Aliens: Reds vs. Blues in the Capital City – Audio TidBits Podcast

I’m just down the block from the JLXX newsroom where the Capital City is back to normal after last night’s kerfuffle. Most of the Capital’s citizens are busily taking care of business with little notice of the disruption. It’s just status quo for them.


You can hear the usual hustle bustle with everyone having things to do and places to go. It’s just another day in the city.


Since the egg heads figured out how to keep the battle going without drawing more than a little blood, the red and blue forces can duke it out without interfering with the life of the city. Back when actual citizens were collateral damage, the red and blue thugs were more of a focus for the public but now it appears that almost no one much cares what the Capital City Leader and the reds and blues from the hill do so long as they just keep attacking each other.


Skip, I think you can hear the battle going on out there in the distance. Some of the action gets up this way now and then but mostly it stays out there where regular citizens don’t have to be bothered with it. You may be old enough to remember when the reds and blues worked things out in smoke filled back rooms but come to think about it, neither of us is that old.


I suspect the good old days are gone and aren’t coming back anytime soon. The shoot out just goes on and on.


It’s good that normal humans don’t have to understand what the deal is, or deal isn’t as things actually stand right now. The reds and blues along with the leader in the Capital City all claim that they are pro dreamers and don’t think the dreamers should get kicked out of the country, especially since this is their home and they don’t have another home to go to. Even so, they are bickering about whether the dreamers go or stay. The twist is that the dreamers have become a chip in the political poker game. Either that or they are the current best excuse for continuing the battle we hear out there.


The Capital City leader is digging in for his wall intended to shut off illegal immigration from and through Mexico. It’s his big chip in the game. He says Mexico will pay for the wall but we haven’t found any reds or blues who are all in on the wall although there may well be some. It’s hard to see why the blues don’t just call the bet. Just give the Capital City leader his wall and give in on the immigration rules some. Take him up on his offer to trade those concessions for the dreamers, children’s health insurance, and whatever else the blues can get. It’s just a onetime give of twenty billion or so. If the Capital City Leader can handle having most of the world laughing at him, why should the blues care.


It sure seems like the blues are digging in as much as the reds. So far, the shutdown isn’t too noticeable but will get more obvious if it goes on for a while. It does appear that the battle has picked up some and is definitely getting more explosive. Even so, business is business and can’t be bothered by anything no more consequential than a government shutdown. It is fueling the battle though. If we look very closely, we should see an uptick in broken pointer fingers.


Unless you have some real news Skip, let’s just keep it here for a few while we enjoy the calm city with the raging battle as a backdrop. The reds and blues are seriously going at each other. They are by far the most exciting pro teams in the city. It is great sport.


I suggest we just let this run for a few and then kick it over to the tune smiths for an interlude from the home planet. It will be good for all of us to relax and get our minds and attention away from the battle still raging out there.


Thanks Skip. I am out of here.


Brent Miller’s dog-and-pony show takes twelve minutes. When the lights are back up, Brent confidently asks if there are any questions.  This is his big mistake.


Ronda Simpson breaks the ice. “That was good, Brent. I at least understand your data better than I did in January.”


Brent smiles and says, “Given your twenty years as a manager, Ronda, I will take that as a compliment.”


Harold Stiner, Production manager, jumps in, “I know you have only been with us for a year, Brent. There are a few things you seem to be still struggling with. You want $150,000 to – what did you call it? – place two machines. Production keeps getting pushed to cut costs, and your boys in R&D want a hundred here and a hundred there.”


More interrupting than responding to Harold, Brent asks, “How much can we handle for this test installation?”


Harold imperceptibly tenses as he responds, “As far as I’m concerned, R&D wants to push up the cost unnecessarily. This will get the price up so high we may get stuck with the lot of them.”


Ronda smiles at Harold as he handles the new kid on the block and is quick to join sides against Brent. Ronda looks at Brent and fixes him with her famous stare. She delivers her equally famous admonition as if to one of her subordinates. “It may be back to the drawing board, Brent.”


Do you recognize the warriors in the conference room or does this sound like business as usual? Are the players productive and oriented to the goals of their company or are they pursuing their own agendas?


There are warriors at work.


Warriors are overly aggressive, insensitive, rigid, and have an unusual need to control people and situations. Understanding these characteristics is the key to effective counter play. Never giving an inch over anything, never letting anyone take advantage of them, and trying to take charge of everything are the essence of their play.


Next, warriors create a negative and emotionally charged environment for their game. Stepping on the feelings of others and being harsh and abrasive keep others off balance and preclude any personal involvements that might weaken or interfere with their game. It is important for them never to be in a situation where they have to deal with people as people.


