Leaders, don’t be the tree in an empty forest

Question: If a leader falls in the forest, and no one is around to hear him, does he still make a sound?

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I recognize I’m mixing my (metaphysical) metaphors, but the question does have two philosophical implications for leaders and leadership. Philosopher George Berkeley used the metaphor of a tree falling in the forest as a basis for raising the questions: “Can something exist without being perceived?”; and “Can we assume the unobserved world functions the same as the observed world?” Continue Reading

Three interview tips you can learn from Phil Robertson

President Richard Nixon was once asked why he didn’t do more press conferences. His response: “Too much exposure cheapens the product.” It’s advice Phil Robertson and the Duck Dynasty boys would do well to heed.

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Robertson, the patriarch of the ubiquitous family made famous by the reality show, Duck Dynasty, found himself in the crosshairs of the GBLT crowd and those who kowtow to political correctness by saying in a magazine article that homosexuality is a sin. The network that airs the program, A&E, suspended Robertson and made a statement categorically disagreeing with him. Supposedly the network is considering dropping the show. Continue Reading

Social media can’t do everything

Social media has transformed virtually every area of our lives. That’s an understatement, I know, but it is humorous to remember way back – oh, say five years ago – when curmudgeonly corporate execs and know-it-all pundits labeled social media as a fad. Unbelievably many still do, and they are becoming as relevant as cassette tapes.

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However, while social media is a force, it is also true it can’t do everything. The understanding of how social media benefits organizational communications ranges broadly. Some have leveraged its power for either their for-profit or non-profit organizations while others throw in a little social media and expect miracles. Hint: Social media is not pixie dust. Continue Reading

Leaders can improve employee motivation with these communication tips

I have a friend who got a Macbook Air for Christmas. It was given to her by the company for which she works and it gave every employee his or her choice of the latest Apple products (up to a certain amount). It wasn’t the first time this particular employer had done something like this. The Christmas season is traditionally marked by amazing generosity, but is annually opening the gadget closet the best way to motive employees?

Leadership and employee communications

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For a few employees the answer is, “Yes!” However, countless employee satisfaction surveys done over the past 10 years reveal material “blessings” occasionally showered from on high are no substitute for a consistently healthy work environment where people feel valued when it comes to motivating employees. President and CEO of Managed Medicaid Services Group, Richard Yardon, recently posted a short but accurate commentary about The Number One Way to Fail at Motivating Employees. The conclusion: incentives and employee values must be connected. Continue Reading