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MY HIGHWAY PARANOIA

Posted by Tim Bryce on February 21, 2018

BRYCE ON TRAFFIC

– What happens when we do not cooperate on the highway.

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

You do not see much in the way of cooperation these days. Socially and politically we cannot seem to get along any more. We see this in the office, in stores, and particularly in supermarkets where we are not mindful of others and hog the aisles to serve our own personal interests. I still believe painting a dashed line down the middle of the aisles would be an interesting experiment to see if people would keep their grocery carts on one side or the other.

There is perhaps no better illustration of our lack of cooperation than on the highway. We have gone well beyond mere road hogs and rubber-neckers to now include people text messaging, speaking on their phone, checking their social media postings, shaving or fixing their hair. In other words, doing everything but driving their automobile properly. It’s all about the individual and actually quite frightening. The biggest problem though is people give the impression they simply do not care and refuse to cooperate with other motorists, such as to allow others to enter traffic, to stay out of the passing lane until you need it, not going too slow or fast thereby becoming a hazard, and many other things.

The lack of cooperation on the highway is so prevalent, I’m starting to believe there is a premeditated effort to keep me off the streets. As I drive around, I believe the other motorists are in constant communications over the radio and trying to thwart my every move. For example:

* Tsst – “Breaker, breaker, subject has left his neighborhood and is heading eastbound on Alderman. All units Code 2.”

* Tsst – “Copy that. Road Block 1 is rolling and taking position in front of him. Road Block 2 will come along side to box him in. We’ll slow him down to 25.”

* Tsst – “This is Dispatch – Road Block 2, play your radio loud, preferably Rap, and make sure he sees you texting, that should really push him over the edge.”

* Tsst – “10-4.”

* Tsst – “This is Dispatch – We’re changing the traffic lights in front of him to red. How long should he wait?”

* Tsst – “At least six minutes, make it ten if possible.”

* Tsst – “10-4.”

* Tsst – “Breaker, breaker 10-33. The subject suddenly slipped into the left turning lane and will be heading north bound on US19. We are stuck and must continue east on Alderman to avoid suspicion. Need assistance. Urgent”

* Tsst – “This is Big Red over in the northeast corner of 19 and Alderman. I see him and will intercept. Will need backup to keep him in the right lane.”

* Tsst – “This is Dispatch, Over to you Big Red and thanks for the assist. Road Block 6 is taking up position one quarter mile north of you, dressed as an elderly couple and bearing Ontario plates. They will box him in and force him over to the next School Bus stop.”

* Tsst – “But it’s Sunday, over.”

* Tsst – “Not to worry. He won’t know what hit him.”

* Tsst – “This is Big Red, it looks like the subject has spotted us and is speeding away from our blockade. Please advise.”

* Tsst – “This is Dispatch, I have a Rice Burner on the way that will overtake him and force him to the middle lane where we’ll get him back under control.”

* Tsst – “Rice Burner X here. I have the subject in my sights. I have to weave through traffic to catch him. Doing 90. One moment please.”

* Tsst – “Rice Burner X again, I just about had him, but he suddenly pulled a u-turn and is now heading southbound on 19… Wait, it looks like he is heading to a Chili’s Restaurant.”

* Tsst – “This is Dispatch. Good, then we’ve got him. Execute Plan P and fill up the parking lot so he cannot stop there. Good job everyone. We got him again.”

* Tsst – (Various rounds of congratulatory remarks are made).

Some people will say I’m being much too paranoid about driving, but I contend the lack of cooperation on the highways is such that there can be no other logical explanation for the driving habits of a lot of people. Just remember, next time you hit the road and start to experience trouble with your fellow motorists, look to see if they are on their radios and take evasive action accordingly. TSST!

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 © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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DOING WHAT IS RIGHT WILL KILL YOU

Posted by Tim Bryce on February 14, 2018

BRYCE ON HEALTH

– File this under “The Nuances of Life.”

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To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

I am convinced if you did everything people told you to do to maintain a healthy lifestyle you would never get anything done. For example, exercise consumes a lot of time, whether it is performed in your house or offsite at a gym. Since I elect to go to the gym, I find I must change clothes, travel to it’s location, work out, return home, clean up and change clothes. No matter how I try to expedite the process, it’s an easy hour shot.

Playing a round of golf, going for a walk or a ride on a bicycle may be fun, but it also chews up time and zaps your energy. I recently took a sauna, something I haven’t done in a long time. It was refreshing, but I had to change clothes and wait for the unit to warm up. Afterwards I had to take a shower, my second of the day, to clean myself properly before going out for the evening. Again, another hour shot.

Buying and consuming certain groceries and vitamin pills consumes time as well. We’re admonished to eat organically. As much as we would like to avoid preservatives, fatty foods, breads and pastas, and sweets, it can become challenging to find new and creative ways to make meals. Shopping takes longer, as does cooking.

You try to avoid the boob tube and do some reading, but interferences seem to get in the way. Consequently, it seems to take longer to read a book.

