I’m being PROACTIVE here!

mmm … a thought here … it has been my professional experience that when somebody says they are being ‘PROACTIVE’ (an old mid-90’s management BUZZWORD) they want to sound like they are actually planning ahead. Then why is it that I see the reverse in the workplace?

Status quo managers and personnel hide behind words to manage the perception they are actually doing something. Ah … some of you are rolling your eyes … the elephants in the room or faux speak (fake language) to hide incompetence and ineptitude of managers. Very few have the capacity to think long term. It’s a skill set that is critical to any place that wants to be ‘on top of things’. Even fewer have the ability to see language like ‘proactive’ as a hint of what the quality of the thing being affected will be … usually sub-par. Saying that you’re ‘proactive’ does not endow you the ability to think ahead and plan properly for long term goals. When I hear ‘proactive’ it throws a RED FLAG in my mind and I immediately begin to scrutinize what that person is saying.  Why? From my perspective, I see the word ‘proactive’ as a ruse to buy time or cover up the fact that you don’t actually have a plan.

If you are thinking of using ‘proactive’, how about rephrasing what you really want to do:

  • plan
  • schedule
  • research
  • investigate
  • communicate
  • foresee
  • countless other words that imply that you are actually thinking ahead

So let’s stop the faux speak. Put some substance into what you’re saying. ‘Proactive’ is a hollow word that rarely leads to actual substance of anything for long term success.

 

The Paradox of Those We Hire

IMG_4861Nothing better than fresh out of the package right? Young eager workers are easily consumed by companies like some sort junk food that they can’t get enough of. Some go stale quickly because they have a short expiry date … they start following the habits and procedures of status quo organizations to preserve crumbs of opportunity. Meanwhile those who aspire to be innovative, passionate, visionary, and leading without the approval of the the status quo are seen as stinky cheese by status quo leaders. I like stinky cheese. Stinky cheese people get riper (better) with age. JEEZ just think how those stinky cheese people would smell later in life?

Man do I smell RIPE!

I’m the Heretic Lemming.

Lead with thought.  Think before you jump!

Analog vs Digital Leadership

Analog-Vs-Digital-11-6-2013-1024x768

Think of it … there is a lot of writing about the gaps in the workforce especially between the Millennials and the Baby Boomers.  The Millennials are in vogue right now.  The ones to hire … on the cutting edge … a fresh young force ready and keen to change things.  Their fresh perspective on the world and how to tackle its problems is very passionate and most likely to challenge the status quo is akin to new leadership approach  …  call it ‘digital leadership’.

Now the old guys and gals on the block , the Baby Boomers, … well they know how things are … experienced and smooth … like the smooth waves of Analog waves.  They know the politics and know where their place is and will protect it … therefore, very status quo … call it ‘analog leadership’.

Now for some reason nostalgia must burn in the brains of Baby Boomers because they are always enamored by the drive and passion of Millennials.  Millennials are the children of the Baby Boomers and have been taught to question authority like they did back when they were youth.  Did the Baby Boomers forget their youth when they challenged authority and the status quo?   Maybe they want some of that Millennial drive and passion to rub off on them … like it is some sort of tonic to cure them of their current rigid standards.  Baby Boomers, being the parents of Millennials, try hard to be advocates of the Millennials but many have long given up their own fires of passion.   They frantically protect their reigns of power and most follow the status quo with tenacious zeal.   Status quo,  to the younger generations and especially to the Millennials, is inherently challenged on a daily basis.  Baby Boomers hold on strategic leadership positions while applying old-style leadership structures on the younger generations.  The Millennials BALK under the old antiquated leadership styles of the early 20th century … analog. They like a more agile style of modern more modest fresh leadership styles of the 21st century… digital.

