"Why it pays to invest in bosses who blame themselves"

By: Jim Bruce
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In the April 1, 2006 issue of Business 2.0, Jeffrey Pfeffer, 
Professor of Organizational Behavior at Stanford's Graduate School of 
Business, argues that it pays to invest in leaders who blame 
themselves when things go wrong.  His focus is on CEOs and he uses 
the metric of stock prices in his argument.
 
However, the points he makes -- that taking responsibility is good 
leadership and that no problem can be fixed until leaders name and 

Blame or Accountability

By: Jim Bruce
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Is It Blame or Is It Accountability? --  When we seek those 
accountable for a particular failure, we risk blaming them instead, 
because many of us confuse accountability with blame.  What's the 
difference between them?  How can we keep blame at bay?
 
Today's reading comes from the Chaco Canyon newsletter.  In it Rick
Brenner explores key differences between "accountable" and "blame"
noting, in particular, accountability's focus on organizational learning

Recalcitrant Collaborators

By: Jim Bruce
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It is very hard to get our work done without collaboration.  Sometimes
those collaborators are on our team, sometimes in our organization,
sometimes they are elsewhere in our university, and sometimes they are
outside our university in suppliers, government agencies, etc.  When
collaboration occurs things go well.  But sometimes it doesn't;  our
needed collaborators resist, they are reluctant, they are not helpful.
 
For today's reading, I've picked a piece by Rick Brenner at Chaco

Ten Minutes

By: Jim Bruce
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As all of your know by now, I read a lot from a lot of sources.
Yesterday, a newsletter called Marketplace Moments written by a friend,
Randy Kilgore, reached my desk.  It carries a story which I want to
repeat:
 
"It's December 17, 1941. The citizens of the town of North Platte,
Nebraska heard a rumor that a troop train carrying their sons and
daughters to war would be stopping at the depot in their town for about
ten minutes. They decided to meet it and load the soldiers up with food,

Mastering Q and A

By: Jim Bruce
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We all do presentations and after the presentation there is always
questions and answers.  While the questions and your answers do not
add all that much content to what you had to say, how you answer
plays into how your audience evaluates you and what you had to say;
presence and presentation again.
 
Today's -- really yesterday's -- reading is a short piece from a
recent Point Lookout newsletter -- Mastering Q and A.  As usual,
Rick's tips are on point.
 

FedEx, Flocks, and Frames of Reference

By: Jim Bruce
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Rick Brenner of Chaco Canyon Consulting here in Boston has a weekly
email newsletter called Point Lookout.  I like Rick's writing because
it typically leads you to think about a subject from a different
point of view.  This is truly the case in this weeks reading "FedEx, 
Flocks and Frames of Reference."  In the piece Rick makes the point
that your point of view plays a major role in what you see, what you
hear, and generally how you experience the world about you.
 

Marshall Goldsmith: The Skill that Separates

By: Jim Bruce
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Marshall Goldsmith is one of the country's leading executive coaches.
Today's reading is his column from the July 2005 issue of Fast Company:
 
 
In this column Goldsmith talks about the importance of being a great
listener.  He says that in listening "Your only aim is to let the
other person feel that he or she is important."  He goes on to say

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