Smoking and alcohol can take up quite a lot of time. As I no longer smoke or consume much alcohol, except for the occasional Scotch, I would like to think I have more free time to relax. Instead, I find myself spending more time outside pruning bushes or digging up a garden.

I’ve been so good lately in terms of watching what I eat and drink, I’m ready to scream, rip off my clothes, pound down a case of beer and eat a dozen Twinkies. Doing the right thing all the time can drive you stark raving mad. And if I did so, I would probably get a lot done as opposed to worrying about the idiosyncrasies of my health.

My luck is such that if I remain incredibly healthy, from exercise and diet, I’m more likely to be run over by a truck. At my funeral I’m sure they’ll say, “Well, at least he looks good, but he should have laid off the red meat.” You can’t win.

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 © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Healthcare, humor | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

WHAT OTHER FRATERNITIES CAN TEACH FREEMASONRY

Posted by Tim Bryce on February 9, 2018

BRYCE ON FREEMASONRY

– Can an old dog learn new tricks?

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To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

Freemasons have always been proud to boast, “We’re the original fraternity,” an acknowledgement of our roots in antiquity. Since then, many other fraternities have emerged, particularly in the nineteenth century, many of which are based on Masonic customs. Aside from college fraternities, there are the Eagles, the Elks, the Lions, the Moose, the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), even the VFW shows signs of fraternal relations. These organizations may appear to be relative “upstarts” when compared to our ancient fraternity, but can they teach us anything?

As in many North America jurisdictions, Florida Freemasons are barred from enjoying alcohol in the Lodge as well as games of chance. Whenever such topics arise at a Grand Communications, the proposer is shouted down and admonished in a derogatory manner, “Why don’t you go and join someone else?” Well, I finally did just that, joined another fraternal order who allowed alcohol and games of chance in the Lodge. The identity of this particular order is immaterial for the purposes of this paper, and I suspect most are pretty much the same. I certainly haven’t turned my back on Freemasonry, but after over twenty years of watching repetition, I felt it was time to relax and enjoy the company of others over a quiet drink.

I joined the new “Order” recently as they had built a new lodge building near me and I was warmly received by the members when I requested information. As I first toured the facilities, I noted their clean and well stocked bar offering a wide variety of drinks and twelve taps for various draught beers. There were also some vending games of chance available if a member was so inclined. When I saw this, I thought back to a time when Masons argued over the virtues of alcohol and games in Lodge and why there was a concerted effort to prohibit it. Personally, I suspected the Shrine didn’t want the Craft Lodges to have it as it would represent a competitor to their venue. Nevertheless…

I found the Order’s dues and initiation fees to be affordable, much more so than any Masonic Lodge in my area. This was likely due to the revenues generated from alcohol, games, and renting of facilities. In other words, membership in the Order was not a financial burden as found in many Masonic Lodges today.

The application process and initiation ceremony were highly compatible to that found in Freemasonry. This led me to suspect such orders are based on Freemasonry as the comparisons were uncanny. For example, on the Order’s application, they claimed to be looking for men (and women) of good moral character; you couldn’t join unless you believed in the existence of a Supreme Being, were of 21 years of age or older, not connected in any way to the Communist Party, did not believe in or advocate the overthrow of the government of this country by force or violence, nor was a convicted felon or registered sex offender. A criminal background check is performed on each candidate, who is also investigated by committee. Sound familiar?

The Order also donates millions of dollars to charity, a living community village (Home) is available for seniors, all of which are also familiar to Freemasons. Beyond this though, the Order offers discounts on insurance, travel, office supplies, and more. In other words, membership has its privileges. The Order is open to both men and women, which would be alarming to most Masons, and there are no racial restrictions; e.g., no “Prince” Orders.

The first year’s membership is free for members of the military, law enforcement, and first responders, both current and retired (veterans). I thought this was a brilliant maneuver as it encourages membership and attracts the type of people they want to join their ranks. Freemasonry would be wise to study this further.

In meetings, the Order has jewels for the officers to wear. There are also do-guards and signs to observe. The obligation (oath) is reminiscent of that offered by Freemasonry along with a brief lecture to explain member responsibilities. Interestingly, I observed our initiation could be viewed by the outside world through the windows in the room. So much for being a “secret” society.

Perhaps the biggest difference between the Order and Freemasonry resides in its Constitution, a copy of which is provided to members following initiation. Whereas Freemasonry is managed on a state by state basis (or by province or territory in Canada), the Order is run on an international basis from a single headquarters. This simplifies standards and promotes consistency between Lodges. It also means the government of the Order is flatter and more flexible to implement change.

Grand Masonic Lodges were first established in the early 1700’s, way before the advent of the U.S. Constitution. Consequently, the government of the fraternity is essentially based on the monarchy model. However, as these other orders were introduced in the United States during the late 1800’s, they tend to adhere to the concept of three separate but equal branches of government; e.g., executive, legislative, and judicial. Such an approach prohibits one person from having ultimate authority in interpreting the laws, rules and regulations which may vary depending on who is in office. It also causes a legislative body to be formed from the current and past presidents of the Orders.

