14
Dec
08

Transparency, Authenticity, and the Contributions of Rod Blagojevich

It’s been a very interesting week for the State of Illinois. The arrest of the governor unleashed a torrent of focused energy and diffuse opinions. If you haven’t read the complaint, click here and share a bit of out outrage and astonishment. It’s worth the read.

I found myself immersed in the schadenfreude of a criminal being discovered and publically pilloried by almost everyone with a microphone, camera, column, or blog. The range of emotions from glee to despondency spewed forth and ignited a week-long discussion about the incredible circumstances: a sitting governor, under criminal investigation, believing he could use a vacant Senate seat for his own gain.

After listening to the commentators and reading the columns and fielding phone calls from friends in less exciting states, I gave up trying to figure it all out. Instead, it occurred to me that there is a lesson for all of us coming from this mess.

Rod Blagojevich faced a criminal investigation. Many people have said this week that he isn’t a very authentic person. Still, he welcomed the investigations and the various forms of surveillance it brought with it. In fact, even on the day before his arrest, Blagojevich claimed that he was doing nothing but legally fighting for the hardworking people of Illinois. Whether you are the Governor of Illinois, a hardworking citizen, or someone in between, transparency is not something you should seek out unless you are truly an authentic person.

While few of us face criminal investigations or warrant the attention of a sitting governor, our authenticity is always on display. In this age of the Internet, all of us are more transparent ion our actions than ever before. For those of us who choose to create an on-line presence, transparency is a fact of life. We need to stay aware that anything posted on-line becomes a permanent part of our record. If you are an authentic person who acts in alignment with your beliefs, the Internet is a terrific platform for you. If not, rethink your personal promotion strategies.

 

Likewise, companies face the same the same authenticity dilemma. Web 2.0 and the social networking tools are presenting incredible new opportunities for inexpensively promoting products and services to a broad audience. The ability to fully leverage these tools comes with a price: the need to be completely authentic. No longer can a company control its image or its product message. It’s much too easy for consumers to share information and opinions to be able to keep major issues secret.

 

Implementing a Web 2.0 strategy is like bringing fire into the kitchen. If you have a wood burning stove, you can cook a meal, dry clothes, and warm the house. If not, you can burn the house down.

 

Before jumping at the opportunities created by the new technology, make sure you’re ready – ready for the transparency and the authenticity it requires!

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1 Response to “Transparency, Authenticity, and the Contributions of Rod Blagojevich”


  1. January 7, 2009 at 3:12 am

    Blagojevich has been so successful at making himself and his office look ridiculous that about a million people are now able to remember and maybe even spell his crazy name — that’s sort of like an accomplishment, right?


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