Be Authentic in Business

The world is still reveling and quibbling at the same time about the new administration in the White House.

Donald Trump is by no means an unquestionable character, but he is the newly democratically voted president of America, as voted for by the people. During his first 60 days he rattled the whole world, latest of which being the immigrants wishing to enter the good ol’ United States of America.

Now you might wonder and ask yourself, why another politically motivated blog post? We see so many of them.

Yes, indeed we do, but this post brings this political theme to the business world and more specifically – straight to your business!

Be Authentic in Business

Sam always tells me – “Tiaan, please stay away from any political, racial and religious topics when you write blog posts”. While she might have a good point there, I just love controversial topics. I can’t stay away from them! Tackling these controversial topics is great for debate, but even better for solving the real-world problems. You see, I believe that real-world issues can only be solved if you tackle them head-on, without sugar-coating them, to find possible solutions.

No one ever got better by eating a pack of smarties, only by using medicine that sometimes leaves a bad taste in the mouth (pun intended).

So here I go with my topic, and it’s a real anomaly I think. I am writing this post and incorporating all political, racial and religious topics and I am telling you straight out – “Please leave these issues outside your business’ entrance. There is absolutely no place for these issues in your business”.

Anomaly, right?!

In the 21st century we are a multi-racial society; different religions are standing up for each other, we are becoming more receptive towards the LGBT community, and accepting all these different tags we have put onto people as, well, just normal people. Discussing politics and politicians will have me writing a whole novel by this Friday, but I know Sam would have a heart attack so I wouldn’t do it.

The point I am going to make here is simple – Do not involve politics in your business. Many companies like Starbucks, Google and Uber have come out strongly defending or attacking President Trump’s executive order on his immigration policy. They either defend the policy saying that the people of America should get jobs above immigrants or they attack the policy and state that all people have a right to be free in a country like America.

The problem with taking this stance is that they are all being lambasted for taking a specific position. Now, the most important and moral question that should be asked is this – “Why are they being attacked for taking a stance and choosing a side? Is it not morally right to choose a side?” The answer should be that we should never be attacked for taking a stance and defending our opinion.

Unfortunately, when we do take that stance we will always be right and wrong at the same time (I’m feeling like Schrodinger’s cat here…). There will always be a group of people saying yay and a group saying nay. This stance then forces the nay group to be against you. Now, very important, in your personal lives always take a stance, always choose a side, always make a decision, but in your business, I do not think you should always do this.

I do not believe that you should force your own personal views, the views of the CEO or the views of specific employees onto or into your business. Let your business be authentic and have it develop its own identity and do not involve politics, religion or racial issues into your business. EVER!

I am a Stormer’s Rugby fan, but my business is based in the heart of Blue Bulls rugby territory. Does this mean that my personal view should impact my business and that I should not provide any services to Blue Bulls rugby supporters? No.

I support the Kaizer Chiefs soccer team. Does this mean that I should not serve my customers who are Pirates supporters? Never. I am a Christian. Does this mean that I am not allowed to assist my Muslim counterparts? Ridiculous!

Let’s leave the political parties out of this discussion, because I do not like any particular parties’ economic policy.

Your business is an entity on its own in terms of certain laws, so why not let it have its own identity? Let it serve all races, all religions and all political affiliations.

We are equals, after all. No one person is above another.

I realise that politicians, like Trump, will constantly make policies that might not seem fair or even logical, but that is a decision made on a national level. Try and limit the effect on your business. If he does not want immigrants in America, then your coffee shop should not take a supportive stance and state that no immigrants will be served. Serve every one, because you might just find that people support people more than you anticipated and the American citizens might just boycott your coffee shop for discriminating against another human being, albeit an immigrant.

Your business should always be neutral on these three issues, but please let it take a stance and support any actions against the abuse of women, children, animals and our environment. These causes only have one outcome and that is that it should not happen; it is either right or wrong. The three topics mentioned herein (race, religion and politics) cannot be right or wrong, it is merely a decision to support one group above another..

So please, don’t go out and support a decision that cannot be right or wrong. You do not yet know or understand what the impact would be for your business.



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