taught. I try to be very careful when describing my background (even though my last three positions didn’t really require much, but when I had engineering jobs, well…). Since I don’t make any money from this blog, all I have is my integrity with it. That, I try to keep sacred.
It’s not about technology; it’s all about how you live your life. How are you doing?
Over the last 15 years of running my own businesses, I've found that honesty sells. Prospects respect and appreciate it when you set proper expectations and own up to the things that you don't do well or can't do at all.
Also, some recent research has shown that online product reviews that are 100% positive are less likely to convince a person to buy the product because they don't believe it's honest without some negativity.
There's a constant arms race between unscrupulous marketers and a wary consumer market. While people are generally becoming better at recognizing BS when they see it, marketers are always getting better at disguising it, too. I think it creates a market opportunity for honesty.
How's that for a "cup is half full" view of things??
That would be you, Jon, "cup is half full" sort of guy. I presume full of good stuff. Good points. I keep seeing marketing people trying harder and harder, being more and more insistent and annoying–while prospects are put off by that. As you know, the best part of using social media is to start up real conversations with prospects and customers and not just blasting at them. I guess it's the difference of conversing with someone and talking at them.