Friday, November 7, 2014

If This Is You ...

This a public service announcement - to help all those guilty of the following bag-headed behavior - and to bring some sympathetic camaraderie for all those who are crazed by the following bag-headed behavior (if the shoe fits either foot ...):
Here's the deal:
Unless you're Richard Branson (or some uber cool super famous person hounded by fans and admirers) - chances are you're not all that awesome that you need to be "private" on LinkedIn (I know, its just so hard and such a bother, to be hounded by so many unsolicited people wanting to connect with your fantastic self).
Even worse, is when these "private" (i.e. I don't want you to know who I am, and you must know my email to connect) people are actually doing "social" jobs (re: anything to do with helping their employer grow and succeed; aka anyone/everyone) - needs something from someone else (especially if they're wanting to sell them something), and that someone else goes to connect with you on LinkedIn (as a courtesy), but can't. Say what?! Yo, get over your (snooty) self. Now. ASAP. Before. It's. Too. Late.
Oh, and while you're at it (assuming this is your situation) - be sure that you have a picture of yourself (if you don't) and that your "house is in order" (if it's not). After all, you wouldn't show up to the office ... let alone to meetings with colleagues, prospects and clients ... with a bag over your head, looking all sloppy and uncaring: would you? So why do that in the "digital" work place? Why indeed.
Seriously, how can you expect to lead by example, and expect others on your team (let alone your market) to buy what you (and your employer) are selling (socially) - when you don't live up to what/how you're selling yourself (socially)?
Well, the answer is: you can't, at least not forever. Kapish?
Sooner or later - your time will come; you can only hide for so long, especially in the new "socially transparent" era (you can fight it all you want, but you will lose).
So consider this a warning, and make a change, before it's too late. Unless somehow you become the next Richard Branson - then you can do anything you please. Although from what I see, Richard is a pretty social (and the last time I checked, successful) guy: maybe there's a connection between the two.
You think?!
Leading By Example Is Good.
are Bad.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

BAU Needs To Be DOA

It's pretty amazing that there are (still) business leaders, and/or their employers, who (still) think that "business as usual" is the (preferred) way to go.
Even more sad and ironic - is when those stodgy, stuck-in-the-mud companies/leaders who use the knee-jerk, reactionary, front-loaded "I'll believe it when I see it/oh yeah, prove it/not the way we do it" attitude/temperament/paradigm - are actually paid/hired by their customers to help them (yes, their customers) "think-out- of-the-box," and do something new (like buying their products/services).    
It happens, and go figure.
And while that close-minded complacent grumpy slow poke do as I say not as I do ignorance is bliss outdated let alone uncool and inappropriate (breath Scott, breath) thinking might not impact them or their employers now - chances are, in time - that it will.
Stay tuned; you'll see.    
And while I full-heartedly agree with systems, structure and a tempered, methodical, diligent approach to rationalizing/assessing/debating/proving new ideas, strategies, plans, programs - it's hard to rationalize/assess/debate/prove if you can't even get an at-bat.
I guess in these "that's not the way we do it, because that's not the way we do it" circumstances - the old adage "it's hard to teach someone something new, when their job depends on not knowing it" - is true. Though frankly - I think (moreover - hope) in the somewhat not too distant future (like today) - that the opposite will hold true.
Can I get an Amen!
The fact of the matter is (or at least should be), that jobs will (and should) be lost - when those so-called leaders who do the decision-making jobs don't take the time to properly rationalize/debate/assess/prove before saying no (or yes, for that matter), just because of BAU. No news flash there, right? After all - it's not about you (or me for that matter): it's about doing what's in the best interest of the (entire) organization, and it's stakeholders. 
But you - the reader - knows that already, don't you.  Yes, you do.  However, if by chance you know someone who doesn't get it, and worse over - is getting in the way of doing what's right for all - than feel free to forward this post on to them.  I'm happy to help.  
Lending a Helping Hand is Good.  

Monday, September 29, 2014

Why You Gotta Be So Rude!?

With props to the hit (but now way over-played) song Rude, by Magic! - I'd like to ask/implore the same question (you know, why you gotta be so rude?!) - to all the (way too many) corporate executives who are rude. 

