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TRUMP’S “BIG AGENDA” (Book Review)

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 22, 2017

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– Trump was vilified like no other presidential candidate in history, yet he still defeated the Democrats.

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

David Horowitz’ new book, “BIG AGENDA – President Trump’s Plan to Save America,” has been receiving good reviews and is a bestseller on the New York Times list. In it, he outlines President Trump’s plans to take back the country and reverse the Progressive agenda as put forth by President Obama, the Clintons, Senator Bernie Sanders, et al. From the outset, Horowitz makes it clear the country is at war with itself, something many of us have long known, but others should study, particularly Republicans.

The author begins by discussing the tactics of the Left, which is ultimately based on the work of Saul Alinsky, the famed community organizer and mentor to Obama, Clinton, and many others. Alinsky’s approach is less about frontal warfare and more designed to undermine the status quo by capturing the minds of the masses. The Progressives genuinely believe they are on a noble mission on the same scale as a religious movement, hence their zealous ferver. They believe they know what is best for America and will not be deterred. Consequently, no lie or wrongdoing is too great as long as the end justifies the means.

The Left portrays Republicans as unfit to lead the country. This comes from the Alinsky playbook whereby the best way to undermine your opposition is to vilify them. Calling people “racist” or any other deplorable moniker is an an attempt to make them social outcasts and enemies of the state. In reality, Progressives are the real party of hate as they try to prohibit free thinking and free speech using bullying tactics.

Democrats do not accept the Constitution as it is viewed as an impediment to their agenda of social change. For example, they do not want a Supreme Court to interpret the Constitution, but implement social justice instead. This was obvious during the presidential debates and recent Judge Gorsuch confirmation hearings. Their Achilles’ heel is their sense of morality; e.g., they do not believe in the rule of law as it pertains to illegal immigrants.

The Left is aided by the media and academia which is overwhelmingly Democrat and influencing the masses, particularly our youth. Congressional Democrats have implemented a stalling tactic in hopes the country will elect a new Congress controlled by the Democrats, and anarchists funded by Democratic causes stay in the media’s eye to protest anything violating their agenda. Such chaos could very well backfire on them come time for next year’s mid-term elections as independent voters grow weary of the Left’s whining.

With all this in mind, Horowitz makes an important point: Donald Trump was vilified like no other presidential candidate in history, yet he still defeated the Democrats. This shocked the Republicans as much as it did the Democrats. For example, Mr. Trump was the first nominee who had the audacity to stand up to Hillary Clinton, a woman no less, and called her a liar and crook during the debates. Republicans let out a gasp of disbelief, as this had never been done before, even by Mitt Romney who had the chance to call out Barack Obama during the 2012 debates, but failed to do so. Trump’s outspokenness resonated with Americans who were tired of “business as usual” in Washington. It also provided an important lesson; the Democrats must be put on the defensive. The Republicans need to learn how to be tough, a strong lesson Trump gave to a bewildered set of GOP Presidential candidates. He taught us it is time to be strong and fight back.

Towards the end of his book, Horowitz finally gets around to describing his vision of Trump’s battle plan, particularly in the first 100 days of his administration. Interestingly, most of the items listed have been addressed by the President. There are some points that were not implemented but will likely be considered shortly, such as relocating America’s Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, Infrastructure spending, and attacking the past indiscretions of the IRS, but there is still considerable time remaining to do so.

Horowitz also stresses the importance of offering a new deal to Black America in the inner cities, who have suffered for decades under the rule of the Democrats. If Trump can improve education, clean up crime, and create jobs for the inner cities, this will be welcomed by Black Americans, an important voting block for the Democrats. This is why the mayors of Democrat-controlled cities are fighting Trump over such things as Sanctuary Cities and school voucher programs.

As I said, Horowitz’ book will be an epiphany for those who haven’t been paying attention to the political landscape over the last ten years, but it is common sense for the rest of us. All Republicans should read it for the battle-cry it represents. High school and college students should also study it to understand both sides of the two political ideologues. Yes, this is war, yet some Republicans naively believe it is nothing more than simple politics. As Horowitz points out, we have gone well beyond simple politics, this is a fight for the fundamental character of America, our morality, our sense of right and wrong. A war where one side embraces the morality and governing principles of our founding fathers, and another determined to set us on a different path. One side believing in capitalism, another in the redistribution of wealth a la socialism. One aimed at improving the gross domestic product, and the other nothing more than a rearrangement of the deck chairs on the Titanic.

The book spells out a “take no prisoner” approach to fighting the Left and saving the country. Basically, Horowitz is admonishing Republicans to reverse the tables and do unto Democrats what they have been doing all along to the GOP.

