How Being Banned from Tinder (for Life!) became a Lesson in Leadership

Who knew that Sharon Stone and I would have so much in common? Back in December, 2019 Sharon Stone’s profile on the dating app, Bumble, was shut down due to reports of it being a fake. Just a few weeks prior, I had been on Tinder for fewer than 24 hours and was banned for LIFE. What?? At least Sharon got her profile back up and running again – no such luck for me.

Tinder was never my “thing” – the profiles are too short and people have the attention span of a flea. But when I heard that my friend met her husband on Tinder, I thought perhaps I was being too judgmental. So, I decided to set up my profile and give it a shot. Within minutes I was chatting with a few men. One was in my industry and thought we might have a lot in common, but he didn’t want to talk about my industry. He wanted to know if I was a life coach – he had seen it in my profile. I said “yes” and he told me he needed a good coach – and asked how much my rates were. I felt uncomfortable because I had joined the site to date, not increase my client base.

Not wanting to sound “bitchy” I just politely answered his questions and then tried to veer the conversation back to more common topics. He wanted to talk about coaching. Finally, he told me that he hoped I would be really hard on him because he was a bad boy and really needed to be disciplined. At that point I said, “Uhh…I don’t think you are really looking for a coach.”

I logged off the app and a few hours later when I tried to log on, I was banned. When I put in my name and password, I got a message that said I was banned from Tinder for life and if I tried to create an account with another name, they would find it and block it as well. I thought it was odd but there was no way to contact anyone at Tinder, so I shrugged it off thinking it was never my “vibe” to begin with and set up an account with another dating site instead.

A month later, when I was dating someone, I told him the story and he started laughing. He told me that “Life Coach” was code name on Tinder for a “Call Girl.”  I had no idea. Ahhhhhh!!! No wonder I was quickly banned and threatened by Tinder. Now it all made sense, along with the strange conversation with the potential date.  I could not stop laughing!

After realizing that I didn’t do anything wrong, I discovered that this was a great lesson in Leadership. Why?

A Strong Leader knows what is right for herself.

I knew that Tinder wasn’t my “scene” but I decided to give it a try. This experience showed me that I know myself really well. If it isn’t your scene, don’t force yourself. While it is good to get out of your comfort zone – a good leader also knows what works and what doesn’t work.

  • This concept applies to business as well. There will be situations in your career that will be outside of your area of trust. An excellent leader is in tune with herself – knowing that taking a risk is fine, but knowing when to say it’s not the right choice takes precedence.

A Strong Leader listens to her intuition.

I knew something was off with my conversations with the guy, but I did not listen to my intuition. I decided to be “NICE” instead. Being nice only for the sake of being nice gets a leader in trouble. If I had drawn my boundaries and said, “I’m not here to find clients, I’m here to date.” I would have felt better and avoided that mishap. But I didn’t – I decided to be nice, which was a mistake, resulting in my getting “banned.”

  • The same is true in business. When we are “nice” to a fault – we sacrifice our self-worth. Knowing WHO you are and listening and TRUSTING your intuition are probably two of the greatest traits a good leader can possess.

A Strong Leader knows that time is her most valuable asset.

I didn’t waste a lot of time looking into why I was banned. I knew it wasn’t my scene and moved on. I could have wasted a tremendous amount of time feeling “rejected” and finding a phone number or email address to tell someone that I was “wronged” but honestly my time was more valuable than that. Going onto another site worked even better for me.

  • An excellent leader is short on time, but long on patience. Knowing how valuable time is allows a leader to act swiftly and not spend time on dramatic nonsense. A good leader will acknowledge and then move on quickly. There won’t be a “trigger” that will send a person down a rabbit hole of emotions to “right” a personal “wrong. It won’t matter to a strong leader – all that will matter is the goal at hand. My goal was to start dating – it didn’t mean it had to be on Tinder. Any other site was just as good a choice. Why waste time thinking about how I may be have “wronged” when it was just as easy to set up a new profile on another site and start dating right away?

Who knew that “Life Coach” was the new buzz word for the world’s oldest profession?  I learned something new, too! Hey, Sharon – top that!

joanne newborn
Joanne Newborn is CEO & Founder of Newborn Evolution LLC. She is an Executive Leadership Coach and Consultant working with Organizations and Dental Practices around the globe. Her Superpower: Interpreting Senior Leadership’s vision and strategy and translating it to achievable goals to ALL levels of an organization from C-Suite to Middle Management to Individual Contributors. She and her team are Transforming Organizations’ Visions into Results through Leadership Coaching,Training and Consulting. Using a unique blend of Eastern & Western Methodologies in her Coaching practice – she combines hardcore Business Strategy with Jungian Theory and Eastern Philosophy. She has Coached clients on every continent with the exception of Antarctica and has her MBA from Penn State, her ACC from the International Coaching Federation, is a DiSC Certified Practitioner and a DEI Certified Coach. She can be seen speaking at conferences on Leadership around the US and at Universities and Colleges. You can connect with Joanne on LinkedIn or visit her website.

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