First Friday Book Synopsis

"…like CliffNotes on steroids…"

Blogging on Business Update from Bob Morris (Week of 11/18/13)

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I hope that at least a few of these recent posts will be of interest to you:

BOOK REVIEWS

The Leader’s Guide to Speaking with Presence: How to Project Confidence, Conviction, and Authority
John Baldoni

Surrounded by Geniuses: Unlocking the Brilliance in Yourself, Your Colleagues, and Your Organization
Alan S. Gregermnan

What It Takes: Seven Secrets of Success from the World’s Greatest Professional Firms
Charles D. Ellis

Subliminal: How the Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior

Leonard Mlodinow

INTERVIEWS

John Baldoni: An interview by Bob Morris
BOB

Bernard J. Tyson (chief executive of Kaiser Permanente) in “The Corner Office”
Adam Bryant
The New York Times

A Q&A with “The Father of the Lean Startup Movement”: Steve Blank
Lauren Everitt
Poets&Quants

Amy Errett (chief executive and co-founder of Madison Reed) in “The Corner Office”
Adam Bryant
The New York Times

COMMENTARIES

“50 Years After Assassination, Kennedy Books Offer New Analysis”
Lynn Neary
NPR

“What Type of Thinker Are You?”
Toni Bernhard
Psychology Today

“Brain Food Nuggets (41-50)”
BOB

“A Failing Global Workplace
Jim Clifton
LinkedIn Pulse

“10 Strategies for Increasing Your Creativity”
Daniel Burrus
LinkedIn

“The road to America leads through Gettysburg”
Nancy F. Koehn
Washington Post

“Divine Fury: A Brief History of Genius”
Maria Popova
Brain Pickings

“Finding your digital sweet spot”
‘Tunde Olanrewaju and Paul Willmott
McKinsey Quarterly

“How to Influence People Like a CEO”
Douglas Conant
LinkedIn

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To check out these resources and other content, please click here.

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013 Posted by | Bob's blog entries | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The road to America leads through Gettysburg

Reenactors participate in a demonstration during the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, Saturday, June 29, 2013, in Gettysburg, Pa. (AP Photo/Richmond Times Dispatch, Zach Gibson)

Reenactors participate in a demonstration during the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, Saturday, June 29, 2013, in Gettysburg, Pa. (AP Photo/Richmond Times Dispatch, Zach Gibson)

Here is a brief excerpt from an article by Nancy F. Koehn for the Washington Post. To read the complete article, check out other resources, obtain subscription information, and sign up for email alerts, please click here.

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All roads to our America lead through Gettysburg. 150 years ago, President Lincoln arrived there around dusk and set foot on the sacred soil that, just four months earlier, had run with blood of the Civil War. Then the next morning, November 19, 1863, he stood under a clear sky—on earth since transformed from a battlefield to a burial ground—and delivered a deceptively simple speech atop Cemetery Hill that, in just a few short minutes, changed American history forever.

To this day, the Gettysburg Address continues to shape who we are as a people and as a nation. Without it, we don’t have Martin Luther King, Jr. standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial 100 years later saying, “I Have a Dream.” We don’t have John and Robert Kennedy taking the first tentative steps toward civil rights legislation. We don’t have, nearly 50 years after that, the election of our nation’s first black president.

Without the Gettysburg Address, we don’t have the promise of America brought to complicated, often difficult life.

In the battle itself, more than 50,000 men on both sides had been killed, captured or wounded in a three-day struggle that ended with the Confederate army retreating south across the Potomac. It was a Union victory, in a way, but Lincoln was furious and disappointed that Federal troops hadn’t pursued the defeated Confederates as they marched back, crushed the rebel army and ended the war.

In the ensuing months, as the fighting dragged on, Lincoln tried to make sense of the magnitude and duration of the conflict and of its enormous, mounting losses. What was the essence of the nation for which so many Americans, black as well as white, had sacrificed so much? How did the ultimate meaning of America explain, perhaps even redeem, the war itself and why it must continue to be waged?

It was out of his unshakeable responsibility, his empathy, his melancholy, his exasperation, his ability to divine the right and his commitment to preserve the Union that the substance of what would become the Gettysburg Address was born.

With his speech, he provided a template for what we have since come to define as the heart of great American leadership. Lincoln shared his vision for the country’s future, helping its citizens look beyond the horrors toward greater good—and beyond the nation’s imperfections and dangers, toward progress and redemption.

