The Dangers of Alone

We’ve all heard it’s lonely at the top. The real danger is being alone in your convictions.

As a leader of a company or an institution, you can be surrounded by the best people with the best intentions, yet be alone in your convictions. Your “best people”, be it a perception they’re doing the best thing for the company or institution for whom they work, there’s is a conviction they’re right.

They think they know more about the issues. Maybe they don’t know enough about the issue to tackle it on their own and are afraid to ask for help. Maybe their ego clashes with your own. Maybe there’s a personal bond between you and a key person that has been broken. In any or all of these cases, as their leader, you’re left alone.

The irony is you may start down the same path, initially want the same things but lose somehow, one or the other person(s) loses their way.

The danger is, if you are left alone in your conviction your decisions will be undermined. You will experience outright rebellion, where its obvious where you stand. You can deal directly with the issue and the person or persons who oppose you on the issue. The danger is the person(s) may be a valuable asset and leave, or simply refuse to work with you on the issue.

Compromise is by far and away the best alternative. The less desirable alternative is to replace the person(s). This will result in all sorts of new challenges let alone delays, even if in the end, you get the results you need and want.

The person(s) who think they know more about what’s best on an issue, may say “Yes”, do nothing, or stall a process to keep the initiative from moving forward. Basically, they’re blowing smoke up your behind. The danger is the stall. Delays will doom an initiative to fail. This is also the case when they are in over their head and are afraid to admit it.

Ego is always a danger in as a leadership issue. If you have someone you depend upon who’s ego gets in the way, it’s a complex situation. It could simply be personal, a matter of respect. The person(s) believes they’re the smartest person in the room and there’s no room for anyone else’s opinion. Worse it could be jealousy or contempt which boils down to a lack of respect.

To deal with most if not all of these issues, first look retrospectively into your own objectives, and communicate with the person(s). Be honest and forthright in your convictions and your own doubts. A compromise may be the result. Be honest about your concerns about the person(s) motives outlined here as well. Considering the resolution is to move forward in your convictions you have to make decision, regardless.

Do you get a “yes”, a commitment to move forward with your initiative? Great. If you get the affirmative, but see there is a lukewarm reception towards moving forward, closely monitor the results. If there’s a bigger issue, a lack of the skills necessary and most likely an ego clash, you need to find someone you can trust, someone capable of carrying forward your initiatives.

If you feel like there’s a problem with the person(s) leadership skills, I recommend enrolling the person(s) in a Dale Carnegie leadership/management course and recommend they read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven R. Covey.

Finally, if is a personal bond broken between you and another person(s), quickly mend the fences. This may require great personal sacrifice. You acquiesce through humility and forgiveness on your part. If there’s no healing salve, find an exit strategy for that person(s) as quickly as possible.

The alternative is, at the very least lack of focus at the very worst, a chasm amongst and between you and anyone whomever supports that person(s). If that person(s) is otherwise a great asset to the company or institution, you have to decide what’s best all concerned. If you let someone else drive a wedge between you, your people and the business, all will suffer.

And that my fellow leaders, are the “dangers of alone”.

Successful business people stand on ground that is “crumbling beneath their feet,” Joseph Schumpeter

My thoughts on the Thousand Oaks Shooting, and Ian Long

A young #Marine with a passionate plea. More needs to be done for Veterans with PTSD.

TheLAW

So… I don’t really want to talk about it, but part of me feels like I need to. Ian Long was an honorably discharged Marine Corps Veteran. Ian was also responsible for the murder of 12 individuals at a bar I used to frequent in Thousand Oaks back when I was a Marine. Ian was 28 years old. He and I served during the same time frame, potentially brushing shoulders in Hawaii, even though I never met him.

This is absolutely disgusting to me. I want to say that first and foremost. If he was not dead, I would gladly line up on the firing line to put him down for what he did. What he did is NOT what Marines do. He betrayed his country, his brotherhood, his family, and most of all the families of those poor people who were in that bar.

All of that being said…

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I’m a Landline

I’m a landline.
Yeah old as the dirt I’m buried under.
Not too deep. I can be broken.
Throw me a 5G lifeline.
AT&T or Walker Texas Ranger.
I’m in danger!
I need to get more fiber in my diet.
Rescue this song.
Like every episode.
I’m the good looking song.
What could go wrong?
Well, I’m old, not blind.
Life’s not been too kind.
Walker needs to rescue me,
AT&T 4G is taking too long,
I’ll never finish this song…

Nothing Ventured! (slide show)

Hi MomNothing ventured.
Nothing gained.
Yes. That’s you.
That was me,
At 18 too.
I’m unknown.
I’m unread.
Nothing here.
Nothing said.
I’m granite.
You’re Atlantic.
In New York,
You pick your fork.
In Des Moines,
You pick your employment line.
Don’t tell me the ice is melting,
When the snow is pelting,
When you haven’t felt the cold,
When you’re too young, to feel old.
Don’t tell me we need an open door.
We’re already poor.
Show me you’re real,
Or I’ll show you the door.

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Unspoken Words. “Sometimes I forget that people can see me walk away mid-conversation.”

The email that you want back…bad!

“Sometimes I forget that people can see me walk away mid-conversation.” Yes, that happens. I’m not proud of it, but I just ordered the t-shirt. Consider it a warning.

