Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Alpha Advantage

The latest buzz about alpha males has spawned workshops and books geared toward both women and men who want to become more "alpha" in business. How can being more alpha help female entrepreneurs?

"Women need to stop waiting to be recognized and go after exactly what they want," advises Christopher Flett, author of What Men Don't Tell Women About Business: Opening Up the Heavily Guarded Alpha Male Playbook. "First, women need to stop competing to get on the 'guys' team. The only team in business now is profitability. Second, women need to stop attacking each other and speaking ill of others in the workplace. Finally, women need to stop inadvertently giving up their power to alpha male clients and colleagues."

Through his online program, Ghost-CEO, Flett offers guidance to women business owners, providing them with on-demand, downloadable coaching sessions. Women typically look to build consensus and make sure everyone's included, he says. "Alpha males call this 'henning.' By having this focus, [women] make concessions intended to bring people together, but instead, they give up their power."

"Women shouldn't be victim to today's business cultures," says Maria Bailey, founder and CEO of BSM Media, a $2 million marketing and media company in Pompano Beach, Florida, that helps companies connect with and market to moms. "If you act [as if] there is inequality, then you get inequality."
Bailey says two men can argue over business one moment, then be found on a golf course the next. "[But if] two women disagree, they both stew over it for weeks, taking it personally and getting emotional," she says.

Bailey, 44, thinks women get too emotional about business in general. "We fall in love with our ideas and companies," she says. "Look at how few women entrepreneurs have an exit strategy. So many women call their companies their babies. What woman would get rid of her baby?"
Nathan Kwast, managing member of BecomeAlpha, a global organization that "teaches the arts and sciences of social dominance," believes that women don't understand the "power of neutrality." Says Kwast, "[Women] mistakenly believe that blind aggression and displays of dominance are necessary to attain power. They choose being perceived posi-tively over grabbing for power, when, in reality, they can have both."

What can women entrepreneurs learn from alpha males? "Men are great at getting to the point and not internalizing issues," says Bailey, who learned long ago never to cry at work. "[Crying is] a sign of weakness," she explains. Instead, "When I feel upset about a professional issue, I always ask myself, 'What would a man do?' And then I ask myself if it's me creating the situation or really a situation to worry about."

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

The Most Effective Mobile Marketing Tips

Mobile marketing is the new wave of marketing that allows businesses to access their potential consumers at almost any point in their day. Due to the accessibility allowed to consumers by mobile devices of all kinds, businesses can now capitalize on the digital age in a more direct way than ever before.

Build exclusivity and status into your mobile marketing. Mobile devices themselves have become aspirational. Phones, tablets and even some mobile apps have become symbols of status. Follow suit with your mobile marketing by offering exclusive content to your mobile readers or downloads only available to those who have subscribed for mobile messaging.

Compared to general Internet marketing, mobile marketing must be short and specific. For example, when targeting users on desktops, it is fine to use a banner ad that points to the main page of your web store. However, on a mobile ad, even if you manage to get users to visit your website, the vast majority of visitors will not spend time browsing your website. It is far more effective to choose a specific product, and use a concise message that links them directly to a purchase page.

Promote! Promoting your mobile call to action is one of the most important things you can do to be successful with mobile marketing. Your intentions may be good, but if no one signs up, they will all be for nothing. Place your call to action on any existing marketing materials you use, your social networking sites, direct mail, email, and have employees in the store tell every single customer.

Check out your website and other associated pages from your mobile. Does it look good? This change came on the internet fairly quickly so many websites are not optimized to be viewed from mobile devices. If you do not have a mobile version of your website, you should look into making one soon.

Your mobile ads must be short and sweet or the customer will delete! Customers do not want or have the time to scroll through lengthy messages. Keep your ads as brief and concise as possible to increase the chances of it being read and of customers purchasing your product!

Make sure your mobile marketing campaign works across all mobile platforms. To run a successful campaign, you don't want to leave a large part of your audience without the availability to see your ads. You also don't want to discourage them by running an ad that they can see, but doesn't function properly on their device. Make sure your campaign is available on all platforms, and test it for functionality before you email it.

Failure to make your mobile marketing cross-platform capable, will cost you dearly. The variety of mobile devices available is staggering, and there are multiple platforms to be compatible with. Your ad campaign should target iPhones, Android devices, Blackberry, Windows mobile and tablet devices.

