S4 E28 — Why Do Those Who Know the Least Talk the Longest?

According to the plan, public pressure created by the delay would lead state legislatures in six key battleground states with Republican-dominated legislatures – Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Wisconsin, Nevada – to de-certify election results, with the intended outcome that Trump would have more certified electoral college votes than the election’s actual winner, Joe Biden.

“5”  Steve Aoki, 41; Steven Spielberg, 74: “Why do those who know the least tend to talk the longest? Your observations may be brief by comparison, but they go right to the heart of the matter, so don’t hesitate to lead the way.” Sagittarius

Hi and welcome to Sunday’s 28th Episode in Season 4 of  Our Disruptively Resilient Year” on this 17th day of April in the spring of 2022.

We concluded the three-year examination of how bits of wisdom changed — during the “normal” pre-pandemic year compared to the pandemic year, and more recently to the paradoxically normal year. 

“The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book”

Table of Contents

Season Four continues now within domestic and global chaos.

Previously in Season Four, The Disruptively Resilient Year

S4 E27Who Cares If It’s The Right Thing To Do Anymore?; S4 E26What Happens If No One Asks a Question?; S4 E25Accountability? 

Related from Season Three, the Paradoxically Normal Year

S3 E28Why I Stole Your Daily Horoscope for a Year; S3 E27What the World Needs Now Before It’s Too Late; S3 E26Following Alice Down the Rabbit Hole; S3 E25 Art Lives Upon Discussion, Upon Experiment, Upon Curiosity …

Related from Season Two, the Pandemic Year

S2 E28Hosting Norwegian Zooms While Trump Eliminated the Virus in April; S2 E27Why I Have to Keep Leo da V on a Leash and So Should You; S2 E26Rethinking the N-Word; S2 E25Are You an Innie or Outie Thinker? 

Related from Season One, the Normal Year

S1 E28Day 28 of My 1-Year Experiment; S1 E27Day 27 of My 1-Year Experiment; S1 E26Day 26  of My 1-Year Experiment; S1 E25Day 25 of My 1-Year Experiment

Context

After Joe Biden won, Former President Donald Trump refused to concede and Peter Navarro jumped into action working on plans to overturn the legal results of the 2020 election.

    • He and Steve Bannon coordinated the details naming the scheme, “The Green Bay Sweep” involving more than 100 Republican state legislators. 
    • Navarro published the plot in a November 2021 book and then hit a talking head tour speaking about it in multiple media interviews. 

Invoking Lombardi’s Packers

It took its name from the Packers sweep, where the Green Bay Packers of the 1950s and ’60s, led by Vince Lombardi, would flood a zone with blockers, allowing the football to be advanced dependably behind them. 

According to sources cited in Wikipedia:

    • In the political iteration, devised by Steve Bannon, the Electoral College vote count would be blocked by repeated challenges to various state’s vote counts by Republican members of the House and Senate favorable to Donald Trump. 
    • Each challenge could take up to two hours of debate by each chamber, individually, leading to as much of 24 hours of televised hearings.
    • According to the plan, public pressure created by the delay would lead state legislatures in six key battleground states with Republican-dominated legislatures – Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Wisconsin, Nevada – to de-certify election results.

100 Congressman on the Wall, if 1 of Them Happens to Fall …

The intended outcome was Trump would have more certified electoral college votes than the election’s actual winner, Joe Biden.

Navarro claimed that then-president Trump was “on board with the strategy”and that up to 100 congressmen were committed to executing the plan. 

Goal Line Play Comes Up Short

However the plan was dependent on Vice President Mike Pence’s participation. It was difficult to pressure Pence, said Navarro, according to Wikipedia: 

Because all communication passed through his chief of staff, Marc Short, who had been president of the Koch Brothers funded Freedom Partners. It was like the Soviet Union taking over Eastern Europe. As an Iron Koch Curtain fell over the vice president, the only way you could speak to VPOTUS was to go through Short.” — Peter Navarro

Pence himself rejected the strategy, but Republican legislators initially followed the plan, with Arizona representative Paul Gosar objecting to his state’s vote counts. 

And, as it turns out things turned darker.

In December after the election, right-wing political activist and organizer Ali Alexander said that he, Gosar, Biggs, and Representative Mo Brooks were “planning something big”: a “mob” to pressure Congress into rejecting the election results. — Wikipedia

In a since-deleted video, Alexander said: “We four schemed up of putting maximum pressure on Congress while they were voting.”

To be fair, Gosar’s office did not respond to media inquiries about this allegation. But News outlets noted that Gosar’s social media accounts had expressed support for Alexander in the past, according to sources cited in Wikipedia.

In the joint session of Congress to formally count the votes of the Electoral College on January 6, 2021, Gosar and Senator Ted Cruz led a challenge to Arizona’s electoral results. — Wikipedia

And, then the Weirdness Descended

Hours after the January 6 storming of the Capitol, during which one police officer and four marchers eventually died, Gosar was the first member of Congress to advance the conspiracy theory that antifa was to blame for the violence, echoed by Brooks and Representative Matt Gaetz.

When Congress reconvened that night, the challenge to the Arizona vote had been rejected 6-93 in the Senate and 121-303 in the House. Gosar, Biggs and Debbie Lesko of Arizona voted to reject Arizona’s vote results, according to Wikipedia cited sources.

As a result of Gosar’s alleged involvement in the storming of the Capitol, three of his siblings called for his expulsion from Congress. 

“When you talk about what happened the other day, you’re talking about treason. You’re talking about overthrowing the government. That’s what this is. If that doesn’t rise to the level of expulsion, what does?” said Tim Gosar. 

Pardon Me, PLEASE

On January 19, the last day of the Trump administration, it was reported that Gosar and Biggs sought pardons from Trump. 

    • No pardons were granted to them or anyone else involved in the storming of the Capitol or the preceding “Save America” rally.
    • In June 2021, Gosar was one of 21 House Republicans to vote against a resolution to give the Congressional Gold Medal to police officers who defended the U.S. Capitol on January 6.
    • After proceedings were interrupted by the January 6 Capitol attack, Pence cited the violence as a rationale for blocking further challenges.

Evidence

“3”  Steve Zahn, 51: “‘Don’t sweat the small stuff,’ they say. ‘The little things add up,’ they say. So which is it? Forget about the scale of things for now and focus on their gravitational pull. If it’s important, you’ll be attracted to it.” Scorpio

I was hoping for more.  This whole Green Bay Sweep stuff and nutty elected officials supporting extremism even his siblings can’t stomach is as confusing as this Holiday Tau.

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

Today’s Holiday Birthday: 

Your talent for listening with your whole being makes wonderful music out of your year. People, nature and ideas intertwine, clash and harmonize to help you move toward an unexpected destiny much to your liking. Your openness engenders practical and magical connections for whatever you and your loved ones need.

“4”  Steve McQueen (1930 – 1980): “You don’t expect people to think and behave like you do. This makes you easy to be around. Others can tell that you’re not imposing rules or judgments on them. People feel accepted for who they are.” Aries

True, even that one crazy uncle every family claims.  Which is why it was so tempting to tell my story about Peter Navarro’s request for which I volunteered just before I left The Paul Merage School of Business for our anniversary vacation to Italy.  Navarro taught classes there and we’d pass in the hallways.  Turned out the resume was for his wife.  She lived and worked as an architect in Laguna Beach.  The last I saw Navarro was on a break during his class when I introduced myself, said I had edited his wife’s resume for which he thanked me.  I just found out today, that they divorced around the same time Emma the Baroness and I took off for Charles de Gulle Airport on British Airways. 

“5”  Steve Aoki, 41; Steven Spielberg, 74: “Why do those who know the least tend to talk the longest? Your observations may be brief by comparison, but they go right to the heart of the matter, so don’t hesitate to lead the way.” Sagittarius

That was always my critique of our former, twice impeached president.  When he got wound up and improvised from the teleprompters he just started stringing together phrases like I used to when I had no idea what the answer to a question was, but I had to answer it in a 5-page essay.  For which I’d receive a D+ or a C-.  I’m not like that.  I facilitate conversations after it gets going and I can find something humorous to say. 

“5”  Steve Jobs, (1955 – 2011): “You’re socially aware and it works to your advantage. Conversational breeziness features fitting topics. You have a terrific sense of who is open to you, when to advance and how best to retreat.” Pisces

Throughout my several careers I found myself working with a wide variety of people from the bottom of society and workplaces up through supervision and management levels to the C-suite.  And, by the nature of introducing change into companies, you had to size people up who had resources and were on the positive side of change and the others that weren’t.  And then you had to address each group differently.

What’s Going On

Literally Bottled and Set Adrift from KnowWhere Atoll

    • @KnowLabs suite of 36 digital magazines, according to my analytics, grew from 12559 this week to 12654 organically grown followers.
    • Orange County Beach Towns 216 viewers stopped by the week before.

Foresight

Quality-of-Life

Long-Form

    • “Here, Right Matters: An American Story” by Alexander Vindman. “We’d long been confused by the president’s policy of accommodation and appeasement of Russia, the United States’ most pressing major adversary. Russia’s president Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine, seizing the Crimean Peninsula, attacking its industrial heartland, the Donbass, from the capital, Kyiv. By 2019, little had changed, Russian military and security forces and their proxy separatists continued to occupy the Donbass. The biggest change was to Ukraine’s importance as a bulwark against Russian aggression weeks earlier, the White House had abruptly put a hold on nearly four hundred million dollars.” 
    • David Enrich begins his book with a suicide in “Deutsche Bank Dark Towers: Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump, and an Epic Trail of Destruction” and then meticulously details the bank’s Russian money laundering operations. Deutsche’s Russian business surged after revenues had fallen 50% due to the 2008 financial crisis. Putin’s Russia, poured in to Deutsche from deals it did with VTB Bank, linked to the Kremlin’s intelligence apparatus. Deutsche positioned itself as a crucial cog in “The Laundromat” by doing what couldn’t be done — processing cross-border transactions for banks that were too small  and didn’t have offices outside their home countries.
    • “Unthinkable: Trauma, Truth, and the Trials of American Democracy” by Jamie Raskin recalls one tragedy no parent should endure — the suicide of his son — and then a second tragedy at almost the same time — the insurrection on January 6th 2021, that terrified he and his congressional peers who were tasked by the Constitution to routinely oversee the orderly transfer of power from one former president to the duly elected new President. 
    • “A Warning” by Anonymous (Miles Taylor) written prior to the January 6th Insurrection as an insider’s account documenting how frequently the former President’s behavior and rage without any “guard rails” showed just how far he would go to win the next election at any cost while spinning lies and misinformation on top of each other.  
    • “Peril” by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa provides anecdotes, stories and inside reporting documenting the controversial last days of Donald Trump’s presidency, as well as the presidential transition and early presidency of Joe Biden. 
    • “Devil’s Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Nationalist Uprising,” by Joshua Green tracks the money behind the scenes leading up to the 2016 presidential election and the growing influence of Steve Bannon’s network of extreme nationalists.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate

CENTER FOR KNOWLEDGE CREATION AND INNOVATION

The Knowledge Path | Know Laboratories | Knowledge Banking | Knowledge ATMs | Western Skies and Island Currents | Best West Road Trip

S2 E72 — 20 Niche-Specific Opportunities Found After Making Soul Crushing Mistakes

Why did these employment opportunities land on the this list?  A feeling of independence or affiliation?  Or allowing for creative expression? Or trying and succeeding at something new?  See for yourself.

“5”  Steve Greene, 34; Steve Guttenberg, 61; Stephen King, 72:The pro is just an amateur who has made and recovered from many mistakes. Your personal life will benefit from the application of a few marketing principles, particularly, knowing your niche and differentiating yourself.” Virgo

Hi and welcome to Sunday’s Episode 72 in Season 2 of  “My Pandemic Year Natural Experiment” on this 28th day of June in the summer of 2020.  

“The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book”

Table of Contents

Season One and Two are a two-year examination of how bits of wisdom changed during the “normal” pre-pandemic and then in this unfolding pandemic year.

Previously in Season Two, the Pandemic Year

S2 E71 My Top 13 Worst Jobs of All Time; S2 E70Persistent Failure; S2 E69How Can You Tell Who’s an Engineer at a Party?

Related from Season One, the Normal Year

S1 E72It’s Taken so Long, I Could be Wrong; S1 E71Isn’t There a Placebo for This?; S1 E70Lingering Fear My Cover Was Blown; S1 E69Anniversary Trip of a Lifetime Deep in the Heart of Tuscany

Context

This is a continuation of “Volume Two Manuscript — WorkFit” a work-in-progress.

Up next I list 20 of my better fit jobs and clients I’ve engaged with in contrast with the 13 worse fit in my previous episode.  The key question is what was it about each project or employer that discouraged or inspired me.  

Let’s turn to the better fits now.

Worse Fits Better Fits
1.   Manufacturing 14.   Bank CD Conversion Tracker
2.   Gas Station Attendant 15.   Good Humor Ice Cream
3.   US Army 16.   Graduate Student Assistant
4.   Auto Insurance Agent 17.   Graduate Assistant Internship
5.   Retail Sales Big Ticket 18.   Vocational Rehabilitation Services
6.   Vocational Rehabilitation Services 19.   Artist — Cards, Poetry, Photos
7.   Professional Training Company 20.   Information Preneur — InFox
8,   Independent Contractor Outplacement Firms 21.  Research & Development — Career Change
9.   Consultant Life and Mutual Fund Company 22.  Trainer, Management Development
10. University Extension Instructor 23.  Organization Development — Technology
11. Consultant Leadership Academy  24.  Startup — Quantum Learning Systems
12, Director Electronics Distribution Company 25.  Director Continuous Improvement
13. Consultant Professional Services 26.  Organization Development — Tech Company
27.  Knowledge Management — Brand Company
28.  Knowledge Media Business
29.  Key Executive Advisor
30.  Venture Guidance
31. Consultant — Defense Company Spin Off 
32. Consultant — Product Development Merger
33. Advisor — Executive MBA Program 

Better Fits

Why did these employment opportunities land on the this list?  A feeling of independence or affiliation?  Or allowing for creative expression? Or trying and succeeding at something new?  See for yourself.

