- the White House to meet the President
- Google’s science fair
- Facebook, Twitter, and Box by their CEOs
Amid the excitement of my daughter finishing her first year of high school, and a pending visit to Syracuse to visit my parents, it has been an interesting week. I’ve been in a good writing groove, patching some holes in the early middle of the book. And in Mussar, I’ve been practicing Loving Kindness, which led me to read Sherryl Sandberg’s Facebook post about the grieving process for her husband, who died of a freak accident at the age of 46.
- A friend of mine wants to start a dance company, but won’t because she wants to pay her dancers. Right now there is a culture of people dancing for free. She doesn’t think this is right, and doesn’t want to perpetuate that culture.
- I work pretty much full time these days on my book, and planning an event. I don’t get paid very much for doing so. I am adamant that I won’t work for free, yet I don’t hesitate to invest this time, or to volunteer many hours at my synagogue. Many stay at home moms I know work almost full time jobs as volunteers.
- Don’t get me started on college athletes, who bring in billions of dollars to their schools and the NCAA and are not paid for it. Yes, they get a free education, but if they are hurt they lose the scholarship. Given the amount of $$ the schools are making, free tuition does not seem sufficient any more.
I had an interesting experience recently with one of my study partners. We were reading a 15th century Rabbinic text about the Mussar soul trait Enthusiasm, and the author wrote the following:
“One must be especially zealous not to delay evacuation, both defecation and urination, even one moment”
Do Looks Matter for Success? When it comes to my book, I think they do.
- Greeting everyone you meet before they greet you.
- Holding doors for others
- Smiling at everyone you pass
The new season of Survivor says Yes
- Do I let another driver merge ahead of me, or do I pull up so they can’t get in? Small personal advantage vs slightly better traffic flow for everyone else.
- Do I smile at the person I’m walking past, or do I remain wrapped up in my own thoughts?
- Do I take the time to write a Yelp review for the local business that gave exemplary service, to do I get on Facebook?
Did you see the blockbuster article in the NY Times by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant discussing why women don’t speak out at work? Women who present ideas in meetings are often ignored, or are talked over by men, who run with their idea. When I told my daughter about the story she sat up straight and said “That happens to me!” She is 14, a freshman in high school.
In addition, they quote research from Dr. Victoria Briscol at Yale, which found that
“Male executives who spoke more often than their peers were rewarded with 10 percent higher ratings of competence. When female executives spoke more than their peers, both men and women punished them with 14 percent lower ratings.”
While anecdotally I believe the talking over women story, I find the research shocking. Surely this is not happening on a conscious level. I went and read the original research paper, and there was an interesting nugget that did not make the times article: Women in positions of authority who spoke less were perceived as more powerful than women who spoke more, and men in positions of authority who spoke more were perceived as more powerful than men who spoke less. In fact, the women who spoke less has similar scores to the men who spoke more, and vice versa. They speculate that men and women may want to have different strategies for how they use their power at work. (See page 14.)
What does this mean for someone looking to find the proper Humility balance? As a reminder, Humility balance is defined as “Not more than my place, not less than my space.” When talking more is counter productive is is better to stay Silent? On the flip side, maybe remaining quiet is perpetuating an unjust social hierarchy, and it is better to trail-blaze, in the hopes that over time both men and women will become more comfortable with women asserting their power.
I don’t know the right answer, other than to reaffirm that this research shows that women are right to be concerned that speaking out can be held against them. Now that we know, we have an opportunity to check our reactions to people in power.
What do you think? Do you buy it?
It is important that we spread the word about unconscious bias. Please share this post!
Last night in a mini-Torah study, we discussed the story of the binding of Isaac. As you may recall, God tells Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. At the very last minute, when the knife is in the air, God sends an Angel to tell Abraham that he passed the test, and he doesn’t need to actually harm the boy. We argued whether despite appearances, Abraham was being a good parent by following God’s commands.
