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Leadership @ MindSay


The Hokies

So, what a horrible tragedy.

The event is also a good opportunity to note how one reacts to leadership. Krishnamurti tells us
Another cause of the present chaos is dependence on authority, on leaders, whether in daily life, in the small school or in the university. Leaders and their authority are deteriorating factors in any culture. When we follow another there is no understanding, but only fear and conformity... (Education and the Significance of Life, Chap. 4, "Education and World Peace")
As I watched the "wallpaper" on the tube (the video montages on CNN, etc. along with the yapping banter of "journalists"), I waited to hear something from our President. O great leader, lift us up after tragedy, I felt.

Yet I know down to my core that Bush is the WPE -- worst president EVER -- the man in charge of, who knows, 10,000 Virginia Techs in Iraq. So I am in conflict.

The very worst, and most self-serving, talking point I've seen in response to the tragedy is the idea that more people need more guns. Sen. John McCain said
I do believe in the constitutional right that everyone has, in the Second Amendment to the Constitution, to carry a weapon. Obviously we have to keep guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens.
This doesn't fully make sense. Someone about to go berserk may indeed be a "law-abiding citizen." The phrase "going postal" doesn't recall images of a ganster-mailman; it's about a mild-mannered person going over the edge.

One woman on the MSNBC last night was especially shrill, who chastised a police lietenant for not agreeing with her that more guns would "make us safer." Now there's the talking point well-put here
Just imagine if students were armed. We no longer need to imagine what will happen when they are not armed.
Easy, immediate access to guns allowed a foreign student to killed 32 people and himself. There's more guns in the US than people. Most people that commit suicide successfully do it with a gun -- you probably can think of examples in your life. Think of how many mothers of suicide-dead teens wished that their sons would not have had easy access to a 9mm handgun or a 20-gauge shotgun. We need more guns?

The police seem to be the best authorities on this; most carry Glock 9mm handguns on duty every day. And most police officers believe in authority; it's easy to imagine many are very conservative or libertarians. And they think a gun in everyone's hand is a bad idea. After all, would you think the folks down the street having the domestic disturbance should both have weapons?

More guns = more people trying to solve problems with guns.

A gun for every road rager? I hope not.

Am I even qualified to have a weapon on me at all times? Heck no. Statistically, you're WAY more likely to get shot if you have a gun than if you don't touch the things. For every "hero" that shoos a burglar away with his gun, there's three who shoot themselves, whose children shoot themselves or a brother or sister, and obviously, there's the Dick Cheney thing, where he shot a friend of his while out hunting.

There's a particular and peculiar "American cultural algorithm" in our country -- an algorithm is a solution to a problem: Set 'em free with war. Protect more people by arming everyone. Use torture to get the information you need. As "Christian" as we would purport ourselves to be, violence and aggression is looked upon as a solution for so many people in our country.

Krishnamurti says
War is the spectacular and bloody projection of our everyday living.
Isn't that the truth. So while I await what President Bush has to say about VaTech, I must remember that this man thought launching a war of option would solve a lot of problems over in Iraq. You see how far that kind of thinking has taken us.

And we see that one person, at Virginia Tech, made his own war. And we feel only sadness. How about a little compassion for the warred-upon?


On "Ismail Ax." Troubled people will often align themselves with far-out political movements against their own society. Anarchists assassinated their countrymen, and so on. Islam has been so villainized in the last ~15 years, especially, since Fall 2001, that a person feeling anger, fear, and total outsider status will often turn to the most spurned-upon movement of the day. Sadly, people that hate themselves want to be hated.

Assingment for the Globe & Mail completed

I received an email Wednesday last week to write an article (400-500 words) for the Globe & Mail. Of course, this is related to something they're planning to do and they're looking for contributors. Prior to committing, they are evaluating potential contributors for the career articles called The Two-Minute Drill - or something like that, these things can change.


