Inspirational Quotations #672

We cannot change anything unless we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses.
Carl Jung

The tragedy is that so many have ambition and so few have ability.
William Feather

The man who is prepared has his battle half fought.
Miguel de Cervantes

Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings—always darker, emptier and simpler.
Friedrich Nietzsche

You cannot run with the hare and hunt with the hounds.
Common Proverb

If thy associates be insane, be thou sensible.
The Talmud

Men must be governed by God or they will be ruled by tyrants.
William Penn

So difficult it is to show the various meanings and imperfections of words when we have nothing else but words to do it with.
John Locke

Every failure, obstacle or hardship is an opportunity in disguise. Success in many cases is failure turned inside out. The greatest pollution problem we face today is negativity. Eliminate the negative attitude and believe you can do anything. Replace ‘if I can, I hope, maybe’ with ‘I can, I will, I must.’
Mary Kay Ash

What can’t be cured, must be endured.
Common Proverb

History never looks like history when you are living through it.
John W. Gardner

The more we study the more we discover our ignorance.
Percy Bysshe Shelley

Principles have no real force except when one is well-fed.
Mark Twain

Chance usually favors the prudent man.
Joseph Joubert

Lend only that which you can afford to lose.
Common Proverb

What Do You Want to Be Remembered for?

The Curious History of the Nobel Prizes: Alfred Nobel Changed His Likely Legacy from “Merchant of Death”

Alfred Nobel Changed His Only Likely Legacy from The Swedish scientist Alfred Nobel (1833–96) is most remembered in the awarding of Nobel Prizes every year. The spur for the Nobel Prizes apparently came from a remarkable incident of careless journalism.

Nobel patented the explosive dynamite in 1867. Before long, he became very wealthy as the owner of a vast international explosives empire.

In 1888, Alfred’s brother Ludvig died. A French newspaper wrongly announced Alfred’s death instead under the title “Le marchand de la mort est mort” (Eng. trans. “The merchant of death is dead.”) The article called him the “dynamite king” and reported, “Dr. Alfred Nobel, who became rich by finding ways to kill more people faster than ever before, died yesterday.”

Upon reading this obituary, Alfred Nobel was so distressed at the prospect of how the world possibly could remember him. He wanted to leave a better legacy for himself and rewrote his will. Nobel left 94 percent of his estate to institute five prizes to celebrate the greatest achievements in chemistry, physics, physiology/medicine, literature, and peace. (The “Nobel Memorial” economics prize was instituted in 1968 by the Sweden’s central bank.)

Make a Conscious Intention to Embrace the Spirit of Your Life’s Work

'Managing the Nonprofit Organization' by Peter Drucker (ISBN 0060851147) Peter Drucker (1909–2005,) the 20th century’s leading thinker on business and management, advocated self renewal through the probing question “What do you want to be remembered for?” in his Managing the Non-Profit Organization:

When I was thirteen I had an inspiring teacher of religion who one day went right through the class of boys asking each one, “What do you want to be remembered for?” None of us, of course, could give an answer. So, he chuckled and said, “I didn’t expect you to be able to answer it. But if you still can’t answer it by the time you’re fifty, you will have wasted your life.”

I’m always asking that question: “What do you want to be remembered for?” It is a question that induces you to renew yourself, because it pushes you to see yourself as a different person—the person you can become. If you are fortunate, someone with moral authority will ask you that question early enough in your life so that you will continue to ask it as you go through life.

Your Life’s Work Becomes the Essence of Your Legacy

'Self-Renewal: The Individual and the Innovative Society' by John W. Gardner (ISBN 039331295X) Emphasizing self-renewal and its inhibitors, the American intellectual John W. Gardner wrote extensively about the need to embrace change for personal enrichment and fulfillment. In his seminal Self-Renewal: the Individual and the Innovative Society (1964,) Gardner encourages a sentient attitude toward the future to kindle self-renewal:

For self-renewing men and women the development of their own potentialities and the process of self-discovery never end. It is a sad but unarguable fact that most people go through their lives only partially aware of the full range of their abilities. … Exploration of the full range of our own potentialities is not something that we can safely leave to the chances of life. It is something to be pursued systematically, or at least avidly, to the end of our days. We should look forward to an endless and unpredictable dialogue between our potentialities and the claims of life—not only the claims we encounter but the claims we invent. And by the potentialities I mean not just skills, but the full range capacities for sensing, wondering, learning, understanding, loving, and aspiring.

