Saturday, July 18, 2009

Lesson from the Titanic

Here's something I'd like to share with you that I learned about the sinking of the Titanic in 1912. Just four hours before the celebrated ocean liner, the Titanic, hit a gigantic iceberg, the ship's wireless room received a messge from another ship in the area, the Mesaba. The message warned that in the path of the liner was "much heavy pack ice and a great number of very large icebergs ..." The Titanic's captain never saw the message because it was missing the special prefix that told wireless operators to hand it directly to the captain.

What do you suppose that missing prefix could have been? Something like: "Give this message to the captain at once, you moron, to warn him of mortal danger to several thousand passengers!"

What's the lesson we can learn from this? If you really want to do something, you will find a way. If you don't, you will find an excuse. (Like the wireless operators).

Speaking of things you really want to do but haven't yet found a way . . . if you would really like to write a blog and make money from it, take a look at what I have learned about writing a blog without investing one penny for the web host, the domain name or the ads on the blog:

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Pig Personality Profile

Take out a blank piece of 8 ½ x 11 inch paper and draw a pig. That is the instruction for the Pig Personality Test. Draw a pig. The pig is of the animal variety. Your drawing will serve to interpret your personality. After you have drawn your pig, read the results below. Do not read the results until after you have drawn your pig. Promise!

1) If your pig is drawn toward the Top of your paper, you are a positive and optimistic person.
2) If your pig is drawn toward the Middle of your paper, you are a realist.
3) If your pig is drawn toward the Bottom of your pper, you are more of a pessimistic person.
4) If your pig is drawn facing Left, you believe in tradition, are friendly, and tend to remember the dates of birthdays.
5) If your pig is drawn facing Right, you are innovative and active but not as good about dates.
6) If your pig is drawn facing Forward, you are direct and enjoy playing the devil's advocate.
7) If your pig is drawn with Many Details, you are analytical, cautious and may be distrustful.
8) If your pig is drawn with Few Details, you are emotional, care little for detail and take risks.
9) If your pig is drawn with 4 Legs showing, you are secure, stubborn and stick to your ideals.
10) If your pig is drawn with Less than 4 Legs showing, you may be insecure, or living though a period of major change.
11) The Larger the pig's Ears you have drawn, the better Listener you are.
12) And last but not least, the Longer the pig's Tail you have drawn, the more satisfied you are with the quality of your love life.
This assessment is completely un-validated but sometimes the accuracy of the results is close to uncanny. Copyright - Institute of PsychoCeramics (crackpots).

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Are You A Motivator? Take this simple test.

Here is a simple test to help you assess your own capabilities for persuading and ‘motivating’ others. Select just one answer for each statement below:
1. To convince others that you are credible and trustworthy do you . . .
A. Cite statistics
B. Share an anecdote
C. Use a combination of statistics and anecdote
2. Lee Iacocca has been named the salesperson of the century. Which of these sentences did he say?
A. "It is imperative for us to unite, to grit our teeth, to aspire to new heights."
B. "For in the dew of little things, the heart finds its morning and is refreshed."
C. "It's a leader's job to bring the bad news, to get people to believe things they don't want to believe, and then to go out and do things they don't want to do."
3. A persuasive leader . . .
A. Listens as much as he or she talks
B. Tells it like it is
C. Enjoys the use of power
4. People who are effective persuaders and motivators . . .
A. Use little words
B. Rely on current buzzwords
C. Teach their followers via very long words
5. Parallelism (deliberate repetition of words or phrases). . . .
A. Is annoying to listeners/readers
B. Creates a monotonous impression
C. Is an effective persuasive/motivational tool
6. Definitions . . .
A. Should be provided from a reputable source
B. Sound patronizing
C. Are most effective when newly coined
7. An expression such as 'our children are our future' . . .
A. Has lost its effectiveness due to overuse
B. Appeals to a broad spectrum of listeners/readers
C. Reminds us of purpose
8. 'The real challenge for business people is to get communication out of information' according to . . .
A. Former President George W. Bush
B. Management expert Peter Drucker
C. Futurist Alvin Toffler
9. Metaphors . . .
A. According to Aristotle, “when understood, represent the beginning of genius.”
B. According to management-guru Warren Bennis, “help effect change.”
C. According to Jose Ortega y Gasset, philosopher and Spanish Civil War revolutionary, “are the most fertile power on earth.”
10. ‘You can’t build a reputation on what you’re going to do.’ This statement was made by . . .
A. Franklin D. Roosevelt
B. Henry Ford
C. Abraham Lincoln

