I expect

I expect him to be a conservative, but I also expect him to be competent.

I expect him to be a rookie, but I also expect him to be respectful of the office.

I expect him to have a grand ego, but I also expect him to place his grand responsibility above that.

I expect him to be strong-willed, but I also expect him to seek good guidance.

I expect him to be different, but I also expect him to be diligent.

I expect him to upend the government, but I also expect him to uphold the Constitution.

I expect him to do what he thinks is best, but I expect that “best” to be for us, not him.

I expect him to be a Republican, as long as he’s an American first.

I expect him to hate the press he’s getting, as long as he knows the vital necessity of a free press.

I expect him to disagree with people like me, as long as he vehemently protects our right to do so.

I expect him to be a conservative, as long as he conserves the democracy above all else.

If pigs had wings, they’d probably be delicious.

There are some “conservative”* folks out there who would have you believe that the only thing keeping them from being wildly successful entrepreneurs is regulations and the tax code. It follows, of course, that these folks think the path toward American greatness starts with (a) the assumption that entrepreneurship is the zenith of American usefulness, (b) entrepreneurs do better when there’s zero regulation, and (c) entrepreneurs are unfairly targeted by the tax code.

Of course, as is the case with most things conservatives would have you believe, this idea is not only poorly thought out and negated by facts, but also represents a major blind spot in their own place as voters and citizens of this country.

I’ll explain. Continue reading

Warning: This prescription may cause side effects.

I try really hard to maintain my positivity at all times. I believe – through years of serious experimentation and reflection on the subject – that we have a significant amount of choice in how we feel. To that end, I have learned that if I choose to remain positive, I find myself feeling happier.

A few days ago, I ran into a situation that made me stop and think about what has become an automatic for me. Continue reading

Leaks are a symptom, not a problem.

Leaks are bad, I agree. But let’s take it a level deeper. Why do people leak, as opposed to pledging absolutely loyalty to the guy in charge?

When you’re in charge (if you’re good at your job) you need information. You need it from everyone – those who agree with you, those who disagree with you, everyone. You need it to make great decisions that improve the results of your endeavor.

How do you get that information? Continue reading

No more tears, part 2: It’s kinda hot in these rhinos.

At the beginning of February, I announced that I would be challenging myself to refrain from complaining for an entire month.

It’s February 15, so it’s a good time to check in and update you on my progress, what I’ve learned, and what has been challenging me.

So, how am I doing?

Pretty well, actually. What I’m finding is that, in general, my default is not to complain very much. I tend toward looking on the bright side of life. I’ve explained it a few times, like here and here, but I think it’s important to reiterate: this default of mine was not the factory setting. Focusing intently upon staying positive and avoiding complaining this month has served to solidify my confidence that the change has been a lasting one. For that, I’m truly grateful – life is so, so much better this way. Continue reading

Are you an ass or are you just stupid? Or, finding empathy in the land of cognitive bias.

Lately, I find myself having ample opportunity to test my own level of empathy. These tests are coming, mostly, as I encounter people (real, online, or imaginary) with whom I vehemently disagree politically. I’m a politics junkie, and believe it or not, I’m more of a “get stuff done” guy than I am a liberal. I think there are tradeoffs in a complex society, and no one person’s version of “how to America” is right or wrong. Continue reading

No one ever is to blame.

As a leader, I learned a long time ago that when things go wrong, the blame must always start with me.

Team didn’t get the store open on time? I could have scheduled a different crew. I could have set my expectations more clearly. I could have trained better. I could have brought them in earlier.

Sales don’t match projections? I could have set my projections lower. I could have done more external marketing. I could have improved our service or our quality. Continue reading

I am thankful for pain.

Let me preface this post with a caveat: I’m writing about positivity, loss, pain, redemption, lessons, and the like. It’s important that I tell you that I’ve lived a charmed life. I’ve never gone hungry. I’ve never lost my home or my parents or siblings to war or terrorism. No one I know has ever gotten ebola or river blindness. I have multiple changes of clean, dry clothes, a car that runs, a girlfriend that loves me, and a dog that thinks I am a giant biped dog with whom he gets to live. Continue reading

A little country wisdom for y’all

Two flies were sitting in a corral on a pile of cow manure. They were going to town, eating their fill, just enjoying life. They saw a pitchfork leaning up against the fence. The two flies decided rather than flying up there, they could just leisurely walk right up the handle to the top to bask in the sun for a while.

When they got to the top, they were just about to stretch out and relax, when they saw the farmer walking straight toward them. Continue reading

Is life conspiring against you?

Stress is the dissonance between your expectations and your reality. That’s it.

When you feel stressed, anxious, out of control of the situation, it’s almost uniformly because you want one thing but get another.

You want a smooth commute. You expected to get to work in 20 minutes. But the reality is, there’s traffic ahead and it’s going to take you 40 minutes. Your expectations and your reality don’t line up, and you feel it in the form of stress. Continue reading