Companies with humble CEOs perform better, says research

Humble CEOs

TECHINASIS writer Terence Lee discusses the benefits that humble CEOs bring to a company, especially to a startup.

“Companies with humble CEOs perform better, says research. Arrogance is often seen as a necessary trait in startup CEOs. But research might prove otherwise. In Silicon Valley, arrogance and ruthlessness are often seen as traits of successful CEOs. They’re trade-offs packaged with the positive qualities necessary for their startup’s success, like two sides of the same coin. Apple’s Steve Jobs is a prime example.”

Source: Companies with humble CEOs perform better, says research

Photo credit: Pedro Ribeiro Simões

Why Friends Don't Post Politics on Social Media

Why Friends Don't Post Politics on Social Media
Why Friends Don’t Post Politics on Social Media

When politicians offend you, they are not talking to you.

They are talking to the people who will likely vote for them.  Everything that Politicians say offends someone.

When politicians are on the campaign stump, the best politicians say things that draw headlines.  The media people pick these things from political speeches and write their headlines.  Conservative, liberal, and progressive media use headlines to draw subscribers.  They select political statements from politicians that can show how terrible stupid, ludicrous, and offensive a politician can be, and they post political statements that show how appealing an opposition politician can be.  They select the statements that appeal to the way that their readers want to view the news.

When the people in the media offend you, they are not speaking with you.

Just as politicians do, people in the media are speaking to their followers.  For grassroots conservatives, media like “The Blaze,” “Fox News,” and “Drudge Report” make perfect sense.

According to The Washington Post,

“People who read BuzzFeed, PoliticoThe Washington Post, and The New York Times all tend to be more liberal.”

Likewise, what liberal media publish makes perfect sense to liberals.  Some liberals have grown weary of the term “liberal.”  It represents a term of liberal spending which media have penned on them.  I see the word “progressive” appearing more frequently in left-wing or liberal media. gives this definition of liberals:

noting or pertaining to a political party advocating measures of progressive political reform.

David Sorta, writing in the HuffingtonPost, has an excellent article titled, “What’s the Difference Between a Liberal and a Progressive?”  In the article, he describes how he see the difference between the two.

Media that fit into a more progressive editorial view include, CommonDreams, and Alternet.  HuffingtonPost has a section devoted to Progressive Media.

What about individuals on social media?

For most people, social media is not a political forum.  It is like a dinner party.  They are there to enjoy each other’s company.

This MarketWatch article about Thanksgiving dinner is an example of the way most people treat the social aspect of social media. “6 things not to talk about during Thanksgiving dinner.”

“It is time to gather round the dinner table on Thanksgiving and navigate that annual land mine of well-meaning, polite conversation with family, friends, and sometimes perfect strangers…Tread lightly.  And keep the conversation easy and breezy.  If you want to avoid any seismic blowups, steer clear of these controversial, and sometimes just plain unsavory, dinner topics while you chow down and give thanks …” via MarketWatch

When people create social media profiles that are not political and then take political positions, they can affect their personal relationships and their careers.  

A recent casualty is Elise Labott, the CNN’s global affairs correspondent.  She is a reporter not a commentator for political views for CNN.  She tweeted, “House passes bill that could limit Syrian refugees.”  That statement is a fact.  Then she expressed her political opinion of the bill by using a metaphor.  “Statue of Liberty bows head in anguish.”  This second statement is a personal political view and not a fact.

CNN suspended Elise Abbott for two weeks for stepping out of her journalist role into the role of a political commentator.

She has since apologized: “Everyone, It was wrong of me to apologize.  My tweet was inappropriate and disrespectful.”  People who disagree with what she wrote will probably not forgive her, but the people who agree with her commented that she had done the right thing.  Based on her career as a successful journalist, I suspect that she just wants to move on.

Social Media Best Practices

The best practice is to follow not only the social guidelines but to stay in character.  Elise Abbott stepped out of character when, as a reporter, she tweeted a politically based opinion instead of what people expect from journalist who report the news, but do not comment on the news.

There are politicians on social media who create support for their careers through political statements on Facebook or Twitter.  These people are politicians.  Their profile says that they are political figures.  Their posts support their political views.  When people become friends with politicians on social media, these know what to expect from the relationship.  They expect and they get the politics that is consistent with the views of the politicians.

There are people on Facebook and Twitter whose profile shows them as friends connecting with friends or as business people who are seeking to promote their business.  They step out of character when their posts only support their political views:  Do these people only want friends, clients, or customers who are either Republicans or Democrats?  If they do, they are missing half of their potential customers.  I suspect that either these people do not understand the conflict between business marketing and political positioning or they just can’t resist the urge to say what they believe politically with the belief that they must take a stand.

