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Archive for January, 2014

RESUMES

Posted by Tim Bryce on January 31, 2014

BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT

– Are they too good to be true?

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)

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

I’ve read a lot of resumes in my day. Coming from the Information Technology sector I have seen some pretty crazy ones filled with a lot of gobbledygook involving technical acronyms and programming jargon. Here’s an example, “Proficient in the following languages and operating platforms: C, C++, DOS, MVS, CICS, ISPF/VS, DB2, OS/2, OS/400, UNIX, AIX, Java, JavaScript, Perl, Basic, HTML, DHTML, XHTML, XML, PHP, PDP, JCL, SQL, George 3, Win95/98/Me/XP/VISTA, etc.” Sounds pretty impressive doesn’t it? The problem is verifying that the person does, in fact, know these things. Most of the time I’ve found they might have nothing more than a rudimentary knowledge of the subject which is why we recommend testing the applicant as opposed to just taking his/her word for it.

I also find it irritating when a person uses verbose language to describe himself. For example, whenever someone says they are a “Senior Software Engineer,” this simply means he is nothing more than a programmer with two or more jobs under his belt. Some people add so many adjectives to describe their credentials and boast of their successes (not their failures) that you would think he is the second coming of Christ. Whenever I see this, I ask myself, “If this person is so great, why isn’t he running his own company; why does he need a job from me?” Touting ones’ successes is natural, but a little humility in the presentation of the resume would sure be refreshing.

I may not be an expert in preparing resumes, but I think the ones that appeal to me most are those that are simple and to the point. Frankly, if they cannot keep it to one page that isn’t too busy looking, I think people will lose interest. I know I do. If I want additional detail, I’ll ask for it. Tell me plain and simple: What are you interested in doing? What’s your background? (your employment history) and What do you know? (your skill set). I don’t want to know how you conquered neuro-electronic fusion systems based on a hashing algorithm you invented; do not try to baffle me with your brilliance. Just tell me how you can do a job for me and blend into the corporate culture. I think team accomplishments are still valued over individual achievement by most employers today.

Just remember if the person’s resume seems too good to be true, in all likelihood it is.

Originally Published: 1/19/2009

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 30 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 © 2014 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  CELEBRATING THE 16TH AMENDMENT’S ANNIVERSARY – But are we getting tired of being the whipping boys for irresponsible government spending.

LAST TIME:  OUR GOVERNING DOCS  – The written instruments used to govern and shape America.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), KGAB-AM 650 “The Morning Zone” with host Dave Chaffin (weekdays, 6:00-10:00am Mountain), and 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.

Posted in Business, Management | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

OUR GOVERNING DOCS

Posted by Tim Bryce on January 29, 2014

BRYCE ON GOVERNMENT

– The written instruments used to govern and shape America.

NOTE: You may want to “bookmark” this column and pass the web address on to others, particularly young people.

I have many pamphlets describing the country’s governing documents, such as the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, but I wanted something more comprehensive where I could quickly access the various documents by computer. What follows is a listing of the documents which shaped our nation. In addition to governing documents, the list includes treaties, acts, and landmark Supreme Court rulings. The Magna Carta and Mayflower Compact are included as they greatly influenced our need for government. I did not include presidential farewell addresses or speeches, except for the Gettysburg Address.

 I’ve organized this into three sections:

* CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER
* ALPHABETIC ORDER
* OTHER IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS that had a bearing on our country.

It is hoped this will become an important research repository for you. For each document, I am including background information as provided by Wikipedia as well as the actual text of the document itself. I hope you find it useful.

 CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER

Magna Carta – 1297
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Mayflower Compact – 1620
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Second Treatise on Government – John Locke – 1690
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Common Sense – Thomas Paine – 1776
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Declaration of Independence – 1776
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Articles of Confederation – 1777
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Northwest Ordinance of 1787
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Federalist Papers – 1787-1788
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Constitution – 1789
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Bill of Rights – 1791
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Jay’s Treaty – 1794
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Alien and Sedition Act – 1798
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Louisiana Purchase – 1803
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Supreme Court Decision – Marbury v. Madison – 1803
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Treaty of Ghent – 1814
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Supreme Court Decision – McCulloch v. Maryland – 1819
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Missouri Compromise – 1820
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Monroe Doctrine – 1823
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Supreme Court Decision – Gibbons v. Ogden – 1824
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Compromise of 1850
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Kansas-Nebraska Act – 1854
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Supreme Court Decision – Dred Scott v. Sanford – 1857
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Ordinance of Secession – 1860-1861
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Confederate States of America (CSA) Constitution – 1861
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Writ of Habeas Corpus, Lincoln suspends – 1862
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Emancipation Proclamation – 1863
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Gettysburg Address – 1863
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Appomattox Surrender – 1865
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Sherman Anti-Trust Act – 1890
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Hay–Bunau-Varilla Treaty (Panama) – 1903
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Peace Treaty of Versailes – 1919
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Social Security Act – 1935
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Lend/Lease Act – 1941
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United Nations Charter – 1945
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North Atlantic Treaty – 1949
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Peace Treaty of San Francisco – 1951
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Supreme Court Decision – Brown v. Board of Education – 1954
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Supreme Court Decision – Gideon v. Wainwright – 1963
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Civil Rights Act – 1964
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Supreme Court Decision – Miranda v. Arizona – 1966
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Supreme Court Decision – Roe v. Wade – 1973
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Torrijos–Carter Treaties (Panama) – 1977
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Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) – 2010
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 ALPHABETIC ORDER

Alien and Sedition Act – 1798
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Appomattox Surrender – 1865
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Articles of Confederation – 1777
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Bill of Rights – 1791
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Civil Rights Act – 1964
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Common Sense – Thomas Paine – 1776
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Compromise of 1850
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Confederate States of America (CSA) Constitution – 1861
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Constitution – 1789
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Declaration of Independence – 1776
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Emancipation Proclamation – 1863
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Federalist Papers – 1787-1788
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Gettysburg Address – 1863
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Hay–Bunau-Varilla Treaty (Panama) – 1903
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Jay’s Treaty – 1794
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Kansas-Nebraska Act – 1854
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Lend/Lease Act – 1941
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Louisiana Purchase – 1803
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Magna Carta – 1297
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Mayflower Compact – 1620
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Missouri Compromise – 1820
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Monroe Doctrine – 1823
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North Atlantic Treaty – 1949
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Northwest Ordinance of 1787
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Ordinance of Secession – 1860-1861
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Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) – 2010
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Peace Treaty of San Francisco – 1951
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Peace Treaty of Versailes – 1919
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Second Treatise on Government – John Locke – 1690
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Sherman Anti-Trust Act – 1890
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Social Security Act – 1935
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Supreme Court Decision – Brown v. Board of Education – 1954
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Supreme Court Decision – Dred Scott v. Sanford – 1857
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Supreme Court Decision – Gibbons v. Ogden – 1824
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Supreme Court Decision – Gideon v. Wainwright – 1963
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Supreme Court Decision – Marbury v. Madison – 1803
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Supreme Court Decision – McCulloch v. Maryland – 1819
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Supreme Court Decision – Miranda v. Arizona – 1966
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Supreme Court Decision – Roe v. Wade – 1973
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Torrijos–Carter Treaties (Panama) – 1977
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Treaty of Ghent – 1814
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United Nations Charter – 1945
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Writ of Habeas Corpus, Lincoln suspends – 1862
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 OTHER IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS

Statute of Anne (Copyrights) – 1710
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Bank Bill of 1791
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Napoleonic Law – 1804
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The New Deal – 1933-1936
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Kennedy Doctrine – 1963
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Indian Treaties
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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 30 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 © 2014 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  RESUMES – Are they too good to be true?

LAST TIME:  THE DANGER OF SAYING “NO” TOO OFTEN  – Next time you are asked to move, think twice.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), KGAB-AM 650 “The Morning Zone” with host Dave Chaffin (weekdays, 6:00-10:00am Mountain), and 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.

