Archive for the ‘Relationships – Loyalty’ Category

Ken gets a makeover … now, a“babe-magnet”

March 30, 2011

 Not me, silly …. Barbie’s “arm candy” in toyland.

I missed that Barbie dumped toy Ken in 2004, ending a 43 year relationship.  For the past 10 years, the jilted Ken toiled in obscurity.

Well, he’s back.

Mattel brokered a reconciliation between Ken and Barbie as part of its brand-marketing, sales-recovery strategy.

Ken’s remake has boosted the brand’s sales to $1.25 billion in 2010

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Excerpted from: BW Magazine, “Why Ken Is the New Babe-Magnet in Toyland”  February 10, 2011 BW Magazine

The world’s most famous plastic couple – Ken & Barbie — is getting back together.

Ken’shandlers revamped his image, giving him a Justin Bieberesque makeover complete with floppy locks, skinny jeans, and graphic T-shirt.

That landed Ken a scene-stealing part in Toy Story 3, restoring him to his previous status of pop culture icon.  The filmmakers cast Ken as a vain, leopard-print-wearing metrosexual. In one scene, Ken cries: “I’m not a girl’s toy.”

Ken now has his own Facebook page and Twitter feed (sample tweet: “Weekend Ken-fession: I may have knocked somebody over while walking and playing Madden on my iPhone this morning. My bad.”).

Beaming with confidence after his big-screen debut, Ken won his ex back with professions of love on big-city billboards and ads in Us Weekly. One message: “We may be plastic, but our love is real.”

Despite Ken’s breakout movie role and his growing ranks of Twitter followers, his future depends, as always, on the woman he loves.

He’ll stay in the spotlight “unless he does something to really upset Barbie.”

Rating Tiger's apology against "8 Simple Principles" …

February 22, 2010

OK, here’s the essence of what el Tigre said:

Standing at a lectern and speaking from a script in a slow, deliberate voice, Mr. Woods said,

“I was unfaithful. I had affairs, I cheated. What I did is not acceptable and I am the only person to blame.”

“I want to say to each of you, simply and directly, I am deeply sorry for my irresponsible and selfish behavior.”

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703787304575075051038318196.html?mod=WSJ_hp_mostpop_read

Reaction to his pitch was mixed.  Some saw it as sincere, some saw it as a control freak’s robotic infomercial — the first step to winning back endorsement deals. 

Tiger Woods must stop being a control freak

As always, Tiger Woods sought control on Friday morning.

His scripted apology for marital infidelity offered an unprecedented view of this idol in remorse, choking up, talking about healing himself through Buddhism, taking responsibility for selfishness. 

Fundamentally, though, he remained a hermetically sealed champ, making the statement entirely on his own terms, surrounded by a hand-picked audience, speaking as if from a pulpit, and correctly assuming that the media would lap up every unchallenged syllable. The 13-minute speech will pass a humility test only if graded on a steep curve.

Will his fall from corporate grace, his descent from the family-man pedestal, take his game down, too?

Woods has spent the bulk of his life, and all of his professional years, in a bubble of adulation.  He took for granted that his fans and his colleagues on the PGA Tour would behave like nobles in a Tudor court, genuflecting to a king whose power left them richer than they could have imagined and more intimidated than they cared to admit.

Now, those fans and fellow golfers routinely speak of him with either pity or disdain

 http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/02/20/SPVR1C4GJ3.DTL#ixzz0gAosmPCx

Bottom line: some bought in, some didn’t.

This is how Woods ended his statement: “Finally, there are many people in this room, and there are many people at home, who believed in me. Today I want to ask for your help; I ask you to find room in your heart to one day believe in me again.”

Whew, that’s a tall order. Believe in what?

The squeaky-clean Tiger Woods whom people believed in does not exist.

All that’s left is the two-faced, womanizing, narcissist Tiger Woods.

http://www.philly.com/inquirer/opinion/20100220_Editorial__What_is_there_to_believe_.html

How do you think Tiger did?  Awhile ago, I stumbled on “8 simple principles” for making a meaningful apology.  A nice grading key …

* * * * *

Nothing relieves the pain caused by a mistake quite so effectively as a genuine and unconditional apology.

There is simply no way to state strongly enough what a difference it can make in relationships.

