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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...

Leadership Lessons: The Memories We Make

During these last few weeks of the year take the time to look back and remember. What are the highs and the lows from 2013? What did you do or not do to make this year spectacular? This week is the best time to reconnect, rewind your mind, and redo anything that is out of kilter. By next week the holiday rush takes over and time to ruminate is non-existent. Saturday is December 21st, the solstice which for all of us, regardless of religion or culture is the shortest day and the longest night of the year. It is after this that a new cycle begins. In my work and in the book “Don’t Bring It to Work,” I tell story after story about people in the business world who hold back on their dreams, blame others for their bad luck, or back-stab to do a “one-up” to be noticed. When they stop and take the time to rethink what they are feeling and doing there are always memories that show up to light the way of understanding. Here is what is super important this week that concludes on Saturday with the solstice: You can change your point of view. You can either ask for forgiveness or forgive. Yes you can! And once you put the memories in proper perspective you can begin a-new. The week of holiday parties can become more peaceful, more joyful, more creative and more comforting. Talk to whoever you need to and discuss what you have been holding back. “Why me?” you ask. And the answer is “Why not you!” Go ahead. Give yourself...

The Ethics of Giving and Getting

Many of you know who Brendon Burchard is. Some say he is a young Tony Robbins. He says lots of great things in front of groups and talks in an ethical and clear manner. It sure looks like he has made a ton of money. In fact he often talks about how he became a millionaire at a fast and furious pace. I suggest that “BUYER BEWARE” should be stamped on his program sign- up sheets. Here is what happened to me and I would love to hear your response. Maybe there is something I just don’t see. My husband and I went to a Burchard program that was a “two for” and so we spent maybe $1,500 between us. This young man was captivating and I wanted some new tools for marketing my book “Don’t Bring It to Work,” (that has since won 9 book awards.) We signed up for a yearlong mastermind program that was going to cost us $20,000 which is a huge investment of both time as well as money. So far so good. Then life intervened…..My husband was in physical pain and after several doctors’ visits was told he would need a complex hip replacement surgery and would not be able to travel for at least 3-4 months. I wrote to Burchard and said we would not be able to do the program at this time (it had not even started yet) and asked for a refund. The timing was just not in the cards and it meant I had to do double duty in our daily business. What would you do if you...
Leadership and kindness

Leadership and kindness

Are you tired from all the bully boss blogs? Tired of all the negativity and “gotcha game” complaints that go from co-worker to co-worker? Do you play in the CYA arena and get stocked with all the gossip at work? The month of December is the most gossipy month of the year. Office parties often lead to smirky comments about partners, clothes, and crappy surprise gifts (the ones that no one is to spend more than $5.00 on). Here is the antidote to the ugly side of the holiday stress. It is simple and yet not easy to do: BE KIND. In the journal “Evolution and Behavior” there is a great study.  (Do we really need a study for what I am about to say?) Kind people are actually perceived as better looking than those who are rude – and it has nothing to do with perfect facial features. Biologist David Sloan Wilson, PhD states that altruism is seen as an important trait and we are genetically programmed to see helpful and kind people as more appealing. Not sure how to show kindness? Here are a few ideas: Tell someone you like the tie, earrings, or coat they are wearing. We all like to be acknowledged for our appearance. Call or email someone and let them know you like the way they spoke up in a meeting, or the great concepts in the latest report. We all want someone to give us a high-five for skill. Send a card or candy (dark chocolate is really a great gift) and let someone know you are glad they are part of...
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...
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...