“BIG AGENDA – President Trump’s Plan to Save America” – David HorowitzHumanix Books
http://www.humanixbooks.com/bigagenda.html
ISBN 978-1-63006-087-9 (hardcover)
ISBN 978-1-63006-088-6 (E-book).
188 pages

Also published in The Huffington Post.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  GETTING FIRED – What to learn from the experience.

LAST TIME:  THE 99% COMPLETE SYNDROME  – You’re probably measuring the wrong thing if you keep asking for this figure.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

THE 99% COMPLETE SYNDROME

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 19, 2017

BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT

– You’re probably measuring the wrong thing if you keep asking for this figure.

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

It is an undocumented fact that the last 1% of anything takes longer than the other 99%. There are plenty of examples to support this argument, perhaps none quite as visible as the progress bars we see on computers. You know, those little bars telling you how you are progressing in the installation of software or the execution of a program. More often than not, such progress bars seem to race through the first 99% like a blazing track star, yet when we get to that last 1% it seems to slow down to a snail’s pace.

I have also witnessed this same phenomenon in project management situations. As we were building our office in Florida our contractor proudly proclaimed he was 99% complete and we should prepare ourselves to move in. Interestingly, that last 1% dragged on for days, weeks, and even a few months, thereby delaying inspections and prohibiting our move.

In the Information Technology field, it is difficult to get a realistic picture of how much work remains on a project. Programmers love to announce they are 99% complete in writing their programs, but somehow that last 1% never seems to come to conclusion. Either something was wrong in the design of their software they hadn’t anticipated, something had changed, or gremlins had compounded their best efforts. Regardless, the project never ends.

This phenomenon is related to our perspective on work, specifically, “Is the glass half empty or half filled?” Instead of focusing on the work completed, people should be more concerned with the amount of effort remaining. For example, instead of asking about percentages, workers should be constantly evaluating the amount of effort required to complete remaining tasks in hours. Only after this is known should we consider the application of percentages, not before. Unfortunately, that is not the mindset in most project environments. Instead, people tend to consider the amount of work expended against the original estimate, not the remaining effort. This is certainly not a realistic or reliable way of reporting progress. It is pure fantasy.

Surprisingly, there are still quite a few project management packages allowing people to post percentages as opposed to automatically calculating it based on the estimate of hours remaining on project tasks which is simply ludicrous.

So, next time you hear someone claim they are 99% complete with something, it means they still have a long way to go and the person hasn’t got a clue when it will be completed, but it’s close…maybe. Ask yourself this, when was the last time you saw the final two minutes of a football game finish within 120 seconds? I’ve never seen it either.

“The last 1% of a project can take as long as the first 99%.” – Bryce’s Law

Also published in The Huffington Post.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  TRUMP’S “BIG AGENDA” (Book Review) – Trump was vilified like no other presidential candidate in history, yet he still defeated the Democrats.

LAST TIME:  WHAT WE LEARN IN SUPERMARKETS  – You can learn a lot from a supermarket, perhaps too much.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Management | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

WHAT WE LEARN IN SUPERMARKETS

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 17, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– You can learn a lot from a supermarket, perhaps too much.

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

You can learn a lot from a supermarket. For example, if you want to know what a community is really like, visit the local supermarket. To me, it is a microcosm of the community, complete with local cuisine, customs, speech patterns, fashion, and social stature. It also tells us a lot about our driving skills. That’s right, driving. The similarities between how people push their shopping carts in the store and how they motor around town is truly remarkable. Think about it, here’s what you typically find as you meander the store aisles:

Speeders – these are the people who know exactly what they want, and go in and out of the store as fast as possible. They have little time for chitchat and God forbid you get in their way, WHAM! Actually, I like to follow the speeders through the store as they tend to clear the aisles for me (kind of like following an ambulance or fire truck). Most people are put off by speeders though, particularly when they accidentally ram into other shopping carts.

Slow Pokes – obviously this group represents the antithesis of the speeders. These are the people who either go grocery shopping like it is a carefree social outing or the geriatric types who can barely see above the carts. Then of course there are the people talking on cell phones or the handicap wheel chairs the size of a Sherman Tank. All of these people move at a snail’s pace and are totally oblivious to everyone else around them thereby causing traffic jams.

Road Hogs – these are the people who push their carts down the middle of the aisles making it difficult to pass from either direction, left or right. These are the same people who like to double-park their carts in the most congested parts of the store and look offended if you ask them to move (which, of course, they do reluctantly).

Navigation through the supermarket is probably the biggest reason why people loathe going to them. Perhaps if they were designed more like highways it would be simpler, such as turning lanes, traffic signs, and lines painted down the middle of the aisle floors (actually, I think this would be a great idea as people are conditioned to follow painted lines on the road and would probably observe one side or the other).