Now that you have a full understanding about mobile marketing and how it can benefit your business, you can take the first steps toward increasing your visibility. The advice within this article can be a stepping stone to the world of mobile marketing and increased profit potential for your business.

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

Article Content For Your Blog

blog secretArticle Content For Your Blog

Original and Fresh Content is not as easy as it sounds. We are talking about unique information that will move people to your site. See, the problem with many companies showing up on the top page today is that their pages are optimized for Google with a combination of nonsense sentences and keywords. So, my approach is, why not build a website that actually is optimized for humans?

When you do this, you are automatically taking care of the optimization for Google. Come on people, we all know that Google has game and they’re increasing their technology every day finding ways to get rid of this “optimization” deal. Google is always on the side of the users and never the advertisers keep that in mind.

Guess what, once you have original and fresh content, people are going to want to visit your site and link to your site. Hey, we just took care of Popularity as well. I’m not saying you do not have to work on the link exchange thing but promise me that it will be minimal. Also you want to stay away from link farms, link exchange offers and paying for links.

So I hear that question, how else am I going to bring links to my site? The answer is content. Write articles, submit it to article sites. Prepare a PR, submit it to Prweb.com. Believe me; all these will bring links to your site. All you have to do is, mention your website at the end of these articles and make sure you link to your site with your advertised link text.

Now you are thinking, “That’s it; I have the content and the links, I’m the king of Google”. That would be wrong. Always remember that while you are doing content and popularity, there are a million competitors doing that and more. So you want to Maintain your content. You want to update it every week so every time Google spiders come to visit your site, they find new useful information. Keep up with daily life and updated news.

For example, if you sell farming supplies and the price of grain goes up, you should write an article and put it in your site. Also publish those articles on other articles sites. You can find these sites easily with a “article submit” search on Google.

Connecting Your Posts To The Markethive Social Network Ecosystem.


My Markethive System

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

Donald Trump Has Mastered These 5 Psychological Tactics to Get Ahead

For many people, it’s surprisingly easy to dismiss “The Donald” as a moronic blowhard. From his bombastic remarks to his over-the-top lifestyle, he often comes off as little more than a rich bully pandering for attention. But is he really?

You don’t need to be a genius to make millions, but billions is a very different story. Billions is not an accident, and I don’t believe for a moment that his success in the presidential race is either. Rather, I believe we’re seeing a master class in showmanship from a very intelligent businessman.

Here are five psychological tactics that Trump is using to rocket himself to the top of the polls:


1. Make people underestimate you.

Making yourself seem smart is easy. Read lots of books, learn to speak eloquently, dress well — if you look and act the part, most people will take you at face value. But tricking smart people into thinking you’re an imbecile, even though you’re secretly brilliant — now, that’s hard.

Why would anyone want to do this? Because it gives them a rather useful advantage over their opponents, and Trump is a strategist at heart. He knows that if his opponents don’t take him seriously, all sorts of great things can happen: they may not prepare as well for debates, work as hard to win certain states or pay attention to what they’re saying as carefully as they should.

Takeaway: What looks like a mistake may be nothing but a feint, and if your opponent fails to keep their guard up because they don’t see you as a threat, you can mop the floor with them before they know what hit them.

2. Know who you're speaking to.

Trump’s wealth comes from real estate, which is an industry that involves constant negotiation. One of the first and most important facets of negotiation (not to mention politics) is to understand, as deeply as you can, the people on the other side of the table.

There’s an enormous amount of demographic data on voter turnout out there, as well as a massive number of blogs and social-media outlets available for data mining and sentiment analysis. Suffice to say that Trump knows who he’s speaking to, what their hot buttons are and how to get them riled up.

Beyond that, he says what’s on his mind (and more important, what’s on the mind of many Americans), and doesn’t pull any punches. To put it simply, he seems very real and very human.

Your typical politician is the exact opposite: they’re polished, careful and very much politically correct. Many of them come off as sleazy, cold and corrupt, with plastic smiles and limp handshakes. Politicians have a bad rap for a reason, and a great many people have learned not to trust them.

Takeaway: If you want to win, you need to know your audience, and gain their trust.

3. Be polarizing.

Did you know that Howard Stern is worth somewhere north of $500 million? Do you know how he made that money? By pissing lots of people off. Advertisers pay based on the number of viewers or listeners for a show, and Stern learned early on that the people who hated him actually listened to his show more than his fans.