Lincoln left Gettysburg the evening of November 19th satisfied he had delivered his intended messages: a rebirth of founding ideals and a plea for his fellow Americans to change their own hearts. He explained how the conflict would serve as a reconstruction of the “nation,” a word he used five times in that short address. In late 1863, however, no one believed that the president’s remarks comprised a speech for the ages.

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To read the complete article, please click here.

Ent6493Nancy F. Koehn is an historian at the Harvard Business School where she holds the James E. Robison chair of Business Administration. Koehn’s research focuses on entrepreneurial leadership and how leaders, past and present, craft lives of purpose, worth, and impact. She is currently working on a book about the most important lessons from six leaders’ journeys, including Abraham Lincoln, Ernest Shackleton and Rachel Carson. Her most recent book, The Story of American Business: From the Pages of the New York Times (Harvard Business Press, 2009), examines the people, events, and larger forces that have shaped business in the twenty-first century.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013 Posted by | Bob's blog entries | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Adrian Gostick and Chester Felton on how to establish clear accountability

Felton & Gostick

Felton & Gostick

Here is a brief excerpt from an article co-authored by Adrian Gostick and Chester Felton in which they share their thoughts about one of management’s greatest challenges: Instilling a sense of personal accountability within those who comprise a workforce. To read the complete article and check other resources, please click here.

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When we are asked to name one thing that can safeguard a team’s long-term performance, the answer is: become more accountable. To grow a great culture, you need to cultivate a place where people have to do more than show up and fog a mirror; they have to fulfill promises—not only collectively but individually.

A lack of accountability is one of the most corrosive elements of poor work cultures. It shows up in many ways: people failing to take responsibility, missed deadlines, errors in judgment, misunderstandings, over-promising, personal failures, petty disagreements, unfair expectations, and a marshmallow mound of “should have’s.”

But accountability is widely misunderstood as being all about the punitive. To be “held accountable” generally implies that a punishment is coming. How often do employees get the message that the boss wants to see them and feel a tightening in their stomachs—Yeah, just give me a minute while I go throw up.

An employee in the hospitality industry made the point to us so simply that we will never forget it: “When I make a mistake,” she said, “I’m recognized one hundred percent of the time; when I do something great, I’m not recognized ninety-nine percent of the time.” What would happen to her workplace if that 1 percent positive accountability could be turned into 2, 5, 10, or 20 percent?

Heavy-handed leadership such as this is not true accountability; it’s criticizing them. Accountability at its highest level is about assigning responsibility with realistic goals, evaluating progress and making positive course corrections at milestones, removing obstacles, and then closing the loop by celebrating successes or honestly and openly evaluating misses.

Some managers back off on individual accountability because they are somehow afraid of the confrontational side of the issue. But the truth is, a lack of accountability actually frustrates employees just as much as it does you. Employees really do want to do a good job, and holding them accountable is an important way we help them do just that. When accountability is instituted in positive ways, it helps people feel the satisfaction of achieving a goal and performing up to (or even surpassing) expectations. But it also allows them to clearly understand when they’re falling short and where they need to improve. Accountability helps people grow.

* * *

Internationally recognized workplace experts Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton are partners in the consulting firm The Culture Works. Adrian is the author of several best-selling books on corporate culture, including the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestsellers The Carrot Principle and All In. His research has been called a “must read for modern-day managers” by Larry King of CNN, “fascinating,” by Fortune magazine and “admirable and startling” by the Wall Street Journal. As a leadership expert, he has appeared on numerous television programs including NBC’s Today Show and has been quoted in dozens of business publications and magazines.

Chet has been called the “apostle of appreciation” by the Globe and Mail, Canada’s largest newspaper, and “creative and refreshing” by the New York Times. The co-author of All In, The Carrot Principle and The Orange Revolution, his books have sold more than a million copies worldwide. Chester has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Fast Company magazine, and New York Times, and he appears in a weekly segment on CBS News Radio.

Monday, August 19, 2013 Posted by | Bob's blog entries | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Millennial Women Aren’t Opting Out; They’re Doubling Down

HBR (red)Here is a brief excerpt from an article co-authored by Sarah Green and Walter Frick for Harvard Business Review and the HBR Blog Network. To read the complete article, check out the wealth of free resources, and sign up for a subscription to HBR email alerts, please click here.

