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Can BAD People Be Good leaders?

When Tom was fired from his CEO position there were lots of heads shaking side to side wondering what happened. Tom was a charismatic kind of guy who was always telling funny jokes and encouraging everyone to do the best they could do. He was both cheerleader and coach. So what happened? Let’s face it. Business can be brutal at the top rungs. The rules of the jungle often apply and if it is eat or be eaten…well the answer is obvious. While Tom was seen as a ‘good guy’ by most of the world, in the inner sanctum of senior leadership he was known to bully, intimidate and often twist the truth. He wanted success and his non-verbal mantra was ‘success at any cost.’ How did it happen? Tom started to meet with a few shady characters who saw his yearning for power and prestige and just like the charlatans from days of yore, who told that egotistical emperor that they would design a cape so beautiful only the pure of heart could see it, these folks sold Tom a bill of goods about products that were destined to fall apart too soon. The fall from grace. Tom would not listen. He made bad decisions and while the company was making money faster than anyone ever dreamed, the cribs for small children, poorly designed to save money, were causing tragedies to occur. You have to go upriver far enough to see where problems begin. Tom’s bloated pride and disdain for others who did not agree finally brought him down and cost the company a bundle. Too much ego...
Women Leaders: We Do NOT have More Time to be Silent

Women Leaders: We Do NOT have More Time to be Silent

Rachel Carson who wrote a book of major importance “The Silent Spring” was a GUTSY woman who spoke out about the level of toxins in our world 50 years ago. Those numbers are higher and the risk more deadly. Someone recently commented that with all the toxins in the world we are living longer so why worry. Interesting point of view. Do yourself a favor and get a copy of Carson’s book. It is as relevant, actually more so, than 5 decades ago. Please read the following blog and my response. And remember, those who remain silent are guilty too.   She Was Right By: Arianna Huffington (originally posted on www.huffingtonpost.com) Fifty years ago, a marine biologist named Rachel Carson began publishing a series of articles in The New Yorker, sounding the alarm about the dangers of exposure to chemicals and the failure of the chemical industry and government regulators to protect people from those dangers. Later collected in the book Silent Spring, Carson’s prescient insights are the subject of an anniversary feature this week by HuffPost’s environmental reporter Lynne Peeples. She delivers not only a tribute to Carson but a reminder that her work is more relevant than ever. Despite Carson’s warnings, our leaders are still not doing nearly enough to regulate the potentially harmful chemicals we’re exposed to every day. As Lynne notes, more than 80,000 chemicals currently used in our country have never been fully tested, so we don’t even know how damaging they might be to humans or to the environment. And as Harvard Medical School’s Eric Chivian explains, when it comes to determining if...
GUTSY Women and Attachment Parenting

GUTSY Women and Attachment Parenting

Time magazine May issue started a major brouhaha that is hopefully the beginning of a great dialogue about what it means to be a parent and what children really want and need. For me, the photo of the mother and three year old son at his mother’s breast brought up the controversy from decades ago about nursing moms. I was a “thoroughly modern Millie” who, along with most of my peers, saw nursing as a primitive, overly emotional aspect of parenting. After all, formula was easy and healthy…. or so the marketing ads told us. Now most of us realize we were duped into the economics of the baby food industry. There is enough research that indicates breastfeeding is the truest, healthiest way for infants to get both nutrition and nurturing. The big question women are asking right now about attachment parenting is when is enough, enough? What are positive boundaries and what is best for the growth and development of our young? Here are two important books to review. One is by an old friend, Joseph Chilton Pearce, who wrote this in the 1970’s and is still an important source of information “Magical Child”. The other is fresh off the press and again, food for thought; “Bringing Up Bebe” by Pamela Druckerman. My own suggestion is to consider what really matters. How much do I.Q. scores really mean? How vital is it for kids to be on varsity sports teams? What do we do when children say they are bored? Where do computers fit into our lives and their lives? Working or staying at home, the issues are...
Rush Limbaugh Being Told to “SHUT UP”

Rush Limbaugh Being Told to “SHUT UP”

Maybe, just maybe the era of anything goes is ending. Maybe, just maybe the guy with the loud mouth and no couth will be put out to pasture. It’s about time.   I have listened to Mr. Limbaugh, on occasion, to understand his appeal. I have always turned him off with a sense of deep sadness. Oh sure, he has made millions. However, inside that large frame is a tortured little child who is screaming out to be heard by being outrageous and throwing hissy fits. Maybe those who adore him are also stuck at the age of…. well, possible two or three. Time to grow up. Click here to read Rupudiating Limbaugh: A Matter of Integrity, No Politics By Menachem Rosensaft Sylvia Lafair’s comment: Well said. However there is one small edit. President Obama did not stand up on the side of “the weak” when he called that “strong” young woman, Ms. Fluke to speak with her. I believe he was merely underlining what needed to be said, that we will not accept disrespect and that the world is changing to be more decent.The Rush Limbaugh’s of the world are living on borrowed time and will soon be silenced by disdain. Their form of “any press is better than no press” is getting old and stale. The patterns of anything goes behavior that has been around for decades is ready to transform to truth telling (it’s always OUR OWN truth) with dignity. What I teach in my Total Leadership Connections Program is that “telling the truth is NOT spilling your guts”! It is a disciplined art form that...

Workplace Conflict, Madonna, and the “Digitus Impudictus”

Most workplace conflict is contained in a room, or maybe behind closed doors. Not so on Super Sunday when Madonna starred in her half time show ending with a vision of “world peace”. A gazillion people watched. So, what was with someone hired to come over from the UK to dance and sing who simply had to show that middle finger. For what purpose? This was a perfect example of workplace conflict, of inappropriate boundaries, of the need to be seen and heard, no matter what the cost. Rather than use her name and give her more publicity, I would like to bring up the question: what part of an individual is so starved for attention they will behave badly just to be seen? It seems that the rule today is that any publicity is better than no publicity. Recently I was on a television program called “The Girls.” I was asked to talk about how men and women behave differently when in stressful meetings. It was lots of fun and I saw the power of having a captive audience where any moment, any movement could be seen and dissected by a lot of people. It is a responsibility not to be taken lightly. The need to sensationalize is strong in many individuals who, I guess, are empty inside. They get off on extreme attention and are the drama queens and kings with no understanding of healthy boundaries. I hope Madonna, as the boss of her show, brings this woman to task. It would be so easy to want to respond with her own “digitus impudicus”. Yet, as a...

To Go or Not To Go: What Would a Leader DO?

Decisions that are both professional and personal are more complex for today’s women (and men) than in the past. When boundaries were clearly defined, we knew what to do and when. And if we didn’t like it, well, we just stuffed it! Today we are asking more questions and looking at creative options. Sometimes I think it would be great to go back to a more structured, orderly way of life. Read the article below and share your opinion. Marriage: Hazardous to your Career? By: Selena Rezavni, Author, Speaker,...