It Takes A Village

Village.jpeg

I wanted to share some good tidbits about effective management, collaboration, and engagement that I heard this week at a Partnership for Public Service event.


It Takes A Village – No I don’t mean the book by Hillary Clinton, but rather the idea that no one person is an island and no one can do everything themselves. Rather, we need the strengths and insights that others have to offer; we need teamwork; we need each other!


2-Way Communication – Traditionally, organizations communicate from the top-down or center to the periphery (depending how you look at it).  But that doesn’t build buy-in and ownership. To do that, we need to have 2-way communication, people’s active participation in the process, and genuine employee engagement.


Get Out Of The Way –  We (generally) don’t need to tell people how to do their jobs, but rather develop the vision for what success looks like and then get out of the way of your managers and people. “Make managers manage and let managers manage” and similarly, I would say, hold people accountable but let people work and breath!


Things Change – While it’s important to have consistency, momentum, and stay the course, you also need to be agile as the facts on the ground change.  “Disregard what’s not working, and embrace what is.” But you must stay open to new ideas and ways of doing things.


This is our world of work–our village–and either everyone helps and gets onboard the train or they risk getting run over by it. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

X Marks The Spot With A Dot Dot Dot

Dots.jpeg

Love this exhibit by Japanese artist, Yayoi Kusama, at the Hirshhorn Museum. 


Unfortunately, they were out of passes for this special showing, so I could only grab a quick photo or two. 


But I was amazed at how splashes of dots and color can make such am amazing impact on a room. 


Futuristic and yet surreal. 


Everything in the room–walls, floor, chairs, tables, fixtures, and ornaments–had the design elements on them. 


The only thing that didn’t were the people checking it out and what a contrast that was. 


It felt like being in the fantasy world of Willie Wonka and The Chocolate Factory or something amazing like that. 


It is no surprise that people were lining up out the doors for tickets to this exhibit. 


What an spectacular vision for the world–so happy, so magical and so wow beautiful! 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Hope vs. Change

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So we were promised hope and change, but what’s the difference?


Daniel Henninger in the Wall Street Journal says, “Hope is the helium -filled ballon of politics. Governing in office is the gravity that pulls it back down to earth.”


Many politicians are giving the false impression that “giving people the rhetoric of hope, lifting them with words, is more important than delivering results, which some might call change.”


Despair is when we are told that there is hope and promise, but we don’t get meaningful, impactful, and lasting positive change.


The hard work of leadership is not just providing a beautiful Garden of Eden vision for people to salivate over and to get their votes, but rather it is making something REAL happen that makes people’s lives and the world better. 


As they say is plain english, “Words are cheap!”


We don’t need any more fancy oratory skills–Hitler had those too and it led to the murderous genocidal Holocaust and disaster of World War II. 


Time for some elbow grease and some results that aren’t fake like the news we’ve been getting. 


We’ve heard too many lies, too much spin, and been subjected to language control of the “media echo chamber.”


Just one prominent example has been regarding terrorism and radical Islam which is not and never has been “workplace violence” and traffic accidents. 


Who is the President of the U.S. fooling when he says that theres been “no foreign-planned terror attacks in 8 years.”


Gee, ISIS and their numerous terror supporters seem to violently disagree about the many terrorist attacks we indeed did have on U.S. soil in the last 8-years, including Orlando, Garland, Fort Hood, San Bernardino, MinnesotaOhio University, and many more.  


It’s time that we stop being fed a bunch of false hope and political malarkey and instead we get some genuine change, improvement, and progress in our lives and the nation. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

From Fractured To ONE

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I really liked this T-shirt.

It says volunteer, but in three rows like this:

vOl

uNt

eEr

So in the center is ONE!

When we give of ourselves, we shed our billions of individual selfish natures to be one–with humanity and with G-d.

These days, seeing from how shattered and fractured this nation and world is, it is just a dream again for unity.

– The fighting between different races and castes of people

– The fighting between rich and poor

– The fighting between communities or family members

– The fighting between unarmed (and armed) civilians and police

– The fighting between republicans and democrats

– The fighting between proponents and opponents of X, Y, or Z policy, person, place, or thing

– The fighting between governed and those who govern

– The fighting between terrorists and terrorized

– The fighting between religions and within religions

– The fighting between East and West

– The fighting between good and evil

This reminds me learning in yeshiva from Zechariah 14:9 (when the destroyers of Jerusalem will themselves be destroyed)”

And the L-rd will be king over all the Earth. On that day, the L-rd will be one and his name one.”

Oneness–unity–peace is a vision and a goal. 

With unity we recognize our ONE true maker and guider of all creation.

And with unity we seek and find solutions to the world’s big problems (global poverty, disease, war and so on).

Fractured and fighting among ourselves, we are small, petty, selfish, and weak. 

But together, we can unite with Heaven and conquer all that ails humanity. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Why Can’t The English Be More English

Brexit

The people of the United Kingdom voted in referendum yesterday for Brexit (British exit) or independence from the European Union (EU). 


Unity is a wonderful thing when values and vision is widely shared and the burden and benefits are more or less evenly distributed. 


