Posts Tagged ‘United States’

The Challenge of truth telling in the Army profession

July 12, 2014 Leave a comment

If a large organization like the Army which is so renowned for the quality and caliber of its leadership and integrity as difficulties with different levels of command and leaders telling the truth to each other, how much of an unseen force is the lack of candor in commercially-based organizations where there is more self-interest among individuals?
How important is it to the culture of the organization that people can tell the truth without fear of repercussions? If that’s not one of the cultural values of the organization, what are the implications going to be for large-scale transformations that require honest and open communication?
How do we break that political and cultural barrier?

Congressional pay freeze recommendation doesn’t go far enough

December 31, 2012 Leave a comment

Detroit: it’s what you insisted on

December 13, 2012 Leave a comment

It’s sad to see my home town descend into such disgrace. It wouldn’t be this bad if Republicans were in charge and were really as evil as Democrats are incompetent.  Unemployed and not looking 47%  35% on foodstamps; 1000s of homes abandoned’. Population cut in half in 20 yrs

“Leaders” crying out for more dole

Meanwhile Democrat poster boy Warren Buffett is engaging in the completely legal tax avoidance behavior that is getting Google pilloried fpr prudent fisuciarily responble decisions about what to do with their money.

How The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business ...

dare people act in such a way as to deny government every possible dollar?  the nerve!

Obama re-election is already paying off

November 9, 2012 Leave a comment

Obama’s re-election has been profitable for us in the trading room. Unfortunately, the market is suffering just like the nation, from the election.  But you get the government you deserve. The market is taking into account that he has no record of actually being able to accomplish anything except fooling most of the people part of the time, long enough to get re-elected. Expecting him to be unable to do anything about the fiscal cliff, the repositioning overseas and into Treasuries has begun.  The best we have to look forward to is listening to 4 years of what his legacy will be, and listening to that smug hack Biden position himself for 2016

Official photographic portrait of US President...

Official photographic portrait of US President Barack Obama (born 4 August 1961; assumed office 20 January 2009) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

the Obama effect: FUD


No follow-up questions for NBC?

April 4, 2012 Leave a comment

Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth President of th...

Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth President of the United States. Latviešu: Abrahams Linkolns, sešpadsmitais ASV prezidents. Српски / Srpski: Абрахам Линколн, шеснаести председник Сједињених Америчких Држава. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Imagine if this had been a Republican  political candidate. What would the list of follow-up questions have included?

  • Why do you classify this as an error?
  • Was it an error of omission or commission?
  • What is the purpose of editing?
  • Why wasn’t it posted that this was an edited call, in the same way that text edits are annotated when materieal is ommitted?
  • How do you decide if the edit is faithful to the larger original context?
  • How does this compare to your standards?
  • Is this typical of your editing process? How do you know?
  • Who monitors you?

Future Force in the news

February 14, 2012 Leave a comment

Budget cutting by reducing farm subsidies

February 14, 2012 Leave a comment


budget (Photo credit: 401K)

I see liberal commentators like Cenk Uygur applauding the reduction of 280B from the proposed budget, as an end to corporate crony capitalism. As if that’s not going to have an effect on the price of food, which is a disproportionally higher percentage of the budgets for the poor than the rich.

Cut 280B from subsidies, and prices will rise about….280B.  That works out to about 3K per person per year in the  US. Families currently on the margin will then need assistance to make ends meet. The cost of assistance will be passed on to the middle class, who always pays

The response will naturally be to increase the funding for food stamps, and more firmly connect the people to an all powerful natioanl government that provides for all necessities. Who could trust local and state governments, or betterm families and churches to take care of their tribes. What an odd notion these days

The irreplaceable tax cheat Tim Geithner

January 26, 2012 Leave a comment

That there are 36 Obama aides who owe back taxes is great news for the country which had just learned at the State of the Union speech that Tim “Tax Cheat” Geithner wouldn’t be around for a second term as Treasury Secretary.

We now have an expanded pool of candidates to take over from Geithner, possessing his same qualities and practices.

Making the Invisible Visible: Understanding Leadership Contributions of Asian Minorities in the Workplace

January 24, 2012 Leave a comment


Image by Ed Gaillard via Flickr

This small quiet book on leadership deserves to become visible so that its message of quiet leadership can be absorbed into our business and political organizations worldwide.

Who are the invisible leaders? How do we make them visible?

Back up for a moment: SHOULD we MAKE them visible, or is our understanding of leadership in the Western mode, with the “Individual as Hero”, not all there is to the story?

The authors tackle the problems and opportunities of global leadership from an angle that would be seen as nontraditional by Western leaders but which addresses the reality of leadership in daily life as experienced by millions of people around the world.

Coming from a Western in military background, I’ve grown up in a leadership culture that prizes individual heroic approaches to direct action leadership. I’ve never felt like that reflected everything that needs to be said about leadership and that’s the central message of this powerful book.

