Trump Fallacy & Mueller’s Tasking = Uncover Alternative Facts, Collusion and Obstruction of Justice

Very sorry in advance. This paper started out as a brief half-pager but the more thinking put into this paper regarding Mueller’s investigation and Trump himself, ummm, errrr, the paper grew a bit… The two areas are too intertwined. This is not a ‘dog whistle’ but a thought paper, one for which it is hoped that those few people who do read even a small part of it will start their own expanded thought process and create a cascading effect within their circles (filter bubbles or not).

 

Well, whaddaya think…?  Here we are, still, at the crossroads of historical significance with the current American president. And no, we are not using the term United States, because we are not united – there is too much divisiveness in America, too much selfishness. Coming together only during disasters and shootings is not nearly enough to say the country is united. We have to think about everyone; from the rust belt, to the mid-west – in addition to the west and east coasts, from the farms to the cities, from the poor to the rich.

We are here with Trump and his merry gang of, ???, others?  Not sure what to make of these folks and really do not want to just parse out any puerile knee-jerk name-calling.

The ‘Trump Fallacy’. Yes, there it is, the Electoral College missed the boat on “believing” they were voting in who the American people wanted as the next American president. As many people who did their own research and thinking know, the Electoral College was wrong, many of the Electoral College members just voted too soon and did not wait for more vote counting. (Or, and these are only guesses here: a) they voted on Trump out of fear of some of the more rabid Trump supporters or b) a really wild guess here, some of the Electoral College voters were paid to vote for Trump {let’s hope this really was not the case}). The American people voted for the other presidential candidate by ~2.9 million more votes. Simply put, more Americans voted for Hillary Clinton than any other losing presidential candidate in American history… {Clinton’s votes = 65,844,954 / Trump’s votes = 62,979,879}

The Trump fallacy is that too many people believed Trump was their salvation. That Trump was going to restore a dying industry (coal) to its former black lung and asthma inducing glory. That Trump was going to make America the single greatest power on Earth. That Trump was going to put a chicken for every pot in America (do your research please, this is a Truman reference) while at the same time; putting in unqualified individuals in the nation’s highest offices, individuals who really had no business being placed in these positions. America was actually growing prior to Trump being selected by the Electoral College. As a result, Trump put in place individuals who wanted to take America backwards or did not know how to move America forward:

Ben Carson – HUD Secretary, installed because, as he stated, he used to live in the projects (so did this writer)

Betsy DeVos – Education Secretary, installed because she ran some Charter schools and since taking office, never visited some of the worse national school districts (ask Michigan if DeVos even contacted them) – DeVos wants to have more charter schools and leave the public schools to die off – that is the image we perceive. The problem, public schools are important and they need funding and improvements (too many teachers are buying their class supplies with their own small amount of money they earn)

Scott Pruitt – EPA, installed because he is a friend of the oil industry…? (what EPA secretary ever attempted to obtain a sound proof phone booth in their office, or bullet resistant office furniture and seats in bigger armored limousine…?) This individual also wants to continue making oil a dominate energy source when green energy (Wind, Solar, Ocean waves, etc.) is continually growing, even energy companies are buying up 10 – 20-year green energy contracts (but not making much noise about it).

Zinke – Interior, a person who claims to be a geologist but did not go the complete route a real geologist takes to gain that title of being a geologist (yes, he did take geology courses as an undergraduate but that is not all it takes)

Let’s just stop here, you get the picture. Right? RIGHT….??

But, as many people are now fully aware, not just across America, but across the planet – Trump never was qualified to sit in house of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Many people have known that since the 1990’s. Many of his base have been finding out the painful way over the past 17 months that the current president is not and never was qualified and is incapable of being qualified. Now, the remainder of his base, for whatever reason(s), they may never recognize that fact – but they may, after America goes through more harm, damage and ridicule over the next 12-24 months…

Just because someone has the loudest voice or biggest bull-horn, it does not mean that person has the right take or the best solution on anything. Listening to someone like that may just take you on a very bad bus ride… People have to learn to keep an open mind with the possibility that someone else’s opinion may be better or even right. People have to be better and learn to adapt to a changing global landscape by keeping an open mind and boosting their own intellect rather than relying on others to spoon fed what may be contrarian information (i.e. egregious or little lies).

