Trump – It’s About Leadership and Leading

NOTE: Arrrggghhhh….. I just HAD to break away from my impartiality and write about leadership again, for this election cycle.  This post is about leadership, equality, fairness and progress, not to promote one specific individual over another. You must choose who you believe is the better leader for this country, to speak for you nationally and in the halls of other countries around the world. Do your own research, reach out to multiple different sources and do our own thinking. Do not let one news channel (TV, cable, paper, radio station) be your sole point of view or perspective. Broaden your horizon, then discuss and debate with others. Do not get locked into your own filter bubble (see Eli Pariser’s 2011 book on THE FILTER BUBBLE) because being in your own filter bubble will trap you and adversely affect your state of mind, on everything. Folks, please do your own deep, selfless and honest thinking.

Leadership! Yes, leadership. It is not something one can easily gain. Leadership is something one earns and this is basically what is at stake today – who deserves to be the leader of this nation… Successful leadership is one where people will want to emulate you as a successful role model.

First, yes, Hillary Clinton did create her own mess with her email situation. But do remember, other individuals before her at State Dept. also had their own private email servers. For this, if she is not going to be criminally punished as others of us would have (and others in the public eye should have), then she should be financially penalized. Then, we can move on.

Yes, she also may have previously had something going on with the foundation in question. If it is true, let the Justice Dept deal with it. Stop making allegations if they are not true. Then, we can move on.

Yes, Clinton is stiff, civil and formal but those traits actually are something that many people in this country (and around the world) want and prefer – at least she can become relaxed. Many people do not want to be associated with individuals who make it their mission in life to be:

  • rude/crass,
  • overbearing,
  • insincere,
  • name calling…,
  • unapologetic,
  • “politically INCORRECT”,
  • disingenuous (on an hourly basis),
  • divisive,
  • belittling (of various races, genders, religions, etc.)
  • inflammatory

Many people simply do not want to be engaged with individuals with these kinds of attributes ON A DAILY BASIS and NOT AT ALL if we can help it! Especially when these traits above have been a known trade mark of someone over decades…. And many people especially do not want someone with these traits to be the leader of a nation, a nation with the capacity to intentionally start a devastating and horrific war or become a police state. However, it is okay to sometimes be inflammatory, IF it is for a validly good cause and the end result is the success and/or uniting of disparate people/groups. 

Lastly, on Bill Clinton – HE IS NOT THE ONE RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT! Drop this aspect.  And let’s move on.

Many people in the United States (many of us wish we actually were a United people instead of all the many islands of uncompromising communities), many people want someone with at least some kind of history of working:

  • in politics
  • with the military,
  • with the intelligence community,
  • with state and local leaders and
  • with leaders of other countries.

Being a leader means:

  • working with people to obtain equality (financially or just in life), no matter the gender, age, race, religion or medical handicap.
  • bringing people together through a spirit of community, not through a spirit of free for all hooliganism at public events (which makes some of us believe we’re living in the U.K. during the height of hooliganism).
  • you have something to say and you have actual plans and methodologies to back up what you say. It does not mean saying you have something but you will not talk about it yet and then never talk about it again….
  • you want to enable others, from the very bottom and into the mid-levels of the economic and educational strata, to become better.  To enable them to in turn become enablers – for themselves and to help others.
  • you are willing to improve the living and working conditions across the entire country for everyone. Conditions such as roads (think infrastructure), pay equality, working environments. It is bad enough that minimum wage is going to take 2 – 4 years in many places to reach the nationally desired goal. The problem with that is, by the time minimum wages get there, inflation and general cost increases will put many of these folks in the same spot they were in 3 – 4 years ago…
  • compromising, even when you are the one getting the short end of the stick, if it means success for all

One has to earn the right to be a leader…

But to be that leader, one must show they are for everyone, not just for certain sections of a country – or for certain groups of people. There is no returning back to 1960, or 1930, where many, many people in this country were/were perceived as second class (or worse) un-equal individuals. From Chinese (from what, the 1800’s to the 1940s), to Women (for all time), to Blacks (since the 1600’s), to Mexicans – no one should be looked down upon as anything less than equal.

We need someone to bring us together, not cause a nation-wide situation of ‘us’ versus ‘them’.

That is leadership!

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50 years later & SCOTUS – We’ve Failed…

Really? Really!!!

Okay, 50 years later and SCOTUS (supreme court of the US) has apparently failed people of the U.S., those who are morally inclined for doing the right thing for the many and not just the vocal. 

Religion, as I know it, is a private affair and as such should never play a part in local, state or federal government. Yet, it does.

