Oh, My Goodness, is it Affect or Effect?

Oh, My Goodness, is it Affect or Effect??

You know it's got to be good when an article is originally written for and posted from Entrepreneur.com and then is reposted to a Harvard Business Review blog.  From there it is posted to a LinkedIn.com blog and then to my humble publication.  But here it is, a really good piece by Travis Bradberry, the award-winning co-author of the best selling book, "Emotional Intelligence 2.0", entitled "10 Misused Word That Make Smart People Look Stupid."

We all have a tendency to throw words around.  They can be big words, important words and many times they are not terribly important words that we run amuck with like--affect or effect.  Bradberry's article and the points he makes in regard to today's millennial's are just as valid as they are with many of today's senior executives as with new hires.  We've lost our ability to be as articulate as we once were.  This occurs in the written as well as the spoken form.  Many thoughts have been brought forward as the reasons for this and this posting is not to determine the cause but rather to bring the issue to the forefront.  And, this article does it simply and brilliantly.  

Everyone should take the less than 10 minutes to read this article and understand what Bradberry is saying.

I have included the original link and the entire article.





Poster's Note:  Sorry about the white void below.  I can't seem to find a way to eliminate the space in between the title section and the actual article.

10 Misused Words That Make Smart People Look Stupid

These misused words have a tendency to make even really smart people stumble. Learn them before they tempt you into looking bad.

10 Misused Words That Make Smart People Look Stupid
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We’re all tempted to use words that we’re not too familiar with. We throw them around in meetings, e-mails and important documents (such as resumes and client proposals), and they land, like fingernails across a chalkboard, on everyone who has to hear or read them.
No matter how talented you are or what you’ve accomplished, using words incorrectly can change the way people see you and forever cast you in a negative light. You may not think it’s a big deal, but if your language is driving people up the wall you need to do something about it.
It’s the words that we think we’re using correctly that wreak the most havoc, because we don’t even realize how poorly we’re coming across. After all, TalentSmart has tested the emotional intelligence of more than a million people and found that self-awareness is the area where most people score the lowest.
We’re all guilty of this from time to time, myself included.
When I write, I hire an editor to review my articles before I post them online. It’s bad enough to have a roomful of people witness your blunder and something else entirely to stumble in front of 100,000!
Often, it’s the words we perceive as being more “correct” or sophisticated that catch us by surprise when they don’t really mean what we think they do. These words have a tendency to make even really smart people stumble.

Ironic vs. Coincidental 

A lot of people get this wrong. If you break your leg the day before a ski trip, that’s not ironic -- it’s coincidental (and bad luck).
Ironic has several meanings, all of which include some type of reversal of what was expected. Verbal irony is when a person says one thing but clearly means another. Situational irony is when a result is the opposite of what was expected. O. Henry was a master of situational irony. In “The Gift of the Magi,” Jim sells his watch to buy combs for his wife’s hair, and she sells her hair to buy a chain for Jim’s watch. Each character sold something precious to buy a gift for the other, but those gifts were intended for what the other person sold. That is true irony.
If you break your leg the day before a ski trip, that’s coincidental. If you drive up to the mountains to ski, and there was more snow back at your house, that’s ironic.

Affect vs. Effect 

To make these words even more confusing than they already are, both can be used as either a noun or a verb.
Let’s start with the verbs. Affect means to influence something or someone; effect means to accomplish something. “Your job was affected by the organizational restructuring” but “These changes will be effectedon Monday.”
As a noun, an effect is the result of something: “The sunny weather had a huge effect on sales.” It’s almost always the right choice because the noun affect refers to an emotional state and is rarely used outside of psychological circles: “The patient’s affect was flat.”

Lie vs. Lay 

We’re all pretty clear on the lie that means an untruth. It’s the other usage that trips us up. Lie also means to recline: “Why don’t you lie down and rest?” Lay requires an object: “Lay the book on the table.” Lie is something you can do by yourself, but you need an object to lay.
It’s more confusing in the past tense. The past tense of lie is -- you guessed it -- lay: “I lay down for an hour last night.” And the past tense of lay is laid: “I laid the book on the table.”

