Sunday, January 26, 2014

Do Elections Matter?

My Zimbio  So many citizens in democracies around the world don't come to the polls.  The USA has a terrible record.  One would think elections don't matter... Winston Churchill called Democracy "the worst form of government known to man..."

This past election day, the Democratic party swept statewide offices in Virginia.  A few weeks before the election, with a 12 point percentage lead according to the polls, Terry McAuliffe began admitting he wanted to tighten laws against right to bear arms.  Terry's lead faded... Virginia believes in right to bear.

But Terry won anyway.  So did Ralph Northam for Lt Governor.  And Mark Herring for Attorney General.  This past week Jennifer Wexton beat John Whitbeck to claim Mark Herring's State Senate seat.  And John Whitbeck led the  committee to select the form that the 10th Congressional District will use to select its candidate to run for Frank Wolf's seat (Frank announced he would retire after this term).

Frank's seat isn't a safe Congressional seat... although he made it appear to be one since winning the seat in 1982.  We expect he will endorse Barbara Comstock, a former staffer who serves in the Virginia State Senate (and who attended Whitbeck's committee meeting earlier this week).  Barbara had that meeting well orchestrated...

A canvass at ten locations in April will serve prelude to a GOP convention to select the candidate in May.  Any bets on who will win the nomination?  But the more important question:  who will win the election against the Democratic opponent?  I should mention that Winston Churchill completed the statement above with the words, "... except for every other type."

Monday, January 13, 2014

Enjoy work?

My Zimbio  One of the more entertaining (and useful) speeches in years from a senior exec in a bureaucracy above me... asserted that "work is work.  If it was fun, it wouldn't be called work.  Get over it... there are things I require from you," etc.

Which is a useful frame of reference for many of us, who find our day to day toils baths of minutia, which we conquer with very little apparent resulting improvement of our little world (much less a wider world).  There was a time in my life when I was responsible for a few hundred people... and contemplated responsibility for many more.  I have often pondered what activities a business leader/manager can engage to improve organizational effectiveness.

Every organization has its nuances.  People respond in varying fashion to leadership prompting, whether carrot or stick.  So I was intrigued recently to read a Wall Street Journal article suggesting that small acts of kindness among workers improved recipients' affection for the workplace in general and even resulted in improved efficiency.

So it would seem that an analytic mind that understands key drivers to organizational success and methods for measuring said drivers so communication and evaluation systems can be engaged ... may actually be less helpful than nourishing a "pay it forward" attitude.

Go figure!  Of course, an organization that is headed the wrong direction may profit little from efficiency therein.  More next time... be nice!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Zephyr Two

My Zimbio  My writing doesn't reflect some new wave of technical innovation... and I was never a "board surfer," in any event.  If anything, my thoughts here include a review of materials that, based on my experience, provide a new perspective or innovative implementation approach.

I am more of a body surfer... or, perhaps more extensively, a triathlete.  When I contemplate jumping in a pool (or open water, for that matter), there is always a period of adjustment.  A lap or hundred yards where my body is growing accustomed to the temperature, when my joints are warming up and when my cardiovascular system is adjusting to a faster pace of activity.

As a runner, I don't recall feeling the proverbial second wind.  But as a swimmer, almost every time I get in the water, a short while after beginning my work-out, I feel my body settle in, find a groove... when suddenly, the currents are at my back and I am moving efficiently, comfortably, through the water.  Not a second wind... call it "zephyr two."

Thanks for reading.  Follow my tweets at "godston6" ...

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Writing engages 100 brains

My Zimbio  According to James Altucher, one of my favorite tweeter/bloggers, writing is great for you because it engages your brain (causing your conscious reasoning capability to multiply).  While I haven't forwarded this particular Altucher blog (because the intro is more outrageous than usual and the only white guy who could get away with those statements would be Herr James himself), I thought it was one of the best packages of advice I've read in the New Year.

I read lots of advice when the New Year dawns, so that statement means something.

Am hoping you will visit my blog.  And subscribe to my tweets.  I promise I will be entertaining and hopefully helpful.

See you next time!