Well, of I wasn't able to write a damn thing from Wednesday till nearly when the weekend was over except the feverish inspiration that you saw on my blog. The rest of the time I was shivering, coughing, sneezing, sniffling, blowing my nose, coughing up phlegm - I know you like that picture :) - and doing a lot of sleeping. The assignment, however, was due Monday January, 15th. I emailed him at some point before the weekened to let him know my predicament and they agreed to give me till later in the week. I just fired it off this morning.


For your viewing pleasure and review, here is the subject topic and my response:


A co-worker who has been a critic of your work in the past is promoted to become your supervisor. What's your best career strategy?


Such questions depend a great deal upon circumstance, size of organization, and the intent behind the critic. In each case, you are the best judge to determine whether the critic’s comments have merit, intended to build-up versus tear-down. So first and foremost, know precisely what it is that you feel about this situation and don’t over-analyze. Your gut instincts are your best friend, pay attention to your feelings, and then act accordingly.


Where your organization provides the opportunity for lateral moves, or where other advancement opportunities exist, this may be your best strategy. This largely depends upon your fit within that business culture. Too often, however, people become saddled with the long-term prospect of benefits, pension plans, vacation, and job-security rather than making the best choice for their career and personal growth. Recognize if your time in this place has come to an end and be courageous. Dust of your resume, update your skills, and confirm your references. Begin speaking with people in your network and let them know that you are looking for new opportunities to challenge yourself and grow. In the meantime, you are staying put and will be challenged to grow personally.


This brings us back to working underneath someone that challenges you. Whether staying for the long-haul, or staying until something better materializes, you will need to make the best of the situation. Better yet, rise to the challenge and grow as an individual, as a team-player, and as a developing leader yourself. The initial perspective tends to take a critic’s comments personally and you risk carrying around resentment. This will only hurt you, in the moment and in the long-run. That emotional and mental energy will sabotage your relationship, the presence you bring into a room, and your own work-ethic and joy. Others will also sense this, undermining your professional image with others in the company as well.


In order to overcome this potential hazard, begin to see behind the criticism to recognize the person who has their own unique perspective. They may just care a great deal about impressing those above, wishing to do the best job possible, and possibly carries it to the extreme. A twist with a surprise could simply be a critic who is actually trying to impress you because of how brilliant they think you are and they want your approval! Whatever the source, you have the ability to rise above the situation and seek out ways to further empower the leadership in any life or career situation that will transform, not only the relationship, but also the person. Communication is the key, combined with powerful questions, powerful choices, and an attitude of empowering another towards success: Success breeds success.



Wisdom of a Dream

I found myself in an interesting dream this morning and how it carried itself into the waking state. There was a conversation of sorts with others that had them quite intrigued with the ideals I present. I am unaware of the first key individual I met who carried some importance, but then suddenly my dream found me vacationing or visiting back east.


As I was venturing through the supermarket, looking at whatever and tending to errands with another, I met a local news personality from here on the west coast, Bill Parsons. I nodded and he smiled, and as I turned away he said, "Go ahead, give me your card. I understand you're a rather interesting fellow."


'Hmm," I thought to myself, "how about that." and proceeded to reach for my wallet when I remembered that I just emptied it of business cards yesterday. And in fact, I had emptied it of my last remaining business cards and hadn't replenished it yet in reality either. Just then, his cell phone rings which he answers and finds he now must abandon his shopping and attend to urgent matters. I found myself a little disappointed for allowing my cards to run out, yet again, and then carried about my business.


As I went to carry about my business, other forms of reality began to pass through my consciousness. I found myself contemplating the things we love and enjoy about the world conveniences, business, and prosperity. I rebel against it sometimes, and realized it isn't the system itself that I am rebeling against - although I do get the issue confused myself quite often - and it became clearer this week that it is the blindness of some people who are playing the game. This carried my consciousness towards further realizations as I was slowly drifting towards wakefulness.


