Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Common Goals!

In your life, wether is be in the workplace or at home, often times your presented an opportunity to involve yourself with a shared vision. It might be you and your spouse have a dream home your working toward, or perhaps the boss has asked you to share in achieving a performance goal at the office. Whatever the end result, the key is to master the discipline required to take the steps toward achieving the desired end result! A personal commitment is demanded if your going to attain the goal at hand. Nothing can be accomplished without the necessary focus on the prize.

A sure fire way to harpoon reaching the stated goal is for part of the team to lack the vision and simply sign on to another's dream. You see this most often in the workplace where the management has imposed a goal on the working staff. the end result is a half hearted compliance rather than the necessary commitment required to devote the necessary effort to win. If you offering a shared vision for others to buy into, be certain of the level of commitment.

To achieve, by definition there will be a struggle. Remember the process, "dream, struggle, victory!" A shared vision provides a rudder to keep all parties on course when the stress of the struggle is inflicted upon those striving toward victory. As Robert Fritz so aptly states, "In the presence of greatness, pettiness disappears." With the absence of mutual focus upon a dream pettiness appears. Commitment by more than one will provide a support system when stress overwhelms another.

A shared vision is a powerful means to an end. Certify that all have bought into the dream, and as a unit overcome the struggle necessary to have your victory!

God Bless!
Capt. Bill

Monday, January 30, 2012

What Do You Espouse?

Learning is eventually always about action, and one basic reflective skill involves using gaps between what we say and what we do as a vehicle for becoming more aware. For example, I may profess a view, (an espoused theory) that people are basically trustworthy. But I never lend friends money and jealously guard all my possessions. Obviously, my theory in use, my deeper mental model, differs from my espoused theory. - Peter Senge

The key to personal growth is learning to bridge that gap. Until that's achieved, no learning can occur. Your wallowing in self deception, a victim of the 11th Commandment. "Thou shalt not fake thyself out." The ability to recognize wether or not your actions, reflect your espoused theory while your taking those actions, is what distinguishes the truly exceptional individual. True leaders align their actions with the principles they aver to.

Let's apply that to the political arena. One of the standards of a true leader is to never lift yourself up by diminishing another. Are the candidates that are currently vying for office using true leadership principles? How they espouse the above rule speaks volumes about the character of the leader. If you support a candidate, ask yourself is he or she passes this smell test. If not, are they qualified to hold the office of the most powerful leader in the world? Shouldn't we expect this from our highest office candidate?

God Bless!
Capt. Bill

Sunday, January 29, 2012

When Opportunity And Need Collide!

The idea behind the Leadership Conventions we involved with the Team/Life opportunity attend is to guide us into the information we need to make better choices as leaders. It's an absolutely incredible experience to associate with tens of thousands of like minded people possessed with the intention of self improvement. It's such a radical idea, we've created a business model around it! I heard one of the most powerful quotes this weekend that describes efficiently why people are so attracted to this business.

"I sell and promote a product all day in my business. What attracted me to the Team/Life opportunity is I'm not pushing a product, I'm spreading the truth."

That my friends is a powerful summation of precisely what we do! Anyone in attendance this weekend can avow, it a very popular idea! Well time to hop in the shower and continue this opportunity to associate with others who share the same vision: improvement of a the world, one individual at a time!

God Bless!
Capt. Bill

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Reading War!

I got to spend some incredible time with some top leaders yesterday. After a 5 am wake up call to start the journey it actually didn't end till after 2 am, well the meetings ended, sleep was another matter with all those great thoughts swimming in my head, So if there are any mistakes in this post, we'll chalk it up to sleep depravation.

I took away two concepts that really touched me during the marathon. One came from my very dear friend Scott Russell, that he had acquired from a book he was reading. If you were given a wish to change the world, what would you do? There is a soft drink company that made a giant ad campaign saying they'd like to teach the world to sing, playing on the need for harmony. That's really not a bad thought, and quite honestly needed. But Scott one upped them in my eyes. His thought was he'd like to teach the world to read. I know, I'm preaching to the choir here, because your reading this! But let's think about this concept. If all the world was taught to fall in love with reading, couldn't we introduce them to the Bible? Wouldn't they be capable of absorbing the principles within? If everyone learned and lived the Ten Commandments, shouldn't that harmony the soft drink company suggested was needed automatically follow? We don't need to teach the world to sing, we need to allow them learn to fall in love with reading.

I said there were two concepts, the second one is a combination of a couple of statements, so forgive me if I don't give credit. "We are in a war!" and isn't it interesting how people are being driven to occupy their time? Our children aren't being taught to read, they are obsessed with other forms of entertainment. Isn't it also odd that the reading material that's being offered is overwhelming? Could any one human keep up with the information overload in print? Those who do read are faced with insurmountable mountains of information. Is that by design? We read less than ever before, why is there so much material available? These are all great questions, and the answers might be suspect. Since there is a battle for the culture of this world, could this be a tool to distract those who refuse to fall prey to the entertainment culture? Reading is now easier then it has ever been with e-readers, but what are we reading? What is capturing the mind of the remaining reading public?

Fantastic questions!

God Bless!
Capt. Bill

Friday, January 27, 2012

Thoughts From The Airport!

