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04.30.09

LeadershipNow 140: April 2009 Compilation

twitter

twitter Here are a selection of tweets from April 2009:
  • Lessons from Legendary Advertising Executive David Ogilvy http://ow.ly/4v11
  • 100 Excellent Online Tools to Feed Your Creativity http://ow.ly/4v0m
  • 12 Reasons To Be (Economically) Optimistic WSJ > http://ow.ly/4pZi
  • Twittering executives reveal more than they realize http://ow.ly/478r
  • “What frightens a people serves as a reliable guide to their idolatries.” What you have closed the book on may be limiting your growth?
  • RT @KarlRove WSJ: A superstar, not a statesman, today leads our country. http://twurl.nl/xnf3q3 Great leaders aren't defined by consensus
  • 12 Major Brands that 24/7 Wall Street believes will not survive until the end of next year >> http://ow.ly/3zi9
  • The 7 secrets of really, really lucky companies http://ow.ly/3lpZ
  • Tom Peters: "we"-the-gurus are not in the business of discovering and propagating "immutable laws. Well said Tom! http://ow.ly/3lm9
  • Random House to publish Dan Brown's new novel, The Lost Symbol September 15. 5-million copy first printing - the highest in RH history.
  • Nido Qubein: The more you operate within your area of effective influence, the larger the area becomes.
  • Douglas Rushkoff: Instead of focusing on what we still lack, we must take stock of what we already do have.
  • Companies do not take advantage of feedback opportunities. FT: http://ow.ly/3k5g
  • If you're not prepared to be wrong, you'll never come up with anything original ~ Ken Robinson http://ow.ly/31Vn
  • Four reasons to be cheerful: Leaders should not be moping about, feeling sorry for themselves and spreading misery. http://tinyurl.com/cyjllr
  • Taleb on Experts: People who were driving a school bus blindfolded (and crashed it) should never be given a new bus. http://ow.ly/2mub
  • Ten principles for a Black Swan-proof world by Nassim Nicholas Taleb in FT: http://ow.ly/2msV
  • Best and Worst states to do business with: CEOs rated Texas #1 state and California as the worst. http://ow.ly/2bWj
  • "Writing is a moral act: What you write has a real effect on others, often to a rather surprising extent” ~ Alexander McCall Smith
  • Entrepreneurship can rescue us: As the risk averse withdraw, braver business leaders will step forward, writes Stern. http://tinyurl.com/d5ob93
  • Fear has overwhelmed greed; adventurous are on retreat Until we reverse this psychology won't recover economic momentum http://ow.ly/1Qc6
See more on twitter Twitter.

Posted by Michael McKinney at 09:26 AM
| TrackBacks (0) | LeadershipNow 140

04.28.09

Three Good Habits For Life and Investing From Jim Rogers

A Gift to My Children
Investor Jim Rogers has collected his advice for success in life in A Gift to My Children: A Fathers’ Lesson for Life and Investing. Using examples from his life, this inspiring book makes a good quick read for anyone. Here is a good example from a chapter that offers three good habits for life and investing:

Be a Self-Starter. When Rogers was young he got a job with Mr. Booker, a local home builder. “At first, I couldn’t even hammer a nail straight, and the men on the job weren’t shy about pointing this out. But when we were awaiting deliveries of building materials or had nothing to do, I’d gather up the scrap lumber or sweep up the sawdust or whatever else I could find. ‘Say what you want,’ the contractor told them, ‘but this kid never stops. He has the right attitude, he has the proper approach, and I want him working for me.’ Eventually I did learn to drive nails as quickly as anyone, dig foundations, install roofs, and all the other skills necessary to do the job. If it weren’t for my work ethic, I might never have gotten the chance.”

