Veterans: Few and Proud I Know

Admiration from Afar

The 2010 Census recorded 21.8 million veterans in the United States. As I pondered for this post, it struck me humble how few Vets I know personally. I mean there are acquaintances and friends-of-friends who Served.  And no doubt others in my purview are Vets, but I am unaware of it. Still, my first hand exposure to this Honorable Lot is few and far between.  I am not at all connected.

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Getting Real about Workforce Diversity

Speech transcript on “Real About Diversity” first delivered to the Tri-State Human Resource Management Association Diversity Program (October 26, 2012). Learn more about this keynote & view presentation slides here.

Until I did it for me

I ponder the numbers a lot these days. —25 years of distinguished service in human resource management, overseeing employment of thousands of people.  Yet I never came across a job candidate who was deaf or hard of hearing that was apparent or known to me.  And I never, not even once, directed workplace accommodations or otherwise assisted an employee who I knew to be deaf or severely hard of hearing. Of that great honor, I had zero experience.

Until I did it for me! Since losing hearing in June 2010, I served as Vice President of Human Resources and lived the experience in the workplace.  Oh what humble paradox that this was my stock-in-trade!

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Leadership Writing Precisely

Sharing with Passion

There is high merit to sharing ideas with passion.  The Internet has cinched it. It levels the playing field for thought leaders from all walks of life. Less appealing is the Followers game.  On Twitter it is accounting by Retweets, Mentions and, well, Followers.  On Facebook, the chase is for Fans, Likes, Comments and Shares. LinkedIn buzz  speaks of Contacts and Connections. Google + implores ever widening Circles.

Our leadership egos are mesmerized by this provocative numbers game. We demand to be heard.  The more followers, me thinks, the better.

If wisdom by diversity is the promise of our time; then information overload is the malady.

The problem, of course, is that finite human attention spans are not captivated by Tweet-sized bullets. If wisdom by diversity is the promise of our time; then information overload is the malady.  Leaders need not count followers. We must influence them. I don’t want people clicking on my blog or glancing at it. I write because I want them to read it!

Writing True to Yourself

And I trust that Retweets will come when I have something worth shouting (er… chirping) about. Success is measured by the quality of our prose and it’s personal impact on any one reader.  In Facebook parlance, we prefer quality Comments over quantity Likes.

Oh, I admit, the topic of my flair is not, at all times, joyful.  Happy yap is not my style.  I write to myself to be true to myself, not to reflect on the proverbial bright side. But the act of composing, regardless of subject matter, is always uplifting.  So I win positive no matter what.

And when our message is true to ourselves, it smacks genuine to other people too.  So now they read.

Attraction Not Promotion

Of course, I am not against positive inspiration. There is much glitter on the bright side of life.  But so-called optimism is too often something that we promote.  It’s a ploy to get your happy attention.  It implores what we should feel; rather than what we do.  Thus it does not attract.

Staunch acceptance of reality attracts.  Deep belief that life has meaning and purpose attracts.

Staunch acceptance of reality attracts.  Deep belief that life has meaning and purpose attracts.  And when the human spirit prevails over stark pain and forbidding hardship– that’s the stuff of epic attraction.  No promotion required.

Precisely Why I Write

Finally, I am honored by people who take time to read my Blog.  It is my newest passion to study their good work in turn.  A while back, I was perusing the website of a Commenter to one of my  posts.

I don’t know him from Adam.  But he read my stuff, so I went to read his.  It looks like his schtick was home base business opportunities and my most recent attempts to evoke the connection now only yields an infamous “404 Error.”  But I do remember this quote from his website, which I have not be able to attribute since:

Things haven’t always been easy but I learned that those who lead through darkness shine brightest for others.

And that, above all things, is why I write. Precisely!

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Don’t You Dare Apologize!

Humbling Down Disclaimers

People insist to say that, if they had to do it all over again, they wouldn’t change a thing. But that, of course, isn’t true of anyone.

Humbling down the opposite position ain’t all that remarkable either.  Good leaders reflect self-critically, readily admit mistakes and strive open-mindedness–all good.  But too often we pride ourselves in paradox about our own humility.  What folly it is to proclaim our worse flaws and dredge up our biggest mistakes as if it were an honorable expression of self-honesty.

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