Monthly Archives: December 2014

Book Design in Word or InDesign?

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I get a lot of manuscripts in Microsoft Word. Fair enough, as Word’s Track Changes feature is the gold standard for the editorial process. However, once we move from editing to actual typesetting and book layout, Word is horrible. It essentially treats everything (and I mean everything) like a continuous line of text. Graphics placement is a bear, columns and tables are cumbersome, and dependent files are unreliable.

Enter Adobe InDesign (ID). Back in my yearbook days, this was Aldus PageMaker. Adobe bought the company and we now have the ghost of PageMaker present in InDesign. I love the program. It’s much easier to do book layout in an application that treats everything spatially as ID does. No, there aren’t many editorial capabilities for copy in ID, but we’re talking layout here.

Here are some of my favorite comparative reviews from over the years:

Why use InDesign instead of MS Word?

Book Design: MS Word vs. Adobe InDesign

Document Design: Word or InDesign?

 

Negative Feedback, Effectively

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From Harvard Business Review – Your Employees Want the Negative Feedback You Hate to Give

What is clear is the paradox our data reveal, no matter how we slice them. People believe constructive criticism is essential to their career development. They want it from their leaders. But their leaders often don’t feel comfortable offering it up. From this we conclude that the ability to give corrective feedback constructively is one of the critical keys to leadership, an essential skill to boost your team’s performance that could set you apart.

Transformational Leadership

My PhD work at Clemson involved a great deal of organizational theory, and I ran across a quick motivational photo on LinkedIn that reminded me of Bernard Bass’ Transformational Leadership model.

Here’s the image:

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Though not verbatim, these 5 characteristics best describe Transformational Leadership (TL).

First, let’s explain what TL is not. It isn’t charismatic leadership – bending the will of your employees or colleagues by sheer force of charm or mesmerizing them. I saw this sort of leadership at play in a former career, where everyone was jumping on the bandwagon to take the FranklinCovey seminars and become masters of their day-planners. It was a charismatic movement. Individuals were trained by the FranklinCovey staff and given a captive audience of colleagues to teach. These trainers became gurus, and inspired their students to become trainers as well. The focus seemed to be more on the process, product sold, and the individual teaching moreso than the content or mastery itself.

So what is Transformational Leadership?

It is based on 4 moral components:

  1. Inspirational motivation
  2. Idealized influence
  3. Individualized consideration
  4. Intellectual stimulation

It is further based on 3 moral aspects:

  1. Moral character
  2. Ethical values
  3. Morality of the process

I remember a quote from a case study: the purpose of the leader is to “enable others to thrive.” Not to cast the spotlight on oneself. The focus is on the process and the goals, getting there as a team, and activating team members’ higher-order needs.