Strategy, Resilience, and Beware the Transactional

chess-strategyNew Orleans     You know how it is, every time you turn around you get advice, whether you want it or not!  Even running away from all this free advice, every once in a while you stumble onto something worth heeding, though admittedly you savor the advice closest to what you already believed.

Reading a somewhat repelling but fascinating profile in The New Yorker about the billionaire former Netscape techie and now venture capitalist, Marc Andreesen, he quoted invaluable advice from Michael Ovitz of all people, the big-time Hollywood talent agent, that seemed spot on:

Take the long view of your platform [read organization], rather than a transactional one.  Call everyone a partner [or colleague and comrade], offer services the others don’t, and help people who aren’t your clients.  Disrupt to differentiate by becoming a dream-execution machine.

What is building power for low and moderate income people other than visionary and a “dream-execution machine,” I might add.

And, then there were a handful of mismatched people offering advice on strategy in the Wall Street Journal, which I first ignored, but then found on my desk for required re-reading by some intrusively helpful soul.

The head of Epic Records and producer for Rihanna, says:“Strategy is first and foremost about the endgame.”  Well, true that.  The popular historian, Doris Kearns Goodwin, says “With strategy, the key thing is the ability to diagnose the opportunity of the time.”  Her point there also seems amazingly astute.

Interestingly at least to me, so much of the mega-domes advice seem about strategy seemed to focus on resilience.

A board game developer argued, “Life becomes vivid because unforeseeable events, good or bad, upset our plans, and we must adjust our strategies to new situations.” Goodwin argued that the success of both presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln argues that “…it’s not only the opportunity that provides something for the man, it’s whether the man is able to adapt and diagnose what needs to be done, and then that becomes the strategy.”

Even super restaurateur, Danny Meyer, makes that case, “…we teach the motto of ‘constant, gentle pressure’ to master a world in which there are unexpected and sometimes very challenging variables tossed your way.  It’s a technique for not getting knocked off your surfboard by the waves that are inevitably going to sneak up behind you.”

You know the saying, its all “free advice,” and that’s about what it’s worth perhaps, but what the heck sometimes if it helps reinforce your path down the road and lets you and others realize their dreams, then it’s worth its weight in gold, no matter where it came from.

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The Redskins – Keep on Keepin’ On

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Black Conservatives Fund: ACORN “Ghostbusters!”

TmF3R7RO_400x400New Orleans    Every once in a while something comes over the transom that is so wildly ridiculous, it approaches the sublime.  A longtime colleague, Mike Stagg, now living and working in the Lafayette area, forwarded me a link to a piece run by the TPM website which occasionally monitors weird and wacky rightwing solicitations.  This one was within the now classic tradition of money trolling by ACORN baiting.  ACORN is the zombie from political hell, and, by god, the Black Conservative Fund presents itself as the “ghostbusters!”

It’s a masterpiece that begins with a recent rightwing internet flurry to quote:

A “successor” organization to the corrupt leftist group ACORN is back in action.  A first hand report proves that they were actually “paying protestors” to wreak havoc in Ferguson, Missouri.

I (the BCF signer) wouldn’t be surprised if these same nasty crooks were trying to start riots in New York and Baltimore.

BCF is the only conservative organization in the world capable of standing up to these radicals.

We are the only group going toe-to-toe with them in the grassroots. Our conservative black volunteers are the only people capable of stopping ACORN from stealing next year’s elections.

Wow, it takes your breath away doesn’t it?  These BCF’ers aren’t just zombie hunters and ghostbusters, but they are freaking world beaters and best-in-class at it.  But, just as your hand and mine were going for our checkbooks, we got confused about why they need money for their so-called “volunteers.”  Luckily, they have more to say:

I (the BCFer) can tell you from firsthand experience that these ACORN activists are NASTY.  Last fall in Baton Rouge, Louisiana our black conservative volunteers endured threats and taunts from liberal foot soldiers just like these.

They called on of our board members an “uppity negro” simply for being a black conservative.

Ok, let me get this straight.  ACORN equals NASTY.  Got that.  But, they are saying their firsthand experience was with folks “just like these” ACORN people, so they are even admitting they are in fact not ACORN.  And, the nasty was some name calling?  These are definitely not people who have ever been inside a public school in the United States if this is their best shot at a takedown.

But, there’s more:

Now we need to redouble our efforts and take on these ACORN people head-on in the key 2016 swing states.

…here at BCF, confronting ACORN’s goons and beating them is our mission.  It is our calling.

And it’s our specialty!

Now that ACORN has reinvented itself and is paying people to riot our cause is more important than ever.

Reading this drivel just takes your breath away doesn’t it?  The next missives from the BCF will no doubt have them ready to find the UFOs and lurking commies behind the woodsheds and meth houses of rural America.

Thank goodness for these kinds of conservatives.  With the likes of them and their fanciful doubletalk it makes me more confident of our chances for a progressive future.  They obviously haven’t gotten the message yet:  no one votes for crazy!

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Death – Politicians In My Eyes

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