CONCLUSION

I am certainly not suggesting one fraternal group is better than another; each has its own distinct set of interests and method of implementation. However, one could certainly learn from the others. For example, what the Order lacks in terms of decorum, they make up for in socialization. Conversely, what Freemasons lack in socialization, they make up for in decorum. Freemasons possess a stronger sense of history, and attention to detail in its ceremonies, thereby attempting to teach character, e.g., morality, love of God and country, honor, sacrifice, etc. By doing so they are trying to assist their members in the building of character. The other orders are much less formal, but still endeavor to promote character and Brotherhood through the help and society of others.

In contrast, the Order has been successful in:

– Generating money from alcoholic libations with no adverse effects (swearing, fighting and intemperance are not tolerated and may result in penalties or suspensions for members). Further, rooms can be rented for parties and special events.

– Negotiating benefits for its members, such as providing discounts on insurance, travel, office supplies, etc.

– Attracting new members with the type of character they desire, both men and women.

One could argue Freemasonry has slowly been evolving from a true fraternity to just another men’s club. They may be more solemn in their ceremonies, but surely they are not naive to believe they have a monopoly on the concept of brotherhood.

When I recently joined the Order, my initiation class consisted of 22 people, including both men and women, which is more than double what a single Masonic Lodge in my area may get in a single year. Two weeks earlier, another 22 people were initiated, and 60 people joined in December. Not surprising, the Order is financially sound, their activities are booming, their future looks rosy, and everyone appears to be happy.

Freemasonry is missing the boat if they dismiss the other orders out of hand. They are gaining in stature while the Masons are declining. I am not suggesting the Masons totally abdicate their current mission, but there is no denying their membership has been diminishing at an alarming rate. Something needs to change before the Lodges close their doors permanently. Perhaps a new hybrid organization needs to be conceived, whereby alcohol and games of chance are allowed following a meeting or degree, that the Grand Lodge seeks supplemental benefits for its membership, or that they also try to attract the right types of people to their organization. If the other orders can do it, why not the Masons?

Freemasonry may be much older, but these younger fraternities have grown up and appear to be prospering. What do they know that we do not? I for one, am not too shy to ask. In the meantime, more people are gravitating to these new orders while turning their backs on Freemasonry. Perhaps this is a sign of our changing social values. Let us not close our eyes, ears, and mouths and hope nobody notices. It’s much too late for that.

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 © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

LAST TIME:  DEFENDING THE AMERICAN EXPERIMENT  – Is it worth fighting for?

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Social Issues | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

DEFENDING THE AMERICAN EXPERIMENT

Posted by Tim Bryce on February 7, 2018

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– Is it worth fighting for?

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To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

Now is the time to safeguard the rights and freedoms penned by our founding fathers and valiantly defended by our sons and daughters in uniform.

When conceived, the American experiment represented a bold new form of government, not a monarchy, not autocratic, not socially shared, and certainly not a true democracy. It is a republic with representatives elected by the people. Its genius included three separate but equal branches of government, so one could not usurp the authority of the others.

It was specifically designed to afford liberty to the individual thereby enabling each person to strive to succeed. By doing so, it forged a powerful economic engine, the wonder of the world and a model for others to emulate. It carved a nation out of a wilderness, it came to the aid of others in times of crisis, a beacon for liberty and the defenders of the free world.

It is certainly not without flaws, and mistakes have been made along the way, but by comparison there is not a better model to be had.

There are those among our own citizenry contending the American experiment has failed, that it is detrimental to the people it was designed to serve, that it is evil. These are people who seek sedition over honest debate, and strive to transform the country into a pseudo-utopian world, impractical to implement.

The ideas embodied in our governing documents are abhorrent to them, as are our values and beliefs, with no remedy or replacement other than eradication. They whisper lies through their conduits in the media and academia, and thrive on creating havoc.

Their distortion of reality is fodder for the naive and uneducated, the primitives, those desperately trying to find their place in society, thereby becoming puppets for a new socioeconomic order, something even they, themselves, cannot truly define other than the destruction of the current system. These are not patriots, they are the enemies of the American experiment.

Now is not the time for indifference, apathy and complacency. The American experiment is in peril of destruction from within, by powerful forces who ignore the rules of fairness and decency. Do not palliate the severity of the threat. It is real and cannot be ignored or taken for granted any longer. If you believe in the fundamental virtue of the Constitution, now is the time to come to its aid in both word and deed. Now is the time to protect what we have painfully earned.

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 © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  WHAT OTHER FRATERNITIES CAN TEACH FREEMASONRY – Can an old dog learn new tricks?

LAST TIME:  SAYONARA HUFFINGTON POST  – It was great while it lasted.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

SAYONARA HUFFINGTON POST

Posted by Tim Bryce on February 5, 2018

BRYCE ON THE NEWS MEDIA

– It was great while it lasted.