Trump is no stranger to show business, and he understands this principle well. If you try to please everyone, you please no one. But if you try to please a specific group of people, you will absolutely make others angry, and that can be surprisingly good for business.

Takeaway: Taking a stance that will make some people angry is great — it gets you more attention, more press coverage and more fans (or in Trump's case, voters).

4. Ask for more than you want.

Anyone who has ever haggled for something knows that the first offer is nothing but a starting point for negotiations.

Trump gets this, and his opponents clearly do not. He throws things out there that seem ridiculous if taken at face value (build a wall, throw out all the "illegals," etc.), but if you keep in mind that he’s tossing out starting points, that changes things dramatically. Trump is almost certainly happy to accept far less than his opening offer, but he wants to control the range.

Takeaway: The person who makes the first offer gets to control the psychological range of the haggling, much as the person making the first move in chess gets to set the initial direction of the game.

5. Use misdirection.

Trump is loud, brash, and seems to get riled up fairly easily. I’m pretty sure it’s nothing but a carefully orchestrated act. In fact, watching Trump, I’m reminded of watching videos of con artists and mentalists such as Apollo Robbins.

Takeaway: The ability to control what people focus on puts you in a position of immense power. You can throw people off their game, send them on wild goose chases or rob them blind. In the case of Trump, you can lead your opponents and the media around by their noses while winning over the masses.

At the end of the day I believe that Trump is a brilliant showman and businessman, and there’s a ton to be learned from watching him spin his web. But there’s a great difference between being the CEO of a company and the president of the United States.

A president is an envoy, a representative of the people and a diplomat above all else. Who we put in that office tells the rest of the world a great deal about what we value, the type of behavior we respect and how seriously we should be taken.

Is Trump the right person for that role? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

This article was written by

Entrepreneur Contributor

 

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

Rebirth of Email Is Coming in 2016 – Really?

Email marketing was ignored, under-resourced, and declared uncool and dead during the rise of social media.

email marketing

Now that leased media is morphing into paid media, and paid media is morphing into blocked media, brands are returning to permission-based email marketing to find that it has new synergies, powerful new capabilities, broader integration, and fresh blood.

Prediction #1: We’ll see many more positive media stories about email marketing than negative in 2016.

It has always been the workhorse behind eCommerce, but now email marketing has become a driving force behind content during the meteoric rise of content marketing. Thanks to advancements in personalization, dynamic content, and predictive analytics, email newsletters have become “the new homepage,” in the words of Contently’s Jordan Teicher.

The Rise of Mobile

Email marketing has also become central to mobile strategies. Reading email has been a top activity on smartphones for a long time, and the growing adoption of responsive email design is boosting smartphone conversion rates to make the most of this opportunity. This holiday season has been a breakout one for mobile shopping and the momentum will carry into the New Year. Beacons, geofences, mobile bar codes, and app behavior triggers will further intertwine email and mobile in 2016 and beyond.

Prediction #2: The majority of email opens will occur on mobile devices in 2016.

Prediction #3: The majority of brands will use responsive design for their marketing emails in 2016.

The Integration of ESPs

Email marketing is also benefiting from broader integration across business functions, thanks to more than $6 billion in acquisitions of major email service providers (ESPs) over the past few years by Salesforce, Oracle, IBM, Adobe, and others. Rather than experiencing a wave of consolidation, where ESPs buy other ESPs, the email industry is experiencing a wave of integration, where ESPs are being melded into customer relationship management, digital marketing, and enterprise resource planning suites.

Prediction #4: Another major ESP will be acquired in 2016 by a software titan.

Together, these advancements have elevated email marketing’s stature and put it on a clear path to achieving the 1-to-1 marketing paradigm, as brands are increasingly empowered to facilitate customer journeys and maximize lifetime value. But it’s not just that it’s getting well-deserved attention again—email marketing is actually kind of cool again.

Whereas the email industry suffered an exodus of talent to social media and mobile during the mid-2000s, now there’s an influx of new talent, most notably from the world of web development. This fresh blood is driving the industry in a new direction, one where emails don’t always act like simple gateways to landing pages.

Sometimes the email will facilitate more of a customer interaction before the clickthrough to the destination, whether it’s through hamburger menus, email carousels, embedded video, or live Twitter streams—and sometimes the email will be the destination itself, where subscribers can take action or convert without leaving the inbox.

Pioneered by innovative companies like Rebelmail, interactive email experiences will bring new energy to the industry over the next 12 to 18 months as familiar web experiences make their way into the inbox.

