Categories: Trust and reputations

27 November 2008

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Chefs, CEOs and sex

There’s only one big lesson in the age of celebrity, spin and schmooze. People only really, deeply care about whether you can do your job.

Gordon Ramsey is a celebrity victim of his own PR. Family guy playing away. Acres of copy. Who cares?

CEOs should. But the lessons are a little weird. Has any serious politician or businessman (businessperson) ever been toppled by their indiscretions? Most stories (that of Lord Browne for instance) tell us not to get pompous and defensive. Some (that of Max Mosely, Boris Johnson) tell us to face the prurient down.

In effect, sex won’t scupper you. Once the story’s out – shrug, smile and tell people to mind their own business.

Here are few more tricks:

Don’t let PRs sell the politically correct narrative of your personal life.

Don’t use personal virtues as a shield to promote your professional ones.

Headlines about your personal virtues are hostages to fortune.

Avoid the temptation to indulge in moral outbursts on any topic.

Don’t bring your personal life to work or include it in your PR.

• Those who live by the sword die by it (unless you are a celebrity chef).

Don’t lecture anyone (especially not your staff) about personal morality.

Always assume that everything always gets into the media in the end.

• The public love sinners and loathe saints.

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