Dec 2, 2012

- Character Sets the Foundation for Leadership



Leadership can never be divorced from the leader. And as a leader, you cannot impart what you do not possess. This is why “the main ingredient of good leadership is character”.


“The main ingredient of good leadership is good character. This is because leadership involves conduct and conduct is determined by values.” – Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf


Whilst many place value in titles and positions, it’s behavior that wins people’s trust and respect. A foundational leadership principle is that leaders need to model the behaviors and attitudes which they expect from others. The example set by leaders are most powerful when grounded in values and when leaders live their values in their own authentic manner. When is comes to values they are most effectively demonstrated by your behavior, words count, but not nearly as much as your deeds.

Great leaders lead from the front. They take the initiative to go first. People follow a person, before they buy into a strategy and a plan. People need more than grand idea. They need to see the idea lived in the flesh.
  • Do you set the example by aligning your values with your actions?
  • Do you lead from the front?



(G. Ambler)

- There is no Avoiding War; it can ONLY be postponed to the advantage of others.

There is no avoiding war; it can only be postponed to the advantage of others (Niccolò Machiavelli)

What does that mean?
At the time of the quote, there was a state of tension and often open warfare between any number the Italian City States, and the Princes who ran them. In observation of this phenomenon, the conclusion was reached that delay lead not to an advantage, but to disadvantage to the delayer.

So to me, this is saying you shouldn’t procrastinate. You need to strike while the iron is hot. It says when something cannot be avoided (war in this case), you shouldn’t waste time wishing it were otherwise or engaging in diplomatic negotiations. Instead, the quote urges us to saddle up and ride.

The quote says that there are things which cannot be avoided (war as his example). When you are in that situation, it is urgent that something be done and done quickly. Delays will only hurt you and your position, or help your opponent and theirs.


Why is avoiding procrastination important?
Besides stealing your momentum, procrastination saps the will. In the case of the quote, delay aids the enemy more than it aids you. In my experience, waiting for things to get better on their own rarely works. Things tend to go from bad to worse, if left alone.

By postponing, you only give the things you are avoiding time to gather their forces and come after you on their own terms. While the quote was for the rulers of the Principalities of Renaissance Italy, it is still applicable today, if you swap out the term war for conflict or for troubles. There are always people who live to cause conflict or to give others trouble. If you’ve never met one of these people, consider yourself lucky.


Where can I apply this in my life?
I am going to take a bold stand and presume that none of my readers is the head of a state, or even a city state (however, if you are a head of state, please accept my most humble and sincere apologies). So, how will the rest of us use this quote in our daily lives?

When we try to resolve conflict or avoid trouble, sometimes we succeed, and other times we do not. This quote is for those times when your best efforts have not yielded the results you had hoped for. When all hope for a peaceful resolution have faded, it’s time to prepare for the inevitable.

The quote urges us to prepare, but not to procrastinate. Starting something before you are ready might give the other side the break they need to turn things in their favor. Waiting beyond what is prudent does the same, by allowing them to either gather their forces, prepare better defenses, or attempt to weaken your position.

The trick is going to be translating the military sounding terms in the prior paragraph into something that makes sense in your world. If you have kids, there will be conflict and trouble. There will be points in time when you realize that it cannot be avoided. Moving swiftly is the best course of action, according to the quote. It also matches my experience.

At work, there will be times when no compromise can be reached, and it’s going to be a ‘fight’ to determine the course of a project or product. You and yours against them and theirs. If you can pull your plan together and get it to a deciding authority before they get that far, their plan will look sloppy and weak. If you wait, they might be able to put enough ‘pretty’ on their proposal to win, despite the inferior nature of their plan.

Those are just a few examples I came up with. I hope you don’t have these events frequently enough that you have one (or more) examples ready right now. What examples have you had in the past? Take a moment to consider how things might have been different if you had acted sooner, or acted later.

What are some of the issues that might turn ugly on you in the next few weeks or months? What do you need to do to prepare? What are you willing to do, should all attempts fail, and it come to a battle? Take a few moments and consider your options.

Nov 17, 2012

- VUCA: Leading in Turbulent Times



“We are in a new world, using old tools” – Thomas Friedman, The World is Flat
Fish don’t know they’re in water. If you asked the fish or tried to explain that fact that they’re in water, you’re likely to get a response along the lines of “What water?”. Fish are surrounded by water, they are so close to the water that it’s impossible for them to see it! To get fish to see the water they need to look in from the outside.
This is what happens to us, when often we fail to see the context in which we are leading. When that happens we become ineffective resulting in us being ineffective or worse leadership failure. When we fail to understand the leadership context we apply leadership practices and behaviours that are outdated, ineffective or inappropriate. Just because it worked in the past, we think that it will work today, in the new context.

VUCA: The Leadership Context

The term VUCA stands for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity and originates from the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. VUCA describes the new environment, the new context in which leaders must work.

Volatile – Rapid Large Scale Change

Volatility refers to the rate of change we experience from the environment, typically the pace change is rapid, demanding an urgent response from leaders. The pace of change shows no signs of slowing down. It seems that the pace of change will continue to accelerate.
Leadership Challenges
  • The pace of change is faster and more rapid than our ability to respond
  • The increased pace of change requires accelerated decision making
  • Change are large scale and occur suddenly and usually require an urgent response.
  • Leaders are left feel overwhelmed, stress, anxious and unprepared to lead effectively
  • The challenge for leaders is to learn to respond and manage change more effectively. To shift from reacting to change and move towards a more proactive response to change
  • Command and control structures fail in fast changing and disruptive environments.