Posted in Government | Tagged: , , , , | 10 Comments »

THE DANGER OF SAYING “NO” TOO OFTEN

Posted by Tim Bryce on January 27, 2014

BRYCE ON BUSINESS

– Next time you are asked to move, think twice.

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

I have always worked in a small business environment, but I have visited enough big companies as part of my consulting practice over the years to recognize differences between large and small. One such difference is how large conglomerates cultivate managers.

If you are being groomed to climb the corporate hierarchy you will likely be asked to physically move to another geographical location. If you are successful there, you may very well be asked to move again and again. Each move usually represents an increase in salary and title. A problem arises though when you have adapted to a particular location and are no longer inclined to move.

I have met many “home town” people over the years who belong to large corporations and want to remain where they live. Maybe it’s because they have family in the area, but most of the time they simply love where they live. Whatever the reason, if the person wants to advance in the company, they can ill-afford to say “No” too often to corporate moves.

The employee may be able to resist a move for awhile, but if he/she says “No” once too often, their professional career will likely come to a screeching halt. Executives want to groom managers who are innovative and can adapt to changing conditions. They do not want people who will openly resist change. Companies use moves to test the employee’s abilities.

I have a friend in Minneapolis who loved his home town, his family and friends who lived there, and all the Twin City area can offer, including sports. Alas, he said “No” one too many times and found his career path arrested at age 35. He is still with the company, but has never advanced.

Although the company will probably not terminate your employment, you will likely end up with a dead-end job. This is the company’s way of saying, “It’s time for you to go.”

You might be able to resist relocation for awhile, but be careful not to say “No” too often. Such is one significant difference between a large and small business.

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 30 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 © 2014 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  OUR GOVERNING DOCS – The written instruments used to govern and shape America.

LAST TIME:  WHO DO WE TRUST?  – Our family and friends, our co-workers, our boss…?

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), KGAB-AM 650 “The Morning Zone” with host Dave Chaffin (weekdays, 6:00-10:00am Mountain), and 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.

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

WHO DO WE TRUST?

Posted by Tim Bryce on January 24, 2014

BRYCE ON SOCIETY

– Our family and friends, our co-workers, our boss…?

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

Have you ever noticed there doesn’t seem to be a lot of trust anymore? We tend not to trust our government, our companies, our coworkers, the media, our neighbors. Heck, we’re even suspicious about the motives of our own relatives. It wasn’t always like this. We used to openly trust people and never feared political back stabbing. Alas, no more. We used to leave our house and cars unlocked; even going so far as to loan a friend a car with no questions asked. Again, no more. When we delegated a task or responsibility to someone, we knew it would be completed properly. No more.

It is natural to gravitate to people we trust, and it’s understandable as to why:

We respect their judgment.

We value their opinion.

We feel free to exchange ideas and thoughts with them, including secrets.

Think about it, aren’t these the attributes of a true friend or business colleague? In other words, they exhibit the same moral values we do, if not better. When a trust is broken though, it is difficult if not impossible to repair, and our interpersonal relationships rapidly deteriorate.

The decline of trust denotes a change in our culture and not necessarily for the better. I believe it indicates a more permissive and immoral society whereby a person’s word is no longer his/her bond and people become more concerned with self-preservation as opposed to the welfare of others around them. In other words, the decline of trust represents a splintering of people. As an example, instead of delegating responsibility and empowering people to do their job, we tend to micromanage their activities, which is an open admission we do not trust their judgment. This leads to discontent among the workforce and promotes individualism over teamwork.

As indicated earlier, building trust is a difficult task, particularly if it is broken. The best thing is not to break it in the first place. To build or restore trust it is necessary to offer some visible demonstration of trust, be it something as simple as delivering on a promise, maintaining a confidence, or lending a helping hand when push comes to shove. Speaking from experience, it is always comforting to know that someone is watching your backside as opposed to your wallet.

Regarding the diminishing role of our national motto, “In God We Trust,” some would say this is simply an issue regarding the separation of church and state. As for me, I see it as another sign of the decline of our culture. If we cannot trust God, regardless of our religious denomination, who can we trust?