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Wonks have zeroed in on a detail of last Friday’s lackluster jobs report and a recent report from the Urban Institute
to discuss a notable data point: a small decline in the number of twentysomething women entering the workforce. Ezra Klein and Evan Soltas of the Washington Post write, “In particular, [labor force entry has] suffered among women — and it’s really suffered among young women — who are a lot less likely to enter the labor force than they were in 2002 and 2003.”

The question is: why?

As Papa Kwaku Osei at Quartz writes, “The labor force participation rate hasn’t been falling because of discouraged workers, but because the very people who used to look for jobs are now choosing to go to college. And most of them are female millennials.” This is interesting from the perspective of the jobs report, but let’s not lose the bigger picture: the trend toward higher college enrollment among women dwarfs the decline in labor force participation. Indeed, while the Quartz slug reads “opt out,” these women are actually doubling down.

doublingdown

This investment in education makes sound economic sense. While the youth unemployment rate has remained high, post-recession, the more education you have the more likely you are to work. “For those [aged 16-24] with less than a high school diploma, 14 percent worked full-time, compared to 66 percent with a bachelor’s degree or higher,” notes Diana G. Carew at the Progressive Policy Institute.

Indeed, when you look at the rate at which young women have flocked to college in the last ten years, and compare it with the rate at which they’re delaying entry into the workforce, you realize that most of these women are working and attending college at the same time.

This raises a bigger question. Why does our monthly jobs conversation cover such a paltry part of the picture? It’s well known, at this point, that the headline unemployment rate only covers those who are actively seeking work — thus, discouraged job-seekers aren’t even counted. For a fuller picture you have to dig deeper into the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ monthly report to get at “alternative measures of labor utilization” such as U-5 and U-6 unemployment. Most media coverage of the jobs report still mentions only the headline number, although the pieces cited above are good examples of trying to get beyond it.

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To read the complete article, please click here.

Sarah Green and Walter Frick are editors at Harvard Business Review. To check out more of their blog posts, please click here.

Friday, August 16, 2013 Posted by | Bob's blog entries | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Best of The Summer: 6 Books The Critics Adore

critics

Here is the introduction to an online article written by Lynn Neary for National Public Radio (NPR). Each of three prominent critics — Ron Charles, Washington Post Book Critic; Marcela Valdes, Freelance Reviewer; and Laura Miller, Salon.com Book Critic — provides a mini-review of two books. They are acommpanied by “More from Critics’ Lists: Summer 2013.”

To read the complete article and/or listen to the story (“All Things Considered”), check out other resources, and learn more about NPR, please click here.

Illustration: Andrew Bannecker

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There is no one definition of a summer book. It can be a 1,000-page biography, a critically acclaimed literary novel, a memoir everyone is talking about — or it might be your favorite guilty pleasure: romance, crime, science fiction. Whatever you choose, it should be able to sweep you away to another world, because there is nothing like getting totally lost in a book on summer day. Here are a few books that swept away some of our favorite critics.

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This Is NPR: “A thriving media organization at the forefront of digital innovation, NPR creates and distributes award-winning news, information, and music programming to a network of 975 independent stations. Through them, NPR programming reaches 26 million listeners every week.” To learn more, please click here.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013 Posted by | Bob's blog entries | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

John A. Daly: An interview by Bob Morris

Daly is the Liddell Professor of Communication and TCB Professor of Management at The University of Texas at Austin. While at the university, he has won every major Daly is the Liddell Professor of Communication and TCB Professor of Management at The University of Texas at Austin. While at the university, he has won every major award given on campus for undergraduate teaching. John has been the president of the National Communication Association, and served on the Board of Directors of both the International Customer Service Association and the International Communication Association. He is one of fewer than 70 scholars in the world who is a Fellow of the International Communication Association. Fellows are recognized for their major scholarly contributions.

He has published numerous research articles in scholarly periodicals and produced eight books. John’s latest book is Advocacy: Championing Ideas and Influencing Others. His work has also appeared in any number of popular outlets including Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Investor’s Business Daily, and New York Times. He has also worked with many organizations on topics related to communication, advocacy and leadership. These include such major firms as Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Merck, Pfizer, USAA, Union Pacific, Kraft, Apple, IBM, Shell, ExxonMobil, Texas Instruments, 3M and Dell. In addition, he worked at the White House some years ago.

