The cost of spin:
…There are so many costs to a culture of spin. It’s kind of a situation of mutually assured destruction, where you have this arms race of good news, and the price you pay for being candid about your missteps or problems on the horizon is that everyone will turn to your competitor — who will be busy lying about what’s happening on their side.
So the price is high. Yet the fact that we know everyone is spinning builds cynicism to the point where people are pricing in the possibility of people’s deception.
Q: What’s the case for people to change their behavior?
A: There’s a real power to simply being honest in a context where many people are so often dancing around the truth. There’s an integrity that comes with that, even if the reward for having integrity isn’t always immediate.
Steve Jobs came out and told people how sick he was [and Apple shares never nosedived]. Meanwhile, people can lose a tremendous amount of money when CEOs are deceptive where they can be.
Another aspect to spin to keep in mind: When people don’t have good information about reality, they think their difficulties are theirs alone. Take the culture of spin around parenthood and motherhood. We had our first child 2.5 years ago, and while obviously, people complain about being parents, most people tend to conceal a lot of the details about just how hard the experience is, beginning with the delivery. So you can think: Why is this happening to me? You’re isolated in your stress when people aren’t giving you good information.