Basic Cell Phone Courtesy
Via Cultural Offering, a sign that should be at every service counter.
Commentary by Michael Wade on Leadership, Ethics, Management, and Life
Via Cultural Offering, a sign that should be at every service counter.
Philip K. Howard speaking - the transcript is also available - on four ways to fix a broken legal system.
The presence of a star in a picture was at least a partial guarantee of its success; there would be a greater certainty of return on investment. This obtained as long as it was the right picture for the right star. A star in the wrong role stopped being a star.
Okay, I confess to being a traditionalist and a major skeptic, but do any of your organizations use Second Life as a training tool? [Here's a video on its potential usage.]
You know you want one: A 1977 Puch Maxi moped.
Population Statistic points to a very clever marketing idea for a rock radio station.
My post on 30 things learned at management workshops is up at U.S. News & World Report.
View From the Ledge on the beauty of pens:
I’ve already complained to you about the guys who write in with messages like, “Excellent post. It will be very helpful to me in my duties,” and then attach some lame link to someplace in which nobody has any interest. Who do they think they’re fooling with their smarmy compliments?
Ann Althouse with some clips from the health-care summit. [I have a feeling that the Paul Ryan for President campaign started yesterday.]
Writing in The Wall Street Journal, Tony Woodlief looks at the changing manual of the Boy Scouts:
Here's a grand slam home run from employment attorney John Phillips who describes signs of questionable leadership. A small taste:
Thomas Sowell examines meaningless apologies. An excerpt:
Back in the 1960s, when so many foolish ideas flourished simply because they were new, a New York Times columnist tried to make the case that we were all somehow responsible for the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
That was considered to be Deep Stuff. It made you one of the special folks when you believed that, instead of one of the rest of us poor dumb slobs who believed that the man who shot him was responsible.
Sam Sacks reviews Stephen King's latest work. An excerpt:
How much of your personal side do you reveal to your clients?
Consultant, professor, author, and man-who-never-sleeps Nicholas Bate has revealed the nutritional value and effects of PowerPoint.
Faced with the choice between changing one's mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everybody gets busy on the proof.
Instead of having "answers" on a math test, they should just call them"impressions," and if I got a different "impression," so what, can't we all be brothers?
It is always a pleasure to be reviewed by someone as accomplished as Stephen Pinker, even if—in his comments on “What the Dog Saw” (Nov. 15)—he is unhappy with my spelling (rightly!) and with the fact that I have not joined him on the lonely ice floe of IQ fundamentalism.
Overcoming the handicap of finishing 214th in a class of 310 at West Point in 1947, Haig was promoted rapidly and served as a general and brigade commander in the Vietnam War, where he won the Distinguished Service Cross for his actions during the battle of Ap Gu in March 1967. As Haig surveyed the battlefield, his low-flying helicopter was hit by enemy fire. The chopper went down but Haig pulled himself from the wreckage and in two days of bloody hand-to-hand combat led his troops to victory over a Viet Cong force that outnumbered the U.S. soldiers 3-1.
Rumors abound that money-hemorrhaging music behemoth EMI may sell Abbey Road Studios, the sanctum sanctorum where the Beatles recorded most of their albums. Britain's National Trust is entertaining the idea of bidding on it, aiming to add the famed recording studio to its stable of historic castles and country houses. If that happens, will Abbey Road still function as a recording studio, or will it become a rope-lined destination for tourists to traipse through in their stations of Beatles veneration?
There is a lot of talk about "Tanks" here now and I am interested as I can see no future in my present job.
Fast Company: The world's most innovative companies.
Another factor may have also contributed to your myopia: A tendency to get too sophisticated. Some problems hide in mazes. Most are far more visible. As the medical maxim notes, "When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras."
I'd add: And look for the elephant.
I sometimes mention the great Rube Goldberg to my classes on presentation skills when we talk about complicated explanations. The younger members usually stare at me.
Nicholas Rankin gives his top five list of books about British military deception.
Fistful of Talent examines blunders in recognition programs; minor items, you know, like giving a deaf employee an ipod.
The HR Capitalist has some samples of e-mails that were sent when Bob neglected to lock his computer.
Though New York had bounced back from a bad war—the city had burned in 1776—it was not a particularly comfortable place, even by the standards of the day. Philadelphia, thanks to Benjamin Franklin, had swept streets. New Yorkers dumped their offal in the gutters, to be eaten by pigs and wild dogs, and the Supreme Court met above the bleating animals of a Broad Street farmers’ market. Abigail Adams complained that it was “impossible to get a servant from the highest to the lowest grade that does not drink.” An influenza epidemic in May of 1790 laid Madison low, and nearly killed Washington.
