General Leadership

Stop the Hate

True, caring leaders stop the hate. Phillip Kane's blog

March 27, 2021

This week at a forum event for a US House of Representatives race in the middle of the country, as one candidate was describing their Irish immigrant ancestry, another candidate of BIPOC descent attacked them, attempting to dismiss the Irish candidate’s experience as some sort of “privilege.” The dismissive party reasoned that their own ancestors, who they claimed were part of the slave trade, had no choice in coming to America, unlike those of candidate number one.

In what should have been an exchange of ideas for how to move America forward, including how to unite this country after months of bitter, partisan division, a candidate within the same party chose to tear down another, creating further strife because of the color of his skin while also ignorantly discounting the fact that his ancestors too had little choice in coming to America.

The fact is, facing famine, many Irish citizens took the last of what they had to buy passage for America bartering between starving to death at home or fleeing penniless to a new country where they would be met with harsh poverty, disease, and coarse discrimination.

But rather than know that, or better, celebrate the fact that in exactly as many generations later, both candidates had arrived at a circumstance that from however awful beginnings they were standing to represent their family, district, state and country for a seat in the US House of Representatives – sharing more in common than not – the rude, interrupting candidate chose to make it about hate. And everyone in the room knew it. See, hate is ugly and backward looking. When we hate, good, forward-looking people can see it and they want no part of it.

And that’s the point for the week.

There’s far too much hate in this world. And it is increasingly being used as a justification for poor behavior, including awful rhetoric and unspeakable violence. It’s a knife that cuts all ways, across ideologies, creeds, colors, and party affiliations. No one group is better or worse than another. Hate is hate, and it sucks no matter who is brokering it. Whataboutism is no excuse for it. It matters not at all who did what, who started what, or how horrible the original sin might be. There is NEVER any justification for hate. No one ever deserves hate.

What’s mostly wrong today is that it has become fashionable to hate on particular groups who aggrieved groups feel have it coming to them. This merely inflames other parties to return the favor. Hate simply begets hate. Nothing good ever came of hate. There is no virtue in hate. There is no righteousness in hate. Hate is hate and it’s ugly and sick no matter who is dealing it.

Whether in our homes, our businesses, or in our communities when we start to simply love the one we’re looking at, life will become infinitely better. Teams founded on love and that refuse to tolerate hate win more often, because hate makes trust impossible and without trust, winning won’t happen. When teammates stop long enough to park their hate at the door, they quickly realize that there is more that unites them than divides them. From these common footholds, amazing, winning campaigns can follow. But only IF hate stays away.

So, if you are a leader, or want to be, of a family, a community, a business, or a country and want to win, stop tolerating hate, of any kind – even hate the conventional wisdom will have you believe is somehow justified.

End the hate. Love the one you’re looking at.

And win.

To purchase a copy of Phillip’s book, The Not So Subtle Art of Caring: Letters on Leadership, from John Hunt Publishing, London, please follow this LINK.

To learn more about the author, please click HERE

Caring Empathy

Fearlessness is NOT a Leadership Trait

Fearlessness is not a leadership trait

March 19, 2021

This week, I came across a post from the magazine, The Scientist, which recapped a January study of mice published by the journal Science. The study, conducted by researchers at Stanford University, sought to determine whether the tiny rodents are able to recognize and respond to the fear of their neighbors. The work conclusively determined that mice do, indeed, empathize with the feelings of fear felt by their furry little mates, and not only that, but in doing so help ease the level of fear response in those initially affected. These findings hold significant promise for advancing ways that scientists think about how humans interact with one another as well.  What I found most striking were the implications the psychologists believed this research has for the management of fear-based responses, causing them to rethink historic highly prescribed methods in favor of the creation of looser environments punctuated by togetherness.  What the mice seemed to prove quite clearly was that in the face of fear, empathy, not control will elicit progress.

And that’s the point for the week.

The notion of fearlessness seems to be all up in vogue these days. With courage having been covered, some have felt the need to take things a leap further by advocating for outright fearlessness.  The best leaders, they say, demonstrate a lack of fear.  In the face of any foe or fight, the fearless leader singularly grabs control and charges forth undaunted, their huddled but adoring mass of followers in tow. I don’t recommend it.

