Trump Appoints Ronny Jackson

I agree with the veterans groups as well as the legislators who question Trump’s appointment of Dr. Ronny Jackson.  He has little background in leading and managing large complex organizations.  He served his country admirably as a Navy Rear Admiral in war zones in medical capacities, in military medical facilities

According to a national news source:

 “Jackson was deployed to Iraq after he joined the 2nd Marines in 2005, according to his Navy biography. He served as the emergency medicine physician in charge of resuscitative medicine for a forward deployed Surgical Shock Trauma Platoon.

While still in Iraq, Jackson was tapped as a White House physician in 2006. He has overseen the physicians for Camp David presidential retreats, led the White House Medical Unit and directed the executive health care for the Cabinet and senior staff members, according to his biography. He’s been a White House physician since Bush”

None of his experience would indicate he has the skills, knowledge, and certainly not the credentials to LEAD and MANAGE the VA – 360,000, correct 360,000 employees who serve 9 million, yes 9 M veterans.  Similar size companies would be UPS 399K employees, Home Depot 340K employees, Toyota, 364K employees and Berkshire Hathaway, 367K employees.

The VA will require the skills of a highly experienced leader and manager, not necessarily a doctor, not necessarily a veteran, but experience that would indicate he/she can run an organization of that size.  Who might that be?  Pick a CEO of one of the Fortune 500 companies.  What about medical knowledge?  Skilled CEO’s careful pick direct reports who have the knowledge to run the “technical” side of the business … in this case, razor-sharp doctors with leadership skills, corporate style Chief Financial Officers, Information Technology executives, executives of medical equipment and engineering companies, and the like.

Certainly there are docs out there who have the experience to run the VA!  CEO’s of the Cleveland Clinic and the Mayo Clinic would be examples.  Many hospital administrators are not doctors, but great leaders and managers, and successfully manage large medical organizations.

I hope for the sake of the vets that Dr. Jackson has the wherewithal to lead and manage the VA.   Odds are we are heading for another VA disaster.

As a side note, Trump does not have a great track record of picking outstanding leaders.  And, he has dismissed good leaders who don’t agree with him (Rex Tillerson). The thing is, poor leaders usually can’t pick great leaders!


Florida’s Teacher of the Year Bluntly Writes WHY School Violence Is Out of Control, February 19, 2018


By Daisy Luther

Kelly Guthrie Raley has been teaching for 20 years and currently educates kids at Eustis Middle School in Lake County, Florida. Just last month she was named the 2017-2018 Teacher of the Year.

The day after the horrific shooting that took place at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, she posted a rant on Facebook that has since gone viral. In the post, she talked about parental responsibility, compassion, and respect…and more than 823,000 people have “liked” the post and agreed with it, while more than 649,000 have shared it with others.

Here’s what Mrs. Raley had to say:

Okay, I’ll be the bad guy and say what no one else is brave enough to say, but wants to say. I’ll take all the criticism and attacks from everyone because you know what? I’m a TEACHER. I live this life daily. And I wouldn’t do anything else! But I also know daily I could end up in an active shooter situation.

Until we, as a country, are willing to get serious and talk about mental health issues, lack of available care for the mental health issues, lack of discipline in the home, horrendous lack of parental support when the schools are trying to control horrible behavior at school (oh no! Not MY KID. What did YOU do to cause my kid to react that way?), lack of moral values, and yes, I’ll say it-violent video games that take away all sensitivity to ANY compassion for others’ lives, as well as reality TV that makes it commonplace for people to constantly scream up in each other’s’ faces and not value any other person but themselves, we will have a gun problem in school. Our kids don’t understand the permanency of death anymore!!!

