Tuesday 1 May 2007

Homosexuality, Achievement and poor relationships

The end of an era

I once worked for British Petroleum, as a contractor, in fact, I was invited back three times to work on a number of projects which were interesting, challenging and exciting in the late 90s.

One of the things I admired about BP was its strong IT centre, when decisions were made about the direction of IT for the global enterprise, they were doggedly followed through, I am yet to see an organisation where this kind of direction exists with excellence.

John Browne

John Browne had just been appointed the CEO and he was a mere Mr. then, and in 12 years he built the BP organisation with ambitious acquisitions, strategic partnerships and inspired leadership.

Unfortunately, the last 2 years at the helm of BP have not been the best for Lord Browne, accidents and mishaps in the United States began to gnaw into the great achievements of a well-respected global business leader.

Lord Browne at 59 is unmarried and there is no doubt that many would have wondered why, we all have lives we would like to keep secret and he was set to leave BP in July 2007.

What a shame

However, he has had to resign with immediate effect for having been economical with the actualité about a relationship with another man who falling on hard times decided to sell his story to a tabloid, which Lord Browne tried to prevent being published and failed.

Lord Browne, we can say is one of the many successful businessmen who have decided not to wear their sexuality on their sleeves, I am sure many knew but once the principal conducts themselves with all decorum, polite society is quite accepting of that situation.

The problem arises when a partnership or relationship exists between a very successful person and a less successful mate, we have seen many occasions where these never-do-well partners decide to cash in on the relationship when it breaks up hoping either to blackmail the principal or selling the story as salacious details to the tabloids.

Not a gay day at all

It is a shame that something so private can become so public and even threaten to end a very illustrious career.

Does a successful homosexual now have to decide between career and love?

How does one find a partnership where the old values of discretion, trustworthiness and honour trump any offer of filthy lucre?

Would being a closet homosexual preclude one from greater career opportunities if they are found out?

The last question is important because Lord Browne resigned so as not to cause any embarrassment to BP, implying a private homosexual life made public can be an embarrassment.

Do you talk to your spouse about work?

To crown it all, the cad Jeff Chevalier who seems to have been benefited from Lord Browne's influence as a subject of possible nepotism within BP said Lord Browne discussed confidential stuff with him - well, I would think people do discuss everything that happens in their lives even the most secret stuff at work with their spouses, regardless of if the spouse is heterosexual or homosexual - help me here - I am single.

The loss

Hopefully, this loss would not be a greater loss than that of a £5 million bonus and a possible £20 million share deal, Lord Browne is no poor urchin but he loses this because he had an unfortunate homosexual relationship with a man behind his station, class and stature - strangely, these archaic terms still matter if you are to keep your reputation, legacy and achievements from ignominy.

I am quite saddened that a 41-year career with BP ends in this way, but the great man in Lord Browne to see this issue through, one would not expect him to do anything silly, he would go on to greater heights and we all know that BP would not have been the name and brand it is today with the inspired leadership and visionary direction of Lord John Browne - Baron Browne of Madingley.

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