Book review: The Little Red Book of Wisdom

Imagine a public relations firm whose philosophy is “tell the truth at all costs”. Not possible? Not for Mark Demoss, founder of PR firm the Demoss Group. He created exactly that.

His book The Little Red Book of Wisdom contains boulders of practical guidance packaged in interesting, nugget-sized chapters. Half of the book specifically addresses the business world and the second half covers personal matters a refreshing change from the typical success-manual mode.

Like The Demoss Group itself, The Little Red Book of Wisdom is atypical on every level: unapologetic-ally Christian, Demoss manages to frame his philosophies biblically without preaching or moralizing. Instead, he illustrates his points with personal experiences and current events in a conversational style that’s easy reading for harried executives.

But this isn’t a sappy read: with chapters like “Do Something So Difficult, You’ll Never Want to Do It Again”, and “The Best Defense is a Good Defense”, Demoss challenges readers with time-tested philosophies that he personally practices. Not one concept is overwritten: if Demoss can cover it in a couple of sentences, he does.

The Little Red Book of Wisdom deserves a place on every leader’s desk, for short bursts of inspiration on the long road of service.

Meredith Healey is a single mom, so she needs all the self-improvement she can get. She blogs about her progress at

Leadership done right

I (guest blogger Chris Hammer) help new and aspiring leaders fast-track the learning process; successfully navigating the challenges and uncertainties that come with the task of managing others.

And a common mistake I see with new leaders is that they too often try to jump in too quickly without establishing a solid framework for who they want to be as leaders and what they want to accomplish (and why they want to accomplish it).

Too often the new leader will try to assert his or her authority too quickly; changing systems and delegating tasks without really thinking it through. This often sets up power-struggles and/or sets the leader’s reputation on shaky grounds.

I’ve noticed that exceptionally good leaders take time first to observe – to really understand the past and present workings of their environment, and to understand the explicit and implicit lines of influence and sub-cultures that have evolved over time.

So the first step to being a good leader is exploration: take the time to observe, and ask more questions and give fewer answers.

Also think about what leadership skills you already have, and work to develop these further. Think about leaders you admire, and identify what common traits and behaviours they have – and work to emulate these.

Conversely, identify what you notice about poor leadership – and make a point to steer away from those practices! Leadership ability is a skill that can be developed; Masters in Public Administration degrees provide teaching to help develop leadership skills.

This is a guest post by Chris Hammer. Refer to the free ebook and articles on for more ideas, and check out the “Be a Leader” ebook for the rest of the steps!

The 3 “C’s” of Leading with Confidence

It is the rare human being who can maintain confidence 100% of the time. Even the best of leaders experience dips in confidence from time to time, from context to context and from situation to situation.


The key is building your ‘confidence’ muscles.

I believe confidence can be cross-contextual. By that I mean having success in one area of life can be used as a reference point from which we can borrow confidence while we build it in that new area of our personal or professional life.

To raise the bar on your confidence as a leader, I’d like you to offer you 3 concepts to focus that can provide a roadmap for creating higher levels of confidence in whatever endeavor you are embarking on, and especially in your role as a leader:

Certainty – Certainty is defined as the state of being free from doubt or reservation, destined, sure to happen, inevitable, bound to come. Certainty is how confidence is projected by leaders and it’s a skill that also has to be developed along with confidence. Certainty comes from experience and through developing your beliefs and values about yourself, your role as a leader, the world, your organization, the marketplace, etc. One of the key skills to nurture to develop your level of certainty is perspicacity or a keenness of mental perception and discernment, which helps in decision-making and problem solving.

Clarity – Many years ago I attended a workshop by Anthony Robbins and one of the most powerful things he said that day I’ll never forget. His message was “clarity is power.” I’ve learned over the years that is a very true statement. Without clarity its tough to see where you are going and a leader without clarity is not much of a leader.

There are many contexts a in which leader needs clarity, which can be overwhelming.  This is why I want to start at home by having you focus on key areas first to build your confidence and certainty as a leader:

• Your Leadership “Identity”
• Your Strengths
• Your Areas for Growth and Development
• Your Team Strengths and Talents

Capability – This is defined as having power and ability, being efficient and competent. And, there are six fundamental areas leaders need to not just be capable but must master:

• Influencing communication skills
• Visionary thinking
• Decision-making
• Problem-solving
• Delegation
• Emotional Mastery

This is a guest post by Skip Weisman, The Leadership & Workplace Communication Expert. He helps organizational leaders create high performing, positive work environments with teams of employees who communicate effectively, work successfully together in teams, and who love what they do as they contribute to their organization’s overall purpose. His company, Weisman Success Resources, Inc. is based in Poughkeepsie, NY. You may contact him directly with any questions, or for a complimentary Strategy Session at 845-463-3838 or e-mail to

This post was featured in the That Girl Is Funny.

The magic of mentoring

There are many benefits to mentoring, and some of the biggest benefits are how the mentor grows as he gives.

A couple years ago I reported the figures below, which I found on the Big Brothers / Big Sisters website.  I have no idea how these figures were determined, but they certainly are believable. A child with a mentor is:

  • Become a mentor80% more likely to finish high school
  • 46% less likely to use drugs
  • 27% less likely to use alcohol
  • 52% less likely to skip school

The website also reported on numerous other happy benefits of mentoring, which really is an exercise in community-building at the micro level.  Mentoring is an investment, not a cost.  It’s an investment in helping the mentored grow and reach his full potential, and it is equally an investment in helping the mentor grow – because there is so much potential in the mentor waiting to burst out, as well.

That’s right, you grow at least as much by mentoring as by being mentored.  You learn valuable leadership skills that you can’t learn through books or courses; leadership is learned only by doing.  You learn management skills, similar to leadership skills in many ways, and also learnable only by doing.  You learn problem-solving skills, because you are helping the mentored person solve his problems.  You learn interpersonal communication skills, too, which is pretty obvious.

Most of all, you learn to give of yourself.  This is not a skill, so much as a virtue.  It is what makes each of us a better person, when we help someone else, and that is something as important as any skill we can learn.  After all, why do we exist if not to help each other?

It has been said that when we reach a hand out to help someone else, to pull someone else up, we lift two people with that one arm.  Talk about miracles!