The Art of the Interview

It doesn’t taken long for incompetence to expose itself in a workplace. Particularly when the incompetent one sits at the very top of the organization. The inability to manage a budget, mitigate risk, think strategically, effectively communicate a shared vision, establish clear roles and responsibility with aligned standards of accountability, and engage your workforce is typically readily apparent within a few months of transition.

The first test for any new leader is team building. The need to recruit a team to implement a sustainable and cohesive organizational structure that will support the Executive’s central mission. This requires extreme vetting of a pool of qualified candidates; extensive interviewing until you are confident in your selection. A poor choice at the senior levels may cripple a project and place it in a permanent state of reactiveness, and at heightened risk for catastrophe.

One would assume that those who elected our CEO President did so thinking he’d excel in this area. Trump even told would be supporters not to worry about his lack of experience because he was going to surround himself with great minds. Experienced leaders he would rely on to guide him in international affairs, and matters of economic and domestic politics.

We all know how this has turned out but who are we to judge? Let’s instead review Twitler’s own timeline to get a true sense of how spectacularly awful Trump is at team building and routine vetting. Let’s for a change assume Trump is being truthful in the way he describes the character of those HE placed in control of the national security of this country and entrusted with our most sensitive secrets.

Let’s start with National Security Advisor John Bolton who according to Trump had a reputation for being a “wacko” and a man who “likes dropping bombs on people, and killing them.” Trump goes on to now describe Bolton as a man “who was all washed up until I brought him back and gave him a chance.” Next time perhaps hiring a “sick puppy” who was fired by President Bush for “incompetence” to lead our National Security team isn’t the greatest strategy.

Remember Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Trump now describes him as a man who is “dumb as a rock and totally ill prepared and ill equipped to be Secretary of State.” Even worse he lacked “the mental capacity needed” for the job and was “lazy as hell.”

Makes you wonder what type of interview process took place.

“We are substantially subsidizing the Militaries of many VERY rich countries all over the world, while at the same time these countries take total advantage of the U.S., and our TAXPAYERS, on Trade,” Trump wrote in a series of tweets. “General Mattis did not see this as a problem. I DO…” Trump went on to rage that “Mattis was our Country’s most overrated General. He talked a lot, but never “brought home the bacon.” He was terrible!”

It’s true you and your leadership team won’t see eye to eye on every vision, but a shared sense of vision is one of those things that should be confirmed with your incoming Secretary of Defense.

The man he selected to defend and enforce our nation’s laws as Attorney General is “mentally retarded. He’s this dumb Southerner…(who) couldn’t even be a one-person country lawyer down in Alabama.” Turns out Sessions had a nasty way about him and lacked transparent communications as evidenced by his subsequent refusal “to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job and I would have picked somebody else,” Trump said.

You’d have thought he’d have learned the art of the interview in business school but alas.

Then there’s The Mooch and “Wacky Omarosa,” also known as the “highly unstable nut job” he hired as his Communications Director and the “not smart, lowlife” who served as Advisor.

Which is better than the man he nominated to serve as Chair of the Federal Reserve, Jay Powell who Trump questioned by tweet, “who is our bigger enemy, Jay Powell or Chairman Xi?”

Yikes, talk about a bad hire.

The list goes on and on. By his own admissions it is clear that Donald Trump is incapable of performing the most basic job requirements of a Chief Executive. That our country is now ravaged by an uncontrolled pandemic, racially divided and headed down a path of insolvency and low morale is the inevitable result of what happens when you leave an ineffective or immoral leader in place.

This isn’t going to get better with time. Incompetency breeds incompetence. In fact the Mooch himself said it best in describing another former Chief of Staff Reince Preibus, “the fish stinks from the head!”

Indeed it does. The quicker you lop it off the faster the grown ups get back into the room

The Story of Pompeii

Featured

Many of us are familiar with the story of Pompeii. The Italian city built in the shadow of and ultimately buried in the destruction of Mt. Vesuvius. Prior to the volcanic eruption Pompeii was a bustling resort town and home to many of Rome’s most enlightened citizens. Though residents of Pompeii were long aware of their volcanic neighbor and the volatile threat it posed they took for granted that they would survive any eruption.

The city flourished and grew even as the risk of explosion grew. More than 15 years prior to its fateful eruption Vesuvius rumbled triggering a powerful earthquake in the nearby town. Yet through acrobatic displays of cognitive dissonance and incredible displays of hubris the residents remained steadfast in their belief that they were safe from the dangers bubbling beneath the surface and the city continued to grow.