Idea for Impact: Asking, “What should be your legacy?” is a Great Self-Actualizing Exercise

The English novelist Jane Austen (1775–1817) wrote in Mansfield Park (1814,) “We have all a better guide in ourselves, if we would attend to it, than any other person can be.”

One single spark in your mind has the potential to alter your life forever. Inspire your personal renewal by contemplating the following questions: What do you want to be remembered for, 5-10-20 years from now? What should be your legacy?

Without doubt, you can’t tell your future—you really don’t even know what’s going to happen next. Even if you make a deliberate plan, it probably won’t succeed because reality will regulate your plan. In spite of this life’s uncertainties, reflecting on the question “What do I want to be remembered for?” can help you become more intentional in your behavior and more mindful about your life’s purpose.

If You Want to Be Loved, Love

Love is an Outpouring of Everything Good in You

Love is an “Outpouring of Everything Good in You”

In 1958, when American Nobel laureate John Steinbeck’s son Thom was fourteen, he attended boarding school in Connecticut. There, “Thom” (the American novelist and screenwriter Thomas Myles Steinbeck (1944–2016)) met a young girl named Susan with whom he thought he might be in love. Soon after, Thom sent a note home and declared his love for his new school sweetheart. In response, John Steinbeck wrote the following stirring advice on how to navigate love.

Dear Thom:

We had your letter this morning. I will answer it from my point of view and of course Elaine will from hers.

First—if you are in love—that’s a good thing—that’s about the best thing that can happen to anyone. Don’t let anyone make it small or light to you.

Second—There are several kinds of love. One is a selfish, mean, grasping, egotistical thing which uses love for self-importance. This is the ugly and crippling kind. The other is an outpouring of everything good in you—of kindness and consideration and respect—not only the social respect of manners but the greater respect which is recognition of another person as unique and valuable. The first kind can make you sick and small and weak but the second can release in you strength, and courage and goodness and even wisdom you didn’t know you had.

You say this is not puppy love. If you feel so deeply—of course it isn’t puppy love.

But I don’t think you were asking me what you feel. You know better than anyone. What you wanted me to help you with is what to do about it—and that I can tell you.

Glory in it for one thing and be very glad and grateful for it.

The object of love is the best and most beautiful. Try to live up to it.

If you love someone—there is no possible harm in saying so—only you must remember that some people are very shy and sometimes the saying must take that shyness into consideration.

Girls have a way of knowing or feeling what you feel, but they usually like to hear it also.

It sometimes happens that what you feel is not returned for one reason or another—but that does not make your feeling less valuable and good.

Lastly, I know your feeling because I have it and I’m glad you have it.

We will be glad to meet Susan. She will be very welcome. But Elaine will make all such arrangements because that is her province and she will be very glad to. She knows about love too and maybe she can give you more help than I can.

And don’t worry about losing. If it is right, it happens—The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away.

Love,
Fa

Love is Intended to be Realized in the Offering, Not in the Receiving

According to University of South Florida’s Seneca scholar Anna Lydia Motto, the great Stoic philosopher’s writings are chockfull of his profound understanding of the true significance of the many forms of love—i.e., love for one’s spouse, family, friends, fellow humans, and country.

'Moral letters to Lucilius' by Seneca (ISBN 1536965537) In Moral Letters to Lucilius (Latin orig. Epistulae morales ad Lucilium), Seneca quotes his friend and fellow Stoic philosopher Hecato (or Hecaton of Rhodes):

I shall show you a love
potion without a drug, without
a herb; without the incantation
of any sorceress: if you want
to be loved, love.

The Ability to Love is a Faculty to Develop and Practice

Love is an oft-misunderstood concept. The German Philosopher Erich Fromm (1900–1980) wrote in his brilliant The Art of Loving (1956) “Most people see the problem of love primarily as that of being loved, rather than that of loving, of one’s capacity to love. Hence the problem to them is how to be loved, how to be lovable.”

Love is not something to fall into after fortuitously discovering the person (or any desirable object). Love is something we learn to “do” from years of arduous toil.

