I’ve always been a bit of an idealist. Added to that I believe that a policy is there to be complied with. As a result I’ve often found myself at odds with more pragmatic and non-compliant colleagues – why am I telling you this? Well, it because of the news yesterday that Gary Cohn has quit his very important job at the White House seemingly because he had lost the argument over trade barriers.
It jogged a memory, from nearly 20 years ago, when I was complaining to my then line manager, Richard, about the Company’s senior managers’ ignoring my advice and choosing to do something (I thought) stupid instead. Richard, a very traditional chap with a military background, said to me ‘Is it worth dying in a ditch over?’ which I’ve always assumed is a First World War trenches metaphor.
What he meant was, is this something that’s so important that I should risk my career by challenging, or should I just suck it up and live to fight another day. Not only did I choose to suck it up at that point, ever since, when I’ve felt the indignation rise within me, I’ve heard Richard say ‘Is it worth dying in a ditch for?’ Usually it’s not, and when it is I give it 24 hours to sink in then think about it again.
There haven’t been that many ‘ditch moments’ for me in the last 20 years, I guess Gary Cohn decided that steel and aluminium tariffs was one for him.