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Monthly Archives: December 2015

5 Underrated Leadership Qualities That Will Serve You Well In 2016

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Victor Lipman ,

 CONTRIBUTOR

Forbes

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They’re not the classic high-octane leadership qualities we most often hear about: charisma, authority, the ability to inspire, and so on. But the following 5 underrated qualities can be of real long-term value in the day-to-day trenches of running an effective operation.

 

 

Calmness when making hard decisions

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It’s easy to make a decision but not always easy to make a good decision.  It’s easy to go off half-cocked, not always easy to stay rational and logical in the heat of the moment.  Hiring, firing, layoffs, conflict resolution, competition for scarce resources, and a multitude more… business never has a shortage of hard decisions.  If a really tough emotion-filled decision could wait – at least a little while – I always felt a constructive tactic was to “sleep on it” and see how all of the options appeared from a well-rested perspective in the light of a new day.

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Grace under pressure

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A first cousin of the “calmness” noted above.  The ability to perform well and with grace when times are hardest, popularized many years ago in the fiction of Ernest Hemingway, is extremely valuable in business (as well as war).  Anyone who’s been around business for a while has seen how employees respond to leaders who grow quickly and unnecessarily agitated – and has also seen the respect accorded leaders who keep their cool and do the right thing in stressful situations. Handling stress effectively is always a valuable executive quality.

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Consistency

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“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds,” goes the famous quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson. I don’t disagree – except to add that consistency canalso be an asset when it comes to the management of other humans.  Few qualities alienate employees more than leaders who go alternately hot and cold.  Enthusiastic and encouraging one day, then distant and aloof (often driven by the stresses they’re under) the next.  Employees want leadership they can count on.  Consistent behavior is the mark of maturity and self-confidence.  It engenders trust, and trust yields productivity.

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Persistence

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Very little of lasting value in business is accomplished easily, on the first try.  What usually matters far more is how one perseveres after disappointment.  There’s a great story of Thomas Edison’s reaction as he watched a massive fire destroy his plant.  “It’s all right,” he said remarkably calmly. “We’ve just got rid of a lot of rubbish.”  Undeterred, he quickly rebuilt, and had a terrific year the next.  While such legendary persistence may be hard to muster, even smaller doses will always serve one well.

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Judgment

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Call it “experience,” “seasoning,” “business savvy” – whatever the term, they all add up to judgment, that hard-to-define but critical ability effective leaders use to make decisions that most often yield positive outcomes.  With it, one’s opinion will often be sought. Without it, one may well not be in a leadership role long…

ARISTOTLE

Aristotle (ριστοτέλης Aristotelēs; 384 BC322 BC)

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was a Greek philosopher and a scientist.

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The greatest thing by far is to have a command of metaphor.

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This alone cannot be imparted by another;

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it is the mark of genius, for to make good metaphors implies an eye for resemblances

 

IRAQ – LIBYA – SYRIA – YEMEN

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                     THE U.S.?

THE U.S. CANNOT CLEAN UP THE DYSFUNCTION IN MIDDLE EAST COUNTRIES

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IT IS A CULTURAL ISSUE

AN OBSTACLE TO PEACE?

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CULTURE

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[kuhl-cher]

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1.

the quality in a person or society that arises from a concern for what is regarded as excellent in arts, letters, manners, scholarly pursuits, etc.

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2.

that which is excellent in the arts, manners, etc. 

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3.

a particular form or stage of civilization, as that of a certain nation or period:

Greek culture.

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4.

development or improvement of the mind by education or training.

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5.

the behaviors and beliefs characteristic of a particular social, ethnic, or age group:

the youth culture; the drug culture. 

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6.

Anthropology. the sum total of ways of living built up by a group of human beings and transmitted from one generation to another. 

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Biology.

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  1. the cultivation of microorganisms, as bacteria, or of tissues, for scientific study, medicinal use,

  2. the product or growth resulting from such cultivation.

     

                             verb

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8.

the act or practice of cultivating the soil; tillage.

9.

the raising of plants or animals, especially with a view to their improvement.

10.

the product or growth resulting from such cultivation.

 

verb (used with object), cultured, culturing.

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11.

to subject to culture; cultivate.

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12.

Biology.