Thatchenkery and Sugiyama conducted a multi-year study to examine what they call the invisible leadership style that they experienced as members of various Asian communities. What they call invisible leadership can be thought of as a cultural worldview built on the ideas that showmanship is the opposite of leadership, that what matters is teamwork and results in long time horizons that favor growth and development from the inside of the organization and that performance is examined and valued on the basis of what’s good for the team. Invisible leaders get the job done and trust that the results will speak for themselves. They value team performance, and dont expect leaders to be constantly self-promoting and trumpeting from the front.

The authors proceed to explore their sense of this phenomenon by conducting a thoroughly grounded research effort that incorporates quantitative and qualitative data and analysis using surveys, focus groups, interviews and case studies to develop their argument. It is a model of scholarly work that carefully identifies assumptions, limitations and constraints while pointing to areas of consensus and opportunities to apply their insights in the last chapter.

They’ve incorporated scholarship on the impact of culture, motivation theory, multiple models of leadership and globalization in their efforts. They examine the impacts of leadership style and philosophy on promotions, training, recognition and reward systems and considered how invisible leadership is affected by current management practices in developing metrics, management practices and counseling programs.

They carefully examined the very notion of the utility of categorizing leadership under the broad concept of “Asian”, which on the surface seems like it could be useful but which masks the very real richness and diversity that can be found in various communities of practice and social groups populated by people from India, China, Japan, Thailand, Korea etc who are living and working in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada and whose generational demographics and further complexity to the rich mélange that is their personal experience.

The study takes a cross-section of all of these personal demographic factors and adds a further dimension based on work factors like public versus private versus nonprofit institutions. No simple leadership model can do justice to such a complex sociological mixture, despite the loud proclamations of best-selling leadership book titles, and the promises of quick fix, simple formula leadership solutions. The authors findings resonate with Heifetz’s “Leadership Without Easy Answers “, and Deming’s advice to “eliminate slogans”.

The book begins what should be a long and continuing conversation to understand the real-life complexities of modern organizations and to find ways to unleash the power and quality of all our people. It suggests that organizations can begin to apply the insights of invisible leadership by asking the right questions, considering organizational policies about visible leadership, and the payoffs of supporting invisible leaders from both pragmatic and philosophical perspectives.

They carefully examine and debunk three common mental models that have plagued Asians in the United States, the UK and Canada. Asians have been variously seen as a model minority that has supposedly “made it” and shown the way for other ethnicities; as a “middle minority” without the social problems inherent in newly emerging groups but who are not quite yet co-equal with the majority and the experience of Asians as a group that is forever foreign. According to the study, these mental models are broadly perceived by Asians to affect them personally and professionally and get in the way of Asians being seen as individuals with rich personal narratives and unique circumstances.

The study examines the realities of glass ceilings in professional promotion patterns in a broad spectrum of typical organizations, relying on insights from personal interviews and government statistics to make the case. It avoids simplistic formulations and superficial conclusions and does a fantastic job of providing a rich background of context that suggests many avenues of research needed in the future.

The authors suggest that organizing around affinity groups rather than simple ethnic and social groupings can add real value to organizational dynamics. Considering the impacts of quiet leadership at all levels of the organization: strategic, operational and tactical can have powerful implications for policy and vision. They recommend organizations consider breaking with tradition of hiring outside leaders and rather concentrate more on growing their own from the inside as a way to acknowledge the power of tacit, long-term values based growth.

The authors don’t recommend a simple exchange of philosophies (“either-or”) but rather suggest that broader integration of multiple modes and perspectives on leadership will add value and robustness to organizational DNA.

I give this fine book my highest personal and professional recommendation, because it resonates for me on a personal and a professional level. It describes a style and philosophy of leadership that has gotten little to no attention in the scholarly or popular press and which I have witnessed to be enduringly effective. It treats a serious subject seriously and respects the broad diversity of opinion and scholarship that has been conducted in this area and yet finds many points of contention and new sources of information and inspiration. It’s offered in the spirit of scholarship and understanding and suggests new ways in which our global communities and people can be respected and make progress together.

Surprise: hipsters fail to motivate themselves into action

January 23, 2012 Leave a comment

Stephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert (Image via

it would’ve been a sad day for the Republic if Stephen Colbert’s latest idiotic attempt at cynical satire had further disrupted national politics in South Carolina. it is reassuring that so few people actually took him up on his promise of adding even more chaos to the Republican primary process.

Colbert is becoming just a little too impressed with himself and his pseudo-influence. The incident further proves that Herman Cain is incapable of feeling shame about his judgment really is as poor as it seems. Between the two of them, they have set back the Republicans progress by a decade.

On the other hand, typical Republican voters don’t know who Stephen Colbert is, and they have already begun to forget the disaster that is Herman Cain. Cain has succeeded in making Obama look presidential.


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