When People Fear You, You’re Not A Leader

As the fortune cookie I came across yesterday says:


“Leadership is action, not position.”


And actions demonstrate a good or evil heart.


When everyone hates a leader is that a “leader?”


– Fear is not leadership.


– Bullying is not leadership. 


– Corruption is not leadership. 


Leadership is:


– Showing others what is right and being a good influence. 


– Rolling up your sleeves and doing the hard work alongside everyone else. 


– Helping others to achieve their potential. 


– When others see you as a leader based on your integrity of purpose and actions. 


How we treat others is as true a test of leadership as of where we want to go and how we want to get there. 


G-d sees everything man (leader or not) does, and only He in Heaven is the Leader of Leaders and the King of Kings.  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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Nothing Personal

There’s this funny line that some managers use with their employees.


It’s when they harshly criticize, pick on, or even bully their hard working and good people.  


What do they say when they do it:

“It’s nothing personal.”


Ha, that’s sort of funny, but really it’s sad. 


I asked an executive colleague about this and this is what they profoundly said:

“It’s my favorite line when the boss says it’s nothing personal. Of course it’s personal. Is there anyone else in the room!”


When people misuse/abuse their power to hurt others whether at work or even in other situations like with small children or anyone else in a subordinate position:


– That’s not business.


– That’s not professional.


– That’s not being a good human being.


People are not punching bags because someone else is having a bad day. 


We need to rise above the occasion and be better than that. 


It’s better to be humane, compassionate, and emotionally intelligent. 


And not just because someday, we are all in that position where someone bigger is facing off against us.


But rather we need to behave kindly to others, because they too are G-d’s children and our brothers and sisters, and it is the absolutely the right way to behave–whether it’s business or personal. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Crumbs Are For The Birds, Not The Workers

Since the days of slavery, workers have had very little in terms of rights or protections. 


The rich and powerful capitalist employers hold all the cards.


Like this poster says:

“Which Shall It Be?
Duke: ‘If you demand your rights, no more crumbs from my table.’
Working Man: ‘Give me my rights and keep your crumbs.'”

The capitalist owners enjoy being able to give “trickle-down economics” to the average working man. 


Basically, it’s just crumbs from the rich man’s table. 


And if you don’t like it, and you want rights, protections, and more…tough luck, and no more crumbs for you!


But the little guy who breaks his back to earn his daily bread, wants his dignity and respect more than the crumbs from the “capitalist pig” taking advantage of him.


Trickle-down is bullshit!


Crumbs aren’t going to raise the standard of living for the working class. 


We need living wages, social and income equality, and workers rights and protections to keep the little guy from being bulldozed by the rich and powerful. 


Certainly, there are many rich and powerful people that are good and generous, but not everyone is that that way. 


And we can’t have mistreatment of people by those wielding a whip over them.


Yes, workers need to perform and conduct themselves professionally–that is their job.


But workers shouldn’t be taken advantage of with poor wages, little to no benefits, and miserable working conditions (including bullying, harassment, and hostile work environments). 


Remember that in life tables can get turned and the rich and powerful can become the poor and the weak.  


Therefore, pay and treat your workers as you would want to be paid and treated. 


No one is so big as to be untouchable by G-d. 


Money and power will not save anyone from illness, accidents, disasters, and misfortune.


The only thing that does save people is good deeds, kind words, compassion, faith, and prayer. 


Crumbs are for the birds, dignity and respect are for the people!


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Management Is A Privilege

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So some people have this notion about management that is all wrong. 


– Management is not a right or entitlement.


– Management is a wonderful privilege!


The privilege comes with responsibility and is earned by knowing how to manage and treat your people right.


That means:


– Acting with integrity


– Treating people fairly, with dignity, and respect


– Showing you value them


– Helping to develop them


– And of course, achieving results together!


I heard it said well like this:

“If you don’t treat people well 

you won’t be a manager for long.”

Again, it’s a privilege, not a right, to manage and lead others. 


