“Should You Click on Those Hacked Nude Celeb Photos?” A Mashable Flowchart


Nude ImageSome things are too complicated for snap decisions … others should be a little more obvious …

If anyone is still pondering the Question of The Day on social media, there’s a definitive decision-tree below to help guide your conscience, via those helpful folks at Mashable:

Should You Click on Those Hacked Nude Celeb Photos? A Flowchart.

No need to thank us for the help …

Resisting the urge to do it in the Heartland ….



Trust Me On This One …

“It is better to suffer wrong than to do it, and happier to be sometimes cheated than not to trust.”

Samuel Johnson

You Buy This? …

This is one of Samuel Johnson’s oft quoted sentiments and, on the surface, it sounds great. Most of us, at least according to current psychological thinking, are more likely to publicly choose the option which puts us in the best light to others.   In this regard, Johnson’s quotation is a clear mandate.

One can almost imagine oneself taking a lofty (dare I say “Holier Than Thou”) stance, with head held high, but also while looking down one’s nose derisively at those who gather in the less clear ethical gutter of human behavior.   The feeling of self-satisfaction is almost palpable.

Trust or Not Trust? 

However, as always, we need to reflect a little more and dig a little deeper on this seemingly self-sacrificing and noble position.

Stated with other words, Johnson is suggesting that “letting ourselves be taken advantage of” or “getting screwed  by someone” is preferable to being the “screwee” (if such a term actually exists).   He is saying that the ability to trust outweighs the ability to always be sure you are not being cheated.

If we choose to trust and act appropriately, we may set ourselves up for a lifetime of being the object of scorn, of suffering at the hands of others, and of not getting everything that we rightfully should have in our lives.

If we choose not to trust or act appropriately, we may set ourselves up for a lifetime of profiting from the misfortunes of others and taking advantage in unfair ways of another.

Then, of course, there are “others” to consider.  You are not alone in this world, are you?

…  if you are part of a family or familial group, your decisions affect not only you, but others.  If you are cheated, how does that affect their lives and happiness?

…  if you are a leader responsible for the well-being and livelihood of others, how does your perception of what is ethical or not ethical relate to theirs?

…. if you belong to a group of any type, how does your choices affect those others with whom you share a bond of some type? 

When we consider the impact of our decisions and behaviors on others, we sometimes have to modify the original thinking, but this is not a given either.  Sometimes the greatest gift we can give to another is a good example to follow.

At any rate, think about the above for a bit and then let me know what you think.

Possibly nitpicking just to get a discussion going in the Heartland ….


Image via ropescourse.co

Style …

Colley Cibber as Lord Foppington in The Relapse (1696) by John Vanbrugh -circa 1700-1725“The style of writing or speaking isn’t about what is being written or spoken.  Style goes beyond whether or not ideas are true or false and delves into how the ideas as presented are believable in the way they are presented.”

~ unknown

I don’t know who said this or how it found its way into my files, but I like the underlying thoughts.  They spur my thinking …

It’s More Than the Words …

We do sometimes tend to focus on content, on what we are saying or writing.  I know I take great pains to research the accuracy of anything I publish and to give credit where credit is due.

However, sometimes we have to think about how we say our words or write our thoughts, and how we write out what we want to convey.   Think about those we honor as great communicators … Ronald Reagan, Garrison Keillor, Will Rogers, and the like.

Communication is not making a speech … it’s telling a story.

Using language, gestures, and posture, along with the all important timing and pacing, great communicators

… And More Than the Truth or Falseness of What We Express.

At times, we spend much energy in discussing whether a particular story is true or not.  Some maintain that only factual stories should be shared, because the truth is the truth … as thought that were all to say about truth.

Of course, even when something is true, if it is also inconvenient or in opposition to our cherished beliefs or values, we are often quick to dump truth for a simple position of “Well, that’s just the way I feel about it.”

Sometimes a well-told fiction is incredibly powerful … and can do great good.

Didn’t we just yesterday evening see some television advertisements which show the power of images and words, regardless of their exact accuracy, to stir our emotions?

Not sure where all this is going.  Might be another post later this week.

Wondering how this one will be received in the Heartland ….


Speaking of communicating, here’s a link to a YouTube clip of Meryl Streep on the Ellen Show, demonstrating a little stylish communication:  http://www.ellentv.com/2014/01/20/meryl-streep-makes-everything-sound-more-interesting/

Image from Wikipedia – an engraving of the English actor Colley Cibber as Lord Foppington in the Restoration comedy The Relapse (1696) by John Vanbrugh … and that’s where we get the word “Fop”.

7 Reasons Leadership May Not Matter …


Pick an issue that you are deeply concerned about and I would guess that it is on this list, in one form or another.

I am somewhat biased, but I see #7 as the most critical item …

We can solve problems related to inequality, economics, culture, and nature, given good and trusted leadership.  However, without trusted leadership, we are screwed … to use the professional term.

Unfortunately, this concern about value-driven leadership dovetails with another issue often discussed in leadership development circles:  Leadership is frequently discounted as a discrete and learnable skill.    I imagine many reasons exist for this, but here are five which I know are part of the general equation:

 1)  Effective leadership often looks easy from the outside . . . 

When something looks easy, many people think it IS easy.  Leadership suffers the same image problem as does other helping professions (yes, I believe that leadership is a helping profession), where true skill comes across as almost casual action.

2)  Many people have no particular experience actually leading others . . .

Without experience, we often use superficial things, like titles or positions, to rate leaders.  If you do not know the complexity involved in influencing others positively, you may not appreciate what goes into the small part of leadership that is directly observed.

3)  Some leaders are poor, but talk a good game . . .

They snow us with charismatic personalities, so we do not think to look more objectively at what they do.  For examples, see “Politician” of any party or persuasion, now or in the past, from this country or elsewhere.  I’m sure other examples exist of poor leaders who get away with it, but this genre is just too perfect an example not to use..

4)  Some leaders are really nice people, which tends to deflect serious analysis of their abilities and performance . . .

Critical thinking is a difficult skill to use most of the time, and when someone appears to be a good person, we tend to give them more slack and benefit of our doubt.  Personality can trump achievement sometimes.

5)  Quick fixes are popular … True leadership is a slow and developmental process . . .

We as a society have little patience for long processes, but enjoy the fantasy that we can just pull something off in a heartbeat.   Leadership is not like public image, which actually can be destroyed in the amount of time it takes to post a YouTube video or a snarky photo with a catchy phrase attached.

6)  Some leaders may be in the wrong place at the wrong time for the wrong reasons . . . 

Leadership is not a “one-size-fits-all” type of ability.  One person may excel at leadership during a crisis and great upheaval, while another can keep up the steady, but lengthy process of maintenance which stabilizes an organization for the long haul.  Tools like the DiSC are of great help in beginning the discussion about different forms of leadership.

7)  Leadership models believed by some may be outdated . . .

For example, with number 2 on the Pew list, some folks at the top of a very small economic tip probably justify their relative wealth by assuming that the “Great Man” theory of leadership is working in their case.  When an increasing number struggle, while a few thrive, those few need to give some reasons why things are the way they are.  

While most serious leadership development folks believe that leadership is a learnable skill, which includes knowledge acquisition combined with mentored experience, some people find it in their own best interests to believe that destiny and birthright plays a larger role.

Tomorrow, I’m going to share some more specific thoughts around value and leadership.   All leadership is NOT created equal and our ethics do matter.

Considering the state of leadership and what needs to happen in the Heartland ….