Thank God nobody ever thought of adding a horn to a grocery cart as I suspect the sound would be deafening. Maybe what we need is a motorcycle cop driving a two wheel Segway up and down the aisles writing tickets or traffic cops strategically located around the store.

Actually, I think they should give driving tests in supermarkets as a precursor to getting your actual driver’s license. Imagine kiosks in supermarkets like Kroger, Publix, and Safeway where you have to complete a written test and then be evaluated by Troopers with drill-sergeant hats and reflective glasses with clipboards judging shoppers on their driving skills. This should significantly cut down on the number of idiots on the road wouldn’t it?

Yes, supermarkets tell a lot about ourselves, maybe too much.

Also published in The Huffington Post.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  WHAT WE LEARN IN SUPERMARKETS – You can learn a lot from a supermarket, perhaps too much.

LAST TIME:  WHAT CAUSES “THE STUPIDS”?  – With the masses, it’s all about crowd control.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Life, Social Issues | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

WHAT CAUSES “THE STUPIDS”?

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 15, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– With the masses, it’s all about crowd control.

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

Shortly after graduating from high school I went to work at a large amusement park in Cincinnati for a summer where I ran the cable car ride. I had a lot of smaller jobs while in school, but this was the first where I was exposed to the public on a grand scale. The amusement park provided instructional materials to try and prepare employees in dealing with the public, but I don’t think anything truly prepares you for something like this other than to throw you right into it whereby you either sink or swim.

I have to admit, dealing with the masses for the first time is an eye-opening experience and definitely not for the faint of heart. The public’s indiscretions and atrocities are truly mind-numbing as anyone who has ever worked at such a venue can tell you. While at the park, I saw motorcycle gangs, groups of transvestites, drunk hillbillies, etc., but it was Orphan Day at the park that finally pushed me over the edge. Basically, the park opened its doors to every orphan in the state of Ohio which, to me, seemed like releasing all of the animals from the zoo. The kids basically ran amok throughout the park un-chaperoned. In addition to just being pests, they endangered others on the rides, and frequently injured themselves. As I recall, the log-flume ride had more than its share of chopped off fingers from kids who wouldn’t listen to instruction and keep their hands inside the ride. On more than one occasion they caused my cable-car ride to shut down by jumping up and down in the car during the ride. As an aside, seeing a cable car bounce up and down on a line like a pogo stick is a frightening sight. Bottom-line, Orphan Day was my last day of employment at the park.

Recently, I was asked to help out at a major community event in my area. This was not just another rinky-dink arts and crafts festival, but rather a major outdoor event involving thousands of people. The particular group I was involved with was charged with directing parking and securing the entrances and exits to the event. As the human throngs invaded, I started to experience flashbacks to my amusement park days. Instead of dealing with orphans, motorcycle gangs, etc., I was dealing with basic families and retirees. Interestingly, I discovered they suffered from the same case of “the stupids” as the whackos I had in Ohio, It thereby occurred to me that “the stupids” know no boundary and can be found just about anywhere involving large groups of people.

Here are the earmarks of people suffering from “the stupids” in massive venues:

* Sensory impairment, particularly sight and sound. It seems people cannot see the largest of signs, even when it is blinking in front of them. Further, they seem to become deaf when you are trying to give them instruction; either that or they seem to forget the English language and look at you like you are from another planet.

* People become self-centered. Instead of trying to cooperate and wait their turn, they are more interested in pushing and shoving to the head of the line. When you try to correct them, they become belligerent, regardless of how polite you try to be.

* People develop a herd mentality whereby they follow anyone wherever they are going, right or wrong, kind of like lemmings.

Basically, I find people tend to lose consciousness in mass settings and prefer to have others do the thinking for them. If I have learned anything from this, it is:

1. People have no common sense in massive settings and need to be told what to do, not just once but repetitively until it sinks in.

2. People prefer to be led and told what to do. They are more content if they know someone is watching over them.

3. People are easily manipulated using simple commands. If the message is complicated, the less likely they will understand and obey it. Short, simple commands are all that is necessary (and all that John Q. Public understands).

If this all sounds like a cattle drive, it is, complete with park attendants who play the role of cowboys. Next time you visit an amusement park or political rally, observe how the masses are manipulated and you will see what I’m talking about. Just be careful not to spook the herd though, you might start a stampede. This is why you often hear soothing music at such venues, as it tends to calm people down (like the cowboy’s harmonica).

“Get along little doggie!”

Also published in The Huffington Post.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  WHAT WE LEARN IN SUPERMARKETS – You can learn a lot from a supermarket, perhaps too much.

