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December 2014
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A hole in a person’s thinking?

The newspaper, USA Today carries this bi-line: President Obama says the Penn State football program deserves the harsh penalties it received for covering up child sexual abuse by a onetime assistant coach.

Wow this from a leader? O.k. I get the idea President Obama would like to impress his public with righteous indignation. How could two of America’s good men be so low as to 1) cover up the truth and 2) mistreat minors in a most damaging way. How smooth to rage about a wrong, just stand on stage and shake your fist and make all the righteous faces to prove you’re a person of conviction. How convenient, how very social!

But let’s go back to the statement in the opening line, “President Obama says the Penn State Football program deserves the hash penalties it receives”. This statement shows a huge hole in the President’s thinking. What we know from the news media is that two men failed to be upstanding citizens. How is it now that we should punish students for the failure of two national leaders. Remember the football program is more than a program it’s people. Innocent people. How is it that the football program be punished when the leaders were corrupt. This is like saying that the world should hate every German citizen, because Hitler was German. I don’t buy it. It’s weak thinking and shows a hole is there in the thought process.

We best wake up to the covert message here….you say covert message….yeah, the covert message here is also let’s hate the big guy, we should hate the rich, because we all know that they don’t pay enough taxes. America it is not o.k. to hate. It’s poison. There is no room in leadership for hatred, unless it’s to hate criminal behavior, to hate lies, to hate corruption. Notice here I did not say to hate people.

Leadership is one of the hardest games in the world. One needs the wisdom of Solomon to discern the correct steps to deal with problems. Should the Penn State Football program be penalized? Hello? It already is penalized. It’s been dragged through the press because two of leaders failed. Young people with promising careers in sports will now bear the scars of being a part of the Penn State program when it’s leaders failed. No, likely they’ll still climb their way forward, but they’ll always carry the baggage of their leader’s failures.

Where are the people that care about these young people? If I were a student at Penn State I would not be feeling very good about this President and his statements indicating punishment. More care needed!

Watch for holes in your thinking!

Maybe….but!

President Obama said this weekend, “The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.” Well the beginning of the sentence is correct….DoD started the protocol to enable exchange of data between computers, and the NSF continued this work to boost research and its further development.

But, “so that all companies could make money off the Internet”…is a falsehood, actually when the government involvement ceased, then and then only did the Internet launch and blossom and bloom for the commercial world. (Do we really believe that DoD and NSF were thinking, “oh boy we’ve created a great commercial endeavor”)? Government intervention can and will be a chief deterrent to a free society achieving great things if they believe for a moment that they are the only ones around that have answers to problems.

Actually all one has to do is look at some of the key government work to see how poor some of their ideas really are…the post office….our national debt….need I say more? How is it that in Europe small governments are actually privatizing government business, as to say, “hey if there is a better way, let’s get out of the way!”

Americans shouldn’t have to take such ill words from a President…actually his speech writer on this one needs to be fired….he’s blown it for the President.

What’s your game?

What
I’ve recently observed a corporate department in action and thought here on SuperBowl Sunday to write up some thoughts concerning my observations.

In many ways all corporate groups (leadership) fall into two categories: Owners or Stewards.

Owners are spotted as they give off signals such as, “well it’s my way or the highway!” We know them from their commanding presence and the strong feeling that their group understands issues better than others. I wish it were true that this were an obvious thing, but life is such a mystery at times, that even those who are Owners many times, right along with Stewards by the way, really live so close to the forest that the trees or evidence is not seen. It is the human condition we all live in and for a good sample of this refer to Dr. M. Scott Peck and his book “People of the Lie”.

Stewards on the other hand live out their lives with the idea that they own nothing, but are servants of their customers. Politicians do a great job of convincing us that they are Stewards, well at least while they are on the campaign trail eh? I recall like it were yesterday hearing in person the great insurance magnet, W. Clement Stone saying that this was truly his key to success. He relayed that early in his life he had learned to keep this principle constantly in mind as he conducted his business affairs and that it had yielded the highest value, quality product for his customers.

