“Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!” – Words to Remember for this and every July 4
(Just a short list – we could add so many, many more)
“Give me Liberty, or give me Death!”
Patrick Henry, March 23, 1775
We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.
Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963
• from the statement by eight Alabama clergymen that prompted Dr. King’s response:
We are now confronted by a series of demonstrations by some of our Negro citizens, directed and led in part by outsiders. We recognize the natural impatience of people who feel that their hopes are slow in being realized. But we are not convinced that these demonstrations are unwise and untimely).
• From Dr. King’s response:
We have waited for more than 340 years for our constitutional and God given rights. The nations of Asia and Africa are moving with jetlike speed toward gaining political independence, but we still creep at horse and buggy pace toward gaining a cup of coffee at a lunch counter. Perhaps it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging darts of segregation to say, “Wait.” But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim; when you have seen hate filled policemen curse, kick and even kill your black brothers and sisters; when you see the vast majority of your twenty million Negro brothers smothering in an airtight cage of poverty in the midst of an affluent society; when you suddenly find your tongue twisted and your speech stammering as you seek to explain to your six year old daughter why she can’t go to the public amusement park that has just been advertised on television, and see tears welling up in her eyes when she is told that Funtown is closed to colored children, and see ominous clouds of inferiority beginning to form in her little mental sky, and see her beginning to distort her personality by developing an unconscious bitterness toward white people; when you have to concoct an answer for a five year old son who is asking: “Daddy, why do white people treat colored people so mean?”; when you take a cross county drive and find it necessary to sleep night after night in the uncomfortable corners of your automobile because no motel will accept you; when you are humiliated day in and day out by nagging signs reading “white” and “colored”; when your first name becomes “nigger,” your middle name becomes “boy” (however old you are) and your last name becomes “John,” and your wife and mother are never given the respected title “Mrs.”; when you are harried by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are a Negro, living constantly at tiptoe stance, never quite knowing what to expect next, and are plagued with inner fears and outer resentments; when you are forever fighting a degenerating sense of “nobodiness”–then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait. There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into the abyss of despair. I hope, sirs, you can understand our legitimate and unavoidable impatience.
Martin Luther King, Jr., April 16, 1963 – from a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama, in response to the celergymen who had written an open letter of criticism (the Letter from Birmingham Jail)
And if America is to be a great nation this must become true.
So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.
Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.
Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!
Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!
But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”
Martin Luther King, Jr., at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, August 28, 1963
What binds their stories together was the back-against-the-wall, reluctant yet hopeful search for something better, any place but where they were. They did what human beings looking for freedom, throughout history, have often done.
In the end, it could be said that the common denominator for leaving was the desire to be free, like the Declaration of Independence said, free to try out for most any job they pleased, play checkers with whomever they chose, sit where they wished on the streetcar, watch their children walk across a stage for the degree most of them didn’t have the chance to get. They left to pursue some version of happiness, whether they achieved it or not. It was a seemingly simple thing that the majority of Americans could take for granted but that the migrants and their forebears never had a right to in the world they had fled.
Isabel Wilkerson, The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration
Here’s the July 1, 2011 New York Times Hardcover Business Best Sellers – with the Financial Meltdown back in the Top Spot
Here’s the July 1, 2011 New York Times Hardcover Business Best Sellers – with the financial meltdown back in the top spot.
Each month, I post this list. The new #1 is another look at the players and the disastrous mistakes that led to the massive financial meltdown.
At the First Friday Book Synopsis, our monthly gathering in Dallas at which Karl Krayer and I each present our synopses of a best selling business book, we tend to stay away from investment books, and most finance related books (although I have presented synopses of All the Devils are Here and The Big Short). So I’m not sure that we will tackle Reckless Endangerment for this event. We have scheduled the Brzezinski book, and Touchpoints, within the next two months. And we have already presented Switch, Strengths Based Leadership, The 4-Hour Workweek, Delivering Happiness, and Outliers from this month’s list.
The 4-Hour Workweek was first published in April, 2007. Outliers was published in November, 2008. And here they are, still in the top 15. Amazing! (They are both worth reading, but Outliers is especially that good of a book). I presented both of these at our monthly event.
You can purchase most of our synopses, with audio + handouts, from our companion web site, 15minutebusinessbooks.com.