14. Bank — Challenge of manual to technology operations. Problem solving. detective following a pattern of clues. No paper work. Solved, move on, keep my mind engaged.

15. Good Humor Ice Cream — Variety, independence. nothing in common 

16. Graduate Student Assistant — Never received great grades in under graduate classes; more serious after the Army — more autonomy, flexibility, enjoyed research and knowledge work.

17. Graduate Assistant Internship — Working for the State of California half time and professional services startup 50%.  First job in psychology field.

18. Vocational Rehabilitation Services — The more interesting patients were cops, firefighters and sheriffs who filed stress claims. Set up the first behavior modification steps to more objectively evaluate patients and group job club reinforcement for self-placement while marketing not selling. Exposed to Outplacement.  Something new.

19. Artist — Cards, Poetry, Photos — Creative expression combining my new found love of photography with prose and poetry.  Considered creating a line of greeting cards and posters.  

20. Online Membership Start Up Information ‘Preneur based on ways of “making money while you slept”. Money in your mailbox. Experimenting with personal computer. Named it InFox for Information Exchange 

21. Research & Development — Career Change — Field testing my approach — tried to sell to Orange Coast and Coastline Community Colleges. Orange County the Association Training and Development

22. Trainer, Management Development — Research, trends and past information interviews. Internal Outplacement – sold it and got permission. Learned on the job — improve quality, introduce new technology, teach and facilitate sales teams (I know, right) and at corporate headquarters send high potential managers in the developmental pipeline to university executive programs for rounding out.  I learned large-scale organizations resist change like an immune system does. Developed and refined my skill and talent to package new ideas — newer ways of doing things better — than the tried and true, especially during a decline when hundreds of employees receive their pink slips on Fridays.  Oh you need a plan A for thriving in the good times and a plan B for surviving in the dark times.

23. Organizational Development – Technology — Climate for Innovation, (A fast-paced, innovative culture that attracted the best of the best. Our motto was simply, “It’s better to seek forgiveness than to ask permission.”) World Class Manufacturing, Skunk Works, Trends and What ifs to find value during high change, Mergers and Acquisitions — Complex, Disruptive, Accelerated Changes, Just-In-Time, Safari. two different immune systems develop equal and opposite anti-bodies over five years, but especially in the first 18 months of selling something that even we didn’t understand.

24. Startup — Quantum Learning Systems — Safari, Organizational Learning to accommodate speed of disruptive innovation, anticipating new opportunities and rapid learning as a basic skill set for reinvention.

25. Director Continuous Improvement — Spearheading the introduction of continuous improvement and needed a director to manage facilitators from all functions. Its corporate immune system and talent culture reflected their preferred seat of the pants high pace flavor of time-to-market product introduction. Product managers wanted to know with was more important, driving revenue or scheduling yet another series of non-productive meetings

26. Emerging Desktop Projector Company — 200 employees generating revenues of roughly 200 million dollars required a full-time director of organizational development and training. It provided the challenge of high degrees of disruptive innovation, independence and speed. Introduced me to tools for capturing new knowledge creation for product development teams short staffed with critical talent.

27. Knowledge Management — Brand CompanyStrategy and Brand Consultancy. We crashed our models together — learning and development, knowledge creation, media production, internet communities, advertising and marketing. We pioneered a way of capturing the essence of a brand on digital video, searched through audio tracks for the touch points and reused portions of the interviews for orienting new coders hired at accelerated rates.  

28. Knowledge Media Business — Three of us tried to make a go of our pioneering efforts to capture the new knowledge being spun off so it wouldn’t fall through the cracks for Paradoxy-Moron organizations.  But the market didn’t support it and we had to go our separate ways.

29. Key Executive Advisor — Heading up the regions outplacement for C-suite services paid for by their former company. I covered delivered individual and group facilitated services for offices throughout the Southern California Region from San Diego to Woodland Hills, Pasadena and West LA.  It dawned on me that who you knew made the most difference for people at this level I created an online community for information and insight sharing and of course for trusted referrals.

30. Venture Guidance —Prepped potential startup entrepreneurs to seek investments from a a group of entrepreneurs and former executives who agree to pledge $50,000 each as seed or A-series funding.  In a deck of 10 slides after being coached by us individually, they’d have to stand and deliver to a group of us roll playing the sharks and throwing them curve balls and challenging their assumptions.

31. Defense Industry Commercial Spin Off — To commercialize electron-beam sterilization of fruits and vegetables and hamburger meet to extend their shelf life.  Doctors had invested after a round of salmonella outbreak.  He had another client which was reinventing itself trying to both innovate and control their product development process. I learned that the talent cultures that inhabit defense contractors are no way the talent cultures that you need to commercialize a startup.  

32. Consultant — Product Development Merger — Advised two former competitors to define gated product development process with input from all stakeholders from innovative idea to manufacturing.

33. Advisor — Executive and Healthcare MBA Program — A decade which I view as a field test or a laboratory for the content in these second volume books. I proposed a curriculum to the Director for him to review and meet with me.  “Why would anyone choose to come back to school for an executive MBA (and spend over $100,000 over two years) when you’ve got all they’d ever need in this curriculum?

So, yes I admit at this point I wanted to know for myself and for others I would advise, just how do you match your talents to opportunities that bring out the very best in you so you can succeed over the course of your career(s).

But, there’s the flip side.  The perspective from the employer and client side as well.  We’ll turn to what Human Resource Executives discovered next.

Evidence

“5”  Steve Zahn, 51:Should you impart your exact vision, or should you be more collaborative? The art is in what you leave out. When in doubt, choose space and let people fill it with their imaginations.” Scorpio

Boy, as you scan down the list, doesn’t this describe what drew me to each of them?  Collaboration. Imagination.

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

“3”  Steve Winwood, 71; Stevie Wonder, 69; Stephen Colbert, 56: Don’t worry about being original today. You already are and cannot help but be. Copying work you admire will prime you for eventually creating your own masterpiece.”  Taurus

I selected this TauBit, not for today, but for how I operated in those better situations that required something newer, but maybe not bleeding edge new.  As an idea packager, I needed access to better ideas which meant original research.  It meant throwing out a wide net.  It meant copying and note taking.  It meant rearranging and recombining.  It meant all of those processes coming together for creating new knowledge and innovation. 

“3”  Steve Carrell, 57; Steve Martin, 74; Steve Wozniak, 69: There’s a world of difference between what people say and what they do. Your comprehensive understanding comes from observing others in action, all the while knowing that each move speaks volumes.” Leo

Sure, in the same way a detective interviews witnesses with low stress questions at first and then builds to more difficult queries while all the time observing their reactions.

“5”  Steve Greene, 34; Steve Guttenberg, 61; Stephen King, 72:The pro is just an amateur who has made and recovered from many mistakes. Your personal life will benefit from the application of a few marketing principles, particularly, knowing your niche and differentiating yourself.” Virgo

Ok, so I’m definitely an amateur.  “Mistakes” is my middle name, so paying attention to marketing principles within the pipeline I need to activate couldn’t hurt, eh?

“4”  Steve Aoki, 41: You are wise to the fact that urgency is usually a disguise people use to get more quickly to the result they want. Take back the power. Do things on your timetable, not theirs.” Sagittarius

In one way this TauBit of Wisdom comes naturally to me and all you other introverts out there, right? In another way too many people who I won’t name want the answer, but not the understanding.  You know they’re hungry for the meal, but not the preparation by following a recipe.  If you aren’t careful, you’ll create a co-dependency if you cave in.  They’ll be back later wanting the same result from you.

“4”  Steve Harvey, 62:Different languages exist within the same language. You listen to what people speak and speak their language back to them, thus creating an atmosphere of trust.  Capricorn

Isn’t this at the core of active listening, which all of us consultants, coaches, psychologists and advisors practice?

“5”  Steve Nash, 45:You’ll find yourself aware of your own presence and wondering who the ‘you’ is who seems to be witnessing you. In this way, you are similar to most of the great gurus and spiritual-seekers who have walked this earth.” Aquarius 

Wait!  Gurus and spiritual-seekers wandering the earth?  I’ve noticed this phenomenon as I fill in these sentences today and over time as I obsessively kept a journal.

What’s Going On

Literally Bottled and Set Adrift from KnowWhere Atoll 

    • @knowlabs followers of one or more of my 35 digital magazines organically grew from 4073 to 4231.

Foresight

Quality-of-Life 

Long-Form

    • Saw the movie, didn’t realize that one of my favorite authors, Michael Connelly — his detective Hieronymus (Harry) Bosch book series and Amazon Prime series — also wrote, “The Lincoln Lawyer” which I just finished. Gotta tell you I can’t not see his lead character (Mickey Haller, Bosch’s half brother) as anyone else but Matthew McConaughey. 

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by: Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate

CENTER FOR KNOWLEDGE CREATION AND INNOVATION

The Knowledge Path | Know Laboratories | Knowledge Banking | Knowledge ATMs | Western Skies and Island Currents | Best West Road Trip

S2 E71 — My Top 13 Worst Jobs of All Time

Not everyone loves the work they do.  Not everyone can make a living doing what they love to do.

“5”  Steve Zahn, 51:Aligning to the belief systems of those around you is a survival mechanism. Sometimes, the right answer is hard to see because everyone around is agreeing to the wrong answer. But don’t worry; things are shifting.” Scorpio

Hi and welcome to Saturday’s Episode 71 in Season 2 of  “My Pandemic Year Natural Experiment” on this 27th day of June in the summer of 2020.  

“The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book”

Table of Contents

Season One and Two are a two-year examination of how bits of wisdom changed during the “normal” pre-pandemic and then in this unfolding pandemic year.

Previously in Season Two, the Pandemic Year

S2 E70Persistent FailureS2 E69How Can You Tell Who’s an Engineer at a Party?; S2 E68Take More Breakthrough Showers

Related from Season One, the Normal Year

S1 E71Isn’t There a Placebo for This?; S1 E70Lingering Fear My Cover Was Blown; S1 E69Anniversary Trip of a Lifetime Deep in the Heart of Tuscany; S1 E68Overcompensating for Disappointing Results?

Context

This is a continuation of “Volume Two Manuscript — WorkFit” a work-in-progress.

Not everyone loves the work they do.  Not everyone can make a living doing what they love to do.  The trick is to find how to navigate through your career(s) using your most enjoyable skills and talents do something, working for yourself or someone else, which is in high demand and pays well. 

Here’s what I’ve only recently come to understand about “why” out of a total of 33 jobs I fell into or choices I made led to my best and worst fits. First the 13 worst fits … 

Worse Fits

Better Fits

1.   Manufacturing
2.   Gas Station Attendant
3.   US Army
4.   Auto Insurance Agent
5.   Retail Sales Big Ticket
6.   Vocational Rehabilitation Services
7.   Professional Training Company
8,   Independent Contractor Outplacement Firms
9.   Consultant Life and Mutual Fund Company
10. University Extension Instructor
11. Consultant Leadership Academy
12, Director Electronics Distribution Company
13. Consultant Professional Services

For a more detailed description of why I felt each of these jobs landed on my “Worse Fits” list, check out my previous episodes.

Worse Fits

      1. Manufacturing — I felt brain dead. no intellectual stimulation. No affiliation with co-workers. No variety.
      2. Gas Station Attendant at a 24 hour Mobile — nothing in common with fellow workers, mind drifted, same routine
      3. US Army — not loyal, not much in common with lifers, got to know minorities better, but more challenging work in preventive medicine; hated standard operating procedures, “There’s the right way, the wrong way and the Army way.”
      4. Auto Insurance Agent — Learned about reoccurring income as a business model for professional services, just not into the amount of sales effort and prospecting for leads.
      5. Retail Sales Big Ticket — Hard on my feet, low amount of shoppers, didn’t feel like it was in their best interest to buy from this department store; more a consumer advocate.  Learned about tricks of the trade, bi-polar character.
      6. Vocational Rehabilitation Services — three private companies offering B2B services for insurance companies.  Didn’t like opposing sides.  Close micro-management. Clients had back injuries and required work modifications or a transition into a different job classification. 
      7. Professional Training Company — Focus on customizing suite of supervisory training programs.  Seemed old school, been that done that, couldn’t engage my attention and I didn’t sell new business, but it made sense to my growing knowledge management “Robin Hood” sense or repurposing what you’ve done to grow revenue.  But, I also learned I wasn’t cut out to turn out and deliver supervisory courses for clients like a university hospital, a transportation agency, or even to three technology companies. I lost interest in management training in slow moving mature organization types while craving the adrenalin rush of working in Paradoxy-Moron companies. It just didn’t satisfy the idea packaging  talent I developed when the ideas were old and trending towards commodity knowledge.
      8. Independent Contractor Outplacement Firms — I activated Plan B as an independent contractor delivering outplacement group training sessions and coaching at two firms. For the second I held down the fort while the founder underwent heart surgery.  He recognized my heart wasn’t in his business and his pressure to sell.  I was much more interested in conceptualizing which trends — demographic, social, technical, economic, political — through their interconnectedness would produce major opportunities for new products, services and careers.
      9. Consultant Life and Mutual Fund Company — Can you interject innovation into a century’s old mature company?  It was a complex, complicated maneuver with tons of new knowledge and new ideas packaging.  But, I yearned for a return a more Paradoxy-Moron organization that thrives on high degrees of disruptive innovation, independence and speed.
      10. University Extension Instructor —teaching reengineering and continuous improvement as an idea packager thrilled and challenged me, but it represented a hell of a lot of work for low pay.
      11. Consultant Leadership Academy — Medical laboratory that didn’t present the challenge of high degrees of disruptive innovation, independence and speed.
      12. Director Electronics Distribution Company — regional distribution company tried first grow nationally and then internationally.  They ran into complications with the technology required to translate currencies for product ordering.  Instead the acquirer from Europe already had systems in place. Less about innovating and more about sales. The joke told internally was “How do you tell who’s an engineer at a party?  They’re the ones looking at their shoes.  How do you tell who’s the sales engineer? They’re looking at your shoes.”
      13. Consultant Professional Services — Advised software startup who seemed to be the Swiss Army Knife of surveys with additional functions and features that could fit almost any requirement in the human resources development profession. Their niche was their ability to conduct a survey and generate findings almost immediately instead of weeks which increased the probability that leadership development could be initiated right away. 

