Jun 192014
 
The confluence of social capital, servant & replicative leadership, and systems.

Social Capital.

Servant leadership ( upside down pyramid being the most apt visual )

Replicative leadership ( Level 4 )

Systems thinking ( a la, Senge, Kiyosaki, Gerber, Woodward, Brady, & others less well known. )

They do intersect, and confluence exists in a metaphorical “river” – this spark that connected them together for me came while reading a page in a remarkable book by H.W. Crocker III.

The author is summing up the Battle of Chancellorsville, talking about Robert E. Lee & Stonewall Jackson and the aftermath of the tragedy which prematurely took the latter General’s life in a ‘friendly fire’ incident on the battlefield.

The quote is powerful :

“People matter, individuals matter; no system, however well-oiled, and no leader, however omnicompetent, can afford to ignore the importance of personnel and having the right people in the right posts.”

So so true. Major league level truth in a matter of a short paragraph!

Mr. Crocker then quotes General Lee …

(speaking to one of the Army of Northern Virginia’s chaplains) “He [ Jackson ] has lost his left arm, but I have lost my right.”

To Lee, Jackson was far more than a subordinate officer. He was supremely trusted to handle the fires of war and the enormous task of leading a tired, under nourished, out-manned & gunned, and strongly individualistic group of men. Clearly, he was the right man in the right post; so to borrow a portion of the quote, “people matter, individuals matter …”

What came to be after this decisive Confederate victory quite likely would have been different if Stonewall Jackson, the “great and good” leader in his own right, had lived. Lee had replicated his impeccable leadership traits, skills, and courage in those within his inner circle – he was by definition, a mentor, a teacher, and a Level 4 leader. Yet, while the system in place within the South’s military was pulling victories from the jaws of defeat and causing President Lincoln much angst and soul searching, the system could not by itself replace Jackson. The personnel mattered too much, empowered as they were to take action and lead from the front.

Think about this. Live it out. Build strong social capital -those wide & deep relationships which are cultivated like that of the farmer in his field. Be the example. Live for those whom you serve. Align your personnel to their strengths, and build an iron clad inner circle. Yet, never lose sight of how valuable one person can be to the whole.

Mar 232013
 
14

This was so eye opening to me, that I immediately had my next blog post topic!

So yes, we’ve all heard of rules before. Many times. Often. However, what about these kind of “rules” , those which have a strong root in past history, and can surely be re-applied as history’s rotating cycle has brought us into a ‘4th season’ and on the upcoming brink of a ‘1st season’ ?   Most definitely worth discussing!

These 14 are derived from C.E. Sargent’s classic read, ‘Our Home‘ , which is a Top 100 recommendation on the TJed Teen/Youth list, thereby making it a must-read, regardless of if you grew up in this classical educational tradition, are now embarking on it, or will be in the future.

One/1 :  Embrace the New, then Embrace the Now.

“Those who pine away for the old will not succeed, nor will those who wait around for the old days to come back.”

Two/2 : Spend evenings and Sundays with family.

Community’s cornerstone is the family unit. When endless entertainment, excessive trading of time for money, dissolution of family, or other issues arise, it’s surely best to address these at the root.

Three/3 : Strengthen your selfculture.

This is the antithesis of popular culture; it runs counter to the concept of peer pressure (fitting in with the crowd, looking for approval, being right with others)

Four/4 : Articulate and write out your individual rules for life.

Who are you?  Leaders are not conformists, except to core morals & goodness.

Fifth/5 : The focus of families is on raising adults & the focus of education is to prepare young people to be good parents & informed citizens.

Opportunities abound to offer leadership and other crucial chances to impact society positively to those age 12 & up; responsibility is borne from the need to help the family succeed.

Sixth/6 : Meaning is a central component of learning.

Replacing the tunnel focus on ‘getting ahead’ & prosperity for self. Gratitude, mistakes as growth moments, & persistence shine through.

Seventh/7 : Spend time serving the less fortunate/vulnerable in society.

Service ahead of self (entertainment all the time) and boredom are moved aside. This creates real community and rebuilds social capital.

Eighth/8 : Marriage as a central, vital project/focus.

This evolves from putting working & parenting ahead of your spouse. Family is strengthened, tying back to the fifth rule above.

Ninth/9 : Pursue & complete a true leadership education.

Also known as an ‘Impact’ education, this replaces 1:1 the previous focus on job & career / professional track. Initiative, ingenuity, tenacity, creativity, and persistence, amongst other skills/values are at the core.

