🎙Always Be Thinking

July 31, 2018
Handling Criticism

I started this particular podcast preparing to do a 4 minute forethought on the topic of diplomacy. But as is usually the case when one goes spelinking – one thing led to another and I was struck by something that I know I have heard before but felt it’s worth sharing for anyone else who might need a reminder as I received.

Even more than being diplomatic there’s an element of diplomacy which is exhibited through how a great leader handles criticism. And going down that path leads to some very relevant and fascinating, even thought-provoking subjects and interviews. And I couldn’t reference them only and wrap things up in a 4 minute lighting format so I simply have to include at least two of these interviews and take this into a longer ABT podcast. (ABT is the Always Be Thinking podcast I publish rather infrequently when I just can’t help but wax eloquent, or as some might say, jump on a soapbox about a particular subject).

So here are my thoughts around the subject of criticism with two interviews included for your reflection. I hope you find this as valuable as I did. If it’s new to you then consider every word, if it’s familiar then I hope it will be a powerful reminder as we all strive to be better leaders in our day to day roles.

How a great leader handles criticism is a fascinating subject and there are several instances, I believe, which demonstrate how a great leader can handle criticism. There are of course many who would point to the manner in which Steve Jobs handled criticism in a live interview during a product announcement.

But, there’s a second question and response from a different interview from a very different person I’d also like to share on the subject of how a great leader handles criticism. The late Eleanor Roosevelt responds with elegance.

I think it’s quite obvious from these two examples how a great leader handles criticism. Even in these two very different examples – in fact, I think about as different as you could possibly get – we see the same character qualities. The quality of humility, self-degradation, or at the very least acknowledgement of their own short-comings. What an incredibly powerful testament to what I believe to be a key principle of being a great leader. Remember, it’s not the critic who counts….but the man in the arena.

July 11, 2018
Always Be Thinking: Loyalty

Sometimes building brand affinity is as simple as recognizing which company rules can be bent for the sake of the customer. The resulting goodwill sentiment and brand loyalty can yield far far more than any rewards program. This personalizes the brand and makes them feel approachable. Then a company will be perceived as a cool friend… instead of another greedy corporation intent on making a profit at the expense of the customer. The customer doesn’t maintain a strict guarded profile mistrusting every action and a real relationship can be established.