Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
Setting the tone is such an important role for a leader.
Even if your employees hardly ever see -- never mind hear -- you, they want to feel the spirit of where they work.
When things are bad, they see straight through cheery optimism.
When things are good, they want to feel their leader shares that success with them.
And when you've done something really, really wrong, contrition has to look genuine.
I was moved, therefore, by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's performance at his company's F8 Developer Conference on Tuesday.
He declared the future is private. Which is odd, as just a few short years ago he declared that privacy was exactly what people didn't want anymore.
It's also more odd because Facebook seems not to want you to be private from Facebook's beady need to know everything about you, in order to sell as many of the details as it can to advertisers.
Over the company's history, Facebook and privacy have been a little like a dictator and the truth.
The litany of scandals is so embarassing, so fundamentally nauseating that only Facebook's peculiar, autocratic organizational structure has saved Zuckerberg from being unfollowed by shareholders.
You might expect, then, that he might sincerely acknowledge he now understands a little more about humanity than he used to.
Instead, he made a joke about it.
The moment Mark Zuckerberg tries to make a joke about privacy and nobody laughs: pic.twitter.com/izt7kIhjLz-- alfred (@alfredwkng) April 30, 2019
And, indeed, no one laughed.
It's worth remembering that many in this audience were his own employees.
If even those loyal souls don't laugh, there may be a problem.
Perhaps you've misjudged your audience and, indeed, what might be expected of your demeanor.
Perhaps they're sitting there silently cursing your very entity.
Think hard, therefore, before every public appearance.
Feel the significance of the moment. Judge the reality of where you're standing and what's expected of you.
This may, at times, involve not listening to your PR handlers and instead being sincere.
In Zuckerberg's case, his vacuous laugh worked entirely against his company's professed stance.
At least, its stance of this week.
Worse, it confirmed so much of what many think the most powerful young tech leaders really were and are.
Smug, self-regarding youths who simply think they're clever and you're not.