Fearlessness is right up there with stubbornness on my list of unattractive behaviors. It is assuredly NOT a leadership trait.

Fear is a perfectly natural human emotion.  In any threatening situation, across a group of human beings, the degree of fear felt by the group can be plotted and will likely return a standard distribution. This is a clue to any leader that, despite their own fear response, they are not leading a bunch of steely-eyed rocks. Those they lead feel fear – in varying degrees. And, as such, to be moved, from one place to another, will require a leader to recognize, empathize with, and help overcome that fear sufficient to motivate the entire team to relocate.

Boasts by a leader of their own fearlessness do nothing to encourage anyone. Generally, these boasts will be met with perceptions on the part of others that the owner of the boast is either narcissistic, dishonest or foolish. Or in some cases, all three. None are at all flattering. People do not want to follow people who do not feel fear.  People want to follow people who recognize that others have right and reason to feel fear sometimes, and who take the time to help them deal with that fear and rationalize moving forward.

When, as leaders, we exchange control for empathy and understanding, we can move columns of people over what seemed only a short time before to be a mountain of fear. It’s not that we nor those we lead stopped being afraid. It’s that we stopped letting that which we are afraid of stop us from moving forward – because we came together, armed by trust and propelled by a love which results from having endured something difficult as a unit, something most of us never dreamed possible and something that once scared the heck out of most of us.

So, don’t pretend to be fearless.  Empathize with the fear of others.

And win.

To purchase a copy of Phillip’s book, The Not So Subtle Art of Caring: Letters on Leadership, from John Hunt Publishing, London, please follow this LINK.

To learn more about the author, please click HERE


100! (visitors in one day)

Phillip Kane’s AndWin blog had 100 visitors in one day

The popularity of the AndWin blog continues to increase with per day visitor counts now hitting triple digits! After reaching 1,000 unique visitors just over 8 weeks after its launch, on March 18, smashed all prior single day totals welcoming 100 visitors in one day for the first time ever!

100 visitors matched our weekly totals during the early days of the blog. So to achieve these types of visitor counts so quickly is tremendously exciting. It also says a great deal about the desire among today’s leaders for a more caring alternative to the fear-based, desk-pounding style of leadership that’s unfortunately been held over from the last century.

Thanks to all who are making The Not So Subtle Art of Caring leadership philosophy and the AndWin blog such a success. It has been gratifying, to say the least, to see this level of support and interest for the blog after such a short period of time.

To learn more about The Not So Subtle Art of Caring, visit the official author site for Phillip Kane, here

To purchase a copy of Phillip’s book, The Not So Subtle Art of Caring: Letters on Leadership, from John Hunt Publishing, London, please follow this LINK.

To learn more about the author, please click HERE

General Leadership Stand in the Gap

Shovel Both Sides of The Steps

True, caring leaders skip the cycle of pettiness. They shovel both sides of steps. Phillip Kane

March 15, 2021

I saw this photograph this week in a clickbait post for a story about horrible neighbors. 

But I started to think about it in the context of the state of the wider world. I thought specifically about the current, nonsensical debate surrounding so-called cancel culture. A debate which matches the one had when each side found the shoe on the other foot. At any point in time, the side doing the cancelling denies the existence of an organized culture of censorship – despite plain evidence to the contrary. Both sides do it. They pause in between boycotting this or that and banning a handful more things just long enough to encourage those watching to not believe their lying eyes. 

But even if I’m right, what does this have to do with a half-shoveled set of steps? Or moreover, how could any of this apply to leadership?

Here’s how. What goes around, comes around. 

And that’s the point for the week. 

Half shoveling a set of steps in an act of pure mean-spiritedness will have repercussions. Bank on it. It just will. 

In the same way, cancelling something the left holds dear will lead to the left coming after Mr. Potato Head at some point. 

Pettiness invites pettiness. Silly, juvenile tactics beget silly juvenile tactics. 

The moment that we collectively realize that, together, we have far more important things to concern ourselves with than cartoon characters, shoveled steps, century old statues, or who stands for the anthem, we are more likely to move forward. 

Every family, community, company and country has a daily and simple choice to make. To end the petty cycles of what goes around comes around and get about the work that truly and desperately needs done; or to choose to let the silliness run amok. 