LAST TIME:  RESPECTING PRIVACY  – What to do about a loudmouth neighbor.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Life, Social Issues | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

RESPECTING PRIVACY

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 12, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– What to do about a loudmouth neighbor.

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

When I first went to Japan, I found it fascinating how so many people could get along in a small amount of space. For example, if you take the subway in Tokyo during rush hour, you better not be claustrophobic, as people are jammed in with you any way they can. Fortunately, I’m tall enough where I can keep my head above the fray and get some fresh air, but down below are Japanese pushed into my navel (and just about everywhere else). Remarkably, as close as the quarters are on the subway, the Japanese try to respect the privacy of the people surrounding them. I’ve always admired the Japanese for this; quite simply, there is great respect for the concern of others. Because of the small amount of available space, I guess they really have no alternative.

Contrast this attitude though to the United States where we have a heck of a lot more space, but we still have areas where people live in close quarters, such as apartment buildings and condominium complexes. I recently had a reader complain to me about a neighbor in her apartment building who was causing a lot of trouble for the residents there, whereby he would be loud, knock on doors in the middle of the night to wake people up, and generally be an all-around nuisance. They tried to talk to him, but he disregarded their complaints and continues on his war path. My reader asked me what she should do about the situation.

First, you have to recognize you are dealing with someone who is either immature or socially dysfunctional, and such people can be dangerous as they have no concern for anyone else but themselves, the absolute antithesis of the Japanese culture. Second, find out the rules pertaining to your apartment complex as written and attached to the lease or contract, perhaps some governing documents. If such rules and regulations do not exist, look up local government ordinances. Next, register a written complaint with the proper authorities; in fact, get as many people as possible to sign the complaint with you which adds more credibility to your argument. Although you may want to take your complaint to your landlord, in all likelihood, he will not care. From his perspective, an obnoxious tenant that pays his rent on time is better than a quiet, empty apartment for lease. In other words, you will have to register your complaint with law enforcement officials.

When your complaint is officially registered and the person is notified, he will either be forced to conform or may become more belligerent. Now is the time to keep a journal of any other incidents that may arise, including pictures or audio if pertinent. Hopefully, the situation will go away, but it may also erupt on a grander scale, whereby you end up in court or be forced to move yourself.

Such a situation is unimaginable in Japan. The neighbors would talk to the person who, in turn, would become embarrassed and comply in order to maintain harmony and not to lose face. However, in the “home of the free,” such a talk would only make the problem worse, not better.

There are of course other alternatives, such as a baseball bat persuader, or hire Nunzio “Three fingers” to have a little “chat” with the problem child, but it is probably best to try legal alternatives first. Then again, you could move to Japan, if you don’t mind being squashed into a subway car.

Also published in The Huffington Post.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  WHAT CAUSES “THE STUPIDS”? – With the masses, it’s all about crowd control.

LAST TIME:  CONFIDENCE IN PRESENTATION  – Getting the audience on your side.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Life, Social Issues | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

CONFIDENCE IN PRESENTATION

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 10, 2017

BRYCE ON COMMUNICATIONS

– Getting the audience on your side.

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

I had a young friend recently ask me for advice on a critical sales presentation he was getting ready to make. He had prepared a good graphical presentation on the computer, but was still a little squeamish about speaking in front of a group of people. Knowing I had been through this many times in my career, he asked for some advice. My first question to him was, “How well do you know your subject?”

He assured me he was supremely confident in his subject area, that he could answer any and all questions pertaining to it. I then replied that he had nothing to worry about as it is all about confidence. Quite often you hear people admonished to think of their audience without any clothes on. This is done to exert the speaker’s confidence and superiority over them. It’s not really necessary to think of your audience naked, unless they are all highly attractive people in which condition you will likely be distracted (as opposed to authoritative).

I advised my young friend, to remain confident and stay in control of the presentation. If you know the subject matter better than anyone else, as they should, go into the presentation with a little swagger, look people square in the eye, and almost dare them to ask you a question. A little intimidation can go a long way in demonstrating your confidence. More importantly though, I encourage speakers to interact with their audience. A pointed index finger can engage participation better than just asking, “Are there any questions?”

I frequently use the index finger not only to ask questions, particularly to those people who are half-awake, but to ask them, “Isn’t that right?” If there is disagreement, I want to get it out in the open and not let it simmer until later. More importantly, I am trying to get the audience on my side. Jokes and humor are useful for breaking the ice, but I want to recruit support for my argument, and this is primarily done by actively interacting with the audience. The index finger can be very powerful in this regard.

