Soul Food for the Week of Dec 26th 2014

Happy Soul Food Friday!

It is better to give than receive…

Enjoy this link sharing holiday cheer and your SFF for the end of this year


This week:

Humor: UPS Pilots and Maintenance

Obsolescence: Ten Things That Will Eventually Disappear In Our Lifetime

Aspiration: Can we Hold Ourselves to a Higher Standard Than Self-Interest?

Perspective: Putting America’s 16 Trillion Dollar Economy in Global Perspective:

Freedom: Flying with Hawks at Torrey Pines:

Wonder: It’s An Amazing World

Humor: UPS Pilots and Maintenance

After every flight, UPS pilots fill out a form, called a  ‘gripe sheet,’
which tells mechanics about problems with the aircraft.

The mechanics correct the problems, document their repairs
on the form, and then pilots review the gripe sheets before the
next flight.
Never let it be said that ground crews lack a sense of
humor. Here are some actual maintenance complaints submitted by UPS pilots
(marked with a P) and the solutions recorded (marked with an S) by maintenance engineers.

P: Left inside main tire almost needs replacement.
S: Almost replaced left inside main tire.

P: Test flight OK, except auto-land very rough.
S: Auto-land not installed on this aircraft.

P: Something loose in cockpit
S: Something tightened in cockpit

P: Dead bugs on windshield.
S: Live bugs on back-order.

P: Autopilot in altitude-hold mode produces a 200 feet per minute descent
S: Cannot reproduce problem on ground.

P: Evidence of leak on right main landing gear.
S: Evidence removed.

P: DME volume unbelievably loud.
S: DME volume set to more believable level.

P: Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick.
S: That’s what friction locks are for.

P: IFF inoperative in OFF mode
S: IFF always inoperative in OFF mode.

P: Suspected crack in windshield.
S: Suspect you’re right.

P: Number 3 engine missing.
S: Engine found on right wing after brief search

P: Aircraft handles funny.
S: Aircraft warned to straighten up, fly right and be serious.

P: Target radar hums.
S: Reprogrammed target radar with lyrics.

P: Mouse in cockpit.
S: Cat installed.

And the best one for last

P: Noise coming from under instrument panel. Sounds like a
midget pounding on something with a hammer.
S: Took hammer away from the midget.

Obsolescence: Ten Things That Will Eventually Disappear In Our Lifetime

Whether these changes are good or bad depends in part on how we adapt to them.

But, ready or not, here they come…

  1. The Post Office
    Get ready to imagine a world without the post office. They are so deeply in
    financial trouble that there is probably no way to sustain it long term. Email,
    FedEx, and UPS have just about wiped out the minimum revenue needed to
    keep the post office alive. Most of your mail every day is junk mail and bills.
  2. The Check
    Britain is already laying the groundwork to do away with check by 2018. It
    costs the financial system billions of dollars a year to process checks. Plastic
    cards and online transactions will lead to the eventual demise of the check.
    This plays right into the death of the post office. If you never paid your bills
    by mail and never received them by mail, the post office would absolutely
    go out of business.
  3. The Newspaper
    The younger generation simply doesn’t read the newspaper. They certainly
    don’t subscribe to a daily delivered print edition. That may go the way of the
    milkman and the laundry man. As for reading the paper online, get ready to
    pay for it. The rise in mobile Internet devices and e-readers has caused all
    the newspaper and magazine publishers to form an alliance. They have met
    with Apple, Amazon, and the major cell phone companies to develop a model
    for paid subscription services.
  4. The Book
    You say you will never give up the physical book that you hold in your hand
    and turn the literal pages I said the same thing about downloading music from
    iTunes. I wanted my hard copy CD. But I quickly changed my mind when I
    discovered that I could get albums for half the price without ever leaving home
    to get the latest music. The same thing will happen with books. You can browse
    a bookstore online and even read a preview chapter before you buy. And the
    price is less than half that of a real book. And think of the convenience! Once
    you start flicking your fingers on the screen instead of the book, you find that
    you are lost in the story, can’t wait to see what happens next, and you forget
    that you’re holding a gadget instead of a book.
  5. The Land Line Telephone
    Unless you have a large family and make a lot of local calls, you don’t need it
    anymore. Most people keep it simply because they’ve always had it. But you
    are paying double charges for that extra service. All the cell phone companies
    will let you call customers using the same cell provider for no charge against
    your minutes.
  6. Music
    This is one of the saddest parts of the change story. The music industry is
    dying a slow death. Not just because of illegal downloading. It’s the lack of
    innovative new music being given a chance to get to the people who would
    like to hear it. Greed and corruption is the problem. The record labels and
    the radio conglomerates are simply self-destructing. Over 40% of the music
    purchased today is “catalogue items,” meaning traditional music that the public
    is familiar with. Older established artists. This is also true on the live concert
    circuit. To explore this fascinating and disturbing topic further, check out the
    book, “Appetite for Self-Destruction” by Steve Knopper, and the video
    documentary, “Before the Music Dies.”
  7. Television Revenues
    To the networks are down dramatically. Not just because of the economy.
    People are watching TV and movies streamed from their computers. And
    they’re playing games and doing lots of other things that take up the time
    that used to be spent watching TV. Prime time shows have degenerated down
    to lower than the lowest common denominator. Cable rates are skyrocketing
    and commercials run about every 4 minutes and 30 seconds. I say good
    riddance to most of it. It’s time for the cable companies to be put out of
    our misery. Let the people choose what they want to watch online and
    through Netflix.
  8. The “Things” That You Own
    Many of the very possessions that we used to own are still in our lives, but
    we may not actually own them in the future. They may simply reside in
    “the cloud.” Today your computer has a hard drive and you store your
    pictures, music, movies, and documents. Your software is on a CD or DVD,
    and you can always re-install it if need be. But all of that is changing.
    Apple, Microsoft, and Google are all finishing up their latest “cloud services.”
    That means that when you turn on a computer, the Internet will be built into
    the operating system. So, Windows, Google, and the Mac OS will be tied
    straight into the Internet. If you click an icon, it will open something in the
    Internet cloud. If you save something, it will be saved to the cloud. And you
    may pay a monthly subscription fee to the cloud provider. In this virtual world,
    you can access your music or your books, or your whatever from any laptop
    or handheld device. That’s the good news. But, will you actually own any of
    this “stuff” or will it all be able to disappear at any moment in a big “Poof?”
    Will most of the things in our lives be disposable and whimsical? It makes
    you want to run to the closet and pull out that photo album, grab a book from
    the shelf, or open up a CD case and pull out the insert.
  9. Joined Handwriting (Cursive Writing) 
    Once called Penmanship. Already gone in some schools who no longer teach
    “joined handwriting” because nearly everything is done now on computers or
    keyboards of some type (pun not intended)
  10. Privacy
    If there ever was a concept that we can look back on nostalgically, it would
    be privacy. That’s gone. It’s been gone for a long time anyway.. There are
    cameras on the street, in most of the buildings, and even built into your
    computer and cell phone. But you can be sure that 24/7, “They” know who
    you are and where you are, right down to the GPS coordinates, and the
    Google Street View. If you buy something, your habit is put into a zillion
    profiles, and your ads will change to reflect those habits.. “They” will try
    to get you to buy something else. Again and again and again.

