What happened to the Golden Rule?

Back in the 60’s and 70’s, sports figures, politicians etc. were revered and protected by the media. They traveled with them and wrote about how people were “doing their job” not their personal lives.  They all knew about the personal challenges, the indiscretions, the failures, the bad decisions, their families, the late nights and all of their imperfections.  They were people, just like the writers and the writers respected their privacy.

Those days are long gone.

Today the media and our society is constantly searching for any nugget of information they can find to identify any and all flaws in a person, pass judgement without all of the facts and then work 24/7 to pull on every thread of a persons life to validate their perspective and point of view. We see this everyday in political reporting and we most certainly see this in sports reporting.  Reporting and news is no longer about truth, it is about humiliating, degrading and tearing down people and publicly sharing that in as many ways, as many times and through as many media channels as possible. When did our society lose respect for the rest of society?

We are bombarded by shows that call themselves “news shows”, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and all other forms of social media that have enabled every person on the planet to become “reporters.”  For real breaking news, these media channels are a godsend as action can be taken faster and in many cases lives can be saved.  For this we can be grateful.

But more than 90% of the “news” reported is not news at all.  It is about sharing a person’s mistake or error for entertainment purposes, regardless of the embarrassment and personal suffering that the person will have to go through after it all goes public. The collective society that I am referring to uses no discretion or common sense, nor do they treat others as they would want to be treated; the “golden rule.”  Apparently the golden rule is dead.

Why does our society delight in the misery of others?  Why is it OK for the media to put aside any discretion and insist on reporting everything about a person’s life?  Why do “news” stories such as Deflategate consume us to the point where we are now questioning everything ever accomplished by the quarterback?  Because it is unfortunately what our society has become – one that basks in the glow of others failures for their own personal or business benefit.

It is no longer about the thrill of victory or the agony of defeat.  It is about tearing down people’s lives whenever possible because this is now how we define the “news”. Well here is a headline for you – treat people with the respect and dignity that you expect. Listen don’t judge. Help don’t hurt. Maybe we can make the world just a little better today.

We will close today with a tribute to the great BB King, because now the Thrill is Gone 😦

10,000 Mistakes

We most certainly learn more from our mistakes than we do from our successes.  Having made more than my fair share, I can tell you that those are the learnings and experiences that make you a better leader, better manager, better mentor and a better person.

No one is successful without failure. The inventor Thomas Edison said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” If you learn from your mistakes then you did not fail. You learned.

Are you Failing or Being a Failure?

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If you do not fail, it means that you are not taking enough risks.  If you are not taking enough risks, why not?  Are you afraid that you will not get that 2% salary increase at your annual review? Do you not trust your manager? Does the company you are working for punish risk takers? How can you possibly get better with all of these restraining forces?

Go ahead, take a risk. Make a mistake.  Learn from it.  Share it with others so they don’t make the same one.

And now crank up the volume and enjoy this fine tune from 10CC.  Enjoy the weekend.

Not Another Con Call

Given the remarkable changes in technology, why do conference calls still suck?  I was on one yesterday and all the classic issues happened:

  • The leader was late – so the participants were stuck listening to music – The Rolling Stones were singing Time is On My Side.  I was OK with that 🙂 A benefit!
  • It  is very difficult to understand people who are speaking, especially if they have even the slightest accent
  • Background noise is terrible
  • Folks speaking when they are on mute – We cannot hear you 🙂
  • Babies crying and dogs barking in the background – Ah the benefits of working from home!
  • Two people speaking at once, telling the other to go first, and then both speaking at the same time again

This video has been going around but if you have not seen it, take a look.  It is just awesome, accurate and laugh out loud funny!

And now for some Stones.

Someone, please innovate!

Webman

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Building a High Trust Culture

Second installment in the series from Joel Peterson, Chairman of JetBlue Airways. As we did last week, I will summarize and add some thoughts.

Some headlines for you:

  • Personal integrity is the foundation of trust in any organization. If you say you are going to do something, just do it.  Don’t make your team or your manager ask you about it.  Tell them it is done before they ask you.
  • Leadership is critical. Leaders show and encourage respect when they empower team members, celebrate their contributions, and help them learn from missteps.  Command and control leadership does not support building trust.
  • Positive always beat negative.  Going negative reveals a general lack of respect and self-control. Your culture will be better served by celebrating what your own team is doing.  Be a leader – do not go negative!
  • Respect is an investment. You want to build a great team based on trust?  Nothing gets better results in team coherence, employee satisfaction, and organizational momentum than advancing the best interests of the your people.
  • Root out disrespect. Vigilant leaders are always looking to nip disrespectful practices in the bud. That means no tolerance for talking behind people’s backs, letting problems fester, or failing to give people the feedback they need to improve.  If this is happening, you need to act quickly and put an end to it.
  • Respect isn’t the same as being nice.  Disagreement is key yo great decision making. People in high-trust organizations feel secure in their ability to disagree – because they know how to disagree with respect.

Well done Mr. Peterson! Full article can be found on LinkedIn
http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140109080301-11846967-building-a-high-trust-culture-2-invest-in-respect?goback=%2Enmp_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1&trk=prof-post

Enjoy the weekend.

Webman

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Are you awake?