Accept vs. Except 

These two words sound similar but have very different meanings. Accept means to receive something willingly: “His mom accepted his explanation” or “She accepted the gift graciously.” Except signifies exclusion: “I can attend every meeting except the one next week.”
To help you remember, note that both except and exclusion begin with ex.

Bring vs. Take 

Bring and take both describe transporting something or someone from one place to another, but the correct usage depends on the speaker’s point of view. Somebody brings something to you, but you take it to somewhere else: “Bring me the mail, then take your shoes to your room.”
Just remember, if the movement is toward you, use bring; if the movement is away from you, use take.

Bringing It All Together

English grammar can be tricky, and, a lot of times, the words that sound right are actually wrong. With words such as those above, you just have to memorize the rules so that when you are about to use them, you’ll catch yourself in the act and know for certain that you’ve written or said the right one.
version of this article appeared on TalentSmart.
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THAT G-D @#$%&$# Boss of Mine!!!!

THAT G-D @#$%&$# Boss of Mine!!!!

Ah!!  Now don't tell me there hasn't been a time that you haven't had thoughts like that.  Well maybe not using those exact words, but words that clearly express your dislike for your boss.  Tell the truth, we've all had them at one point in our lives.

Well Sue Shellenbarger of the Wall Street Journal has done it again in her indomitable style, with another of her great articles.  In this one, "The Best Ways to Manage a Demanding Boss."  Ms. Shellenbarger is one of the most incisive authors at the Journal.  I always try to read her columns!  If you don't you should.

I remember my first boss on my first full-time job out of graduate school.  We'll just call him by his initials, DB.  I hated him. He was the most demanding, intractable men I had ever met or dealt with.  Now the truth was -- this was my first job and I hadn't met that many bosses before.  So in reality he was actually pretty mild.  What he was doing was actually preparing me for the big bad world that lay outside my door.  But at the time, I didn't know or understand that.  I just knew he was miserable and cantankerous or so I thought.  But over the course of the next two or three years I came to realize what he had actually done for me and I came to appreciate what he had done for me.  But then, I certainly didn't.

Now after reading Shellenbarger's column, I don't and won't suggest that those demanding bosses don't exist, they do.  My more than 40 years in consulting can attest to that.  The suggestions she provides to deal with the scenarios contained in her article are actually quite good, so read up and learn from this wise woman.  Now there may be others, so if you have others, please comments so other readers, learn from you as well.




The Link and actual article from the Wall Street Journal are included!


The Best Ways to Manage a Demanding Boss

Don’t ignore—or meekly accept—the requests of demanding supervisors; negotiate a solution

It feels like a no-win dilemma: Your boss pressures you to finish project after project on deadlines that are too short, or expects you to respond 24/7 to calls, texts and emails.
Do you refuse and risk being seen as whiny? Do you just say yes—and jeopardize peace of mind and personal life?
Agreeing to unreasonable demands invites the boss to assume it’s OK to keep making them. Some coping strategies can make the problem worse, says Sheila Heen, a lecturer at Harvard Law School and co-author of “Difficult Conversations,” a best seller based on more than 20 years of research at the Harvard Negotiation Project.

Agreeing politely to a Monday deadline while thinking that it’s crazy and planning to finish Tuesday may lead the boss to start setting deadlines even earlier, to provide a margin of safety, says Prof. Heen. And dodging intrusive texts, calls or emails can cause a manager to pursue you even more aggressively.
A better route is to lay the groundwork for negotiating a solution. Mirror the boss’s sense of urgency, says Tim Allard, co-owner of Odyssey Inc., a Charlottesville, Va., executive and business consulting firm. A Type-A boss gets even more keyed up when an employee gives a muted, laid-back response to what the boss sees as an urgent request, Mr. Allard says.
“That doesn’t mean you have to become a raving lunatic like the boss, but you have to understand that for some bosses everything is a priority, and you have to reassure them that you get it,” he says. 