Uncertain – Unclear about present and future outcomes

Uncertainty refers to the difficultly that leaders face with getting clarity as to what is actually going on. There is an overload of information and noise, complicated by opposing views and opinions as to what’s happening, making is difficult to be certain about the current situation and the future direction. The flood of information makes it challenging to separate the signal, this is exacerbated by the rapidly changing context.
Leadership Challenges
  • It’s difficult to get a handle on what’s actually happening
  • To o much noise, not enough signal
  • Leaders are required to act on incomplete or insufficient information
  • Leaders are are more likely to rely on what seemed to have worked in the past
  • Difficulty in “connecting the dots” to understand the outcomes of an event

Complex – Many factors to consider no single causes or solutions

Complexity describes the situation where there a multitude of factors that account for the situation being faced, that there is a web of interlinking cause and effects. This makes it difficult to diagnose a situation and to formulate effective response and actions. The interdependence of industry supply chains and the globalization of business has contributed significantly to the complexity of the environment in which leaders have to operate. This high level of interconnectedness makes it difficult to understand the cause and effect relationships affecting the situations faced by leaders.
Leadership Challenges
  • Difficulty in acting and drive the change required to address the web of interrelated issues and concerns
  • Increased complexity makes it difficult to know where to start to drive change
  • Temptation to act on and implement short-term solutions and over rely on quick wins
  • Leaders lack the time to reflect and think through the complexities and end up acting too quickly
  • Mitigating actions do not address the root cause only the symptoms
  • The danger of getting stuck in analysis paralysis and end up acting too late

Ambiguous – Lack of clarity on what events mean and the impact they may have

Ambiguity makes if difficult to understand the impact and meaning of events. The continuous unfolding of events makes if difficult to understand and interpret the impact that events will have on society, economics and business.
Leadership Challenges
  • Failure to understand the significance of an event
  • High risk of miss-interpreting events and responding inappropriately of in ineffective ways
  • Leaders are too far removed from the source and context of the events
  • Leaders act based on a limited understanding of events and their meaning

The Implications for Leadership

It’s clear that we are leading in challenging times. The problem is that our leadership approaches and practices have not kept pace with this new context. We are stuck using old leadership tools, practices and skills in addressing new challenge and problems. The result too often is failed leadership, disillusionment and frustration.
“The rapidity of change in social conventions and moral attitudes, associated with technological transformations in the mode of living, renders a person’s experience of the world a generation ago largely irrelevant to the problems of the day.” – E.J. Mishan, Costs of Economic Growth
Successful leadership requires an understanding of the leadership context in which we find ourselves. Over the next few decades a new set of leadership practices and skills will need to be adopted. We will need to rethink out leadership approach.
Considering the VUCA times we are lining in and the challenge this has for leaders.
  • How should we start leading differently?
  • What leadership practices have you found to be successful for leading in turbulent times?
  • What new leadership skills will be required?

Nov 10, 2012

- Leaders are not born, they’re made… leadership develops



There has been a debate for years about what makes a great leader. This debate is at times summarized into two schools of thought. The one school proposes that leaders are a select few people who are born with a unique set of skill and possess a rare leadership abilities, they are naturally gifted and talented. The other school of thought proposes that leaders are made, that is they learn, grow and develop into great leaders through the books they read, the people they associate with and from their experiences.
My take on this discussion is that I believe that leaders are made, and I am not the only one with this perspective.
“…leaders are made, not born, and made more by themselves than by any external means. Second . . . that no leader sets out to be a leader per se, but rather to express himself freely and fully.” – Warren Bennis, On Becoming a Leader
The truth is the most people have the potential to become effective leaders. The real  issue is that leadership takes time to develop…
•    People need time to figure out what they’re passionate about
•    People need time to understand their personal vision and purpose
•    People need time to learn how to express who they
•    People need time to learn how to use their unique strengths and skills
•    People need time to learn how to express their purpose in their own unique way.
As the saying goes…. the fighter does not win in the ring…  he is only recognised there! You see leadership is not something you’re born with, it cannot be taught, it cannot be copied…  it’s learnt!
“Leadership cannot really be taught. It can only be learned.” – Harold Geneen
Leaders learn through life experience, by making room in our lives for lots of trial and error…
“Leaders aren’t born, they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work. And that’s the price we’ll have to pay to achieve that goal, or any goal.” – Vince Lombardi
Leaders are made when they understanding their purpose, their strengths and have a deep passion to make a difference by living out who they are in the real world.
“Leadership is an observable, learnable set of practices. Leadership is not something mystical and ethereal that cannot be understood by ordinary people. Given the opportunity for feedback and practice, those with the desire and persistence to lead can substantially improve their abilities to do so.” – James Kouzes and Barry Posner, The Leadership Challenge
Perhaps this real issue is that…
•    … only a few of us pay the price necessary to become a leader?
•    … only a few people take the time to understand their unique vision and purpose?
•    … only a few people take the time to understand who they are?
•    … only a few people take the time to learn how to express themselves?

Oct 27, 2012

- Why Are Push-Ups a Good Exercise?

I probably do push-ups more than any other exercise.

Why?

Here are 3 reasons:


Full Body Workout. A standard push-up requires contraction of the muscles around the knee joints, hip joints, pelvis, and spine to maintain a straight line from your head to your feet. Combine that with activation of the muscles on the back of your arms, chest, shoulders, biceps, upper back, lower back, and legs, and you get full body workout in one simple exercise.


Versatility. Push-ups can be used to not just build muscular strength, but also to improve power (e.g. a “clap” pushup) and increase muscular endurance (e.g. doing X number of push-ups in 4 minutes).


Flexibility. By altering your hand and foot positions, you can change muscle recruitment

patterns and joint stresses of the push-ups – making the movement harder, easier, or simply stressing different muscles.


Oct 23, 2012

- 10 Hacks to Help You Stop Worrying Now


10 Hacks to Help You Stop Worrying Now

Does worry dominate your life?

Try these ten shortcuts to stop worrying for good.

1. Stop being superstitious that your worry is preventing bad things from happening.
 
Even if it’s somewhat unconscious, worriers sometimes believe that if they worry about something enough, it won’t happen.
There. Now that you’ve seen that in print, doesn’t it seem kind of silly?
The problem is, your superstition gets reinforced because most of the things that you worry about likely don’t happen.
But it’s not because you’re worrying about them – it’s just as likely that bad things wouldn’t happen even if you didn’t worry about them!

2. Choose to be motivated by something other than worry.

Another common belief about worry is that it is what motivates you to get things done.
There’s actually some truth to this.
You do get things done by worrying. It’s because you want to stop the pain of worrying so you hustle to get that task done.
However, there are so many positive ways to motivate yourself, why use something painful?
Try rewarding yourself when you get something done. Rather than removing a painful stimulus, give yourself something nice: candy, a walk, ten minutes to play Angry Birds, etc.
(And don’t tell me that worry is the only thing that motivates you until you’ve tried five positive methods first.)

3. Realize that worrying does not help you solve a problem.

While it seems like thinking about a problem over and over will help you solve a problem, it actually won’t.
For the most part.
The common question worriers ask, “What if . . .?” actually starts the problem-solving process, but then nothing further happens.
Check this out from researcher T.D. Borovec: “Beyond this [asking ‘what if?’], worry itself does not contribute further to solving problems. One is either worrying, or one is problem solving. These two distinctive processes may alternate sequentially during a worrisome episode but never occur, by definition, at the same time.”
So, you can’t worry and problem-solve at the same time.
And worry begets anxiety which throws your body into fight-or-flight mode, not exactly conducive to problem-solving.
If you really want to be at your best to problem-solve, see #9 below.

