Lack of truth… In our media…

   This morning I came across another blog post on The Center For Social Leadership. This one happens to be by Oliver DeMille who recently co-authored the book Leadershift with Orrin Woodward. Think about the info talked about here… You may be frightfully shocked because a lot of this info isn’t being broadcast by main -stream media. Here it is as follows:

Bigger Isn’t Always Better

Posted: 14 Feb 2013 02:00 AM PST

By Oliver DeMille

In the push for more gun control and changes to our national immigration policy, a few very important things have been mostly left out of the news in recent weeks.

They have been mentioned, yes, but not emphasized.

And these items deserve to be seriously considered by all Americans.

First, economic figures came out last week showing that the U.S. economy actually shrank during the last quarter of 2012—with negative growth in the U.S. GDP. The Administration waived this off as hardly newsworthy, a mere blip in many months of growth, but for those who closely watch the economy this is a serious concern. Recession hurts us all.

Second, a poll last week showed that 53% of American citizens consider the federal government a threat in their lives.[i] This is very different from an approval rating. In fact, this is extreme. A majority of Americans now see Washington as a threat. This is a big deal, because a nation that doesn’t trust its government is going to become increasingly dysfunctional—and solutions are going to be more difficult in such an environment.

Third, a new article argues that Congress and some federal Executive-Branch agencies are prone to political corruption[ii]—especially from well-funded special interest groups. The article concluded with concern that it is probably only wishful thinking to hope we can ever return to being governed according to clear, known, accepted principles instead of bureaucratic complexities. Government now is just too big.

Fourth, as a corollary of item three, the complexity brought on by the sheer size of the federal apparatus has created the same level of bureaucratic technicality at the state and many local levels of government. Even our towns, cities and counties now tend to operate in the complicated style of federal agencies, where simplicity is suspect and byzantine rules apply to things that should be easy and straightforward. Locales are often funded from Washington and find that their otherwise uncomplicated systems must be complex in order to interface with federal offices and programs. The World Economic Forum ranked the United States 76 th in free economic burdens on business growth.

Fifth, many modern governments are now in the business of creating new “rights,” telling people that they need these “rights,” and then finding that the government can’t afford to fund these “rights.”[iii] This causes government to grow even more, in the desperate attempt to fund newly-established “rights” by consistently increasing taxes. Note that such “rights” aren’t inalienable, but rather established by governments. Among these “rights” are health care, unemployment income, and the pursuit of money for a growing number of consumer wants.

Sixth, the U.S. infrastructure of roads, bridges, electric grids and drinking-water systems will cost $2 trillion to bring up to first-world standards.[iv] This at a time the government can hardly afford its current liabilities.

In short, government policies are slowing or reversing our economic growth, the people don’t trust their government, the government just keeps growing and growing, costs are increasing, and government is becoming increasingly complex and difficult to manage at all levels.

This same bundle of policies—along with massive involvement in foreign wars—brought down many of the empires of history, including the Roman, Ottoman and British.

Perhaps the six items outlined above haven’t led the news cycle simply because they aren’t really anything new.

Most regular Americans probably already knew about these trends—at least at a gut level—before they were officially announced.

Still, these are in many ways the big news of 2013.

This is the new environment in which we live, and all of these trends are making freedom less likely to flourish in the months, years and decade ahead.

Government is simply too big right now, and as it continues to increase in size many more such problems will naturally arise.

[i] See discussion on This Week with George Stephanopoulos, February 3,

[ii] Richard A. Epstein, “The Perilous Position of the Rule of Law and the Administrative State,” Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, Winter 2013, vol. 36, no. 1, pp. 5-19.

[iii] See, for example, ibid, pp. 10-12.

[iv] See Fareed Zakaria, “Can America Be Fixed?” Foreign Affairs, January/February 2013, p. 28.

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Oliver DeMille is the chairman of the Center for Social Leadership and co-creator of Thomas Jefferson Education.

He is the author of A Thomas Jefferson Education: Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the 21st Century, and The Coming Aristocracy: Education & the Future of Freedom.

Oliver is dedicated to promoting freedom through leadership education. He and his wife Rachel are raising their eight children in Cedar City, Utah.

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Leadership Starts With One

I recently came across an article in a magazine that I thought was spot on to achieve true leadership. It starts with self-development. Without that someone is just managing. When someone falls into management mode things can get stressful… business doesn’t grow as fast as you would like, lack of loyalty, lack of buy-in and cooperation from constituents. The article was written by Glenn Gutek – a consultant for professional workplace improvement. I hope that you can take something from this article and use in your personal life as well as your work environment as i did.  Hope you enjoy!

Great Leadership Starts With Leading an Organization of One

All leadership begins with “self leadership.” Before a leader can aspire to lead a thriving enterprise, he must first master leading an organization of one.

