Showing posts with label Integrity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Integrity. Show all posts

June 21, 2019

UNDERpromise + OVERdeliver

Every manager is rightly taught to underpromise and overdeliver. 

It's sound planning and good risk management to plan for contingencies--and certainly these do happen. 

Build in some buffer time and resources into your estimates, because reality bites and you need to have the ammunition to respond. 

My father used to tell me:
"A word is a word!"

When you say something, promise something, commit to something then that is it!"

To do otherwise is to have no honor, no character, and no fear of G-d. 

Similarly, when you overpromise and underdeliver, you fail yourself and your customers.

People commit time, resources, and faith in you, so you owe it to them to set realistic goals and plans to accomplish them.

To do otherwise, you risk damage to the longterm relationship, you hurt your credibility, and maybe most importantly, you hurt the chances of genuine progress. 

The philosophy that I believe works best is:  Be thoughtful. Be strategic. Be direct. Be honest.  

That's what I would want from others and that's also what I strive to be. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 6, 2019

Wrong Direction--Who Stands For The Truth?

So I thought this was pretty funny in the Wall Street Journal over the weekend. 
A wife is listening to the radio and she hears that a car is dangerously going in the wrong direction on the highway. 

Immediately, she calls her husband to tell him about the car going in the wrong direction, and to be careful. 

He husband replies: One car going in the wrong direction...there are hundreds of cars going in the wrong direction!

How true this little story is about life and what direction we choose for ourselves--in the face of the groupthink and the tidal wave of public opinion that will sweep you away if you aren't strong of mind and especially of character. 

Whenever we choose the road less traveled, others see us as dangerous and going the wrong way. 

Yet to us, others may just be following blindly, and we may truly see something that everyone else is missing...could it possibly be that they are really the ones going the wrong way!

But there is always some doubt in our minds...we are fallible, we can wrong, we can be crazy.  

Whose truth is it anyway--Mine?  Yours?  Or could it really be "The (objective) Truth"?

Alternatively, maybe we just lack confidence or courage?

It is very hard to be the nail that stands up (and doesn't get hammered down) and say that something is wrong and everyone should pay attention and change direction or their ways. 

Perhaps, they are all heading off a moral cliff or just heading towards disaster.

In some cases...

We know the agendas of the people who want to steer you wrong. 

We hear the propaganda and lies they are feeding you. 

We can see down the road or just around the bend where the danger lies in wait. 

- Can we stand up to the crowd?  

- Can we demonstrate the moral truth?  

- Can we get others to see what we see?  

It is certainly not easy to be the contrarian in the crowd. 

Not only may you not be recognized for what you are doing, but you may even be persecuted for it. 

It doesn't matter...

Because you need to do it anyway just because you know deep inside that it's the right thing to do. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 28, 2018

Emo Art

So I've been wanting to post this example of this special art form from my daughter, Rebecca. 

She makes this novel art called, "EMO", which stands for emotional.

In this art she mixes children and monsters--and it depicts how innocent kids have to deal with the monsters they find in an often unscrupulous and morally-tarnished society. 

I love the feelings and message of this art in that it encapsulates how children enter this world in purity, but how so many bad people and things around them (and us) can corrupt that. 

I always learned that the goal for each person was to leave the world a better place then the way we found it; however, I think a more personal goal should also be for us to leave here as better human beings than the day we arrived.  

Challenging ourselves--learning and maturing--yet at the same time keeping that essence of decency and integrity of mind, heart, and deed--that is a life where we can grow up, but not turn into the morally-bankrupt monsters that we see all around us. 

(Source Art: Rebecca Ochayon)
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December 8, 2018

A Blind Eye and A Wink

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "The UNjust United Nations."
This week the United Nations failed to pass a General Assembly resolution designating Hamas a terrorist organization, despite Hamas being designated as such by the United States for 25 years already. What the United States knows intrinsically and based on the day-to-day terror activities of Hamas, the corrupt and anti-Semitic United Nations fails to acknowledge or, perhaps worse yet, condones.
Certainly, the UN is not living up to its charter to maintain peace and security and uphold human rights...with the UN, it's just the opposite! ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 20, 2018

How Does It feel At The Top

A colleague told me something interesting about what it feels like at the top.

