I spent the last six years working for a large electronics retailer and most of that time was as a Store Manager. In the last year I worked there they changed the title to Store Leader to try to infuse some ownership or enthusiasm into the role. The company was constantly changing terms, role definitions and performance evaluation standards in an effort to create impactful "cultural" changes but it mostly led to inconsistency and confusion. Frequently redefining evaluative tools, job descriptions and philosophies indicates a lack of central vision and understanding of psychology. Ambiguity and inconsistency muddy the waters of an organization's central goals and frustrates managers.Read More
ON a recent backpacking trip to the Deschutes National Forest I learned something very important about myself; I learned that fear is a driving force in my life. I am a fearful person. I allow fear to permeate my thoughts and stunt my actions. I imagine all the potentially negative outcomes to any action and err on the side of inaction. I ignore or devalue any potentially positive outcomes even when they are much more likely. At times these fantasies are so overwhelming and horrifying that I am frozen with debilitating anxiety. This extreme case happened a few days ago.Read More
As the sun started its route over the horizon to scorch the earth with its hot tendrils three horses galloped side by side down an abandoned road toward what was once called Downtown Los Angeles. Each horse had a rider and each rider had a burning desire to flee the danger they had narrowly escaped just minutes earlier. Their party of seven had been taken by surprise. As they had passed a line of markets along the road they were suddenly engulfed in a chaos of explosions and gunfire. All around them were loud bangs and snaps and before any of them could react two of them lay dead on the ground. Most of the horses had bucked their riders off to run away from the danger and as shots were being wildly flung all around only three were able to escape.Read More
"What is the first rule, Jacob?" Mark asked his 12-year-old son in the dimly lit basement of their home.
Jacob stood straight as he'd been taught and held his spear in his hand hard against the floor and said confidently, "The dead are our enemy and should not be underestimated. Their power is in their numbers and their singular desire to kill. Use your ears and they will never get the better of you. Keep your distance and do not let them overwhelm you. They must be purified!"
"Very good!" his father said while pacing the room. "What is the second rule?"