Saturday, December 01, 2007

Keys to Spotting a Flawed CEO -- OR a Flawed Pastor, Apostle or Spritual Leader Before It's Too Late

I offer this without much comment, but I have known some really bad leaders. This article nails it. If you are thinking of hiring, following or becoming a leader even a CEO there are some key clues to see if you have a problem on your hand:


December 1, 2007

It's easy to spot a bad chief executive once the damage is done -- a plunge in company earnings, a failed product line, a corruption scandal. But how do you spot the flaws before it's too late, before that person is given the job of leading the company?

Here are some warning signs that board members and search committees can look for in a prospective CEO's character, and measures they can take to reduce the likelihood of hiring a dysfunctional CEO.

The Warning Signs

  • • An overt zeal for prestige, power and wealth. A manager's tendency to put his or her own success ahead of the company's often is evident long before that person is ready to assume the CEO post.
  • • A reputation for shameless self-promotion. Executives who constantly seek publicity, are always looking for a better job or trumpet their successes while quickly distancing themselves from setbacks are sending strong signals that their egotistical ways may eventually cause major problems.
  • • A proclivity for developing grandiose strategies with little thought toward their implementation. These executives may assume that others at lower levels will magically turn strategy into reality.
  • • A fondness for rules and numbers that overshadows or ignores a broader vision. This is the flip side of the preceding problem.
  • • A reputation for implementing major strategic changes unilaterally or for forcing programs down the throats of reluctant managers. CEOs have to be consensus builders.
  • • An impulsive, flippant decision-making style. CEOs who approach decision-making with clever one-liners rather than with balanced, thoughtful and informed analyses can expect to encounter difficulty.
  • • A penchant for inconsiderate acts. Individuals who exhibit rude behavior are apt to alienate the wrong person at the wrong time.
  • • A love of monologues coupled with poor listening skills. Bad listeners rarely profit from the wisdom of their associates.
  • • A tendency to display contempt for the ideas of others. Hypercritical executives often have few stellar accomplishments of their own.
  • • A history of emphasizing activity, like hours worked or meetings attended, over accomplishment. Energy without objective rarely leads to improved organizational performance.
  • • A career marked by numerous misunderstandings. There are two sides to every story, but frequent interpersonal problems shouldn't be overlooked.
  • • A superb ability to compartmentalize and/or rationalize. Some executives have learned to separate, in their own minds, their bad behavior from their better qualities, so that their misdeeds don't diminish their opinions of themselves. An important internal check is missing. Others are always ready to cite a higher purpose to justify their bad decisions.

Hiring Tips

  1. • Don't assume that past success is a predictor of future success. As CEO, an executive will face a whole new set of personalities and conditions, especially when switching companies.
  2. • Investigate a candidate's integrity and interpersonal skills as part of a thorough background check. Conduct extensive and confidential discussions with former associates.
  3. • In interviews, ask candidates how they have handled setbacks and challenges in the past, as well as personal interactions. Let them know that the search committee will check the veracity of their answers.
  4. • In examining the course of a candidate's promotions, pay close attention to how the candidate reacted when given new responsibilities that significantly increased his or her power.
  5. • Determine how much of an executive's career success has been based on favorable economic and industry conditions and the support of colleagues, and how much has been based on the executive's individual efforts. Pay close attention to how candidates performed when industry conditions were bad, when controversies arose or when difficult decisions had to be made.
  6. • Each finalist for the CEO position should be provided with a detailed job preview. The preview should highlight the differences between the candidate's current position and the CEO position.
  7. • Be clear about ethics. Provide as much information as possible to finalists about how the board expects shareholders, prospective investors, customers, employees, financial institutions, auditors, regulators, political figures and other stakeholders to be treated.
  8. • Offer the new CEO a reasonable, but not extravagant, compensation package. Once the CEO has demonstrated a high level of competency and integrity, the compensation package can be improved.

