In the midst of the battle between Facebook and Apple over personal privacy, it would have been simple to miss what I believe is a much more important piece of the story. I think the action from Apples CEO, Tim Cook, is the most fascinating aspect and is an example for every leader. His Twitter account, in specific, is a series of posts about Apples products, its dedication to various causes, or other business announcements. It created an end ofthe world circumstance where little services– and the web as we understand it– will collapse under the weight of Apples modification to iOS 14. Rather, he responded personally, mentioned what Apple thought, described why it matters to users, and clarified what would actually change.
When Apple announced in June that it would start needing apps to ask for consent prior to tracking users, it was applauded by personal privacy supporters. The idea was that if you desired to gather and generate income from the personal details of the individuals who use your apps, you can, you simply have to be transparent about it, and ask.
Taken in conjunction with the recent requirement that apps offer in-depth information about the information they share and collect, the forthcoming iOS 14 feature is a positive action if you appreciate safeguarding privacy. Sure, it will make it harder for digital marketing platforms like Facebook to target ads to users based on their online activity, but its tough to argue that openness is a bad thing.
That does not mean Facebook didnt attempt. The company took out 2 full-page print advertisements in 3 of the biggest papers, implicating Apple of being anti-small-business, and a threat to the “free web.” Ive written about the advertisements, and the overall reaction to them, so I wont discuss that here.
In the middle of the battle in between Facebook and Apple over personal privacy, it would have been easy to miss what I think is a much more essential piece of the story. I think the response from Apples CEO, Tim Cook, is the most interesting element and is an example for each leader. I think his reaction is possibly the best example of emotional intelligence Ive ever seen.
In this case, the response didnt come from a corporate PR declaration. It wasnt tweeted from a generic, faceless, business account. This was from the CEO of the most important business in the world, Apple, directly responding to an attack from another multi-billion-dollar corporation, Facebook, whose founder and CEO is the 5th richest individual on the planet.
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Weve seen CEOs react on Twitter prior to. It does not constantly work out. Often it only ends up making the scenario far worse..
Cook, on the other hand, is known to be an extremely scheduled and gathered communicator. He does not tend to get associated with public spats.
No offense to Cook, but his public declarations are normally rather ordinary. His Twitter account, in particular, is a series of posts about Apples products, its commitment to numerous causes, or other business statements. When Cook says, “Facebook can continue to track users across websites and apps,” it just needs to “request your approval initially,” thats about as much of a burn as youre going to get.
That he got associated with reacting to Facebook informs us how essential privacy actually is to Apple. It matters enough for the CEO to set the record directly..
More significantly, nevertheless, its an ideal model for how to react when youre under attack. Heres why:.
Facebook used almost 1,000 words between the two advertisements, and invested a lot of money to get them in front of individuals. It developed a doomsday scenario where small companies– and the web as we understand it– will collapse under the weight of Apples modification to iOS 14. It painted a picture of a huge mean company that was about to force users to make a modification that would be bad for everybody.
Cook, on the other hand, utilized just 47 words to respond. He did it on a free social media platform where, since the time Im composing this, it had been “liked” over 110,000 times..
In that brief response, he wasnt upset, or argumentative. Rather, he reacted personally, stated what Apple believed, explained why it matters to users, and clarified what would in fact alter.
Psychological intelligence is the capability to acknowledge your psychological reaction to something, examine the ideas that resulted in those emotions and make intentional choices about how you react. People with low emotional intelligence tend to skip that middle action, and rather react from their emotions, frequently to the hinderance of themselves and the individuals who depend on them.
That goes for CEOs simply as well as it does for anyone else. It might even be harder to show psychological intelligence when your business is under attack in a really public way. Never mind that if you run an enormous business that straight impacts the lives of billions of people, it would be easy to get annoyed and irritated when a competitor goes to such effort to misrepresent your position and your actions.