STRATEGIC SLOPPINESS? BETTER RE-THINK THAT EMAIL STRATEGY

banner james carlini - Carlini's CornerBy James Carlini

It is amazing the bad advice that is being pumped out by some writers who think they have a hip handle on “dealing with executives” today and they want to take a casually-written exception of an EMail and make it into a rule.

The latest article that tries to promote bad management form is one written by a writer, Kevin Roose, from New York Magazine.
See article:
http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140108153547-32124898-how-spelling-mistakes-and-bad-e-mail-etiquette-can-help-you-get-ahead?trk=eml-ced-b-art-M-1&ut=1BLJ6GXy-0jS41

WHAT YOU SEE ON JERRY SPRINGER IS THE EVERYDAY NORM OF SOCIETY

Yes, if you want to “fit in” to today’s society, just watch Jerry Springer for the most accepted ways to live your life.

Smoke crack, have sex with relatives, and forget going to the dentist when you break a front tooth. Come on, let’s get real. Those are rare exceptions, not the rule of today’s society.

I felt the same reaction when reading this article about “strategic sloppiness” and writing a casual response to a CEO. What might be considered a “hip response” by one generation is looked down upon by others as inappropriate.

The other observations in the article seem off-base as well:
“We’ve known for years that the higher you are on the food chain, the more license you’re allowed to take with the rules of professional communication…..”

Really? Most executives set a standard and that standard should be met or exceeded. Taking license and bending that standard may look “cool” to someone observing, but try to send a sloppy EMail to an organization and see if you even get a response.

As I observed after reading the article: Are there exceptions? Sure, but try to emulate someone who is real casual in their CEO position and you won’t be taken seriously by those they have put in charge of their organization as executive gate-keepers.

Another quote from the article: “As the boss, you can make as many mistakes as you want.”

Believe me, if you start making too many mistakes, you won’t be boss much longer. Either you will be replaced by the Board of Directors or your company will go out of business, so that observation and conclusion is a little weak. CEOs who make mistakes should be kicked out and should not be given any golden parachutes for poor performance. You don’t reward mediocrity and you certainly don’t celebrate failure with a bonus.

STRATEGY? THE TOTAL CORPORATE STRUCTURE IS SET FROM THE TOP

Malcolm Forbes had a couple of good quotes that I always like to throw out for those trying to understand executive management. One was, “He who has the wheel, sets the direction.”

The CEO sets the corporate direction and steers the enterprise to reach that goal. Whatever he or she decides, will make or break the company. The CEO is in a very powerful and demanding position, but sometimes is not really tested as to their real skills.

Forbes’ other quote is much more revealing and critical, “Any fool can handle the helm in calm seas.”

Some CEOs who were blessed to be in a CEO position when all the planets were aligned and their company had great success in the midst of no obstacles or real competition, may not be as good as they are portrayed. They get washed away quickly in the first storm.

THE MORAL OF THE STORY

Okay, you find someone that has some quirks in their management and leadership style. It may work for them, but you are not them. Don’t emulate their quirks, because you will not pull it off.

In music composition classes, there are many rules and chord progressions you must follow. These were all set years ago and if you are composing something, you follow the rules.

Have there been exceptions to this, where a great composer broke the rules? Yes, but that is a rare, rare exception.

The same goes for leadership and management skills and their application to conducting business. There are an accepted scope of actions that you should emulate. Good writing and speaking skills are key executive skills.

Taking liberty to be a non-conformist to that management framework is like playing “A flat” when you are in the key of “A” with the rest of the band.

Is there dissonance? Yes. Is there a great shock value? Yes. Will you be looked at as a great virtuoso who is so more magically skilled then the rest of the band?

99.999% of the time – NO, you’ll be looked at like some out-of-touch moron.

CARLINI-ISM: Executive skills should set a standard. Don’t play A flat in an A world. Stick to the music.

COPYRIGHT 2014 – James Carlini

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