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Archive for April, 2016

THE DILEMMA OF THE DEMOCRATS

Posted by Tim Bryce on April 6, 2016

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– Some very good sleight of hand by the press.

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

While the rest of the country has been preoccupied by the GOP follies on television, there has been relatively little said about the Democratic race, and I believe this to be by design.

On the one hand we have Senator Bernie Sanders who is an admitted Socialist popular with young people and the remnants of the Occupy Wall Street movement. On the other hand we have Secretary Hillary Clinton who is leading in the delegate count, yet possesses a low “trustworthiness” rating by the American public, including her own party. For example, a recent Quinnipiac Poll shows 67% of voters do not find Mrs. Clinton “honest and trustworthy,” that includes 74% of Independent voters.

It is rather ironic the Democrats are willing to elevate someone to the highest office in the land, yet do not trust her. Couple this with her other scurrilous affairs over the years, and a blank track record for accomplishments in office, and you have a flawed character easily prone to attack. Mrs. Clinton tends to laugh such accusations away and blames conservatives for the attacks, but sadly, nobody else is laughing.

In the popular political book, “This Town,” by Mark Leibovich of “The New York Times Magazine,” the author confirms the incestuous relationship between the media and the Clintons who are treated as American royalty. Government officials, journalists, and lobbyists, all scratch each other’s backs in order to climb their respective totem polls and grab as much money as possible along the way. He paints a picture of unadulterated collusion and makes it clear Washington exists not to solve the problems of the country but to line the pockets of the residents there. From this perspective, we shouldn’t be surprised how widespread the problem really is. Whether you are a government official, lobbyist, or a member of the press, it’s about making money and control of the system. This is why Mrs. Clinton is staunchly defended by the press; she get’s it.

So the challenge becomes how to distract the public away from Hillary’s foibles. The answer is rather obvious, create a diversion by focusing on the rivalry of the Republicans. By doing so, not only does the public overlook Mrs. Clinton’s indiscretions, it causes a serious rift in the GOP. Frankly, this “divide and conquer” strategy offers a brilliant win-win scenario.

Added to this is a take-down of businessman Donald Trump who is the one person, an outsider, who could potentially disrupt the system in Washington. We have already seen the media pull out the stops to knockout Mr. Trump, such as creating misinformation about his Trump University, his bankruptcies, and any other trivialities designed to assassinate his character. Remarkably, he keeps winning in spite of all this.

The biggest fear of the media and the Democrats is that Mr. Trump might very well become the Republican candidate and would dice up Mrs. Clinton in a debate.

So, if you have heard little about Mrs. Clinton’s problems, you can thank the media for defending her.

If you are a conspiracy theorist, you’ve got to love the 2016 presidential election.

Also published with News Talk Florida.

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 © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  MY LAST PUFF – Quitting is not easy.

LAST TIME:  INSUBORDINATION  – When is it time to be insuborinate, and when to remain loyal?

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific); and WWBA-AM (News Talk Florida 820). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

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

INSUBORDINATION

Posted by Tim Bryce on April 4, 2016

BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT

– When is it time to be insubordinate, and when to remain loyal?

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

Over the years, I believe I’ve seen just about every type of organizational structure in the corporate world, be it the traditional hierarchy, matrix, project teams, etc. No matter how you slice it though, unless you are the top dog, there is always going to be at least one person you have to report to, someone who is ultimately responsible for authorizing your paycheck. Even the top dog has to report to someone, such as shareholders. Regardless of who you report to, you owe your allegiance to your superior. If you don’t like the person, request a transfer or take another job elsewhere. I’m old-school in this regard; as long as you are in the person’s employment, do not malign him or ridicule him, come to his defense instead. Loyalty is a rare commodity these days, particularly due to obnoxious micromanagement and rocky economics, but you have to realize your success ultimately depends on your superior’s success. Believe me, if he is struggling, you’re next. You can make all the unflattering remarks you want about your boss after you have left. In the meantime, you owe him your support.

All of this, of course, means you should follow his orders and rules. In the military, you will be expected to do so without questioning your superior’s rationale. In the corporate world, it’s a little different. Hopefully, your boss will clue you in as to why something is needed, but it is not mandatory for him to do so. There will be some bosses who will bark at you, “Jump!” to which you are to reply, “How high?” If this is what you signed up for, you better be ready to do so, otherwise you would be wise to move along to something else.