I’ve no mind to make any specific person an object lesson today, but to say I grieve at the attitude of people that believe they are the Owners. They have no idea of the disservice they bring to our world. These that are so convinced that they alone know and understand the problem, have in fact closed their mind to needs of others and are firmly lost in their ideal to succeed.

Its time we look more intently in the mirror. It’s time we take the time to consider what we project to others and it’s time to consider whether we have poison in our passion.

Suggestion: It’s been said that before you judge a man, walk a mile in his moccasins. A path to being a Steward is for us to put ourselves in the place of others. This is no small feat in the age wherein we are so caught up with the huge amount of input coming our way for every direction. Evidence of this struggle is seen as top executives seek out courses in meditation and centering themselves.

Lastly, it takes a strong cup of persistence mixed with a little positive attitude to be a steward. It seems to me that at times Owners wear teflon. Stewards on the other hand take a thrashing. This was documented over 2,000 years ago when a young Jew named Jesus spoke to leadership about what should done about people that decided that a good way of handling a Steward was to put them to death. It’s also found in the statement, “please don’t shoot me, I’m just the messenger!” At the end of the equation it costs more to be a Steward. It is The Road Less Traveled and we can expect only to stay focused and not to lose heart over beautiful plans and work when they go unreceived.

What was this guy thinking?

O.k. so I’ve been away from my blog for some time. Sorry about that, but you know life is complicated and sometimes you just need a break.

Thanks to our good computer president, I am now fired up to write about his recent comments. In case you’ve missed his words they are here for you in black in white:

“The PC is not likely to be challenged by the tablet or the smartphone, and many users of the Internet on these devices will turn to the PC for a better experience, Michael Dell said in Bangalore on Monday.”

Wow! This is reminiscent of the remark “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers. – Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943″

Wake up Mr. Dell, right now it is the tablet that is giving us (the people) our finest experience with computers. I am just overwhelmed by my love for Flipboard and Google Currents, so much so that I literally abandon my laptop to consume the world through my tablet every evening and all weekend.

If the PC is not challenged by the tablet, then someone is thinking upside down. Just this week CloudOn has given me yet another reason to abandon my laptop. The point here is that for the first time in years the tablet is offering users things they cannot get from their laptop. Last night I watched my wife reach up to touch her laptop screen, only to then laugh at catching herself as though she had a tablet or smartphone in her hand. Maybe it’s that gestures are awakening a deep desire to have more than a keyboard or mouse. I actually am using an Apple Trackpad with my DOS computer cause I have graduated to loving gestures. Sure it’s a little bit difficult when you first start and you are so cerebral that you try to remember what does 1 finger do as opposed to 2 fingers, but once you let go of that side of the brain and just ride it, you don’t even think about it.

The obvious is that Mr. Dell is not daily using a tablet with cool apps or he’d be saying to himself, “hmmmm, what does my company need to do with its products to change this picture?” I’m sure the folk at Lenovo aren’t making statements like Mr. Dell. It continues to fuel the desire behind Microsoft to regain it’s mobile market eh? Wonder how many millions they’ve put on this cause?

I only can hope that he’ll wake up and get it right, as this was a very foolish, trite and small statement. One I’m sure he’ll regret having made some time in the future if not already.

Here the link the the whole article: Original that I read

Thoughts on a Sunday afternoon. . .

Well time for a little ranting, I mean this is a blog, so why not rant….rant on!

Number one – politics are a raging subject these days, especially whether or not we in America are becoming a socialistic country.  This of course has come on all the heels of the infusion of money to save the banking/investment industry, and then we have the great leveling of the masses with universal health care.  So every man should have a chicken in their pot, thank you Uncle Sam, and by the way the kids can pay for it.

We in America have watched for years how socialism destroys initiative.  We’ve also seen the opposite as capitalism has changed the face of a society when people sensed that their own initiative would be rewarded.  (the greatest example is the huge change in China where the common man has seen opportunity unbridled).

