Rules. Every business has them. And every business is subject to rules imposed by society and government. Rules are necessary in a civil society. But rules also impose costs. I've been thinking about those costs, and about how to minimize them.
I tried first to find a leadership analog to every tool on MacDonald's list. That, though, was a bit forced and led to some unfortunate visuals that I decided were best avoided. Next, I struggled with getting my list down to only 15. I solved that with a bit of creative grouping.
Just as MacDonald's readers amended the list with essential tools of their own, I'd love to hear what tools you think should be added to my list. You might also want to check out this slightly different take on key leadership skills.
At one time or another, all of us will have to deal with a bad boss. Perhaps you have been a bad boss yourself once or twice. Here are some resources for dealing with bad bosses and avoiding bad boss behavior yourself.
Timothy G. Habbershon wrote last month in BusinessWeek OnLine about unsafe CEOs. His article contained a great list of bad boss behaviors. If you or your boss fit this list, read on for some suggestions.
Although most of us would like to avoid them, we all need to make cold-calls from time to time. Perhaps we are prospecting for new clients, or looking for a new job or consulting assignment, or seeking help with a problem, or helping raise funds for a charitable foundation. Regardless of the reason for the call, few of us love calling a stranger.
We're usually afraid. Afraid of rejection, or afraid of embarrassment, or afraid of annoying the other person. Good preparation can help reduce the fear and make a cold call successful.
Here are some things that work for me - and for great sales folks - in cold calls.
We all receive negative criticism from time to time. Whether it's our boss, peers, subordinates, customers, spouse, bloggers or professional reviewers, someone is bound to tell us what we might have done better.
How do you take it? Are you able to turn negative feedback to your advantage, or does it cause you to end up on the witness stand like this poor soul? First 'don't do': don't kill the messenger.
There are plenty of ways to make a bad situation out of negative feedback. Mike Sansone, for example, has apparently been holding weekly workshops at his local Panera. But checkout his response when that shop reacted badly to negative criticism. So, there's our second 'don't do': don't ignore the feedback.
I try my best to notice my emotions first, before I go about responding to feedback. Most of us will probably begin by feeling denial. We might think, "He just doesn't understand," or, "He isn't really qualified to judge me or my idea." Get over it!
[Update: Although the female mantis does prey upon the male after a romantic encounter, the insect is actually a praying mantis.]
We found this preying praying mantis in our New Zealand kitchen a few years back. While my wife held the stick, I shot it with my Hasselblad medium format camera, with bellows attachment, against a black background (a pillow off of our sofa). I think the film would have been Fuji Velvia 400, but I'm not sure. I used off-camera flash. The mantis was 1.5 inches long.
Scanned the slide using an Agfa scanner, then cropped and sharpened in Photoshop (would have been one of the early versions I believe).
Monday I wrote about the need to give to your network, and Wednesday I listed some ideas for giving in face-to-face situations. Let's finish off the week with some ways you can give to your network on-line (and via snail mail).
Okay, so you're ready to give to your network. Here is a random list of ideas for giving in face-to-face situations. Come back Friday for a list of virtual actions you can take to give more to your network.