Must be in the ether. In this past week’s Economist (10/11) is another article similar to the one referred to in my most recent blog. This one, by “Schumpeter,” is titled “Beware the Angry Birds.” It makes the same point as does the Times piece by Steven Davidoff Solomon, though for a different reason. “Bosses’ careers are more vulnerable than ever” in this case not because of shareholder activists, but because they live “in the social media age.”
We’re back to technology which, as I pointed out a couple of years ago in The End of Leadership, is changing forever the balance of power between leaders and followers.
The Economist: “Today’s bosses still need to worry about the … press. But as big a threat to their careers these days is the risk of being pecked by Twitter’s swarm of angry birds. Thanks to the digital revolution, chief executives now live in glass houses. An ill-judged remark can be broadcast to the world in an instant. An unwise ‘reply all’ can provide sensitive information to a competitor. An exasperated complaint in the midst of a crisis can seal your doom.”
As I wrote previously, business leaders are now like political leaders. For that matter, they are like virtually all other leaders – vulnerable to arrows shot from every direction. What seems finally to be changing is the growing recognition that things now are different – even for chief executive officers. Turns out that all their money and power cannot protect them against the tide of the time. To the contrary. Just like leaders in other sectors they “make perfect click-bait.”