Well I'm off to another Leadership Convention this morning in lovely Columbus, Ohio. As we entered the Orlando, Florida airport to begin this adventure, I couldn't help but be reminded of the shoe bomber as I approached the security check before boarding my flight. Here is an example of one man making a difference, albeit in a negative way. Each and every flier in the United States has been affected by the actions of just one man, we all are demanded to remove our shoes for inspection. Is anyone else as happy as I that the TSA didn't react the same way to the underwear bomber?

God Bless!
Capt. Bill

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Faux Leadership!

Last evening as I sat with some wonderful people and were taught success principles by a pair of men qualified as the top 5% income earners, there was a grievous act of non- leadership taking place, publicly. My friends and I were being instructed by people who had the "fruit on the tree." They were gracious enough to share the knowledge learned from years of leadership development, hoping that spark would catch fire. At the same time a faux leader stood before our nation and declared that we have to knock down some successful citizens to lift up others that aren't.

Now I've attended many, many leadership and success based lectures. I've read hundreds of books teaching success principles, and I associate with the #7 leadership guru in the world daily, but I've yet to hear any teaching that defines success as take from one to lift up another. In fact they teach just the opposite! Your to lift others up by painting the vision of what they can be through better information and application of simple success principles. Never have I been told that success is define as lowering the standard of those who have "the fruit on the tree," down so others could enjoy a better standard. If I'm not mistaken that's the definition of an enabler.

Today the media announces that President Obama pressed for economic fairness in his speech last night. Isn't that exactly the description of a Communist government? Where have those ideals ever worked out successfully? We are at a crossroads. Do we continue to punish the successful to raise up those less fortunate, or do we relay success thinking and work ethic to give them a hand up? Hand up verses hand out! Which do you think has a better rate of improving the quality of life?

We have so much work to do.

God Bless!
Capt. Bill

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Vision and Priorities!

"Clarity of vision creates clarity of priorities." Man, I could write a book on this sentence alone! It does bring to light two of the most overlooked principles to basically every level of success, vision and priorities. It's been said time and time again in every form of cliche how vision is critical to success. Well, it is! If you left the house with no clear intent where you were going, where would you end up? The same applies to every aspect of life.

As a child, when there was nothing to do and Mom had kicked me outside, I would wander the neighborhood aimlessly looking for someone or something to do something with. Now there is a recipe for trouble! What's the odds that a chance encounter will have a positive results? When I left the house with specific intent, like to play baseball, football, hockey,to go fishing, or ride a bike with friends, the outcome was rarely a disappointing experience. Can we apply the same principle to adult life?

Now with that in mind, isn't it easier to define your priorities? What was important then is important now. A priority list for playing baseball as a youth would begin with finding other of like mind. Then equipment like a bat, ball, and mitt become necessary. Then a field where we wouldn't break windows would also be a bonus. Priorities all fall into place when you have a vision of what you wish to accomplish.

When we wished to change our adventure to fishing three things topped the list. Well four, if you counted actually asking permission! We needed a place to fish, tackle to fish with, and bait to attract our prey. All equally important and without any one of the key priorities, our vision couldn't be accomplished. We knew these principles as children!

I fear as adults we lose our vision by restricting our dreams to fit our current situation. Then we become complacent, losing the vision we once clearly possessed as children, and in the process, sacrifice our priorities. When was the last time you listed and actually lived your priorities? What is at the top of your priority list, and how much of your day is dedicated to it? All great questions we should ask ourselves and answer without delay!

God Bless!
Capt. Bill

Monday, January 23, 2012

Define Your Why!

What an interesting weekend just prior to my departure to the Winter Leadership Convention. I met and saw so many interesting people most of whom reinforced how much work there is yet to do. I watched a man leap from his car and beat on the window of a fellow motorist in a threatening manner. The threatened man, who apparently did something less than acceptable while driving in the eyes of the aggressor, responded with a one finger salute. Here's the sad part, the one finger salute fellow was a senior, and the aggressor had a US Coast Guard license plate on his vehicle. One failed to accept responsibility for his driving, and the other lost control of his temper. They both represent work yet to be done!

I met a high school teacher who labored in great detail to explain to me how this country needed another Ronald Reagan in the White House, then proceeded to complain about how little the government was doing.

This is just a snap shot of how confused our social system has the population. We don't know what we believe and why we believe it! I can relate to both stories. There was a time I could have been that senior, or that young man who was angry with his driving to the point of irrational behavior. There was a time when I wished for leadership in the White House,. but complained in the same breath about government not benefiting me enough. Then I got better information.

We just all need a better understanding. We all live in a confusing society governed by what's socially acceptable on television and in the movies. It's time to present a value system to the people, explain the importance, live it, and aid them in understanding why. It's the why that's lacking in today's society. Most people don't have a why. It's like setting sail with no course of direction. If you don't know where your going, how do you know if your on course, or when you arrive?

Define your why!

God Bless!
Capt. Bill

Friday, January 20, 2012


Our first President, George Washington, and probably our finest, lived by a list of maxims. Here are a few of my favorites...

Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company.

Discipline is the soul of an army. It makes small numbers formidable; procures success to the weak, and esteem to all.

Few men have virtue to withstand to the highest bidder.

Happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected.

It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one.

It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible.

Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth.

Truth will ultimately prevail when there is pains to bring it to light.

Worry is the interest paid by those who borrow trouble!

God Bless!
Capt. Bill

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Tebow Factor!