Old leadership styles does not work well in today’s work force.  It causes friction and from what I’ve experienced, a higher risk of a dysfunctional work environment.  Toxic leadership styles tend to flourish on leadership styles of old.  Now how do we get the old analog and the new digital to work together?  Well there is a group rarely referred to nowadays adept in both styles.  They grew up on analog and were the first to master digital.  Literally they played and mastered records and were there to master CDs and digital when it surfaced in the 80’s.  They are Generation X.  Now the unique thing about Generation X is that they are old enough to understand, thanks to their own angst in the 90’s, the working style of the Baby Boomers.  Any successful Gen Xer fought hard to establish themselves under Baby Boomer analog leadership.  Since they literally were in charge of digital leadership from its birth, they are more ready to embrace new ways of thinking and are much more empathetic to the struggles of Millennials to understand analog forms of leadership.

But here is the ruse … the Gen Xers are the forgotten generation.  Just when the Gen Xers were about to come on the scene to make there mark, the Millennials have somehow stole their thunder.  Why?  The Baby Boomers refuse to let go of power so long that a generation of viable, talented and savvy generation has been skipped in the mindset of popular culture.  Rarely do you hear comparisons between Gen X and the Baby Boomers or Gen X and the Millennials.  Somewhat forgotten in media.  Now I read about “How are we going to bridge the gap between the Millennials and Baby Boomers” too much nowadays.  And here I sit as an unemployed Gen Xer and shake my head at how they have overlooked a solution that will help every organization in the western world … hire more Gen Xers!

Why?

  • They extensive experience with the old ANALOG form of leadership
  • They were the first to use the newer DIGITAL form of leadership
  • They are the communication bridge between the Baby Boomers and the Millennials
  • They are more receptive to new ideas vs the Baby Boomers
  • They are more loyal to a business vs the Millennials
  • Most are naturally hard working and have grit because many more years of experience under the Baby Boomer leadership
  • They are known to make the best managers vs other generations
  • Unlike the Baby Boomers … they have 15 to 20 years of work left.  This makes them the NATURAL  filter to transition from how the BABY BOOMERS used to do things (ANALOG) to how the Millennials know will work best in today’s work place (DIGITAL)

If our society continues to cut out the natural filter, Generation X, don’t be surprise that frustration rises, tempers flare, complaints of GAPS of understanding perpetuates between Millennials and Baby Boomers.  Analog leadership needs to be phased out with the retirement of Baby Boomers from leadership positions.   Digital leadership needs to be the new normal in leadership as more Millennials become leaders.   Who are the best to transition from the old to the new modern leadership styles?  The grand masters of Analog and Digital is Generation X.  They are the bridges of understanding that so many businesses are desperately seeking to cope with Millennials newer adept style in today’s work place.

If you are truly interested in getting into the nitty gritty leadership styles of each generation, I found a very interesting research paper from Authors Goh Han Teck and Jo Hennessey of Civil Service College of Singapore: Generations and Leaders

My ANALOG vs DIGITAL is reflected in this paper.  A very interesting read.  Here are a couple of generation comparisons from their study:

Screen Shot 2016-07-11 at 11.33.18 AM

Reference:

https://www.cscollege.gov.sg/Knowledge/Pages/Generations-and-Leadership.aspx

 

I’m the Heretic Lemming.

Lead with thought.  Think before you jump!

What If GOD Were An Introvert?

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It is my belief that  GOD does not give a DAMN how you worship, therefore, organized religion is just one person’s perspective on how to worship GOD … and we are assuming that GOD wants to be worshiped.  GOD is portrayed as an wrathful … sometimes very intolerant of other’s opinions … “my way or the highway” viewpoint … isn’t that kinda of an extroverted point of view?

What if GOD was really an introvert?  Let’s look at what GOD does ….

GOD, at least to some people’s point of view, is the creator.  Introverts tend to be more creative … so if GOD is literally the creator of everything … suffice it to say that he/she/it is more likely an introvert?  Yet the common mythology of GOD shows him as very EGO centric (the wrath of GOD … yada yada … and all that Jazz… “GOD! GET OVER YOURSELF! YOU CANNOT ALWAYS BE THE CENTER OF ATTENTION!”).

If GOD was an introvert, wouldn’t that explain his hands off approach to the world?  What if GOD just wants us to figure things out and governs the law of nature and living being lives from a servant leader perspective?  Strong leaders let their followers make their own mistakes so that they can learn from them.  They don’t chastise them to the point they are a afraid to make any mistakes.

