Tuesday, February 15, 2011

What is to Come in the Middle East

What is to come in the Middle East.

Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. Santayana

Those who never learned history are doomed—period. Slim Fairview

What is going on?

We’ve watched history unfold by way of anamnesis.

Most of us can remember, “The Sun never sets on the British Empire”. It collapsed for various reasons, but collapsed non-the-less. India, Canada, Hong Kong, Australia, National Public Television, Scotland….

We watched what Ronald Reagan once referred to as the Evil Empire collapse. Actually, one-by-one, two-by-two, Eastern block satellite-nations fell from orbit.

At first, the British expanded their empire. Then, those who lived under the British Raj, along with others living in nations of the empire, evolved to a metaphorical awareness analogous to the awareness made available by the internet today. They freed themselves from foreign rule.

After World War II, the Soviet Union expanded into Eastern Europe. Soon: five-hundred million people ground beneath the boot-heel of communist military occupation. It wasn’t long before the people of Eastern Europe liberated themselves—the result of watching the Soviet influence wither. Today, even Russia is no longer occupied by the communists’ forces.

Today, we have the internet. First, the Tunisian people rose up. Then, the Egyptian people rose up. All throughout the Middle East, we can see the events of change unfolding before our eyes. Still, we discuss the events rather than acknowledge them. Just as Iran extolled the actions of the people of Egypt, is it impossible that people in Arab nations saw large tea party demonstrations? Is it impossible that people in Arab nations were aware of the change in our House of Representatives? A change heralded as the largest shift in power in 39 years.

To understand what other people understand, it is necessary to understand propaganda. Do you remember Antigone, heralded, perhaps, by Sophocles? She was put to death for burying her brother in defiance of the law. However, do you remember Antigone, heralded by Anouilh? She was the spirit of the French resistance when France was occupied by the Nazis. During occupation, books had to be approved by the Nazi censors before they could be published. Why did the Nazi censors approve the publishing of Antigone? To show the people what happens to those who defy authority. What was the result? There are no unintended consequences. Only unwanted consequences.

World leaders, who may have extolled the Tea-Party movement as an example of unrest in America prompted by the peoples’ dissatisfaction with America’s government, with the American way of living, could not have predicted what would come. People who’ve extolled the Egyptian people for their rising up against their government, an ally of the United States, probably did not predict that their own people would say, “Hey, I’ve got an idea.”

Then, there is the internet. The Blogosphere. Netopia. Not Laptopistan as is was referred to in the New York Times. Laptopistan refers to the people with their laptops. Netopia refers to a virtual land that really does exist. Like the wind, you cannot see it. You can only see and feel its effects.





Mail slimfairview@yahoo.com

Copyright © 2011 Slim Fairview

How to Motivate an Underperforming Team

The capable team is under-performing. What do you do?

Capable on what basis?

If the team is under-performing than the team is not capable. Perhaps the individuals are capable.

Review the goals, yourself. Alone. Establish what has been accomplished, the timetable, the deliverables as some call them, then interview each member of the team for a programme review update. Perhaps to "help you prepare your report".

This should help you uncover which individuals are under-performing.

Here are some hints:

The self-appointed leader. He decides that he can help other people do their jobs better and keeps "taking charge of the situation".

The expert. He confuses being belligerent, argumentative, and rude with constructive dialogue (or spirited debate.)

The theorist. Enabler, Empowerment and dignity person. This individual will sidetrack the individual or the group by shifting emphasis to team members feeling good about themselves. (This done to compensate for the lack of self-esteem.) By focusing on how individuals feel is supposed to make them better team members. It also shifts emphasis from the goal to the individual.

The fact checker. This individual will impede the group's performance with constant attention to detail and review. (Important? To an extent. Not to the extent that nothing gets accomplished.)

The "discusser". This individual feels that anything and everything that comes up should be thoroughly discussed.

The Boss who doesn't want to remove people from the group because he

a. doesn't want to hurt anyone's feelings;

b. doesn't want other members of the group to feel insecure about their position;

c. doesn't want to appear harsh; but mostly

d. is afraid his boss will wonder about his competence if he had to remove someone he chose to be a member of the team.

Good luck.


Mail slimfairview@yahoo.com

Copyright (c) 2011 Slim Fairview