Yes, when this country was formed, people knew less about science but they knew more about racism, bigotry, suppression, oppression, sexism, discrimination – well, should I continue on…?

My point is, is that this country has changed over a couple of centuries – at least a little bit – and the world has changed. It is supposed to be for the better, not in taking strides to go backwards. 

Yet, this is what the SCOTUS is doing, with their latest decision for Hobby Lobby and contraception, causing us to go backwards in our nations’ progress. That decision was a slippery slope (Justice Ginsburg and Hillary Clinton both stated that). That decision is going to open up a Pandora’s Box of more discrimination across the country – no service for gays, attempts to do away with minimum wage, etc., etc., etc.

Nia-Malika Henderson wrote a great piece on this topic: How Justice Ginsburg’s Hobby Lobby dissent helps shape the debate about reproductive vs. religious rightswww.washingtonpost.com/blogs/she-the-people/wp/2014/07/01/how-justice-ginsburgs-hobby-lobby-dissent-helps-shape-the-debate-about-reproductive-and-religious-rights/ Jul 1, 2014

 

Religion as I understand it, and no disrespect, is that if individuals want to practice any religion, they are free to do so, as long as they are not forcing others to see it or be an unwilling participant. For example, those of us who may be atheist or agnostic – are forced to handle currency with “In God We Trust” or to see it in courtrooms and/or other public governmental institutions.

If one wants to practice their religion – don’t make everyone around you be unwilling (or unwitting) participants. Hobby Lobby, in its zeal wants to implement their religious belief on their thousands of employees and not all of them are religious, just because they work at Hobby Lobby. For those of you who say ‘maybe those employees who don’t like it should get another job elsewhere,’ – what do you know of the plight of those workers? Do you know how easy or difficult it will be for the Hobby Lobby employee to ‘easily’ move on to another job, one that is as good paying (hopefully) as the one they are leaving?

Why are people trying to force religious beliefs on others? Why aren’t the religious, those that are trying to spread religion, letting the non-religious go about their business in peace? Not allowing the non-religious (or even the willing religious) to partake of something like contraception is somewhat abysmal and akin to Sharia Law. Yep, I did say Sharia Law because that what it boils down to when one wants to put their religious stamp on others who do not want to participate.

If one is religious that is fine, you can believe the world was created 6,000 years ago that is quite up to you. There are even those who believe that mankind domesticated dinosaurs but there are no dinosaur fossils (T-Rex, Stegosaurus, Brontosaurus, etc.) as young as 6,000 years old.

But for some people, they believe in the science of the world being created hundreds of millions of years ago (and more) with the human race evolving over the past several million years, with fossils to prove it (Australopithecus, homo habilis, homo erectus, neanderthals, homo sapien, etc.) – that is, if one believes in carbon dating as many do.

We have got to separate and remove religion from politics and government, we have to.

 

The Supreme Court has been making decisions they believed were helping but in fact are actually hindering and causing us to become a have and have not country.

A case in point, the Citizens United decision, where more money can be dumped into politics – that is simply bad but many people seem to believe it is a good idea. It is not.

If those with the most money influences (and dictates behind the scenes) political events and issues because of that vast wealth being sent in at fire hose torrent speeds, the less wealthy will feel the effects and suffer accordingly. This is akin to going back to the robber baron days where the rich were the one’s setting the rules and regulations, the poor “be damned!”

Now of course, not all rich are as maliciously inclined to gobble up all they want with scant disregard to the ‘little people’ or the ’47 percent.’ There are many altruistic wealthy folks, just not enough to overcome the non-altruistic…

 

And the voting rights issue, it is bad enough that we have the problem of political gerrymandering compounding every single problem facing us. Because the SCOTUS knocked down sections of the VRA, we are at this cliff drop off of states making sweeping changes to hinder and impede the votes of certain people. And using the fear of voting fraud in certain conversations keep cropping up, yet, there is very little fraud…

Please do your own wide research on this, “do not” just go to one news outlet and read content there – READ & RESEARCH FROM MULTIPLE, VARIED SOURCES!” Otherwise, you will doom your own knowledge and filter only on what you want to read rather than other varying opinions, which ‘may’ help you to form newer, better and more knowledgeable opinions.

If some of the states wanting to implement some of the draconian voting laws, why not make it easier for the people? Why not put into effect, mobile voter registration vehicles where the vehicle can go to different communities on a rotating basis to let those folks register? This would alleviate the commuting people for many of these folks… right…?

The SCOTUS, in their great wisdom, in cutting out parts of the VRA allowed many states to modify and cripple voting for quite a few citizens.

