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March 2015
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Love the work – Wally Bock

Love the Work

From Wally Bock‘s excellent Three Star Leadership blog

For about a decade, I did between fifty and a hundred speaking engagements a year to company and association audiences around the world. I met hundreds of people who were top performers in their companies and industries. In some ways they were very different.

They were men and women. They were tall and short and fat and thin and fit and sloppy. Some were educated and sophisticated and others were not. They were farmers and engineers and sales people and teachers and small business owners and big business executives in a variety of industries and a variety of cultures. As different as they were they all had one thing on common.

They loved their work.

That’s powerful stuff. If you love your work, you’re more likely to dive into it enthusiastically. You’re more likely to achieve the magic of flow. You’re more likely to put in the extra time and effort that makes for success.

There are lots of things that go into a happy and successful life. This is an important one.

Love the work.

Don’t think about your next job based on the salary or the benefits or the status. Those are important, but they’ll slide into the murk at the back of your mind when you start the job itself. Then the work will matter and it will matter all day, every day.

Love the work.

Base your career plans on doing work you love. Base your changes in direction on doing work you love. Forget all those peripheral factors.

Love the work.

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The importance of staff training for best internet security practices


The importance of staff training for best internet security practices

In the past, setting up a business was impossible without a brick-and-mortar office. Today, entrepreneurs establish virtual offices and use the internet to coordinate with their employees. Even businesses with old-fashioned offices use the internet to boost sales, improve customer satisfaction, and enhance brand awareness. While the internet offers numerous benefits and advantages, businesses cannot afford to ignore the various perils and dangers online.

Many firms make the mistake of thinking that investing in elaborate and expensive security architecture will provide adequate protection from online risks. However, even the best software programs will prove ineffective if your team is not trained to follow the best internet security practices and procedures.


Protecting your firm’s online presence and virtual assets cannot be achieved by threats of disciplinary action alone. Creating the right attitude towards internet security is a matter of sensible leadership and sensitive management. There is no doubt that errant employees who refuse to follow safety procedures should be punished. However, such an approach is unlikely to work in the long run. For a truly effective security setup against online threats, you should inculcate these leadership traits.


Why is internet security so important? What will happen if your online data gets hacked? How will the long-term prospects of the firm suffer if private user data is leaked online? It is your responsibility as a leader to communicate the consequences of a breach in online security. Simply establishing the ground rules without making an effort to create awareness is not a sustainable solution.

Communication should not be a one-way street. Invite your employees to come up with innovative solutions to minimise online risks. Your employees are more likely to follow online rules if they have a say in the formulation of the best practices. Encouraging people to talk about the importance of online security will ensure your firm’s online credibility is not dependent on just one or two individuals.


Many employers make the mistake of centralising the decision-making process for all internet-related activities. This causes employees to simply treat online security as an issue that need not concern them. From the posting of social media updates to handling online orders received by the firm, delegating tasks to your employees will help them implement theoretical rules related to online safety in real life.


Even the most security-minded individual may err by opting for a weak and easy-to-remember password instead of a complex and strong one. Be honest enough to confess when you failed to follow your firm’s best security practices. This honesty will instil a sense of camaraderie and ensure there is no distinction between employees and upper management as far as online security is concerned. 

Constructive criticism

What is the point of docking pay or terminating an employee for non-compliance of online safety rules? Such harsh punishments are likely to discourage obedience. Instead, come up with a constructive way to penalise those found guilty of violating the firm’s online safety rules. Encourage your team to determine penalties for errant employees. However, you could impose monetary fines, which will ultimately be used to fund internet security products and services. Think out of the box to ensure your employees never lose focus of the larger picture.

Internet security methods and tactics

Combine sensible leadership with effective tactics and strategies to minimise online safety risks. Some useful security tips include:

  • Frequent password changes with emphasis on strong passwords.
  • Up-to-date antivirus and antimalware programs.
  • A clear and detailed internet usage and virtual assets usage policy.
  • Mutually determined list of prohibited software programs and websites.
  • Use of latest security technologies and protocols.