Attention To Details Is What Separates Success From Failure. “In investing, as in life, the small details often spell the difference between success and failure. So you must be attentive! However trivial it may seem, you must research and check each and every piece of information you need to make a decision. Leave no questions or nagging feelings of uncertainty uninvestigated. The most common reason why people do not succeed is that their research is faulty or limited to the confines of what is immediately available. Only through meticulous research will you obtain the knowledge necessary for success. It requires abundant work and diligence, but the effort will give you a distinct advantage over your competitors.”

Live Your Life With a Dream. “When you begin something, you may not always have a concrete picture or vision of he future. But if you continue to be passionate and work hard at what you truly love to do, then you will eventually find that dream. Which may morph into yet another dream. And another.”

Posted by Michael McKinney at 04:03 PM
| TrackBacks (0) | Personal Development

04.24.09

What Games Do You Play?

Games At Work
We all play games. We play them for the promise of reward they hold. They function as a coping mechanism to help us to navigate uncertain and challenging settings. But they are self-serving and drain people of energy and commitment. “They lock people into routines and rituals that hamper flexibility and thwart change efforts.” They will never go away, but we can minimize both the frequency and their effect.

“A lack of knowledge about games allows them to thrive” say Mauricio Goldstein and Phillip Read in their book, Games At Work: How to Recognize and Reduce Office Politics. “The more you know the better able you’ll be to limit their damage and turn the energy of your people in more productive directions.”

You might have played or been involved in some of these common games they mention:
  • Gotcha …where people act as if they receive points for identifying and communicating others’ mistakes.
  • Gossip …the rumor mill is used to gain political advantage.
  • Low Budget …where managers purposely low-ball budget requests as a negotiating ploy.
  • Marginalize …effectively exile individuals from teams or groups because they challenge the status quo, or aren’t one of the boss’ people.
  • Blame …individuals seek scapegoats in order to excuse failure.
  • Gray Zone …deliberately fostering ambiguity or a lack of clarity about who should do what to avoid accountability
  • Pecking Order …people play favorites and put others in the doghouse as an exercise of power
  • Pessimism …people artificially inflate the difficulty of an assignment in order to create lower expectations
  • Big Idea …suggesting visionary strategies and concepts to communicate one’s creativity and vision without regard for whether the ideas can be implemented.
  • No Bad News …avoiding or suppressing negative data in relentless pursuit of a positive approach.
“Games meet powerful needs" they write, “whether for approval, promotion, camaraderie, or continued employment, and may seem to participants that they can’t get those needs met any other way. Therefore, even when their eyes are opened to the existence of games within their group, they do nothing. Even though they know that games are bad, the alternative seems worse.” So they can’t simply be eliminated by edict.

The authors give managers the tools to “diagnose” the games that people play in their company. Using a three step process entitled AIMAwareness, Identification, Mitigation—with specific examples from global companies that illustrate both the games and their solutions, Goldstein and Read provide a clear outline for managers to address and end the games people play in organizations. They also present five principles to keep in mind:

To game is human. Your goal is to have fewer and less.

Games flourish during times of high anxiety. Companies need anxiety to fuel performance, however this anxiety and stress needs to be channeled into productive rather than manipulative behaviors.

Your company’s games are not comparable to another company’s games. Different organizations have different game ecologies.

Minimizing game playing starts at home. As soon as you deny that you play or facilitate games, you’ve limited your options for dealing with them. Recognizing this tendency in yourself helps you deal with these issues at a personal level.

Dialogue is a natural antidote to games. Don’t embark on a course of “gamocide” – that is. Don’t create programs and policies to punish game playing. This will serve only to create more games. Speaking openly and honestly discourages game playing.

Posted by Michael McKinney at 04:23 PM
| TrackBacks (0) | General Business , Human Resources , Management

04.23.09

5 Leadership Lessons: Ultimate Leadership - Leading in Context

5 Leadership Lessons

An important concept in helping you to synthesize all of the leadership material you find is presented in Ultimate Leadership by Russell Palmer. The central idea is that there are basic principles of leadership that all effective leaders apply regardless of their personal leadership style, but they often need to be applied in a very different manner depending on the circumstances and the constituent groups involved.