--Dr. Leap is a professor of management at Clemson University. He can be reached at

Stringed Instruments I have owned from birth

When I was about 9 my parents bought me a Stella guitar just like this one. I taught myself to play. One string at a time. It was a clunker but I learned.

Then, after my folks died in 1959 my then parents bought me this guitar for Christmas . It's an e-140 Gibson. Worth a lot of money. I still have this guitar and still play it.

After forming the band the O-MEN with my cousins Jim and John I ordered this guitar, a Danelectro Bass which I still have. It's kind of clumsy but it was a good guitar. Our peak performance was in the Ellendale Opera House where Cousin Carol, John, Jim and I played a full night. Several hundred dancers came.

That was fun. My band affiliations from then on were less and less. I played all thru college but never replicated the O-Men. We were mostly Buddy Holly and early Beatles. When the later Beatles came we didn't follow.

This is the Harmony Sovereign I bought used in College. It had big tone since it was a big guitar. I still play it. It allowed me to go to parties and not drag my amp around. I hauled it all over the place, even to Europe.

Somewhere along the line I inherited this fake Strad violin. I enjoyed playing it. Never took a lesson. It sounded like it. It actually was a good violin. I found the real owner and gave it back to her. She never thanked me. Uncouth.

When I was playing in the worship band at Church I bought this Bass guitar which I still have. It's fretless. So, slides are smooth. I like playing it better than other people like hearing it.

To date I still own BOTH Bass Guitars, the Gibson E, a different Violin my brother bought me and the Harmony. I don't play as much as I should anymore. If I did I would be sexier. Peggy says she fell in love with me seeing this skinny kid with long hair playing Rock and Roll on the Gibson with a big Gibson 4 speaker amp.

Ah, Hair, I remember it well.

Fuzzy Bunny Ecology kills PEOPLE

People like animals. Mostly that's not harmful. Except when it is.

Glen Reynolds of Instapundit wrote recently of the problems that ensue when people don't understand animals. Growing up in farm country we knew that animals could be dangerous, domestic or wild.
But then "fluffy bunny" syndrome extended itself to become "fluffy mountain lion syndrome." Government-sponsored cougar hunting ended, bounties were removed, and cougars started to make a comeback. Boulder's inhabitants disliked hunters, and liked the idea of living with wildlife, causing populations of deer in residential areas to explode. Meanwhile low-density housing meant that more and more people were living along the boundary between settled and unsettled areas. As cougars, their fear of humans having dissipated after years of not being hunted, moved into semiurban areas bursting with deer, they acclimated to human beings. People were no longer scary and, after a while, started to look like food.

The problem is we as humans want to love all animals. We see movies like over the fence, Bambi and we watch way too much Animal Planet TV. The reality is animals are not fuzzy humans and certainly not fuzzy bunnies.

They can kill, they are dangerous and they are becoming way too comfortable around humans. Mountain Lions are showing up every where. Bears. Wolves. Coyotes. Then there are field rats - DEER. They should be kept under control but people are nuts. From David Baron's Book, The Beast in the Garden
A little later, we were in the woods above the field when we encountered a bear grazing along a path. It looked up at us and licked its mouth, a long strand of saliva dripping nearly to the ground. We were 20 feet away — in Homstol’s opinion, too close for comfort — so she whispered to turn and walk slowly toward the field. This we did, and when I looked back, the bear was 15 feet behind us, frozen in place. Once again, we walked toward the field, and when I turned again, the bear had closed the gap — it was 10 feet off, still making eye contact, still caught in that strange stop-motion pose. Like an image raised in a microscope, the bear kept getting closer and closer, though we never once saw it move. When I asked Homstol what that behavior meant, she said, walking swiftly toward her truck, “I have no idea, and I don’t want to stick around to find out.”

In the Sun Times there is a letter from someone saying how terrible it is that people kill deer. Well, I had venison for supper. I'll have it for lunch tomorrow.

Now, a little mountain lion shishkabob would be just right.

