Manage The Crisis and Don’t Exploit It

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So I heard an interesting thought on crisis management:

“Never let a good crisis go to waste!”


Isn’t that frequently how politicians and lobbyists use the crisis, rather than deal with it. 


In certain cases, some have even been known to actually create the crisis for their ends!


Whether it’s some politicians calling for strict gun control when there is a mass shooting (perhaps infringing on other reasonable 2nd amendment rights) or it’s right to life advocates demanding an end to funding for planned parenthood when some bad people are caught selling fetal body parts and so on and so on.


Maybe these things are the right thing to do–in which case, a very bad event can end up being an impetus for much needed change and thus, can facilitate in transforming society and from that perspective, be a good thing!


But is the change really and necessarily the right thing to do…or is the crisis de jure just an excuse to get what some people wanted all  along.


– Use (exploit) the crisis.


– Maximize the momentum from the crisis.


– Leverage the emotions from the crisis.


– Promptly turn the tables on the issue.


– Leave all compromise and negotiation aside, and seize the moment.


The lesson here is not to just react, because a sudden and impulsive decision may end up being an overreaction and cause negative unintended consequences down the road.


The pendulum tends to shift and swing widely in both directions–neither extreme is good.


Instead well thought policy, use of common sense, maintaining reasonableness, looking at all sides, and a general middle of the road approach usually yields the best results for the most people.


Crisis management should be just that–managing the crisis; the policy should be fully reasoned both before and after. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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Cyclops Looking Eye

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What’s the fascination with the mythical cyclops and the single eye in the center of the forehead?


If the eye represents seeing and knowing then aren’t we better off with two or even a dozen eyes to see with?


See more, know more, do more.


How about eyes in the back of the head?


Or all around the head in a cool circle–like a majestic crown of sight all around you.


Seeing is miraculous.


The beauty of the world–people, nature, and the stars above. 


Seeing is function.


Being able to navigate, get around, and do things with relative ease. 


Seeing is safety.


Sensing path from obstacle and friend from foe. 


It’s frightening to think of not having vision–what a challenge!


One old lady is possibly legally blind, but still serves as a notary public–how does she do that?


Eyes themselves are beautiful–brown and blue and hazel, and soft and deep and mesmerizing. 


Looking into someone’s eyes, have you ever seen their soul. 


Show me thy ways oh L-rd and let me learn and grow in the world you’ve created for us–seeing the material and spiritual world we’re enveloped in. 


I see the beauty, necessity, and lessons you have for me. 


However many eyes, seeing is believing in it all. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Screwing The American Worker

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So someone came to me today complaining that their company was messing with them. 


The employee was earning above minimum wage after several years in their line of work


And now their company wants to cut their salary claiming tight budgets. 


But get this:


– Instead of speaking with the employee, they send the employee a text message telling them they are going to cut their salary, and when the employee tries to call them, they don’t even pick up the phone or call back. 


– The company decides unilaterally that they will cut the employee salary by $1.50 an hour or a whopping 12.5% to this person!


– And this company is going to actually pay the employee below minimum wage!


Apparently, this company hires a lot of immigrants who don’t know the law and are only here for a short time, so this company disgustingly “gets away with it!”


But this employee is an American citizen and he is rightfully furious–as we all should be.


So Montgomery County, Maryland–a very liberal county–just raised the minimum wage to $11.50 effective July 1. 


Do you know what that comes out to at 40 hours per week–less than $24,000 annually.


That’s less than the poverty level for a typical family of four. 


Imagine what this person has left after taxes and carfare to get to work–not much!


I have gotten to know this person and they are a good, decent, hardworking human being, and they have suffered in their lifetime–why do they need to be treated like this and forced to earn even LESS THAN minimum wage. 


They are worried that if they say anything then they will be even worse off–they don’t want to be seen as trouble. 


How many times does this or a similar situation happen to innocent workers where they are mistreated, taken advantage of, abused, harassed, or even worse–but because they need the job and the money they are afraid to say or do anything to protect themselves.


We are the United States of America–one of the wealthiest and most powerful nations on Earth–is this how we treat our citizens?


People deserve to work and earn a decent days pay for a honest days work–a genuine living wage!


They also deserve core worker benefits like health care and a decent retirement. 


And they should be able to do their work free from workplace harassment and abuse. 


There must be not only fundamental laws that protect people, but also the enforcement mechanisms to make it really work. 


This gets to the heart of America–do we still have one? 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Dirty Laundry Usually Doesn’t Get Aired

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The way to fix problems is to first identify and acknowledge them.


Only then can you focus on them, commit to them, really address them, and make things better.


The BIG problem though is fear. 


Usually dirty laundry doesn’t get so easily aired. 


Generally, people don’t want trouble. 

“The nail that sticks up gets hammered down.”

And who wants to be the one to get hammered flat and for of all things, doing the right thing?


We don’t encourage transparency.


And we certainly don’t reward transparency. 


As I once overheard:

“Uh, you better keep it in the family!”

So things get kept in the family, and the big burly husband is a drunkard bum and the wife is abused and the kids are abused, and the sh*t goes on. 