Seriously - what gives?!

Why you gotta be so rude!? 

After almost 25 years in business (where did the time go?!) - I am absolutely perplexed, befuddled, bewildered and saddened - how (moreover why) there are so many rude execs, and worse even - why/how so many companies hire, tolerate and promote, rude executives.

And why do companies hire rude people in the first place?  Well, that's a pretty simple answer: because they are typically rude themselves, and more likely than not, are the same companies that push around vendors (another topic I questioned in a past blog on vendorship vs. partnership). 

Riddle me this Joker: whoever read a popular business book (let alone a popular leadership book), or watched a popular Ted video that suggests it's good business (or good for business) to be rude? 

And yet ... oh-so sadly ... the world is littered with corporate executives who are, simply put: rude.

Go figure.

Rude is Bad. 

Nice is Good.

Be Nice.


Monday, September 1, 2014

Perception & Judgement

We've all heard the expression "perception is reality."  Frankly - it's one of my favorites, and most used.  Why: because it's true (for the most part). 
That said, I really don't want to agree with it ... I don't ... and for a boatload of reasons.   Mainly, because it's superficial, reactionary and most of all, because perception is not reality; reality is reality (deep, hun?).  
But even if we strive for "reality" over "perception" - we still have a problem.  And that problem starts and stops with our ability/inability to objectively judge and pass judgment.  The fact is that as people, we're all programmed, to one degree or another.
In other words, we're opinionated - which means that our perceptions, and subsequently our judgments - are more likely than not, based on our personal preferences, likes and dislikes. 
Furthermore, when it comes to our perceptions and judgments - most of us don't take the time to "see things from the other side."  We rush to conclusions, without  the benefit of critical thinking, and taking everything into context.         
Our frustration with opinionated (and incorrect) perception/judgment has been around for ages; heck, since us humans came into existence.  And since this is a real pet peeve for me (I'm trying to get better) - I've compiled, over the years, some classics quotes when it comes to the issue around/with perception, judging and being judged. 
Check it out:

·       How dreadful it is when the right judge judges wrong. – Sophocles

·       Hear the other side. – Saint Augustine

·       For to err in opinion or judgment, is human. – Plutarch

·       How much easier it is to be critical than correct. – Benjamin Disraeli (1860)

·       You will be damned if you do and damned if you don’t. – Lorenzo Dow

·       Nothing astonishes men so much as common sense and plain dealing. – Emerson

·       With reasonable men I will reason; with humane men I will plead; but to tyrants I will give no quarter nor waste arguments that will be lost. – Loyd Garrison.

·       Principles, opinions and assumptions – may and must be flexible. – Abraham Lincoln

·       New people and their opinions are always suspected and usually opposed without any other reason but because they are not already common – Locke

·       He who knows only his side of the case, knows little of that. – John Stuart Mill

·       To doubt everything or to believe in everything are two equally convenient solutions; both dispense with the necessity to think and reflect. – Jules Poincare

·       He who can, does. He who can’t, takes issues with he who can. – George Bernard Shaw

·       Nobody likes the man who brings bad news. – Sophocles

·       Criticism comes easier then craftsmanship. – Zeuxis

·       Opinions are like belly buttons: everyone’s got one. – Scott Abbott

 Objective Perception/Judgment is Good. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Co+Factor

Have you heard!?
There’s a major new initiative
that’s making the rounds in business. 

It’s quite the buuuuzzzzzz, actually:

Being talked about from
global corporate titans,
to the shop on the corner;
from board rooms, to break rooms;
Wall Street, to Main Street;
and everywhere in-between.  

And why? 

Because it’s more than just an “initiative” –
it’s a must-have, purpose-driven, real-world




that given the dynamics and
nature of business today,

can make or break companies. 

It’s true. 

And that initiative is (drum roll please ....):

The Co+Factor. 

The Co+Factor is what you get,
when you blend the best-of-the best,
"co" words,
like ...
etc. etc. etc.)
into one unified,


that can help you
and your company
better than ever before.

It’s true!

But if you think it is easy to
the tangible upsides that having
The Co+Factor can produce –


It takes equal parts


powered and supported
by a combination of great

In other words: it takes work.

