“The average person tells four lies a day, or 1,460 a year; a total of 87,600 by the age of 60. And the most common lie is ‘I’m fine.’” This quote appeared in a friend’s recent blog post and got me thinking.* Does the average manager tell four lies a day?
Much of corporate America has an unspoken doctrine of “business masks.” Act a certain way. Dress a certain way. Downplay (or hide) your failures. Don’t ever show weakness. Observe corporate politics carefully to avoid land mines. Play by the rules. Say, ‘I’m fine’ even if you aren’t. Oh, and while you are at it? Be authentic. Employees and customers cherish authenticity.
If “I’m fine” is a lie, what else is? What about purposeful non-disclosure of business information — holding back details that might influence a listener’s decisions?
Where’s the line between spinning a yarn and acceptable communication spin?
In many organizations, polished “business masks” become essential for rising to the most senior roles, and many C-suite executives go on to create “organizational masks.” Gary Mitchiner, a management consultant, describes the phenomenon this way: “I dislike when leadership tells employees pieces and parts of what’s going on, being selective with content to share, instead of conveying the full story of what’s really happening.…
The 2014 SXSWedu Conference & Festival kicked off this week in Austin, Texas. SmartBrief Education has been on the ground, bringing readers regular coverage of the event.
Rod Paige, former U.S. Secretary of Education and 2014 SXSWedu keynote speaker, developed early in his life the belief that education was a pathway to solving the world’s problem. Paige grew up in Monticello, Miss., during segregation, when “there were two worlds, a white world and a black world.”
Paige, who was a coach, teacher and later the superintendent of the Houston Independent School District, brought to Wednesday’s keynote session Education: The Civil Rights Issue of Our Time a rich history of experience as a classroom practitioner and a policymaker on Capitol Hill.
“There is no civil rights strategy that would be more powerful than closing the (black-white) achievement gap,” Paige told conference attendees. “Responsibility is along the pipeline, but it has to be where the people walk the halls with students.”
Paige acknowledged that as a nation there has been a lack of systemic progress in closing the black-white achievement gap, and while there are exceptions that can provide lessons to others, there still is much work to be done to effect change.…
When each of his grandchildren was born, Francis Ford Coppola wrote them a song. He crafted each heartfelt ditty especially for each child, with details about her name or personality. The acclaimed director and winery proprietor puts a similar emphasis on family when it comes to his wine business, calling on his family members for inspiration and even to design labels and marketing campaigns. Coppola sat down to discuss his success in the wine business during an event Tuesday night at the AFI Theatre and Cultural Center in Silver Spring, Md.
Coppola’s family has a history of winemaking in America, beginning in New York’s Italian Harlem, where “my grandfather would get together with some of the paisan from the neighborhood …. and they would order maybe half a boxcar of grapes from the Napa Valley, no doubt from Cesare Mondavi, who was Robert Mondavi’s father and was in the business of supplying grapes for the immigrants around the country to make their own wine,” Coppola said.…
Diane is six months into her assignment as a midlevel manager in a large technology company. She was promoted to this position because of her previous “wild success” as a first-line manager, where she managed a team of engineers. She’s struggling in this new position, feeling ungrounded, overwhelmed and unable to lift herself up enough to see where her organization is heading.
She thought the transition to this midlevel position would be easy. But this is where the rubber meets the road in many companies. She will either find a way to become successful or she’ll fail. Unknowingly she’s being tested now to see if she has the mettle to get through the complexities she’s dealing with and manage a team of managers that will drive — in her words — “my organizational agendas forward.”
Wait a minute. What’s wrong with that last sentence?
Her organizational agendas! Nobody told her that she needed to have input from her team!…
The 2014 SXSWedu Conference & Festival kicked off Monday in Austin, Texas. SmartBrief Education is on the ground, bringing readers regular coverage of the event.
Educational technology should not be intrusive in the classroom. It should be designed in a way that makes the most of the real world of teachers, families and students, according to SXSWedu keynote speakers Vivienne Ming and Norma Ming, co-founders of educational technology startup Socos.
“We can build technology that provides amazing support without you ever realizing that it was there,” Vivienne told attendees. “Technology does not need to be intrusive.”
“Stop trying to disrupt everything,” she added. “There are systems out there. Integrate them. You’ll get so much more done that way. We’re not talking about big intrusive technology.”
Here are five lessons Vivienne and Norma shared with attendees to help educational technology designers — and others — keep the promise of educational technology in the classroom.…