Any loving relationship demands compromise, cooperation, acceptance, forgiveness, tolerance, stability, devotion, and commitment. Genuine love, therefore, involves cultivating, nurturing, and practicing the cognitive and emotional faculty of loving.

If You Want to Be Loved, Love

Idea for Impact: Love, and Be Deserving of Love

To relish this complex and richest of all experiences, focus on offering love rather than on being loved.

As the Indian philosopher Nolini Kanta Gupta (1889–1983) once said, “The secret of love is the joy of self-giving. The secret of joy is self-giving. If any part in you is without joy, it means that it has not given itself, it wants to keep itself for itself.”

If you want to be loved, love.

No one unqualified to bestow love upon others is himself/herself deserving of love.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Inspirational Quotations by Abraham Lincoln (#671)

Inspirational Quotations by Abraham Lincoln

Today marks the birthday of Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865), one of the most recognized political leaders of all time.

Not much is known about the early life of the 16th President of the United States. Lincoln was born in a log cabin to a poor family, lost his mother at nine, completed just one year of traditional schooling, spent his youth in Indiana, and did manual labor until he was 21.

Lincoln pursued self-education by reading books on grammar and rhetoric and joined a debate society. At age 27, after years of private study of law, he obtained a license to practice and eventually became one of Illinois’s ablest lawyers. Lincoln also worked his way through the Illinois State Legislature and got elected to the US House of Representatives. He gained popularity for his down-to-earth wit, integrity, and opposition to the institution of slavery.

'A. Lincoln: A Biography' by Ronald C. White (ISBN 0812975707) Lincoln’s leadership during the Civil War held the country together through the worst moral, constitutional, and political crisis in its history. Amidst the War, at his second inauguration, Lincoln addressed the nation with his famous words, “With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds … .” John Wilkes Booth, an actor who had heard Lincoln speak at his second inauguration, fatally shot him just six weeks later at Ford’s Theater in Washington D.C.

Lincoln is arguably the most admired President of the United States. He was famous for his compassionate nature, gentle spirit, and great oratory. His iconic 1863 Gettysburg Address is revered for its reaffirmation of a major founding principle of the United States: that all humans are born equal. To this day, this speech remains a model of ideological rhetoric and oratorical simplicity:

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal … We here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Inspirational Quotations by Abraham Lincoln

There’s no honorable way to kill, no gentle way to destroy. There is nothing good in war. Except its ending.
Abraham Lincoln

I shall try to correct errors when shown to be errors; and I shall adopt new views so fast as they shall appear to be true views.
Abraham Lincoln

A man watches his pear tree day after day, impatient for the ripening of the fruit. Let him attempt to force the process, and he may spoil both fruit and tree. But let him patiently wait, and the ripe fruit at length falls into his lap.
Abraham Lincoln

He who makes an assertion without knowing whether it is true or false, is guilty of falsehood; and the accidental truth of the assertion, does not justify or excuse him.
Abraham Lincoln

In times like the present men should utter nothing for which they would not willingly be responsible through time and in eternity.
Abraham Lincoln

Everybody likes a compliment.
Abraham Lincoln

I must study the plain physical facts of the case, ascertain what is possible, and learn what appears to be wise and right.
Abraham Lincoln

Do not worry; eat three square meals a day; say your prayers; be courteous to your creditors; keep your digestion good; exercise; go slow and easy. Maybe there are other things your special case requires to make you happy, but my friend, these I reckon will give you a good lift.
Abraham Lincoln

The better part of one’s life consists of his friendships.
Abraham Lincoln

Perhaps a man’s character was like a tree, and his reputation like its shadow; the shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.
Abraham Lincoln

You can’t escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.
Abraham Lincoln

I know of nothing so pleasant to the mind, as the discovery of anything which is at once new and valuable—nothing which so lightens and sweetens toil, as the hopeful pursuit of such discovery.
Abraham Lincoln

I am a slow walker, but I never walk backwards.
Abraham Lincoln

To believe in the things you can see and touch is no belief at all; but to believe in the unseen is a triumph and a blessing.
Abraham Lincoln

Determine that the thing can and shall be done, and then we shall find the way.
Abraham Lincoln