Why George Bush will be remembered as the Great President he is (Iraq Included)

Word for word from the Anchoress (because i could not have said it better):

When Republicans complain to me about how George W. Bush has “betrayed” them or “let them down,” I try to re-iterate things he has done, positions he has taken, that they tend to forget. Like his refusal to submit his nation to the International Criminal Court and his refusal to hog-tie us to the very unworkable Kyoto Treaty that the press likes to pretend enjoyed huge support in Congress (they rejected it unanimously). And I always remind them that in August of 2001, he drew a line in the sand on Embryonic Stem Cell Research and said, “no, we’re not publicly funding it.”

Bush’s stance that initially won him favorable responses from such advocates as diabetic Mary Tyler Moore. Bush’s well-thought out position was actually pretty well received - before the machines of distortion got to chew on things a bit.

MARY TYLER MOORE, ACTRESS: Well, I am so pleased with the thought and care that he put into making this decision. And I think it is a good one. I was not aware — or when I say “I” I should say the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation — was not aware that there are, in fact, 60 embryos waiting. But if there are, that is good. That is better than 6 or 7 or 8, which would have really posed a problem.

I welcome the forming of this council that he spoke about. And I hope that the JDFR will be able to work with him, with the council, on making sure that the guidelines are pure and straight.

LARRY KING: So you are giving this a thumbs up?

MOORE: I am.

KING: Christopher Reeve on the phone. I know you have shared with Mary And appeared with her on occasion discussing this. What is your thought?

CHRISTOPHER REEVE, ACTOR: A little bit more mixed, Larry. I feel that nobody really knew that there were 60 stem cells available. And I don’t know that these lines have been examined to know how well they would work or what condition they are in. And I think that that is something that should have been done.

However, I think it is a step in the right direction. I’m grateful for that to the president.

I remember the speech clearly - and I remember being really proud of the way the president walked a moral tightrope and kept his balance; you can link to the video here. Man, he’s aged. It is hard to consent to being the most hated man in the world for nearly a decade. As I’ve said elsewhere, when you make yourself an offering to God and others, you can expect to be used and used up.

It’s going to take a long time for all the good things Bush has done to be recognized - it may take generations. And those of you - and I’m talking to you folk on the hard right who have decided that because Bush is not “perfectly in line” with you, he cannot have been a good and effective president, those of you who have forgotten the “good” you have received and will thus be unlikely to receive another - will miss this guy when he’s out of office. That’s all I have to say about that.

On the Embryonic Stem Cell controversy, Charles Krauthammer sums it up:

“If human embryonic stem cell research does not make you at least a little bit uncomfortable, you have not thought about it enough.”– James A. Thomson

A decade ago, Thomson was the first to isolate human embryonic stem cells. Last week, he (and Japan’s Shinya Yamanaka) announced one of the great scientific breakthroughs since the discovery of DNA: an embryo-free way to produce genetically matched stem cells.

Even a scientist who cares not a whit about the morality of embryo destruction will adopt this technique because it is so simple and powerful. The embryonic stem cell debate is over.

Which allows a bit of reflection on the storm that has raged ever since the August 2001 announcement of President Bush’s stem cell policy. The verdict is clear: Rarely has a president — so vilified for a moral stance — been so thoroughly vindicated.

Why? Precisely because he took a moral stance. Precisely because, as Thomson puts it, Bush was made “a little bit uncomfortable” by the implications of embryonic experimentation. Precisely because he therefore decided that some moral line had to be drawn.

In doing so, he invited unrelenting demagoguery by an unholy trinity of Democratic politicians, research scientists and patient advocates who insisted that anyone who would put any restriction on the destruction of human embryos could be acting only for reasons of cynical politics rooted in dogmatic religiosity — a “moral ayatollah,” as Sen. Tom Harkin so scornfully put it.
History will look at Bush’s 2001 speech and be surprised how balanced and measured it was, how much respect it gave to the other side. Read it. Here was a presidential policy pronouncement that so finely and fairly drew out the case for both sides that until the final few minutes of his speech, you had no idea where the policy would end up.