1  Success or failure can often depend on modifying leadership styles to suit a different context.

2  General P.X. Kelly: "Listen carefully to the principles of leadership we will teach you here at Quantico, but always apply them within the framework of your own personality. A successful leader never languishes in the comfort of a swivel chair. The most important of all troop-leading steps, yet the one most often neglected, is the last – to supervise. And you supervise by being out with and devoting the bulk of your time to our most important product – people. You can always catch up on what you thought was essential paperwork during the evenings or on weekends, but once neglected, you will find it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to catch up on people."

3  When they have to lead partners and peers who have relatively narrow specializations, leaders need a broad view. One of the problems in today’s society is that we develop more and more people with narrowly specialized knowledge. The best subject from an educational standpoint for a leader is the study of history. Reading biographies is also particularly helpful.

4  Too often we view failure and adversity as the absence of success, whereas in reality they are just stations along the way that have to be passed through in order to reach your goals. That is why I believe tenacity and resilience are among the most important attributes of leaders, and never more so than when leading change. It’s critical that you understand what success is, in the eyes of your followers, if you are going to bridge their aspirations with your and cause real change.

5  Clarity is the antidote to anxiety.

Posted by Michael McKinney at 04:38 PM
| TrackBacks (0) | Five Lessons

04.20.09

How to Hit the Ground Running

Hit the Ground Running
Stakes are high. Whether you are just starting out, trying something new or just starting each day with the understanding that you need to be putting your best foot forward, you need to know how to get up to speed, make the right decisions, and produce the right results fast. You need to hit the ground running.

If you could sit and learn from some of America’s best CEOs, you could discover the right steps to take to insure your success while avoiding many of the pitfalls that come from learning from one’s own experience. In Hit the Ground Running, Jason Jennings has made that possible. He has selected ten CEOs that created more economic value for their companies than all of the other CEOs of America’s top one thousand companies during the study period. They made the decisions that allowed them to achieve great results on issues we can all relate to by adhering to, sometimes counter-intuitive principles. From interviews and observation, Jennings has compiled these principles into ten lessons from each of these CEOs that if applied, will help you to hit the ground running.

Rule 1: Don’t Deceive Yourself—You Will Reap What You Sow   Let the Golden Rule guide every decision. Richard Smucker says, “In matters of style, swim with the current but in matters of principle, stand like a rock.”

Rule 2: Gain Belief   Leaders gain belief by being authentic and humble, getting rid of regal trappings, proving their worthiness, asking others for belief, and surrounding themselves with others who are also trusted. "I need everyone to respect and support one another and work with each other. Everything else is B.S." says Fred Eppinger of the Hanover Group.

Rule 3: Ask for Help   Howard Lance CEO of Harris Corporation “has a keen sense of humor and doesn’t have a problem generating a laugh even at his own expense.” He says, “Sometimes you have to take the veneer and let people see you for who you really are and share a chuckle or two.” To “hit the ground running" requires that you admit that you don’t have all the answers and engaged the assistance of others when assuming new duties.

Rule 4: Find, Keep, and Grow the Right People   Ronald Sargent’s strategy at Staples is to promote from within, move people around, identify rising stars, make everyone an owner, communicate with your workers and make diversity your priority. Promoting from within “creates a career culture that encourages people to stay longer and stretch their skills.”

Rule 5: See Through the Fog   Pat Hassey, CEO of Allegheny Technologies told Jennings, “It’s the job of the CEO to see through the fog and to be a destination expert. People want to know where the company is headed, what their future holds, the opportunities that exist for them, and what their role is going to be. And they don’t want to wait forever to find those things out.” (See page 97 for Hassey’s well thought out Team Rules that all team members have to agree to part of a Hassey-led team.)

