A flash-back moment: Old commercials featuring people who later became stars.
Among others, it includes John Travolta singing about Safeguard soap, Tom Selleck as the Chaz cowboy, and well, Keanu Reeves has a thing for corn flakes.
Commentary by Michael Wade on Leadership, Ethics, Management, and Life
A flash-back moment: Old commercials featuring people who later became stars.
Po Bronson wonders if Americans are suffering from "diversity fatigue."
Fortune magazine has assembled a list of summer reading.
The Ubisense Employee Tracker permits employers to track the whereabouts of employees and then note the locations on screens.
One of the truly harmful, and understandable, practices in life and the workplace is labeling. We label people and things in order to simplify matters and to close off further thought.
Robert J. Samuelson, one of the most interesting writers on the immigration issue, examines the Senate bill and press coverage. An excerpt:
At last, solid proof of global warming.
A skeptical – and accurate – view of the fog that clouds many a workplace:
A minor public speaking tip: If you are going to make a presentation of an award, know the award.
I referred to a "Rube Goldberg device" the other day during a workshop and some of the younger class members looked at me as if I'd started speaking in tongues.
On the whole human beings want to be good, but not too good and not quite all the time.
One look at this photo will confirm the fact that there was a collective loss of taste in the Seventies.
New research is challenging the assumptions about impulse buying.
James Lileks ponders a 1956 Ford Country Sedan:
Forget the Porsche.
John Updike talks about his upcoming novel, Terrorist, in an interview with TIME.
Adrian Savage has hit another home run with his essay on common mistakes in self-development.
This CareerJournal article has some solid advice on how to handle any job interview question.
Here's a Pepperdine University article on how the marketplace has responded to reports on obesity.
Group dynamics in the Tour de France. An excerpt:
A simple truth: Go on the witness stand, act like a controlling person, and people will find it difficult to believe that you didn't know what was going on.
I came in to the office before 6:30 this morning in order to work in silence.
Random Thoughts from a CTO offers some very good questions for your "leadership physical."
Some t-shirts demand to be read and considered.
Larry Kudlow looks at the behavior of Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling and asks, “Would Adam Smith approve?”
Why are there so many corporate scandals?
"Always think of it: never speak of it." That was the stoic French injunction during the time when the provinces of Alsace and Lorraine had been lost. This resolution might serve us well at the present time, when we are in midconflict with a hideous foe, and when it is too soon to be thinking of memorials to a war not yet won. This Memorial Day, one might think particularly of those of our fallen who also guarded polling-places, opened schools and clinics, and excavated mass graves. They represent the highest form of the citizen, and every man and woman among them was a volunteer. This plain statement requires no further rhetoric.
"I'm afraid I'm a practical man," said the doctor with gruff humor, "and I don't bother much about religion and philosophy." "You'll never be a practical man till you do," said Father Brown.
The Carnival of the Capitalists is being hosted this week by the Working Solo blog in Australia.
You can now get a certificate in Disability Legal Studies at the University of Pittsburgh College of Law.
Q. Can you tell me how a battle works?
I confess that I have not read Jeffrey Pfeffer’s new book but it is nearing "The Read Zone."
It's a windy day in Phoenix. It looked like a dust storm to the south of town. All sorts of pollen will be kicked up but at least we aren't on the Forbes list of the top 10 cities for allergies:
A preview of a movie from the Fifties, that wild time when the streets were ruled by violent girl gangs.
I like this list of tips to consider when hiring a consultant and would add a few more:
I'm going through a large of stack of newspapers from the past two weeks. Some I've already scanned and others were set aside with the intent of returning to an article.
National Review has assembled an amusing list of the top 50 conservative rock and roll songs.
After two years in Washington, I often long for the realism and sincerity of Hollywood.
To take a break from management books, I'm reading The Radetzky March by Joseph Roth.
More on the affirmative action controversy in India.
The concept car wowed the critics.
This Christian Science Monitor article examines the impact of the Enron convictions on the corner office.
Okay, I'm a book-lover. That's why I like these benches in Istanbul.
Slow Leadership has a great post on Robert Sutton's "90% of management advice is crap" theory.
The Harvard Management Update gives five guidelines for using statistics.
As a service to geeks everywhere, I want to announce that Think Geek is having a sale on its Star Wars FX light sabers.
You remember him.