Tenth/10 : Entrepreneurship.

A must. Period. Even for those who have apparent security in their job/career, many find that the security translates to prosperity or fulfillment. The views of entrepreneurs changes over the seasons; the best to emulate is “build(ing) a business to change the world.”

Eleventh/11 :  Produce wealth.

The best time to produce wealth? Build it when the community, including your family (to maintain standard of living), your country, and society need it the most — in times of economic calamities and challenge. The response is to become a producer, which is far more valuable than a dependent, victim, employee, or consumer.

Twelfth/12 : Developing Creativity and Inventiveness.

Doing so helps address society’s problems & ties back to the 11th rule in producing something(s) of value. Opportunity springs from challenges in offering people what they need, as well as want, even in times that it seems far more difficult to do so.

Thirteenth/13 : Inner resiliency.

Winston Churchill is a wonderful role model for this rule. He was able to remain optimistic and enthusiastic even when life was very very hard. Leadership dovetails perfectly here with effecting positive change.

Fourteenth/14 : Growing your ambition.

Being clear to define ‘ambition’ in the right context for the season/time, as either/both of these >  Making sure the right side wins. Making sure the right changes happen.

The quality of the education and leadership determines at the heart what will result from the winning side’s victors and after the change(s) take place.

 

Did this information hit you as mentally hard as it did me?  I have come to believe more and more that the times we are in are far from what the self-anoited ‘experts’ are saying is a ‘great recession’; on the contrary, it is far, far deeper than that. However, without reading, studying, and listening, let alone associating with those who also do these things, its clear why a fair number of those in America & the West have agreed, at least on the surface.

Comments are most welcome. Thank you, as always, for reading, and God Bless.

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* Chapter 7 in the terrific book, ‘Thomas Jefferson Education for Teens” was my primary reference for the above; some of the comments below each rule are mostly my own, tying in from other books.

Sep 192012
 

I recently had the privilege to both hear a talk about these five major, yet very much under the radar, trends live, and then, to be able to dissect it further by listening to it when it came out on an audio (CD/mp3) recording within the past week.  Today’s blog post is focusing on some notes that I transcribed from Mr. Oliver DeMille and what he shared with those of us who were fortunate to be present in person, and then to subscribe to Freedom “F” information from the best source for such info that I know of in the country, LIFE.

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Trend No. 1

Genius

When you’re in a society like the West (specifically the USA & Canada) today, you end up with way too much dependency and delegation of thinking to the self-professed “experts” and larger institutions, whether it be government agencies, large corporations/businesses, huge universities, or ‘think’ tanks.  With so many putting trust and outsourcing the running of things, their hope and faith hinge on what they cannot control or, in most cases, influence directly.

A freedom based society, like America was up until Wilson’s presidency (and having declined more and more each decade since), puts the spotlight on individuals to shine, so their inner genius is able to shine brightly. The hope and faith of the nation(s) rests not with “experts” , most of whom aren’t truly up to the exacting standard of one, but rather, it rests on equal opportunity in a free enterprise macro & micro economy with men & women who step up, lead from the front, and act like a lion, rather than following like a sheep.

 

Trend No. 2

‘Glaze’

There’s a direct correlation between No. 1 & this one. ‘Glaze’ as defined for the purposes of this talk & my summary/post, is metaphorically referring to the opposite of genius; namely, the institutions who supposedly are making the right decisions for the rest of the populace/citizenry are actually smothering genius through innumerable reliance on dates, names, rules, regulations/red tape, authority, power, & fear. Freedom based societies look to individuals who have it in their heart, mind, will, and soul to be ‘glaze’ killers: those who go out, serve others, and help them find their genius!

To illustrate in broad strokes, think of what you’d likely find (as always, there will be/are exceptions) when you compared a classroom of preschoolers/kindergartners to a class of 11th graders/juniors in the district’s high school. The former would be very excitable kids, full of questions for their teacher and their classmates, high energy motors, and ready to take on the world = dreaming BIG.  The latter would likely be observed as mostly bored, only asking questions if called on, and looking at their phones wondering when they get to go to play football, or run track, etc.   Let alone, if we take this continuum further to large research universities, business/law schools, or huge multi-national corporations; by this point, the ‘glaze’ has nearly completely hidden all the genius, and is exponentially expanding, as each new student, employee, professor, or TA is steeped further in the society ‘as is’.

