They tell you what kind of leader you’re following

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There are generally 4 kinds of questions that leaders address to their subordinates, with varying degrees of intent. Deciphering what kind of question you’re being asked is obviously a key part of providing the right kind of answer, but also an indispensable tool in identifying the kind of leader you’re working for.

Seeking Information

The most common kind of question is also the default assumption by my subordinates: the leader needs to know some key piece of information currently held by the subordinate. It could be a quarterly sales report, or the location of a shipment. It could be a status update or preparation for an upcoming meeting. …


Are they really “friends” after all these years?

Growing up as an Army Brat, you are used to people coming and going in your life. When you’re on the move every 18 months, there’s always someone new to meet, and old friends to let go of.

Social media changed a lot of that. Now, it seems you never let go. But it doesn’t feel right holding on, either.

I unfriended around 50 people on FaceBook. I didn’t do it because of anything they did, but rather because of what they didn’t do.

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I take the word “friend” pretty seriously. If we’re friends, we’re friends for a reason. There’s something we’re both bringing to that friendship, and it’s got to be more than just stalking people from afar. Are we discussing interesting games? Do we share a passion for similar music? Are we supporting similar political causes? …


Pulling on a shared musical thread & following it

It turns out that you can follow a musical theme across the years. And if that theme crosses different albums from different artists, then you get a much more satisfying and richer trip.

When I was in high school, The Georgia Satellites released “In the Land of Salvation and Sin.” Anyone who thinks they were just some one-hit wonder gimmick band from the 80s really needs to check out this album. It’s an absolutely epic showcase of expansive songwriting, quality riffs, clever lyrics that manage to surprise and delight while still retaining their blue-collar ethos, and a variety of musical styles that really showcase a band with much, much greater range than they were ever given credit for. …


and then act like it’s their fault…

Skip onboarding altogether

Or worse, fool yourself into thinking “onboarding” happened by having them sit in a meeting with HR that teaches a new employee how to fill out a timesheet, and when the bi-weekly beer bash happens. But don’t bother to give your new employee an overview of the company, of your own team, of the members of your team, how the team aligns to the different areas of the company, or what the key product lines are. Mind you, that new employee is expected to help communicate all of that to other people inside your company as your group grows in importance. Let’s just make sure said new employee is never informed of the broad scope of the team, and let’s blow off the concerns of the employee when they’re raised while simultaneously apologizing profusely and claiming not to have the time. …


What’s good, what’s great, and what sucked.

Ranking all the Bond flicks of the original EON Productions run, from Connery to Dalton.

Inspired by the current PlutoTV 24–007 Bond channel, and brain-addled from watching them non-stop for about 4–1/2 weeks now while reliving a whole lot of my tween/teenage years thru the eyes of a globetrotting British agent that we all thought was the coolest dude in cinema, I decided to tackle a ranking of the original run of Bond flicks, from the start up until they rebooted with Pierce Brosnan and then Daniel Craig. Some of this was pretty easy, some of it was parsing details. …


One of my best friends passed away a year ago. This was my speech at his funeral. Almost lost it twice. It’s been a year, and I still miss the bastard.

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that’s him on the left, after he’d been fighting leukemia for 3–1/2 years

I briefly considered putting these remarks in Powerpoint, figuring John might appreciate the absurdity of it all, but I have a strong desire to not be haunted by him from beyond the grave, so I demurred.

So as I look back on my friendship with John, it’s hard to say he was anything less than passionate about anything he cared about. John had his ideas of what was “right”. John was just very passionate about expressing what was “right”. Zealous — in a good way. To say John was “passionate” about things is like saying race cars are “sort of fast”. It’s insufficient. …


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So, because I dared to disagree with Mr Matthew J Dolezal, he’s blocked me. He hasn’t tried to engage the argument on an intellectual level or discuss alternative viewpoints expressed in a level-headed way. Read this for yourself — I’m not mean, pissy, condescending, or insulting. But he followed me; I read something he wrote and reacted to it. He ran and hid.

My response starts here:

You had me up until this point. There’s a lot of validity in most of your arguments, but your Korean War inclusion is faulty comparison that links to an article that significantly misrepresents the actual on-the-ground history. …


While they’ve been slighted & maligned for 30 years, no other generation has been so thoroughly documented in the movies as Generation X

By most reckonings, Generation X is the 13th generation since the founding of America. It’s also the 4th generation that’s had movies on the big screen for the bulk of their lives. …


What’s the matter with the rest of us?

Back in 2004, when “What’s the Matter With Kansas?” was released, there was a great outcry about how social conservatives, like rural Kansans, would so consistently betray their own economic interests to support such narrow & hateful social causes.

Fast-forward 20 years (the book starts tracking people in the 90s) and we’ve got Trump in office, purporting to support those “rural Kansas” social causes while embodying virtually every sin they railed against when Clinton was in office — kleptocratic self-indulgence (renting out the Lincoln bedroom?), …


Our grandparents faced completely different struggles

Our grandparents generation existed in a world in which an honest days work resulted in a living wage with which a single-income family could support a household, but the hollowing out of the middle class through the cratering of the manufacturing industry and the fake/paper-wealth merchants of Wall St chasing ever-diminishing quarterly returns have resulted in an income inequality that rivals the Middle Ages.

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So fuck off outta here with the whole “our grandparents generation” when that same generation had an economic landscape that hasn’t existed since the 1960s, and pretending that it’s a moral failing on the part of the people trying to adapt to an environment they didn’t create and no one seems interested in rectifying. …

About

Brant G

Dad, husband, game commando, veteran, Army brat, writer, teacher

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