Recently posted quotes:

"There is no distinctly American criminal class - except Congress." Mark Twain (1835-1910)

“Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for.” -Will Rogers (1879-1935)

"Stability in government is essential to national character and to the advantages annexed to it." -James Madison (1751-1836)

"Liberty must at all hazards be supported." -John Adams (1735-1826)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

How do you defeat the “Not my job, Man!” complex?

This is an organization and company culture problem. Oh, you say: “there’s always some bad apples!” Well, maybe that is true. But if you practice ‘management by walking around’ (MBWA); you just might find that the problem is bigger than a few bad apples.

The answer to the problem starts at the top and drives itself all the way to the lowest rung on the totem pole (organizational chart). I top management does not outwardly hold to the principle ‘it’s everybody’s job’ nobody will. The practice has to be an integral part of the fiber that holds the organization together. If the practice is not everybody’s job; then it is nobody’s job.

Everybody has to be responsible to everyone else in the organization and open communications must be part of your answer. This is not to say that the CEO’s door has to be constantly swinging. It has to start at there; but real results are experienced through empowerment and action at the lowest level of supervision – the guy on the shop floor that is tightly involved with the real problems – he//she is the best source and the best answer. Spend time training, reviewing and evaluating this asset and you will not be disappointed.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Leadership gurus on the web

I recently commented on a well followed lady’s leadership blog website primarily because she had said something that I wholeheartedly agreed with – I don’t often agree with the guys//gals expounding leadership theory on these sites. Quite often, they have no idea about what they speak and more often they don’t really say anything close to the edge – maybe it’s a fear of being challenged if they do say something definite or more likely, they don’t really have the background, experience or knowledge to be discussing the topic they have just regurgitated mumble-jumble throughout the internet.

In any event, after checking back a day or so later, I found that the self-professed leadership expert (her website’s claim – not mine) had misunderstood my point. She had even gone so far as to speak my point for me (incorrectly, mind you) and then tell me where she differed with me in this area. If she had understood my point, it would be one thing, but to not have understood and then correct me, that’s another thing entirely.

I have a huge problem with these wanta-be-leadership-gurus. Most I find have never worked a day in real leadership positions, but have taught a numerous seminars here and there, maybe took a class and some even received a degree that allows them to squawk on leadership – but generally, they know not. The particular guru I communicated with claims to have “personally coached over 100 senior leaders” and has a background that allows “her to provide valuable insights about individuals and organizational systems.”

These people are dangerous especially if their followers believe strongly in them. The followship has only the very basic understanding of the subject as the gurus are never really clears and absolutely don’t answer any specific questions that would lead to better understanding of the role of a leader. My fear is that some will try to put these half-baked truths into practice and pay the penalty for the shallowness of the guru. A real misfortune in any event. Nobody is gonna learn LEADERSHIP over the internet – NOBODY!

Be careful who you follow, subscribe to, and put your faith in. There’s a lot of shallowness involved in the guru level of expounders on leadership.

As I peck this into my computer, another thought came to mind concerning these short answer//short idea//short advice websites. They just may be dumbing down their information and advice for the generation they see as their audience – the short attention spanners of today’s world.

Let’s hope the situation improves over time.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Little Gus has a plan

I have begun to notice. There’s always that strange look in his eyes. I don’t quite know where he is going with this, but I can tell he is on a journey. He seems to work at it everyday. Not all the time mind you – but he puts time in on it everyday.

With the addition of Little Otis to our humble group it now appears that he is in on it also. I just can’t imagine that KnuckleButt Otis is gonna be that much help in whatever Little Gus is planning to pull off. Although Little Otis’ ability to negotiate any fence and gate in the area just might come in handy to whatever knavery like Little Gus has in mind.

They think that I am not watching, but I catch them whispering to one-another while they sit on the rug in front of the dishwasher and other places. They look like they are warming from their last trek outside on these December mornings. I know different. They are up to something and Little Gus is the ring leader; that is obvious.

