Andres Segovia plays Asturias.
Commentary by Michael Wade on Leadership, Ethics, Management, and Life
Andres Segovia plays Asturias.
Read Kenneth R. Weinstein on the joy of having Frank McCourt, the author of Angela's Ashes, as an English teacher:
Common Good's Philip Howard weighs in on defensive medicine and the trial lawyers:
My post on the wisdom of slowing down reactions is up at U.S. News & World Report.
Check out Andy Lester's response to "What do I do when there are no jobs to be found?"
When business school students return to class next month, they'll find their academic world a changed place, too. There will be new classes for some—classes designed to give MBA students an understanding of of the crisis and its causes. Existing courses in risk management, macroeconomics, and other crisis-related topics will be far more popular than they ever were. Ethics will play a bigger role than it did just a year ago. And in a few cases, entirely new programs will spring to life.
Organization X used this chain of command to handle a critical project:
Daniel H. Pink looks at "sabbaticals by Sagmeister."
You know you want one: the new Ferrari 458.
You're Scott Adams, the creator of "Dilbert," and all of a sudden you are afflicted with a rare and strange ailment:
Take the rule about crowds. If Adams was at a party with friends, he'd open his mouth to talk, only to find the words tumbling out in a raspy, imperceptible staccato, chopping off sentences before they had a chance to form. If he tried to say, "Tomorrow is my birthday," for example, it would morph into a weak "Ma robf sss ma birfday." But if he was on the lecture circuit, delivering a prepared speech to a crowd of thousands, he could stand behind the podium and—"Hello!"—his voice would whir back to life, if only for the hour he was onstage.
Read the rest of the Wired article here. It is a fascinating account of illness and recovery.
From the first century A.D.:
Some quick videos: Seth Godin and Tom Peters.
This is the future of hacking: professional, smart, and above-all well-funded. In the old days, hackers were mostly kids and college-age acolytes sowing their wild oats before joining the establishment. Today, the best hackers have the skill and discipline of the best legitimate programmers and security gurus. They're using mind-bending obfuscation techniques to deliver malicious code from hacked websites undetected. They're writing malware for mobile phones and PDAs. The underground has even embraced the next-generation internet protocol IPv6, according to research by IBM -- setting up IPv6 chat rooms, file stores and websites, even as legitimate adoption lags. Ten years ago, an oft-repeated aphorism held that hackers were unskilled vandals: Just because they can break a window, doesn't mean they could build one. Today's bad guys could handcraft the stained glass in the Sainte-Chapelle.
This is controversial territory - I know people who are fused to their cell phone - but when is cell phone usage inappropriate?
You're in a theater. A few weeks on a chain gang would be suitable for this violation.
Several years ago, a friend of mine successfully went through the interviewing process with a Fortune 500 company; one that is considered to be trendy and hip.
The Princeton Review gives its list of the 10 biggest party schools.
Nick Schulz interviews economist Thomas Sowell about the housing boom and bust:
Cultural Offering has a list of items that will boost your week.
To understand the difficulties of running a large jail, imagine that your job is personally to shepherd each of the thousands of commuters streaming through New York’s massive Penn Station to their trains safely and on time . . . except that the commuters are all criminals who keep changing their travel plans, and their trains, to which they don’t want to go, have no fixed timetables.
I've met some managers who insist that no one should ever be given an evaluation of "Outstanding" in all performance categories or even overall.
Nothing that you have to face this week will compare to this: Shatner singing "Rocketman."
Social engineering and mind games expert Brian Brushwood has not come by his knowledge in the traditional manner of school or business training. Brushwood is the host of the Internet video series Scam School, a show he describes as dedicated to social engineering in the bar and on the street.
You've probably seen this:
Cool Tools looks at the quick and easy Midas homemade ice cream maker.
David Brooks looks at dignity in our times:
Mattthew Kaminski lists his favorite novels about immigrants in America.
Have been reading Vasily Grossman's Life and Fate.
Alain de Botton gives a cry for pessimism:
We should instead remember the great pessimistic voices of history, of which I cherish two in particular. One is Seneca: “What need is there to weep over parts of life? The whole of it calls for tears.” The other is the French moralist Chamfort: “A man should swallow a toad every morning to be sure of not meeting with anything more revolting in the day ahead.”