Focused on expanding my horizons the last couple of week by reading about some topics that I am not familiar with.  One I focused on was the concept of being awake, living in the moment. Being awake you say?  But I am awake 12+ hours a day you say!

Are you really awake or are you just going through the motions?  Do you live in the past, present and future all at the same time? When you are engaged in a discussion, are you thinking about something that has previously happened or other things that you need to do? Or are you truly focused in the moment with all attention on that one idea, thought, person or event?

Initial thoughts:

  • Focus solely on what you are doing – this will not be easy at first but keep trying
  • Look people directly in the eye and listen hard to what they are saying – As my friend Brendan says, God gave you two ears and only one mouth, so listen twice as much as you speak
  • Give the gift of attention – focus on the present/the moment

I will spend more on this topic moving forward.  If you want some further information now, please visit http://freedomfromtheknown.com/living-in-the-moment/

And for you music lovers, let’s go to a song that you can sing and remember as you embark on your new journey of focus.

Enjoy the day and your new found focus 🙂  Wake up!

Webman

Leadership Integrity and Trust

Happy holidays!  My best wishes for a terrific 2014!

I recently started to follow Joel Peterson, Chairman of JetBlue Airways on Linked In.  I follow a number of exemplary business leaders on LI, but was very impressed with Mr. Peterson’s perspective on Leadership Integrity and Trust.  As a practitioner of this management approach, I feel strongly about the value of these attributes to leadership and to the troops that go into battle together every day.   This is the way it should be. http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20131223065401-11846967-building-a-high-trust-culture-1-it-starts-with-integrity?goback=%2Enmp_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1&trk=object-title

All of the content below is sourced directly from Mr. Peterson’s post.  I could not say it any better.  I have modified the original content to shorten this blog post.

In firms where people trust their leaders and colleagues trust one another, there’s more innovation and better business outcomes. Mistrust and politics are expensive, time-consuming and dispiriting. Like most things, business works better when the energy spent on doubt, fear and suspicion are reduced.  When teams feel encouragement and support, rather than fear of retribution or embarrassment, they tend to take the kinds of risks that can lead to breakthroughs. In an organization where team members have earned the trust of their supervisors, they can have confidence that if they don’t nail something the first time, there will be a second. Empowered workers can sense they are trusted. For most people, the feeling of being trusted leads to an increased desire to be trustworthy. 

Trust Principle #1: It Starts with Integrity

The foundation of any high-trust organization is the integrity of its leaders. Having integrity means, among other things, that the gap between what you say you’re going to do, and what you actually do, is small. I call this a “say-do gap.” Leaders in high-trust organizations must serve as living examples of integrity and trustworthiness – and not just at the office and during business hours. Here are a few ways to think about personal integrity as a core building block of trust:

1) A business is only as trustworthy as its leaders. The people who run things must show – by their actions – the way they want business to be done, and the way they want people to be treated. Talking doesn’t cut it. Leaders must embody the spirit they want the team to adopt. People pick up on phoniness. They trust authenticity. Just as kids look to parents for an example, team members watch their leaders. So, miss an opportunity to be that example, and you miss a chance to raise the level of trust.

2) Personal integrity matters. No matter a leader’s competence, charisma, or authority, she’s either trustworthy or she’s not – in all parts of her life. Trustworthy people are trustworthy when it comes to family, friends or colleagues. Obligations to show respect, to consider the welfare of others, and to keep your word don’t end when you leave the office. Leaders who fall short with commitments to friends, family, or close associates are unlikely to establish enduring trust with colleagues, suppliers, or customers. You just can’t fake character.

3) Integrity is a habit. Leaders who strive to do the right thing under all circumstances know that being trustworthy takes effort, awareness and work. Trustworthy leaders have generally worked long and hard on their own character building. They’re often quite intentional about fixing things about themselves, about receiving feedback and about learning from it and making changes. In the same way a mechanic keeps a car in top running condition, high-trust individuals monitor and tune their behavior, always striving to do better by team members and customers alike.

Anyone wanting to build a high-trust organization must start by looking in the mirror. Personal character is the foundation for interpersonal trust. And organizations in which leaders have integrity stand a much better chance of building trust from the top down, and bottom up.

Enjoy your holiday season.

Webman

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Did your boss really say that?

I regularly cover topics about leadership.  Not too long ago we covered the topic of Boss vs Leader http://wp.me/p1WXuM-wl 

Came across the top 17 things your boss should never say.  Good stuff.

  1. “That client drives me nuts.”
  2. “I’m the boss.”
  3. “I’m too busy.”
  4. “What’s the latest gossip?”
  5. “What’s wrong with you?”
  6. “You are the only one having a problem.”
  7. “I don’t care about that.”
  8. “Do what I won’t.”
  9. “Don’t argue with me.”
  10. “We’ve always done it this way.”
  11. “Just let me do it.”
  12. “You’re doing okay.”
  13. “This is MY company.”
  14. “It’s your problem.”
  15. “I don’t care what you think.”
  16. “This is just a small client.”
  17. “We just need PR.”

Does your boss say these things?  If you are a boss, do you say these things?  Not what your employees want to hear.

Full article can be found at http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20131007134515-15077789-17-things-the-boss-should-never-say?trk=tod-home-art-list-large_0

Webman