4. Face your fear directly rather than worrying about it.

Research has found that worriers, unlike people who don’t worry, don’t have as much ability to learn from being exposed to the thing they fear.
For example, most people who fear public speaking will eventually find that it’s not as bad as they thought it was once they’ve done it a few times.
Worriers don’t do this. Scientists believe it’s because worriers don’t allow the whole emotional impact to arise for them and so they can’t add “corrective information” that allows their fear to subside.
In short, you might be suppressing your fears through your worry.
Try to experience the things you worry about fully. Repeat the old mantra, “Feel the fear and do it anyway.”

5. Believe that you are actually more prepared for something bad happening now than you ever will be by worrying about it.

Because a lot of people think that worry will prepare them for when something bad does happen, remember what we learned above: worrying doesn’t help you solve a problem.
People are naturally resilient and that includes you. If something bad happens, you’ll likely be able to handle it without all the worrying you’re doing now.
 
6. Ask yourself “What’s the worst thing that can happen?”

The absolute bottom line to your worry is that whatever it is you fear is going to kill you.
It won’t.
The worst things that can happen might be bad, but they won’t kill you.
And you know what? As we’ve already discussed, you’re more prepared for the worst thing happening than you give yourself credit for.
And, most likely, when you are truthful with yourself about the worst thing that can happen, it really won’t be that bad after all.

7. Prove to yourself that most of the things you worry about never happen.

Keep what’s known as a “Worry Outcome Diary.”
On a daily basis, write down what you are worrying about. At the end of the week, note whether the thing you worried about actually happened or not.
You’ll find that the vast majority of worrisome things never happen.
So why expend your mental and physical energy on them?

8. Try out Worry Wednesday.

A great technique for worriers is to set aside a specific time to worry. Maybe it’s thirty minutes a day or maybe it’s a whole day – Worry Wednesday or something.
During your specified time, worry as much as you can.
Outside of that time, enjoy your life!

9. Teach your muscles how to relax on cue.

It’s really, really hard to worry when your body is completely relaxed.
Just like your muscles tense up when you worry, your mind will relax when your muscles do.
The more you practice, the more you’ll be able to relax on cue. That way, when you start to worry, you can hit the relaxation cue and let your worries float away.

10. Spend your time here now instead of in the future.
 
Probably most of your worries are about the future and include that question, “What if . . .?”
Of course, if your mind is always in the future, you’re pretty much missing out on what’s happening right now.
And right now is where your life is happening. Don’t miss it.
Use some grounding techniques with your senses to stay in the present.
Feel the surface in front of you. Is it cold? Rough? Smooth?
What do you smell in the air right now? What do you hear?
Focus on these sensations to stay in this moment which is your life rather than out in an unknown future.

Oct 12, 2012

- How to Get Better Sleep After Using a Computer All Day Long


How to Get Better Sleep After Using a Computer All Day Long 
It’s not uncommon to sit in front of computers all day long. It can cause headaches, blurry vision and makes us tired. There is a technical term for these syndromes. It’s called “Computer vision syndrome” (CVS) which is a temporary condition resulting from focusing the eyes on a computer display for protracted, uninterrupted periods of time.Here’s a hack which can prevent you from suffering CVS by providing better lighting for your computer it’s called ”f.lux” and it’s free software you can add to your computer. “f.lux” is a program that adjusts your monitors’ color wavelength by adapting to the time of day, to a warm color at night and similar to sunlight during the day. It makes your display look like the room that you’re in which helps your eyes feel to more comfortable. If your computer keeps you awake at night, you can download f.lux to make sure you get better sleep at night after long hours sitting in front of a computer. (f.lux can be run on Mac, Windows, Linux and iPhone/iPad)

Download f.lux Here

- The Power of Positivity

As it appears, the human mind is not capable of not thinking, at least on the subconscious level. Our mind is always occupied by thoughts, whether we want to or not, and they influence our every action.
When we are still children, our thoughts seem to be purely positive. Have you ever been around a 4-year old who doesn’t like a painting he or she drew? I haven’t. Instead, I see glee, exciting and pride in children’s eyes. But as the years go by, we clutter our mind with doubts, fears and self-deprecating thoughts.

Just imagine then how much we limit ourselves in every aspect of our lives if we give negative thoughts too much power! We’ll never go after that job we’ve always wanted because our nay-saying thoughts make us doubt our abilities. We’ll never ask that person we like out on a date because we always think we’re not good enough.

We’ll never risk quitting our job in order to pursue the life and the work of our dreams because we can’t get over our mental barrier that insists we’re too weak, too unimportant and too dumb. We’ll never lose those pounds that risk our health because we believe we’re not capable of pushing our limits. We’ll never be able to fully see our inner potential because we simply don’t dare to question the voices in our head.

But enough is enough! It’s time to stop these limiting beliefs and come to a place of sanity, love and excitement about life, work and ourselves.

So…how exactly are we to achieve that?

It’s not as hard as it may seem; you just have to practice, practice, practice. Here are a few ideas on how you can get started.

1. Learn to substitute every negative thought with a positive one.

Every time a negative thought crawls into your mind, replace it with a positive thought. It’s just like someone writes a phrase you don’t like on a blackboard and then you get up, erase it and write something much more to your liking.

2. See the positive side of every situation, even when you are surrounded by pure negativity.

This one is a bit harder to put into practice, which does not mean it’s impossible.
You can find positivity in everything by mentally holding on to something positive, whether this be family, friends, your faith, nature, someone’s sparkling eyes or whatever other glimmer of beauty. If you seek it, you will find it.

3. At least once a day, take a moment and think of 5 things you are grateful for.

This will lighten your mood and give you some perspective of what is really important in life and how many blessings surround you already.

4. Change the mental images you allow to enter your mind.

How you see yourself and your surroundings make a huge difference to your thinking. It is like watching a DVD that saddens and frustrates you, completely pulling you down. Eject that old DVD, throw it away and insert a new, better, more hopeful one instead.
So, instead of dwelling on dark, negative thoughts, consciously build and focus on positive, light and colorful images, thoughts and situations in your mind a few times a day.
If you are persistent and keep on working on yourself, your mind will automatically reject its negative thoughts and welcome the positive ones.
And remember: You are (or will become) what you think you are. This is reason enough to be proactive about whatever is going on in your head.