Tom and Susan are partners in the same firm and produce at a very high level. Over the past five years, Susan has not only outpaced Tom but also many of her senior partners. What is most surprising about Susan’s performance is that her ascent to excellence was slow in coming, and Tom was very reluctant to open the doors of partnership to Susan after her lackluster performance during her initial years in the firm.

Out of curiosity, Tom summoned the courage to investigate the root causes of Susan’s consistent growth. What Tom observed and discovered was that Susan had an incredible ability to do what needed to be done when it needed to be done. She seemed to respond appropriately to the right opportunities and dismiss the less-relevant distractions. Tom shared with his partners that Susan “leads herself with discipline and precision.”

What made an impression for Tom were the practices Susan engaged in to help her have a sense of what needed to be done. A leader engages in certain practices or disciplines to produce that result when required.  Self leadership employs intentional action in advance to ensure the right action happens when necessary.

Although some people are more naturally disciplined than others, for those who struggle with discipline, it can help to create the structures that promote greater “professional will.” To begin, consider the following five disciplines of self leadership:

1. Control Time

The most basic expression of self-discipline is controlling your time in such a way that you are focused on your “highest and best” use. Your leadership effectiveness is limited when you allow others to set too much of the agenda and spend your time on the trails of rabbits. There is a wealth of material available to assist with time management, so there is no need to reinvent the wheel; however, there are some practices you can intentionally engage in that will promote a greater ability to do what needs to be done when it needs to be done:

  • Time Blocking: Predetermine blocks of time allocated for your most important activities.
  • Landing the Plane: Do not allow meetings and conversations to extend beyond the appropriate time limit.
  • Time Cop: Give your assistant or colleague some authority to assist you in executing your calendar.
  • Power Sprints: Protect one-hour blocks of uninterrupted time to execute your most complex work.

2. Fuel Energy

Leadership is an energy-intensive endeavor. One of the primary reasons why leaders often sweep unsolved problems under the carpet is a lack of energy. It is imperative to sustain the appropriate levels of energy to intercept entropy at its earliest stages.

The disciplines most commonly associated with fueling energy often involve diet, exercise, and sleep habits. Beyond these practices, build into your schedule opportunities to engage in things that put wind in your sails. What are the activities that energize you and ignite your curiosity and passion? Below are some practices that you may want to be sure your calendar allows time to proactively pursue:

  • Reading, which helps you think bigger thoughts
  • Travel, which helps you see a bigger world
  • Networking, which helps you learn from other businesses

3. Temper Emotions

So much business literature will reference the all-important aspect of “passion.” There is no argument that passion is essential to effective leadership; passion is the natural reservoir of energy that propels a leader forward in the face of adversity. However, at times it is critical to practice the discipline of being “dispassionate.”

The discipline of being dispassionate allows a leader to protect the environment from becoming toxic and avoid engaging in the wrong battles. A leader should fuel his energy by investing in his passion but also keep things from running off the rails by not pouring gas on a volatile situation.  Below are few techniques that you can practice in advance to promote appropriate dispassion:

  • Ask questions.
  • Define the problem.
  • Spend more time on solutions.
  • Take deep breaths before speaking.

4. Focus Words

Just about every teenager wanting a driver’s license has most likely read a copy of the book, Rules of the Road. Unfortunately, once we graduate from grade school, there are no qualifying tests to ensure we have a license to speak. The most commonly used tool in the arsenal of a leader is his words. Far too often we lack the right words at the right time. Why wouldn’t the wise leader make time to practice the discipline of focusing his words for the greatest amount of impact?

The discipline of crafting or outlining scripts for crucial situations will assist in making sure that the words that flow from your mouth achieve the purpose of the right words at exactly the right time. Being prepared in advance with a script or outline, such as the following, is a wonderful exercise in self leadership:

  • Vision: A brief outline that calibrates key players on the vision of the organization
  • Conflict: A brief outline that defuses hostility and allow people to work the problem
  • Correction: A brief outline that identifies problem behavior and promotes improvement

5. Use Power

The fifth important discipline that must be an ongoing practice for a leader is disciplining power, particularly as it relates to knowing where the source of authority comes from. Are you building your power base from the positional role in the organization or your credibility with the people you lead?

As the industrial revolution comes to a close and we give birth to the “personal age,” it is becoming clear that the authority of a leader rests in the relationships he forms with the people he leads. The risk most often encountered when influencing people where there is a personal relationship is not maintaining the authority to exercise power. One practice that can assist in maintaining authority is identifying those with whom you need to come out from behind the desk and those with whom you must stay behind the desk:

  • Out from behind the desk: Individuals with the maturity to be clear on your authority
  • Stay behind the desk: Individuals who need you to maintain your position of authority

All leadership begins with self leadership. Practice the disciplines in each of the five areas of self leadership and you will find you possess an uncanny ability to do what needs to be done when it needs to be done.