Monday, December 14, 2009

Article of Interest: What Facebook Can't Give You

Before Facebook, MySpace, Linked In and Twitter, there was and still is the Women Presidents' Organization and according to the article referenced below, there was also the Wednesday 10 (a group of men ... for a reason!) which mentions:
"In 1957, it didn't occur to us to include women," says Mr. Menschel. "If we formed it today, it wouldn't occur to us not to include women." When asked about the homogeneity, other members point to the many banquets that included wives and their invitations to Ms. Walters, Gloria Steinem and the late "Feminine Mystique" author Betty Friedan, each of whom addressed a Wednesday 10 meeting as a guest. Ms. Walters says she recalls nothing from the meeting she attended. Nor does Ms. Steinem. "It may not please them to know that I don't remember," she says. "But I would urge them to change the name to the Wednesday Men's 10."
This article is priceless because, if you kick it up a notch, it reminds me so much of WPO and all our promising members who meet monthly to strategize about opportunities they face while growing their operations and to develop solutions to their most fundamental business challenges.

The article goes on to state:
To begin the meetings, each man gave an update on his life. Impending marriages and expected babies were nodded to, but the thrust of the discussion centered on career development. "It was a professional support system," says Mr. Meyer, 82. By the end of each meeting, he had a snapshot of what was going on in the realms of law, media, art, finance, real estate, public service and cancer research. "It was like reading a newspaper cover to cover," he says.
Read the entire article here:

(The Wall Street Journal, November 26, 2009)

What Facebook Can't Give You
Over 52 years, These Men Have Evolved Into Mover and Shakers -- Together

Another hat tip to Elisabeth Ritz, Ritz Communications, for the nudge to make sure we caught it. Many thanks.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Article of Interest: Wise Up

Around this time of year, we tend to reflect on all the things we did well (or in some instances -- not so well) to keep our business thriving during turbulent times. And one issue I constantly challenge myself on and wonder if you do too, is this: How effective have you been as a top executive?

The late Peter Drucker can help us address this question. As I was I straightening out my office this week, I stumbled upon a June 2004 edition of the Harvard Business Review and came across his classic article entitled, "What Makes An Effective Executive." I re-read it on the spot. It's a magnificent piece and one that is a must-read for anyone interested in becoming a more impactful leader, especially when we are readying up to face a brand new year.

The article begins like this:

"Great managers may be charismatic or dull, generous or tightfisted, visionary or numbers oriented. But every effective executive follows eight simple practices."

And the eight simple practices are as follows:
1. They asked, "What needs to be done?"
2. They asked, "What is right for the enterprise?"
3. They developed action plans.
4. The took responsibility for decisions.
5. They took responsibility for communicating.
6. They were focused on opportunities rather than problems.
7. They ran productive meetings.
8. They thought and said, "we" rather than "I."
Drucker throws in a bonus practice at the end of the article: "Listen first, speak last."

You can order an e-copy here.

In preparation for 2010, think about these eight best practices and how you might apply them as you grow your business. It only requires a healthy dose of discipline.