Watch out Trump Thumpers!

Watch out Trump Thumpers!

trump-lead2I find all the Trump Thumpers hilarious. The indignation they have because of this obnoxious man that stole the presidency.

Watching CNN today and it’s all they can talk about. How unfit he is to be president and how he’s going to destroy the most powerful country in the world. He’s going to be Putin’s new best buddy and the rest of the world is going to be destroyed in a nuclear holocaust.

It’s hilarious.

I’m making a list of all the Trump Thumpers and when he turns out to be a great president I will be the first to mock them. I don’t particularly like the guy but that’s not important. Having a president that you “like” is not important. What is important that he gets things done. Period.

What’s important is that he manages to fix a catastrophic foreign policy that has seen the US engaged in countless wars over the past 50 years.

What’s important is that he creates employment and saves the economy from imminent disaster.

What’s important is that he extricates the US from all their international meddling. I don’t particularly care if he’s not a nice guy. The best leaders are seldom “nice” guys.

Frankly, the many negative aspects that everyone is focused on, are in my opinion, the very reasons why he will be a good president.

He’s not ideological.
He’s a pragmatist. That’s a good thing. Ideology is for dreamers and a president shouldn’t be a dreamer but a doer.

He’s a dealmaker.
Like him or loathe him, one thing is certain. He can do deals and that is what a president should do – every day.

He’s financially minded.
At least he can count, not like South Africa’s president, Jacob Zuma. Actually, being a good businessman requires all the character traits needed to be a good president.

He’s not a politician.
Politicians are the pits. We all know this and we all hate them, so why are we so against a president that is not a politician? That’s a good thing, right?

The Trump Thumpers are in for a shock. I predict that he will be a great president (don’t confuse that with great guy).

He’s focused inward.
That’s a really good thing. The US has been sticking it’s nose into other people’s business for far too long. They can’t be the policeman of the world any longer. Trump is going to focus on the US.

He’s going to shake things up.
The US/Russia relationship has been a disaster since the second world war. He wants to fix that. Critics gasp in horror at the thought. Why? Because they need a boogeyman. Who’s going to be the boogeyman if Putin becomes “cuz Vlad”?

He doesn’t give a shit.
I like that. You need a fearless leader that forges ahead against all odds. One thing is certain. He’s not playing this game to lose.

The majority of the world underestimated him when he joined the presidential race. He won. The majority of the world think he’s going to be a lousy president. He’s going to prove everyone wrong again. He loves being the underdog and I like underdogs too.

Cyril’s Balls are in a Jar in Nkandla

Cyril’s Balls are in a Jar in Nkandla

The whole affair was almost surreal. It was supposed to be full of pomp and ceremony and a celebration of one of the most important events in the history of our democracy. Few items on the national calendar are more important than elections. It was the night that our democracy would be celebrated as the results of the 2016 Municipal Elections were revealed.

It started out slow. A kind of melancholy hung over the audience. Oupa Gwede was stumbling around in his WWII era coat whispering in this ear and that ear. Shuffling up and down the aisles, purposeless. The dignitaries were seated. The big game breeder sat down with a look of utter displacement on his face. It was like he was attending some ceremony in a foreign country listening to people speak in some foreign language. No doubt he would rather have been at home counting his billions while sipping 1962 Dalmore Single Highland Malt at $20,000 a bottle.

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng sat silently to the right of the big game breeder with eyes almost shut. Perhaps thinking that if he can’t see them, then they can’t see him. He faked a yawn. In fact everything was fake.

The Big Kahuna floated in with an entourage the size of Gadaffi’s minus the Amazonian warrior women. Another fake smile and the big cheese sat down next to the Last Fallen Saviour turned big game breeder and Bon Viveur.

The speeches rambled on and the bleakness swallowed the hall like the black mist over the Thames.

The chief philanderer stepped up to the stage and cleared his throat. And then it happened. Four women dressed in black stood up in front of Zuma and faced the audience with simple, hand written signs to protest against his acquittal of rape 10 years ago. It was a silent protest. A very powerful protest. Probably the most powerful protest in the history of modern politics that will be talked about for many years to come.

The big cheese continued demonstrating his masterful oratory skills unwittingly. He didn’t know what this was all about, but to be fair, he seldom knows what is happening around him as demonstrated by the klap he got in these elections.

The women stood directly in front of our beloved big game whiskey drinker and our almost asleep (faking it) Chief Justice. They looked at these women in utter disbelief. Whispers were everywhere. No one even really noticed the red overall clad cleaning crew leaving the house.

No one even really noticed the red overall clad cleaning crew leaving the house.

In minutes the speech was over and if you had to ask anyone afterwards if they could remember one word the Zuma said, you wouldn’t find one. All eyes were on these brave women with their impromptu display of courage. It will be a defining moment in the career of – no, not JZ but Cyril Ramaphosa. Our second in charge.

It was the moment when his utter lack of leadership skills was exposed. The moment when the whole world realized that this eunuch left his balls in a jar at Nkandla. It was the moment when a real leader would have stood up and taken charge of a truly disastrous situation by quietly interrupting the speech and then by approaching the women and spoken to them. A true leader would have told them that their protest had been noticed and that he would be glad to meet with them personally to discuss their grievances.

The world has witnessed a Putinesque reactionary response in the gaping void left by the absence of true leadership.

A true leader would have quietly walked them out, showing real interest in their story. A true leader would have done the right thing. Instead a bunch of thugs rounded them up like cattle and pushed and shoved them out, in full view of the entire world. A defining moment where true leadership could have made all the difference. The world has witnessed a Putinesque reactionary response in the gaping void left by the absence of true leadership.

