Absent the Ability to Learn

So when I posted the “Very Unusual Boss” entry, it came to mind that I had something to say about Patrick Herbert’s quote.

Brian Patrick Herbert (born June 29, 1947) is an American author who lives in Washington state.

So how would you describe people who do not have the wherewithal to learn? Would the following make your list (not intended to be inclusive) :

  • Self-centered
  • Think they know
  • Not so smart
  • Probably not popular
  • Poor team players
  • Maybe not respected
  • Sought out as mentors, coaches?
  • Short on some key Behavior Competencies *
  • Possibly big on ego?
  • Might not be the best employee

Obviously the above is not intended to apply to those who have learning disabilities or other types disabling challenges.

Posted under Success, Why? Just turn the list into positives statements.


***** S&E *****

A Very Unusual Boss…

My friend had boss that was “heavy duty” into leadership. They operated a business that was $800 million with thousands of employees spread over many countries. Here is my friends mini-account of his leadership trip with his boss.

Brian Patrick Herbert (born June 29, 1947) is an American author who lives in Washington state.

The boss was all about performance to objectives, metrics, being responsible, demanding accountability, making sure that the leaders, his 8 direct reports, drove the business to the same standards and goals. They all had something to learn from the boss.

He was an unusual boss. He was experienced in finance, manufacturing operations management, engineering, customer service, internationally experienced — he lived and ran business in other countries. He could always ask the right questions.

He would stand up for a person, his people. He believed in family first. Recognition was a management tool and he used it frequently in many different forms and formats. He believed in pay for performance. He promoted good performers.

He believed that it was easier to close a manufacturing facility than to fix it. His default mode was fixing it. He was skilled at it, proven.

He didn’t suffer fools. He could be hard on people; did not shy away from embarrassing a subordinate or management above him in public. Not necessary! Costly in the long run.

He would purchase books for his staff to further educate them in business. He even found leadership lessons in Dr Seuss’s, “Oh, the Places You’ll Go.”

He drove talent renewal. Invested in it. Created an annual process that was tracked and measured. Insisted that it was owned by his direct reports.

There many types of leaders and bosses around. It is always good to take people for their strong suits, looking for opportunities to learn. Glean the best from the best. Stash away the experiences that will remind you that is NOT how to do it, need to avoid that. Learning from poor examples is still learning. You can learn from good bosses and the other type as well.

This post listed under “success” as people’s behavior usually offers something to learn.

Love the quote from Herbert!

***** S&E *****

A Message from the CEO…

This message from AMC Theaters CEO and President Adam Aron, was communicated to their valued A-List members, AMC Stubs members and guests on June 18th. Primarily it announced the opening of most of their theaters in the USA in July, as well as their aggressive plan to have patrons enjoy a safe experience. As important, the message also assured their customers of the companies sound financial position.

What I find really interesting is his reference to the difficulty of customers finding factual information. So well said!

Here’s an excerpt from the CEO’s communique:

“Finally, I am pleased to report that AMC Theaters is in an excellent financial position to welcome you back to our movie theaters. In recent weeks, you may have seen or read speculation about AMC’s future. In this time of great uncertainty, where facts are in short supply, speculation and guessing sometimes becomes the norm. Somehow, that speculation can become conventional wisdom, and that conventional wisdom in turn can be reported as truth. Let me say to all of you that so much of the speculation about AMC that was prevalent in the last several weeks was just plain wrong. In April, we successfully raised a half a billion dollars of new investment capital for AMC, and fortunately that puts us now in a position of considerable strength.”

“AMC was founded at the corner of 12th and Grand in Kansas City, Missouri in 1920, making this year our 100th Anniversary. Now that we can once again reopen our doors to you, we are so looking forward to another 100 years of making smiles happen.”

This blogger wishes AMC success and a safe reopening and future.

If you are interested in the entire message: http://view.email.amctheatres.com/?qs=8293c9696545df9bb91c3adb74d70f3ad75e54bc62d32e65b9c10803bf221213a875af32ca422c1bf402bbff3c1f895e4dcea66000b269df20176df317af642bb6baa35c03bcd757408ec6726fa62aeaccb0d91b76a5bd8f

Looks like AMC has may have some very talented leadership !

***** S&E *****


I find it incredible, but maybe I would say not so surprising, to see how many people and organizations are stepping up to help in so many ways.

A volunteer nurse wearing a mask tends to homeless individuals 

There are many.  Personal donations, financial and services assistance from corporations, and public displays of support for front line workers who are at the highest risk. And, personal time donated to support many activities to help those in need. And professional athletes, actors, and musicians helping to shrink the space caused by social distances. Just some efforts that are very visible and just keep coming. 

And, even support from some countries who are other than our allies…


***** S&E *****

Republican Presidential Survey: A Response:

I just received a “Republican Presidential Task Force Strategy Survey”.  I completed it and attached the note below to it!  I placed this on the blog’s “Success” Page as I believe we need a leader with these kinds of skills. 

My Note:

I completed this survey so you know where I stand on the listed issues.