Truth is generally the best vindication against slander.
Abraham Lincoln

Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?
Abraham Lincoln

When I do good I feel good, when I do bad I feel bad, and that’s my religion.
Abraham Lincoln

No men living are more worthy to be trusted than those who toil up from poverty.
Abraham Lincoln

Every blade of grass is a study; and to produce two, where there was but one, is both a profit and a pleasure.
Abraham Lincoln

When I get ready to talk to people, I spend two thirds of the time thinking what they want to hear and one third thinking about what I want to say.
Abraham Lincoln

With the catching ends the pleasures of the chase.
Abraham Lincoln

We hope all danger may be overcome; but to conclude that no danger may ever arise would itself be extremely dangerous.
Abraham Lincoln

The shepherd drives the wolf from the sheep’s throat, for which the sheep thanks the shepherd as his liberator, while the wolf denounces him for the same act as the destroyer of liberty.
Abraham Lincoln

Wanting to work is so rare a merit that it should be encouraged.
Abraham Lincoln

Every man is proud of what he does well; and no man is proud of what he does not do well. With the former, his heart is in his work; and he will do twice as much of it with less fatigue. The latter performs a little imperfectly, looks at it in disgust, turns from it, and imagines himself exceedingly tired. The little he has done, comes to nothing, for want of finishing.
Abraham Lincoln

I believe each individual is naturally entitled to do as he pleases with himself and the fruit of his labor, so far as it in no wise interferes with any other man’s rights.
Abraham Lincoln

Seven Real Reasons Employees Disengage and Leave

Root Causes for Employee Disengagement

Engaged employees not only contribute more and enhance bottom-line results but also are more loyal and therefore less likely to leave their organizations voluntarily.

Here are seven widespread root causes for employees’ lack of enthusiasm and commitment to a workplace.

  1. Employees find the job or workplace to be different from what they had expected when hired.
  2. Employees are not well matched or challenged in the jobs to which they have been assigned or promoted.
  3. Employees receive insufficient coaching and feedback from their boss.
  4. Employees recognize few prospects for professional growth and advancement. Alternatively, employees are obliged to log two or three years of unexciting assignments to “pay their dues” before being considered for promotion.
  5. Employee feel undervalued, underpaid, or under-recognized. They don’t get enough informal acknowledgement for their contributions or feel constantly “out of loop.” Their managers don’t seek opinions or supply the right tools to excel at work.
  6. Employees feel stressed or burned-out due to overwork or work-life imbalance.
  7. Employees have lost trust and confidence in their management and leadership.

Idea for Impact: Disengaged employees are more likely to leave their organizations.

How to Handle Upset Customers

Servicing Angry Customers

From an angry customer’s perspective, the impressions left by customer-service providers are long-lasting and can heighten the impact of a service experience, for better or worse.

A failure to recognize and quickly respond to the needs of angry customers can make them feel ignored, frustrated, and powerless. Here are nine guidelines that can result in a constructive interaction with an angry customer and restore his perception of satisfaction and loyalty.