Here’s the list:
|RECKLESS ENDANGERMENT, by Gretchen Morgenson and Joshua Rosner. (Times Books/Holt, $30.) This account of the Wall Street implosion highlights individuals who played crucial roles of responsibility.|
|KNOWING YOUR VALUE, by Mika Brzezinski. (Weinstein, $22.95.) Exploring what women can do to get the compensation they have earned. (†)|
|CAR GUYS VS. BEAN COUNTERS, Bob Lutz. (Portfolio/Penguin, $26.95.) American manufactures focus should be on product quality not on quarterly projections.|
|GET RICH CLICK!, by Marc Ostrofsky. (Razor, $19.95.) An Internet entrepreneur’s strategies for earning money online. (†)|
|WE FIRST, by Simon Mainwaring. (Palgrave Macmillan, $26.) How brands and consumers use social media to build a better world. (†)|
|TOUCHPOINTS, by Douglas Conant and Mette Norgaard. (Jossey-Bass/Wiley, $26.95.) Creating leadership connections in the smallest moments. (†)|
|SWITCH, by Chip Heath and Dan Heath. (Broadway Business, $26.) How everyday people can effect transformative change at work and in life. (†)|
|STRENGTHS BASED LEADERSHIP, by Tom Rath and Barry Conchie. (Gallup, $24.95.) Three keys to being a more effective leader. (†)|
|THE MONEY CLASS, by Suze Orman. (Spiegel & Grau, $26.) The noted personal financial adviser offers a reconsideration of the American dream. (†)|
|THE 4-HOUR WORKWEEK, by Timothy Ferriss. (Crown, $22.) Reconstructing your life so that it’s not all about work. (†)|
|DELIVERING HAPPINESS, by Tony Hsieh. (Business Plus, $23.99.) Lessons from business (pizza place, worm farm, Zappos) and life. (†)|
|THE MOST IMPORTANT THING, by Howard Marks. (Columbia University Press, $29.95.) Successful investments are guided by thoughtful attention. (†)|
|THE TOTAL MONEY MAKEOVER, by Dave Ramsey (Thomas Nelson, $24.99.) Debt reduction and fiscal fitness for families, by the radio talk-show host. (†)|
|THE CORNER OFFICE, by Adam Bryant. (Times Books/Holt. $25.) How to build and maintain a successful organization from lessons learned from interviews of over seventy CEOs conducted by a New York Times business reporter.|
|OUTLIERS, by Malcolm Gladwell. (Little, Brown, $27.99.) Why some people succeed — it has to do with luck and opportunities as well as talent — from the author of “Blink” and “The Tipping Point.”|
Here is the latest post by Joseph A. Maciariello featured in the Joe’s Journal series at the Drucker Exchange (Dx) sponsored by the Drucker Institute. The Drucker Exchange (the Dx) is a platform for bettering society through effective management and responsible leadership. It is produced by the Drucker Institute, a think tank and action tank based at Claremont Graduate University that was established to advance the ideas and ideals of Peter F. Drucker, the father of modern management.
To check out a wealth of resources and subscribe to its online newsletter, please click here.
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“Managing oneself is a REVOLUTION in human affairs.
The shift from manual workers who do as they are being told — either by the task or by the boss — to knowledge workers who have to manage themselves profoundly challenges social structure. For every existing society, even the most ‘individualist’ one, takes two things for granted, if only subconsciously: Organizations outlive workers, and most people stay put. Managing oneself is based on the very opposite realities.” – Peter F. Drucker
As knowledge workers we must take responsibility for our own growth and development. This requires that we know our strengths and values. It is not surprising to find Tom Rath’s 2007 book, Strengthfinders 2.0, is No. 1 this week on The Wall Street Journal bestselling list of business books. It follows a line of books on this topic that have sold extremely well. Bernard Haldane’s ideas in the 1940s started us off; then followed What Color is Your Parachute by Richard Bolles. Don’t laugh! It is in its 11th edition and has sold over 8 million copies. Peter Drucker has also emphasized strengths for years, especially in The Effective Executive, one of the most influential management books of all time.
“Don’t buck the market” is a saying on Wall Street, and I believe there is truth here; the subject of self-management is more than a fad or a bubble. All of us have strengths even if they were developed out of extreme weakness—for example, those who are likely to be the most compassionate in an area such as alcohol abuse are often reformed alcoholics themselves. And some of the best doctors I know have been severely ill at one or more points in their life. We are all endowed with gifts and they do change over time; the idea is to seek them out and then develop them with all our might. That is where we are likely to be happiest. Of course, we may have strengths in an area for which we have no supporting values. In that case, we are faced with a choice—to do well in the eyes of family and friends or to please our inner self. What helps here is our mortality. We can’t take anything with us, so we might as well do what we are passionate about and hope that it pays the bills. If not, we can try to do it as a second career. I know that lurking inside of me is a great tenor, but I am the only one who knows (not good).
Then comes the Drucker question, “What do I want to be remembered for?” Making another million? Or helping others? It’s up to us. These are heavy responsibilities, and in the face of tough times we may not have much choice. The trick is to be prepared and wait for the right opportunity.
Finally, do not underestimate how difficult it is for people who want to move from success to significance once they have enough money to do so. The right opportunity may require you to obtain some mentoring. So, if you are in this position, look for an experienced mentor. Best wishes.
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Those who are obsessed with the latest lists of this week’s or this month’s bestselling business books would be well-advised to assign much greater value to the lists of bestselling business books during the last five or ten years. As Joe Maciariello points out, Tom Rath’s book was first published by Gallup Press in 2007.
Joseph A. Maciariello is the Horton Professor of Management & Director of Research and Education, The Drucker Institute. You can contact him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s Wimbledon Week. (as I write this, Nadal just lost the first set in the Gentlemen’s Final. Update: he just lost to Novak Djokovic).
