February 24, 2020

C Stands For Calm, Cool and Composed: Lessons from Kanya West, Serena Williams, Joe Williams and Taylor Swift

If you are following my blog, you probably know by now that I am knocking out the alphabet…the A, B, Cs of leadership.

I have been delaying the letter “C”, because I have to tell you…I had nothing…nothing that had been really discussed before.  I thought about collaboration, communication, creativity, blah, blah…boring!  It’s all been said…yes…we all need to be better communicators, we all need to collaborate more, and we can certainly all use a bigger, better dose of creative thinking.

But…what struck me on Monday after Kanye West pulled his little stunt at the VMA awards is that our leaders are not keeping their cool.  For some reason, they think they are entitled to telling the world what they think.   And yes…Kanye West is a leader in the music and entertainment industry.  Even though he can act a bit like a jerk at times, people love his music and his “in your face” approach.  But, on this occasion, he crossed the line. He chose to show up on the red carpet with a bottle of Hennessy drinking from the bottle in front of the cameras and then stole the thunder from Taylor Swift. Her shining moment, first VMA award and he had to march onto the stage to announce that Beyonce really had a better video…YUCK!  The world is now turning on Kanye.  His colleagues are dissing him, his fans are deleting his music from their i-pods and the media is having a frenzy.  I believe Kanye needs a PR damage control consultant.

This incident came on the heels of Serena Williams, another leader in the athletic world, cussing out a line judge for crossing a boundary with her foot.   Once again…why is it necessary to use the language that she used…she basically threw a temper tantrum, and her star power and respect have gone into the ditch in a flash.  She is now being called the female John McEnroe (watch here as McEnroe goes after the judge…looks familiar, eh?. )  Young women all over the world have admired Williams from afar…wishing they could be her…cheering for her and looking up to her.  Not any longer.  While there will always be Serena Williams fans, she just lost a huge following of people.  I will still watch her…she is amazing, but I will be wondering if she is going to lose it and watching for another outburst.

A couple of other examples: Republican lawmaker Joe Wilson shouted out YOU LIE! during a speech by President Obama recently.   And, apparently our own President did not know the audio was still rolling yesterday when he called Kanya a name.

So, here’s the deal.  When you are a leader, all eyes are on you.  If you are saying or doing something that crosses a line…especially in public, you are going to get your hand slapped.   If you have a violent outburst, you are going to lose followers.  On the same note, I completely understand losing your cool one, even two or three times, but when it becomes a repeating pattern, it is time to start implementing a few steps to turn this around.  So, here we go:

1) Know what your triggers are.  Keep those in check.  When you receive a trigger that is going to be followed by an outburst or an inappropriate action, stop the process by getting yourself out of the way.  I know this is not possible on the tennis court, so when you cannot get out of the situation, close your eyes, take a deep breath and count to ten.

2) Write out on paper the triggers that get you fired up, and notice when you are getting ready to move into an encounter, argument, and think of something positive…just do this one time.

3) Walk it off…movement can help.

4) After you get the trigger, write down 10 things you are grateful for.

5) Look more closely at what attention you are seeking.  Maybe it’s time to look for positive attention for doing something great for the world…not for attacking others.

6) Be mature and professional.  Taylor Swift appeared yesterday on The View, and here is how she responded when asked about Kanya West doing his thing:

“Wow, I can’t believe I won… This is awesome… Don’t trip and fall… I’m gonna get to thank the fans, this is so cool… Oh, Kanye West is here!’,” Swift told the ladies on The View, “‘Cool haircut… What are you doing there? And then, Ouch. And then, I guess I’m not gonna be able to thank the fans.’ ”

What a class act this young woman is…we can all learn from her response, and according to an article on Fox News, Swift says she has moved on from this incident.  She is one calm, cool and composed leader.

The 7 Warning Signs You Are Dealing With a Destructive Confidant

Michael Jackson, Heath Ledger, Anna Nicole Smith, Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland.

I am sure by now that you all see the repeating patterns in the lives of these men and women.  Each died as a result of prescription drug use, and this all leads to the ever pressing question of “Who was enabling the behavior to an extreme so great that the end result was death?”

I want to say first that the responsibility does rest with Jackson, Ledger, Smith, Monroe and Garland.  If you are unwilling to do the work to stop an addiction, then of course, you are ultimately responsible.

But, as we all know, when an addiction is present, there are also enablers.  In the case of these celebrities, there were multiple doctors involved, and in the case of Jackson, it seems to me that a doctor (or doctors) were not only enabling but were actually living in the home with him.  I am sitting here today scratching my head thinking “If AEG reported that Jackson was in such great health, why in the world did he need a live in doctor?…AND…why did it take 3 days for the authorities to find Dr.Murray?”

