Leadership Lessons From The Great Books – Shorts #15

Leave the comedians alone.

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My name is Jesan Sorrells, and this is the Leadership Lessons from the Great Books Podcast- Shorts.
There’s no co-host on shorts.

These are two-to-four-minute observations, ideas, thoughts, or rants, about the literature, philosophy, psychology, and theology of leadership.

Because listening to me talk about leadership for two to four minutes is better than reading and trying to understand yet another business book.

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth and the earth was without form and void and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”
Leaders should stand up for freedom of speech wherever it is threatened by whoever threatens it, and use their platforms, small and large, in order to defend it.

The process of “canceling” (or “consequencing” people, pache Levar Burton) whose words offend us has been building for a long time and is nothing new. After all, there have always been people who never bought into the idea that “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

And with the decline of emotional resiliency and the rise of being able to create whatever silos you want to live in, now being par for the course, the chances that words will indeed hurt you, has taken off faster than an Elon Musk tweet about Dogecoin.

It makes sense then, that the first people to have to go in this new reality of broken emotions and nerve endings on edge is the comedians: The jokesters, the pranksters, the people who operate outside the “norms” in a—well—normal world, and who, in this world must have their minds and mouths trained to operate correctly.

And that’s a sign of trouble.

Leaders, the reason you need a jokester on your team, the reason you need the person with the “off-color” remarks to exist, and the reason you need the person who will push the rhetorical boundaries to their limits, is the same reason that we need a free media, free public commentary, and free speech at a nation-state level.

Not because it makes us feel good.

Not because it’s appropriate.

Not because we like it.

But because it serves…even in a way that may hurt us emotionally…to bring into existence thoughts, ideas, and challenges we have and to expose them to the light of mocking ridicule so that they can be neutralized if they are negative.

And supported if they are positive.

Sacred cows should only exist in mythical fields.

And the leaders who don’t allow their sacred cows to be slaughtered wind up paralyzed by the cruft of unexamined tyrannical presuppositions that hobble their ability to lead.

Let there be light.