The All-Knowing (Not)

Knowing.jpeg

Check out this guy’s shirt:

“Those who think they know EVERYthing
annoy those of us who do.”


What would make this grown man put this handwritten sign on his shirt like this?  


It’s funny some people really do think they know everything. 


And they are the hardest and most annoying people to listen to, because their pompous arrogance blinds them to what others think, feel, and have to say. 


The only way to really know many different things is to learn from others and then incorporate that into your brain matter. 


Progress (societal and self), including thinking, is incremental–that’s why education is so important!


No one (except G-d, of course) knows everything, but everyone knows something. 


So we can learn from everyone!


Don’t fear other’s people knowledge, skills, and abilities–we are a community and we really only work well when we function together. 


It’s like on most of the survival shows I’ve seen–one or two people (even those highly trained) fail miserably at long- (or short-) term surviving, because “it takes a village!”


Overall, I like my father’s humble version on life much better:

“I know nothing and I can prove it.” 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal) 

Satisfied and Bless G-d

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I loved Chabad Rabbi Schneur Kaplan’s speech today in synagogue.


It was about how we can learn to be happy with what we have in life.


The biggest marketing gimmick is to say to the guy, “Look at what your neighbor has next door!”


Jealousy, desire, greed, having more and better than the next guy/girl…


That’s what many people live for and how they think.


Some can have as much as the founders of Apple, Google, and Facebook combined and still it’s not enough.


If just one person has something more…it can drive that person crazy.


Like Haman on Purim, who had wealth, power, large family and everyone bowed down to him…


Except one person named Mordecai who wouldn’t bow.


And despite having everything, but missing that one thing drove Haman so crazy–it was his downfall!


When we eat, we can be satisfied with one slice of pizza and say grace or we can have four slices and still not be satisfied.


How do we look at things?


We can be grateful for whatever we have and say that G-d gave us just what we needed at this time and place.


Or we can look at what we don’t have, and forever be bitter and unsatisfied.


What joy we can experience in life when we realize the graciousness for what G-d has bestowed on us and we are thankful for what we have. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Sharing The Loaf

Love.jpeg

So I am continuing to learn so much about who is good and who is not so good. 


Some people are literally so amazing–giving and caring of others–if they literally have just a single loaf of bread, they will share that willingly with others.


– Their perspective in grounded in a faith that whatever they have, they see it as a gift from G-d and it is only given to them as an opportunity to do good with it. 


Then there are others that no matter how much they seem have–and it could be millions of $$$–yet they still can’t stand to see others with even half a mouthful of bread.


– In their narcissistic view, what’s theirs is exceedingly and deservingly theirs, and what’s yours, they believe should also be theirs!


Yet sometimes we misjudge people out of fear or just not knowing enough about them.


We don’t know which category they fall into. 


Will they give you the shirt off their back or would they rip the shirt off you blind?


These are some of the challenges we face when confronting others in this scary world of souls being perfected and those that are still all too sullied. 


But the righteous will inherit the earth and more importantly, the Heavens…because the truth becomes known and is always absolutely clear to The One Above–and the evil ones, they will wither and die. 


(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)

The Greatest Failure of Leadership

Tiger.JPEG

So perhaps the most damaging trait of failed leadership is hubris.

When a leaders exhibits arrogance–bullies and degrades others, especially underlings–then that absolutely destroys the moral fiber of and the employee engagement in the organization.

No, it’s not the salary and benefits, or recognition, or position title, or even the grandness of the mission of the organization itself–although they are all important–but rather, the key ingredient to employee satisfaction is the common sense fundamental of how we treat our people.

People rising or elevated in the organization frequently forget the humble beginnings from whence they and their families likely began.

They see their honor and fat pay check and power–and they start to perhaps think of themselves as (close to) G-d Almighty, Him/Herself.

But it is not their position that makes them in the image of G-d, but how they care for and treat others.

If they shepherd their flocks meekly and with empathy and kindness to all then they emulate G-d, the creator and sustainer.

But when it goes to their heads and they become fat and haughty with themselves and are above everyone and care not for the basic dignity and respect of each individual in their steward then G-d sees and G-d hears the cry of the oppressed, and the mighty will surely fall and hard.

As it says in Isaiah 13:11:

I will punish the world for its evil, the wicked for their sins. I will put an end to the arrogance of the haughty and will humble the pride of the ruthless.

Those who are blessed by G-d with position, money, and power–their challenge is to be gracious and giving with it. 