First, I found myself gravitating towards the standard soapbox that says we're better than our behavior suggests. We're not animals and needn't display the visciousness and territorialism displayed by animals in the wild. Yet, in business and politics we quite often see the players in the game forget themselves and forget the reason they got in the game. In fact, I daresay there are some who simply got into the game with the wrong intent in the first place. For the most part though, my guess is that most get into the game for the right reasons. But how often do we find ourselves in a game of some kind and we forget everything else and focus solely on the power, the winning, and the glory, forgetting the value of relationship that brought us to the game? Then it becomes an encounter of dominating another instead of enjoying the other. 


Then, suddenly, a realization began to form in my consciousness around the realities of business and politics and how it has been so beneficial to the human development on this planet. Thirty years ago there were so many borders and tensions around the world. Business across borders was restrictive and relationships and perceptions of others around the world was loaded with prejudice and judgment. Slowly we saw all that change. The Berlin Wall came down, the USSR splintered and independence began to take shape in many places around Europe. Naturally, players in the game lost sight of the real purpose and power struggles arose as new-found freedoms cause a sort of drunken stupor that lead to some very idiotic and tragic behaviors. All the same, progress has been made.


Now we see many positioning themselves to do business with China and ironically, in doing businss with China, there will be a gradual process of improvement of living conditions and personal rights as that country gains ground from where it was to where it can be. Their controlled assertion of power restricting freedoms may actually be one of the wisest moves when looked at in retrospect. Rather than a sudden departure from the past, the gradual changes allow the system to catch up with the ideals in a way that doesn't see that country fall into the same chaos that many experienced in Europe when that Iron Curtain came crashing down.


These things that have advanced the global village, made the world smaller, and has seen all of us become much more aware of the world at large, is mainly due to the influence of business in a free enterprise democratic society, even with all of its' failings. I saw as all this slipped into the conscious mind as I began to awaken this morning. It was in putting this together that I realized that it's failings are not those of the sysem itself so much. In particular, this became more real as a result of recent conversations with others who abdicate the responsibility of government.


In that conversation, I still hold firm to what I say and the intentions of the position I presented. Big business and government are problematic, moreso in their size and autonomy. Accountability within structures of such magnitude has a tendency to be difficult to enforce; people are slippery and like that autonomy. Bureaucracies are great places to get lost, and often are established in ways to discourage too. So, yes, there are problems and there are corrupt values that need to be considered and challenged. Will the business or government ever be accountable to change though? No.


As it arose in that conversation, I was not calling on business or government to do anything. Yes, I want the business and political leaders to take responsibility, to be better leaders, to offer better stewardship, and to be better custodians of our planet and resources - including human beings. But wait, it appears a contradicition in terms between the things I'm saying, when in fact there is none. So I explain further: Government and Business are merely positions and playing pieces or entities, if you will, of the game. People are the players, people are accountable, and accountability also must be accepeted by voters, consumers, and in each and every choice we make that sustains what we see as wrong or evil, and in every choice we make that fails to bring about results for the greater good simply because we're more focused on our own position in the game.


This brings me back again to the animal kingdom. This brings me back to remembering why we are playing the game. This brings all of us back to remember the intrinsyc value each of us has as a human being. Work is work. Life is temporary. Love is eternal. Knowing the intrinsyc value I have as a human being, I have the utmost love and respect for the life of all others, man and beast alike. Knowing the work is just work, a means to an end, I do not put its' value over that of humanity or the welfare of our planet. Knowing that life is temporary, I do not forget the reason I am in this game, and it is to be with you, my fellow man, and enjoy the very thing that is eternal - Love. Knowing that Love is eternal, I embrace my spirit, your spirit, and the spirit of God, just as the Spirit of God embraces me.


Now, if you'll excuse me, I still feel a need to send a business card to Bill Parsons, the local news anchor. Ironically, the phone call he received could simply have been his alarm clock waking him up to go off to work today. Spirit travels in sleep and greater mysteries are waiting to be discovered. I am intrigued by the possibilities as yet uncovered.



My previous entry that spoke to change happening on a large scale as the groundswell grows, ellicits some examples that can be inspiring via the popular media. Here are a few movies that I feel contain so much inspiration.


