Traits To Be Prez

The personality to be President:


1. Experience, Diplomacy


2. Direct, Honest, Strong, Results-oriented


3. Passionate, Dedication, Survival of the Nation


A short interview with Andy Blumenthal


(Source Video: Dannielle Blumenthal)

Team, It’s Not About You

Teamwork
This mug on teamwork was really funny.



Teamwork (noun):

1) A group of people doing what I say.

2) Work done that I can take credit for.



Of course, this really isn’t teamwork, unless you consider it the “I Team.” 



Yes, this is sort of sterotypical of bad bosses:

– They take the credit for the team’s work when everything goes well.

– But they pass along the blame when something goes wrong. 



Has this ever happened to you?



It reminds me of another funny saying about how greedy, narcissistic people think:



“What mine is mine, and what’s yours is mine.”



In other words–mine, mine, and mine, why thank you!



The best bosses are humble and giving. They make sure everyone knows what the goals are and are working efficiently to achieve them. 



The credit goes to the indivudals and team who are working their butts off, and when appropriate, the boss will take the heat to help others save face and enable them to press forward with the mission. 



I remember one of my colleagues who is a supervisor and he was called out for doing a great job. Immediately he goes, “It’s my team that make me look good.” And knowing this person, that wasn’t just talk or a show…he was completely sincere. 



That’s leadership and an impressive human being–someone to emulate!



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Hold The Pickles, Hold The Lettuce–BABIES!

Remember, the catchy old Burger King commercial about “Have it your way”(where you can order the burger any way you want, no problem!)?

Now, we are reaching the point with DNA testing, where we can have it your way and order up babies the way you want them.

According to the Wall Street Journal, by getting genetic profiles of egg or sperm donors, you can search for a match with the genetic profile of the would-be parent to have a higher likelihood of desired traits (e.g. blue eyes) or lower likelihood of undesirable ones (e.g. heart disease).

23andMe, a DNA company (note: humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes) that sells home testing kits for $99, has patented a process for analyzing DNA and providing information on health and ancestry, and this could be used for system screening of egg or sperm donors through a tool called a “Family Traits Inheritance calculator.”

Calculating better babies by choosing desired matches at fertility clinics is only steps away from actually making marriage decisions based on genetic make-up–in that scenario love is only one factor in choosing a mate and maybe not the primary any longer.

The idea being to screen potential couples before marriage to yield “the best” potential children–smartest, athletic, good-looking, etc.

There are already genetic banks for screening and capturing genetic information on potential couples to avoid genetic diseases such as Tay-Sachs and others.

While bioengineering children for better health is one thing, creating a blue-eye and blond-haired race was the Nazi’s concept of an Aryan nation as a superior race that would dominate the world.

The ethical questions of how to screen out illness without creating a situation like in China under a one-child policy, where male offspring are considered superior and so we proverbially tilt the odds in favor of what we think is best even if it may not really be.

Neither a homogeneous superior race, nor a customized bioengineered baby is the answer–rather, we need to value healthy diversity in children, where each is a miracle and a blessing in their own right. 😉

Leading Along The Continuum

Body_lines

There’s a cliff.

At the bottom is a body.

What do you think may have happened?

It’s a matter of how you interpret what you find.

If you think the person:

1) Fell…
–then it is viewed as an accident.

2) Was pushed…
–then it was murder.

3) Jumped…
–then it was a suicide.

Three scenarios…three different interpretations.

With our personality attributes, it’s the same way–they can viewed either positively or negatively.

Is the person?
– Trusting or gullible
– Optimistic or impractical
– Caring or smothering
– Self-confidant or arrogant
– Ambitious or ruthless
– Organized or controlling
– Persuasive or pressuring
– Decisive or rash
– Imaginative or a dreamer
– Entrepreneurial or reckless
– Cautious or suspicious
– Economical or stingy
– Reserved or cold
– Methodical or rigid
– Analytical or nit-picky
– Thorough or obsessive
– Principled or unbending
– Flexible or inconsistent
– Sociable or dependent
– An experimenter or aimless
– Curious or nosy

Every good trait, can be viewed and interpreted as bad and vice versa.

When it comes to the workplace, you need to apply good situational leadership.

Apply your strengths with the right amount of measure along the continuum and you’re golden.

Lean too far toward either extreme, and you risk becoming a poor manager.

The better leader can apply their traits in a purposeful way rather than being controlled by them.

While the weaker one is a victim of their personality flaws.

So was it an accident, murder, or suicide?

The facts are there somewhere, but when it comes to personality much depends on how you apply it.

(Source photo: here with attribution to NYC Arthur)

Raise Your Glass To Great Bosses

Raise_your_glass

It’s a funny time of year. Folks are celebrating the holidays, and for some of them the traditional office party is full of cheer, while for others it’s a nightmare.

