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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

One Day You're In, The Next Day You're Out

I've been thinking about Kellyanne Conway, and why she openly confronted President-Elect Trump over hiring Mitt Romney as Secretary of State. Not quietly, and not just once, but multiple times.

It's like, she hasn't even been hired yet. Is she trying to get herself fired?

Because I may not know very much about the world, but here is one thing I do know. Your job, when you're working for someone, is not only the job itself but also to have their back. You don't have to agree with what they do, and you can tell them so in private -- in fact I would argue that's it's your sacred duty to do so.

But it's absolutely unheard of to break ranks like she did, in public, and expect to continue working for the person or the team.

Even if she had a strategic reason, even if her motives were to support him, it was wrong to contradict his message to the world.

So it may very well be that while Conway was "in" for a period of time, her social media outburst and interview on television regarding the Romney issue render her "out."

What we learn is that even the most desirable, hire-able person -- or "personal brand" -- can drop to the bottom of the ocean floor. Can lose all or most of their reputation equity instantly.

It's a pretty frightening prospect. King Solomon said, in Proverbs (22:1), "A good name is more desirable than great riches."

So you have to be careful how you behave. Even if you're the best at what you do.

If you look at Kanye West, he offers another perfect example. It had long been rumored that his private behavior was out of control, and for a long time he got away with it -- he was cushioned by his music, his fashion business, his friends and even his affiliation with the Kardashians.

But then he had an onstage rant one time too many, and whether rightly or wrongly, he was handcuffed and taken in for psychiatric evaluation. His reputation, because of his behavior, is damaged if not shattered.

Who you affiliate with affects your personal brand, as well. As we all know everybody thought Hillary Clinton would win the Presidential election, and frankly if you admitted to being a Trump supporter it was a risk to your professional career, your friendships, and your family connections. I know this because I took a significant hit on all three of the above.

Even more significantly than that, people who openly supported Trump were at risk of being targeted for physical violence.

But what happens if the pendulum shifts, and Hillary Clinton and/or her Foundation are convicted of a crime? Who will be on the "out" then?

For a lot of people in D.C., it's a very scary thought.

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All opinions my own.