It is hard to maintain your allegiance to someone who is either your junior, creepy, or you plain and simply do not respect. There will also be instances of personality conflicts where you and the other person see the world differently. Again, until such time as you move along, you should respect the wishes of your superior. This doesn’t mean you have to love him or kiss his behind, even though he may want you to do so. It means you should conduct your business as professionally as possible while respecting his authority.

When you are applying for a job, you should try to size up the person you are about to work for. What is his management style? What are his ethics? What type of corporate culture does he promote? Will you be able to effectively perform your duties and responsibilities for this person and in this environment? Good or bad, you better know the answers before you accept the job.

Is there ever a time when it is appropriate to be insubordinate? Yes. Even the military realizes there will be unusual circumstances when it is necessary to contradict your superior. Actually, there is not too much difference between the corporate world and the military in this regard. Two specific areas come to mind: ethics violations and a major mistake. It is hoped, your organization has a code of conduct and/or a policy manual. If not, common sense and the laws of the land will dictate what is right or wrong. Either way, if your superior orders you to violate the ethical rules of the business, such as cheating a customer or misrepresenting the company, it is not only your right to become insubordinate, it is your duty. The same is true of a major blunder. For example, if you are about to execute a contract for $2,000, yet it was intended to be $200,000 (where someone misplaced a few zeros along the way) your boss may become embarrassed if you correct him thereby showing your insubordination to him), but he should thank you later nevertheless. If possible, override your superior with tact and diplomacy so he doesn’t lose face, but occasionally tempers will flare and you may very well have to apologize for your actions.

If you feel you have been unfairly treated for your insubordination, you may want to go to someone higher in the chain of command. Human Resource departments may also have an ombudsman of some kind to handle such situations and reconcile differences. Either way, it is a smart move to document the insubordination incident as precisely as possible. As soon as possible, write your interpretation of events and, if possible, review it with witnesses for accuracy. Understand this, in all likelihood, your boss is going to be asked to do the same thing by the HR Department.

Insubordination is an ugly affair that rarely benefits anyone. The best thing to do is try to remain loyal to your boss and go about your business the best you can. If you are truly unhappy, try to move along and find something else. True, your boss may be a problem, but it may also be you as well. Do some serious soul-searching before you make a mistake.

Loyalty, dedication and professionalism are rare commodities these days, particularly in the cutthroat world of corporate America. Regardless, when you find someone you believe in, do not hesitate to stand by him through thick and thin. In all likelihood, it will be reciprocated, even if you have nothing else in common with your boss. A good manager understands hard work, but he doesn’t forget loyalty.

Originally published: January 26, 2011

Also published with News Talk Florida.

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 © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  THE DILEMMA OF THE DEMOCRATS – Some very good sleight of hand by the press.

LAST TIME:  HAVING A BAD DAY  – Thank heaven it doesn’t occur often.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific); and WWBA-AM (News Talk Florida 820). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

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

HAVING A BAD DAY

Posted by Tim Bryce on April 1, 2016

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Thank heaven it doesn’t occur often.

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

When I come home at night after work, my wife and I typically talk about what we did that day. My wife gives me a journal description of her day from the time she got up until we finally meet at night. She’s quite articulate in her adventures of the day which may explain why she looks puzzled at me when she asks me how my day went and I respond by saying simply “Fine” or “Good.” Actually, I have a “Bad” day now and then, but not too often. I usually have but one a year, and I don’t mean a type of day where you run into some problems at work or a key decision doesn’t go your way. I’m talking about a day where everything consistently unravels before your eyes and you are powerless to do anything about it. Maybe a better adjective would be a “Rotten” day. I had one a couple of weeks ago.

It began on a cold Wednesday here in Florida, which may sound like an oxymoron, but on this particular occasion a cold Arctic blast came down from Canada. We may have not gotten the snow or frigid temperatures that the Midwest received, but getting into the 30’s is still cold by my estimate. As I was leaving for lunch I noticed my car had a flat tire on the left-rear side. “Oh, great,” I lamented to myself.

A friend mentioned my mechanic probably had a spray can containing compressed air which may be able to inflate the tire long enough for me to drive it into the shop where it could be fixed. This sounded like a good idea, so he drove down and retrieved the can for me. The can was rather old and strange looking. Actually, it looked like a rusted and overgrown Jiffy Pop machine turned on its side and built around the time of the first World War. I had visions of Dough Boys using it in the Battle of the Marne to fill their gas masks. Nevertheless, I took the Jiffy Pop machine and hooked its hose to my tire stem. “Pffffst” and only a small puff of air came out of it before it died. I think I should have given it a military funeral in my dumpster right then and there.