Even in the midst of the powerful eruption that took place in 79AD residents of Pompeii had time to flee yet faced with an unconventional threat they failed to understand the immediate dangers that lay ahead. The folly of their ignorance cost them their lives. Within days of its eruption, the city buried in ash and molten lava.

Centuries later the city was remarkably excavated. It’s people preserved in ash for history to note the expression of surprise on the faces of the deceased as they were suddenly faced with the reality of their situation.

Americans take note of this cautionary tale. Like Pompeii our traditional checks and balances are no match for the unconventional threat we face. Though the risk in front of us may be made of flesh and blood the risk is no less real. The destruction left behind will be no less predictable or deadly.

The caravan of corruption and criminal enablers now in control of America have no care for tradition, precedent or the rule of law. As a nation we need to accept a basic premise. The fight to save our Republic must not wait until November 2020. The constitutional crisis is here. The battle begins now.

Donald Trump finds safety and job security in the chaos he stokes. The damage being done to this country cannot be overstated. It’s more than the blood of the oppressed and protestors that will spill. More than the bodies consumed by a preventable pandemic that will our morgues. The carnage levied against our citizenry will leave gaping scars on America’s soul that will not be erased with a mere change of administration. That will be visible for generations to come.

It is time to call all hands to deck and seize back control of America’s future. To preserve the American dream requires we, the people return to our patriotic roots. Take to the harbors and throw the tea overboard. Throw on your life vests and refuse to take a backseat in our political future. Prepare not just to march on Washington, but to sit and sleep there too.

Our Republic’s survival requires proactive action and sacrifice. Those brave enough to do so must continue to take to the streets in peaceful protest. For those worried about the pandemic or in a vulnerable demographic take to social media and broadcast your very own virtual protest.

The important thing is we begin to act as a coordinated majority! To stem this toxic sludge our efforts must transcend race or class. To move forward the dreams of our ancestors we must end this nightmare of an administration before its poison consumes us all. We must recapture the audacity of hope and hold those who wish to trample on our ideals to account.

The spirit of the American people has been a beacon of hope and freedom throughout the world for over two centuries. Our diversity our greatest strength, the backbone of our success. We must be proactive in our response. Emboldened by our founder’s vision and the lessons of history.

A Confederacy of Hate

A confederacy of hate and white supremacy exists in America and occupies our most sacred institutions. It hides behind the cloak of religion, justice or patriotism to prey on minorities, the underprivileged and those who dare challenge their superiority. It kneels at the altar of misplaced relics of hate and ignorance that run counter to the American dream. It relies on conspiracy theory, fear and alternative facts to connect with constituents who previously sat on the fringe of society and lacked a mainstream voice.

This caravan of deplorables use tried and true methods of organized dogma, scape goating, propaganda and slogan to radicalize new members. They encourage recruits to arm themselves with military grade arsenals and practically dare them to try out their new toys on the deep state, disenfranchised minorities and radical liberals who seek to prevent their ascension.

The time has come for all Americans to protect their standing in the world. To make clear that this group of radical domestic terrorists do not define this great nation or her people. We are the land of the free and home of the brave. Let’s act it.

We cannot wait for a far off Election Day. The constitutional cris is here. The time has come to reconcile America’s identity crisis. To call out and differentiate the majority of us from those who now seek to define our values. Who wish to hit a pause on the progress button and redefine a once great nation’s dreams and ideals.

Antifa and Proud

As protests over systemic racial injustice erupt throughout the nation our so called President tweeted that “The United States of America will be designating ANTIFA as a Terrorist Organization.”

So in the midst of an ongoing pandemic in which the majority of participants are masked it seems to warrant asking who Deranged Donald seeks to identify as a terrorist? Whose free speech and constitutional rights does he wish to suppress by executive order? Who exactly is “Antifa?”

A quick scan of his Twitter timeline and it’s clear Trump believes socialists, radical democrats, chuck and Nancy, Mitt Romney, Hispanics, blacks, immigrants, LBGTQ+, people from California, Mexicans, Never Trumpers, reporters from CNN, MSNBC, and certain members of FoxNews, members of the intelligence community, members of the deep state, Kaepernick, Bezos, Soros, journalists from the New York Times and the Washington Post, Mueller, Comey, people from Puerto Rico, women, Romney, Obama, Hillary, and Joe Biden are all “enemies of the people” and anti-Trump.

More than that, almost everyone within those groups believes Trump a fascist, or at least that he possesses fascist tendencies which they oppose. Is it crazy to think Trump believes them all to be Antifa? Do you see the slippery slope here?

