Another Nothing Burger

Nothing Burger.jpeg

So I’ve noticed that not only in politics–but in life–people are want to throw around a lot of nothing burgers.


This happens when they make vague accusations–incriminating people or groups–but without substantiating what they are saying. 


It’s a way of bullying, discriminating, and hating on others. 


Creating doubt about your victim–keep saying those derogatory, demeaning, and hateful stories–it tarnishes the other person’s image, reputation, and credibility.


Creating an endless aura of fallibility on the other person’s part. 


Here, we go…they screwed up again!


It’s death by a thousand cuts of insults, pot shots, and sucker punches.

It’s a definite form of verbal and emotional abuse and violence. 


Sometimes, there may be something to it–in which case the party that screwed up should take responsibility, correct their mistakes, and commit to sincerely doing better in the future. 


But often, there is nothing there!


And the false accusations are merely a way to cover up (management) incompetency or bias by the accusers themselves. 


It’s a great way to dominate the conversation, but really the people making the stink are simply acting out–and not too flattering as the whiners and complainers.


They point fingers at others, but there are three fingers pointing back at themselves!


Why?


Because it’s another nothing burger meant to deceive, discredit, and retard and take the focus off their own meatless patties!  


Where’s the beef?


The liars and deceivers and propagandists are using you for their own means.


Another nothing burger in the oven and it ain’t kosher! 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Getting To Yes

Customer Service.jpeg

I thought this was a good and important customer service principle:

“Don’t make me go through NO
To get to YES.”


When it comes to customer service, the default for reasonable requests from good customers should always be YES!


We can either make the experience miserable for the customer and leave them fuming, never coming back, and bad-mouthing us or we can make it fair, easy, accommodating, and a WOW experience!


Why not build your customer base and reputation for excellence rather than erode it? 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

What Do Red Lines Mean Anyway?

Red Lines.JPEG

Whether with chemical weapons or nuclear capable ballistic missiles, we set red lines with Syria and Iran and what happens?


These are weapons of mass destruction we are talking about!


What message do we send our dangerous adversaries, when we say we are going to do something and then we hesitate or don’t follow through?


Respect is earned and without that we are as good as roadkill. 


When we say something is crossing our red lines we ought to “say what we mean and mean what we say.”


Our national security is important, and so are our red lines and follow through actions. 😉 


(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal adapted from here with attribution to hobvias sudoneighm)

Live To Live or Live To Die?

Angel

In The New York Times today, David Brooks presents “two sets of virtues, the resume virtue and the eulogy virtue.”


The resume virtues are the skills you need to get ahead in the marketplace, and the eulogy virtues are “whether you were kind, brave, honest, or faithful.”


While we’d like to believe that most feel that being a decent human being is more important than how much money we earn, unfortunately our education and economic systems are geared far more toward the latter, where it’s widely acknowledged that “money makes the world go round!”


In fact, many will often sacrifice the moral high ground for landing on a bigger, cushier hill of worldly possessions and pleasures. 


Interestingly enough, my daughter asked me last week, whether it is better to personally live a happy life but die with a horrible reputation or to live selflessly, struggling with life challenges, but be revered after you die?


To me the answer was simple–live, learn, and grow regardless of momentary personal happiness. Do what’s right, period–honor and chivalry is alive and well. 


But my daughter told me that over 90% of people polled chose their happiness in life as their #1 goal.


I suppose it’s easy to say what’s the point of leaving a legacy if you were not happy living your life every day, but I would counter with what’s the point in chasing life’s daily pleasures, if you were a bum and everyone knows it?


The point isn’t even what people say about us when we are alive or dead, but rather that we know that we tried our best to live as decent, ethical human beings and that hopefully, we left the world a better place than when we got here.


Sure, there is no blessing in being poor or unhappy–but living purely to satisfy one’s voracious materialistic appetite is just being a selfish little pig–come on admit it!


On your deathbed, will you wish you that in your life you had more money and status or that you had been a better, more giving human being? 


I say forget the resume and the eulogy, just think about what will really gives you peace of mind and inner happiness and it’s more than any amount of money can buy or any seduction you can imagine.  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

You’re Probably Not A 10

If I Want Your Opinion
There is a review online for nearly everything…from sources such as Amazon to Yelp, Angie’s List, IMDb, and more. 



But what you may not realize is that the knife cuts both ways…you are not only the reviewer, but the subject of reviews.



And if you’re not all that…then everyone can know it!



The New York Times has an opinion piece by Delia Ephron about how reports cards are no longer just for kids, and that they are “for the rest of my life…[and] this is going on your permanent record.”