Rule 6: Drive a Stake in the Ground   Jennings writes, "Driving stakes into the ground allows a leader to provide a clear vision about what the company is, where it’s headed, and how it’s going to get there so it can hit the ground running. But it isn’t for the faint of heart. Once you’ve driven a stake in the ground you have to talk about it and promote it relentlessly.” Mike McCallister, CEO of Humana says, “The problem with most businesses is that instead of driving a stake in the ground, they stick a toe in the water and when it gets hard or boring they start thinking about it too much, begin questioning their decision and pull their toe out, changing things, and starting all over again.”

Rule 7: Simplify Everything   "Oversimplify everything! Sit down and ask, `If I could start with a blank sheet of paper today and create the best answer, what would I do?'" says Jeff Lorberbaum, CEO of Mohawk Industries.

Rule 8: Be Accountable   “Setting a personal example of accountability is where many leaders fall short,” writes Jennings. “Instead of starting by being accountable themselves, they use the threat of accountability as a tool to drive others.”

Rule 9: Cultivate a Fierce Sense of Urgency   Keith Rattie, CEO of Questar says, “You must have a sense of urgency—if one doesn’t exist, the CEO’s job is to create one. The mind-set needs to be ‘We’re not as good as we know we have to be.’” Rattie adds that it will be time for him to leave when he loses the “sense of urgency and the belief that we have to be better tomorrow than we are today… it’ll be time to get somebody else in the chair who will bring a new pair of eyes and fresh thinking to the job.”

Rule 10: Be a Fish Out of Water   The CEOs interviewed don’t fit the typical picture of what a CEO should be. They have been described as “humble, authentic, accessible, highly ethical, compassionate listeners and truly, believable committed to doing the right thing for all stakeholders.”

Jennings skillfully weaves the thoughts from these business leaders into coherent and practical lessons. You will find all kinds of great advice in this book, much of it delivered in an almost off-the-cuff manner that belies its value. But it makes this insightful and crisply written book great reading.

Posted by Michael McKinney at 11:09 PM
| TrackBacks (0) | General Business , Leadership , Management

More Useful Quotes from Hit the Ground Running by Jason Jennings

These quotes are from Hit the Ground Running: A Manual for New Leaders by Jason Jennings

Ronald Sargent CEO of Staples warns, “I think a leader has to do something big, new, and different within the first one hundred days and make sure that it’s properly communicated to everyone. If people don’t know what’s going on they’ll assume nothing is going on.”

“The three most important observations I made early on in my career,” says Pat Hassey of ATI, “were that most people are loyal and want to do a good job and be successful, that offering a sincere thank you goes a long way, and that a soft response is always better than a harsh one.” Hassey also remarked, “I promised I’d never let myself get into a position where I’d stop growing. Everybody has a question, an idea, and an opinion, and if you take the time to listen, you’ll end up with a better business. There’s no such thing as a dumb question or idea.”

Mike McCallister, CEO of Humana: "We try to treat all of our people like they are adults, which sounds like straightforward common sense, but it's amazing how many businesses don't."

Goodrich CEO Marshall Larson: “The one thing I did know is that if all leaders in the company thought like me and acted like me, we’d end up with groupthink and make on hell of a big mistake someday and march off the side of the cliff like lemmings.”

Goodrich CEO Marshall Larson: "Any CEO who thinks he can pull all the strings that make things happen is kidding himself.”

Posted by Michael McKinney at 11:08 PM
| TrackBacks (0) | General Business , Leadership , Management

04.16.09

Newswire: How To Seize the Upside of the Downturn

NewsWire
    FINANCIAL TIMES, April 16, 2009: Donald Sull, professor of management practice in strategic and international management, and faculty director of executive education at London Business School, has written a piece for the Financial Times on why some business leaders do better in troubled waters than others. Below you will find a few key points.
  • How To Seize the Upside of the Downturn
    by Donald Sull, Financial Times

    • In a recession, companies can accelerate organisational change, take share from rivals, acquire resources cheaply and outmanoeuvre rivals.