He said:
The 360 degree view is good, but it get's windy at times!

I thought this was pretty smart, and one reason that many people opt out of moving into senior and executive positions in their organizations. 

Yes, it's great to be able to lead and have more visibility, influence, and impact. 

But at the same time, this does not come for free or without risks. 

At the top of the pyramid or corporate offices or whatever, there is opportunity. 

Yet, your dealing with other top honchos with strong personalities, egos, and often harsh ways of dealing with others and conflict can be perilous for many. 

My father used to tell me his philosophy:
Better a little less, but you know what you have. 

There is definitely wisdom in those words. 

Maybe as with most things in life, there is a time and place for everything. 

It is great to have the opportunity to lead.

It's also not bad to have a time to follow and contribute in that way. 

What's important is that whatever role your in at the time, that you do it with integrity and passion to do good. 

So how does it feel at the top--sure, it's a nice view, but it can get very windy too. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 15, 2018

Listen, Empathize, Give A Little

A colleague was talking to me about negotiating and working with others:

He said something I liked: 

Listen, empathize, and give a little. 

Yes, we each have our beliefs and positions on things.

But we don't live in a vacuum.

Other people have their own views, sensitivities, and wants. 

We have to get along so we can work together, and get things done. 

It starts by listening--not just hearing, but really listening to what the other person is saying. 

But that's not really enough. 

To really understand the other person, we have to try to empathize with what they are feeling--we need to try to walk in their shoes even if just for a moment. 

But that also isn't enough. 

We can't have it all our way--we need to give a little to get a little. 

No one can have everything and have a good relationship like that. 

We need to compromise--as long as it's not on things of integrity, conviction, or G-d. 

Everything else we have to listen, empathize, and give a little.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 5, 2018

Election Day Dead of 2018

This just seemed so perfect for election day this year. 

With the country torn asunder between left and right. 

We are the grateful dead of the U.S. of A. 

- Our political system is stymied and our representatives are only self-minded. 

The integrity of our founding fathers has vanished and last century's great national hope has languished. 

Cause the liberals hate the conservatives. 

And the conservatives hate the liberals. 

All of my folks hate all of your folks, and everyone blames the Jews.  

- The Constitution has become malarkey, and the Bill of Rights now makes people snarky. 

Polarization and they're a lyin', fake news and no one is even tryin'.

It's either my way or the highway, and everyone else can go to h*ll. 

- Throw a fit and curse your neighbor, chase the opposition to the wayward. 

Know that threats and violence are better than silence, and resistance means persistence. 

How could this have even happened, and you're all on the wrong side of history. 

- Are we making things great, and they're only about hate. 

Or are they racist deplorables, and we're the self-righteous ennobles. 

From the economy to trade wars, and from immigration to healthcare. 

Why is it that we can't listen, negotiate, compromise, and play fair. 

- I don't know why we're even having an election.

When we only want to defeat the opposition. 

Cause the Democrats hate the Republicans.

And the Republicans hate the Democrats. 

All of the Obamanicks hate the Trumpeans, and vice versa is certainly true too. 

- It's up to everyone to put the country first and stop the bickering and the hate. 

Practice patriotism and nationalism, tear down the walls so progress does not stall. 

No one is all right and no one is all wrong, instead we've got to come together and just let everyone belong. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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August 15, 2018

It's Fight or Surrender!



This is why President Reagan was able to "tear down that wall" and win the Cold War. 

He was a true role model for leadership and what a President is. 

- Faith in G-d.

- A strength of convictions.

- The Integrity that touches hearts. 

- Courage to carry forward. 

- Pride in our nation.

- Judicious use of our might.

Go USA! ;-)
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June 4, 2018

THE MIGHTY MERKAVA IV

What an amazing birthday gift from my beautiful kids. 

A model of the awesome Merkava IV battle tank from Israel. 

They know how much I love this tank which the brave soldiers of the IDF use to protect the Holy Land of Israel. 

As a son of Holocaust survivors, this gift left me so emotional and literally brought tears to my eyes. 

One of the real tributes of the Merkava is that unlike almost every other tank in the entire world which has its engine in the rear to protect it from enemy fire...

