Execution That Matters Quotes

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That's when I finally got it. I finally understood. It wasn't the thought that counted. It was the actual execution that mattered, the showing up for somebody. The intent behind it wasn't enough. Not for me. Not anymore. It wasn't enough to know that deep down, he loved me. You had to actually say it to somebody, show them you cared. And he just didn't. Not enough.
Jenny Han (It's Not Summer Without You (Summer, #2))
When you work on something that only has the capacity to make you 5 dollars, it does not matter how much harder you work – the most you will make is 5 dollars.
Idowu Koyenikan (Wealth for All: Living a Life of Success at the Edge of Your Ability)
You will be the first test subject, Tobias. Beatrice, however...." She smiles. "You are too injured to be of much use to me, so your execution will occur at the conclusion of this meeting." I try to hide the shudder that goes through me at the word "execution," my shoulder screaming with pain, and look up at Tobias. It's hard to blink tears back when I see the terror in Tobias's wide, dark eyes. "No," says Tobias. His voice trembles, but his look stern as he shakes his head. "I would rather die." "I'm afraid you don't have much of a choice in that matter," replies Jeanine lightly. Tobias takes my face in this hands roughly and kisses me, the pressure of his lips pushing mine apart. I forget my pain and the terror of approaching death and for a moment, I am grateful that the memory of that kiss will be fresh in my mind as I meet my end.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
People talk about the courage of condemned men walking to the place of execution: sometimes it needs as much courage to walk with any kind of bearing towards another person's habitual misery.
Graham Greene (The Heart of the Matter)
Ideas are easy. Execution is everything.
John Doerr (Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs)
It’s not yours. I never gave it to you. You just took it.” That’s when I finally got it. I finally understood. It wasn’t the thought that counted. It was the actual execution that mattered, the showing up for somebody. The intent behind it wasn’t enough. Not for me. Not anymore. It wasn’t enough to know that deep down, he loved me. You had to actually say it to somebody, show them that you cared. And he just didn’t. Not enough.
Jenny Han (It's Not Summer Without You (Summer, #2))
I can't bring myself to watch yet another video, not because I don't care, but because we're all just a few videos away from becoming completely desensitized. The public execution of Black folks will never be normal.
Andrena Sawyer
Bravery was still bravery, no matter how clumsy the execution.
Penny Reid (Beard in Mind (Winston Brothers, #4))
Even when we're right, we may be wrong. If--in the process of debate--we've hurt the heart of another being, it matters not whether we issued a perfectly executed unbroken chain of logic. In the end, that's an argument we've lost, because whatever we might have gained in intellectual pride, we surely lost in character.
Shakieb Orgunwall
No matter how bad your life gets if you Execute yourself it won't get better!
Stanley Victor Paskavich
I understood that what matters is the work: the string of words propelled by God becoming a poem, the weave of color and graphite scrawled upon the sheet that magnifies His motion. To achieve within the work a perfect balance of faith and execution. From this state of mind comes a light, life-changed.
Patti Smith (Just Kids)
In a real sense, I performed the hard work of that free solo during the days leading up to it. Once I was on the climb, it was just a matter of executing. The
Alex Honnold (Alone on the Wall)
...and she thought how sad it was that a single bad thing could turn you into a story, a matter to be whispered about. Tragedy was undiscerning and totally unfair.
Danya Kukafka (Notes on an Execution)
Don't you remember how you once answered a question of mine? Me - I shall never forget your words. Those words of yours opened my eyes; they brought me the light of day. I asked you how the Germans could send Jewish children to die in the gas chambers. How, I asked, could they live with themselves after that? Was there really no judgement passed on them by man or God? And you said: Only one judgement is passed on the executioner - he ceases to be a human being. Through looking on his victim as less than human, he becomes his own executioner, he executes the human being inside himself. But the victim - no matter what the executioner does to kill him - remains a human being forever. Remember now?
Vasily Grossman (Forever Flowing)
Colonel Cargill was so awful a marketing executive that his services were much sought after by firms eager to establish losses for tax purposes. His prices were high, for failure often did not come easily. He had to start at the top and work his way down, and with sympathetic friends in Washington, losing money was no simple matter. It took months of hard work and careful misplanning. A person misplaced, disorganized, miscalculated, overlooked everything and open every loophole, and just when he thought he had it made, the government gave him a lake or a forest or an oilfield and spoiled everything. Even with such handicaps, Colonel Cargill could be relied on to run the most prosperous enterprise into the ground. He was a self-made man who owed his lack of success to nobody.