Originally Published: 1/6/2009

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 30 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 © 2014 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  THE DANGER OF SAYING “NO” TOO OFTEN – Next time you are asked to move, think twice.

LAST TIME:  WHAT IS FREEMASONRY?  – Is it a club, a corporation, a religious cult, a PAC, a philanthropy, or a fraternity?

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), KGAB-AM 650 “The Morning Zone” with host Dave Chaffin (weekdays, 6:00-10:00am Mountain), and 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.

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

WHAT IS FREEMASONRY?

Posted by Tim Bryce on January 22, 2014

BRYCE ON THE MASONS

– Is it a club, a corporation, a religious cult, a PAC, a philanthropy, or a fraternity?

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

In the many years I have been a member, I have always found it fascinating how people perceive the institution of Freemasonry. Some say it is a club, others see it as a philanthropy, but very few seem to understand the concept of fraternity. Further, when we investigate candidates for membership, we normally ask what they are looking for, but rarely do people comprehend precisely what they are joining. This is a compelling argument, one I’ve debated on more than one occasion.

Some of our members see Freemasonry as nothing more than a club, such as a garden club, sports club, country club, etc., an institution we join with some common activity or goal. Clubs are typically run by a set of officers who participate in order to receive some notoriety for their position. This, of course, leads to politics involving backscratching, deceit, backstabbing, and one-up-man-ship. It is not uncommon to find people in such positions who have done nothing of substance in their professional lives and now relish the opportunity to control others. In Freemasonry, we are taught members are all equal in terms of position and opinion. The officers in a Lodge represent a network of duties and responsibilities designed to be implemented by many people, not just one, thereby encouraging teamwork, and eliminating the need for autocratic rule.

There are those who see Freemasonry as a corporation. The problem here is that a corporation is designed to be profitable in nature, Freemasonry is not. True, there are advantages to running any institution like a business, particularly by the state who requires all organizations to run as such, but Freemasonry certainly has no mercenary objectives other than the betterment of its members.

Despite the warnings of conspiracy theorists, Freemasonry does not preach dogma, nor practice religion. A person must believe in a Supreme Being to become a Mason, but his choice of religion is his business, not the Masons. As such, it is not uncommon to sit in a Masonic Lodge with men of many different faiths, thereby promoting religious tolerance.

Freemasonry is not a Political Action Committee (PAC). In order to maintain harmony in the Lodge, politics and religion are two topics forbidden from discussion. Like religion, men of different political beliefs sit in Lodge together in harmony. If anything, Freemasonry promotes the concept of citizenship to the community and patriotism to the country. Those who violate the law and believe in the overthrow of the government by force are not permitted to become Masons. Masons are law-abiding citizens who are taught to use peaceful means to change the government if necessary. As such, Masons hope to become role models for the community.

Perhaps the biggest misconception is that Freemasonry is a philanthropy. It is true Masons give generously to help others in distress, but this is a peripheral goal. It is not intended to spend countless hours on fund raisers or to shake down the Brethren for every available penny. Masons help others if it is within their capacity to do so. Otherwise there is no mandate in Freemasonry to perform philanthropic work. If Masons spend more time on philanthropy than fraternity, then they are subverting the intent of the institution.

Instead, Freemasonry is a fraternity; the original fraternity, and the model for others who came much later, such as college fraternities. The term “fraternity” comes from the Latin word “frater,” meaning “brother.” Fraternity, therefore, is a brotherhood, an environment of companionship dedicated to the social development of its members. The basic tenets of Freemasonry are “Friendship, Morality, and Brotherly Love.” As such, it is designed to build character, devotion, and encourage its members to lead an honorable life. Attending a Masonic Lodge meeting is intended to act as a fortress of solitude for its members, both local and visiting Masons, where they can meet and find solace away from the vermin and troubles of the world. It is a place where men seek understanding, compassion, and to be treated fairly and honestly.

Education is of significant importance in a Masonic Lodge, where Brothers ponder past, present and future problems of morality, responsibility, compassion, and civility. We refer to this as seeking “further light.”

