Friday, 2 September 2011

Newsletter Issue 206, September 2011

Sam Young Newsletter

Issue 206, September 2011
Hi guys,
What acts of Courageous Leadership have you experienced? Would you know it if you saw it? Read on below.
Which do we use? What should we use? Check out the OED Grammar Tip below.
Don't forget, if you want to be taken off my mailing list, click here to send me a reply e-mail and I will remove your name.

Courageous Leadership

In the last issue of this newsletter, I wrote about courage and leadership; but in the direction of making moral judgements. So I thought that a little foray into just what courageous leadership was might be in order.
According to Daft (2005, p. 237), courage means "asking for what you want and saying what you think". It means that we will speak out in order to influence those around us. Daft talks about the "Abilene Paradox" (2005, p. 237) which is our very human tendency to NOT speak our honest thoughts, so that we don't hurt others - or because we want to please others. The "Abilene Paradox" is the product of author and scholar Jerry Harvey. He wrote up the story of how four of his family decided to drive to dinner in Abilene, Texas on VERY hot day.. just when the car's air conditioning wasn't working. After a miserable trip, everyone admitted on their return they hadn't wanted to go, but went along to please everyone else. Each family member thinking that the others had wanted to go. So courage is indeed "asking for what you want and saying what you think" (Daft, 2005, p. 237) (you can read about Jerry's work at
But equally, courage is also about accepting responsibility for our own failures, weaknesses, shortcomings and mistakes. True courage is not about being blind to our own faults, but acknowledging them and trying to improve them. It is understanding that every day, we can all improve.
However, I don't think that ends what courage in leadership is about. If we try to envisage someone who is a really courageous leader, we tend to think of those who fight for what they believe. They fight for their particular desired outcomes - opposing unethical conduct, injustice, inequality, a better way - that will benefit many more than merely themselves; in fact, often, they themselves will not benefit. Think Mahatma Ghandi. Think Nelson Mandela. Think Joan of Arc.
In order to be able to fight, courageous leaders tend to be non-conformist. They see beyond our current world, and into an ideal world of the future. Courageous leaders tend to see their vision so clearly that it is easy for them to influence their followers, and convey their vision, so that followers see it and are inspired by it.
Because they fight, and because they are non-conformist, courageous leaders will push beyond their own comfort zones, and get past fear. Amazing acts of bravery, often undertaken by ordinary people, but in extraordinary times.
We have many examples of courageous acts of leadership in our modern business world. Anyone who has heard a whistle-blower's story (ie, employee disclosure of illegal, immoral or unethical practices in the organisation) will understand the courage it takes to keep the flag aloft until the world is ready to hear you. Think those who blew the whistle on the tobacco industry. Think the women who uncovered Enron's dirty little secrets. Or you could check out the Fox News Investigators' story at (Achbar, Abbott & Bakan, 2003).
Courage. It is an amazing human quality that we should all honour.
Daft, Richard L. (2005). The Leadership Experience. USA: Thomson-South Western.
Achbar, Mark, Abbott, Jennifer & Bakan, Joel (2003). The Corporation: Fox News Investigators. Retrieved from

OED Grammar Tip

In a recent Oxford English newsletter, they had a tip about which should be used in a sentence: 'that' or 'which'. Many people use that, where they should be using which, so I have decided to repeat this tip in my newsletter.
In many instances, both words are equally correct in UK (NZ) English:
  • "She held out the hand which was hurt
  • "She held out the hand that was hurt
"In these [two examples above], that and which are introducing what’s known as a restrictive relative clause.
"This is a clause containing essential information about the noun that comes before it. If you leave out this type of clause, the meaning of the sentence is affected – indeed, it will probably not make much sense at all. Restrictive relative clauses can be introduced by that, which, whose, who, or whom.
"The other type of relative clause is known as a non-restrictive relative clause. This kind of clause contains extra information that could be left out of the sentence without affecting the meaning or structure. Non-restrictive clauses can be introduced by which, whose, who, or whom, but you should never use that to introduce them. For example:
  • "A list of contents would have made it easier to steer through the book, which also lacks a map.
  • "She held out her hand, which Rob shook.
"Note that a non-restrictive clause is preceded by a comma (so as to set off the extra information), whereas no comma should precede a restrictive clause (indicating that the information is essential, not extra):
  • "I bought a new dress, which I will be wearing to Jo's party. [non-restrictive]
  • "I was wearing the dress that I bought to wear to Jo's party. [restrictive]
  • "I was wearing the dress which I bought to wear to Jo's party. [restrictive]"
Thanks to OED for clearing that up. Oxford English Dictionaries (2011). Grammar Tip: 'That' or 'which'?. UK: Author. Retrieved 12 August 2011 from

