Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Lesson Learned from Verizon: Canadian Telecom Leaders are Wimps

There's much to be proud of in being Canadian.

Being a third-generation Canuck, I'm fortunate to live a country free of the oppressiveness of corrupt totalitarian governments, civil war, and anarchy such as the current state of Syria -- for example.
Canada only has three primary wireless
carriers -- Rogers, Bell and Telus.

However, that doesn't mean we Canadians are completely free of the corruption from politicized governments and wealthy corporations.

As murmurs trickled down about American telecommunications giant Verizon's interests in expanding north into Canada made there way up here, our Canadian telecom companies began shaking with fear.

Or more correctly, they began plotting a politically charged, purely self-interested campaign to cry like babies in need of a good spanking.

Aside from the dis-information Rogers Communications, Bell and Telus spread through television, radio and newspaper advertising about the impending doom and gloom for consumers, should their monopolies be finally broken by a foreign competitor, a far more sobering lesson was learned.

Canada's telecom leaders are wimps. 

Leadership.

The word conjures up images of strength balanced by wisdom. 

Great leaders energize their teams by demonstrating the best characteristics of humanity at work -- they lead by example. 

The greatest of leaders inspire not just those who directly report to them, but even those who don't, because they are so great -- we just want to be like them.
American telecommunications company Verizon
was showing interest in coming to Canada.

Great leaders are brave in the face of challenge, running headlong into everything that comes their way, no matter what.

They don't cry wolf.

Which is what Canada's telecom leaders did, when they petitioned the Canadian government to block Verizon's entry into their turf. 

Rogers, Bell and Telus joined forces to fight Verizon before they even landed on Canadian soil, claiming the Canadian government was showing unCanadian favoritism by allocating a highly sought after wireless frequency to a foreign competitor. The big three Canadian telecom companies claimed Verizon's entry into Canada would cost Canadians more money as their wireless bills would increase, and would cost Canadians jobs as a foreign company entered the market.

Ironic, as all three of Canada's telecommunications companies either have or currently do outsource their customer service call centres to non-Canadian companies operating outside of Canada.
Canadian telecom companies either have or currently
do outsource their call centres to "offshore" foreign
countries, which does take jobs away from Canadians.

Rogers, Bell and Telus wimped out. Or rather, their leaders did, by acting on some of the WORST characteristics of humanity -- fear, deception, pettiness, and greed.

Through deceptively worded ads, they tried to scare Canadians into joining their fight to keep their monopolies. Instead of running headlong into a challenge, they ran away from it, hiring an ad agency to do their dirty work.

Good doesn't always triumph over evil, and Canada's wimpy-led telecoms won, as Verizon announced over the weekend they decided not to come to Canada, and all three Canadian telecom companies stock prices rose with the news.

However, Canadians lost as the monopolies held by the big three continue. Canadians lost, as the big three continue to outsource some of their services to foreign contractors. Canadians lost, as the wireless spectrum continues to be dominated by companies which believe in using fear and deception instead of bravery and transparent honesty.

And far worse, Canadian leaders lost, as we are all made to look like fools, by the lack of true leadership of our telecommunication's leaders.

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