Why We Fight?

Google Diversity.jpeg

Well first of all, let me say that I really liked this image on Google the other day. 


Beautiful to see the diversity and brotherhood (and including those with disabilities)!


I had a an interesting conversation with my daughter the other day about why people often don’t get along. 


She said something that I thought was really astute:


“If there were unlimited resources, then no one would have a reason to fight!”


Think about that a moment…


Everyone feels they don’t have enough or someone else has more then them or they are afraid they won’t get their share, and so what happens?


Like jealous little children, we fight for the pail and shovel in the sandbox. 


Only as adults, our sandbox is a lot bigger and it involves hate, bigotry, racism and deadly weapons including guns, knives, and even nukes!


So this isn’t the Garden of Eden where everyone prances around free and with plenty and nothing to worry about. 


Instead, everyone has to work “by the sweat of your brow,” and there are limits to what we have, and there is fighting over who has what.


Yes, truly “greed is the root of all evil.”


What we need to learn and internalize is that it’s more important how we act towards each other than what we have and that the real gold in life is the good we do and not the plenty we amass. 


Sure we each need enough to be able to survive and excel as human beings, but it’s fool’s gold that prevents us from seeing each other as the real brothers and sisters we all are. 


If only we had enough–in both perception and reality–then peace could reign among mankind. 😉


(Source Photo: Google)

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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)

Getting A Leadership Washing

Getting It WashedGetting It Washed 2

So I am reading this book called, “What Your Boss NEVER Told You.”


In terms of leadership, a key principle is stated very well here: 

“‘What’ flows down

And

‘How’ flows up.”

Meaning that as the leader, you set the goal, but you don’t tell people how to achieve it.

Micromanagement “stomp[s] out 

creativity, ownership, and commitment.”

To give your people the breathing room to innovate and solve problems and feel good about their work, here’s the ideal manager:

“Hands-off whenever possible, 

and 

hands-on whenever needed.”

And finally the 3 “H’s” of leadership:

1. Honor — doing the right thing (i.e. integrity)

2. Humility — “give away the credit,” but own the responsibility 100%!

3. Humor — “take their work seriously, but themselves lightly.”

Overall, good book to get a clean bill of leadership health. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

 

Every Day Is Women’s Day

Women's Day

My mother taught me well, every day is women’s day!


Little did I know that March 8 is also designated International Women’s Day.


Today is the 10th, but I still saw a lady on the Metro carrying a balloon down the escalator celebrating this special time. 


Overall, even in the 21st century, it is appalling to say that women are not only still under-appreciated, but highly disrespected, and worse physically and emotionally abused around the world


Just this week, I read about another horrible rape in India of a 16-year old girl who was then set on fire and burned alive over 95% of her body–what crazies out there do this to women?


In Afghanistan, Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head for being a girl and wanting to go to school.


In other places in the world, terror groups like ISIS and Boko Haram abduct and make sexual slaves of women


In Germany, migrants sexually assaulted literally hundreds of women on New Year’s Eve. 


And in Brooklyn, New York, 4 out of 5 suspects in a rape of an 18-year girl in the park go free without bail


This doesn’t even touch the more mundane matters of pay inequity and equal opportunity issues where women still only earn 84% of what men earn in the workplace.


As if any normal person should even need to be told this, I remember some progressive teacher in yeshiva telling us that women being disrespected or hurt could be your mother, sister, wife, or daughter, so DON’T do it or tolerate it!


While gender stereotypes still prevail about women being solely the homemaker and rearer of children, at least more men are now open to sharing or taking on these roles as well. 


I think for women, it’s still a grossly sick and inequitable world out there and it’s a true mark of shame on anyone who perpetuates these abuses. 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Mano A Mano

Joust

So this is what it comes down to.


Man against man.


A fight to unseat and prevail against one’s ultimate opponent. 


Each one bravely charging forward into the fight. 


Armed and dangerous. 


Both shielded, but not fully protected. 


One will be going down hard and maybe not coming up again. 


Good versus evil. 


Repeated over time as the war of attrition plays out. 


The heavenly battle taking place among mere mortal agents. 


Until eventually the righteous triumph over the selfish, lusting, and greedy villains.  


In didn’t start in Medieval times and it won’t end until it’s over and won, and it will be won for G-d’s sake. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Team, It’s Not About You

Teamwork
This mug on teamwork was really funny.



Teamwork (noun):

1) A group of people doing what I say.

2) Work done that I can take credit for.



Of course, this really isn’t teamwork, unless you consider it the “I Team.” 



Yes, this is sort of sterotypical of bad bosses:

– They take the credit for the team’s work when everything goes well.

– But they pass along the blame when something goes wrong. 



Has this ever happened to you?



It reminds me of another funny saying about how greedy, narcissistic people think:



“What mine is mine, and what’s yours is mine.”



In other words–mine, mine, and mine, why thank you!



The best bosses are humble and giving. They make sure everyone knows what the goals are and are working efficiently to achieve them. 



The credit goes to the indivudals and team who are working their butts off, and when appropriate, the boss will take the heat to help others save face and enable them to press forward with the mission. 



I remember one of my colleagues who is a supervisor and he was called out for doing a great job. Immediately he goes, “It’s my team that make me look good.” And knowing this person, that wasn’t just talk or a show…he was completely sincere. 



That’s leadership and an impressive human being–someone to emulate!



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Govgeddon Is Not An Option

Govgeddon Is Not An Option

Interesting article in the Wall Street Journal about how the Federal government is falling to attract young people.

“Employees under the age of 30 hit an eight-year low of 7% in 2013…[while back in 1975, more than 20% of the federal workforce was under 30.”

Conversely, 45% of the federal workforce is older than 50.

Moreover by September 2016, a quarter of the all federal employees will be eligible to retire–that the retirement wave we’ve been hearing about for years, but never seems to really come (because of the economy).

Without “a pipeline of young talent, the government risks falling behind in an increasingly digital world.”

It’s not the older people can’t learn the technology, but rather they aren’t digital natives as those born in the later part of the 20th century.

To see just a glimpse of the digital divide, you need to go no further than when many of these folks snicker at us for even just sending emails–something so uncouth to the younger crowd.

With years of salary freezes, no awards, benefit cuts especially for new hires, and shutdowns, the federal government which used to be “an employee of choice,” is “now an employee of last resort.”

Further, “the reputation for bureaucracy and hierarchy is driving away many workers.” People want to be productive and get things done, not spin their wheels.

Yet, the government offers so many exciting jobs performing critical missions in everything from national security, diplomacy, law enforcement, and so much more, it is ironic that we cannot attract young people, who are often the most idealist.

Diversity in the federal workforce means that people under 30 are not a rarity!

Everyone–no matter what age, sex, race, religion, and so one–provides an important contribution, so that the sum of the parts is greater than the whole.

We need people to clearly feel the honor in public service, to see the importance of the missions performed, and to be treated like valued workers and not political pawns in partisan showdowns and Washington shutdowns.

Let’s actively recruit with an attractive smorgasbord of enhanced salary and benefits, especially in critical fields like cyber security, information technology, biotechnology, aerospace engineering, and more.

It’s time for the federal government to become attractive for young (and older) workers again, and not apologetic for providing important jobs in service of the nation.

The federal government needs to compete for the best and brightest and not resign itslef to second-tier, ever.

Our young people are an important pipeline for fresh ideas and cutting-edge skills, and we need them to prevent a govgeddon where we can’t perform or compete with the skills and diversity of workforce that we must have. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)