Freemasonry, therefore, is not a club, a philanthropy, a religion, or a PAC. Using symbols from ancient operative Masonry, Freemasonry is a place where men meet “on the level” (to promote equality), act “by the plumb” (rectitude of conduct), and part upon “the square” (to practice morality). For many centuries, Freemasonry is the fraternity where men of character have naturally gravitated to, simply because they yearn for such simple treatment.

Those who think of or practice Freemasonry any other way are missing the boat.

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 30 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 © 2014 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  WHO DO WE TRUST? – Our family and friends, our co-workers, our boss…?

LAST TIME:  THE PROBLEM WITH COLD CALLS – Despite our sophisticated technology, you still cannot speak to the right person. – Despite our sophisticated technology, you still cannot speak to the right person.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), KGAB-AM 650 “The Morning Zone” with host Dave Chaffin (weekdays, 6:00-10:00am Mountain), and 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.

Posted in Social Issues | Tagged: , , , , | 22 Comments »

THE PROBLEM WITH COLD CALLS

Posted by Tim Bryce on January 20, 2014

BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT

– Despite our sophisticated technology, you still cannot speak to the right person.

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

When we started our company years ago we relied heavily on “Cold Calls,” initial telephone contacts with prospective purchasers of our products. To do so, we carefully created a list of potential candidates, rehearsed a speech, and made the call. Actually, it wasn’t quite that simple. We spent considerable time researching company backgrounds by geographical regions, including it’s financial standing (thanks to Forbes, and Standard & Poors directories). As we are in the systems business, we were very much interested in the type of computer hardware and software they used which we found through various computer related directories. Finally, we located the main contacts by job title, such as “MIS/IS Director” and “Systems Manager” (this was well before the advent of such titles as “I.T.”). If we knew people familiar with the candidates, we would contact them first as a pre-investigation. In other words, we did our homework in order to locate the most qualified candidates, thereby maximizing our chances for success. Only then would we make the call.

Later, as we began to use advertising and articles were written about us, people would contact us. These candidates were also checked out accordingly before we mailed promotional literature.

Prior to making the initial Cold Call, we prepared a simple script that would touch on the key benefits in a short amount of time. If the prospect wanted to know more, we would be happy to elaborate, but our intent was to get our foot in the door and schedule a presentation.

We also learned there were good and bad times to make a Cold Call. In the mornings, we found 10:00am – 11:30am were the best times to call a prospect. Most people do not want to be bothered first thing in the morning as they are starting their day, which is why we avoided the 8:30am – 10:00am time frame. Also, we discovered executives liked to leave early for lunch and couldn’t concentrate if they were running for an appointment or food. In the afternoon, we found 2:00pm – 4:00pm was the best time to call. From 1:00pm – 2:00pm, managers were just returning from lunch and organizing the second half of their work day (plus, they might be slightly groggy after consuming a meal). The 4:00pm – 5:00pm period was also considered bad timing as people were tidying up loose ends before departing for the day. Further, we only made calls on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Mondays were considered busy start-up days, and Fridays were burn-out days. I suspect little has changed in this regard in corporate America.

Getting past a secretary was also a challenge, but we found if we introduced ourselves properly, and honestly told of the nature of our call, the secretary would tell us when to call back. We also found a little professional courtesy went a long way in those days.

Cold Calls are much more difficult to make today as opposed to yesteryear. For example, secretaries have become an endangered species. It is also ironic that despite the sophisticated communication devices we have invented, it seems nobody answers the phone anymore, allowing messages to go to voice mail which is inevitably deleted without being heard.

Frankly, I do not know how telemarketers today make such calls for their clientele. I have a friend who sells solar water heating systems. His company depends on telemarketers who canvas for candidates and makes appointments for the sales force. Evidently, they do not qualify the candidates very well as it is not uncommon for the salesmen to arrive at the scheduled time, only to find the appointee is either puzzled as to the purpose of the meeting, lacks the necessary finances to purchase the product, or is simply not at home. In other words, the sales force travels an inordinate amount of miles to make their calls at their own expense. Further, their chances for success are a measly 10% (or possibly lower).

