Monday, December 22, 2008

The slope continues...

This article, published in arguably the most conservative mainstream publication...well, it's really a head scratcher.

My thoughts: The first sentence makes reference to "a new class of casualty"...10 years ago this would never have been thought of as a "casualty" fact, I would go so far as to say that this would have been considered a "silver lining" of the economic downturn.

I know, I know...terms like "starter marriage" and "upgrade" have come on the scene in the last 10 years, so I shouldn't be surprised...but I was.

Any thoughts?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Talent Management

I think in paterns. And I'm stuck on this one. This is a continuation of the discussion on "can you be a follower of Christ and achieve the pinacle of excellence in your worldly field?"

I gave examples of John Bonham (famed, but very dead, drummer from Led Zeppelin) and others to build my case. My limited readership countered with U2, John Wooden, and a few others.

So today I'd like to go down in the weeds a bit. Down into my career choice...Business Management...specifically Talent Management. The pinacles of excellence for me in this field is Bill Parcell, current President of the Miami Dolphins, and Jack Welch, former Chairman of GE.

Bill Parcell has created championship caliber teams at every stop. He's won Super Bowls in an era of parity, and wherever he's been he's given the fans hope that their team CAN win a Super Bowl...which in a competitive game, is the most you can ask for. When he arives...its all about winning championships. He is a fierce evaluator of talent, and relentless in his honesty, and ruthless as he shreads his new locker room to build up a culture of winning.

Jack Welch was very similar. He had a practice of firing the bottom 10% of any measurable group, every year. He called it culling the fields. It was very, very successful.

The results that both of these men achieved are written about in business journals. Neither would be mistaken for possessing Christian values.

However, did Christ get results? Absolutely. And He did it with weak talent. And when the shareholders (pharasees) said "How good could the results be if he culled the field, fired those 12 disfunctional salesmen, and brought in some real talent like us?" Well, it obviously didn't faze him. He stayed true to his "Relationship Management Plan".

So, here we are with shareholders screaming for Talent Management - accountability, performance standards, steady growth, etc...and a heart...a transformed heart screaming for Relationship Management - give them every opportunity to succeed, you must not be training them right, its all about coaching, etc.

And what I'm left with is the stress of trying to balance the two. Live an abundant life in Christ, building relationships with my associates, be a servant Leader...yet maintain high performance standards to ensure a winning team...a championship caliber team...a team that gives the fans (all stakeholders) hope we can win it all.

Any thoughts?

Monday, December 08, 2008

The 70's & Rock n Roll

I know, I know there's a pattern forming here, but my mind creates patterns...

So I'm watching the History Channel...

Don't get me started on how it makes you feel when the History Channel is doing an expose on your childhood years. Needless to say, that's all my children needed to see.

Anyway, it's halftime of a good football game, and I already know all the scores and highlights due to a highly productive day, so what better way to accelerate halftime than to go to History. They are doing a bit on the 70's and the two segments I see are Jonestown masacre and the party life that surrounded Studio 54. Don't get me wrong...these were important events, I guess...

So it got me thinking about culture and the 70's and other stuff...and it hits me...

Our culture is 30-40 years behind Europe. And in the 70's the UK gave us everything we could absorb in Rock n Roll. They gave us Zeppelin, The Who, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, The Beatles...I could go on...but lets just say...if Lynyrd Skynyrd is the best we could produce in that era...compared to these pillars...well it's like comparing the MLS to Premier League Soccer.

So, fast forward 30-40 years...and you get the last 10 years of our history. Where I would assume that those pillars of Rock n Roll influenced the GREAT artists of today, of this generation...and I also might assume they might come from the good 'ol US of A.

So here's your question(s) for today...What groups or artists are we producing that are on a par with the stalwarts I mentioned earlier? And, if you are like me, and have trouble thinking of, oh, any, then why is this void occuring in our society?

Thursday, December 04, 2008

What's better (follow-up)?

A few months ago I posted about what's better...more gold medals or more total medals at the Olympics. You see, the good 'ol US of A had more total...and China apparently selected every obscure sport available and trained like mothers to get they nabbed most gold.

Nothing new in my opinion...Silver is first loser.

But to add a new twist...I've been in a meeting this week with several Chinese I floated the question...

The Chinese land on the side of total medals are most important. The Americans tend to side with me (go figure). Neither liked their results.

Not sure what to read into this...but thought it worth mentioning.