Love him or hate him, it’s hard to deny that Donald Trump has communicated differently than any other U.S. presidential candidate, president-elect, and now president. And his communication style has been analyzed, criticized, and commended. Everyone seems to have an opinion about his approach to communication, but there certainly isn’t agreement on its effectiveness.
A well-known cellular network’s ad once asked, “Can you hear me now?” The famous line is one we all seem to ask. We wonder if anyone is listening. We’re talking, but does anyone hear us?
We’ve all heard the quote, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” I’m a firm believer in this. Life’s too short to toil away in a job you hate.
When I was a little boy, I had a book that was filled with pictures of heavy equipment. Like many boys, I was fascinated by the large bulldozers, cranes, and trucks. There was one piece of equipment that intrigued me because I had never seen anything like it. It was a grab dredger.
I recently was reading on the subject of leadership, and one topic that came up was intelligence. So I set out to do some research on the importance of IQ in leadership. I must admit, it’s not easy to find a lot written about the intelligence of leaders. Type “leadership and intelligence” into Google, and you will get page after page of links to articles about the value of emotional intelligence for leaders but little about raw intelligence or IQ. Could there be a reason leadership and IQ are discussed so infrequently? Maybe “intelligent leader” is considered an oxymoron.
I’ve been reading Tell My Sons . . . by Lieutenant Colonel Mark Weber. The book is filled with the life lessons he has learned. After a routine Army physical revealed he had stage IV intestinal cancer, he began a battle for his life that he ultimately will lose. When he realized he wouldn’t be able to conquer his cancer, he began writing a letter to his three sons, which became this book.
Over the weekend, an adaptation of The Wizard of Oz was released. If you’re like me, you grew up watching the 1939 classic. The new film got me thinking about those wonderful characters created by L. Frank Baum. There’s the Cowardly Lion, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and of course Dorothy. Each one is etched into my memory from years of watching the film, even if I had to cover my eyes when the evil Wicked Witch of the West appeared on the screen.
As with many movies, there is much to be learned as a manager and employee from the characters in The Wizard of Oz. Each one teaches us something about what it takes to be a productive and successful businessperson.
There’s a very powerful scene from the first episode of the television series The Newsroom, which debuted on HBO last year. In the scene, the news anchor, played by Jeff Daniels, is a member of a panel that sits before a large auditorium filled with adults of various ages. A young woman from the crowd steps forward to ask a question: “Can you say why America is the greatest country in the world?”
The other two panelists answer the question quickly with pat answers about diversity and freedom, but Daniels’ character thinks for a second and says, “It’s not the greatest country in the world.” The moderator, obviously uncomfortable with that answer, tries to change the subject, but the anchorman continues with a harsh and honest assessment about why America isn’t the greatest country in the world. The crowd sits in shocked silence.
What’s your favorite subject? For many people it’s me. I don’t mean me; I mean them. To them, me is them. Got it?
Two of my colleagues forwarded me a recent New York Times article about the temptation of managers to reward employees who work long hours instead of those who produce results. Maybe they were trying to send me a not-so-subtle message!
The article cited a study published in 2010 in which researchers found that employees who were seen at the office during business hours were considered “dependable” and “reliable” by managers. And employees who were in the office late into the evenings or on weekends were viewed as “dedicated” and “committed.” At least to the managers interviewed for this study, it’s not really the results that count.