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The Usual Trustpects

“Keep your friends close and your enemies closer,” says Michael Corleone in The Godfather Part II (1974, Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola.) Debating over who said it first – Sun Tzu? Niccol├▓ Machiavelli? Petrarch? – may make for lively cocktail party chit-chat. But, the question of who can – and can’t – be trusted goes straight to the heart of everything you do. Nothing happens alone; doing business means doing business with others.
So how do you know who can be trusted? You can’t, at least not all of the time, but you can improve your odds.
First, do you know what your default is? It might seem strange but some of us automatically trust people until they prove us wrong, and some of us need more time to trust. The more cautious among us may have spent way too much time with untrustworthy people because, the fact is, as a society, we know more about how to destroy trust than we know how to build it.
Most of us start out life by trusting others, so we grow up and expect to be trusted. T…
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Are You Clueful? Do You Care?

@DrJanice: If you care, you clue in. You become clueful. And global cluefulness increases. 

I’ve taken to using the word ‘cluefulness’ and all its glorious variants because I’m tired of hearing people bandy about phrases like ‘he hasn’t got a clue’ and ‘she’s the most clueless person I ever had on my staff.’ Listen up: that language misses the point, and here’s why.

First of all, people who don’t have a clue don’t realize what they are missing. Duh. (Why would they have a clue about themselves if they don’t have a clue about others?)

Second, I realized that it doesn’t matter if you have a clue or not. How many times have you found yourself in a situation where you really didn’t have a clue? (For me, the first video game after Pong left me in the cold. Blasting Space Invaders and chompingpower pills just wasn’t an attraction.) What matters is whether or not you care!

In the case of video games, I was clueless but I still had to care. Between my two kids, the television was permanently tune…

How to Keep Your Resume Out of the Circular File

@DrJanice: Be good at what you are good at. Nothing else makes sense. #career
I looked at a senior executive’s resume – something I never do, but I figured I’d do it, just for research. He’s a consultant now, but he’s been in senior management the latter part of his career. With the economy improving, he’s on the prowl and some lucky company might get him. After he fixes his resume… So, I’m going to offer my advice here, in hopes that if you are looking for a new C level job (or any job for that matter) it will help you too.
First, put your address on it so it doesn’t look like you are living in your car. I know you have a lot of experience and you want to cram in into two pages because somewhere there is a two-page rule, but really, this is not the place to skimp.
Then, put your industry right up there in the title. I know you want to appear flexible but executive recruiters care about industry. A lot. That’s how they make money, specializing in an industry. Get it on there. Also, use …

Leading into the Light

@DrJanice: Is part of the problem with communication that we have con-versations when we should have pro-versations? #justasking
There is a famous old Peanuts cartoon. Linus, the budding philosopher, quotes “It is better to light one candle rather than curse the darkness”, whereupon Lucy, ever the pessimist, yells something like, “You stupid darkness!”
Before you choose your favorite (and yes, one choice is more socially desirable) consider the advantages of being a Lucy. You never have to expend much energy finding the candle and lighting it.You don’t have to actually achieve anything, so you don’t have to put forth any effort.You won’t have to challenge any of your old beliefs, even the ones that make you miserable.Are you with me? There is a choice here to be made. To do something positive that causes the light to be lit – or to curse it for not lighting itself.
Make no mistake about it: there is a lot of darkness in the world. You may not be feeling very positive about searching for l…

Ten Commandments for Becoming a Leader

@DrJanice: You don't need anyone's permission to lead. #leadership
There are 10 commandments for becoming a leader. I didn’t get them off of tablets. But they will get you to your promised land.
Be compassionate: don’t place people in tempting circumstances.Assume that people have the best interests of the organization in their intentions.Be forgiving, even when people make mistakes.Be merciful when people make big mistakes.Be gracious, even to those who don’t return it.Be slow to anger when people disobey.Be abundantly kind and assume people mean well.Never renege on your word.Remember the times when people do something right.Always allow people to repent their error, carelessness or apathy, and forgive them.By the way, even if you decide you’d rather not be a leader, follow these anyway. You’ll have a more satisfying, less stressful life.

A sort of introduction, or why I blog, tweet, and speak up.

@DrJanice: The real key to success is knowing who you are... and who you are not. #wisdom I was neither born nor raised to be a leader. Not a CEO. Not the founder of a startup company. Not the architect of a new technology. I was expected to be like my mother and the other women who started their families in 1946, the first full year of peace. I was meant to be a lady with a wardrobe of gloves and hats and aprons. My ride was to be a baby carriage. And my career aspirations, if any, were to be a teacher because then I could have summers off with my children. But the path was not to endure: as the fifties turned into the sixties neither the peace nor the place of women would remain the same. Hardly anything, for that matter, would ever be the same. Unfortunately, in corporate America, reality was slower to catch up. When applying for my first jobs I, unlike my male counterparts, was given a typing test. (This was before the invention of the pantsuit.) Time went on, as did my life. Suffice…