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The Misuse of Leadership Influence and Wasted Opportunities


One of the marks of leadership maturity and organizational health is the level of problems are you dealing with. For instance, a leader who is having to negotiate petty squabbles between employees is probably not spending enough time on innovation and creating solutions which advance its culture, mission, and vision.

Leaders will always have problems. But they should always be trading little problems or bigger problems. Haven’t you said, “Do you remember when when all we had to deal with was…?” Every new level has a new devil. The larger the problems, the more likely the greater success you are having as a leader.

I thought a lot about that lesson after reading the following story.

An Issue Which Needs (Or Not Need) Addressing

Because of its down-the-middle coverage, one of the online newspapers I subscribe to is Morning Brew. Just give me the facts. As reported in their Nov. 7 edition, legendary singer Barbra Streisand encountered a problem which needed her attention.

Was it a problem with the poor and under-resourced in our country or around the world?  No.

Was it a problem with our educational system? No.

Was it a problem in our political system and the way government serves its citizens? No.

Was it a problem in the entertainment industry? No.

Was it her concerns related to the Gaza Strip? Well, she may be concerned about that but the article did not point it out.

Streisand’s problem was she discovered Siri was mispronouncing her name. She said, “My name isn’t spelled with a ‘Z.’ It’s Strei-sand, like sand on the beach. How simple can you get?”

Was Streisand going to let this AI-generated miscue pass? Absolutely not! So what would someone with her notoriety, fame, and influence do? Well, she called Apple CEO Tim Cook directly and asked for a correction.

To Cook’s credit, he solved the problem. Streisand described him as “lovely.”