Author of "This Is Rage" and "Endless Encores"

Posts made in February, 2016

The Trump Thing

By on Feb 22, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

Are there any queers in the theater tonight? Get them up against the wall! There’s one in the spotlight, he don’t look right to me, Get him up against the wall! That one looks Jewish! And that one’s a coon! Who let all of this riff-raff into the room? – Pink Floyd, The Wall It is almost impossible to believe that a material segment of our population has grown so disaffected and so ignorant that they can cheer on the repugnant egomaniac that is Donald Trump. There are no two sides to this one, nothing to argue. Just go away if you think otherwise, we have no common ground. Hate is winning. Candor is being confused for stream of conscious bigotry. Trump is a spoiled man-child with deeply psychotic tendencies. To support him is the antithesis of patriotism; it is an expression of self-victimization, nothing more. This is not about whether Trump wins or loses his party’s nomination, or even the Presidency. It is about the reality that we live alongside an enormous segment of the population that finds him credible and inspiring. That takes our common ground to zero. Trump may lose, but his supporters have shown us who they are and what they believe. How do we reconnect as a nation with values that shattered? It’s not really Trump himself that’s keeping me up nights. It’s all the public venom he is unleashing. He’s making it vogue to gather in the name of Us and Them. He has proven that our education system has utterly failed in establishing even a basic shared vocabulary and understanding of ethical purpose. He causes people to believe that “saying whatever’s on your mind” is the same as “telling it like it is.” Expressing a foul thought unedited and unsupported, loudly and repeatedly, bears little resemblance to making it true. It is bad theater—a poor stage performance without discipline—not intelligent and useful discourse. A hundred years of socially progressive advancement is going out the window in favor of simplistic notions of aggrandized superiority. The genie doesn’t go back in the bottle after November. Trump’s followers feel validated in their disaffection. There is nothing good that can come of that, and it will neither make their lives better,...

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How That Vicious Inner Critic Can Be Your Closest Ally

By on Feb 8, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

There’s something about optimism. Nothing in business is quite as powerful in motivating people to believe in a mission as a leader who undoubtedly believes. The energy that radiates from a passionate entrepreneur is engaging, uplifting, and inspiring. When we hear someone tell us he or she is following their muse, boldly pursuing a personal dream, we want to root for them. We want to become a part of it. We want to hitch our cart to their wagon. We want to step out of the ordinary and get onboard the outrageous. A leader who won’t be deterred can bring purpose to a business enterprise. A leader who rises above petty criticism and backstabbing naysayers can turn a hundred dollars into a hundred million dollars. A leader who is “all-in” and won’t be dissuaded from a cohesive, organic vision can literally change the world. Over and over we hear the speechifying that tells us never to give up, that resilience is all that matters, that we should forget the critics and ignore the naysayers. Already doing that? Great. But there’s a catch. Walt Disney was told he was no good as an illustrator, that his characters would never be popular. Steve Jobs got fired from his own company for being difficult, and refusing to compromise his ambitions. They were never dissuaded. They were resilient and persevered. They could not have cared less what their critics were saying. Walt and Steve are held up as classic examples of rejecting rejection. They maintained an uncompromised vision and carved their place in history because of it. Detractors who called out “their folly” could do them no sustained harm. Walt and Steve evidenced a form of courage that set a new high water mark for leading teams beyond the fog to unbridled innovation. They remain heroes to those who aspire to transcend the ordinary. So what’s the catch? You want to be That Leader, right? Or maybe you just want to sign on with That Leader? What’s the missing element that is most likely to take you down? Is it that the odds against a startup succeeding are enormous? Nope. Most entrepreneurs know this long before they quit their day jobs. Many are...

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