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BEWARE OF THE NARCISSISTIC LEADER

BEWARE OF THE NARCISSISTIC LEADER

I’ve been reviewing a study of the top 25 instances of corporate fraud between 1998 and 2005, and there are some fascinating lessons that still apply today.  The research, by Kees Cools, a professor at Groningen University in the Netherlands affiliated to the Boston Consulting Group, accounted for $25 billion of corporate malfeasance.  Some of the headlines: 21 of the 25 companies involved...

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THE RISE & FALL OF ORGANIZATION MAN

THE RISE & FALL OF ORGANIZATION MAN

One of the surprise bestsellers of 1956 – frequently reprinted throughout the 1960s – was an epoch-defining book by William H. Whyte called simply The Organization Man.  Those were the blessed days when books didn’t have to have subtitles to tell you what they were about.  One of my odd habits is re-reading important books of social commentary from the past.  The habit often reveals how...

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NINE THINGS YOU MIGHT CHOOSE TO BELIEVE

NINE THINGS YOU MIGHT CHOOSE TO BELIEVE

I keep coming back to the words of Leonard Mlodinow: “We choose the facts we want to believe.  Unlike phenomena in physics, in life, events can often obey one theory or another, and what actually happens can depend largely upon which theory we choose to believe.  It is a gift of the human mind to be extraordinarily open to accepting the theory of ourselves that pushes us in the direction of...

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WANTED: A NEW WAY TO MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN

WANTED: A NEW WAY TO MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN

America does need to be made great again.  But it cannot be done by warmed-up nationalism.  It has to be done through a new political ideal.  This is not an opinion.  It is written into the warp and woof of American history and American identity. The US is unique in many ways, but most importantly in this: it was settled by dissidents pursuing an idea.  The settlers were seventeenth- and...

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IS PROGRESS REAL?

IS PROGRESS REAL?

Is modern society better than that of the eighteenth century, or the Renaissance, or ancient Greece or Rome?  The relentless 24/7 news media portray a world of conflict, disaster, and human turpitude. Was there ever a golden age, or are we living in it?  I believe there is a clear answer to this question, and it is good for us to realize it. I have just been re-reading a splendid essay on the...

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WHAT ARE YOUR HAPPINESS & ACHIEVEMENT ISLANDS?

WHAT ARE YOUR HAPPINESS & ACHIEVEMENT ISLANDS?

One of my good Twitter friends, Shola Abidoye, has asked me to write a post on these islands. The idea is simple but surprisingly powerful.  Happiness islands are the times when we are happiest, cut off by warm, gently lapping seas, from the worries and woes of the rest of our lives. They can happen in life now, or for sustained periods in different parts of our life – maybe you were happiest...

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