Motivation, Hard Work, and Blessings

So I am incredibly impressed at how talented so many people are. 

And I’ll tell you, people are motivated to get ahead and they are working hard to do it. 

I took Lyft to a couple of destinations down here in Florida. 

Two drivers that I had just yesterday were both from relatively poor backgrounds in Jamaica. 

And both were incredible in what they’ve been able to accomplish for themselves.  

One was a senior communications technologist with a large cable company.

Another was a pretty impressive and successful Reggae music star. 

Both had come to this country and made amazing lives for themselves. 

In meeting these incredible people, I learned that everyone is driving Uber and Lyft now-a-days. 🙂

Both were driving as they told me just to keep busy on their days off–because they “hate being bored!”

More importantly, I learned that despite whatever background, hardships, or adversity you come from or have experienced, you can make it in your own way! 

Motivation and hard work coupled with mercy and blessings from, and faith in the Almighty Above are an incredible combination that can propel people towards incredible levels of success in life that maybe many would’ve never even really dreamed of. 

There is no easy road–just one filled with trying your best, plenty of obstacles, stumbles, and falls, and then picking yourself up and trying again and again until hopefully and with G-d’s help you break the bonds and chains keeping you from your amazing levels of potential and contribution to this world. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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Introducing The Valkyrie

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Wow, just loved this new Aston Martin called the Valkyrie!


If I had a spare $2.6 million laying around that no one needed, I’d definitely get one of these. 


1,000 horsepower, V-12 engine, and they fit the car to you, literally!


“It’s a carbon fiber rocket” with an assisted electric motor for the environmentally conscious. 


Here’s a link to some awesome images of this gorgeous “hypercar” (which reminds me of Elon Musk’s Hyperloop and it’s a thousand time better looking than the Tesla).  


Fast, futuristic, performance, stylish, and sleek as can be.


I almost want to photoshop a picture of myself in the diver’s seat with a huge smile on my face as I wave and say see you later. 😉


(Source Photo: Aston Martin)

America’s Great Disappointment

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So the Wall Street Journal asks today,”Why [Is] This Recovery Is So Lousy“?


They say that with Obama, “No president was ever better positioned to lead a strong recovery…no resources were spared…yet not once in the last seven years has annual economic growth ever reached [even] 3%.”


But the news gets worse, in fact, “U.S. GDP grew a disappointing 1.2% in the second quarter…[and] economic growth is now tracking at a 1% rate in 2016…that makes for an average annual 2.1% rate since the end of the recession.”


And that is after Obama’s $836 billion stimulus and $3 trillion in Federal reserves injected into the economy!


The Great Recession may be the most disastrous economic results short of the Great Depression itself.


However, this is not the only reason Americas are disappointed with what they are getting from Washington (and we won’t even talk about the candidates).


80% say we are heading in the wrong direction!  Let’s repeat that again, 80% say we are heading in the wrong direction.


Harvard Business Review says it’s not just the economy stupid, since we still [despite ourselves–with failing policies of enormous tax and spend and over-regulation] rank #5 on GDP per capita. 


Yet that doesn’t translate into overall social progress for us.


Get this, the U.S. ranks 19th in social progress in the world–just one place above Slovena!


Why???


– We rank 26th on personal rights because of restrictions on freedoms like the right of assembly. 


– We rank 27th on personal safety because of high homicides and poor road safety.


– We rank 36th on environmental quality because of high greenhouse gases and poor water quality.


– We rank 40th on basic knowledge because of poor education and high dropout rates.


– We rank 68th on health and wellness because of suicides, obesity, cancer, and heart disease.


HBR points out that there may be individual reasons for each of these, but overall this is a bleak “troubling picture” and Trump isn’t the one who painted it.


The sad fact is that one of the only things that the U.S. is ranking #1 in the world in is our national debt to everyone else…and this is being squandered. 


