*Tap Tap Tap*
“Is this thing on? This is the United States calling. Is anyone out there? Over.”
Looking back over the last year and a half, I’ve felt like that more times than I care to think about. In all honesty, I probably still feel that way more than I care to admit. But, we’re all slowly returning to normal as we’re rolling out from one of the strangest periods in modern history. Only now there are weird rules we have to navigate. And those rules can change depending on which side of an imaginary line you’re standing on.
One of our suburbs here in Tennessee straddles one of those imaginary lines and is in two different counties. There are barbershops on both sides of the street that separate the two counties. Barbers could cut your hair on one side of the street, but would get fined, shamed, closed, and have their license revoked for cutting hair 50 feet away.
In every disaster, whether man-made or natural, we learn something we didn’t know beforehand that we can use to navigate the next disaster. Hopefully a little better than the last one. Let’s pray there’s never another pandemic, but the lessons learned in this disaster will fundamentally change the way our country functions – hopefully for the better.
In disaster response circles, the biggest hindrance to the emergency response was how elected officials from both sides of the aisle – whether federal, state, or local – went on a power grab and got punch drunk from it. Most of these officials had never experienced total unchecked power before. Many liked it. Many had a hard time knowing when to stop. Many destroyed their jurisdictions exercising their quest for absolute, unadulterated power. Many are still not letting go.
There are people out there willing to destroy their own businesses in their personal quest for absolute power. I believe Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey are two of them. I think it’s safe to say that neither of these men will make it on the cover of Time Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive edition. But Master of the Universe was well within their grasp.
I think that both of them let the power they’d amassed go to their heads and they realized they could rule the world – so they tried. And they’re still trying. The old saying; ‘It’s lonely at the top’ is probably hitting home for both of them right about now.
Putting all politics aside, when Mark and Jack realized that they could control the flow of information all over the world, they got punch drunk with power and went crazy. Back in early October, I reported that the first COVID vaccine should be available for ‘needles in shoulders’ on or about December 13, 2020. I got shut down on Facebook for several weeks for promoting misinformation. Anyone wanna guess the exact date the first shots were administered? Yep, December 13th.
Zuckerberg was wrong and I was right. The only problem is Zuckerberg is one of those people that doesn’t know when to stop. He’s now officially a madman and it looks like anti-trust legislation is in his near future. He got so power hungry, he’s now ruining what he built. He reminds me of a lot of mayors across the country.
Jack Dorsey was so punch drunk with power that he fired and banned his #1 money-maker from his platform just because he could. He let the power go to his head as well. It took a couple of months to catch up to him, but once Twitter’s lower than expected earnings report came out, his stock took a hit, falling from $77+ on March 1 to just over $50 on May 12. His investors are likely going on the warpath and could decide to remove him from the company in the near future. He got so power hungry that he’s ruining what he built as well. He reminds me of a lot of governors across the country.
But this is not about what mayors, governors, and ‘big tech’ did wrong, and continue to do wrong. It’s about you; the owners and managers of small businesses out there, all across America. You also wield a tremendous amount of power over the people that you employ and manage. Is the power that you wield going to your head? Are you abusing the authority and responsibility that you have over other people?
We’ve all experienced what can happen when someone has just the tiniest amount of authority and they abuse it. Just go in to any government office and it’s on full display – all day, every day. Has anyone ever had a Codes Inspector come to inspect your business and threaten to shut you down instead of giving you 5 minutes to correct something that you didn’t even know was against codes? Think about how much you feel about people like that. Are you doing the same thing with your authority?
Most Americans have been living for the last year under some pretty crazy, draconian, public health orders that didn’t seem to have any relevance to a public health crisis. How many of them were for your health and safety versus how many were for some elected official going absolutely crazy with unbridled power?
There were many health orders that I agreed with, but there were also many that I didn’t. When elected officials were asked why those orders were put into place, they all said the same thing; ‘Science’. But that’s only because saying; “I’m doing it because I can, and I like it,” doesn’t poll well. The natives would eventually rise up.
Since we’ve all seen what unchecked, unbridled, and unrestricted power looks like, look in the mirror and see if you’ve been guilty of the same thing.
Now I don’t personally know all of these power crazed individuals, but I’m going to guess that the scuttlebutt around the company watercooler is that they are not really very nice people to work with or work for.
What’s the scuttlebutt around your company watercooler about you? I know what it is around my watercooler. Most people think I have a very fine derriere. Because every time I walk past, I overhear someone saying, “What an ass!” Ha ha, just kidding, they usually say much worse than that.
You don’t have to be friends with your employees and staff, but you don’t have to be their enemy either; just because you can. Lighten up and have fun at work every now and again. We’ve all been under the thumb of some pretty tyrannical people for the last year. Don’t be one yourself.
Be the cool kid at the company watercooler.
And, for my bench jeweler peeps out there: Who’s going to join me in Nashville, Tennessee October 15-16 for the third annual Bench Jewelers Laser & Technology Conference? It’s going to be a fun event. For more information, visit benchjewelersconference.com, call or text 615-423-7214, or email Scott.firstname.lastname@example.org.