Posts Tagged ‘Leadership’

Snapchat Lied. Now This.

May 30, 2014

Snapchat CEO ‘Mortified’ by Leaked Stanford Frat E-Mails

Sarah Frier writing for Bloomberg:

“Snapchat Inc. Chief Executive Officer Evan Spiegel apologized for e-mails he sent during his fraternity days that celebrated getting drunk and convincing sorority women to perform sexual acts.”

Earlier this month, Snapchat settled with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

Because “snaps” on its service do not disappear.

As advertised.

So, Snapchat lied and settled.

Now this.

Snapchat and its CEO are building quite a reputation.

More accurately, a reputation crisis.

To think Snapchat spurned a multibillion-dollar buyout offer from Facebook.

Perhaps Facebook got off lucky.



Twitter: @schwartznow

Digital Hubs:  Here or Here



The Microsoft “User” Experience

May 15, 2014

Do You Enjoy The Microsoft User Experience?

I don’t.

Today, I turn on my computer to see this:

Microsoft User Experience Updates

Fifteen “important” updates, 94.7MB’s worth.


My reaction: something’s terribly wrong.

But what? How bad is it? Was my computer already hurt?

It’s just not a comforting “welcome-to-a-new-day” moment.

Part two of the experience is hardly warm and fuzzy, either.

You have to restart your computer.

Not knowing what, if any, impact, these “important” updates may have on other software.

Only after you restarting will you learn.

But, please, restart your computer. Trust us:

Microsoft User Experience Important Updates

On this day, after restarting, I “experienced” trouble connecting to the internet.

Due to one of Microsoft’s 15 important updates?

I don’t know.

But it happened.

Nothing about the experience is enjoyable.

The text, process, multiple steps, time required, the operational uncertainty.

All uncomfortable, at best.

Why does Microsoft continue this experience?

Is this the best the U.S.-based business can do?

Does anyone enjoy it?

Do you?

It’s almost as if we have to put up with Microsoft.

Because that’s the way, “It’s always been.”



Twitter: @schwartznow

Digital Hubs:  Here or Here


The Venus Transit: Leadership Lessons

June 7, 2012
Venus Transit’s Insight into Engaging You

One of my passions is deciphering and communicating “tough” subjects…for you, your audiences and representatives.

Science, technology, engineering, investing. Bring on your jargon, equations, stock charts, business-speak. I’m game.

Remarkable events like the #Venus #Transit make such communications easy.

Here’s Venus transiting the wall inside my home.

Venus Transit Colorado

Venus transits inside my home: Spot in oval

Sunshine through binoculars created an oval of light. And then a single spot.

That spot, (oval lower right), is Venus.

My photo was totally unplanned.

I was watching the event on a Google + “hangout” with astronomers from around the globe when the sun made a sudden appearance.

Rushing to seize my moment, I grabbed binoculars and turned them backwards to the sunlight.

Immediately, I saw a bright oval…and, yes, an amazing…dot.

That dot is a planet. Venus. Inside my home. On my wall. In Colorado.

Admittedly, world-class telescopes and filters made for far more spectacular views from NASA’s “live” stream.

Venus Transit NASA TV

Screen Capture and courtesy: NASA TV

There’s something special seeing adults and children around the world use low-tech tactics, such as a pinhole in a piece of paper, to experience a once-in-a-lifetime moment.

The wonders of discovery delight. With some explanation and understanding, science brings people closer.

The transit of Venus brought the world closer. I observed it on social media tools all day.

The next, such event is set for 2117.

Until then, what are you doing to help connect “us” more deeply with your business, science, technology or explorations?

For now, I’ll avoid advanced theories and practices of applied science or business communications.

But if you’re in high-tech, a startup, R&D, academia, Wall Street, national defense or science, ask, “What could I learn?”

Venus – a planet – catalyzed widespread engagement and shared understanding.

And did so without employing communication tactics such as fear or corporate-speak.

Think about it: A single “dot” connected the world. Captivated a planet.

With the right expertise, so can you.

Be compelling.

12 Leadership Lessons of “The Drive”

January 12, 2012
Tips to Lead Your Team to Business Success

Twenty-five years ago, a young Denver Bronco quarterback named John Elway demonstrated a set of historic leadership lessons.

The lessons, now older than current Bronco phenom Tim Tebow, could help you as a CEO reach your business goals or provide a real-world example to your team. They stand the test of time.

Quarterback Elway guided his team on an improbable 98-yard drive to tie the Cleveland Browns in the AFC Championship Game with only seconds left to play. His team would go on to win the contest over the then-stunned Browns on a field goal in overtime.