What we appear to have in the American psyche now, more than ever, are a lot of individuals who for some reason have subconsciously (or consciously) given up their prerogative to do their own critical thinking. We have more people in America (and other countries for that matter), who seem to prefer to let other, less informed and ill-meaning people do the thinking for them.

Not really clear why so many Americans do not do their own critical thinking, AFTER they do their own research of course. So many Americans seem to relish listening to whisper campaigns, conspiracy minded talkers (many of which appear to not do their own due diligence prior to trotting out their various topics/dialogues) or flat-out liars. And to put an icing on the cake, these narrowly focused individuals spread the untruths on social media, in their own filter bubbles or other venues, therein causing a feeding frenzy using the bad information.

What happened to the thinking process of these people along the way of their life? What is wrong with dissent and conflict in a civil manner? People do not have to physically attack others who do not agree with them but some do. All you have to do is go to some colleges where speakers are attacked, by thrown objects and even physically. This harkens back to those Salem days of witch craft and hysteria arose – all because the person being accused of being a witch had a physical disorder or thought differently. It is as if the control mechanism in the brains of so many people is in a state of permanent shut down and they do not know how to turn it back on… Is America going backwards because free thought is being shut down.

— Hate speech or racial supremacy speech or bullying does not count as being healthy free speech.

The Trump fallacy has lowered the bar for ethical standards and personal integrity. Too many people around the American president are picking up the bad role model habits of this president. For example, early last year, January 2017, we had a woman go on live television and tell the American public about ‘Alternative Facts.’ By now, nearly everyone on the planet should know that alternative facts are just lies. For those that do not believe this, hint: an alternative to truth is a falsehood, or a lie. Many of us do not know of any other alternatives, so if you do know of something concrete to describe or define ‘alternative facts’, please let the rest of us in on that little-known tidbit.

Or worse still, we have public officials in congress and the senate who knowingly and unabashedly spread falsehoods because they believe it is something the president desires. And as a result, we have deepening political partisanship, worse than ever (no, not pointing a finger at just one party).

 

Now, getting to Mueller and his investigation of collusion (Russians), his team is outstandingly quiet on what they have to date. That is the way it is supposed to be. No lawyer or prosecutor in their right mind is going to give up valuable information in advance of the conclusion of their investigation or prior to the convening of a court case.

What many are not thinking of is the possibility that Mueller, in his role of special prosecutor, may have quite a bit of evidence at hand to make a significant blow to those who mistakenly believed that they could do what they want with the political system and the constitution. Think about ‘fixing by your neighborhood fixer’ and flat out ‘bribery’, basically, think about corruption. Mueller may have extraordinary data to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign. Mueller ‘may’ also have an abundance of data in regards to ‘obstruction of justice’. The obstruction of data ‘may’ be aimed at those surrounding Trump, now and in the past – all those folks who have spat out and are currently spitting out lies, misleading information or other diversionary tactics, with the single goal of getting Trump out of hot water.

What is happening to ethics and integrity in the world? It seems a person’s word and bond are not as valued today in some certain circles. It seems that various people, highly educated people to boot, seem to have willingly and completely lowered the bar for their personal standard and do not mind the occasional bit of lying in the workplace or political/justice systems or even outrageous acts of corruption that we all see every week in the news in some city.

  

 

Disheartened yet? No, chew on this then. Here is something that some/many people may not talk about or even think of. There are so many Americans out there, in all levels of society and various positions of power who only think about pleasing themselves and those around them and to hell with everyone else.  This is where discrimination kicks in or continues to spread… And no, you do not have to go and do any copious and deep research on this, just look around and listen to the conversations of other people – on the train platform, in bars, at any sports venue, etc.  Especially when the talkers believe no one else is listening to them.

There are a large number of Americans who refuse to listen to other arguments and opinions, just because those arguments come from someone else. It does not matter if the other person making the argument is a highly educated expert in their field, or that other person may not have advanced degrees but is a well-known specialist. Or, it could just be a neighbor down the road. And please, do not let it be a valid argument from someone of color, or a woman, or someone from a different religion – because then, the one who refuses to listen to a different opinion digs in even more and is blinded by their personal discriminatory beliefs instead of considering that other opinion and having a dialogue.

