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This election is almost over. And we Americans are so exhausted. We have been involved in the most egregious and disgust-creating campaign in modern history. We have been bombarded by long-winded speeches and mind-numbing debates and over-the-top news commentators telling us what it all âmeans.â And the truth is that most of us already decided 3-4 months ago or even earlier, for whom we were voting! So all these âwordsâ were a waste of time. And yet we could not pull ourselves away from the media, it was as if we were drawn to a medieval duel between two aggressors who would be happy to literally destroy the other. And it was a duel with no end in sight. And we were hypnotized, you and I.
The campaign issues were all-but-eclipsed by all the surrounding pieces of this ill-tasting pie: the bus video showing Donald at his worst and the time he took to deny that he was a creepy old man who had lusted after pretty women. The e-mails that we had to hear about, accusing Hillary of financial as well as moral impropriety, her many speaking engagements which brought in millions to her and her so-called Foundation, and her âpay to playâ scams bringing even more attention and disillusionment to us all.
The worst part of all this is the demonization between Hilllary and Donald. If you would believe them, only âtheyâ were the perfect candidate, their opponent was a mere undeserving pretender to the title of President. Oftentimes, I thought I was listening to two third-graders argue in the playground, except that in that case either an adult would give each of them a time-out, or one would physically lash out at the other and the right punch would end the problem. But at least it would be over quicker than this past year. And all the time we were thinking: couldnât the Republican and Democratic Parties come up with someone better to run for the highest office in the land? Is it our fault? Did we create this debacle? Perhaps, but itâs almost over.
And thatâs the point, itâs almost over. Next week we will have a new President of the United States. Whoever looses is going to be angry and hurt as well as disappointed. It will almost like losing a loved one.
It will be an enormous loss to them and their hard working supporters, who have given so much to the cause. What will those who have lost so much do to put this behind them, to move forward to the next stage of their lives? To go, as I have said in my grief and healing books, âfrom mourning to morning?â How will theyâand weâheal so we donât carry our anger and despair with us for years hence?
Here comes my radical suggestion…
In the Jewish Tradition, when someone dies, we observe a seven-day period of mourning, called âshiva,â which means seven in Hebrew. It is a way of giving the mourners space to think about their loss, to meditate on life past and future, and to begin to plan what they will do next. We the family gather together at the mournerâs home, we comfort the mourners, we eat together and we pray together. We do what families are supposed to do, support and comfort those who need it the most. And, as I learned last week from a wonderful guest on my radio show, THE FIRST THREE DAYS OF SHIVA ARE SPENT IN SILENCE. We allow the mourners to process their grief however they choose, without us barging in and telling them how to react. After those first three days of silence, they can be drawn out by family members, and re-enter their community. But we give them the permission to sit and grieve alone if thatâs what they need, and thatâs such a meaningful life-giving act.
And thatâs my suggestion. After the election, we go silent. That is, we spend time only with our families and close friends without talking about what has just happened in our country. We stop turning on our televisions at night to listen to what âthe expertsâ think just happened, we silence all that noise so we can thing about what this means to us and our country.
Sounds crazy? Well it makes good sense. There has been so much noise, itâs time for that time-out that our souls desperately need. After a big life-loss like this, we are entitled to be quiet, at peace with ourselves, and just think about what it all means.
The 2016 race for the White House has raised many more questions about leadership than it has answered. What attributes do Americans want in their next President? Experience? Decisiveness? Honesty? And how much does likeability matter?
Thus far, the primary debates have been riddled with more nasty accusations and counter- punches than we’d allow in a sporting event or divorce court, never mind at the average supper table. Yet, when it comes to the Presidential contenders, many Americans see these behaviors as strength, certainty and resolve. Frontal assaults reflect fearlessness. Demeaning comments, superiority. Interrupting and talking over each other, a sign of taking charge. Welcome to the new portrait of leadership.
This isn’t the first time America has struggled with leadership and likeability. Some of the most successful helmsmen in history didn’t have personality traits we admired. No one would argue whether George Patton was one of the greatest generals to serve in the military, or, whether he was so brash, conceited and disagreeable even his superiors took pains to avoid him. Margaret Thatcher, Britain’s longest-serving Prime Minister of the 20th century, was enormously unpopular with the working class in spite of the fact that her economic policies saved the country from a catastrophic recession and record unemployment. Her cold, strict demeanor quickly earned her the nickname “The Iron Lady.” In modern times, business and government leaders like Larry Ellison, Dianne Feinstein, Mark Zuckerberg, Donald Rumsfeld and Eric Schmidt have been widely admired for their talent and success, but few, if any, would describe them as “likeable.”