Does this list make me a winer, instead of a winner?  Or does it show something else?  And just what is that something else?  Next we turn to the twenty jobs, organizations and projects I worked on that provided a better fit for me.

Evidence

“5”  Steve Zahn, 51:Aligning to the belief systems of those around you is a survival mechanism. Sometimes, the right answer is hard to see because everyone around is agreeing to the wrong answer. But don’t worry; things are shifting.” Scorpio

Is there a better way to describe what seems to be at the heart of those companies and clients that made the Top 13 Worse Fit list? The belief systems I encountered along the way struck me as a form of tribal warfare.  What is it about these 13 compared to the remaining list of Better Fit?  For me, that is.

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

“3”  Steve McQueen (1930 – 1980): “What drops into your life doesn’t need to be labeled ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ just yet. For now call it, ‘what’s happening’ and know that you’ll make more sense of it on a later day.” Aries

Isn’t this what I’m doing by writing the introduction to “Volume Two Manuscript — WorkFit”?  At the time of each of these 33 projects and employment opportunities I hadn’t considered that there may be different Organization Types which attracted me or repelled me yet.  

“4”  Steve Winwood, 71; Stevie Wonder, 69; Stephen Colbert, 56: A million people could see the very same thing you see today and have a different view of it than you. Your unique point of view will allow you a discovery or invention.”  Taurus

This WorkFit project and manuscript originated with a small team of human resources experts — so not quite a million — but by harnessing the perspective of those professionals allowed me to develop my original research through further discovery.

“5”  Steve Carrell, 57; Steve Martin, 74; Steve Wozniak, 69: Secrets tend to hide in plain view. They will be discovered readily by the people who most want to know. Many are too self-involved to understand the thrill of deciphering puzzles. Not you.” Leo

Give me a good fictional book of mystery or a complex and complicated challenge to work through and I’m a happy camper.  

“3”  Steve Kerr, 54:The truth has power. It speaks to the gut and brings about emotional responses like laughter, tears and experiences of profundity. You’ll feel this today as you witness and tell the truth.” Libra

So, I’m a strong believer in the power of truth, but don’t you agree it has been drowned out by those who have alternative agendas and conspiracies to spread?

“5”  Steve Nash, 45:Your opener may seem humble and unimpressive, but that’s because you’re still setting things up. You’re a strategist at heart and, like a chess master, you’re already working several moves ahead.” Aquarius

Yes, I am a strategist at heart.  While I may be working several moves ahead, I can easily get lost without finding my way back to the board.  Too many pieces in too many combinations in too many timeframes become too confusing.

“5”  Steve Jobs, (1955 – 2011): To take advantage of one opportunity, you have to leave all other experiences behind. You hardly ever think of what might have been, but today, a slight glimpse at an alternate path will intrigue you.” Pisces

Ok, you’ve got my attention.  Where is this intriguing alternate path about which you speak?

What’s Going On

Literally Bottled and Set Adrift from KnowWhere Atoll 

        • @knowlabs followers of one or more of my 35 digital magazines organically grew from 3911 to 4073.

Foresight

Quality-of-Life

Long-Form

        • Saw the movie, didn’t realize that one of my favorite authors, Michael Connelly — his detective Hieronymus (Harry) Bosch book series and Amazon Prime series — also wrote, “The Lincoln Lawyer” which I just finished. Gotta tell you I can’t not see his lead character (Mickey Haller, Bosch’s half brother) as anyone else but Matthew McConaughey. 

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by: Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate

CENTER FOR KNOWLEDGE CREATION AND INNOVATION

The Knowledge Path | Know Laboratories | Knowledge Banking | Knowledge ATMs | Western Skies and Island Currents | Best West Road Trip

S4 E27 — Who Cares If It’s The Right Thing To Do Anymore?

They promoted the Pence Card as a contingency similar to the 1960 presidential election, in which two slates of electors were prepared pending results of a late recount of ballots in Hawaii

“5”  Steve Carell, 57; Steve Martin, 74; Steve Wozniak, 69: “To believe in your ability to sense what the right thing to do is and trust yourself to act accordingly promotes confidence in who you are now. For even more confidence, extend the same courtesy backward to Past You. No regrets.” Leo

Hi and welcome to Saturday’s 27th Episode in Season 4 of  Our Disruptively Resilient Year” on this 16th day of April in the spring of 2022.

We concluded the three-year examination of how bits of wisdom changed — during the “normal” pre-pandemic year compared to the pandemic year, and more recently to the paradoxically normal year. 

“The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book”

Table of Contents

Season Four continues now within domestic and global chaos.

Previously in Season Four, The Disruptively Resilient Year

S4 E26What Happens If No One Asks a Question?; S4 E25Accountability?S4 E24Another Spooky Role to Play on the Outside

Related from Season Three, the Paradoxically Normal Year

S3 E27What the World Needs Now Before It’s Too Late; S3 E26Following Alice Down the Rabbit Hole; S3 E25 Art Lives Upon Discussion, Upon Experiment, Upon Curiosity …; S3 E24Reunion on the Edge of the Pacific Ocean near Legoland? Hell Yeah! 

Related from Season Two, the Pandemic Year

S2 E27Why I Have to Keep Leo da V on a Leash and So Should You; S2 E26Rethinking the N-Word ; S2 E25Are You an Innie or Outie Thinker?; S2 E24Working Remote from KnowWhere Atoll;

Related from Season One, the Normal Year

S1 E27Day 27 of My 1-Year Experiment; S1 E26Day 26  of My 1-Year Experiment; S1 E25Day 25 of My 1-Year Experiment; S1 E24Day 24 of My 1-Year Experiment

Context

If you haven’t been following along, the previous 6 episodes illustrate political turmoil in this Disruptively Resilient Year which add to our summary in S4 E18. 

Our last episode follows Trump’s announcement for the 2020 nomination after his election denying followers in the 6 battleground states lost when the red wave failed to materialize. Today we pick the continuing story with the “Pence Card”.

What started as the “Pence Card” floated as a legal theory by Ivan Raiklin in a two page proposal, then championed by National Security Adviser Michael Flynn tweeted to the former President.

Raiklin asserted then-Vice President Mike Pence had unilateral authority to reject electoral votes from states deemed to be fraudulent.

So Boris Epshteyn worked with Rudy Giuliani in December 2020 to persuade Republican officials in seven states to prepare certificates of ascertainment for slates of Trump “alternate electors” to be presented to Pence for certification. — Wikipedia

They promoted the Pence Card as a contingency similar to the 1960 presidential election, in which two slates of electors were prepared pending results of a late recount of ballots in Hawaii, according to Wikipedia sources. 

Both parties agreed to that recount, which ultimately resulted in John F. Kennedy winning the state, though the outcome of the election did not hinge on the Hawaii results. By contrast, in the case of the 2020 election, the stated need for slates of alternate electors in multiple states was predicated on persistent false claims of nationwide election fraud.  — Wikipedia

The Epshteyn Show

Epshteyn asserted the slates of alternate electors were not fraudulent and “it is not against the law, it is according to the law.”

In on the ruse, dozens of Republican legislators from Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin wrote Pence on January 5. 

All Pence had to do like the loyal former Vice President he had done many times in the past was to delay the January 6 certification for ten days.

When he did, those 5 key states would have time to replace the elector slates. 

Pence did not act on the request and that day also rejected a proposal made by Eastman:

That a vice president could simply choose to reject the electoral college results; a vice president’s role in certifying the results is constitutionally ministerial. — Wikipedia

Command Center

The Washington Post reported on October 23, 2021 that the Willard Hotel, was a “command center” for a White House plot to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

Epshteyn told The Washington Post in October 2021 

That he continued to believe Pence “had the constitutional power to send the issue back to the states for 10 days to investigate the widespread fraud and report back well in advance of Inauguration Day, January 20th.”

Epshteyn was subpoenaed in January 2022 to testify before the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack, according to Wikipedia

Pence didn’t fall for the “Pence Card”  

But it was in that context, that during the January 5 meeting at the Willard Hotel, Eastmen laid out the details in his January 4 memo describing his theory that Vice President Mike Pence could refuse to certify certain state elector slates the following day, and hand Trump a second term instead.

Actually, there were two memos.  The infamous six-step plan and a second, a more extensive plan, with multiple scenarios for Pence to take to overturn Biden’s election according to Wikipedia:

    • The first memo described the constitutional and statutory process for opening and counting of electoral votes under the 12th Amendment and Electoral Count Act, alleging that the Electoral Count Act was unconstitutional. 
    • The memo further claimed that the Vice President, who also serves as President of the Senate and presides over the joint session of Congress, “does the counting, including the resolution of disputed electoral votes… and all the Members of Congress can do is watch.” 
    • The memo refers to the actions of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson during the presidential elections of 1796 and 1800 as evidence for this claim; some supporters of President Trump, such as Congressman Louie Gohmert, had falsely claimed that Jefferson’s counting of Georgia’s electoral votes in 1800 indicated that the Vice President could unilaterally accept or reject electoral votes.
    • The memo then laid out a six-step plan for Pence to overturn Biden’s election

Behind Memo Number Two

The second memo laid out a more extensive plan with multiple scenarios for Pence to take to overturn Biden’s election: 

    • The first section outlined fictional illegal conduct by election officials in six states (Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin). 
    • The second section again alleged that the Electoral Count Act was unconstitutional, and that Pence had the power to unilaterally accept or reject electoral votes. 
    • The third section referred to “7 states” and outlined various alternatives for Pence to take to overturn Biden’s election.
    • Slates of electors declaring Trump the winner actually were submitted from the seven states, but the National Archives did not accept the unsanctioned documents and they did not explicitly enter the deliberations.
  • If all went according to Eastman’s plan, Pence would have declared Trump the winner.  He would have won more Electoral College votes after the seven states were thrown out, 232 votes to 222.

Evidence

“3” Steve Zahn, 51: “We want what seems somewhat, but not entirely inaccessible. Complete inaccessibility inspires derision. Desire will be ignited where beauty meets the unfinished or unpolished. Rawness makes a thing accessible.” Scorpio

Can I be honest?  I just don’t know how to interpret this observation.  But, somehow I like it.

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

Today’s Holiday Birthday: 

You’ll experience many environments and get the best of every world. Chaotic challenges shape you; calm, supportive places allow for intensive, focused work. You are brilliant without trying to be or do anything other than what comes naturally. Someone will travel far to see you — the ultimate compliment.

Really?  Can’t wait!

“4”  Steve McQueen (1930 – 1980): “Life is bustling and you’ll do what you can. As for the rest, instead of saying “I don’t have time,” try more empowering language like, “this is not my priority right now” and feel like an absolute boss.”Aries

This is not my priority right now.  

“4”  Steve Howey, 42: “You’ve a talent for understanding just how much you can and should take on. It’s natural to want to distance yourself from a harsh reality or distract yourself from pain.” Cancer

Haha.  A life lesson I learned the hard way.  I never could estimate just how much time it would take to achieve a goal for a client in my consulting practice.  So crafting winning proposals was hardly my strength.  Then, you’re stuck with a contract that pulls more time and energy out of you than is necessary.  

“5”  Steve Carell, 57; Steve Martin, 74; Steve Wozniak, 69: “To believe in your ability to sense what the right thing to do is and trust yourself to act accordingly promotes confidence in who you are now. For even more confidence, extend the same courtesy backward to Past You. No regrets.” Leo

Wow, this like a novel took an unexpected twist at the end.  I felt I’d apply it to how Emma the Baroness and I roll our eyes at what isn’t right, but has been going on for Three Seasons now on the national scene.  But instead it’s a reminder to identify those hard won lessons from the past and not make it so hard on myself.  Here’s to the next manuscript!

“3”  Steve Greene, 34; Steve Guttenberg, 61; Stephen King, 72: “As you make more of a distinction between what you have to do and what you choose to do, you understand that the list of ‘have-to’s’ is actually quite small. You’ll examine your reasons for continuing with certain responsibilities.” Virgo

Somehow I feel cheated.  Here you started out with a great premise, and then it dissipated.  Really?  I hoped for more insight.

