Monthly Archives: November 2011

Trick or Treat: Learning from the Ghostbusters Gang

I love Halloween. Something about the decorations, old horror movies on TV, make-believe, and candy all coupled in my favorite season of the year make it fun. And in keeping with that theme, I wanted to write a blog post that wrapped in some fun while maybe offering some good advice. So as I was reading my Twitter feed on one of my flights this week, I stumbled upon this graphic:

Check it out here.

I like the sentiment in here but would offer my own take on a couple of them. Let’s take them in order.

1. Don’t Be Afraid to Cross the Streams: I love this one. It could have said “1+1=3″ or “Teamwork Works” but I like the Ghostbuster spin.

2. Keep Your Ghosts Contained: I agree with the headline but not with their advice. I do not think you should contain the issues that bother you most. I think you should face your fears and deal with them. If you have ghosts that make you afraid of making a move or coloring outside of the lines then see a shrink but don’t stop pushing. Mediocrity kills the spirit.

3. Go With Your Gut: Amen. You have likely read “Blink” by Malcolm Gladwell but even if you haven’t there is much to be said for instincts. I say this with a grain of salt however because it can also get you in trouble, particularly if you think that an impulse is the same thing as an instinct. It is important to know the difference.

4. Get Approval From Your Higher Ups: Nope. I am all about “Ask Forgiveness Not Permission”. It may not be the best advice and certainly I have run into trouble for employing this but I have also had success with it. I do think that there are many cases where time is an issue and if combined with the last point, can lead you to amazing things.

5. Negative Attitudes Create a River of Slime: So true. I would add “Passive Aggressive People Suck” to that list as well. People, particularly in the digital age, have to rise above and try to work toward the good, keep personal issues outside of the office, and find the joy in being a part of a winning team.

6. Don’t Shy Away From Asking Tough Questions: Agreed. So often what I see inside my clients offices is a fear of saying something that might sound stupid or be contrary to what their boss thinks. What I also see is that most heads of businesses WANT this dialogue and NEED this dialogue. Remember that you were hired because someone thought you knew what you were doing. Prove that by questioning issues, in a constructive way.

7. Mind Over Marshmallow Matter: Again, I agree with what they say here but I would add that this is all about having a positive attitude. Too often, living inside of company limits for too long can limit what you feel is possible and therefore limits your imagination about what could be. Use your optimism, positive attitude and can-do spirit to never get stuck in the corporate sludge.

8. Be A Cheerleader for Your Employees: ‘Nuff said. If you are not hiring people smarter than you to work for you then think about why that is. If you are not doing everything in your power to highlight your teams success at every turn, ask yourself why not. I don’t know everything but I do know that the more I was able to raise my team up, give accolades and brag about them, the better I did as well. Leadership doesn’t mean hogging the spotlight – it means creating great teams that shine bright.

Happy Halloween!