When they “laud it” over others and when they think that they are truly “all that”–rest assured that G-d does not let any tree grow or tower (of Babel) build into the Heavens themselves. 


Empathy, kindness, graciousness, and generosity–that is true leadership–and that is when employee engagement, satisfaction, and productivity will bear the mark of the meek and the truly great person and leader. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Temper Tantrums Don’t Make Peace

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The latest salvos of U.S. anger, frustration, and temper tantrums are not helpful to achieving peace in the world. 


We are not dealing with children and should not treat foreign countries and leaders “with disdain and disrespect” or with bias, hate, and underling anti-Semitism. 


Nor should we get on our soapbox high and mighty and “lecture” others, especially when we ourselves have been grossly deficient and derelict. 


Over the last 8 years:


We let 500,000 Syrians be massacred, including the very rebels that we were supposedly supporting, and allowed many to be killed with prohibited chemical weapons (violating our definitive “red line”)!


We let Ukraine be attacked and Crimea be stolen!


We let Russian nuclear-capable weapons be stationed on the border of NATO.


We let millions of refugees stream across the Middle East and world homeless and helpless. 


We let the world’s #1 sponsor of terrorism, Iran, become a licensed nuclear power, extend their Caliphate across Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen–while swarming and buzzing our ships and taking our sailors hostage and humiliating them. 


We let North Korea advance it’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.


We let China build and militarize the South China Sea and threaten freedom of navigation of the seas, and let them steal our drone in International waters. 


We let our ambassador to Libya and his associates be murdered.


We let the President of the Philippines call our President a “son of a whore.”


We let ISIS rampage and murder across the globe in countless terror attacks, while we called them “workplace violence” and traffic accidents.


We let divisiveness seep into and poison our own cities, communities, people, and even against law enforcement, and politicized everything stagnating our our country and making us fall further behind in the world from education to life expectancy. 


We abandoned those seeking democracy, freedom, and human rights from the Green Revolution in Iran to the Arab Spring across the Middle East. 


And the list goes shamefully on and on.


But what’s possibly even worse is that while we failed the world over, we are arrogant and nasty to others betraying our friend and allies in one-sided resolutions that ignore the scrounge of terrorism, deadly attacks, Anti-Semitism as well as with horrible deals with Iran that threaten their very existence. 


While we continue to sit in America, on land forcibly and violently taken from the Native American Indians, having brutally enslaved for hundreds of years African Americans, abused women and treated them as lessor in role, voting, and dignity, interned Japanese Americans and twice dropped the Atom Bomb on civilian cities, what right do we have to lecture anyone?


Yes, we dole out billions to nations around the world, for what we want whether in terms of allies, voting blocks, military cooperation, intelligence, or because of religious convictions, but that does not give us the right to arrogantly and bulling tell others or try to force them how to live in their neighborhoods and with the threats facing their people. 


While we did nothing, we spoke a great deal trying in vain to force our will on others, and the failures that abound are a reflection of just that leadership from behind, hypocrisy, and hubris. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Why Can’t We Keep Our Secrets

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Well after the now notorious email scandal and other information security mishaps galore, this advertisement in Washington, DC is really quite the rage. 

“Keeps classified data classified.”


As parents tell their children about keeping private things private:

“If you can’t keep it a secret, then how do you expect the other kids to keep it to themselves?”


There are lots of secrets in DC, but there are also a lot of big mouths, security negligence, and even corruption. 


This gives our adversaries the opportunities they need to get our countries vital information. 


We work too hard to develop the best intellectual property for national security and our economy as well as the critical policies for advancing human rights and democracy around the world to let it just be easy fodder for others to help themselves too. 


Technology won’t solve the gap in certain big mouths and sloppy Joes around town. 


Only vigilant, smart people can protect the nations vital information that is the fuel for our success and survival. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Wiping The Smug

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How you ever seen someone with that unbelievable smug look on their face? 


They are almost glowing in hubris and elitism.


They have gotten away with something and they know it and think they are above earth and Heaven.


Feeling better, smarter, and mightier than everyone else around them. 


They have built a fortress of minions, money, and power. 


And nothing, they think, can bring them back to Earth. 


Through deals, cunning, intimidation, and even elimination of their rivals, they survive and thrive growing stronger with every kill. 


High and mighty, but G-d sees all. 


Arrogant and corrupt, but G-d forgets none. 