Sep 8, 2012

- Assholes (Part 1)

Who deserves to be branded as an asshole? Many of us use the the term indiscriminately, applying it to anyone who annoys us, gets in our way, or happens to be enjoying greater success than us at the moment.

There are many actions - sociologists call them interaction moves or simply moves - that assholes use to demean and deflate their victims. We've listed 12 common moves, a dirty dozen, to illustrate the range of these subtle and not subtle behaviours used by assholes.


THE DIRTY DOZEN
Common Everyday Actions That Assholes Use

1. Personal insults
2. Invading one's 'personal territory'
3. Uninvited physical contact
4. Threats and intimidation, both verbal and nonverbal
5. 'Sarcastic jokes' and 'teasing' used as insult delivery systems
6. Withering e-mail flames
7. Status slaps intended to humiliate their victims
8. Public shaming or 'status degradation' rituals
9. Rude interruptions
10. Two-faced attacks
11. Dirty looks
12. Treating people as if they are invisible

It is hard to qualify as a certified asshole: a person needs to display a persistent pattern, to have a history of episodes that end with one 'target' after another feeling belittled, put down, humiliated, disrespected, oppressed, de-energized, and generally worse about themselves.

Before ending this Part 1, let me break a news to you: Assholes Suffer, Too!!!

Demeaning jerks are victims of their own actions. They suffer career setbacks and, at times, humiliation. A hallmark of assholes is that they sap the energy from victims and bystanders.
People who persistently leave others feelings de-energized undermine their own performance by turning co-workers and bosses against them and stifling motivation throughout their social networks.
Assholes also suffer because even when they do their jobs well by other standards, they get fired or sidelined!

