Always Be Kind, Any Other Way Will Come Back to Bite You... As Sir Philip Green Is Finding Out!

27/04/2016 12:24

Sir Philip Green has been described as a bully and his actions vis-a-vis BHS have been labelled by a Conservative MP as "the unacceptable face of capitalism." And yeah, there have been so many occasions when he has rounded, aggressively on those who challenged him, for the epithet "bully" not to be used to describe him now.

And certainly I am not defending Sir Philip or any of his actions in relation to the BHS debacle. This is more about calling on him and all those people (mostly men, but there are also a few women) who are so massively successful that they begin to believe they can say and do anything they wish and remain immune from the normal penalties that come with exhibiting any variety of bad behaviour.

It is Psych 101, of course, that rich and powerful people display certain kinds of personality traits, but the question I am posing is this: Why? Why do they not learn, long before it is too late, that such behaviour will come back to bite them; will earn them powerful enemies. Or, at least enemies who may not appear powerful because they don't have great personal wealth, but exert influence in other ways and will take their revenge as soon as they have the opportunity to do so...

As I said earlier, it is mostly rich and powerful men who turn into bullying monsters, but occasionally women do, too: the American Leona Helmsley comes immediately to mind though I feel certain there are many more of both genders.

In this country we build up "personalities" and "celebrities" ignoring their snarling or bullying until they put a foot (or more than a foot) wrong. Then we, collectively, take great delight in pulling down our icons and tearing them to shreds, avenging all the old hurts and bullying for which they have allegedly been responsible; as the press and some parliamentarians have done this week to Sir Philip Green. It might be more helpful for society in general if our approach to all rich and famous people was more nuanced and less polarised. Less "Hello Magazine" more Psychologies...

But the main message to Sir Philip and others who are set to become sufficiently rich or famous to have a media profile is this: if you can't be kind and courteous to everyone you meet out of genuine altruism , do it out of self-interest, so that if (or, rather, when) everything goes pear-shaped, you won't have those people you slighted in 1981 or shouted at in 1995 clamouring to punish you and say horrible things about you ...