Bush finally ended up doing nothing to hamper private research into embryonic stem cells and pledging federal monies to support the study of existing stem cell lines — but refusing federal monies for research on stem cell lines produced by newly destroyed embryos.
That Holy Grail has now been achieved. Largely because of the genius of Thomson and Yamanaka. And also because of the astonishing good fortune that nature requires only four injected genes to turn an ordinary adult skin cell into a magical stem cell that can become bone or brain or heart or liver.

But for one more reason as well. Because the moral disquiet that James Thomson always felt — and that George Bush forced the country to confront — helped lead him and others to find some ethically neutral way to produce stem cells. Providence then saw to it that the technique be so elegant and beautiful that scientific reasons alone will now incline even the most willful researchers to leave the human embryo alone.

Please read all of Dr. Krauthammer’s piece, and then avail yourself of the 2001 speech which, in the wake of 9/11 a bare month later, pretty much everyone has forgotten. Hysteria, distortion, name-calling, paranoid (and false) “chill winds” aside, this president has gotten more right than wrong, and he deserves to be recognized for it.

Embryonic Stem Cells, it must be remembered produced nightmarish results in the lab, and never had a successful application.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Is there a Democrat Dumb Enough----

---to think or believe this man should ever be president of anything including the local PTA?

I can't imagine who would vote for this kind of ignorant blind kind of thinking. Apparently 9% of Democrat voters do. (if Al Gore Runs) . He's still ahead of Dennis Kucinich in all polls.

Edwards: Garnish Wages If Needed to Cover All (Health Insurance)

Oh wait, he is the man who pays $500 bucks to get his hair cut.

I would rather vote for Dennis Kucinich or Ron Paul (who I think is just and nutty) before John Edwards.

Deliver us Lord, Please. He scares me more than any other candidate out there. Fortunately ideas and pronouncements like this brand him as the nut he really is.

He's becoming a total joke.

Now what can I do about getting that pesky 22nd amendment nullified? Where did I put olPuttie Put's phone numer. He did it. Why not here.


Israel official for 60 years and counting

As a Christian who sees the state of Israel thru Prophetic Eyes Yesterday and Today are benchmark dates. It's been 60 years since the state of Israel was partitioned out of trans Jordon. The 29th of November 1947 the UN voted, on the 30th the Arabs attacked. Things have never been the same since.

Shalom Jerusalem

Your coming King is about to split the Mount of Olives


To Greenwash is to claim something is ecologically good when it's just marketing hype.


I blame Global Warming

I had to go see the doctor yesterday. She upped my Hypertension killer stuff. I may live.

Maybe it's global warming. Yes, that's it, I have high blood pressure because of Global Warming. Darn you Al Gore. It stands to reason. 25 years ago I didn't have Hypertension. Now I do. The only thing that's changed is the globe is warming. Ergo-----

I say that because in doing a search of recent news stories in the list of below are those allegedly caused by global warming. If you read thru them you will see contradictions all over the place. We used to blame the Devil (I still do), then the gods, evil spirits, bad karma and the alignment of the planets. That was far too religious for practical secular humanists. So, in an effort to explain away everything wrong or different in the world they came up with the idea of blaming global warming.

Now, if we could just come up with an exorcism liturgy for that: From the American Thinker's Christopher Alleva. He only came up with 600 or so. I'll bet there's more.