When I get nothing but blank stares after asking a question, I say something like this, “Look it is really quite simple, this means ‘Yes’ (shake head up-and-down), this means ‘No’ (shake head left-to-right), and this means ‘I haven’t got a clue what you are talking about’ (shake head diagonally).”

This is a good for breaking the ice and a clever way of warning the audience they will be asked to actively participate in the presentation (and they shouldn’t be caught napping).

I also advise speakers to dress for success. A good set of clothes not only is a sign of respect for the audience, it is an expression of your confidence and authority. The speaker should either dress better than his audience, or at least equal to them, but never worse.

I followed up with my young friend afterwards to see how his presentation had gone. He was pleased to inform me that all went well, that he had actively engaged the audience and got them on his side. In fact, he was quite pleased with his performance as well as his boss who was impressed by his swagger. More importantly, they got the sale.

This is why I am a big believer in encouraging more speech classes in school, starting in the elementary grades. Such training overcomes the intimidation of the audience and actually turns the tables. Giving an effective speech is much more than just the spoken word, or a slick graphical presentation, it is also the histrionics of delivering a speech. Just remember, your index finger is more powerful than a lot of people think. It means you are in charge.

Also published in The Huffington Post.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  RESPECTING PRIVACY – What to do about a loudmouth neighbor.

LAST TIME:  WHAT IS FAIR?  – Is it in the eye of the beholder?

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Communications | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

THINKING SMALL

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 8, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– It is preventing us from achieving greatness.

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

When I catch up with old friends through social media, particularly those from my youth, I am often asked something like, “Well Tim, how has your ride been?” In other words, have I had a good life? More importantly, knowing of my business background, they want to know what I have learned along the way, particularly in my field of endeavor, Information Technology.

Without hesitation, I admonish them that Americans tend to think “smaller” than we did years ago which, of course, requires some explanation. Keep in mind, as a Baby Boomer I lived through the space race, the cold war, and mainframe computers where the intent was to develop massive Management Information Systems (MIS), processing everything from soup to nuts. This is in sharp contrast to today’s world involving smart phones, the Internet, and writing an “app” representing a single program. The idea of writing something small seems to be preferable to working on major systems. In a way, it is like owning a dog, smaller ones do not require as much maintenance as larger ones.

The massive systems of yesteryear are still around, but developing new ones is avoided, primarily because they have forgotten how to build them and, as such, can no longer be effectively developed on-time, within budget, or according to specifications. The government alone is inundated with a plethora of system snafus. In contrast, the idea of writing an “app” is much more appealing to our sense of developing something “quick and dirty.” Consequently, our defense systems, health care systems, agriculture systems, and commercial systems are crumbling much like our physical infrastructure.

Examples are everywhere. Whereas 60-70 years ago we talked about landing astronauts on the moon, building a nationwide highway system, building bridges, dams, and skyscrapers; today thinking “small” has resulted in decaying buildings and highways, and turned over leadership in the space program to others.

Maybe the reason we think small is because most people are looking for an easy way out. I tend to believe there are a lot of people who prefer operating on autopilot as opposed to daring to think greatly. Instead, they rely on talking heads to shape their opinions and attitudes. I realize we rely on the help and society of others in our journey through life, but perhaps too much. It takes men and women of character to think big, and those that do are often scorned and ridiculed because they have the audacity to challenge the status quo.

Our initiative and ambition has also changed. The Greatest Generation were the tough guys who won a world war. In the process, they learned to assume risk and were more inclined to make gutsy decisions than their successors. They also possessed a strong work ethic resulting from the Great Depression where they learned the value of a dollar. Their energy and ambition has never been matched by the Baby Boomers or ensuing generations.

Adding to this is our troubling habit of reinventing the wheel year after year. As an example, in the Information Technology business, there is no sense of history, as I presume is true in other industries. Today’s programmers have little understanding of the earlier concepts of such things as writing in machine code, assembly, and how the procedural languages emerged; nor are they aware of various data base models, such as hierarchical or network. Consequently, there is an inclination to delete and rewrite programs as opposed to re-using information resources thereby saving time, money, and allowing system integration. As we all know, without a sense of history there is a tendency to repeat mistakes from an earlier time.

In the process of thinking smaller, we tend to make life more complicated through excessive use of rules and regulations. Take airline flying as an example, which used to be considered an enjoyable experience. Long before elaborate security systems were established, passengers could just walk to the gate, present their ticket, and walk on to the plane. In-flight, it was common to have a full meal as opposed to peanuts or pretzels. One of the best I remember was on an old Republic Airlines flight from Chicago to Milwaukee where I was served a fabulous corned beef hash and egg breakfast. Not bad for a thirty minute flight.