Here is an excerpt from my interview of him. To read the complete interview, please click here.

* * *

Morris: Before discussing Advocacy, a few general questions. First, who has had the greatest influence on your personal growth? How so?

Daly: Honestly, my wife. She is far wiser than anyone else I know.

Morris: The greatest impact on your professional development? How so?

Daly: My students who ask brilliant questions on a regular basis.

Morris: Years ago, was there a turning point (if not an epiphany) that set you on the career course you continue to follow? Please explain.

Daly:
In terms of my work on advocacy, the turning point was when I was working with a company and one brilliant employee complained he didn’t get the credit he deserved for his ideas. He was right. This prompted me to start exploring what it takes for people, like this scientist, to get their ideas adopted.

Morris: To what extent has your formal education been invaluable to what you have accomplished in life thus far?

Daly: All of it has mattered. I was at different stages of personal growth at different points in my career. My undergraduate years were lots of fun and thanks to some splendid faculty I pursued graduate school. And graduate school offered me brilliant mentors and the opportunity to do what I like the most—research and teach.

Morris: What do you know now about business world that you wish you knew when you when to work full-time for the first time? Why?

Daly: The politics are very real. It isn’t your accomplishment that matter alone; it is your ability to market those accomplishments that often make the real difference. There is a politics to ideas.

Morris: Of all the films that you have seen, which – in your opinion – best dramatizes important business principles? Please explain.

Daly: An old movie — Twelve o’Clock High comes to mind…it is about leadership, teamwork, delegation.

Morris: From which non-business book have you learned the most valuable lessons about business? Please explain.

Daly: Two answers For general knowledge — biographies; for my interest in advocacy — Machiavelli’s The Prince.

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To read the complete interview, please click here.

John cordially invites you to check out the resources at these websites:

His faculty page.

Communication Studies page.

McCombs School of Business page.

John’s Amazon page.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012 Posted by | Bob's blog entries | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dan Pink on “the puzzle of innovation”: A TED video

 

I check out TED videos every chance I get because they comprise a treasury of information, insights, and wisdom provided by thought leaders in one or more of three fields: Technology, Entertainment, and Design. Dan Pink has much of value to say about all three.

 

He is the author of several provocative, bestselling books about the changing world of work. His latest book, DRiVE: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, uses 40 years of behavioral science to overturn the conventional wisdom about human motivation and offer a more effective path to high performance. A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future charts the rise of right-brain thinking in modern economies and describes the six abilities individuals and organizations must master in an outsourced, automated age. A Whole New Mind is a long-running New York Times and BusinessWeek bestseller that has been translated into 21 languages. Pink’s first book, Free Agent Nation: The Future of Working for Yourself, was a Washington Post bestseller that Publishers Weekly says it “has become a cornerstone of employee-management relations.” His next book, To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others, will be published in December (2012).

 

His articles on business and technology appear in many publications, including The New York Times, Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, and Wired, where he is a contributing editor. A free agent himself, Dan held his last real job in the White House, where he served from 1995 to 1997 as chief speechwriter to Vice President Al Gore. He also worked as an aide to U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich and in other positions in politics and government. He received a BA, with honors, from Northwestern University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and a JD from Yale Law School. To his lasting joy, he has never practiced law.

 

To watch a video during which he discusses “the puzzle of innovation,” please click here.

 

To check out my interview of him,  please click here.

 

 

 

Monday, September 10, 2012 Posted by | Bob's blog entries | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton: An interview by Bob Morris

Internationally recognized workplace experts Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton are partners in the consulting firm The Culture Works.

Adrian Gostick

Adrian Gostick is the author of several best-selling books on corporate culture, including the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestsellers The Carrot Principle and All In. His research has been called a “must read for modern-day managers” by Larry King of CNN, “fascinating,” by Fortune magazine and “admirable and startling” by the Wall Street Journal. As a leadership expert, he has appeared on numerous television programs including NBC’s Today Show and has been quoted in dozens of business publications and magazines.

 

 

 

Chester Elton

Chester Elton has been called the “apostle of appreciation,” by the Globe and Mail, Canada’s largest newspaper, and “creative and refreshing” by the New York Times. The co-author of All In, The Carrot Principle and The Orange Revolution, his books have sold more than a million copies worldwide. Chester has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Fast Company magazine, and New York Times, and he appears in a weekly segment on CBS News Radio.

