Paper Navy Tiger

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We spend $600 billion on defense and this is what we get?


In the middle of the night our U.S. Navy DESTROYER crashes with a ginormous container ship.


The commercial vessel (yes it’s bigger, but it’s a civilian ship) is lightly damaged, but the U.S. Navy BATTLESHIP (after having undergone a recent $21 million upgrade) has 7 dead, the captain injured, and it can barely make it back to its port except with tugboats for extensive repairs. 


WTF!


How does an battleship with the latest sensors and technology collide with a civilian ship–how did such a foreign vessel even get close to our navy ship let alone collide with it–was someone completely “asleep at the wheel?”


This is no joke!–this is our first line of defense in our ability to project force globally. 


What if this had been a terrorist ship laden to the hilt with high explosives or an Axis of Evil Iranian or North Korean fast attack craft or even a Russian or Chinese attack submarine–surprise!


Doesn’t a battleship need to be ever-vigilant and -ready for battle? 


How can we fight sophisticated 21st century militaries with advanced ship-killer cruise missiles, torpedos, and mines, if we can’t even avoid the essential sinking of one our own fighting ships in peacetime. 


Our brave men and women who take up the uniform to serve this great nation–and this country–DESERVE BETTER!


Does this paper navy ship with a punched hole in it represent a larger forgotten or war-weary military in dire need of modernization and genuine readiness to defend the beautiful and free America? 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal via The Guardian)

It Takes A Village

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I wanted to share some good tidbits about effective management, collaboration, and engagement that I heard this week at a Partnership for Public Service event.


It Takes A Village – No I don’t mean the book by Hillary Clinton, but rather the idea that no one person is an island and no one can do everything themselves. Rather, we need the strengths and insights that others have to offer; we need teamwork; we need each other!


2-Way Communication – Traditionally, organizations communicate from the top-down or center to the periphery (depending how you look at it).  But that doesn’t build buy-in and ownership. To do that, we need to have 2-way communication, people’s active participation in the process, and genuine employee engagement.


Get Out Of The Way –  We (generally) don’t need to tell people how to do their jobs, but rather develop the vision for what success looks like and then get out of the way of your managers and people. “Make managers manage and let managers manage” and similarly, I would say, hold people accountable but let people work and breath!


Things Change – While it’s important to have consistency, momentum, and stay the course, you also need to be agile as the facts on the ground change.  “Disregard what’s not working, and embrace what is.” But you must stay open to new ideas and ways of doing things.


This is our world of work–our village–and either everyone helps and gets onboard the train or they risk getting run over by it. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Who’s In Your Corner?

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So as the saying goes…


It’s not what you know, but who you know!


Relationships, connections, and networks are critical for all of us to work together and get things done. 


And sure, it’s good to have some reliable people in your corner who know you and can speak good about who you are, what you represent, and what you’re doing.


However, let’s face it, there are some people out there that take advantage and don’t just have advocates, but rather protectors, and it’s a way for those who may be unqualified, unsavory, and incompetent–as individual–to sustain themselves.


Frankly, some of these people should never be in their jobs and should never be a leader over anything or anybody–but they are enabled, because of who and not what they know or are able to do. 


Whether it’s the Peter Principle or bullies and those without a working moral compass or sometimes it seems even a conscience, it can be very scary at times for what suffices as leadership in many organizations. 


Yes, of course, Thank G-d for the many good, well-meaning, and hardworking folks that make getting up in the morning as well as going into the office, worthwhile.


But for those that hide behind the skirts of others, so that they can get away with things that they should never ever be getting away with…well those are not fruitful relationships being maintained, but rather caustic ones that radiate concentric circles of toxicity to organizations, people, and mission. 


People know it when they see it–because it stinks from the stench of bad apples, bullying, disengagement, lack of accountability and ultimately failure. 


We desperately need each person to perform and to band together as an A-Team. 


However, sink or swim–as individuals, each person in their own based on their conscience and contribution without a phony mask of a protectorate accomplice. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Inspector Inspects Starbucks

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This was the first time that I have ever seen an inspector in Starbucks…


See the lady in the white lab coat with hair cap and gloves…


Ah, she stands out like a saw thumb in contrast to the other staff person in the traditional green Starbucks apron. 


So I would imagine that she’s not a doctor moonlighting as a barista!


She was checking here, there, and everywhere. 


At this point, she was taking out the milk and looked like she had some thermometer like device to make sure it was cold enough and not spoiled. 