The sad news for those kinds of thinkers is that we are all in this together, Americans cannot continue to have discrimination and keep putting in place, demarcation lines, visible or otherwise (you know, where people of one race moves out of a neighborhood because ‘certain’ kinds of other people move in…). We have to eventually “all” come together and recognize “others”. People of all colors are important. People of both genders and now, adding trans-gender folks to the mix are “all” important. Young and old alike are important to any society. The poor and the middle class are also important to any society, not just chattel to cast aside when the wealthy or the well-off are finished with them for the time being.

Enough people in America, and around the world, have been suppressed for too many centuries (yes, centuries) – we have to boot strap and bring everyone up, to improve standards in America and around the world.

 

So, work on thinking for yourselves and what is important to all of us. We cannot continue to have siloed (discriminatory) societies when we all breathe the same air and travel the same roads – doing so just makes it that much more expensive just to maintain all the various silos of – we need this or they (others) do not need that (this or that). Doing so only brings back (or keep in place) inequities that many of us want to see go away once and for all.

Let’s all think about actually draining the swamp of corrupt individuals who only want to aggrandize themselves and line their own pockets and do something real. Like vote out those who are corrupt and vote in others who want to help everyone, not just people who look like them…

If people out there choose to not think for themselves and continue listening to others who erroneously and intentionally misled them, we are all in trouble. We will continue to see this uptick in Fascist talk and actions; more talk and activity from white supremacists who believe the world (or certain portions of it) belongs only to them; more talk from nationalists/populists who only promote ideals that ‘appear’ to make their followers happy (think about Hitler).

Seriously, work on raising the bar on your personal ethics and integrity. Those two areas alone are something that would bring America back again instead of sliding down the magic rabbit-hole of lies and corruption in all areas and levels of government (and all other areas of life to boot). Seriously, again, stop condoning things that you know are wrong. i.e. there was one individual who stated “”You get a mulligan,” said Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council” in talking about the immoral behavior of Trump. Grabbing women by the “pu_ _ y” is not something one gets a mulligan over… Nor was the situation when Melania Trump had their child and Trump was galivanting around…

Would you rather have a role model with poor moral standards, who knowingly lies (i.e. in 1980 Trump agreed to turn over to the Metropolitan Museum of Art the gilded 20-by-30-foot nickel grillwork of interlocking geometric designs and a pair of 15-foot-tall Art Deco panels “depicting stylized, partly draped female nudes, from the Bonwit Teller building he was tearing down to build Trump Tower – but then reneged on the promise and destroyed the art work), and encourages physical attacks (recall the sports arena incident where a white guy, as he was walking up the steps to leave the stadium, went out of his way to punch a black guy who had stood up to wait his turn to leave) or would you rather follow a sanitation worker (or home care assistant) with a big heart, higher ethical and integrity standards as a role model to live and grow your lives…?

Hint: some of us would rather follow the latter role model and not someone who wants to perpetuate the past where honest public officials are cast out for working on the straight and narrow rather than allowing certain illegalities go unnoticed and unpunished (remember Sally Yates who was ousted from the DoJ and Preet Bharara formerly of the Southern District of New York)…

 

Lastly, please, for many folks out there – try to stop being malleable, weak-minded and easily manipulated individuals. Do not just jump on the very first thing you see or hear, look for corroborating information to make a more informed opinion. Try to think for yourselves and for the future of America, all of the Americans, not just certain groups of people or certain colors…

We need to bring America back from the fringes of becoming a true international laughing stock, for which we are to a small degree, thanks in no small part to what has been happening over the past 17 months.

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Diplomacy & Communication

Diplomacy

Note, this writing is not on national and international diplomacy but rather on the ‘use’ of diplomacy in any setting, any engagement – from business settings to team building (work or sports), even to relationship settings (man and woman, boy and girl, man and man or woman and woman). This is a small attempt in discussing how the use in any of those settings (an incomplete set listed) can and should be successful.

Make no mistake; diplomacy is not a Sunday drive. Diplomacy takes a massive effort on the part of everyone involved. Diplomacy is not a one-way street nor can it be construed only as my way or nothing at all.

We need good people, not the richest people, or the most attractive people, or those who might have gone to the best schools (ala the “ole boy network”). We need good people who can be level headed and look at all sides of a problem or issue at hand.