The Merkava IV has the engine in the front to protect the lives of the Israeli soldiers who man it. 

To the Jewish people, it's not the tank that is important in and of itself, but it is its ability to protect each and every sacred life behind it. 

That is the noble creed of the Israelite people--nothing is more valuable than human life. 

70-years after the founding of the State of Israel--established from the very ashes of the 6,000,000 murdered in the Holocaust--I am so proud to say that IDF, despite being under almost constant threat from enemies near and far, protects the people and country with the utmost bravery, human dignity, and as a true light unto the nations. 

They are true heroes! May G-d Almighty bless each and every defender who stands watch over the Holy Land, and may He speedily bring a true and lasting peace to us all. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 16, 2018

Braving Trust and Credibility

So I thought this was really good from a colleague this week. 

How to build trust and credibility in the workplace:

Credibility is about being "convincing and believable" and results from "expertise and experience."

Trust is believing strongly in the honesty, reliability, character, and effectiveness of a person."


BRAVING

Boundaries - Have good boundaries--respecting yours and having my own; show others respect in words and deeds. 

Reliability - Be someone who is both reliable (can be counted on)  and is authentic.

Accountability - Hold others and yourself accountable; we all own our mistakes, apologize and make amends. 

Vault - Keep information in confidence.

Integrity - Hold courage over comfort; choose what's right over what's fun, easy or fast; practice and not just profess values. 

Non-judgmental - Believe the best in people even when they occasionally disappoint you. 

Generosity - Offer and ask for help from others, and give generously of yourself in time and effort. 

No offense to anyone...the last thing they said was a little spicy for the workplace (but I know it was meant well):  "Good conversation with others should be like a miniskirt--short enough to retain interest and long enough to cover the topic." ;-)

(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)
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May 14, 2018

Happy Just The Way We Are


Great speaker today at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Mike Reiss, producer and writer for the hugely successful Simpson show--the longest-running series on primetime TV with 30 seasons and over 600 episodes!

The topic was "The Science Behind The Simpsons."

Whether the guest was Stephen Hawkings or Leonard Nimoy--there was no shortage of scientists and science in this animated, comedy show that taught us much about life.  

The video clip above was a short capture of the Simpsons singing "We are happy just the way we are."

Incremental change and continuous improvement is so important to our growth and maturation in life.

Yet, there is also a lot to be said for being happy with what you have and who you are. 

There is so much to be grateful for and plenty to enjoy at the moment. 

Many people are on the proverbial roller coaster to nowhere.  

It's nice to get off the roller coaster and finally be somewhere that makes you happy and fulfilled. 

Mary Poppins get hit by the airplane at the end of the skit, and you know what, she's not even missed. ;-)

(Source Video: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 12, 2018

Leave The Bad Bosses Behind

So an executive colleague reminded me of something about bad bosses:
People don't leave jobs, they leave [bad] bosses.
It's very interesting and so often true. 

Of course, people leave for all sorts of reasons, but one of the most important aspects of job satisfaction for employees is their boss!

When you have a good boss--someone with integrity, good communications, trustworthy, fair, and who empowers, develops, and supports you then that goes a very long way towards positive employee engagement and retention. 

However, when the boss is a bad apple and usually everyone knows it, then there is often a mass exit out the organizational door. 

Occasionally, the organizational culture is bad too, and that attracts those bad bosses, promotes their bad behavior, and keeps their bad butts in the corner office seats--this situation is even worse because bad culture and people are mutually reinforcing. 

For the good people out there, leave the bad bosses behind and never look back. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 2, 2018

The Heart and Soul Of The Matter

So I had a beautiful conversation with an older gentleman who works in a menial job for minimum wage for most of his life. 

But this person was shinning and smiling ear-to-ear. 

What happened, he got offered a job to work in a lovely school as their cook. 

He's been doing this as a special treat for the students once a year, and they decided to bring him on to do this full time. 

He pulled out his phone and proudly showed me a picture of himself in the classroom surrounded by all the children.  He was in an orange sweater and stood out in the middle of all of them and with a smile that lit up the entire room. 

He told me how the children thought of him as a celebrity chef and the teacher even organized autographs by him for the children.