Sometimes you think GOD has split personality … tolerant but vengeful.  Maybe he’s just having a bad day on those vengeful days … or maybe he has a bipolar disorder and needs his meds … WAIT!  HOLD YOUR LIGHTNING BOLTS GOD!  I know how your get easily PO-ed!  Thank GOD my GOD is not ZEUS!

What if GOD were humble, kind, generous, selfless?  Is this the GOD we see in our extroverted culture?

If GOD was an introvert, maybe there would be more humility in the world … more tolerance of others … less fear … more cooperation … more celebration of one’s differences and less emphasis in following the crowd for the sake of following the crowd.

GOD and introvert!  FUNNY I know!  There is no evidence in the history of the world that GOD is generally viewed other than an extroverted deity … but just think how many of society’s problems could be diminished or even solved if we worshiped a GOD that had an introverted personality.

Hmmm … amen.

I’m the Heretic Lemming.

Lead with thought.  Think before you jump!

HOPE! A Soul’s Forest Fire

FM houseHope … a trek across the nation.

Maritimes behind them … leaving their struggles behind.

We arrived … at Manhattan … but it’s not New York … it’s the name of the building.

Building smells … sewer smell often permeates the apartment.

Thin walls … shift workers … noises at all hour of the day.

Stressed family … crying children … neighbours threatening to call Child Services.

Hope … a brand new apartment building … on the edge of construction.

Neighbourhoods under construction viewed from the balcony of my new home.

Cement floors  … no furniture … uneasy sleep

… but the community cares … gift baskets … donated furniture … feelings of belonging in our new home.

Canada Day Parades … community pride … we are part of the community

Hot tempers … health issues … domestic dispute … policemen visit.

Hope … a brand new rented townhouse … 1st to live there … our place …

1st shower … leaking pipes … a building check missed … signs of rapid building in our community.

Daughter struggling … cruel kids … fearing that what they do not understand … tourettes … but kids don’t care.

Determination … resilient … very proud … my daughter is recognized and awarded by her school for her struggles.  Our family love of the community grows.

Family vacations … REAL family vacations!   Another trek … Jasper … Banff … Canmore … Calgary … Drumheller … Edmonton … then back up highway 63.

Hope … qualify for subsidy to buy a new house.  Surreal … I’m making over 100K … but money means nothing in this northern community.

Viewing … inspections … family approves … we moved in in April 2009.  A feeling of establishment in our forested community.

Another big family vacation … back to the Maritimes … for the 1st time since we left in 2007.

Family reunions … some good … some not …

It’s fall!  Girl Guides!  Daughter ostracized … leaders show no understanding of my daughter’s tourettes.

Pain … anger … a loss of faith.  People you’d  work with at the city decide your daughter’s fate.

Hope … the Aurora Choir!  My daughter sings with so many other girl and boys from the community.

The Olympic Flame … will visit our community before it reaches the west coast of BC.

Special preparations … excited choir … but not for my daughter … one leader and children’s parents decide to kick my daughter out of the choir … mere days before the Olympic Flame arrives in our community.

sadness creeps in … the community … does it really care?  More loss in faith ….

Hope … private singing lessons for my daughter to amend and fix the actions of those who did not understand.

The Olympic GAMES!   I’m watching Canada playing hockey in BC.

Tempers flare … loud voices … a trio of policemen arrive and stare …

A flinch … handcuffs on … pleas of understanding fail to reach the ears of a trio of policemen who don’t care.

Jail … my daughter is in jail!  All due to an innocent flail.

Pacing … pacing … outside of the jail … policemen hold my daughter in the bowels of the municipal building that I go to every working day.

Heart breaking … my mind turns … faith lost in the community … my soul … has a new hollow feeling about a community that took my family in.

Hope … My community … I still have my community at work that will help mend my damaged soul.

Elected officials plot … plan … to bring a hatchet man in … as they promise their staff that everything is OK with a sinister grin.

FEAR!  Patronizing talk … meetings of “father knows best” … rumours and tales abound of managers leaving … let go … with a muzzle like they were somehow the hound.