The problem with most apologies is that they’re “CPI”  — Cheap, Premature, and Incomplete — “I’m sorry if I hurt you.” “Whatever it was that I did, I apologize.”

Here are some simple principles that can make an apology more meaningful.

  1. Understand first, then apologize. Make sure you really understand what has happened and what part you played in it.
  2. Talk to everybody involved. It’s not enough that you apologize to the person you hurt directly. You need to apologize as well to the people who know what you did.
  3. Be specific  … so it’s clear that you understand your mistake.
  4. Apologize unambiguously. Say you’re sorry, and  be careful not to qualify it at all. That’s why “I’m sorry if I hurt you” and “I don’t know what I’ve done, but I apologize” don’t cut it.
  5. Describe how your mistake has affected you. You may realize, for example, that someone you care about deeply has trouble trusting you now. If so, you need to describe that as part of your apology.
  6. Outline the steps you’re taking to avoid similar mistakes in the future. Concentrate on actual behaviors that other people should be able to observe. Then, walk the talk.
  7. Affirm yourself. If you don’t think you’re the kind of person who sets out to hurt people, you need to say so.  You need to state in clear and explicit terms that you think you’re a better person than this behavior would indicate. You need to describe how you plan to demonstrate that over the days and weeks ahead.
  8. Ask for forgiveness — but don’t  press for it quickly. You may even need to ask the other person explicitly not to forgive you too quickly so that forgiveness, when given, will be complete.

* * * **

Warning: just because the principles are simple doesn’t make them easy to apply.

For most of us, they represent a fundamentally different behavior, and changing behavior always feels awkward and uncomfortable at first.

* * * * *

Excerpted from “Apologize – and Make It Count!”

When You Apologize – Make It Count!

October 27, 2009

Ken’s Take: In a prior post, I cited some research that proved it’s good business for companies to apologize to customers they’ve wronged — that an apology goes way further than, say, a discount on the next purchase.

I also made a passing reference to how important apologies are in personal life, too.

Following the links in the original article, I stumbled on these “8 simple principles” for making a meaningful apology …

Nothing relieves the pain caused by a mistake quite so effectively as a genuine and unconditional apology.

There is simply no way to state strongly enough what a difference it can make in relationships.

The problem with most apologies is that they’re “CPI”  — Cheap, Premature, and Incomplete — “I’m sorry if I hurt you.” “Whatever it was that I did, I apologize.”

Here are some simple principles that can make an apology more meaningful.

  1. Understand first, then apologize. Make sure you really understand what has happened and what part you played in it.
  2. Talk to everybody involved. It’s not enough that you apologize to the person you hurt directly. You need to apologize as well to the people who know what you did. 
  3. Be specific  … so it’s clear that you understand your mistake.
  4. Apologize unambiguously. Say you’re sorry, and  be careful not to qualify it at all. That’s why “I’m sorry if I hurt you” and “I don’t know what I’ve done, but I apologize” don’t cut it.
  5. Describe how your mistake has affected you. You may realize, for example, that someone you care about deeply has trouble trusting you now. If so, you need to describe that as part of your apology.
  6. Outline the steps you’re taking to avoid similar mistakes in the future. Concentrate on actual behaviors that other people should be able to observe. Then, walk the talk.
  7. Affirm yourself. If you don’t think you’re the kind of person who sets out to hurt people, you need to say so.  You need to state in clear and explicit terms that you think you’re a better person than this behavior would indicate. You need to describe how you plan to demonstrate that over the days and weeks ahead.
  8. Ask for forgiveness — but don’t  press for it quickly. You may even need to ask the other person explicitly not to forgive you too quickly so that forgiveness, when given, will be complete.

* * * **

Warning: just because the principles are simple doesn’t make them easy to apply.

For most of us, they represent a fundamentally different behavior, and changing behavior always feels awkward and uncomfortable at first.

* * * * *

Excerpted from “Apologize – and Make It Count!”

Take the loyalty test …

July 8, 2009

From the summer read:
Why Loyalty Matters, Keiningham & Aksoy, Benbella Books, 2009

in prior posts, I highlighted 25 notable nuggets from the book and recounted the 10 Relationship DNA Factors (i.e “styles”)..