The media has spent decades trying to convince us, and succeeding to a degree, that as a free people we shouldn't be bound by a moral compass. It's okay to have an abortion, the productive rights of a woman supercede the rights of an unborn fetus. Divorce is normal and acceptable in society. Ergo marriage isn't really that important, it's perfectly acceptable for couples to live in cohabitation. You father is a bumbling idiot, not the head of household described in the Bible. Oh, and that Bible stuff, not in our schools, government, or even in public for that matter. We don't want anything to do with morality infecting our society. Our children's hero's, gang-banging, drug using, rap singing, women degrading, pants don't fit, thugs that seem to be above the law. Politicians performing lude acts in the White House, yet are lauded as outstanding Presidents.

Then comes Tim Tebow, the anti-culture to what our media portrays as popular and acceptable. A young man who's pants fit, loves the Lord and expresses it every chance he gets, gives back to humanity over and over again, puts others before himself, and exudes all the qualities of an outstanding leader and role model. Did I mention he's clean cut? No foul words flow from his mouth. He's an abortion that never happened. Is there any wonder why the media initially ran him thru the ringer? He's a very popular icon that represents everything they've tried to destroy. His mom and dad are loving parents and he comes from a family model seldom seen anymore. And get this, he's found success using this mantra! Boy, I wonder if they'll ever make this model in a politician?

Tim is so good he's even starting to convert allies in the media! They are turning their backs on the popular notion and jumping aboard the morality bus. We can all take something away from Mr. Tebow's example. The most important being, one person can make a difference! Dare to swim against the current! Walk in a different direction from the herd! And if you haven't read this piece yet, please click on the link, and by all means, pass it on!


God Bless!
Capt. Bill

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Tis The Season!

Sitting here in Florida I can't help but have sympathy for a great deal of the country that's awash in the wintertime wonder. Hope this classic poem cheers up those winter blues!

God Bless!
Capt. Bill

Beautiful Snow

Oh! The snow, the beautiful snow,
Filling the sky and the earth below,
Over the housetops, over the street,
Over the heads of people you meet.
Skimming along,

Beautiful snow! It can do no wrong;
Flying to kiss a fair lady's cheek,
Clinging to lips in frolicksome freak;
Beautiful snow from heaven above,
Pure as an angel, gentle as love!

Oh, the snow, the beautiful snow,
How the flakes gather and laugh as they go
Whirling about in maddening fun:
Hurrying by.

It lights on the face and it sparkles the eye;
And the dogs with a bark and a bound
Snap at the crystals as they eddy around;
The town is alive, and its heart is aglow,
To welcome the coming of beautiful snow.

How wild the crowd goes swaying along,
Hailing each other with humor and song;
How the gay sleighs like meteors flash by,
Bright for a moment, then lost to the eye:
Dashing they go,

Over the crest of the beautiful snow;
Snow so pure as it falls from the sky,
To be trampled in time by the crowd rushing by -
To be trampled and tracked by thousands of feet
Till it blends with the filth in the horrible street.

Once I was pure as the snow, but I fell,
Fell like the snow flakes from heaven to hell;
Fell to be trampled as filth in the street,
Fell to be scoffed, to be spit on and beat;
Dreading to die,

Selling my soul to whoever would buy;
Dealing in shame for a morsel of bread,
Hating the living and fearing the dead.
Merciful God! I have fallen so low!
And yet I was once like the beautiful snow..

Once I was fair as the beautiful snow,
With an eye like a crystal, a heart like its glow;
Once I was loved for my innocent grace--
Flattered and sought for the charms of my face!

God and myself I have lost by my fall:
The veriest wretch that goes shivering by,
Will make a wide sweep lest I wander too night,
For all that is on or above me I know,
There is nothing so pure as the beautiful snow.

How strange it should be that this beautiful snow
Should fall on a sinner with nowhere to go!
How strange it should be when the night comes again
If the snow and the ice struck my desperate brain!
Dying alone,

Too wicked for prayer, too weak for a moan
To be heard in the streets of the crazy town,
Gone mad in the joy of snow coming down:
To be and to die in my terrible woe,
With a bed and a shroud of the beautiful snow.

Helpless and foul as the trampled snow,
Dying--for then,

The Crucified hung on the cursed tree!
His accents of mercy fall soft on thine ear,
"Is there mercy for me? Will He hear my weak prayer?"
O God, in the stream that for sinners did flow,

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Hitting The Wall?

Have you hit the wall? People who try to break a bad habit such as criticizing others frequently come up against limits to growth. At first, their efforts pay off. The criticize less. The people around them feel more supported. The others reciprocate with positive feelings, which makes the person feel better and criticize less. This is a reinforcing spiral of improved behavior, positive feelings, and further improvement. But, then, their resolve weakens. Perhaps they start to find themselves facing aspects of others' behavior that really give them the most trouble; it was easily overlooked, a few little things, but this is another matter! Possibly, they just become complacent and stop paying attention to their knee jerk criticisms. For whatever reason, before long, they are back to their old habits.

The key here is to not become complacent! People exhaust themselves by trying to push themselves into a growth pattern when the key is simply to remove what is limiting their growth! Becoming a hungry student is the first and most important step to removing those barriers. Information expands the mind and prevents becoming complacent. You have to act on the new information you've received! Nothing repeals an old habit like the bath of fresh information to the contrary. I like to call that the aha moment.Keep feeding yourself new information and the possibility of complacency diminishes.