Finally, warriors use arguing and a reputation for going to war over everything as a technique to keep others on guard and at an arm’s length. This fighting posture enables the player to defend his turf and to keep the game away from emotional or “feeling level” tricks. The game is and will remain a matter of who has the most muscle and the greatest willingness to go to the mat over everything.


What can you do?


Counter play is not complex. The key is to stay away from the usual technique of trying to get cooperation by showing the other person how cooperation will work to his advantage. With warriors, that is not an incentive to go along. Instead, the skilled counter player says, “If you don’t want to go along with me on this, I respect your choice. I thought I might be able to help you avoid the problems you are going to have over this. If they are not of concern to you, I have other things to do.”


For example, in the illustration Brent would do better using this technique with Harold than he does by getting into an argument. He can say, “Harold, I see your point about the price and appreciate your concern. Nonetheless, it may be better to test things out now instead of running the risk of your having to deal with irate customers. What do you think?”


As you develop a feel for pointing out negative outcomes to warriors, pulling it off depends on neither arguing nor reacting to hurting comments. No matter how cutting the barb, say, “Thank you for sharing that with me. My point is . . . .” If the player starts to argue over anything – and he will – passively listen until he stops talking. Now say, “My point is . . .” It is an exercise in being thick-skinned, not reacting or responding to the garbage.


Now you know and there you go.

Be Value Compatible … with a twist

They say that opposites attract. They are also the people who say that there is no accounting for taste. Who knows? That may be the same bunch that observed that if you spend enough time with most anyone, you will figure out some way to get along. Whatever the attraction, “values” are at the heart of it. For you and your significant other, there is something that keeps each of you in the relationship. Whatever it is, that is the attraction, what you value.

Although these points of attraction certainly represent values, They are not the value compatibility I am talking about. I am referring to those old fashioned values that preachers and politicians are so fond of discussing. What is right and what is wrong? What is good and what is evil? What do ethical people condone and what do they abhor? My simple point is that value compatibility is important and value incompatibility forecasts serious problems for anyone in a serious relationship. …

Agency Creation: Iteration Two

In Iteration One, we saw human services agencies are the end product of a complex process, starting with the action of the First Mover who sees people potential clients experiencing difficulty coping with their day-to-day circumstances. The First Mover recruits the Initiators who pursue auspices and associated resources through the Authorizers. The Implementers then develop the elements needed to create a human services agency where appropriate supports and services are available to the people who need them. The Providers then encourage use of the services by appropriate clients. If all goes well, potential clients are reclassified as clients, service provision proceeds, and the Helping Triangle is closed.

The First Mover and the potential client are at point “A” on the Helping Triangle. If developing a human services agency were not the preferred outcome, the First Mover could simply talk with the potential client and then do something they both thought might help. Instead, the First Mover turns away to enlist the assistance of the Initiators shown along the left side of the triangle. Even if potential clients participate in the Initiator group, and they frequently do not, there is a serious, potential misfit between the person/problem and the problem/solution. …

The Learning Process

Your children first discover and then experiment with what they have discovered. They then repeat the activity, action, behavior, or experience until they have either mastered it or determined it has no value for them. When your children achieve mastery, their knowledge and skills become conscious: they use the knowledge or skill when it is needed for the sake of something else. …

Aliens – Microphones & Cameras – Audio TidBits Podcast

Greetings Earth humans. There is an expression here in the America pod that we have come to understand, up close and personal, as you Earth humans have been known to say. We too have wise ones back on our home planet who sometimes feel compelled to sit us down and give us one of those attitude adjustments we have heard you mention now and then. No, we didn’t like it all that much at the time but are coming to appreciate that sometimes we really should listen to those who are wiser than we are.


Since we started broadcasting to you not all that many moon cycles ago, we have attended to the words, opinions, and pronouncements of our leader in the capital city, Congress humans, various politicians, and not much from anyone else. As the wise ones from our home planet pointed out to us, we have been treating the words and actions of these Earth humans as if they were truly important beyond the moment. We know that what these luminaries say and do matters and may make an actual difference but have failed to keep our perspective.


The wise ones from our home planet made a point that now seems obvious. Today’s talkers and doers who are getting most of the air time are only those who happen to be passing by the microphones and cameras today. There were different talkers and doers yesterday and will be still others tomorrow. What they say and do may appear to matter today but did not matter last sun cycle and likely won’t matter all that much come the next sun cycle. They are little more than place holders in the flow of life and living.


You are probably having a reaction to this that is very similar to the reaction we had when the wise ones from our home planet sat us down with the expectation that we seriously ponder what they were saying. Our first reaction started with yes but. It was really tough getting past yes but to simply yes.


