I was at a conference over the summer and heard a guy who is one of the HR Director’s at Sky. Apparently he’s very successful. He worked for Getty Images, and made so much money from them he didn’t have to work again.
He told us this after he proceeded to let us know he was going to be provocative, because apparently that’s his MO.
This was him trying to be all credible and talking from a place of authority.
I mean, you know, fuck him. Fuck him very much.
Complete apologies for the use of foul language there, dear readers. But jeez, this was such epic levels of being obtuse that I was surprised he didn’t just ask people to queue for his autograph after his bit was done.
Did he talk good stuff? Annoyingly, yes. What grated on me was how he used this platform not to share his good knowledge, but instead to sing his own praises so much that I think he is his own groupie.
Ok, enough of this guy.
Jeff Turner of Facebook. He’s doing the rounds at the minute too.
I mean here’s a guy from a cool company and he’s being asked to speak on the circuit, as is expected, and he’s not adapted his conference talk one bit. Pretty much every time I hear about his talk I could tell you what he’s going to talk about.
I get it. I do. You’ve delivered a good talk once upon a time, and suddenly every conference organiser wants you there. Why change the topic, or even why be humble about being asked to talk? Hell, we’re in a day of self-promotion, and what better way to self-promote than just be arrogant and all up yourself?
Except, you know… modern day… arrogance sucks… self importance was never important… being obtuse shows how much of a knob you are… something about authentic leadership… something about being a role model for the profession… something about the big companies not knowing their arse from their elbows…
I can be provocative with the best of them. Except the one thing I always maintain, fundamentally, is respect for the people I’m with. I quite possibly do act in a condescending way, and I do quite possibly patronise. I am heavily reliant on people to let me know. Importantly, though, I’m careful to not listen to the praises in the absence of the honest feedback. I care that people feel invited to have a discussion with me. Not just for their dignity, but because I believe I don’t know everything. I know some things, and with others I learn more.
There’s just as much responsibility in being provocative as there is in being a leader or in having money. If we don’t act responsibly, then we believe our own hype far too much.