I grew up with guns. Everyone knows that. But you know what? My parents NEVER supported any bad behavior from me. I was terrified of doing something bad at school, as I would have not had a life until I corrected the problem and straightened my ass out. My parents invaded my life. They knew where I was ALL the time. They made me have a curfew. They made me wake them up when I got home. They made me respect their rules. They had full control of their house, and at any time could and would go through every inch of my bedroom, backpack, and pockets, anything! Parents: it’s time to STEP UP! Be the parent that actually gives a crap! Be the annoying mom that pries and knows what your kid is doing. STOP being their friend. They have enough “friends” at school. Be their parent. Being the “cool mom” means not a damn thing when either your kid is dead or your kid kills other people because they were allowed to have their space and privacy in YOUR HOME. I’ll say it again. My home was filled with guns growing up. For God’s sake, my daddy was an 82nd Airborne Ranger who lost half his face serving our country. But you know what? I never dreamed of shooting anyone with his guns. I never dreamed of taking one! I was taught respect for human life, compassion, rules, common decency, and most of all, I was taught that until I moved out, my life and bedroom wasn’t mine…it was theirs. And they were going to know what was happening because they loved me and wanted the best for me.

There. Say that I’m a horrible person. I didn’t bring up gun control, and I will refuse to debate it with anyone. This post wasn’t about gun control. This was me, loving the crap out of people and wanting the best for them. This was about my school babies and knowing that God created each one for greatness, and just wanting them to reach their futures. It’s about 20 years ago this year I started my teaching career. Violence was not this bad 20 years ago. Lack of compassion wasn’t this bad 20 years ago. And God knows 20 years ago that I wasn’t afraid daily to call a parent because I KNEW that 9 out of 10 would cuss me out, tell me to go to Hell, call the news on me, call the school board on me, or post all over Facebook about me because I called to let them know what their child chose to do at school…because they are a NORMAL kid!!!!!

Those 17 lives mattered. When are we going to take our own responsibility seriously? Guns aren’t the problem. The current culture is the problem.


Talent Management – Developing Onboard Talent

TM image from IHRCC

If you are a manager with reporting employees, Developing Talent is an integral part of the job.

If you are a professional reporting to a supervisor or manager, the information below a good check list to assess if the boss and the company are concerned about your future.

If you are interviewing for a position, you might consider using this information in an interview as a guide to see if the company is going to help develop your career.

Developing people is one of the greatest contributions a manager can make for reporting professionals.  It is a great experience to see an employee develop and grow a career to greater heights.   In a prior post, “The Leader – Manager 80/20 Balance”, was discussed (Feb. 17, 2018).  Developing Talent is part of that 20%.  Talent Development actions follow (it is not an inclusive list):

Attend to Skills & Competencies for the short and longer range, particularly competencies.

Create Challenges in the position’s work to build diversity in the work, and develop creativity and problem solving ability.

Use Rotational Assignments to keep it interesting, provide variety, and broaden perspective.

Assign Projects to learn process and see accomplishment.  Working on project teams is especially valuable.

(Rotations and projects also create visibility in the organization and help develop future opportunities for those who have the runway).

Arrange for Mentors to provide another voice and listening alternative.

Be a Coach to fine tune performance and assist in removing barriers

Use Recognition — so powerful – especially in the presence of co-workers.  There are so many forms: small mementos (desk pieces, plaques), company news, on site luncheons, cookouts, bonuses, training programs, verbal comments, cards or notes, industry conferences, customer visits, etc.  Think of involving higher levels of management when appropriate. Consider formalizing recognition process to encourage use and help maintain consistency in use across the organization.

It is not all about money… many forms of recognition can be creative forms costing little.

Training and Development are not the same.

Compensation is important but it is not the only motivator – in the absence of development, careers stagnate and loss of talent can follow closely behind.


Time Magazine – February 5, 2018 “America Alone”

I read through this article and in the end it was not a Doomsday forecast.  It did offer some views that were worrisome.  Views that I believe should cause us some concern…views that cast the USA as moving more toward isolating itself economically from the world economy.

And less than a week prior to this posting, the media reported the USA is considering tariffs on steel and aluminum.

It is a world economy. And the world probably will not care if the USA opts to isolate itself.  Some of the largest world economies are forging trade pacts with each other to build their economies.  Their governments have the foresight to see the benefit.

It is this blogger opinion that Washington needs to get out of its own way, abandon its severe case of tunnel vision, and enthusiastically charge into building trade pacts and agreements with countries across the globe.