Today, we have to be sensitive to allergies to snacks, going through security is like the Bataan Death March, a drink now costs upwards to $10, smoking is prohibited, the overhead compartments are packed with luggage, you’re squeezed into seats like a can or sardines, and entering or exiting the airport is like crossing over at Check Point Charley. Today, I would much rather drive my car than suffer through the indignation of air transportation.

Airlines are not alone, and government red tape is becoming stifling, causing companies to become frustrated, and think smaller in terms of determining their objectives. What is the point of trying to tackle major projects if government is going to be more of an impediment than a facilitator? We also see this in how we manage people. Instead of delegating responsibility and empowering people, companies prefer to micromanage every little action of its workers. Very dehumanizing.

Our society is heterogeneous, meaning we are a mixture of people with different perspectives, different beliefs, and different values. We have people residing in this country from every nation on the planet, all of which shapes our morality, our sense of right and wrong. The Gallup organization has been monitoring morality for several years and notes our changing values. Nearly 75% of the people believe our morality is getting worse, not better. I tend to believe this is caused by our inclination to resist cooperation and focus on our individualistic needs, a narcissistic attitude where we think of ourselves first, and others second.

Without a sense of morality and a diminishing set of social skills, people tend to avoid teamwork and assuming responsibility, thereby denigrating our productivity and ability to get things done. Hence, we are back to thinking small again. Teamwork and cooperation can be taught through leadership and the establishment of national objectives. To illustrate, the country typically pulls together in times of war or catastrophe. As another example, in his 1962 speech at Rice University, President Kennedy called upon the nation to win the space race by landing a man on the moon by the end of the decade, which we did. This resulted in a renewed sense of pride, cooperation, and a positive spirit of accomplishment, simply by establishing a national objective.

Even in today’s polarized political climate, we can realize a similar spirit and national pride, but it requires one important ingredient: an ability to think big once again. The only problem though is, it is easier to think small than to think big.

Also published in The Huffington Post.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  CONFIDENCE IN PRESENTATION – Getting the audience on your side.

LAST TIME:  WHAT IS FAIR?  – Is it in the eye of the beholder?

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Life | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

WHAT IS FAIR?

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 5, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Is it in the eye of the beholder?

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

Good question. This is something we all demand but I don’t think we really know what fair is; to illustrate:

* In this country we have established an extensive system of jurisprudence involving lawyers, judges, juries, appeals, etc. Yet, when a decision is finally reached, we claim it wasn’t fair. Case in point, the Casey Anthony jury decision. America felt she literally got away with murder.

* In sports, we trust the officials will be fair in regulating the game, but we become unglued when we find an official tampering with the rules. When I coached Little League baseball, I would resent umpires who called balls and strikes one way for a team and different for the other. I didn’t realize the strike zone could change so significantly between innings.

* The news media outlets tout themselves as fair and impartial, but I don’t know anyone who honestly believes it.

* In the work place, we hope our bosses and coworkers will treat us fairly in our working relationships, and feel dejected when we find ourselves on the losing end of a political maneuver. All we want is a fair and even playing field to compete on. Rarely do we get it.

* On the highway, we believe everyone should observe the same rules of the road and are aghast when someone flagrantly violates them, while others get stopped for petty moving violations.

* We want people to pay their fair share of taxes, but argue about how this should be accomplished. Some suggest a flat tax, others want regressive taxation whereby the rich must pay for the poor.

* We believe countries should treat each other equitably and are outraged when we find a violation of agreements thereby threatening peace or disrupting economics.

Being “fair” is an obsession with a lot of people, but only if it is in their favor. As much as we harangue about fairness, deep down we really don’t want it. Fairness is a human interpretation. It is in the eye of the beholder. What one person considers fair, another will consider just the opposite, even if the law, rule or regulation is documented in writing. It takes an impartial and informed person to determine what is equitable for all of the parties concerned. Unfortunately, it seems people today are easily prejudiced and rely more on gossip and spin as opposed to facts.

Fairness is based on who interprets the rules, usually by the person(s) in power, not by plurality of vote. As the power shifts, our interpretation of fairness shifts. This means our sense of fairness changes over time as perspectives and priorities change. For example, what would be considered “fair” by our nation’s founding fathers is certainly not the same as those in government today. In the early days, it was considered “fair” for land owners to be the only people allowed to vote in elections because they were considered responsible citizens, not shiftless rabble. Naturally, this changed over the years so any Tom, Dick, or Mary can vote regardless how “responsible” they were as citizens. Today, elections are won more by media spin than by the true issues of the day. Yet, we believe this is fair.

