Tuesday, January 28, 2014


We have become so jaded and cynical in the last 50 years that certain critical distinctions are very commonly dismissed or ignored, altogether.   I’d like to address two of the many.  One is the difference between leadership and manipulation, and the other is the difference between a team and a gang.


This is not about skills or methods.  It’s a comparison of leadership to manipulation.

I don’t know how many times I’ve heard coworkers say leadership is a myth – a con game to sucker people into doing what’s good for the company.  I’ve sat with these people in some pretty decent workshops on leadership and team building and seen them tune the speaker out, pretend to read the written material, and blow the whole thing off as a bad joke.  This is partly because  there are many more really sorry workshops on these subjects, and people have just had it up to there with over-intellectualized baloney.  I get that.

In reality, though, there is a huge difference between leadership and manipulation.  Some of the mechanisms are the same, and when a person studies leadership, there is a moment when they realize they have an incredibly powerful tool - one that can be used for good or evil with equal ease, like a gun or a claw hammer.

Quite simply, leadership is getting them to do, for their own benefit, things they would not otherwise do.  Manipulation is getting people to do, for your benefit, things they would not otherwise do.

The problem is that the question of who is benefitting has been made unnecessarily confusing.
An awful lot of people have been taught an exclusive model of benefit.  That is, they can’t grasp that something could be of benefit to them and to another person, especially if that person is their employer.  The exclusive model of benefit (and that’s a term I just made up.  I don’t know if there’s another, better term.)  is the result of generations of statist influence in schools, especially colleges.  The Left has done a great job of brainwashing the American people into thinking anything that benefits a business owner will automatically screw them.  It’s the “pie” model vs. the “farm” model.   A farm can produce more and more if it is worked right, but there’s only so much pie, and a piece you get is a piece I can’t get.

Let me pose a few questions. Is it to your benefit if your employer is successful?  How about if his profits increase?  How about if they decrease?  There are no guarantees in life, but will you have a better chance of getting a raise if the company is making more money?   Will you have a better chance of getting a raise if you are contributing more to the company.  Actually, there is one guarantee: if your boss goes broke, you definitely don’t get a raise!

The objective of any business is to make money.  Professors and management consultants will tell you different, but they lie.  Of course there may be any number of secondary objectives that contribute to it, but the greatest objective of any business is to make money.

Let’s leave that lay right there for a minute and talk about objectives.  There is a specific term for an organization that has several members, each of whom plays a specific role in achieving the organization’s objectives.  That term is “a team.”  Let’s say the objective is to win football games.  Each of the 11 men on the field has a specific role to play.  Each must perform his assigned task, and stay within the rules of the game.  Because the objective is known, and each member autonomous, a leader can bring them together, motivate them, and help them channel their effort so the team wins games.  Winning is good for the individuals and for the organization - in the case of football, the school or the franchise owner.

That’s a critical point:  leadership requires an objective toward which the group can strive.  Sometimes, a leader can help the group set an objective, but leadership and objective go together.  If there is no objective – that is, if there is no real point for the group’s existence, how can anyone lead them?  To where would you lead them?  To what purpose?

As silly as it sounds, there are a great many organizations that don’t have an objective.  They have processes, or rules, but no objective.  Their sole reason for existence is to follow those processes.  Nobody knows where they are going, and nobody cares.  The only thing they care about is following those processes.  Imagine a football team with no field and no goal line.  What would they do?  How could they play?  There is actually a very good, real world example of a group that exists to follow processes with no regard to where they might end up.  Such a group is called “a gang.”

The gang requires members to wear certain garments, make certain hand signs, drive certain cars, have certain types of nicknames, scribble graffiti in specific fonts and colors, associate only with certain people, and a jillion other things.  Notice that none of these things have an objective beyond themselves.  As long as you wear the right colors, you’re cool.  Break the process, and you have a problem.  The only one who could possibly benefit beyond that is the boss; he (or she) gets the glory, the fame, the adulation, and usually first pick of the loot.  Hence, the boss of a gang is not a leader, but a manipulator.

A fixation on process to the exclusion of objective is one of the defining traits of a gang.  It makes leadership not only superfluous, but impossible.

The current version of the Republican Party is a gang.  They are fixed on following processes – wearing the right mantle, using the right phrases, sucking up to the right people – to the utter exclusion of any kind of objective.  They don’t care what happens to the country as long as they have good seats in the bus that is going over the cliff.  They are obsessed with straightening the deck chairs on the Titanic.  There may be real leaders in the party, but until the party finds an objective to pursue, we’ll never know.  And I can’t tell that they are even looking.

27 Jan., 2014

Saturday, January 11, 2014


There is an aspect of compromise that is generally overlooked, especially by those who hold compromise up as a moral imperative.  It is simply this:  If you are winning, why would you want to compromise?

