A witty column about the genuine, emotional, and humorous exploits of coaching elite executives.


Courage in Controversy: Challenge the Status Quo of Executive Conversations

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I poked the bear again. 

RTO is such a misunderstood hot ticket factor that this "obtuse, privileged white dude" has no business speaking about insider notes I've gathered from the thousands upon thousands of executive conversations I've supported—at least, that's how it sometimes feels when I read the comments. 

I understand what's working and what's creating strife in executive careers. I stand by my commentary.

Making it in this world ain't easy—for anyone. And yes, it's much harder for some than others. 

You don't know my lived experiences, and I don't know yours. That's okay. We are not enemies. 

I want to help you thrive in this crazy capitalistic hellscape we call America. 

We must be aware of the system and how it works. 

Naivety will not suffice.

While I sit on my high horse and devour caviar from my silver spoon, I'll continue to shout controversial obscenities to our fractured society stuck squabbling, further proving that dissension in the ranks is the best way to keep the ants in order.

I stand firm that building relationships in person will always benefit the human experience and your career.

I recognize that only some have access to an office environment—and that being in the office is uncomfortable for many people of color. 

But it's still valuable for you—and a consideration you should not make flippantly as you determine your career trajectory.

However—suppose you're already an executive, which is the crux of my argument and the target audience of this publication. 

In that case, you probably have the financial means and capacity to occupy the same physical space as the people you work with, at least occasionally—and can afford child care if appropriate, correct? 

If you think that you can drive your executive six-figure career into a seven-figure executive career without in-person relationships, you are wrong. 

Is there a small percentage of people who can do it? Probably. Is it MUCH HARDER? Unequivocal yes.

I am a proponent of hybrid work and flexibility—and soon, I'll post about how we can engineer degrees of freedom in your career. 

But distance creates distance and possibly avoidable friction toward an already difficult challenge of executive ladder climbing.

I don't fear being criticized publicly — but I am frustrated by the number of private messages from executive leaders that I receive where the context is along the lines of, 

"You're spot on regarding the advantages of being in office, and I agree. But I can't take a position on this publicly." 

These challenging conversations need to happen, especially by those with an audience. The RTO argument is a nuanced discussion, and both sides must understand that very little is black and white. 

We can't afford to further devolve into a society of gutless chickenshits—who have assimilated into government and corporate leadership positions.

The stakes are too high. 

Kudos to those who have publicly and privately had the courage to challenge my perspective and help us all grow.

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