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To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

I wrote as a Huffington Post contributor from September 2016 to January 2018, just sixteen months. At first, my columns were well received and promoted by the noted liberal publication, offering me some good exposure. As most of you know, I write about business management, technology, morality, and observations of our changing world. However, my political musings began to gain attention beginning with my column describing the purpose of the Electoral College, a subject very much despised by liberals. Yet, this piece was one of my most popular with HuffPo readers. Shortly after this column was released I noticed the editors grew reluctant to promote my material and I was forced to do so myself.

I quickly discovered a problem in touting my political pieces over the Internet. Since I posted it in Republican or conservative discussion groups, I never anticipated the push-back from such people who reviled the publication; e.g., “I will never read anything in the Huffington Post, that bastion of liberalism,” was a typical response. When I pled with people to ignore the publication and read the column, I would typically get a response such as, “I cannot believe this was in the Huffington Post; how did you get it printed?”

This stigma about HuffPo has not gone away as it is typically dismissed as nothing more than “Fake News” by conservatives. I can sympathize. While I was there, the liberal slant was overbearing. I was perhaps the only Republican conservative submitting material. Most appeared to be written by millennials in their early to mid twenties, which may explain the popularity of the publication among that generation. Their naivety in politics and the world around them is the reason they are commonly referred to as “snowflakes.” I could find no senior or veteran newspaper people there, just young people using it as a springboard to their next job.

My regular readers weren’t exactly shocked when I finally exited, and neither was I. Frankly, they were surprised I had lasted as long as I did.

So why did they really cut me off? It’s difficult to know for sure, but I would like to believe they finally read my column. Whatever the reason, I thank them for the opportunity to post my ramblings. I drew a lot of people to the publication, but now there is nobody left to speak for the right, just snowflakes.

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 © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  DEFENDING THE AMERICAN EXPERIMENT – Is it worth fighting for?

LAST TIME:  CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT  – How to keep on top of your game at work.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Media, Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 15 Comments »

CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT

Posted by Tim Bryce on February 2, 2018

BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT

– How to keep on top of your game at work.

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To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

Let me say from the outset that the burden of responsibility for improving your skills in your chosen profession rests with YOU, not your employer. Your company may offer supplemental training but more than anything YOU are responsible for your development, not anyone else. YOU must take the initiative. In most cases, your company will assist you in your development, but YOU must demonstrate your willingness to learn and improve.

Regardless of the type of job you have, you will observe changes over time in terms of how it is performed. This is because new methods, techniques and tools are introduced to expedite how your job is performed. Staying abreast of new technology, therefore, is an important part of your development. Continuous improvement is an inherent part of craftsmanship. You must either evolve and adapt, or be left behind.

There are numerous sources available to you for ongoing professional development:

1. Personal Observations – there is probably no better instructor than your own power of observation as you will be able to watch others succeed and fail in their assignments, their work habits and ethics, as well as their office politics. This requires an attention to detail, the ability to detect changes, and an inquisitive mind that constantly asks “Why?” As a new employee, pay particular attention to interoffice memos, not just for what they say, but why they were written.

When studying people, consider their strengths and weaknesses, what motivates them, their character, and their formulas for success or failure, e.g., what worked and what didn’t? Never hesitate to ask questions, particularly as a new employee.

2. News and Trade Journals – just about every industry has some form of publication, either printed or in some electronic format, to report news and discuss trends. Such periodicals are invaluable in order to stay abreast of developments in your field. Many such publications offer free subscriptions, others require a modest charge. It is not uncommon for companies to pay for such subscriptions as they want to help their employees stay sharp in their field. But if such is not the case and you have to pay for a subscription out of your own pocket, the IRS will typically allow you to report it as a deduction on your income taxes.

There will also be considerable information made freely available to you over the Internet, such as the trade publication web sites, along with pertinent blogs, discussion groups, news services, and podcasts.

The important point here is you should develop a habit of staying current in your chosen profession, and you should perform such research either at home or during off hours at work. Managers generally frown on employees reading periodicals during normal working hours.

3. Participation in Industry Groups & Trade Shows – like the trade press, just about every industry has one or more nonprofit organizations to provide a forum to discuss your specialty. Such groups typically offer its members monthly meetings to listen to guest speakers, workshops and seminars, and access to a library of research papers. More importantly, it provides a venue for its members to network and compare notes pertaining to their profession. Participation in such groups are normally encouraged by businesses to promote the employee’s continued education. However, some companies are leery about participation in trade groups as it is sometimes viewed as a vehicle for exchanging resumes and changing jobs. If you still want to participate in a trade group without the support of your company, again, the IRS will typically allow you to report your dues as a deduction on your income taxes.

Major conventions and trade shows are also useful for learning about the latest technology in your field. Here you will meet vendors, obtain literature, view presentations, and touch and feel the latest gizmo. Companies encourage attendance at such shows, but typically not during business hours. And if the trade show is being held out of town, it is unlikely your company will sponsor your trip as it may be perceived as a boondoggle. The only exceptions to this is when such a trip is being used as either a form of reward to the employee or for a special fact-finding mission.