All we will have left that which can’t be changed… are our “Memories” and even these are selective…

Can we Hold Ourselves to a Higher Standard Than Self-Interest?

By Will Marre

Business is bad. I am not referring to financial performance but rather moral performance. Capitalism is amoral. It has no intrinsic moral agenda. You can start an enterprise that makes boatloads of money selling cigarettes or selling treatments for the lung cancer it causes.  Actually both these business models are currently thriving. And as far as most Wall Street investors are concerned there is no distinction between a business whose product is designed to kill people and a business whose products are designed to save people. How did we get here?According to the patron saint economist of modern capitalism, Milton Friedman, the purpose of business is to make money as efficiently as possible. And that’s it. According to his doctrine the only ethical obligation a business leader has is to his investors. Friedman proclaimed the glories of amoral self-interest in a series of PBS programs that aired in the 1970s.  His ideas transformed our MBA schools and sanctified the dogma that “greed is good.”

So how is this working for us? Obviously some people at the top of the capitalism food-chain are doing spectacularly well. Today’s radically materialistic capitalism  also justifies workplaces in which employees have no job security, no earned retirement, and are continually told to do more with less. Business leaders have harnessed tools of modern technology to keep their employees working from dawn to midnight. We are told that our life-balance has become both silly and irrelevant in our highly competitive economy. So get over it…“do whatever it takes.”

Yet many of the same companies make so much money that they literally don’t know what to do with it. So activist investors insist leaders use the profits you gave your nights and weekends for to buy back their company’s stock. This is simply a magic trick to try to temporarily increase the stock price so that short-term investors can cash out.

How could this happen? I spent over three decades advising CEOs and executives of large publicly traded corporations. So I believe I have an answer to how it happened.

It’s called Hard Power.

Here’s how it works. Brain research that correlates personality types with neural networks reveal that the mental model of highly competitive people tends to focus on power, status, control and self-interest.   The areas of the brain that evaluate stimulus and drive action of hard-charging, self-focused people light up when opportunities for personal gain are detected. This focus is a significant advantage in hierarchical organizations. Since hierarchies concentrate power in the few people at the top, people who are power-driven tend to succeed. Put simply, most business organizations are rigged to reward self-centered, status seeking, goal-focused individuals. This is not a criticism. It is a description of reality.

The advantage of highly competitive people is their mastery of hard power. Hard power concentrates energy on goal setting and accountability. The most motivating goals are tangible…achievements that can be easily measured. And there is nothing easier to measure than money. As long as we cling to the insane idea that the primary purpose of business is to make money hard power leaders will define our future.

