I love being an American. I love our Nation and all it stands for. I spent 35 years of my life protecting our freedoms and our way of life.
I am concerned about many things, however. One is that we as a Nation have a short term memory. Last week was the 14th anniversary of 9/11, and day when we as a Nation were attacked on our very own soil and over 3000 Americans lost their lives. In many cases, the day passed as just another day.
Many Americans have forgotten that dreadful day. They seem unaware of the fact that the folks who attacked us on 9/11 are still out there, and they still hate us. They hate our democracy and our ideals, and they have dedicated their lives to destroy us as a Nation. The only way we keep that from happening is to continue to take the fight
I believe that there is strength in diversity. We as a society should embrace diversity, and not shrink away from it. Celebrating diversity provides for an environment where many different thoughts and ideas come into play. When I visit with corporate and community leaders across the Nation, I am always looking closely at their “inner circle”, the folks closest to them. If those folks look just like the leader it is an indication of a potential problem. There is a lack of diversity.
On a larger scale, I continue to find myself worried about the future of our Nation. Unfortunately, there are elements in our society who want to emphasize divisiveness over diversity. They want to drive a wedge between us. I saw this in Iraq during my service there. Folks there committed specific acts of terror to inflame tension between the Iraqi Shias and Sunnis. We can’t allow that
It has been said that the hardest thing about getting a new idea in, is getting the old idea out.
That is what is going on now in the US Army. Two female Soldiers have successfully completed the most challenging course the Army has to offer – US Army Ranger School. They are to be commended for their efforts. They knew how difficult the course was going to be, but they volunteered to attend anyway and accepted the challenge. They worked thru very difficult tasks and situations, and then successfully completed the course. I am very proud of them.
I am disappointed, however, that folks can’t (or won’t) accept the fact that they competed the course successfully. There is way too much negative traffic on social media today. Some folks allege that the US Army lowered their standards at Ranger School so that the female Soldiers could graduate. I don’t buy
The Army sent me to MIT in 1985 to study robotics, and I have had a passion for that technology ever since. Over the past 3 decades the technology continues to evolve at an amazing pace. The question is whether or not we as a society are taking advantage of that technology.
My passion is to use robotic technology to remove human beings from dirty, dull and dangerous tasks. From a military perspective, unmanned systems could be sent into harms way in place of the Soldier. Many dangerous tasks, like ground surveillance, route clearance, and convoy operations could all be performed by unmanned systems. If the system gets destroyed, it can be replaced. A human life cannot be replaced.
From a civilian perspective, the same thing holds true. The most pressing case is in law enforcement. Let’s develop unmanned systems that allow police officers to “send in the robot” first….before exposing
Individuals and organizations that want to excel must always do their very best. Everyone within the team must perform to his or her maximum potential everyday. This includes all aspects of our society: Family, churches, corporations, government, etc.
To get folks to work up to their maximum potential, leaders must be demanding. They must set high standards for both themselves and their partners / employees, and then demand that folks work to achieve those standards. And…once those standards are achieved they should “raise the high bar” and demand that folks attain those results as well. That is the essence of high performing organizations, always doing better. As Robert Browning once said “ A man’s reach should exceed his grasp”.
To do that, leaders must carefully communicate what the standards are, and what the expectations are for employees to achieve those standards. To be an effective leader, constant communication is critical. There
Why is it that some folks come out of difficult / dangerous situations devastated, and others come out enriched? I argue the difference is resiliency. Spiritual, physical, emotional, financial resiliency. Resiliency is defined as the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties. It is not some abstract concept. It is something that can be pursued, and obtained.
To be resilient, folks must have a belief in some greater good. They must be assured that there is something out there that will help them thru difficult times. That is a personal decision, For me, I am a Christian. I study the Bible everyday and believe what God’s Word tells me. I ask God daily for the strength, courage and wisdom to do what He wants me to do that day. Joshua 1:9 tells me “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will
Sarah and I traveled to Gatesville, TX to participate in a Memorial Service for her brother-in-law. I delivered the message as part of the service. This was the tenth memorial service I participated in in the last 3 years, all for Family and Friends.
As I looked out in the audience, I saw lots of faces with regrets. They wished they had spent more time with him. They wished they had told him that they loved him more. They wished they had “mended fences” over some silly argument from times past.
I am always frustrated when I hear folks talk about tomorrow. They tell me, “I’ll call my brother tomorrow and tell him that I love him”, or “I’ll visit my parents tomorrow”. They emphasize the fact that they will work hard today (and maybe neglect their Family) but they will make it up to them – tomorrow.
The problem with that
Sarah and I travel a lot, both inside and outside the US. The trips allow us the opportunity to see things outside of our own community, and I am not sure I like what I see.
I worry about the direction our Nation is taking, especially when I see other countries. We just returned from a week long vacation in Ireland. The country was immaculate. The people were friendly and welcoming. I never saw a police officer the entire time I was in Ireland, but everyone felt safe and secure.
Thomas Friedman wrote a book entitled “That Used to be Us”. Generally, the book compares the way our Nation used to be, the way it is, and the way it should be. We must all ask ourselves “Are we where we want to be as a Nation?” If the answer is no (and I think it should be), we must ask
It is amazing to me how many folks in senior positions get themselves in touble because they don’t take the time to think before they speak. It’s like they can’t help themselves. In the words of Plato” “Wise men speak because they have something to say, fools because they have to say something.”
I like the acronym THINK. Analyze what you are going to say, before you say it. Is it True? Is it Helpful? Is it Inspiring? Is it Necessary? It is Kind? If we would all just take the time to ask and answer those questions…..and then act appropriately, we would have a better world.
A lot of what we hear senior leaders saying these days is just downright inflammatory. I am not sure if they are saying it just to get press coverage, or spark conversation….but it is just plain wrong.
Let’s all pause and remember the words of