Money and looks should not play any part whatsoever in diplomacy, just the earnest and honest use of working or being with someone (yes, I am looking through rose colored glasses but there you have it).

We need good people who are:

  • Intelligent – not necessarily a Brainiac but is aware of what he or she knows and does not know,
  • Measured,
  • Studied,
  • Able to display Commonsense and
  • Collaborative – a word I use a great deal because it should be a requisite for everyone at all times,

We do “not” need nor want people who are:

  • Combative,
  • Constantly seeking the limelight,
  • Full of One-upmanship and
  • In your face

Being diplomatic in dealings with others does not always necessitate going through a formal school teaching diplomacy. Do you believe that everyone who has ever been successfully diplomatic in dealing with others always received formal training through some sanctioned institution…? I am not discussing how to have a proper place setting or who should stand where or who should enter / leave a room first. I am simply discussing how people should be interacting with each other to successful outcomes.

You do not need formal diplomatic training for that role…

Being diplomatic in life and work can stem from being aware of a situation, being able to communicate – to talk to others at a decent and respectable level (not condescending or patronizing) and experience in different walks of life. Note, the aforementioned is not a complete list.

Sometimes, those coming from humble beginnings are enough of a jump start to their being a successful diplomatic person life and work.

 

Communication

Communication skills are a prized aspect of anyone and something every person walking the planet should work on – daily and hourly. These skills will open the door to multiple successful engagements and will never let you down.

Successful communicators attempt to:

  • Talk to people at their levels,
  • See themselves, looking through the other persons’ shoes, to see the other’s perspective,
  • See, not just look, but to really see what is going on, right in front of them

Collaboration and Coalition

Having a good to great person in a position of diplomacy should boil down to who can honestly, intelligently, critically and judiciously work with one or more parties to an issue and talk it out, collaborating and compromising on a quality outcome for everyone. The outcome should not end up being a goal insidiously beneficial to one party. The outcome(s) should never favor one group more than the majority. The majority plays a significant role in society.

However, yes, the majority should normally win but there are a fair number of situations where a minority needs to have their voice heard and their rights looked after. Examples of those situations are Gay rights, Minority rights, the poor and workplace gender discrimination.

These few examples, to this day, still require their minority voices raised above those of the majority who:

  • Only see through tunnel vision,
  • Are myopic and/or
  • Narrow minded

and often times believe their way is the only and best way (i.e. religion).

You want more illustrations? Take racial / gender inequality or choices of sexual preferences:

  • Slavery,
  • Suffragettes,
  • People like Harvey Milk (former San Francisco mayor) and / or
  • Chinese who were also used as slave labor in the past.

These groupings have been pushed to the back or swept under the rug for decades or centuries. Just because the majority, of the past (and today), may not want men and women of those groups to enjoy full equality and full happiness – it is wrong to deny them the simple pleasures of life that those in the majority enjoy and quite likely take for granted…

If you look back at any era of history, the oppressors were always the ones in power, dictating life’s outcomes – that is a fact. The SOLE reason to oppress or suppress people is the will to remain in power with the adjunct reason of gaining ever more power (and money).

Oppressors and Suppressors have sought to control:

  • The thoughts of the people for centuries (i.e. the Church and slave owners)
  • What people could access for knowledge (i.e. again, the Church and slave owners)
  • Who could meet who and where and when (i.e. during the days of slavery)
  • Who had the right to vote and work and to marry (i.e. Women and Blacks and Asians) 

We need more people who are consciously willing to speak for all in collaborative settings. But, in talking about being collaborative and building coalitions to work within, I am not talking about Machiavellian machinations. We do not need someone to work in that manner behind our backs in secretive sessions.

So, be aware, even if the majority does prefer some viewpoint, they may not necessarily gain that viewpoint.

Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is a topic that I have brought up multiple times in other writings. Critical thinking is a significantly necessary side of anyone, not just the leaders in any group, but of everyone in many situations. We desperately need more people in all walks of life, not just government (where they are sorely, sorely needed) but in military, business, education and health care.

One must be able to take in as many variables as they can about the situation at hand; what happened, who were the people involved, what were the various reasoning’s for their individual actions, where did it occur, was money involved, was politics or religion driving factors, was it racially motivated, was it greed or jealousy, etc., etc., etc.