Imagine, if you can, a major studio releasing a thriller in which the stars investigate the origins of Islam. Pursued by a murderous Muslim cleric, they uncover a series of shocking discoveries: Mohammed was no prophet! The Koran is a hoax, the work of self-serving hypocrites! Modern-day Muslims are dupes, if not deranged psychopaths!
Compared with Europeans, Americans are more likely to be employed and more likely to work longer hours--employed Americans put in about three hours more per week than employed Frenchmen. Most important, Americans take fewer (and shorter) vacations. The average American takes off less than six weeks a year; the average Frenchman almost 12. The world champion vacationers are the Swedes, at 16 and a half weeks per year.
James Webb gives a list of his favorite books on the military.
Hugh Macleod hits the bull's eye.
The laws in this city are clearly racist. All laws are racist. The law of gravity is racist.
Historian Victor David Hanson assesses the war in Iraq on this Memorial Day weekend:
Can it be that when college students of the future read the great Homer, they'll be reading about a man named Simpson?
Now revealed: What that guy in the suit in Chicago was saying on his cell phone.
Here's a hint:
Here's a great interview with management author David Maister on why he blogs.
Instead of holding its annual investor briefing in New York, IBM is holding this year's briefing in Bangalore, India.
Political Calculations has put up its list of the best posts from various blog Carnivals.
The Free Information Society has a really neat site that gives sound clips from various speeches, interviews, and films.
Joe Sharkey recalls an embarrassing international etiquette moment:
Katherine Thompson and Jeremy Todd reveal mobile phone models that improve upon the Razr and similar names.
After reviewing some material in a corruption investigation, Political Calculations blog has analyzed the reasoning behind a congressman's decision to give special deals in exchange for bribes.
Professional mediator Mark Gerzon explores the differences between dialogue and debate in this Harvard Business School article.
Leaders have to control their emotions under pressure. While I was mayor, on the few occasions someone who worked for me used "panic" to describe their state during some crisis in their bailiwick, I made it clear that it would be the last time they'd employ that word. "Concerned" is the attitude I wanted. If it turned out that an excess of caution had made us more concerned than we needed to be, that was acceptable, but panic was not. You can't let yourself be paralyzed by any situation. It's about balance.
Malcolm Gladwell looks at basketball and considers the difficulty of evaluating performance:
The virtue of sloth is touted by Michael Maiello in this Forbes article:
Revealed at last!
Jaime Michaelson and David M. Smith of Pepperdine University on business survival skills:
Okay, you need a little humor today.
I heard a person wondering the other day if the "old guy" was going to be chosen as American Idol.
Speaking of age, Washington Mutual has created a web site with the trapped bankers that are featured in its commercials. (If you don't ask a question, they yell at you.)
[HT: www.randomculture.com ]
CareerJournal covers what to do during and after a poor performance review.
There can be a very fine line between humor and bad taste, especially when the joking is directed at a person.
Here is an extremely interesting discussion of ethics by some faculty members at Pepperdine University.
Not all companies have been pleased with outsourcing.
Travel junkies: Michael Totten sends more photos from Lebanon.
The Department of Labor has issued its Employment Law Guide.
Here are some ads to make you sit up and say, "Aargh!"
The Michigan Department of Education wants the term "American" to include Canadians, Mexicans, and other nationalities in the western hemisphere.
Jeff Cornwall has crafted some great tips on preparing for stormy economic times.
What can sports psychology teach you about preparing for a job interview?
What are your favorite business novels?
The Business by Iain Banks
The CEO by Owen Burke and Duff McDonald
Point of No Return by John P. Marquand
Man in the Gray Flannel Suit by Sloan Wilson
The Wapshot Chronicle by John Cheever
The Hamlet by William Faulkner
JR by William Gaddis
The Last Tycoon by F. Scott Fitzgerald
* Rabbit is Rich by John Updike
* Something Happened by Joseph Heller
* Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
The Diagnosis by Alan Lightman
Bartleby the Scrivener by Herman Melville
Robert Samuelson looks at the meaning of declining birthrates.
The reports are out on the suicide bombings in London.
BusinessPundit recalls some business lessons he learned in a burger-flipping job.
This CareerJournal article on corporate buzzwords is informative and amusing.
Remember when Japanese cars were small and basic?