God Bless!
Capt. Bill

Monday, January 16, 2012

A System That Failed To Teach Systems!

A few posts back I'd mentioned the difference between systematic and linear thinking. The more I research this, the more it becomes apparent our education has become shortchanged as most of us were not introduced to systematic thinking. For some reason we've become a linear society! Most of us use a thought process where A+B=C in a defined process, but very little is that black and white! Systematic thinking demands we consider all the influencing factors, so the equation looks more like this (A+B)+(C+D)+E,and the rest of the alphabet = the results. Let's look at the real life example...

George decides to buy solar panels for his house. He's looking to become energy independent. During the process he talks to his envious neighbor Sam who decides if George enjoys the benefits of energy independence, he,(Sam), will make the same investment. A+B=C, rightly applied. Linear thinking works in this application.

George decides to go into business producing and selling those same solar panels. He's going to make a killing! He talks to Sam about his wonderful idea, and Sam decides if George does well, he, (Sam), will start the same business. A+B=C, NOT!. Sam isn't George. George maybe a better salesman, craftsman, or have more knowledge or better financial backing than Sam. Sam has not considered all the factors. He's not just adding an accessory to his house, he's relying on other influences that determine his outcome. He cannot expect the same success as George, as he is not George. It maybe better, it maybe worse, but it'll never be the same.

It's important we discern between when it's okay to make a decision based upon linear thinking and when we have to use a systematic approach. Even in a linear thinking situation we have to apply systematic thinking to be certain we've considered all the influences. Were you ever taught this type of logical thinking when you attended school? Chances are unless you were trained as an engineer, or someone whose career is based upon systems, you were taught A+B=C. We don't have to look far to see that logical thinking is absent in the education system. Was that by design, or for a purpose? A system that failed to teach systems.

God Bless!
Capt. Bill

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Rock The Vote!

The time is approaching for some to choose their candidate for the Republican nomination to run for President. I've been asked over and over again who fits my parameters, and honestly it doesn't matter. It's your job to vote your conscience. Individually we are responsible to do our due diligence and make a choice. We cannot rely upon others to lead us to where our vote is applied, as in the end we are all personally responsible for our actions. I will however interject this. There are subtle differences in each of the offerings, and those are critical points to consider.

One presents himself as a businessman with the capabilities of turning around ventures that have strayed from sound business principles. This might be a plus when it comes to making the hard decisions this country is going to have to face to remain solvent financially.

One offering is a strict constitutionalist, who would like to bring us back to the guidelines this great nation was founded upon. He'd like to abolish all those areas and agencies that represent a departure from the founding father's original intent. I also find myself in support of that framework of thought, it worked for the better part of this nation's existence, why stray from it?

Another offering represents himself as a strong debater and knowledgeable of the workings in Washington, with the ability and the history of getting things done within that framework. One has to admit there is value in this type of experience. Knowing how to influence others to get the job done, does have it's benefit.

Then there is the social conservative that has also worked within the system. He believes that social values are critical in the running of this great country. I find this message equally important and frankly absent from the direction Washington has embarked upon.

The final candidate has experience with global affairs. He's worked inside the State Department's structure, and understands our role in the world structure. He has the knowledge of how to persuade our allies and other regimes toward working together to achieve a common goal. You have to agree this also has it's upside.

So there is a decision to be made. All the candidates bring something to the table of value. Frankly, since there can only be but one, the rest should seek positions within this next presidency. I will point out there is only one quality that encompasses and unites all their strength. It's who has the moral character to get the job done? If your a moral being your business decisions will be in everyone's best interest. If your a man of high moral fiber your going to stick to the rule of law as presented in the Constitution. If your a moral individual your ability to work within the system will come smoothly as people will be drawn to you. If you stand on high moral principles the social issues are a breeze. And finally if your a man of high moral character our allies and other regimes will find favor in what you present. When you cast your ballot, vote for moral character first and allow the rest to be welcome accessories!

God Bless!
Capt. Bill

Saturday, January 14, 2012

You Have To Apply Common Sense!

I encountered an interesting argument during a debate with an individual who was having trouble believing in God. It seems the idea that man had created the Bible out of the blue and it wasn't a reliable depiction of historical events infected his thinking. As a non-believer in God, he, by default placed his faith in mankind and specifically science. He then went on to try to convince me that those same humans created the Bible to further their agenda. So I had to ask....Left to themselves mankind basically will always take the path of least resistance. I mean if there is a task to be done, most would prefer someone else do it, or at last resort find the easiest way to do the least amount of work possible and still get by. Mankind doesn't like to be told what to do, nor when they need to do it. A great example is to ask your child to clean their room. In most cases the mess in question will end up in the closet, under the bed, or in the laundry hamper. So with that in mind, why would they subject themselves to the rigid structure of God's law depicted in the same Bible he claimed man created?

Realistically the mankind I've been exposed to, doesn't take easily to the phrase, "Thou shalt not..." Left to themselves to make the rules, I believe it would say, "Thou shall, and as often as thou feels like!" Pleasure trumps discipline in a secular world, so once again I ask...If mankind invented a fictional book of moral guidelines, why would they be moral at all? Reason dictates it was mandated by a higher power. I mean come on, have you met your fellow man?

