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Thoughts for Tuesday by Suzanne Bates

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Rivalry: Leadership Lessons from Mark Twain and Theodore Roosevelt

Rivalry TFT Pic

I've recently been reading about a fascinating time in our nation's history, more than 100 years ago, the topic, a previously unknown rivalry between the writer Mark Twain and the political leader Theodore Roosevelt.

It's Your Time: Executive Time Management

executive time management

At this stage in your life, you have certainly learned something about how to be productive. You don't get tapped for a top job, or lead an organization, unless you can get things done. Still, even seasoned leaders tell me they sometimes have a nagging feeling that they spend too much time on the wrong things, and too little time on the right ones.  In the heat of the day, the consequences may seem insignificant.  In the long run, those choices are the difference between failure and success.

The Last to Know

handling negative employees

The other day, a reporter got in touch for comments on how to handle negative employees.  I got to thinking about my own experience with this. It struck me that the first thing to know is that the boss is often the LAST to know.  Ridiculous as it sounds, you can have a moaning, groaning, complaining, negative person around for long while before you realize things are bad.

All is Right with the World

iStock 000003579140Small

Around this time every year, my husband and I turn to each other and say, "All is right with the world."  I'd like to tell you this is because we are so grateful for good health (knock on wood), marital bliss (knock again), or the well-being of our daughter (as they say, you're only as happy as your least happy child).  No, our spontaneous declaration is prompted by something much deeper in our psyches.  It is the beginning of the most important time of the year; the pro-football season.

The Dark Room


I once had a darkroom mishap.  It was a disastrous day in my young TV career.  This took place back in the "Anchorman" days (remember that movie?) just before videotape became the standard format for television.  News interviews were still shot on film.  That meant whatever you reported in the field that day had to be in the processor by about 4 PM. It took that long for the film to be developed so you could get the clips chosen, edited, and spliced onto the newsreel to air on the 6 PM News.

B3 Brand Buster Alert - American Apparel's CEO Charney


Company: American Apparel

National Public (Train-(w)Reck (NPR)


So, the chief executive of America’s National Public Radio (NPR) network has quit her post after a video sting by rightwing activists posing as campaigners for a fictitious Muslim group.  It was just too much, especially after the abrupt firing of trusted journalist Juan Williams a few months ago.  Conservative activists James O’Keefe played gotcha and won, recording an undercover videotape of senior NPR fundraiser Ron Schiller (no relation to the CEO).  It was an embarrassing and unforgiveable display of arrogance and idiocy.  The NPR board simply could not tolerate it.

The King’s Speech


Oscar buzz is in the air for the King’s Speech, the riveting story of a famous public figure, Prince Albert, Duke of York, who wrestles mightily with a severe and debilitating stammer that has plagued him all his adult life.  The Prince, portrayed with tremendous force by Colin Firth, is thrust onto the throne in 1936 when his father King George dies and his elder brother runs off in a selfish fit to marry two-time divorcee Wallis Simpson.  

Cleaning Out The Gutters


As I write this I’m gazing (lovingly) out the picture window at my husband on a ladder, cleaning out the gutters.  For those of you who live in condos or climates where trees don’t shed, this is an annual fall sport for men.  They do it because they ARE men and it makes absolutely no sense to them to pay someone a couple of hundred bucks when they have a ladder, a pair of work gloves, and about an hour and a half between their workouts and the first college football game which starts Saturday at noon. 

Power Tripping


A fascinating essay by Jonah Lehrer in the Wall Street Journal explores how nice people are likely to rise to power, and yet the very traits that got them there disappear when they get to the top.  Psychologists refer to this as the paradox of power.  Lehrer cites a compelling bunch of studies affirming this human tendency.  Apparently, SOME people who get to positions of authority by being polite, honest and compassionate become impulsive, reckless and rude once they get there. 

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