We are not saying that we had a great ah ha moment and will never again get caught up in the moment as if it were the whole of reality but we are going to try to remember to remind ourselves that those who get to be the leaders today only seem bigger than life. It’s mostly an illusion generated by microphones and cameras. Few of them will say or do anything worth remembering next week or next year. The reality is that what they say is unlikely to matter more than a twit and what they do will only matter to the extent they are successful in getting others to go along. Even so, most of what they can and will do will be undone by the Earth humans who step up to the microphones and who pose for the cameras in future times.


Are you skeptical?


Try this.


First list the last five American Presidents. Now note one thing that each of them actually said.


If that is too tough, list one thing that the last American President actually said.


The wise ones from our home planet asked us to try this for our past leaders back home and we were embarrassed. We hope you do better than we did but are not optimistic.


There is another reality that deserves our thoughtful attention. There are Earth humans who do say and do in ways that make a difference, that are remembered. What we find most remarkable about this is that what they say and do are not the daily output from the microphones and cameras favored by the current political placeholders.


“I have a dream….


All men are created equal….


Do unto others….


People who live in glass houses ….


If it is to be….


We are also reminded that not all of the wise ones are like us nor do they come from our home planet. We do not hold the corner on wise and right. As one wise Earth human whose name seems to have slipped away observed,


Sometimes I have to stand on my head to see things as they are, when the world seems so upside-down that this is the only position in which anything makes sense.


Maybe we can all stand on our heads for a bit while we remember the wise ones and what they have taught us. They probably are not the placeholders who have the attention of the microphones and cameras today.


We are happy to share a tune from back home to serve as background while we all flip our focus and consider what really matters to us.

Extra: Delegating – Audio TidBits Podcast

When Do I Delegate And When Not?

This is fairly simple in principle but not necessarily simple in practice. Answering the question starts with understanding exactly what is being delegated and what it means to delegate. We do not delegate our accountability for outcomes. Whether the outcomes are successful continues to be our obligation even if we do delegate the job to someone else. We continue to be responsible for how the job is done and the results despite having delegated the assignment. We have merely gotten someone to help us do what we are committed to doing. We should delegate then, only when we either cannot do the job by ourselves or do not want to do it alone.

Delegation goes a little further though. Instead of just getting someone to help us, we ask them to do the job for us, on our behalf. They do the job as if we had done it ourselves. We do not do the job, supervise their doing it, or interfere in their work. We delegate the job and then back away and let them do what they have agreed to do. They are not an extension of us, they are a substitute for us.

The conclusion is thus to only delegate jobs when we are prepared to turn the job over to someone else and then wait on the results. The corollary is only delegating jobs to people who we trust enough to be held accountable for whether or not they succeed and in whom we have enough confidents to step back and wait.

Of course, we delegate enough authority to get the job done and assure sufficient resources are available or accessible to do what needs done. This means the job does not require authority only we or people above us have. The person to whom we have delegated the job does not need any further approval or authorization from us or anyone else. They have the authority and resources they need to succeed.

The next conclusion is we only delegate when the job does not require our level of authority to be done or our level of access to resources. The person doing the job does not have to come back to us for approval. If he (or she) does, we have not actually delegated the job.

There are a variety of arrangements among co-workers we use to further the interests of our companies and our customers. Delegation is only one of those arrangements. However, when we do delegate, we are saying, “Get the job done and let me know when it is finished.”

As we see, delegation is not a cooperative activity. Rather, it is more a matter of having enough trust and confidence in someone else to let him stand in for us and our willingness to be personally held accountable for the outcome he (or she) does or does not achieve.

Tuesday Caution – Audio TidBits Podcast

The fact of it is that Tuesday just does not have much going for it. Oh well, so much for Tuesday. There is a caution though. If you have a boss, beware. Tuesday is the all-time favorite day for bosses to do their boss thing. By Tuesday, they have pretty much figured out what they want to accomplish for the week and there you are with one of those Tuesdays and nothing much that absolutely has to be done today.

I think you get it. You don’t have to have everything spelled out for you. Even though there isn’t all that much to do next Tuesday, be prepared, especially if your boss will be anywhere close to where you are or if you have a phone or computer that can receive calls, messages, or e-mail.

The Great Mouse Hunt Emerges On Atar XIV – Audio TidBits Podcast

When we last joined our intrepid explorers on The Great Mouse Hunt, they had tracked the Great Mouse to Zombieland where The Great mouse was blending in with the local zombie population. The huntsmen were able to engage The Great Mouse in an intense battle but just as our aggressive hunting party sprung an explosive trap intended to finally capture or destroy The Great Mouse, the beast transmogrified and was gone from Zombieland.

We now find our eager adventurers deep in outer space where they have stalked The Great Mouse to Adar XIV near the outer boundary of the third galaxy beyond ours. Let’s wish our hunters good luck and hope for their final success. Please join me as I hold my breath and keep my fingers crossed anxiously awaiting the outcome of this, the most recent episode in the continuing saga of The Great Mouse Hunt.