Instead of properly qualifying candidates, the telemarketers are playing a numbers game, at the expense of the sales force.

This means true Cold Calling, as we knew it years ago, is an ineffective means of marketing products. Your alternatives today are either making such calls in person at the customer site, which can be an expensive and time consuming proposition, or relying on spam e-mails which has its own set of problems. As to direct mail through the post office, that disappeared with the 20th century.

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 30 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 © 2014 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  WHAT IS FREEMASONRY? – Is it a club, a corporation, a religious cult, a PAC, a philanthropy, or a fraternity?

LAST TIME:  A COUPLE OF RAYS OF HOPE – A couple of interesting Gallup polls shed light on what the country really believes.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), KGAB-AM 650 “The Morning Zone” with host Dave Chaffin (weekdays, 6:00-10:00am Mountain), and 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.

Posted in Business, Management | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

A COUPLE OF RAYS OF HOPE

Posted by Tim Bryce on January 17, 2014

BRYCE ON SOCIETY

– A couple of interesting Gallup polls shed light on what the country really believes.

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By now, we’re all pretty much convinced morality is suffering in this country due to the erosion of the family unit and decline of organized religion. Many believe a social change is in the offing; that such things as same-sex marriage is now considered normal, cheating and deceit are commonplace, and Judeo-Christian beliefs are no longer in vogue. Not so fast. During this past holiday season, the Gallup organization published a couple of interesting polls challenging these assumptions.

“In U.S., Four in 10 Report Attending Church in Last Week” – December 24, 2013

Although the survey studied church attendance during the holiday season, they were also interested in general attendance. Interestingly, it is now close to where it was in 1940 and 1950. Although it peeked at 49% in the “Ozzie and Harriet” years of the 1950’s, today it has leveled off at approximately 40%, which, surprisingly, is slightly higher than the years of World War II.

The study also reported 56% of Americans today say religion is “very important” in their lives, while another 22% said it is “fairly important,” and 22% said it is “not very important.” Although it is less than the high of 75% in 1952, the poll does reflect the country’s general acceptance of God.

This report is in sharp contrast to frequent media reports of the demise of religion. It is simply not so. It also explains why Biblical entertainment is on the rise; e.g., History Channel’s “The Bible” miniseries, and 20th Century Fox’s “Son of God.”

“Most U.S. Families Still Routinely Dine Together at Home” – December 26, 2013

Whereas it is generally assumed the family unit is in disarray, that everyone is plugged into video games, smart phones, and HDTV; in reality, the family is making an effort to meet and talk around the dinner table which is considered healthy for social development. According to the Gallup study, 53% percent of adults with children younger than 18 say their family eats dinner together at home six or seven nights a week. Further, married parents report eating dinner at home with their families more often than unmarried ones, which is an acknowledgement of a stable home environment anchored by parents.

These studies fly in the face of atheists and those with a twisted sense of family. In essence, it means the majority of Americans still believe in the virtue of the family unit and in God. To a lot of Americans, this will be viewed as a couple of welcomed rays of hope. It also means, our world may not be as bad as the media portrays it.

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 30 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 © 2014 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  THE PROBLEM WITH COLD CALLS – Despite our sophisticated technology, you still cannot speak to the right person.

LAST TIME:  BEWARE OF THE MBA’S – They only understand numbers, not people.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), KGAB-AM 650 “The Morning Zone” with host Dave Chaffin (weekdays, 6:00-10:00am Mountain), and 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.

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

BEWARE OF THE MBA’S

Posted by Tim Bryce on January 15, 2014

BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT

– They only understand numbers, not people.

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Be afraid, be very afraid! They’re back! No, I am not talking about zombies but rather the MBA hotshots who are once again invading corporate America. This is the group who caused havoc in the 1980’s by cutting and slashing everything in sight, all in the name of productivity. In the process, they did considerable damage to the corporate psyche. Let me give you an example.

