Saturday, December 12, 2015

Respect and Simplexity

David, thank you for this thoughtful, thorough reflection.  You are going to find what I will share next relevant and interesting.  Here in Wisconsin, we have a famous "ranch for wayward" boys called Rawhide.  My friend John Gillespie founded it.  I asked him what accounts for its success; his answer was , "Respect, mutual respect between staff and students."  You and he are "on the same page."

Yes, keep it simple to get it done (Simplexity). I  like very much your ability to self-reflect and share your insights in clear, concise written formats.  You have a gift for writing, and I encourage you to apply it to advance your career.  You deserve it; your readers deserve it even more!  I am proud to have students like you!   Dr. Rux

Friday, December 11, 2015

Respect and Develop Yourself

Week 7 - Course Progress Feedback - Dr. Rux 

As we close week seven of our course and enter week eight, our final course week, what strikes me most is your talent.  You combine “lessons learned” from real life with first-class academic application in our course, and the result is a stunning level of professional competence.  To put it simply, you are first-class! 

Yes, in our American culture we are not to brag, we are to be humble, we are supposed to say, “Aw shucks, it wasn’t anything.”  This kind of cultural conditioning is a trap.  It prevents you, us, this writer, from fully owning and appreciating our personal and professional value, achievement, and capacity to make a difference and lead.  Your professor urges each one of you to own your valid, reliable knowledge, and do not apologize for it.  Owning it does not mean “strutting around” in arrogance.  It means we acknowledge that not everybody knows what we know and has done what we have done.  

Your case study plans are stellar proof of your impressive achievements to date; you combine course theory with your own field learning to offer a blend of professional skill which is rare.  This is not “buttering you up” talk.  It is the truth.  I have taught grad students onsite and online since 1996; you are among the best, if not the best, to come my way.  You give me hope for the future; I will be even more hopeful if each one of you accepts and acts on this realistic third-party analysis of your personal, professional worth, unique skills from combining theory and practice, and promising future if you “own,” respect, and continue to develop and apply your impressive God-given gifts.  Your OD plans for this week are outstanding, as is the rest of your work overall. 

Value and nurture yourselves.  We badly need persons like you to lead us through the trying times ahead of us.  Thank you.  Dr. Rux

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Facts Not Fear

Rebecca, two of your points in particular "hit home" with me.  First, I admire your actions to remove fear from the workplace for facing facts.  Bravo!   We need a lot more of this today more than ever!  Second, I admire, also, your value of data, facts, sharing and applying them.  Yes, as much as we can, we need to make fact-based decisions.  It is encouraging to read about how you champion this value in your workplace.  Yes, fear and facts are crucial drivers of organizational health or sickness.  It depends on which one is "in the saddle."  Ideally, of course, it ought to be "facts," not "fear."  I am encouraged by your approach to facts and fear in the workplace.  We need more persons with your kind of courage, more than ever, today!  Thank you for the message of hope here!  Dr. Rux

Remove Fear of Facts

Nicole, your comments about "speaking up" are important.  Here is why.  For folks to speak honestly and openly, the organization must have a culture in which fear of reprisal has been removed or muted so stakeholders are not afraid to face facts.  Sadly, this kind of "fearless" organization is not always the norm, so do not feel badly if you hesitate.  However, if you hesitate out of fear, there will time proper times, places to point out your observation about how fear of retaliation mutes honesty.  You will know the time, times and place, places to make this observation.  Keep up your good work!  Thanks for sharing your "lessons learned."  Dr. Rux

Facing Facts

Melissa, this is excellent - and a delight to read.  Thank you for your consistent valuing of fact-based decision making.  As a science teacher, as you note, you are already grounded in the value of getting the facts and then applying them to decision making.  Yes, there is such a thing as data overload, also called "data dumps."  You are "street smart" to be aware of this and factor it into your OD approach. 

As you know, the crucial step toward fact-based decision making is removing fear from the organization for citing and facing facts.  It seems where you work has taken this fear removal path; hopefully, politics and personalities do  not derail it. 

Also, as Socrates taught, "Know thyself" is our first order of business.  We need to be aware of the paradigms in our heads that shape, select information, facts.  Again, you are aware of this too.  Exactly.  Keep up your good work!   Dr. Rux

Focus Please

Heidi, this is thoughtful, thorough, first-class, and simply fascinating!  Thank you for this excellent work product.  I can relate to your discussion of focus, or lack of it.  I wrestle with this also, and I am in the process of "simplifying" my life.  Intelligent, creative people have trouble with focus, for everything  interests us.  Amen.  Yet, we cannot "ride off in all directions at once."  Thank you for this timely reminder.  You have just helped me to reassert focus again.  I had a fabulous career counselor who pointed me in the right direction; because of your reminder here, I am going to hone in on the target again.  Thank you, Heidi, for sharing, and, in the process, helping your professor too!   Keep up your good work!   Dr. Rux

Friday, November 20, 2015

Roots of Terrorism and Peace

Walter, thank you for taking time to share your perspectives.   Sadly, we have the 9/11 catastrophe that continues to haunt folks here.  Twice as many Americans died on 9/11 than at Pearl Harbor in 1941.  So, it is reasonable to know who is here.  Canada has done a good job, to date, except for the recent killing at the tomb of the unknowns in Ottawa, and the FLQ crisis of 1971, in keeping track of potential terrorism.  My view is, they are over here, because we are over there.  I grew up in a family with classic American Isolationist roots.  We will do business with you, but we want no foreign entanglements as George Washington advised in his now-forgotten Farewell Address.  Our oil wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, plus the Zionist lobby here, have embroiled us in the affairs of others, when there is oil in Alberta. 

What we are seeing is a return to "tribalism" and end of the Enlightenment's hope for a cosmopolitan world.  I just finished reading Robert Kagan's book The Return of History and the End of Dreams, published in 2009,  in which Kagan, who works for the Carnegie Endowment for Peace, argues this point.  I think it is safe to say that recent events in Europe align with Kagan's prediction, futuristic forecasting.  Of course, the mass media engages in drama to sell advertising, and this, in turn, leads to demagoguery, as you observe.  I want to be fair, but fear, fear of terrorism, can, and, sadly, is undermining fair, because terrorism is real and creates real fear, its goal.  There, those are my thoughts.  Hopefully the USA will return to its Isolationist roots and stop sowing the seeds of our own destruction.  Take care, and thank you for your honest sharing, again.  Paul