Posts Tagged ‘greed’

Hurricane Harvey Texas August 25, 2017Hurricane Harvey began pounding the middle-to-eastern part of lower Texas on Friday, August 25, 2017. A tropical storm that rapidly intensified to a Category 4 hurricane, Harvey made its initial landfall at the small town of Rockport, TX, virtually wiping it off the map in terms of devastation and damage.

An unusual weather pattern that had a persistent low pressure system from the west and high pressure system from the east kept Harvey virtually stationary for almost five days.

Given its close proximity to the Gulf coast, Tropical Storm Harvey maintained its tropical force winds, which in turn sucked up massive amounts of moisture from the sea just to its south. (more…)

The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information EmpiresThe Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires by Tim Wu
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a fascinating book. Tim Wu is a big-picture guy and he writes from that perspective as he details the history of the information empires that have risen and fall in the last 120 years in America. (more…)

The Long Shadow: The Legacies of the Great War in the Twentieth CenturyThe Long Shadow: The Legacies of the Great War in the Twentieth Century by David Reynolds
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Although the author’s style is dense – by that I mean lots of information packed into a tight, but multilevel structure that requires a certain kind of deep, concentrated reading/comprehension ability that I believe has tragically been completely lost except to all but a few of us in this technology-driven (entangled) age when our attention/comprehension spans have been diminished to mere skimming, at best, and no-context, 5-second, twisted, spun, and completely made-up out of thin air sound bites, at worst – this is an incredible and comprehensive look at the global legacy of World War I on the 20th century and, in fact, here today in the 21st century. (more…)

Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed AmericaRising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America by John M. Barry
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After unprecedented continuous and heavy rain storms from the summer of 1926 through the spring of 1927 along the Mississippi River, the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 became the worst and most destructive river flood in the history of the United States, with 27,000 square miles along the river overwhelmed and buried by water at depths up to 30 feet.

Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America doesn’t just document this historic natural disaster. Instead it comprehensively looks at all the factors, many of them more than a century in the making, that coalesced over time to create not only this disaster, but the response to it, and the way it dramatically changed life, especially in the lower Mississippi, from the Mississippi Delta to the swamp country below New Orleans, forever.

This book is gripping and grabs you into the story, not only of the Mississippi River, but of America: its geography, its people, its society, its military, its power enclaves in business, government, life and the deep and fatal flaws of each of those that, ultimately led to this disaster and its aftermath.

For people like me, with a strong scientific bent, the numbers, the physics, the math, the structure, and the detailed solutions for harnessing the destructive power of the river are enthralling, but they are presented in a way that anyone can easily understand, especially when the flaws in thinking because of ignorance and/or laziness crop up along the way.

There are no heroes in this story, only mere limited humans. Some were downright villainous: self-absorbed, narcissistic, mean, hate-filled, murderous, deceitful, and motivated simply by pride, vanity, and greed. Others were products of their environments and experiences, believing they were altruistic, good, and devoted to the greater good, while in fact when push came to shove, the darkness of their hearts revealed itself as well.

Even the one man who knew the Mississippi River better than anyone else (and probably still stands alone in that intimate knowledge of the river) and had the engineering genius to know how to properly harness its power for good and did everything within his power to make that happen, James Eads, had flaws of character that emerged under pressure.

It’s often been said that we will never know how strong we are until we are surrounded by and confronted in every space of our lives with the impossible.

I believe – in fact, I know from experience for certain – that we will never know or understand how truly weak we are – where the hidden deep and destructive flaws of our hearts, our souls, our minds, and, indeed, our very nature and character are – until we are inundated at every turn with the impossible.

It is at this point where we have the opportunity to choose: to fully and humbly commit and endeavor to completely change and replace the very broken, the fatally flawed, and the intrinsic dastardly wrongs that permeate the human heart or to fully and proudly embrace them and feed and grow them to their fullest extent.

Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America, at its core, is about the choices of America, its people as a whole, its society, its government, and, in fact, every single individual in the face of these weaknesses.

The choices disappoint. The weaknesses have continued to grow and to even more deeply become interwoven in the America – its people, its government, its society, and every single individual (including you and including me, if we have the courage and the honesty to admit it) – of 2016.

There is no concern or care for each other anywhere in the fabric of America and its organizations and institutions. Everything is about greed, power, and money. We destroy each other at every turn and in every nook and cranny of our society for our own benefit and for our own profit. We oppress. We steal. We lie. We cheat. We deceive. We hate. We destroy.

And we wrap all up in a pretty paper with a bow and sing our praises and exalt ourselves as we run the victory laps of our destructiveness and proclaim our honor and glory without end, when instead we should be ashamed of ourselves and doing something to wash away our sins.

Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America is as current in its indictment of us as a nation, as a government, as a society, and as individuals as the century it covers that culminated in the preventable, but humanly inevitable, Great Mississippi flood of 1927.

The lessons here are instructive if we’re willing to learn them.

For those of us striving to be quintessential leaders, we must learn them and we must change as a result.