Think good and hard about the nation you are leaving your children and grandchildren…this is a horrible performance scorecard for America, the superpower!  😉


(Source of the amazing photo: Minna Blumenthal)

Different, Better Than Mad Max

Orange Porsche
Love this photo of the Orange Porsche epecially at this cool angle.



Ok, this is not a Mad Max black muscle car.



More like a Fast and Furious action racing vehicle. 



When I saw this car in front of the new Pike and Rose in North Bethesda (gorgeous by the way), I thought this is becoming more like Miami than typical Washington, D.C. 



Aside from the cars, the upscale dining, shopping, and iPic movie theatre (with luxurious reclining plush chairs and alcoholic drinks) has brought this area to a whole new level. 



Mad Max eat your heart out or perhaps those of your post-apocalyptic adversaries. 😉



(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)

Buyer Beware, Else Buyer Remorse

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Just a quick lesson I wanted to share from my grandfather.



He used to say (or so my dad used to tell me), “You open your eyes or you open your wallet!



Put another way is that “A fool and his money are soon parted.”



But I like the way my grandfather put it even better–easier to remember and no name calling involved! 😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Movers and Shakers

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For a long time, I’ve heard of “The movers and shakers” as the ones who get things done.

But I think there is another and more accurate meaning to this phase.

And it is related to the old adage of “those who can do, and those who can’t teach.”

Note, there is no disrespect intended to good, solid teachers here, as they have one of the most important jobs in society in educating and molding our children, but the point is that there are some that can only talk theory, but haven’t actually done the job!

Similarly, in the organizations, movers and shakers are often not one and the same, but two different types of people.

We have those who are “the movers”–who actually get things done, who break logjams, who overcome bureaucracy, who solve problems, who make things better.

And then there are “the shakers,” those who do more jumping up and down and waving to get attention for themselves, their egos, their resumes, and their bogus brands, but don’t or can’t actually deliver the goods–real results.

The movers are the genuine, hardworking doers and carers of our organizations; the shakers are the Billie Big Mouth Bass showpeople.

The movers work the problems everyday and make progress and it is wonderful to celebrate their hardwork and successes, but the shakers are the attention-grabbers, boasting more about what they do, instead of actually doing much of anything.

Beware of those that talk a good game, but can’t actually hit the ball–and the recognition and attention they are bathing in may actually just be a good cover like from a tanning salon and not from the real beach. 😉

(Source Photo: here with attribution to RedHerring1up)

Mr. Universe of Leadership

Mr. Universe of Leadership

A colleague at work told me about a book called Compelling People by Neffinger and Kohut.

The thesis of the book is that the most effective and powerful leaders balance projecting strength and warmth.

If you just show strength, then you would potentially be seen as dictatorial, a micromanager, unapproachable, all work and no personality, and maybe even a tyrant.

And if you just project warmth, then you would likely be seen as wimpy, emotional but not intellectual/skilled, managing by friendship and not professionally, and not focused on results.

That’s why combining and projecting a healthy balance of strength and warmth is effective in leading towards mission results, but also in being a “mensch” and caring for the people you work with.

You can’t have sustained strong performance without a happy workforce.

And you can’t have a happy workforce without strength to achieve meaningful work performance.

In funny, but in a sense Arnold Schwarzenegger is a good example of someone who combines the two.

On one hand, he represents the big and strong “Mr. Universe,” and was able to play in numerous action movies, such as Terminator, Predator, Conan The Barbarian, and more.

At the same time, Schwarzenegger always had a warm, softer side and stared in comedies like Kindergarten Cop, Twins (as the intellectual twin of street-wise Danny Devito), and Junior (where he undergoes a male pregnancy!).

While no one is good at everything and it can be hard to effectively balance strength and warmth, leaders that master this can become the real Mr. Universe for their organizations and people. 😉

(Source Photo: Left from Andy Blumenthal and Right from here with attribution to Eva Rinaldi)