His list:

Agricultural land increase, Africa devastated, African aid threatened, Africa hit hardest, air pressure changes, Alaska reshaped, allergies increase, Alps melting, Amazon a desert, American dream end, amphibians breeding earlier (or not), ancient forests dramatically changed, animals head for the hills, Antarctic grass flourishes, anxiety, algal blooms, archaeological sites threatened, Arctic bogs melt, Arctic in bloom, Arctic lakes disappear, asthma, Atlantic less salty, Atlantic more salty, atmospheric defiance, atmospheric circulation modified, attack of the killer jellyfish, avalanches reduced, avalanches increased, bananas destroyed, bananas grow, beetle infestation, bet for $10,000, better beer, big melt faster, billion dollar research projects, billions of deaths, bird distributions change, bird visitors drop, birds return early, blackbirds stop singing, blizzards, blue mussels return, bluetongue, boredom, bridge collapse (Minneapolis), Britain Siberian, British gardens change, brothels struggle, bubonic plague, budget increases, Buddhist temple threatened, building collapse, building season extension, bushfires, business opportunities, business risks, butterflies move north, cancer deaths in England, cardiac arrest, caterpillar biomass shift, challenges and opportunities, childhood insomnia, Cholera, circumcision in decline, cirrus disappearance, civil unrest, cloud increase, cloud stripping, cockroach migration, cod go south, cold climate creatures survive, cold spells (Australia), computer models, conferences, coral bleaching, coral reefs dying, coral reefs grow, coral reefs shrink , cold spells, cost of trillions, cougar attacks, cremation to end, crime increase, crocodile sex, crumbling roads, buildings and sewage systems, cyclones (Australia), damages equivalent to $200 billion, Darfur, Dartford Warbler plague, death rate increase (US), Dengue hemorrhagic fever, dermatitis, desert advance, desert life threatened, desert retreat, destruction of the environment, diarrhoea, disappearance of coastal cities, diseases move north, Dolomites collapse, drought, drowning people, ducks and geese decline, dust bowl in the corn belt, early marriages, early spring, earlier pollen season, Earth biodiversity crisis, Earth dying, Earth even hotter, Earth light dimming, Earth lopsided, Earth melting, Earth morbid fever, Earth on fast track, Earth past point of no return, Earth slowing down, Earth spinning out of control, Earth spins faster, Earth to explode, earth upside down, Earth wobbling, earthquakes, El Niño intensification, erosion, emerging infections, encephalitis, equality threatened, Europe simultaneously baking and freezing, evolution accelerating, expansion of university climate groups, extinctions (human, civilisation, logic, Inuit, smallest butterfly, cod, ladybirds, bats, pandas, pikas, polar bears, pigmy possums, gorillas, koalas, walrus, whales, frogs, toads, turtles, orang-utan, elephants, tigers, plants, salmon, trout, wild flowers, woodlice, penguins, a million species, half of all animal and plant species, not polar bears, barrier reef, leaches), experts muzzled, extreme changes to California, fading fall foliage, famine, farmers go under, fashion disaster, fever,figurehead sacked, fir cone bonanza, fish catches drop, fish catches rise, fish stocks at risk, fish stocks decline, five million illnesses, flesh eating disease, flood patterns change, floods, floods of beaches and cities, Florida economic decline, food poisoning, food prices rise, food security threat (SA), footpath erosion, forest decline, forest expansion, frostbite, frosts, fungi fruitful, fungi invasion, games change, Garden of Eden wilts, genetic diversity decline, gene pools slashed, gingerbread houses collapse, glacial earthquakes, glacial retreat, glacial growth, glacier wrapped, global cooling, global dimming, glowing clouds, god melts, golf Masters wrecked, Gore omnipresence, grandstanding, grasslands wetter, Great Barrier Reef 95% dead, Great Lakes drop, greening of the North, Grey whales lose weight, Gulf Stream failure, habitat loss, Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, harvest increase, harvest shrinkage, hay fever epidemic, hazardous waste sites breached, health of children harmed, heart disease, heart attacks and strokes (Australia), heat waves, hibernation ends too soon, hibernation ends too late, homeless 50 million, hornets, high court debates, human development faces