First, the Bad News

Hagen meets WoltzI was watching Francis Ford Coppola’s classic adaptation of Mario Puzzo’s The Godfather the other day, and was again reminded of one of the lines that should be quoted more often than it is, especially for business owners. Early in the film, Tom Hagen goes to see the film producer Woltz to ask him to give Johnny Fontaine a part in his upcoming film. Woltz is holding a grudge against Fontaine, and doesn’t respond well to Hagen’s request. When he gives Hagen his final answer, Tom Hagen requests that his car take him directly to the airport. “Mr. Corleone is a man who insists on receiving bad news immediately.Mr. Corleone is a man who insists on receiving bad news immediately,” he explains. The scene occurs just before the famous horse head scene: astute aficionados have noted the bowl of oranges on the table during their dinner together at Woltz’s home.

Focus Your Strengths, Don't Fault Them

Scott BelskyI’ve had this article on How to Make Your Business Dream a Reality open in my browser for a couple of weeks now since I saw it tweeted. I kept it there thinking I should riff on it, and just didn’t get to it… until now. The article subtitle is “Coming up with ideas is easy. Executing on them is the hard part. These tips from Scott Belsky can help get you started.” Sounds intriguing, right? Unfortunately, he had me sneering when I hit point #1, which reads:

Hire the killjoys.
The first step to activating the Action Method, Belsky says, is to create an “immune system” that kills ideas. This means hiring killjoys to capture every action step and say no to new ideas — rightfully so, in most cases.

Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior

Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior Ori Brafman has previously co-written The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations along with Rod Beckstrom. I’ve previously mentioned the book a couple of times, and was looking forward to delving into Ori’s new book, Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior, written with his brother, Rom Brafman.  I was pleased when it arrived by FedEx, and I devoured it pretty quickly.

Comparing well with Blink and The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell, Sway, like Starfish, is well-written and entertaining as the Brafmans explain how people’s judgment is swayed in various contexts.  Recognizing the types of context in which one’s judgment is likely to be swayed can help avert poor decision-making.  As the old saying goes, “forewarned is forearmed.”