So naturally this fellow didn't believe in creation as that would involve a higher power. He was a staunch evolutionist. Once again the debate caused me to introduce logic into the discussion. Suppose your out in the middle of nowhere, I'm talking like South Pole nowhere. You come across a discarded CD player. How did that get there? The components that makeup that piece of electronic hardware are all a part of this earthly world, so did it evolve into existence, or did it have a creator? Is there anyway, given enough time, that piece could have assembled itself? Of course not! And it's not even 1% as complicated as the human body. That piece of electronic equipment had a creator and so do you. It was part of an intelligent design, as were you. You can pile up all the elements that make that CD player in a pile, wait and eternity, cause an explosion, freeze it, warm it, soak it in water, nuke it, do whatever, and you'll still not find an assembled CD player at the end of your quest. The same applies to life. The day someone can start with absolutely nothing and make me a pancreas, we'll talk about this notion. But I'm not holding my breath, unless the Almighty himself wants to punk me. While I'm sure God has a sense of humor based on the aardvark and the platypus, I'm also convinced He doesn't do stunts.

Funny, that chap didn't want to debate anymore. But I've not yet seen him in church, so our work isn't done. Remember, if man had actually created the Ten Commandments, they'd be quite different, and nothing over time is still nothing. Simple math, 0+0=0 period.

God Bless
Capt. Bill

Friday, January 13, 2012

My Fair Lady!

Oliver Demille, author of A Thomas Jefferson Education, has explained to us that the best form of education it through the exposure to the classics, then a mentoring with someone well versed in the content of the works. A funny thing happened on the way to the....Actually that's a lead into a story. In my youth I was introduced to a musical called My Fair Lady. It was a wonderful production written in 1956 based upon George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion. It's actually set the record for the longest run musical in history, so I guess you can say it's reached the award of "classic."

Anyway we went to Radio City Music hall to see this wonderful production when I was quite young. It had little or no effect upon me as all I saw was some singing and dancing winding up in romance. Wasted on a young man who would have rather watched an adventure film, but apparently I was paying some attention because I do remember the plot. Henry Higgins, a phoneticist, embarked on a grand experiment with a flower girl, Eliza Doolittle in an attempt to refine her into a lady of culture. Eliza is quite the mess as she can hardly speak understandable English, let alone comprehend basic hygiene. So Higgins and his assistant teach Ms. Doolittle to enunciate, bathe, and manners. The whole to do winds up in Eliza being presented to the aristocracy during the ball and she passes with flying colors. In the mean time Doolittle's hate for Higgins for inspiring change turns into passion and the whole thing becomes a love story.

Well that's what I took away from it as a youth. Then came the mentoring while reading a book of all things. I had an aha moment 4 decades later! If I'd had this opportunity to discuss the underlying theme of the production forty years ago, the lesson it contained could have been absorbed sooner and practiced. Unfortunately our education system doesn't allow for that! Back to the point, the moral of the story was that people will rise to the level you expect them to. They become what you see in them. If you expect more, you get more. If you only see the negative, they will meet your expectations. That went right over my head and I dare say shouldn't have, had I been mentored by someone familiar with the work four decades ago. That my friends is the importance of Oliver's point of a classic education being practiced.

God Bless!
Capt. Bill

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Visionary Politics

I find myself troubled at some of the recent events surrounding the Republican nomination process and the nominees behavior. First let me preface this by noting I'm trying not to be critical, but I do see some serious flaws in the thought process here and they must be brought to light. Secondly, I'm not yet committed to anyone candidate, so this isn't meant to be a promotion to lobby a cause. Okay here's the problem....

Recently the pack of contenders have exposed some thinking that makes me question their ability to turn around the decline our nation is facing. Problem solvers and visionaries use a process called systematic thinking. Systematic thinking is the discipline of seeing the wholes. It's the ability to see interrelationships in the process of change rather than a "snapshot" of linear thinking. This is critical to the decision making process, and an absolute must for the next leader of our great nation. Allow me to cite the current example that has me troubled.

Mitt Romney has been involved with a venture capital group that has made him a great deal of money. They are being called out for investing in trouble businesses, making changes, and gambling those decisions will turn the company around and make it profitable. The critics are using a linear thought process that looks something like this....

Romney invests = people lose jobs = Romney makes money off the backs of the less fortunate.

While that plays on the sympathies of those who are struggling to make a paycheck, it's a very narrow minded view of the process and is an enabling excuse for those who don't understand that carefully planned work and patiently executed plans are not luck.

Those who understand systematic thinking might look at that process like this.

1) Company is in trouble because of various factors.

2) Factors are analyzed and risks weighed.

3) A plan for reorganization is placed on the table and approved by the potential investors

4) Struggling company is purchased and saved from bankruptcy

5) Unnecessary or ineffective employees and assets are disposed of creating an efficient and profitable company.

6) The jobs and income of those effective at their positions are saved and not lost to mismanagement.

7) Mitt Romney and his fellow risk takers receive financial reward.

8) Go back to #1 and repeat.

