As I was reading the paper this week, I was struck by some bizarre headlines. First, there was the mayor who admitted to using and purchasing illegal drugs and yet insisted that he was a positive role model for kids. Really? How interesting. He was also videotaped threatening to kill someone. He was asked to step down and has refused. He doesn’t sound like someone I’d like my kids to emulate!
Another bizarre headline this week was the announcement by London’s Metropolitan Police that the spy whose body was found stuffed inside a locked gym bag at the bottom of his bathtub, likely died in an accident with no one else involved. Huh? He died accidentally and then locked himself in a gym bag? That’s a trick even Houdini might have found challenging! What does that conclusion say about the judgment of that police department?
These bizarre headlines are just two examples of how we are bombarded with mixed messages from a variety of sources. While these types of stories might make for interesting discussions at the water cooler, they certainly do not increase confidence in the judgment or leadership abilities of the organizations involved.
What are your headlines saying about you? Are you inadvertently sending mixed messages to your employees and customers? If you step away and look at all of your messaging from an objective distance, what does it say about your leadership and judgment? Does it inspire confidence? Or does it just provide additional fodder for those water cooler discussions?