Which begs the question: what if, in addition to skill, these individuals had been likeable? Would they have achieved greater successes? What if Patton had had Douglas MacArthur’s ability to bring people together? What if Donald Rumsfeld possessed the ability to inspire passion in others? Here we turn to management theorist James Zenger for the answer. Zenger, surveyed 60,000 employees to understand their perception of their superiors. It turns out the most successful leaders were those who focused on bottom line results while also possessing superior social skills. In other words, talent, strength and authority may get you part of the way, but the ability to connect with and motivate others is just as important. Which is another way of saying you need an awful lot of talent to make up for being unlikeable.
Among the current field of candidates for the Oval Office, one hopeful is struggling more than others when it comes to likeability. Popular columnist for The Washington Post, Dana Milbank, notes there’s a subtle difference between how a female is perceived when she demonstrates command versus how a male is perceived when he displays authority. “There’s a trade off for Hillary Clinton in terms of showing warmth and showing strength…. The tougher she presents herself as a leader the less likeable she becomes,” said Milbank. He continued, “People often don’t think about it. It’s not conscious. . For example when Bernie Sanders shouts, you sense that he’s being passionate. But when Hillary Clinton shouts, it sounds like she’s screaming at you, she’s yelling at you. People feel like they are being lectured by their mother.”
Raising their voices and interrupting also works for Trump, Cruz and Rubio. The louder they get the more they’re perceived as passionate, strong, and forceful. So much so that normally soft-spoken John Kasich, was forced to raise his voice and claim he was the only adult on the stage (a backhanded dig at the other participants) in the recent debate. But when Clinton tries to use these same tactics, she’s described as feisty, argumentative, and asked to “stop screaming.”
And what happens when she doesn’t raise her voice or punch back? She’s called cunning, weak, and accused of not being “commander-like.”
Lead researcher Marianne Cooper, “success and likeability do not go together for women.” The two are negatively correlated. Alison Dahl Crossley, Associate Director of Stanford’s Clayman Institute for Gender Research agrees. She calls the challenge for women leaders “the likeability penalty.” “The more competent a woman is, the less likable she is judged to be. The opposite also holds true: the more likable a woman is, the less competent.” In a recent article, Milbank suggested this likeability penalty is once again hurting Clinton’s chances: “The criticism (of Clinton) is the same as it was in 2008: She doesn’t connect. She isn’t likeable. She doesn’t inspire. She seems shrill.”
Where does the other frontrunner stand in terms of likeability? Despite calling a U.S. President and member of the Senate liars, referring to Marco Rubio as “Little Marco,” and fighting with the Pope, the former President of Mexico, and leader of the GOP establishment; Donald Trump, is one of the most popular candidates in Republican history. He may throw out insults and offer less substance in terms of how a President would lower taxes, create jobs, abolish the IRS, bring peace to the Middle East and build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, but his likability scores eclipse every other candidate in the race. And not by a small margin. Freddy Gray, deputy editor of The Spectator recently opined, “It doesn’t matter that Trump’s speech jumps about all over place: his inarticulacy is itself an expression of rage. Nor does it matter that his policies for restoring American greatness amount to little more than a few madcap ideas…. Angry voters don’t have time for details.”
History has shown that Americans will, and have, accepted unlikeable leaders, when individuals possess exceptional talent. But in 2016, likeability, not talent, may be the most important attribute going, because it ensures amnesty for insults, snarky come-backs and wild accusations. This is going to be a difficult pill for the Clinton campaign to swallow, as well as voters wanting a substantial discourse on the issues.
And for voter’s who were disappointed to see Ben Carson, Jim Webb and Rand Paul drop out â or who were hoping that Mitt Romney, Michael Bloomberg, or Joe Biden would throw their hat in the ring â take a good hard look at what’s winning. This is not their year. Paul Rudd has a better chance.
Gary Ross was interviewed on the Innovative Leaders Driving Thriving Organizations show 0n 7/28/15. As a summery, here are 6 tips to becoming a stronger leader Gary learned from his work as a CEO over the past 16 years, He has served successfully as President/CEO of four different organizations, ranging from $10M to $150M in revenues. He has improved financial performance and value creation within both large public technology and private family companies.
Under his newly formed company, Ross Innovations LLC, Gary has completed successful confidential engagements with CEOs of several software and technology service companies to help them drive specific value-creation initiatives.
Here are Garyâs 6 tips in his own words. Learn more on the recorded show.
1. Evaluate YOU
I took an article that listed the â8 Qualities That Make Unforgettable Bossesâ and cross-mapped it against my four President roles â and graded myself from 1-10. Â You know what I found? Â The roles where I led with passion, I performed the best!
2. Focus on RESULTS
Activity does not equal results. Â Focus on accomplishing a lot of goals in a short amount of time. Â While at Astute in just under 3 years, we successfully closed on a private equity sale, acquired a company, broke into new international markets, and grew recurring revenue 38% per year!