I’m on my home from the latest workshop by my coach Steve Harrison. Had a chance to meet Jack Canfield, author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books. Wow, what an amazing experience.
It was an interesting experience learning how better to serve people through writing and coaching against the backdrop of the Ray Rice story. My understanding is that abusive people were themselves abused. It is my hope that this incident can help Mr. Rice break the cycle of abuse, both for himself and for others.
I watched the video. It was very disturbing. If you haven’t seen it, I think you should watch it Ray Rice Knocked Out Fiancee – FULL VIDEO. It will change your understanding of domestic violence forever. It won’t be theoretical, and it won’t be Hollywood. It is brutal. Watching the video could help you change someone’s life some day. You might hear a whisper, or notice something in someone you know, and instead of brushing it off, you’ll remember that image of Jinay getting knocked unconscious.
As for why the NFL and the Ravens gave Rice a slap on the wrist before the video came to light? I am befuddled by the handwringing. The NFL is a business. Ray Rice is the product. The domestic violence wasn’t seen as a human issue, it was a business issue. Rice was a product with some characteristics that would make some customers mad.
I’ve been in those discussions. The product isn’t working quite right. Should we ship?
“No product is ever done.”
“There is a work around.”
“We need the revenue now, and will pick up the pieces later.”
Right or wrong does not come into play when it comes to these product shipment decisions. They are business decisions. In the case of the NFL, the products are people. We need to remember to put people first, always.
As I write this post on the plane, I watched an inspirational speech from James Brown, football host on CBS. Brown explained that domestic violence is not a football issue, and is not a woman’s issue. He pointed out that 3 women die every day from domestic violence, and called on men to step up and take responsibility. “You need to either get help [for yourself] or give help [to end domestic violence.]
Bravo James Brown. Real men do not hurt women, and we’ll take your challenge to become part of the solution.
Today a guest post from Achim Nowak, President & Founder of INFLUENS.
I read his weekly energy boost religiously, and this week’s post was so good that I asked permission to republish it here as a guest post. Thank you Achim! You can subscribe to Achim Nowak’s weekly energy boost here
Raw and fearless
In the onslaught of tributes to comedienne Joan Rivers, these are the adjectives I hear most often.
Raw and fearless.
To people who didn’t like her, Joan Rivers was crass, loud, unabashedly insensitive. Too much.
I liked Joan Rivers. A lot.
One thing was abundantly clear as I watched the 2010 documentary Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work: Rivers was first and foremost an entertainer. She lived to be on-stage. She abhorred not being on-stage.
We are not all entertainers. We are all, however, on stage. All the time.
I get frustrated with the professional who doesn’t embrace that.
The one who doesn’t care enough to” show up.”
Dick Axelrod, author and organizational consultant, delineates two types of meeting participants: Meeting investors and meeting bystanders.
Joan Rivers was an investor.
Raw and fearless was her currency.
Rivers showed up. Big time.
Raw and fearless has, in most business environments, been replaced by polite and fearful.
Even folks who yearn to invest act like a bystander.
Polite and fearful will not get you there.
It simply doesn’t work when you’re on-stage.
I don’t encourage insensitivity. And yeah, raw and fearlessmay be “too much” where you work.
Pick your own currency. Choose how you invest.
What would be “more” without being “too much?”
Bold and inquisitive?
Curious and provocative?
Courageous and surprising?
Probing and opinionated?
Fearless and committed?
Choose to be an investor. Pick your currency. Two adjectives.
Know that polite and fearful will not get you there.
Two adjectives is all it takes.
When you show up at your meetings this week, embody your currency.
You likely won’t sound like Joan Rivers.
But you will instantly BE an investor. You will energize those around you. And you will energize yourself.
Now, that’s not too shabby, is it?
Thank you again Achim for allowing me to reprint your energy boost on The Idolbuster.
You can subscribe to Achim Nowak’s weekly energy boost here