Well I’m here to say that I think what happened this week to Apple is a mark of socialism.  For those who don’t follow tech news, Apple was told this week to make room for Google and Adobe in their software line.  Interesting how the pundits now glory in all the wonderful opportunities this is bringing to Google and Adobe.  No one seems to say, “this stinks”!  Well I’m here to say it stinks.  It stinks because why should any American company have to have the Federal government step in and tell it how to run it’s business?  It for me is just too arbitrary.  Well I guess I sound naive, as the government does step into many an American business every day of the year.  It just seems such a fine example, of how government oversteps its role.  Supposedly it is helping prevent some monopoly by Apple.  Ha!  Has anyone looked at the price of Google stock?  This is the pot calling the kettle black.  Where will the government be when the IPhone crashes because the Adobe code conflicts with OS?  Well more than enough said, thanks for bearing with me.

Outrage number 2 – So this week Microsoft employees held a funeral for Apple and Blackberry as they introduce Windows Mobile 7.  It’s gonna be a killer?  I’m sorry but have people lost their marbles?  I can understand a grand celebration for the long overdue OS for Windows Mobile, but a funeral?  This for me is plain arrogance.  Do people at Microsoft think that they are so superior that whatever they produce will be seen as the most magnificent boon to man?  I guess I’m just too old fashion, I believe the actions speak louder that words.  Maybe this could be said different…giving the consumer new technological advances, is more than crowing about your product.  Microsoft acts as though they’re the only ones that know or understand software.  This really is some kind of denial isn’t it?  Like wake sleeping giant, and shake off the lethargy of being the big name, else you will go the way of Pontiac, Saturn and Oldsmobile.  Your amusement at holding a funeral is not amusing to your consumers.

The bridge is here on the Ohio River as seen from my apartment on the 23rd floor.  Thank goodness for wonderful sights to push away the coldness of disappointments seen in the marketplace.

Fact! – Yes!

Well, for my money Apple has gone and done it…yes…it was more than a rumor and Apple did announce on the 27th of January the new tablet, IPad.  Now how do we know it will be a success?  This is interesting because I believe in this case we know it will be a success because, “folks are already throwing apples”!  Ha!  Yes, the pundits have all lined up to nay-say why the new IPad will not be revolutionary.  You’d almost think Apple had somehow whacked them personally on their skull.  It’s a land of “cheap shots” now days on the Internet.  The very thing that people were so worried about having the Internet, that as much as it’s a HUGE blessing, it’s laced with a ENORMOUS curse, and that is that people can stand back and be malicious without having to take the real heat of speaking their mind publicly.  I mean why diss AT&T as though it’s the curse of the network world?  Doesn’t anyone have any patience to see that we are on an evolutionary path and as the world dramatically changes there is going to be some pain?

Oh well, I jumped off the “throw apples factor”, but you get my point eh?

My hat is off to any company that wants to invent the future.  In computing and the narrow market of OS and applications I really only see two powerful players doing this work and that is Apple and Google.  I’m not sure why Microsoft isn’t a bigger player in the game, could it be that they are just too caught up in making a profit?

You have to be impressed that Apple one year ago said to themselves, “How can we revolutionize word processing, presentations and working with numbers?”  As the new iWorks was demoed you have to say to yourselves, now there is a huge improvement in this core area of computing.  Ha!  This is where the pundits are failing to deliver good analysis.  All they are comparing the IPad to is other hardware.  Well, maybe Mr. Jobs started the war with the words, “this is no netbook”.  Is a bit of truth to much to bear?  All the investment in giving us flexible hardware (ease of having a netbook), but yes it’s so that netbooks are generally……s–l–o–w….and not a real replacement for a desktop computer.

Oh well enough rant for today, yes, I’ll be in line here in the future for my IPad, you can count on it!  Go APPLE!

Fact or Fiction?

Wow, so much in the news about Apple having a tablet computer.  It’s like Nirvana or looking for the Fountain of Youth, eh?