3. Be creative and open to new IDEAS
Get to know your customers and how you can help them succeed. Â Get to know the market you are in and look for other markets to target. Â Listen to your associates ideas. Â I developed the Growth Cube TM strategic planning tool as a new and innovative way to unlock the growth within companies!
4. Stand for something personally â BEYOND CEO
I am a family man, a man of faith and overall continue to push myself to be a better man. Â I work with others on how to increase their Personal Value. Â I speak to groups on âHow to Overcome Major Life Challenges!â where I give specific tips on how to strengthen yourself physically, mentally, and spiritually!
5. Know YOUR ROLE
I believe my role as the CEO is to set the direction, make sure we achieve our company goals, increase the speed with which we operate, and in general function as the organization spark plug!
6. SYNCH UP your Financial model and your Leadership model
To get growth, we need to build a growth culture. Â I accomplish this by implementing the inverted pyramid. Â This is designed to focus the organization on the customer at the top of the inverted pyramid (Raving Customers) and those who support the customer (Raving Associates).
Want to hear more details?
Listen to recording on Innovative Leaders Driving Thriving Organizations show. The interview also includes Jodi Curran, who worked with Gary at his last 3 companies: Emerson, Cott Systems, and Astute Solutions.
As children, many of us felt called to DO something to help our world. Some became dedicated activists. But many of us became discouraged or burnt out from the anguish and the anger of the movement itself. Then some of us found a new way. One such person is James OâDea, former president of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, the Washington office director of Amnesty International, author, philosopher and international peace worker. James is joining host Beth Green to talk about his latest book The Conscious Activist, where he describes his own journey from mysticism, to outrage, to a mature blending of his spirituality and his commitment to help. James is calling us to work on ourselves and face the suffering of the world and to learn to act from the insight gained from the depths of compassion. The Inner Revolution is the movement of people to change the world from the inside out. Meet James OâDea, who is doing just that and lighting the way for others to do the same. Tune in, call in. Tune into InsideOut: The Inner Revolution with Beth Green, 6/9 at 3pm PT.
Molly Maidâs President Meg Roberts is the special featured guest on the next edition of Deanne DeMarcoâs radio show. The program, âTodayâs Inspiring Women,â airs noon Pacific on Thursday on the VoiceAmericaâs Radio Network. Meg Robertâs credentials include being turned down for a job at Molly Maid for over six months. She persistently contacted them about how she could help them her marketing savvy. They finally decided to give her a shot in an entry-level marketing job. Her marketing knowledge and Internet knowledge paid off and sales soared making her one of the most successful businesswomen in the country. Meg quickly rose within the ranks of the Molly Maid Company.
Also joining Deanne is Edith Namm who has written 7 books on stress and stress reducing techniques.
Former special counsel to President Clinton and acclaimed expert in the field of crisis management, Lanny Davis joined The Costa Report to discuss the effect a $20 trillion deficit will have on future generations of Americans and offer advice to the next president. According to Davis, in spite of inheriting a $300 billion deficit and nationwide recession, President Clinton left office with a budget surplus.
Despite receiving criticism from both sides of the aisle at the time, Clinton pressured Congress to reduce spending while raising taxes. It was a one-two punch.
“Bill Clinton turned out to be right about the effect of raising taxes in 1992,” Davis said. “It helped the country, and I look at that history as verifying that premise.”
Davis believes Clinton’s approach will work again, but this will require the next president to raise taxes. When asked whether higher taxes will discourage investment, Davis stated that even if this is shown to be the case, taxes must still be raised “because in the long term, if we go bankrupt, the incentives or disincentives to investment don’t matter â it’s bad for the country.”
When the host of The Costa Report asked Davis whether raising the capital gains tax is the equivalent of punishing success, Davis didn’t disagree.
“Oh, it certainly feels that way to people who are successful, but this is one of those arguments that sounds right until you think it through,” he responded. “In 1935, when Franklin Roosevelt said, ‘I want young people to pay taxes to support old people,’ the young people said, ‘Why should I do that? I’m not going to pay for somebody else to be able to retire and not work.'”
Davis noted that Social Security was passed despite the opposition of most conservative Republicans, and said it’s a discussion Americans have had many times before â whenever they’ve been subjected to a tax increase.
“When the progressive income tax was introduced into our vocabulary, it meant that people earning more money would pay more taxes than people earning less. That debate meant taxing success vs. taxing lack of success,” he said. “Yes, to some degree you’re penalizing people who are successful, but that’s our social contract. That’s what’s made America great. I happen to be in the upper tier of people whose taxes will be raised, and I agree to pay more if part of that is going to be dedicated to reducing our debt.”
The blame for a national debt that continues to soar shouldn’t land on our current president, Davis said, but on the shoulders of Democrats who continue to spend as if using credit cards isn’t a moral issue.