It appears that Baltimore has just come up with one of the dumbest city slogans of all time:
If you're in business and you want to make your own commercials, then at least make sure that you've got your stunts down.
Here's an interesting view by British HR professionals of recruitment methods for senior roles.
From The New Yorker review of a new biography of Harper Lee:
The real pressures behind the charming coffeehouse on the corner:
There is always an inner circle. Temper any criticism of it. The people on the outside who complain about the inner circle would replace it with their own inner circle.
Don’t be too open. The Sixties mentality of revealing your feelings to all is the equivalent of a “kick me” sign on your back. Keep a sense of mystery.
Learn the organization’s culture. Some places thrive on loud arguments. Others prefer peaceful discussions. Many are conflict-adverse. Know when you risk violating a cultural code.
Be respectful of turf. Avoid end-runs. Consult others in a meaningful manner and listen carefully to their concerns.
Pick your battles carefully. Try to do right, not be right. If someone else has made a good point, acknowledge it. Don’t rush to ascribe bad motives.
Don’t aim your wit at others - many a career has been harmed by sarcasm – and stay out of the gossip game.
Take the time to get to know people. The cup of coffee that you had last week with the HR Director was not time wasted. You have to build relationships if you are going to get things done.
Don’t have a caste system when it comes to being polite. If someone is rude to your administrative assistant, will that affect your view of the person? You bet. Today’s intern may be tomorrow’s department head.
If you screw up, admit it. Your credibility is at stake. Don’t sacrifice it out of a desire to appear perfect.
Strive for reasonableness. Prima donnas are only amusing from a distance. One of the best reputations that you can cultivate is for being stable, reasonable, and wise. If you have to choose between colorful or reliable, go for reliable.
Consider and advertise your worth. If the organization were to start from scratch tomorrow, would the top dogs want to hire you? Don’t assume that your talent is self-evident. Periodically report on your - i.e., your team’s – accomplishments.
Don’t drop people on their heads. If you make a commitment, keep it, and if you cannot do so, let the other person know as soon as possible.
Be sensitive to the small things. Return phone calls and emails. Remember birthdays. Let others know they are valued. The small gestures have special impact.
Using e-mail to find new customers is controversial, but this Inc. article shows how to avoid spamming.
Michael J. Totten has posted some photos of Beirut, Lebanon.
Odds are, you have less paperwork than the Germans. This Spiegel article explains:
This CareerJournal article points how things to consider before making the leap to independent consulting. Some of the recommended questions:
I'd add these:
Here is the text of the speech that John McCain delivered at The New School.
2Blowhards blog has opened a lengthy discussion with a post: Would you hire a Ph.D.?
The trouble with doing something right the first time is that nobody appreciates how difficult it was.
Glenn Reynolds looks at the companies who ban web-surfing:
My daughter is attending a Spanish language immersion program in Mexico this summer.
Simson Garfinkel, writing at the CSO blog, points out some security problems posed by iPods:
A career employee at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs violated policy and took home some data. His home was burglarized.
Robert Bindinotto joins other bloggers in wondering if Borders Books will ban Harper's magazine's June issue because it carries the controversial Danish cartoons.
Here's another article on the Nigerian on-line scam industry.
From a somewhat surprising study on word of mouth marketing:
Affirmative Action quotas, known as "reservations," for members of lower castes are sparking controversy in India.
It can be galling to hear companies argue that they have to cut wages and benefits for hourly workers — even as they reward top executives with millions of dollars in stock options. The chief executive of Wal-Mart earns $27 million a year, while the company's average worker takes home only about $10 an hour. But let's assume that the chief executive got 27 cents instead of $27 million, and that Wal-Mart distributed the savings to its hourly workers. They would each receive a bonus of less than $20. It's not executive pay that has created this new world.
The Carnival of the Capitalists is up at The Integrative Stream.
It is common knowledge that American schoolboys are faring poorly compared with girls. The average 11th-grade boy has the writing skills of an 8th-grade girl. Boys receive a majority of the failing grades, while girls garner most of the honors.
If you see a snake, just kill it. Don't appoint a committee on snakes.
Governing magazine carries a brutal line:
Back by popular demand:
If you are feeling down and think that your career has suffered a fatal blow, consider this:
Book sales are up but long-term growth projections are pessimistic.
For your health and entertainment, two yoga variations.
An interesting National Journal article on whether deterrence would work with a nuclear-armed Iran.