One has to be able to logically, objectively and critically think through a situation and no two situations are alike.

Problem Solving

This is another topic that I believe anyone and everyone should have or strive to obtain. Gaining the capability or capacity to do a good job at problem solving should be the top of everyone’s list of things to do.

Another prized aspect of problem solving (as well as in critical thinking) is the ability to extrapolate out into the future multiple realistic scenarios of what might and could occur, rather than dreamy possibilities.

Cognitive Diversity

This is another area that more people need to develop better skills in, cognitive diversity.

Having more and varied life and work experiences to draw from will aid in your being successful in your daily dealings with anyone and everyone.

Having a varied educational background will help you in being a better person. Look at Colin Powell, Hillary Clinton or Madeleine Albright; these individuals all had varied backgrounds to draw from and did not have formal diplomatic training before they entered their jobs of being diplomats. Of course, they did obtain formal training after taking over their role of Secretary of State, you know – who stands where, who leaves the room first, who to talk to the most or the least, etc., etc.

Successful individuals in any area using diplomacy (not just international diplomacy) are those who are able to communicate clearly and succinctly, without the babble and mumble jumbo of being duplicitous.

These same individuals also should have the capacity to deal with the internal demon of cognitive dissonance. If individuals, or you, should encounter a situation, which causes discomfort or tension due to conflicting beliefs on the issue at hand – we all hope that the winning belief is the right one for all concerned.

Dignity & Respect

Everyone everywhere deserves dignity and respect in life and please note I am certainly not including criminals (war or just breaking the law) here. A diplomatic person, in their travels, should strive to honour even the poor and uneducated with dignity, just as they do with the very educated and the wealthy and powerful.

As to respect, everyone deserves to be respected – until they no longer prove that they do not deserve that respect. It should not matter how old, young, senior or junior the other person is.

It should not matter if the other person is male, female, poor, rich or what race they are nor should it matter if they are straight or gay – everyone deserves respect.

And if the other person loses your respect, you ‘still’ need to successfully do your job – see it through to fruition and then move on.

Honesty

Do I really need to embellish on this topic…?

 

Conclusion:

We need to have in place, in more organizations, in more government agencies and in the military, individuals who are willing to lead the way and do so in a fashion that all people can understand and follow – with open eyes and mindset.

We need to have in place individuals who can be or become successful change agents, who are willing to be in the midst of getting something done for what is right, not just because there is a vocal minority or a majority who is not more educated on the issue at hand.

Individuals who are successful diplomats and communicators, in any endeavor, should be ones with heart and honor in order to aid anyone and everyone, anywhere.

 

Strategy, Brand & Innovation – Achievers, Problems and Headaches

Great strategy and fantastic innovation, two of the biggest ideas out there, yet they are so difficult and illusive to actualize.

 

Strategy      

Strategy in its simplest form is nothing more than taking what you know right now, or even after you’ve done your due diligence and research and looking at what the market and economy is like for your area – your region. Then, projecting down the road, three months, six months or two years to see what your possible outcomes could be. You are strategizing to see if you can be successful at some point in the future.

And, yes, you do have to consider who will be your competition. That competition could be other direct competitors or it could come from firms who could, once they see your success, create a new division within their organization solely to compete with your business.

Having a very good Predictive Analysis (or Visual Analysis) solution will help immeasurably with this effort so you can see what you can do using a good Dashboard component. But if you cannot get your hands on that kind of software, then good ole thinking and brain storming is going to be your salvation.

You have to take your thinking seriously, very seriously. And make no mistake about it – it will be some considerable thinking on your (and your team) part.

 As you go through your thought processes, you have to plan ahead as far as feasible, while considering the multiple, possible stumbling blocks you ‘might’ come across. Part of the problem however, is getting buy-in from others on the team or a champion/sponsor from management and/or the executive staff.

Sometimes however, you will come across people who will ‘only’ want to use their thoughts and ideas. And this may occur at times when that ‘other’ will know that they are in the minority or are just wrong in some venture.  These individuals may be part of a culture of people who do not want to collaborate or be part of a team – they just ‘might’ prefer to see only their name on this or that project and are not willing to share any credit.

