If You’re Going to J.Lo’s Party – Be On Time

June 1st, 2015

Some time ago, pop and American Idol star Jennifer Lopez celebrated her birthday with a very intimate dinner and party. But, according to a story in the New York Daily News, she was more bent than happy, that some of her guests were late.

I don’t know how high Gold Lopez is (it’s not her first Color) – I wasn’t even invited! But, according to reports, she was fuming that guests were late and was quite vocal in complaining about it. “Being late is the height of rudeness, and guests were still arriving at midnight,” was one of the quotes in the story.

Note to Jennifer Lopez: When you invite a bunch of people from the entertainment business, they’re likely to be high Oranges. Like all Golds should know: Relax and don’t make on-time the measurement of a successful party, or make it about you. Do what many Golds do for family dinners or parties (with only limited success): Tell them it starts an hour earlier and you’ll have a better chance they’ll be there for the “real” start time. Besides, once Oranges do arrive, it’ll be well worth the wait as the energy of the party will rise significantly.

Memo to The Media: They’re Green – Deal With It

June 1st, 2015

A few years ago, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper attended a performance at the National Arts Centre with Yo-Yo Ma. During the performance, he actually went up on stage, sat down at the piano, and performed the Beatle’s song – With a Little Help From My Friends.

The media went nuts. For a Prime Minister who has been accused of not showing his “human side,” whatever that means, it was certainly unexpected. In fact, Maclean’s magazine did a six page story on “the story,” and a few more columns over the following weeks.

The Prime Minister is a high Green. He is an economist, has a Green face (he’s not mad), he doesn’t have a so-called “hidden agenda,” and is a lot more comfortable behind the scenes than in front of the cameras. The performance was not some “human breakthrough,” or staged in order to make him appear softer.

When Greens choose to do something, they want to do it right…OK… perfect. The bigger the audience, the more pressure Greens tend to experience since credibility is one of their core values.

When Secretary of State Clinton got emotional during the 2008 primary Presidential in New Hampshire, it wasn’t phony or staged. When the Prime Minister performed the song, it was a focus on doing it right on the piano much more than doing it right for the media. And when columnist Andrew Coyne suggested that another Green politician rip up a prepared speech in order to speak from the heart, it’s not going to happen.

With both these Greens campaigning again this year, could the media please calm down, or at least get a basic understanding of Colors, and the values, behaviors, and incredible gifts that Greens bring to politics just as much as they do in leadership positions…in your office…and in your family?

Believe What You Want To

June 1st, 2015

Whatever our Colors, it appears that most of us do make many decisions based on feelings over facts.

A study by psychologist Dr. Drew Westen of Emory University found that any individual’s predisposition is, in fact, a perfect predictor of their final decision 84 percent of the time!

The vast majority of people, according to Dr. Westen’s study, make their decisions based on emotions much more than facts. Of course, politicians and advertisers have long known this (or think they know), but it now appears that this is much more on target than we may want to admit. His study also indicates that more often than not, we look to others who will agree with our predisposition, instead of honest feedback.

So it appears that no matter what amount of facts the average person is presented with, almost nothing will change their original position. It can also explain why perhaps we are often reluctant to change our positions on things, often until it becomes an absolute necessity. While Blues almost always make their decisions intuitively, perhaps the other Colors use the “Blue part” of their Colors much more than we may think. Of course, it probably isn’t necessary to point out, but Greens are likely exempt from this disposition.

Why You Should Stand Up In Meetings

April 14th, 2015

From Richard Branson’s website – spoken like a true Orange!
I’ve never been a fan of long meetings cramped up in offices. The aversion probably comes from countless stressful nights spent in boardrooms in the early days of Virgin, convincing the bank not to shut us down.

Living up to my love of screwing business as usual, I like to take a different approach to meetings. One of my favorite tricks is to conduct most of my meetings standing up. I find it to be a much quicker way of getting down to business, making a decision and sealing the deal. When given the opportunity I often like to take things a step further – literally, with a walking meeting. I sometimes even set myself a personal challenge of trying to come up with a plan of attack in the time it takes to walk around the block… five minutes, go!

A lot of time is wasted in meetings. Agendas get forgotten, topics go amiss, and people get distracted. While some circumstances call for workshops and more elaborate presentations, it’s very rare that a meeting on a single topic should need to last more than 5-10 minutes. If you stand up, you’ll find that decisions get made pretty quickly, and no one nods off! Plus it’s a great way to fit in a bit of exercise and stay focused on a busy day.

Another positive about meetings outside the boardroom is a lack of fancy tools, and instead an emphasis on real communication. If anybody ever puts the words they’re about to tell me up onto a screen, I’m tempted to walk out. Pictures yes, but PowerPoint presentations absolutely no!

Why Can’t My Blue Help?

April 13th, 2015

At least once every few months, a Blue lady emails me very hurt that someone she cares about seems to have shut down and shut her out. Her Blue wants to help heal the hurt and to be there for the other person.

Sorry – there’s very little they can do. Blues believe if someone cares about them, that person would want to talk it through, to have a shoulder to lean on, someone to talk it through with, and to be there for them. But guys, Colors aside, want to do something about it, and not talk it through. That would generally make them feel worse and not better and just build their frustration level. That really hurts a Blue person when they seem to get shut out. The constant thought that, if he cared about me, he’d talk it through with me, makes things worse and not better.
IF you’re a Blue in a relationship with an out of esteem other Color (see the Colorful Personalities book chapter) you need to make a decision: Put your life on hold or move on. If and/or when he has dealt with his problem, he may be back (depending on his Color). But, if so, it won’t be tomorrow afternoon – so you need to be prepared to wait it out on his schedule and not yours. He knows you’re there for him if he needs to talk…but he won’t.

That’s not only very difficult for a Blue to understand, but also to do. However, if you’ve been in that situation, you know that the more you push, the more resistance you’ll get, and the more distance comes between you and him. You need to stop hoping that he’ll turn into a Blue ‘wanna talk it all through’ person.

A Wikipedia & 60 Minutes Omission

April 13th, 2015

Two weeks ago, 60 Minutes ran a feature on Wikipedia. But these days, like everyone else, there wasn’t any mention of the first founding partner (along with Jimmy Wales) of the site! Greens always look for credibility and not the fame. But their contribution should never just be written out of history! Here’s the section on Sanger from the Colorful Personalities book:

Anyone with Internet access is familiar with Wikipedia, the huge on-line, free content encyclopedia. The idea was formed in 2001 by two friends as a site where everyone in the world could contribute articles, features and information in an open and unrestricted forum.

One of the original founders of Wikipedia was Larry Sanger. But within a year, Sanger left the company because he no longer believed in the credibility of Wikipedia when he started to question the accuracy and integrity of many entries and contributions. He walked away after disagreements with his partner as to who should be allowed to contribute to the site, even before it became the giant it is today. It was never about money, fame or success. It is always about credibility and doing it right.

In the words of Sanger himself: “Wikipedia began as a good-natured anarchy, a sort of Rousseauian state of digital nature. I always took Wikipedia’s anarchy to be provisional and purely for purposes of determining what the best rules and the nature of its authority should be. What I, and other Wikipedians, failed to realize is that our initial anarchy would be taken by the next wave of contributors as the very essence of the project – how Wikipedia was “meant” to be.”

What did the Green Sanger do? He developed a better and more credible site and launched citizendium.org. This site has firm editorial rules and mandatory disclosure of the real names of its editors, whereas Wikipedia allows anyone with a fictitious user name to contribute untraceable content.