Saturday, November 18, 2017

Reality is a Dish Best Served Cold

On Power: My Journey Through the Corridors of Power and How You Can Get More Power – Gene Simmons (Dey Street)

Gene Simmons is not your ordinary rock star. He was and is not content to be caught up in the trappings that come with being a mega-millions earning rock star; instead he takes the attitude of a laborer into his approach to life and business, always willing to put in the hard work.

It may be hard to comprehend in this day and age of no real talent, do nothing celebrity millionaire that a guy who has piled up as much cash as Simmons from his multitude of business ventures would work as hard as he does every single day. The difference is Simmons knows that nothing he has was handed to him, he did it the old fashioned way, he earned it.

Because of his unique, entrepreneurial approach to rock stardom, Simmons has also become a bit of a business guru who is sought out for his comment and thought on a wide range of business and political topics. In that vein Simmons has cranked out some business philosophy books, the latest being, On Power: My Journey Through the Corridors of Power and How You Can Get More Power.

The old cliché that goes something to the effect of “revenge is a dish best served cold” should be retooled to “reality, is a dish best served cold” because Simmons serves up a cold, hard dish of reality in the pages of On Power. Along the way he provides not only his take on the reality of business, politics and power, but offers a depth of knowledge of philosophy and strategy that one would never expect from a guy made famous for his tongue waging onstage persona.

A copy of this book should be sent to every one of the 535 members of Congress from both parties, notably every one of the pantywaist liberals who ever uttered the stupid talking point about “tax cuts for the rich.” Simmons does a wonderful job of pointing out the fallacies of the cultural mindset that so many have gravitated towards that power and wealth somehow equate to evil. His line, “being afraid of power, shunning power, stunts your growth” belongs on a T-shirt. Moms and Dads need to pick up a copy of On Power, because this may be the best guide to proper parenting that I have ever read.

Friday, November 17, 2017

The Courage to Lead

Permission to Screw Up: How I Learned to Lead by Doing (Almost) Everything Wrong – Kristen Hadeed (Portfolio)
Hands down the question I get asked most often when conducting a leadership training or seminar is; “What are the most important skills a leader can possess or develop?” Since the focus of most of my seminars are focused on leadership communication I naturally peg the most important skillset as being communications skills.

A close second on the list is courage. Courage involves many facets of leadership, perhaps the most important being to admit that you don’t have all the answers and the ability to admit when you’ve made a mistake, a wrong choice or just flat out messed up. The most important superpower that leaders must possess is the ability to not only learn from their mistakes, but to harness the knowledge you gain and improve future outcomes.

That superpower is the focus of Kristen Hadeed’s debut business book, Permission to Screw Up: How I Learned to Lead by Doing (Almost) Everything Wrong. Hadeed is the seemingly accidental founder of Student Maid, a company that has hired hundreds of student to get down and dirty mopping floors and cleaning toilets. Hadeed admits that she stumbled along when the business got started and along the way discovered her leadership style/path and has succeeded in not only developing the courage to admit her errors, but to learn and build a company culture that scores amazing retention rates in an industry better known for its rate of turnover.

If you have been around business for any length of time you have crossed paths with those hard chargers bent on perfection who are doomed to fail. Hadeed seems to grasp the concept that it’s okay to not be perfect and spells out how you can be successful without being perfect. She does a nice job of imparting the knowledge she gained in a hard fought manner, in the trenches of business, which raises the value of the advice she shares.