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Virtue Signaling

Virtue Signaling

Episode 311 | September 28, 2023

Virtue Signaling

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Alan Weiss PhD

Meet Your Host, Alan Weiss

Alan Weiss is one of those rare people who can say he is a consultant, speaker, and author and mean it.

His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients such as Merck, Hewlett-Packard, GE, Mercedes-Benz, State Street Corporation, Times Mirror Group, The Federal Reserve, The New York Times Corporation, Toyota, and over 500 other leading organizations. He has served on several boards of directors in various capacities.

His prolific publishing includes over 500 articles and 60 books, including his best-seller, Million Dollar Consulting (from McGraw-Hill) now in its 30th year and sixth edition. His newest is Your Legacy is Now: Life is not about a search for meaning but the creation of meaning (Routledge, 2021). His books have been on the curricula at Villanova, Temple University, and the Wharton School of Business, and have been translated into 15 languages.

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Show Notes

Is an economically disadvantaged kid better off because of an insistence on how many black film editors, or baseball executives, or executive chefs receive awards?

Is climate change really helped by expensive legislation that kills jobs and causes inefficiencies? (The prohibition of gas-powered anything.)

Virtue signaling is the public expression of opinions or sentiments intended to demonstrate one’s good character or social conscience or the moral correctness of one’s position on a particular issue. It’s often expressed as being against something.


Live and let live
People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you
Do as I say not as I do (that didn’t work coming from my father)

I don’t care whose picture is on a beer can. I don’t believe you’re a “better” person because you have a black lives matter sign on your lawn. I see too many people praying in church who won’t merge leaving the parking lot.

Virtue signaling is the expression of a conspicuous, self-righteous moral viewpoint with the intent of communicating good character.

Virtue signaling doesn’t actually require or prove that you’re doing or have done anything virtuous.

In 2016, an NFL quarterback named Colin Kaepernick chose to sit rather than stand during the national anthem. This was his form of protesting against racial prejudice and inequality. Nike sales and stock shot up when they made him their spokesperson. But 7 years later Kaepernick still hasn’t been signed by any team and his age probably prohibits it at this point.

In another example, when Apple stopped including chargers for its new iPhones they stated that it helped cut back on e-waste.

However, as the authors point out, “Cynics argue that Apple is merely taking part in moral grandstanding and cutting costs while not passing the savings on to customers.”


Some Sources:
Virtue Signaling Examples
By Dave Cornell (PhD) and Peer Reviewed by Chris Drew (PhD) / August 5, 2023 from HelpfulProfessor.com

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Alan Weiss’s The Uncomfortable Truth® is a weekly broadcast from “The Rock Star of Consulting,” Alan Weiss, who holds forth with his best (and often most contrarian) ideas about society, culture, business, and personal growth. His 60+ books in 12 languages, and his travels to, and work in, 50 countries contribute to a fascinating and often belief-challenging 20 minutes that might just change your next 20 years.

Introduction to the show recorded by Connie Dieken