Published on: March 9, 2015by Kevin Coupe
A story emerged out of one of the Sunday news shows yesterday that I think teaches a strong business lesson. Now, to repeat something that I wrote last week when I took shots at Hillary Clinton for not using an official State Department email address when she served as Secretary of State, therefore keeping all her emails on a personal account less vulnerable to prying eyes, let me just say for the record that I want to wade in a little carefully here, because the context is political ... but to be absolutely clear, I am not choosing political sides. But the example is too juicy to resist. Last week, when writing about Clinton, I wrote that she is just the latest example of a person who, believing that they can control the narrative, actually behaves in a way that subverts their best interests and hands control of the narrative over to others."
All of which I believe, Fervently. And I think it offers a strong and relevant business lesson.
But yesterday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), who has said that he is considering a run for the presidency, said on "Meet The Press:" that there never will be a problem about looking at his email ... because he has never sent one.
Not officially. Nor privately. Never.
“I don't email,” Graham said. "You can have every email I have ever sent. I've never sent one.”
Fox News writes that "Graham's lack of email use in a world -- both inside and outside of the beltway -- that essentially relies more each day on social media could ... pose a challenge for him if he becomes a presidential candidate."
Referring to his lack of email experience, Graham said, "“I don’t know what that makes me."
Well, I do. The word Luddite comes to mind.
And the question I would ask is whether there is a board of directors anywhere in America that would hire a CEO that never had sent an email. (This isn't a generational issue...Graham is younger than I am.)
I remember that when I started MNB more than 13 years ago, I'd occasionally run into a CEO who did not read the site online, but rather would depend on an assistant or secretary to print it out. (One of them actually suggested to me that as much as he liked MNB, he thought it would be a lot more compelling if it were in color. I had to gently tell him that maybe he should ask his secretary to use a color printer. True story.)
I'm glad to say that this hasn't happened for a long time. And as outrageous as I find Clinton's actions to be, I find Graham's admission also to be remarkable ... and in its own way, an Eye-Opener.
- KC's View: