“Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the danger of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of ‘crackpot’ than the stigma of conformity.”
— Thomas J. Watson 

Naomi Osaka made some serious waves this week when she pulled out of Roland Garros. The reigning US Open and Australian Open Champion had taken a controversial stance heading into the tournament. She decided to forego post-match press conferences at the French Open to safeguard her mental health.

After winning her first-round match, Osaka did an on-court press interview but skipped the press conference. She was fined $15,000. Facing escalating fines, a potential default, and further long-term repercussions from the other Grand Slams, Osaka decided to withdraw. She shared a statement on Twitter (here’s full statement). In the tweet, Naomi opened up about her issues with depression.

Is Osaka right or wrong? Could both she and the tournament handled this better? Both are a matter of opinion.

As for the tournament, before her withdrawal, they tweeted pictures of Rafael Nadal, Kei Nishikori, Aryna Sabalenka, and Coco Gauff engaging with the media along with the caption: “They understood the assignment.” They have since deleted the tweet.

In the ultimate bit of irony, the tournament held a press conference in reaction to Osaka and her decision to withdraw. After reading a brief statement . . . they declined to answer any questions from the media.

I applaud Naomi for having the courage to stand up and EXPOSE this important issue. She was not afraid to challenge the norm.

The E in our Pink Goldfish FLAWSOME framework stands for exposing. Exposing is about honesty, transparency, and authenticity.

In order to create a Pink Goldfish, you have to be willing to reveal, instead of conceal; declare, instead of deny; disclose, instead of disguise; confide, instead of hide. You need a foundation of truth, which is uncommon in a world of spin control and subjectivity.

This post began with a quote by Thomas J. Watson. I’ll end with one by Mother Teresa…

“Honesty and transparency make you vulnerable. Be honest and transparent anyway.”

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Stan Phelps walks the walk. He stands out in the sea of sameness by modeling his own Differentiated Experience (DX) message: Differentiation isn’t just about what you say, it’s about what you do and, more importantly, how and why you do it. Stan leverages his unique collection of 5,000+ case studies on customer, employee, and brand experience to engage audiences with informative learning-based experiences. He believes purposeful DX wins the hearts of employees and customers, and differentiation ultimately boosts loyalty, retention, referrals, and results.

Find Stan’s in-person and virtual keynotes, workshops, and Goldfish tank programs at StanPhelps.com.