General George Patton
“If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.”
The best decisions are made when people who disagree come to a
consensus of what is best. Notice I didn’t say compromise. Compromise
means that you don’t fully agree with the solution, but you are
willing to give up some elements of your idea under pressure.
Consensus means after the pressure cooker session is finished, ALL
agree that THIS is the absolute BEST idea.
The interchange and challenge of ideas has been always been the best
caldron for THE IDEA, the ultimate best idea for the situation at
Most people can’t work with others well enough, (checking their ego
at the door) to admit that an element of thought from a coworker is
better than yours and should be incorporated in the final plan.
Everyone you meet has many different experiences and knows things you
don’t. This is also true of yourself in relation to them. The
buzzword today is Diversity. I have heard that a lot, but all that
was said was to embrace how different we all are. Sound good, but it
sounds more like just tolerating others, than any real way to
Hey, why not take it to the next level. Being diverse is quite
obvious. How about talking about how different gears mesh into one
another and make the larger machine go? The actual STRENGTH is that
the opposites can work together to make the best possible outcome
when we are willing to listen with a common goal and work toward it.
Driven by media, our society is focused on competition and conquering
the next person who looks you in the eye. Voting you off the island,
kicking you to the curb, and all the other slang invented is about
the domination of every person you meet.
The company or organization who does the best is the one who yes, has
a leader, but has a leader who is willing to attract and promote
teams of people who can work together in this fashion.
Adolf Hitler was a great example of a man who did the opposite. He
surrounded himself only with those who worshiped and feared him. The
vast majority were less intelligent than himself so he could dominate
them and his ego could be satisfied. When push came to shove, and his
decisions got more erratic, no one was in a position to advise or
even discuss the future of the state, and everybody knows what
horrible crimes against humanity were committed. He eventually ran
the entire enterprise into the ground with tremendous loss of life on
both sides. He was the ultimate micro manager.
Let’s work more for consensus. Everyone, even those you know disagree
with you, have a valuable contribution to the ultimate goal. If you
want to be tough, if you want to succeed, stand strong and be willing
to look at competing ideas square in the face, and give them fair
consideration. Don’t be a wimp!
Olivia de Haviland
“Famous people feel that they must perpetually be on the crest of the
wave, not realising that it is against all the rules of life. You
can’t be on top all the time; it isn’t natural.”
How many surfers do you know that have a never-ending ride? Every
wave has a beginning and an end. Most waves are caught close to shore
and only last for a short time. Then, every dedicated surfer goes in
search of the next one. After a few years however, even the best
surfers have to realize they are no longer physically able to keep up
with the sport, and are forced to move on, looking for “waves” in
other areas of life.
The ride at the top of any profession is exhilarating, but you can’t
stay there forever. Working your way up to that crest is a process
that builds the character to stay on top longer, but the inevitable
result is that there is nowhere to go but down after that.
Where is your life in this cycle? Have you reached your full
potential? Some peak during the work years, earning enormous amounts
of money and building monuments to themselves to last through the
ages. Others have a quiet life working and raising a family, or
deciding to go through life in other arrangements, and then when they
retire, a whole new life opens for that seasoned and experienced
individual who then has major accomplishments in the later stages of
The preparation phase at the beginning is very important. Never pass
up an opportunity to learn something new. As an example, I went to
the doctor today to consult on the dislocated shoulder I managed to
obtain last week. On the way out, I asked to see the xrays that were
taken before and after it was reduced in the emergency room. He put
the before and after shots side by side so I could get a feel for the
difference. That was really cool. While I have no definitive idea
when that knowledge may come in handy, whether in my writing or if I
am present when someone else has the same misfortune, I have that
knowledge now, and I can pull it out as needed.
At the crest, you will need all those things you learned at odd times
to stay up there as long as you possibly can, for maximum benefit to
yourself and others.
As you start down the other side, give some others a shove upward to
help them realize their goals. Be a teacher. Make a difference in
someone else’s life. Freely you have received, freely give.
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