It’s one thing for a talented manipulator to get into power. It’s a whole other thing to stay there. The tighter the noose around Trump’s neck the more desperate he grows and dangerous he becomes. Trump’s broad effort to designate an amorphous antifa a terrorist organization poses a clear and present danger to the foundation of our democracy.

Without a credible counter narrative to contend with this caravan of corrupt criminals will be free to project their own shortcomings onto the most vulnerable members of our society. They will use sound bites, click bait and propaganda to deflect from whatever scandal plagues them and otherwise fear monger, scapegoat and blame shift at whatever the cost. They will continue to present alternative facts, only now without the alternatives. Lies then become truth, and perception reality.

This is us

Featured

Stop your crying. Hold your faux thoughts and prayers. Raise those flags back to full mast.

This is us.

So long as we continue to dehumanize minorities, outsiders and those who look different. So long as we characterize them as “rapists,” “animals,” “enemies,” “thugs,” and worse,

This is us.

So long as we allow those in power to divide our nation into two camps. Secure a status quo long past the point demographics would allow. Erect a permanent caste system. So long as we are “haves and have nots” and are labeled an “us”or “them,”

This is us.

So long as the leaders of our nation think it acceptable to bully, threaten, tweet racist dog whistles, and challenge one another to school yard brawls. So long as we elect those who deride a Civil Rights icon on social media but silently accepts the endorsement of hatemongers, white supremacists and nationalists,

This is us.

So long as you falsely equate the child in the hoodie, hijab, yarmulke or Che tee with the ones wearing the white hood, cloaked in the sweater vest, draped in the Confederate flag, or adorned with the swastika tattoo,

This is us.

So long as we build walls instead of bridges. Invest in war instead of education and research grants. So long as we celebrate “American exceptionalism” but oppose student loan reform,

This is us.

So long as “we, the people” includes Goldman Sachs, Halliburton, Bain, Monsanto and Bayer and not Trayvon, Fatima, Colin, Mary and Tom,

This is us.

So long as we listen to the sources that broke the Bowling Green Massacre, but dub the one that broke Watergate as “fake news,”

This is us.

So long as we value profits over people, peddle snake oil over science and bail out Wall Street instead of Main Street,

This is us.

So long as we are persuaded by “alternative facts,” slogans, and double speak but tune out science, photographic evidence, and statistics,

This is us.

So long as we buy the empty promises about the wonders of trickle down economics and reject efforts to raise the minimum wage,

This is us.

So long as we profess that Earth and all its things were created by God but deny global warming, pollute our rivers and drill baby drill,

This is us.

So long as we debate whether gun lockers have a greater right to privacy than our daughter’s privates. We lobby that the 2nd Amendment is absolute and unequivocable, but tweet against and act to curtail the 1st and 4th,

This is us.

So long as we offer thoughts and prayers for all of God’s children, but sit nearly silent as antisemitism, Islamaphobia, and hate crimes are committed in her name,

This is us.

So long as we declare “Mission Accomplished” all while knowing it has hardly begun,

This is us.

So long as we ridicule and deride the opposition, chill the whistleblower and eliminate independent watchdogs; so long as we reject diversity of thought and opinion.

This is us.

So long as we value haircuts, manicures and beers over the health and safety of our grandparents, the immunocompromised and the must vulnerable members of our society,

This is us.

So long as we’re more offended by the black athlete who uses his celebrity to kneel in silent protest for equality than we are the white Christian billionaire who use his bully pulpit to disparage an immigrant nation,

This is us.

Crisis Leadership

As anger spills into the streets and protests erupt over racial injustice and systemic racism that corrodes the American dream the importance of strong leadership is magnified. It’s no surprise but in times of crisis constituents look to their leaders not only for solutions but for a clear message. They rally around flag, extend trust and offer approval even when it may not have existed beforehand. They tune in and long to hear transparent communication that transcends party lines.

A key element of crisis leadership is to offer a clear message that reinforces a sense of safety and security in the listener. It lets them know that the sacrifice they feel today is temporary; that there is a better tomorrow on the horizon. Words are carefully chosen with themes and sound bites to convey confidence that there is a clear plan forward, a light at the end of the tunnel for all to see. Without that, chaos ensues and institutions crumble.

Good leaders inherently understand the need for reassurance in times of crisis. They avoid sarcasm and conjecture during such times. Unfortunately it comes as no surprise that our current Commander in Chief is incapable of such. He is in every way the opposite of a transcendent leader capable of rallying a diverse nation through times of crisis. His agenda extends no farther than his own bedroom mirror and the sycophants who cheer him on.