In a way it’s a paradox for some that they have a holiday party with the same bosses that treat them otherwise badly the rest of year!

This reminds of some of the worst traits a boss can exhibit–here’s a “top 10”:

1) Selfishness: Every day it’s all about the boss–their power trip, their ego, their next promotion–instead of about the mission and the customers.

2) Amoral: To some, integrity and business do not go together.

3) Discrimination: They tolerate or in too many cases, even exhibit blatant discrimination themselves.

4) Disrespect: This can be overtly or implicitly, hurting the employee professionally and personally as well.

5) Inconsistency: Flip-flopping is not just something that bothers people about politics, but it makes for a bipolar work environment, where employees are damned if they do and if they don’t, but the boss can always say, “I told you so (and the opposite).”

6) Favoritism: Plays favorites instead of judging employees only on the true factor, merit. This causes workers to become demoralized as they see people hired and promoted for all the wrong reasons.

7) Insecurity: They are threatened by seemingly everyone and everything–can’t give anyone else credit or recognize the good around them–a one-person team who sees anybody else’s success as implying their own failure.

8) Competitive: They have to be the smartest person in the room, and innovation and objectivity is squelched–no risk is worth the wrath of “boss Khan.”

9) Stealing: If someone else does have something of value to contribute, this boss just steals it and presents it as their own (attribution or recognition, what for?)

10) Micromanagement: Looking over your shoulder every minute, redoing your work, not trusting you, they are control freaks, a complete nightmare to work for.

Bosses come in all shapes and sizes. I’ve been fortunate to work for some of the best, and I hope that I do them justice with my own employees over the course of my career.

Here’s hoping that at your holiday party, you were able to raise your glass with a boss who makes you feel valued and respected–that’s a holiday party to really celebrate!

(Source Photo: here)

>Essential Leadership Do’s and Don’ts

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Below is a list of my top 15 recommended leadership attributes and the do’s and don’t for these.


For example, in managing people—do empower them; don’t micromanage. For supporting people—do back them; don’t undermine them. In terms of availability-do be approachable; don’t be disengaged. And so on…

While the list is not comprehensive, I believe it does give a good starting point for leaders to guide themselves with.

Overall, a good rule of thumb is to be the type of leader to your staff that you want your supervisor to be to you.

Common sense yes, but too often we expect (no, we demand) more from others than we do from ourselves.

This is counter-intuitive, because we need to start by working and improving on ourselves, where we can have the most immediate and true impact.

Now is a perfect time to start to lead by example and in a 360-degree fashion—because leadership is not a one-way street, but affects those above, below, and horizontal to us.

If we are great leaders, we can impact people from the trenches to the boardroom and all the customers and stakeholders concerned. That’s what ultimately makes it so important for us to focus on leadership and continually strive to improve in this.

>Who Are Your High Potential Employees?

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It is easy to confuse high performing employees with high potential employees (HIPOs), but they are not the same.

An article in Harvard Business Review called “How to Keep Your Top Talent” (May 2010) states that “only about 30% of today’s high performers are, in fact, high potentials. The remaining 70% may have what it takes to win now, but lack some critical component for future success.”

According to HBR, the litmus tests for discerning which high performers are also your high potential employees, are as follows:

1) Ability—High performers need to have the ability to not only do what they are doing now, but to take it to the next level to be high potentials.

2) Engagement—High performers must have “commitment to the organization to be prudent bets for long-term success.”

3) Aspiration—High performers who aspire to more senior-level roles and “choose to make the sacrifices required to attain and perform those high-level jobs” are aligned for future success.

These three traits together help to pinpoint the genuine HIPOs—those who have the ability, the engagement, and the aspiration for probable future success.

Of course, having these traits does not guarantee success, since leadership development is tested “under conditions of real stress.”

Many organizations test their HIPOs by identifying risky and challenging positions—developmental opportunities—and putting their rising starts in these positions to see who can meet the challenge.

These stretch positions are what I would call “the moment of truth” when people either sink or swim.

In some extremely competitive organizations, employee failure (contained of course in terms of organizational damage) is just as much valued as their success—because it weeds out the true stars from the runner-ups.

This can be taken to an extreme, where even strong performers are managed out of the organization simply because they didn’t win the next round.

However, rather than weeding people out and treating employees as gladiators—where one wins and another loses—organizations are better served by helping all their employees succeed—each according to their potential.

So instead of an “up or out” mentality, the organization can value each high performing employee for what they bring to the table.

Too often we only value the highest achievers among us and we forget that everyone has an important role to play.

While organizations need to differentiate their high potential employees—those who can really do more—to meet succession-planning goals—organizations will also benefit by nurturing the potential of all their high performing employees and taking them as far as they can go too.