Police and federal agents Wednesday raided  offices of Michael Jackson’s personal doctor Conrad Murray, in a search for medical records they believed would constitute evidence of manslaughter, so now the case is going to break wide open, and my hunch is that since Ledger and Smith died so recently, there will be a full out investigation of these celebrity doctors who are peddling prescription drugs. While detoxification from Percocet is rarely life-threatening, it is difficult to go through alone, read about percocet withdrawals here. Failure rates grow higher and higher if addicts don’t access help through medications and counseling. While addicts and their families may know they need help for addiction, they may be at a loss to determine where they should access help. A family physician’s office may be a good place to start. If the addict obtained Percocet through the doctor’s office, the doctor will know why the drug was prescribed and how often the prescription was refilled.

This whole situation has just brought to my mind that this situation happens everywhere…not necessarily with prescription drugs but through what I call “destructive confidants”…people who exhibit behaviors which protect, shield and “enable” leaders and can cause destruction not only to the leader but the family and the companies they serve.

Today, I want to leave you with 7 warning signs that the leader in your company or small business may be taking advice from a destructive confidant:

1) The leader is becoming more and more isolated, spending the bulk of his time with the confidant.

2) The leader no longer takes advice from people who have their head on straight.  They are only taking advice from the confidant.

3) The leader is totally unaware of decisions being made around him.  The confidant is shielding her from bad news…only good news is allowed.

4) The leader begins to bring in “yes men and women”…people who only say “yes” to the leader at each and every turn.

5) You have a feeling the confidant is in the relationship only to gain more power for himself (if you notice a confidant gaining power and then moving on to the next “powerful relationship”, this is a red flag indeed.)

6) The leader seems to become more and more reliant on the confidant.  She cannot seem to make a decision without clearing it first with the confidant, is calling the confidant in the middle of the night and always seems to have the confidant around.

7) You get the sense that the confidant is lying to others and cheating to “beat the system” and to gain more power.

If you are someone in an organization, and you notice any of the above signs, it’s time to take action.  If you have a Board of Directors, the Chairman of the Board needs to be alerted (if he/she does not already know it,) and swift action needs to take place to address the situation.   If you believe that there is a psychological situation at hand, contact your Human Resources adviser or director in confidence to discuss the proper steps to take to address the issue.  While this is a challenging situation, it is certainly one that someone needs to address sooner rather than later.

Michael Jackson: The King of Pop But Also A Global Leader

I join the world today in celebrating the life of music icon Michael Jackson.

It is odd to me that just yesterday, I shared one of my favorite quotes with you by John Quincy Adams:

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.

– John Quincy Adams

We all may not realize, but if you buy into the above quote, Michael Jackson is one of the most world changing leaders of the last five decades.  He changed the way the music industry looked, sounded and felt.  He inspired dance.  His video Black or White showed that he wanted the world to know about the cultures of the world, wanted to see walls between black and white fall down, and I do believe that his life is an inspiration to us all.

I hope today that everyone will remember and know that Michael Jackson was a genius and was followed by not millions but billions of people.   In 1970, when the song ABC came out, I will never forget this day.  Michael Jackson and The Jackson 5 were on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand.  My next door neighbor, Teresa Castleberry, had learned a few Michael Jackson “moves” and she came over to my house, and she danced away (and taught me a few of the moves).  My whole family was laughing and just in awe over her moves…we had never seen them done before…but they were Michael’s moves.  So, he changed even the way Teresa Castleberry and little ole me viewed dance.

So, just a few of the obvious things to tickle your brain.

1) The video TRHRILLER changed the world of video music.  After THRILLER, everyone in the music industry (and the public) saw the bar raised on music video and had to start getting super creative with the way they presented their music to MTV and VH1.  No more just standing behind the mic and singing your song into the camera.

2) The moonwalk changed dance (just look at the hip hop industry if you don’t believe this)

3) The video Black or White was controversial at its time, but racial, cultural and geographical barriers are falling down as I write this.  You may argue that this had nothing to do with Black or White.  I would argue the video was the catalyst for the acceptance movement we are experiencing around the world.

So, today, I leave you with the video.  Just watch and see Michael Jackson…not just the king of pop but a visionary and global leader.


ROADMAP TO SUCCESS: America’s Top Intellectual Minds Map Out Successful Business Strategies

America’s Top Intellectual Minds Map Out Successful Business Strategies

Over the last year, I have had the honor and pleasure to join 15 of America’s top leaders, including Ken Blanchard and Stephen Covey to bring you a book jam-packed with cutting edge business strategies from people who value success just as much as you do.

If you have achieved success or if you are still on your road to success, Roadmap to Success is an investment in your future and in your most valuable asset: YOU!

Pick up a copy today for the introductory offer of $10.95 (a savings of $9.00). The price does include shipping in the United States.

If you are a resident of Canada, you may purchase the book for $14.95, which does include shipping.  Order here for residents in Canada.

If you are outside of the USA or Canada and if you are a current client of Bea Fields Companies, please contact me directly to inquire about purchasing a copy.  You can expect the shipping cost to run from $10-$15 if you live outside of North America, and I will need to send you a price for shipping for your given location.