“I have two older children and six grandchildren, and then I started all over again and have a 17-year-old and a 10-year-old,” he said. “That makes me wonder if it’s fair for me to go around the world using my credit card, using first-class airfare, first-class dinners and hotels, having a great time, then coming home and dumping all of my receipts on my son’s bed.”
To hear the full interview with Lanny Davis visit www.rebeccacosta.com
Cheryl Esposito welcomes Robert MacPhee, speaker, author, coach and Founder & President of Heart Set, Inc., a company dedicated to helping people live the life of their dreams.
Robert specializes in helping people make EXCELLENT DECISIONS. His work takes him from classrooms to boardrooms. He says that high school & college students often make their most important decisions based on peer, parental, academic, & social pressures they are under. Robertâs work empowers students to make decisions driven by something far more valuable than external pressures: a strong sense of self. This enables them to take opportunities available to them in school and be fully prepared to thrive in the âreal world.â Robert works with entrepreneurs, executives & their teams, & boards, to improve productivity, communication & profitability, all in the context of optimal life balance. Once again, decision-making is key. Join Cheryl Esposito & Robert MacPhee to learn the art of making Excellent Decisions to live your optimal life. Tune into Leading Conversations Friday, 4/24/15 @ 10am on the VoiceAmerica Business Channel
Breaking Banks and Finextra continue their series on Women in Fintech, profiling Amy Nauiokas, President of Anthemis.
Amy Nauiokas is so accomplished in so many different interests, it is hard to believe how down to earth she is.
She is Founder and President of Anthemis Group SA and Founder and CEO of Archer Gray, LLC a media production, financing and venture investment company. She is a visionary executive, venture capitalist and producer; a recognized leader in innovation, strategic management and results across a variety markets and industries.
As a venture capitalist, Amy identifies and invests in early stage technology companies focused on the disruption of media, financial services and marketplaces. Her early investments include Zoopla, the UKâs leading property research website, Climate Corporation, which was acquired by Monsanto in October 2013 for $930m, and Simple, which was acquired by BBVA in February 2014 for $117m.
As a producer, Amy has achieved considerable commercial and creative success. Projects include the Broadway musical Once, winner of 8 Tony Awards, the 2014 Sundance Film Festival selection Little Accidents, the 2013 Sundance Film Festival selection The Inevitable Defeat Of Mister And Pete, and the 2015 Sundance Film Festival selections Diary of a Teenage Girl and Ten Thousands Saints.
Amy was previously CEO and Managing Director of Barclays Stockbrokers, the UKâs largest electronic retail broker with Â£10 billion assets under management. Before joining Barclays, Amy was Senior Managing Director and Partner at Cantor Fitzgerald.
Amy is a member of the New Markets Womenâs Advisory Board at Credit Suisse, a Board Observer for SeedInvest, the leading equity-based crowd-funding platform and a Board Member of Smart Pension LP and media platform We are Colony.
Catch Amy’s interview with Elizabeth Lumley of Finextra on Breaking Banks- Smarter Bank.
Hillary Clinton recently came under fire when reports surfaced that she had used a private email address â hosted on a private server located in her home â while she served as Secretary of State in the Obama Administration. Critics on both sides of the political spectrum point to this latest revelation as evidence that Clinton’s capabilities as a political leader may be questionable.
But Lanny Davis, lawyer and former special counsel to President Clinton and advisor to President George W. Bush, came to Clinton’s defense on The Costa Report, calling the latest media frenzy a “tempest in a teapot.” According to Davis, the use of personal email is common amongst high-level government officials. He cited former Florida Governor, Jeb Bush, as an example of this practice, describing the use of personal emails as “perfectly normal.” “If we’re going to discuss this subject, it ought to be not a double standard,” said Davis. “There can’t be any intent to hide something if you use an email address thousands of people in the State Department see.” Davis urges the public to consider the fact that Clinton made no attempt to conceal her personal email address on any of the thousands of emails she sent, and never denied the use of a private server.
Furthermore, Davis argues that The New York Times â which went so far as to imply that Clinton may have broken the law â is largely to blame for the misinformation surrounding the story. He claims the article omitted key information, including the fact that The Federal Records Act was not passed until November of last year â two years after Clinton left office. Davis says that once a media source like The New York Times reports a story, other outlets recycle the contents of that story and eventually the misinformation is repeated so many times it becomes believable. Davis has witnessed this phenomena before. As an expert in crisis management, he has been the go-to person for Martha Stewart, Penn State, Starbucks, Whole Foods and others who found themselves under fire.
Davis says the latest email controversy is yet another indication of widespread worry that Clinton will succeed in the 2016 Presidential election. “It shows how fearful the Republicans are of Hillary Clinton running for President,” he stated, adding, “Hillary Clinton is going to be the first female President of the United States.”
To hear the full interview with Lanny Davis, visit The Costa Report