The (overdue) death of the (unreformed) alpha

Overly masculine leadership styles are under siege like never before these days. Yesterday’s hard driving, high achiever with a sense of urgency and a ruthless streak has just two options – change or take cover.

(Mitch McCrimmon in How to Tame the Alpha Male Leader)

OK, I may not be the best barometer on this one, but I reckon there are few things more annoying in the workplace than other people trying to dominate and control.

It drives me nuts.

I don’t like being told what to do at the best of times, but least of all by an egomaniac enthralled with the cult of their own personality.

I am talking about the workplace alpha: an individual who needs to dominate and control other people at work.

Angry Man

That’s my definition, not the official one.

Continue reading

Posted in Management, Other work stuff | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

HS2: OK, but only if it’s not about the north-south divide

I want to write this post to make clear my views on HS2.

Recent ventures into Twitter using #HS2 have left me feeling misunderstood.

My views are nuanced, and trying to argue nuance on Twitter is like trying to insert responsible journalism into The Daily Mail: square pegs / round holes.

HS2: a funnel into London

HS2: a funnel into London

In principle I like the idea of having a network of dead fast trains that link up the UK’s main city regions and key infrastructure hubs.

But the debate has become political. It’s not a factual discussion about trains and regional development any more, it’s white-hot with emotion and laden with hyperbole. The more I read, the more I feel manipulated rather than informed.

Continue reading

Posted in Politics | Tagged | 1 Comment

We invent words because we need them, get over it

It was a slow news day at The Guardian yesterday.

Illustrative example #1: They led with two (2!) stories on the Great British Bakeoff (here and here).

Illustrative example #2: They had a fake photo-story on the life of young Prince George (here).

I felt physical pain as I scanned that dreadful Prince George piece.

I can find better content clogging up my Facebook feed or by randomly trawling through Tumblr.

Heads up Guardian: I expect much higher quality than this nonsense.

Then there was this: An A-Z of modern office jargon.

Oh no, though I, surely they’re not going to do one of those dreadfully predictable pieces on how we’re all running stuff up flagpoles to drill down on the key issue before close of play?

Surely, even in these tough times, The Guardian still pays an Editor to stick this sort of no-brainer crap onto the back burner?

It seems not.

Continue reading

Posted in Communications, Writing | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Organizations can tweet, but only people can blog

This video from the State of the Net conference is worth watching.

It’s the keynote from Euan Semple, author of Organizations Don’t Tweet, People Do.

I like this, and want to agree with it, but I’m not sure I do.

Continue reading

Posted in Blogging, Communications | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Anti-social media

I read this Huff Post article on annoying Facebook behaviour (which, as far as I can work out, was written by the Wait But Why blog).

Being a tad opinionated and intolerant myself, I was immediately in ready agreement with much of it, but there were some bits and pieces that felt a little mean-spirited, and made me think about how we use social media and how it compares to the more traditional social space.

Facebook NewsfeedThe central premise of the article is that status updates that only serve the author are annoying, and that updates that serve the reader aren’t (even if they also serve the author).

Continue reading

Posted in Communications, Other work stuff | Tagged , , | Leave a comment