Overall, the SCOTUS has failed. They have failed, more than likely, in using their personal values rather than logical and contemplative reasoning to decide momentous decisions that spread far and deep into the future.

So ultimately, we, the people of the U.S. have failed along with the Supreme Court. Why? Because we get who we vote for in the political arena. If one votes for a vitriolic individual who refuses to compromise, poo-poos any real science and looking to establish extreme measures to resolve some problem – that is who goes onward doing things many people dislike. 

Subsequently, these individuals in office, they are the ones who go on to decide in some form or fashion the types of people who serve on boards, committees and institutions like the Supreme Court. People like members of the SCOTUS make decisions, which extrapolated out into the future, can cause chagrin, harm and little progress.

We failed because too many people are too short-sighted and use things like gender discrimination or religion, a hugely personal belief, in attempting to brand everyone around them with the same philosophy or belief – whether others want it or not.

SIDEBAR: On the topic of gerrymandering, we have to stop it and stop it now or else we will just see, for the long haul, political parties no longer having truly competitive races with continual gridlock at every turn. We need an independent organization that is bi-partisan to create new district lines in every state, a system that is fair and equitable and not one where we have: “okay, this group here is fine, they will vote for democrats at every election” and “this group over there is fine, they are all one race and wealthy, they will only vote for one party forever.”

Why can’t we stop this gerrymandering nonsense, it is at the heart of political gridlock….!!!??? Or are we doomed to having one party or the other, because of gridlock, blocking commonsense changes and progress for everyone…?

NOTEABLES: To obtain medical supplies dependent on your employer’s beliefs and desires, who in Hades and/or in their right mind would want to do that?

To allow the rich to dictate (again) the direction of politics and societal norms (if we have any left) – who in their right mind would want that?

To allow states to hobble the voting activities of many of their citizens because it would make the voting more slanted towards one party, well, that is just so disingenuous…

Maybe the worst of all, having men decide what is right and best for women and their productive organs (their bodies) – that is simply unbelievable of the utmost magnitude.

Solutions for inequities, religious superiority (anywhere in the world) and other discriminations:

Many of us are as stumped as anyone else, successful and resourceful answers are difficult and difficult to implement once found. There are too many people who are too dogmatic in their beliefs and refuse to modify their beliefs – even if you put illuminative and very verifiable evidence on their plate in front of them, served up with a heaping bounty of ‘no guilt’ and complete lack of finger pointing.

We just do not seem to have enough people in this country (or around the world) who are looking past their own nose, their own short-sightedness and looking down the road to the future as to what will be best for society overall… Too many people (and businesses) are looking at short-term gains and goals and not the long game.

We need ‘more’ people in this country that are willing to:

  • Open their eyes and their minds to become better educated and to broaden their mental and moral horizons
    • Read or watch or talk about topics that stretch your own internal compass
  • Stop the self-filtering habit of continuous conversations with the ‘same’ people discussing the ‘same’ topics free of differing, open and diverse viewpoints
  • Stop the self-filtering habit of only listening to the ‘same’ radio stations (radio or online) and/or to the ‘same’ TV news channels all the time – instead, more people should watch different TV/radio programs
    • Watch PBS, BBC, AlJazeera America, FOX, CNN, Bloomberg and/or CNBC to gain a grasp of other opinions from differing viewpoints, from other perspectives – to see what is going on in other parts of the country (and the world)
    • Stop listening only to individuals who rail and rant about limited topics that make little sense in the short term – such as stopping change, things like renewable energy and gender equality (at everything, as much as is possible but most certainly in pay and power) – go outside of your comfort zones and hear/see multiple other aspects of life and the economy – many people around the country have different thoughts than you – you do not control what others should be thinking or seeing or doing
  • Help educate other people in their communities to broaden their minds and stop thinking and acting as if we were still in America of 1800, or 1880, or even 1955
    • People HAVE GOT to start thinking of those long term goals that was mentioned previously, 10, 20, 50 and 100 years into the future – yes, there may be pain now, the initial cost and the mental disequilibrium, which is sure to arise
  • Help the less advantaged people rise up and become better, where in the end, the entire society prospers and not just the few who had it handed to them from their ancestors – those who simply took what was available while oppressing and suppressing others

None of this can be accomplished without many more people ‘stretchingtheir minds to learn newer things, accept more ways of thinking and certainly not least – becoming more adaptive to the ever changing world of the future. And being old, young, religious, straight, gay, white, brown, black, blue or green – none of that excuses anyone from changing for the better and bringing EVERYONE forward with them.

There is no excuse for being unwilling to change! We are moving further into the 21st century, all of us must change…

 

 

 

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.