His whole life, he questioned his worth, and now he felt recognized, appreciated, and loved. 

I told him that I thought he was indeed quite a special person. 

He said to me, you may have a talent or be special, but you have to recognize it--and he repeated aloud again at least three times emphasizing more and more on RECOGNIZE it. 

Surely, after so many years, only now was he being recognized and more so, recognizing it himself. 

Apparently, someone who worked in the school was also a renown food critic, and she had nothing but praises to sing of him. 

Talking with him, I felt my eyes being opened. 

Everyone can do good with their lives and have worth. 

We have to recognize it in ourselves. 

We need to just be given an opportunity to show it and share it. 

It doesn't matter what you are or earn.

It matters where your heart is.

For many, they earn gazillions, but their heart is a heart of stone. 

For others, they may earn minimum wage, but their heart is a heart of gold. 

It's not the money, it's not the power, it's not the prestige...it's the heart and soul of the matter. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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March 27, 2018

The Good Eggs

So I've learned it's not all about the money and the title. 

What is the most important is being around good, decent people.

I've always heard that your relationships are most important.

But it's not just relationships, it's also who you are relating to. 

There are good eggs, and there are not such good eggs. 

Don't get fooled by what's on the eggshell--that is certainly no yolk. 

Most of eggs know who and what they are. 

Some eggs like to scramble the others. 

Some eggs like to poach on the others. 

Some eggs like to crack the others' shells. 

But then there are other eggs that like it over easy with the other eggs. 

They all want to get the meal cooked and have it tasty and nutritious, but some eggs just don't know how to treat others eggs with decency, respect, and integrity.

It's best to be around those eggcelent eggs, and that is where the best happens and the good eggs gravitate to. 

Be careful what eggs you associate with, because there is nothing that smells worse than a rotten egg. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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March 25, 2018

Sadistic SOBs

So the scariest people in the world are the sadistic ones. 

They are the ones without empathy.

They get pleasure from hurting others. 

Yes, we all hurt other people sometimes.

But it's different when we do it by accident or when we feel bad about our wrongful actions.

Sadistic people don't just not feel bad or regret...

Instead, they actually savor watching others suffer and squirm. 

Other people's pain and misfortune are what gives them their energy and happiness. 

Rather than working on themselves, they rather put down others. 
"I'm better, because your worse or because I kick your a*s!"

What types of people are these? 

They are not really human. 

They are lacking genes for empathy. 

They are lacking a holy soul. 

They are cold, calculated, and hateful. 

While it wonderful to see some people seek love and peace. 

It is disturbing to see those that run after hate and harm. 

Your loss is their gain. 

Your pain is their pleasure. 

Your tears are their springs.

Your cries are their laughter. 

Why did G-d put these sub-humans in this world?

Perhaps to test us humans

Can we maintain dignity, integrity, and humanity among the beasts of hell? 

We can, but like others that have gone before us, we bear the mark of fighting with the devil. 

The devils live among us, but we must still strive to be angels before man and G-d. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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March 21, 2018

Measurement And Standards Are Our Friends

So I learned that Metrology is the science of measurement. 

And measurement is the foundation of scientific research and creating standards. 

Scientific research and measurement are about exploration, discovery, and innovation.

Further, it is about finding the facts; it is objective; it is truth; it is essential to maintaining integrity. 

Standards also help to ensure dependability, because there is a common reference and you know what you are getting. 

A great true story that demonstrates the importance of measurements and standards is the Great Baltimore Fire of 1904.

This was the third worst urban inferno in American history. 

It destroyed over 1,500 building across 140 acres. 

Fire engines responded from as far as New York and Virginia. 

But the problem was that they invariably could not help. 

Why?  

Because their fire hose couplings could not fit on the Baltimore fire hydrants--they were not standardized.

Without standards, we don't have interoperability. 

We don't have a reference that everyone can go by. 

It's as if we're all working on our own desert islands. 

This defeats the power in numbers that make us together greater than the sum of our individual parts. 

Science and technology help us advance beyond just ourselves and today. 

Measurement and standardization help us to build a better and stronger society. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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March 12, 2018

Tongue-Tied Silence

Sometimes in life, people are left tongue-tied. 