Our country has been tested countless times before. In those moments both Republicans and Democrats have used their bully pulpit to successfully guide this nation through the turbulence. They did so by adhering to basic leadership principles. To a man (they all had that in common too) each leader embraced the following during such times,

They do not think perception is reality. They rely on facts, science and logic to shape perception to match reality.

They emphasize collaboration and inclusiveness. They do not fear diversity. They embrace it.

They do not suppress feedback, free speech or dissent. They open their doors, listen and learn from it.

They do not finger point or deny accountability for their decisions. They own their choices and know the buck stops with them. Always.

They do not act a prisoner of circumstance or scream about how unfair life is. They innovate and experiment with new paradigms to limit or remove obstacles.

They do not view empathy as a weakness, but as a strength.

They do not bully. They nurture.

They do not ostracize, belittle, or build walls. They instill confidence, promote commonalities, break barriers and build bridges.

They do not rule by negativity and fear. They grow consensus through transparency and hope.

They do not surround themselves with “yes men” and seek to be the smartest person in the room. They challenge themselves with diversity and grow through failure.

In the course of history there have been countless examples of leaders who chose to rule otherwise. Who ruled through fear mongering, authoritarian accountability and slogans. Who preyed on the weakness of the disenfranchised to promote their own agenda. Who sent out thinly veiled code and dog whistles to call upon the deplorables of society to do their dirty work.

But riddle me this? Has such a leader ever been on the right side of history? Have they ever progressed our collective interests? Brought us closer to that more perfect union our founders dreamed of?

The answer, I fear is obvious.

Competent Incompetence

Featured

Trump’s response to the corona pandemic is not incompetent. Incompetence implies failed effort. It suggests an attempt by this administration to fulfill its constitutional responsibility to faithfully defend and protect the health and security of all our citizens against threats both foreign and domestic. The word does not apply to our current situation.

Trump and his caravan of corrupt criminal enablers made no effort, incompetent or otherwise, to faithfully protect all American people from this pandemic. Rather they quite competently treat the threat as an opportunity to tighten their grip on power and further their own agendas. Whether furtherance of the permanent oligarchy being erected under our noses, the elimination of voices of dissent or the assurance of the paper tiger king’s reelection all their efforts and sound bites speak to these goals.

Trump’s actions are premeditated. They are meant to suppress voter turnout through fear, disease or otherwise. Far from incompetent what you see is designed to eradicate political enemies and voter turnout through suppression and fear. Make no mistake. These acts may be described as unpresidential or as a dereliction of constitutional responsibility but they are not the result of inability.

To dismiss poor behavior or sloppy work product as mere incompetence is the easy way out. It prevents a deeper analysis of motive and ill intent and suggests that by simply replacing the person we will improve the result. No larger lessons learned or systemic change need result when the cause of failure is mere incompetence. The quicker we as a nation realize what ails our nation goes beyond mere incompetence the sooner we may be able to heal from this cancerous mass.

24

The clock is ticking. The future of American democracy hangs in the balance as the tension ratchets up by the hour. Jack Bauer best be on his way if the American dream is going to survive this next round of Russian roulette. The chess pieces are in motion and the seconds pass as the so called President of the United States tweets of an active coup.

A clear and present danger is on the loose and par for the course, the opposition is on vacation. Democratic leaders sent back to their districts to lay the groundwork for the battle ahead. The rest of us left defenseless to fight the battle at hand. How many times must this cycle play out? At what point will a real opposition step forward. One that accurately identifies the risk at hand. Who understands that traditional checks and balances do not work against an unconventional threat.

The worst approach to mitigate an unprecedented threat is to wait it out. The time to impeach Deranged Donald was yesterday. Time and again history will prove that appeasement and rule of law do not protect against crazy and corruption. You need to force the rising threat to play defense, not allow them to dictate the rules of the game. This isn’t difficult to grasp!

We mock Dubya for ignoring reports which warned of an impending terrorist strike yet since the time President Obama was informed that a potential President of the United States was under active counterintelligence investigation by the FBI for his dealings with Russia the entire Democratic establishment has settled on a wait and see approach.

Newsflash: Donald Trump is determined to remain as President of the United States and will declare martial law in response to an active “coup”, dissolve Congress for their attack on our democracy, suspend freedom of the “corrupt and dishonest” press and go to whatever means necessary to ensure he is never impeached. Never allow the shield of Presidential immunity be stripped from his title to make himself vulnerable to arrest for crimes, financial or otherwise.

