The debt crisis no one is talking about

October 31, 2011

By    Article

“There is a debt crisis in China no one is talking about. Let’s take a closer look at it.

China is a huge country. With a population of nearly 1.34 billion people spread out across 3.7 million square miles, managing China is no easy task. Over the past 10 years, Chinese cities have seen a tremendous population boom as people from the country moved in search of economic opportunity. In 1978 approximately 17 percent of the population lived in urban areas. Today, nearly half the population lives in urban areas. The scale and speed of this urbanization is unprecedented. While this has helped shape China’s economic rise, it has also taken a tremendous toll on municipal governments. Managing this growth through the expansion of services and infrastructure has cost a great deal of money. They obtained the money by borrowing it. Lots of it.

According to a study by Standard Chartered Bank, local governments in China owe the equivalent of an estimated $1.5 to $2.1 trillion. This debt burden is putting tremendous pressure on local governments across China. Interest payments alone total $7 billion to $10 billion per month. The problem is so extensive that it is unlikely that tax increases and the sale of municipal-owned land to private investors can solve the problem. …

This has all the ingredients of a crisis in the making. The Chinese government will most likely have to step in and offer some type of support to the banking sector as well as to local municipal governments. This has two important implications for U.S. businesses. ….”


Steve Jobs was a jerk. Good for him.

October 31, 2011

By Gene Marks   Article

“But I wasn’t learning much about Steve Jobs the person.  The boss. …

That is until I read this great piece from Ryan Tate.  And I really began to learn something about Steve Jobs.  Jobs wasn’t successful just because he was creative, brilliant and hardworking.  There are a lot of creative, brilliant and hardworking people running technology businesses.  Jobs had an extra little something going on that further separated him from his peers:  He was a jerk.  Good for him. … because being creative and hard working isn’t that uncommon.  Being a jerk is.

Tate says that Jobs exercised censorship and authoritarianism.  To put anything on an Apple device you needed Apple’s permission.  “Apple’s devices have connected us to a world full of information,” he writes.  “But they don’t permit a full expression of ideas.  Indeed the people Apple supposedly serves – the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers – have been particularly put out by Jobs’ lockdown.”

Jobs wasn’t about to let anyone use his products for activities that would negatively reflect on his company.    He knew the risks of giving up control.  He knew that people would accuse him of restricting free expression.  He didn’t care.  He was a jerk. …

“Inside Apple,” Tate continues, “there is a culture of fear and control around communication:  Apple’s “Worldwide Loyalty Team” specializes in hunting down leakers, confiscating mobile phones and searching computers. … Wow, the Apple Gestapo.  I love that too.”


8 signs your business Is losing its edge

October 31, 2011

By Jeff Haden   Article

  1. “The parking lot is empty at 5.30 p.m. Once there weren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done; now there aren’t enough hours in the day to maintain a “proper” work-life balance. …
  2. Meetings are an end in themselves. When you started out you didn’t have “meetings.” You pulled people together to share news, you asked for ideas, you solved problems… but you didn’t schedule meetings. Spending time in meetings was a luxury you couldn’t afford. …
  3. Interpersonal skills are more important than results. Remember the programmer who seemed a little odd but built your first database? Remember the salesperson who was a little too demanding in-house but landed all your big customers? Remember the warehouse worker who seemed to have no friends on the staff but was amazingly organized and kept product flowing?…
  4. The lights are on… but no one is home. Early on you worried about every dollar; it was easy since you had few dollars to keep track of. You turned out lights, turned down the heat, re-used packaging and paper… you worried about every expense. …
  5. You say, “What we need is…” instead of, “What we should do is…” Early on you solved problems and overcame obstacles through ingenuity, creativity, and effort. Now you throw money at problems. …
  6. New ideas seem too hard to even try. When the day-to-day feels overwhelming it can seem impossible to add new items to an already crowded plate …
  7. You think in terms of customers, not individuals. … You may make thousands of sales each month but behind every sale is a person. When you first started out you were excited to land a new customer; you still should be, even if you add dozens of new customers every week. …
  8. You think most of your customers are irritating and even stupid. Let me guess. Sometimes you say, “Jeez, that guy just doesn’t get it.” Maybe he doesn’t because you haven’t described your services well enough or explained how you provide real value. Or sometimes you say, “If I have to answer that question one more time…” … You’ve definitely lost your edge when you see customers as a necessary evil. Instead, find meaning in what you sell. Customers are the best friends your business has — customers write the checks.”

The difference between management and leadership

October 31, 2011

Be Seth Godin   Article

“Managers work to get their employees to do what they did yesterday, but a little faster and a little cheaper.

Leaders, on the other hand, know where they’d like to go, but understand that they can’t get there without their tribe, without giving those they lead the tools to make something happen.

Managers want authority. Leaders take responsibility.

We need both. But we have to be careful not to confuse them. And it helps to remember that leaders are scarce and thus more valuable.”

Six strategies to get your tough on

October 31, 2011

by Dan Rockwell   Article

“Err on the side of pushing harder not easier. When you wonder if you should challenge or comfort someone, challenge them. Expect more not less. Encourage those who are struggling but don’t exclude challenging them. Reject the temptation to coddle. People rise to challenges.

Maxed out: A few on your team are maxed out. Strengthen them; don’t give them more challenges. Many on your team think they are maxed out but they aren’t, challenge them.

The leadership line: Being tough is harder than being tender. Toughness is the line between average performance and high achievement. High performance leaders know how to be tough.

6 ways to be tough:

  1. Believe they can do more and be better.
  2. Avoid letting anger or frustration fuel toughness.
  3. Focus on mission and vision, not tasks when calling people to reach higher.
  4. Honor past achievements.
  5. Ask how you can help them reach higher.
  6. Remove ambiguity.”

Eight types of leaders

October 31, 2011


Using PR techniques can get you hired, promoted

October 24, 2011

By Laura Raines   Article

“If you’re waiting to be discovered in this job market, best stock up the fridge and upgrade your Netflix account. You’re going to be on the sidelines awhile. Whether you’re looking for a job or a promotion or starting a business, there’s never been a better time to learn the fine art of self-promotion, say Jessica Kleiman and Meryl Weinsaft Cooper, authors of “Be Your Own Best Publicist” (Career Press, 2011). …

According to the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, “PR is about reputation — the result of what you do, what you say and what others say about you … . It is the planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding between an organization and its publics.” …

“Have your key messages down and practice talking about them, because you’ll only have a few minutes to get your points across and make a good impression,” said Cooper.

Make sure you have something to say before leaving a digital footprint on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook.

“Know your goal. If it’s to freelance, what is your expertise and what makes you right for potential clients? Think about what in your life or work experience makes you stand out and adds to your qualifications,” she said.

Develop your signature style. “I define a personal brand as doing what you were meant to do, driven by the themes in your life. It’s a way of being in the world that is authentic” …”