Here’s an acid test of loyalty:

Do your friends believe without a doubt that you convincingly demonstrate your loyalty to them? Specifically, do you

  1. Devote enough time to your relationships with them?
  2. Stand up for them when it is uncomfortable to do so?
  3. Celebrate their successes without envy?
  4. Support them during difficult times?
  5. Hold fast to information provided in confidence?
  6. Make every effort to carry out commitments to them, even when it requires considerable self-sacrifice?

Being truly loyal isn’t easy to do. 

Virtually all of us fall short in delivering true and comp,ete loyalty to friends and family.

The good news: there is always room for improvement.  Get started.

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What is your relationship style?

July 7, 2009

From the summer read:
Why Loyalty Matters, Keiningham & Aksoy, Benbella Books, 2009

in a prior post, I highlighted 25 notable nuggets from the book.

In my opinion, the most useful part of the book was a relationship framework based on the notion that each of us has our own relationship DNA that serves as the code for how we interact with one another. 

While  no two people are identical in how they connect with others, all are made up of the same 10 basic building blocks:

  1. Leadership
  2. Reliance
  3. Empathy
  4. Security
  5. Calculativeness
  6. Connectedness
  7. Independence
  8. Traditionalism
  9. Problem-focused coping
  10. Emotion-focused coping

Being high or low on a particular factor does not imply good or bad, since each factor has the potential to have both the positive and negative impact on our relationships, regardless of where one falls on the factor.

People have their own idiosyncratic relationship styles. We are able to build strong, loyal relationships with one another precisely because each of us is different. It is our differences that allow us to enrich each other’s lives.

* * * * *

Leadership is the ability to influence others to follow you voluntarily. Leaders have a general sense that they are in control of themselves and their surroundings, are motivated to achieve success, attain a comfort level interacting with others, and are not afraid to take risks. The leaders competitive spirit fuels ambition. Some people see this fortitude as a blessing; it alienates other people who see it as being too competitive and too aggressive.

Reliance describes how well a person trusts and attaches to people around him. Reliant people have a support web that is based on openness and accountability. They are willing to ask for help when it’s needed. Reliant people tend to have “deep” and long-lasting friends. People low in reliance usually try to solve problems autonomously without depending on others. They often have difficulty building long-term relationships.

Empathy is the ability to identify and sympathize with others. Empathetic people tend to have a more flexible outlook and appreciate people for who they are. This brings with it more friendliness and is inviting to others. Empathetic people are compassionate, kindhearted, and understanding. They see problems through the eyes and hearts of others. People with  low empathy create distance between themselves and others.

Security is a general sense of stability and comfort with oneself and one’s environment. It’s a feeling that things are going well and there is no need to worry excessively or be anxious. This leads to life with a lower amount of stress and pressure, and prevents being needlessly encumbered by a sense of the impending. Secure people are able to manage anxiety and stress successfully. Insecure people often feel “on the edge”, and think that things are either wrong, or are going to go wrong. Insecurity leads to worry.

Calculativeness is an attempt to control and promote one’s self image and create an ideal environment for personal benefit. Calculating people place importance on showcasing themselves in the right way.  So, they have an air of formality in their interactions, selectively articulate themselves to others (versus “being themselves”), and tightly control their self-presentation. Calculating people are often viewed as contrived, less sincere, and less worthy of complete trust. They are often perceived by others as unemotional and manipulative.

Connectedness is how one interacts with others on a personal level  Close and tight relationships typify the crux of this dimension. The feeling of connection to others forms the basis in the bedrock of happiness. People low in connectedness may be loners, or may be surrounded with casual friends — lacking deep and intense bonds.

Independence is marked by autonomy, self-discipline, and thoroughness. On the upside, independent people are rarely disappointed by others, since they usually take matters into their own hands. But, they often miss out on valuable opportunities by failing to capitalize on other people’s ideas and strengths.

Traditionalism reflects a desire for consistency, normalcy, and regularity. Traditionalists like to operate within their comfort zone, and are cautious when approaching truly unfamiliar situations. Traditionalists rarely flaunt their successes, instead preferring humility. As a result, they may sometimes be underrated and underappreciated. Of course, traditionalists miss out on new experiences that could potentially provide novel perspectives and excitement.