Cincinnati, Ohio is well known for many things, soap, jet engines, pork, and many other things. It is also well known for its Machine Tool Industry. Such companies build high precision instruments from raw materials for use in manufacturing and aerospace. There was one company in particular, and I do not want to mention their name herein, which was the preeminent machine tool company in the world. Founded in the 1880’s, the company was known for its craftsmanship and loyal work force.

The key to the company’s success was its training school where employees were taught the proper ways of building machine tools. The school was so good, the company not only produced superior products, but it added to the bottom-line of the company. For example, if you graduated from the school, but left the company for a job elsewhere, you were inclined to recommend the company’s products simply because you knew how they were made.

This all changed in the 1980’s when the company hired a team of MBA consultants to study the business and recommend changes. One of the team’s first suggestions was to close the school as they perceived it as a waste of money. This created an uproar within the ranks of the employees as they understood the impact of the school. Nonetheless, management sided with the MBA consultants and closed the school. Not long afterwards the company began to suffer from absenteeism and tardiness, something they had never experienced before. Morale declined, as did corporate loyalty, and employees started to bailout to work for competitors. Quality defects began to emerge, something unimaginable in earlier times, all of which resulted in customer complaints.

Now, three decades later, the company still exists but it is no longer in the machine tool business anymore. A company who had dominated the industry for almost 100 years, abdicated their line of work and turned to plastics instead.

Today, I am seeing a return of the MBA consultants who understand numbers better than people. Instead of focusing on people skills aimed at negotiations, customer service, and quality, they are obsessed with numbers and run a multitude of spreadsheets where they track such things as telephone calls made, cold calls, orders shipped, and inventory. To their way of thinking, it’s no longer about people, just numbers.

As in the 1980’s, the MBA number crunching is beginning to cause problems, such as employee morale, defects in workmanship, and delays for the customer. I know of one small business going through this currently. The young MBA’s running it are only interested in numbers, not in service, quality, building relationships or delivery. The result, the company went from average monthly net profits of $30K to $1K, yet they are convinced they are doing the right thing. Maybe they are planning on going into the plastics business.

The lesson here should be rather obvious: You do not run a business exclusively by numbers. True, it would be irresponsible not to collect data and monitor the activities of the business, but these are just the dials and gauges to the automobile; the human-being still drives the machine. When you lose sight of the human factor, you have lost everything.

So, if you run into an MBA in the corridors of your business, be afraid. I would much rather have the zombies. At least you can kill them, the young MBA’s just keep slashing everything in their path.

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 30 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 © 2014 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  A COUPLE OF RAYS OF HOPE – A couple of interesting Gallup polls shed light on what the country really believes.

LAST TIME:  WHEN MEMBERSHIP DECLINES – The answer is NOT to raise dues.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), KGAB-AM 650 “The Morning Zone” with host Dave Chaffin (weekdays, 6:00-10:00am Mountain), and 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.

Posted in Business, Management | Tagged: , , , , | 10 Comments »

WHEN MEMBERSHIP DECLINES

Posted by Tim Bryce on January 13, 2014

BRYCE ON NON-PROFITS

– The answer is NOT to raise dues.

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I have been around nonprofit organizations of all kinds for several years. I don’t know about you, but I have found far too many in decline due to such things as apathy, lack of relevance, or just bad public relations. Regardless of the reason, when membership declines, the first knee-jerk reaction by the powers that be, is to raise the price of dues. Again, I am reminded of the old expression, “Rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.” Instead of applying energies to fixing the hole, officials decide to shackle more weight on the passengers. I never understood the logic of such action.

Instead of forming a committee or project to identify the problem and take corrective action, the officers turn 180 degrees and run away as fast as possible. This is just plain irresponsible and reckless behavior on the part of the officers in charge. The first step is to recognize that something is wrong; you’re membership wouldn’t be in decline if everything was working properly. Find out what it is and correct it. Face the problem, do not evade it.

Unfortunately, too many officers do not understand the basics of business and are at a loss as to what to do. There is also the possibility they fear change of any kind and do not want to be held responsible for failure. Consequently, they opt for the easy solution of raising the price of dues, an option that will ultimately encourage more members to quit, thereby compounding membership decline and hurrying the destruction of the organization. Raising dues to keep pace with inflation is one thing, raising dues because you are in a death spiral is another.