A better approach would be to keep their personal profile built on their business just that, a personal profile built on their business by posting updates on either themselves or their business.  If they want a forum for their politics, I recommend that they create a page that represents their political views.

A way to demonstrate best practices in social media is to view the Facebook business pages of major companies.

Go to the Facebook pages of three of the largest companies in America.  They are no political views on these Facebook pages.  But there is information on their company developments and products.  Here are some samples:

George Caleb Bingham [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

How Successful People Manage the Future

Manage the Future

“I have seen the future and it is very much like the present, only longer.” This quote is from Kehlog Albran’s “The Profit,” a parody of Khalil Gibran’s “The Prophet.” This quote has become a useful nugget of wisdom for forecasters. It also applies aptly as to how successful people manage the future.

And how do successful people manage the future? They don’t. Even when they are planning, they are not managing the future. They are managing their plans for the future.

The future doesn’t exists. There is a sign that hangs above some bars: “Free beer tomorrow.” Of course, the same sign will be hanging above the bar tomorrow and carry the same message. People who are coming back for free beer tomorrow will just have to keep coming back forever.

But what about times when life hands us bad hands? Don’t bad hands affect the future? No one really knows how today’s hands will affect the hands that we get tomorrow. Life deals everyone bad hands. Just ask poker players. They all get bad hands. Great poker players know that over the long-term, bad hands and good hands even out. Whether or not they make money depends on how they play the hand they hold in the present moment. They focus on each hand with three questions. Do I call raise with the present hand? Do I call with the present hand? Do I fold the present hand?

To quote poker great Phil Hellmuth, “If there weren’t luck involved,

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Picking Winning Teams and Mentors


Picking winning teams and mentors is an important part of making career progress. Although we often find ourselves on teams our company or a committee has assigned us, there are several times in life when we get opportunities to pick our teams.

If we are the team leader, we get to pick the entire team from the available selections. If we are in a professional leadership or hiring role, we select people who will benefit the company, make the team more productive, and work well under our supervision.

We can pick our teams and our mentors in developing networks. In these cases we can pick the winners who will make our lives more fun, more interesting, and help us become smarter and more creative.

We can pick our mentors or perhaps gravitate toward our mentors, both at work and after work. Our mentors are not always our supervisor. We can pick who have more time in a company or who work in other departments.

Outside of work, we can pick friends who can mentor us in many ways.

I have friends and mentors who are doctors, attorneys, members of the clergy, engineers, bankers, contractors, state administrators, chemists, a judge, athletes, and others. I became friends with these people, because I enjoy their company. These people are interesting and intelligent people and teach me a lot of things within the scope of their profession and outside the scope of their profession.

I do not pick my friends to get professional advice. I pick them

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Be the Leader in the Workplace.

Be the Leader

Be the Leader in the Workplace.

There are things that I can do to make work happier and more successful for my coworkers, my boss, my customers, and me.

Give credit where credit is due. I do not like people to take credit for my work. I cannot allow myself to take credit for the work of other people. If someone is giving me credit for the work of another person, I need to speak up and give credit to the correct person.

Accepting credit I do not deserve can cause me trouble later. I may never know when I have lost the trust of other people through stealing credit.

Focus on the situation at hand. When someone criticizes me, I can easily criticize him or her for things that they have done. This type of response does not give any solutions. I simply turn a criticism into a conflict.

The best thing I can do is to listen to the person. I can create space and time until I can understand what the person is saying.

The person may have information I need to do a better job. Even if the person has suggestions that will not help me, I can listen and avoid tension. I can focus on the situation at hand.

Let other people have their say. I have two ears and one mouth. I need to learn from other people. If I am talking all the time, I will never learn anything from anyone.

Most people talk, because they

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8 Success Habits


8 Success Habits

How do you make success a habit?  Here are some tips that work for me.

Arrive early.  I find that it is nice to arrive early for work or appointments.  When I meet someone locally, I leave in time arrive fifteen minutes early.  I can always find a comfortable place to relax before stepping into the appointment.  When I travel for several hours for an appointment, I may even go in the night before.

Keep healthy snacks on hand.  When I get a little hungry, I feel anxious.  I take things more personally.  Just eating a banana, a piece of whole-wheat toast, or a few nuts can relieve that hunger.

Seek advice.  I am very lucky to have a family and friends who can help me make decisions.  I turn to people who have experience with similar situations as my own.  It is very easy for me to overlook things or see things incorrectly.  Having other people around to work through situations is very helpful.

Make decisions.  When my wife asks me what I want for dinner, I tell her what I want for dinner.  If she asks me which movie I prefer, I tell her my preference.  Indecision on my part may seem as though I am being flexible.  In reality, by telling her I prefer to let her decide, I am putting the weight of the decision back on her when she had ask me for help with my decision.

When I go out to dinner, I keep the process simple.

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