Here is an excerpt from an article written by Karl Staib for Copyblogger.com.
The Mr. Rogers Guide to Blogging from the Heart
As bloggers, we put a lot of effort into telling our readers how to do things.
We believe that if we can just give them enough informative content that they’ll subscribe to our blog and never leave. We try to become the best teacher we possibly can, instilling wisdom down into short, usable posts that our readers can put into action right away.
But what if that’s not what they really want?
What if they don’t want a teacher to tell them what to do?
What if all they’re looking for is a warm and understanding person who understands what they’re going through and is willing to love them, no matter what?
Someone like (you guessed it) Mr. Rogers.
Do you care how they feel?
Being a kid can be tough.
Everyone is always telling you to be quiet. No one wants to listen to what you think. Your parents make you go to bed, just when all of the fun is starting.
But not Mr. Rogers.
Fred Rogers made you feel like it was just you and he hanging out. He respected what you thought. He loved you, not because he had to (like your parents), but because he genuinely believed you were special.
After a while, you believed him. You felt special. You came back to the TV, day after day, just so you could feel that way again.
The best bloggers do that too. I read Copyblogger everyday for years before submitting this guest post, and it wasn’t just the information that kept me coming back. It was because, when I was done reading, it made me feel smarter, like I was one of the few people on the web who was truly in the know.
The more I think about it, the more I believe that’s a part of our job. Our job as bloggers isn’t just to inform our readers, but to make them feel special.
And yes, I realize it’s a little hokey, but I think Mr. Rogers can show us how.
* * *
In the balance of the article, Karl Staib provides and discusses several “lessons” and then provides a link to an especially informative video:
To read the complete article, other articles, and receive free updates, please visit http://www.copyblogger.com/.
About the Author: Karl Staib writes about building stronger relationships and being happy at work: Work Happy Now! If you enjoyed this article, you may like to subscribe to his feed, follow him on Twitter, or read one of his most popular articles: How to Write a Career List.
Roger Martin on healing American capitalism
Here is an excerpt from an article written by Roger Martin for the Harvard Business blog. To read the complete article, check out other articles and resources, and/or sign up for a free subscription to Harvard Business Daily Alerts, please visit http://blogs.hbr.org/.
* * *
Five Ways to Heal American Capitalism
Three things have to happen in concert to heal the ailing American democratic capitalist system:
1. Senior executives have to be helped out of a conflicted state in which they know they are living inauthentic business lives but are both too scared of the capital markets and too addicted to stock-based compensation to change by themselves.
2. Boards of directors who have drunk the Kool-Aid of stock-based compensation need to be saved from their own delusions about its effectiveness.
3. The hedge funds that have become so emboldened that they now hunt in predatory packs, destroying companies in order to reap arbitrage profits, need a serious smack-down.
These changes will require government intervention, not my favorite approach, but sometimes the only way.
[Note: Martin offers five “prescriptions.” Here is Martin’s discussion of senior executives and the first prescription.]
Let’s start with senior executives. As things stand, they’re expected to predict the future, which they can’t do, and are punished by the capital markets when they are wrong. This causes most of them to manipulate earnings to make themselves right, which is hardly conducive to psychological health as I’ve argued before.
Hence Prescription #1: Repeal the ‘Safe Harbor’ provision of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. There should be no safe harbor whatsoever for “anticipating,” “projecting,” “expecting,” “estimating” or any of the other “forward-looking” weasel-words used by senior executives when “predicting” earnings. This will encourage senior executives to break the habit of giving guidance and, by extension, of manipulating numbers to hit their guidance numbers. They can get back to the psychologically rewarding business of actually creating value.
* * *
To read the complete article, check out other articles and resources, and/or sign up for a free subscription to Harvard Business Daily Alerts, please visit http://blogs.hbr.org/.
Roger Martin is the Dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto in Canada and the author of The Design of Business: Why Design Thinking is the Next Competitive Advantage (Harvard Business Press, 2009). His website is rogerlmartin.com.
Denial is Tedlow’s latest book and, in my opinion, his most important and most valuable…thus far. As he explains in the Introduction, “Denial is the unconscious calculus that if an unpleasant reality were true, it would be too terrible, so therefore it cannot be true. It is what Sigmund Freud described as a combination of ‘knowing with not knowing.’ It is, in George Orwell’s blunt formulation, ‘protective stupidity.’” Tedlow acknowledges that there are several short-term benefits of denial (e.g. it is soothing, convenient, allows us to live in a world we have created and thus control…“while it lasts”) and that is why it is so seductive. “Denial sometimes actually works,” as with entrepreneurs who refuse to be discouraged despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of new businesses fail. Also, the inevitability of catastrophe does not mean that we personally will suffer the consequences.” In most circumstances, denial does work in the short-term.
What we have in this extraordinarily informative as well as eloquent book is a comprehensive explanation of what the subtitle correctly indicates: “why business leaders fail to look facts in the face – and what to do about it.” Tedlow carefully organizes his material within two Parts. In the first, he examines those who “got it wrong” (i.e. refused to face realities). They include Henry Ford and his denial of what consumers wanted, five major tire manufacturers (i.e. Goodyear, Firestone, Uniroyal, BFGoodrich, and GenCorp) who denied the significance of the “radial revolution” initiated in Europe, and A&P’s denial of emerging demographics and consumer preferences. In Part II, Tedlow shifts his attention to several examples of those business leaders who “got it right” at DuPont, Intel, and Johnson & Johnson.
Tedlow devotes the final chapter to providing what he characterizes as a “new point of view,” one that is guided and informed by eight “lessons” to be learned, from those business leaders who, in ways and to an extent best revealed in context, overcame he “unconscious calculus” of “protective stupidity.” Throughout his lively narrative, Tedlow’s focus is on helping his reader understand to (a) what denial is, (b) why it is so “seductive,” and (c) how to resist its appeal. The eight lessons discussed in the final chapter help to achieve that worthy objective and should be reviewed from time to time. Why? Because denial is not an all-or-nothing proposition. “It is a continuum. Individuals and organizations have the power to determine where on that continuum they fall…human brings and companies are capable of positioning themselves further toward the ‘facing facts’ end of the spectrum than the ‘denial’ end.” Resisting denial requires a continuous “battle” that must be fought every day on many fronts.
Thanks to Richard Tedlow, those who read this book will be well-armed.