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Leadership’s Future: What You Can Do About It

by Miki Saxon

teflonMonday I wrote how people’s short attention span and memory plus general apathy enable the Teflonizing of brands that screw up, so that nothing sticks.

This is just as true of all the personal brands jousting for space on the planet.

Coincidentally to my plan for today’s post, Phil Gerbyshak Had a guest post Wednesday by Sally Hogshead, author of Fascinate, called Powerdrunks: How They Got That Way, and Why You Might Become One.

Sally’s explanation on what drives a power trip makes additional comments superfluous, so read that post before continuing with this one.

Sally gives good advice on how to stop yourself from becoming powerdrunk, but what of all those who are not only powerdrunk, but Teflon-coated?

Think Bob Nardelli, John Thain, others on this list, the jerk in the next cubicle who was fired only to surface at the cool company down the street or any politician/any party.

How do they do it? How, no matter what, do they come up smelling like a rose in another position of power?

Like companies, they take advantage of spin, but rely mostly on charm, too many managers’ intense dislike of the interviewing process, including on senior levels where, it is assumed, the recruiter has done most of the work, and selective hearing when checking references.

Teflon goes on layer by layer each time there are no consequences for the actions; most people function on the what you see is what you get, so eventually invincibility sets in and the whole Teflon process becomes self-fulfilling prophesy.

But what can you do when the decisions aren’t yours?

You can actively remember; actively means reminding others even when they don’t want to hear it. You can learn to be honest and still legal when giving a reference. You can care about those around you and protect them from powerdrunks. And if they are politicians don’t vote for them and don’t allow them to hide behind their ideology—even when it’s yours, too.

In other words, change your MAP, since you can’t change theirs.

Flickr image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/portland_mike/4588219036/

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