Clinging … desperate … trying to hang on as toxic waters swirled and drowned.

Hope … I tell my staff … no need to fear … only managers are being jeered.

Head hurts … always hurt … as my management team puts me in my place … preparing for my date with fate.

DESPAIR!  Lost my job … to my manager who wanted my job.  Lost of trust and faith … my soul scorched and writhing in agony.

Unemployment … PTSD … years looking for full time work … Diabetes 2 … and a heart attack too.  My long journey continues to heal my scorched soul.

I had a heart attack in late April … it runs in my family.  But as I watch the news about the Fort McMurray forest fire … I can’t help but feel my connection to that community.  Fort McMurray have resilient people.  I see people I used to work with on TV … people I worked with in meetings.  My heart suffered a hit … it changed me … made me think from a different new perspective.    I guess … more forgiving … more open … more honest.   Fort McMurray also took a hit … they are in the process of healing after the heart of city was threatened by a beast of a forest fire.  I’m hoping … going forward … that Fort McMurray will remember what made them great before, during, and inevitably after the fire.  This forest fire is a renewal for Fort McMurray … hopefully for a kinder community for families who are hoping for a better future there.

Ha Ha

Charlottetown HospitalHa Ha 2

“Nice day to walk the dog …”

Ha Ha 2

“What was that?  A skipped beat?”  Funny feelings …

Ha Ha 2

“Am I feeling anxiety?”

Ha Ha 2

Almost home … gotta check the mail …

Ha Ha 2

I’m home time for lunch.  Gotta see my doctor in one hour about my blood test.

Ha Ha 2

“There!  Lunch is made.”  A homemade roll from my mother and a roast beef sandwich.

Ha Ha 2

“That roll was good.  Geez … is this indigestion?”  I drink some water … the pain is still there … I drink more water …

Ha Ha 2

“Anxiety … this must be anxiety … after all I’ve gone to emergency before with the same sort of symptoms” … but this time it feels different somehow …

Ha Ha 2

I bite my sandwich nervously … I’ve lost my appetite … pain is still there.

Ha Ha 2

Don’t panic …. DON’T PANIC!  35 MINUTES UNTIL MY DOCTOR’S APPOINTMENT!

Ha Ha 2

Jeez!  Pain in my left arm … damn itIs this anxiety?  “What’s wrong?”  says my wife.  “Nothing (lying) … gotta go to my doctor’s appointment” … as I rush out the door to my car.

Ha Ha 2

Pain in my arm still there … “be calm” … I say in my head … must ignore slow drivers … “don’t panic” … I was not thinking of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy … although thoughts of continued life raced through my head … the number 42 was not what I thought of. “Geez!  Get out of my way!  Who gave you your driver’s license?  Captain Crunch?”

Ha Ha 2

Made it to my doctor’s office 15 minutes before my appointment.  “For the love of God!  The door is locked for lunch!  Damn it!”  The burning pain in my arm is still there!  “This has to be anxiety … do I call an ambulance? … I don’t want to pay for the ambulance.”  Being unemployed and lack of money puts foolish thoughts in your head.

Ha Ha 2

This is no laughing matter!  Am I having a heart attack?   All those other times … times my hypochondria over my heart … father’s side ripe with heart attacks  … I’d always go to emergency and find out it was just anxiety.  “Ow!  My left arm hurts when I lean on it!”  Stay calm … should I call an ambulance?”

Ha Ha 2

The door opens to the Diabetic Clinic early.  “Thank God!”  I ask for the receptionist if she had aspirin … “Sorry I don’t”.  One must has to be amused by the irony of no aspirin in this situation  … at least I did manage a smile in my head over this.

Ha Ha 2

5 minutes later … I’m talking to my Nurse Practitioner.  Not a doctor I know but that’s the best that could be done in my area … chronic shortage of doctors but she’s great!  Best “doctor” I’ve ever had!

Ha Ha 2

Tears are welling in my eyes … she asks how am doing … “Well you caught me at an interesting time.  I don’t know if I’m having a heart attack or not.”  I’m now 40 minutes into the initial signs.

