Dr. Ben Carson is supposed to be a very smart guy. If that's the case why are his words so stupid?

Pinocchio DSM 5
Len Matthews via Compfight

This isn't a political discussion; it's a communications discussion. Back last August he was on some news program trying to promote an agenda item and he decided to compare the United States government to the Nazi regime. When asked a couple of days later about his statement, he said that not only did he stand by his comparison but said "And I know you're not supposed to say 'Nazi Germany,' but I don't care about political correctness."

Imagine you're working for this man in any capacity and he makes a statement like that. How would you feel, even if you were against the present administration? Would you support a statement like this, knowing its sordid history? Would you be proud enough to go out that night, to the store or the bowling alley, or wherever, and repeat those words to your friends and colleagues?

What if the people you were around included Jewish people? What about black people? The disabled? The Nazis not only hated all of them but killed them indiscriminately. Could you look those people in the eye with confidence and tell them that what their ancestors experienced is equal to what, supposedly, people are experiencing now under the current administration?

Of course, back in March, after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was reelected by using some language that didn't seem appropriate at the time to win, John McCain, the senator from Arizona, said "Mr. Netanyahu made his initial statements for political purposes and the White House should recognize that."

In other words, McCain was basically saying that no one's words should be taken seriously.

At what point in history did people in leadership positions decide that they could say anything they wanted to without actually meaning it, and that they should be forgiven or given a pass because "everyone with any sense knows we don't mean it?" If this is really the norm, leadership in this world is in great peril.

If no one can believe a single word any leaders say, why should anyone be loyal to anyone else? Why should anyone commit to either a company or management vision, even if both say that they'll take care of their employees to make sure that they're successful and happy? I wonder how many people believed that type of thing as they were escorted out of a business because of layoffs.

The words of some of these leaders scares others. Dr. Carson's former hospital formally disassociated themselves from him after his words above. After Chick-Fil-A CEO Dan Cathy decided to come out with his words against gay marriage based on his religion, many franchises tried to distance themselves from him personally. Mozilla, the company that builds the Firefox browser, let go their CEO of only a month when it was discovered he'd been giving money to organizations committed to fighting gay marriage in California and that he'd made previous statements against it.

There are many more examples one can find, and none of them ever go well. Even though these two aren't leaders specifically, last week two actors from the Avenger movie coming out at the end of this week has to issue an apology because they'd insulted an Avenger character with a sexist comment while trying to be funny, but no one took it that way. It won't stop the movie from being a juggernaut, but it's made a few people wary about the two for a little while at least.

If you're going to be a leader you can't expect that your words aren't going to carry as much weight as any actions you take. If loyalty is to mean anything it has to be all encompassing from its leaders. Unless you're ready to deal with the consequences of your words, which will come, you need to check them before you say them. If you're worried about political correctness you should realize that's not your biggest worry. Controversy only helps true celebrities; the rest will often suffer greatly.

Is that really the legacy you want to deal with in your company? Ask yourself that before you utter something you can't, or won't, take back.