* Stephen Covey
* Ken Blanchard
* Bea Fields
* Barbara Boden
* John Santangelo
* Joe Colletti
* Denise Federer
* Carollyne Conlinn
* Sylva Leduc
* Derrick Chevalier
* Joseph Price
* Jim Kwaiser
* David Alexander
* Gabriella Contreras
* Grace V. Contreras
* Susan Ross

A Sample of Chapter Titles

* Soulmap – The Secret to Success for Women
* A Values-Based Approach
* Mastering Influence and Communication
* Attitude is Everything
* The Power of Influence in Negotiation
* Family-First is Not for Wimps
* Managing and Leading the Generation Y Workforce
* Networking Like a Pro
* Breakthrough to Unlimited Success
* Create Your Own Leadership Roadmap
* Intentional Success

And much, much more!

USA Residents: Pick up your copy of Roadmap to Success Today

Residents of Canada: Pick up your copy of Roadmap to Success Today


Women Entrepreneurs: The Next Wave of Leaders

I want to extend many thanks to Mike Michalowicz and Scott Bradley for including me in such a well respected group of women entrepreneurs in their TPE post today:  Women Entrepreneurs:  The Next Wave of Leaders.  I encourage you to check out the post and the biographies of the women posted…as I said…indeed an honor to be included in this group..

EDGE! Named Finalist for National Book Awards for 2008

We are pleased to announce that EDGE! A Leadership Story has been named a finalist for the National Best Books 2008 Awards in the category of Business/Motivational.

We want to extend our thanks to each and every one of you who have supported this effort and who continue to spread the word about this work.

If you have not yet read the book, we invite you to pick up a copy today at Amazon.com. The majority of people who are reading the book are telling us they are reading the book in a few hours..

Five Star Leader Blog Named In The Top 100 Leadership Blogs by Best Universities

Thank you to Christina Laun of Best Universities blog for naming the Five Star Leader Blog in her list of top 100 leadership blogs. We are listed as one of the tops in the Team Leadership Category..

Guerrilla Marketing on the Front Lines is Now Available!

The book that took 35 experts 18 months to create is now here! I am honored to have been asked to contribute a chapter on the Masterful Guerrilla Team.

Book Description: Let 35 World Class Guerrilla Marketing Coaches Teach You Their Time-tested Tactics and Strategies for Getting New Customers and Turning Them Into Your Most Enthusiastic Fans! Here is a taste of what you’re going to learn in Guerrilla Marketing on the Front Lines: * Dozens of new high impact strategies for reaching and acquiring new customers…even on a shoestring budget, * Cutting edge online tactics designed to cut through the clutter and dramatically increase your visibility and conversion rates, * The keys to developing high powered Guerrilla partnerships and affiliate programs that will leverage your time and actually make you money while you sleep. Are you ready to turn your own prospects into customers and then into raving fans who will buy from you again, and again, and again? Join us on the Front Lines and get ready to launch your own Guerrilla Marketing Attack!

Pick up a copy today from Amazon.com..

What will Clinton Do?

Yes, I know…every pundit, supporter and eager Clinton fan wants to know the answer to this question.

First of all, I concur with Corey’s post from June 6 on Senator Clinton carving her own path. Here, here! I also believe that there is a place for her in our political system. Senator Clinton is sharp, and the area where I believe she has the most passion and knowledge is on the topic of healthcare. While I am not convinced that an Obama/Clinton ticket is a wise move, I do believe that if elected, Senator Obama will be thinking about where and how Clinton can best serve our country. In my opinion, a position such as Secretary of Health would be a great fit (but of course, this is just according to the world of Bea.)

I have watched Clinton speak on a variety of debates and interviews and speeches over the last 16 months, but I have to say that watching her yesterday was a joy for me. I finally felt like I liked her. I don’t know why, but she seemed to be putting her energy and strength behind the democrats…a smart move indeed. And, I do wish her well and believe that she should indeed be in a leadership role for the United States. She’s got spunk and stickability, and we need that!


Can This Dude Make Microsoft Cool?

I don’t know, but Alex Bogusky sure is sexy.

My copy of FAST Company arrived yesterday, and this is the cover (look to the right.) The article is so worth the read, as a Gen Y quotes “He looked like Jesus” and Alex Bogusky, who has been an Apple evangelist running an ad shop using Apple products admits in front of the entire Microsoft population that “I once farted on production for a Gap spot.”

He’s the guy who can make your brand cool or the magician who can strip your cool away (he did the “Truth” campaigns for stopping smoking.) He is the genius behind the new Burger King campaign (and I think the Burger King character is ridiculous, but you know what…I have been to Burger King twice in the last month, and I don’t really “do” fast food…I am a grilled chicken sandwich junkie, and the BK ads have been burned in my brain.)

So, if he can do it, I am going to love it! I do love a windows computer, but my new laptop with Vista totally sucks. I also love Macs (in love with them), but there are things on Windows that I do want, so let’s see if his hip view and creative streak can get this company back to the icon it once was. And…at least I get to look at him for a while…he is great looking.

Person Alex Bogusky

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