When you read the title of this post, you might think I have sensitive sons. Problems with emotions, crying, etc.
That's not true. I think they're pretty emotionally balanced, in the normal range, and generally OK.
I didn't have to have a talk about "there's no crying in the workplace" with one of my sons because I'm afraid his current behavior will transcend into softness in the workplace.
No - I had to have this talk with my son because all of the business reality shows feature business owners crying. If not all the time, waaaaaay too much.
The worst offender is CNBC's The Profit. (also see Undercover Boss for crying in the show formula) I like this show, as it features a business investor (Marcus Lemonis) evaluating a business that's broken to decide if he can invest, take control and make money while he helps someone out.
The show goes through the process - Lemonis asks questions, challenges the owner and ultimately invests and takes control. Along the way, there's always a shot of the owner crying, touting some hardship.
Now crying itself is not a bad thing. But if you were an alien evaluating how business gets done on Earth solely through The Profit, you'd make the assumption that the road to business success is making yourself vulnerable by crying.
Thus, the brief conversation with one of the Dunn boys who always is around and interested when I'm watching The Profit. Here's what I was compelled to tell him:
- Normal people don't break down and cry when things get tough in the business world.
- PRO TIP - If you've got to cry, a nuts and bolts conversation about your financial statement isn't the place to do it.
- Instead of wanting to help you more, many people will believe you're unstable when you cry and treat you like you have a disease they can catch from you.
- Probably the only time its OK to cry in business is when you're showing empathy for other people. In that way, it's acceptable and you'll be treated as someone who JUST CARES TOO MUCH. An acceptable fault.
- Crying at any other time is risky. And contrary to what this show illustrates, crying among business leaders is not common. It doesn't happen every day - in fact, it rarely happens.
- PS - Man up. You'll thank me when you're 30 for this advice.
I love The Profit featuring Marcus Lemonis. But the crying thing might be teaching young folks things that can get them benched in life.
Clip of The Profit below if you haven't seen it. Highly recommended for viewing with your kids with the above caveat made clear.