I am concerned that the myopia of hard power thinking will make the world more dangerous and less sustainable than it needs to be. Technology is the wildcard. Today, technology allows the destructive forces of what used to take thousands of people to do to be concentrated in the hands of very few. I’m not just referring to terrorism but also the fate of our entire international financial system, energy grid, clean air, plentiful water, healthy oceans and all of the rest that underlie our quality of life.

It’s simple. We are more interdependent now than ever before in history and the flaws of hard power and an amoral view of business creates unprecedented personal vulnerability.

So, what’s the solution?

Well it’s not soft power. Soft power is rooted in co-operation for mutual benefit. It relies on empathy, collaboration, inclusiveness, open-mindedness and an active interest in the well-being of others. Personality studies of soft power oriented people show they are most interested in helping others achieve their goals. They also want to relieve suffering and solve problems.  In most organizations soft power people are found in mid-level management. Hard power people make the goals and soft power people help them achieve them. Soft power people remain stuck in middle management because they are lousy at speaking up, advocating for their self-interest and pressing their agenda. Often they feel victimized and overwhelmed. Many soft power people fall into the trap of “learned helplessness,” mal-adapting to an ever-decaying status quo.

It shouldn’t surprise you that developmental brain research indicates that most men are primarily wired to use hard power and that women’s brains are designed to rely on soft power. Although we don’t know for sure, it appears that about midway through gestation a typical male baby’s developing brain becomes bathed in testosterone which pre-wires later cognitive development for linear thinking, competitiveness, self-interest and struggles with impulse control.

Female baby’s brains are bathed in estrogen which appears to trigger their brains to develop more holistic thinking patterns, long-term thinking, empathy and collaborative intelligence. (Although this is not settled neuro-science it sure explains a lot.)

When you look at the design advantages of a typical female brain; holistic, long-term, empathetic and collaborative, you can immediately recognize the inherent leadership advantages these abilities bring to modern business organizations. Unfortunately, I found that much of the time these advantages go unrewarded.

That’s because business organizations are defectively designed to reward hard power and exploit soft power.

This is not some ivory tower theory. I’ve been successfully helping women advance into the highest levels of business leadership for over two decades. I usually do this through one-on-one leadership development. But it is not enough. I have a front row seat to the advancing descent of un-inspired business leadership and the frustration of aspiring women leaders who were being told that to be successful they must become like men.  Although Sheryl Sandberg has made a great commercial success of her “Lean In” advice to women which is that they should just ‘man up,’ I have yet to speak to an audience of women who believe it is realistic or desirable. So what we have is confusion. It seems that many women aspire to power not to change things but to succeed in the system that is giving us the world we already have.

I am concerned that I do not hear often enough the idea that if women ran things, things would be better. There seems to be a wavering confidence in the unique mindset that women bring to setting higher goals, a balanced work-life and accepting the mantle of moral authority.

I believe that we are at a major turning point. The purpose of business can be forever elevated as a means to improve the quality of life of everyone–customers, employees, suppliers and communities.  In a sane and sustainable world, profits should be a byproduct of genuine value creation.  I believe that women are naturally designed to be the new voice of business leadership. Not one that mimics the shortcomings of hard power but rather the amplifier of Smart Power.  Smart Power is the synthesis of the strengths of results-focused hard power and human-focused soft power. So no, I am not advocating for all women leadership teams. The best leadership teams I coach have a healthy balance of strong men and women who respect each other’s values and viewpoints in the pursuit of human-centered innovation…value that matters to people.

I am not an unrealistic dreamer.  A great team of women clients and I recently led our first Leadership SPA (Smart Power Academy) for 33 women leaders from major organizations.  It was designed to be visionary and career changing as well as practical and realistic. What happened was something far greater than I anticipated.  The combined energy of these leaders created individual strategic aspirations and career roadmaps far more powerful than anything I could’ve anticipated.

This same team of women is getting together in a few days to forge a path forward. I don’t exactly know what the future will bring but what I do know is that as a global society we simply cannot keep doing what we have been doing. And I sincerely believe this. To go in a higher direction we need women leaders to bring their vision forward and insist that we hold ourselves to a higher standard than self-interest.

There is no better time than right now.

Putting America’s 16 Trillion Dollar Economy in Global Perspective:

With 4.4% of the world’s population, the U.S. produced 22.3% of world GDP in 2012.

For example, California would tie with Italy as the 9th largest economy in the world, and produces the same economic output with 37% fewer people

See a map here:

Freedom: Flying with Hawks at Torrey Pines:

Astounding photography and what an experience.

Wonder: It’s An Amazing World

Stay Amazed!

Mind Blown

Enjoy this Holiday Card from all of us at Mission Fed:

Thanks this week go to Jeff B, Popeh Z, Larry H, Will M, Brad W, Jehangir J and the Mission Fed team.


Pay it Forward and Happy Holidays!



“My mission:

“To respectfully understand, passionately inspire, and authentically transform high performance and high fulfillment growth for like-spirited individuals and organizations”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s