Check with your employer about their policy on participating in such organizations.

4. Professional Training – there are numerous commercial training programs offered by experts in their field. Most are instructor-led seminars or workshops held either on the company’s premises or off-site, and vary in length anywhere from a couple of hours to a week. There are also many independent study programs available that are implemented by books, DVD, or over the Internet. Regardless, your concern is the quality of education provided, and does the venue suit your needs?

5. Certification Programs – many professions offer certification programs which authenticate your level of knowledge in a subject area. Such programs typically require the person to take a test or examination, which can be rather extensive. To prepare people for the exam, the sponsor of the certification program (which is normally a nonprofit trade group) will offer a study curriculum to prepare the applicant for the test.

As a new employee, you should pursue certification programs, especially if your company supports it and pays for it. Not only will you personally benefit from it, but it could mean an increase in pay to you as well.

It is one thing to earn a certification, quite another to maintain it. Most certification programs require people to renew it periodically, such as every three years. A lot can happen in three years, which is why you should constantly stay abreast of developments in your profession.

6. Supplemental Education – many companies encourage their employees to either complete their formal education or pursue a higher degree. To this end, companies may offer financial incentives for you to complete High School or College. And if you want to obtain a Masters or Doctoral degree, they may offer programs to help you pay for such degrees. Be sure to review the benefits policies of your employer.

7. Mentors – years ago there was a period where mentors were assigned to new employees to chaperone them on their journey through the corporate world. Mentors were basically a “Big Brother/Sister” program where senior employees would offer sage advice to neophytes on adapting to the corporate world. But this is a program that has slowly been phased out over the last few years. Nonetheless, if you find someone you respect in the company who is willing to act as your mentor, by all means listen to them carefully. A mentor has three primary duties to perform:

* Role Model – a mentor has attributes the subordinate wants to aspire to attain.

* Teacher – a mentor has to be able to teach, not just academic or technical lessons but also those pertaining to corporate life; e.g., policies and procedures, ethics, socialization, politics, etc.

* Guidance Counselor – to guide the subordinate on their path through life, explaining options and making recommendations.

Very important, both the mentor and the subordinate must realize the mentor will not have all of the answers, but should be able to point the subordinate in the right direction to get the answers they need. The mentor also has to know when their work is complete and allow the subordinate to move on to the next stage of their corporate life.

8. Other Vehicles – there is a variety of other ways for perpetuating professional development in your company:

* Employee-led training or roundtable discussions – held on a regularly scheduled basis to discuss pertinent subjects. In other words, your own in-house trade group. The only problems here are: having access to suitable company facilities to hold such meetings at off-hours (most companies do not have a problem with this), and getting people to participate (many of whom will not stay beyond quitting time). But if you can develop such a forum, it can become invaluable as a learning aid.

* Private Blog or Discussion Group – to use as a clearinghouse to discuss problems and solutions pertaining to your trade. Some companies frown on such electronic forums as they suspect it is used to plot against the company or management. But if such forums are properly administered, they can be beneficial in the exchange of professional job-related information.

* Corporate Boot Camps – representing off-site retreats for in-depth discussions or training.

If such vehicles do not presently exist in your company, you might be able to earn accolades from management and your coworkers for setting up such forums.

Again I remind you, your professional development is up to YOU, not your employer. In most cases, your employer will encourage and support you in your professional development, but they cannot spoon-feed you. YOU must show the initiative.

First published: August 27, 2007

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 © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  SAYONARA HUFFINGTON POST – It was great while it lasted.

LAST TIME:  THIS IS WAR!  – Anyone expecting a peaceful mid-term election is taking it in the arm.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Business, Management | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

THIS IS WAR!

Posted by Tim Bryce on January 31, 2018

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– Anyone expecting a peaceful mid-term election is taking it in the arm.

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To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

The 2018 Congressional midterm elections will be bloody. As usual the GOP is naive regarding political campaigning and underestimates the ferocity of the Democrats. Let’s first understand what is at stake here. The Democrats suffered a severe blow by losing the 2016 elections. Because of this, 2018 represents a make or break year for the progressive/liberal agenda. If they fail to retake Congress, in either chamber, the Democratic Party will be unable to stop President Trump in 2020 and will likely go into a tailspin searching for new leadership. As such, they are desperate for a victory and will go to any length to achieve one, whether it is legal or not. In desperation, the left and their news media lapdogs will undoubtedly be pulling out all the stops. This includes misleading the public, character assassination, lying and deceit, violating voter laws, intimidation, etc. No, they will certainly not be playing fair; they are at war.

Their hatred of President Trump is nothing more than a campaign tactic. This is why they will never find anything positive to say about the president and refuses to cooperate with him. By doing so, they create a diametrically opposing view of reality which is reported to the public in the hopes it will be construed the president is an utter failure. To illustrate, the Left adamantly contends the president is a racist, yet there is no evidence to this effect in his personal, corporate, and presidential lives. He has made generous donations to minority organizations and his economic policies have benefited Blacks and Latinos, particularly in generating jobs and getting them off of welfare. Yet he is labeled a “racist.”