The class of 1976—who left West Point at a low point for both the Army and its famed training ground—has produced a striking number of generals now influencing the shape of the U.S. military. All told, at least 33 active and retired generals, now all in their mid-50s, were among its 855 graduating members. Gen. McChrystal’s deputy in Kabul, Lt. Gen. David Rodriguez, was a classmate, as was the officer leading U.S. efforts to train the Iraqi army, Lt. Gen. Frank Helmick. Retired Lt. Gen. Dave Barno, who spent 19 months as the top commander in Afghanistan, was also West Point ’76.
“It’s really sort of unprecedented,” says Stephen Grove, a civilian who recently retired after 30 years as West Point’s official historian. “The class of 1915 is known as ‘the class the stars fell on’ because of graduates like Omar Bradley and Dwight Eisenhower. But you could argue that the class of 1976 is becoming just as influential.”
If the success or failure of this planet and of human beings depended on how I am and what I do, how would I be and what would I do?.
Solid proof that some performances are augmented by great camera work.
My post on negative energy people is up at U.S. News & World Report.
Most powerful people are on the manager's schedule. It's the schedule of command. But there's another way of using time that's common among people who make things, like programmers and writers. They generally prefer to use time in units of half a day at least. You can't write or program well in units of an hour. That's barely enough time to get started.
When you're operating on the maker's schedule, meetings are a disaster. A single meeting can blow a whole afternoon, by breaking it into two pieces each too small to do anything hard in. Plus you have to remember to go to the meeting. That's no problem for someone on the manager's schedule. There's always something coming on the next hour; the only question is what. But when someone on the maker's schedule has a meeting, they have to think about it.
Read the rest of Paul Graham here .
You've got to think about big things while you're doing small things so that all the small things go in the right direction.
As long-time readers of this site know, I like the slogan "Fast is Slow, Slow is Fast."
In a shameless display of bias favoring mega-bloggers, Chevrolet loaned Guy Kawasaki a new Camaro for five days.
Employment attorney John Phillips, whose blog is a must-read, on the Sonia Sotomayor confirmation hearings and the confirmation process:
The police report on the arrest of Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
I may be missing something but it appears Professor Gates was the person acting stupidly in this matter. If that indeed turns out to be the case, will his career be damaged?
I think you know the answer.
The CIA is recruiting economic analysts and is being inundated with resumes from Wall Street?
Bonnie Tyler, Total Eclipse of the Heart.
A committee can make a decision that is dumber than any of its members.
Thanks to Cultural Offering for posting this gem.
Since the beginning of the financial crisis, there have been two principal explanations for why so many banks made such disastrous decisions. The first is structural. Regulators did not regulate. Institutions failed to function as they should. Rules and guidelines were either inadequate or ignored. The second explanation is that Wall Street was incompetent, that the traders and investors didn’t know enough, that they made extravagant bets without understanding the consequences. But the first wave of postmortems on the crash suggests a third possibility: that the roots of Wall Street’s crisis were not structural or cognitive so much as they were psychological.
Barnes & Noble is unveiling its version of the e-book.
I finally understand what pluralism is: it's when lots of people share my point of view.
Now this is one neat ad.
A lesson from Seth Godin:
David Brooks on political overreach by conservatives and liberals. An excerpt:
In 1964, a magnitude 9.2 earthquake off the coast of Alaska generated a wall of water more than 40 feet high that hit Alaska, British Columbia, Oregon and parts of California, killing 130 people and causing hundreds of millions of dollars in damage. Now, geologists say an even bigger tsunami could someday be in store for the West Coast.
Idea Anaconda offers a memorable scene from the British version (aka the best version) of The Office.
Take some time and check out Dennis Prager's video on the moral obligation to act happy.
The Wall Street Journal editorial writers hit the target with this essay contrasting two events. An excerpt:
I recall hearing years ago that fluency in a foreign language is required for a Ph.D.
I went into a general store. They wouldn't let me buy anything specifically.
Kick around the Panasonic Toughbook F8.
Joe Queenan finds that icons aren't what they used to be:
Today is Diana Rigg's Birthday. Alert the media.
Barry Callebaut (BARN.MU), whose annual output of over 1.1 million tons of cocoa and chocolate products makes it the world's largest producer of chocolate, has developed a type of chocolate with completely new properties. According to the company's head developer, Hans Vriens, the chocolate has up to 90 percent fewer calories than regular chocolate.
What's more, high temperatures can't touch it—unless, by chance, they soar higher than 55 degrees Celsius (131 degrees Fahrenheit). Depending on its composition, traditional chocolate starts to melt at around 30 degrees Celsius. And that's the inspiration behind the tentative name its developers have given the new product: "Vulcano."