The New York Times has a terrific essay: Tennis by the Book by Touré (Touré, now a writer, was once a #1 ranked tennis player). It’s a look at some great tennis writing. The winner, the top article of all, is the incomparable Federer as Religious Experience by David Foster Wallace (listed in the top 25 on Cool Tools list of the greatest 100 magazine articles. I blogged about this list here).
Here’s the quote for the day:
Genius is not replicable. Inspiration, though, is contagious, and multiform — and even just to see, close up, power and aggression made vulnerable to beauty is to feel inspired and (in a fleeting, mortal way) reconciled.
When I first read this brilliant book, I was reminded of what Doris Kearns reveals about Abraham Lincoln in Team of Rivals. Specifically, that following his election as President in 1860, Lincoln assembled a cabinet whose members included several of his strongest political opponents: Edwin M. Stanton as Secretary of War (who had called Lincoln a “long armed Ape”), William H. Seward as Secretary of State (who was preparing his acceptance speech when Lincoln was nominated), Salmon P. Chase as Secretary of the Treasury (who considered Lincoln in all respects his inferior), and Edward Bates as Attorney General who viewed Lincoln as a well-meaning but incompetent administrator but later described him as “very near being a perfect man.”
The great leaders whom Martin discusses (e.g. Martha Graham, George F. Kennan, Isadore Sharp, A.G. Lafley, Lee-Chin, and Bob Young) developed a capacity to consider what Thomas C. Chamberlain characterizes as “multiple working hypotheses” when required to make especially complicated decisions. Like Lincoln, they did not merely tolerate contradictory points of view, they encouraged them. Only in this way could they and their associates “face constructively the tension of opposing ideas and, instead of choosing one at the expense of the other, generate a creative resolution of the tension [whatever its causes may be] in the form of a new idea that contains elements of the opposing ideas but is superior to each.”
This process of consideration is based on a quite different model than the more commonly employed scientific method based on, as Martin explains, the working hypothesis that is used “to test the validity of a single explanatory concept through trial and error and experimentation.” He rigorously examines the process of integrative thinking in terms of four constituent parts: salience, causality, architecture, and resolution. He devotes a separate chapter to each, citing dozens of real-world examples, and then (in Chapter 5), he introduces a framework within which his reader can also develop integrative thinking capacity.
When I recently re-read The Opposable Mind, I was even more impressed by the nature and extent of the potential applications and implications of integrative thinking. This mindset is the very foundation of the “open” business models and “open” innovation that Henry Chesbrough so brilliantly explains in his books and articles. It is also essential to effective persuasion and collaboration as well as to problem solving and, especially, to the success of the discovery process when identifying and then solving problems throughout process improvement initiatives. For these and other reasons, Martin’s book is now widely viewed — and acclaimed — as a business “classic.”
I just re-read this book and value it even more now than I did when it was first published. One point I want to make here that I failed to make in a prior review is that the design of business (in fact, the design of anything) requires a mindset that is guided and informed by certain principles that must accommodate both analytical and intuitive issues. Stated anoter way, how you design is even more important than what you design.
In his latest book, Martin explains why “design thinking is the next competitive advantage.” In fact, it may well be the most valuable application of integrative thinking as explains in his previous book, The Opposable Mind), in part because successful business innovation is the result of collaboration and proceeds through a “path” or (as Martin describes it) a “knowledge funnel.” The model for value creation that he offers in this book requires a balance – “or more accurately a reconciliation – between two prevailing points of view on business today.” One is analytical thinking that “harnesses two familiar forms of logic – deductive reasoning and inductive reasoning – to declare truths and certainties about the world.” The other is intuitive thinking – “the art of knowing without reasoning. This is the world of originality and invention…Neither analysis nor intuition is enough,” however. Martin presents a compelling argument in support of reconciling the two modes of thought, asserting that the most successful businesses in the years to come will balance analytical mastery and intuitive originality “in a dynamic interplay [he calls] design thinking.”
How so? “Design thinking is the form of thought that enables movement along the knowledge funnel, and the firms that master it will gain an inexhaustible, long-term business advantage. The advantage, which emerges from the design-thinking firms’ unwavering focus on the creative design of systems, will eventually extend to the wider world. From these firms will emerge the breakthroughs that move the world forward [because] design-thinking firms stand apart in their willingness to engage in the task of continuously redesigning their business.” And, I presume to add, because their leaders have mastered integrative thinking, without which creative and productive collaboration cannot be achieved, much less sustained.
So, what is “the design of business”? It is the process by which business leaders apply design thinking within the current knowledge stage and hone and refine what is known so that they can “generate the leap from stage, continuously in a process I call the design of business.” Citing the pioneer insights of Charles Sanders Pierce, Martin duly acknowledges that it is not possible to prove any new thought, concept, or indeed in advance. In fact, “proof” must be redefined and “the answer, Pierce said, would come through making a ‘logical leap of the mind’ or an ‘inference to the best explanation’ to imagine a heuristic for understanding the mystery.”