  1. Don’t adopt an angry tone. Stay calm and professional. When an upset customer starts shouting or being foul-mouthed, you’ll gain nothing by reacting in a like manner. Actually, responding to anger with anger can easily escalate the hostilities and thwart meaningful communication. Exercise self-control and regulate your feelings. Without remaining calm, you cannot break through emotional barricades or preempt the customer’s frustrations going from bad to worse.
  2. If the customer is yelling, ask him to speak slower. A louder voice often goes with a faster speech. When the customer slows down his speech, the level of his voice will also drop. Repeat this request as many times as necessary to calm him down.
  3. Declare that you intend to understand the customer’s situation and help. Say, “Could you please speak more slowly. When I understand your situation, I can help you better.”
  4. Let your angry customer vent. When a customer is upset, what you tell him matters less than what you enable him to tell you. The first thing an upset customer wants is to vent. Commonly, just the modest act of listening patiently can defuse the customer’s anger. Only after you facilitate getting the customer’s emotions off his chest can you have a constructive discussion.
  5. Recognize that the customer’s problem does exist. Restate the customer’s analysis of what the problem is. “If I understand you appropriately, you have a problem with X and you don’t like Y. This has caused Z.”
  6. How to Handle Upset CustomersDemonstrate sincere empathy for the customer’s feelings. Say, “I can understand why this situation would upset you. I’m sorry you feel that way.” Your best response to the customer’s anger is empathy.
  7. Ask what the customer would like to do to have the problem solved. Ask, “What can we do to make this right for you?” By shifting the customer’s focus from annoyance to problem solving, you can determine ways to negotiate a satisfactory solution. If the customer’s request cannot be met, provide alternative solutions that may alleviate the situation or placate the customer.
  8. Let common sense prevail over standard operating procedure. Much of current customer service initiatives (especially with outsourced call centers) has devolved into standard operating procedures, carefully formulated decision-trees, and scripted answers that customer service agents dispense mechanically. To an upset customer, these automated responses often seem hollow and inacceptable. Deviate from the canned responses and use good judgment. Exercise the autonomy you’re granted over how you can respond to help solve customer complaints. If necessary, involve your manager.
  9. Don’t need to give a “yes” or a “no” answer on the spot. If the customer asks for more than you’re able to accommodate, defer your answer by saying, “Give me a minute to consider all the options I have for you” or “let me talk to my boss and see how I can help you.” After weighing the pros and cons, give your answer and offer a reason if necessary. This way, even if the customer doesn’t get a “yes” from you, he will still appreciate knowing that you’ve seriously considered his appeals.

Idea for Impact: Body language, phrasing, and tone can have a big impact on angry customers who are on the lookout for evidence of compassion and want to be reassured that they have chosen a good provider for their product or service.

Inspirational Quotations by Adlai Stevenson (#670)

Inspirational Quotations by Adlai Stevenson Today marks the birthday of Adlai Stevenson II (1900–1965,) American politician and diplomat. Stevenson is renowned for his intellectual disposition, organizational skills, eloquent public speaking, and for advancing liberal ideologies within the Democratic Party.

Stevenson is also remembered for his significant landslide losses to popular war hero Dwight Eisenhower during both the 1952 and the 1956 presidential elections. Prior to the 1960 presidential election, Stevenson lost to Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy as the Democratic Party’s candidate. When Kennedy became President, Stevenson served as the US Ambassador to the United Nations until his death in 1965.

The 1949 “Cat Bill” in Illinois

When Stevenson was Governor of Illinois, the state legislature (supported by a committed group of bird-lovers) passed a bill protecting birds from their predators—notably cats—and declaring that cats roaming unescorted were a public nuisance. Stevenson felt the legislation was an absurd excuse to exterminate cats and have law enforcement deal with felines. He vetoed the bill with the following message:

I cannot agree that it should be the declared public policy of Illinois that a cat visiting a neighbor’s yard or crossing the highways is a public nuisance. It is in the nature of cats to do a certain amount of unescorted roaming. … Also consider the owner’s dilemma: To escort a cat abroad on a leash is against the nature of the cat, and to permit it to venture forth for exercise unattended into a night of new dangers is against the nature of the owner.

We are all interested in protecting certain varieties of birds. That cats destroy some birds, I well know, but I believe this legislation would further but little the worthy cause to which its proponents give such unselfish effort. The problem of cat versus bird is as old as time. If we attempt to resolve it by legislation who knows but what we may be called upon to take sides as well in the age old problems of dog versus cat, bird versus bird, or even bird versus worm. In my opinion, the State of Illinois and its local governing bodies already have enough to do without trying to control feline delinquency.

What do I believe? As an American I believe in generosity, in liberty, in the rights of man. These are social and political faiths that are part of me, as they are, I suppose, part of all of us. Such beliefs are easy to express. But part of me too is my relation to all life, my religion. And this is not so easy to talk about. Religious experience is highly intimate and, for me, ready words are not at hand.
Adlai Stevenson

What a man knows at fifty that he did not know at twenty is for the most part incommunicable.
Adlai Stevenson

Power corrupts, but lack of power corrupts absolutely.
Adlai Stevenson

In youth, everything seems possible; but we reach a point in the middle years when we realize that we are never going to reach all the shining goals we had set for ourselves. And in the end, most of us reconcile ourselves, with what grace we can, to living with our ulcers and arthritis, our sense of partial failure, our less-than-ideal families—and even our politicians!
Adlai Stevenson

