Day: December 3, 2015

“The Leadership Secrets of Santa Claus” by Eric Harvey

“The Leadership Secrets of Santa Claus” by Eric Harvey c.2003, 2015, Simple Truths $14.99 / $19.99 Canada 144 pages BOOK REVIEW by TERRI SCHLICHENMEYER The holidays couldn’t get any busier. Between mandatory-attendance parties, decorating your home, buying gifts, wrapping them, and getting your cards out in time, your plate is full and you still have a business to run. Don’t pout – instead see how The Big Guy does it by reading “The Leadership Secrets of Santa Claus” by Eric Harvey. Imagine the logistics: tens of millions of households. Billions of toys and gifts. The biggest team of toymakers ever assembled, and eight tiny reindeer, plus back-ups. Surely, it’s enough to give any Old Elf a headache but, for hundreds of years, without fail, Santa has delivered Christmas with a personal touch. So how does he do it? The first thing, says Santa, is to make sure everybody – from senior reindeer all the way down to newly-hired elves – knows your business mission and its meaning. Then, keep your employees first in mind because “you can’t possibly focus on your mission without also focusing on the folks that make your mission happen.” Hire wisely, Santa says, which is a lesson he learned the hard way: you can well imagine what a mess it is to have a Reindeer Team that’s off-kilter. If you promote from within, be sure...

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The United States of Contradictions

By E.J. DIONNE JR.      WASHINGTON — With election year a month away, American politics is caught up in tensions, ironies, and a certain amount of sheer madness.      On the one hand: The U.S. economy is a marvel, driven forward by technological innovation, the promises of Big Data and Advanced Manufacturing, a relative independence in energy supply, and a population younger than most other wealthy nations.      On the other hand: Wages have been stagnating since the turn of the millennium, inequalities are widening, college is out of reach for many, suicide rates among white middle-aged working-class people are rising and, in a recent PRRI poll, 72 percent of Americans said “the economy is still in a recession.”      On the one hand: Republicans have lost the popular vote in five of the last six presidential elections and have, at best, a very narrow path to an Electoral College majority next year. The rising groups in the American electorate — Latinos, Asian-Americans and young people — are hostile to the party, a problem its presidential front-runner is making worse with his unapologetic xenophobia.      On the other: Democrats have their fewest seats in state legislatures since the 1920s, the fewest in the House of Representatives since the late 1940s, and they control only 19 governorships. In the last two midterm contests, they have suffered wipeouts.      If reality is so...

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When hope begins

By MICHAEL GERSON      WASHINGTON — Donald Trump’s offenses against taste, tolerance and truthfulness are coming so fast that it is hard to pick out individual cases. But let’s linger on his recent foray into Christian theology.      During a speech in Fort Dodge, Iowa, Trump pronounced Ben Carson’s story of conversion from violent troublemaker to Christian to be so much “crap.” “He goes into the bathroom for a couple of hours, and he comes out, and now he’s religious? Give me a break. It doesn’t happen that way,” said Trump.      In Christian history, it has often happened that way. Around 35 A.D., a nasty character named Saul got knocked from (and to) his ass on the road to Damascus and became the utterly transformed Paul. In 386 A.D., Augustine heard a child’s voice chanting, “Take up and read,” opened a Bible randomly to Paul’s letter to the Romans, was convicted to the core, and abandoned the life of a hard-partying pagan. Around 1510, a monk named Martin Luther understood Paul’s letter in a new way — one version locates this revelation in the “cloaca,” or bathroom — and “felt I was altogether born again and had entered paradise itself through open gates.” On May 24, 1738, John Wesley heard someone reading Luther’s Preface to the Epistle of Romans in a meeting at Aldersgate, and at 8:45 p.m. felt his...

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