unprecedented reversal, human fertility reduced, human health improvement, human health risk, hurricanes, hurricane reduction, hydropower problems, hyperthermia deaths, ice sheet growth, ice sheet shrinkage, illness and death, inclement weather, infrastructure failure (Canada), Inuit displacement, Inuit poisoned, Inuit suing, industry threatened, infectious diseases, inflation in China, insurance premium rises, invasion of cats, invasion of herons, invasion of midges, island disappears, islands sinking, itchier poison ivy, jellyfish explosion, Kew Gardens taxed, kitten boom, krill decline, lake and stream productivity decline, lake shrinking and growing, landslides, landslides of ice at 140 mph, lawsuits increase, lawsuit successful, lawyers' income increased (surprise surprise!), lightning related insurance claims, little response in the atmosphere, lush growth in rain forests, Lyme disease, Malaria, malnutrition, mammoth dung melt, Maple syrup shortage, marine diseases, marine food chain decimated, marine dead zone, Meaching (end of the world), megacryometeors, Melanoma, methane emissions from plants, methane burps, melting permafrost, Middle Kingdom convulses, migration, migration difficult (birds), microbes to decompose soil carbon more rapidly, monkeys on the move, Mont Blanc grows, monuments imperiled, more bad air days, more research needed, mountain (Everest) shrinking, mountains break up, mountains taller, mortality lower, mudslides, National security implications, new islands, next ice age, Nile delta damaged, no effect in India, Northwest Passage opened, nuclear plants bloom, oaks move north, ocean acidification, ocean waves speed up, opera house to be destroyed, outdoor hockey threatened, oyster diseases, ozone loss, ozone repair slowed, ozone rise, Pacific dead zone, personal carbon rationing, pest outbreaks, pests increase, phenology shifts, plankton blooms, plankton destabilised, plankton loss, plant viruses, plants march north, polar bears aggressive, polar bears cannibalistic, polar bears drowning, polar bears starve, polar tours scrapped, porpoise astray, profits collapse, psychosocial disturbances, puffin decline, railroad tracks deformed, rainfall increase, rainfall reduction, rape wave, refugees, reindeer larger, release of ancient frozen viruses, resorts disappear, rice threatened, rice yields crash, riches, rift on Capitol Hill, rioting and nuclear war, rivers dry up, river flow impacted, rivers raised, roads wear out, rockfalls, rocky peaks crack apart, roof of the world a desert, Ross river disease, ruins ruined, salinity reduction, salinity increase, Salmonella, salmon stronger, satellites accelerate, school closures, sea level rise, sea level rise faster, seals mating more, sewer bills rise, sex change, sharks booming, sharks moving north, sheep shrink, shop closures, shrinking ponds, shrinking shrine, ski resorts threatened, slow death, smaller brains, smog, snowfall increase, snowfall heavy, snowfall reduction, societal collapse, songbirds change eating habits, sour grapes, space problem, spiders invade Scotland, squid population explosion, squirrels reproduce earlier, spectacular orchids, stormwater drains stressed, street crime to increase, suicide, taxes, tectonic plate movement, teenage drinking, terrorism, threat to peace, ticks move northward (Sweden), tides rise, tourism increase, trade barriers, trade winds weakened, tree beetle attacks, tree foliage increase (UK), tree growth slowed, trees could return to Antarctic, trees in trouble, trees less colourful, trees more colourful, trees lush, tropics expansion, tropopause raised, tsunamis, turtles crash, turtles lay earlier, UK Katrina, Vampire moths, Venice flooded, volcanic eruptions, walrus displaced, walrus pups orphaned, war, wars over water, wars threaten billions, water bills double, water supply unreliability, water scarcity (20% of increase), water stress, weather out of its mind, weather patterns awry, weeds, Western aid cancelled out, West Nile fever, whales move north, wheat yields crushed in Australia, white Christmas dream ends, wildfires, wind shift, wind reduced, wine - harm to Australian industry, wine industry damage (California), wine industry disaster (US), wine - more English, wine -German boon, wine - no more French , winters in Britain colder, wolves eat more moose, wolves eat less, workers laid off, World bankruptcy, World in crisis, World in flames, Yellow fever.

AND Hypertension