Enlightened Conflict

messiness & enlightened conflict

October 18th, 2017

enlightened conflict think============

“Nothing is perfect.

Life is messy.

Relationships are complex.

Outcomes are uncertain.

People are irrational.”



Hugh Mackay





“The most successful organizations in the world are the ones who work together, play together, and get messy together.”



Jeanne Malnati







This may sound a little wacky but 98.2% of successful businesses are successful truth and conflictbecause, uhm, there is some conflict <note: I made up the 98.2% but you get the point>.

Suffice it to say … conflict, in and of itself, doesn’t make them successful … it is that the conflict tends to create the positive friction which sparks better thinking, better ideas and a better company — a more enlightened organization.


I often argue that conflict within an organization is natural … and healthy.

Conflict is natural because … well … while organizations try and create some ‘tidiness’ to the institution itself … the people within are messy. Inherent in this messiness is  a clashing of certainty & uncertainty, known & unknown, learning & unlearning and all the messy things thinking people do when all are aimed toward a greater vision, purpose & objective.


We often like to talk about business as ‘rational’ but … c’mon … Life itself is pretty messy … outcomes may be uncertain and people, particularly in business, can certainly be irrational <at times>.

In addition … truth is messy.

And if there is one thing every business seeks in their pursuit of success it is ‘truth’ with regard to “what do we need to do.”




It is quite possible the messiest part of any business is just the simple objective of getting good shit done.


It’s mostly messy because … well … people are messy.


Messy in terms of how we interact.

Messy in terms of not knowing what we are good at … and sometimes not standing up for what we really are good at.

Messy in terms of inconsistent communication.

Messy in terms of selective listening.


Messy in terms of … well … our attempts to avoiding conflict <we can turn ourselves into pretzels trying to keep things as smooth as possible>.


saved thoughts think dark messy self



That may sound like a shitload of messiness … but people, once again, naturally make business messy.



Even people with good intentions are messy.



Even good people.


Throughout my business career:


I have enjoyed a “force of nature” person who has forced enlightenment for the force of good.



I have endured a force of nature person with good intentions …with less than good behavior … who has forced us to face enlightenment.



I have encountered an essential force of good within a business … who doesn’t have the ‘nature’ part of the ‘force’ DNA … but is still an essential undercurrent force with which the business prospers by enabling enlightenment.


And the entire experience has emboldened me with a sense that even good organizations with good products and good people and a good idea … can be messy AND enlightenment … and be a force of good.





I have also seen how messiness can negatively encroach into the good fiber of a business.


But … the one thing I can guarantee is messiness will lead to enlightenment. It is just that I cannot guarantee whether it will be enlightenment used for the force of good or enlightenment used for the force of … well … something less than good.




All this messiness leads to Enlightened conflict.


Enlightened Conflict is a term I often use <heck … it is the name of my site>. To me it has multiple dimensions of relevance to … well … not only to what I believe & what I believe should be done … but to creating a smarter thinking individual <and individuals>.




recurring issues thinking-dialectic-crisisA lot of people push back on the “conflict” part.

Here’s the basic idea.


The more someone understands <or is less ignorant>  the more respectful the “conflict” will be.

Conflict can be debate, discussion … simply when two people have different points of view on things. It’s the basic thesis being challenged, navigating a crisis <the conflict>, antithesis all ultimately arriving at some synthesis.


Its not a novel idea nor a contentious idea. But it IS an idea which empowers a business.





The positive side of enlightened conflict resides in the sharing of information so that people just … well … know more. And I would hope <and actually believe> they use that additional “know more” <knowledge of some type> so they can make better informed choices.


ideas conflict and falureConversely … I could suggest that the enemy of ignorance is enlightened conflict. I often suggest people think about that because I could argue <and i do> that one of the biggest obstacles to any progress, in business & in Life, is ignorance.


Enlightened conflict aggressively attacks ignorance.


Therefore, any business with a future with enlightened conflict will inevitably have smarter discussions, more respectful competition between employees <and better teamwork>, become more informed and, ultimately, create better decisions.


And, maybe best of all, in their own way the business organization becomes more enlightened.




When I speak of enlightened conflict with businesses I am relentless with regard to my belief that little actions can make a big difference. I do that because I believe as long as you empower individuals to embrace enlightened conflict, and respectful conflict, you empower everyone to believe they are all architects of life … and fate.


All that said.


I admit.

I love a great debate and I typically feast on partially ignorant point of views. I am not that smart but I can spot a generalization or a sweeping judgment a mile away.


I am kind of like a vulture lurking over ignorance seeking to swoop down for dizzy the vulturethe debate.


It also helps that I am a curious vulture.


I like to think and lurk over a variety of topics. On a separate note … I am biased in that I believe businesses, and society, would be a better version of its current form if there were more curious vultures.


Well … at least I have admitted being a vulture.

Don’t let that stop you from loving the idea of Enlightened Conflict.


A dog does not care

September 5th, 2016

dog care 1 dog care 2 dog care 3 dog care 4 dog care 5 dog care 6 dog care 7



A dog doesn’t care if your rich or poor, clever or dull, smart or dumb.

Give him your heart and he’ll give you his.  <tyrells on tumblr>



I have absolutely no reason why i am posting this today other then I ran across this posted on tumblr by someone under the poster name of ‘tyrells’ and it reminded me of how great it was to own a dog.


The scenes come from Marley & Me. A movie that no dog owner, especially a guy dog owner, can watch without laughing throughout and sobbing at the end.





so fuck you donald trump …

September 5th, 2016

trump winner


“I don’t think <sic> could have lived any other way.

I don’t think he wanted to.


He was a crisis addict, a performance addict, a shameless pulpit orator and a scene-grabber.


He was a delusional enchanter and a persuader who saw himself as God’s golden boy, and he wrecked a lot of people’s lives.”



John Le Carre





The title of this post comes courtesy of Hockeylvr42 on tumblr whose post begins with those words <note: I will close with his words at the end of the post>.


Anyway.  Hockeylvr42 and I agree on several things.

listen hand


The main thing we agree on is that the Trump show is tiring.


It used to be mildly amusing but now it is time that someone pushed the clown car off the road and into some ditch to be forgotten.


Please note that I while I want this Trump thing to fade into the deep recesses of history and forget that it ever happened … I do not have any desire to forget the 37% or so of the population who felt desperate enough to actually think Trump could solve whatever issues the country has.

In fact I am depending on them to continue to speak out with their grievances and worries and ideas. They deserve to be heard and they deserve what is due them <if anything is due>.


As for that 37% <and to those worried about Trump winning> just remember Trump had only about 37% of the Republican primary vote on the date Kasich & Cruz dropped out of the race. I would also note that it appears his ceiling in the general election remains around that 37% <in some polls it appears like an additional 3-5% may vote for him simply out of party affiliation>.




Why the Trump clown car should get off the road.



He has absolutely no experience in public office. Zero. Not even a high school student council member

want to be like you hollow man trump


Almost every day he says or does something that by would have disqualified previous nominees <and the sheer accumulation of them would disqualify almost anyone for any office .. for Life>.


He does not really have policies beyond headlines and emotional stances.


He defies truth and believability daily <Trump says, “Mexico will pay for the wall!” Mexico says, “We will not pay for your fucking wall.” And Trump says the same thing again the next day>.



Signature policies

Building a wall and having Mexico pay for it; renegotiating free trade agreements; “bombing the hell out of Isis” and “taking their oil”.


Strongest point

Able to garner free media with a single tweet.


Weakest point

Has hit record lows with minority voters, reaching 0% in one recent poll of African Americans. Is also is being massively outspent and outorganized by Clinton.



Ignoring a temperament which suggests he can not only be baited by a simple tweet … he is less qualified for the job than most likely 80% of American citizens of this nation if only for the fact that the 80% possesses a sense of humility, an understanding that parents who lose children receive condolences not dismissal and have some sense of respect for the responsibility that comes with being a president.


assholes are assholes vase flower trump


Trump is a colossal douchebag.


He is an asshat who hides behind lawyers and 140 character tweets.


A junior high school social studies class knows more than be does about the constitution, laws and government.



He is a bully leader.


I would even question he knows how to actually run a business … if anything he is a deal maker but running an actual business? I am not so certain.





I’m not naive enough to think that voters make decisions based on a deep analysis of the candidates’ positions on the issues <because if they did Clinton would win easily>.


People more often vote based on impressions of the candidates … impressions mostly created on some dubious & imperfect information about what the candidates have said and done <which is often articulated by their own paid surrogates and then translated by TV pundits>.


Suffice it to say that by avoiding any detail with regard to anything he would do Trump banks almost solely on a cult of personality — his “brand.” trump magnified



You either love it or you hate it.



But please, please, don’t anyone suggest you would vote for Trump beyond simply “I don’t know what he will do but I believe he is going to do some shit.”


Any answer other than that <which, frankly, is as valid a reason as anything> is bullshit.




While Hockeylvr42 is going to share his ‘so fuck you Donald’ … here is mine.



Fuck you Donald Trump. I have enough to worry about without having to constantly worry about you and whether you can, or will, do your job. While I certainly seek greatness for the highest position in our country, at minimum, part of that greatness is constancy & steadiness. If my ship is going into a storm I don’t want some yelling captain constantly tweeting how stupid the meteorologists were for offering the wrong forecast … I want a steady hand, a consistent hand and a calm hand. I don’t want to worry about what is happening at the wheel of the ship. I want to go about doing what I need to do.

So, fuck you, you make me worry. And I am not a worrier. And I hate, fucking hate, worrying. And it is all because of you, you colossal douchebag.



I am tired of the Trump show and I want it over.


One more thing.


America is a unique country with a unique character.

We are a complex intertwining of individual ‘just do it’ mentality and a larger ‘we the people.’


So when someone stands up attempting to represent my country and says “I will fix it” I want to say “fuck you, you asshat.”


We will do it.


I will do my part.


And WE will fucking fix it.


fuck you pointSo take your “I” and shove it up your ass.



Just as Booker Washington said … ““… be as separate as the fingers, yet one as the hand in all things essential to mutual progress.”  

With those words ringing in my ears I raise my hand in a fist of pride, dignity, responsibility, honor and integrity and shake it at Trump … and then flip him off and say ‘fuck you.’


Pick up a dollar bill Donald … read it you asshat …


E Pluribus Unum.


Out of many, one.



Hockeylvr42 on tumblr.


*Self appointed member to the science side of tumblr* *FUCK TRUMP* *Connoisseur of puns* *I’m anonymous beyond that*


My blogs national anthem: At least 6.89 laws and 3 trump is an asshole mayorcommandments are broken by this blog on a daily basis. It is up to you to find out which.


So… ya know what?


Fuck you Donald Trump. Fuck your plans for office, and fuck your incredibly fucked up beliefs. You don’t deserve the most powerful position in the world.


You would find a way to abuse that much power and somehow turn it into a joke. America does not need a child who thrives on insults and never considers himself wrong as its’ president. America does not need a racist fuck making decisions that will affect millions of Americans, and we do not need someone who’s ego and arrogance will overpower his ability to be a formal representative of the United States of America.


Donald Trump, you are not going to make this country great again. You are going to turn this country into a mockery in front of the entire world.  

Source: hockeylvr42


in this place time moves away

June 9th, 2016

time moves away clock eternity


Aici lo tems s’en , va res l’Eternitat.”

<here, in this place, time moves away toward eternity>




“The first to do nothing, when a situation demands nothing, often gets everything.”



Bruce McTague







In this place time moves away toward eternity.


Echoes in eternity ripplesWhenever I see this phrase I think two thoughts:


  • those moments in which a decision is made, a choice is arrived at, and life moves away from that time, and place and choice … toward eternity


  • All things in their own time.


In today’s world everything is urgent, a crisis or a life directional decision.

And that is a false narrative.



We make hundreds of decisions and choices daily. More often than not decision 133 relegates decision 27 to the scrap heap.


It is because of this more often than not we make any decision we can, when we can, and move on. It’s not because we are lazy or because we are thoughtless but experience tells us that on most choices another choice will arise in which we can correct whatever we may have got wrong in some past choice.


That is a basic understanding of consequences of choice.

And, more often than not, that is a Life truth.


I would suggest this basic understanding partially drives how most of us await choices and decisions rather than proactively seek out ones to make. We assume choices have a mind of their own and will … well … all things in their own time.


The challenge with this approach to Life is that inaction is also a choice. And it is actually an active choice. I say that because many times in action can be the correct action.doing something doing nothing life



For example.

If a decision is not needed and yet you force a decision upon the moment … an unintended consequence may be that you have circumvented the arrival of a more correct answer to choose from. Hence … as I said upfront … doing nothing can sometimes get you everything.


And then, of course, there are the moments to push a decision and choice into the moment. And, yes, I purposefully used “push.”


Because these are the choices and decisions which time moves away toward eternity.


These are the choices which you push because you want it to get started and gain momentum toward eternity … not just lollygag its way toward eternity.





We don’t have many of those. While we reflect back on Life we may think we see more than there really are … in truth … while all choices & decisions move away toward eternity only some truly have consequences on eternity.


It is difficult to know when and where to push. Just as it is difficult to know when and where to do nothing.


Moments don’t come with directions and choices & decisions don’t come in certain packages so you can recognize them for what they are.


I sometimes worry that we have created a world, certainly a business world, which is increasingly hasty and we are conditioning everyone to not only demand an answer <even if no answer is called for> and, maybe worse, even to grab the first answer that comes along.


We certainly are not teaching to any extent that do nothing can ultimately give you everything.


We certainly are not teaching to any extent that not all do somethings are created equal and that the immediate consequence is not always a reflection of the ultimate consequence.


Here is what I know.


It can feel overwhelming to admit to yourself that you have a personal responsibility for any and all choices & decisions you make … all hundreds you make every day. But each and every one of us do have that responsibility. And I say that because if you accept the responsibility you have significantly increased your odds to not only do nothing in the moments which you could gain everything as well as identify the true moments in which what you do or say will move on toward eternity.


I do it every day.

feels perfect to be imperfect


I weigh my choices, decisions and words. And by “weigh” I gladly accept the burden of this particular way of Life and responsibility.


Does this mean I get it right? Shit no.


But … I do believe that this attitude has made me better at choices & decisions over time. While practice , in this case, certainly does not make perfect … it makes ‘less imperfect.’


And maybe that is the goal for all of us … not perfection … but less imperfection.



another mother further

April 19th, 2016



another mother further





We just got a new radio station where I live … “old school black r&b/funk music.”



Everything from the Fugees “ready or not”  to the Gap Band “Party Train”  to Bill Withers “lovely day”.



<three of my favorite songs of all time>




Then a song came on and good memories hit me on note number one.


The joyce kennedy mothers finestopening “there is no other who can compare to you” <Joyce Kennedy> blasts out of the speakers and Mother’s Finest singing “Baby Love” begins.



Mother’s Finest. What a band.

Baby Love. What a song.


I assume every region has “a band.” They crank out great songs but never seem to hit the national level. Mother’s Finest was one of those in the Southeast in the USA.


Mother’s Finest came out of Atlanta in the 1970’s with a kick ass soul jazz funk sound with a dose of rock mixed in.


But it was in 1977 they put out an album called “another Mother Further.” Now. I didn’t get my hands on this album until maybe the early 80’s.

What a frickin’ album.baby love mothers finest


Baby Love.


Thank You for the Love <a wonderful slow groove bed under story telling lyrics thanking ‘you for the love’>.


Mickey’s Monkey.



<note: if you want to hear how frickin’ good they were live … here is Baby love Live which showcases Joyce Kennedy’s  kick ass voice>




I really could never figure out why they never made it as big as some other bands and I dug up his review just to share:


A post-Sly race- and gender-integrated funk-rock band, Mother’s Finest is stylistically somewhere between Rufus and Funkadelic, though they never achieved anywhere near the cultural impact of either. To a certain extent, Mother’s Finest fell into the “Apartheid-Oriented Radio” trap, in which any African-American rocker between Jimi Hendrix and Vernon Reid – leaving Prince out of the discussion for now – was unable to get mainstream media attention. So despite touring success (including an opening stint for The Who) and decent sales for their first two CBS albums, they veered into radio-ready R&B in 1978 and seemed unsteady about their direction for the next decade or two before refocusing on hard rock. They’ve kept the band together, more or less, and their 2003 record is among their best yet.


mothers finest in 70sIt’s not exactly unfair that fellow outcasts Funkadelic have achieved latter-day veneration as psychedelic funk/rock pioneers while the Finest haven’t – Funkadelic was far more innovative, unpredictable and influential, plus they flat-out wrote better songs – but taken on their own terms Mother’s Finest has pleasures to offer.

Lead vocals are traded between Joyce Kennedy (who recalls Tina Turner’s mix of roughness and control) and Glenn Murdock, original rhythm section “Wyzard” and “B.B. Queen” kept an enviable pocket, and the band has written most of its own material.


Wilson & Alroy’s Record Reviews



Baby Love is an awesome song.

And it was great to hear it again.





Bowie blues

January 12th, 2016

bowie makeup

“He always did what he wanted to do. And he wanted to do it his way and he wanted to do it the best way. His death was no different from his life – a work of Art.”





Tony Visconti






“My entire career, I’ve only really worked with the same subject matter. The trousers may change, but the actual words and subjects I’ve always chosen to write with are things to do with isolation, abandonment, fear and anxiety, all of the high points of one’s life.”



“I seem to collect personalities.”




David Bowie






I admit.



I can’t really put my finger on how I felt when I heard David Bowie had died.


bowie psychedWhile a huge fan of early Bowie it didn’t create a sense of mourning … or even a sense of sadness … it was more like someone just left the room I was standing in and it was a little quieter because of it.


I cannot claim to be a huge David Bowie fan. But I also cannot claim to know who David Bowie was … Ziggy Stardust? The Thin White Duke? Aladdin Sane? Recluse? Flamboyant? The man who fell to earth or the starman?


Era after era he redefined himself so we never felt comfortable with David but rather whichever incarnation put out a record that year.


Extremely talented as a songwriter, singer & performer. I can unequivocally state that he was cool before I ever knew what cool was.


I can clearly state I wore out record after record during his Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane era.



Ziggy Stardust was just one among a brilliant three album run he had – Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane, Hunky Dory – which may rank up with one of the best 3 album stretches of anyone of all time.


Which leads me to my favorite Bowie songs.



There are several hundred songs to choose from a broad portfolio which permits almost everyone of any age and any musical taste to have a Bowie song they love. I could also argue you are more likely to have a favorite Bowie persona than you do a favorite song.



My favorite all time Bowie?



Panic in Detroit from Aladdin Sane:


david bowie aladdin sane

Close second?



All the Young Dudes <which he gave to Mott The Hoople> containing one of the best sing along choruses of that time.



I then throw in a tandem partner songs … Space Oddity & Ashes to Ashes.


“ground control to Major Tom.”


Space Oddity is a dialogue between the men at ground control and Major Tom, an astronaut who is “floating in a most peculiar way” and concludes with the astronaut asking ground control to tell his wife he loves her very much <which they respond is “She knows”>.



Ashes to Ashes” revives the Major Tom character from Space Oddity, within a haunting recording opening with “Do you remember a guy that’s been in such an early song / I’ve heard a rumor from Ground Control / Oh no, don’t say it’s true.”




The rumor … “We know Major Tom’s a junkie / Strung out in heaven’s high / Hitting an all-time low.”






david bowie 1985John I’m Only Dancing” is a wonderful jangly unsteady/steady beat covered by Bowie’s light rap/talk and crooning … and it contains one of Bowie’s most infectious chorus hooks.



And then there is Rebel Rebel which begins with one of the greatest rock guitar riffs of all time <played by Bowie>.



And, lastly, while I could just suggest the entire Ziggy Stardust record <because picking from Ziggy Stardust album is like having to pick your favorite child> I will narrow it down to 2:



Ziggy Stardust. < https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XXq5VvYAI1Q > It is a frickin’ masterpiece delivered in the distinctive Bowie voice. It also contains one of Bowie’s greatest guitar riffs <played by Mark Ronson>.



“Making love with his ego / Ziggy sucked up into his mind / Like a leper messiah / When the kids had killed the man / I had to break up the band.”



Moonage Daydream <Live> is one of the most beautifully arranged psychedelic rock songs of all time. It has a little bit of something for everyone <including a piccolo>.


That’s it <although I could easily add 6 more>.



His music is awesome … and timeless.

Ziggy ziggy-stardust


But here is what may be Bowie’s true legacy … he rode it to the buzzer <as the rodeo people say>. He released an album maybe 5 days before he died. He wanted to die on his terms … doing what he loved doing. The man didn’t waste a minute of his life … riding life hard as if he was being judged … until the buzzer sounded and not a second before.



RIP Ziggy.




Enlightened Conflict