But when done well -
it's worth every calorie burned.   

The Co+Factor is Good. 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Congrats Grad (Now Get to Work)

Since there's just not enough articles with well-meaning advice for graduates floating around the universe at this time of year (not) - figure I might as well join the fray/flock/following, and add my two cents.

Heck, let's make it a nickels worth, as words are cheap and after all, since I didn't get to bore you with an actual commencement speech, Ill make it up by droning on here; seems fair.

Alright already.

If you’re graduating/graduated - then congratulations. On behalf of all parents, colleagues and employers - thanks for being a doer. Even better, thanks for being someone who gets things done.

Seriously, big kudos to you and your willpower and initiative to finish what you started, so that you can take the next step to enjoying success in business, work and life.

But wait: if it is not your destination, aspiration or motivation to now move forth and succeed personally and professionally, then feel free to drop out of this next phase and sit this one out (yeah, good luck with that). On the other hand, if you’re cool with doing the right thing, re: succeeding with your career and life - then cue the soundtrack, and let’s get this party started.

No doubt, you’ve inevitably heard the level-up expression as used in video gaming, right? (Personally, I’m kinda partial to old-school gems like Space Invaders, Galaga and Frogger.) Now, if you really think about it from a deeper, "whoa dude" perspective, the term level-up actually recognizes aspiration, inspiration and achievement; celebrating past accomplishments, current capabilities and future possibilities. (And you thought it was just about gaming.)

In other words, level-up can be more than just a term.

Much more.

Level-up can actually be a mantra/mission/philosophy (you get the picture) – to help you, take you, to the next levels of success: now and forever. And since you’re the kind of person who believes in having a level-up “manifesto” and therefore evidently, likes to continuously improve yourself (you do, don’t you?), I’m going to assume that you already have some of the attributes that are essential - post graduation - to succeed in business, work and life.

Attributes like compassion, accountability, determination, resiliency, a sense of humor and the multi-tasking wherewithal to juggle work, play, and relationships. Great stuff. Even better, and thanks to your experience and success in school, you are now more equipped to deal with the realities and surrealities that will most certainly and without a doubt, arise in everyday situations.

Put another way, time to "level-up" (now and forever).

But then again ....

Charlton Ogburn Jr., a crazily prolific writer and the author of a dozen or so books, wrote that “being unready and ill-equipped is what you have to expect in life.” He calls it our “universal predicament.” Granted, even with our schooling, we more often than not go unprepared into our adventures, and it’s a given that we can’t know what we don’t know.

Be that as it may, we should always do our best to be honest and forthright about what we actually do know, as opposed to what we think we can figure out once we get there. After all, being unprepared is difficult enough as it is, especially if we can help it. But being busted as a phony is worse.

We’ve all heard people say, “If I only knew then what I know now…” The problem with this kind of yearning is that it’s all about the past, not the future. And we can’t change the past. But what if we modify that concept and rearrange it to an achievable reality, like, “If I only knew now, what I’ll know then…” The phrase becomes hopeful, not wistful. It becomes meaningful and relevant.

That’s because we’re leveraging other people’s experiences and hindsight (aka teachings), which are passed on to us as insight. By extension, we get to use that insight, as our own foresight. If you think about it, that's what schooling is all about.

While there's lots to be said for "book smarts," learning “on the job,” the “school of hard knocks,” and even “baptism by fire,” it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t continue to look for help, do our homework, and be prepared - even after we graduate. After all, a pat on the back for a (continuously) job well done, is a heck of a lot better than the proverbial kick in the butt for a job done poorly.

One of the biggest mistakes we make is assuming that we’ll get off to a great start with our new jobs; become invaluable employees from the very first day; enjoy loads of fun and lots of happiness, and be substantially rewarded for our work. Guess what? It’s probably not going to happen, even if we’re gutsy, or talented, and trained to do specific jobs.

In fact, it’s dangerous to overestimate ourselves, thinking that we can show up and hit the ground running. It doesn’t matter if you’re the new intern or the new mayor: you’re not going to completely know what you need to do, or what it’s all about, until you do it, and then do it some more. Even common sense (or Spidey senses), won’t help us out completely, because the fact is, common sense is not so common (and you’re not Spider-Man).

