Thursday, January 28, 2010
I am in LA to facilitate corporate training with my friend Parker Geiger. It is 12.30 am here … about right, as that is 3.30 in ATL. Only problem is there isn’t an espresso maker in the room. I called downstairs and Starbucks doesn’t open until around 5.30. Slackers!
SOTU (or is it The State of Obama?)
Watching news on TV. Wow. The coverage isn’t all that positive.
Chris Matthew’s said that he found himself forgetting that Obama is black. Sheesh, if that doesn’t sound racist. I thought he was color blind, being a liberal and all that.
Going over the content I want to impart to the participants in training. The subject is Business Savvy Skills. People attending are new-hires for a multinational company that does billions of dollars a year of business. Problem they are wanting to remedy is that, while these young people are quite competent, they have a serious lack of soft-skills – you know, things like how to answer the phone, how to introduce people, how to communicate, how to write a thank-you note, how to do business over a meal, etc.
A few years back, I was hired by one of the largest corporations in the world to teach its new-hires (all MBAs) how to write emails, faxes, internal memos and such. I remember one exercise where I had them write an email to a co-worker. They handed in their writings and most every one of them had used emoticons, internet slang … some of them didn’t even use appropriate capitalization, choosing to write the entire note in small caps! And these are our best and brightest?
It’s 5.30. Off for triple-latte grande and a cigar.
Ouch. Local news guy is talking about how Obama’s perpetually raised chin makes him appear arrogant. As I always teach, your body language is louder than your words, so watch it!
Reading National Review Online to see what its Editors thought of speech. Hilarious observation from Mark Steyn on this passage of SOTU
Obama: “They have done so during periods of prosperity and tranquility. And they have done so in the midst of war and depression; at moments of great strife and great struggle.”
“It’s tempting to look back on these moments and assume that our progress was inevitable — that America was always destined to succeed. But when the Union was turned back at Bull Run and the Allies first landed at Omaha Beach, victory was very much in doubt. When the market crashed on Black Tuesday and civil rights marchers were beaten on Bloody Sunday, the future was anything but certain. These were times that tested the courage of our convictions, and the strength of our union. And despite all our divisions and disagreements; our hesitations and our fears; America prevailed because we chose to move forward as one nation, and one people.”
Steyn: "It sounds like an all-purpose speech for President Anyone: We've met here in good times and bad, war and peace, prosperity and depression, Shrove Tuesday and Super Bowl Sunday, riding high in April, shot down in May. We've been up and down and over and out and I know one thing. Each time we find ourselves flat on our face, we pick ourselves up and get back in the race. That's life, pause for applause . . ."
Okay. One more go through of Power Point and accompanying videos and then … Show Time!
Copyright, Monte E Wilson, 2010
Friday, January 22, 2010
Jack Nicklaus, The Golden Bear, arguably the greatest sportsman ever. Watching him play golf taught me the importance of focus. I swear that his stares guided many golf balls directly into the hole.
As he said ...
Concentration is fine antidote to anxiety.
Focus on remedies, not faults.
My ability to concentrate and work hard toward my goal has been my greatest asset.
Sometimes the biggest problem is in your head. You've got to believe you can play a shot instead of wondering where your next bad shot is coming from.
Success depends almost entirely on how effectively you learn to manage the game's two ultimate adversaries: the course and yourself.
I never went into a tournament or round of golf thinking I had to beat a certain player. I had to beat the golf course. If I prepared myself for a major, went in focused, and then beat the golf course, the rest took care of itself.
This is a game. That's all it is. It's not a war.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Pat Robertson is at it again. Seems that God is ticked off at Haiti because so many people there have made a pact with the Devil. Good grief. If someone knows anyone in his inner circle, I highly recommend an intervention. “No more microphones, no more public appearances, no more interviews. You are moving to Assisi.” You’d think that after he said much the same thing about New Orleans in the wake of Katrina, somebody would have already shuffled the guy off stage.
I have a fundamental hermeneutic that asserts, If you don’t see or hear Jesus saying or doing such a thing, whatever it is you think you are reading in the Bible, you are wrong.
“You’re an adulterer? Somebody give me a stone!”
“You are a tax-gatherer? Egad! Everybody: grab your wallets and Ruuuuuuun!”
"Haiti has made pacts with the Devil? Gabriel, let's rough those people up!"
You get the picture.
Are there people in Haiti that have made pacts with the Devil? I use to work there and I can say, Absolutely. Black Magic, witch doctors and such are ever a booming business in this nation. After more than two decades of working in Africa, I can tell you that Haiti is as Dark a nation as any on the Dark Continent. Yet, Jesus said that he didn’t come into the world to condemn it, but to lay his life down for humanity. THIS is what I believe we Christians (and non-Christians) are called to do for Haitians: offer our love, not our condemnation.
Of course, love should always be with discernment and wisdom, so whatever we do there should be with an eye toward Haiti’s long term good. But right now, people lying under debris shouldn’t be castigated. They should see a demonstration of God’s redemptive love.
Or so I believe …
Copyright, Monte E Wilson, 2010
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
So. McGwire finally cops to Performance Enhancing Drugs. (PED) No big surprise. He said that the reason he didn’t tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth before Congress was that the Powers That Be refused to give him immunity and he would have gone to jail had he admitted the PEDs. Got it. Totally understand. As for his assertion that the PEDs didn’t help him hit homeruns, and were only for augmenting the healing process, I gotta say, the fact that the drugs helped you to heal faster than many of your competitors and gave you the ability to workout longer, they helped you achieve your prowess at the plate.
What is amazing to me here is how so many journalists are piling-on Mark and his confessions. Over and over, they begged him to Come Clean, to Tell the Truth “so we can put this sordid steroid mess behind us,” and when he does, Slam, Bam, Pow: he’s a creep, he’s a cheater, he’s a bum. (Update: Okay. On second thought, it's not amazing.)
To those journalists who are firing bullets at him as fast and as furious as possible, what is the intent of your communication and is your strategy the most effective way to achieve your outcome? If you want other players to Man Up and Be Honest, will your present strategy accomplish this? For those who want to see him suffer for his sins, do you think there’s anything you or the Hall of Fame can do to him that will hurt worse than knowing he let down his sons, his friends, his coach and his teammates?
No doubt, Mark knew he was in for some abuse and he still came forth. What I would coach him to do now is to zip it. Whatever consequences you suffer, take it like a man. No whining, no complaining, just go live your life. Don’t go on Oprah and seek to explain What Happened. Don’t try and place your failures In Context, for no matter how true it might be, it will only be heard as self-justification. Your failures created a weapon that some will refuse to pick up, and others will use, hoping to Make You Pay. Remember: You are the one that created the weapon. Your attitude needs to be, “Do what you will. I refuse to fire back,” and go live your life with the added wisdom and humility you are learning from all of this. Others may choose to forever define you by your past sins. That’s their choice. You can choose otherwise.
Copyright, Monte E Wilson, 2010
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Went to see Avatar at IMAX in 3D with MIV.
Some of my stream of conscious thoughts while watching
Ah, the gratuitous put-downs of evil greedy corporate bastards. Can you say, CLICHE
Crikey, this is amazing
O, these innocent, beautiful indigenous creatures. Is Cameron channeling Rousseau?
This is as magical a production as I have ever seen
No, it is not Rousseau he is channeling: it’s his inner hippie!
I’ve GOT to come see this again
In your face, military men and women! You are a bunch of mindless morons who get off on killing, Killing, KILLING! Come on Cameron, stealing Bush’s “shock and awe”? Lame, man … lame.
Copyright, Monte E Wilson, 2009