Prediction #5: The first brands will offer checkout experiences that are fully contained within emails in 2016.

The cumulative effect of all of these developments is that email marketing will experience a second coming of age during 2016. It will be a time of accelerating competitive advantage for brands that are committed to investing in high-ROI subscriber-centric strategies. And it will be a dangerous time for brands whose resource-starved email strategies have never matured beyond batch and blast.

If you believe that my message is worth spreading, please use the share buttons if they show at the top of the page.

Stephen Hodgkiss
Chief Engineer at MarketHive

markethive.com


Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

Having a CRM system doesn’t mean you no longer have to pick up the phone!

 

  In many types of businesses a salesman is required to close sales. This is not only true for big ticket items like cars and airplanes, but a myriad of different types of businesses too numerous to be named.

Even for most of the items on your grocery store shelves, a salesman probably was involved to get the supermarket manager or chain, interested enough to provide shelf space for that particular product at some point in time. Even though new automation marketing may provide prospect data and up to the minute d detailed information on how your prospects interact on your website, this information alone will usually not close the sale.

 

This is quite obvious basic information, of course, but no company with a CRM system (Customer Relationship Management) software should be unclear that the CRM software is merely a tool to provide additional data for the salesperson, and to help find the prospects who are ready, willing, and able to buy at the current time.

 

Face to face visits, (when possible), phone calls, Skype calls, webinar events, presentations, etc. are where sales are made. Everything else is just background to the actual sale. Sometimes the amount of data can be a little distracting, but keeping all eyes on the prize should prevent this.

 

The relationship between the salesman and the customer is the most critical one a business has, and all the advertising in the world, cannot substitute for the personal relationship that exists there.

 

Sales and marketing managers also need to make sure that this fundamental level of contact with the customer is taken care of. Tracking calls, visits, and all of these one-to-one connections with prospects is just as critical as the detailed information you receive from a CRM, if not of greater importance. CRM systems, once costly propositions restricted to entrerprise-level companies are now highly affordable, even for the smallest business.

 

For more information, click the link below. click here —-> Affordable Automation for Everyone  

Related articles

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

Blogging Tips in MarketHive and Elsewhere

For all you budding Bloggers here in MarketHive. Once you have posted your article, display the post and use the Share buttons to send it around the Internet … Use StumbleUpon, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn etc.. I also use Buffer, as it allows me to share it once and then it sends it Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn all at the same time. I mention this as I see many posts with 0 views and this means that you have not even shared it once to your own social media accounts.
 
 
 
How to Blog Almost Every Day
  1. Read something new every day. …
  2. Talk with people every day. …
  3. Write down titles and topic ideas in a notepad file. …
  4. Maintain a healthy bookmarking and revisiting habit. …
  5. Find 20-40 minutes in every day to sit still and type.
  6. Follow an easy framework. …
  7. Get the post up fast, not perfect.

If you believe that my message is worth spreading, please use the share buttons if they show at the top of the page.

Stephen Hodgkiss
Chief Engineer at MarketHive

markethive.com


Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

I would actually bring this to a party and/or social gathering

I would actually bring this to a party and/or social gathering
Super Easy Mexican Crockpot Casserole

This is a follow up to my last blog post “Fairly Easy Chickpea, Lentil, Brown Rice & Broccoli Crockpot Casserole” as this week I made “Super Easy Mexican Crockpot Casserole” by Alexis.  Below is her recipe which I copied from her website.
 
INGREDIENTS
  • 1 cup long-grain brown rice
  • 2½ cups vegetable broth
  • 1-15oz can black beans, drained
  • ¾ cup chunky salsa
  • 1 cup frozen corn (I used Trader Joe's roasted corn)
  • 1 large bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1¼ tsp cumin
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese (or more, to taste)
  • Avocado, for topping
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Place all ingredients except cheese and avocado in a 5-qt crockpot. Cook on high (covered) for about 2½ hours, or until rice is cooked through and most of the liquid is absorbed.
  2. Turn off crock-pot. Stir in cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with diced avocado and more salsa on top.
NOTES
Adapted from my Super Easy Chickpea, Broccoli and Brown Rice Crockpot Casserole
 
I recently bought measuring spoons and a measuring cup to do these recipes.  I did everything listed above.  I substituted one 15 oz. package of Fig Food Co. Black Beans instead of a can as it has less sodium.  I also used pink Himalayan salt instead of regular salt.