Knowing what to do isn’t hard. It’s the actual doing that’s tough – to break the self-indulgent cycle of half step shoveling in want of a greater good. To break with those that find satisfaction in the pain of others in order to deliver the collective all to a better place – a place where the lives of every person improve and where how you vote matters less than the kind of person you ought to be. 

So, stop the pettiness. Shovel both sides of the steps. 

And win. 

To purchase a copy of Phillip’s book, The Not So Subtle Art of Caring: Letters on Leadership, from John Hunt Publishing, London, please follow this LINK.

To learn more about the author, please click HERE


Phillip Kane’s AndWin Blog

Welcome to Phillip Kane's AndWin blog, fueled by the not so subtle art of caring


The purpose of this blog is to share the AndWin principles of true, caring leadership with others using stories from, author, Phillip Kane that readers can relate to and remember.

So, welcome to the AndWin Blog. Here you will find insights that will help you become a more caring leader AndWin … to treat others the way they want to be treated AndWin … to love others AndWin … and to make others big AndWin.

“If you like the blog, you’ll love the book.”

Cover, The Not So Subtle Art of Caring: Letters on Leadership, by Phillip Kane, author
Phillip Kane’s book, The Not So Subtle Art of Caring: Letters on Leadership. Cover design by: David Donovan Evans

The teachings behind the AndWin blog are available in Phillip’s new book, 2022 Eric Hoffer Book Award finalist, The Not So Subtle Art of Caring: Letters on Leadership – Real Stories From a Real Leader to Real People About What Really Matters, from John Hunt Publishing, London, UK.

To purchase Phillip’s book, please click HERE.

You can learn more about Phillip and the release of the book by visiting Phillip Kane, Author the official site for Phillip Kane.

The AndWin Leadership Philosophy

The AndWin leadership philosophy is based on Phillip’s 30+ years of successful experience leading others to win at some of the biggest companies on the planet. It’s rooted in The Not So Subtle Art of Caring. It’s about the ampersand. It’s like Coke Zero. It’s all about the AND. The “&” says you can treat other people the right way AndWin. It says that true leaders do not have to choose between delivering results and being respectful to others. It says that the supposed tradeoff between productivity and caring for others is a myth. It says that you can have both kindness and winning.


Here’s How the Blog Works:

Regularly, here on the blog, Phillip puts up story-based leadership posts for those focused on winning and who are looking for an alternative to the authoritarian, desk-pounding, fear-based style of leadership that is unfortunately far too prevalent in many organizations today.

The site currently includes more than 150 posts and other original pieces of content that can help you in your quest to do just that. So, please allow time to browse around or bookmark the page and come back often.

Simply scroll down to read through Phillip’s posts.

You can scroll at your leisure or search by subject, category or tag. Click on the comments bubble under the title for each post to leave your feedback, or click on a share button to forward content to your fave sosh site or to a friend or colleague.

Stop by our store while you are here to check out our AndWin swag too if you have a sec.

Please help us by taking a moment to rate our site on Google. You can use the link at the bottom of this page.

Please also consider patronizing our advertisers, who add to the overall quality of the blog and who share our values.


Phillip’s Gone to Work

In the Fall of 2022, Phillip (that’s him below) decided to again put what he believes into practice again, returning to run a business in southern California. While blog posts may be a bit fewer and farther between, we will still endeavor to provide regular content on the site.

Welcome to Phillip Kane's andwin blog, I am Phillip Kane, author of the blog and The Not So Subtle Art of Caring
Phillip Kane

Welcome again to Phillip Kane’s AndWin blog. Thanks for visiting!

Remember, make it about others, not you, AndWin.


Empathy General Leadership

Say No to Narcissism

True, caring leaders say no to narcissism. Phillip Kane's blog
Concept narcissistic man. The male head and crown are drawn on a chalk board.

This week I came across a just-published article in The Leadership Quarterly that details the results of a recently concluded study showing that those who are highly narcissistic advance to CEO roles more quickly than their more well grounded and empathetic counterparts. 

This despite piles of research proving that narcissists tend to be eventual train wrecks once they achieve positions of significant authority. The very article reporting the findings simultaneously raised cause for worry over the negative behavioral tendencies and subsequent disastrous organizational outcomes related to self-obsessed managers. Indeed, as recently as last April, a Stanford University paper provided a similar warning; narcissists are a malignant influence. 