This has been a process of systematic thinking that has made Mitt Romney a wealthy individual. It's also caused a firestorm of criticism for exactly the same reason. Now I'm not a Mitt Romney fan but isn't the country similar to a bankrupt company teetering on the edge of ruin? Aren't some hard choices going to have to be made in the very near future? Isn't a systematic plan going to be more effective than a linear thought process? Here we are again making a villain out of someone who has proven himself successful. I find it funny that those pointing the fingers lack the financial success of Mitt, and are struggling to keep their campaigns afloat monetarily. Isn't having the "fruit on the tree" an example of successful thinking? I'm thinking his opponents would do better to find some other issue to attack rather than, "he's become wealthy using solid systematic success principles." You know, like the ones that might come in handy rebounding this great nation from financial ruin? This narrow minded, linear thought process exposed by other candidates has me rethinking their capabilities. I daresay it's going to take quite a bit more than out debating the current President to get our country back on track. I really hope the presidential field rethinks this plan of attack, and shows us they understand systems thinking.

God Bless!
Capt. Bill

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Painful Truth!

Chapter 12 of Orrin Woodward's book, "Resolved," has an outstanding quote from Author Robert Grudin that needs to be shared.

" Modern society has evolved an idiomatic defense of non-achievement so subtle and elegant that it almost makes failure attractive. We can equivocate with failure by saying that we could not stand the "pressure". We can inflate mediocrity by calling "cow colleges" universities, by naming herds of "middle-level executives" vice presidents or partners, and by a thousand other sorts of venial hype. We can invert the moral standard by defending fellow non-achievers as being too sensitive or even too good for the chosen arena. this double rejection of pain- a surrender sanctified by a euphemism- has in our time achieved institutional status. Because it includes it's own anti-morality, it can be passed on with pride from generation to generation. Other ages may have been full of non-achievers as ours, but no other age, I believe, has developed so comprehensive a rhetoric of failure. To conclude, the; those people in quest of intellectual dignity and independence in the late twentieth century must act in a cultural context that has done it's best to annul or camouflage one of the key elements in the quest, the challenge of pain. for this reason such people currently labor under a double burden: they must face the pains inherent with their task, and they must do so in a culture that has little appreciation for their suffering."

I had to read that several times to get the full effect. The ironic thing about it is, it's a painful statement in itself. While I'm currently attempting to practice relaying everything in a spirit of love, this dose of truth would be difficult for me to directly present to someone, but pointing one to a dose of the truth, as painful as confronting it might be, is in fact an act of love. And this my friends is the painful truth! One we are trying to confront in our leadership journey. I hope you enjoyed this dose of reality as much as I did. The solutions lies in a change in our culture, fueled by the information contained in a LIFE subscription!

God Bless!
Capt. Bill

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Systematic Government!

Orrin Woodward has always impressed upon me the power of systems, and the importance of systematic thinking. I was reviewing some of the key points to systematic application and thought I'd share a few with you....

Pushing harder and harder on familiar solutions, while fundamental problems persist or worsen, is a reliable indicator of nonsystematic thinking-what we often call the "what we need here is a bigger hammer" syndrome.- Peter Senge

This principle was also spoken of by Albert Einstein,
"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results".

I sometimes wonder if those in Washington have ever been introduced to these principles? I think after reading the next few you'll agree that's doubtful.

The long term consequences of applying nonsystematic solutions is the increased need for more and more of the solution. Does this remind you of what Washington says about the stimulus money spent to jump start the economy or what? This is why ill-conceived government interventions are not just ineffective but addictive in the sense of fostering increased dependency and lessening the abilities of people to solve their own problems. I'll point to the never ending war on poverty and the more recent increase of people who are addicted to food stamps and unemployment entitlements as proof positive this principle is true. Or we could just accept Washington's word that we just haven't grown these programs large enough yet, you decide.

Tackling difficult problems is often just a matter of seeking where the highest leverage lies, and after application with a minimum effort, we find lasting, significant improvement. This is the art of process or systematic thinking. Instead Washington seeks solutions that'll be popular and garner more votes. The cure here lies in the relationship with your enemy. The enemy being the temptation to do what's popular, rather than apply the principles of systematic thinking.

The cure is a shift in the culture in Washington. Perhaps we should remove the winners of the popularity contest and replace them with representatives that actually have the interests of the nation in mind. This will also require a shift in the culture of the voter as we are the root cause of the problem. In the end it was us who elected these officials, and we are reaping the rewards. I'll suggest each voter list a set of priorities. Evaluate the candidates against that list, and should the offerings fall far short, demand better representation. The representation comes from within the culture, so doesn't that indeed suggest the more improved our list of priorities and how we live them, the better represented we will be?

Just food for thought!

God Bless!
Capt. Bill

Monday, January 9, 2012

They Have Faith, Just Not In God!

I've encountered an interesting epiphany during a debate over evolution. Those who wholeheartedly believe in the science of evolution defend it as if it were their salvation! In other words, they've traded belief in religion for faith in science. Their religion is in fact science! Those whom God created are no longer worshipping their Creator; they are worshiping themselves. It's uncanny how they'll argue with you the point that having faith is ridiculous because science has disproved it. Yet aren't they in fact placing "faith" in a scientific belief created and promoted by man?

I was told I needed to basic biology text book for my retraining away from the Bible's teachings. Aren't they both books written by man? While the Bible represents the Word of God, the text book is a reference to....man's word?

They scoffed at references to facts and claimed they were probably taken from a "Christian website." So I guess they'd be more concise and factual if they'd come from a secular one? Some how facts aren't facts if they were exposed by a Christian. I'm guessing the belief system that tells them it's a sin to bear false witness, just doesn't matter. But a secular, non-Christian fact bearer, they represent the truth. You know, because they have no agenda.