When he was not ill, the president relaxed by riding a 14-mile circuit to Morningside Heights and back. He attended plays at the John Street Theater and at his residence, where he saw an amateur performance of Julius Caesar. He also went to the circus. In the summer of 1790, he took Jefferson and Hamilton on a three-day fishing trip off Sandy Hook.
Read the rest of Richard Brookhiser here.
[And who would not have wanted to be on a fishing trip with Washington, Jefferson, and Hamilton?]
Tine Thing Helseth: Haydn Trumpet Concerto.
The Scratching Post presents a brief and brutal video: "Death by Corporate Efficiency."
"I didn't lie. I just didn't tell the whole story."
Peggy Noonan on new realizations about spending:
The "silly question" is the first intimation of some totally new development.
Employment attorney John Phillips weighs in on the Alabama shootings and background checks.
Nobody was interested in a profile of a woman who used to eat roadkill, make moonshine, and sit around reading Sartre with her alcoholic and probably-genius father, a woman who later went on to get her GED, put herself through college, and become a NASA rocket scientist who helped figure out the mess behind the Challenger explosion before turning her back on that world for a life that felt more authentic and invigorating.
Yeah, I can’t see the appeal whatsoever.
What [the Germans] did, in effect, was to institutionalize military excellence . . . and more than any other single factor it was the German general staff that made the difference . . . . There were generals in World War II, Russian generals, American generals, British generals, who were as good as the best of the Germans, but the Germans had about ten times as many very good generals.
From the article by John Podhoretz:
What a life he lived! I'm talking about a man who grew up on the Lower East Side, a Yiddish-speaking son of a pious working-class father who made his way to Columbia University in the late 1920s — there to edit theColumbia Spectator along with the man who would be his lifelong friend, Herman Wouk. In the 1930s he worked for what was called the "exploitation department" of Warner Bros., I believe, writing press releases about Jimmy Cagney's command of Yiddish and showing Cagney around New York during a publicity tour. (He knew Babe Ruth too.) He then became a journalist, and had a storied career, going from the New York Herald Tribune to PM to other places, as a labor reporter and city editor and foreign correspondent. He wrote cover stories for Newsweek about the anti-imperialist wars in Africa in the late 1950s and 1960s. In his 50s he decided he needed to educate himself better and went to get himself a Ph.D. in history, then became a teacher, and then, in his 60s, embarked on yet another career as a Sovietologist of distinction. He was writing regularly until he was 95.
Writing in Slate, Thomas Goetz on how the Beatles caused the health care crisis.
Wally Bock recalls some timeless lessons from Leonard Tompkins.
General David Petraeus in a Washington Post interview on role models and leadership:
Go to the lawyers about a problem with an individual and you'll probably find that they will advise you to do little or nothing. Why? Because more problems are generated by commission than by omission and in most cases if you want to avoid complications you will sit tight.
I have never seen a problem believed to be caused by the behavior of others that could be solved by assuming they were irrational.
Many are stubborn in pursuit of the path they have chosen, few in pursuit of the goal.
Another classic find by Eclecticity.
Let's forget all of the Brand talk. First we must demonstrate a passion for brilliant execution of the basics.
Johnny Depp discusses his approach to The Mad Hatter.
I regard the Olympics as an appropriate exception to my "no television" rule.
Very nicely done: Nicholas Bate suggests a doppio espresso meeting.
Writing in Fortune, Alex Taylor III on what Toyota can learn from the crisis:
Recently, I spoke with the president of a very successful group regarding the appointment of various project leaders.
The effective subordinate exceeds the expectations of superiors, protects their reputations, and gives them all the credit.
Have you ever met with an accomplished executive or manager and discover, once the conversation shifts to a subject area outside of the person's expertise, that this usually insightful person has turned into Ted Turner?
My blog is acting strangely. Help has been summoned.
My post on the importance of seeing for yourself is up at U.S. News & World Report.
Dan McCarthy's career advice post, "You Have to Ask for It," is right on target.
Managers think the people with whom they work want them to exhibit consistency, assertiveness, and self-control - and they do, of course. But occasionally, they also want just the opposite. They want a moment with us when we are genuinely ourselves without facade or pretense or defensiveness, when we are revealed as human beings, when we are vulnerable.