This blogger considers our country’s leadership a great example of leadership failure.

Time: The USA Alone

Apologies for taking the blog into the political realm…


HardRock on the Island

No posting on this blog for some days — just back from the Hard Rock (HR) Resort and Casino in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.  HR has done a great job linking the resort to its name sake, Rock music.

Stuff that belonged to current and past rock stars and the music genre is all over  to include motorcycles, hot rods, guitars, show costumes and paraphernalia , live shows, painted instruments on buildings, it is a long list, right down to tiny embroidered guitars on the pillow cases.

Michael Jackson Show: I have seen a few resort shows in the past and they are OK.  The MJ show … well, you would have thought you were watching the dancing real deal.

The resort was huge but because of building layout and design, you would never know the HR’s 1700+ rooms were full.

  • 13 pools with swim-up bars
  • 9 restaurants
  • A Nicklaus designed golf course
  • Caribbean beaches
  • Spacious suites fully equipped with Hydro Spa Tub, private balconies, free Wi-Fi, 24 hour room service

It’s an all-inclusive, so it’s all covered if one stays out of the casino and spa.

Lastly the spa, located under the main building, is beyond description – size, design, atmosphere, you would have to see it… nothing short of cavernous!

And of course HR’s namesake music is everywhere.


Talent Management – The Leader/Manager 80-20 Balance

This blog entry is primarily intended for leaders and managers (LM) who have direct reporting employees.  However, if you are one of those employees or seeking a new position, you should consider reading through this as this is what you should expect from or look for in your boss. The 80/20 can have significant retention implications.

Simply, 80 percent of the LM’s time should be dedicated toward doing his/her job. Typically this would include Planning, negotiating department or setting business objectives, budget management, building and applying functional expertise, and leveraging business acumen to influence organization resources for the department or business.

As importantly, the 80 percent also has an employee element.  This would include managing performance, compensation, career guidance and direction, training and development, sponsoring advancement for those who are ready, and creating space for new talent.   In short, creating space relates to exporting talent from the department for broader career opportunities and new challenges, and, using due process, removing people who are non-productive.  (More about creating space in a future post)

And the 20 percent:  The percentage of time expended assisting direct reporting employees in understanding and doing their jobs.

If the 80/20 ratio changes significantly (60 / 40 for example) the LM is probably spending an inordinate amount of time doing the job of others putting his own performance and that of the department at risk.  If it swings the other way (say 90/10) the LM is likely not sufficiently supporting the employees who support the productivity of the department or business.   In either situation, loss of key talent can also be a byproduct.

The 80/20 balance swings with situational leadership and management, but in the long haul it should be a key leader and manager guide post

There is a lot to be said for Time Management’s role in striking the 80/20 balance and its importance to LM and employee success.

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

A brief visit with “Leadership”

Some executives, great leaders, change the world; look at the tech giants for example.  Executives can change thousands of lives of the people associated with the business – employees, customers, suppliers, investors, and consumers to cite a few.  And, as well, communities.

Leaders touch, mold, and change the future, sometimes in small ways, sometimes the change is life changing.  One of my favorite quotes comes from teacher and astronaut, Christa McAuliffe, “I touch the future. I teach.”  Good teachers change many lives over their careers, as do many other professionals in various career occupations.

The personality of leadership encompasses many traits. Not among the least is Leadershipcourage.

I have seen people in organizations become global executives who never suspected or maybe even looked for a future that large.  And sometimes people just get better at their jobs (don’t change the world – it is all good).

There is just nothing more rewarding than investing time, and coaching, and mentoring, and providing guidance, and seeing a person reach goals, and make beneficial life decisions.  And, knowing that without that leadership, they may have otherwise not had the perspective or knowledge or skills to make those decisions or reach those goals.

And people who delve, or in some cases dive, into leadership roles can find that they learn as much as those who benefit from being associated with them.

And I committed to myself to stay away from political stuff on this blog… but if you would like to see the worst case, most dismal example, of leadership, observable by the world, there is always Washington, DC.  It is more enjoyable to focus on all the good examples out there.

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