From cabbies that won’t pick you up because you’ve been rated a bad fare to your therapist that says you can’t stop obsessing, restaurants that complain you refused to pay for the chopped liver, and the department store says you wasted their salesperson’s time and then bought online, and even your Rabbi says you haven’t been giving enough to the synagogue lately. 



People hear things, post things, and can access their records online…your life is not private, and who you are at least in other peoples opinion is just an easy search away. 



In Tweets, Blogs, on Facebook, and even in companies customer records, you have a personal review and rating waiting for discovery.



Your review might be good, but then again…you are not always at your finest moments and these get captured in databases and on social media.



Data mining or exfiltration of your personal information is your public enemy #1.



Of course, you’d like to think (or wish) that you’re brand is a 10, but not everyone loves you that way your mother does.  



Too bad you can’t tell them, “If I want your opinion, I’ll ask for it”–either way, your gonna hear what people think of you loud and clear. 😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

What’s Your Information Lifecycle

A critical decision for every person and organization is how long to keep information out there in the physical and cyber realms.

Delete something too soon–and you may be looking in vain for that critical document, report, file, picture, or video and may even violate record retention requirements.

Fail to get rid of something–and you may be embarrassed, compromised, ripped off, or even put in legal jeopardy.
It all depends what the information is, when it is from, and who gets their hands and eyes on it!

Many stars have been compromised by paparazzi or leaked photos that ended up on the front page of newspapers or magazines and even government officials have ended up in the skewer for getting caught red handed like ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner sexting on Twitter.

Everything from statuses to photos put on social media have gotten people in trouble whether when applying to schools and jobs, with their partners, and even with law enforcement.

Information online is archived and searchable and it is not uncommon for parents to warn kids to be careful what they put online, because it can come back to haunt them later.

Now smartphones applications like Snapchat are helping people communicate and then promptly delete things they send.

With Snapshot, you can snap a photo, draw on it, even add text and send to friends, family, others. The innovation here is that before you hit send, you choose how long you want the message to be available to the recipient before vanishing–up to 10 seconds.

Snapchat has sent over 1 billion messages since July and claims over 50 million are sent daily–although forget trying to verify that by counting up the messages because they have self-destructed and are gone!

Of course, there are workarounds such as taking a screenshot of the message before it vanishes or taking a photo of the message–so nothing is full proof.

Last year, according to The Atlantic, the European Commission proposed a “Right-To Be Forgotten” as part of their data protection and privacy laws. This would require social media sites to remove by request embarrassing information and photos and would contrast with the U.S. freedom of speech rights that protects “publishing embarrassing but truthful information.”

Now, companies like Reputation.com even provide services for privacy and reputation management where they monitor information about you online, remove personal information from sites that sell it, and help you with search engine optimization to “set the record straight” with personal, irrelevant, exaggerated or false information by instead publishing positive truthful material.

According to Bloomberg BusinessWeek (7 Feb. 2013), “Ephemeral data is the future,” but I would say comprehensive reputation management is the future–whether through the strategic management of permanent information or removing of temporary data–we are in a sense who the record says we are. 😉

Those In The Know, Sending Some Pretty Clear Warnings

Listen

There have been a number of leaders who have stepped up to tell people the real risks we are facing as a nation.

They are not playing politics–they have left the arena.

And as we know, it is much easier to be rosy and optimistic–let’s face it, this is what people want to hear.

But these leaders–national heros–sacrifice themselves to provide us an unpopular message, at their own reputational risk.

That message is that poor leadership and decision-making in the past is threatening our present and future.

Earlier this week (15 May 2011), I blogged about a documentary called I.O.U.S.A. with David Walker, the former Comptroller General of the United States for 10 years!

Walker was the head of the Government Accountability Office (GAO)–the investigative arm of Congress itself, and has testified before them and toured the country warning of the dire fiscal situation confronting us from our proclivity to spend future generation’s money today–the spiraling national deficit.

Today, I read again in Fortune (21 May 2012) an interview with another national hero, former Admiral Mike Mullen, who was chairmen of the Joint Chiefs (2007-2011).

Mullen warns bluntly of  a number of “existential threats” to the United States–nukes (which he feels is more or less “under control”), cyber security, and the state of our national debt.

Similarly, General Keith Alexander, the Director of the National Security Agency (NSA) and the head of the Pentagon’s Cyber Command has warned that DoD networks are not currently defensible and that attackers could disable our networks and critical infrastructure underpinning our national security and economic stability.

To me, these are well-respected individuals who are sending some pretty clear warning signals about cyber security and our national deficit, not to cause panic, but to inspire substantial change in our national character and strategic priorities.

In I.O.U.S.A., after one talk by Walker on his national tour, the video shows that the media does not even cover the event.

We are comfortable for now and the messages coming down risk shaking us from that comfort zone–are we ready to hear what they are saying?

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Vagawi)