The sound of tireless voices is the price we pay for the right to hear the music of our own opinions.
Adlai Stevenson

Freedom is not an ideal, it is not even a protection, if it means nothing more than freedom to stagnate, to live without dreams, to have no greater aim than a second car and another television set.
Adlai Stevenson

Laws are never as effective as habits.
Adlai Stevenson

Peace is the one condition of survival in this nuclear age.
Adlai Stevenson

She would rather light candles than curse the darkness and her glow has warmed the world.
Adlai Stevenson

We have confused the free with the free and easy.
Adlai Stevenson

For my part I believe in the forgiveness of sin and the redemption of ignorance.
Adlai Stevenson

Our strength lies, not alone in our proving grounds and our stockpiles, but in our ideals, our goals, and their universal appeal to all men who are struggling to breathe free.
Adlai Stevenson

My definition of a free society is a society where it is safe to be unpopular.
Adlai Stevenson

If we value the pursuit of knowledge, we must be free to follow wherever that search may lead us. The free mind is not a barking dog, to be tethered on a ten-foot chain.
Adlai Stevenson

A Little Known, but Powerful Technique to Fast Track Your Career: Theo Epstein’s 20 Percent Rule

Lessons on Career Advancement from 43 Year-old Chicago Cubs President Theo Epstein

Chicago Cubs President Theo Epstein's 20 Percent Rule for Career AdvancementTheo Epstein (b.1973), president of baseball operations for the Chicago Cubs, has thus far had a stellar career as a sports executive.

As a freshman at Yale, Epstein was assertive enough to flaunt his role as a sports editor for the Yale student newspaper. After cold-contacting many professional sports teams to express interest in working for them, he grabbed the attention of a Yale alumnus at the Baltimore Orioles. This stroke of luck led to three consecutive summer-internships at the Orioles with increasing responsibilities.

After graduating from Yale with a degree in liberal arts, Epstein joined the Orioles full-time as a public relations assistant. His ingenuity caught the eye of Orioles President-CEO Larry Lucchino, who took Epstein under his wings. When Lucchino became team president of the San Diego Padres, he took Epstein and made him director of player development.

At Lucchino’s suggestion, Epstein also attended law school full-time whilst working 70 hour-weeks at the Padres. At that time, nobody on the small Padres’ management team had a law degree. By going to law school and getting a Juris Doctor degree, Epstein could help review players’ contracts. “Getting that seat at the table gave me the opportunity to be involved, and then my responsibilities grew from there,” he once recalled.

At age 28, Epstein moved again with Lucchino and joined the Boston Red Sox as general manager. In doing so, he became the youngest general manager in the history of Major League Baseball. Ten years later, in 2011, Epstein became president the Chicago Cubs.

At both the Red Sox and the Chicago Cubs, Epstein intelligently used complex statistical analytics to oversee the teams’ curse-breaking championships. In 2004, Epstein supervised the Red Sox’s sixth World Series Championship and ended their 86-year drought. And in 2016, when, under Epstein’s presidency, the Chicago Cubs finally won the World Series Championship 108 years after the previous time they did, their triumph ended the longest drought in professional sports.

Theo Epstein’s 20 Percent Rule: Undertake Your Boss’s Less Glamorous Responsibilities

In a recent interview (22:31-minute mark in this “The Axe Files” podcast) with the University of Chicago’s David Axelrod, Epstein revealed a career advancement technique that helped fast-track his career at the Orioles, the Padres and the Red Sox:

Whoever your boss is, or your bosses are, they have 20 percent of their job that they just don’t like … So if you can ask them or figure out what that 20 percent is, and figure out a way to do it for them, you’ll both make them really happy, and improve their quality of life and their work experience. And also gain invaluable experience for yourself. If you do a good job with it, they’ll start to give you more and more responsibility.

Idea for Impact: Those Who Raise Their Hands Climb the Ladder Faster

Theo Epstein's 20 Percent Rule: Undertake Your Boss's Less Glamorous ResponsibilitiesHuman nature is such that everyone likes to do what he/she likes and not what should be done. If you can determine those aspects of your boss’ job that she hates and volunteer to help her with those responsibilities, you can expand your job’s horizons.