    • Explore anomalies to identify opportunities. Unexpected events signal a gap between strategy and competitive realities. By exploring anomalies, managers can spot opportunities others miss.

    • Collect “Rush” data – information that is real-time, unfiltered, shared across the organisation and holistic enough to provide a multifaceted view of a complex situation – to spot threats and opportunities.

    • Be agile. Rather than trying to predict an unknowable future, build an organisation capable of seizing unexpected opportunities as they arise.

    • Execute by commitments. At its heart, an organisation is a dynamic network of commitments up and down the chain of command, across units and to external stakeholders. Cultivate and co-ordinate commitments to execute in a systematic way.

    • Use simple rules for a complex world. Rather than match market complexity with complicated strategy, apply a small number of heuristics to critical processes.

    Also, take a look at Five myths about business failure in a downturn on Donald Sull's new blog.
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Posted by Michael McKinney at 07:02 AM
| TrackBacks (0) | NewsWire

04.14.09

The Making of a Leader: Jamie Dimon

The House of Dimon
It is not surprising that The House of Dimon by Patricia Crisafulli is full of praise for JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon. When the financial crisis hit, Dimon was the only CEO ready to answer the call for help. As the book brings out, this can only come from preparation and his philosophy of “doing the right thing” no matter what the short-term cost.

His success has put him on a pedestal, which is not a comfortable place to be in this day and age. He told CNBC, “The pedestal is a terrible place to be…. I almost want to get knocked off the pedestal so I don’t have to hear this any more.” Too often, when we look at someone on a pedestal we make the mistake of assuming perfection and expect uninterrupted success. This is a mistake as it leaves no room for growth – theirs or ours. People find themselves on pedestals because they live lives of continual growth. When they make a mistake – as they eventually do – we like to discount everything that came before it and go off in search of a make-believe land where everything always comes out right. It doesn’t exist. If we do this we short-change ourselves and miss the appropriate lessons to apply in our own lives.

Dimon has been tried and tested and has succeeded. Fortunately this provides us with ample opportunity to glean valuable lessons in leadership and in running a business. His thinking and methodology has lessons we can all use to make our lives and leadership more effective. Here are some:

The Credit Crisis: “I think you’re going to be writing and learning from this for years: cases and books about different things from SIVs to accounting to the business purpose of CDO-squareds to regulatory rules to globalization to the balkanization of regulation…. Honestly, I think if you made a list today, you probably wouldn’t get half of them. We’re in the thick of it.”

Lessons Learned: “Experience and judgment—I don’t think they’re replaceable. You go to a lot of businesses—they don’t remember how bad things can get. It takes someone who has been there. We will never forget the aftermath of the housing bubble, but 40 years from now, believe me, someone is going to forget again somewhere.”

Dealing with the Downside: “Look where you could be wrong; admit when you’re wrong. To me it’s important to do that because I want everybody to do that, so that we actually make a better decision the next time.”

Buying Bear Stearns: “We weren’t looking to buy Bear Stearns. We wouldn’t have bought it on its own, but we were asked to look at it. We knew the financial system was extremely delicate and Lehman [Brothers bankruptcy] helped prove that.”

The Bear Stearns Negotiations: “The amazing story wasn’t the financial engineering. After I got the call from [Bear Stearns CEO] Alan Schwartz, I called [JPMorgan Investment Bank co-CEOs] Steve Black and Bill Winters, and then we had 50 or 100 people get dressed and come back to work. And by 12 hours later, there were 500 and 1,000 people working on it in every department: bond trading, equity, equity derivatives, all these areas—tax, legal, compliance, systems, ops [operations]—everyone doing their job. And that’s the amazing kind of thing: people acting that way—just trying to figure it out very quickly. That really enabled us to do [the Bear Stearns deal]. And then the comfort that when we bought the company we could actually manage all that.”

