Friday Buzz: Leadership Lessons From a Defamation Battle

A billionaire offers impressive insight into a controversial legal battle involving a media giant, a wrestler, and another billionaire. Also: Watch out for random acts of candy.

The saga of Gawker Media’s ongoing legal battle with Hulk Hogan, as well as the recent revelations that billionaire Facebook investor and Paypal cofounder Peter Thiel footed the famed wrestler’s bill for that suit in an effort to knock Gawker out, raises some serious questions about the nature of leadership and holding professional grudges.

Recent comments from Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon and no stranger to public controversy, cut through the debate and offered what may be some of the best leadership advice you’ll hear all year.

In an interview with Re/Code‘s Walt Mossberg at the news outlet’s Code Conference, Bezos argued (without getting involved in the ugly specifics of the lawsuit and Thiel’s role as a financial backer) that revenge is a poor suit for a leader and said that criticism comes with the territory.

“If you absolutely can’t tolerate critics, then don’t do anything new or interesting,” Bezos said, in a comment that Mossberg suggested should be called The Bezos Principle.

As for the pursuit of revenge, Bezos said this: “Seek revenge and you shall dig two graves—one for yourself.”

You may not like Gawker Media, Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, or even Jeff Bezos, but that advice is golden.

Candy Giveaway of the Month

If you’re wandering around the DC area anytime soon, keep an eye out for folks handing out free candy. The National Confectioners Association (NCA) will be committing random acts of sweetness throughout the month of June, in honor of National Candy Month. (The video above highlights one such giveaway at the DC Metro’s Capitol South station on Wednesday.)

It’s one among many NCA events taking place this month, meant to highlight the industry’s ongoing innovation—along with its scale. According to the association, the candy industry directly puts 55,000 people to work in the U.S., creating an economic impact of $35 billion. And for every manufacturing job created, an additional seven jobs are supported in related industries such as retail and agriculture.

“National Candy Month is a time to revel in this quintessential American manufacturing success story,” NCA CEO John Downs said in a news release. “For those who enjoy the occasional treat, those who appreciate the strong economic impact of a responsible and fun industry, and for many others, this is a month made for celebration.”

Other Links of Note

Get a stronger grasp on your volunteers by understanding how generational needs affect their preferences, MobileCause’s Steve Page writes for VolunteerMatch.

You sent an email containing a major error? That’s no good. Should you follow up with an “oops” email? Kivi’s Nonprofit Communications Blog suggests when and how you should do just that.

Reminder: The right community can really juice up your creativity.

(YouTube screenshot)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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