Let’s define our terms here, because words really do mean things.  Compromise is NOT discussing differing opinions and selecting the best one.  It is not even discussing differing opinions and selecting the best parts of each and combining them into a much better synthesis.  These are simply rational operations.  If two people disagree on the best way to do something, and one of them realizes the other really does have the better idea and adopts it, it is NOT compromise!

Compromise is when two people hold different, or contradictory ideas.  They take some parts of one and some of the other, and produce a mongrel atrocity that hasn’t a chance in hell of working.  In economics, for example, one person might say, “The free market is the best and only solution to the unemployment problem,” and another might say, “No, the free market caused the problem; the only solution is government control of the market.”

The imperative of compromise says that each person must give away something of his own position.  The result is usually something like, “We’ll let businesses with more than 1,000 employees charge whatever they want, but smaller businesses will be controlled by the government,” or, “Instead of granting amnesty to 30 million illegals, like we want, or to none, like you want, we’ll grant it to 15 million.”   Each person must put up with something they consider thoroughly evil and unworkable.  The result is a bastardized monstrosity, and when it fails, both sides say it failed because of too much pollution from the other side.

It is precisely like arguing over the amount of rat poison to put in a pot of soup – and at this level of discussion, it doesn’t matter which side of this argument is considered rat poison.

Compromise is agreeing to be raped if the rapist will use a condom.  It is agreeing to give a robber some of your money, or a politician some of your freedom.

So.  Back to compromise as a tactic of the loser.

If you truly believe that you are right, and that you can win an argument, contest, or election, would you go to your opponent and say, “Hey, your ideas are insane bullpoop, but I want to let a little of it into my plan.”  Of course not.  If you are holding a winning hand, there’s no way you’d go out of your way to give the other guy a break, at least not on a major point of principle.

When someone calls for compromise, you know immediately that they don’t think they can win the whole thing, and are hoping to sucker you into letting them have a little bit.  Next time, they’ll get a little bit more, and a little bit more, and so on, until they’ve got the whole thing.  If they’re losing anyway, any little thing they can get is a victory for them.  Think about that.   The power held by the statists today was never once granted because they were wholly right.  They got it because the other side gave it to them, a little at a time, through compromise after compromise.  That’s right.  They have NEVER been right; they have only been canny.

Truth and right need never compromise.

Obviously, this is a two-edged sword!  If the statists have the winning hand, you better believe they won’t compromise, because they understand this business.  That is what happened with the sequester and the later shutdown.  The statists knew they could not lose in the long run because their propaganda machine would turn the entire nation against those who tried to hold the line.

To reject compromise altogether is a very brave thing.   You are saying, “It will either be my way or your way, but you’re not going to get my sanction for your idiocy by including some trivial aspect of my idea.” 

It is this courage of convictions that is so pathetically lacking in the Republican leadership.  They are scared to death of losing everything.  They honestly believe, apparently, that if we agree to eat some rat poison on issues where WE have power, the Democrats will agree to eat some when THEY have power.  Unfortunately, the Democrats know how this works, and while they will give every assurance of future poison-eating, they have no intention of actually doing it.  So we eat a little poison – we accept a little of the anti-life Democrat program – and a little more, and a little more, until one day, there is no food left, and it’s all poison.

As long as we are living with this half-assed whatever it is, the propaganda mill will keep telling people it isn’t working is because of the capitalistic pollution forced on them by those Tea Party radicals.  The people, being the result of a hundred years of compromise in education, will believe it, and vote accordingly.  The only solution is to force this nation to accept one set of ideas in its entirety.  The people will then be able to see what works and what doesn’t.

The alternative is to refuse to compromise on ANY principle.  Make them do it all their way, which will be a catastrophe, or accept it all our way.  The problem with this is that their way is not survivable, and they’ll never willingly go along with doing it all our way.  We have compromised over and over, until we have arrived at the point where no more is possible.  At the present time, the statists have the upper hand, and it looks like we’ll be trying things their way for a while.  That means, unfortunately, that they will do their best to destroy our means of ever regaining control and trying it all our way.  If they are successful in this, freedom will be banished from the world, and our children for generations to come – until He returns – will live as slaves of the drooling mob.

There are only two courses of action available to us:  to go along with whatever they drive down our throats, or to abandon the constitutional process and force the issue by a passage of arms. 

This is not a new choice.  We have never had more than these two courses.  If we reject compromise, altogether, we will be forced to live under statist tyranny or resist it by whatever means are necessary.

If we continue to accept compromise, we will be forced to live under statist tyranny until we can no longer endure it, and rise up.  But by the time we rise up, our strength will have been largely compromised away. Our chance of victory will be slim.

11 Jan., 2014