Loyalty: “If you walk into my office and say, ‘Jamie, I’m loyal to you,’ it makes me nervous. I want you to say, ‘I’M loyal to the company … or the principles … what we’re trying to build,’ not to the individual, and I think it’s a very important distinction.”

Risk Disclosure: “If you wouldn’t treat your mother that way, don’t treat the client that way. If this piece of paper tells the client how much risk they’re taking and you don’t want to give it to them, they’re probably taking on too much risk. Give them the paper.”

Financial Discipline: “You’ve got to have disciplined reporting and a disciplined review of [what’s] reported. And then it’s got to be widely shared with smart people who also have experience and judgment. You will minimize problems. You’ll still have them, by the way, but they should hopefully be smaller and fewer.”

Being Prepared: “Always have a column called ‘worst ever’ and make sure you can survive under that.”

Life Priorities: “My children, my family—but especially the children I’m responsible for, even though they’re kind of on their own… They’re way up here. Right next to that is humanity. Honestly, we’re not all here just for ourselves.”

Marriage and Children: “I do think that the hardest things to do in life are marriage and kids. They are like complete secrets until you do it. We teach you everything, but we don’t teach you that… You’ve got to work [at] those things.”

Posted by Michael McKinney at 11:31 AM
| TrackBacks (0) | General Business , Leaders

04.07.09

Are You a Perfectionist or an Optimalist?

The Pursuit of Perfect
Being happy or being perfect. You can have one, but you can’t have the other. The happy life is attainable, but the perfect life isn’t. In fact, trying to be perfect gets in the way of being happy (and productive). Imperfection is a by-product if being human.

Perfectionism – the maladaptive and neurotic belief that you and/or your environment must be perfect and that work or output that is anything less than perfect is unacceptable – is not something that you are born with. It is developed. Contrary to the goal they seek, perfectionists are focused on failure.

There’s a difference between setting high standards that spur us on and seeking perfection that demoralizes us. In The Pursuit of Perfect, author Tal Ben-Shahar refers to the two approaches as perfectionism and optimalism. Most of us are a little of both. “We may be Optimalists in some areas of our lives and Perfectionists in others. For example, we may be quite forgiving of mistakes we or others make on the job but be thrown into despair when our expectations are not fully met in our relationships.” Consider these statements:
The key difference between the Perfectionist and the Optimalist is that the former essentially rejects reality while the latter accepts it.

While the Perfectionist rejects failure, the Optimalist accepts it as a natural part of life and as an experience that is inextricably linked to success.

The Perfectionist believes that a happy life comprises an uninterrupted stream of positive emotions. And because he, of course, aspires to be happy, he rejects painful emotions…. The Optimalist, on the other hand, accepts that painful emotions are an inevitable part of being alive.

The perfectionist is never satisfied. She consistently sets goals and standards that are for all intents and purposes impossible to meet, thereby from the outset rejecting the possibility of success…. The Optimalist also sets extremely high standards, but her standards are attainable because they are grounded in reality. When she meets her goals, she appreciates her successes and takes time to experience gratitude for her accomplishments.

Perfectionist reject reality and replace it with a fantasy world – a world in which there is no failure and no painful emotions and in which their standards for success, no matter how unrealistic, can actually be met. Optimalists accept reality – they accept that in the real world some failure and sorrow is inevitable and that success has to be measured against standards that are actually attainable.
Optimalists
Ben-Shahar discusses these ideas in detail and then shows how they apply to and play out in education, the workplace and in relationships. He offers exercise and meditation to help you reorient your thinking and move from perfectionist thinking to optimalist thinking.

It’s easy to see from his approach and the advice given in this book, why his Harvard course in “Positive Psychology,” is the most popular class in the university’s history. Read it. I’m certain you’ll benefit.

*  *  *

  How do you know if you're a perfectionist? Psychology Today offers a self-test on their web site.