Too shocked, shamed, confused, or abused to speak or perhaps to even know what to say anymore. 

Maybe in the face of some horrible things that happen in life, there really are no words.

Instead, the vacant or crazed look in the eyes says it all.

People go through a lot--some of it is inhumane.

Sometimes, only tears can even begin to express what they are feeling. 

I think one thing that is important to do, even when we're not sure what to say, is to acknowledge that it is okay. 

Silence is often golden. 

Listen more, watch more, feel more, learn more, reflect more. 

Ask more questions. 

Usually, I'm told to ask at least 5 times (i'd say at least 3) to decompose to what is really going on underneath the superficial covers. 
"Tell me more."
"What else?"
"Can you elaborate?"

Sometimes, people have difficulty getting in touch with their true feelings or accurately diagnosing what's bothering them.  

It's more than okay to be thoughtful, be deliberative. 

Words are often cheap, but they shouldn't be. 

Our words should be truthful, meaningful, insightful, even righteous. 

Take all the time you need, your words are worth it. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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March 4, 2018

Living Your Values

So I had this great conversation today with someone about values.

Thinking about what I really value and whether I am living consistently with these...

For me, I was able to clarify for myself these critical values:

1) Being a good person and influence in the world (having a positive impact on people and ideas)

2) Being a good family man (a loving husband, father, and previously son)

3) Being spiritual and serving G-d (living selflessly for my Maker and not selfishly for myself)

4) Being a hard worker (living productively and not as a laggard or sloth)

5) Being a balanced person (living along the "golden path" or "middle of the road"--not an extremist)

6) Being a generally healthy person (living a lifestyle that includes activity, exercise, good nutrition, and no smoking, drugs, or excessive drinking)

What I realized is that when I need to let my values guide me every moment of every day. 

This ultimately means my success and happiness! 

Being what I think that I am supposed to be or what others would want me to be, just doesn't work--it's a strategy for failure. 

My father used to tell me:
"Let your conscience be your guide"  (that and the Torah, of course)

This is the answer to a lot of questions that I have in my life--about what to do with my life and what decisions to make.

Values--driven by conscience and integrity--that's where I want to go next and next. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 20, 2018

Mikva = Tikva

I thought this was a really special Jewish clock I saw in the store yesterday. 

It promotes holiness and sanctity in the family.
Mikva (Jewish ritual bath) = Tikva (hope) 
Rebirth and renewal (from the immersion in the holy water).
Build your family in sanctity!
Purity leads to sanctity.

The Jewish laws of refraining from sexual relations during Nidda (a women's menstruation) and of immersing in the mikvah at the end of the cycle and before the husband and wife coming back together physically are cornerstones of acting with self-control and a couple dedicating themselves to Hashem first.

The family is the core of raising and educating our children and of the makeup of the community and ultimately of serving G-d in everything we do. 

Self-control (with sexual purity, kosher food, Sabbath time, etc.) is what separates us from animals and how we emulate being more like the angels. 

It is also a way for a husband and wife to elevate their love and show respect for each other as human beings and not just physical beings.  

I never saw a clock that reminds us of these holy concepts and laws like this. 

Also at the top it says another well-known Jewish quote about managing our time wisely:
"The day is short and the task is great."

Another good reminder to maximize the use of our time every day here on Earth and to make the most out of every moment. 

If we dedicate ourselves to serving G-d, raising our families, being productive professionally and personally, and acting with integrity and sanctity always--this is a good life! ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 19, 2018

When People Fear You, You're Not A Leader

As the fortune cookie I came across yesterday says:

"Leadership is action, not position."

And actions demonstrate a good or evil heart.

When everyone hates a leader is that a "leader?"

- Fear is not leadership.

- Bullying is not leadership. 

- Corruption is not leadership. 

Leadership is:

- Showing others what is right and being a good influence. 

- Rolling up your sleeves and doing the hard work alongside everyone else. 

- Helping others to achieve their potential. 

- When others see you as a leader based on your integrity of purpose and actions. 

How we treat others is as true a test of leadership as of where we want to go and how we want to get there. 

G-d sees everything man (leader or not) does, and only He in Heaven is the Leader of Leaders and the King of Kings.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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