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  1. to grow (microorganisms, tissues, ) in or on a controlled or defined medium.

  2. to introduce (living material) into a culture medium.

 

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DICTIONARY.COM

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JIM CROW

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                         Jim-Crow

or jim-crow

[jimkroh]

adjective

1.

favoring or supporting Jim Crow.

2.

for blacks only:

a Jim-Crow school.

 

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Jim Crow

or jim crow

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noun

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1.

a practice or policy of segregating or discriminating against blacks, as in public places, public vehicles, or employment.

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2.

Disparaging and Offensive. a contemptuous term used to refer to a black person.

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DICTIONARY.COM

 

 

 

Death Rates Rising for Middle-Aged White Americans, Study Finds

By GINA KOLATANOV. 2, 2015

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Dying in Middle Age

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Death rates are rising for middle-aged white Americans, while declining in other wealthy countries and among other races and ethnicities. The rise appears to be driven by suicide, drugs and alcohol abuse.

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Something startling is happening to middle-aged white Americans. Unlike every other age group, unlike every other racial and ethnic group, unlike their counterparts in other rich countries, death rates in this group have been rising, not falling.

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That finding was reported Monday by two Princeton economists, Angus Deaton, who last month won the 2015 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science, and Anne Case. Analyzing health and mortality data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and from other sources, they concluded that rising annual death rates among this group are being driven not by the big killers like heart disease and diabetes but by an epidemic of suicides and afflictions stemming from substance abuse: alcoholic liver disease and overdoses of heroin and prescription opioids.

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The analysis by Dr. Deaton and Dr. Case may offer the most rigorous evidence to date of both the causes and implications of a development that has been puzzling demographers in recent years: the declining health and fortunes of poorly educated American whites. In middle age, they are dying at such a high rate that they are increasing the death rate for the entire group of middle-aged white Americans, Dr. Deaton and Dr. Case found.

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The mortality rate for whites 45 to 54 years old with no more than a high school education increased by 134 deaths per 100,000 people from 1999 to 2014.

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“It is difficult to find modern settings with survival losses of this magnitude,” wrote two Dartmouth economists, Ellen Meara and Jonathan S. Skinner, in a commentary to the Deaton-Case analysis to be published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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“Wow,” said Samuel Preston, a professor of sociology at the University of Pennsylvania and an expert on mortality trends and the health of populations, who was not involved in the research. “This is a vivid indication that something is awry in these American households.”

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Dr. Deaton had but one parallel. “Only H.I.V./AIDS in contemporary times has done anything like this,” he said.

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In contrast, the death rate for middle-aged blacks and Hispanics continued to decline during the same period, as did death rates for younger and older people of all races and ethnic groups.

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Middle-aged blacks still have a higher mortality rate than whites — 581 per 100,000, compared with 415 for whites — but the gap is closing, and the rate for middle-aged Hispanics is far lower than for middle-aged whites at 262 per 100,000.

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David M. Cutler, a Harvard health care economist, said that although it was known that people were dying from causes like opioid addiction, the thought was that those deaths were just blips in the health care statistics and that over all everyone’s health was improving. The new paper, he said, “shows those blips are more like incoming missiles.”

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Dr. Deaton and Dr. Case (who are husband and wife) say they stumbled on their finding by accident, looking at a variety of national data sets on mortality rates and federal surveys that asked people about their levels of pain, disability and general ill health.

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Dr. Deaton was looking at statistics on suicide and happiness, skeptical about whether states with a high happiness level have a low suicide rate. (They do not, he discovered; in fact, the opposite is true.) Dr. Case was interested in poor health, including chronic pain because she has suffered for 12 years from disabling and untreatable lower back pain.

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Dr. Deaton noticed in national data sets that middle-aged whites were committing suicide at an unprecedented rate and that the all-cause mortality in this group was rising. But suicides alone, he and Dr. Case realized, were not enough to push up overall death rates, so they began looking at other causes of death. That led them to the discovery that deaths from drug and alcohol poisoning also increased in this group.

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They concluded that taken together, suicides, drugs and alcohol explained the overall increase in deaths. The effect was largely confined to people with a high school education or less. In that group, death rates rose by 22 percent while they actually fell for those with a college education.

