As I’m sure many of you did, I watched MTV’s Video Music Awards aka #VMAs2013. As there is from all of the awards shows, there was a lot to learn from the video music awards. Culture, Agenda, Style, Pushing The Limits, Trying Too Hard, History, Generational Gaps, Class, The Fact That Justin Timberlake is Timeless and the list goes on and on.
One of the more astonishing things to watch from the 2013 VMA’s was the performance of Miley Cyrus. It wasn’t just the fact that the performance was weird, ridiculous, unnecessary and that it made you feel sorry for Miley.
The performance for me made me really pause and think for a moment. It made me ask some questions and really think about Miley and what’s going on in and around her. Questions like: What is she thinking? Why is she thinking it? Is she oblivious to what’s going on around her?
After her performance I sent this simple tweet:
“That awkward moment when everyone can see the train wreck coming except for the one driving the train. – Miley Cyrus”
That tweet was retweeted countless times as it resonated with many people who saw the performance and felt the same way that I did.
One thing that I always try to do is draw leadership and life parallels to almost any and everything. As I was watching Miley it made me think about “Why So Many Leaders Are Like Miley Cyrus.” Here is the deal, I don’t hold Miley totally responsible for the train wreck road that she’s going down, I blame those around her and those closest to her. Those closest to her and those she is choosing to listen to are the ones saying, “Be yourself Miley, it’s okay, don’t listen to the haters,” or they are choosing to remain silent to the Miley train that is screeching down the tracks of destruction.
I see this same scenario with leaders all the time. Although they may not be running around with a teddy bear onesie, horned pig tails, half naked, with a posse wearing teddy bear backpacks; however they are making poor decisions and creating destructive cultures. Even more problematic, those closest to the leader and those at the highest levels in the organization are often cheering on the negative leadership behavior or standing on the sidelines remaining silent to the leadership train screeching down the road of destruction.
Every leader and high profile person always has an inner circle that will either help keep them accountable or sit and watch their train come completely off the tracks. “Yes Men and Yes Women” are never the answer. Choose your inner circle wisely.