“You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.” ~ Winston S. Churchill

One of the hardest things for leaders (and all people, for that matter) to deal with is criticism. We all want to be right, do right and have others consistently agree with and admire us. But every leader who has been around for even a short while knows that criticism is part and parcel of the experience. There is simply no way of avoiding it.

Consider all of history’s greatest leaders. Regardless of their era and role, every person that we would associate with positively changing the course of history was censured during his or her lifetime, often in scathing, relentless terms. It makes no difference whether they were people of great character or not. Nor did it matter if they were on the winning side of the argument or struggle. If they stood for a cause, led a nation or advanced a noteworthy agenda, then they were at times discouraged, condemned and perhaps even physically impeded from achieving their goals and aspirations. (read more…)

PerdueCoverThis post is an excerpt from the book “Tough Man, Tender Chicken: Business and Life Lessons from Frank Perdue” (December 2014, Significance Press) by Mitzi Perdue, who holds a bachelor’s degree in government from Harvard University and a master’s in public administration from George Washington University. For two decades she was a syndicated columnist, first for Capitol News, writing about food and agriculture, and then for Scripps Howard, writing about the environment. For more on the book, visit FrankPerdueBook.com, and follow on Facebook and Twitter.

If you enjoy this article, join SmartBrief’s e-mail list for our daily newsletter on being a better, smarter leader.

Although Ed McCabe was the copywriter for the Perdue account, he also became one of Frank’s best friends. Years after they were no longer working together, they would still visit each other.

In McCabe’s eyes, the basis of their relationship was that they were both fanatics. (read more…)

NEW_David_BW_smallSmartBrief is talking directly with small and medium-sized businesses to discover their journeys, challenges and lessons. Today’s post is a Q-and-A with David Adler, founder of BizBash, a resource hub for the event and meeting industry with its website, magazines, and trade shows.

Are you a small-business owner and would like to share your story? E-mail me jdasilva [at] smartbrief.com.

View the Small Biz Q-and-A series, and sign up for our free e-mail newsletters on small business and entrepreneurialism.

For those who might not know, what is BizBash? What need did you see unfulfilled when you started the company?

As the leading trade media for the industry, BizBash is the place event and meeting professionals turn to discover new event ideas, resources, and trends. Our website, magazines, trade shows, and conferences provide event organizers — responsible for everything from White House state dinners to the Oscars — inspiration to take their events to the next level. (read more…)

The Young Entrepreneur Council is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses. Read previous SmartBlogs posts by YEC.

If you enjoy this article, join SmartBrief’s e-mail list for our newsletters on small business and entrepreneurialism.

yec_Kenny Nguyen21. When it’s specific

When asking or giving feedback, it’s important to be specific. We like to follow the format of SMART goals: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-sensitive. Rather than saying, “You need to track accounts better,” it’s better to say, “You can track your accounts better by checking in with customers every two weeks on the status of their project/ask if they have any questions.” — Kenny Nguyen, Big Fish Presentations

yec_Beck Bamberger2. When you ask what you can take action on

Make feedback actionable in the effort to improve. If the feedback is, “Sam rambles during in-person meetings with clients,” then the follow up could be a discussion or plan with Sam’s input that outlines, “Sam will sit in three meetings with Sally and Tom to observe their concise approach in meetings, and Sam will join Toastmasters and attend 10 meetings to brush up on his speaking skills.” — Beck Bamberger, BAM Communications

yec_alexandra levit3. (read more…)

Young kids speak the truth, as anyone who’s ever been called out by a preschooler can tell you. I’ll never forget the time my 3-year-old son looked at me with his innocent, big brown eyes and said, “Mama, you told me that’s a bad word. How come you just said it?” Nothing shines the light on a failed role model opportunity faster than being called on the carpet by a person who barely reaches your waist.

But it’s not just kids who can see when our example-setting falls short. Although there are many ways to set an example, “Do as I say, not as I do,” isn’t one of them. People with influence — parents, managers, teachers, coaches — in short, anyone tasked with leading others knows that being a positive role model is vital. Eric Barker of the popular Barking Up the Wrong Tree blog writes, “Setting an example is more powerful than telling people what to do” and he backs it up with social science. (read more…)