Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Accidents of Youth (1819)


Through a series of short stories and wonderful engravings, this book is aimed at keeping young people out of trouble and “calculated to improve [their] moral conduct”. As the author declares in his/her brilliantly earnest preface addressed to the child reader of the book:

My Dear Children, The inexperience and thoughtlessness natural at your age exposes you to many dangers : I have therefore pointed out some of them in this book, which contains several instructive little histories, in which you will behold the misfortunes that arise from disobedience and want of thought. When your parents desire you not to climb upon the chairs, or touch the fire, or play with knives, or pins, it is not because they wish to prevent you amusing yourselves ; they are only anxious to keep you from harm. If you were allowed to do whatever you pleased, many accidents would happen through your own indiscretion : for instance, when climbing on the furniture you might fall, and break a leg or an arm; and might burn yourselves, by playing with fire ; or cut your fingers, by playing with knives ; or might swallow pins, in putting them into your mouth. Thus, you see you might often lame or kill yourselves, if your good mamma or papa did not guard most of your actions. Do not suppose, my dear children, that I wish to prevent your playing and taking proper exercise. On the contrary, I am very much amused by your games, though they are sometimes noisy; and I admire your harmless mirth. I wish you to be gay and to amuse yourselves at proper times ; but you should never be rash or disobedient. You can play very well without climbing up to the window, on the furniture, or other improper places. If you see guns, pistols, or other dangerous weapons, you should never touch them, as you may always find play-things more agreeable, and free from danger. Why should you play with a knife or with the fire? and why put things into your mouth, at the risk of poisoning yourselves? These things are forbidden you; and yet your amusement is the wish of your parents. They desire only to see you happy, and guard you against accidents which your own discretion would not avoid. If you are good children, you will pay attention to the advice of your friends, and receive it as a proof of their love.

The book is housed at the Internet Archive, contributed by the California Digital Library.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Why Leaders Succeed and Bosses Fail

We all know that every leader is a boss, but not every boss is a leader.  We can break down the fundamental differences between a boss and a true leader in terms of opposites. Do you talk, or listen? Do you demand, or motivate? If you are a boss, you are followed because of authority. If you are a leader, you are followed because of respect and admiration.

Exceptional leadership begins with a positive view of people and ends with remarkable accomplishments. Consider the differences between a boss and a leader in the following areas.

A boss demands, a leader consults.

A boss says, in a very loud and demanding voice, “I need you to get this done now!” In most cases, such a command is probably met with disdain and frustration. Did this approach cause the employees to deliver a sloppy and sub-par an outcome? It most likely did. We should all be wary of barking out orders to workers who hope to be treated with respect and kindness. When a boss demands results and places stringent expectations upon an employee without asking for perspective, his or her credibility suffers.

Read full article @ Forbes