When you can seize such opportunities to raise your hand and sign up for tasks and responsibilities that aren’t particularly attractive, you not only learn by way of broader experiences and gain confidence, but also become more visible to management and situate yourself for a promotion. As I’ve written previously, before you can be seen as eligible for promotion, you should have demonstrated competence in doing a part of the new job you aspire to.

Seek out projects, prove that you’re eager and able to go the extra mile, and gain valuable face time with top executives.

The Cost of Leadership Incivility

Steve Jobs’ Misguided Advice for Being a Good CEO: “Throw Tantrums!”

Indra Nooyi got Advice from Steve Jobs: Throw Tantrums

When Indra Nooyi became CEO of PepsiCo in 2006, she met with Steve Jobs, the famously driven but short-tempered and ruthless leader of Apple. One advice Jobs had for Nooyi on being a good leader: “throw tantrums.”

During this 2016 interview at the Stanford Business School (YouTube video), Nooyi acknowledged Job’s advice as “a valuable lesson.” She elaborated that Jobs advised, “don’t be too nice … when you really don’t get what you want and you really believe that’s the right thing for the company, it’s OK to throw a temper tantrum. Throw things around. People will talk about it, and they’ll know it’s important for you.”

During another 2016 interview, at the New York Times’ DealBook Conference (YouTube video), Nooyi recalled Jobs advise again. “If you really feel strongly about something—if you don’t like something people are doing—throw a temper tantrum. Throw things around, because people have got to know that you feel strongly about it.” Though Nooyi hasn’t gone as far as to throw things around, she disclosed, “I’m beginning to use certain words a little bit more freely and I am screaming a bit more, pounding the table … which is really not the way I was … it is effective. It shows the passion that I have for what I’m doing.”

No Need to Ape the Style of the Icon-of-The-Moment

Leadership Throw TantrumsPeople will go to extraordinary lengths for causes they believe in. Nonetheless, this advice of throwing tantrums and using “certain words a little bit more freely” to express passion is abhorrently misguided, even if it worked for Steve Jobs and Indra Nooyi!

The ultimate impact of a leader hinges on his/her enthusiasm to make the organization’s endeavors personal, to engage others openly, and to draw attention to successes as they emerge. For that reason, Nooyi’s anecdote is demonstrative of Jobs’ passion for building great products.

My primary protestation relates to the reality that leaders model the behavior they want in their organizations. Admissibly, there may be a time and a place to throw temper tantrums at Apple, PepsiCo, or at your organization. However, unchecked and unhindered outbursts of passion, and cursing and incivility are certainly counterproductive.

Steve Jobs could throw temper tantrums because he could! As I have written in previous articles, brilliant men and women can get away with fanatical pride, temper, abuse, and other disruptive behaviors because their spectacular success can and does cover many of their sins, even in the eyes of those at the receiving end of their crudeness.

Aggressive—and successful—managers and leaders can pressurize, scream, intimidate, and even terrorize their employees. They vindicate that their offensive behavior works because they “deliver the numbers.” Others rationalize their behavior by exclaiming, “Yeah, he’s tough on his people, but judge his abrasiveness in the context of everything he’s achieved.”

The Leader Sets the Tone for Workplace Culture

Workplace incivility can take many subtle forms and it is often provoked by thoughtlessness more willingly than by actual malice. A leader’s behavior tells employees what counts—and what’s rewarded and what’s punished. Leaders are role models. Therefore, others pay attention to everything they say and every move they make.

The tone at the top is the foundation upon which the culture of an organization is built. A leader is the face of an organization and the figurehead to whom employees ultimately look for vision, guidance, and leadership. When leaders throw temper tantrums, swear, or engage in appalling behavior, the message they convey within their organizations is that such behavior is acceptable.

The human brain is wired to learn by imitation. For instance, a child is wired to mimic the behaviors of higher status individuals like parents and teachers. Similarly, adults emulate the behaviors of those they deem of higher status—employees look at their boss to determine how to behave in the organization and what it takes to be promoted. In competitive work environments of the modern day, when employees see that those who have climbed the corporate ladder tolerate or embrace uncivil behavior, they’re likely to follow suit.