There was not one leader in the house. Perhaps he walked out with the cleaning staff.

Leadership Lessons from Sir Ernest Shackleton

Leadership Lessons from Sir Ernest Shackleton

“Difficulties are just things to overcome” – Sir Ernest Shackleton

Sir Ernest Shackleton

The book “Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage” by Alfred Lansing is probably one of the most profound books I have read, and even though the book is about an explorer, the real value in the story is the great leadership lessons that it imparts. These lessons are as true today as they were then and the world is certainly blessed to have had such a great teacher, through his example, as Sir Ernest Shackleton. Many people today look at modern leaders for inspiration, when in fact the leaders of yesteryear endured significantly more challenges and difficulties than we can ever imagine. The leadership borne from such trials and tribulations is far more genuine and sincere and therefore so much more inspirational.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qj0fAYiY09A&fs=1&hl=en_US]

Background

Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton, CVO, OBE (15 February 1874 ? 5 January 1922) was an Anglo-Irish explorer who was one of the principal figures of the period known as the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. His first experience of the polar regions was as third officer on Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s Discovery Expedition, 1901?04, from which he was sent home early on health grounds. Determined to make amends for this perceived personal failure, he returned to Antarctica in 1907 as leader of the Nimrod Expedition. In January 1909 he and three companions made a southern march which established a record Farthest South latitude at 88°23’S, 97 geographical miles (114 statute miles, 190 km) from the South Pole, by far the closest convergence in exploration history up to that time. For this achievement, Shackleton was knighted by King Edward VII on his return home.

After the race to the South Pole ended in 1912 with Roald Amundsen’s conquest, Shackleton turned his attention to what he said was the one remaining great object of Antarctic journeying?the crossing of the continent from sea to sea, via the pole. To this end he made preparations for what became the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, 1914?17. Disaster struck this expedition when its ship, Endurance, was trapped in pack ice and slowly crushed, before the shore parties could be landed. There followed a sequence of exploits, and an ultimate escape with no lives lost, that would eventually assure Shackleton’s heroic status, although this was not immediately evident. In 1921 he went back to the Antarctic with the Shackleton-Rowett Expedition, intending to carry out a programme of scientific and survey activities. Before the expedition could begin this work Shackleton died of a heart attack while his ship, Quest, was moored in South Georgia. At his wife’s request he was buried there.

Away from his expeditions, Shackleton’s life was generally restless and unfulfilled. In his search for rapid pathways to wealth and security he launched many business ventures and other money-making schemes, none of which prospered. His financial affairs were generally muddled; when he died, he owed over £60,000 (more than £1.5 million in 2008 terms). On his death he was lauded in the press, but was thereafter largely forgotten, while the heroic reputation of his rival Scott was sustained for many decades. At the end of the 20th century Shackleton was “rediscovered”, and rapidly became a cult figure, a role model for leadership as one who, in extreme circumstances, kept his team together to accomplish a survival story which polar historian Stephanie Barczewski describes as “incredible”.

read the rest of the Wikipedia article

  • Lesson 1

Be flexible in setting goals. Be prepared to revise and reset objectives as the context changes. Sir Ernest Shackleton was able to give up his long-sought-after goal of reaching the pole and focus on survival by building a foundation for:

  1. Camaraderie
  2. Loyalty
  3. Responsibility
  4. Determination … and above all
  5. Optimism …
  • Lesson 2
Cultivate a sense of compassion and responsibility for others. You have a bigger impact on the lives of those under you than you can imagine.
  • Lesson 3
Find a way to turn setbacks and failures to your advantage. This would be a good time to step forward on your own.
  • Lesson 4
Learn from past mistakes – yours and those made by others. Sometimes the best teachers are the bad bosses and the negative experiences.
  • Lesson 5
Never insist on reaching a goal at any cost. It must be achieved at a reasonable expense, without undue hardship for your staff.
  • Lesson 6
Create a work environment comfortable enough to entice professionals to spend the greater part of their waking hours there. Allow for some personal preferences.
  • Lesson 7
Match the person to the position. Be observant of the types of people who are working for your and what jobs might best suit their personalities as well as their experience.
  • Lesson 8
Give consistent feedback on performance. Most workers feel they don’t get nearly enough words of praise and encouragement.
  • Lesson 9
Be tolerant. Know each employee’s strengths and weaknesses, and set reasonable expectations.
  • Lesson 10
When crisis strikes, immediately address your staff. Take charge of the situation, offer a plan of action, ask for support, and show absolute confidence in a positive outcome.
  • Lesson 11
Plan several options in detail. Get a grasp of the possible consequences of each, always keeping your eye on the big picture.
  • Lesson 12
Defuse tension. In high-stress situations use humor to put people at ease, and keep your staff busy.
  • Lesson 13
Let go of the past. Don’t waste time or energy regretting past mistakes or fretting over what you can’t change.
  • Lesson 14
Be patient. Sometimes the best course of action is to do nothing but watch and wait.
Shackleton Quotes
– Optimism is true moral courage.

– Leadership is a fine thing, but it has its penalties. And the greatest penalty is loneliness.

– A man must shape himself to a new mark directly the old one goes to ground.

– I have often marveled at the thin line which separates success from failure.

– You often have to hide from them not only the truth, but your feelings about the truth. You may know that the facts are dead against you, but you mustn’t say so.

– If you’re a leader, a fellow that other fellows look to, you’ve got to keep going.

 

Resources:

Lansing, Alfred. Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage. New York: Carroll & Graf, 1959.
Shackleton’s Antarctic Adventure (April, 2009)  http://main.wgbh.org/imax/shackleton/about.html
The Leadership Institute