Beware of people who:

 — Do not want to collaborate

 — Intentionally lie to you just to get your input and ideas and do not share the ensuing credit

 — Listen to you (to patronize you) and then just throw your ideas out the window while continuing on with their own ideas

On the other hand, “ALWAYS” look for people who ‘want’ to strategize and collaborate together to maybe work on some innovative ideas. These are individuals who:

 — Are always asking others for thoughts and ideas to see if they are beneficial for an ongoing project

 — Do share the credit of success

 — Are willing to take on new team members

 — Are willing to listen (more later on)

 

Thinking

But let’s talk about thinking for a moment.  Thinking is a significant section of everything you do and it desires its’ rightful place.  You must think about what people are telling you, think about what you see and read – then form your conclusions based on what you have gathered.

What you’ve gathered may be conjecture, fanciful thoughts, concrete examples and rock solid facts – they will all add up and it falls to you, and your team, to remove the chaff from the needed bits of data.

You will need to have some periods of quietness, amidst the chaotic storms of many open-pit workplaces today, to do your solid thinking, free of distractions and disruptions. Very, very few people, these rare folks, are able to concentrate and block out everything around them for hours at a time. You might need to go to a quiet zone, if you are lucky enough at your firm to have these, or outside to a meditation area (again, lucky). But if you do not have access to these kinds of areas, it makes it difficult to have “quality” periods of thinking. You may have to wind up going to the lunch room or cafeteria, taking some supplies (pen and paper for sure) with you to work with. When you do go to the cafeteria, you will need ear plugs… Lastly, you are going to have to break in other employees that you want to be left alone if they see you are working and not there to shoot the breeze.

 

Critical thinking    

Then there is the necessary area of critical thinking. Not only do you have to do some quality thinking about what you see, hear and read – you have to do critical thinking at times.

You have to think, not just from your own viewpoint but also from the perspective of someone else.  You will at times need to put yourself in the shoes of others and then see:

 — What are the pros and cons of making decision A or decision B or decision X?

— Or, can we afford this, can we not afford that?

— What are the effects tomorrow, next week or a year from now?

— Roadblocks – are there any impending blockages that could rear up in the form of recalcitrant or contrarian people, a work environment not conducive to success or the lack of available tools needed for staff to be successful in getting your product out the door

You have to consider, critically, how the surrounding environment of wherever you work or where your product is intended for – what will the ensuing effect on creating your product or finishing your product.

You have to consider who is going to receive your product, the environment of where that customer(s) works and what that customer does in their daily lives. You do not want to create something that does not jive with the customer(s) expectations. You have to create your product specifically with that customer in mind. You have to be critical in thinking about what goes into your product.  Will that customer want a:

  — High level product or one full of details – will they appreciate it if you give/sell them both versions

  — Glossy, slick product that is eye catching

  — Product with a good balance of images and info or no

  — Product with only the exact requirements they requested or do you take a risk and provide more – this is a fine line here and you had best know your customer in order to get them the product they want or believe they want

 

Listening

Yes, you absolutely must listen with serious consideration to everyone around you rather than with just giving others a miniscule amount of attention or lip service to what they are saying or putting forth.

You need to listen to the experts as they give you their learned advice but – you need to take that advice and information with a grain of salt. The reason is that there are experts and there are experts, each of them may have a different perspective as to their knowledge. Their advice may vary little from other experts or it may vary radically. Sometimes, they do come together for one conclusion on some topic.

Then, there are others who may not be an expert in that field but may still have valuable information to share if you are willing to listen. It may be enough to tilt an entire decision process because that person may have sparked an even better idea.

Listening is an art form. If you look someone in the eye and are giving them your undivided attention as you listen to them – well, that makes you a winner. People want to be heard, even if you listen to them for two minutes. Those two minutes might mean the world to them and yes, the two minutes may have to come out of your busy schedule…

 

Creativity & Innovation

What can I say here?  Hmmmm…. 

How about this?  You have to push yourself to think differently. You have to recognize that you will need to get out of your comfort zone to gather ideas which could be counter to what you are used to.

You have to think of ways you can improve the work you are doing, the way you are doing it and how you engage with others in getting yours AND their tasks completed.  Sometimes you can gen up multiple ideas on your own – if you have a broad world view and have been exposed to many things throughout your life. But it may not be easy at first as you try to breech those thick, built up walls that have congealed over a lifetime.

