Steve McCroskey, a somewhat legendary air traffic control director at LAX in the 1970s, is never referenced in conversations about leadership and crisis management by MBA academics and executive coaches. There are very good reasons why this is so. First, in times of crisis, McCroskey allowed his personal demons to get the better of … Continue reading “Looks Like I Picked the Wrong Week to Quit Drinking”
Woody Allen famously said “80% of success in life is just showing up.” Sometimes I wonder if he was talking about the conference rooms of corporate America. Show up in meetings. Show up in client presentations. Show up in 1:1s with employees. Get on a plane and show up at panels, events, and major industry … Continue reading Showing Up Isn’t Enough
Very often it’s the one we most covet. We look at the person immediately above us on the corporate ladder and think we could do that job. We want that job. This is especially true for the young and ambitious. Early in your career when you’re eager to take the next step, make more money, … Continue reading The Boss’s Job
How many times have each of us walked out of a bad meeting with our boss and dreamt of going full throated Johnny Paycheck and telling them what they could do with this job? If you work long enough, I think it’s inevitable. Everyone has a story or two to share. Complaining about bad bosses … Continue reading “Take This Job And…”
“Do you have legs?” “Are you a real person or just a very convincing avatar?” Never could I have imagined a colleague asking me those questions, even in jest. But for the past 18 months it’s been the running joke at work. I’m one of the millions of people who started a new job, working … Continue reading How Tall Are You?
It’s no one’s ambition. Who in their right mind would ever want to be the dumbest person in the room? My guess is however that there have been times in our careers when many of us have felt that way. Maybe when we were young and just starting out and realized we had no clue … Continue reading The Dumbest Person in the Room
It’s very easy to see how fear has driven so much decision making the past 18 months. The Covid 19 pandemic killed close to 600,000 people in this country and millions more around the world. Beyond the toll on human life, it wreaked havoc on our economy. All of us know someone who lost a … Continue reading No Time For Cowards
Soccer is often referred to as the “beautiful game.” I’m no expert, but even as a layman I can see why true fans feel this way. Watching two teams of eleven skilled players competing to maneuver a single ball in an enclosed space can be riveting. The best teams perform like a symphony where every … Continue reading Open Spaces & Shiny Objects
It happens in practically every meeting. You’ve done it. I have too, many times. Piling on. What’s piling on? Think of football - a ball carrier gets knocked to the ground by one player and other defenders throw themselves into the mix. Piling on a downed runner may make the other defenders feel like their … Continue reading Stop Piling On
I think all of us remember the old adage about rising above the insults of others. “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never harm me.” It’s a nice sentiment and a powerful reminder that the name-callers and haters in this world can only bother us if we let them. But do … Continue reading Sticks and Stones
Who doesn’t want a raise? More money would be great, but you don’t work just for the money. Not really. None of us do. Whoa, whoa, wait a minute. Speak for yourself. Money is exactly the reason why I’m working. Do you think if I had enough money this is how I would be spending … Continue reading Whatever They’re Paying You, It’s Not Motivating
I like this design but we should look at… The brief looks great but you need to add… You handled yourself well in the meeting but you forgot…. Have you ever received feedback this way? A quick compliment before a “but” leads to the real point of the communication. Do you give feedback this way? … Continue reading Ands Not Buts
Do you consider yourself successful? My guess is yes. We all do to a certain extent. Just one look at our resumes or LinkedIn profiles confirms it. They are the tools most of use to market our success to the world. Good resumes and profiles demonstrate our success by providing specific examples of accomplishments and … Continue reading How To Measure Success
Talent, no. Education, definitely not. Experience, nope. Creativity, sorry. Integrity and leadership, very important but not it. All those qualities and many others I didn’t name are wonderful and certainly aspirational for all professionals, but they aren’t #1. The most important quality in a professional today is availability. Availability is the #1 quality in a … Continue reading The #1 Quality in a Professional
A marketer without a keen sense of the ROI (return on investment) of their campaigns and other business driving initiatives won't be employed very long. It's particularly important in our "Covid economy" where businesses are failing, revenue is down and operating budgets are constricted. Moreover, today's marketing technology and data collection resources have set an … Continue reading The Illusion of ROI
Following the tremendous number of layoffs and job eliminations in 2020 I am seeing signs that companies in our industry are looking to add staff in 2021. Admittedly my evidence is anecdotal, largely based on what I see in my network and the comments of friends around the industry, but after the wreckage of 2020 … Continue reading Too White and Too Young
The focus of For What It's Worth is building careers in marketing and media. I don't write about politics here. Yet it's difficult to stay silent when faced with repeated, unspeakable criminal acts against innocent African Americans by bad cops who should have had their badges and guns taken away long ago, violence and destruction … Continue reading Diversity Now
For today's post I put together a video to share one simple piece of invaluable advice for having better meetings. I hope you enjoy it. Stay safe and healthy everyone!
I don't know. I don't mean I don't know what a leader's three post powerful words are. I mean the words are "I don't know." But wait, that seems crazy. Aren't leaders supposed to have the answers? I don't know means weakness, indecision, lack of preparation...right? Not necessarily. Now of course if a leader answers every … Continue reading A Leader’s Three Most Powerful Words
Thanks to Covid-19 there's been more talk about working from home the past week then anytime I can remember. This is not a piece about how to work better from home, it's about how we can be better at home when we're working. The closing of workplaces presents a unique opportunity for all of us … Continue reading Covid-19 and Our Best Selves
I bet you haven't seen the headline of this blog in any marketing job postings recently. Experience managing the creation and distribution of content through social media seems to be table stakes for marketers these days. And why not? Social media is used by hundreds of millions of people every day and, when executed properly, … Continue reading Social Media Experience NOT Required
During the course of your career, there will be times when your job or project makes you feel like you caught the perfect wave. When that happens, revel in the ride. Professionally there's nothing better. But just like every wave eventually breaks at the shoreline, no job or project lasts forever. Inevitably you will need … Continue reading We’re all surfers
There’s a great scene in the Disney film “Miracle” about the 1980 US Olympic hockey team. Coach Herb Brooks is making the team endure countless punishing sprints following a lackluster effort in an exhibition game. At one point he reminds the players that who they play for is bigger than them: “The name on the … Continue reading Who Do Your Play For?
It's performance review season at many companies right now. Managers are sitting with their direct report and, hopefully, having thoughtful discussions about areas of strength and opportunities for improvement. Employees, hopefully, are sharing their thoughts on past performance and goals for the future. How one's performance is rated - and companies use various tools from … Continue reading The 3% Merit Fallacy