It's Not "Chief Either Or"

Jonathan's blog about making donations to the China earthquake relief effort seems to have seeded the usual maelstrom of comments. Roughly, they fall into three categories: (1) thank you; (2) why are you blogging about charitable giving when you should be fixing Sun; and (3) why are people criticizing an act of charity at a time of immense disruption and displacement with a more immense human cost?

The comments of the second type are yet another case of mis-applying the law of the excluded middle. For some reason, it appears that Jonathan cannot do anything other than think about running Sun; any act on a personal level must somehow detract from his time invested in being CEO. And that's both the fallacy and the danger in the assumption: CEO does not stand for "Chief Either Or." It's possible to run a company with a social agenda and a slice of humanity. The two are not mutually exclusive, it's not an either-or proposition. There are executives for whom execution is of singular and paramount importance.

I wouldn't work for one of them.

Comments:

So well put. I wouldn't either.

Posted by Sin-Yaw Wang on May 29, 2008 at 10:55 PM EDT #

I know this is not what you mean, Hal, nor is it what I think Jonathan means,

but there are some people out there with the attitude,

"if you don't give to my favorite charity, you are not worthy of being a colleague of mine."

It is a sad truth.

Posted by Carolyn on June 01, 2008 at 06:21 AM EDT #

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