Honestly, I was impressed that they have this level of quality control in the stores. 


We need more of this to ensure quality standards as wPhotoell as customer service — here and everywhere in industry and government. 


There is way too much dysfunction, inefficiencies, politics, power plays, turf battles, backstabbing, bullying, lack of accountability, unprofessionalism, fraud, waste, and abuse, and mucho organizational culture issues that need to be–must be–addressed and fast!


Can the inspector that inspects do it?


Of course, that’s probably not enough–it just uncovers the defects–we still have the hard work of leadership to make things right–and not just to checklist them and say we did it.


I wonder if the Starbucks inspector will also address the annoying long lines on the other side of the counter as well? 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Rivers Of Blood

So after years of brutal war in Syria and use of chemical weapons of mass destruction…


Obama and Kerry did nothing!


And the result has literally been rivers of blood in Syria. 


Obama and Kerry could have fired the warning shots–as President Trump just did 79 days into his new administration–but Obama and Kerry choose weakness and inaction.


The result of the Obama administration’s inaction is that Russia has now comfortably moved and settled into Syria and that 500,000 Syrians are dead, 13.5 million require humanitarian assistance, 6 million are internally displaced, and 4.8 million refugees have fled across the borders.


Contrary to all who have accused President Trump of being complicit with Russia, instead we now see in him a leader who in fact stands up for what is right to Russia and despots like Syria’s Assad.


Perhaps the real person complicit with the Russians and Iranians was Obama who let them ride roughshod over human rights and over America.


In complicity was not President Trump, but Obama secretly whispering to the Russians and caught on an open mic: “After the election, I will have more flexibility”–to do what Americans obviously wouldn’t want me to do.


With regards to Syria’s chemical weapons, Kerry falsely stated to the American people:

We got 100% of chemical weapons out of Syria.


However, the slaughter continued for years and we continue to see chemical weapons used again this week with horrific pictures of men, women, and children brutally murdered in the streets of Syria.


But the weakness, disengagement, and leadership from behind from Obama and Kerry is hopefully behind us now. 


Stay tuned…next up is the phony deal that Obama and Kerry made with “Axis of Evil” Iran and the do-nothing with North Korea that has continued to lead them to a nuclear ICBM that can reach America!


So as we will soon start the holidays of Passover and Easter, we know that only G-d can make rivers of white water or of red blood flow mercifully or justly, but Obama and Kerry are the ones complicit in the slaughter of hundreds of thousands in Syria that they could’ve stopped, but didn’t. 

What’s With All The Finger-pointing

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Have you ever seen someone point fingers at the next guy/gal (a classmate, neighbor, co-worker, or even family and friends)?


It’s the blame game, the one-upmanship, the I’m golden and your mud way of doing business–can you really push that knife in any further?


And whatever finger your pointing, frankly it might as well be your middle finger in terms of the message you are sending. 


The old saying is that when you point fingers at others, there are three fingers pointing back at you–try it with your hand now and see what I mean.


Getting the job done–means working collaboratively and cohesively–we all contribute from our unique perspectives and skills sets. 


It’s synergy where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, rather than I think I’ll take all the darn credit–hey, I really do deserve it (in my own mind anyway)! 


Really, it’s not who did what to whom, but who helped whom and giving credit amply all around.


Ultimately, when we work together, we are strong, and when we point fingers at each other, it’s because we are weak, and we are weakening our relationships and the organization. 


The only time to point a finger, for real, is when you are gesturing to the Heaven, where all blessings come and from whom we are all created in His image. 


Otherwise, keep your fingers to yourself unless your fixing something that’s broke. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Whose Throat Do You Choke

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So this was an interesting term that I heard about getting people to take responsibility for their actions.


“Whose throat do I choke for this?”


Sounds a little severe, no?


I think this is partially an adverse reaction to “analysis paralysis” and “death by committee” — where no decisions can ever get made. 


And organizations where lack of accountability runs rampant and it’s more about finger pointing at each other, rather than owning up to your responsibilities, decisions, and actions.


So with dysfunctional  organizations, the pendulum swings aimlessly being no accountability and the ultimate chopping block. 


But choking off the life blood of our human capital certainly isn’t conducive to innovation, exploration, and discovery or to productivity, employee morale and retention.


So when it’s simple human error with our best effort and no bad intentions, how about we say a simple “Who done it this time,” do a post-action, figure out the valuable lessons learned, and resolve how we do better going forward. 


No throats or heads necessary (most of time). 🙂


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)