Should leaders in the industry take positions on political issues?

by MPA13 Jul 2015
There is a debate in the broader business world about whether or not leaders from private companies should publicly express their political views. On the one hand, every citizen – whether or not they are executives of companies – should have the right to free speech. On the other hand, the views of an executive – like it or not – will inevitably fall back on his or her organization, for better or for worse. So, what about leaders in the mortgage industry? Should we be open about our ideological views?

On the July 6 episode of my Lykken on Lending Internet radio show, a regular guest contributor of ours was sharing the news on some recent political issues as it pertains to the mortgage industry. Specifically, he mentioned the legalization of gay marriage and the removal of the Confederate flag from the courthouse in South Carolina. Of course, we all need to know how political issues might affect the mortgage industry, but he went a step further and shared his opinion on the issues. Was this a good idea?

Yes, I think it was. While I think we do need to be careful about being offensive and off-putting to people, as leaders in the mortgage industry we need to be clear about what we believe. People should know what we stand for. We can be diplomatic, and we should always clarify that it is our opinion and not necessarily that of any other in our organizations. But at the end of the day, we need to be honest. Why? Because authenticity is the gateway to trust. And, if you don't have trust from the people you are trying to lead, you don't have anything.


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