All The King's Men - a hick runs for governor in Louisana and initially is being puppeted by the elite. As his awareness increases, his anger is channeled into speaking passionately, boldly, and inspiringly that brings the hicks out of the swamps, into the voting booths, and he wins the election by the widest margin in the states history. The story doesn't end there, and neither do the lessons we can all learn. Not about the system against the man, rather it is imperative to learn the lessons about the man himself. That is where it all happens.


Gandhi - I've pushed this movie a lot over the years. It is an excellent example of the power an individual has from a place of compassion and peace. His approach was complete peaceful resistance and his hunger strikes were targeted at making change in his own people just as much as it was to change the ruling powers of India. Superb story!


Ike - Countdown to D-Day - This movie with Tom Selleck, as you watch and observe the man taking the burden of leadership, even insisting upon it, with a measured and even-handed approach, you see a leader of exemplary abilities. A leader who engaged full responsibility for his decisions, his actions, and outcomes beyond his control. Additionally, his heart and compassion for the men he lead was unwavering, just, and courageous. A superb story that we can learn from and embrace personal integrity.


There are others, however, cmopany is due to arrive and I must get ready.


Wishing you all the best!


  Okay, I'm now ready and waiting for company so I'm going to share more.


Apocolypto - This movie demonstrates power opposites on one hand. That being said, what captivates me more is the man who is the hero in the story. This is what I would want anyone to see in the character: Knowing! He just knew that he was to live, had to live, and a sense of certainty that drove him from deep within is what didn't allow him to resign to what seemed inevitable. That is faith - it is Knowing!


SeaBiscuit - I can't help it. I have such a soft spot for this movie. In part, my grandfather having raced horses, I have fond memories of the track and the energy of excitement that is experienced at the races. In this particular movie, there is such a diverse and rich demonstration of the human spirit, emotional devastation, loss, abandonment, and in spite of it, survival. The importace of this movie is in the inspiration, the hope, and how it took the misfits and broken people coming together with each of the unique qualities that made who they are that influenced and inspired a nation. Beautiful story!


Take the Lead - This might surprise people, since this is just a movie about dance. And yet, really when you watch what a man chose to do (choice) and the powerful, positive influence and outcome his actions and attitude had on people's lives, we see miracles occur. Did he follow the stereotypical approaches? Did he dismiss and label the misfits with the stereotypes? He saw deeper, he recognized something deeper, and he was creative in his approach that broke through the walls of defence.


I have many others as this is what I enjoy most about watching movies. I'll share them later. :D


How Relevant Today? FDR's Inaugural Address - An american president with charact

My previous post to this one reveals fear affecting people's lives and relations. A subsequent conversation resulted in me quoting FDR - the only thing to fear is fear itself. Ensuring I quoted the source accurately, I found the speech and the statement and read his speech. It blows me away! It is so relevant to all that I write and speak about in my own studies and passions.


Take a look through for yourself. I'm going to simply bold or italicize parts of his speech to make distinctions - offer focal points - related to the current state of affairs in our countries and world today. Diversification and global investments and business came about to avoid the financial strain caused by solely conducting business domestically. With globalization reaching to the levels we're at now, what's to say that the Recession and/or Depression effect could not be experienced on a global scale?


Following copied from



I am certain that my fellow Americans expect that on my induction into the Presidency I will address them with a candor and a decision which the present situation of our people impel. This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days.


In such a spirit on my part and on yours we face our common difficulties. They concern, thank God, only material things. Values have shrunken to fantastic levels; taxes have risen; our ability to pay has fallen; government of all kinds is faced by serious curtailment of income; the means of exchange are frozen in the currents of trade; the withered leaves of industrial enterprise lie on every side; farmers find no markets for their produce; the savings of many years in thousands of families are gone.


More important, a host of unemployed citizens face the grim problem of existence, and an equally great number toil with little return. Only a foolish optimist can deny the dark realities of the moment.