Joseph Heller (Catch-22)
Into the hands of common sense I confided the matter. Common sense, however, was as chilled and bewildered as all my other faculties, and it was only under the spur of an inexorable necessity that she spasmodically executed her trust.
Charlotte Brontë (Villette)
She was ten years old, after all. Alone and helpless and afraid. But here is truth, gentlefriends, no matter the number of suns in your sky. At the heart of it, two kinds of people live in this world or any other: those who flee and those who fight. Your kind has many terms for the latter sort. Berserker. Killer instinct. More balls than brains. And it shouldn’t surprise you, knowing what little you know already, that in the face of this thug and his blade, and laden with memory of her father’s execution never flinch never fear instead of wailing or breaking as another ten-year-old might have, young Mia gripped the stiletto she’d fished from the darkness, and slipped it straight up into the puppy-choker’s eye. The
Jay Kristoff (Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle, #1))
Today is always the result of actions and decisions taken yesterday. Man, however, whatever his title or rank, cannot foresee the future. Yesterday’s actions and decisions, no matter how courageous or wise they may have been, inevitably become today’s problems,
Peter F. Drucker (The Effective Executive)
In life, the question is not if you will have problems, but how you are going to deal with your problems. If the possibility of failure were erased, what would you attempt to achieve? The essence of man is imperfection. Know that you're going to make mistakes. The fellow who never makes a mistake takes his orders from one who does. Wake up and realize this: Failure is simply a price we pay to achieve success. Achievers are given multiple reasons to believe they are failures. But in spite of that, they persevere. The average for entrepreneurs is 3.8 failures before they finally make it in business. When achievers fail, they see it as a momentary event, not a lifelong epidemic. Procrastination is too high a price to pay for fear of failure. To conquer fear, you have to feel the fear and take action anyway. Forget motivation. Just do it. Act your way into feeling, not wait for positive emotions to carry you forward. Recognize that you will spend much of your life making mistakes. If you can take action and keep making mistakes, you gain experience. Life is playing a poor hand well. The greatest battle you wage against failure occurs on the inside, not the outside. Why worry about things you can't control when you can keep yourself busy controlling the things that depend on you? Handicaps can only disable us if we let them. If you are continually experiencing trouble or facing obstacles, then you should check to make sure that you are not the problem. Be more concerned with what you can give rather than what you can get because giving truly is the highest level of living. Embrace adversity and make failure a regular part of your life. If you're not failing, you're probably not really moving forward. Everything in life brings risk. It's true that you risk failure if you try something bold because you might miss it. But you also risk failure if you stand still and don't try anything new. The less you venture out, the greater your risk of failure. Ironically the more you risk failure — and actually fail — the greater your chances of success. If you are succeeding in everything you do, then you're probably not pushing yourself hard enough. And that means you're not taking enough risks. You risk because you have something of value you want to achieve. The more you do, the more you fail. The more you fail, the more you learn. The more you learn, the better you get. Determining what went wrong in a situation has value. But taking that analysis another step and figuring out how to use it to your benefit is the real difference maker when it comes to failing forward. Don't let your learning lead to knowledge; let your learning lead to action. The last time you failed, did you stop trying because you failed, or did you fail because you stopped trying? Commitment makes you capable of failing forward until you reach your goals. Cutting corners is really a sign of impatience and poor self-discipline. Successful people have learned to do what does not come naturally. Nothing worth achieving comes easily. The only way to fail forward and achieve your dreams is to cultivate tenacity and persistence. Never say die. Never be satisfied. Be stubborn. Be persistent. Integrity is a must. Anything worth having is worth striving for with all your might. If we look long enough for what we want in life we are almost sure to find it. Success is in the journey, the continual process. And no matter how hard you work, you will not create the perfect plan or execute it without error. You will never get to the point that you no longer make mistakes, that you no longer fail. The next time you find yourself envying what successful people have achieved, recognize that they have probably gone through many negative experiences that you cannot see on the surface. Fail early, fail often, but always fail forward.
John C. Maxwell (Failing Forward)
The essence of economic inequality is borne out in a simple fact: there are 400 billionaires in the United States and 45 million people living in poverty. These are not parallel facts; they are intersecting facts. There are 400 American billionaires because there are 45 million people living in poverty. Profit comes at the expense of the living wage. Corporate executives, university presidents, and capitalists in general are living the good life--because so many others are living a life of hardship.
Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor (From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation)
The work is at such a high level and is so well executed, it really is a matter of taste... [Source: Project Runway — but consider, applied to the theme of book reviews, it seems apropos!]
