Get your socks off

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John Mackey of Whole Foods was recently outed for socking his competition — online and anonymously (or so he thought). This whole incident brings up all sorts of issues. His ethicalness, legality of “sock-puppetry” and not to mention – his standing in the community of organic-arugula lovin’ citizens. (Makes ya wanta throw tomatoes at him!) I think the question is, how is it that these things happen in giant public companies, whose images and brands are so tightly controlled? Like this guy says here:

“We have the most protected, covered, cautious and public relations-barricaded generation of leaders in history,” said Jeffrey A. Sonnenfeld, a professor of corporate governance at Yale. Today’s tightly controlled, artfully packaged executives, he said, “want to release and spout off, and they somehow think this is a forum where they’ll be held less accountable.”

Now, we are all for the leaders being scripted and sent out like so many dog-show pups in support of their brand. Surrounded by the seeming anonymity of the Web, they think they can manage to squeeze some of their real personality into their jobs. But as BG knows, it is hard being in character 24/7 — girl needs a break and clearly these boys did, too. Here’s a lesson, boys… I was swamped at work, busy day, friends called and demanded my presence. I decided some cocktail time would do both my Mac and me some good. I arrived on the scene, at the now deceased but infamous Village Idiot — a bar that defined “hole in the wall” — to a bar full of various construction workers, cowboy thugs, and my metrosexual friends. All involved had been heavily over-served and were engaged in a game of target practice involving various undergarments and the bar’s well-stuffed and cobwebby moose head. So I saddled up on a stool, and with Bass in hand digested both the situation and my day. Moments later, to the surprise of many –– myself included — I peeled off my bitch boots, removed the socks beneath, and pegged that antlered eyesore right between the nostrils. Yep! It was out of character for BG, but it felt good working off the steam on the poor critter. And sure I lost my socks that night, and come to think of it, a cashmere sweater too, but *that,* Mr. Mackey, is how you blow off steam… not by flirting with the bad side of the SEC.

Filed: boys, branding

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