Yet our distress comes from no failure of substance. We are stricken by no plague of locusts. Compared with the perils which our forefathers conquered because they believed and were not afraid, we have still much to be thankful for. Nature still offers her bounty and human efforts have multiplied it. Plenty is at our doorstep, but a generous use of it languishes in the very sight of the supply. Primarily this is because the rulers of the exchange of mankind’s goods have failed, through their own stubbornness and their own incompetence, have admitted their failure, and abdicated. Practices of the unscrupulous money changers stand indicted in the court of public opinion, rejected by the hearts and minds of men.


True they have tried, but their efforts have been cast in the pattern of an outworn tradition. Faced by failure of credit they have proposed only the lending of more money. Stripped of the lure of profit by which to induce our people to follow their false leadership, they have resorted to exhortations, pleading tearfully for restored confidence. They know only the rules of a generation of self-seekers. They have no vision, and when there is no vision the people perish.


The money changers have fled from their high seats in the temple of our civilization. We may now restore that temple to the ancient truths. The measure of the restoration lies in the extent to which we apply social values more noble than mere monetary profit.


Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort. The joy and moral stimulation of work no longer must be forgotten in the mad chase of evanescent profits. These dark days will be worth all they cost us if they teach us that our true destiny is not to be ministered unto but to minister to ourselves and to our fellow men.


Recognition of the falsity of material wealth as the standard of success goes hand in hand with the abandonment of the false belief that public office and high political position are to be valued only by the standards of pride of place and personal profit; and there must be an end to a conduct in banking and in business which too often has given to a sacred trust the likeness of callous and selfish wrongdoing. Small wonder that confidence languishes, for it thrives only on honesty, on honor, on the sacredness of obligations, on faithful protection, on unselfish performance; without them it cannot live.


Restoration calls, however, not for changes in ethics alone. This Nation asks for action, and action now.

Our greatest primary task is to put people to work. This is no unsolvable problem if we face it wisely and courageously. It can be accomplished in part by direct recruiting by the Government itself, treating the task as we would treat the emergency of a war, but at the same time, through this employment, accomplishing greatly needed projects to stimulate and reorganize the use of our natural resources.


Hand in hand with this we must frankly recognize the overbalance of population in our industrial centers and, by engaging on a national scale in a redistribution, endeavor to provide a better use of the land for those best fitted for the land. The task can be helped by definite efforts to raise the values of agricultural products and with this the power to purchase the output of our cities. It can be helped by preventing realistically the tragedy of the growing loss through foreclosure of our small homes and our farms. It can be helped by insistence that the Federal, State, and local governments act forthwith on the demand that their cost be drastically reduced. It can be helped by the unifying of relief activities which today are often scattered, uneconomical, and unequal. It can be helped by national planning for and supervision of all forms of transportation and of communications and other utilities which have a definitely public character. There are many ways in which it can be helped, but it can never be helped merely by talking about it. We must act and act quickly.


Finally, in our progress toward a resumption of work we require two safeguards against a return of the evils of the old order; there must be a strict supervision of all banking and credits and investments; there must be an end to speculation with other people’s money, and there must be provision for an adequate but sound currency.


There are the lines of attack. I shall presently urge upon a new Congress in special session detailed measures for their fulfillment, and I shall seek the immediate assistance of the several States.


Through this program of action we address ourselves to putting our own national house in order and making income balance outgo. Our international trade relations, though vastly important, are in point of time and necessity secondary to the establishment of a sound national economy. I favor as a practical policy the putting of first things first. I shall spare no effort to restore world trade by international economic readjustment, but the emergency at home cannot wait on that accomplishment.


The basic thought that guides these specific means of national recovery is not narrowly nationalistic. It is the insistence, as a first consideration, upon the interdependence of the various elements in all parts of the United States—a recognition of the old and permanently important manifestation of the American spirit of the pioneer. It is the way to recovery. It is the immediate way. It is the strongest assurance that the recovery will endure.


In the field of world policy I would dedicate this Nation to the policy of the good neighbor—the neighbor who resolutely respects himself and, because he does so, respects the rights of others—the neighbor who respects his obligations and respects the sanctity of his agreements in and with a world of neighbors.


