Good Leaders: When does goodness hurt?

There are days when the resistance to our core ideology makes my head hurt. I still believe goodness pays.

Hang in there with me: my point of view is “goodness pays.” No, I’m not a pastor, priest or a Boy/Girl Scout. I coach on leadership, and I see everyday that goodness pays. But lately, I have been re-learning that sometimes using the word “goodness” turns people away. Normally, I just chalk that up to a combination of the Bell Curve, and basic segmentation – there are a lot of people who think “goodness” is a soft and squishy waste of time.

Last week, we experienced rejection on something we really wanted…and we believe it was because of the word “goodness.”

Paul Hillen, Sean McDonnell, and I wrote an opinion piece about two CEO events that happened on the same day: 1.) the age limitation was lifted for the 3M CEO by his board because he radiates goodness (our words), and 2.) the Uber CEO was fired for behaviors that did not radiate goodness (he was an uber-jerk!).

Paul, Sean, and I really thought the opinion was worthy of publishing…and we reached out to top media outlets to pitch our point of view.

In short, each one of the publications rejected us. What little back and forth feedback we received came down to a general uneasiness around the consistent use of the word “goodness.”

Will you help? Please read the article on my LinkedIn page. Then shoot me a note and tell me: how can we position this better to get our point across next time?

Leave a Comment