Last week, I wrote about what the first presidential debate can teach public speakers. This time around, I decided to switch gears a bit and consider the vice presidential debate with an eye toward those in Guns-land who are currently (or hoping to be) interviewing for gigs. Because I found myself traveling home via NJ Transit during the debate itself, I was forced to follow the whole thing on Twitter using a CNN hash tag. But being left to my devices gave me a great perspective on what TV audiences found most affecting, effective, distracting, and annoying – much of it focusing on Joe Biden and Paul Ryan’s presentational styles. When it was all said and done, I came away with four themes interviewees can learn from. Read More →
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If you’ve been following the fall of Jonah Lehrer, the bestselling author and New Yorker writer and serial fabulist who got caught making up Bob Dylan quotes, you might think his tale has properly sensitized you to the perils of stretching the truth.
(a) Rules are rules…period.
(b) Rules are meant to be broken.
(c) It depends.
(d) All of the above.
(e) None of the above.
While there is no one “right” answer to the above question, the way you respond says a lot about you. The way you think and feel about rules in general will influence the decisions you make and the actions you take in different situations.
Let me tell you about two controversial, thought-provoking, and emotional incidents that occurred in the past week – both of which involved “following the rules” – and see what you think: Read More →
The other day I took part in a hysterical exchange on Facebook: After watching AMC’s The Pitch (think Mad Men meets reality TV), my friend Deb Gabor, who heads up Austin-based consulting shop Sol Marketing Concepts, posted that she couldn’t stand hearing the contestants talk about “about mind spaces, brand platforms, value propositions, empowering consumers and other sundry bullsh*t.” She followed that with a comment along the lines of, “I’m afraid I sound like this at work – please help me.” Of course I jumped in with a snappy and equally buzzword-laden response, as did a few other folks. We cracked ourselves up. (I know, I need to get out more.) Read More →
Anyone can be incompetent for a few weeks or even months without suffering serious repercussions. The dysfunction of most organizations provides cover for even the most glaring managerial incompetence — for a while. But the fact is, only a gifted few can be ineffective for their entire careers and continue to fail upwards.
Do you have what it takes? Take our quiz and find out!
For many people, the new year is a time to reflect. That’s because they still cling to the quaint belief that they can become happier and more productive. Enlightened managers like you know that self-reflection is like 10,000-mile maintenance: if the wheels haven’t come off yet, just keep driving.
Here are five ways to avoid thinking too much about the future, so that you can concentrate on repeating the same mistakes year after year:
1. Don’t make a plan for what you’d like to be doing in one, five, and ten years. Those things are so embarrassing to look at later on, when you’ve failed miserably. Better to not even think about it. Then, ten years from now when you’re selling batteries at Radio Shack, you can claim success and say, “Yeah, I planned it this way.” Read More →
You’ve worked hard all year. Now it’s your time to make a total ass of yourself in front of everyone who could possibly be beneficial to your career. So relax and let your true personality shine. Here are some tips to make the most of the situation: Read More →
One of the most rewarding aspects of being a manager is the power to waste other people’s time. A great way to do this is by transforming short meetings into endless morale-sucks in which nothing is accomplished and big chunks of the work day are blown.
Here are some helpful hints for pulling this off effectively:
1. Do it on short notice! Impromptu meetings disrupt whatever work people were already doing. Everyone loves a surprise, especially in the middle of a busy day. An unplanned two-hour meeting not only shakes up the same old boring routine, it teaches patience, discipline, and time-management skills. Your employees will thank you a thousand times over. Read More →
Now that you’re a big, important manager, you’ll probably be called on to interview job candidates. Despite what the experts in Human Resources and Legal say (cough — who cares — cough), the whole issue of what constitutes legal and illegal lines of questioning is blown waayyy out of proportion. Some people are just too uptight.
Nonetheless, here are a few things you might want to say to reassure job candidates that you’re “in sync” with HR and Legal on those touchy topics:
I just want to let you know that we wouldn’t mind hiring a really old person such as yourself. Your generation has done so much for our country, particularly in World War I. The fact that you even showed up today is pretty amazing, when you think about it. I mean, your kids are probably on Social Security by now, right? Ha-ha. No, but seriously — I know you probably didn’t even get that joke, and that’s okay, because I know you’re a little slow mentally. I just want you to know that we’re willing to sacrifice productivity a bit by hiring you. Can I call you Grandpa?
Here’s what you should do to ensure that you will fail:
Don’t learn how to manage up.
You always thought your old boss was a jerk. Your new boss will be a jerk too. You hate bosses. You never want to be a boss. Just keep doing your old job. If your new boss absolutely insists on meeting with you now and then, fine. But don’t go out of your way to communicate or—ick—try to understand his or her goals and strategies. Certainly don’t be proactive or anything. After all, the whole stupid company sucks; you’re just here for a paycheck. Share your sentiments with your team. Read More →