“5”  Steve Harvey, 62; Stephan Patis, 53;  Stephen Hawking (1943 – 2018): “Even though a job is nearly complete, the refinements take almost as much time as the job itself did. Tending to details is hard work, but also very worth the effort.” Capricorn

See, this is what I had hoped for on a day like today.

Holiday Theme for The Day: 

Albert Camus said it’s necessary to fall in love, “if only to provide an alibi for all the random despair you are going to feel anyway.” Can you think of times when you felt a certain way first and looked for reasons later? … The opposite directive — claim hope and watch it blossom in your life.

What’s Going On

Literally Bottled and Set Adrift from KnowWhere Atoll

    • @KnowLabs suite of 36 digital magazines, according to my analytics, grew from 12559 this week to 12654 organically grown followers.
    • Orange County Beach Towns 216 viewers stopped by the week before.

Foresight

Quality-of-Life

Long-Form

    • “Here, Right Matters: An American Story” by Alexander Vindman. “We’d long been confused by the president’s policy of accommodation and appeasement of Russia, the United States’ most pressing major adversary. Russia’s president Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine, seizing the Crimean Peninsula, attacking its industrial heartland, the Donbass, from the capital, Kyiv. By 2019, little had changed, Russian military and security forces and their proxy separatists continued to occupy the Donbass. The biggest change was to Ukraine’s importance as a bulwark against Russian aggression weeks earlier, the White House had abruptly put a hold on nearly four hundred million dollars.” 
    • David Enrich begins his book with a suicide in “Deutsche Bank Dark Towers: Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump, and an Epic Trail of Destruction” and then meticulously details the bank’s Russian money laundering operations. Deutsche’s Russian business surged after revenues had fallen 50% due to the 2008 financial crisis. Putin’s Russia, poured in to Deutsche from deals it did with VTB Bank, linked to the Kremlin’s intelligence apparatus. Deutsche positioned itself as a crucial cog in “The Laundromat” by doing what couldn’t be done — processing cross-border transactions for banks that were too small  and didn’t have offices outside their home countries.
    • “Unthinkable: Trauma, Truth, and the Trials of American Democracy” by Jamie Raskin recalls one tragedy no parent should endure — the suicide of his son — and then a second tragedy at almost the same time — the insurrection on January 6th 2021, that terrified he and his congressional peers who were tasked by the Constitution to routinely oversee the orderly transfer of power from one former president to the duly elected new President. 
    • “A Warning” by Anonymous (Miles Taylor) written prior to the January 6th Insurrection as an insider’s account documenting how frequently the former President’s behavior and rage without any “guard rails” showed just how far he would go to win the next election at any cost while spinning lies and misinformation on top of each other.  
    • “Peril” by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa provides anecdotes, stories and inside reporting documenting the controversial last days of Donald Trump’s presidency, as well as the presidential transition and early presidency of Joe Biden. 
    • “Devil’s Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Nationalist Uprising,” by Joshua Green tracks the money behind the scenes leading up to the 2016 presidential election and the growing influence of Steve Bannon’s network of extreme nationalists.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate

CENTER FOR KNOWLEDGE CREATION AND INNOVATION

The Knowledge Path | Know Laboratories | Knowledge Banking | Knowledge ATMs | Western Skies and Island Currents | Best West Road Trip

S2 E70 — Persistent Failure

I failed so many times at start-ups that I could pick apart most of their plans and presentations almost instantaneously.  But, that didn’t mean I wasn’t a sucker for ideas I felt would be sure hits.  Even after I left the SBA program I continued to meet and mentor some of my entrepreneurs.

“5”  Steve Kerr, 54:Stay aware, head on a swivel, as you make your way to the crossroads. Transitions are always a little more dangerous. The intersections of life hold potential for much good and bad fortune.” Libra

Hi and welcome to Friday’s Episode 70 in Season 2 of  “My Pandemic Year Natural Experiment” on this 26th day of June in the summer of 2020.

 

“The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book”

Table of Contents

Season One and Two are a two-year examination of how bits of wisdom changed during the “normal” pre-pandemic and then in this unfolding pandemic year.

Previously in Season Two, the Pandemic Year

S2 E69How Can You Tell Who’s an Engineer at a Party?; S2 E68Take More Breakthrough Showers;  S2 E67Here’s What I Didn’t Know That Will Help You

Related from Season One, the Normal Year

S1 E70Lingering Fear My Cover Was Blown; S1 E69Anniversary Trip of a Lifetime Deep in the Heart of Tuscany; S1 E68Overcompensating for Disappointing Results?; S1 E67Don’t Misunderstand Me

Context

This is the continuing story of how I learned important lessons from the school of hard knocks. And it’s an introduction to my second volume of books I described in the previous episode. I had already changed careers and switched industries by following the future brought to us by technology companies.

Key Executive Advisor

He asked me if I’d be interested in becoming their Key Executive Advisor.  I learned I’d be heading up the region’s outplacement services for C-suite executives paid for by their former companies.

Clearly this was a major stretch for me.  Fake it until you make it, right?

Rose colored glasses again?  You bet.  I immediately envisioned a 360 degree opportunity.

Here’s how I sized up what I could do: 

        1. Advise executives by surfacing their unique value propositions, circulate creative briefs describing them, pitch  their 90-day plans during the round of interviews and hit the ground running after the negotiations. 
        2. Once hired, then have them assess the organization’s current team they’ve inherited against the new direction — with our organizational consulting services. 
        3. Have them define the missing talent necessary to execute their plan, engage us to outplace executives and managers that who no longer fit. 
        4. Recruit from us executives they’ve likely already met and sized up, that matched their new talent requirements.    

Rinse and repeat.

Easy for me to see, but I had nobody local to pitch it too.  

The headquarters was on the East Coast where those kinds of decisions were considered, approved, but more probably rejected and denied. 

Their motto I came to believe was stick to your knitting and hit your numbers within your own functional silos. 

So I washed my hands of the whole proposition and dug in to accelerate my learning about how to deal with executives.  Up until then, like sales, not a strength of mine. 

My suite of offices were completely different than space devoted to the majority employees from lower paying companies, cubicles with workstations and a generic phone.  

It mirrored the “mahogany row” they were ejected from — with an executive assistant just for them, with offices offering privacy with doors that closed.  We were selling a normalized service.  Come spend the same hours as you would working, but this time devote them to your job search. 

I delivered individual and group facilitated services at offices throughout the Southern California Region from San Diego to Woodland Hills, Pasadena and West LA.  

It dawned on me that for executives, who you knew and who knew you,  made the most difference for people at this level, so I created an online community for information and insight sharing which became a source for trusted referrals.

Just as I was hitting my stride the parent company had been acquired and after about 18 months began consolidating services, cutting back on rental overhead and getting rid of us six figure advisors in favor of those high volume cubicle contracts at lower rates.

Shocked into Venture Guidance for SBA

Usually I see these things coming.  

Not this time, though.  

Maybe because between advisory sessions, group work and regional office visitations I had been experimenting with writing my first blog, The Journal of 2020 Foresight.  

Having been outplaced again, I worked out of a rival’s outplacement office ironically resurrecting my consulting practice  while I spent half my time coaching wannabe entrepreneurs who sought angel funding helping them on their presentation, in much the same way it’s done on shark tank.  

I’d meet each person with a great idea, hear them out, conduct a preliminary intake against the criteria for receiving our free services provided by a budget from The Small Business Association.  

Instead of qualifying for a business loan at a vetted SBA bank affiliate that they’d have to pay back, we were there to vet their idea against evolving criteria provided to us by Tech Coast Angels — a group of entrepreneurs and former executives who agreed to pledge $50,000 each as seed or A-series funding.  

In a deck of 10 slides, after being coached by us individually, the wannabes had to stand and deliver to a group of us roleplaying the sharks and throwing at them curve balls challenging their assumptions.

I failed so many times at start-ups that I could pick apart most of their plans and presentations almost instantaneously.  But, that didn’t mean I wasn’t a sucker for ideas I felt would be sure hits. 

Even after I left the SBA program I continued to meet and mentor some of my entrepreneurs who failed to dazzle the Angels.

Defense Contractor to Disease Prevention Start Up

One of my former client reached out to be because he left the disk-drive company that built the corporate headquarters and experienced “Edifice Complex” curse.  He needed my help with his San Diego defense contractor client that struggled with a spin off.  

They tried to commercialize electron-beam sterilization of fruits and vegetables and hamburger meat to extend their shelf life — which definitely represented thinking out of the box, Jack-in-the-Box.  

Doctors had invested after a round of salmonella outbreak.  He had another client which was reinventing itself trying to both innovate and control their product development process. 

Too Many Product Innovations

I learned that the talent cultures that inhabit defense contractors are in no way the talent cultures that you need to commercialize a startup.  

And, instead of doing what I loved to do, facilitate more innovative ideas from all corners of an enterprise, too many ideas can be a bad thing.  

Especially if you don’t have a process in place to kill projects that go nowhere to free up resources — budget and talent — for higher probability minimum viable projects.

It was this last client who was located in the research park of the local university that required me to drive on campus for product meetings.  

One late Friday morning, after a Starbucks meeting near the John Wayne Airport,  I decided to take the afternoon off.  So I drove towards the heart of the campus, parked my silver gray 4 Runner in the town center and began aimlessly wandering. 

I strolled past outdoor restaurant tables filled with undergraduates and professors who like me were just enjoying another spring day in Southern California when a voice rang out, “Steve, is that you?” 

Synchronicity or Serendipity?

That simple question startled me and jerked me back from my daydreams to reality. I turned around, couldn’t zero in on the voice’s location and began believing I imagined it.

But haven’t I emphasized that particular moment when you realize all your hard work meets the probability that someone you’ve just met will recommend you for a position or client who has a need, but hasn’t yet crystalized the requirements until you walk in with a pitch? 

Yup, but for my ex-C-Suite clients I advised in the Key Executive program

But, this time it was for me.  

Another colleague wanted an update.  And, eventually asked if I wanted to work with her at the University in the Business School advising the Executive and Healthcare Executive students.  I aced the interviews with the team.

The Director approved a long-term retainer for conducting advisory services and for teaching seminars customized to Executive MBA students needs.  Basically, he wanted someone to create the program from the ground up.

The opportunity lasted for a decade which I view as a field test or a laboratory for the content in these second volume books.

I proposed a curriculum to the Director for him to review, “Why would anyone choose to come back to school for an executive MBA (and spend over $100,000 over two years) when you’ve got all they’d ever need in this curriculum?” he asked.  

We should probably keep this our own little secret, since the University is paying both of us he went on to say.

But enough about me. For today, haha.

Evidence

“4”  Steve Zahn, 51: “As the bees get nectar, they accidentally spread pollen. Do they know they are the reason the flowers bloom? Like the bees, you will unknowingly cause beauty just by doing what comes naturally.” Scorpio

So, we’re talking about an organic eco-system that’s interdependent, right?  So if for some reason bees die off then the flowers and vegetables don’t bloom and seeds don’t fall and — is this what we’ll be leaving for our grandchildren?

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

“5”  Steve McQueen (1930 – 1980): “Of all the things you could wish for, an easy route won’t be one of them. It wouldn’t be wrong so much as just off-brand. You welcome the opportunity to get stronger and smarter through challenging work.”  Aries 

Haha, off-brand.  That’s a good one.  But I have to say I bore easily if my work hasn’t been complicated, complex or on the edge where the new knowledge you create and circulate, I check out.  But, every damn time? 

“3”  Steve Winwood, 71; Stevie Wonder, 69; Stephen Colbert, 56: You’re not afraid to answer the call of duty and, in fact, the best things you’ve experienced have happened because you both answered and went above and beyond such a call.”  Taurus

Really?  Not today.  So far, anyway.  I answered my call to duty years ago as an Army veteran, but I’m loathe to remember anything good that came out of it.

.“3”  Steve Howey, 42:Let no one, not even you, offer a limiting idea of what you’re capable of. You don’t know what you can accomplish until you accomplish it. Your tenacity knows no bounds.” Cancer

Hopefully you find this inspirational, uplifting and relevant for you today.  It’s not for me.  But, then it’s not my “official” Holiday Tau either.

“5”  Steve Greene, 34; Steve Guttenberg, 61; Stephen King, 72:You have paid your dues and done your time. You showed up how they wanted, so you know what that’s like. Now, you’re inclined to do it your own way, to show up how you see fit. It works.” Virgo

It dawned on me that making a living as an artist probably won’t age well when I’m old and gray.  So with family responsibilities I chose to write on the side — to exercise my creativity on things I wanted to do in smaller time slots — at night, before work and at lunch.  Now with work out of the way, I am truly indeed seeing how it fits and works doing it my own way.

“5”  Steve Kerr, 54:Stay aware, head on a swivel, as you make your way to the crossroads. Transitions are always a little more dangerous. The intersections of life hold potential for much good and bad fortune.” Libra

Here’s the added caveat during a pandemic — who knows how long this transition to locked down mode will last and how desperate we may all become for a normal life once more, when none may available on the other side.

“3”  Steve Harvey, 62:You’ve already done the ‘dance like no one is watching’ thing and now you’re into the refinement of movement assumed by consummate professionals. Because if all goes well, someone will be watching.”  Capricorn

Over these initial chapters I’d conclude I became good at interviewing, because I assumed the view of an outside consultant.  And war stories they cared about flowed naturally from my lips.  But once the deal was signed or the offer extended I danced like everybody was watching as I faked it until I made it.