Ha Ha 2

Somehow telling my nurse practitioner relieves the pain.  “Maybe it was anxiety again.” I thought.  “You should go to EMERGENCY.” She said.

Ha Ha 2

I took her advice.

Ha Ha 2

Nurses … meds … blood tests … x-rays … waiting … a doctor’s initial assessment.

Ha Ha 2

1st blood test says I didn’t have a heart attack.  But it takes 3 hours to show evidence of a heart attack in one’s blood.

Ha Ha 2

2nd blood test taken … waiting … more waiting …

Ha Ha 2

6 hours have passed since my incident … “it must’ve been anxiety … I can hardly wait to go home”I tell myself foolishly … sort of embarrassed that I had came to the hospital over anxiety AGAIN!

Ha Ha 2

Doctor walks in … sits down …. “… you had a heart attack but there is no evidence of tissue death.”

Ha Ha 2

“What?”  … the doctor made me focus on the circumstances.  There were differences in what I experienced this time … it did not really feel like anxiety I realized after being truly honest with myself.

Ha Ha 2

Meds … monitors … bings … pings … wires … nurses … blood tests … strange nightmares … uneasy sleep

Ha Ha 2

Days passed.  Then I was sent for a Dye test.

Ha Ha 2

Dye test done … monitors showed pictures my heart live on tv screens and they squirted dye into my heart to track and see source of the problem …  Geez I went to Broadcasting school but this is not what I signed up for.

Ha Ha 2

… within 10 or 15 minutes … the doctor explains that I had suffered a rather unique Heart Attack.  HA HA  THIS IS NO LAUGHING MATTER!  This is weird!  Somehow I had a heart attack that effects mostly women … mostly young people … young women … pregnant women … athletes.  I’m no athlete.  But there I laid in the hospital room where they performed the Cardiac Catheterization (Dye Test) and received news that I had Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection (SCAD).  Only 4% of heart attacks are SCAD.  90% of those are women.

Still not laughing but my perspective has changed.   Your mind is somehow shaken of all the useless stuff after suffering a health crisis.  I’m keen to get over it.  I’ve joined a help group on Facebook  to help … SCAD Survivors.  I’m getting a lot of initial support from other survivors.  I’ve also qualify for a special 3 years research project into SCAD causes.   Being a scientist at heart … I had no problem giving consent … might be fun to participate.

My life is on a new adventure.  One that I did not anticipate.  But don’t worry … I’ll still make observations of today’s society … it will just have a fresher newer perspective.  Grow with life … seek ways to make society better and don’t let others pull you down to less than of your full potential.

I’m the Heretic Lemming.

Lead with thought … think before you jump!

Forwarding Address Please!

 

MoxieI have a dog … a small dog.  She looks like an Ewok from Stars Wars when her fur is long.

Last year I had a bad habit.   I’d take my dog out and not pick up her do-do (number 2).  Hey it’s outside my rented house so who cares!  But my landlord wasn’t impressed and I could not blame her.  Me failing to pick up my dog’s do-do was a reflection of my laziness and my less than thrilled enthusiasm to pick up warm mushy stinking dog do-do freshly deposited at my feet.  Nothing beats the smell of dog do-do first thing in the morning.  But I must show my responsibility … my dog is a member of my family.  When my daughters had a dirty diaper, I’d change it.  Now there’s something that challenges the smell of dog do-do …. P-U!

This morning, with my hand still holding the warm bag of doggie do-do, I got a got another surprise.  There in the driveway behind my car was a neatly tied blue bag of dog do-do.  Not mine … I use grocery bags … not the “official” doggie bags.  RAGE immediately rises!  Lizard brain surges forward!  Then I calm down to a point and imagine the person who would think it appropriate to lob their dog do-do into my yard.  What do I think of such a person?  What perspective of that person do I have?

  • They do not have much consideration.  Their immediate needs come 1st.
  • They do not have much of a conscience.  Out of sight and out of mind!  “Not my problem anymore!”
  • They do not have the proper skills to take care of their dog.  I’d hate to see them with their kids … of course I’m assuming they had luck procreating with another sentient being.
  • They do not have much ambition … laziness must abound in that person’s life
  • They do not want the responsibility or hassle of taking care of “business” (or do-do).  Well you just made it my business … take your business elsewhere!
  • They do not want to be seen carrying a bag of doggie do-do.  SWALLOW your pride!  Please keep all do-do out of your mouth when you do this!  Such actions will cause GAGGING and intense GRIMANCING! 

