Silence is not a strategy

What do Rachel Dolezal, Archbishop John C. Neinstedt and Joyce Mitchell have in common?

i-passed-for-white-top-sonya-wilde-everettAll three covered up their transgressions and find their names front and center in today’s news.

If you’ve been asleep for the past week or, like me, distracted by your son’s wedding, allow me to fill in the blanks:

– Rachel Dolezal has been forced to quit as NAACP chapter president in Spokane because she refused to admit she didn’t have a single drop of black blood coursing through her veins.
Nienstedt resigned his post in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Minneapolis amid accusations of covering multiple sexual abuse claims involving priests.
– Mitchell is the upstate New York prison employee who not only covered up her role in helping two convicted killers escape but, allegedly, also had sexual liaisons with both cons and fell in love with the elder one.

Silence may have been a strategy in the past, but in today’s 24×7, Google search-dominated world, your skeletons will, indeed, be outed. To paraphrase Joe Louis, one of the great heavyweights of all-time, “You can run. But, you can’t hide.”

That’s why we walk away from clients who ask us to help cover-up past transgressions. It’s also why I went public long about having played a lead role in the CIAs botched assassination attempts on Fidel Castro. I knew someone, someday, would find out and derail my modestly successful career.

So, as painful as it may be, it’s best to ‘fess up early and often. The reputation you’ll save will be your own (or your client’s).

One thought on “Silence is not a strategy

  1. Good piece and very timely. Unfortunately, the people who cover up don’t hear you.