“5”  Steve Nash, 45:The thing you didn’t think you had time for will now be taking up many hours of your day. But if it weren’t good for your personal development, you wouldn’t feel so compelled to manage it.”  Aquarius

Isn’t there such a sigh of relief when you finally land a new job, discover how the internal weather blows, and master those obstacles thrown your way in the normal course of your assignments?  Yup.  It’s the same feeling I felt tempted to follow allowing my networking and marketing activities slip slide away.  Hey, I just landed a long-term retainer!  And then out of blue the flow you began coasting on dries up.

What’s Going On

Literally Bottled and Set Adrift from KnowWhere Atoll 

    • @knowlabs followers of one or more of my 35 digital magazines organically grew from 3911 to 4073.

Foresight

Quality-of-Life

Long-Form

    • Saw the movie, didn’t realize that one of my favorite authors, Michael Connelly — his detective Hieronymus (Harry) Bosch book series and Amazon Prime series — also wrote, “The Lincoln Lawyer” which I just finished. Gotta tell you I can’t not see his lead character (Mickey Haller, Bosch’s half brother) as anyone else but Matthew McConaughey. 

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by: Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate

CENTER FOR KNOWLEDGE CREATION AND INNOVATION

The Knowledge Path | Know Laboratories | Knowledge Banking | Knowledge ATMs | Western Skies and Island Currents | Best West Road Trip

S2 E69 — How Can You Tell Who’s an Engineer at a Party?

A few years earlier they had won Company of the Year honors like my team did in my “It’s better to ask for forgiveness than to beg for permission” company.

“5”  Steve Carrell, 57; Steve Martin, 74; Steve Wozniak, 69: You’ve known both introversion and extroversion and are currently an ‘ambivert,’ as some situations make you feel outgoing and others make you feel closed up.” Leo

Hi and welcome to Thursday’s Episode 69 in Season 2 of  “My Pandemic Year Natural Experiment” on this 25th day of June in the summer of 2020.  

“The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book”

Table of Contents

Season One and Two are a two-year examination of how bits of wisdom changed during the “normal” pre-pandemic and then in this unfolding pandemic year.

Previously in Season Two, the Pandemic Year

S2 E68Take More Breakthrough Showers;  S2 E67Here’s What I Didn’t Know That Will Help You; S2 E66The Romance of a Good Humor Man in Detroit

Related from Season One, the Normal Year

S1 E69Anniversary Trip of a Lifetime Deep in the Heart of Tuscany; S1 E68Overcompensating for Disappointing Results?; S1 E67Don’t Misunderstand Me; S1 E66Do Your Proposals Lead to Contracts?

Context

This is the continuing story of how I learned important lessons from the school of hard knocks and an introduction for the second volume of books I described in the previous episode.

I had already changed careers and switched industries following the future brought to us by technology companies.

Founder’s Curse

I think it’s called the founder’s curse.  You hit a milestone — mature growth phase — and you build a headquarters to house your sprawling groups of employees dispersed and distributed in the local commercial offices.  And, almost a year to the day from when you celebrate with the ribbon cutting dignitaries your market shifts away from you and you free fall into a decline. 

During which they either sell or lease their building to other companies on the rise and distribute their workforce to smaller footprint buildings.

They fell into a decline.  I fell into unemployment. But I activated “Plan B” — becoming a consumer of outplacement at the firm that fired its founder a year or two earlier who, by the way,  received heart stents to keep him going. 

Small world.

Long-Term Retainer

Knowing how to go about finding work, an employer or as a client, within weeks I scored a long-term retainer with a life insurance and mutual fund firm.  It was the kind of mature organization that employed maintenance workers just to polish its each brick in its elaborate entry way.  

A few years earlier they had won Company of the Year honors like my team did in my “It’s better to ask for forgiveness than to beg for permission” company.  

Their challenge was asking if you can interject innovation into a century’s old mature company?  

I figured, why not try. 

It was a complex, complicated maneuver requiring tons of new knowledge and new ideas packaged in a way they could swallow without triggering an immune system response.  

I was free to add more clients, so I did — teaching reengineering and continuous improvement through the local university and collaborating with the Vice President of Human Resources at a headquarters of a medical laboratory to build out a Leadership Academy.  

But, to be honest I yearned to return to a more Paradoxy-Moron organization, the kind that thrives on high degrees of disruptive innovation, independence and speed. 

So much so, that I probably viewed the next opportunity through rose colored glasses.

Pursuit of a Paradoxy-Moron Organization

I didn’t mind the commute along the InFox coastline, which had grown in congestion but for a shorter distance to Sorrento Valley in San Diego.  

A smaller more manageable sized company of 200 employees generating revenues of roughly 200 million dollars required a full-time director of organizational development and training. Hot damn, that’s me.

It competed in the emerging multi-media projector business.  

A new CEO replaced the one who took over from the much beloved founder.  Most of the employees from day one believed they would always be in line for promotions. They wore so many hats in the beginning, surely they figured, when they hung up most of those caps in the closet they’d be entitled to freely move up the organizational chart and place their remaining hat on their office’s rack while claiming a position yet to be formulated.  

Instead, those positions at the top level went to people like me who had larger company experience, than they did. Nothing wrong with them,  but they had yet to experience by trial and error what would be required when the pace accelerated and risks grew exponentially.  We on the other hand could “parachute in” take a look around, size up the situation and move forward very quickly.

Still by Thursday evenings, the 1 hour and 15 minute commute wore on me and I didn’t look forward to the early Friday afternoon navigating the bumper to bumper traffic clogging the 5 freeway traveling north out of the city.  

De j’ vu, right?

Technology Distribution Company

Luckily one of the HR VPs who had received outplacement with me accepted a similar role at an Orange County technology distribution business, interviewed me and offered me a similar job but much closer to home.

Wow, it was great!  Except I failed to take off my rose colored glasses. Strike one.

And, strike two, I wished I hadn’t erased the voice mail message sent to all employees announcing the acquisition of our company while simultaneously assuring everyone that no-one would be laid off.  

Oh, and strike three, I wished I had asked just one more question in my initial interview with my VP buddy, instead of during subsequent working sessions with him as my boss.  

When it was too late during my orientation, I asked, “So what is the strategy to which I should tie my activities?” To which he responded, “I don’t know.”  The CEO kept those cards close to his vest.  

I did know the regional distribution company tried to first grow nationally and then internationally.  But, later they ran into complications with the technology required to translate currencies for product ordering.  Instead the acquirer from Europe already had systems in place which accommodated both different languages and currency types seamlessly.

Oops.

Strategy, Talent Branding, Knowledge Creation and Innovation

I left to join colleagues which I had hired to sync up the distributor’s “internal brand” with their” external brand” to attract more sales engineers.  The engineers they sought weren’t the “straight A” top-of -the-class candidates, which I learned never had considered a technology distribution company in their top 5 to pursue.  

If we were honest, those sought after engineers had no clue about our company, or if they heard of us, we never cracked their top 25 list.  

But, that’s OK.  My eventual colleagues discovered we shouldn’t be pursuing them either. Our targets were the fraternity rush chairmen who happened to take engineering and technology classes, but actually had a social personality.  

The joke told internally was, “How do you tell who’s an engineer at a party?  They’re the ones looking at their shoes.  How do you tell who’s the sales engineer? They’re looking at your shoes.”

Once my time at the plate with the technology distribution company ended with a called third strike, I hooked up with the team I had hired.  We crashed our models together — learning and development, knowledge creation, media production, internet communities, advertising and marketing. 

From our studio in the corner of Laguna Canyon Road we continued internal and external branding with clients ranging from startups to the Fortune 100.  

I learned companies paid much more for branding campaigns than I was ever able to charge in the HR world.  

We pioneered a way of capturing the essence of a brand from interviews using digital video, searched through audio tracks for the touch points and reused portions of the interviews for orienting new coders hired at accelerated rates.  

Unfortunately we expanded too quickly like many mom-and-pop restaurants do by anticipating an exploding  market that never grew and eventually dried up forcing the two founding partners to declare bankruptcy.

Dot Com Bankruptcy

Three of us continued on our own and tried to make a go of our pioneering efforts to capture the new knowledge being spun off so it wouldn’t fall through the cracks for Paradoxy-Moron organizations.  But the market didn’t support it and we had to go our separate ways.

One of my colleagues from the training and development association and the Orange County Development Round Table that grew out of it, needed to conduct survey work.  I had just been introduced to a software startup that seemed to be the “Swiss Army Knife of Surveys” with additional functions and features that could fit almost any requirement. 

Best of all it could generate findings almost immediately instead of weeks which increased the probability that leadership development could be initiated right away. 

Swiss Army Knife Software in Search of a Problem

I joined forces as the “translator” to human resource executives  and provided professional services consulting to define the scope of implementation projects.

The guy in charge of their sales and I hatched a marketing scheme to use their software as a pre-Glassdoor application. We approached companies for permission to survey their employees and from that produce a ranking of the best places to work, first in Orange County, and then branching out geographical region by region. 

We needed sponsors. I met the marketing person for a consulting firm offering organizational consulting and outplacement at a breakfast networking meeting.  

She wanted me to pitch the idea to the guy heading up their organizational consulting.  I could tell he wasn’t buying the value proposition.  He said they had their own propriety software and besides he didn’t have the budget authority anyway.  

Dejected and walking on my way out near the reception area I bumped into an old friend  almost literally as he exited his well appointed office and who happened to be the general manager. He asked me if I’d be interested in becoming their Key Executive Advisor.  I learned I’d be heading up the region’s outplacement services for C-suite executives paid for by their former companies.

Clearly this was a major stretch for me.  Fake it until you make it, right?

Rose colored glasses again?  You bet.  I immediately envisioned a 360 degree opportunity.  

Evidence

“4”  Steve Zahn, 51: “In uncertain circumstances, it is only human to rely on assumptions. Be superhuman instead. Let go of what you know and reserve judgment as you try to absorb the truth in front of you.” Scorpio

Isn’t this the lesson I keep missing?  The trouble of seeing the patterns emerging just around the corner and then pursuing opportunities in line with those possibilities is the blinders I wear relying upon those assumptions.

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

“5”  Steve Carrell, 57; Steve Martin, 74; Steve Wozniak, 69: You’ve known both introversion and extroversion and are currently an ‘ambivert,’ as some situations make you feel outgoing and others make you feel closed up.” Leo

So that’s fluid enough to satisfy the introvert in me, who chose public speaking in the form of facilitation, training and addressing membership audiences, as a path to my development.  

“5”  Steve Kerr, 54:There is little in life more valuable than the unconditional support of a true friend. You’ll experience the pure love of an exchange that is without motive or expectation of reciprocity.” Libra

Wow, I’ll say.  Dr. J brings a smile to my child in me as we remember ancient conspiracies we hatched.

“5”  Steve Aoki, 41: For most people, if they know how to start, then they’ll dive right in. Not knowing where to start leads to procrastination. You’ll have the opportunity and privilege of leading the way.” Sagittarius

Are you saying that the one thing I share with Leo da V is not knowing where to start which leads to procrastination?  If not, I will and it’s not my genius move.  

“4”  Steve Harvey, 62:Too many choices can be overwhelming, not enough is boring. You’ll find your own sweet spot of options, but don’t assume it’s the same for all. Some people can handle three, others 23.”  Capricorn

Boy you got that right.  I figure I have enough time to learn as much as I can for handling 23 options.  When you master the first twenty the remaining three leave me feeling bored.  

“5”  Steve Nash, 45:Some thought patterns are like riptides. It’s easy to get carried away and fighting them head-on can be futile. Relax and be carried. Wait for the break — it’s coming — and then you can swim to the shore.” Aquarius 

So, this has been a mantra of mine.  If you’ve ever been body surfing in Newport Beach, California and one of those big waves bears down on you, you have no choice but to dive deeper under it, wait until it spins you like a washing machine until it passes and then you pop up, quickly scan for another.  If there isn’t another you can relax and float awhile until you find one that will propel you back to shore.  That’s what disruptive change feels like if you don’t anticipate it.

What’s Going On

Literally Bottled and Set Adrift from KnowWhere Atoll 

    • @knowlabs followers of one or more of my 35 digital magazines organically grew from 3911 to 4073.

Foresight

Quality-of-Life

Long-Form

    • Saw the movie, didn’t realize that one of my favorite authors, Michael Connelly — his detective Hieronymus (Harry) Bosch book series and Amazon Prime series — also wrote, “The Lincoln Lawyer” which I just finished. Gotta tell you I can’t not see his lead character (Mickey Haller, Bosch’s half brother) as anyone else but Matthew McConaughey. 

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by: Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate

CENTER FOR KNOWLEDGE CREATION AND INNOVATION

The Knowledge Path | Know Laboratories | Knowledge Banking | Knowledge ATMs | Western Skies and Island Currents | Best West Road Trip

S2 E68 — Take More Breakthrough Showers

When compared with previous industrial revolutions, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is evolving at an exponential rather than a linear pace.

“5”  Steve McQueen (1930 – 1980): “The people around you may be too busy executing the action to pause and consider why they are doing it or whether there might be a better way. That’s where you come in — the witness with an objective overview.”  Aries

Hi and welcome to Sunday’s Episode 68 in Season 2 of  “My Pandemic Year Natural Experiment” on this 21st day of June in the summer of 2020.  

“The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book”

Table of Contents

Season One and Two are a two-year examination of how bits of wisdom changed during the “normal” pre-pandemic and then in this unfolding pandemic year.