It took me exactly three hours to cooks this in my crockpot.  Below is my three hours later picture.

The title of this blog post is “I would actually bring this to a party and/or social gathering.”  I am impressed how well it came out.  I can see myself bringing this to a Super Bowl or a work place gathering.  It would be interesting to hear what others thought of it.  I am proud of myself for making this.  Below was my lunch this past Monday and it was just recipe alone.

While cooking the recipe I used the leftover vegetable broth and made Quinoa.  I don’t want to toss anything away.  It cooked well and added the leftover salsa to it.  I put this in a separate container and added this to my lunch Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.  It was a good combination however I would only feel comfortable sharing with others what I had on Monday.

Next week, a recipe that came with my crockpot.  This Sunday I will make Vegetable Curry.

All the best,

Alan
Alan Zibluk
e-mail: alan@internetguy.ws
 
 

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

The MarketHive RSS WordPress Plugin

markethive wordpress pluginThe MarketHive RSS WordPress Plugin

This plugin uses the "Really Simple Syndication" system, a file format that is incorporated by Internet users in their websites to allow for 'web syndication', making their web content available in a format that can be universally understood by other people.

In essence, the Plugin is a 'mini database' that contains headlines and descriptions (a summary or a line or two of the full article) of your web content, including hyperlinks that enable users to link back to the full article of their choice.

Websites that use the MarketHive Plugin – that is, websites that contain MarketHive generated 'feeds' (articles or postings) – typically have colorful graphics and YouTube links to indicate to users that the specific web content is available in the associated feeds.

The graphics in the plugin may be hyperlinked or not and the MarketHive Plugin is now being adopted and used by more website owners and publishers.

Today, numerous resources are now available that aid Internet surfers (and even beginners as well) on how to set up and use MarketHive. After joining MarketHive, the RSS Plugin is available and your feeds can now be added to your website. The simple process does not involve a lot of time or any money or technical ability. Listed below are some simple and basic steps that you might want to follow:

1. Have your web content and/or news in MarketHive available now in RSS feed format on your website.

Sample: See http://brian-walters-online.com/markethive-news-feed/

2. Take note of your MarketHive username as this enables the feed.

3. Install the MarketHive RSS WordPress Plugin and configure it as a Widget on your own website.

4. Having created for your website, next comes the task of publishing your web content and news and having them displayed on other sites and headline viewers. You can also add posts your MarketHive friends are making and have them posing on your MarketHive WordPress Plugin.

5. Click on the "MarketHive Setting” in the Settings Menu of WordPress. This will generate the feed for your web content.

6. Allows users to have control over the information that they wish to view or receive, as they can remove a feed of their choosing any time they want to.

Aside from these benefits, using the Plugin is a useful way for people who conduct their business in the Internet, particularly in Internet or Online Marketing. The Plugin can be an effective marketing tool for your website, especially in the following fields:

· E-mail marketing and publishing

· Search engine marketing and optimization

· Business blogging · Internet advertising

· Digital public relations

· Branding and e-commerce

In addition, the Plugin can 'power' your website, providing you with the following:

· Valuable, updated, and relevant resources for site visitors and potential clients – The Plugin is ideal for websites that contain (and syndicate) a lot of information that has to be changed or updated regularly.

· Search engine optimization for the website. · Increased traffic for the website – your website can 'harvest' and display information from other sites, driving more traffic to your own website.

· A reliable way to have your web content delivered to Internet users and potential clients – The Plugin ensures that your site is viewed by the people who are interested in the posts without having them blocked and 'cleaned' by ISPs or Spam filters.

These are just some of the advantages that MarketHive RSS WordPress Plugin can give your website (and your business). The possibilities are endless, as more and more comes up almost every day.

Do not be left behind – take the advantage of the marketing and publishing power of the MarketHive Plugin.

Article:

Brian Walters Contact me:

Skype: tuneup_bj

MarketHive

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

Why Lawyers Become Bad Leaders

Why Lawyers Become Bad Leaders
Or…Stop putting lawyers into political leadership, Congress, Senate, Presidency!

Lawyers rank low in terms of perception as being honest and ethical, yet make up a majority of US presidents and half of Congress. Does the study of the law result in bad leaders?