And that’s the point for the week. 

Narcissists are entirely self serving. They are the center of their own universe. A narcissist seeks not to promote the greater good, but their own good. They care little for the input or well being of others. Worse, they almost never admit when they are wrong and will protect themselves and their own personal position at any cost. Narcissists are bullies whose true colors almost always show under stress. People follow narcissists for one very simple reason — because they have to.

They are easy to spot. If you’ve been watching the coverage of an embattled northeast governor these past few weeks, you’ve seen narcissism on full display. Find two people involved in youth athletics; the narcissist will put his coach of the year award on his LinkedIn profile, while his caring leader counterpart will post a picture of a child hoisting a trophy over their head. 

True, caring leaders make it about others. They put the needs of people besides themselves before their own. They use we language, not me language. They seek the input of those closest to the work when making important decisions – the same people narcissists tend to look down on. True, caring leaders display empathy, humility and respect for other human beings. They know winning is about something far bigger than themselves.

As a result, these leaders gather willing followers. I call them disciples. They build relationships that last a lifetime and weather any difficulty, because they are founded on trust and fueled by love. They bring out the best in others by encouraging them to achieve more than they ever dreamed possible. The teams they build work harder, fight longer and win more often. And they do so with far less drama and zero preening at the end. 

Best of all, having actually earned their spots, they tend to stay in them, while the flash in the pan narcissists sit at home, alone, telling stories of what once was to whoever will listen, surrounded by a collection of world’s best boss merchandise they bought entirely for themselves.

So fall in love with others, not with yourself. 

And win.

To purchase a copy of Phillip’s book, The Not So Subtle Art of Caring: Letters on Leadership, from John Hunt Publishing, London, please follow this LINK.

To learn more about the author, please click HERE

Gratitude News

AndWin Welcomed 1000th

Andwin welcomed its 1000th unique visitor
M. Black | | License Paid

Today, March 12, 2021, Phillip Kane’s blog welcomed its 1,000th unique visitor. 

Just over 2 months ago, the AndWin blog made its debut, offering a different, better way for leaders tired of the outdated, never should have been permitted in the first place, table-pounding style of authoritarian leadership.

Now, some 70 posts and 1,000 visitors later, is a clearly established resource for caring leaders. 

In between, in support of Phillip’s book deal with John Hunt Publishing, London, we’ve also launched Phillip’s author site features the latest information about Phillip’s book, The Not So Subtle Art of Caring: Letters on Leadership. The site also contains sample content from the book, news about upcoming events and helpful links to reviewers and quality booksellers. 

We’d like to thank you for your part in our achieving our 1,000th visitor so soon. You’ve exceeded our wildest expectations. And for that, we are tremendously grateful. 

Check back each week for new advice about caring and winning. 

In the meantime, remember, leadership begins when it stops being about us. 

To purchase a copy of Phillip’s book, The Not So Subtle Art of Caring: Letters on Leadership, from John Hunt Publishing, London, please follow this LINK.

To learn more about the author, please click HERE

Appreciation Caring

Every Day Still Means Every Day

True, caring leaders know that every day means every day. Phillip Kane's blog

March 8, 2021

Last week, I was treated each day in my LinkedIn feed, to a company’s celebration of various groups of their people throughout the country. The posts showed photos of the company’s staff in their outposts here and there, often with what looked like a catered meal. It seems last week was “Employee Appreciation Week.” My initial thought was, “That’s nice.” Then, I put myself in the place of the associates (does anyone actually call people employees anymore?) and it occurred to me that were I them, I’d more likely be thinking, “People should be appreciated all 52 weeks of the year, not just one of them.”

And that’s the point for the week.

An “Employee Appreciation Week” with catered lunches and team photos strikes me as something Dilbert’s boss reads about in an in-flight magazine, not something a serious leader contemplates. A true, caring leader knows that people deserve to be recognized and appreciated every single day of the year, not just part of the year.