If I read the temper of our people correctly, we now realize as we have never realized before our interdependence on each other; that we can not merely take but we must give as well; that if we are to go forward, we must move as a trained and loyal army willing to sacrifice for the good of a common discipline, because without such discipline no progress is made, no leadership becomes effective. We are, I know, ready and willing to submit our lives and property to such discipline, because it makes possible a leadership which aims at a larger good. This I propose to offer, pledging that the larger purposes will bind upon us all as a sacred obligation with a unity of duty hitherto evoked only in time of armed strife.


With this pledge taken, I assume unhesitatingly the leadership of this great army of our people dedicated to a disciplined attack upon our common problems.


Action in this image and to this end is feasible under the form of government which we have inherited from our ancestors. Our Constitution is so simple and practical that it is possible always to meet extraordinary needs by changes in emphasis and arrangement without loss of essential form. That is why our constitutional system has proved itself the most superbly enduring political mechanism the modern world has produced. It has met every stress of vast expansion of territory, of foreign wars, of bitter internal strife, of world relations.


It is to be hoped that the normal balance of executive and legislative authority may be wholly adequate to meet the unprecedented task before us. But it may be that an unprecedented demand and need for undelayed action may call for temporary departure from that normal balance of public procedure.


I am prepared under my constitutional duty to recommend the measures that a stricken nation in the midst of a stricken world may require. These measures, or such other measures as the Congress may build out of its experience and wisdom, I shall seek, within my constitutional authority, to bring to speedy adoption.


But in the event that the Congress shall fail to take one of these two courses, and in the event that the national emergency is still critical, I shall not evade the clear course of duty that will then confront me. I shall ask the Congress for the one remaining instrument to meet the crisis—broad Executive power to wage a war against the emergency, as great as the power that would be given to me if we were in fact invaded by a foreign foe.


For the trust reposed in me I will return the courage and the devotion that befit the time. I can do no less.


We face the arduous days that lie before us in the warm courage of the national unity; with the clear consciousness of seeking old and precious moral values; with the clean satisfaction that comes from the stern performance of duty by old and young alike. We aim at the assurance of a rounded and permanent national life.


We do not distrust the future of essential democracy. The people of the United States have not failed. In their need they have registered a mandate that they want direct, vigorous action. They have asked for discipline and direction under leadership. They have made me the present instrument of their wishes. In the spirit of the gift I take it.


In this dedication of a Nation we humbly ask the blessing of God. May He protect each and every one of us. May He guide me in the days to come.


Source: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Inaugural Address, March 4, 1933, as published in Samuel Rosenman, ed., The Public Papers of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Volume Two: The Year of Crisis, 1933 (New York: Random House, 1938), 11–16.



It appears that we humans grasp so wholeheartedly to what is pleasurable right before us that we are blinded by the cause and effect. The ebb and flow of the seasons can be seen also in the patterns of time, the history of man, war, profit, loss, greed, generosity, peace, and so on. The pendulum swings so far one way, gradually coming back around, then swings too far the opposite direction - or did we just let the pendulum fall back to where we just came as our sense of personal security and pleasure were restored and we felt this kind of leadership to be irrelevant again? I wonder... I really wonder.


I've also studied the mind, body, emotion relationship which led me to struggle with the realms and truth of spirit. These days we see increasing numbers of diagnosis of ADD, ADHD, Depression, Bi-Polar, and other mental and even physical illnesses that can be attributed to psychosomatic disorders. Our SPIRIT is calling for attention.


Mankind has always had to rely on one another for the survival of our species. The factor of interdepence is very real. I worry that all the issues around those labeled as co-dependent have caused too many people to deny any level of dependency, and yet that is exactly the nature of the human race. We work together, we learn together, we live together, we balance each other, we talk to each other, and so on. Watch the crows flying around your community and you'll see just how social a creature human beings are; they're a good example readily available.


I'm sure there is much more that I can say, that you can say, that we can find buried in the mud of gluttony that pertains to these discoveries of spirit and wholesome health. I think it best to stop now and see what more you can add to the discussion.


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