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It is not clear why only middle-aged whites had such a rise in their mortality rates. Dr. Meara and Dr. Skinner, in their commentary, considered a variety of explanations — including a pronounced racial difference in the prescription of opioid drugs and their misuse, and a more pessimistic outlook among whites about their financial futures — but say they cannot fully account for the effect.

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Dr. Case, investigating indicators of poor health, discovered that middle-aged people, unlike the young and unlike the elderly, were reporting more pain in recent years than in the past. A third in this group reported they had chronic joint pain over the years 2011 to 2013, and one in seven said they had sciatica. Those with the least education reported the most pain and the worst general health.

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The least educated also had the most financial distress, Dr. Meara and Dr. Skinner noted in their commentary. In the period examined by Dr. Deaton and Dr. Case, the inflation-adjusted income for households headed by a high school graduate fell by 19 percent.

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Dr. Case found that the number of whites with mental illnesses and the number reporting they had difficulty socializing increased in tandem. Along with that, increasing numbers of middle-aged whites said they were unable to work. She also saw matching increases in the numbers reporting pain and the numbers reporting difficulty socializing, difficulty shopping, difficulty walking for two blocks.

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With the pain and mental distress data, Dr. Deaton said, “we had the two halves of the story.” Increases in mortality rates in middle-aged whites rose in parallel with their increasing reports of pain, poor health and distress, he explained. They provided a rationale for the increase in deaths from substance abuse and suicides.

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Dr. Preston of the University of Pennsylvania noted that the National Academy of Sciences had published two monographs reporting that the United States had fallen behind other rich countries in improvements in life expectancy. One was on mortality below age 50 and the other on mortality above age 50. He coedited one of those reports. But, he said, because of the age divisions, the researchers analyzing the data missed what Dr. Deaton and Dr. Case found hiding in plain sight.

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“We didn’t pick it up,” Dr. Preston said, referring to the increasing mortality rates among middle-aged whites.

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Ronald D. Lee, professor of economics, professor of demography and director of the Center on Economics and Demography of Aging at the University of California, Berkeley, was among those taken aback by what Dr. Deaton and Dr. Case discovered.

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“Seldom have I felt as affected by a paper,” he said. “It seems so sad.”

 

A PERSONAL COMMENT:

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IT IS TIME TO WITHDRAW FROM A SOCIETAL ‘CULTURE OF OPTICS’ DEFINED BY:

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“WHAT I OWN IS WHO I AM”.

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“WHO I AM” IS LOCATED RIGHT BETWEEN OUR EARS – NOT IN RETAIL STORES.

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A GOOD START INCLUDES EDUCATION AS A NATIONAL PRIORTY.

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RESPECTFULLY,

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DAN ZWICKER

“OUT OF THE MOUTHS OF BABES”

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This 14 Year Old Wrote A Simple Poem That Has Left The World Stunned.

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Read the poem once through first…

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Our generation will be known for nothing. Never will anybody say, We were the peak of mankind. That is wrong, the truth is Our generation was a failure. Thinking that We actually succeeded Is a waste. And we know Living only for money and power Is the way to go. Being loving, respectful, and kind Is a dumb thing to do. Forgetting about that time, Will not be easy, but we will try. Changing our world for the better Is something we never did. Giving up Was how we handled our problems. Working hard Was a joke. We knew that People thought we couldn’t come back That might be true, Unless we turn things around

Now read the poem again… backwards.

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Unless we turn things around That might be true, People thought we couldn’t come back We knew that Was a joke. Working hard Was how we handled our problems. Giving up Is something we never did. Changing our world for the better Will not be easy, but we will try. Forgetting about that time, Is a dumb thing to do. Being loving, respectful, and kind Is the way to go. Living only for money and power Is a waste. And we know We actually succeeded Thinking that Our generation was a failure. That is wrong, the truth is We were the peak of mankind. Never will anybody say, Our generation will be known for nothing.

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Just by reading the poem in the opposite direction, the entire sentiment surrounding it took a complete turn from despair to hope. Jordan’s wisdom and positive outlook is worthy of admiration – we think this young man has a bright future ahead of him.

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“out of the mouths of babes”

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This 14 Year Old Wrote A Simple Poem That Has Left The World Stunned.

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Here is the full online version

http://pulptastic.com/jordan-nic