Isn’t it peculiar


Isn’t peculiar that in California we raise the tax on cigarettes to minimize their proliferation

and we legalize the use of marijuana, with one of the most  popular ways of using it, is smoking?

Isn’t peculiar that we make such a noise about “vaping” and we legalize marijuana for “recreation”understanding 2

Isn’t peculiar we are downgrading criminality and yet we complain about the increase of crime Orange Man Detective with Magnifying Glass


Americans going crazy

Back in San Diego.

In my most recent post I wrote that while on the road in other countries the locals love to talk critical issues with people from the USA as long as they are certain we will not go crazy. Now the 3-4 million people running around the USA “going crazy.” I am sure my foreign counterparts just nod their heads and note, “that is what they are worried about” in having deep discussions with Americans.

Two things amaze many of the colleagues:

  1. the fact that we can run around and go crazy at all. Not every country where I work would such a behavior be allowed.
  2. the fact that what the crowds are saying is most preposterous.

Anyway as I noted, travel abroad and you will see for your self.

Integrity or drought

April 10, 2016 (San Diego) –

                1. I am confused. The conversation is that California is in a serious drought.

                2. The behaviors of those who can make a huge difference say otherwise.

                3. I guess we are more concerned about something other than solving the drought situation.

                4. I wonder what some want more than life, or what quality of life do they envision?


California is dumping a trillion gallons of fresh Water in the ocean. Only liberals would declare a water shortage disaster after spending years dumping good, fresh water into the ocean to protect a non-endangered bait fish.


Yet the Obama administration has decided to block a privately financed project that could supply water to 400,000 Californians, even though the project has been approved by an alphabet soup of state and local agencies. The result will be to trap vast amounts of a precious resource beneath the Mojave Desert. Is water the new fossil fuel?


Amid this regulatory hustle, a California state appellate court last month heard six challenges to the project, all of which had been rejected by a trial court two years ago. In 2012, the Santa Margarita Water District’s final environmental impact report noted that the project’s only significant effects would be temporary dust from construction and the hazard of population and employment growth from a larger water supply, which has driven opposition from green groups. While trumpeting the BLM’s decision in October, the Center for Biological Diversity complained that the Cadiz project would “increase urban sprawl in coastal Southern California.”

They are building the Carlsbad Desalination Project, which will convert as much as 56 million gallons of seawater each day into drinking water for San Diego County residents. The project, with a price tag of $1 billion, is emerging from the sand like an industrial miracle. In California’s highly regulated coastal zone, it took nearly 15 years to move from concept to construction, surviving 14 legal challenges along the way.             

Be all you were created to be – Decisiveness

March 26, 2016 (Riyadh) –

Being decisive is a key to fulfillment. There are just too many things to do and too little time to do them all. One must decide what is “best” from the sea of “good” and “better”. Below is an application of being decisive when it comes to the task of developing employees. This is a spin off from a 2010 blog.

How to develop a person in any skill area is well documented. The question is not “how” mechanically but “how” within the existing morass of things to do. The requirements of understanding 2your job takes more time than most of us have to give in the first place and then to add development of others on top of that can become quite overwhelming.  I see a lot of managers “delegating” the development to a concept: “if you are any good you will figure it out on your own, after all that is what I had to do.”

clockWhere does a person get the skills and time to consistently apply development to others in order to create a better than average organization?

  1. I believe it is a matter of the will and determination. You will be overcome by the day to day activities of the job. Guaranteed there is more to do than you have time to do it. Full stop. You must decide that you are going to do development activities.
  2. This decision will require good delegation and follow up. This will also mean that there is the possibility that some things might not get done as well as if you did them delegationyourself. You cannot live with that in all areas but it is amazing how many areas when done “good enough” still allow for better than average overall results.
  3. This decision will require you knowing the critical actions of the job. This year I have been having a lot of conversation about employee development. As a leader I see everything in terms of how things add to or detract from employee development.
  4. The decision will require focus and continuity. This must be a “way of life” not just a “one off” announcement.