Read the rest of the Business Week article here.
Ted Van Dyk, a former aide to Vice President Hubert Humphrey, calls for a reset :
This should be clipped out and posted on every desk:
A must read: Seth Godin on the Law of the Little Shovel.
If you define cowardice as running away at the first sign of danger, screaming and tripping and begging for mercy, then yes, Mister Brave Man, I guess I am a coward.
Idea Anaconda notes an endangered article of the modern hipster's wardrobe: Crocs.
My post on 7 effective ways to sabotage yourself is up at U.S. News & World Report.
In the days when Bismarck was the greatest man in Europe, an American visitor to Berlin, anxious to hear the Chancellor speak, procured two tickets to the visitors' gallery of the Reichstag and hired an interpreter to accompany her there. They were fortunate enough to arrive just before Bismarck intervened in a debate on a matter of social legislation, and the American pressed close to her interpreter's side so as to miss nothing of the translation. But although Bismarck spoke with considerable force and at some length, the interpreter's lips remained closed, and he was unresponsive to his employer's nudges. Unable to contain herself, she finally blurted, "What is he saying?" "Patience, madam," the interpreter answered. "I am waiting for the verb!"
After a venture-capital presentation at a Hamptons home three years ago, guests were moved poolside for cocktails. Several people donned bathing suits. “After that, I felt I knew them very well,” says Jonscott Turco, an attendee who watched the swimmers frolic from the safety of his business suit.
Mr. Turco sometimes sees those people in Manhattan these days. Their names often escape him, but other details are indelible. “No matter how dapper they look in Midtown, I think, ‘He was the Speedo,’ ” says Mr. Turco. Same with the people he has dubbed “White Bikini,” “Leopard Bikini” and “Board Shorts.”
Read the rest of Christina Binkley on surviving the corporate outing.
A ranking of top hospitals from U.S. News & World Report.
Check out Bryan Stewart's take on Pride: The Silent Leadership Assassin. An excerpt:
The Blob, sad to say, is not hard to find.
When I think about the economy I think about a plump man who has just been hit by a truck while crossing a street and is in severely critical condition with internal bleeding. Instead of just stabilizing his hemorrhaging, the doctor decides that while the patient is unconscious, he might as well also do a face lift, some coronary bypasses and a stomach stapling to keep him from gaining weight while he is recovering (if he does recover). After all, a crisis is not to be wasted.
It's no "The Maltese Falcon" but "The Asphalt Jungle" is darned close. [Check out the trailer.]
Here's an excerpt of a BBC interview with novelist Evelyn Waugh.
Pretend that you have some management vices.
Some niche blogs are consistently good.
The organizations that need training the least do it the most. They feel an obligation to develop their employees and understand that the expense of many training sessions is small compared to the cost of a lawsuit or a major managerial blunder.
Take some time today and read Jim Stroup's essay on unsung heroes:
If you've not been to a little league ball game recently and see a game being played as you drive by, stop and watch. You will see baseball in its pure form. I understand the criticism (parents being hard on their kids, coaches shouting, and the pressures of competition). It mostly comes from those outside of the arena. Sure there are problems as there are with any institution. But the do-gooders and complainers miss the kids' perspective.
From "Winter's Tale" by Mark Helprin:
There is a reason why many regulatory documents include definitions near the beginning.
Sorry I'm late in reporting this. CSO has the story on the incident involving the hacked Twitter page of Guy Kawasaki:
I always enjoy it when the masks slip and the warm-mongers explicitly demand we adopt a massive Poverty Expansion Program to save the planet. “I don’t think a lot of electricity is a good thing,” said Gar Smith of San Francisco’s Earth Island Institute a few years back. “I have seen villages in Africa that had vibrant culture and great communities that were disrupted and destroyed by the introduction of electricity,” he continued, regretting that African peasants “who used to spend their days and evenings in the streets playing music on their own instruments and sewing clothing for their neighbors on foot-pedal powered sewing machines” are now slumped in front of Desperate Housewives reruns all day long.
One assumes Gar Smith is sincere in his fetishization of bucolic African poverty, with its vibrantly rampant disease and charmingly unspoilt life expectancy in the mid-forties. But when a hereditary prince starts attacking capitalism and pining for the days when a benign sovereign knew what was best for the masses, he gives the real game away. Capitalism is liberating: You’re born a peasant but you don’t have to die one.