One of his tricks is to lure me back outside by pretending that Little Otis has to go. It has nothing to do with Little Otis; it’s all about Little Gus. He just wants me to throw or kick his ball. He will chase a ball all day long if you will oblige him by making it leave the close proximity of anywhere you just might happen to be at the time. He will go get the ball (or his big orange bird if that is the object he has chosen for this trip out). He will bring the ball back, but it is not to be your turn just yet. Not at least until he has thoroughly shaken the ball, he has growled at it for sufficient time (measured only in his mind), he has probably shaken it again for good effect and then he stands there with one foot holding it in place still not having given up control just yet. Then and maybe only then he will back off and bark at you as if giving instructions on velocity, direction and altitude for the next throw. If I don’t respond and kick it or chunk it quickly enough he will repeat the preceding instructions again; this time a little more emphatically and gruff emphasis. I launch the object and the previous takes place again ad infinitum…

It looks as though that Little Gus is having a champion of a time, running here, running there, catching the ball on the first bounce; I believe he has an ulterior motive in mind. While the game almost includes Little Otis, I don’t really think that being run over, stomped on as others pass above him and the possible dislodging of teeth as he attempts to grab the ball as it passes near comes anyway near to being classified as inclusion. The result most of the time is a pretty well beat-up Little Otis not one third of the way into the game; maybe a little more than pretty beat-up might be more appropriate. Little Otis just keeps coming back for more.

No, I don’t think a game is what Little Gus is all about during these incidents; I’m just not convinced. Little Gus is an astute player of the human kind. His mind is always working several steps ahead – not so much with KnuckleButt Otis. I’m not really sure his mind is ever engaged – no proof in his short tenure yet.

I wonder where he got the idea. Maybe this was passed along by Buck before he departed our group. This could be how one generation passes along thoughts, aspirations and goals – I don’t know.

Upon lengthy cogitation of the events I have described above I have decided that Little Gus’s purpose has nothing to do with a dog’s life but has everything to do with a dog’s purpose on this earth. As I sit here and type away (utilizing both fingers that I have train ed to do so) Little Gus jumps up causing me to turn in his direction, placing both front paws on my chest, looks me straight in the eyes and jesters to the back door. Not getting his point across immediately, he gives me one of those little licks on my chin, pats on my chest with one paw or the other and then hugs his head up against my chest and holds it there while he looks up into my eyes again mournfully with those cold dark brown eyes of his and then jesters toward the back door once more. All the while Little Otis nips at Gus’s hind feet – a nuisance none-the-less. Still not getting the response he insists on as I return to typing; he sticks his head up between my body and arm and pushes and shoves as I try to continue – it is down right impossible to type (even with two fingers) under these circumstances.

I request a continuance of just a minute or two hoping to get the last of the current thought recorded. Gus implores me to not but descends to a prone position somehow knowing that I will be true to my word.

No, I have decided that Little Gus motive is a dog’s purpose on earth – to improve the childhood of his human companion no matter how long it takes him and his kind to do so. I know it is a long and hard journey as my canine companions have been working at it for some sixty years or more. I truly wish them luck; I intend to assist them in any way I can. My childhood really needs improving.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Remembering Dandy Don – 06 Dec 10

I remember when Chicago picked Don Meredith and then traded him to the new upstart Dallas Cowboys. The year was 1960. I had watched Professional (Fighting) Football several times before – Lou Groza and George Blanda; even John David Crow and Bobby Joe Conrad on the Chicago Cardinals. Those Aggies made the Cardinals my favorite team. Then here comes Dallas and we no longer receive the Cardinal games. What was I gonna do? A little known fact about the Cardinals that many forget: Ken Hall also played running back for the Cardinals in 1959.

Now I was being forced to watch a team that never existed before. Why and how could this happen? These guys didn’t even have a draft pick this year. They got cast-offs from the other teams in the league. Their first draft pick finally came in 1961 with Bob Lilly being taken as the first ever draft pick of the Dallas Cowboys – good pick by the way.

There was nothing else to do but roll with
the flow.

I took a quick liking to the team, although they didn’t do very well. I just couldn’t understand why they didn’t play that guy Meredith guy more than they did. He was always alternating with Eddie LaBaron.

I liked Meredith even though he was a Mustang. He just seemed to be the right guy. He played hard and there was some hard playing those first several years – real hard playing. They didn’t win many; but they were our team.

I can remember watching the Dandy One playing with tape all over his face – broken nose – and a stiff shoulder – broken collar bone. But he played. Some of today’s sissies are in street clothes with these minor injuries.

Year after year, the Cowboys hung in there and started to get some real talent – competitive talent. Finally the difference maker – Bullet Bob Hayes – and the game has never been the same. Meredith to Hays and then on the next play – Meredith to Hays. Could football get any better than this. A lesser quarterback would not have made the difference that the Dandy One did.

Those that came later: Danny White, Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman owe their fame to the one who started it all – the Dandy One – Don Meredith. You remember him?