Monday, October 23, 2017

OWS: Maybe It Is A Rant, Or It Could Be A Musing

November 16, 2011 by  
Filed under Leadership, Personal Growth, Transition

I was talking to some people about the Occupy Wall Street movement the other day.  It is a huge conversation in so many places, but one that yields some interesting discussion when you can get away from the conflict it sometimes causes.  Some thoughts I just wanted to share… some that have been circling in the mental vapors for a while.  They may not be complete thoughts, and for that I apologize.  But, I wouldn’t mind some collaboration in getting them to take some solid form.

  • We’re upset with CEO’s and executives of major corporations because they get major bonuses even though their organizations got bailed out with Middle America’s tax dollars.  Some of them have even been arrested for major fraud!  Thought: Maybe we should be hiring people into leadership positions based on their character AND their competence – not based on keywords picked off a resume by a computer.
  • We’re upset at the major banking institutions because they created a huge financial problem for the housing industry, and subsequently for those of us who had retirement funds invested for our senior years.  Thought: Didn’t they do what we wanted them to do?  We are the ones who wanted to buy bigger and better houses we really couldn’t afford, and took out multiple mortgages in order to do so.  We are the ones who are walking away from upside down mortgages because we owe more than the house is worth, even though we may still have the jobs to pay for them.  Who made the choice to buy the house?  Who pushed their budget until it was almost a stranglehold – and that was before you lost your job.  Who is making the choice to walk away?  Not the bank.
  • We’re upset with the health insurance laws that have been passed, and we are challenging them in the courts.  Are these the best we could do?  No, but the politicians we elected couldn’t get off their political bandwagons long enough to collaborate and create laws that will work and are fair for all.  Thought: We, the people, have encouraged the tactics and strategies aimed at amassing power for so long that our politicians don’t know how to behave with integrity.  They don’t know how to think about the greater good.  Their intention is rarely about mutual benefit.  Who told them this was all right?  We did.  We elected them.
  • We’re upset that Obama couldn’t pull us out of the economic slump, and he did little or nothing to create jobs over the years he has been in office.  We should have recovered, and continued on our merry way in one or two years and not still be dealing with this feeling of frustration.  Thought: It took us many years to get to this point.  Many years of poor leadership, and even poorer responsibility on our part in making sure our leaders had the country in mind rather than their pork barrels and their own pockets.  As conscientious voters, we have done a mighty poor job of knowing who we are electing and why.  We voted overwhelmingly for Obama, but didn’t give him the collaborative leadership he needed to make anything happen.  A successful organization requires common purpose and accountability for EVERYONE in it to be successful.  It is the same for countries.
  • We’re upset because Millenials and GenYers have negative net worth that they can’t get out of because they took out loans to go to school in hopes of getting a job.  The media would like us to believe that this should be reflected in the budget cuts that will be made affecting our senior citizens because they have a much higher net worth and don’t need their social security benefits as much as we need to help out these young people.  Thought: How many of you had a net worth greater than $0 when you graduated from school?  These young people made a choice to take out student loans for their higher education, with the knowledge that they would have to be paid back.  When they have worked 30 – 40 years, I would assume their net worth will no longer be negative.  Should we take away the benefits they have earned at that point?
  • We’re upset that jobs are being moved to India, the Philippines, Poland, and Mexico….  Corporations are looking for ways to increase return to their shareholders.  Investors are demanding returns greater than 8% – many are pushing for as much as they can get.  The largest expense in running a company is people – salaries, benefits, training, etc.  Thought: If you owned your own business, and it meant keeping your investors happy or staying in business, would you hire clerical staff for $2.50 per hour in the Philippines rather than pay someone $15 per hour, plus another $5.00 per hour for benefits?  Perhaps we pushed too hard in our pursuit of the good life – moving out of conditions that were detrimental to life and limb to conditions that paid more than a job was worth.  Thought: If we are becoming a global economy, how do we think that should be accomplished if not by moving jobs to other nations?
  • We’re upset that there are no jobs because illegal aliens (my how that term makes me squirm) take them all.  Why then, in those areas of the country where people have been deported and returned to their country of origin, are there jobs unfilled and food rotting in the fields because we Americans are too good, too lazy, or too out of shape to do the labor that needs to be done?   Thought: If you are out of work, perhaps it would be helpful to volunteer doing something to help others, take a job that requires less education but helps pay the bills, or create meaningful employment for yourself doing what you love to do?

We are upset.  We are angry.  We are protesting.  We are the 99%.   We are victims of the 1%.   Really?

What if we did it to ourselves?

I didn’t write this blog to point fingers or create conflict.  It isn’t about you.  It’s about us.  We the people. What is our common purpose?  Do we have the leaders and the followers in place to make it happen?  If we don’t, who is in charge of manifesting peace and abundance?  Can we collectively tighten our belts?  Can we work together to clean up our act by doing the work that needs to be done?  Maybe we need to stop relying on a handful of people to run our country and start taking an active role ourselves.   We need to restore trust in our country, our leadership and in each other.  We can’t do it with politics as usual.

Albert Einstein says it best:  “You can’t solve a problem with the same mindset that created it!”

In my workshop on trust, I share the behaviors you find in a no trust organization or personal relationship:

  • Dysfunctional environment and toxic culture; combative relationships
  • Confrontational stakeholders; Hot, angry confrontations or icy, resentful withdrawal
  • Extreme micromanagement; defensive posturing and legal positioning
  • Unnecessary hierarchy; labeling of others as enemies or allies
  • Punishing systems and structures; verbal, emotional, and/or physical abuse

Sound familiar?  Anyone want to help restore trust in ourselves and our country, or do you just want to give up?  Send me your comments, ideas and thoughts.

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