Continued... Footer Tip

Using headers and footers to show page numbers, dates or document names are pretty normal things we can do in our documents. But sometimes, we need something more.
If, for example, we wanted to have "Continued..." in our first page footer to tell readers that there’s more information on following pages, we can use fields to do that. There's a bit of a trick to this though; we have to 'nest' three fields. And this is how we do it, using { IF }, { PAGE }, and { NUMPAGES }.
  1. First, open the footer (in Word 2007/2010, double-click to open; in 2003, View menu | Header and Footer and swap to footer)
  2. Enter the appropriate nested field, as follows:
    1. Position the insertion point in the footer where you want the text to appear
    2. Key Ctrl & F9
    3. Type "if" (case doesn’t matter)
    4. Key Ctrl & F9
    5. Type "page"
    6. Use the right arrow key to move to the right of the next }
    7. Enter "<" (less than), eg {if{ page }< }
    8. Key Ctrl & F9
    9. Enter "numpages"
    10. Use the right arrow key to move to the right of the next }
    11. Enter the text you want to display, enclosed in double quotation marks, eg {if{ page }< { numpages }”Continued…”}
    12. Select the entire nested field and key Ctrl & F9.
If the current page isn’t the last page, the text will accordingly appear in the footer. When your current page is actually the last page, the text doesn’t appear. Surprisingly easy, isn't it.

TLAs for SMEs

Here are this newsletter's TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms) for you:
  • RAK, Random Acts of Kindness. Where a selfless act is performed by a kind person to help or cheer up a stranger, for no reason other than to make the stranger happier.
  • BRIC, Brazil, Russia, India and China. A grouping acronym for economics referring to countries at a similar stage of development, ie Brazil, Russia, India and China, which are predicted to have a significant global impact in the near future.

Please feel free to email me with any TLAs that you want to get the bottom (meaning!) of.

Tips, Short+Hot Keys
In this newsletter, we look at all you can do with the Escape key:
  • Access, Excel, Frontpage, Outlook, PowerPoint, Publisher, Windows, Word "Cancel an entry, operation or selection" Esc
  • IE "Stop downloading a page " Esc
  • Windows Media Player "Hide the menu" Esc
  • Access, Excel, Frontpage, Outlook, PowerPoint, Publisher, Windows, Word "Display Windows Start menu" Ctrl & Esc
  • Outlook, Windows "Move to the next open window" Alt & Shift & Esc
  • PowerPoint "To select an object, Esc if embedded within text, Tab key to cycle forward (or Shift & Tab to cycle backward) through the objects until sizing handles appear." Esc & Tab
  • Publisher, Windows "Switch to the window of another open program" Alt & Esc
  • Windows "Display Run dialog box after displaying Start menu" Ctrl & Esc And Then R

Hot Linx
For the workplace just now considering reducing the management process, check out
If you are using an iPad, and want to use it to show a PowerPoint presentation, you can get LogicInMind's Slideshow Remote™ for PowerPoint for $4.99 in the App Store. Go to
Again, if you are using an iPad, and want to edit pdfs, you can get Goodreader for $4.99 in the App Store. It also allows you to annotate your pdfs (and txt) files and it will sync with Dropbox or remote servers. Go to

                                Catch you again soon!! E-mail your suggestions to me here

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