In an era of Casual Fridays and work-from-home colleagues, how can you maintain effective office communication in a changing business climate?
We’ll steer you through changes in business etiquette, and help you successfully navigate through the new realities of workplace conflict and office politics.
Kelly Slater’s older brother used to turn everything into a contest,
and he always made sure Kelly lost. That, coupled with their drunken
father and angry mother, forged Kelly Slater into a fierce competitor
and a wild man on a surfboard.
Sure, you want a hard-charging successor to continue your work. But you also want someone who leads with compassion and loyalty to
someone other than himself. You don’t want a narcissist succeeding you. Run your protégé through this gantlet to see how he scores on the narcissist scale.
What are the most common foibles that cause promising leaders to fail? These are the traps that can bring you down:
It often happens that a leader’s early life tells volumes about his
character. Here’s a story from U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., about
his first job at a grocery store in Stotesbury, W.Va., a mining town
where he’d worked his way up to meat cutter in 1935.
You’ve probably heard of “Occam’s Razor,” the maxim that says you
should heed the simplest answer to a difficult question. But who is or
was Occam and why should you care?
Ping Fu’s first 23 years were marked by imprisonment and torture in
China, first as a child and later for dutifully researching, as
assigned, the country’s epidemic of infanticide. Locked for days alone
in utter darkness, she hoped her execution would be quick. Instead, officials exiled her to America.
When he spoke at the opening of his 1964 trial, Nelson Mandela never
denied that he planned sabotage against the white South African
government. In fact, he painstakingly explained his rationale for
violence, having concluded that peaceful means to gaining civil rights
for blacks were not working.
Germany’s new chancellor, Angela Merkel, already is showing skill as a
conciliator in piecing together her coalition government from an array
of bitter rivals. A big part of that skill rests on her mastery of communication: Merkel
doesn’t seek attention, but when she’s got it, she speaks the bitter
truth—die bittere Wahrheit, in German—without being abrasive.
One of the most common blunders leaders make is ignoring the obvious. Three ways to avoid that fate:
You’ll know you’ve made it as a leader when your enemies sit up and take notice. In the case of U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, his enemies’ kinder labels for him include “New York’s other liberal
senator” and “perhaps the key Democrat” on the Senate Judiciary
Committee, which played a major role in vetting President Bush’s two
recent successful Supreme Court nominations.