It is bad enough that we ceded power to an illegitimately elected President. That we gave up the role of Commander in Chief to a known national security threat. At least then most believed the risk posed by a Trump administration to be a minimal, a few lean years and then a restoration of order. Now, however, there is no denying what is at stake. The identity of a nation. Our shared beliefs and values suddenly up for debate. The reality is this isn’t a political fight, it’s a moral one.

Tune out the misinformation. Ignore the false equivalents. You’re not living in a bubble. You’re not misunderstanding the desires and needs of most Americans. Make no mistake, we are the majority. Trust your eyes. Trust facts. Trust intuition.

Tick, tick, tick

Follow the Leader

Trump’s latest abhorrent tweetstorm in which he accuses Adam Schiff of treason, seeks to confront the whistleblower and encourages a second Civil War with cries of Witchhunt and accusations of coups proves once again that he’s unfit to be elementary school President, let alone the so called leader of the free world. If our Comrade in Chief wants to talk about “enemies of the state,” or protect against a clear and present danger I suggest he take a hard look in the mirror.

Analyze those essential attributes that the greatest leaders share. Compare his own actions against past leaders to examine how he stacks up in history. Is Trump destined to be a cautionary tale of how absolute power corrupts absolutely or does he behave and exemplify the behaviors of those champions of freedom? The wisest of kings, leaders and community organizers who acted with singular purpose and are remembered for contributions that advanced human civilization and individual freedoms. Make no mistake. Such leaders share easily identifiable behaviors from which to compare your own leadership style;

They safeguard open communications and transparency. They do not obstruct investigation or silence and threaten whistle blowers and leakers. They protect anonymity by offering hotlines and access to independent arbiters.

They emphasize collaboration and inclusiveness. They do not fear diversity. They embrace it.

They welcome opposition. They do not suppress feedback or dissenting opinions. They listen and learn from them.

They build a shared vision of the future. They do not think perception is reality. They rely on facts, science and logic to shape perception to match reality.

They own their actions. They do not finger point, blame predecessors or deny accountability for their decisions. They understand that once empowered the buck stops with them. Period.

They problem solve. They do not act a prisoner of circumstance or play the victim. They innovate and experiment with new paradigms to limit or remove obstacles.

They prioritize knowing their people. They do not view empathy as a weakness. They know it to be a virtue.

They extend kindness. They do not bully. They nurture.

They encourage teamwork. They do not ostracize, belittle, or build walls. They promote commonalities, break barriers and build bridges.

They lead with hope. They do not rule by negativity and fear. They grow consensus through transparency and communication.

They create opportunity for all. They do not close doors or instill artificial barriers to entry. They rely on objective measures to reward and promote all those who merit consideration.

In the course of history there have been countless examples of leaders who chose to rule otherwise. Who ruled through fear mongering, authoritarian accountability and slogans. Who preyed on the weakness of the disenfranchised to promote their own agenda. Who gave voice to the extremes.

But riddle me this. Has such a leader ever been on the right side of history? Have they ever progressed our collective interests? Brought us closer to that more perfect union our founders dreamed of?

The answer is obvioua

Never Forget

Prior to the ascension of Donald Trump I had never used Social media as a platform, but consider me an alarmist. The only thing I ever learned in Hebrew school was “never forget,” and I haven’t. We all have a responsibility to speak out.

All of America is faced with a simple choice, #Resistance or #Appeasement.

America has a long history of standing up to bullies and Nazis. The vast majority of us teach our children that name calling and excluding other kids on basis of race, gender or religion is not okay. We take pride in the melting pot that is America. Recognize that diversity IS the American identity. We can’t change that anymore than a tiger its stripes. A list of all the great contributions immigrants, minorities and refugees have made to this country would dwarf a list of their misdeeds a million times over. Americans are waking. We know who we are. And we like it that way.

This is not about politics. Look at Trump’s words. Log into twitter and review his timeline of tweets. It is repulsive. You’d be ashamed of your child if that was the method they used to become class president. He is a man of flawed character. He does not share OUR values and we must stand up together and punch him in the nose.

All in #GOP, including the so called “moderates” who serve this administration, need to declare yourself an independent, a freedom fighter or whatever heroic name you wish to give yourselves. Find the courage within you. Make clear to the Divider in Chief that you stand for the people and the constitution and he will have trouble if he continues to mess with either.

This shitshow has gone on long enough. It’s time to cut commercial and bring the adults back into the room.We can no longer afford to play Russian roulette with our values, our democracy or the lives of our future generations