His recent Tax Reform legislation benefits both corporations and all classes of workers. Yet, it is dismissed by the Left as only benefiting the wealthy and supports their premise of “trickle down economics.” Yet, the new tax structure is already showing signs of materially boosting the economy and increasing worker income. In another area, the president’s doctor recently gave the president a clean bill of health. Yet there are people in the news media spin this to mean he is at risk to heart disease. In other words, no matter whatever good the president does, it will always be spun and reported as evil by the Left. This is why they have a fixation with the Russian probe, even though nothing of substance has yet to surface. Remarkably, there is little interest in the Russian bribery case regarding the Uranium One deal involving former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

By vilifying Mr. Trump, they hope to associate GOP Congressional candidates with him, thereby thwarting the chances for election. If these candidates renounce the president out of fear, the Democrats will win. Instead, they need to turn something negative into something positive by touting the president’s accomplishments. In other words, the GOP candidates have to jump on the Trump Train as opposed to resisting him, recognizing their collective fate rests in his hands.

The GOP better get its act together fast as the left is already organized and working in a concerted manner. As usual, the Republicans have to play catch-up but, fortunately, there is still time. The first thing to learn to do is think beyond a single candidate. You might have a favorite, but you have to think of all the candidates in your jurisdiction; the Democrats are. Next, recognize it is time to fight back with the same ferocity the left is exhibiting. Frankly, this country cannot afford to revert back to Democratic rule, they need to be slapped down.

There are three steps required for this type of political campaign:

1. Get organized – this includes forming committees with leaders and workers who will assume responsibility and possess a sense of urgency. Education and instruction are essential. Very important, these committees need to learn to network in order to understand what is going on elsewhere and to learn from each other. They should also find ways to work together, not apart.

Communications is vital, whether it be through a web site, e-mail blasts, telephone calls, podcasts, or a regularly produced newsletter. All of this implies the need for a master address book to contact people.

As an inherent part of your communications, develop a calendar of events and maintain it regularly. Be sure to include pertinent dates of both Republican and Democratic events in your area, thereby encouraging attendance by members of the GOP. This is particularly useful for attending Democratic town hall meetings where people can voice their opposition.

Planning and scheduling is key to this activity. Be careful in allocating human resources as you do not want to stretch your people thin, thereby causing them to burn out. Your management philosophy should be simple: Delegate responsibility and get out of the way; empower people and hold them accountable for their commitments.

2. Enlist recruits – not just volunteers to serve on committees but to register people to legally vote. For those who wish to vote in person, as opposed to absentee ballot, make arrangements to get them to their voting precinct.

3. Let your voice be heard – whether it is through advertising, sign waving, speeches or writing campaigns to editors and local politicians. More importantly, take the fake news to task as they are not proponents of Republicans and spread the lies of the Left. Prepare a list of the newspapers, television and radio stations, and bloggers in your area, including the names and contact information of the key contacts of the fake news. Write to them and correct their inaccuracies. It may even be necessary to picket their offices and make sure other news sources are made aware of it. If necessary, start a campaign to boycott or censure them. After all, if they mislead the public, they are not proponents of truth. Let them know what they are doing is unacceptable.

In all of your dealings with the public and the news media, do not lie, cheat or defraud, that’s what the Democrats do. It is not worth lowering yourself to their level. Handle yourself professionally and with dignity, thereby becoming a model for others to emulate. Those that elected Mr. Trump in 2016 from middle America, find it refreshing when people deport themselves honestly. Do not apologize for being right.

As Americans, the concept of such a vicious campaign is distasteful, but the reality is the progressive/left agenda is at stake here, and the Democrats have already demonstrated they will sink to the lowest levels to maintain their programs, honesty be damned.

No, the kid gloves are off and it is time to stop the lying and dirty politics of the left. They have distracted this country long enough and kept us from achieving greatness. It’s time to get organized and get going.

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 © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT – How to keep on top of your game at work.

LAST TIME:  DEBRIEFING: A LESSON FOR YOUNG PEOPLE  – What we must all go through when joining a new company, particularly newbies.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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DEBRIEFING: A LESSON FOR YOUNG PEOPLE

Posted by Tim Bryce on January 29, 2018

BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT

– What we must all go through when joining a new company, particularly newbies.

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What you learned in school, of course, will be useful to you in your adult life, but more importantly, it means you possess the faculties to learn, that you can be taught; two important attributes employers are looking for. They are not so much interested in what you have learned in school as much as your ability to learn and adapt, which is what the diploma represents. Regardless of your degree, most employers are going to spend a period of time debriefing you and then teach you how to do things in the manner in which they want things done. This is an important first step in acclimating into the corporate culture. And just because you have graduated, don’t think this is the end of your education. You will be learning lessons for the rest of your life. Our schools and universities do nothing more than train your mind to learn. That is their mission.