Those who abuse their privilege and people–it’s like the cycle of life. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Ever Feel Like You’re Target Practice

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Thought this was really spot on.


The knives get sharpened and readied. 


At some point, they come flying out of nowhere. 


Often, from all directions at the same time.  


When it rains, it pours. 


Some people latch on to the opportunity to try and make a kill. 


You do your best to duck this way and that and survive the onslaught.


Hopefully, you were adequately prepared. 


The big question is–can you hold unto your cheese? 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Killer Organizational Sharks

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There are sharks out there. 


And it’s not just in the oceans. 


There are plenty in your organizations. 


They make for lots of dysfunction and conflict. 


The organizational sharks see themselves as the bigger and more important fish in the sea. 


They look for weakness in others—they smell blood and when they do, they usually follow it to the kill!


These sharks are the types of people that attack their colleagues when they should be assisting them. 


Not only do they lack respect for others, but instead see them as the enemy and eat them as prey, when instead, they need to be chewing up the outside competition.


It’s an attitude of us versus them misplaced within the organization, rather than external-facing. 


These organizational sharks could be in leadership positions, in which case, their attitudes filter down infecting the rest of their staffs. 


Instead of unity, cohesion, and working together to get the mission and job down, the sharks are selfishly worrying about and working to build their own power base. 


It’s a dysfunctional culture that allows these sharks to exist and swarm in their organizational waters. 


Sharks for some reason fail to see that their boats are hitched to everyone else in the organization, and that all the organizational boats rise together or fill with polluted water and sink to the bottom.


As leaders, we need to focus and agree on supporting each other to achieve the success of all. 


Even sharks should learn to be nice and play together with all the other fish in the organizational sea. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

I Got The Call

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I got the call!


But not the one that I always wanted, which is to serve at the very highest echelons of government or/and industry for those values and things which I so hold dear. 


No, instead I got the call that my professor in college warned me about. 


He said:

“You will get a call one day from someone asking for a lot of cash–no questions asked! At that time, you will know who you’re real friends are.”


So I actually got this call (for real) and in the middle of my work day.


This person who contacts me is considered quite affluent and with an extensive network, and I know him/her for only a relatively short time


Person:

“You know you’re like family to me Andy…I need $2,000–in cash–by 7 pm. I’ll pay you back $500 on Friday and the rest by Monday.”


Me (Stunned):

“What–is this a joke or something?”


Person:

{Repeats again the request}


Me:

“OMG. What’s wrong–is everyone okay? Are you in any trouble?”


Person:

Uh, everyone’s fine…don’t ask me any questions–there’s no time for this now.”


Me {Reaching for some humor in this bizarre situation}:

“Oh, only $2,000–I thought maybe you needed $2 million–that’s no problem, of course.”


Person:

“Please don’t make jokes now Andy–this isn’t funny!”


Me {Trying once again to get some more–any–information}:

“Can you just explain to me what’s going on–I really want to understand, so I can help you.”


Person:

“Do you have the cash or not?”


Me: 

“To be frank no. I don’t keep any cash around. {Inquiring to learn more…} Could you take a check or something else?”


Person:

“No. Listen, can you go to the ATM now?”


Me {frustrated by the abruptness, lack of sensical communication, and pushiness, as well as more than a little suspicious at how this is all going down}:

“Well the ATMs have a cash limit. Also, I would really need to check with my {lovely} wife first,”


Person {seeing they weren’t getting what they wanted when they wanted it}:

“Okay, well if you can’t help, I’ll just call someone else–thanks {hanging up on me}!” 


WOW!


Despite having trusted this person and feeling very hurt by all this, I still called the person back later that evening to follow up and because I truly cared, and they were still not any more forthcoming with me, and in fact, were quite attacking that they were sorry to have called me.


But I wasn’t sorry…my college professor was right on, thank G-d–I do know who my friends are!


Whether its a lunch date, LinkedIn/Facebook contact, or social invitation, be discerning about the motives of people–outside of any sane and normal context–that are seeking to “friend” you. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)