I was reading an article about John Mack the CEO of CSFB (a very large bank) in the September 1 issue of Fortune magazine. Mr. Mack was brought into the company to turn it around after a series of bad business decisions and corporate scandals.
The article shows him as being an ethical man, seemingly rare in today’s evironment of regulatory investigations. He is directing employees to cooperate fully with investigators. When an issue comes up that may be of interest to regulatory agencies, he is proactive in notifying them of any problems. He has been able to get top executives to actually give up hundreds of millions of dollars in guaranteed cash payments – a marked contrast to other firms that are giving executives over priced salary packages.
That is all well and good, but you know what makes this man qualified to be an ethical leader? It turns out he has been married to one woman for 30 years. Doesn’t this indicate how important a person’s family life is when judging his character? If he can keep his commitments to his wife, surely he is much more likely to keep his promises to coworkers, employees, and shareholders.
In my professional life, I have had the unpleasant experience of dealing with diversity issues in the last few days.
Where I work is truly a diverse workplace. The problem with “diversity” is that it focuses on people’s differences. Supposedly celebrating diversity only keeps people with common goals seperated by constantly suggesting we do not have common ground.
I’m reminded of the last winter Olympics in Utah. The U.S. won a gold in the 2 person female bobsled event. As I was watching the gold medal ceremony I was briefly happy the U.S. won. That is until the NBC announcer informed me that it was the first bobsled medal for an African-American. In one split second I went from viewing that person as an American the whole country could celebrate to a black woman. Phrases like “A good role model for black children” infer that she is not a good role model for children of other ethical backgrounds. Isn’t it great we have a media that further divides us when we have the opportunity to be most united?
I went to the local community college open house this evening to check out check out some possible career moves. I have been really hooked on the idea of pursuing digital photography lately. I realize the $3000 worth of camera equipment and a new computer is a bit out of reach at this point. I think I’m going to shelve that idea and go after something a bit more realistic but just as interesting to me.
I seem to have an apptitude for things in the computer realm. Tomorrow I’m going to call a couple universities and check out their Master’s programs. I think network security is going to be the next (or current) big opportunity in the industry so we’ll check that out.
Aren’t people tired of Madonna? Gap now has her doing a very high profile ad campaign. You’ve probably seen her doing a commercial singing a wierd mix of her newest single “Hollywood” to the tune of one of her first singles “Get Into the Groove” but with new lyrics about Gap jeans interspersed with rapping by Missy Elliot.
I’m sure she is getting paid a load of money and some market research somewhere indicates the spot will be a big hit. But doesn’t that music scream 80’s? Is this suppose to be a retro look? Certainly the music doesn’t make you think of being current with the times. I hear that music and think parachute pants (no, I never owned a pair; I wasn’t that cool).
Looking at today’s Reuter’s headline you would think that the city of New York was the only place hit by the power outage. Reading the story you may revise that belief to include a small part of Canada. Barely a mention of any other cities affected. Reuters bends over backwards to provide quotes lauding New Yorkers on their ability to get by without electricty and air conditioning (and apparently ATMs).
Here are the top three headlines I pulled up on Yahoo news:
New York Gets Power Back After Massive Outages
Libya Takes Blame for Bombing of Pan Am Flight 103
New York City Bounces Back from Massive Blackout
This media infatuation with NYC is getting old.
Here it is – without a doubt the most idiotic headline and news item of the year.
“ATMs Down in Areas Hit by Power Outage”
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Large automatic teller machine networks in areas affected by the power outage in the Northeast on Thursday were shut down, making it impossible for most retail customers in those areas to withdraw their money.
You have gotta be kidding me. Really? ATMs don’t work without power? We can rest easy knowing that the press is there to discover these otherwise unknown facts.
Next week be on the look out for more headlines like “The Sky is Blue” and “The Sun Rises in the East.”
I must be going through my 30-something crisis. I have gotten to the point where I want to do something for a living that I enjoy. Anyone know where I can get $10,000 worth of digital photographic equipment for free? Huh? Didn’t think so.
I was reading a book on being self employed. The author Kenn Oberrecht made a great point. He said that many people considering their own business fear they lack self-motivation and self-discipline. These people still must have these qualities to hold a regular job, get to work on time, and meet family obligations. Great food for thought.
Now I just need some direction. I want to be a photographer, work with computers (which you can do in photography) and be a writer (blogging anyone?) Of course I’m not good enough at any of them to make a living out it. Maybe I should do something about that.
The scratch on my nose from the new kitten is getting better. She is still a terror though. Its amazing how annoying and aggressive a 2 lb kitten can be when she decides she wants to share the cereal in my bowl.
The NAACP is once again showing they are more concerned with a political movement than social causes. Even democrats believe a judicial nominee should be approved because she applies the law.
The 45 Democrat Senators in Washington D.C. apparently can’t abide having anyone with that level of integrity. They are expected to filibuster.
I look like I’ve been beat up. First my eyelid is swollen from a sty (uck). Then this morning I’m playing with the new kitten by waving a string. She jumps, misses the string and scratches the tip of my nose. You gotta be kidding me! Now my wife is afraid that people will think she is beating me up 😉
The biggest news in Colorado is the recall election in California. At least Arnold’s entry has taken some of the focus off the Kobe bryant case here. I think we are Kobe-overloaded. I suppose that illustrates the dangers of making moral heroes out of sports stars.
Todays big manufactured Kobe story is a USA Today/CNN/Gallup poll disucssing how black America is more likely to think Kobe is innocent than white America. Thanks to the media for helping to further the racial divide. Perhaps next week we’ll find out how various breeds of dogs feel about the case.
On to other stuff. My take on the implosion of the Episcopalian church. Lileks really got it right. He said:
“This story has irritated me from the start, and it has nothing to do with Rev. Robinson’s sexual orientation. The guy left his wife and kids to go do the hokey-pokey with someone else”
The Episcopalians really have some issues. I don’t really understand the we’re-Christians-but-don’t-believe-in-the-Bible mentality. Come on, choose an ethical standard. The Bible and follow-your-heart morals are not compatible. Its also strange that a supposedly Christian Bishop would have such a fundamental misunderstanding of marriage.
Lileks brought up an argument I have heard some make. A homosexual should leave a marriage because they don’t want to live a lie. Assuming most of these people took the standard marriage vows, I’m curious where they think they said “I will be physically attracted exclusively to my spouse”. Marriage isn’t about physical attraction.
It’s about commitment. A candidate to be a Christian Bishop certainly should be required to follow that principle.
Arnold has thrown his hat in the ring. Surprising but not shocking. With no qualifications other than a brand name, he will probably win the election. The real question is: is there anyone who can save the state from bankruptcy?