I then resigned myself to the fact I would have to change the tire myself with the spare I had in the trunk. Now most people would call AAA or a local service station, but my masculine ego kicked into gear and I was determined to do it myself. After all, I had changed many tires over the years, “What is one more tire?” I said to myself. Unfortunately, I had never changed a tire on this particular vehicle, a Kia from South Korea. Dutifully I took out the tools packaged neatly in the trunk. So far, so good. There was a screwdriver and wrench, as well as a jack and tire iron. However, calling it a “tire iron” would be overly generous. It looked more like an overgrown silver Pixie Stick, approximately ten inches in length.

Before you jack-up a car to remove a tire, it is a smart idea to first loosen the lug nuts. I used the Kia screwdriver to remove the plastic lug nut cover from the wheel, a feat in itself as it stubbornly did not want to come off. I then took the Pixie Stick and tried to turn the lug nuts much to no avail, they were on simply too tight. It was about this time that I noticed sweat developing on my forehead and removed my jacket as I was becoming too warm even in the cold weather. After fifteen minutes of pushing and bending the Pixie Stick (which included some choice expletives on my part), I concluded this was a futile effort. Still determined to see this job through to completion, I borrowed a car and drove home to get an industrial strength tire iron I had in my garage. My house is only five miles from the office, but it wasn’t until I was halfway home when I realized I left my house key in my jacket back at the office. Not surprising, there were more expletives.

I turned around and returned to the office where I picked up my keys and headed for home again where I performed a frantic search for the tire iron in the garage. It was, of course, in the last possible place to be found in the garage but I was pleased nonetheless that I had found it. I then drove back to the office where I applied my tire iron to the lug nuts. Even with the considerable leverage afforded me by my tire iron, the lug nuts openly resisted my attempts to loosen them. By this time, I noticed my shirt was no longer tucked in my pants which were now drooping as I was bouncing up and down next to the tire like a pogo stick. Just when I was convinced the people at Kia had welded the lug nuts on to the wheel they finally started to loosen with a rusty squeak. One-by-one, squeak-by-squeak, lug nut-by-lug nut, curse-by-curse, they finally surrendered to me.

With the lug nuts loosened, I then went about positioning the jack under the car to raise the vehicle. Actually, it looked more like a toy than a jack. Years ago, cars came with jacks that were made of big hunks of steel you used to raise the vehicle, and it was actually fun to do so. My Kia jack though was no bigger than my two hands put together and was based on a screw mechanism which came with another Pixie Stick to turn it. This required me to use my first Pixie Stick tire iron to turn the other. Since the two were so small, I found myself kneeling on the ground spinning the two Pixie Sticks like you were rapidly peddling a bicycle. I’m sure it was quite comical to watch. Slowly but surely, the jack raised the car up until I could replace the old tire with my spare. I then lowered the car and tightened the lug nuts.

Afterwards I returned to my feet, straightened myself up and was sharply reminded of the arthritis cultivating in my back. I was sweating, my clothes a mess, and my hands soiled with tire filth. Did I mention it was still freezing outside?

After cleaning myself up, I put the tools away in the trunk, along with the flat tire and the Jiffy Pop air can from World War I. Finally, I drove my car to my mechanic’s shop to drop off the air can and have him replace the tire. Elapsed time: two hours, not to mention my afternoon was shot down as it took me some time to regain my composure. The experience: priceless.

The lesson here is that you should always carry a proper set of tools in your car, have a change of clothing, and wait for proper weather conditions to change a tire. Either that or lose the ego and call a mechanic.

As mentioned, I don’t experience “Bad” days often, but when I do it has been my observation they are defined by the domino effect that takes place whereby a series of interrelated screw-ups cascade from one to another. Such events are incredibly frustrating thereby testing your patience.

When I got home that evening, my wife as usual asked me how my day went. I answered “Fine” as I didn’t want to see the dominoes progress any further.

Originally published: January 17, 2011

Also published with News Talk Florida.

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 © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  INSUBORDINATION – When is it time to be insuborinate, and when to remain loyal?

LAST TIME:  12 ATTRIBUTES SEPARATING LIBERALS AND CONSERVATIVES  – How can we be so different?

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific); and WWBA-AM (News Talk Florida 820). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Posted in Life | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

 
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