All humankind is connected and one.


As one sits in the dust of the feet of another. 


The wheel of life turns, and the roles reverse. 


The next person has the chance to act different and better.


To mend their soul and humbly influence others for the good. 


No one should be smug, because everyone serves. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Poor Decision-Making Inc.

Poor Decision-Making Inc

(Click the image for larger size)

___________________________


There is a funny Organization Chart of Indecision by Corter Consulting circulating on the Social Media. 


This graphic (above) by me can be thought of as the corollary for Poor Decision-Making.


It is headed by the Chief, Bad Decisions.


Supporting the Chief is the EVP of Strong-Arming.


Reporting to the Chief are 6 VPs of:


– Haste


– Intuition


– Incompetence


– Misinformation


– Narcissism


– Corruption


Followed by 16 Directors of:


– Get It Over With

– It’s Too Hard


– Feelings

– Myths

– I Just Don’t Know


– Ignorance

– Ineptitude


– Lack of Data

– Bad Data

– Misinterpretation


– What’s In It For Me (WIIFM)

– Legacy

– Arrogance


– Fraud

– Waste

– Abuse


Hope you enjoy this Org Chart of Poor Decision-Making and I look forward to your comments on it. 


(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)

Freak Accidents, Illnesses, And Events

Treadmill

Dave Goldberg, the CEO of Survey Monkey (and the husband of Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook), died suddenly in a freakish accident falling off a treadmill and hitting his head. 


Poof…dead at age 47!


Unfortunately, we hear all the time about these type of tragic occurrences to people.


And of course tragedy knows no bounds–so while sh*t happens everyday to people from all walks of life, we tend to pay more attention when it’s someone we know and love or when it’s splashed wildly in the news about fabulously successful people we admire and follow. 


– Entertainer, Michael Jackson (50) dead from drug intoxication after suffering cardiac arrest.


– Actor, Robin Williams (63) dead by hanging suicide. 


– Singer, John Lennon (40) shot in the back by someone he had autographed an album for.


– Martial Artist, Bruce Lee (33) died on a movie set from a cerebral edema.


– Model, Marilyn Monroe (33) dead by drug overdose.


– President, John F. Kennedy (46) dead by assassination.


Whether by a plane crash or car accident, drowning or fire, poison or electrocution, a criminal or animal attackterrorism, war, or natural disaster, a heart attack, stroke, or cancer, through suicide, punishment, or mercy killing…regardless of the probabilities and statistics, many people never make it all the way to “a ripe old age.” 


We feel bad, shake our heads, say a few words of sympathy perhaps, when we hear of these lives cut short.


But like the TV shows, Six Feet Under (HBO) or 1000 Ways To Die (Spike)–there are a near endless number of horrible ways to go–and they can take you at literally any time.


While we can’t stop living and just sit around worrying all the time about all the bad things that can happen, we do need to remember that anything can happen at any time (and these things are not so freakish after all)–no one is beyond the Angel of Death, no one should be arrogant, and we should make the most of every single moment that G-d lovingly grants to us.  😉


(Source Photo: here with attribution to Military Health)

The Lights Never Really Go Off

Light Switch

It was interesting at work recently, when a colleague was contemplating what to do about some key person being out of the office and unavailable…



And they go: “Next man or women up–last one flips off the light.”



In other words as they say, the show must go on!



So hurry up and let’s get the person’s deputy, “second,” or the next one on the ladder read in and working on this. 



When it comes to work, we can’t stop because someone is “out of pocket”–the job presuposes any particular person or persons.



While many peope think (or wish) they are irreplaceable, the truth is that with the exception of your closest family and friends, we are all just shy of, “Okay, whose up next?”



I remember a friend who told me many years ago that he believed that the whole world revolved around him (yes really), and that everyone else was “just a figment of my imagination.”



Ha, I’m pretty sure that a lot of people have had a similar thought or sentiment about themselves. 



But the truth is that while everyone is unique and invaluable–there are over 7 billion of us out there and growing–so there is always someone else waiting in the wings to jump on an opportunity to fill someone else’s shoes (no matter how big). 



It is a harsh world and reality–but we are here as long as we are here, and then there are others who come after. 



In a sense, this is a good thing, because as mere mortals, we don’t want everything to depend on us–we are frail, we get sick, we die–but by having others who can step in and carry the flag forward, our efforts do not end with us. 🙂



(Source Photo: here with attribution to Niklas Morberg)