Here is a brief excerpt from my interview of Adrian and Chester.

To read the complete interview, please click here.

*     *     *

Morris: Before discussing All In, a few general questions. First, who has had the greatest influence on your personal and professional growth? How so?

Gostick: We’ve talked about this often. Our parents were our first bosses—they gave us our moral compass, goals, and our first recognition. My dad worked 25 years for Rolls Royce in England. He taught me the value of working someplace where you can make a difference—not chasing money but doing work that you found purposeful.

Morris: Years ago, was there a turning point (if not an epiphany) that set you on the career course you continue to follow? Please explain.

Elton: About 15 years ago now I was working as a consultant with some large organizations in the Northeast. We were working at the time on employee recognition ideas and we were doing some really innovative things. I realized no one had ever written the definitive work on recognition. There were these 101 ways books. Most managers had one on their shelf, but no one ever read them. Just then my firm hired Adrian as its head of communication. We collaborated on our first book in the Carrot line and it really took off. Finally Simon & Schuster contacted us to do a big research book on the subject and that became The Carrot Principle. That book has now been translated in 25 languages and is sold around the world.

Gostick: Over the years since that release our work has taken us to the characteristics of the world’s best teams and now on to culture—something that we are hearing more and more from our clients. They want to know how to build not only a great corporate culture, but effective cultures in each of their smaller teams.

Morris: To what extent has your formal education been invaluable to what you have accomplished in life thus far?

Gostick: I was able to study 50 years of leadership theory and practicum in my master’s program at Seton Hall, and it has provided the backbone of the knowledge we use every day. My undergraduate work was in journalism, and my early work as a newspaper reporter taught me how to research, write, and rewrite.

Morris: To what extent (if any) does All In in final form differ significantly from what you originally envisioned?

Elton: We originally handed in the manuscript for All In to Simon & Schuster in the late summer of 2011. Four months later it went to press. Those four months were some of the hardest in our lives as our editor threw out half the book and demanded entire new chapters. While we had explained our findings well, we think, she pushed us to make the takeaways relevant for real business leaders. We spent so much time on explaining what a great culture looks like, we had neglected to tell readers “how” to do it. So many business books fall into that trap, and we are so grateful to Emily Loose, our editor, for pushing us to answer that paramount question: “I do what?”

Morris: Recent research studies by highly reputable firms such as Gallup and Towers Watson indicate that in a U.S. workforce, on average, fewer than 30% of the employees are actively and positively engaged; as for the others, they are either passively engaged (“mailing it in”) or actively disengaged. How specifically can business leaders increase the percentage of actively and positively engaged employees within their organizations?

Gostick: First, managers should understand there are some simple things they can do tomorrow that will make a big difference in their culture, but so few managers do them. For instance, the great leaders in our study treated their people like partners in the organization. That meant they created for their people a sense of connection by teaching them how their jobs impact the larger organization. And they showed them growth opportunities, how they can grow and develop with the company.

Next, these leaders also created a culture of rooting for each other with much greater levels of recognition and rewards. And finally, managers learned to create a share everything culture, where they honest and openly discussed issues.

Elton: Simple things really, but powerful. It comes down to opportunity, recognition and communication. Three things you can do right way to see results.

Morris: Given your response to the previous question, to what extent will those initiatives also help to retain valued employees who might otherwise leave?

Elton: The number one and number two reasons key performers leave an organization: one—I don’t feel in on things, and two—I don’t feel appreciated. It’s not money, it’s not job growth, people most often leave for things that are absolutely in our control as managers.

Morris: What do you know now about the business world that you wish you knew when you began your first full-time job? Please explain.

Gostick: When I first became a manager, I didn’t realize that there were people who did a good job but who were toxic to the culture. I waited much too long to get rid of those people.

Morris: Here’s a hypothetical question. If there were a monument honoring business leaders comparable with the one honoring U.S. Presidents on Mount Rushmore, sculpted by Danish-American Gutzon Borglum and his son, Lincoln Borglum, which four would you select? Please explain each choice.

