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Entries for the 'Leadership B#llsh&t in a Tough Economy' Category

Listen In -> Leadership B#llsh&t in a Tough Economy #5: Political Mumbo-Jumbo

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

I’m not sure if listening to politicians ponitificate is more exhausting or maddening.

Instead of engaging the expertise of workers on the job and leaders in business, political leaders battle with each other from abstract, partisan philosophies, making decisions with sweeping implications for which they have no means of anticipating and no intention of evaluating.

bossI’m almost to the point where I think we’d be better off never reelecting an incumbent rather than always reelecting the incumbent.

Government policy has a huge impact on business, shaping its boundaries, influencing its priorities, and tinkering with its architecture.

It often feels like we swing wildly between too much and too little government involvement in economy, business and the business of life.

We end our series on Leadership Bullshit in a Tough Economy with a look at the mumbo-jumbo that is posing as leadership among our political leaders.

Listen in.

Listen In -> Leadership B#llsh&t in a Tough Economy #4: Fear & Panic on Main Street

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

Hey, check it out… It’s the proverbial ostrich with its head in the sand. It just looks like an executive.

Ah, the ostrich. As if by hiding its head, the rest of its body would no longer be exposed to danger. As if the danger that existed when looking, would somehow cease to exist when hiding. Such is the response of many leaders to our current economic crisis.

bossInstead of calmly taking a step back, getting some perspective and investing in some expert assistance, these leaders function out of their fear and panic. They are afraid to spend any money, ask for help, or experiment with new ways of doing things.

In this week’s show, Claudia and I discuss the upside-down and backwards thinking that takes place when leaders function out of fear and panic.

Listen in.

Listen In -> Leadership B#llsh&t in a Tough Economy #3: The Fine Art of Blaming

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

When a leader lashses out, “Who’s responsible for this mess?”, they are not thinking that one of the most likely answers should be, “You are!”

Instead of owning their participation and co-responsibility in any problem at hand, these leaders blame down the organizational chart (never up) and conveniently let themselves off the hook when business doesn’t go as intended.

bossClaudia and I set our sites on this type of leadership bullshit on the show this week.

A combination of blindness, insecurity and lack of self-awareness conspire to handicap many leaders when problems arise.

Blaming seldom accomplishes anything constructive when addressing plans gone awry. Then why do so many of us resort to it?

Listen in.

Listen In -> Leadership B#llsh&t in a Tough Economy #2: The HR Cop-Out

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

Instead of explaining their difficult decisions themselves, these leaders hide in their offices and delegate one of their most important responsibilities to the Human Resources department.

It’s as if having other people on the team is an annoying necessity, which these leaders would gladly forego if only they had enough arms and legs to do everything themselves.


Far from being considered multi-faceted assets to be appreciated and valued, employees are expensive resources from whose passions, ambitions, and preferences the responsible leader must protect the company.

In this week’s audio conversation, Claudia and I explore what we are terming, “The HR Cop-Out.”

How do you treat those who work for you? As assets full of untapped potential or expenses full of hidden dangers?

How might you be hiding behind your Human Resources department?

Listen in.

Listen In -> Leadership B#llsh&t in a Tough Economy #1: Brainless Downsizing

Friday, January 29th, 2010

Brainless downsizing. Instead of creatively rethinking how to do business, brainless downsizing involves simply firing 20-30% of your staff, have the remaining staff do that work on top of their own, and then waiting until the economy recovers.

bossAn exaggeration? I’m afraid not.

When the evidence (the worst economic crisis in 50 years) that our business practices are seriously and deeply flawed, this knee-jerk response amounts to sticking our heads in the sand and hoping everything is will somehow turn out okay whenever it is that we muster the courage to peek out again.

If any time called for a thoughtful rethink of business practices it is now. But our business leaders are failing us.

Claudia and I begin our discussion of Leadership Bullshit with a conversation about this naive and lazy, if not outright negligent, response.

What about you? How are you thinking critically and creatively about how your business is structured?

Listen in.

Leadership B#llsh&t in a Tough Economy: A New Audio Series Begins

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

bossA raw mixture of disappointment and anger motivates this series.

In the wake of our biggest and most complex economic crisis since the Depression, our business and political leaders are functioning like ostriches with their heads in the sand as if anything they don’t see won’t really be happening.

Instead of the thoughtful, probing rethink of policies and practices that have proved themselves disastrous, these leaders are simply waiting on the sidelines… continuing with all that we now know doesn’t work and squandering a significant—and possibly limited—opportunity to learn and change in deep and transformative ways.

More than a personal disagreement about approach, I want to identify these practices out for what I am convinced they are: Leadership Bullshit.

Leadership Bullshit is the public bravado that those with power muster to disguise their own lack of knowledge, capabilities and integrity about how to proceed forward in these challenging times. They mistakenly interpret those three deficiencies as weaknesses to be hidden at all costs instead of learning edges to be addressed in partnership with their peers, staffs and coaches.

In this next audio series, Claudia and I have some fun pointing out that the proverbial emperor is wearing no clothes.

Join the conversation and share your own experiences where the leaders in your life have tried to pull any of the following stunts.

Leadership B#llsh&t in a Tough Economy
Week #1: Brainless Downsizing
Week #2: The HR Cop-Out
Week #3: The Fine Art of Blaming
Week #4: Fear & Panic on Main Street
Week #5: Political Mumbo-Jumbo

Listen in.