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G-Sync: Leadership or Lipdubs

After a few days of preparing a thoughtful profile celebrating a local business to appear in G-Sync this week, I did the unthinkable: I yelled, "Stop the presses!"

While there is no time to retool this piece to reflect said changes, it is no less a sad day when policy trumps a corporation’s ability to be a leader on a topic they already are championing in many forms, including how they are selling their product to the community. They are bold, so be bold.

This move eviscerates my view of how we might conduct business as I begin to muse if this move is really in line with what is really at work here in West Michigan, as lipdubs becomes the de rigueur (i.e. reactionary) over a kind of leadership where bold words come out on the issues that will really impact a change for our region and for the better. 

And while I will not name the business’ name here since this is not the first time this has happened in our region, I will end simply by saying this: "If you haven't got anything nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me."

Thank you, Alice Roosevelt Longworth, for your words of wit. They make us laugh every time.

But this is a nod to gossip, something all too prevalent and dangerous to a community, and something I do not want to encourage further.

Rather, I hope to foster a new meaning, where I want to encourage people to come out in the open to sit and begin conversations on how we can move past these practices that keep us shy or timid. I see evidence of this with groups in our city like The Salon; they are doing great things here in the present as they share bold ideas and encourage dialogue to create a better future for our city.

It is not gossip I seek in Beer City USA, but more mindful discourse through public conversations of how these items before us deserve to be discussed and proudly shared to advance our region as a leader. I believe we often take for granted what others have already proven time and time again: that boldness in the marketplace produced who we are today.

The pioneers of this city stood up and made the change happen, often when it was not popular to do so. We are the children of that generation, and we owe it to them to be brave -- as well as bold -- as we charge into the future. This is not the time to coast.

And that, my friends, is why I say more and more that what I really want is, “More curing cancer, less lipdubs.” (Bumper stickers coming soon.) I want the bold as well as the beautiful, because I have experienced both here.

It’s time for our leaders to begin to do the hard thing now, not 10, 15, or 30 years from now. We cannot kick the can down the road as we soft pedal the topics that need to be discussed and, in some cases, championed by our local business leaders.

I still have hope that it’s possible. Prove yourself worthy of all the accolades we give ourselves with each “Like.” We get the city we deserve, so let's get to work on that future today.

The Future Needs All of Us (to lead)

Tommy Allen
Lifestyle Editor

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