Posted by Michael McKinney at 09:33 AM
| TrackBacks (0) | Personal Development , Positive Leadership

04.03.09

Newswire: What the French Revolution Can Teach America

NewsWire
    An interesting viewpoint from Dominique Moïsi, visiting professor at Harvard University and author of the forthcoming The Geopolitics of Emotion: How Cultures of Fear, Humiliation, and Hope are Reshaping the World
  • What the French Revolution Can Teach America
    by Dominique Moïsi, Financial Times

    French Revolution
    “Eat the wealthy.” The ferocity of the words used by some demonstrators in London on the eve of the Group of 20 summit evokes the worst excesses of the French revolution.

    Of course, America in 2009 is not France in 1788, the year before the fall of the Bastille (the prison that embodied the oppressive nature of the monarchical regime) and the symbolic beginning of the French revolution. The fall of Lehman Brothers in September 2008 has nothing to do with the fall of the Bastille; symbols of wealth should not be confused with symbols of oppression. There is no guillotine around the corner and it would take a lot of imagination to compare President Barack Obama to Louis XVI, or Michelle Obama to Marie-Antoinette.

    Yet as a European living in America – watching news on television every night, talking to friends, colleagues or my students – I sense fear, anger and a deep feeling of injustice reminiscent of the climate on the eve of the French revolution. Just replace bread shortages with foreclosures, aristocrats with bankers, and privileges such as the right not to pay tax with stock options. Add to that support for the king but rejection of many of his ministers, and the comparison looks less far-fetched.

    The problem with the economic team of the new president is that, like the court of the king of France in pre-revolutionary times, it has inherited all the bad reflexes of the ancien régime, mixing excessive sympathy for the outdated logic of the world of finance, which it helped to create, with insensitivity to the emotions of the ordinary people, which it tends to ignore. This sympathy is perceived to contrast with the harsh treatment of carmakers.

    Bankers and financiers have to reinvent not only their trade but also their way of life and, above all, their value system. In the Madoff scandal, just as shocking as the crime of an individual was the behaviour of many of his rich customers, who combined greed with a lack of financial common sense.

    The greed of some was tolerated as long as most of society continued to progress. But today’s combination of fear and humiliation with a deep sense of injustice leads to anger that is potentially irrepressible. The strength of the American republic has been bolstered by the popularity of its new president. This capital should not be squandered on reliance on a media-savvy communication culture. As can be seen so often in history, less is more. The president of the US simply speaks too much.

    Revolution is not around the corner; at least, not in America. But there are lessons Mr Obama can learn from the French king’s failure to manage dissent. He must not fall prey to populism. His goal is to save the economy, not punish the bankers. At the same time, he must not be seen to have too much sympathy for the world of finance and its excesses or to cut himself off from the suffering of his people. If he fails, the corporate laws of today will face the same fate as the ancien régime rights of yesterday.
See the complete atricle on the Financial Times web site.

* * *

Posted by Michael McKinney at 11:29 AM
| TrackBacks (0) | Communication , NewsWire , Problem Solving

04.02.09

10 Survival Tips from Donald Trump

What's happened to the economy has been likened to a tsunami as well as an implosion. When the undersea earthquake and subsequent tsunami hit in Indonesia in 2004, the world was stunned by the devastation that took place. It triggered earthquakes around the globe as far away as Alaska. It happened in a very short amount of time. This kind of event takes shape over a period of time and then erupts with incredible force. What happened this past year is similar in that respect -- it'd been brewing for some time. When it hit, it was like a tsunami which caused other economies to start crumbling as well. We are all familiar with that scenario. What we need to do now is deal with it.

The aftermath of a tsunami requires surveying the damage, picking up the pieces and moving on. Some people have bigger losses than others, but everyone has to keep going.

