Leadership by email


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What has happened to us? Whatever happened to, you know, talking to people?

Electronic media has become too prolific. There are so many ways to tap out a quick text, email, instant message or what have you that it is almost becoming difficult to pick up the phone or (shudder) get out of the chair and actually talk to someone face to face.

I think we have become a passive-aggressive society.

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The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines passive-aggressiveness as: “being, marked by, or displaying behavior characterized by the expression of negative feelings, resentment, and aggression in an unassertive passive way.”

In other words, we have become afraid of direct confrontation.

Good news is easy to deliver in person (“Congratulations – we just won the Battle E!”). It is the bad news that is left to the laptop. In the old days, before computers, leaders would call culprits into the office and tell them off. It was the honorable way to address a problem. It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t pleasant, but it was dignified.

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Now, when a Sailor needs an attitude adjustment, he or she gets a testy text message – sometimes in bold to add emotion.

I say go back to the old way. Have some backbone. Show some leadership. It is the right thing to do.

In fact, I feel so strongly about it, I’m thinking of sending the CNO an email.


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