Regrettable But Acceptable
Though regrettable, Steve Jobs' silence about his recent illnesses is not a venal violation of the principles of leadership.
Jobs has a long, strong track record in business, he is seen as a straight shooter, and many dedicated to integrity still feel that the private should not automatically become public (cf. the case of Clinton-Lewinsky). Had he been new to business, had he a pattern of misrepresentations, or had the business shown a downward trend, shareholders and pundits would not be so tolerant.
That said, I wish that Jobs had been candid about his illnesses. It would have set a positive example for others and, absent any evident signs of injury to Apple, would not have caused any difficulty to his reputation or to the company's prospects.
June 22, 2009; 10:38 AM ET
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