Navigating Politics: From Xi And Netanyahu To Trump And The J6 Band


Here’s an excerpt from this week’s CxO newsletter. To get it to your inbox, sign up here.

Now that Donald J. Trump and the J6 Prison Choir have catapulted ahead of Miley Cyrus with their new song “Justice For All” – and the world waits to see if and how the former President will be arrested – it seems like a good time to contemplate how business leaders navigate this strange new world of politics. (Stay alert to all those deep fakes that are already floating around.)

Balancing personal and professional priorities is easier when all sides of the political spectrum agree on common principles like individual choice and the rule of law. But what about when the party that’s preaching all those tax breaks is descending into populist rhetoric and anti-democratic policies?

That’s what we’re seeing right now from leaders like Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose Bharatiya Janata Party has been dubbed “the most important foreign political party in the world” by academic Walter Russell Mead, The fraud allegations against billionaire Gautam Adani by short seller Hindenburg Research cast India in a negative light, too, though contributor William Pesek thinks it could ultimately help the country’s reform process.

It’s certainly a fear right now in Israel, too, amid Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s controversial plans to overhaul the country’s judicial system, essentially stripping the Supreme Court of any real power. The move was so audaciously awful that even the country’s elite air force pilots joined in the protests. (Netanyahu has softened some of the strongman tactics amid the outrage.)

I recently spoke with CEO and cofounder Amit Bendov, who believes the legislation would undermine Israel’s democracy and the economic future. He likened it to having two wolves and a sheep deciding what to eat for lunch. (Hint: the sheep loses). “I really believe this could destroy the country, It’s beyond politics,” Bendov says. “Politics is like, should we be in the West Bank? This is changing the game: changing the constitution.”

“All innovation, science or technology, comes from casting a doubt, asking a question, from questioning authority,” he adds. “When you have an environment that supports authority and loyalty and ‘do as I say,’ that’s when you lose innovation.” For more on his views about Israel, AI, and the future of innovation, click on the interview above.

Meanwhile, the biggest external threats to business remain Russia and China. I can’t think of a better person to make sense of what’s happening on that front than Ian Bremmer, the noted political scientist and head of the Eurasia Group. Click on this interview above for his thoughts.

Back here in the U.S., the safest reaction to polarizing politics has been to do what’s right for your people – whether that’s supporting abortion coverage for employees or fighting back through the courts when you feel your reputation has been harmed. And while the political dramas continue to unfold, there are businesses to run. Have a great week.

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