Tim Gunn
Life is more than a job; jobs are more than a paycheck; and a country is more than its wealth. Education is more than the acquisition of marketable skills, and you are more than your ability to contribute to your employer’s bottom line or the nation’s GDP, no matter what the rhetoric of politicians or executives would have you think. To ask what college is for is to ask what life is for, what society is for—what people are for. Do students ever hear this? What they hear is a constant drumbeat, in the public discourse, that seeks to march them in the opposite direction. When policy makers talk about higher education, from the president all the way down, they talk exclusively in terms of math and science. Journalists and pundits—some of whom were humanities majors and none of whom are nurses or engineers—never tire of lecturing the young about the necessity of thinking prudently when choosing a course of study, the naïveté of wanting to learn things just because you’re curious about them.
William Deresiewicz (Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life)
Mindfulness should guide all your actions and your spiritual endeavors. Whatever you do, always apply three essential points: undertake the action with the intention of doing so for the good of all beings; execute it with perfect concentration, free of attachment to concepts of subject, object, and action; and, finally, dedicate the merit you have created to the enlightenment of all beings.
Dilgo Khyentse (The Hundred Verses of Advice: Tibetan Buddhist Teachings on What Matters Most)
Three hundred years ago people in England were putting witches to death. Was that what you call the 'Rule of Human Nature or Right Conduct?’ But surely the reason we do not execute witches is that we do not believe there are such things. If we did—if we really thought that there were people going about who had sold themselves to the devil and received supernatural powers from him in return and were using these powers to kill their neighbours or drive them mad or bring bad weather—surely we would all agree that if anyone deserved the death penalty, then these filthy quislings did? There is no difference of moral principle here: the difference is simply about matter of fact. It may be a great advance in knowledge not to believe in witches: there is no moral advance in not executing them when you do not think they are there. You would not call a man humane for ceasing to set mousetraps if he did so because he believed there were no mice in the house.
C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)
I only back people with track record who can execute ruthlessly and flawlessly... Real killers...no matter the industry or company geography
Ziad K. Abdelnour (Economic Warfare: Secrets of Wealth Creation in the Age of Welfare Politics)
Knowledge is power, but execution trumps knowledge, so it’s what you do from here that will matter.
Anthony Robbins (Money Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom)
A woman is always being taken advantage of in so many situations. To add insult to injury, people always try to belittle a woman—as if her opinion doesn’t matter—and people feel that they can manipulate a woman as if she’s naïve and clueless. Other people will steal a woman’s idea as if they came up with it on their own. It makes my skin crawl when a woman is told to step aside and keep quiet as if her voice doesn’t deserve to be heard, and we all know that women don’t receive as many opportunities as their male counterparts. However, opportunities are endless, and when a woman is given a chance, she makes it a personal mission to execute by always being the seeker and observer.
Charlena E. Jackson (A Woman's Love Is Never Good Enough)
Squatting' in a Smith machine is an oxymoron. A Smith machine is not a squat rack, no matter what the girls at the front desk tell you. A squat cannot be performed on a Smith machine any more than it can be performed in a small closet with a hamster. Sorry. There is a gigantic difference between a machine that makes the bar path vertical for you and a squat that is executed correctly enough to have a vertical bar path. The job of keeping the bar path vertical should be done by the muscles, skeleton, and nervous system, not by grease fittings, rails, and floor bolts.
Mark Rippetoe (Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training)
Because loners are born everywhere, we end up living everywhere. We do not, have not, tended to single ourselves out as special, elite, requiring rarefied environments. Too often we have done the opposite; lived where we lived because our jobs were there, or families, or because we'd heard the schools were good there, or that we would love a place with changing seasons. Then, no matter what, we put our noses to the grindstone. We take living there as a fait accompli, a fact. Too often we are miserable somewhere without realizing why. We blame ourselves for not buckling down, settling in, fitting in. The problem is the place, but too often we do not see this, we will not allow ourselves to see this. It's the same old thing: This is a friendly town, so what's your problem? ...To the non-loner, or the self-reproaching loner, the fact of being a loner is not comparable to those other determinants. It is not a matter of life and death, we tell ourselves. It its not a matter of breathing or of execution by stoning. But home is the crucible of living...So how can living not be a matter of life and death?
Anneli Rufus (Party of One)
When there is no coherent strategy, tactics, no matter how flashily executed, become meaningless.
Thomas E. Ricks (Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom)
Besides which, no matter what shape protests against racism take, they are always met with the accusation that while the principle might be right, the execution is wrong.