I don’t vote for party.  I vote for leaders, regardless of party affiliation, but not for radicals.

I find it amazing that there is no question here where survey respondents can opt “yes” to reducing the size I government.

Trump is no leader.  Leaders chose talent to work for them.  They listen to their chosen experts in their respective field. They sponsor participative environments. They have vision; the best have some measure of humility. Here’s a list of significant leadership characteristics:

Honesty and integrity*ConfidenceInspire Others
Commitment and PassionGood CommunicatorDecision Making Capabilities
AccountabilityDelegation and EmpowermentCreativity and Innovation
Empathy*ResilienceEmotional Intelligence
HumilityTransparencyVision and Purpose
JudgementBalanceTeam Builder
Strategic Thinker

I’ve placed an asterisk by the characteristics Trump demonstrates. There are just two, and there are probably those who would argue with that.  He’s no leader!  At best he is divisive. 

You need to find and sponsor a new candidate for president.

And why would you survey the American People.  Any fool can identify the top key issues, as examples: Education, Infrastructure, National Debt, Size and Power of Government, availability and affordability of Healthcare, Economy, Crime, Immigration, Climate change.  Many corporate and business executives and managers handle much more than that list for their business in a year!  We have a president and 535 elected officials that can’t seem to manage a few of these.

Don’t send me anymore surveys!

***** S&E *****

Success Despite the Corporation

All organizations are political in one way or another. If groups of people are involved, there will be some measure of political behavior. This entry is about the success of an individual and the political stupidity of the corporation.

Tom worked his way up “the ladder”– professional, manager, director, vice president. His first vice president job was for a global corporation, in Troy Michigan, about 80,000 employees in 120+ countries. He was responsible for the corporation’s Expatriate Program, Global Policy and Practice, and managing the Region Human Resources Directors in Europe, Central and South America, and Asia Pacific.

Six months into the job Tom released the local Chinese guy who resided in Shanghai China and held the position of Human Resources Director of China. At the time that position managed / lead the HR function in several China plants, 1000’s of people. The guy was in his late 40’s and retired on the job. After multiple trips to Asia to interview replacements, Tom hired Sony for the Director’s position. She held degrees in Biology and Secondary Education, had years of experience in education and in H.R. with two USA-based global corporations with operations in China.

Tom supervised Sony and other global directors from the Troy office. Sony came up to speed quickly. The Asia Pacific region grew and Tom moved to Shanghai to fill the the new VP of HR for the Asia Pacific position. At the time the company had 19 manufacturing plants in 11 countries and about 10,000 employees. Sony’s position, Director, H.R., China, then reported to Tom.

Two years later Tom recommended Sony for an expatriate position in Michigan, the corporation agreeing with the plan for Sony to return to China, after the completion of the expatriate assignment, and replace Tom as VP of the Asia Pacific Region. While an expatriate the corporation paid for Sony’s Masters in Business Administration in a USA university. After three years, Tom retired and the corporation repatriated Sony to China to a dead end H.R. support position, despite the investment in Sony’s expatriate assignment, fully paying for her master’s degree, a successful USA assignment, and 10 years of experience with USA based global corporations. Why did this happen? Politics at work.

Sony left the corporation one year later and landed a job as HR VP  for the Asia Pacific Region for a very large, global USA based corporation. The same position she was by-passed for in the previous corporation. She was very successful, eventually retired, and yet does career coaching.

A great story of success despite the odds !!!

***** S&E *****

Making Informed Decisions

For those out there interested in the promises of free Health Care, Free College/University educations, Medicare for all, and paid off student debt, and other government provided “freebies”, please look past the hype.  

Do you know where the revenue will come from for that “free stuff”?  The likely sources: increased citizen’s taxes or, the country borrows more money to pay for the “freebies” (do you know the USA’s debt is more than 23 trillion). 

And, consider you can’t tax the wealthy enough to pay for all the “freebies”.   If you tax the corporations, they’ll either pass it on to customers, find other means to reduce the increased taxes, or change to more tax friendly scenarios. 

The aforementioned is not meant as a political statement, just a reality check! Please educate yourself prior to making decisions.

(At right) $20+ Trillion with the Statue of Liberty in the center. USA debt, 2017. Now $23 Trillion. https://www.usdebtclock.org/

***** S&E *****

Some Advice on Cover Letters

Again, from one of my favorite mags, some to-the-point advice on getting the attention of the people who make hiring decisions.


Our friend from the ever disrespectful “South Park”. Please don’t read anything into the use of the character above. There is just nothing there!

And if you are curious as to , “Do I apply on line or by mail”, here is an opinion from Forbes and Liz Ryan, Founder and CEO, Human Workplace; Author, “Reinvention Roadmap”, that might help you answer that question.


If you go the ground mail route, make sure the application or resume and cover go to a specific person, by name. The hiring manager / supervisor is always better than Human Resources. You can find out who he or she is with a little creative research. And better yet, get it hand delivered to the hiring manager inside the company.

***** S&E *****