There is also a mismatch between the traits associated with leaders and those associated with lawyers. Although what constitutes effective leadership depends on context, certain qualities are rated as important across an array of situations. The best-documented characteristics cluster in five categories: vision, values (integrity, honesty, an ethic of service), personal skills (self-awareness, self-control), interpersonal skills (social awareness, empathy, persuasion), and technical competence (knowledge, preparation, judgment).

Not all of those qualities are characteristic of lawyers. For example, they tend to be above average in their skepticism, competitiveness, autonomy, sense of urgency, and orientation to achievement. Skepticism, the tendency to be argumentative, cynical, and judgmental, can get in the way of what President George H.W. Bush famously dismissed as the ”vision thing.” The need to ”get things done” urgently can lead to impatience, intolerance, and a failure to listen. Competitiveness and desires for autonomy and achievement can make lawyers self-absorbed, controlling, and combative.

Lawyers also rank lower than the general population in interpersonal sensitivity and resilience­—their difficulty in accepting criticism. Lacking ”soft” interpersonal skills, they tend to devalue them and see no reason to acquire them.

Another problem arises from what researchers call the ”paradox of power.” Individuals reach top positions because of a need for personal achievement, so they often don’t focus on helping others achieve. If left unchecked, the ambition, self-confidence, and self-centeredness that often propel lawyers to leadership roles may sabotage their performance once they get there.

If you're a lawyer, you've heard it before: Americans don't much like you!

A recent Gallup poll finds that less than a fifth of Americans rate lawyers highly or very highly

in honesty and ethical standards, above members of Congress and car salesmen. According to a Pew Research Center poll, honesty is the most important leadership trait.

Although honesty is not a characteristic commonly associated with lawyers, Americans place lawyers in leadership roles  in much higher percentages than other countries do. According to one study, only one nation, Colombia, has  a higher share of lawyers in the national legislature. The legal profession has  supplied a majority of U.S. presidents, and in recent decades, almost half of the members of Congress. Although they account for just 0.4 percent of the population, lawyers are well represented as governors, state legislators, judges, prosecutors, and heads of corporate, government, and nonprofit organizations.

What explains that paradox?

The distinctive influence of American lawyers reflects several factors. First, the centrality of law in American culture. The country's longstanding tendency to frame questions of social policy and morality in legal terms has  elevated lawyers to positions of authority. As de Tocqueville famously noted, "In America there are no nobles or literary men, and the people is apt to mistrust the wealthy; lawyers consequently form the highest political class  and the most cultivated circle of society."

Because lawyers functioned, in de Tocqueville's words, as the "American aristocracy," many upwardly mobile individuals who  aspired to public influence chose law as their career. As law became associated with positions of influence, those who  were  interested in leadership increasingly saw it as the occupation of choice. President Woodrow Wilson captured prevailing wisdom when he noted: "The  profession I chose was politics; the profession I entered was the law. I entered one because I thought it would lead  to the other."

Law and politics are what researchers call "convergent professions" because they require similar functions; skills in investigation, drafting, procedure, and oral advocacy work to the advantage of lawyers who  seek public office.

It is ironic, then, that the occupation most responsible for producing America's leaders has focused so little attention on that role.

Rarely have lawyers received training for governance. Although leadership development is now a $60-billion worldwide industry, it is largely  missing in legal education. Even the minority of law schools that include fostering leadership among their objectives rarely offer courses in the subject. Only a fifth of large  law firms have formal leadership-development programs. An Amazon search yields  some 74,000 leadership books, but only a handful focusing on lawyers.

Two reasons the occupation that produces so many of the nation's leaders has  done so little to prepare them may  be that the field  of leadership studies has  only recently emerged, and that its reputation has  been tarnished by pop publications. "Leadership lite" includes classics such as Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun and Toy Box

Leadership: Leadership Lessons From the Toys You Loved  as a Child.

Another obstacle to preparing leaders is the assumption that great ones are born, not made. Yet contemporary research suggests that most leadership skills are acquired. And decades of experience with leadership development indicates that its major capabilities can be learned. In effect, as James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner note in The Truth About Leadership, "the best leaders are the best learners."

There is also a mismatch between the traits associated with leaders and those associated with lawyers. Although what constitutes effective leadership depends on context, certain qualities are rated as important across an array of situations. The best-documented characteristics cluster in five categories: vision, values (integrity, honesty, an ethic of service), personal skills (self- awareness, self-control), interpersonal skills (social awareness, empathy, persuasion), and technical competence (knowledge, preparation, judgment).