There are times when acting like an asshole has advantages; we'll consider that later... 


~~~

/NoAssholeRule


Jul 29, 2012

- The True Story of Oscillococcinum



Whenever the flu season nears, prudent consumers get immunized against the most virulent strains of flu that are expected. This is especially recommended for people who are elderly or have chronic lung disease, diabetes, or various other chronic diseases. In France, however, lots of people arm themselves against this by taking Oscillococcinum. What a strange name! Where does it come from, and what does it mean?
Oscillococcinum was discovered by Joseph Roy (1891-1978) [1], a French physician who was on military duty when the Spanish flu hit the world in 1917. He examined the blood of victims and found a strange microorganism: a bacterium that consisted of two unequal balls that performed a quick vibratory motion. Roy called them "oscillococci" and thought they could vary much in size. Sometimes they shrunk so much that he couldn't see them with his microscope. But they could also grow and get one or two more balls.

Next Roy discovered these bacteria in the blood and the tumors of cancer patients, in syphilitic ulcers, in the tubercles of tuberculosis patients and in the pus of gonorrhea sufferers. Also people who had eczema, rheumatism, mumps, chickenpox and measles turned out to harbor this "universal germ."
It is not clear today what Roy saw through the eyepiece of his microscope. But one thing is certain: he did not see the causes of those diseases. Rheumatism, eczema, and most forms of cancer are not caused by microbes, and mumps and measles are caused by viruses, which can't be seen with an ordinary microscope. Moreover, no other bacteriologist has ever reported seeing Roy's special cocci again.
Roy thought he had made a new and thrilling discovery on the road to the cure for cancer. He even wrote a book about it. In his time, many people doubted the idea that every disease has its own cause (such as its own microbe). Such skeptics embraced Roy's discovery.
Roy thought immediately of a homeopathic application. The fundamental teaching of Samuel Hahnemann (1775-1843) is that disease is a disturbance of "life force" and that specific causes for diseases do not exist. Possibly vague environmental factors may play a role, he thought, and his idea was that scabies and syphilis were such factors, which he called "miasmas." Hahnemann first published his views in 1796. Other parts of Hahnemann's views were that diseases can be cured if one imparts to the patient an artificial disease that produces similar life force disturbances as the real disease. The short-lived artificial disease will drive out the real disease and then the patient is cured. The remedies act by their spiritual power and this spiritual nonphysical power can be imparted to alcohol or milk sugar by a process of shaking or rubbing, just like iron can be made magnetic by rubbing it with a magnet.
Roy's finding fit perfectly with the homeopathic view that diseases do not have specific causes, and he thought that his discovery could be adapted to treat cancer homeopathically. Just take any abundant source of oscillococci, and after homeopathic reinforcement, it will become a panacea. Now oscillococci occur virtually everywhere, but for reasons nobody knows Roy took as source the muscovy duck, which French cooks use to prepare duck breast. These cooks call the animal Canard de Barbarie, but biologists know it as Cairina moschata. Completely in line with the unscientific traditions of homeopathy, Oscillococcinum is denoted in Latin with the wrong name, "Anas Barbariae, Hepatis et Cordis Extractum," even though Anas ducks are quite different from Cairina ducks.

Preparation

Since 1925, Oscillococcinum has been prepared as follows. Into a one litre bottle, a mixture of pancreatic juice and glucose is poured. Next a Canard de Barbarie is decapitated and 35 grams of its liver and 15 grams of its heart are put into the bottle. Why liver? Doctor Roy writes: "The Ancients considered the liver as the seat of suffering, even more important than the heart, which is a very profound insight, because it is on the level of the liver that the pathological modifications of the blood happen, and also there the quality of the energy of our heart muscle changes in a durable manner." Maybe the French tendency to call any form of not well-being a "crise de foie" ("bilious attack") had also something to do with it. After 40 days in the sterile bottle, liver and heart autolyse (disintegrate) into a kind of goo, which is then "potentized" with the Korsakov method.
Semyon Nicolaevich Korsakov (1788-1853) was a modest landowner in the village Tarusovo near Moscow [2]. After 1813, he held a not-too-demanding desk job in the Ministry of Internal Affairs, enabling him to dabble in lay medicine. In about 1829, he converted to homeopathy and invented a quicker way of preparing high dilutions. The glass containing the remedy is shaken and then just emptied and refilled, and the dilution factor is assumed to be 1:100.
In ordinary homeopathy one has to use a new clean glass for every dilution, so the Korsakov method is very cost-effective. In preparing Korsakov potencies, distilled water is used rather than alcohol (sometimes only after the 30th dilution), which saves a lot of money if one has to repeat the dilution step 200, 1000 or even 50,000 times. Oscillococcinum's manufacturer (Boiron) uses "ultrapure water" from the first step on. Oscillococcinum is designated as "200K"—which means that the original amount is subjected to 200 Korsakov dilutions—and the resulting fluid is used to moisten small 5 milligram balls of milk sugar. Some packages have been labeled "200CK." ("C" is the abbreviation for centesimal, which means 1-to-100 dilution, and "CK" stands for "centesimal Korsakovian." ) Other packages have been labeled 200C," which does not specify which dilution method was used.
Korsakov's first name is often incorrectly transcribed as Semen, and some biographers use the nonexistent first name Iseman or Isemen. In German transcription he is Simon Korsakoff. Various myths say that he was a nobleman or count, a physician with or without PhD, the czar's personal physician, or even a general who invented the Korsakov method on the battlefield. None of this is true. Hahnemann addressed him as "Monsieur le comte de Korsakoff" in a time that foreigners customarily used noble titles for any Russian who could speak French. Korsakov's method gained Hahnemann's approval in 1832.

Dubious Claims

The good doctor Roy thought that his concoction worked against cancer, syphilis, scabies and tuberculosis, but Boiron only recommends it for "flu-like states" and asks just over a dollar per gram for it. Hundreds of thousands of French buy this energetically advertised nonsense product. It is recommended for prevention (one dose per week in the flu season) and as cure. And, contrary to classical homeopathic usage, one has to gobble up a one-gram doses, rather than take a single 5 mg ball as a lifetime dose.
There's no logical reason to believe that anything in duck liver or heart will be an effective flu remedy. But even if there were some magic substance, the manufacturing process guarantees that it will not be in the finished product. The laws of chemistry indicate that after the 12th dilution, it is unlikely that a single molecule from the original organs will remain. Moreover, at "200C" (or "200K" or "200 CK") the concentration of the original substance would be 1 part in 100200, which is a 1 followed by 400 zeroes. A 1 followed by 100 zeroes is called a googol. The estimated number of particles in the universe that we can see is a googol, give or take a few zeroes. So in order for one of the original molecules to be present in a container of Oscillococcinum, the mass of that container would have to be about a googol googol googol times our world, which would be incomprehensibly larger than the visible universe.
How, then, could anyone conclude that Oscilloccinum is effective? Homeopathic theory holds that if large amount of a substance can produce symptoms in healthy people, infinitesimal amounts can cure diseases with those symptoms. The alleged effects are determined through experiments (most done over 100 years ago) in which people ingest the substances and report what they experience afterward. These reports have been compiled into huge books that supposedly provide the "drug picture" of each substance. The books, called materia medica, are said to comprise "all the recorded mental, general and local (particular) symptoms and signs, modalities, pathological changes and test findings" for each substance." [4]
Oscillococcinum's drug picture illustrates irrationality to the nth degree. I received it after I complained about an ad. A Dutch Boiron representative responded that the drug picture supported the company's claims of curative powers. The drug picture alleged that oscillococcinum can can help:
Diabetics who are afraid when during a thunderstorm their husband seems to be late, while they have a feeling of electric currents through their varicose veined legs, anal itch and itchy bumps on their wrist, that they keep trying to wash off in a maniacal way, especially when they have a runny nose and stubbornly resist advice not to worry.
The list of relevant individual symptoms included:
  • Tuberculosis patients sensitive to chilling.
  • Luetic patients having obsessive ideas.