Our perception of fairness is based on our moralistic makeup which, obviously, varies based on cultural and religious differences. To illustrate, the morals of a Salvation Army Colonel will be substantially different than an atheist gang-banger from the ‘hood. I cannot imagine any commonality between the two. This is what happens when you live in a heterogeneous society. Japan, on the other hand is more homogenous in nature and as such, shares moral values which leads to consistent interpretations of what is right and wrong. The point is, as morality declines or becomes splintered through incompatible interpretations, it compounds the problem of realizing consistent fairness. The greater the uniformity in morality, the more likely fairness will be consistently applied.

Fairness is often defined by a plurality of vote, be it polls, legislatures, or a jury. It is their perception only, not necessarily what is fair. We have all seen too many votes that led to erroneous results primarily because those in judgment are not properly informed or lack the ability to offer an unbiased verdict.

As the populace becomes more disjointed, we write legislation based on poll numbers or elections, but this does not necessarily mean it is fair, only that it is the perception of the plurality, which may be right, but also could be wrong.

So, whether you are on a ball field, in a classroom, in the workplace, or wherever, you must recognize that absolute fairness is a myth. It is based on the interpretation and whims of the people who interpret the rules. Even if we were to automate decisions by computer, we must remember such rules are programmed by humans with all of their frailties. In other words, the computer will only render a decision as programmed by the human-being.

If you are upset that something is unfair, get over it. King Solomon died thousands of years ago. You win some, you lose some. Put your best foot forward and hope you’ll be treated fairly.

“Forget fair. Our world was not designed to be fair.”
– Tom Hopkins
“How to Master the Art of Selling Anything”

Also published in The Huffington Post.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  THINKING SMALL – It is preventing us from achieving greatness.

LAST TIME:  JOB ENTITLEMENTS  – Who says you are entitled to it?

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Life, Morality | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

JOB ENTITLEMENTS

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 3, 2017

BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT

– Who says you are entitled to it?

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

I was recently talking to a young man in a local I.T. company who was lamenting how he was overlooked for a promotion. He had been with the company for a year, thought he was doing a good job, and fully expected to be promoted to a job at a higher pay level. He didn’t get it. Somewhat miffed, he was considering jumping ship to look for another job elsewhere. In response, I asked him about the stability of the company and its future potential, which he admitted was good. I then asked what kind of assignments he had worked on over the last year and his success rate. Although he raved about his work effort, he admitted he had been late and over budget on some tasks, but was quick to proclaim, “I work my butt off in there; I put in 45 hours a week.” I replied that managers are more interested in results, not necessarily the amount of time going into it. Frankly, 45 hours doesn’t impress me and I told him so.

I guess it is not surprising to see an entitlement mentality evolve in the workplace. Young people learn this in school as they progress through grades annually. People now expect routine promotions and bonuses regardless if they earned it or not. They shouldn’t. A bonus is just that, a bonus; a little extra for outstanding service. Sometimes you get it, sometimes you do not. However, if the company had a bad year, it may not be able to afford a bonus and, as such, employees should not become dependent on them.

A person is given a job promotion when an opportunity arises and an individual has demonstrated he/she possesses the skills and ability to assume the responsibility. Promotions should not be rewarded by guess or by golly (or by politics for that matter), but for demonstrated ability, a track-record if you will. Even in school, we cannot progress to the next level without adequate grades. This of course means the progress of an employee should be evaluated routinely. Although most major companies have this well defined, there are still a lot of companies who avoid evaluating their employees on a routine basis. I am always surprised when I see companies evaluating employees verbally as opposed to documenting it with a form, thereby making it impossible to accurately remember or track an employee’s progress.

We have used an Employee Evaluation Form for a number of years and have always found it to be a useful means for developing a dialog between the employee and his superior. When it is time to evaluate an employee, we ask both the employee and his manager to prepare the form separately then compare the two side-by-side. This naturally results in an interesting discussion particularly when discrepancies occur. Whereas the employee may perceive his abilities one way, his superior may have an entirely different perspective. Bottom-line, the employee evaluation should be used to clear up such inconsistencies, plot both the strengths and weaknesses of the employee, and develop a plan to improve them. If you do not have a good Employee Evaluation Form, just drop me a line and I will e-mail you the one we use.

Without a defined process to evaluate the performance of employees, they will assume all is going well and therefore feel entitled to receive such things as bonuses and promotions. A constructive employee evaluation process improves communications between the employee and the boss, points the employee in the proper direction for improving his skills thereby making him a more productive and valuable worker, and shatters the problem of job entitlements. The employee has either earned the bonus or job promotion, or he hasn’t.

Also published in The Huffington Post.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  JOB ENTITLEMENTS – Who says you are entitled to it?

