A Very Bad Day

In the grand scheme of things I have had a very good life to date.

The past five years or so have been especially incredible. I have a good job. The museum I manage has been growing and thriving every single year. I have an amazing wife and my kids are truly the best.

My eldest son just bought his first home, on his own, at 22. I have the incredible honour to have my middle son working at my museum as a field technician (withouty my meddling which was hard). His growth and maturity have been truly wondrous to watch and it is fun to watch him pursue his degree in Physical Anthropology and Computer Science. My daughter is such an amazing young woman I cannot begin to spell it all out. Active, a hard worker and supervisor at her job and getting ready for her final year of highschool…what can I say – I am VERY lucky.

I have not had a very bad day in many years.

So when today came as a perfect shitstorm of numerous things that had nothing to do with each other I might have been unprepared.

The only bad thing about a good stretch is losing perspective I suppose.

Today sucked on so many levels it nearly did me in. Really.

But…

But perspective sinks in slowly if you are lucky enough to have it sink in at all.

I will say it again – I have a great home. I have great kids. I have a great wife. I have a great job. I have great employees. I have great sisters, brothers and inlaws. SO. MUCH. GREAT.

With these things I can deal with VERY BAD. With these things I can deal with SHITSTORM. With these things I am truly lucky no matter what comes.

Thanks for listening.

Leadership & the Art of Deflection

There is nothing more unsettling than seeing how well some leaders develop the skill to deflect criticism, especially those leaders at the top of an organization.

Whether a CEO, executive director, pastor, imam, rabbi, director, board chair, city counsellor or mayor etc. the concept of “the buck stops here” seems alien while the ability to shrug off criticism to others in and outside of the organization is uncanny.

If you are a leader and you meet questions and criticisms with the following responses it is time to reconsider your role and possibly step away:

“Yep you’re right and I just don’t get why our people are doing this?”

“I have been saying the same thing for weeks/months/years!”

“I agree, the decisions being made are ridiculous.”

“What do you want me to do about it?!?!?”

If the above or any variation of the above is coming from you then you, my friend, are part of the problem…and depending on how high you rest in the organization, you might just be the problem.

I have a mantra that goes something like this – if there is an endless problem in the organization no matter how small, even if the toilets are broken and never fixed, the root of the issue ultimately rests at the top.

Leaders have a responsibility to ensure their organization is decisive and functioning…if it is not that is their problem. It is not the previous leader’s problem. It is not the staff’s problem. It is not the client or vendor’s problem – it is the leader’s. The best leaders recognize this and do not waste time with excuses and deflection – they get to the root of the issue and ensure a solution is put in place.

Leaders – stop deflecting, stop offering excuses – LEAD.

room

stains of blood and cum
left as testimony to some passion
or another
in a space just 12 feet by 12 feet

one single mattress on the floor
and cinder block bathroom
and cinder block living/dining/kitchen/bed…

room

violent lives and violent dies
the lost dionysean
drowned in an apetite
designed to make the paralyzed feel again
only to fill them to bursting
leaving them empty husks

discarded

divide by infinity

this life
divided by infinity
is zero, nothing

and yet still it is,
as though meaning
however meaningless
is still –

meaningful

in some small way
a flowered memory
lost in time
is still a memory
an evidence of you
that moves forward
indestructible

and you
an evidence of some other
lost in time gone by
no part of you
ever was not…
no part of you
ever will not…

be

it is not a question
of to or not to
it is a deifnite
have, are and will