Consequences of lack of internet security

There was a time when a security lapse would, at the most, result in temporary outage of the company’s website. Today, some potential consequences of security lapses include:

  • Loss of private corporate and customer data.
  • Hacking of social media profiles leading to unauthorised posts and updates.
  • Expensive lawsuits from aggrieved customers and users.
  • Loss of credibility and market reputation.
  • Release of proprietary information and data on the internet.


We are moving towards a world where the Internet of Everything will become a reality. Devices will access the internet automatically and execute automated tasks. For example, printers will place online orders for paper reams to ensure the firm does not run out of paper. In such a scenario, an enthusiastic and security-conscious team will be the last line of defence against various online risks and threats against your organisation.

Win Friends and Customers, by Lawrence J. Bookbinder – book review

Win Friends and Customers

I received this book recently, and enjoyed reading it.

The author, Lawrence J. Bookbinder, Ph.D. practiced clinical psychology for over 30 years, supervised other clinical psychologists, authored and co-authored 10 professional articles, and was made Fellow of the Division of Psychotherapy by the American Psychological Association.

Active listening” is the well-known technique used to feedback what you have heard, to confirm you have understood what the speaker said. That goes a long way towards helping better communication between people.

Bookbinder goes further, and advocates “Empathetic Acknowledgement“, in order to confirm that you understand how the speaker feels. He sees this as the key to better conversation, understanding and engagement, both on a  personal level and more broadly in business.

To quote part of the book blurb on Amazon:

“The good news is that the responses to [Bookbinder’s] workshops and writings taught him that people could win friends and customers from their conversations without knowing how to listen like an expert. To help his readers easily and rapidly learn empathic listening, the author gives a wealth of conversation examples, writes in short paragraphs, uses plain English, and emphasizes bulleted lists”.

I particularly liked the chapters on “Controlling the urge to help” and “Controlling the urge to talk” – both issues I personally struggle with. In the former case, we all have a tendency to try to advise on a future course of action, provide comfort n the case of the other person’s distress, or offer “encouraging” but not terribly helpful noises. Empathetic Acknowledgement, however, encourages the listener to truly get into tune with the speakers feelings, and without interrupting, before jumping into solution mode. Bookbinder also offers helpful exercises to follow to practically aid your skill development.

The author gives examples of personal, one-to-one conversations, as well as more business oriented ones. Grocery shopping, for example!

The book is an easy read, with a logical structure and written in a conversational style. Bookbinder uses lots of bullet points, so it’s pretty easy to pick up the main points on a long flight, or even an evening’s read. Then, the bullets serve as a helpful reference to dip into afterwards. Chapters include:

  • Empathic acknowledging
  • Empathy verses sympathy
  • Moving from no empathy to empathy
  • Listening: empathic verses ordinary
  • Psychological hugs
  • Business success
  • Receiving listening: advantages and disadvantages
  • Giving listening: advantages and disadvantages
  • Controlling the urge to talk

Bookbinder also backs up the book with extensive appendices and research notes, well worth dipping into to get more detail.

There are a lot of “self help” books out there, but I found this one insightful and different. Give it a whirl.

LeaderValues Newsletter – Bill Bernbach; Putting Ourselves in Charge (Vlatka Hlupic); Customer Leadership (Mick Yates)

Rose VallandClick here to see this month’s LeaderValues newsletter 

There’s a “Customer and Engagement” theme, this month. The leadership biography, by Victoria Yates, is on William (Bill) Bernbach, a leader and innovator in the advertising profession, and co-founder of the DDB Agency.

Bernbach believed that “All of us who professionally use the mass media are the shapers of society. We can vulgarize society. We can brutalize it. Or we can help lift it onto a higher level”.

We have two featured articles.

The first is “Putting ourselves back in charge“, from Prof. Vlatka Hlupic. I had the pleasure to hear Vlatka speak in Parliament at the end of 2014. I asked her to write a post describing the research and the needed “Management Shift”. Here it is.

The second is from Mick, on “Customer Leadership“. This is Mick’s way of describing how to help firms get better results – based on a uniquely connected understanding of leadership development, global brand marketing, retail and the application of Big Data analytics and insight.