Previously in Season Two, the Pandemic Year

S2 E67Here’s What I Didn’t Know That Will Help You; S2 E66The Romance of a Good Humor Man in Detroit; S2 E65Pandemic Uncovered 11 Life-Changing Secrets You Shouldn’t Ignore

Related from Season One, the Normal Year

S1 E68Overcompensating for Disappointing Results?; S1 E67Don’t Misunderstand Me; S1 E66Do Your Proposals Lead to Contracts?; S1 E65Focus Your Mental Energy 

Context

This is the continuing story of how I learned important lessons by graduating at the top of my class from the school of hard knocks and is an introduction for the second volume of books I described in the previous episode.  

Company of the Year to Start Up

Four of us left to start-up a business to business (B2B) company that bottled the magic we performed believing that all other companies requiring reinvention through highly rejuvenated leaders would be beating down our doors.  

Wrong.  

Even though one of us had left an advertising agency kinda like “Mad Men” in favor of pursuing a physics degree we couldn’t get enough traction fast enough in the marketplace.

The dreamed lived on, but the opportunities failed to materialize.  

Paradoxy-Moron Wannabe

In your area of expertise, you’re a forward-thinker.  Trend-chasing would put you behind.

But, wait. Let’s take a moment ask an important question. How do you become a forward thinker if you don’t do what I’ve done over the years? 

Maybe not chase trends, but anticipate their impact on industries, client organizations, employers, investment portfolios, business decisions, career trajectories and major decisions I’ve faced at critical junctures.  

I learned I was the conceptualizer and co-intuitor addicted to trends and innovation and the new knowledge that emerged through application.  

Again, not the closer. 

 “What you’re standing in looks a lot like the river from yesterday and can be maneuvered as such.

I’m pretty sure I’ve already stipulated that I’m a fan of Steve Jobs, mostly for his brand of disruptive innovation — creating new rules for an older industry.  

It’s his spirit that reminds me of a quote, I believe came from Joel Barker originally:

Mastering new rules is like trying to cross a white-water river. If you can anticipate the whirlpools and the changes in the current, if you can anticipate the landing on the other shore, you have a much better chance of getting across that river successfully.

And I felt a strong pull towards what I’ve come to name the “Paradoxy-Moron” organization type.  A talent culture that thrives on high degrees of disruptive innovation, independence and speed.

Project yourself to the far future.  What you see there will help you create your best strategy.

I recently published “Knowing About New Possibilities Gives You More Choices. Check These Out” on my website, Know Laboratories: Thriving in an Age of Accelerating Uncertainty. 

The main point was:

When compared with previous industrial revolutions, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is evolving at an exponential rather than a linear pace.

But, I digress.

Learning Enterprise Initiatives

At the turn of the decade I transitioned from president-elect to president of the training and development association.  They were heady times for taking on the “Learning Enterprise Initiatives” forging alliances among corporate education, technical training schools, colleges and universities and community colleges.  

My focus as written in monthly columns for the association’s newsletter  had always been on the amazing future opportunities the new decade could bring.  And speculation about impending threats and opportunities for us in the “Learning Enterprise” and for the talent in our organizations.

I figured by “putting it out there” my next “Strategic Safari” opportunity would materialize.

But, instead for the next two or so years I joined a past-president and a former colleague in their training and development professional services firm so my family could eat and we could pay our mortgage.  

Avoid Supervisory Training Gigs

I learned the basic business model in the training business was all about you finding clients that need supervisory training, developing a customized curriculum from scratch but retaining the rights to what you developed for a previous client and then repackaging the offerings for your new client.  

That made sense to my growing knowledge management “Robin Hood” sense of repurposing what you’ve done to grow revenue.  

But, I also learned I wasn’t cut out to turn out and deliver supervisory courses for clients like a university hospital, a transportation agency, or even to three technology companies.  

I lost interest in management training  for slow moving mature organization types.  I craved the adrenalin rush of working in Paradoxy-Moron companies. 

It just didn’t satisfy the idea packaging talent I had developed when ideas were old and trending towards commodity knowledge.

Going in I didn’t know that the talent culture should have gone on my list of worst fit, or at least worse fit.  Definitely not best fit.

Outplacement for Retreading Downsized Managers

When I left I activated Plan B as an independent contractor delivering outplacement group training sessions and coaching at two firms. 

For the second firm I held down the fort while the founder underwent heart surgery.  Even he recognized my heart wasn’t in his business and his pressure to sell more than to deliver his service helped me self-select out.  

Local Disk-drive Technology Company

I was much more interested in conceptualizing which trends — demographic, social, technical, economic, political — through their interconnectedness —would produce major opportunities for new products, services and careers. 

And threats for those asleep at the wheel.

Luckily I caught wind of a permanent opening at a local disk-drive technology company working for my former client who led their corporate university function. He was spearheading the introduction of continuous improvement and needed a director to manage facilitators from all functions.  

 “Give yourself a break; you’re solving a problem even if you’re not aware that you are.  This takes time.

It gave me the opportunity to repackage what I learned up to that point time from facilitating teams, mentoring “non” trainers and develop my “reinvention and new knowledge creation” war stories like:

“What’s the most important thing you’ve learned?” she asked.  

“Take showers,” he said.  “Huh?” was her reply not quite sure if he was making fun of her or not.  He then explained the major breakthrough he and his team of co-conspirators couldn’t quite find was driving him nuts and keeping him at his incubator on many late nights.  

But, his phone rang.  It was his wife reminding him in that scolding way that only the loves in our life can that he was late for their date. 

He dropped everything he was doing in a panic and peeled out of the incubator’s parking lot. While showering to freshen up, something clicked in his unconsciousness or something he said, and it was like the world changing solution popped out as soon as the water hit his face. 

He grabbed a pen and his notebook even before toweling off.  His team couldn’t believe it.  His wife enjoyed their date together.  And the rest was history.

So shower more ofter.

Evidence

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

“5”  Steve McQueen (1930 – 1980): “The people around you may be too busy executing the action to pause and consider why they are doing it or whether there might be a better way. That’s where you come in — the witness with an objective overview.”  Aries 

Once you reach his stage in life, living in Sarasota, Florida, my dad told me it’s like every day is Saturday to which I added, “And, every night is Friday night.”  So Emma the Baroness as Father’s Day hostess always says she missed out on conversations around our outdoor bar and barbecue as she brings out snacks from the kitchen.  She’s busy in a hostess way, within the pandemic constraints we all follow.

“4” Steve Winwood, 71; Stevie Wonder, 69; Stephen Colbert, 56: There’s a pang of longing for something different. You don’t have to be somewhere new to experience another place. You can create the effect with an alternate point of view.” Taurus 

Within our pandemic restrictions, you might enjoy what started out as a roadtrip from San Diego to the northern boarder of California and turned into regional stories of places to visit, places to live, and places where you invest.  It’s all there in just two of my 35 digital magazines — “California Tip to Tip” and “Western Skies and Island Currents”.

“4”  Steve Smith, 30: When traveling to a new place, it helps to know the customs there. Places and people are the same in this regard. Each person has a culture, and learning another person will keep you deeply involved today.” Gemini

And, if you work for an employer the customs and culture you encounter vary by Organization Type and the Stage of Growth (or decline) that organization grows into.  This manuscript explores the four basic types and stages which attract people like you.  Stay tuned.

“3”  Steve Howey, 42:Your humanity and the kinship of humans will be a strong theme of the day. You’ll regard your fellow travelers as partners, whether they happen to be your family, friends, co-workers or strangers.” Cancer

COVID restrictions preclude face-to-face family at today’s Father’s Day celebration like last year.

“3”  Steve Carrell, 57; Steve Martin, 74; Steve Wozniak, 69: Watch, listen, study, contemplate… these are the directives for an interesting life. Your mental powers will be even brighter than usual to help you see deeply into simple things.” Leo

Sure, it’s what I do and it’s what led me to writing this manuscript.

What’s Going On

Literally Bottled and Set Adrift from KnowWhere Atoll 

    • @knowlabs followers of one or more of my 35 digital magazines organically grew from 3911 to 4073.

Foresight

Quality-of-Life 

Long-Form

    • Saw the movie, didn’t realize that one of my favorite authors, Michael Connelly — his detective Hieronymus (Harry) Bosch book series and Amazon Prime series — also wrote, “The Lincoln Lawyer” which I just finished. Gotta tell you I can’t not see his lead character (Mickey Haller, Bosch’s half brother) as anyone else but Matthew McConaughey. 

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by: Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate

CENTER FOR KNOWLEDGE CREATION AND INNOVATION

The Knowledge Path | Know Laboratories | Knowledge Banking | Knowledge ATMs | Western Skies and Island Currents | Best West Road Trip

S4 E26 — What Happens If No One Asks a Question?

In Peril, Woodward and Costa identify Boris Epshteyn as an associate of Rudy Giuliani who joins Rudy and Steve Bannon in the “War Room” at the Willard — owned jointly by Carr Companies and InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, the Willard InterContinental Washington.

“5”  Steve Harvey, 62; Stephan Patis, 53;  Stephen Hawking (1943 – 2018): “If no one asks a question, nothing gets done. And if people keep asking questions, nothing gets done. Progress is asking the right question at the right time and getting answers before you move on to the next question.” Capricorn

Hi and welcome to Friday’s 26th Episode in Season 4 of  Our Disruptively Resilient Year” on this 15th day of April in the spring of 2022.

We concluded the three-year examination of how bits of wisdom changed — during the “normal” pre-pandemic year compared to the pandemic year, and more recently to the paradoxically normal year. 

“The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book”

Table of Contents

Season Four continues now within domestic and global chaos.

Previously in Season Four, The Disruptively Resilient Year

S4 E25Accountability?; S4 E24Another Spooky Role to Play on the Outside; S4 E23When In Doubt, Follow the Money

Related from Season Three, the Paradoxically Normal Year

S3 E26Following Alice Down the Rabbit Hole; S3 E25 Art Lives Upon Discussion, Upon Experiment, Upon Curiosity …; S3 E24Reunion on the Edge of the Pacific Ocean near Legoland? Hell Yeah!; S3 E23Free from the Pile of Rubble in Your Brain

Related from Season Two, the Pandemic Year

S2 E26Rethinking the N-Word ; S2 E25Are You an Innie or Outie Thinker?; S2 E24Working Remote from KnowWhere Atoll S2 E23Gaping Loss No Amount of Mourning Will Heal 

Related from Season One, the Normal Year

S1 E26Day 26  of My 1-Year Experiment; S1 E25Day 25 of My 1-Year Experiment; S1 E24Day 24 of My 1-Year Experiment; S1 E23Day 23 of My 1-Year Experiment

Context

In Peril, Woodward and Costa identify Boris Epshteyn as an associate of Rudy Giuliani who joins Rudy and Steve Bannon in the “War Room” at the Willard — Owned jointly by Carr Companies and InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, the Willard InterContinental Washington. 

It’s conveniently situated two blocks east of the White House  and two blocks west of the Metro Center station of the Washington Metro.

And did I fail to mention it sat next to Freedom Plaza, where the rally would be held as Boris Epshteyn, a friend of Eric Trump, Rudy Giuliani and Steve Bannon plotted next steps?

So, just who is Epshteyn?  Jamie Raskin didn’t mention him in my notes, nor did Joshua Green or “Anonymous” so I had to sleuth a little bit and here’s what I found.

Magnet for Shady Characters

Is it just me or does Trump attract shady characters like metal to a magnet? 

Boris joined Trump’s 2016 election campaign after a firm, he was the managing director of business and legal affairs at the boutique investment bank — West America Securities Corporation — was expelled from Financial Industry Regulatory Agency in 2013.

In October 2013, Epshteyn moderated a panel at the investment conference “Invest in Moscow!” The panel was composed mainly of Moscow city government officials, including Sergey Cheremin, a city minister who heads Moscow’s foreign economic and international relations department. — Wikipedia

Remember how Russian oligarchs managed to hide assets converted from rubles into valuable art?  As told in the book by Ben Lewis, and again in a documentary about the Leonardo da Vinci painting being sold by one such oligarch and stored in the booming freeport business?  

A Painting but not s Valuable as a Leonardo

Well, in September 2016, according to Wikipedia,  Epshteyn responded to a question from MSNBC’s Hallie Jackson by offering a new explanation for why a portrait of Trump – paid for by the Donald J. Trump Foundation – wound up on display at Trump National Doral Miami, a Trump-owned for-profit golf resort in Florida. Epshteyn said: 

“There are IRS rules which specifically state that when a foundation has an item, an individual can store those items – on behalf of the foundation – in order to help it with storage costs… And that’s absolutely proper.” 

Misuse of Funds while Self-Dealing

What was at stake was self-dealing. And misuse of a foundation. And the following facts didn’t support his explanation, according to Wikipedia sources:

  • Instead, Trump’s resort was helping the foundation – which has no employees or office space of its own – to store one of its possessions.
  • Epshteyn‘s explanation failed to account for why the storage services required that portrait be displayed in public, as opposed to being maintained in a storage space. 
  • Similarly, Epshteyn failed to explain why the Trump National Doral Miami provided such storage services only for the Trump Foundation and only for a portrait of Trump.

Scripted 2020 Election Conspiracy

Now fast forward to Trump’s next election campaign.

After Trump lost the 2020 election, Epshteyn was a member of a team that gathered at a “command center” in the Willard Hotel one block from the White House days before Biden’s victory was to be certified by vice president Mike Pence in the Senate chamber on January 6. 

The team’s objective was to prevent Biden’s victory from being certified.  — Wikipedia

Desperation had set in among Trump’s inner circle.  John Eastman participated in the attempts to overturn the 2020 United States presidential election.

