Tag Archives: charisma

Self-Absorbed Executive Search Firms: You’re Lovely, You’re Talented, You’re Dreamy. But Tact is Not Among Your Strengths.

patting-own-back

On behalf of all candidates, to executive search firms:

“Thank you so much for your 3 [hour-long] phone interviews.  I presented 8 tremendously qualified candidates to the client and unfortunately, you were not selected.  But your loss is [company’s] gain.  I’ll keep your info on file and contact you if something comes up.”

We may like you, but it’s not why we applied to that job you’re representing. Your client’s happiness with you means nothing to us.

One hour would have been plenty, not three.

A simple “no, thanks” is more palatable than “didn’t I do a good job?”

Please don’t insult us with passive-aggressive jibber-jabber – we know you’re not going to contact us unless we apply to another client of yours.

And please don’t tell us about other candidates.  If we’re not among them, we really don’t care.

Advertisements

Transformational Persuasion: Muhammad Ali, George Foreman, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and Why It Matters – Especially When You’re Running an Arts Organization

ali

Muhammad Ali died last week.  A quote from a Zairian in “When We Were Kings.”

“George Foreman? We had heard he was a world champion.
We thought he was white, then we realized he was black, like Ali….
Ali said [about Foreman], you’re the out-of-towner here.”

Nonprofit leaders that manage organizations, programs, and people well can be quite successful.  But not transformational.  Transformational leaders effortlessly persuade with passion about the mission, not the statistics.  Their material requires no script, just practice to remove the “ums” and “uhs.”

Trump, for example, vigorously (and effortlessly) transforms experienced opponents into “out-of-towners.” Clinton relies on effective policy, experience, and “being right.”

Passion KOs policy every time.  Ask George Foreman.

Doesn’t your arts organization’s constituency deserve the most transformative experience you can offer?  Or do you settle for production excellence and competence?

Ils pétent plus haut que leur cul. Marketing Intellectual Pursuits to an Anti-Intellectual Public, Right-Cheer In These You-Nited States of Murrica

Shakespeare Marx

In the arts, we want to attract more people. Or do we just want more us?

We’re asked to produce vision, impact, and engagement.  We embrace entertainment, but only if it’s at a 120+ IQ level.  Even abject silliness on stage is only acceptable if it’s “smart.”

Case in point:  the brilliantly entertaining, best-people-in-the-world-to-hang-out-with, fucking funny Reduced Shakespeare Company.

When another company produces an RSC script, they almost apologize in their marketing:

RSC: “it’s not the length of your history that matters – it’s what you’ve done with it!”

Other: “Between the rampant nationalism and the recent election, we think it more vital than ever for us to show we’re capable of laughing at ourselves. It, too, is part of the healing.”

Populism in the arts is an open path to success.  Risk being fucking funny, not drolly meaningful.

Your Next Charity Leader: “Cool, Aloof, Efficient” or “Passionate, Assertive, Innovative?”

Benedict and Jobs

I suppose it’s not a binary choice. But ultimately, they seem to fall in exclusive constellations of attributes.

Few leaders are in both camps. And, depending on the organization’s life-stage, you may need more from one camp than the other.

Pope Benedict vs. Steve Jobs. Neither is perfect, but each offers different personality sets at the helm of your charity.

I prefer to work with those who are in the latter camp. They are invariably afraid of little, impolitic, guileless, insistent, and noisy. But they most often find solutions, tell the truth, and can make things happen.

Not that I don’t like the former group, but I’ve found they hold their cards tight, condescend, rarely make a definitive statement, defer, passively-aggressively ignore, and require others to make things happen.

But they rarely threaten change.  So there’s that.

%d bloggers like this: