The Archangel PR [business] Blog

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Archive for January 2010

Great Leaders Inspire Trust

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Great post by Ray Silverstein.

Silverstein, a recognized small business expert, is president and founder of PRO: President’s Resource Organization, a network of advisory boards for small business owners.

Silverstein founded PRO in 1993, after selling his multi-million dollar tool and hardware manufacturing company. Today, he facilitates PRO groups throughout the Chicago area and in Phoenix. He has facilitated over 1,000 such meetings to date, making him one of the leading authorities on business peer groups.

I’ve copied the story below but click here if you want the original post on Entrepreneur.com.

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What does it take to be a compelling business leader? We hear all this talk about leadership styles but, really, is any one style preferable to the others? In my observation, there is no single, universally superior leadership style.

That being said, there are some universal qualities that successful leaders share, including the ability to inspire trust, the vision to move a company forward, and the foresight to provide the training employees will need to realize that vision.

Inspiring trust is critical. People are not willing to recognize someone as their leader unless they trust them, not just intellectually, but ethically and morally as well. Likewise, people won’t follow someone unless they’re convinced that person knows where they’re going.

When ask to define their leadership style, entrepreneurs often reply, “I lead by example.” What they mean is, “I work long, hard hours and will take on any task.” Leading by example is terrific, but it’s not the be all and end all. Employees aren’t dumb. They can recognize effective activity versus meaningless busyness. That’s why one of my favorite pieces of leadership advice is “don’t do well what you shouldn’t do at all.”

I suspect that leading by example may sometimes mask a fear of letting go. A true leader doesn’t just inspire trust, he or she returns the favor, trusting those who follow. To lead effectively, you must overcome your fear of losing control and allow others to step in. When an employee sees the boss has confidence in him, he becomes more willing to accept responsibility, therefore making a greater contribution to the organization.

Ironically enough, true leaders understand that their business requires more than one leader; someone other than themselves. They know that, ideally, every employee within an organization should take the lead in some situations. And–here’s the kicker–true leaders assume responsibility for training and guiding their followers into leadership roles.

I have a friend, a business consultant, who likes to talks about “the three Ps”: program, process and people. The program is your vision, your plan. To achieve it, you need to develop a process that allows to you achieve the desired results consistently. To see the process through, you need the right people, people who trust your leadership.

In other words, real leadership is not necessarily doing (i.e. leading by example) but creating a process where average people can consistently achieve better-than-average results.

One of the toughest tests of leadership is the ability to make personnel changes. Rather than do so, too many entrepreneurs will accept mediocre performance. True leaders are willing to make sure they have the “right people on the bus,” even if it means ushering some people off. If you are willing to tolerate mediocrity, what does that say about your leadership style?

Over the years, I’ve encountered many leadership styles with interesting labels: The Benevolent Dictator, Rah-Rah Type, Open Book Manager, Theory X, Theory Y, Autocrat, and Team Builder, for example. They all offer certain pros and cons, which I’ll be discussing in more detail in future columns.

More importantly, regardless of what your leadership style is, it can work, providing you employ people who are comfortable with it. And, of course, who trust you.

Finding an Agent…

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The age old question from most upstart actors and actresses is “How can I find an Agent?” or “How can I get signed with an Agent?”

There are literally TONS of sources and references for this kind of topic! Just Google the question and you’ll get more results and more “wisdom” than you probably ever care to have on the subject.

So, let me add a twist to the whole process if you’ve got that same question: FINDING an Agent is easy. They’re everywhere. They come in every shape, size, and color.

The real question you should ask is this: How do I sign with the Agent that is right for my goals and my future?

This is where a lot of potential actors and actresses trip themselves up. Let me be honest with you if you’re seeking an Agent: 95% of the time an Agent in Houston/Dallas/Austin/Atlanta etc will not get you “Hollywood” type work. These are big cities, but honestly, they’re not New York or Los Angeles. We live in the digital age and these places are “closer” than ever before, but LA & NYC are still the places where deals are made.

A lot of actors / actresses won’t ask that question, and most Agents won’t fess up to that fact. Houston Agents can and should get you local / regional work with a few nibbles at West Coast work… Atlanta Agents can and should get you local / regional work with a few nibbles… but it’s highly UNLIKELY (not impossible, but unlikely) that you will be in the next Hugh Jackman movie through your Dallas-based acting agency.

I know, I sound like a jerk. But the biggest complaint I hear from real-life Agents about unproven, inexperienced talent is that they’re looking to be the next Julia Roberts or Matt Damon.

So what would be a good starting point then?

1.) Find a quality agency (i.e. Houston: Pastorini-Bosby Talent) and start getting some experience on local commercials / voice-overs, etc.

2.) Follow the instructions on the agency site when contacting or soliciting for an offer of representation. If the site says “do not call”, then don’t call. That’s the quickest way for your headshot to wind up in a trashcan.

3.) Do not harass an agency / Agent. Pretty self-explanatory. Maybe they just have too many other folks that look / act just like you. Doesn’t mean you’re not great, but they have a ton of clients already and not enough work to go around.

4.) Market yourself! If you sign with an agency, your typical Agent has about 50-75 talented and tragically underpaid actors/actresses at their disposal (this is per Agent; an agency can have HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE JUST LIKE YOU.). Always have your headshot/resume with you and take some time each day to go check out Actors Access and sites like that to search for opportunities. Remember to always check with your Agent about those opportunities though and get them to see if the offer is legit so they can get you the most money for your services.

5.) If you’re an actor, you need to be acting. If you’re a writer, you should be writing. If you’re a musician, you should be out playing your instrument. It’s as simple as that. If you haven’t acted professionally in a play / film / tv episode in 2 years, but you still consider yourself an “actor”, please stop wasting your breath and an Agent’s time. You should be attending workshops at the very least.

Anyway… you could write entire books on the “right” and “wrong” way to start a career in entertainment. Actually, they have.

Remember to keep honing your craft and keep your head up. While you’re at it, check out my interviews with some great producers and it may just help you out even more!

One Year…

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If you were told an irrefutable truth that 1 year from now you would be dead, what would you do?

I know most would naturally ask, “How do I die?” For this moment look past that.

If you had one year left to live, what would you do? How would you spend your last year?

Would you wake up and go about in the same routine? Would you drag yourself out of bed and make your way to the job that you hate? Would you lock yourself in your house out of fear of the unknown? The questions abound: Do I go to church? Do I go back to church? Do I get angry at the world and plot to take people with me into the unknown?

Believe that for a moment there are no right or wrong answers.

If you could do anything, what would it be?

Where would you go? Who would you talk to? What new experiences would you try for the first… and last… time?

Would the grudges you have been holding for years suddenly seem so inconsequential? Would you lose all hope and end it now with the unknown an bearable given?

Could you find it in the deepest parts of yourself to embrace it and truly live life the way it was meant to be lived? Could you bring yourself to experience the unknown horizons and uncharted waters?

The truth is a truth that no one wants to admit: We do not know which day will be our last.

We make plans and build “toward the future” when in reality, our futures are never guaranteed. We are not promised a tomorrow. We are not promised success. We are promised nothing.

Here’s the damnable misery of it all: If we so choose, “nothing” is exactly what we will get out of life.

This is not an original concept at all. I am no philosopher. I am 26 year-old, small business owner. I don’t have a right or wrong answer for you. Only questions. So all I can speak about are my own experiences and thoughts.

The way I live my life is what most “logical” people call foolhardy. I think of my goals and dreams in terms of months, not years. I am defiant of the social-norm for life, love, and responsibility.

I am a family man through-and-through. They are a huge reason why I live the way I do. Don’t get me wrong, I try not to engage in foolish activities or unsafe practices (drugs, etc.), but I absolutely, without a doubt, live without reservation.

I have lost friends because of this. It’s sad. My heart truly breaks for the friends I’ve lost. Although I’ll offer an apology whenever someone believes that I have wronged them with my “stupid sense of urgency about all matters”, I do not apologize for wanting to embrace the life I have left.

However long that may be.

What about you? What would you do with your year? Where would you go? What do you think you would see? I honestly want to know, because you may give me a clue about where I’ll be headed.

Jonathan Fields, himself a family man and life renegade has a great blog up about making an impact. Do read it if you have a moment.

Neither of us invented these thoughts, but never the less these thoughts remain.

Let’s start sharing some thoughts on the subject…

Randal Reeder interview is UP!

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Again, my apologies. The software I was editing with suddenly stopped functioning correctly and my entire interview with Randal Reeder looked lost. That would have been a shame because it’s a great one (not in terms of my hosting, yuck!, but Randal’s thoughts are great!).

As always, you can view them on our channel by clicking here.

OR, because I’m nice:

Randal Reeder – Part1

Randal Reeder – Part 2

Finally!

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The iMac is back up and running. Apologies all! The Randal Reeder interview will be up soon!

Written by Jeremy Long

January 5, 2010 at 7:52 PM

Posted in Uncategorized