Read the rest of Mark Steyn here.
Paul Johnson's short biography of George Washington is a bargain both in price and quality.
Right now, we're in the cool phase of American politics - we like our leaders robotically programmed and unflappably empty.
Bernstein conducts Bernstein: The Candide Overture.
American Heritage looks at baseball's rough old days:
While McDonald's has benefited from its global presence during the current recession, its worldwide advance began decades ago. And it's had some successful -- if amusing -- results: In Mexico, there are McMollettes, or English muffins topped with bean, cheese, and salsa. The McArabia features a chicken patty with garlic mayonnaise, vegetables, and Arabic bread. There's Vegemite on toast in Australia and Chicken SingaPorridge in Singapore. And don't forget the McAloo Tikki -- made with potato and vegetables -- and the lamb or chicken Maharaja Mac in India.
The story behind an extraordinary soundtrack:
It isn’t unusual for movies to be rescored under pressure, but Goldsmith’s music for “Chinatown” is so well suited to the film that it’s hard to imagine that he knocked it out at the very last minute. The original score, written by the classical composer Phillip Lambro, was heard on the soundtrack of the version of the film that was shown seven weeks prior to the film’s release date at a preview in San Luis Obispo, a small town north of Los Angeles. “By the time the lights came up, half the audience had walked out, scratching their heads,” Robert Evans, the producer of “Chinatown,” wrote in “The Kid Stays in the Picture,” his 1994 autobiography. Concluding that Mr. Lambro’s “dissonant, weird, scratchy” music (as Mr. Towne would later describe it) was responsible for the film’s poor reception, Mr. Evans called in Goldsmith, and 10 days later “Chinatown” had a new score. Mr. Towne, who was present at the first recording session for Goldsmith’s score, later told a journalist that “you could see the movie come to life. It was like you couldn’t see the movie with the other score, and now you could, and I thought, ‘Omigod, we may have a chance.’”
When I went into motion pictures, the studios told us, "You absolutely cannot do television in any form anywhere. It's just a gimmick. It's going to pass away." Those may have been some of the stupidest remarks in history. But that's the way Hollywood thought in those days.
My post on 17 rules for job seekers is up at U.S. News & World Report.
Employment attorney and party pooper John Phillips on an English firm's decision to have "Naked Fridays":
As unemployment rises ominously toward 10 percent and the economy continues to appear listless, leading economic voices have begun to call for a second fiscal stimulus. The first stimulus was controversial among economists; it seemed to discard a great deal of what had been learned about macroeconomics in recent decades. The calls for a second stimulus seem to discard logic altogether.
Cultural Offering reminds us that all of the high tech cannot replace being in the room:
Heather MacDonald on the Ricci case:
Nicholas Bate, a.k.a. The Man Who Never Sleeps, Blogging Compadre, Consultant, Professor, and Prolific Author, has written another book.
Employment attorney John Phillips looks at the Pandora's Box that has been opened with the ADA Amendments Act.
Jena McGregor at Business Week looks at customer vigilantes:
Michael Jackson wears tube socks.
You can have them.The King of Pop’s 28-year-old acrylic, rhinestone-encrusted footwear intimates are known in auctionspeak as “signature pieces.” They make up item No. 7576 in this month’s auction of all sorts of things that found their way onto Neverland Ranch before Jackson abandoned the place in 2005. The catalog’s “low estimate”: $600 for the pair.
Read the rest of Amy Wallace in Portfolio. [Note: The article was written before Jackson's death.]
Several of you submitted some comments yesterday and, for some reason, they disappeared.
The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.
You've been working on a project for days. The paper has been circulated to the relevant folks and the research digested and described.
I once noticed a significant increase in efficiency resulted from simply changing from one type of briefcase to another.
It is easier to act yourself into a better way of feeling than to feel yourself into a better way of action.
An interview with Niall Ferguson on the economics of history.
Will Ryanair make customers stand?
An enticing look at the Montana abode of novelist Jim Harrison:
Consider the front page attention given to the demise of Michael Jackson and then search for the stories of real substance.
Instead of having "answers" on a math test, they should just call them "impressions," and if you got a different "impression," so what, can't we all be brothers?
Employment attorney John Phillips on the three groups to deal with on the issue of bullying.
Victor Davis Hanson looks at the mixed signals of our confused society. An excerpt:
There are rising stars in organizations.
But they can give a good speech.