Tuesday, September 15, 2009

What is the most effective way to show disrespect to a President? Throw a shoe or call him a liar?

Two unrelated but interesting issues items have caught the attention of the media and digirati, both about the effectiveness of getting media attention by public display of disrespect to leaders of our times:

  • President Obama being called a “Liar” by an elected representative while delivering an address to the U.S. Congress and
  • Trelease of the (famous/infamous) Iraqi Shoe Thrower who attempted to show disrespect to Mr. Obama’s predecessor, Mr. George Bush by hurling shoes at him during a press conference in Iraq.

For students of international business, lessons in basics of cultural mores and etiquettes around the globe have a lot of significance, more so in the increasingly connected and globalized world we live in. Given the culture of global disrespect, I wonder if the younger generation of business leaders will be using these ‘case studies’ to their list by studying the most effective ways to show disrespect to business adversaries? ;-(

While globalization and international trade is all about finding win-win deals, synergies and opportunities, there is the aggressive, ugly side of business and here I am sure some businessmen (and women) are taking a leaf from the buzz. An easy excuse, after showing a pre-planned disrespect, in an international business context would be that of a Faux pas? There again, such disrespect would not either make for front-page-news or get a limo as a reward

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