Fun and successful management

Allow me to plug myself. Go to my LinkedIn address. What I do is enable “senior managers to enjoy their work”. To rephrase, I accept that progressing towards a vision is often hard work and time consuming, but it can also be fun.

When I put the idea to people, I encounter a series of reactions. In some, the “macho” Israeli instinct comes flying out at me – “we must struggle, as that is our tradition”. And you know that the rest of the meeting is not going to go very far too quickly. 

Yet quite often, people become intrigued. You can see a light flicker on at the back of their mind. Little Jimminy Cricket is squeaking: “You mean I can get rid of half of these facial worrylines, and still succeed?”

 I was reminded about all this a few days ago, when I read a wonderful piece in the Financial Times:  “Leaders who use charm to reach the top”.  Get the first line….”Humour and charm are a surprisingly powerful combination as a means of ascent in life”. The author concludes by observing

outstanding business leaders who persuade their teams to laugh and try harder: they apply themselves assiduously to the task. Most world-class chief executives possess charisma – really a captivating blend of charm and wit.

The article cited President Reagan as a master in persuasion of the masses. True, but a better a more lasting example is Bill Clinton.

So how many of you laughed at that last comparison? Yup, sexual innuendoes etc. Again true, but have I not just proved my point. He is a master at working a crowd or an individual, making them feel good and enabling them to do what he wants.

In effect, Obama’s slogan of “yes we can” had been around for many years previously. (His skill or added value was to empower new voters through the internet).

Now take these messages in to your work place. I look at my wife’s two senior executives. In her many years with them, she has rarely heard a negative phrase uttered from their lips. And this is a company that has a track record in beating downturns.

We can all bitch about pay, conditions and the like. However, for many of us, a prime method of being motivated towards improved output is to being made to feel that we are doing a good job. A key tool in that process is charisma.

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