Archive for the ‘General Things about Quintessential Leadership’ Category

Millennials and Quintessential LeadersBefore I even get into the heart of this post, I know that all of these characteristics don’t apply to every single Millennial, and, as with every other generation, there are hybrids (for example, I’m a Thirteener – Gen X – who was raised by older Silent Generation parents, and while I identify strongly with much of what defines the key characteristics of my generation, my core principles and values are very much Silent Generation, which has often and probably will continue to put me out of sync with most of my peers) and there are exceptions to the generalized characteristics of this generation.

I know that. You know that. So no need for flames or trolling if you’re a hybrid or an exception to the general Millennial characteristics. (more…)

May 12, 2017 WannaCry Ransomware AttackWith the global proliferation of the WannaCry ransomware attack on May 12, 2017, the general population beyond the IT world, which has been battling these kind of ransomware attacks on a smaller and more localized scale for some time, was educated in the nature of, how fast, how damaging, and how crippling a ransomware attack on computer systems and networks can be. (more…)

Metrics instead of content have become the thingThere was a time – a long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away it seems – when the quality and expertise of information mattered. Even on the internet. 

In its early days when it became more widely available to the public (mid-to-late 1990’s), the internet was about research, facts, discussions, and sometimes even vehement disagreements (the infamous “flame wars”), but there was an abundance of quality and expert information to teach, to learn from, and to share. (more…)

In “The Mindset of Unquintessential Leadership and What It Looks Like in Action,” one of the characteristics that I identified as part of that mindset is bullying.

I think it’s fair to say that we’ve all been exposed to bullying at some point during our lives. However, not all of us have been victims of bullying. For a bully to succeed, the person being bullied has to give his or her power to the bully.

Not everyone who gives this power to bullies is inherently weak. Sometimes the surrender simply comes from long-term battle fatigue and being completely worn down over time.

It takes tenacity, an exceptionally-strong will, and a very thick skin sometimes not to give power to someone else, especially with threats that sometimes go as far as the possibility of losing one’s life. (more…)

Chaos reigns where quintessential leadership does not existIn any given situation in life, to be successful, productive, and growing, leadership (to be clear, not just someone who self-appoints themselves as a leader, or someone who is elevated to a leadership position by an entrenched buddy system that establishes criteria that are so limited that they ensure that person alone can be given the leadership position and they can fill the minion positions around them, or someone with a title who is not a leader, but instead an authentic quintessential leader) must be in place: clear, established, identified, and where the buck stops.

When leadership is absent or unquintessential leadership is in place, chaos reigns. (more…)

The Unquintessential Leadership Aspects of Emotional MarketingWe live in an incredibly noisy world.

The world is so noisy, in fact, that most people have resorted to the most base tactics – and those involve emotional reactions and responses – to be seen and heard.

These tactics, which are more common than not and are all around us, even though we may not even be aware of them, include gimmicks, sensationalism, and manipulation.

But are gimmicks, sensationalism, and manipulation okay to use? Should quintessential leaders use them?

That’s the topic we’ll discuss in this post.

Lets look at some examples of what gimmicks, sensationalism, and manipulation look like first.

As you go through your day today, I challenge you to look at all that you read and see and be aware of whether they are gimmicks, sensationalism, and manipulation or not.

If you’re paying attention, I believe you will have an eye-opening day.

The front page of the August 27, 2015 New York Daily News, pictured below is an example of sensationalism.

Gimmicky, Sensational, Crass Communication is Unquintessential Leadership

The ad below for the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) featuring Sarah McLachlan’s 1997 hit song “Angel” is an example of manipulation.

These quotes and titles from a random sampling of the internet in the last week are gimmicky, sensational, and manipulative.

“…with ABC company’s finest immune boosting products as well as various soothing and calming treasures to help beat the stress…”

“How to Wreck Your Future”

“This Kind of Olive Oil Can Kill Cancer Cells in One Hour”

“Lose 20 Pounds in 21 Days”

What do all of these have in common?

First, they appeal directly to emotions and are designed to provoke an intense emotional response. Disgust. Sadness. Elitism. Fear. Hope. Happiness.

The second thing that they have in common is that they are dishonest, deceptive, manipulative and unproven.

The third thing they have in common is that they play on the gullible susceptibility of humans by promising, in most cases, something they can’t deliver.

But this is the way the majority of society has adopted to entice people to open the doors of their message or product because “smart” marketing says if someone opens the door the odds of them coming in and staying are very high.

This is the bait and the hook. And once emotions are involved, it doesn’t matter whether it’s true, right, logical, factual, or proven. Because emotional decisions don’t depend on anything real (how things are), but instead on sensation (how things feel).

