Pyramid of Emotional Intelligence

I really like this Pyramid of Emotional Intelligence (EI). 


It starts at the bottom with your own personal self-awareness–knowing who you are, including your beliefs, values, priorities, needs, and dreams, and being able to express this. 


Next level is your personal self-control–being able to manage your feelings, control your actions, and cope with challenges and adversity. 


Moving to the social level is then social awareness–having a consciousness and respect of others, their feelings, thoughts, motivations, needs, desires, and rights.


Finally, at the top is relationship management–the ability to actively listen and empathize, assert and influence, be patience and unconditionally accept differences, develop trust, give and take, collaborate, and manage conflict.


Most people work on developing these areas of the EI their whole life, and it is definitely a pyramid worthy of the climb. 😉


(Credit Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)

Confidence Speaks

I found this interesting about communications management. 

On one hand, when discussing issues, you want to listen to everyone’s input, and consider all sides. 

On the other hand, it’s critical to be competent, confident, and “know what you’re talking about.”

Amos Oz wrote:

Those who hesitate and doubt are convinced by those who are strong-minded. 

So it’s an important balancing act:

– Not to be so self-confident that you aren’t listening to others, 

– But also not being so unsure and hesitant that you don’t stand behind your values and views. 

Confidence speaks, but overconfidence is deaf. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

What Makes Happy

So the same things don’t seem to drive happiness for everyone. 


Some like big jobs and lots of power. 


Others are happier with more work-life balance. 


Some like to pursue lots of degrees and certifications.


Others like to learn on their own and through life experience. 


Some like to travel the world.


Others like a day in nature or at the museum. 


Some like big families and lots of people around them. 


Others like smaller families, close friends, intimacy, or even being more on their own. 


Some like lots of money. 


Other are happy with having what they need.


Some like to be tremendous athletes. 


Other like to just stay fit or maybe are more comfy as “couch potatoes.”


Some like to be very religious and follow all the laws.


Others prefer mindfulness, a sense of spirituality and being a “good person.”  


Some like lots of activities and to always do different things. 


Others are more comfortable with routine and incremental change. 


We all have basic needs, but we also have different values, priorities and comfort zones. 


Happiness isn’t a yes or no answer, but what makes us feel on track and doing good. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Blood Libels Unabated

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel, called “The Jews Control It.”


Unfortunately, the anti-Semites continue their refrain of “The Jews control the world” from Wall Street to Main Street to K Street.


But what they are completely missing are the true secrets of Jewish creativity and thought.


I hope you will read the article to learn about Jewish values and our faith. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

How Do I Choose?

So I thought this was an interesting topic for the sermon on Shabbat by Ben Shemony. 


It was about how we are confronted in life with whether to follow our impulses or our values. 


I think there is a lot to this topic…


Some may see it as the little good angel standing over one shoulder and another bad angel standing over the other trying to convince us what to do when it’s decision time.  


Others may be perpetually torn between temptations or pleasures of materialism and the flesh versus of pursuing what you know to be spiritually good and right in this world. 


Either way, as human beings, we are a complex make-up of both body and soul.


Do we give in to temptation and do what feels good–more money, more food, more clothes and jewelry, more houses, cars, and yachts, more vacations, more carnal pleasures from the proverbial “wine, women, and song” or do we pursue the path of spirituality, serving our maker, caring and giving and doing good for others and the world?  


It sounds simple, but our impulses tell us one thing and our values tell us another. 


Are we being selfish or selfless?


Perhaps, too much of anything is bad for us–even too much giving and selflessness–we need to care for ourselves too–we are mortal, we have needs, we have to nourish ourselves, and we need to live. 


But you can’t be a glutton or a slave to your impulses–you can’t take and not give, your can’t indulge until you make yourself sick, or take at the expense of and harm to others.


Like all things in life, there is a need for balance.


Certainly our spirit should guide our animal. 


If and when our animal is dictating to our spirit then we are in real trouble. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

THE MIGHTY MERKAVA IV

What an amazing birthday gift from my beautiful kids. 


A model of the awesome Merkava IV battle tank from Israel. 


They know how much I love this tank which the brave soldiers of the IDF use to protect the Holy Land of Israel. 


As a son of Holocaust survivors, this gift left me so emotional and literally brought tears to my eyes. 


One of the real tributes of the Merkava is that unlike almost every other tank in the entire world which has its engine in the rear to protect it from enemy fire…


The Merkava IV has the engine in the front to protect the lives of the Israeli soldiers who man it. 


To the Jewish people, it’s not the tank that is important in and of itself, but it is its ability to protect each and every sacred life behind it. 


That is the noble creed of the Israelite people–nothing is more valuable than human life. 


70-years after the founding of the State of Israel–established from the very ashes of the 6,000,000 murdered in the Holocaust–I am so proud to say that IDF, despite being under almost constant threat from enemies near and far, protects the people and country with the utmost bravery, human dignity, and as a true light unto the nations. 


They are true heroes! May G-d Almighty bless each and every defender who stands watch over the Holy Land, and may He speedily bring a true and lasting peace to us all. 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Amazon’s Dangerous Genius

I am marveling at the Genius of Amazon and Jeff Bezos but also concerned about their future direction. 


Traditionally, they have invested for the long-haul!


For years, Amazon never made a dime, actually operating at a loss.


But all the time making long-term investments in infrastructure (warehouses, supply chain, logistics, etc.) and in customer acquisition. 


Their great selection, reasonable pricing, free shipping, and easy return policy lured hundreds of millions of people to drop the brick-and-mortar stores and even other online retailers to go Amazon all the way. 


Most people I know get virtually everything and anything on Amazon these days. 


Of course, the fear always was that Amazon would become such a dominant player and monopoly that no one else could compete. 


For a long time, they didn’t even charge sales tax!


It seems people can’t even imagine not having Amazon–where in the world would they shop and get all their stuff in 2-days or less (Prime Customers) and still be able to return all the crap they don’t even want. 


So here is the rub.


Now that Amazon is so dominant, guess what?  They are raising the Prime Rates and cutting back on returns–with customers actually being banned for returning too much. 


Ah, the lure, bait and switch. 


Amazon got us all as their slave customers–and we let them and love them for it. 


And after they snared us with all the convenience and security of being able to return stuff, they pull the rug and what can you do, but cry foul?


I love Amazon for their genius and what they have done for eCommerce, but I don’t like that they’ve built in a sense a dark empire to prey on their loyal customer base. 


Mr. Bezos, here is my message to you…


Please stay true to your ideals of customer-centricity and long-term investment in the company that has been the foundation for what you have built into such a retail juggernaut.  


Keep valuing your customers and serving them well and not trading them in for short-term profit gain.


In the end, that is a winning strategy that won’t land you in either regulatory hell and/or antitrust action to then force you to bend your knee or your ultimate breakup. 


Remember, you have one chance to make the right decision for Amazon or I fear that it’s not product returns that you’ll be for long worrying about. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)