Elton: I’ll give you one. One of our favorite leaders is someone most people have never heard of: Scott O’Neal. He’s president of Madison Square Garden Sports, and he’s the best leader we have ever met. One thing Scott does with every new hire: He asks them where they want to be in five years, and then he commits to help them get there if they promise to give 100 percent to him every day. And people do it, and in turn he’s helped business leaders all over the sports world achieve their dreams. He lives up to his promise.

Gostick: Here’s another one: Doria Camaraza. We feature her in chapter three of All In. Doria is the general manager of American Express’ 3,000-person call center in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. She is simply amazing. She seems to know every one of her employees, and spends her days making people included and recognized and wonderful. Her call center has employee turnover that is one fifth the national average and has the best efficiency and productivity numbers in the call center industry. My favorite thing she does is called Tribute, where she gathers all her employees together once a month and the leaders come out dancing to Lady Gaga or Aerosmith and then she recognizes a dozen people for living the core values of American Express. It’s really powerful and there are a lot of tears.

*     *     *

To read the complete interview, please click here.

Adrian and Chester cordially invite you to check out the resources at these websites:

The Culture Works

Amazon.com

Sunday, May 6, 2012 Posted by | Bob's blog entries | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Privacy Concerns for Social Media Increase

A recent study conducted by Pew Research published on Friday, February 24 in the Washington Post, and distributed nationally by the Associated Press, indicated that Social Media users are “managing their privacy settings and their online reputation more often than they did two years earlier.”  You can read the entire article by clicking here.

Nearly half of respondents said that they deleted comments from their profile, where two years ago, only 36 percent indicated the same thing.

Here are some other findings, published here directly from the article, that may interest you.  The paragraph labels in red are my own.

Women.  Women are much more likely than men to restrict their profiles. Pew found that 67 percent of women set their profiles so that only their “friends” can see it. Only 48 percent of men did the same.

Education.  Think all that time in school taught you something? People with the highest levels of education reported having the most difficulty figuring out their privacy settings. That said, only 2 percent of social media users described privacy controls as “very difficult to manage.”

Privacy.  The report found no significant differences in people’s basic privacy controls by age. In other words, younger people were just as likely to use privacy controls as older people. Sixty-two percent of teens and 58 percent of adults restricted access to their profiles to friends only.

Young Adults.  Young adults were more likely than older people to delete unwanted comments. Fifty-six percent of social media users aged 18 to 29 said they have deleted comments that others have made on their profile, compared with 40 percent of those aged 30 to 49 and 34 percent of people aged 50 to 64.

Men.  Men are more likely to post something they later regret. Fifteen percent of male respondents said they posted something regrettable, compared with 8 percent of female respondents.

Regrets. Possibly proving that with age comes wisdom, young adults were more likely to post something regrettable than their older counterparts. Fifteen percent of social network users aged 18 to 29 said they have posted something regrettable. Only 5 percent of people over 50 said the same thing.

Here is how the study was done.  Pew Research conducted a phone survey of 2,277 adults in April and May 2011. It had a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points. The data about teens came from a separate phone survey Pew conducted with teenagers and their parents.

Are you surprised by this?  Is your own use in line with these findings?   What would you have said if you were surveyed with the same questions?

Let’s talk about it really soon!

Monday, February 27, 2012 Posted by | Karl's blog entries | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Kristi Hedges: An interview by Bob Morris

Kristi Hedges is a leadership coach, speaker and author. In her 20-year career working with leaders to help them communicate more effectively she’s encountered every personality type imaginable, yet remains more than a little passionate that anyone can learn presence. Her workshops and leadership coaching programs have been utilized by CEOs and teams of all sizes in companies spanning the Fortune 500, government, non-profit and privately held businesses. She runs her own coaching practice, The Hedges Company, and is a founding partner in the leadership development firm, Element North.

Kristi blogs on leadership for Forbes.com, created and penned “The Leadership Factor” column for Entrepreneur.com. She’s been featured in publications such as Washington Post, Reuters, MSNBC.com, and CNBC.com. She’s been honored as one of the “50 Women Who Mean Business in Washington, D.C.” and as an owner of a top 25 Largest Women-Owned Businesses by the Washington Business Journal.

Prior to becoming a leadership coach, Kristi co-founded and ran one of the first technology communications firms in the Washington, D.C. area for a decade before successfully selling her interest. Her career highlights also include working for a national news outlet, and as a political consultant for dozens of electoral campaigns from U.S. President to statewide offices.