But in the case of the UK in the EU, the vote for independence was anchored in the unsettling issues of mass immigration from the Arab Spring, the debt crisis of many of the poorer Southern EU states (e.g. Greece, Spain, Portugal, etc.), the decision of the UK to maintain their own currency (not accepting the Euro), and culturally (and language-wise), even though they all interact with each other, the UK has more in common with the US and Australia, then they ever had with Germany, France, and the rest of Europe. 


It is really very understandable that the UK doesn’t want to lose their identity and sovereignty and just be another EU state–rather than be a unique, independent, and dominant entity of it’s own, charting their own course and driving their own fate. 


While it’s great to a part of something bigger, sometimes being yourself is more important, and you can still interact with the rest. 

No people should be forced to become a shadow of themselves, and if the call is for independence, then that is noble call even if it is inconvenient for those who would rather call themselves the EU. 


Unity may best be by alliance rather than strict integration…one for all and all for each and every one. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Is There Anyone Out There To Lead

Scary Election

Interesting editorial in the Wall Street Journal today titled, “These Five Are the Best We Can Do?” referring to the current slate of Presidential candidates. 

According to the author, Joseph Epstein: “Viewing the candidates of both parties during the debates, one felt that nearly everyone of the participants was in the business for him- or herself.”

Yes, so many people are getting turned off by the selfishness, obscurity and outright deceit, vulgarity, and off-the-chart impractical and impolitic views of the candidates.

Yet the editorial mistakenly attributes the presumed dearth of good-to-great candidates is due to no one impressive wanting to run in the age when “media and Internet are the major instruments of contemporary political degradation.”

In other words, no normal person wants to be put under a microscope for their person, rather than their personal views of where to take this country. 

However, this doesn’t ring true to me. 

I think that true leaders are and would be willing to endure the scrutiny of the traditional media and social media in order to take us into a meaningful, righteous, and better future–it’s simply part of the job like Moses having to endure the gripes against him when he led the Children of Israel out of Egypt and to the Promised Land. 

Maybe the real reason that we don’t think we have the quality of leadership that we expect is that there is a perception of a genuine dearth of sincere, unadulterated, whole-package leadership out there. 

Think about it–with a virtually unlimited supply of false messiahs across the leadership spectrum from politics to corporate and religious life–we have been let down by fraudsters, liars, thieves, and sex abusers. 

Like with the Israelites in Egypt who waited hundreds of years for G-d to bring a Moses to lead his people, perhaps we are looking with eyes heavenward for an appropriate gifted leader to take us into the future…and this is more than just what an education or pedigree can provide, but rather a person inspired by a purity of heart and a clarity of vision. 

For that, we need a leader that will not just talk the scripted talk or walk the overconfident boisterous walk, but we need to see the person whose promising words match their deeds and whose heart is aligned with the people and the nation for a truly greater future and not just for the political donations, superdelegate counts, their party nomination and the electoral college votes to land them the coveted Oval Office. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Best Of The Best

 

USA

We all know how important voting is so that our voices are heard in the democratic process and we can help shape the direction of this great nation. 

And this is especially the case when it comes to voting for the next President and Commander in Chief of this country. 

A couple of  concerning things though about this election cycle that I am noticing:

People Not Policy – While elections in general always have their share of rambunctious slogans and exaggerated/empty promises, this election seems to be shaping up with a distinct focus on the people running for President (are they trustworthy, do they have good judgement, how much experience do they have, are they decent people) as opposed to what policies and ideas they have for where they would take the country. Certainly, character and integrity are critical in voting for someone for such an important position, but it seems to have sidelined policy from off of the main agenda. Moreover, the inclination to vote for someone based on their race or gender or presumed sympathy towards those also has upended real discussion on where we are and should be headed. Maybe you really like your candidate of choice, but are you fully satisfied (or close to it) that they have a big picture vision for our future and that they telling it like it is or are they sugarcoating to what they think their audience simply wants to hear, or in some cases is it just limited to a single policy thread or maybe little or no cloth for the emperor at all. 

Questioning The Lineup – First it seemed with the election that people did what they always do, which is take sides and argue it out on the sidelines of the cacophony of all the electioneering. People would say, oh, I like this party and this candidate or that one or the other one–and people would debate who is the better choice. But now, this dialogue seems to have changed where many voters seem fed up with many (or even perhaps all) of the candidates. Some seem to be looking for new candidates to magically swoop in and “save the (election) day” or old candidates to show that they have different stripes. I have heard some question whether they will even bother to vote at all like this with all the negative campaigning or from whom they believe will be the ultimate candidates to chose from. Rather than people saying I like this one better for this reason, now I hear many asking which is “the lessor of the (presumed) evils.”

Considering the unbelievable power of the President of the U.S. and that we are talking about this for the next 4 or 8 years, it is scary for people to think they may have to somehow settle for less than the greatness that this position demands.

There are still many more months in this election season and things can take a lot of twists and turns, but hopefully the country will work its way to selecting the true best of the best that our candidates have to offer. 😉

(Note: This is not an endorsement for any candidate or political party.) 

(Source Photo: here with attribution to cgc76)