Actually does the world need another tablet computer?  We see that now Lenovo has also jumped on the bandwagon and will have the Skylight.

I’m not certain we need a new tablet, but hey what about a new idea?  You have to love that Skype will now put their client on your TV!  Huh, you’d think the phone company would have done this long ago wouldn’t you?  After all the video phone was supposed to be a big cool thing, only no one could think about what Skype is about to do?

Hopefully, Apple does more than introduce a tablet, let’s hope they are about to wow us with some new break through that will turn up the heat!  yeah!!

FLASHERS!!!!

No, this is not a commentary on folk who like to discard clothing, it’s a gripe about the way 4-way flashers are used in public.

First, so you understand my point of view, understand that I’m on the opinion that flashers were put on cars to say, “hey I’m on the highway, but for some reason I’ve come to stop, so you best be real careful around me!”  I also agree that a school bus or large truck carrying hazardous materials should be able to use flashers near rail crossings to say, “hey, I need to come to a complete stop, to protect my load”.

This first major issue we have with flashers is that every state, province, country has the right to write different laws about 4-way flashers.  Example:  in Pennsylvania it’s the law that if you drop 15 miles below the posted limit you can put your flashers on as to say, “watch me, I’m not doingi the normal thing here!”  I’ve also heard that other states have laws which state, the only usage of flashers is for stopped or emergency reasons.  Ha!  Then you get a whole boat load of folk that want to argue, “what’s an emergency!”  (As this seems then to be abused as well).

My gripe is simply founded on 2 issues:

1) If flashers are suppose to be for stopped vehicles, then what is the meaning of people using flashers when they have just slowed down due to a rough conditions?  To me this is a contraction.  Are you stopped or are you slowing down?  It would seem in other parts of legal code, we don’t allow for such double meanings.  A stop sign is a stop sign, and you don’t perform a rolling stop or you can count on getting pulled over by the police.

2) My most grievous item on flashers, is that in rain storms, placing one’s flashers into a flashing mode for mile after mile, is fairly dangerous.  I don’t know about you, but in a tough rain storm, flashing lights reduce my vision ability, as it is a constant distraction from the norm.  Now here I would be willing to give an inch and say if you drop your vehicle suddenly down below the posted limit, it would a good thing to announce that by either pressing repeatedly on your brakes to flash vehicles behind you, or for a small amount of time until the car behind you catches up it would be o.k. to temporarily use flashers for a small period.

I do think FLASHERS are a good candidate for the country or the world to come out with a common usage policy and end the local laws, that may be unknown to others.

In practice I will not be using my flashers unless I’m stopped on the side of the roadway, in the possible path of on coming traffic, as I want others to know I have a situation that has me stopped or coming to a near stop.  I will continue to use my brake lights to warn vehicles behind me that I’m slowing down.

I know this is a small item in life considered to bigger problems, I’m just exhausted by those who are driving mile after mile with flashers on when the vehicle behind them has already understood and has slowed themselves.

I believe in the age old inspiration which says:  THINK

Potpourri

Huh!  I have a real blend of thoughts running through my mind. . .

First, I appreciate all the dear friends who have wished me well, as I leave IBM.  There seems to be so many different exciting things out there to choose from, I’m wondering just where I’ll start. The most tempting words come from friends who are independent consultants and are so happy living outside the corporate culture of the big corporate houses.

In a way the adventure on this stream of thought began back in May when I met a most likeable gentleman named Mike Israel.  He is a Business Application Manager and over lunch he told me of how he had migrated from consulting life to the life of living as a corporate employee.  He mentioned how things so dramatically change when you embark into the corporate world.

It does make you wonder doesn’t it, how culture can be a burden to some folk, and they though strong in ability find something stifling in the midst of the corporate scene.  It makes one think we have much inventing yet to embark into the 21st century eh?  Here we see ourselves so sophisticated, and yet our corporate cultures are old and salty.

