Altrocentrics, Fools and Adults Behaving Badly

Look, I’m really glad that you’re reading this and I’m truly grateful that people seem to like this little blog. But for your sake, I hope you’re reading it sitting on a beach; next to a cooler or a campfire or in an upgraded room just down the hall from the ice machine. Wherever your happy place is, is fine. CBS says Americans give up 429 million days off every year – we’re lousy vacation-takers.  I know it’s not easy sometimes when (self-confession alert) you’re generating your own paycheck, and the “do-more-with-less” business mindset does a great job of advancing the careers of cardiac caregivers. Europeans typically take at least six weeks off every year and my Aussie pals almost never actually work (ha ha)! So go get some sand in your shorts, America!


Altrocentric vs. Egocentric  

A federal agency manager contacted me last week looking for advice on a staff engagement plan — a popular topic these days. Egos are out and engagement is in. That, in a nutshell, is the difference between old style egocentric leaders and the new and improved altrocentric leadership style that demands less power and control and engages employees, competitors and customers better.

A new study called Leadership 2030 considers how business is changing which is usually a precursor to changes in the public sector.  A lot of managers are gonna hate this:

Audience Connections  

I’m working with a client on a long-term, dicey and complex issue requiring the company to host a group of experts presenting technical and normally boring information to regular people. My task is to help my client communicate their information in the language of the people that they’re trying to communicate with. It’s not that it’s too hard to do…it’s convincing people who hide behind technobabble of the importance of connecting to real, affected human beings.

Seinfeld pointed out that, just ahead of death, public speaking is most people’s number one fear. As such, you’re probably better off in the casket than delivering the eulogy. But when you connect with people, magic happens:

And when you’re ready to step it up a little, consider the following…

Presentations are the bread & butter of this business… here’s the final sermon for this issue:

What a Fool Believes  

Borrowing a Doobie Brothers title seems a fair way to introduce this NY Times story on a subject we’ve talked about in the past here, one that has huge implications in communicating and influencing science, policy and truth. A client of mine forwarded me this next story. At its essence, it says that providing evidence alone won’t change people’s beliefs if those beliefs are grounded in cultural and political views:

There’s another theory that beliefs on politically contentious topics are often rooted more in opposition to perceived attacks than anything else-an instance of “motivated reasoning.” This story was in The Atlantic…

A friend of mine at CDC in Atlanta just shook his head when I asked him about how much damage he thought Jenny McCarthy has done to autism research and getting kids vaccinated against serious illnesses. Chalk it up to the unintended consequences of a Playmate of the Year using her celebrity status:

Adults Behaving Badly

So often the stupidest things that people do are done in groups. My freshman year with my roommates Ritchie, Skeeter and Bugs suddenly comes to mind…but I digress.

I’m a big supporter of old-fashioned American public protest. But there are times when it goes off the rails like the recent Cliven Bundy gang showdown in Nevada or the more recent Murrieta immigration protests.  A quick explanation follows…



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