They were following a script hatched by Orange County’s finest “legal scholar” once serving on the Chapman University faculty and former law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

During President Donald Trump’s last efforts before the certification of Joe Biden‘s Electoral College victory, Eastman incorrectly told Vice President Mike Pence in an Oval Office meeting on January 5, 2021, that Pence had the constitutional authority to block the certification. — Wikipedia

Constitution’s 12th Amendment

Woodward and Costa explained that while the Democrats held the current House majority, the 12th Amendment of the Constitution stated the voting on a contested election would not be done by a simple majority vote.

Instead, the amendment states that the election vote would be counted in blocs of state delegations, with one vote per state: Republicans now controlled more delegations in the House of Representatives, meaning Trump would likely win if the chamber ended up deciding the victor.

Vice President Pence and former Vice President Dan Quale both hailed from Indiana. So, it was natural that Pence picked up the phone and sought his advice.

“Mike, I live in Arizona,” Quayle said. “There’s nothing out here.

Preposterous and Dangerous

Woodward and Costa described how Quayle thought Trump’s suggestion was preposterous and dangerous.

All he had to do was count the votes. The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall

Trump’s effort to cajole Pence was a dark, Rube Goldberg–like fantasy,

“I do know the position you’re in,” Quayle said. “I also know what the law is. You listen to the parliamentarian. That’s all you do. You have no power. So just forget it.”

Quayle assured Pence that things would be fine. They were conservatives. Just follow the Constitution.

During that same period in December, Senator Mike Lee of Utah spoke with Leader McConnell telling his colleagues for weeks about attempts to not certify the election results: “We have no more authority than the Queen of England. None.” 

6-Point Action Plan

Lee and Lindsay Graham saw the writing on the wall — it was over.  But Lee was directed to John Eastman, another Trump lawyer. 

The two spoke with each other. “There’s a memo about to be developed,” Eastman said. “I’ll get it to you as soon as I can.” Graham’s strategy was now not to try to convince Trump he lost—he had lost that battle—but to convince him he could not change the outcome.

Eastman did send to Mike Lee the six-point plan of action for Pence to throw out the electors from seven states to keep Trump in power, which Lee rejected.

And, Pence did not accept Eastman’s argument either. 

On January 2, Trump, Rudy Giuliani and John Eastman held a conference call with some 300 Republican state legislators in battleground states Biden won to provide them with false allegations of widespread voting fraud they might use to convene special sessions of their legislatures to rescind Biden’s winning slates of electors and replace them with slates of Trump electors for Pence to certify. — Wikipedia

But like Trump, Eastman wasn’t deterred either.

On January 6, 2021, Eastman presented a speech at the White House Trump rally that preceded the 2021 United States Capitol attack and subsequently implored Vice President Pence, via his legal counsel, to violate the Electoral Count Act to delay certification of the election. — Wikipedia

Retired, but not Forgotten

On January 13, 2021, Eastman retired from the Chapman University faculty after the controversy created by his speech at the Trump rally.

More than a year later, on March 28, 2022, federal judge David Carter ruled Eastman, along with Trump, was likely to have conspired to block the January 6, 2021 vote count, according to Wikipedia’s sources.

Evidence

Holiday Theme for The Day: 

warns us of the ego’s tendency to keep us working for its vision. As soon as it gets what it wants, it comes up with a new list of demands. Happiness and freedom depend on restricting the ego’s power with modesty and service. Give the ego just enough to exist, but not enough to take over and run the show.

“4”  Steve Zahn, 51: “Shared creativity is a bond. Writing can unite people. Art can flirt with your eyeballs. A song can pierce you straight through and connect you with invisible thread to the others who hear and love it.” Scorpio

Who wouldn’t appreciate a sentence about art flirting with your eyeballs? But, I really love the invisible thread a song plucks on a thread in the “hear (here) and now.

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

“3”  Steve Winwood, 71; Stevie Wonder, 69; Stephen Colbert, 56: “Your fantasy life is going strong. As for these castles in the air — maybe you can’t live in them, but some of the ideas are practical enough to apply once you touch back down to earth.” Taurus 

Not so much.  I’m no rocket man today, but I do love me some associative thinking.  We’ll have to wait until later for any practical evidence.

“3”  Steve Smith, 30, Stevie Nicks, 72: “Your mood: ambitious. You’ll push yourself. Because going after the larger experiences of life takes a great deal of focus and energy, it will require you to cut out distractions and bring your lower appetites into control.” Gemini

Maybe you can appreciate the premise, it just doesn’t fit for me today —except for the need to cut out distractions.

“4”  Steve Greene, 34; Steve Guttenberg, 61; Stephen King, 72: “New projects gather steam. The work is really just beginning, but encouraging early results are a glimpse of what you’ll get if you keep this up for the long haul.” Virgo

So, this series of episodes I feel compelled to unpack.  Which in turn take the steam out of anything gathering just yet.  Maybe a glimpse here and there shines a little sparkle, but I’m about a week away from turning up the heat on my newer projects identified.  

“5”  Steve Harvey, 62; Stephan Patis, 53;  Stephen Hawking (1943 – 2018): “If no one asks a question, nothing gets done. And if people keep asking questions, nothing gets done. Progress is asking the right question at the right time and getting answers before you move on to the next question.” Capricorn

And, this observation is really what’s driving me so far in this fourth season in the midst of chaos.

What’s Going On

Literally Bottled and Set Adrift from KnowWhere Atoll

    • @KnowLabs suite of 36 digital magazines, according to my analytics, grew from 12559 this week to 12654 organically grown followers.
    • Orange County Beach Towns 216 viewers stopped by the week before.

Foresight

Quality-of-Life

Long-Form

    • “Here, Right Matters: An American Story” by Alexander Vindman. “We’d long been confused by the president’s policy of accommodation and appeasement of Russia, the United States’ most pressing major adversary. Russia’s president Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine, seizing the Crimean Peninsula, attacking its industrial heartland, the Donbass, from the capital, Kyiv. By 2019, little had changed, Russian military and security forces and their proxy separatists continued to occupy the Donbass. The biggest change was to Ukraine’s importance as a bulwark against Russian aggression weeks earlier, the White House had abruptly put a hold on nearly four hundred million dollars.” 
    • David Enrich begins his book with a suicide in “Deutsche Bank Dark Towers: Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump, and an Epic Trail of Destruction” and then meticulously details the bank’s Russian money laundering operations. Deutsche’s Russian business surged after revenues had fallen 50% due to the 2008 financial crisis. Putin’s Russia, poured in to Deutsche from deals it did with VTB Bank, linked to the Kremlin’s intelligence apparatus. Deutsche positioned itself as a crucial cog in “The Laundromat” by doing what couldn’t be done — processing cross-border transactions for banks that were too small  and didn’t have offices outside their home countries.
    • “Unthinkable: Trauma, Truth, and the Trials of American Democracy” by Jamie Raskin recalls one tragedy no parent should endure — the suicide of his son — and then a second tragedy at almost the same time — the insurrection on January 6th 2021, that terrified he and his congressional peers who were tasked by the Constitution to routinely oversee the orderly transfer of power from one former president to the duly elected new President. 
    • “A Warning” by Anonymous (Miles Taylor) written prior to the January 6th Insurrection as an insider’s account documenting how frequently the former President’s behavior and rage without any “guard rails” showed just how far he would go to win the next election at any cost while spinning lies and misinformation on top of each other.  
    • “Peril” by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa provides anecdotes, stories and inside reporting documenting the controversial last days of Donald Trump’s presidency, as well as the presidential transition and early presidency of Joe Biden. 
    • “Devil’s Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Nationalist Uprising,” by Joshua Green tracks the money behind the scenes leading up to the 2016 presidential election and the growing influence of Steve Bannon’s network of extreme nationalists.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate

CENTER FOR KNOWLEDGE CREATION AND INNOVATION

The Knowledge Path | Know Laboratories | Knowledge Banking | Knowledge ATMs | Western Skies and Island Currents | Best West Road Trip

S3 E34 — Why You’re Susceptible to Subliminal Suggestions Like …

What about synchronicity and meaningful coincidences? Haha.  That was a test.  We covered it on Friday as a discussion section of Conclusions in The One-Year Natural Experiment Report.

“5”  Steve Howey, 42:Try not to get hung up on having a final, polished result because your time is better spent solving a number of problems, which you’ll never get to if you try to make any of them perfect.” Cancer

Hi and welcome to Saturday’s Episode 34 in Season 3 of  My Paradoxically Normal Year” on this 24th day of April in the spring of 2021 — which is a three-year examination of how bits of wisdom changed during the “normal” pre-pandemic year and then in the pandemic year, and now months after.

The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book

Table of Contents

Previously from Season Three, the Paradoxically Normal Year

S3 E33Do Meaningful Coincidences Really Exist?; S3 E32But, Why Should You Care?; S3 E31Treat It Like a Pawn Ticket to Sketchier Things

Related from Season Two, The Pandemic Year

S2 E34Why Is This Kicking Off the 4th Industrial Revolution?; S2 E33What Happens When Your Business Collapses?; S2 E32Trapped and Bored? Or Unleashing a Reinvention Wave?; S2 E31Getting Charged from Box Automattic-aly

Related from Season One, The Normal Year

S1 E34Day 34 of My 1-Year Experiment; S1 E33Day 33 of My 1-Year Experiment; S1 E32Day 32 of My 1-Year Experiment; S1 E31Day 31 of My 1-Year Experiment

Context

Oh, except this passage about coincidences from President Obama’s recent memoir, “A Promised Land” when he recounts his nomination at the party’s convention: 

“ … formally making the motion to vote me in as the Democratic nominee, the full meaning of my nomination hit me. By coincidence, it was the forty-fifth anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. King’s historic ‘I Have a Dream’ at National Mall on that day in 1963: ‘We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back.’”

What’s the purpose of the report you ask?  

To explain the gap between the subliminal seduction of horoscopes across the chasm to the “land of people with hardened filters” so entrenched they only see what they believe and consciously or unconsciously disregard the rest.   

Is there any hope for a path to bridge two polarized political extremes as Americans? Which sets up a deeper dive into the “Magical Thinking Tour” to unfold later.

Each morning, usually at 5:30 or 6 am, I do two things that activate my conscious and unconscious filters. One for selecting horoscopes and my second daily project, for screening lists of headline stories from each Apple News sources.  

How long it takes to select a flip-worthy story.   

Reminds me of how I remember my Masters thesis advisor saying he didn’t understand my research but gave me an “A.”  

I got to use a camera to record the scan path — where a person looked as I presented images a little faster each time and had them decide if it was the same or different image.  

I got to see if there was any connection between the speed of recognition of an image held in short-term memory and a similar eyeball pattern of search to find distinguishing features based on which to name the object.  

My one take away was at speeds when college freshmen couldn’t tell you what they saw, they could still recognize it. 

So, stuff comes in and we can’t see it, but we can react to it.

Which leads to a moment maybe three years earlier when I knew in my heart of hearts that law school wasn’t for me and returning to psychology was.  

Our professor using that annoying Socratic teaching method to sharpen our budding legal minds and kept on it and on it challenging everybody’s timid answer to why a holding in a legal case made good law.  

I hated it.  I read and reread case material I didn’t understand as homework. I lived by myself in a studio apartment on the more dangerous, but more affordable student side of the university town.  

But the professor in his mid-forties with dark hair and wire rim glasses drove home the point — a turning point for me — about the reliability of witnesses.  

When you and your girlfriend exit a movie theatre with another couple and one of you tries to fill the silence by asking, ‘So what did think about the movie?’ what do you say?  Do you list the plot structure attributes or how stunning the actress or handsome the leading actor was, or the music score, or …?  No, you answer you liked it or didn’t first.  And, then you list all the reasons why.

The second part becomes a position you discuss or defend with your friends over drinks.  

I realized I was much more interested in that sequence than imagining some future court room scene where I tried to trip up a witness on the stand into revealing there was a possibility she was wrong.

I wanted to know why someone did what they did.  Why your “lizard brain” has already decided and your logical brain explains your lizard’s choice after the fact.

Evidence

So Lizard, how did I do?

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

Am I?  No, not really.  As much as I love your duet, I’m not lifting your Holiday Tau today.  Sorry.

“2”  Steve Smith, 30, Stevie Nicks, 72: “You’re torn about whether to invest in a new tool. Definitely, using something different will amplify your capacities. Don’t rule out that which you make yourself. Tools of your very own will open up fresh avenues of exploration.” Gemini

Can I apply your Holiday Tau to writing the Report about My 1-year Experiment, and composing the second year — the pandemic experiment, and of course this year — the post-pandemic year (I hope) and the comparison of three years in April?  

“5”  Steve Howey, 42:Try not to get hung up on having a final, polished result because your time is better spent solving a number of problems, which you’ll never get to if you try to make any of them perfect.” Cancer

G&G, your TauBit of Wisdom tantalizes me today.  I forced myself to publish the first 9 days of My 1-Year Experiment in an evolving format. I forgot some of the editing and media limitations and the rules I followed before, which slowed me down at first, but maybe I should look forward to surpassing previous limits, eh?

“4”  Steve Greene, 34; Steve Guttenberg, 61:If you keep the same rules, you’ll get the same shaped result. You’re going for something else. Your process is evolving. Take away one of your rules to let it expand unimpeded by previous limits.” Virgo

Thanks for the afternoon off, today Steve.  You Holiday Tau’s permission reminded me of a cartoon I saw of a teacher in a class room calling on a kid who raised his hand.  Yes Billy she asked and he said, “May I be excused my brain is too full?”

