I have been reminded a few times today that actions have re-actions, which can be unintended consequences. If you make a bold decision you must be prepared for the ramifications of that decision.
The first thing I am thinking about (probably because it is coming up so often), is the Roseanne Barr situation. I am sure you know the story – she made an insensitive, racist tweet and her show on ABC got cancelled. She is estimated to lose $90M due to this, and the show was one of the highest rated this year, with a bigger season planned for next year. Regardless of how you feel about Roseanne or her politics, the bottom line is that her actions had unintended consequences. She has been subsequently tweeting that ABC shouldn’t be punishing her co-stars, but sorry, that is just what can happen when you make bad decisions.
The other thing that I am thinking about, and which is really more relevant to me, is the announcement from President Trump that the US will enact tariffs on certain steel and aluminum imports from some of our closest allies. Well, this action will certainly cause a re-action from our trade partners, as they will simply offset this by enacting tariffs on US imports to their countries. Some of our biggest exports are food products, which is going to have a significant impact on farmers in the US. All these additional taxes will also drive prices higher, putting inflation increases at greater rates than wages are increasing, causing less buying power for consumers. Not to mention the impact that the US capital markets will have as “trade wars” are in the headlines every day (more volatility and likely moves downward – the Dow is down 200+ points as I write this).
On the flipside, to enact real change means making hard decisions that may not be popular or easy to implement. Walking the fine line between change and unintended consequences is what leadership is all about.
Unintended consequences are on my mind today, as I have a board meeting tonight for a nonprofit organization (I am the chairman) and I am instituting a few changes for the board meetings. I believe I have thought things through properly and talked to a couple of people beforehand as I thought necessary, but it is very possible that feathers could be ruffled, feelings could be hurt and people will be uncomfortable. Well, if they are truly there to benefit the organization, they shouldn’t get petty or put their feelings ahead of moving the organization forward, right?
Take care my friends,
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