The Whole Truth

Apr 20

2012

Why I Do It In Public …

by Alexis Neely - Posted in Business, Uncategorized |

I’ve lived so much of my life publicly, right here, on the internet show I hosted for 3 seasons, on Facebook & on Twitter.  I’ve shared about things other people would never be willing to let you see publicly.  Why? Because I believe that part of my Great Work is to let you in on all of it — so that you can see what it really takes to have an integrated life and business.

Screw the false marketing facade.  I want you to really know.

I also believe the oft-quoted saying “we are only as sick as our secrets.”

It’s hiding that hurts.  Truth-telling, even when it’s super scary to let you see all of who I am, is an awesome path to sovereignty.  At least that’s what my heart tells me.  My left-brain mind often says I’m an idiot for letting it all hang out, but I’m learning to listen more to my heart these days because it sure feels a lot better when I do.

Anyway …

Just the other day, I posted publicly on Facebook and Twitter about a screw up by a team member that resulted in 30 minutes of a coaching call not being recorded.  I asked for guidance re how to handle it.

And I got GREAT ADVICE.  Outside the box advice. You can see some of it here in the left column.  (You can see some of the really nice things people have also said about me on Twitter in the right column – I keep those prominently in my Tweetdeck so I can look at them when I’m having a crappy day and remind myself why I’m doing the work I do.)

Other than “make team member face opposite direction to rest of team with dunce hat” (got a great laugh from that), my favorite response was “apologise to the team member.”  Now THAT got me thinking.

If I wasn’t living out loud and airing my “dirty laundry” publicly, I might not have gotten that mind expanding possibility.

I did get some pushback both on Twitter and Facebook from people who thought I should not have posted about this publicly.  That doing so was hurtful to my team member and a sign of poor leadership on my part.

I get that perspective.  We’ll have to agree to disagree.  I didn’t post my team member’s name, though I do wonder what my responsibility is when it comes to naming the names of people who have not done good work for me and I see being hired by others in my community. (That will have to be the topic for another blog post, I think.)

I didn’t see it as public shaming or humiliation.  I still don’t.  Do you?

And, the folks who work for and with me know, I live my life publicly.  If you don’t want me to write about you, make that exceedingly clear and I won’t.  But, if you don’t say anything, me writing about you is fair game.

What do you think?  Am I a horrible, terrible, no good, shaming and humiliating leader because I wrote publicly about this team member’s screw up?  Or do you like the way I publicly share the details of my life and business? I’d love to know.

In the meantime, if you want even more behind the scenes, you can get it here.  I’m sharing the details of the rebrand, rebuild, and rebirth of my businesses and online systems and letting you see how and why we are doing it the way we are.  Rather than just showing up one day with a brand new look online, brand new products and programs — I want you to watch the evolution. Why? Because I know you can learn so much more by seeing and participating than by simply hearing me tell you what to do or how to do it.

Don’t forget to let me know what you think about this issue of letting it all hang out online.  In the comments below. Thanks.


  • It’s so time people got real with themselves, and the World… and you’re doing both Ali  ; )

    I tip my hat to you, O firey one!

  • I love your transparency Alexis, it is very refreshing. I look forward to also read about your successes.

  • Supertortz

    The binary you set up benevolent transparent leader vs shame inducing leader is one that is bound to fail as an accurate reflection of reality. Neither of those polarized views is likely true. More than likely is your own sense of responsibility being activated. After all you or someone you trusted most likely hired this person who isn’t performing well at their job. This individual is a reflection of you. My guess you are just as hard on yourself as you are on this person. That said, If I was being written about by my boss online I’d be pissed and heartbroken.

  •  Yes, it is my own sense of responsibility, without a doubt.  Yes, not only did I hire this person, but I’ve kept her on after many mistakes.  I am blaming myself for those mistakes — poor systems, poor delegation, etc. And you are right, I’m very hard on myself. There actually was not a poor system here and yet I find myself still blaming myself.  I’m taking in what you said re being pissed and heartbroken. Thanks for sharing.

  •  Thanks Annette! Yes, I will share success too. 🙂  The hiring of our web gal and rebrand is going great — I feel as if I’ve never made a better decision, though it was scary to make such a big investment. I’ll have to write about that as well.

  •  Thanks Jeremy!  Always so appreciate your support.

  • Theraputicbodyworks

    As a survivor of abuse, I am as whole as I am because I did not hide it in shame, but told anyone who would listen. I may not have gotten the help I needed at the time, but I don’t have the hang ups most deal with. I say vocalize,

  • Matt Homann

    I concur.  Be a team to the outside world and take collective responsibility.  Figure stuff out and fix it internally.  “We” screwed up is a more thoughtful (and probably accurate) response to the situation and doesn’t add the public shaming of a nameless team member who probably feels terrible already.

  • Reg Toy

    You are an unusual Lawyer and frankly exactly why I connected with you. Lawyers should co-operate as being fearful of competition is actually false. Inevitably by working together growth happens and the reverse is true when competing on price for much the same work. Carry on being transparent-I love you for it best regards Reg (currently retired because of ill health)

  •  Thanks Reg! I love that you love me. 🙂

  •  Ah yes, you are right Matt.  WE screwed up is right on.  Thanks for that adjustment.

  • Curiosity

    I wonder if your ego would allow you the dignity of your own process, rather than the constant appeal for attention and validation from others, if the drama-trauma cycle would end.

  • Sarah

    Well, since you are asking…yes, I do think that it is shameful the way you are pointing out this team member who “screwed” up. And then you go on to try to make yourself feel better by saying, oh this team member has screwed up multiple times and I am beating myself up for hiring her, blah, blah, blah. Which still sounds like you are trying to wrong this team member again. So you said you don’t feel like this is public shaming. It sure does not feel like you are on the same “team” as this team member at all. And no, I don’t think you are a horrible, terrible, no good, shaming and humiliating leader because you wrote publicly about this team member’s “screw up” but I think you are not really seeming to be a supportive leader of a team. Seems like a mighty bad place to be in if you make a mistake as part of your “team.” And on the topic of airing your dirty laundry…perhaps taking a look at how kind, forgiving, loving are with your business “team” and then applying that to the way you are a “team” in your personal romantic relationships which you haven’t seemed to have much success in lately, if ever. And under all that perhaps you could look into how kind and forgiving you are with yourself when you “screw up” because when we are so hard on others it is usually a reflection of how we are treating ourselves.

  • I think everything you have said sounds really douchy.  You have confused the openness of communicating over the internet with a basic human sense of boundaries both personal and professional and more fundamentally with dealing with a minor dissapointment which was likely just a glitch be it human or technical and turned it into a meaningless spectacle not worthy of a tweet.  

    Your ego is so self inflated as to think that the internet community you inhabit cares about your bad day, and you describe openness as your route to embarass an employee but you embarrased yourself as well, by propogating a minor event into your online ego trip with your pals.

    Much like people didnt know how to use email in the late 90’s (and still dont to this day on the east coast), you dont know how to use social media unless its at the expense of yourself or others.

    You do owe that person an apology, for even posting this tripe on the internet when you could have thought for 5 seconds and known what to do.  The fact that you pretend to not know how to handle a simple situation, shows that you are a douchebag.

    In search of your 15 minutes of pithy retweets.