'Steve Jobs' by Walter Isaacson (ISBN 1501127624) Postscript: Don’t blatantly imitate a hero. Those of you who worship Steve Jobs had better perceive his operative style as an anomaly rather than as a model of leadership worth imitating. Simply lifting his methods from anecdotes such as Indra Nooyi’s and the Walter Isaacson biography and imposing them on your employees will not necessarily yield Jobs-like results. As I’ve written previously, the career advice that works for the superstars is not necessarily what will work for most ordinary folks. So, don’t be misled by their “it worked for me” advice.

Inspirational Quotations by Oprah Winfrey (#669)

Inspirational Quotations by Oprah Winfrey, American Television Personality

Today marks the birthday of Oprah Winfrey (b. 1954,) media personality and philanthropist. She is one of the richest and most influential women in the United States.

Born into poverty, Winfrey ran away from home at age 13 after being subjected to domestic abuse. At 14, she had a son who was born prematurely and died shortly after birth. Winfrey then made education her top priority, worked as a radio reporter while in high school, and studied broadcasting at Tennessee State University.

At age 22, Winfrey co-anchored the evening news in Baltimore. Two years later, she started cohosting a talk-show called “People Are Talking.” In 1983, she moved to Chicago to host a 30-minute morning talk show called “AM Chicago” which was later renamed the “Oprah Winfrey Show” after her ratings skyrocketed. In 1986, her TV show became nationally syndicated and was broadcast in 138 cities. It became the most popular daytime talk show of all time and ended in 2011. In 1996, Winfrey started her televised book club; each book she selected for her club sold more than 500,000 copies.

Besides being a media mogul, Winfrey is also a prominent philanthropist and has donated to various educational and racial causes. She is the primary benefactor of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa.

Winfrey publishes O, The Oprah Magazine and has co-authored five books. Her memoir, The Life You Want, is due in 2017.

Inspirational Quotations by Oprah Winfrey

Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.
Oprah Winfrey

Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.
Oprah Winfrey

I will just create, and if it works, it works, and if it doesn’t, I’ll create something else. I don’t have any limitations on what I think I could do or be.
Oprah Winfrey

Every time you suppress some part of yourself or allow others to play you small, you are in essence ignoring the owner’s manual your creator gave you and destroying your design.
Oprah Winfrey

Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother.
Oprah Winfrey

I was raised to believe that excellence is the best deterrent to racism or sexism. And that’s how I operate my life.
Oprah Winfrey

Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity.
Oprah Winfrey

The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.
Oprah Winfrey

What material success does is provide you with the ability to concentrate on other things that really matter. And that is being able to make a difference, not only in your own life, but in other people’s lives.
Oprah Winfrey

Unless you choose to do great things with it, it makes no difference how much you are rewarded, or how much power you have.
Oprah Winfrey

I don’t think of myself as a poor deprived ghetto girl who made good. I think of myself as somebody who from an early age knew I was responsible for myself, and I had to make good.
Oprah Winfrey

I believe that you tend to create your own blessings. You have to prepare yourself so that when opportunity comes, you’re ready.
Oprah Winfrey

I believe that every single event in life happens as an opportunity to choose love over fear.
Oprah Winfrey

You can have it all. You just can’t have it all at once.
Oprah Winfrey

I don’t believe in failure. It is not failure if you enjoyed the process.
Oprah Winfrey

If you want to accomplish the goals of your life, you have to begin with the spirit.
Oprah Winfrey

I believe that one of life’s greatest risks is never daring to risk.
Oprah Winfrey

I am a woman in process. I’m just trying like everybody else. I try to take every conflict, every experience, and learn from it. Life is never dull.
Oprah Winfrey

Living in the moment means letting go of the past and not waiting for the future. It means living your life consciously, aware that each moment you breathe is a gift.
Oprah Winfrey

The whole point of being alive is to evolve into a complete person you were intended to be.
Oprah Winfrey

Create the highest, grandest vision possible for your life, because you become what you believe.
Oprah Winfrey

Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody is going to know whether you did it or not.
Oprah Winfrey

The thing you fear most has no power. Your fear of it is what has the power. Facing the truth really will set you free.
Oprah Winfrey

The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.
Oprah Winfrey

For every one of us that succeeds, it’s because there’s somebody there to show you the way out.
Oprah Winfrey

My philosophy is that not only are you responsible for your life, but doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.
Oprah Winfrey