You just need to start looking at things differently, thinking of ‘What if’ for what you see. Go watch a sci-fi movie or a zombie flick and let your mind wonder and ponder the possibilities of what you can take away from that movie, in using some piece of some scene you saw.

Or go to a park and watch how people go about their lives and look for something that someone is doing and see if a light bulb goes off in your head.

Get outside your usual zone and become serendipitous – visit other web sites you don’t normally go to, watch news programs you never go to in order to gain different perspectives, listen to some of the various shows on
TED or TEDx (science, sci-fi, educational, art, music, global environmental issues) – or go to museums to see what can spark your fancy to get your juices flowing…

You simply have to work at generating ideas – as many ideas as you can. Many good (and bad) useful and beneficial products come out of this cornucopia of ideas. It does not matter if they are good or goofy, as long as you generate them. Sooner or later one or three of them will be something worthwhile.

Being creative or innovative means you are not constrained to some previous idea and you only want to stick with it because you, YOU, are comfortable with it. That or your bosses are the ones who are holding things back… You have to have divergent thinking or be willing to work at having divergent thoughts and ideas to see what shakes loose from that money tree.

 

Image          

I include image because the idea that one “must” dress up in a suit and a tie, or skirt, blouse and jacket combo to be professional, well, I just find it preposterous (yep, an archaic and ancient word but it is one that is most apt).

One can be a successful professional in jeans and t-shirts, yes, you really can. But not torn jeans, fishnet t-shirt or tank tops.

It is about what you, you as an individual, convey in your mannerisms and your attitude as you go about getting things done and working with others. Clothing is only a small part of who you are. If others are focused on how you dress and how you look (good looks versus less than good looks) rather than how well you perform – the person doing the looking (and judging) is losing out on your productiveness and what your company can gain. Hopefully of course, you are not dressing up as a bum or a punk in ratty, torn clothing…

It is up to the company to convey to the customers how important your productivity is to the firm, more than how well you can dress – that makes the firm so successful.

 

Brand

In addition, it is also about your brand, your own brand – your reputation.  It is about how credible you come across to others in your professional and personal life. If you manage to come across with the attitude of:

 — Being confident, 

— Getting the job done,

— Being aggressive (not overbearing aggression) and

— Doing what you say you can do (and then doing a bit more than promised)

you will “always” be successful in making your image that much more credible and marketable.

If you are a productive and successful individual, it should never matter whether you are:

  — Older

  — Younger

  — Male or female

  — Of a different race or culture

  — Not as attractive

  — Gay or straight or even if

  — You talk differently (accent or not as educated as others)

None of these traits should matter if you are successful or if you show you are a high caliber worker / employee / staff member / team member. All that matters is if you can successfully engage with others or if you are willing to try to engage, continually trying to engage…

While you, the individual, have made your own brand successful, you in turn, will also make the firm you work for successful. That simply adds to a favorable brand for the firm…

 

Bottom Line

The bottom line is, is that you are all successful. Some people are more successful than others, in all kinds of situations. But to me, the most successful people are those who help others become successful. The successful bring others along with them on the successful ride, with the clear hopes and aspirations that it will continue for a long, long time.

All aboveboard, free of any and all subterfuge, free of any chicanery that many like to foist on others.

Being smart and/or having an Ivy League education are only part of the battle in strategy and innovation. You can have community college level education and still be successful. It is also about how you use what you know, what your team mates know and what the community knows of which you can borrow from mistakes already encountered and of knowledge already gained and put it to use in your firm.

Do not let the idea of you ‘not’ being creative or innovative slow you down; this is only a minor obstacle or problem you need to overcome. If you work at it, it will happen. You can be an achiever, you just need to work at it and show it in whatever you do. Failing at some task or project is only a minor impediment (or it should be). What is important is that you learn from that failure so you don’t do it again but can put it to great use the next time around.

Value

Value, or some method of valuation, is what should be the end result. You should show something that everyone can see the value of, even if others cannot see the value tomorrow – they may see it for what it is worth next month or next year.

However, sad as it is to say, it would be best if others can see the value of your strategic and innovative efforts tomorrow.