LAST TIME:  WHAT IS FAIR?  – Is it in the eye of the beholder?

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Business, Management | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

FIGHTING DIABETES

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 1, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– One man’s fight against Type 2 Diabetes.

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

I recently announced on Facebook I had worked my way off of Diabetes medication, having been able to lower my blood sugar levels over a four month period. This resulted in a landslide of congratulatory messages from friends on achieving this goal, of which I give thanks. In doing so, it made me realize how sensitive people are becoming to Type 2 Diabetes and that maybe my story could benefit others.

Following a physical exam last Fall, I took a blood test which revealed elevated blood sugar levels (333 + 10.5). Frankly, I wasn’t surprised as I knew I had developed an addiction to low-carb sports drinks, apple juice and orange juice. The carbs were low but I wasn’t paying attention to the sugar content. My father also suffered with Diabetes, so when my doctor informed me of the problem, I paid attention. He said I could either address the problem myself or take a pill. At first, I decided to address it myself.

I immediately implemented a cease and desist on all of the drinks I had been consuming, along with alcohol. I was told to also eliminate bread, pasta, and sweets from my diet, which presented no problem to me, and I concentrated on protein. I do not normally enjoy a lot of sweets, but I discovered sugar-free Popsicles satisfied my occasional craving.

As to alcohol, I missed my end of the day beer or glass of wine, but I figured if I could conquer smoking, as I did two years ago, I could also set aside booze. Only once during the next few months did I surrender to a lite beer, but this made me feel physically bad and instinctively realized I couldn’t pursue it any longer. By January, my numbers had dropped to 250 + 9, and by February it was 198 + 8. This didn’t satisfy my doctor who recommended I try a pill to accelerate the reduction, specifically Metformin.

Also around this time, I joined a gym and began to exercise regularly (you may remember my column on “My Trip to the Gym”). In addition, I was taking a fat burning pill available from the drug store, Lipozene. Between the exercise, my new diet, lack of alcohol, and the diet pill, the pounds melted off rather quickly. So much so, I am now faced with having to buy new clothes.

During the two months while I was on Metformin, I began to experience some strange side-effects, such as muscle aches and pains, overly sensitive to cold, nausea, trouble breathing, uneven heart rate, and dizziness. The net result was I experienced difficulty in sleeping, causing me to stay awake as late as 3:00am or 4:00am. This made me feel like a zombie during the day and my family noticed a decline in attitude and well being.

In late March, I complained to my doctor about my situation and he ordered another blood test. Remarkably, my numbers were down to 149 + 7, within normal range. Noting my symptoms, he ordered me off the Metformin, which represented an Independence Day of sorts for me. I want to note here that Metformin may be a good drug for combating Type 2 Diabetes for some people, but it didn’t sit well with me personally. Over the next few days, my symptoms abated and I began to catch up on my sleep.

In researching this article I was alarmed by the number of people affected by Type 2 Diabetes (aka, diabetes mellitus). According to the National Institute of Health, it “is now fast emerging as one of the biggest health catastrophes the world has ever witnessed. Almost 6% of the world’s adult population now live with diabetes (Sicree et al, 2003; International Federation of Diabetes, 2006). It has been predicted that the total number of people with diabetes will rise to 366 million in less than 30 years if preventative action is not taken.” The consciousness of the people is swiftly rising in regards to this, which probably explains why I had so many well wishers send me congratulations.

I wanted to celebrate my achieving “normalcy,” but I realized I am now a man in his sixties who cannot live as he did back in his twenties or thirties. Consequently, I haven’t given up on my exercise, diet, or fat burning pill, at least not until I am confident I am stable. As far as soft drinks go, I primarily enjoy Diet Mountain Dew as it has both zero calories and zero sugar (plus it reminds me of my youth when Pepsi-Cola rolled it out in the mid-1960’s as a Hillbilly drink, e.g, “Yahoo, Mountain Dew; It’ll tickle your innards!”).

Although I won’t go back to beer, wine, or certain other sugar based spirits, I allow myself an occasional glass of Scotch whiskey which uses no sugar. I figure since I can no longer smoke or have a beer (I never indulged in recreational drugs), I needed at least one vice to get me through life. Otherwise, it is time for a Viking funeral where I fire up the Kingsford.

One last note, I am indebted to my doctor and old friend, David Lindberg, for guiding me through this difficult period. He listened patiently to me, diagnosed my problems, and was smart enough to know when to back me off the Metformin.

As the Stones said, “What a drag it is getting old…”

Also published in The Huffington Post.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  JOB ENTITLEMENTS – Who says you are entitled to it?

LAST TIME:  HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS  – Be it ever so humble…

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Healthcare, Life | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

 
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