One of the funniest retorts was when I was told I was misusing the word "theory." So I quoted the definition from several sources, and was told I was still wrong. You see the world's definition of "theory" doesn't quite fit the evolutionists agenda, because science is fact!. This is the lengths of denial someone who professes to not have faith in God will go to, to prove a faith in science.

Fear not, like any good choleric would do I presented my views to the point of their exhaustion. Apparently my faith is more persistent than the scientific community, or I'm just more bullheaded. It was a great exercise in persuasion with love. While the opposition lowered themselves to insults, they were like spitballs off a battleship. It is possible to stand your ground without offending those who disagree with you. Who would have thought.........

God Bless!
Capt. Bill

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Epiphany, Have One, Or Be One!

In the world of the Catholic today is the Feast of the Epiphany, which led me to one. A great definition of an epiphany is an awakening. Now you can have an awakening or you can be an awakening, which leads us to our roles as leaders. First it's important to have the awakening, realize where and how you need to grow personally. I've found that came from the example of others. Seeing people that were held in the light of how I'd like to be perceived. Which all points back to the example you set as a leader, influencing others by your actions.

Let's all celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany and lead by example. People are watching! It's so important to live as we speak. Isn't that exactly what's missing in today's society? How many "leaders" do we find who don't quite follow the principled life the position demands? Our society is crying out for people of character and principles, let's fill that need.

God Bless!
Capt. Bill

Saturday, January 7, 2012

When Is Enough?

We can talk about things like honor, character, and humility until we are completely exhausted, but if we're not ready to live our lives according to those principles, then we are no better than those who oppose us.

There are those who are currently running for office that suggest we impose term limits on our political representatives. With this I agree because there are currently forty Senators that are sixty-five or older and twenty-two that exceed the age of seventy. It's one thing to talk about raising the standard and yet quite another to actually do it. These forty Senators, represent the nearly permanent ruling class. There was a time when service to the government was taken as a patriotic duty, not as a career. Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii has served as a Senator for 49 years. Isn't it time he spend his time with his family and open up a position for someone else to serve? Some of those politicians have grown roots!

Another little trick I find distasteful is the practice of seeing that pork barrel spending is indeed placed in legislation to favor the constituents of your state, then after seeing the legislation was going to pass the vote; voting a nay. This sneaky practice then allows you to claim your against pork barrel spending, but when in fact you insisted the spending be apart of the bill in the first place. It's playing both sides of the fence and quite frankly, deceiving those who trust you. But it's all part of everyday life in Washington.

God Bless!
Capt. Bill

Friday, January 6, 2012

Political Leadership!

Everything we do in life-every battle that we fight and every mountain that we climb, no matter how many times that we may fall-may be for no other purpose than to prepare us for that moment when we are called upon to make a difference in this world. With this thought in mind, doesn't it suggest we guard every action with leadership in mind? One of the major problems all of our political candidates face is owning up to their past. Since man is not perfect, they all have many things to explain, and their opponents are quick to point out their shortcomings. Which in itself, I find extremely distasteful. If it's necessary to raise oneself up by diminishing another, you still have some serious personal challenges to overcome. Personally that individual is far from ready to assume leadership. I find those assaults to be very unattractive in a candidate. There is an old saying Grandma used to remind us of, "people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones." Frankly, neither should their supporters, sing the praises of your candidate! Loving thy neighbor as thyself means putting thy neighbor above self.

George Washington was one of, if not the greatest president in our nation's history. Part of his upbringing was to hand write the rules of civility so they were imbedded in his mind. His actions proved he knew and practiced those guidelines. He was a great example of leadership, humility, and principle. We should use his model when picking our leaders, and supporting our candidates. Isn't it funny that one of our greatest political leaders never ran a campaign, nor spoke ill of another politician? We should ponder that kind of example for a while.

God Bless!
Capt. Bill

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Liberty And Tyranny!

Two things come to mind this morning as I write this post. First is that our freedoms are disappearing of late exactly the same as the way a person goes broke. Slowly at first, then all of a sudden. I hope every reader is aware of the monkey business that's currently going on in Washington. Our current President has taken the liberty of denying us of ours and asserting himself as a dictator. He's totally subverted the laws of the Constitution, and bypassed the system of checks and balances that made this great nation a Republic. He stood before a crowd yesterday and said, "I'm not going to allow a minority in Congress...." First of all isn't one person a minority? Second what happened to the rights of the minority? This country wasn't founded upon principles that based how we enacted anything based on mob rule. It's a Republic, not a Democracy! The minority has an equal voice, and we do things based on what is right, and by the design of a system of checks and balances. We don't anoint a dictator who decides what is best for all. We fought a revolution to overcome that kind of tyranny.

Now back to my second thought...

8) As members of the Independent party we believe in living within our means, and so should our government. This requires a balance budget amendment to the Constitution.Too long have politicians used tax dollars to buy the favor of the voters. We have to operate our government on sound economic debt free principles.

9) It is mandatory that as a free people there are no special deals for anyone. We believe that, "all men are created equal," and that "all deserve equal treatment under the law." So in order to satisfy that, all members of Congress and any legislative arm of the government cannot grant themselves any largess that they don't grant the citizens. Also we reject a progressive tax code. All citizens are to be taxed equally. What's good for one, is good for all.We do not punish success, we encourage it. The tax code is a law, and all laws should be enforced equally, no matter what race, creed, or economic condition exists.

