June 2009

One of the clichés of modern life is that we have to be ruthless, hard-bitten and tough to thrive and achieve success. Sorry if it comes as a blow to the solar plexus from a velvet glove, but that may not actually be true. It’s no bad thing to be determined. Or even driven. But building and maintaining relationships are too important to success that we can just treat others as a climbing-frame: manners matter.


I’ve always had a ‘thing’ about the difference between ‘the possible’ and ‘the desirable’. Ideas are like people: even the seemingly good ones can go bad. But one possibility I can’t make my mind up about is intriguing me. We’ve already plugged a blog posting about micro-coaching here at dontcompromise, and then there’s Twitter, sitting there free of charge and ready to be applied to something. I’m not the first to wonder if 2 + 2 = 4 or more, so to speak, but I’m not sure if that’s what’s bothering me.


In a recent post about seagull managers, we suggested those working for them might consider running away. Concerned as we are for the health of everyone at work, we have a gentler form of exercise for those managers who have avoided – or who perhaps are still looking to evolve out of – seagull management. Go for a walk. We’re thinking about more than your waistline: why not network with your own people for a change.


I recently came across one short, sharp blog post that I should (and probably will) add to our list of Crackers, but which has – as the best bits of blogging should – inspired further thought. The post was Derek Bobo’s Negative reward for positive performance – or, as Derek put it:

 … when you do something great for the company or for your boss and the reward for good work is getting more crap to deal with.”


Two more entries this morning in what we hope we can make an on-going series of ‘other people’s blog posts we’d like to share’ (the full list is on our Crackers page).


A cracker can be many things:

  • A little firework that makes a shocking noise for its size
  • Something generally fine and excellent (and often witty too)
  • A table-top item two people can share and that contains a surprise of some kind.

We reckoned that we should come up with a new definition:

An individual blog post that fires your imagination, makes you (silently?) whoop in agreement, says something in a way that seems just right. Put it this way, the blogosphere is a big place, and even if quality control excelled itself 24/7 …

So we’ve added a new page here so we can attempt to catalogue just a few of these gems for others to hopefully find, enjoy and even share.

To give you an idea, here are summaries of just two examples:

Don’t Fall Victim to Your P-Ness: Mike Shoemakes not just making a good point about personality types, preferences and working styles, but demonstrating a real talent for the arresting headline. Just because we’ve passed judgment doesn’t mean we have P-Ness Envy issues, Mike, we just like your style …

12 Simple Ways To Impress Your Boss (And Everyone Else): considerably less brown-tongued that it might sound from it’s title, simply a great post in the ‘ways to go through life more positively and constructively’ category. There are enough people making the world a worse place, and Nate offers 12 guidelines that might just make a small but valuable difference. For which he is to be applauded.

So … got any crackers you want to share with us?

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Business is often characterized by its desire for the new, whether it be in recognition that innovation is key to remaining competitive or (with a comparative shallowness that would shame a pancake) merely to present glittering new jeejaws to one of nature’s greatest magpies: us. But, to use a sentence that will make more sense to geologists and archaeologists than grammarians, this newness is older than it seems. A quotation might help to explain:

For about 94,000 of the 100,000 years of human history, people lived and organised themselves as hunter-gatherers without a centralized leadership apparatus.”


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