Megan Rapinoe (One Life)
It may merely be apocryphal that when the Wizard saw the glass bottle he gasped, and clutched his heart. The story is told in so many ways, depending on who is doing the telling, and what needs to be heard at the time. It is a matter of history, however, that shortly thereafter, the Wizard absconded from the Palace. He left in the way he had first arrived-- a hot-air balloon-- just a few hours before seditious ministers were to lead a Palace revolt and to hold an execution without trial.
Gregory Maguire (Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (The Wicked Years, #1))
A jail within a jail. In those long hours, he struggled over Reverend King's equation. "Throw us in jail and we will love you ... But be assured that we will wear you down by our capacity to suffer, and one day we will win our freedom. We will not only win our freedom for ourselves, we will so appeal to your heart and your conscience that we will win you in the process and our victory will be a double victory." No he could not make that leap to love. He understood neither the impulse of the proposition nor the will to execute it.
Colson Whitehead (The Nickel Boys)
If life is a movie most people would consider themselves the star of their own feature. Guys might imagine they're living some action adventure epic. Chicks maybe are in a rose-colored fantasy romance. And homosexuals are living la vida loca in a fabulous musical. Still others may take the indie approach and think of themselves as an anti-hero in a coming of age flick. Or a retro badass in an exploitation B movie. Or the cable man in a very steamy adult picture. Some people's lives are experimental student art films that don't make any sense. Some are screwball comedies. Others resemble a documentary, all serious and educational. A few lives achieve blockbuster status and are hailed as a tribute to the human spirit. Some gain a small following and enjoy cult status. And some never got off the ground due to insufficient funding. I don't know what my life is but I do know that I'm constantly squabbling with the director over creative control, throwing prima donna tantrums and pouting in my personal trailor when things don't go my way. Much of our lives is spent on marketing. Make-up, exercise, dieting, clothes, hair, money, charm, attitude, the strut, the pose, the Blue Steel look. We're like walking billboards advertising ourselves. A sneak peek of upcoming attractions. Meanwhile our actual production is in disarray--we're over budget, doing poorly at private test screenings and focus groups, creatively stagnant, morale low. So we're endlessly tinkering, touching up, editing, rewriting, tailoring ourselves to best suit a mass audience. There's like this studio executive in our heads telling us to cut certain things out, make it "lighter," give it a happy ending, and put some explosions in there too. Kids love explosions. And the uncompromising artist within protests: "But that's not life!" Thus the inner conflict of our movie life: To be a palatable crowd-pleaser catering to the mainstream... or something true to life no matter what they say?
Tatsuya Ishida
On the ethics of war the Quran and the New Testament are worlds apart. Whereas Jesus tells us to turn the other cheek, the Quran tells us, 'Whoso commits aggression against you, do you commit aggression against him' (2:194). The New Testament says nothing about how to wage war. The Quran, by contrast, is filled with just-war precepts. Here war is allowed in self-defense (2:190; 22:39), but hell is the punishment for killing other Muslims (4:93), and the execution of prisoners of war is explicitly condemned (47:4). Whether in the abstract is is better to rely on a scripture that regulates war or a scripture that hopes war away is an open question, but no Muslim-majority country has yet dropped an atomic bomb in war.
Stephen Prothero (God Is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run the World--and Why Their Differences Matter)
Whenever executives talk about how their company is really like a big ol’ family, beware. They’re usually not referring to how the company is going to protect you no matter what or love you unconditionally. You know, like healthy families would. Their motive is rather more likely to be a unidirectional form of sacrifice: yours.
Jason Fried (It Doesn't Have to Be Crazy at Work)
Celaena opened her eyes. She would go into Endovier. Go into Hell. And she would not crumble. She braced her palms on the floor and slid her feet beneath her. She had not stopped breathing yet, and she had endured Sam’s death and evaded the king’s execution. She would survive this. Celaena stood, turning to the window and looking squarely at the mammoth stone wall rising up ahead of them. She would tuck Sam into her heart, a bright light for her to take out whenever things were darkest. And then she would remember how it had felt to be loved, when the world had held nothing but possibility. No matter what they did to her, they could never take that away. She would not break. And someday … someday, even if it took her until her last breath, she’d find out who had done this to her. To Sam. Celaena wiped away her tears as the wagon entered the shade of the tunnel through the wall. Whips and screams and the clank of chains. She tensed, already taking in every detail she could. But she squared her shoulders. Straightened her spine. “My name is Celaena Sardothien,” she whispered, “and I will not be afraid.