I had a friend who graduated from a trade school in Cincinnati as a machinist. He was very bright and graduated at the top of his class, making him an ideal candidate for a local tool and die company who hired him. Although my friend knew a lot about being a machinist, the company first put him through their in-house school which taught him their approach to building machines. He later confided that although he was at first skeptical of what he was going to learn, that he thought he was already suitably trained, he said what he learned from the company was light years ahead of what he learned in school. The lesson here was twofold: never be too cocky to think you know everything, and; there is always room for improvement.

Regardless of the type of company you are joining, getting debriefed is a natural part of entering the work force. Do not be insulted and resist it, learn from it. Keep one thing in mind, you are still an unknown quantity to the company and, as such, they want to point you in the right direction in starting your job. Further, you can expect quite a lot of supervision in the early stages of your employment as the company wants to be sure you are doing your job properly.

Debriefing can take many forms, a formal school like my friend experienced, classroom “hands-on” training, or simply on-the-job training. Regardless, now is the time to pay attention to detail and take lots of notes.

Being the new kid on the block (aka “Newbie”) has its advantages and disadvantages. In terms of advantages, it’s hard to blame the Newbie for things they are not expected to know yet. This means you are allowed to make certain innocent mistakes for awhile, but don’t make a habit of it. You are also allowed to ask the naive “dumb question” which nobody else will ask. In fact, the veterans are expecting you to make certain slip-ups for which you will naturally be kidded about. Take this in stride and learn from it. The disadvantages are that you will be given mundane tasks to perform initially, many of which can be called “Gofor” work, e.g., “Go for this, go for that.” The point is, as a Newbie, you are being tested to see not only how well you can perform, but how you react to certain situations. You are going to be gauged in terms of your performance, patience, persistence, diplomacy, risk, teamwork, etc. Most, if not all, of the veterans have gone through these same assignments and in order to gain their approval and trust, you must demonstrate your willingness to accept and execute such assignments. You may rightfully believe some of your tasks are below your dignity. Regardless, the best way to rise above this is to simply tackle any job they give you, do it well, do it fast, and do not gripe about it. Ultimately, how you perform in the Newbie stage establishes you on the totem pole (your seniority). It is also wise to remember this experience as it will have a bearing on how you relate to the next Newbie who comes along.

First published: August 13, 2007

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 © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  THIS IS WAR! – Anyone expecting a peaceful mid-term election is taking it in the arm.

LAST TIME:  PROACTIVE VERSUS REACTIVE MANAGEMENT  – “Beware of your ‘firefighters,’ they are probably your chief arsonists.” – Bryce’s Law

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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PROACTIVE VERSUS REACTIVE MANAGEMENT

Posted by Tim Bryce on January 26, 2018

BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT

– “Beware of your ‘firefighters,’ they are probably your chief arsonists.” – Bryce’s Law

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I have been thinking a lot about micromanagement lately. It seems the corporate world is consumed with mini-dictators who are bent on directing the activities of others. I also see this in nonprofit organizations consisting of volunteers and managed by leaders who can be rather ruthless. Nonetheless, I have also noticed there appears to be an inclination for such managers to be reactive as opposed to proactive in their style of management, and I cannot help but think that micromanagement and reactive management are somehow related.

I have met a lot of reactive managers in my time. All exhibit the following characteristics:

* Seldom has time for interoffice planning/organization meetings.

* Has trouble effectively communicating with the staff, particularly articulating objectives and plans.

* Not interested in or doesn’t heed input from subordinates.

* Spends more time supervising than managing.

* Changes priorities on the fly.

* Rarely, if ever, produces priority lists (keeps it in his/her head).

* Bipolar – knows great enthusiasms and is easily depressed.

* Thrives on chaos – sees themselves as saviors. Likes to swoop in and solve problems.

As to this last point, we have encountered situations like this on more than one occasion, but in particular we were contracted by a large insurance company in the Midwest to audit the performance of two systems development groups in the company. One group appeared to be well organized and managed; they quietly went about their business and delivered their work products on time and within budget. Another group was just the antithesis of the other; systems were installed prematurely and never to the customer’s satisfaction, and assignments were routinely late and over budget. Nonetheless, the manager of this latter group was well respected for being able to put out fires at a moment’s notice.

When we finally presented our results to the board of directors, we made the observation that their head firefighter was also the cause of all of the problems he was correcting. Yet, whereas the manager of the group who quietly produced superior work products was unrecognized, the head firefighter was being amply rewarded for his efforts. Basically, he was taking advantage of the “squeaky wheel getting the oil” phenomenon. Frankly, the executives were surprised by our comments and that such a situation had arisen in their company.

There are two reasons for reactive management; either for political gain (as in the insurance example above), or because people simply do not know how to be proactive. One excuse commonly heard from reactive managers is, “We never have enough time to do things right.” Translation: “We have plenty of time to do things wrong.” True management is hard work, requiring skills in planning, analysis, organization, leadership, and communications. To some, it is easier to let problems come to them as opposed to trying to anticipate problems and take action before they occur. In other words, they resign themselves to a life of reactive management.