Have you been rendered deaf and dumb by the unspoken word? Do you struggle with the spoken word?  Is anyone really listening? Unspoken words have become all consuming.  Just ask Alexa.

It obviously started with the word-processors and PCs. E-mails have dominated as the most effective form of communication for years.  Then there are the email you wish you had back!  E-mails are now often ignored, as are voice and voice mail. Now text messages illicit a response, when a phone call will not.

Are you tired of “friending” folks you may have shared a past, without a future? Have you acquired reciprocal friends? Friends who aren’t really friends, but are looking to up their score? Are you tired of posting and checking Facebook and trading likes. Do you actually become angry, depressed and lose sleep, if your posts go unnoticed, or if someone’s emoji solicits the wrong response. Guilty on all counts!

Then there’s Twitter, tweets and retweets, too. Occasionally you can get someone famous to follow you, heart or retweet you if you suck up to them. It can be infectious. Eventually you grow tired of chasing nameless followers and responding in kind and they all share your views? I actually miss the followers who you can disagree with, then they block you! Not really.

Every social media site, online news, on every  device, all forms of social media, especially if you are are promoting your business, can be obviously compelling. Think. How many social media gurus are out there peddling their “schtick”?

I started a Facebook account to promote MS awareness and to raise funds for MS. Not one Facebook friend donated solely because of Facebook. They donated because they were “real” friends and responded to my emails. Twitter too, has been ineffectual. LinkedIn is the one social media platform I find effective to garner information, stay in touch with colleagues, who I consider friends, learn from them and each other.

The problem still remains. We live in a world where the spoken word matters less. I challenge you. When was the last time you told a good joke, face to face and enjoyed a real laugh from real people?

I just asked Alexa to tell me a joke. Alexa responded, “What did the golfer call his girlfriend? Alexa, “The Sweet T.”  So how did Alexa know I call my wife, “Sweet T”?

Simple Folks

It’s Thursday. The ac broke on Thursday, last Thursday. It’s fixed now. It was 87-90+ degrees in the house until now.

We lived outside on the lanai. No TV, nothing but light banter and some “what ifs.” What if this was our day to day life, now and forever?

Instead we bought new furniture for the lanai. Our old furniture will find a good home, but what if we did what we did last time? We kept the furniture and made new seat cushions ourselves.

You see, there’s no rest for the wicked, or wicker furniture.

In Life, the Most Important Decisions Are Made Alone.

It’s easier to make the tough decisions if you know someone has your back. Loyalty is earned, not deserved.

We are experience!

My experience from a flailing and fledgling salesperson to the owner and CEO of a successful software company, the most important decisions you make, you make alone.

I’m not a life coach.  I’m not a marketing guru. I’m not a motivational speaker or social media guru.

I have nothing to gain by sharing my personal experiences, so I will spare you any hype. I just want to reinforce my own beliefs, that people can make a difference, if they are willing to open their minds and hearts, without prejudice.

Whether you are a family man or woman, a CEO of a multi-billion dollar corporation, if people depend on you for guidance, you are held accountable for the success or failure of others.  Therefore, you have to make decisions that affect other people for better or for worse. That is my definition of a leader, plain and simple.  You don’t have to be Bill Gates to shine or suck. Worse, you probably have less to gain by making the tough decisions, at least from a monetary perspective.

Others will pontificate as to what a leader is, what a leader must do and how a leader must act.  I don’t have time for all that and if you’re like me, neither do you.  The best way to describe how to deal with your life’s biggest challenges is to rely on your past experiences and your gut. Do something!

When it comes to crunch time, a leader must decide on their own and act accordingly.  You’ll no doubt, get plenty of advice, but no one is going to know better than you, what to do.  So there is nowhere to turn.  Ultimately you are the most qualified to make a decision that affects you and your loved ones.

You must make the most important decisions in your life, and make those decisions on your own.  Sorry Doctor Phil.  This isn’t a TV show.  This is real life.  The same holds true in business.

When the time comes no one wants to make the important decisions for you.  Don’t get me wrong.  You will get plenty of advice.  “If I were you…” “You should…”  “You could…” “You might…” Later on, after the decision has been made, you will summarily receive the same words, only in different context.  “If it were me…” “I would have…”  I could have…”  “I would have…

I am sure you have heard these expressions as well, “It is lonely at the top.”  It matters less your stature in life.  It matter most, the decisions you make based on the challenges you face.  Trust me, from a person of experience, the most difficult decisions you have ever made and the most important decisions you will ever make, will be your decisions alone.

We are experience.  Small business owners are the lifeblood of free enterprise. Their heart is still beating.  Their soul is intact.  They epitomize what comprises the backbone of our country.  They are the chief cook and bottle washers; the real risk takers.  Small business owners are essential to the future success of the US economy. 

Small business owners are the spine that stands up and remains strong in the face of diversity, against ever increasing government regulations, against subsidies to big union, subsidies to big businesses and big government.  Small businesses must prevail if we are to remain strong and maintain our leadership position in the world economy. 

We need to lift our voice above the fray.  We need to unite. We need to be heard, above the voices of the mainstream media, the politicians, above the voices of divisiveness and hate, above the voices of fear and doubt. It is time to come together.  The future is now.  The future is no longer an individual choice and your choice alone.  We need to unite. Let’s make some noise.  Let’s take a stand.  What are you doing to preserve the American dream?  Email me: ideacapiltalists@gmail.com

 

 

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