As Mark Twain said, “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know that just ain’t so.” How true. Or, take John Mayer, who sings about the bitter/sweet “train of life.” No, we can’t stop it. And sure, the train will be bumpy and discouraging sometimes, and we’ll have to travel with some unlikable passengers.

But there will be more times when the ride is smooth and encouraging, with lots of likable companions … especially if we have the right attitude, and the right support.

This means that you can’t just wait around for the world to change in your favor. (Sorry to disagree with you on that one Mr. Mayer. But I do like the song!) Frankly, waiting on the world to change is not realistic, and not all that smart. The fact is, your time is here, and you’re time is now (with a nod to another J.M. — John Mellencamp).

You’re the future and the present, so get on board and be a (studious and hard working) good passenger. Better yet, jump up in the front seat, buckle-up, and help drive. After all, nobody likes a backseat driver. 


Indeed, the world needs you and your peers to be good, in and outside of work, because you’re the next generation of leaders (and yes, followers). Eventually and inevitably, your generation will be in charge of all of our businesses, governments, environments, planets and families. No pressure.

So once again, congrats.  

Now, level-up, and get to work.

Work (and life long learning) is Good.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Who Says? Says Who? So Says You.

Lately - it seems that the business world is (too) full of naysayers. You know - those persistently closed-minded folks who consistently jump right to "NO!" (when they shouldn't) because they personally don't want to do something new or different - let alone take the time to understand what that something is all about - even though that something (or the result of it) might be able to help them.  As Upton Sinclair once quipped: it's hard to teach a person something new, when their job depends on not knowing it.  

More pathetic - is when naysayers don't want to look at or do something that may benefit their company (and their own job): that's just selfish, ignorant and down-right wrong. And to those who refuse to take an hour or so to genuinely listen and learn about things that might make their company/organization/people better - 

After all, part of your job and fiduciary responsibility (or at least it should be) - especially if you are a leader in your company, organization or business unit - is to think in and out of the proverbial box.  Moreover, to do what's in the best interest (both short-term and long-term) of the company that pays the checks.  

No doubt - selfish naysayers and their rude posse of pessimistic negative-nellies, not-invented-here syndromers, that-will-never-work cronies, over-my-dead body doorknobs, stick-in-the-mud morons, I'll believe-it-when-I-see-it jerks, guilty-before-proven-innocent nincompoops ... have been around for ages.

And to some (small) degree, they serve a purpose - otherwise the world would be (too) full of overly positive, can-do-wrong, sun-is-always-shinning, mistake-ridden unrealistic optimists.  (For my money - I'm a big fan of being somewhere in the middle; you know, the "positive pragmatist" camp: but that's just me.  That's why I also think the correct answer to the cliche about the cup being half full or half empty is: both).  

In any event - as far as having to deal with the hard-headed naysayers go - may I suggest a provocative two questions and one statement program to help you challenge their stubborn selfishness ... and maybe, just maybe, get them to do the right thing with regard to considering ... let alone moving forward with ... something that they presumptively assumed and without proper thought, time and reflection ... was something that did not/would not do.  

And those two questions and one statement are, drum roll please,  dddrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr:

Who Says?
Says Who?
So Says You.

Taken together - these should/might help you provoke, challenge and just maybe - change the thinking of a naysayer. Maybe. Granted, this is not scientifically proven and more often than not, might get you into trouble, especially if that irrational naysayer also happens to be a delusional, pathetic, ranting raving bully (sadly, for some reason, the world is still too full of bosses and "leaders" who fit that description).    

Be that as it may, if you feel strongly enough about why you need to get a naysayer to change their mind and do something new or different ... then you have to do what you have to do ... especially if their shortsightedness is and/or can be - bad for the company.  And these 3 tactics just might help.  That, and a smack upside the head (just kidding, violence is frowned upon, mostly.)  

Stubborn Naysayers Are Bad.
Provocatively Challenging Them is Good.

(PS:  If you couldn't tell - naysayers give me a real rash. That said, it felt good to get that stuff off my chest; kinda therapeutic. Thanks for letting me vent: lightens my consumption of scotch and Pepto ;)