Here is an excerpt from an interview of her. To read the complete interview, please click here.

*     *     *

Morris: Was there a turning point (if not an epiphany) years ago that set you on the career course that you continue to follow? Please explain.

Hedges: I’m not sure there was one point, but rather many that directed me in my career. As an entrepreneur, leadership was my constant puzzle that was always studied, toyed with, improved, and yet unsolved. It became my passion, and that led me to become a leadership coach after I sold my interest in my last company.

Morris: To what extent has your formal education proven invaluable to what you have accomplished thus far?

Hedges: I have two degrees in communications, and my masters is in political communication and persuasion. They’ve both influenced my career, but as I wrote The Power of Presence, I realized that my graduate research provided a framework for many of the ideas I had about interpersonal communication and influence. In a way they were so embedded in my strategies, I had forgotten they were there.

Morris: What do you know now about the business world that you wish you knew when you completed your formal education and first went to work full-time?

Hedges: I wish I’d had a better sense of when to push and when to let things play out. I was very ambitious, impatient and worked my tail off — but I lacked perspective. I often underestimated how much time it takes to get the big picture. I knew the power of relationships, but I wish I would have developed deeper ones and asked for mentorship.

Morris: Opinions are divided (sometimes sharply divided) on the importance of charisma to effective leadership. What do you think?

Hedges: I actually hate the topic of charisma in leadership! I just don’t find it helpful. It makes those who don’t consider themselves charismatic (and frankly, few do) feel powerless to become stronger leaders. If you need to have this innate quality, why bother trying?

Jim Collins introduced the “hedgehog” style of leadership in Good to Great, as the most successful one. I agree with him. Great leaders can be charismatic, but it’s not a requirement.

Morris: However different the greatest leaders throughout history may be in most respects, what do all of them share in common in terms of their presence?

Hedges: Great leaders care deeply about the larger cause, whether it’s saving the environment or launching a company. They are passionate and know how to communicate their commitment to others. In my opinion, there is no substitute for a fire in the belly.

Morris: I don’t know about you but most (if not all) of the most valuable life lessons I have learned were from failure, not success. You have observed a countless number of people who do or don’t possess highly-developed personal presence. Here’s a two-part question. First, what are the most valuable lessons to be learned from those who do?

Hedges: People with great presence have an ability to relate to others. There’s an openness there, an authentic connection, and trustworthiness. They make others feel “more than” rather than diminished, even from a short conversation.

Morris: From those who do not possess a highly-developed personal presence?

Hedges: Many times a weak presence comes from being overly guarded or perfectionistic. If we don’t know someone or they’re intimidating, we can’t relate. To have presence, you need to blend your competency with your humanity. You can be powerful and still be a real person.

Morris: I have never been physically present in an audience to which Steve Jobs spoke but I have probably seen most (if not all) of the films of him in action. In your opinion, why was he an “insanely great” public speaker?

Hedges: Steve Jobs staged every speech down to the smallest detail. He was meticulous about how he communicated. Anyone who takes their communication that seriously is going to be good. However, Jobs’ greatness came from his authentic passion for Apple products. He knew how to use his own excitement to tap into the energy of others. He also knew that speeches should be about an experience, not words on a screen. He make the audience part of the conversation, not merely observers.

Morris: Through your association with The Hedges Company and Element North, you have helped numerous companies to improve their leadership development programs. Presumably you begin each new relationship with a situation analysis. What are you most eager to learn that you did not already know? Why?

Hedges: I always start with gathering the impression of leadership from the broader company. Leaders set the tone and cement the culture. If they are seen as uncaring or incompetent, that has to be addressed first. No leadership program will work if there’s a fundamental problem at the top. It’s always interesting to juxtapose those findings against what a company’s leadership believes their impression to be. If there’s a disconnect, that’s a red flag.

*     *     *

To read the complete interview, please click here.

Kristi Hedges cordially invites you to check out the resources at these websites:

http://www.thehedgescompany.com

http://www.elementnorth.com/index.html

The Power of Presence: Unlock Your Potential to Influence and Engage Others

The Power of Presence: Unlock Your Potential to Influence and Engage Others

Buy from Amazon


You can also follow her on Twitter @kristihedges.

Saturday, February 4, 2012 Posted by | Bob's blog entries | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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