Michael O'Leary, Ryanair's chief executive, on Thursday went public over the row and, in typical style, challenged Sir Stelios to settle their differences in a "chariots of fire" race around Trafalgar Square.
Recently, I read the minutes of a community group that I've been involved with for several years. Board members come and go, topics arise and are addressed, and the group moves on. On one level, the minutes are boring recitations of treasurer's reports, motions made, motions seconded, and votes taken.
In many organizations, a guaranteed way to raise some eyebrows is to be caught reading a book or to sit quietly and think.
Take some time today and read the interview that Mary Jo Asmus had with Erika Andersen, consultant and author of Being Strategic. An excerpt:
A clip from the documentary: Louisiana Boys: Raised on Politics.
Well, tomorrow is the day on which leaders of the Iranian regime have promised to "stun" the West.
Writing in Reason, Greg Beato on the occasional divide between Starbucks and the tastes of its customers:
Tuesday saw the debut of Google Buzz, a new service for sharing status updates, links and media with your friends. It’s currently being rolled out to the public slowly — you can sign up at buzz.google.com — but we’ve had access to Buzz since shortly after it launched, and I’ve had a chance to play around with it.
William Horden on how to see beauty in the mundane. An excerpt:
Two blog-related books are currently being prepared.
Tanmay Vora gives seven key thoughts about managing human resources.
Do it now. It is not safe to leave a generous feeling to the cooling influences of the world.
Megan McArdle on snow in D.C.:
Writing in Armed Forces Journal, William F. Owen on why military history trumps buzz words:
I thought I was harsh on Avatar until I read Stephen Hunter's review:
Avatar, the latest cinematic science-fiction epic, turns out to be a half-a-billion-dollar case of reinventing the Ferris wheel. The final product is a hyper-gaudy, brainless attraction that goes round and round and deposits you exactly where it picked you up, only you’re poorer and dumber and you’ll never get your 2 hours and 40 minutes back.
Writing in Commentary, James Kirchick on the home-grown terrorist threat. An excerpt:
When the supervisor spoke to the female employee about the male employee, she became emotional, told him "I can't talk about it," whereupon he answered "That's good because I don't want to know what happened." The supervisor then changed the female employee's schedule so she would not have to work with the male.
I like people who've been knocked to the floor but got up, who know what it's like to do something that deserves a medal but instead gets a reprimand, who crack a small smile when listening to the latest program from on high, and who know more about - and care more about - the job than any five of the wizards promoted last year. I like the mavericks and eccentrics and the weirdos whose eyes light up when talking about how they had to cobble together a solution at the last minute or how they noodled over a problem for years before finding a new way. I like their passion and their lack of pretense and that they think you're interested about some arcane aspect of the job only a person who loves the job might find fascinating. I like their refusal to become cookie-cutter personalities and to "dress for success." I like the fact that they like facts and, although they can theorize as well as any of us, they know the difference between theory and reality. I like their bluntness and their way of looking you in the eye and that they have scars, many scars, some of which may be visible, from battles won and lost.
Whether you call yourself a member of Human Resources, Personnel, or Talent Management, the minute you start thinking of an individual as an "employee" or an "applicant" rather than a person, you begin moving in a dangerous direction.
The trailer for "Bullets Over Broadway."
David C. Downing has written a post on how C. S. Lewis was often a mentor by mail. An excerpt:
Cool Tools reviews the Sno Wovel, a timely tool for some parts of the country.
Back from the Super Bowl, Stanley Bing notes a virtue of the Saints fans:
"The Iranian nation, with its unity and God's grace, will punch the arrogance (Western powers) on the 22nd of Bahman (February 11) in a way that will leave them stunned," Khamenei, who is also Iran's commander-in-chief, told a gathering of air force personnel.
Bill Brenner on why security execs should care about a hacker fest. An excerpt:
This is depressing. Charlotte Allen on the new dating game:
Do not wait for extraordinary circumstances to do good; try to use ordinary situations.
Great game. Great winners. And some Louis Armstrong to celebrate.
Did anyone at Audi think for two minutes before approving this Super Bowl commercial?
Neatorama: How to distinguish "Art" from "Trash."
New York magazine on all you might possibly need to know about the Super Bowl. For example:
Cultural Offering remembers his college days:
Back by popular demand: The party scene from "The Muse."
The idea behind the program, which will fittingly run through Valentine's Day, is to promote sexual health awareness and sexuality. Programs range from speed dating to tea with a transsexual porn star.
Mary Jo Asmus with leadership lessons from The Dog Whisperer. An excerpt: