Enlightened Conflict

Words unite and build (or divide)

January 16th, 2017

 

words big brevity

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“Discourse should be proper, restrained and dignified, if possible.

A society that devalues meaningful conversation slides into mediocrity and is debased by the decline in accepted standards of speech.

 

Our English language is an amazing vehicle that allows us to communicate effectively and with the finest of nuances. But abusing the language by stooping to deride or threaten another is not what helps keep our society operating smoothly. We should instead seek to encourage and uplift others and not tear them down with negative rhetoric that serves to promote discord.

 

Americans need to tone their language down, and it’s imperative we begin to act like adults who know how to use self-restraint in guiding our thoughts and actions.”

 

 

Patrick Martin

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Well.

 

It must be a word day for me.

 

trump twitter storm

………… poor leadership communication ……….

The same day I talk about the hollowness of a tweet and empty words <and how Trump refuses to effectively communicate as a leader> I read that the Prime Minister of the UK is using words in an almost striking example of how to address division, and a divided citizenry, with words.

 

We could replace the UK specificity with USA specifics in her proposed speech … and … well … it would be exactly what we should expect from one of the most divisive public servants <I use ‘servant’ loosely in this case> we have ever faced.

 

She is expected to say <with Britain references changed>:

“… focus on building “common goals” – such as protecting and enhancing workers’ rights – in an attempt to create a consensus after months of acrimonious exchanges.

 

“One of the reasons that USA’s <sic> democracy has been such a success for so many years is that the strength of our identity as one nation, the respect we show to one another as fellow citizens, and the importance we attach to our institutions means that when a vote has been held we all respect the result. The victors have the responsibility to act magnanimously. The losers have the responsibility to respect the legitimacy of the result. And the country comes together.

Now we need to put an end to the division and the language associated with it – loser and winner <sic> and all the accompanying insults – and unite to make a success and build a truly global USA <sic>.”

—-

 

Well.

 

This is a leader looking for a clear path forward and using words to not only unite … but to seek civilized progress.

 

This is a leader recognizing that a tweet is insufficient.

 

This is a leader who identifies the problem, appeals to the better aspects of people and offers a solution.

 

 

Look.unite-have-each-other-everything

 

I recognize words only have so much power.

In fact I could argue that they do not have actual behavioral power but rather they are the things that enable the behavior to happen<they get the mind in the right place to actually do what should be done>.

 

Asking people to simply ‘come together’ because of nationalistic acceptance is unrealistic.

 

Viewed harshly in this context … words are being tasked with asking people to partially give up on who they are and become followers of a nation defined by uncertain leadership combined with an uncertain vision <and a decision & vote they may not agree with>.

 

And this is where someone like Trump would have to take a step farther than the prime minister of England. England has their task set forth – Brexit. It is a specific tangible fulcrum point of where to go from here.

 

The UK needs to align behind it and align behind its success <because it is going happen regardless of whether you were a winner or loser in that discussion>.

 

words change inspire futureAnd maybe that is why words matter even more so for President Elect Trump than anyone else.

We do not have a specific task … and, no, “great again” is not a task. And, no, dismantling a relatively successful prior administration agenda is not a task <that is destroying to create>.

 

Without a specific task solving divisiveness and a divided 330 million people universe is a tricky thing. It is not binary <as many people seem to want it to be>.

 

It is not binary because some people define losing in different ways. Some people define winning in different ways.

 

And the truth?

 

A concept can look great as a ‘winner’ but in practicality is a loser.

And vice versa.

 

This is not a game where one team’s win is another team’s’ defeat.

 

Just look at immigration <which is a hot topic almost everywhere these days>.

People may want to see a substantial reduction, or better control, with immigration but may not agree on at what cost <let alone be clear about that cost> and the steps to be taken to address it.

 

You can actually be a winner & loser at the exact same time – winner on the fact immigration is being addressed and loser in that the way it is being done doesn’t match what you want.

 

Winners and losers and combinations thereof are strewn among all the issues Trump has made specific promises, vague promises and no promises on.

 

Free to trade globally has an upside as does nationalism.

Standing by the rule of our own laws and controlling our own borders has an upside for some … but a downside for others.

Eliminating regulations has an upside for some … and a downside for others.

My main point would be that regardless of any decision a president and the administration make there are winners and losers … and to suggest 300 million people win is … well … ludicrous.

 

But let’s take a minute and talk about words and our new most important words time brevity‘winner’ – president elect Trump.

 

Where our President Elect gets most challenged with words <beyond the fact he really doesn’t know big nor good words> is that now we track what I refer to, loosely, as the Trump promises.

 

In the vaguery, or the wretched hollow, of past promises and today’s reality there remains … well … a divide. Therefore, the words encourage divide and reinforce divide. There has been no attempt of words to unite … which would simply be important words that bridge the past promises and present realities <of what will be done>.

 

Just try to track Trump promises versus the reality of the global construct of … well … everything … and there is big question with who the “loser” is.

 

In order for Trump to win, and be a winner, he needs to use words well & wisely — not think in terms of 140 characters but rather paragraphs. The words used well offer the path for alignment and put a ‘hold’ on divisiveness for a while so we, as a nation, can get started.

 

Any leader worth a shit knows to even have half a chance with regard to organizational success <winning> you have to not have part of the company holding you back and you should have as a goal to have a much of the organization stepping forward together as possible.

Power & efficiency resides in unity.

Fragmentation is inefficient and less powerful.

 

Now.

 

words are free cost youI will end by pointing out that words are not the only thing that unites or divides. Words establish the framework from which things happen … when behavior either makes the words themselves winners or losers.

 

Words may say “end divisions and work together” but if actions say the opposite … well … we all lose.

 

The UK PM offers a word path, not a word salad as our President Elect seems to prefer, toward uniting a divided country. Words are powerful when used well.

when virtue was sought

November 23rd, 2016

struggle and virtue

 

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“ … today’s soldiers receive awards for valor. 

 

But valor was taken for granted in the old armies, in the monk ranks.

 

It was virtue that was sought.

 

Maybe a soldier makes an act of sacrifice for his parents. Maybe he dedicates his life to the perfection of archery. Maybe he spent all of his off duty hours writing the nine million names of Buddha.

Or maybe performed great feats for the cause of truth.

 

In these cases he would be rewarded with a medallion from a general.”

 

 

discussion on Tibetan warrior monks versus todays warriors

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Ok.

 

This is actually about business.

 

Before I begin about business.

 

respect wordsI have huge respect for people who serve in the military.

I sometimes believe a lot of that respect is driven by how my military friends discuss courage and valor versus the non-military people.

As well as maybe I have a better understanding of what society values versus what a soldier values.

 

Regardless.

 

I do not doubt that a soldier finds pride in a chest full of awards & medals.

 

But I also tend to believe they are more proud of simply the uniform … unadorned. The uniform itsef is often the most important award.

 

But that really isn’t the point of this quote.

 

While I tend to believe we give too much lip service to how much we appreciate those who choose to serve and too little heartfelt gratitude and respect for those who choose to serve … I wonder how society would view today’s military if they were rewarded with medallions based on virtuistic behavior and not just awards for valor <thereby showing people that choosing to serve is deeper than simply picking up a gun and showing courage>.

 

Or how about this?

 

I wonder how society would view today’s leaders, business and government, if they were rewarded with medallions based on virtue and virtuistic behavior.

 

Yikes.

 

No bonuses for results <because that is expected> and awards only for things beyond ‘job responsibility performance.’

 

Imagine if these would be awards that were a measure of their character and not just of their behavior <or talents>.

 

Okay.

compete respect attention

That was funny, wasn’t it?

 

Could you see THAT happening in today’s business world?

 

<no>

 

And even if we did do it I imagine, using my most cynical perspective, that most people would still find ‘something wrong’ with even those people who earned those medallions.

 

Sigh.

 

 

But here is what I truly liked about the thought. Virtue is not defined in some religious way nor is it defined by ‘what is honesty’ or ethics … or anything like that … it is defined by enlightenment of self. Defined by honing an additional craft.

 

Defined by broadening the mind by focusing the mind.

 

Defined by thoughtful purpose and not by numbers, deadlines and bonuses.

 

What a thought.

 

 

No milestones and fake deadlines.

 

No quarterly goals.

 

Yes to expecting everyone to do their job.

 

Yes to expecting success.

 

 

Yeah.

 

I know.

 

It doesn’t really work that way.

 

Not everyone is a Tibetan warrior.

 

Now.

 

management what growing-global-executive-talentHow about if we did this in management?

 

Maybe we could assume that as you work your way up you show your ‘valor’ in the doing and meeting the expectations. And once you have proven you can excel at the expectations & responsibilities of your job then your compensation rewards get shifted to values … not valor.

 

This may sound crazy.

But think about it.

 

We have become business people who no longer punch a clock but rather punch a goal/deadline/task. There is nothing deeper, from an individual aspect, than checking the boxes and getting a check.

 

Sure.

 

From the top down … the good organizations are trying to instill some culture and pride and sense of purpose.

 

But that seems a little ass backwards or maybe trying to do something ‘counter to the system.’

 

What I mean by that is if everyone is being measured by doing and in task completion <even when exceptional is tagged to it> than the system is saying act one way and think one way … while the organization may be suggesting “hey, we should also think this way.”

 

To be clear.

 

I am an organizational purpose guy.

I am an organizational culture guy.

I am an organizational “dynamic beyond our own purpose” guy.

 

But my heart tells me I am doing so and thinking so in conflict with a general attitude focused on something else.

 

I know I can’t run a business solely giving out medallions for virtuosity and ignoring ‘valor.’

 

But maybe my point is that we should be doing a better job of reshaping a company Culture believe employee managebusiness culture wherein virtuosity and valor at least have a peer relationship.

 

Anyway.

 

I have to tell you as I end this thought that having a business in which the employees  maybe performed great feats for the cause of truth sounds like it would be a fucking awesome business to lead.

 

 

Enlightened Conflict