Some demanding bosses are desirable because their careers are on the rise and they attract the most exciting projects, advancing employees’ careers along with theirs.
Others, however, are anxious, disorganized or so focused on the next crisis that they aren’t able to keep track of what their employees are working on. Whatever the case, be prepared to explain the projects you’re already working on and how long they’re likely to take. 
When the boss tries to pile on another, ask for help setting priorities and deciding which projects to put on hold so you can tackle the latest one, says Cali Williams Yost, a Madison, N.J., workplace-flexibility consultant.
Beth Fisher-Yoshida, director of the negotiation and conflict resolution program at Columbia University, suggests looking for ways to modify the project, such as agreeing to complete part of it by the deadline and the rest later. Explore whether any of the work could be delegated to co-workers.

If it’s boundless access to your time the boss wants, negotiate some boundaries. One accounting manager deflected a stream of emails, texts and calls from her boss every evening by promising to check in and answer them at 9 o’clock every night, says Amy Cooper Hakim, a Boca Raton, Fla., management consultant who coached the manager.
Explain that good boundaries are relevant to your job: “In order for me to be most productive at work, I need to attend to other obligations when I’m away,” says Dr. Hakim, co-author of “Working with Difficult People,” which includes strategies for dealing with aggressive managers

When a new boss on a previous job asked Connie Thanasoulis to work every Saturday during the summer, she apologized and refused, saying, “I have things going on all the time—I’m in a wedding, I have a family barbecue,” says Ms. Thanasoulis, co-founder of SixFigureStart, a New York City career-coaching firm.
She managed to satisfy the boss by working 12-hour days during the week. “Sometimes it’s good to extend yourself. If you have a boss who is ambitious and doing exciting things, you can ride their coattails a little and learn a tremendous amount,” Ms. Thanasoulis says. 
Kristin Stone, of Yarmouth, Mass., was so stressed by a demanding boss on a previous job at a financial-services company that she did deep-breathing exercises when the boss pressured her and her team to win sales contests.
She made a decision to cooperate, however, because she knew the manager respected her, appreciated her hard work and would help her advance. “If you benefit by getting better performance evaluations and strengthening your own skills, there’s no loss for you—only a gain,” says Ms. Stone, who blogs about career management and other self-improvement topics at LifeLearningToday.com.
The boss soon promoted her, and continued to help advance her career for several years into new jobs under mellower supervisors.
Write to Sue Shellenbarger at sue.shellenbarger@wsj.com

Innovation and Productivity

The salmon colored newspaper, the Financial Times, the international version of the Wall Street Journal, recently reported that those companies who maintain their innovative practices have continued to be the most productive over the past 10 years, particularly in the services sector.  And guess what, those that have not been innovative have lost their productivity causing a widening the gap between the two groups of companies.  The innovative companies were referred to as the "frontiers" by the FT and those who were not as the "laggards."  Appropriate, huh!!

Stay tuned!!



Short Term vs.Long Term--What Really Works Best!!

All too often, whether you are playing the stock market or you are in business, you are confronted with the question of what is best.   Is it best going for the short term and getting those short term wins and not caring about how it effects your workers, and so forth or strategizing for the long term advantages.  An article today (December 27, 2016) in the Wall Street Journal about a study by two noted professors suggests that long-term has the potential.  The two professors hail from Boston University's Questrom School of Business and the University of Western Ontario's Ivey Business School.  Authors Caroline Flammer and Pratima Bansal, respectively, wrote "Does a Long-Term Orientation Create Value?"

This article is slated to be published in a coming issue of Strategic Management Journal.  A summation can be found in the WSJ article which I have appended to this post.  In companies where long-term executive incentive proposals were approved versus those rejected, the share prices jumped 1.14% on the day the measures passed.  Further details in the article and the study should provide you with fascinating reading.