  • General symptoms: Lean, pale, chronic invalidity, weakness, need for fresh air even when afraid of cold. Stiffness, shivering, feeling too hot, headache, weakness, repeating shakes descending down the body. Feeling of electric current running through the diseased part. Bitter and grayish secretions, not much.
  • Aggravates: when you think about it, by moisture, fog, changes of weather, in the night, when resting, after eating eggs or drinking milk.
  • Improves: in free air, at the seaside, by heat, resting, after evacuations.
  • Sleep: sleepless with agitation during the night.
  • Mental symptoms: Latent anxiety, especially when someone doesn't return on time) fear, unquietness without clear cause. Impatience, improves when one is busy. Quick speech and understanding. Futility, tendency to be maniacal. Pettyness. Can't stand disorder, fear of dirt and pollution. Urge to often wash hands. Afraid to shake hands for fear of contagion. Stubbornness. Depressed, thinks back of his past fear of thunderstorms.
  • Local symptoms: Clouding of the senses. Sudden vertigo. Pain in the right of the head, with repeated shaking. Heavy feeling in the head. Sudden feeling of decoupling in the head. Headache in the front of the head, also occipital, worse in the morning than in the evening, better when one blows the nose. Pain in the maxillary region. Feeling of something running across the face on the right half. Feeling of a bug that runs over the face during the night.
That's about half. The rest include:
  • Violent needle-like pain in the ears; flu-like state; runny nose; yellow conjunctiva; dry painful cough; wet cough with mucopurulent expectoration; whole tongue putrid; vomit; pain in the appendix region; abdominal cramp followed by fetid smelling diarrhea; persistent obstipation; full feeling in the belly; anal itch, worse in the warmth of the bed, with or without hemorrhoids; itch after antibiotics; hyperglycaemia; painful micturation; cloudy urine; sugar in urine; fetid and yellow leucorrhea; hypotension; hypertension; varicose veins; phlebitis; ulcerations in the legs, painful in the night; chronic streptococcal eczema; feelings of electric shocks in the lower leg; little bumps that itch on the inside of the wrist.
Do you believe that any product can provide such wide range of benefits? I certainly do not!

Jul 16, 2012

- Stephen R. Covey, '7 Habits' author, dies at 79


A bright light has gone out today.
Professor Stephen R. Covey
Professor Stephen R. Covey dies at age 79 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Dr. Stephen R. Covey passed away at the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center at 2:15 a.m. after suffering residual effects from abicycling accident on the steep foothill roads of Provo, Utah in April. He has 9 children and 52 grandchildren and passed away surrounded by his wife, Sandra, and each of his children.
He was the author of the wildly popular “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” that was published in 1989 and has sold more than 25 million copies in 38 languages. He was included among Time magazine’s 25 Most Influential Americans in 1996. I feel comfortable abbreviating the full book name to ’7 Habits’ in the title because everybody and their dog has now written a book playing off of Dr. Covey’s original book.
Yes, he was the first, and he was original.
“We extend our heartfelt gratitude for all of the love and prayers that have been showered upon Stephen and our family from all around the globe over the past several months,” the family wrote.
Covey  was the founder of the Covey Leadership Center, which merged with Franklin Quest in 1997 to form FranklinCovey Co., a company focused on leadership, strategy and individual effectiveness.
Covey received a doctorate from Brigham Young University, an MBA from Harvard, after graduating from the University of Utah.
In 2010, Covey joined the Utah State University Huntsman School of Business as a professor and was named the first incumbent of the Jon M. Huntsman Presidential Chair in Leadership.
I founded the original Inside Sales Department at Franklin Quest in 1993 through 1997 and I worked just down the hall from Dr. Covey prior to that in the River Bottoms of Provo, Utah. When he was inducted into the Utah Valley Entrepreneurial Forum Hall of Fame on November 14, 2009, they filmed me and many others including his son Stephen M. R. Covey as we payed tribute to Dr. Covey. I claim him as a shadow-mentor, meaning, he barely knew me, but he influenced me greatly. He influenced several generations. He shaped and formed many of the universal principles of ethics, morals, and truths into language and practices people live and do business by all over the world.
Cover of "The 7 Habits of Highly Effectiv...
Cover of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Dr. Covey and his famous book brought a new language to business:
  • Habit 1: Be Proactive
  • Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind
  • Habit 3: Put First Things First
  • Habit 4: Think Win-Win
  • Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood
  • Habit 6: Synergize
  • Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw
Many of his principles have become cliche, but even though they are commonly used in language, they still aren’t commonly used in practice.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Covey family today.

Apr 27, 2012

- 3 Things a Leader can Learn: from a Yoga Manifesto









People from all walks of life, all ages and all religions practice yoga for spirituality, relaxation, detox, strength and flexibility. Looking in from the outside, I always wondered, “What do they know that I don’t?”
When my wife suggested taking a yoga class two years ago, I went with trepidation and visions of chanting, incense, and body parts in odd places.
What I didn’t know at the time was that I was beginning a journey learning more about myself and, surprisingly, more about business than I learned at one of the top ten business schools in the country and 20 years of professional experience.


Here are three things I learned:


1) Embrace Fear to Overcome Fear
That first class I was nervous.  Was I doing yoga right?  Was I out of step (yes)?  Did it matter (no)?  It turns out yoga is called a “practice” because it’s about growth, and just like in business, every day is an opportunity to succeed or fail.
As a fit person, I was confident in that first class. “No problem,” I thought.
Until the headstand.
My calm teacher said in the calmest of tones, “Now it’s time for some inversions.  Everybody grab your mat and let’s get close to the wall. I want you to place your head on the ground with your arms out in front, and flip your legs up against the wall for an inversion.”
And fear came over me.  I quietly thought, “You want me to what?”
I was out of my element.  I started breathing heavy.  But I wasn’t going to be shamed, so I tried.  As my head turned red with a rush of down-flowing blood and want of oxygen, I flung my legs up against the wall with a loud bang.  I thought, “I’m crushing my spine; this is not good!”
I came down hard, wondering if I had crushed a vertebrae.  But when I looked around and saw other people in perfect headstands, my ego hurt more than spine.
Class by class, as I continued to show up and push through the fears of uncharted territory, I came to believe that I could do a headstand.  I would do a headstand.  If I fell, so be it.  And my hard work paid off.  Today—no wall needed.  I can stand on my head in the middle of any yoga class.  Any time.
It reminded me of a time in the past when everybody thought I was insane—even me at times.  When launching Half.com from scratch, I had the idea to corral a 350-person town called Halfway, Oregon and rename their town to Half.com, Oregon.  My ad agency snickered.  As I drove into the small hamlet for the first time, I felt fear and doubt—maybe I couldn’t do this.  I had visions of being tarred, feathered, and permanently tossed out of town.  Fear.
But I pressed on.  For the cost of $100k, and 23 computers for the elementary school, I renamed the town, literally putting Half.com on the map.  Six months later, eBay acquired us for $300 million.
The headstand.  It’s a pose in yoga that few novices relish.  But I envisioned it in my mind, embraced the fear of falling as real, the fear of injury as real, but temporary, and thus overcame that fear.
And with many other poses in yoga, the fear of falling, the fear of making your failure widely known in front of many people is entirely real.  But embracing that fear enables regular people to overcome great adversity in business.  It enabled Richard Branson to create a billion dollar enterprise from a basement.  It enabled Howard Schultz to go from subsidized housing to creating Starbucks.  Achieve power through fear and adversity by embracing it.


2) Transitions Make or Break You
When you’re standing on one foot, spine parallel to the ground, back aligned to the wall, one arm reaching for the sky, and three fingertips separating you from a fall, that’s not tough.  The tough part is transitioning from one position to that position; that is what makes or breaks you.
Again, this is true in business and in life.  Doing what you’ve been doing isn’t hard.  Transitioning from one position to the next is where failure abounds.
It’s this transition that’s a lot like business. Transitions require planning and execution with intense focus.