Problem-focused coping is taking a planned, reasoned and rational approach to solving problems, meeting challenges, overcoming obstacles, making choices, and withstanding the consequences of decisions. Problem-focused people dissect issues and examine them from multiple angles. They are sometimes viewed as coldly analytical and callous in their decision-making.

Emotion-focused coping tries to suppress or manage the emotions surrounding a problem, rather than the problem itself. Often, advice and comfort is sought from others.

* * * * *

Next up: The “Are you loyal? “ checklist.

* * * * *

Summer read: Why Loyalty Matters

July 6, 2009

Why Loyalty Matters, Keiningham & Aksoy, Benbella Books, 2009

This book positions itself as presenting “the groundbreaking approach to rediscovering happiness, meaning, and lasting fulfillment in your life and work.”  While the book falls short of that tall order, it did contain some insightful material,.

The central thesis of the book:

Loyalty binds us together as people, grounds us on principle, and breeds happiness.

Though a lack of loyalty is one of the major causes of failure in every walk of life, our culture seems to have decided that loyalty is an old-fashioned and unimportant virtue.  That’s wrong and needs to be fixed — the sooner, the better.

Below are 25 nuggets that I highlighted in my reading.

* * * * *

Ken’s 25 Nuggets from Why Loyalty Matters

  1. Being loyal is the manifestation of the deliberate choices we make in life.
  2. Loyalties are signs of the type of person we choose to be. They are the foundation of our character. They demonstrate what we value, what we believe, and what we want our world to be.
  3. Historically, loyalty was not optional. Ostracism represented the ultimate disgrace. A disloyal society was considered a selfish society.
  4. The world has shifted from a society of many deep, long-term loyalties to a society of  fleeting transactional relationships and ephemeral contacts.
  5. A Turkish proverb says “show me your friends, and I will show you who you are.”
  6. Loyalty differentiates friends from acquaintances. Loyal friends won’t abandon us when our need is the greatest..
  7. In a world of easily shifting loyalties, we are likely to find ourselves surrounded by a churning group of fair-weather friends.
  8. “It’s easy to get people to come to a party.”
  9. “A passion for the new quickly wears off, and the old shines through.”
  10. Close, supportive, connected relationships make for happiness, and people have fewer of these relationships today.
  11. Oprah says: “lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.”
  12. Loyalty is the hallmark of strong relationships and demands sacrifices. Few people will admit that they are not loyal; fewer believe believe that they are surrounded by loyal friends. Typically, we believe we are far more loyal than the recipients of our loyalty believe us to be.
  13. The dream of being a rebel who rejects the conventions of society will always hold some appeal in our imaginations.
  14. Real  loyalty endures inconvenience, withstands temptation, and does not cringe under assault.
  15. 25% of Americans report having no close friends in which they could confide things that are important to them. On average, a person has only 2 close confidants.
  16. Friendship =  loyalty, honesty, respect, trust, perseverance, intimacy, help, support, shared experiences.
  17. In this electronic age, some people build synthetic identities and environments. Their real lives and real friendships can’t compete with their fantasized virtual worlds. So, basic values and common humanity get diminished.
  18. Challenges to our self-image make us uncomfortable. But, “you cannot see the picture when you are inside the frame.”
  19. “Most of us remain ignorant of ourselves, because self-knowledge is painful and we prefer the pleasure of illusion.”
  20. Society cannot function and relationships cannot last if betrayal is the readily selected, probable outcome to every perceived grievance, disappointment, and inconvenience.
  21. Loyalty should never be unconditional. If your loyalty to a relationship influences you negatively, then the relationship is “toxic.” While it may be repairable, sustaining  in its current form will damage you.
  22. There is a difference between self-worth and self-absorption. Narcissism causes some people to devalue loyalty, by conveniently defining supreme loyalty as being loyal to one’s self. That is not a virtue!
  23. Loyalty requires a commitment to the future. When we fail, we must make every effort to restore what we have damaged.
  24. To forgive is not to condone.  In the end, forgiveness  may be needed to preserve a relationship. 
  25. Never, ever ignore your moral compass! Know the difference between right and wrong and adhere to it.

* * * * * *

Subsequent posts will ask the questions: what is your relationship style? And, are you loyal?

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