Back in the day, this would have been called yellow journalism. Now it’s called emotional marketing.

There are many things wrong with these techniques. Here are a few of them.

Emotional Drivers are the heart of Emotional MarketingFirst, when a person or an organization is appealing to emotion, they are appealing to the irrational side of humans. Decisions made strictly on an emotional basis, with no consideration of logic and facts, are always, at the least, regrettable decisions and, at the worst, bad decisions.

And these kinds of decisions can – and often do – have disastrous consequences in peoples’ lives.

Second, a person or organization using emotional marketing is being dishonest and deceptive. Not only are they promising the moon, which no human can deliver, but they are intentionally misleading and manipulating other people to buy whatever they’re promoting or selling.

If a person or an organization draws people in under false pretenses and in an untrustworthy manner, then the logic follows that whatever they are promoting or selling can’t be trusted in terms of efficacy, quality, or longevity.

Third, people or organizations using emotional marketing are revealing both a lack of care and concern for others and a lack of personal integrity and character.

Because emotions are subjective and easily manipulated by gimmicks and sensationalism, using this type of marketing to reel customers in is a reflection of both a win-at-all-costs and the-end-justifies-the-means mindset, which is at the core of unquintessential leadership.

Unfortunately, most people are unaware of the emotional marketing that is thrown at them continually. And because society, in general, has abandoned logic, reason, and critical thinking in all its decision-making, it’s a safe bet to say that most people don’t really care if they are being manipulated and deceived by emotional marketing.

But we all should be aware and we should care. Consider the following statements from a generic emotional marketing campaign:

generic emotional marketing gimmicks

Notice that the first statement can’t be substantiated and has no objective data (ingredients that are different or better than specific competitors or the results of customer taste tests), but it promises healthier and tastier than any other tea that exists in the world.

The second statement also can’t be substantiated and is again lacking objective data to quantify it (e.g., 100 people who drank XYZ brand of tea in Yuma, Arizona on a 118-degree day in August said it was refreshing).

The third statement appeals to how a person looks (less calories equals less weight) and how a person feels (better than ever before).

The question of “how do you know?” is never addressed because of our lack of awareness and lack of care about being manipulated into buying something because it appeals to us on an emotional level.

emotions versus rational and critical thinkingWhen we get accustomed to accepting things without proof, to using our emotions to guide our decisions and choices in life, to abandoning logic, critical thinking, and reason – which emotional marketing makes easier and, eventually, the default way we live life – we are at great risk for being more susceptible to deception, dishonesty, and manipulation every where in our lives.

Quintessential leaders don’t use emotional marketing. They don’t use gimmicks, sensationalism, and manipulation. They use facts, logic, and critical thinking. They prove what they say and do before they say and do it. And they expect everyone – their teams, their audiences, and their customers – to do the same. Nothing less than this method is acceptable.

The reality is that nothing less than this method should be acceptable for any of us, but even more so for those of us who are striving to be quintessential leaders.

The mirror test, as always, will tell us whether we have fallen into the trap of emotional marketing as quintessential leaders.

Do we consistently appeal to emotional responses by gimmicks, sensationalism, and manipulation to motivate our teams, to build our customer bases, and as a way of life?

Have we abandoned facts, logic, and critical thinking in our decision-making? Do we prove everything for ourselves or do we just accept whatever we see, we read, or we are told without any substantiation?

Have we moved more toward emotional marketing and away from factual, logical, and provable information in our lives, both as leaders and as consumers?

Do we even know the answers to any of these questions?

If we find that we don’t know the answers, then now is the time to examine our lives and figure out what we are doing and why.

If we find answers that show that we have embraced emotional marketing both as leaders and as consumers, then today is the day to begin to change that with a return to facts, logic, critical thinking, and truth, which will lead to us rebuilding our integrity and becoming trustworthy.

Does this matter to you?

If not, then you cannot claim to be a quintessential leader. In fact, you can’t claim to be any kind of leader. Instead, you are a duped follower of a dishonest, deceptive, manipulative, and untrustworthy system that has infiltrated every part of modern society.

If that’s okay with you and you can live with it and yourself, then this post won’t matter to you and you’ll dismiss it along with any other things in your life – including those occasional pangs of conscience that knock on your brain but you brush away and ignore – that demand a higher standard, a different standard, a standard that sets the right example for others.

But if it’s not okay with you, then join me in daring to be different and daring to do the right thing all the time and daring to become a quintessential leader in every aspect of our lives.

How are we doing?