Be all you were created to be – in action

March 13, 2016 (Riyadh)

In my post of March 6th, below, I wrote that owning your situations in life will help you persevere, endure hardship, solve problems, etc.

I saw an application-extension of that idea last night. I was at a speech contest the other night. Two of the speakers who placed 1st and 2nd both had great presentations. In fact the person who came in 2nd probably had the better overall presentation. The person who came in 1st had one factor in his decisive favor. He had personally experienced the key story that he used in the presentation. By having experienced the story he could not only intellectually own the story, he could emotionally own the story. Since he had been in the story he could share it at the emotional level with the audience and thus bring the into the story. He owned the story and he helped the audience “own” the story as if they were right there with him. It was captivating and he thus “captivate” the judges and won over a superior presentation.

We see politicians use this tactic all the time. They want us to “buy into” an idea not only at the intellectual level but also the emotional level. Since they often have not personally experience the situation they want to fix, what do they do? They bring in someone (s) to be the “story” in the audience. It is not as good as owning the story yourself, but it is better than no emotional-owner of the story at all.

Owning your life’s events not only can help you defensively as it did Nelson Mandela on Robben Is, it can help you offensively when it comes to persuading others.

Be all you were created to be.

March 6, 2016 San Diego

I am reading a book that looks at the lines below of Henley’s from the “light” of leadership. The title of the book is “Extreme Ownership” by Willink and Babin. One of the couplets is be “strong but have endurance”. I think about Nelson Mandela on Robben Island for all those years. Strong in his resolve that he had extreme ownership for himself yet with massive endurance to persevere 18 of his 27 years of imprisonment with no expectation of outcomes. Just the expectation of being, being the captain – the owner, of his own soul / mind.

(extract from Invictus)

It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll. I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul. William Ernest Henley

Imagine if we, if I, had that level of ownership for all that occurred in our / my life. Tough to get mad or angry as the event that would cause anger is an event that I own myself in. I am not a victim. I am the captain. Imagine the strength of character it takes to “own” a situation: to stand opposed to the energy that is trying to make you a victim; particularly unfair energy which was crafted just to target you.

Consider how much stronger you and I will be in our daily life if we take on “ownership” for what is going on. If I position myself as the “master of my fate”, my guess is our full potential will move from potential to action. We will be a blessing to most and a role model to all.

Be all you were created to be.

The Life “Blood” of a company – the employee

January 31, 2016 (San Diego)

                                   “Our people are the most important resource”

potential                         People are designed for relationship

Therefore, if we are to take the very best care of our “most important resource” we should be building relationships with them.

The trouble here is that as we are promoted, at best we have less and less time per employee for relationships. Added to that, we have more and more tasks that draw us away from connecting with the employee altogether.

Previously, as the leader of a 3000 person organization I found a few things that helped with the dilemma.

  1. Delegating as much and as appropriate to my immediate support staff. delegationThis allowed me to connect with the support staff, empower them, and give some of my “to do” time to connecting with others in the organization.
  2. Be “on purpose” about who I connected with. Once out of the office I met many people casually in passing. I made sure I was totally present with them no matter the length of the conversation. Though I was meeting people casually I did have some employees I wanted to specifically connect with. Though every employee adds value to the organization not every employee’s contribution is “critical” within a specific time frame.
  3. Be open to suggestions and criticism. For me this is much easier written than done. I am a work in progress when it comes to “not taking hard criticism personally.” This openness I found particularly invaluable since once I was out connecting with people I did not often connect with and I allowed them to be at ease in the conversation, they had great ideas, suggestions, and critical feedback.
  4. Why bother going the “extra mile” to connect with the employees? My research reveals that around 60 – 90% of the potential profits of a standard distributioncompany are in the 45% of the results that are not getting done by the present processes.

Hinges coming off of yesterday’s integrity?

November 29, 2015 (San Diego) – 

            I will muse for a bit here. When I was 5 Dwight Eisenhower was running for President. Obviously I did not catch much of the details then, but I have done some current reading. Seems like he had a few warts, but for the most part he was a leader with integrity and respect for others. Now I look at the Republican front runner, Donald Trump, and he seems to have neither integrity nor respect for others and, and it appears the “Trump-fans” are encouraging him forward on his current trajectory. Wow, the “most likely to vote” Republicans are indicating in the “polls” that his behavior is what they want in the President of the United States. From Eisenhower to Trump, wow we have fallen off a cliff of human relations here. Whatever was “right” and/or “honorable” in 1950 seems to be totally trashed in the minds of what 28% of the polled Republicans.

Do you want a President short on content but long on ripping others, threatening our neighbors, and saber rattling at the drop of the hat? As far as owning up to error he is nearly the Republican version of Hilary Clinton. As far as respect for others he demeans fellow Republicans with the same animus as Hilary does. Hard to see how that behavior best represent our country.

Test that thought again

September 13, 2015 (San Diego) – Test that thought again             One would hope that the “James Blake” mistaken arrest in New York would be a one-off event. When similar events happen to one’s self it is an eye opener. No I was not falsely arrested nor was my event with the police. My event had the common thread with James Blake as experiencing the capricious use of blunt force power without even so much as a check-in with the person.  challenges I had done an online registration of a single group as part of a larger collection of groups. The registration had been in place for 3 weeks and the first confirmation of a group meeting had been done. I have been a member of the larger group for 12 years. Out of the blue the group was removed from the site with the group registrations. When I checked with the coordinator it was unknown why the group was removed. A guess was put forth that one of the other coordinators might have “cleaned” up the site and my group was removed by error. But why do anything without checking? All the contact data is there. No one is going anywhere. There are no financials involved. Perhaps, just perhaps we are getting too linked into too many things and thus it is too much  trouble to check before taking action. Perhaps the thinking is “just take the action” and if it is wronindifferenceg the person will complain and fix it. Humm, seems like “customer beware.” Or perhaps, it is an issue of power, responsibility, and frustration. As our country slips towards anarchy and people doing what they think is right with little to no accountability, people with power tend to do the same thing. Perhaps even thinking that they can do whatever they want to do? With people in power not using the prescribed channels to get things done perhaps others are beginning to do the same thing?      This will get way out of control before it begins to fix itself.  exploding

Doubling the “other 6%” to 12%

Jan 24, 2015 (Munich)

            In my last 3 posts I have written about the distinction of tasks being performed way above goal level performance, at d4 in the Ken Blanchard Companies models. My research has shown that about 15% of tasks are done in this zone: 9% of the tasks by self starters and 6% of the tasks by those who have received some encouragement and support to move beyond average, mediocre, d3.

For the 6% who received encouragement and or support on tasks, that effort at encouragement and or support seems to be happenstance rather than a planned leadership strategy. Yes, some for sure it is a planned leadership intervention, but most? I think not. I base this conclusion on the fact that if it were a sustained purposeful leadership strategy more of the 55% of the tasks being done in an average fashion would have moved into the high performing zone. (Remember, one of my previous observations is that most people can perform their tasks at a high performance level with supportive leadership.)

Why isn’t there a sustained leadership strategy by many managers? Though the answer for each manager is unique and often personal, the broader answer is that top management is not behind the growth and development of staff beyond profession “hard” skills.  They pay lip service to training and development, put money and time into giving training and development, but that is where it ends. Application of learned skills on the job is totally up to the trainee. The pursuit of excellence is totally a self initiative project. The trainees experience from top down that real growth in self driven so they pass that the same effort to their staff. An axiom of behavior in organizations is leaders “you get what you role model.

Managers can break this on/off encouragement and support of staff with some basic planning, personal initiative, and a desire to help others maximize their contribution to the organization and themselves.

  1. A spread sheet of critical tasks and current performance levels: beginners, 3 – average goal level performance, and 4 – exceeds goals.
  2. Use the spread sheet to guide development at least once/ week
  3. Base the use, step 2, on the immediate needs for bench strength improvement
  4. After about 6 months you will have moved development from “immediate” needs to longer term needs out in the 6 month window.