Now let’s count the “dos” …. 6 … now pair them up …. Tie them up in some of my frugal pseudo doggie bags … “…beaver goes up and around the tree and back into the pond … ”  THERE!  3 bags of doggie do-do!   Now all I need is the address of the person who threw the doggie do-do into my yard this morning.  Damn!  There isn’t an address on the that bag!

Please!  The next time you lob your doggie do-do into my yard, please attach a forwarding address on the bag!  I will do you a favour and personally walk your doggie do-do to your house and return your “present” with 3 additional bags of do-do from my dog.

I’m the Heretic Lemming.

Lead with thought … think before you jump!

Am I a Glass of Water?

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Am I a glass of water?  I’m made of mostly water.   When you see me do I look like a puddle, a lake, a stream, an ocean?  Yes I hear you … do I see the glass half empty or half full?  Ah … yes … like many North Americans it’s hard to get through life without this quick personality analysis based on a 1st impressions and perceptions of one’s inner soul.  But what if I was not thirsty and said in my mind … “That glass is half full and I really don’t want to drink anymore”.   On the other hand I could be thinking … “That glass of water is half empty but I’m still thirsty … so I’m going to drink the rest”.

Wait a minute … you’re mumbling to yourself again saying that a half full glass means I see things positively and the half empty glass sees things negatively.  Well that’s a grand presumption!   Wouldn’t our upbringing, our society, our social group, our inner thought being, our soul determine the perception of how we see the water in the glass?  Can we lump every human being 50/50 (negative or positive) based on how they see that glass?  Based on what western society thinks?  Western society, being a mosaic of different cultures, cannot apply a unifying perspective like a half empty or half full glass of water.  This is way too simplistic to fully see who is front of you.   A person you just met. How about getting to know that person before applying a ‘perspective’ on that person?

We say “You shouldn’t judge a book by the cover”.  Doesn’t that fly in the face of the glass of water comparison on one’s attitude?  Seems contradictory.  Make up your mind society … are quick analyses the best approach to see the true value of a person in society in the long run?

We could view one’s birth as a full glass of water and one’s death an empty glass of water.  Full at birth, representing one’s potential in life; empty at death … since … well … you’re dead … not much potential there unless you see our bodies as future plant food.   If we’re plant food, you must be a Pollyanna.  Oops! I’m slipping into western thought patterns and judging you with societies’ zealous perceptions.

The quality of one’s water in our glass matters.  If we perceive the glass as only half empty or half full … how do we know if the water is fresh mountain water from a cool glacier or city water full of chlorine to kill the germs?  I’ll take the mountain water every day but what if the ‘mountain water’ person saw the glass as half empty?  Hmmmm … is that person still ‘negative’?  You’re missing out on a superior tasting water.  Meanwhile, the chlorinated ‘city water’ person’s water is less inviting to taste even though they are perceived as ‘positive’.  If you love chlorinated water, please forgive my analysis (love that taste of pool water in my mouth … mmmmmm).

Sometimes a quarter glass of water is worth much more than the full glass value of someone else.  Some people go around most of their lives with their cup of water and use it very sparingly.  They talk a great game about how great their water tastes to get you interested in their value and potential to you.  But once you offer to taste their water (hire, become a friend, marry, etc.),  … their like misers with their own water … afraid to use it … afraid to share their potential … because they have what they want now … a positive perception of themselves from you.  How often are those positive perceptions not spot on?   Are they hiding their own selfish ambitions, egos, fears or even incompetence?  Why do they not use their water?  Others are willing to share their water without a thought.  They want to use their water to grow somebody.  They don’t want to hoard their water and deprive others of it.  They know that sharing their water makes their water a precious gift especially to those who receive it.   They love seeing others grow their own positive self worth in society.