More tomorrow!

God Bless!
Capt. Bill

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Independent's Manifesto!

Just a little late today, had a mind numbing two hour ride with the purveyor of the #1 Leadership website, Orrin Woodward sharing ideas on the way to the airport! Enough name dropping, let's get down to business! Back to the platform of the Independent Party.

#6) The truth has no agenda. Just the facts please. If you have to spin what your telling me, is a distortion of the truth. I will no longer be misled. We live by the 11th commandment, "Thy shalt not fake thyself out."
"Truth tampered with is truth lost." -Albert J Nock

#7) We believe in personal responsibility. Where you are personally is the results of your thinking, action, or inaction. This applies to politics, the state of the Union, and life. If you choose to make excuses, see #6.
More tomorrow!

God Bless!
Capt. Bill

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Independent Platform!

Round two in the platform of the independent voter. Yesterday we visited the rights of the individual, and the fact rights are granted by the Creator, not by man. Today we expand those thoughts and ideas. Remember this is a rough draft and very open to discussion!

3) Freedom of religion. We as individuals believe in the right to openly practice our faith. Freedom of religion does not mean freedom from religion. Should an individual find worship offensive then we suggest you invoke your right to ignore. We also believe as our founding fathers implied, that the government has no right to promote a federal or state religion. This does not mean that religion has no place in government, simply the opposite is true. Government has no place in religion.

4) We believe that laws are to be created by those designated by the Constitution to do so. Activist judges in the judicial branch should play no part in the enactment of legislation. It is their purpose to interpret the law, not make it.

5) The free market. Note the wording. We believe that business is to "regulated" by the consumer, not the government. We hold true to the free market principles and to capitalism. Capitalism has fed, clothed, and housed more citizens than any charity or act of government ever has. You cannot expect the principles of a free market system to work if interfered with. Freedom only exists if an individual is free to market and consume goods and services void of government interference.

More tomorrow!

God Bless!
Capt. Bill

Monday, January 2, 2012

I Declare.... Independence!

A couple of days ago I posted a blog about how the political choices of candidates were similar to purchasing a can of tuna. Despite the attractive packaging the product is the same old stinky fish. I've also noticed a number of people are leaving their party affiliation and designating themselves as independent. Now the media, and the other political parties have poo-pooed the idea of a third party as that would upset the applecart they've worked so hard to preserve. After all a candidate that wasn't beholden to the special interests of the parties could be, well, independent. I've given this a great deal of thought, and ran all the scenarios, they are buffaloing us. The democrats number about 25 percent, with the republicans holding down a number in the 30% range. At best they control 55% of the vote, but here's the kicker....Many of those in a party affiliation are as frustrated as I am. So while independents hold approximately 45% of the vote, they actually can control who's going to get elected. Democrats will vote party line, 25% at best. Republicans will vote party line again, 30% at best. 45% of the vote remains unclaimed, it's time for a third party! One that actually works for the people.

As of tomorrow my party affiliation is being change to independent. As of today I'm going to suggest the independents ban together and form a platform. Today I'm going to suggest the first two premises that this party be based upon. See if you agree.....

1) The rights of the citizens of these United States are granted solely by the Creator. Therefore anything deemed a right by man himself is not a right but an option. Options created by mankind can be as easily taken away as they were ceded. Rights handed down from the Creator cannot be reneged by any man, so they remain permanent. While rights come from the Creator, options such as good employment or suitable housing need to be earned, not granted. This premise itself defines independence, what this party and this great nation was founded upon.

2) We believe in the rights of the individual. Nothing is so important as the rights of a single man, woman, child, or potential life. If we strive to take care of individual life, the needs of the collective will fall into place. The rights of the individual come before else. No group, special interest, mob, or collective shall take precedent at any time over the rights of one citizen. While we believe these rights should be available to everyone, they are limited to the boundaries and citizenship of the United States Of America, as it is the laws we live under that protect and support those rights.

This is a rough draft, suggestions are welcome, and there is more to come!

God Bless!
Capt. Bill

Sunday, January 1, 2012

In All Things...Love!

The dawn of the New Year, and with it brings a throng of resolutions. Not to be outdone I too was searching for something meaningful to pursue in 2012 to enhance my personal development quest. There are soooo many areas in which I could improve, it was really difficult to narrow it down to just one that would be most effective. Then a combination of events led me to a revelation! There was a great sermon at mass today about a mother's love, and as I was dwelling upon it after mass a preacher on the radio was blistering his congregation about how to live with Christ. I couldn't help but think how much larger an audience that man could impact if he'd just preach in love, rather than demand compliance. BINGO! There it was, where I needed to improve. My resolution is to deal with all things in love.

Funny thing, I'm surrounded by people who do this routinely everyday. I've also always been amazed by Dr. Alvita King's ability to do just exactly that as well, yet it never dawned upon me to do it myself. On the way home I was mulling over how all the different people I know treat people in love and how that was lacking in my life. Now I'm on a mission, cut the sarcasm and love people where they are at. Be the example, like I was admonishing that preacher for not doing. Even when it hurts, or they are trying to hurt you, deal with them in love. God knows it's going to hurt, God also knows it's going to be trying, but Jesus was the example. He always responded to hate and anger with love.It's a simple formula...What would Jesus do? WWJD. Now time to set that idea into practice!

Happy New Year!
God Bless!
Capt. Bill