Brian Gongol Show on WHO Radio - February 14, 2010

Brian Gongol

A lot of people seem to want overnight success, fame, and riches. It's the mindset that's leading lots of people to do stupid things for reality television shows, among other things. But it ignores a simple truth: Lasting success is a matter of getting the little things right with mind-numbing consistency.

One of the best ways to get those little things right is to learn to think like the boss. It's astonishing yet altogether too common to see people disclosing things that should remain private via Facebook (exposing them to the scrutiny of their bosses and potential employers). "The boss" may be stupid, may be nosy, may be overbearing...but until a person learns to account for how the boss is thinking, he or she is going to have a real uphill battle trying to get anything from a promotion to a year-end bonus.

Similarly, if you're the boss, you have to think like the customer. That's probably why there's some appeal to that new TV show, "Undercover Boss." People, as customers and employees, realize that bosses often don't seem to understand how things "really work." And this is borne out by our own practical experience:

Google really screwed up with its launch of Google Buzz this week...lots of people are really upset with the way it treated their private contact lists. Someone needed to consider -- a little more deliberately -- what it would have meant to reveal people's contact lists to the world without taking the equivalent of a deep breath and a step back first.

Federal elected officials seem not to understand how to think like the taxpayer as they rack up $12.35 trillion in Federal debt. They are quite clearly not comprehending the impact $40,000 per person in debt has on each of us.

Try using Twitter sometime and printing out what you see on the screen. It comes out a jumbled mess that rolls out over page after page. Again, it's as though nobody has stopped to use the service as a customer would.

Bad news: Symantec (makers of the popular Norton Antivirus software that keeps many computers safe) has committed to closing its in-house community for discussing security threats and migrating it to Facebook. Bad move, since no company should count on services like Facebook, Twitter, or MySpace to be their primary "face" to the rest of the world.

Good news: Pressure-sensitive mobile-phone screens are on the way!

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