Shhh…


Open door policies, hotlines, and other mechanisms are helpful, but don’t go far enough. 


Bosses need to ask point blank and with full and honest assurance of confidentiality and non-attribution or retribution:

“Tell me what’s really going on here.”

When there is smoke, there is fire, and where there is skunk stink, there is skunk.


The only way to know the truth and make a difference is to get to the truth.


In life, is anyone willing to “do the dirty” and finally get to clean? 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Face The Fear

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I have to give my wife credit. 


She said something to me the other day that was really profound and had a deep impact on me. 


Something bad had happened and honestly, it was a truly frightening situation.


At first, it seemed like one of those negative surprises in life that brings bad news and you are at first sort of shocked. 


As things progress though and the news unfortunately doesn’t get better, but in fact gets worse, the shock turns to fear and maybe even panic. 


Oh shit, what do I do now?


Turn this way..no good. 


Turn that way…no good.


Retreat…not an option.


So I speak to my wife, and at first she says:

“Just look away.”

But I can’t look away…I can’t ignore a problem…my instinct is that I have to plan for it, deal with it, solve it. 


I go back to my wife, and she says to me:

“Face the fear, and walk through it.”

And I had to stop in my tracks at that. 


She was right–there is no use being fearful or worrying–I would face it and walk through it, and come out the other side better for it. 


That was some of the best advice anyone I think has ever given to me. 


Got to be strong, have courage, face the challenges in life, and “walk through it!” 


What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. 


Have to have emunah (faith), and realize it’s just a test. 


And the Almighty G-d is my shield and protector. 


It’s a test, but I can pass it with G-d’s help, and everything will be alright. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Nuke Fear Turning To Action?

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What sane person would not be afraid of the incredibly destructive power of nukes (and other weapons of mass destruction)?


Currently, there are about 15,000 either stockpiled or poised to strike around the world. 


Enough deadly weapons to kill the entire planet!


After a frightening series of 5 nukes tests since 2006 plus 18 technologically progressive ballistic missiles tests over the last 6 months, things are escalating after new sanctions imposed to try to contain the threat–with North Korea rattling it’s nuclear arsenal with a shrill threat of attack moving to “physical action” and the U.S. shooting back “fire and fury,
” 


As to further North Korean mad progress, it was reported that they are developing a powerful new H-bomb with immense destructive power, especially towards our density killing fields:


– If such a weapon would strike, G-d forbid, Washington D.C., it could mean 500,000 dead and another 900,000 injured–let alone what this would mean in terms of a destructive decapitation to the very functioning and continuity of our government and country. 


– Even worse fatalities would occur should it strike our financial capital, New York City, with estimates of 1.7 million dead. 


Hence, the news that this is no joking matter anymore (as if it really ever was). 


Fears typically first get expressed in rhetoric, but then with greater and ever potent means for them to become reality, the risks increase for them to actually make the horrific leap. 


What happens next with the ever menacing dangers from rogue Axis of Evil nations, North Korea and Iran–and will we ever feel and be safe again, absent any meaningful social progress while they continue to absolutely and speedily advance their ever more deadly weapons programs and the means to deliver them, first class. ;-0


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Meaning of Silence

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Is silence a good thing or a bad thing–what does it really mean?


On the plus or neutral side:


Silence can mean modesty and humility–you withhold speaking out of turn or having a big mouth; you recognize that you don’t know everything and what you do know is not intended to put down or shame others. 


Silence can means secrets and privacy–you don’t say everything; you treat information properly based on need to know and propriety of sharing. 


Silence can mean good situational judgement–that you know prudently when to let others have their say, or when your opinion isn’t really welcome, or when it’s best to just stay below the radar. 


Silence can mean you simply don’t know–and it’s something you need to listen and learn more about rather than speak; it’s why we’re told that we have two ears and one mouth.


Silence can mean that maybe you don’t care about something–why get fired up or “waste your breath” on it when it’s just not your thing.


When can it be a negative:


There was a sign in the local school window that silence means (wrongful) acceptance; that is also something I learned in in the Talmud in yeshiva; if you see something wrong and don’t say or do something, you are (partially) responsible.


Silence can mean fear–perhaps you don’t accept something, but you’re afraid to speak truth or morality to power; you sit silently cowering, when you should stand up tall and speak out. 


Silence may also mean shame–you’ve done something wrong or don’t want others to know something that could make you look bad or put you in jeopardy. 


Silence can mean you are hiding something–it can be that you don’t trust or aren’t trustful; silence at a time when you need to answer or respond can result in suspicion about why you are “holding back,” instead of being forthcoming and truthful.


When to talk and when to remain silent? 


Certainly, “you have the right to remain silent.”


We need to use words with care and intent–to always seek to help and not to hurt. 


Words are so potent–the mouth is perhaps the strongest part of the human body, just like the pen is mightier than the sword. 


That’s why I pray that G-d put the “right words” in my mouth–to be constructive, positive, effective and impactful–to do good as much as possible with words and with silence. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)