If you’re paying attention, planning is the easiest part.  Transitioning from planning to execution is where things make or break you.  Without intense focus, you could slip and lose sight of the end goal.  Focus was one of Steve Jobs three golden rules of Apple’s marketing (the other two being “impute” and “customer empathy”).


In yoga, if you don’t focus intensely during transition:  breathing, turning, pulling up—you can exhaust quickly or fall on your ass.  There is no room to mind wander, and there is no room for distraction.  In business, as well, if you don’t focus, you can exhaust quickly or fall on your ass.


When we transitioned from buying online media to becoming a forerunner in advertising attribution modeling, we focused on product and technology for two years.  We were intensely focused with out first client and had only a one-page website during that time.  After two years of continual focus, we saved our first client over $5 million, and then, after proving to ourselves that we had a winning product, we finally got a real website and unveiled to the world.


When Larry Page asked Steve Jobs for advice before Jobs passed, his advice to Page was, “Don’t get distracted.  Focus.”  When you transition, make sure you plan, and most of all, execute with intense focus solely on what matters.  Distractions will make you fall on your ass.


3) Soul Needs Training
This is perhaps the most surprising lesson of all.
The whole “Namaste” “Ooohhm” aspect of yoga freaked me out.  What I’ve learned, though, is the complete yogi – and the complete CEO -  are about positive energy.


Namaste is simply a phrase meaning “the light in me honors the light in you.”  Whether you’re Jewish, Christian, Buddhist, or Hindi, when you examine the phrase Namaste, it’s really about energy.


Like nuclear power, it’s energy that can be used for good or bad.  The amount of positive energy you bring to your office, your call, your meeting, is felt.  This is embodied in your body language, your smile, your gratitude, and gestures like opening a door and saying hi.  When a baby smiles at you, you smile too.  There is no complication in that exchange.  The amount of energy and light you bring reflects on people.  And sometimes that soul energy requires training.  Case in point:


A client of ours has a wacky member on the team.  Quick to change decisions, also quick to not make a decision, and usually crabby.  Perhaps you’ve encountered someone like this.  I usually tried to avoid this person, but we had a conference call scheduled, so I consciously decided I was going to be positive and smile throughout the call.  We began chatting personally and children came up.  A child of mine has special needs, and I shared this.  One of her two children has special needs, unable to speak, with limited mobility.  Upon learning our uncommon, yet common bond—we went from friction to friends.
It was because of yoga.  The light (or darkness) we bring follows us everywhere.  Into meetings, into calls, into our homes.  And yes, life will suck at times.  And we often don’t know why. Smile anyway.  It’s the now that matters:  the soul needs training just like our smile needs training.


Now where do you go from here?  The yoga studio?  Tai Chi? QiGong? Maybe.  Soul training is really a metaphor for life and a metaphor for business.  Each day starts anew with an opportunity to learn and to succeed.   But to succeed, a wise man said…


“We must become the change we want to see in the world.”
Will you become the change you want to see in your world?




/PTB

Apr 10, 2012

- If You Think Your Team Makes Decisions, Think Again


Executives tell me their teams make decisions all the time. "Bob," a CEO will say, "I know you think that individuals — not groups — make most decisions. But that's not true. My team and I make lots of decisions together."


In fact, they don't. It's an illusion. Executive teams may discuss issues, debate courses of action, and even give their stamps of approval, but they actually don't decide anything of moment as a group. True, the agenda will contain an item like "Final decision on China plant expansion." True, a presentation is made, ideas get kicked around the table, arguments and counterarguments arise, opinions form, compromises are struck, and a consensus emerges. True, it looks a lot like the team decided — and the boss may even think that's the case.


But then I ask the CEO two questions. First: "Were you part of the consensus?" If the answer is yes, then in reality the group didn't decide; they agreed on a course of action that was acceptable to the boss. The CEO may reply, "But sometimes the discussion changes my point of view. In that case, the group shapes the decision and participates in it." 


Absolutely correct. The group discussion helped evolve the boss's thinking, which reshaped the ultimate decision. But even if the decision wasn't one the boss would have initially made or isn't his or her top choice, the fact is that the CEO was part of the consensus. And as long as the boss is a required part of the consensus — as long as whatever is decided has to be inside the boss's acceptable set of outcomes — then accountability never really shifts to the group. It is the leader, not the group, who ultimately allows that particular decision to go through.


Second, I ask: "What if the group can't reach agreement — what happens then?" Leaders will concede that the decision bounces back to them for disposition. In which case, I would argue, it never left their hands in the first place.


In some cases, leaders do hand off important decisions and then walk away. But my experience has been that when they delegate a decision, they delegate it to an individual, not a group, and the phenomenon I just described cascades down a level.


Yet the illusion that teams decide persists — especially among leaders themselves — while subordinates often find the situation unsatisfying or frustrating. In a study of top management team performance conducted by the global executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles a few years ago, 124 CEOs worldwide and 579 of their direct reports were asked to rate whether leadership team decision processes were clear. On a scale of one to seven, the CEOs rated decision process clarity, on average, at 5.62. The executives who worked for them returned a rating of only 3.86.


Should a leader, not wishing to have a team feel disenfranchised, create ironclad decision processes that genuinely empower the group to make at least some types of important decisions? Probably not. First, the reality of how important decisions take place is unlikely to change. Nor should it. Individuals, not teams, bear ultimate accountability for decisions. Second, the fundamental relationship in organizations remains unchanged. Despite decades of innovation by organization theorists, most executives continue to work in a hierarchy consisting of bosses and subordinates.


The wise boss will recognize that individuals, not groups, own decisions and will make this clear to subordinates. Some may be concerned that team members will feel disempowered. But the truth is not nearly as disempowering as fostering an illusion.


Last week, I spoke with an executive about a meeting we'd worked on together that involved him and his peers. He was very happy with the outcome. "One thing I was very impressed with," he told me, "was that nobody ran to the CEO afterwards to reverse any decisions the group had made, which is what often happens here." That's not just terminology. If something the group does can be reversed by a quick trip to the boss's office afterwards, then the group wasn't accountable for making that decision in the first place. It might be a recommendation, or a preferred option, or a consensus view, but it wasn't a decision. Subordinates would be greatly relieved and better served if we stopped putting the false label of "making decisions" on what they're doing in those meetings.


More important, explicitly letting go of the illusion of group decision making clarifies individual accountability and puts the group's time together to more effective use for debating, revising, brainstorming, and aligning. All of those activities are of great value, but none genuinely involves decisions, even of the casual, consensus-seeking type that characterizes the deliberations of many senior teams. Frankly acknowledging that inescapable fact is the first step to tapping into the real power of the team.






/hbr

Apr 3, 2012

- 10 Reasons YOU CAN Achieve Your Dreams








Instead of realizing their dreams, too many people never get started, too busy, instead listing all the reasons why they cannot achieve their dreams.

Things like:
  1. I do not have enough money.
  2. I’m not talented.
  3. I do not have enough knowledge.
  4. I do not have enough experience.
  5. I have failed many times in the past.
  6. I’m not lucky.
  7. Who I am to dream of making such an impact.
…and so on.

They defeat themselves before they even get started!

This is not what you deserve.

So, here are 10 reasons why YOU CAN achieve your dreams:

1. You can because it’s feels great!

“To be able to get out of bed and do what you love for the rest of the day is beyond words.” - John Schroeder

Your dream exists to turn your life into a masterpiece of joy and contribution. Doing what you love and living your life on your own terms are the best things you can do for yourself.

2. You can because it’s YOUR dream