When appreciation, of associates, or customers, or any group for that matter are scuttled into discreet events, the tone sent to those being feted is that the celebration is somehow an obligation, an afterthought, something unusual. The sincerity of the thing is called into question. Despite what may be great intentions, people are justified in being cynical – especially when the treatment they receive the other 51 weeks of the year doesn’t feel the same. These events send a clear message that next week, we’re all going back to the baseline treatment – something less than what was experienced during the 5 or 6 day outpouring of admiration, support and free pizza.

But when, as leaders, we make it a point to let people know each day how much they are valued, loved and respected, there is no need for once-a-year celebrations.  No member of our team pauses to wonder if they are appreciated. Nobody needs a special week to tell them that their leader cares because they hear it, see it and feel it every single minute of every single day. Because true appreciation is a 24-7-365 proposition.

It’s why people who work with true, caring leaders will do almost anything for them. It’s why people love being around leaders like these. It’s why people give more to leaders like these. It’s why teams led by leaders like these make fewer mistakes, get more done and win more often.

Whether at home, in business or in your community, accomplishing more with others is not terribly complicated. And the winners are easy to spot.

Winners are those who put others first. Winners are those that make others feel big. Winners are those who let others know that they are loved, that they are valued and that what they do is appreciated. 

And they don’t just do so five days a year.

Appreciate others on the daily.

And win.

Please stop by the official site of Phillip Kane, author

To purchase a copy of Phillip’s book, The Not So Subtle Art of Caring: Letters on Leadership, from John Hunt Publishing, London, please follow this LINK.

To learn more about the author, please click HERE


Be Like Jimmy

Be like Jimmy. True leaders like Jimmy Story make it about others. Phillip Kane's blog
Jimmy Story

March 5, 2021

This week, I saw an advertisement from a dry cleaner in Spring Hill, Tennessee offering free cleaning services for anyone in the needing an outfit cleaned prior to an interview as a way to help offset the impact of the pandemic on those who find themselves out of work. The offer from Jimmy Story of Jimmy’s Cleaners there is certainly a tremendously kind and empathetic gesture. But it’s way more than that.

For Jimmy, who doesn’t refer to himself as owner or CEO or any other lofty title, but as Team Leader, it’s also, whether he intends it or not, a way to ensure that those who find jobs after using his free service will be back.

See, people remember significant gestures, and they often switch suppliers because of them.

And that’s the point for the week.

Coincidentally, I often use dry cleaning analogously in teaching others about the difficulty involved in switching anyone from one vendor to another, particularly in industries with sticky relationships or high switching costs. In doing so, I ask teams to tell me how often, other than because they had to due to a move, closure of the business, etc. that they change dry cleaners. You can do the same as you read this.

The answer for almost everyone is, “almost never.” It’s because dry cleaning fairly acts as a proxy for many businesses today, especially B2B concerns. It’s a low interest category often marked by some level of stickiness where front end service relationships are concerned. To change dry cleaners, like changing vendors for many products and services generally requires one of a small handful of things to occur. Monumental and repeated screw-ups by the vendor. Some gigantic leap in product or service offering by a competitor. Or some suggestion by a competitor that they are going to care a whole lot more for you as an individual. If you are thinking price, sit this one out. For most, changes in price sufficient to switch are either (a) unrealistic or (b) always matched by the incumbent.

So, think about the scenarios above. Huge leaps come about as often as Haley’s Comet – especially in low interest (read low-investment) categories. Monumental and repeated screw-ups are also rare; most even half-decent firms fix things before they have outright defections. Only the worst firms actually lose business due to ongoing failures. So, we’re left with expressions of care.

Those who win and keep customers are coincidentally the same ones who win and keep associates. They do so because they care more. The more you care, the more you win. It’s actually no more complicated than that. I’m certain a phone call to Jimmy Story would sound a lot like that.

Because it doesn’t matter if you’re selling dry cleaning in the middle of Tennessee or something a tad more complicated on one of the coasts, people are people everywhere. And most of what everyone wants is to be valued, loved, and cared for. Those who do that more often win more often. And usually, it’s no more difficult than providing free cleanings to people who have more important things to pay for right now.

So, be like Jimmy Story. Care more.

And win (more).

To purchase a copy of Phillip’s book, The Not So Subtle Art of Caring: Letters on Leadership, from John Hunt Publishing, London, please follow this LINK.

To learn more about the author, please click HERE