Not all of those qualities are characteristic of lawyers. For example, they tend to be above average in their skepticism, competitiveness, autonomy, sense of urgency, and orientation to achievement. Skepticism, the tendency to be argumentative, cynical, and judgmental, can get in the way of what President George H.W. Bush  famously dismissed as the "vision thing." The need to "get things done" urgently can lead  to impatience, intolerance, and a failure to listen. Competitiveness and desires for autonomy and achievement can make lawyers self-absorbed, controlling, and combative.

Lawyers also rank lower  than the general population in interpersonal sensitivity and resilience— their difficulty in accepting criticism. Lacking "soft" interpersonal skills, they tend to devalue them and see no reason to acquire them.

Another problem arises from what researchers call the "paradox of power." Individuals reach top positions because of a need for personal achievement, so they often don't focus on helping others achieve. If left unchecked, the ambition, self-confidence, and self-centeredness that often propel lawyers to leadership roles  may  sabotage their performance once they get there.

A case  study in the limitations of lawyers as leaders involves the role of Ted  Olson and David Boies in bringing the federal case  challenging California's ban on same-sex marriages. The case  arose after California voters narrowly passed Proposition 8, amending the state Constitution to limit marriage to unions between a man and a woman. Olson and Boies,  two of the nation's most accomplished lawyers, were  hired by a political strategist and a Hollywood producer to challenge Prop 8. Boies  and Olson knew that leaders of gay-rights organizations were  opposed to a federal challenge but did  not consult them before filing suit.

In justifying their decision to proceed, Olson told The New Yorker, "There are millions of people in this country who  would like to be married—in California, in Arkansas, wherever. Some couple is going to go to some lawyer, and that lawyer is going to bring the case. And that case  could be the case  that goes  to the Supreme Court. So, if there's going to be a case, let it be us. Because we will staff it—we've got 15, 20 lawyers working on this case, and we have the resources to do it, and we have the experience in the Supreme Court."

It was hardly a disinterested decision. Olson and Boies  clearly had something to gain from being lead  counsel in a case  of such prominence. Many gay-rights leaders were  furious, and a joint statement by the American Civil Liberties Union and eight prominent gay-rights organizations condemned the lawsuit. The odds of success were  weak because the "Supreme Court typically does not get too far ahead of either public opinion or the law in the majority of states," the statement said. "We lost the right to marry in California at the ballot box. That's where we need to win it back."

The controversy over Boies  and Olson's actions continued once the federal trial judge in the case issued an order specifying topics for the parties to consider. He identified a wide  range of matters in which gay-rights groups had expertise, and three of them attempted to join the lawsuit as interveners. Boies  and Olson blocked those efforts, in order to retain exclusive control over the litigation.

They got lucky.  The sympathetic trial judge issued a factually well-supported ruling that California's ban on same-sex marriage violated the U.S. Constitution. Then California's governor and attorney general declined to appeal the ruling, leaving the defense of Prop 8 in the hands of activists who  had put it on the ballot. That paved the way for the Supreme Court to rule  that the

activists lacked standing to challenge the lower  court's ruling. The result was to let the decision overturning Prop 8 stand, and to grant same-sex couples the right to marry in California, while avoiding a decision on the constitutional question.

Although the outcome was a happy one, there is much to dislike about the process by which it was achieved.

Boies  and Olson pursued a high-risk strategy against the advice of groups that had the greatest expertise and stake in the outcome. Most observers believe that a low-risk strategy of challenging Prop 8 at the ballot box would have been successful, as polls  suggested that California voters had changed their views on the ban. Such a strategy would have exposed the gay-rights movement to less risk of an adverse Supreme Court precedent while  accomplishing the same result.

That is not to deny the accomplishments of Boies  and Olson as litigators, the advantages of having a prominent conservative like Olson supporting gay marriage, or the social commitments that underpinned their actions. But it is to underscore the difference between effective lawyers and effective leaders.

A quality of successful leadership is the capacity to work collaboratively. The most-effective leaders are those who  can see past their own ambitions and desire for limelight. In Peter Drucker's phrase, accomplished leaders "think and say 'we.'" Enduring legacies are left by those who  transcend personal needs and consult widely  in pursuit of common values.

 

Deborah L. Rhode is a professor of law at Stanford University and director of its Center on the Legal Profession. Her most recent book, Lawyers as Leaders, was published by Oxford University Press.

How Entrepreneurs and Lawyers Think Differently


Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member