Hi All--This is not a traditional post, but I wanted you to all to check out my new re-formulated web site at www.jacobson-solutions.com.  It was done with the outstanding help of the design team at www.davidsonbelluso.com.  I am really excited about it.  Still some work to do, but not enough to keep it from the world. 



I am just now coming across an article in Huffington Post called "Procrastination and Productivity: What Helps and What Hurts."  It was posted by Sarah Klein.


earlier this year; but with my procrastination I am just now getting to it.

One of the main sentences that struck me was "regular breaks throughout the day even just in increments of a few short minutes at a time, can improve focus, productivity and creativity, according to a 2011 study.    The study Klein refers to is one by Alejandro Lleras, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  Lleras claims that "at any point of time you have multiple concerns or thoughts you could be having.  It's difficult to maintain one particular (focus) for a long period of time.  If you break that pattern and force yourself to think of something else very briefly, when you go back to your task you get a refreshed focus." 

Well, all of this seems very nice, neat and a bit too pat for me.  I guess I'm too much of a cynic and perhaps too much of a procrastinator myself to believe it could be that easy.  Of course, the logic is there, but it was too simple.  So I decided to do my own (unquestionably unscientific study) on this.  I have been putting off a very specific task and procrastinating about this project for far too long.  My own web-site developer would only agree full spades with this.  If she is reading this, I am sure she would agree unquestionably.  So I decided to take this project and try and follow Dr. Lleras's advice to see if it worked.  Now in preparation for this experiment, I also read Sarah Klein's complete post in Huffington Post for which the complete link is provided above. 

The experiment starts...............

The rules I established were 1) I would stop every 60 minutes or sooner, so I set a timer on my iPhone to ring every 60 minutes at a minimum.  I took a walk around the house or read an article in today's New York Times, just to break things up., 2) I had my normal music on.  A shuffle from iCloud which is a mix of everything from classical to rock to vocal jazz to Broadway,  and 3)  I stayed at my desk with my normal working chair.

The experiment ended...........

I finished a significant segment of the work I needed to do quicker and easier than I expected.  I think the quality is pretty decent.  I'll wait to hear what my harried web developer says about that. 

So perhaps there is something to what Dr. Lleras and Ms. Klein have written and posted.

Procrastinators give it a chance.  You might end up being more productive and wouldn't that be novel!!!


The Long Lost Leadership in the Illinois Legislature -- Part 2

Some recent news for those of you following the goings-on in Springfield.  The governor, Pat Quinn has made a slight step in the right direction, calling the Illinois state lawmakers back to the capitol for a special session on June 19th. 

His impetus,  Fitch Ratings cut the state's credit ratings Monday and Moody's Investors Service did the same on Thursday.  It is now official, Illinois has the lowest rating among all of the U.S. states per the Wall Street Journal, with Moody's analysts quoted as saying the "legislature's political paralysis to date shows not only the magnitude of Illinois' unfunded benefit liabilities, but also the legal and political hurdles to legislation."   In plain speak, they're all a bunch of idiots!!  My interpretation of course. 

This shortfall currently amounts to $96.8 billion dollars.  That's right $96.8 billion dollars and the legislatures left without resolving it at the end of their term rather kicking the can further down the alley and not fixing the problem.  I guess their vacations were more important.  Now if the Governor had acted as the leader he should have, he would have done something similar to the approach I made in Part 1 of this blog.  He should have taken Messers Madigan and Cullerton into a room, locked the door and chained them to the table, not allowing them out until they came to a reasonable, fair compromise to this fiscal nightmare. 

That's what a leader would have done!  But no, not this bunch of clowns.  Now instead the taxpayers have to fund a special session of the legislature, because these three politicos could not get their act together.  I wonder how much this session is going to cost the taxpayers.  Maybe we should make Quinn, Cullerton and Madigan pay for it out of their own pockets.  I can only wonder what they would think of that proposal.