When it comes to implosion, it's more of a cave-in than a wipe-out, but equally potent. We saw the effects of an implosion watching the towers fall on 9/11. It's a domino effect. We won't sink because we can swim, but let's not go the way of dominos. Let's be smart and learn to think for ourselves in positioning ourselves for what comes next. Here are a few survival tips:
  • Pay attention to national and international news and finance coverage at least several times a day, preferably hourly. In volatile times, vigilance is necessary.
  • Absorb, assess, and then act. Knowledge without action is impotence.
  • When a tsunami hits, there's no time for procrastination. Keep your momentum in tune with the times.
  • Avoid your comfort zone -- it's probably outdated anyway.
  • If you're honest, you should know the questions that should be asked, as well as the answers. That's probably why there's so much confusion out there today.
  • Remember The Blitz. That can put things into perspective. Things may be tough and getting tougher, but we're not being bombed day in and day out either. If you don't know what The Blitz is, use your time wisely to study WWII to find out.
  • Is your life half empty or half full? Half is better than zip. Count your blessings.
  • Realize that fear is the exact opposite of faith.
  • Resolve to be bigger than your problems. Who's the boss?
  • Don't negate your own power. Whatever you've been dealt, know you can deal with it.

Posted by Michael McKinney at 01:12 AM
| TrackBacks (0) | General Business , Personal Development , Problem Solving

Think Like a Champion: Lessons From Donald Trump

Think Like a Champion
Donald Trump enjoys teaching. He sees it as another side of his nature and is devoting more time to it as evidenced by his many books and Trump University.

Think Like a Champion: An Informal Education In Business and Life is a collection of short essays that illuminate Trump’s thinking and approach to business and life. He is reflective and as usual, candid.

What keeps Trump relevant is his passion for learning. He writes, “It’s important to remain open to new ideas and new information. Being a know-it-all is like shutting the door to great discoveries and opportunities. Keep your door open every day to something new and energizing.” It’s a theme he weaves throughout this book. Here are several lessons from Trump’s Think Like a Champion:
We don’t really create, but we assemble what has been created for us. Be a great assembler—no matter what your interests may be—and you’ll be on your way to inventiveness.

Considering the availability of news, blind spots can’t really be rationalized anymore, no matter where you might be living. Information is available to everyone, and if you aren’t plugging into it, it will eventually work against you—maybe on your first interview. Don’t learn this the hard way.

Do not allow fear to settle into place in any part of your life. It is a defeating attitude and a negative emotion. Recognize and zap it immediately. Replace it with a problem-solving attitude, faith in yourself, and hard work.

Momentum is something you have to work at to maintain. Find your own current and then go with it! Don’t allow for distractions. Do everything you can to maintain your energy flow. Watch out for streaks of momentum that you can’t sustain—keep your equilibrium in all things, even in your energy output.

I always ask myself, “Is this a blip, or a catastrophe?”—it gives me a point of reason in the midst of bad news. Your problems can be temporary if you keep your momentum moving forward. We all experience difficulties, but they can be blips if you remain positive and move on.

Posted by Michael McKinney at 01:03 AM
| TrackBacks (0) | General Business , Personal Development

04.01.09

First Look: Leadership Books for April 2009

Here's a look at some of the best leadership books to be released in April.

  Leading in Times of Crisis: Navigating Through Complexity, Diversity and Uncertainty to Save Your Business by David L. Dotlich, PhD, Peter C. Cairo, PhD and Stephen H. Rhinesmith
  Leadership Beyond Reason: How Great Leaders Succeed by Harnessing the Power of Their Values, Feelings, and Intuition by Dr. John Townsend
  The Adversity Paradox: An Unconventional Guide to Achieving Uncommon Business Success by J. Barry Griswell and Bob Jennings
  The Firefly Effect: Build Teams That Capture Creativity and Catapult Results by Kimberly Douglas
  Inspire! Why Customers Come Back by James Champy

Leading in Times of Crisis Leadership Beyond Reason The Adversity Paradox The Firefly Effect Inspire!

For bulk orders call 1-800-423-8273

Posted by Michael McKinney at 05:54 AM
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