TO LIE OR NOT TO LIE
By Marilyn Tam
Scott Thompson, the four months old CEO of Yahoo, was forced to resign because he lied on his resume. Worse, he lied about his lying and was found out. He denied that he inserted an extra degree into his resume, and then he blamed the recruiting firm he worked with for doing so. The recruiting firm, wanting to maintain their reputation, showed that it was Mr. Thompson who lied. Net result is that Mr. Thompson now has much more time to contemplate the efficacy of lying.
The question is, what are we willing to tolerate in our leaders’ behavior and reflectively in our own? Lying is bad. We’ve been told that ever since we were little. Or have we? Haven’t we also been told, “don’t say that, it will make them feel bad”, and there are such things as “white lies”, as compared to I guess black lies, which are bad.
So we have grown up with some sense of expediency in what we call lying. Why do people lie? Is it because there is a perception that one can get ahead faster by lying than by telling the truth? Why would someone who is already well credentialed and respected feel the need to embellish his or her story? Is it a basic human nature to try to appear more than we are?
Insecurities and fear that we are not as good or confident as we may appear to the world is a common trait. Almost everyone have self-doubts. Many years ago in a quote that is oft repeated, Sally Fields upon receiving her second Oscar in five years burst...
Business and Heartbreak
By Marilyn Tam
“Violence is what happens when we don’t know what to do with our heartbreak… learn how to allow your heart to break open to embrace the lessons with compassion, not broken into sharp shards that hurt others as well as yourself”
- Parker J Palmer, author, educator, and founder of the Center for Courage & Renewal.
Dr. Palmer directed the above quotation at leadership and democracy, but I think it applies to how you should manage your business and life too. Violence in business and life thankfully does not usually degenerate into physical force, but the above concept is instructive in how we deal with all our challenges.
When we have a life or business challenge, do we narrow our focus to how we can get out of the immediate circumstance, or do we expand our vision and strategy to learn how we can improve the results for this and other situations?
With a challenge is looming in front of us, it is easy to fall back into a reflexive mode. We want to make the problem go away immediately, but a decision made in haste or from anger is less than ideal. The flight or fight instinct is activated and to respond aggressively or retreat without full consideration of the options, often prove to be worse than the initial situation.
Many years ago when I was Vice President of Nike Apparel & Accessories, we were faced with a severe shortfall in sales on our launch line of Major League Baseball apparel. The customers stayed away in droves. Several retailers wanted us to take the merchandise back...
Have you heard this before? “Love or Business, you have to choose.” The message is direct - you have to decide what you value more, something/one you love or your work/business. Actually, there is a more factual statement – Love is Good Business.
February is the month of love. A great deal of thought and energy will be spent on expressions of love, usually for a romantic partner. The truth in the old axiom, Love makes the World Go Round, applies to all aspects of life, not only to romantic love. When you are doing what you love, you are going to be more successful in it, and you will also be happier and at peace. It’s only natural.
“I don’t think I have ever worked in my life, because work to me means that you are really doing something you don’t like.”
John Kluge, multibillionaire founder of Metromedia
How do you harness the immense power of love in your business? You’ve guessed it – love what you do. Wait, you say, I work for money, I don’t love my work. Or, I used to like my job but over the years it’s gotten boring; now I am doing it because I can’t think of what else I can do to earn a living. Uh oh, we need to talk. It is highly unlikely that you are going to be able to excel in your business if you are just going through the motions. Equally if not more important, your quality of life is reduced because you are spending many of your waking hours at something which gives you little joy.
How can you love your business and become more successful at the same time? Ask yourself honestly - is your life mission aligned with your business? This may take some quiet time of reflection and digging for you to get...
Five Secrets to a Happy, Healthy & Successful Life By Marilyn Tam
You make well-meaning resolutions to improve your life. But your resolutions fade under the stress of multiple demands on your time and attention. Oftentimes the resolutions are history before the month is done. How can we ensure that we actually benefit from the good intentions that we made with such conviction?
Many years ago I made an earnest resolution to work less and to spend more time on my personal life, family and health.
Being a type A personality, it was easier to say that than to follow through. By late in the same month, as I am running through another airport, I realized that I am already back to my old pattern of working seven days a week.
On the next plane ride I took the time to ask myself a few hard questions. From that experience I developed these Five Guidelines to have a Happier, Healthier and more Successful Life. Isn't that what we are ultimately after?
1. Make resolutions that you can manage. Specify your desired end result and make the goals measureable. For example, instead of saying that you want to lose weight, give yourself a specific time frame for a number of pounds or inches broken down into smaller pieces so that you have incremental targets to meet. Make the objectives a slight stretch but achievable. You are more likely to continue once you see positive progress towards your ultimate goal.
Limit the number of resolutions. Your mind can only deal with so many tasks at a time. Limit your resolutions to fewer than seven and prioritize them. That way you can work on them in order of importance to maximize your success potential.
2. Review your life mission before you make your resolutions. What are the most important things in your life? When you make your commitments based on what you truly value, instead of what someone else or society tells you that you ought to do, you will be more...
The recent death of Steve Jobs, a man who dared to dream and create beyond the constraints of the prevailing consciousness, brought many people including me to a place of deeper reflection. What does it mean to be really alive? How do I make sure that I am living my highest potential every day? How do I ensure that I will feel at peace when it is my time to leave this planet?
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.
Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking.
Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.
And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.
They somehow already know what you truly want to become.
Everything else is secondary.” --- Steve Jobs
I believe above quote holds a key to Jobs’ success. He followed his life purpose, what he was born to do. He didn’t have his life path handed to him on a silver platter. He was given up for adoption; he quit college after one semester because it was draining his parents’ entire life savings for him to attend. He still wanted to learn so he slept on the floor of his friends’ dorm rooms. He sold soft drink bottles he scavenged to return for money to buy food so he could sneak in to attend classes.
What was remarkable about this story aside from the passion he had for learning was what he said about the experience. He said that not having to fulfill course requirements for a specific degree freed him to learn what fascinated him. He followed...