 

Trend No. 3

Sensus Plenior‘ 

Sensus plenior can be defined:  “Multiple/many senses/ways”.  It is a means/methodology of reading and thinking that freedom based societies, such as that which existed from 1776-1913 in the USA, uses, from the highest levels of government officials down to, and including the regular store/shop business owner. This is a root reason why farmers and other ‘common’ citizens understood completely what the Founding generation had come up with during the Constitutional convention in 1787 & prior to that, in being able to comprehend the Federalist Papers.

To expound further, the opposite is ‘Sensus Solum‘ .  Sensus solum is a means/methodology that’s nearly a 180 shift; it literally translates as “dry land”. One is reading something or thinking about an issue, from the perspective that there is a solitary, single answer, one that is often required to get the grade/approval from the aforementioned “experts” and institutions to whom our current society tends to turn for way too much. When they are concerned about the ‘masses’ challenging authority on the right ground, for the right reasons, sensus solum thinking dominants, genius is mostly blanketed in a thick ‘glaze’ and creativity, production, and independent thought are discouraged.

One great example from this talk:  When you get a book ( note to self: I need to do this going forward. No excuses! ) off your bookshelf, before beginning to read it cover to cover, come up with a short list of questions, say 3-5, that you will use this book to help you find better answers, to sharpen your thinking to improve your attitude, habits, behavior, results, and get you where you want to go in life.

 

Trend No. 4

Entrepreneurial Values

To no one’s great surprise, except perhaps to those who believe success comes out of the microwave 😀 , there are rock-solid, time tested principles of success that always work when applied consistently, while working hard & smart, and over an adult timeframe ( I am using 5-10 years for my business )

This is by no means an exhaustive list, however, those that Mr. DeMille highlighted were excellent picks, from my perspective on my leadership journey.

Initiative

Ingenuity

Innovation

Tenacity

They are most definitely vital and quite difficult to replace with anything else, I couldnt agree more with him. What really caught my attention, and earned my agreement due to how logical the connection is, is how he connected them with the values of a freedom based society.  If one thinks about it, sensus plenior of course, when there are more entrepreneurs, and that class of business owners is growing, freedom comes alongside and expands outward. (and, by extension, so would prosperity > scarcity, wealth/abundance, and production > consumption )

 

Trend No. 5

Entrepreneurs & their impact on Elections

The final trend neatly ties back to No. 4:  As entrepreneurial values = values of freedom, and freedom based societies, having entrepreneurs understand just how important their individual voices are to their nation’s elections is crucial and cannot be overstated. I admire, respect, and recommend Mr. DeMille & his books (his best known 4 are available through my business) without reservation, and one of the numerous reasons I do is his position on political parties:  he takes no ‘red’ nor ‘blue’ side, he is simply a true master/expert ( WAY over 10,000 hours! ) on freedom, and he realizes, as I have come to see over the past 3-5+ years, that neither US based party has the best interests of the inner genius of our citizenry at its core. While I am an American, and cannot speak for Canada, nor other Western nations ( please comment on this post if you have something to add ), I have a strong inkling it is not any different elsewhere, since most of the world is in the same societal bind at present.

I found his discussion (building off his friend and leadership expert, Orrin Woodward‘s comment) of how the fish has been taken out of the water, and hasn’t realized how badly polluted the bowl’s water has become to be an apt illustration of where we are today. Entrepreneurs need to be successful, inspiring others to become entrepreneurs themselves, and every single one of us has to never take an election, especially local & state, and also federal, for granted. “Hoping” it goes well is not the answer:  The fish can only return to its bowl, and be able to swim freely like before if entrepreneurial = freedom values are sought out in every single candidate for whom you cPeriod.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ruler’s Law, as WCleon Skousen discussed at length in his past works, is where the tick on the arrow is too far to the left; right now, our Western societies, and most definitely the USA, are there now, too far away from the optimum in the middle. Aristocracy, dependence on so-called “experts” (many of whom are also elitists), reliance/trust in “too big to ignore/fail” institutions that are mainly caught in a bygone era (industrial age), and not enough ‘sensus plenior’ thought = these can be fixed at their roots by creating more ownership, more production/generation of assets, growing our entrepreneurial class, swapping ‘glaze‘ for genius, and simply put: NOT taking freedom for granted.

May you all have a blessed evening, week, and I look forward to any comments you might have.  Thank you very much for reading.