Here are the answers to the motivational leadership self-test. Give yorself one point for each correct answer:
1. B. Recent research confirmed that the anecdote by itself was most effective in establishing credibility.
2. C. This is the gutsy, direct, feisty style of this super-salesman, Lee Iacocca.
3. A. 'One of the best ways to persuade others is with your ears.' We fully agree with this assertion by statesman, Dean Rusk.
4. A. Winston Churchill may have said it best: 'Big men use little words.' Check out the words of others who have exerted great influence: Reverend Martin Luther King - 'I have a dream...' John F Kennedy - 'Ask not what your country can do for you…’
5. C. There are many examples of inspirational quotes containing lots of repetition, particularly from national leaders and politicians. They use repetition because repetition works. For example Churchill's WWII rallying speech, '....We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets...'
6. C. It's tedious and seldom informative to hear a dictionary definition. Much more persuasive is an original definition, for example, this by Lon Watters: ‘School is a building that has four walls with tomorrow inside.’
7. A. Sentences that are overused, obvious truisms, lose their power because people have heard them before and therefore become immune to what was once an original exciting expression. To restore power to such a thought, add an original spin. For example, ‘To protect our future, we must protect our children.’
8. B. Peter Drucker, Father of Modern Management Science, challenges all of us to convert data to meaningful thought.
9. A., B., C. Although they should not be mixed and used sparingly, the metaphor can create a truly lasting concept. The ‘Iron Curtain,’ for example, or the ‘Glass Ceiling.’
10. B. Henry Ford

Here is how to interpret your test score:
9-10 You have persuaded me. A score this high indicates a true gift. If you're not in a leadership position yet, you should be.
5-8 You know a great deal about the power of words. Ideally, you're using that power both wisely and well.
1-4 If you are a believer in continuous improvement, you will take the time to learn more about how to achieve goals and influence people by following this blog.
“The important thing is not to stop questioning.” – Albert Einstein

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Motivation Combines Positive Attitude and Confidence

Since motivation is often dependent upon your positive attitude and your confidence, I will be posting future blogs on the Big Three: motivation, positive attitude and confidence.

Motivation Myths

Myth #1 – You can motivate other people. No, you can’t. We all have to motivate ourselves. Motivation is like a door that’s locked from the inside. You can motivate only one person in this world – yourself. So, why is there such a market for ‘motivational’ speakers, ‘motivational’ books, ‘motivational’ presentations? Because an effective ‘motivator’ can set up an environment where people will want to motivate themselves. The key is knowing how to create that environment.

Myth #2 – Money is a very effective motivator. No, not really. Certain things like money, a nice office and job security can help people from becoming less motivated, but they usually don't help people to become more motivated. The key is to understand the motivations of each person. What motivates them? What literally drives them?

Myth #3 – Fear is an even more effective motivator.Yes, fear is a great motivator, but only for a very short time. That's why a lot of yelling from your supervisor or manager won't keep you ‘motivated’ for long.

Myth #4 – I know what motivates me, so I know what motivates others. No, you don’t. Different people are motivated by different things. I may be greatly motivated by getting a longer vacation so I can spend more time with my family. You might be motivated much more by recognition of a job well done. Someone else might be motivated by feeling ‘in on things.’ People are not motivated by the same things. Again, the key is to understand what motivates each person.
So now the key question is: How do I motivate others: How? The answer, because it’s so simple, may surprise you. Find out what they want! Ask them!

God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know it's me. – Author unknown

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Office Politics 101

Office Survival Tip:

At work, do you want to be seen as all-knowing and just short of
omniscient? Then, when you hear a mosel of juicy, new gossip, just
nod your head wisely as if you already knew all about the subject,
say nothing, and go on about your business.

Keep in mind the wise remark by Benjamin Franklin: "Three can
keep a secret if two of them are dead."

BJ Rakow, Author, Much of What You Know about Job Search Just
Ain't So