Horrible Bosses & the Power of Tchotchkes…

Wall Street & Washington, D.C.: two East Coast destinations that I’d like to avoid this summer. Alas, I simply cannot…despite the fact that I’m spending most of the season traveling through the rural splendor of the western U.S. for a client. For now, anyway, it’s good to be dealing with real people who have real values, in spite of the tough challenges that they (and my clients) face. Contrary to public opinion, common ground and solutions do exist.



Public Engagement is Golden…

…and Employee Involvement is finally getting its long-overdue “props.” By way of introduction, there’s little more to say about these articles other than that they’re two of the more compelling and convincing arguments in favor of authentic participation that I’ve read:




Make it Straight and Make It Simple

We’ve talked quite a bit about what makes for the most effective style of written and/or verbal communication. Research has found that ambiguity and complexity are not only bad, they make things worse:



Spotting “Horrible Bosses” in Real Life

What made the recent film “Horrible Bosses” so funny is that we’ve all had, have or can expect to endure at least one really horrible boss during our professional lives. Here’s hoping you either a) don’t have one or b) are not one yourself. Quotes from two of my own personal-favorite ex-bosses include: “This week we’re having another sales contest…the winner gets to keep his job,” and “If you won’t read my mind then I’ll find somebody who will.”

Following are a few “tells” to help you spot the body language of a horrible boss and, hopefully, buy yourself a little time to get that resume’ in order:



The Power of Tchotchkes

Twist your tongue trying to pronounce them (it’s “Chahtch-keys”) or simply call them by their most common handle – “Free Stuff.” Either way, they include the complimentary shoulder bag that you scored at last month’s trade show; the pen proffered by your insurance agent and the refrigerator magnet that came stuck to your calzone with some pizza joint’s menu on it.

In other words, tchotchkes are any one of the hundreds of gratis promotional doo-dads that come shamelessly emblazoned with someone’s name, logo and business information. Advertisers offer them with one simple goal in mind: to elicit ongoing recollections of people, products or places that they really, really want you to remember.

Surprisingly, tchotchkes are now almost as common in government as they are in business. Here’s what works and why:




Too Frequent, Irrelevant or Boring…

…and I’m trying very hard to make sure that these mailers are “none of the above”:



Don’t Just Take My Word for It…

“Thank you for a great opportunity to learn – it’s rare nowadays to walk away from an educational experience and feel not only enriched as a professional but also as a human being. Thank you for enabling a truly a powerful experience!”


Great Training…It’s Not Too Late! 

The two-day Emotion, Outrage and Public Participation course is being taught in Chicago on August 23 and 24, 2011 and you still have time to join us.  Remember, we’re always booking in-house classes, so contact me @ jdg@GodecRandall.com.

Upcoming dates for the IAP2 Certificate Course in Public Participation;

  • October 3-7 Santa Fe, NM
  • December 5-9 Washington, DC
  • January 23-27, 2012 in Phoenix

 I hope you can join us for one of these courses.  Please pass it on to anyone that you think might benefit. Other days will likely be added so check www.ExtraordinaryTrainers.com for the latest information, details and registration.

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