Plenty of ME still hidden in WE…

Seal of the President of the United States

Image via Wikipedia

Not many people in the UK will be concerned about today’s events in the USA indeed, many have no interest for what goes on in the next street, never mind on the other side of the world.

Generally speaking, the British tend towards being a little less insular than many of their American cousins however; as we also have a propensity for blindly following American social trends and business ethics, are we starting to witness a decline in the erstwhile pronounced social differences? Or as I believe; are these fundamental social and business differences actually a figment of my imagination?

Today Barack Obama is getting ready to deliver his State of the Union Address and consequently, the media have already started to dissect its content, even before he issues forth his vision…

Some words feature prominently in every US presidential State of the Union message, others come and go as events dictate or fashions change… we look at the ups and downs of the 10 nouns and adjectives and one pronoun used most often since 1790. (BBC News)

The mass media viewpoint would appear to be; as Mr Obama and his predecessors have used the word ‘we’ far more often in speeches of recent years, there must be greater drive towards social understanding and the economic requirements of the individual. Perhaps we’re going to see greater affinity with and empathy for the desires of the man/woman in the street? Maybe there is a genuine attempt to rebuild understanding of the social needs of our communities or, place less importance upon self-interest and self-importance within government (and the business world)?

I’ve always been a great believer in that old adage, “actions speak louder than words” so therefore, I would have to say I doubt it.

Today politicians, Company Directors and Public Agency CEOs are more concerned with rhetoric or simply courting favourable public opinion. It seems more important these days to be judged by the ability and services of you PR Spin Doctor, rather than leaving it all to chance. Where are those people that used to be prepared to let society judge their performance on deeds and actions alone? Scared of being hoisted by ones own petard no doubt. Rest assured, much of what you see and hear is not representative of what you actually get. Today the leadership across both the public and private sector is littered with self-serving and self-important individuals.

As I regularly point out, there is no ‘self’ in service but unfortunately, there IS still plenty of ME hidden in WE..

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About Dave Hasney

National Coordinator for UK SMART Recovery - Previously a Recovery Worker and prior to that a Management Consultant and H&S Practitioner - Kept sane by Angling, Good Food, Real Ale & Wine - Cynical thoughts sometimes developed from others.

Posted on 25-01-2011, in Business Babble, Leadership & Management, Public Service Babble, Society Babble and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. An academic called Halfpenny did an analysis of the use of ‘we’ in Thatcher-speak years back. The self-importance routines have since got much worse.

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