Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Colour Blocking 101

Colour blocking is a fashion trend that comes and goes. It was made famous in the 1964 jersey day dress by designer Yves St. Laurent.

Colour blocking recently reappeared on the runways in 2011 and is becoming more and more mainstream. Colour blocking in fashion is defined as using bold adjacent or complementary colours in a single look. It can achieved by combining separates and accessories or stitching together various colours into one garment.

Variations on colour blocking involve using tints or shades of the same colour, pastels, black, white and greys or even prints.

Colour blocking is risky because it is attention-getting and can easily be done wrong. Even the experts are struggling to pull off this look. Unless you have a really good eye for combining colours, a refresher on colour theory is probably warranted.

Tiger Colour has an excellent basic introduction to colour theory. Visit this website to read up on it.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

7 Holiday Dos And Don'ts For Every Entrepreneur

Holiday Dos & Don'ts by Gene Marks

Maybe it's a little late for 2012 but this article, published in, has some great advice for the small business owner. Even big business could take away a few lessons. My favourite:

"4. Forget about an overboard office party." I've been at enough of these to know. When I was young, it was fun, but as I got older and wiser, they became a duty and a chore. Someone always drinks too much, says or does something inappropriate. Careers are ruined. Hearts get broken. Too many awkward moments. Best to do the holiday celebrating in a safe environment with your family and friends.

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Paradox of Leadership

The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership.
Harvey S. Firestone

I don't know much about Mr. Firestone. Certainly his company is a household name. But this quote is a good one.

In most organizations, as many of us have experienced, leadership is all about the leader. The leader becomes preoccupied with ensuring that there is no one who can easily replace him. They need to look good to their board, their peers and their old boy network. I say him because it usually is. Leaders also ensure that they get the credit for all the good things that happen. Their inappropriate bonuses and salaries depend on it. They blame and punish everyone else for their own mistakes, even if they've ignored the good advice of others.

They also refuse to look at anything that might be going wrong; a lost major client, employee exodus, accounting irregularities, unless a regulator intervenes or a law suit is imminent. They want to hear that everything is rosy, and that their subordinates will just take care of the problems because of the "if I don't know about it, I can't be responsible for it attitude". Thankfully regulation and legislation now prevent them from this escape route.

People in leadership positions everywhere, whether you are a small business owner, in the clergy, a teacher, a politician or an executive, you are only a true leader when you are helping the people you are responsible for develop and grow. All of them--not just the ones that kiss your butt. That is your only job. Focus on it and the other things you worry about will take care of themselves... unless, of course, your boss is not a true leader.