Realities: The Untold Truth That Leaders And People In Power
Need To Know
Global Leadership invitation
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Be sure to join me for my next webcast entitled "Leading with Grit, Gravitas and Grace"
When: August 29, 2006 9:00AM PST
What is it that makes you sound as if
you’re at the top of your game and ready to move ahead in
leadership? The way you communicate! Leaders all over the
world show they have what it takes by demonstrating their
perseverance, wisdom and engagement skills in what they say
and how they say it.
This webcast will touch the major ways that leaders around
the world can show their abilities. To prepare for this
event watch and listen to leaders in your organizations and
in your countries. Observing leaders on television and
listening to them on radio will also be useful Be prepared
to ask questions during the webcast.
Register for this and other webcasts
Chinese Leadership: What's
the Same and What Has Changed
After sixteen days in China, I left with
two powerful reminders of my time there: a bad case of the flu
and a new understanding of Chinese leadership styles. Twenty
years ago, I lived in China and I've gone back regularly since
then. This time I was part of a trade delegation of business,
education and political leaders from Houston, Texas. We were
able to meet with our counterparts in schools, government and
business. We even met with the Chinese National Offshore Oil
Company (CNOOC) with whom I worked two decades ago as part of
ARCO Oil and Gas Company.
Back then, I learned that the Chinese leadership ideal is that
of a good and caring father or mother. Talking to CNOOC leaders
recently, I found that this is still true. If you ask Chinese
young people about leadership, they reflect on the lessons they
learned in their childhoods from their parents -- their first
leadership role models.
A parental ideal of leadership is also the Confucian view.
Through this dominant philosophical system, the Chinese have
been taught that a good boss cares for his or her work family
while a good follower is loyal to a work parent and obeys him or
her the way you would a father or mother. In fact, a good
employee will work to make the boss look good and be successful.
However, that ideal view of leaders and employees as family is
waning in China and elsewhere in Asia.
Worldwide, the number one reason for
employees to leave their jobs is their relationship with their
bosses. In the late 1990's a survey of Chinese employees ranked
how much they appreciated leaders from different nationalities.
Surprisingly, Philippine leaders came out on top, while
different nationalities of Chinese leaders got the lowest
scores. What respondents talked about was how much it mattered
when their bosses paid attention to them, their development and
their careers. More caring was more important than more money.
As I talked with dozens of young people in Shanghai, Dalian and
Beijing, I saw that some things haven't changed in terms of the
expectations they have of their leaders. Twenty years ago there
was, as always, an emphasis on career advancement. Then, as now,
husbands and wives often lived apart in different cities or
geographic locations. In the past, that was so because of
Nowadays it is often more about pursuing a career. Years ago the
Chinese were just learning about profit and business planning.
Now they are eager for the government to be business friendly so
that they can all prosper. As always they're eager to learn.
Leaders who coach and mentor them are much appreciated.
What has changed is how high and how fast these folks expect to
move and progress. China is now like a big learning laboratory.
The folks who went away are coming back. Fu Chengyu, the
president of CNOOC, is one of them. Mr. Fu holds a masters
degree in petroleum engineering from the University of Southern
California. He got his leadership and management experience
when, earlier in his career, he led the joint management
committee overseeing joint ventures with BP (Originally started
by ARCO) and Shell. Of course, his English is excellent. He has
high ambitions, and well he should. Although he has suffered
some disappointments - he is chagrined that his company's bid
for Unocal was rebuffed by political pressures in the US -- the
lessons of experience have helped him, and others are taking
note. Leaders in even state-owned industries are going to
management and leadership programs and academic institutions in
Asia and the west. They are eager to turn their old institutions
and their start-ups into growing concerns.
As foreign connections have become more plentiful and easier for
Chinese people to make, the nature of networking and guanxi, or
relationships, there has changed. No longer will someone whisper
that his or her uncle can turn your electricity off or on if you
do business with them. And sadly, no longer do people eagerly
take your business card in both hands and cherish the contact.
There is more of an attitude of WIFFM, "what's in it for me."
What did you think of this
article? I would love to here your
A Simple Tip for
Overcoming Fear of Rejection - Michael Neill (
In 1977, an oft quoted
poll was done by the New York Times which revealed that a larger
percentage of respondents feared public speaking than death.
While this makes a kind of logical sense (more people have
experienced public speaking than death), it has always seemed to
me that the most crippling fear many of us face is our fear of
Whether it stops us from making a sales call, asking someone on
a date, or pursuing the life of our dreams, our survival-based
fear of rejection is activated any time we make (or think about
making) a request from anyone - this is because the possibility
of being rejected is generally real. The person we are selling
to may decide not to buy, the person we are asking out may
indeed say "no", and the road to the life of our dreams may well
be paved with rejection.
As actors, my friends and I face rejection on a daily basis. And
like anyone else who sells their product or services for a
living, if we don't collect enough rejections, we're unlikely to
make any money. (In fact, an actress friend recently pointed out
that if she wasn't getting rejected at least ten
times a week, she began to panic about how slow things were!)
A little while back, I came up with a simple trick that works
wonders in easing the fear of rejection and allowing us to put
our best foot forward when we need to make a request. You can
use it the next time you're feeling nervous before a sales call,
job interview, meeting, or even a blind date...
(This is ideal to use any time you need to make a request of
someone, or when you are going to meet with someone whose
approval is important to you. I use the example of a meeting -
feel free to substitute phone call/request/interview or whatever
your situation is!)
1. A few minutes before your meeting, begin to focus on the
people in your life who love you. If you are religious you can
also focus on God's love for you; the more humanistically
inclined can add in the love of a child, a partner, or a pet.
(If you can't think of anybody or anything who loves or has
loved you, there are probably more important things for you to
work on in your life than getting better at making sales calls!)
2. Continue to focus on the the awareness (and the associated
feeling) that you are loved and begin to think about the
impending meeting. Notice that you may still want what you want
from the other people, but you do not need them to love you. You
are already loved.
3. Bring this awareness and feeling with you into your meeting.
If at any point during the meeting you begin to feel unduly
nervous, you can simply go back to this awareness and feeling of
Q: Why does this work so well?
A: Imagine you're back in cave man times. Your safety came from
your belonging to the tribe. If you got banished from the tribe
(i.e. rejected), you were suddenly alone left to fend for
yourself. This was generally followed by being eaten by some
wild animal or killed by members of another
tribe - both excellent reasons to fear rejection!
While it is far less likely nowadays that being rejected will
result in our being eaten or killed, the survival instinct is
still there. By calming this ancient part of our brain (by
flooding it with the feeling of connection and belonging that
comes with the awareness of being loved), we are better able
to tap into the full resources of our mind. It is almost like
sending a message to your brain that says "Don't worry if this
person or tribe does not accept you - you are already safe!"
The next time you are deciding on a course of action which
involves at least
one other person, try asking yourself the following question
If I already had all the love in the world, how would I do this
Have fun, learn heaps, and when in doubt, remember that you are
Until next time,
Make sure you check out
Michael's great new book
"You Can Have What You Want"
available for preorder on
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To Your Knowing the
Dr. Karen Otazo