I published a piece titled “Stupid Has Its Own Momentum” in November 2010. Since then, examples of stupid having its own momentum. have continued ... and continued ... and continued. Stupid maintains its own momentum because there are incentives to do so. Here are three powerful rewards to stay stupid:
Public employee unions could significantly increase their chances for voter support by taking the lead – or at least working together with their opponents – on the following actions: 1. Take strikes, work stoppages, and slowdowns off the table. The public has a right to expect that its public agencies continue to function even if there is a disagreement over terms of the contract. In return for this, public employee unions should receive the right for expedited arbitration over violations of the contract.
The standoff between Republican elected officials and their Democratic colleagues over the roll and scope of collective bargaining with public sector unions has escalated to the point where rhetoric has overtaken reason. So let’s look at what this means and why public sector unions could become extinct.
Fourteen senators leave the state. 60,000 plus show up to demonstrate. And, the next thing you know there’s a national debate on the role of public employee unions in the state budget crisis occurring throughout the country. Those who support the unions see this as a not-so-veiled attempt to alter the essence of collective bargaining and limit the people’s right to protest. Union members see it as a fundamental challenge to their right to organize, and in some cases, a violation of their contract. The union leadership no doubt sees it as payback for supporting Democratic and pro-labor candidates. Those who support the various initiatives view this as a much needed step to reign in spending that is out of control. They view unions as – at worst - the enemy that have secured salary and benefits that are unavailable to them as private sector employees. “Why should government employees experience no pain when they are out of work,” they ask. There are probably even Republicans who view this as the perfect opportunity to weaken a political opponent. The problem with perceptions is that it only takes one act to prove you are right. As the saying goes, “All Indians walk in single file. I know that to be true because the one I saw was doing it that way.”
Every crisis presents us with an opportunity to lead or shirk from service. It either paralyzes us from moving forward, or it pushes us to take action. Here are five actions you can take to lead your organization or team through tough times:
The tradition of New Year’s resolutions dates back more than 4,000 years to the ancient Babylonians. Even then people were failing to turn intention into action. Very few of the good intentions professed as a New Year’s Resolution will ever come to fruition. The goals are noble, but the choices are wrong. For 2011, consider forgetting your typical resolutions and make this the year of better choices.
We choose every day. Consciously or not, we make it nonetheless. Are we a leader or a liar? Here is the challenge – we know our intentions, but simply look at our behavior and performance filtered through their lens of perception. Did we do what we said we would do? We may see ourselves as a leader, but to others we are simply lying to them or ourselves.
Mistakes happen. The lawyers are paid to tell you the answer that will protect your legal interests, just like your CPA is paid to tell you the answer that will protect your tax interests. You, on the other hand, are responsible for making the best leadership decision.
We have all seen and/or participated in an experience similar to my purchase of an Arabian horse. More important, we have witnessed the result of a well-intentioned idea gone bad in the communities and organizations we serve. Stupid – once in play – can take on a life of its own.
The National Football League’s Dallas Cowboys have a record of 1 win and 3 losses. It turns out that the Dallas Cowboys have a lot in common with companies and teams everywhere—they have great talent and yet they are failing to achieve their goals. Which brings us to you, your team, and your company. Accepting effort in lieu of desired results creates an environment where excuses justify mediocrity.