Category Archives: politics

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.

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.

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!

Huh?

DTV
DTV

Maybe it’s not meant to be a negative message, in other words I can understand why there is an appeal to delay DTV until June of 2008, but as a citizen looking on at the news about all of this I’m a bit outraged with this.  Here we are in the midst of an economic crisis when every hour should be spent looking at how to jump start the down economy and I’m reading that not only have the entire Senate voted on this, next the House of Representatives voted on it, but wait now the Senate will vote again to delay it and then it’s going to be voited on yet another time by the House of Representatives.  We may a great new President, but here we have congress going in circles, not on some crisis subject, but a suspicion that we may have left behind 6.5M people.  I say suspicion as some analysts say, “hey where did they get that number”?

You must also then admit that the second negative message is the following.  The financial markets screwed up with poor planning, and now the group that is supposed to lead us out of their mess, has also messed up with their planning and can’t supply needed coupons on time or schedule.

No wonder we have neighbors of the world sit back and say, “America is a leader”?  Well now shouldn’t we be a little kinder to ourselves everyone?  Could it just be that we are humans, and fail?

I would like to see the government be called on to do the same tough thinking that they expect business to do in the face of crisis.  One has to admit it is good to push ourselves to new technologies, but then we can’t as well set deadlines and then backoff can we?  We’re concerned about households that are not prepared, how about the millions of dollars the providers have had to spend to make this happen, no one seems concerned about the effects this must bring on them.  Imagine if you’re a small business that has gone out of business because you were’nt going to meet the deadline of February 17.  You must now be a little cynical about extending deadlines, eh?

Wondering what you think about this?  Do you similar thoughts?

A little politics

I’m a little disturbed by the rhetoric from our fine Democratic candidates that say that America’s image needs repaired in the world.  This is true salesmanship in my book as we aren’t being sold anything substantial in making such a statement.  For me, America has so very much to be proud of that it just seems a bit silly to me that the image of America needs any kind of repairing.

Now I’m not naive either, I realize we’ve made tough choices and all of our choices are not 100% correct, but the case still stands that we are a world leader and have so many things to be proud of the list is of accomplishments far outweights any immediate short-term set backs.

One last idea, from the Vice-Presidential debates a long list of “inaccuracies” has come out where both candidates have made small blunders in their presentations.  What amazes me the most though is that the most obvious blunder has been left off the list.  The statement that “all weather issues” are man made is unacceptable in my book.  I realize and acknowledge that we are using too much carbon based fuels on our planet, but to think we are the only factor in the weather is a gross over statement and should also appear on the list of inaccurate statements as well.

My hats off to Wells Fargo for bidding a decent sales price for Wachovia.  What was Citigroup thinking, they could just pick up a fire sale and lean on Uncle Sam?  Wells Fargo sounds like a gusty bank to me and will have my attention in years to come.