Follow Your Own Rules. Authenticity, and National Responsibility

Benjamin WechslerCollaboration, Leadership, Thought LeadershipLeave a Comment

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Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, is a man who I am growing to admire more and more. In this video, he answers a Duke University student’s question with the answer, “you should always write your own rules.” Hearing those words from the CEO of Apple created a great sense of pride and empowerment as a proponent of thought leadership, entrepreneurship, and innovation.

Tim makes three clear points: 1) rarely follow the rules, you should write your own rules; 2)  if you want to excel you cannot follow others; 3) Learn how to learn and collaborate, work with people who have a different perspective than you.

As a technology professional, I am interested in the current political and ethical debates in Washington, DC, regarding security, monitoring of email and phone records, and privacy. I am not a person to take opportunities to discuss political issues publicly. However, as a coach and consultant to the many who want to stand up and make a career with their unique knowledge and skills, I am feeling the need to use this video as an opportunity to make a few points that I believe are pertinent and necessary.

Now is the time, more than ever in our history as a nation and as citizens of a global information based society, to be aware of ourselves, our motivations, and intentions. We must, without reservation, be authentic. We must understand our motivations. We must see ourselves clearly and learn to rely on our intuitive ability to do what we set out to do. It is through understanding whom we are that we can respect and honor those we meet and collaborate with.

I listen to sound bytes of technology leaders who have testified before Congress regarding national security and how our privacy is affected by information sharing. I believe these corporate leaders have true respect for our privacy, and are deeply concerned about their responsibility to their corporations, our (their customers) privacy, and our national security. These leaders are in a very uncomfortable position as they establish policy, formulate strategy and position, and make choices never before made. This is a time for us as consumers and citizens to take heed and compassion for these leaders as the ethics and politics of privacy and security is defined.

I personally am working on my own authenticity. I am also re-defining for myself what self-reliance is.

I leave you with these questions (which I am asking myself):

I invite you to offer your own input on this.

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