It’s similar to the telephone industry.  Aren’t you just loving the big debate around Google Voice, AT&T, and Apple, and now everyone is saying, “I didn’t do it!”.  What a laugh this is, but the stark truth is that our ideas about communications are old and stale.  Who can rescue us from this lethargy?  Do we really have to wait for people to get all upset and angry before we go about reinventing ourselves?  Hats off to Google for giving us fresh insight into possibilities.

My email box this week has just been full of too many Internet farces.  I’m tired of the off cuff remarks that America should only be speaking English.  Huh?  How can we be so dull of character to think everyone should be like us?  My life is so rich through my studies of Latin, French, Greek, Hewbrew, Italian, and Portuguese.  We need to be ashamed of our stick-in-the-mud attitudes.  I realize we are feeling the discomfort of a fast changing world, but we can’t put our head in the sand like an ostrich, eh?  Also along this same line, is the silly email about how things were so wonderful when we were kids.  Oh yeah?  A key learning for me in the past year, is all about living in the now.  Yes, I’m fond of memories, but balance is also about finding the silver lining in my present place.  It’s been written that one should find happiness in want and in great blessing, so let’s live in the present and in the now.

It’s encouraging to see some signs of recovery eh?  Glad to know the housing market jumped this summer and some things are on the move.  Hey, we’ll take it!  Sorry to hears the CARS program has so soon ended, this seemed to be a cool stimulus in spite of the way the program was to be run.  Just hope those dealers get their monies are not left holding the bag.

Oh and let’s dream too!  Some friends want to go crusing in the Baltic next summer (2010).  That sounds so cool, more things to see that I’ve never seen!  The world is a great place.  My work at IBM has taken me to some awesome places too.  Some of my work locations have been:  Switzerland, Shanghai, Singapore, Barcelona with many side trips.  Hehe, but as stated about that is the past, the future is here today, so I’ll dream about the Baltic Sea.  Ahhh, you can dream too!

Oops, yeah been just a bit lazy. . .

Howdy friends!  I’ve been such a busy person lately, I’ve failed to keep up here with blogging on my observations and thoughts.  I can truthfully say that I’m not lazy, just a bit too consumed with ensuring many little details of life are being addressed.

I finished up the end of July on a wonderful project in Philadelphia for Shire (pharmaceuticals).  They are a great team of professionals and they needed my services to help them effectively take their in progress project and bring it home through some additional, careful planning and focus.  It was a project where one can lose sight of the goal as the components were just so numerous and diverse.  During the project life they had also made a very large change to their scope, so this brought in an additional layer of complexity.  For a small, medium business they also had set their goals on a very large scope of work to accomplish, so there was little rest along the way for the team to keep up the enormous drive needed in such a project.

The project does remind me that in HR systems, it is very key to partnership with the right people.  For many years, I’ve just been a team leader and let project managers worry about the big stuff like building partnerships, but since now I’ve also worked for some 4 years full time as a project manager, now I can observe the importance and delicacy of partnering.  What we may fail to admit is that no one person or discipline has all the answers to the complex items that come our way.  It is also to say that our particular discipline may lack particular skill sets needed for multi-dimension projects.

I’m uncertain why we feel so proud to admit our need of others, but it is a key to finding success in today’s adventures.  If I’ve seen a major failure in companies today, it’s that they fail to observe other successful companies or projects.  We got so thrilled to finally be working on a special project, and pulling together the plans, that we fail to say to ourselves, “why not go to another firm and ask questions about lessons learned?”.

Another issue we have is our own “pain points”.  We become so familar with those things deterring us, we get locked into just trying to address these items.  This is why hiring an outside firm to help us accomplish goals, has a way of paying huge dividends.  An outsider can see many times the bigger picture and can help bring to the table the idea that people need to broaden their horizons.  It’s funny how we get locked into our own thinking and can’t see the forest from the trees.

Well, keep up the great work and let me know if you have any comments, ideas on this front, as at the end of the day, I love to see breakthroughs.