Video documents the extraordinary event known as, “The Drive.” Watch some great leadership:

The Drive: John Elway

Over 15 plays and 5 minutes and 2 seconds, “The Drive” featured:

  • A clear vision
  • An audacious goal
  • An unequivocal deadline
  • The right talent on the Denver bus
  • Inspiration from the leader and from within the team
  • Team members who understood their roles
  • Clear communications
  • Great tactical execution
  • Stops, starts and learning along the way
  • No quit Success
  • Celebration

We’ve all been a member of a high-performing team.

Lessons from “The Drive” of 1987 can boost your team’s performance today.

If I Ran Your Newsroom Right Now

December 7, 2011
One Tip to News Leadership

Any weather impacting travel

… is big news between now and January 2012.

Experts agree weather may make plenty of news.

The long-range forecasting team at AccuWeather expects a stormy U.S. winter ahead. Major airplane and highway systems linked to moving people and commerce nationwide are in the forecast storm-zone.

Winter Travel News

Source: AccuWeather

The National Weather Service’s current precipitation forecast speaks loudly of potential travel troubles, too:

Winter Travel News

Source: NWS

News is what interests, informs and impacts “us” … and our businesses.

Any hint of clogged airports or snow-slick highways already has my attention, and should have yours.

After all, holiday travel involves moving a tremendous amount of people and things.

It’s big news.

Leadership Tips: High-Performing Teams

December 5, 2011
That Corporate Culture “Thing”

Successful CEOs obsess about their firm’s vision, mission, strategy, goals, systems and talent.

They work hard to align their enterprise and people to plans and desired behaviors, and achieve high-quality, cost-effective results.

Performance is constantly measured – often through a set of key metrics displayed on a dashboard.

Large organizations or “solo-preneurs”…this next part is for all of you.

Leaders are also passionate about something else: Culture.

Many factors go into shaping a firm’s culture. I’ll focus on two: Rituals and ceremonies.

Research shows they are critical to organizational culture – and performance and profitability.

Jeff Schwartz SchwartzNow Stanley Cup

The Stanley Cup

Rituals and ceremonies can vary.

They are all around:

-Casual Friday.
-How people greet each other.
-Recognition events.
-Hand-written, “Thank-you” notes.
-The CEO’s annual party.
-Fundraising or volunteer efforts.
-Honoring a trophy.

Apple celebrated founder Steve Jobs.

So, how can you shape your firm’s culture?

Two Tips:

  1. Start a tradition to symbolize success
  2. Celebrate success

Invent your own Stanley Cup, and honor someone with it:

  1. Make it a weekly event.
  2. Let last week’s recipient choose this week’s, and share a story why they made the choice.
  3. Let the recipient acknowledge the moment, saying what it means to them.

When it comes to developing high performance, culture counts.

And you can not only help shape it, but also build it into your business success. It’s leadership culture.

A Lesson About the Road

November 19, 2011
Plan Your Drive. Drive Your Plan.

With good strategy, planning and execution…

A Good Strategy, Plan, Execution

I-70 Going West

…you can enjoy the light at the end of the tunnel.

Even with mountains in the way.

P.S. No stopping in the tunnel.

Math … Understands Your Business

October 27, 2011
Fibonacci Communications

The S&P 500 Index is a “basket” of companies. Five-hundred of them. Hence, the name. Every week the stocks of these firms are traded. The stocks go up and down, depending on the day or week. Sometimes they seem to need a pause; and taken together, they move sideways for a while.

Their performance up, down or sideways leaves a footprint, tells a story. Stock charts capture this story. In early 2009, the story plot told of an ugly crash.

Since? Well, the story changed. The S&P 500 moved up, with some sideways pauses, and topped this summer. And then, during a time of world economic concerns, they fell. The stocks were sold. They went down. “Click” for large pic:

Business Communications, Fibonacci Communications, Math Understanding

Math Communicating

For those who enjoyed math, and learning about Fibonacci, the chart appears to tell an interesting story.

After “topping” mid2011, the S&P 500 fell to a Fibonacci number – one of the horizontal blue lines.

The Index retraced (went down) 38.2 percent, found comfort at that level, moved sideways for a bit, then bounced up.

Many factors influence the performance of your company, its stock. There are a lot of ways to analyze stocks, too. Sometimes, stepping back to look at the big picture, with the help of some math, can provide clarity.

For some reason, during its most recent fall, the S&P 500 respected a Fibonacci number, and stopped falling. It has since marched higher.

Mixing Fibonacci numbers with stock analysis can provide greater business understanding. It’s not a be-all end-all “golden rule.”

Still, the math seems to be communicating. Perhaps this approach should be in your toolkit…and in that of your consulting firms.

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