Re-examine the membership process and offer suggestions for improvement. What does your chapter offer? Why would somebody want to join your organization? What is the competition? You basically have three alternatives: Change the status quo, consolidate or merge with another chapter, or close your doors before your creditors come knocking. Understand this, nonprofit organizations are legal entities in the eyes of the state. Even if you are a 501(c)3 charity, you are not immune from prosecution. Whether you like it or not, you are a business and, as such, better learn to act as such.

To me, the answer is obvious: fix your membership and the money will take care of itself. Then again, the obvious is not always obvious.

Increased membership is a much better alternative than raising dues or charging an assessment. Then again, I’m a capitalist. Let’s consider how this applies in the corporate world. Instead of paying more taxes and enacting more regulations on business, government should reduce taxes and regulations thereby freeing business to produce more, hire more people, and stimulate the economy.

Whether you are in government or a nonprofit, suffocation is hardly an effective means for stimulating business. If anything, learn the Heimlich maneuver. At least you won’t kill off your membership.

Just remember, if you cannot fix the hole in the Titanic, it is time to make preparations to bailout.

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 30 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 © 2014 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  BEWARE OF THE MBA’S – They only understand numbers, not people.

LAST TIME:  MY RECENT TRIP TO MARS – My preliminary notes on the red planet.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), KGAB-AM 650 “The Morning Zone” with host Dave Chaffin (weekdays, 6:00-10:00am Mountain), and 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.

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

MY RECENT TRIP TO MARS

Posted by Tim Bryce on January 10, 2014

BRYCE ON LIFE

– My preliminary notes on the red planet.

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I want to tell you about my recent trip to Mars. Actually, this is just my initial sketch as I hope to write much more in the coming weeks.

It was a long trip, but I finally arrived home safely. Even though it was a rather cold and desolate place, Mars has a stark beauty all its own and I actually felt quite at home. The sunrises and sunsets were certainly beautiful though. Surprisingly, there were a lot of inhabitants there and I was able to identify many of the species:

Control Freekus – these were small people who smelled of cabbage and directed the work of others. Back home we call them “micromanagers” or “helicopter parents” and I suspect this species must be somehow related as they were just as obnoxious. No decision is made without the Control Freekus’ stamp of approval and if anything goes wrong, the Freekus’ has the uncanny ability to blame others.

Automobilus Drivius Crazius – there weren’t too many vehicles there, mostly roving robots who seemed to move at a snail’s pace. Despite my best efforts, I had trouble avoiding them as they all seemed to be texting and talking on cell phones (although I’m not too sure who they were talking to, and neither did they). They were incredibly irritating as I couldn’t seem to avoid them.

Politicius Maximus Ignoramius – they appeared to have a rudimentary government system in place. The politicians seemed to be hyperactive. They run around a lot, snapping up photo opportunities, and spinning their political diatribe to anyone within earshot. It seemed they would promise the inhabitants anything, but offered no means to pay for it. Very strange. I got the odd feeling they were past masters at rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Homo Sappian Assholeus – which is a term I invented to refer to the inhabitants. Interestingly, half were quite productive, worked hard, and enjoyed life, while the other half were shiftless, lazy and wouldn’t assume responsibility for their actions. It seems the Politicius Maximus Ignoramius concentrated their attention on this latter segment of society as they promised them a litany of entitlements. However, the workers segment appeared to be growing tired of supporting the other half.

I’m sorry I can’t give you more just yet, but these are my initial observations. I took lots of notes while I was there which I am still sifting through. I hope to write something more meaningful soon. Stay tuned.

Yes, I felt quite at home on Mars.

Or was it the District of Columbia?

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 30 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 © 2014 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  MY RECENT TRIP TO MARS – My preliminary notes on the red planet.

LAST TIME:  WHAT’S IN A JOB TITLE? – Evidently a lot.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), KGAB-AM 650 “The Morning Zone” with host Dave Chaffin (weekdays, 6:00-10:00am Mountain), and 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.

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 8 Comments »

 
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