Don’t Posture. Don’t Gloat.

A year into this pandemic and there have been fortunate winners and profound losers. First and foremost, the winners are everyone who has not missed a paycheck since the pandemic hit. It’s not to suggest that business hasn’t been difficult and social isolation hasn’t  taken a toll on all of us, but if you have continued to receive a paycheck over the past year, count yourself among  lucky,

Happy business man very rich guy throw money dollar bills in air like rain money bill and banknotes US dollar bill on the bathtub – business success concept

Then there are those industries and professionals who have been profoundly impacted. Through the cruel lottery of fate, equally talented and hard working people have either starved or have been fed well, all  based on their career of choice.

And while positioning is a key tenant of an effective marketing strategy, posturing has no place during a time of economic devastation. While we don’t begrudge anyone a strong measure of success, gloating creates distance. Whether or not it was intended that way, it creates resentment.

So why is social media being carpet-bombed with chest-pounding and success-flaunting? Listen, I’m not naive to the power of “aspirational marketing,” but what we’ve been subjected to is the business version of Instagram “models,” creating a false and unattainable standard. Much of it isn’t true. Moreover, the timing of it all is just bad.

Countless professional service providers are boasting that they haven’t altered their fees one bit! Really? The market consensus is a reduced fee for a virtual model yet dozens of colleagues are magically commanding more and never been busier. Really? I smell a rat. 

To be clear, I wish great success for all who work to earn it and even those blessed with happenstance. But today, tens of millions have been economically devastated. Gloating of your plenty while others are starving is unseemly. Posturing to create a false sense of success is just salt-in-the-wounds of those who have lost so much.

These times call for an extraordinary level of compassion, assistance, encouragement and empathy. Success is a wonderful thing, but for the time being, let’s turn down the volume on your exuberance.

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