Photo by TheSeafarer on flickr.
Not too many weeks ago, I received an email from LinkedIn indicating someone had endorsed me for a skill. After deleting the message, I noticed another one appeared the following day. Taking the bait, I clicked, signed in, and saw the new Endorsements feature at work.
I thought about blogging about this new feature immediately. After thinking about it, I decided to wait a few weeks to see if my opinion changed.
The new feature has been widely criticized. And, at first, I was with the critics. Many people are complaining:
When I asked my own network for opinions, they were varied. Here are a few:
How It Works
If you are a student of leadership, you will likely know the name John Baldoni. His many books including Lead With Purpose, Lead Your Boss, How Great Leaders Get Great Results and Lead By Example all line the bookshelves of my office. If you somehow missed all of his books on leadership, you may have read his work in publications such as Inc.com, Fast Company, Forbes, CBSNews/MoneyWatch, Bloomberg/Businessweek, and Harvard Business Review, the Wall Street Journal or the Washington Post.
What I like most about John’s work is that it is practical. I can put his advice to use immediately. His latest book is The Leader’s Pocket Guide: 101 Indispensable Tools, Tips, and Techniques for Any Situation.
John, this pocket guide seems to distill so much of your work in bite-sized tips. What motivated you to write this pocket guide?
This book is the result of my work with executives I have coached over the past decade or so. As I say in the dedication to the book, my impact on them has been small but their impact on me has been large.
You start the book with self-leadership, then move to working with colleagues and finally an entire organization. Why is self-leadership always the starting point?
One cannot lead others without leading oneself. So where does that begin? With self-awareness and self-understanding. So often I work with executives who are capable leaders and are giving to others but they end up shorting themselves. This section focuses on things to do to develop your critical thinking, awareness and presence. All are critical to leadership.
When I first became a CEO, I noticed something strange.
In a meeting, I was suddenly funnier. The slightest hint at humor could erupt the room into laughter. I was also smarter. And my arguments were more persuasive. Heads would bob up and down as I made a point.
Obviously my new title didn’t bestow some magical gift of brilliance. What it provided was positional power, and people were reacting to the position.
Immediately, I knew what happened. It took me longer to figure out what to do about it.
I’d seen this much earlier in my career when people would “parrot” the CEO. I call it the Parrot Principle. To get along and be accepted, some find it’s just easier to parrot the CEO than to think critically, to argue, or to be independent. Why rock the boat when you can just agree and repeat what you’re told?
The cause is usually fear. Fear of losing a job or of not being in the inner circle. It’s also a symptom of a culture needing change.
Because of a lack of self-confidence, a fear of job loss, or an extreme need for acceptance, it is easier to agree with the boss than to advance a different point of view.
The result is usually what I call a “pocket veto” where people nod in a meeting, then go outside and talk about what they really believe. It’s bad for everyone. The company is not served well. The CEO may not even realize what’s happening. And the parrot is building distrust throughout the organization.
It’s not just the new CEO who faces this problem. It’s almost any new position of power. If others are dependent on you, you can be vulnerable to the Parrot Principle.
So what can you do about it?
- You are what you are and where you are because of what has gone into your mind. You can change what you are and where you are by changing what goes into your mind.
- Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.
- You are the only person on earth who can use your ability.
- People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing. That’s why we recommend it daily.
- You can have everything in life you want, if you just help enough other people get what they want.
- If you go looking for a friend, you’re going to find they’re very scarce. If you go out to be a friend, you’ll find them everywhere.
- Confidence is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you.
- Remember that failure is an event, not a person.
- A goal properly set is halfway reached.
- Every sale has five basic obstacles: no need, no money, no hurry, no desire, no trust.
- Sometimes adversity is what you need to face in order to become successful.
- You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win.
- Don’t be distracted by criticism. Remember – The only taste of success some people have is when they take a bite out of you.
- Of course motivation is not permanent. But then, neither is bathing; but it is something you should do on a regular basis.
- Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.
- You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.
- If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.
- Success is the maximum utilization of the ability that you have.
- If you learn from defeat, you have not really lost.
What’s your favorite Zig Ziglar quote? Do you have one to add?
Photo by Telstar Logistics on flickr.
Mary Kay Cosmetics had a huge influence on my professional life.
Are you imagining me driving in a pink Cadillac? Hosting Mary Kay parties?
What an image. Unlikely. Didn’t happen. (But don’t laugh because there are men who apparently are quite successful.)
So how did Mary Kay have such a big impact on me?
In my very first post on this blog, I shared the unique way I grew up. My parents took people in. All ages, races, religions. Some would stay a night while others stayed for years. That meant that there were usually more girls at home than just my four natural sisters. My mom wanted to earn some extra income and save money on buying all of the required cosmetics and skin care. Someone recruited her into Mary Kay.
Everything you do has an impact.
What impact did that have on a teenage boy?