Otherwise, we have no claim at all to being quintessential or being leaders. We, instead are just pretenders, merely giving lip service to something that we know nothing about and want nothing to do with because doing it is infinitely harder – and requires so much more, and more than we are willing to give – than simply talking about it.

Are we merely talking a good game or are we doing the hard work?

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This is about quintessential leadership. Ethics. Doing the right thing. Making the right choices. The fields we’re in don’t matter. The choices we make do. Always. Never forget that. When you forget that you are responsible for the choices you make, then you forget your principles, your ethics, your moral principles.

In short, you forget that you are a quintessential leader.

As quintessential leaders, we can never forget what our foundation, our principles, our ethics, the very cores of who and what we are consists of.

Employee Communications Specialist

communications as a careerIn life you would always have two options for everything. That’s why we are tagged as byproduct of the choices we make in life.

As a communication professional, you would make some good choices and some not so good choices in choosing your employer.

Lets face it, communications, as a function is not a common one. In some organizations the communications role doesn’t exist. This is not a local practice but a global trend. Businesses don’t really understand what corporate communications is? No wonder we are often struggling to quantify what we do in the organization.

One thing, which we have to be very clear of, weather, you are a fresher passed out from a mass communication college or an experienced individual. Communication will always be a “Good to have” Line of business not a “Need to have”. And not so evolved organizations always are focusing in fixing up their…

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A quick review of the week of March 15, 2013 finds further examples of unquintessential leadership already noted with two principles here previously.

The first is Carnival Cruise Lines. After the debacle the week of February 15, 2013 with the Triumph, this week brings stories about three of the cruise line company’s other ships having similar troubles. The Dream, Elation, and Legend cruise ships all experienced technical difficulties this week, and all have had to be either towed, stopped early, or are limping slowly back to port.

Once again, Carnival’s response is to offer insignificant refunds or discounts, instead of taking their whole fleet off the water for whatever time it takes to update the equipment and make the vessels seaworthy and trustworthy. This is unquintessential leadership because these are serious and potentially dangerous, if not fatal, problems andCarnival Cruise Legend Cruise Ship those in leadership positions are unwilling to acknowledge and fix them immediately, no matter what the cost in money or time is. Those in executive positions at Carnival Cruise Lines are unquintessential leaders because they don’t care about the safety of the passengers nor the reliability and trustworthiness of the company. Instead, all they care about is how much money they can make. This is greed and selfishness in action.

The second principle is freshman Senator Ted Cruz. Senator Cruz is a Harvard Law School graduate who should be totally knowledgeable about the difference between an opinion about the U.S. Constitution and what the U.S. Constitution actually says. If he’s not, then Harvard needs take a serious look at its law school curriculum and professors.

On Thursday, March 14, 2013, Senator Cruz, in what has become his customary rude and disrespectful manner toward more-seasoned legislators, argued during a Senate Judiciary committee meeting than a ban on assault weapons is unconstitutional. In a condescending “schooling” session directed at Senator Dianne Feinstein that, in essence, implied that she had no understanding of the 2nd Amendment, so she needed it explained to her, Senator Cruz said that banning assault weapons is to the 2nd Amendment what censoring books is to the 1st Amendment.

It is not, although that’s what the Tea Party and the NRA would like everyone to believe. The 2nd Amendment says: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

The Supreme Court ruled definitively on the scope of what the 2nd Amendment covers in 2008’s District of Columbia V. Heller, with Justice Anthony Scalia’s majority opinion, which clearly says that 2nd amendment does not preclude banning assault weapons.

The reality is that at the time the amendment was added to the U.S. Constitution, no assault weapons existed, and the intent was to give all U.S. citizens the right to protect their homes, property, and families, and to feed themselves through hunting. It goes without saying that one doesn’t need assault weapons to do either of these things.

So Senator Cruz shows his unquintessential leadership again in several ways. First, he doesn’t even know the body of constitutional law involving the 2nd Amendment, which is unacceptable for a person in a leadership position who is a member of a committee that deals with matters involving constitutional law. Second, he is contradicting, without legitimate basis, the highest legal authority in the United States. And third, Senator Cruz consistently shows contempt and disrespect in his dealings and conversations with his colleagues, many of whom have served much longer – admittedly, probably too long in many cases – in the United States Senate than he has.

These are two news items that caught my attention regarding quintessential leadership – or the lack of it – this week. I urge all of us as quintessential leaders to observe the world around us – and that includes the news – and find mirrors that we can look into and see if we’re being the quintessential leaders we’re striving to be and say we are or there are areas where we are being unquintessential leaders and we need to change.

I’ve certainly seen some unquintessential leadership things in my mirrors this week and I have committed myself to changing them into quintessential leadership. We all have our weak spots and our blind spots and our unquintessential leadership thoughts, attitudes, and actions.

The difference between an unquintessential leader and a quintessential leader is that unquintessential leaders always look through windows, so they never see what they need to see about themselves, only what others need to do or change or be.

Quintessential leaders, on the other hand, look into mirrors and when they see the reflections of themselves, they see what needs to done, changed, or who they need to be, and they immediately commit to and start taking action to make that happen.

So my question to you, fellow quintessential leaders, is are you looking through a window or are you looking into a mirror?