We live in a competitive world. A world in which slander and backlash are seen as truth.
To test this theory, I was recently talking with a client. In the middle of our conversation, I told him that one of the leaders at my company was having multiple affairs within my company. I said I didn’t want to go into the details, but that at some point I wanted to gain some advice on how to handle the situation. We continued the other conversation for a while and then he circled back to my challenge, saying he wanted to know more.
I told him I made it up.
I told him that’s all it took for him to believe that what I was saying was true. Why? He sees me as authoritative and presumably honest. Yet, I could easily shift his mind into believing something that wasn’t true in the least bit. In fact, had I told that to him and he told it to one more person – the word-of-mouth drama would spread.
That’s how easy it is to make a lie seem like the truth. In today’s world where humans are the authorities and spreaders of news, it’s very easy to create a reality. Perception is reality.
In some businesses, brands play fairly. They let their products do the talking. In other industries, slander is the easiest pathway to a perception of winning.
My hope is that people are smarter than that. That the majority of people won’t believe the bully.
In business, though, if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. No business’s pathway is easy. Turbulence that doesn’t kill a business only makes it stronger.