Writer Richard Bach says, “You’re never given a wish without also being given the power to make it true. You may have to work for it, however.”

The dream that is born inside your heart will never exist, if you do not have the power to make it come true. That’s a timeless truth.

Since you have thought about it, then you have an innate ability to achieve it.

It’s so unique that only you can make it true.

3. You can because it shapes your future

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

The world’s movers and shakers are those who believed in their dreams and persevered until they manifested what they have dreamt about.

Envision your dream and see by your heart’s eyes how it can change the world and have a huge impact on so many lives.

4. You can because you can land on the clouds

“I’m a dreamer. I have to dream and reach for the stars, and if I miss a star then I grab a handful of clouds.” -Mike Tyson

When you work on your dreams, you will create your best life possible. Even if you cannot reach the stars, you will at least land on the clouds.

5. You can because you are hungry

“If you take responsibility for yourself you will develop a hunger to accomplish your dreams.” -Les Brown

Nothing will feed your hunger for making a difference more than pursuing your dream.

It will add meaning to your life and make your efforts worthwhile. It will make you wake up every morning with exhilaration and enthusiasm.

As Les Brown says, “You gotta be HUNGRY”

6. You can because you don’t want to die again

“When you cease to dream you cease to live.” -Malcolm Forbes

If you ignore the love and light in your heart, your soul will die of starvation.

Too many people are living, but very few are actually ALIVE!

Following a dream is the only way to start living. When you dream, you become alive. And I do not think you want to ignore your dream and die again.

7. You can because you are a pioneer

“A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.” -Oscar Wilde

You will face criticism, not because you are wrong, but because you are a pioneer.

People are not used to see dreamers who have crazy ideas to make the world a better place.

Most people are so stuck in the rut that they do not believe someone can get out, spread his/her wings and fly high in the sky.

8. You can because you deserve it

“Dreams are the touchstones of our character.” -Henry David Thoreau

You deserve to have a big dream and to become remarkable. If you do not leave your mark in the world, no one will remember you.

Living small makes you small and you are born to be great. You have a dream because you have a strong character that strives to live big and be big.

9. You can because there is a problem that only you can solve

“Dreams are today’s answers to tomorrow’s questions.” -Edgar Cayce

You dream because you have a burning desire to solve a problem or fulfill a need that would make the world a better place.

You are our answer to our most difficult questions. You owe it to us and to the world.

10. You can because you've got the courage

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” -Walt Disney

All what your dream needs is courage that will nurture it and make it grow beyond all limitations. And you have this courage within you.

If you’re passionate about it, unleash it. No matter what you think or what other people think, YOU CAN.

You can.

You deserve.

You owe it to yourself and to the world.

It’s time to believe in the beauty of your dreams and show the world the promise and brilliance of your legacy.







/pickthebrain

- An Offer You Can't Refuse: Leadership Lessons From "The Godfather"



What does a real-life CEO have in common with the central figures of a fictitious Mafia crime family in The Godfather? According to Justin Moore, CEO and founder of Axcient, plenty. 
Moore is a serial entrepreneur, early-stage advisor, and angel investor. He’s currently at the helm of Axcient, a company he founded that provides backup, business continuity, and disaster recovery services to the small and mid-sized business (SMB) market. Right now, Axcient is protecting more than 2 billion files and applications for businesses across North America.
Moore also happens to think that The Godfather is “one of the best movies ever made” and had a chance to watch it again when the film was aired extensively last week to mark the 40th anniversary of its premiere. Though a decade had passed since the last time Moore watched it, his recent viewing offered an unexpected reward. This time he found the film rife with teaching moments for CEOs running a business today.
“I certainly don’t endorse crime or violence, and I’m not suggesting business should operate like the Mafia,” explains Moore, “but there are some universal themes in the movie I can relate to as a CEO.” Moore says The Godfather offers valuable lessons in community and team building, making tough decisions, and playing to win while not neglecting friends and family.
Here are five essential leadership lessons Moore distilled for Fast Company.
1. Build a powerful community. 
Someday, and that day may never come, I'll call upon you to do a service for me. ~Vito Corleone
Uttered in the iconic rasp of Marlon Brando, the words of Vito Corleone illustrate how he creates a loyal community among those he has helped. Moore says, “By granting these favors and helping people with their problems, Vito Corleone is building a network of influence--relationships that may or may not deliver a specific or quantifiable return, but all which serve to strengthen his power base and which have the potential to be reciprocal in the long run.”
Moore says building strategic partnerships enables companies to work through challenging markets and fast-track overall success. “As a CEO, I see it as part of my job to be a super connector, networking with the technology and investment community without an expectation of reciprocation. Partnerships forged through time, trust, and mutual benefit--such as those Axcient has built with HP, Ingram-Micro, and a vast network of service providers and resellers--are the types of community relationships that bring about the greatest returns.”
2. Hold people accountable. 
What's the matter with you? I think your brain is going soft. ~Vito Corleone
The Godfather reminds us of the importance of being tough when necessary. “As soon as Vito Corleone allowed a few moments of weakness to be seen by his enemy, they attempted to assassinate him. And it was largely because of failures of his team,” Moore observes.
“In business, accountability isn’t achieved by a murderous rampage. But the lesson is this--to be successful in business you have to be tough, and you have to be extremely focused on hitting goals and getting results," says Moore. That doesn’t mean patience and understanding don’t have a place, he says, but ongoing tolerance of low-performing people or products just eats away at the success of the entire company. “You are ultimately responsible for all of your employees and shareholders, and that requires tough and swift decisions.
3. Don’t get emotional. 
It’s not personal, Sonny. It’s strictly business. ~Michael Corleone
“Many people don’t like to talk about the fact that in business, there are winners and losers. When Sonny Corleone reacts impulsively and emotionally, he gets taken out. In business, if you don’t take the opportunity to out-sell, out-bid, or out-market your competitor, they’ll take you out. I’m not suggesting doing anything outside the boundaries of morality or rightness--simply pointing out that when people make emotional decisions, they start making bad decisions. To lead successfully, you have to take your emotion and ego out of the equation.”
Likewise, Moore says it’s important to play to win. In business, that translates to knowing the competition and always staying at least one step ahead. “Operate your business with integrity and have respect for competition, but you also need to seize opportunities to eliminate your competition and win.”
4. Be decisive. 
Moore says that he, like most people who appreciate The Godfatherwatch the movie with a combination of shock and respect. “Shock because he is so ruthless that he kills his own family member, but respect for the fact that Don Corleone knows exactly what he wants, executes decisively, and commands respect through unwavering leadership.”
While you don’t have to kill anyone to prove a point, as soon as you know what choice to make, move forward. “Know who on your team is making the right choices, and trust them to take decisive action as well. Hesitation too often leads to missed opportunities.”
5. Spend time with your family. 
Do you spend time with your family? Because a man who doesn’t spend time with his family can never be a real man. ~Vito Corleone 
Moore isn’t endorsing 1940s machismo, but he is decrying 100-hour workweeks that many entrepreneurs fall prey to in hot pursuit of the next big thing. Though he’s been dedicated like that in the past, Moore finds it’s not sustainable in the long run. 
“A leader can’t be successful in creative problem-solving and making excellent decisions unless that person is connected to people and passions outside of work. I find that it’s often time with family and friends that gives me the perspective I need to build the relationships and make the decisive actions required for continued success in business,” says Moore.


/fastcompany
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