“4”  Steve Harvey, 62: “Mindfulness gets plenty of play in your world lately — so much so that one might forget about the utter joys of the opposite state. Mindlessness certainly has its merits, especially in the sunshine of spring!  Capricorn

What’s Going On

Literally Bottled and Set Adrift from KnowWhere Atoll 

    • @KnowLabs suite of digital magazines jumps from 8003 to 8068 organically grown followers

Foresight

Quality-of-Life 

Long-Form

    • “Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge” by E.O. Wilson, an entomologist who studied colonies of ants for their insights.  But didn’t stop there, according to The Wall Street Journal, “A dazzling journey across the sciences and humanities in search of deep laws to unite them.” 
    • “True Believers,” the novel by Kurt Andersen (which seems to precede Fantasyland)? I like how he goes back and forth from now to the ‘60s in which the main character is writing a memoir, but needs “Okays” from her friends who had been hiding a secret for 40+ years that could ruin their careers?  Like, what’s my equivalent
    • “Disappearing Through the Skylight” by O.B. Hardison, Jr. which proceeded “Consilience” by a decade.  Hardison’s been described as a polymathic renaissance man who wrote, “… Nature has slipped, perhaps finally beyond our field of vision.”  What does it mean for “… science, history, art and architecture, music, language, ultimately, for humanity”? This one provides missing chunks of understanding where we came from and where we’re going.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by: Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate

CENTER FOR KNOWLEDGE CREATION AND INNOVATION

The Knowledge Path | Know Laboratories | Knowledge Banking | Knowledge ATMs | Western Skies and Island Currents | Best West Road Trips

S2 E67 — Here’s What I Didn’t Know That Will Help You

My distinguished career began with jobs I hated. I didn’t know why.  It ended with me advising executives and executive MBA students not to make the same mistakes I had made over the years, when I knew why.

This is a continuation of my story

“5”  Steve McQueen (1930 – 1980): “Do you actually know your strengths? They are so inherent that it takes another person to point them out for you to even begin to realize what they are.” Aries

Hi and welcome to Saturday’s Episode 67 in Season 2 of  “My Pandemic Year Natural Experiment” on this 20th day of June in the summer of 2020.  

“The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book”

Table of Contents

Season One and Two are a two-year examination of how bits of wisdom changed during the “normal” pre-pandemic and then in this unfolding pandemic year.

Previously in Season Two, the Pandemic Year

S2 E66The Romance of a Good Humor Man in Detroit; S2 E65Pandemic Uncovered 11 Life-Changing Secrets You Shouldn’t Ignore; S2 E64Let the Beers and Weekend Partying Begin

Related from Season One, the Normal Year

S1 E67Don’t Misunderstand Me; S1 E66Do Your Proposals Lead to Contracts?;S1 E65Focus Your Mental Energy; S1 E64 — Father and Son Rituals out of Storage

Context

My distinguished career began with jobs I hated. I didn’t know why.  It ended with me advising executives and executive MBA students not to make the same mistakes I had made over the years, when I knew why.

In my research and first hand experience I distinguished between working for yourself independently (which could free yourself up to live anywhere your heart desired), or to follow the more traditional path and work for someone else instead. 

Which translated into focusing on geographical regions where the jobs were and the employers were located. In 90% of the cases, my executive MBA students chose the latter.

Privatized Services B2B Business Model

Next up,  three more professional services businesses, but with a B2B business model for which insurance carriers paid private companies to offer vocational rehabilitation services to workers injured on the job and who were probably unlikely to return to their occupation.  

Originally most cases I saw were for back injuries and thus required work modifications or a transition into a different job classification.  

I provided testing, counseling and monitoring as an independent contractor — being my own boss — until I added a marketing skill set (carefully differentiated from sales) for the third private company.

I became their employee in a business offering outplacement (coaching managers and professionals through their layoffs into their next job) retail career services to people out of work, but not paid by their former company (and who likely wouldn’t pay $3,000 to $5,000 out of their pocked because they had put off looking for a job until it was too late and had to eat and have money left over to buy gas) and our vocational services paid by the insurance carrier — or as in most of my clients paid by “self-insurers” like the City of San Diego and its counterpart, the County of San Diego.

For this last job I commuted 1 hour and 30 minutes from Orange County to Hotel Circle on the 8 freeway in San Diego.  

I drove along the coast starting just north of San Juan Capistrano, Dana Point and San Clemente — the South Coast region of Orange County Beach Towns — through the long stretch of Camp Pendleton into North San Diego County past towns like Oceanside, Carlsbad, Cardiff-By-The-Sea, Leucadia and Encinitas, Del Mar and down into San Diego County’s Torrey Pines, La Jolla, and finally past Pacific Beach and Mission Beach where I tried to land my first position in my psychology profession, but to no avail.

Online Membership Start Up

Light bulb.  

I had uncovered job search related data and reports. 

Somebody wrote a book I found at a library promising how you could repurpose information into reports and sell them — making money while you slept. 

I already rented a PO box in Laguna Beach.  

I liked money.  

And, sleeping. 

And, Laguna Beach.  

So I ran ads for my InFox business.  I began and ended my commute in Laguna so I mailed reports and received requests efficiently.  

Alas, the cash flow trickled and dried up.  InFox turned out to be one more attempt at becoming rich and famous as an information entrepreneur. 

But, I couldn’t afford to pay for the electricity to keep the light bulb next to my bed lit.  

A couple of years earlier when I sketched out my “Where do you go from here” dreams, I thought writing poems and taking black and white photos could turn me into a greeting card mogul until that light bulb dimmed.

Modifying Group Job Search Behavior

But on Hotel Circle Drive, applying behavior modification principles I learned in graduate school and at the Behavior Modification Institute to clients in job search groups made me realize that I enjoyed facilitating teams and dispensing advice. 

The County of San Diego sent us a steady stream of stress cases — cops, sheriffs and firemen.  I enjoyed interacting with them figuring out their next career move. 

But I needed to move on.  

Where else closer to home, in what other job that included groups, could I find a better fit? 

And, more importantly how could I rebrand myself to qualify for a career change?

Aha.  

Rebranding Seeds

In Orange County the Association Training and Development is where corporate trainers and consultants affiliated. Burned out school teachers in their late 20s credentialed in classroom education transitioned into the profession in droves.  Why couldn’t I?  But, I worked in San Diego and commuted 3 hours daily.  So, for the association I volunteered to create a position referral service . 

I fielded new openings and published them in their newsletter. 

Which gave me advanced warning through the service I built of openings at premier Orange County employers when recruiters called me with their descriptions. 

No decision maker has the time or patience to interview everyone who believes they are the perfect candidate.  So human resources manages a funnel with a wide front end designed to screen candidates out and narrow the flow of probable candidates to the top two or three to present to the decision maker.

But, training and development was a function in human resources.  They happily disclosed information to me not available to the general public.  And with a little sleuthing on my part offered a way in outside of normal channels. 

“5”  Steve Smith, 30: “You don’t get your shot when you’re good enough or when you deserve it.  You get your shot when it comes up.” Gemini

So, during my nearly year long career transition as weeks turned into months my faith had been tested.  Was this plan I doggishly followed as sound as when I confidently kicked it off?  

I really didn’t control the outcome.  

It felt like the rip tide had taken me out to sea from Newport Beach and took all my energy to swim against it to shore hundreds of yards away from where my beach towel and umbrella sat.  

And then swoosh a wave pushed me with so much speed and power back into shore that I totally wasn’t ready or prepared.  But I’m grateful for it.  I got my shot in my first job of my new career.

Internal Consultant 40,000 Employees

For five years I “faked it until I made it” as an internal consultant in the management development and training. 

Other than my college and university experience, this was my first taste of working in a large organization — 40,000 employees at its peak with 6,000 in the corporate office.  

Here’s what I didn’t know.

The executive team misread the length of an industry-wide recession which plunged the mature engineering and construction into a prolonged decline. 

“5”  Steve Greene, 34; Steve Guttenberg, 61; Stephen King, 72: “If you think too far into the situation, you’re likely to get lost in details and complications, making it impossible to take a stance.” Virgo

Right after I accepted my first job in my new career — the one I talked my way into with transferrable skills and had to fake until I made it — I felt my new career slip away.

A crisis threw me and all my colleagues in our internal consulting unit into high alert.  

With a partner I just barely met, we worked out a comprehensive system for laying off engineers and project administrators. 

But, we couldn’t sell it to the executives with the purse strings.  Until, we surfaced their resistance and dumbed down our pitch to what would happen in the first thirty days.  

That bite sized chunk turned out to be much easier for them to swallow.  And, working everything out comprehensively gave us the advantage of anticipating almost all of the failure points to avoid.

Which woke me up to life in the fast lane as I processed hundreds through our internally run outplacement programs. 

But, that my career wasn’t in jeopardy.  I helped improve quality, introduce new technology, teach and facilitate sales teams (I know, right) and at the corporate headquarters send high potential managers in the developmental pipeline to university executive programs for rounding out.

Immune System Reactions to Dramatic Change

I learned large-scale organizations resist change like an immune system does.  

It takes skill and talent to package new ideas — newer ways of doing things better — than the tried and true, especially during a decline when hundreds of employees receive their pink slips on alternative Fridays like clock work.

What else?  Oh, you need a plan A for thriving in the good times and a plan B for surviving in the dark times.  

Plan A is what I followed when I was recruited by an organizational development and strategy consultant for one of his clients and who was familiar with articles I published in the association’s newsletter.

Climate for Innovation

I met with his client, the general manager, of one of the California divisions that prided itself on being the tail that wagged the dog headquartered in Detroit, Michigan.  

Was it just dumb luck that every time the three piece suit wearing CEO with red tie and black glossy shoes visited the division it was casual day? 

Actually, everyday was casual day so I take that question back.  

My Plan A dreamed I’d be working for a high-tech company with very bright engineers that worked on bringing products to market in record time.  

A fast-paced, innovative culture that attracted the best of the best. Our motto was simply, “It’s better to seek forgiveness than to ask permission.” 

Our GM told everyone that each time the CEO walked the halls he didn’t understand what we were doing, but as long as we hit our numbers he wasn’t going to interfere. 

And, then all hell broke loose when an impending merger of equal sized players became delayed due to alleged bribery for government contracts at the other company and the ensuing uncertainty about who would be doing what and what our new identity would be. 

I participated as an organizational development director with the new corporate task force which tackled the rebranding and communications campaign.

Now I learned about how  competitive rivals with two different immune systems develop equal and opposite anti-bodies over five years, but especially in the first 18 months of selling something that even we didn’t understand.

The most fun I had was during that 5-year run applying what I had just learned in a new setting.  I had been recruited to orchestrate a “cultural change” by doing all right things, in some case just the opposite of efforts in my previous job.  

One of my co-conspirators called what we had going, “A license to steal, but in a good way.”  As long as we helped move the needle towards a “Climate for Innovation” we were appreciated.  But, when our senior executive sponsor couldn’t resist the temptations headhunters persistently dangled in front of him, it was over abruptly.  

What took five years to institutionalize fell apart in 6 months.

Evidence

“5”  Steve Zahn, 51: “A scattered mind can get focused right quick with the broom of intention to focus it. Write down your top aim, and then give yourself a timeframe in which to accomplish it.” Scorpio

So necessary today as I struggle with the next two volumes I write to complete “The Knowledge Path: Live. Love. Work. Play. Invest. Leave a Legacy.” However, today a broom is quite literal for prepping our backyard patio to host our pandemic “Fathers Day” tomorrow. 

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

“5”  Steve McQueen (1930 – 1980): “Do you actually know your strengths? They are so inherent that it takes another person to point them out for you to even begin to realize what they are.” Aries 

How can you pursue the best fit for you in your career trajectory if you don’t know what your strengths are, what you love doing and what is in demand?  And, that my friends what my original research is all about in my work in progress, “Volume Two Manuscript”.

“5”  Steve Smith, 30: Capture your heart’s memories. If you don’t, who will? The way you see it may not match how others do, but it is nonetheless a vital part of the story.” Gemini

Likewise, this describes my other passion project’s work in progress, “Volume Three Manuscript.”

“5”  Steve Greene, 34; Steve Guttenberg, 61; Stephen King, 72:Every generation evolves. You’ll notice today how you do things differently from the way your parents did, and their parents… and you’ll get a sense of what is working and what’s not.” Virgo

And, this captures what the first volume was all about, “The Knowledge Path: Live. Love. Work. Play. Invest. Leave a Legacy.”  The second volume addresses work. The third volume teases out what it means to consider the wisdom you’ve accumulated in the form of a legacy.

What’s Going On

Literally Bottled and Set Adrift from KnowWhere Atoll 

    • @knowlabs followers of one or more of my 35 digital magazines organically grew from 3808 to 3911.

Foresight

Quality-of-Life 

Long-Form

    • Saw the movie, didn’t realize that one of my favorite authors, Michael Connelly — his detective Hieronymus (Harry) Bosch book series and Amazon Prime series — also wrote, “The Lincoln Lawyer” which I just finished. Gotta tell you I can’t not see his lead character (Mickey Haller, Bosch’s half brother) as anyone else but Matthew McConaughey. 

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by: Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate

CENTER FOR KNOWLEDGE CREATION AND INNOVATION

The Knowledge Path | Know Laboratories | Knowledge Banking | Knowledge ATMs | Western Skies and Island Currents | Best West Road Trip