The genuine desire to increase the number of middle class jobs may be one of the only pieces of common ground on the American political landscape. The actual definition of “middle class” varies based on where you live, but the desire is universal. The most commonly accepted formula for determining [...]
The 1971 Oscar in the Short Film, Cartoon category went to a piece titled “Is It Always Right To Be Right.” It was directed by Lee Mishkin, narrated by Orson Welles, and written by Warren Schmidt. The opening words of the film are: There once was a land where people were always right. They knew they were right and they were proud of it. It was a land where people stated with confidence, "I am right and you are wrong." These were words of conviction, courage, strength, and moral certainty. In this fictional land, any attempt at cooperation and understanding were viewed as cowardice and weakness. Everyone was so convinced of their rightness that no one dared to utter words such as, “You may be right” or “I may be wrong.”
There has to be something we can learn from Washington’s failure to address the debt limit, right? There are three very important lessons about leading change you can take from the chaos over approving the federal budget and raising the debt ceiling.
This week’s blog is a rant about the sequester that went in place in March. If you are sick and tired of the discussion, check back next week for something else. If you want to understand the impact of irresponsible leadership, read on. I promise this will step on everyone’s toes.
This blog was first published in 2010. Considering we are near the end of perhaps the most divisive Presidential elections in recent U.S. history, it is an excellent time for all of us to reflect and ask ourselves - are we leaders or liars?
The American economy needs to grow again. Not the 1.5 – 2.0 percent growth we have seen over the past months. We need real growth in the 3.5 – 4.0 percent range. That is the only way to put millions of people back to work; advance our quality of life; [...]
The numbers are in, and people lack confidence. Not all people, but enough of them to slow consumer spending and business investment. Lack of confidence changes behavior. Confident consumers spend more money because they believe the future will be positive. Confident sales people make more sales because they trust their ability and the value of their product. Confident companies invest in innovation, talent development, and new equipment because they believe that they will be rewarded for their investment.
The U.S. economy is in a self-fulfilling death spiral propelled by mistrust. There is a good chance that the same thing can be said of your industry, your employer, and your career. Growth requires investment, and that requires confidence. You can’t cut your way to sustainable growth. When trust is absent, people naturally protect their immediate self-interest. This will occur even if it leads to their long-term individual and collective undoing.
President Obama’s falling approval rating came up during a conversation with my friend, Larry Winget, and it started me thinking: Is he becoming the next Glenn Beck? The mere thought of this comparison is likely to explode heads on both ends of the political spectrum. So wrap yourself in duct tape and hang with me for a moment. There are interesting similarities and a leadership lesson for everyone.
Someone recently asked me why I use so many examples from political leaders when discussing effective leadership. Isn’t it obvious? Every week elected leaders and candidates give us something that is simply too good to ignore. This week’s example is the brou ha ha over President Obama’s bus trip through the heartland. In case you missed it, a number of people were upset that the President left his “real job” in Washington to ride through the middle of the U.S. on a new tricked out bus while conducting town hall meetings and visiting the Fair. To the President’s detractors, this was a blatantly political act designed to take the focus off of the two leading Republican presidential candidates, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and Governor Rick Perry. Bachmann and Perry were also taking time away from their “real jobs” to ride through America’s heartland on tricked out buses attending town hall meetings and Fairs. The only apparent difference is that they were asking people to give them a new job while on the clock at their current job while the President was accused of asking people if he could keep his current job.