Perception shapes our reality everyday.  One should never settle on a perception as fact.  Perceptions without thought is a dangerous game.   Perceptions are not always reality.  You must verify your perceptions with some long term thinking.  Don’t be quick to judge with perceptions only because it could ruin a person and taint the quality of society especially when the person being perceived is narrowly viewed from the eyes of a stranger.  Have you’ve ever had an arch enemy turn out to be one of your best friends in life?   How good were your 1st impressions, your 1st perceptions of that person?

So am I a glass of water?  What are your thoughts?

I’m the Heretic Lemming

Lead with thought … think before you jump!

The Lion Leader

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Hey lemmings are not the only wildlife in the forest.  Recently, we had a LION as a leader.  Whenever he wanted something done he’d ROAR his orders.  If you didn’t follow he’d bare his teeth and fear you into compliance.  After all … he was a lion … and I was a snack if I did not follow.

He’d ROAR his orders … the animals would scurry and paid heed to the great king.  He and his fellow lions would keep close tabs on the animals to make sure it they crept out of line of where they were supposed to be in the forest they’d be forced back into place.  He would devour all dissenters.  He would only share food with himself or his closest followers.  But he struggled to lead.  He secretly feared losing his power over others.  He’d strike fear into animals by roaring.  When he roared, the animals listened … at least at first.  The more he roared, the quieter the forest got.  As his reign over the jungle continued he saw fewer animals of any kind … including his own lions that would approach him.  Most of the wise animals left the king’s forest … other’s that stayed were banished or muzzled since there was no room for any that challenged his authority.  After all, he was the “King of the Jungle” and that demands respect no matter what.

One day his pride got in the King’s way.  All their food was disappearing.  The forest was becoming empty and unable to support the pride.  The King of the Jungle was banished by his pride from the forest to a place that best suited his own pride’s needs.  In his place, a lioness known more for her gentle growling than roaring was made “Queen of the Jungle”.  Many animals feared the new Queen because of the old King but the Lioness did not see herself as the “Queen” of the forest. Instead …

  • She listened without devouring those who spoke to her
  • While she slept she let others lead in her behalf
  • She’d shared food with others; it was all about keeping the forest healthy
  • She’d protected all the animals, including the ostriches, from rumours and fears of things that threatened the forest
  • All decisions were announced on the open grasslands for all the animals to hear
  • She inspired other animals to lead whenever they could to share in the responsibility of leading.  Many of the best leading ideas were other animals under her reign.

When her reign ended, there was a sadness that crept into the forest but it was short lived.  The grand lioness had left a lasting impression on those left in the forest on how to live in harmony and happiness and especially on how to lead a forest effectively.

Recently, there have been ugly rumours from The Land of the Elephants of a new up and coming leader called “Elephant Trumpus” … but that’s a story I hope I won’t have to tell.

I’m the Heretic Lemming.

Lead with thought … think before you jump!

 

The Mystery of the Half Empty Strawberry Box

 

Have you entered a grocery store long after the stock was put onto the shelf? Sometimes what you’re looking for isn’t there. But sometimes you find a few items left. The produce isle can quickly run out of stock when a local produce is in “season” … like strawberries or blueberries. Sometimes you enter the store to a few boxes of your favourite boxes of berries left … even worse … one box … half empty. How did that happen? Hmmm? There is a group of people, and I’m not sure how big this group is, who have no feeling of guilt or moral scruple taking EXTRA berries out of one box and add extra to their own box! “WHAT THE?” I’ve seen it happen! And they are not your run-of-the-mill shop lifters. They are grannies, women, parents, … ordinary shoppers. For some reason their brain synapses are not firing on all cylinders. Somehow their moral conscience has taken a detour in reasoning since if their brain was on the right track …. it would be screaming “HEY! WHAT ARE YOU DOING? YOU’RE STEALING!” If you are one of these people … it is stealing. Depriving other honest people of the sustenance of delicious juicy berries is … well dishonest. “Well everybody else does it”, is something these stealthy thieves may proclaim. Not everybody does it so don’t use this as a defence.  Hmmm … I’ll be hiding behind the cabbage pile … watching you.