The proactive manager invests his time and money in planning and, consequently, spends less in implementation. In contrast, the reactive manager regards planning as a waste of time and is content spending an inordinate amount of time in implementation, thereby incurring more costs and, because of the ensuing chaos, needs to micromanage people.

Young people coming into the workforce tend to learn from their managers and emulate their style for years to come. If they see proactive management, they will believe this is the proper way of conducting business and perpetuate this style, but if they only see reactive management…

This leads me to believe we will be plagued by reactive management for quite some time to come.

First published: January 7, 2008

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 © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  DEBRIEFING: A LESSON FOR YOUNG PEOPLE – What we must all go through when joining a new company, particularly newbies.

LAST TIME:  WHO HAS REALLY GOT THE MENTAL DISORDER, TRUMP OR THE DEMS?  – Let me give you a hint, it’s not the president.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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WHO HAS REALLY GOT THE MENTAL DISORDER, TRUMP OR THE DEMS?

Posted by Tim Bryce on January 24, 2018

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– Let me give you a hint, it’s not the president.

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From an industrial psychology perspective, President Trump exhibits a super Type-A personality, which is common for successful people and something I have discussed previously. This type of person possesses a no-nonsense entrepreneurial and competitive personality, something commonly found in the captains of industry. These people represent the polar opposites of Type-D personalities who are not risk takers, bureaucratic and are defenders of the status quo. It is not unusual for Type-A personalities to possesses a rather avant-garde sense of humor which others may misunderstand or even find offensive. Some would even go so far as to denounce such a person as vulgar and crude, certainly not politically correct, which is how the media and the left portrays Mr. Trump. I find this particularly amusing coming from people who publicly demonstrate in bizarre costumes, such as female genitalia, and shout expletives at anyone disagreeing with them.

Recently, Dr. Bandy X. Lee, a psychiatry professor at Yale, gained notoriety in the press when she claimed Mr. Trump’s mental state caused detrimental social effects. This was used by Democrats and the news media to suggest the president is unfit to serve office and should be removed. Such an analysis is irresponsible as the American Psychiatric Association declared it to be unethical for a psychiatrist to offer any kind of a diagnosis on a public figure without examining that person. This resulted from the 1964 presidential election where psychiatrists erroneously claimed Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater was mentally unstable to serve office and cost him the election. In fact, there has not been any such analysis to suggest Mr. Trump presents a threat to the country, only speculation by his opponents. His detractors contend, at the very least, he suffers from a narcissistic personality disorder. Even if this is correct, which I am not willing to concede, this is not cause for his removal. After all, I believe all of our commander-in-chiefs suffer from a touch of narcissism, particularly the last resident of the White House.

The case against the president’s mental fitness is nothing more than a smoke screen designed to cause doubt in the minds of people. Basically, he has remained true to his campaign promises. Democrats realize if they lose the 2018 mid-term elections, it will be disastrous for the progressive/liberal agenda; thereby, they will go to any lengths to discredit the president and refuses to cooperate with him. As much as the president and the American people would like to see the two parties work together, this simply will not happen until Democratic leadership is replaced (e.g., Pelosi, Hoyer, Schumer, Durbin).

Another reason for the reaction to Mr. Trump is the American public no longer is used to a strong personality running the executive branch. Most have turned into politically correct weaklings who have grown afraid of the news media. The last truly strong president was Theodore Roosevelt who exhibited many of the same characteristics of our current commander-in-chief. Like Trump, Roosevelt was despised by the media, particularly the New York Times and Washington Post.

Perhaps the people who truly have a mental disorder are those strongly opposed to the president. For example, they exhibit the symptoms of denial (failing to address reality), and exhibit an immaturity where temper tantrums flair regularly and venomous hatred is spewed. This would suggest they haven’t grown up yet and act on half truths. This is typical of young people in college (e.g., “snowflakes”) who do not grasp the results of the election, how government works (e.g., the Electoral College), and require childlike caring and comfort.

Many on the left blame Mr. Trump for the depression they are suffering through, or for gaining or losing weight. Now we hear of such things as “Trump Hypertensive Unexplained Disorder” (THUD) which appears to be commonly found in states not supporting Mr. Trump during the 2016 election. This claims Mr. Trump is the cause for rises in blood pressure and stunting life expectancy. Then again, this was written by someone at the Washington Post, go figure.

The stark reality is there is nothing wrong with the mental fitness of the president. Even though Democrats hope Americans will see him as unbalanced, deep down they know this is simply not true. Again, this is nothing but a ploy to regain control of the Congress in the mid-term elections. If the Democrats fail, this will likely be another nail in the coffin in the progressive/liberal agenda and will put their party in a tailspin.

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 © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  PROACTIVE VERSUS REACTIVE MANAGEMENT – “Beware of your ‘firefighters,’ they are probably your chief arsonists.” – Bryce’s Law

LAST TIME:  RECOGNIZING THE PETER PRINCIPLE  – “A man has got to know his limitations.” – Dirty Harry

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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