Sarah J. Maas (The Assassin's Blade (Throne of Glass, #0.1-0.5))
If creativity was enhanced by pacing the executive suites in a papier-mâché mask, it was all right with Claude, no matter how it frightened the secretaries.
Tom Robbins (Jitterbug Perfume: A Novel)
Consider an AI that has hedonism as its final goal, and which would therefore like to tile the universe with “hedonium” (matter organized in a configuration that is optimal for the generation of pleasurable experience). To this end, the AI might produce computronium (matter organized in a configuration that is optimal for computation) and use it to implement digital minds in states of euphoria. In order to maximize efficiency, the AI omits from the implementation any mental faculties that are not essential for the experience of pleasure, and exploits any computational shortcuts that according to its definition of pleasure do not vitiate the generation of pleasure. For instance, the AI might confine its simulation to reward circuitry, eliding faculties such as a memory, sensory perception, executive function, and language; it might simulate minds at a relatively coarse-grained level of functionality, omitting lower-level neuronal processes; it might replace commonly repeated computations with calls to a lookup table; or it might put in place some arrangement whereby multiple minds would share most parts of their underlying computational machinery (their “supervenience bases” in philosophical parlance). Such tricks could greatly increase the quantity of pleasure producible with a given amount of resources.
Nick Bostrom (Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies)
In stark contrast, China’s startup culture is the yin to Silicon Valley’s yang: instead of being mission-driven, Chinese companies are first and foremost market-driven. Their ultimate goal is to make money, and they’re willing to create any product, adopt any model, or go into any business that will accomplish that objective. That mentality leads to incredible flexibility in business models and execution, a perfect distillation of the “lean startup” model often praised in Silicon Valley. It doesn’t matter where an idea came from or who came up with it. All that matters is whether you can execute it to make a financial profit. The core motivation for China’s market-driven entrepreneurs is not fame, glory, or changing the world. Those things are all nice side benefits, but the grand prize is getting rich, and it doesn’t matter how you get there.
Kai-Fu Lee (Ai Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order)
Every good-to-great company had Level 5 leadership during the pivotal transition years. • “Level 5” refers to a five-level hierarchy of executive capabilities, with Level 5 at the top. Level 5 leaders embody a paradoxical mix of personal humility and professional will. They are ambitious, to be sure, but ambitious first and foremost for the company, not themselves. • Level 5 leaders set up their successors for even greater success in the next generation, whereas egocentric Level 4 leaders often set up their successors for failure. • Level 5 leaders display a compelling modesty, are self-effacing and understated. In contrast, two thirds of the comparison companies had leaders with gargantuan personal egos that contributed to the demise or continued mediocrity of the company. • Level 5 leaders are fanatically driven, infected with an incurable need to produce sustained results. They are resolved to do whatever it takes to make the company great, no matter how big or hard the decisions. • Level 5 leaders display a workmanlike diligence—more plow horse than show horse. • Level 5 leaders look out the window to attribute success to factors other than themselves. When things go poorly, however, they look in the mirror and blame themselves, taking full responsibility. The comparison CEOs often did just the opposite—they looked in the mirror to take credit for success, but out the window to assign blame for disappointing results.
James C. Collins (Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...And Others Don't)
Our strength consists in our speed and in our brutality. Genghis Khan led millions of women and children to slaughter—with premeditation and a happy heart. History sees in him solely the founder of a state. It’s a matter of indifference to me what a weak western European civilization will say about me. I have issued the command—and I’ll have anybody who utters but one word of criticism executed by a firing squad—that our war aim does not consist in reaching certain lines, but in the physical destruction of the enemy. Accordingly, I have placed my death-head formation in readiness—for the present only in the East—with orders to them to send to death mercilessly and without compassion, men, women, and children of Polish derivation and language. Only thus shall we gain the living space (Lebensraum) which we need. Who, after all, speaks to-day of the annihilation of the Armenians?
Adolf Hitler
Effective executives know that their subordinates are paid to perform and not to please their superiors. They know that it does not matter how many tantrums a prima donna throws as long as she brings in the customers.
Peter F. Drucker (The Effective Executive)
We, the people of Indonesia, hereby declare the independence of Indonesia. Matters relating to the transfer of power etc. will be executed carefully and as soon as possible.’ Indonesia has been working on that ‘etc.’ ever since.
Elizabeth Pisani (Indonesia, Etc.: Exploring the Improbable Nation)
In discussing the subject of free will, the question is not, whether external obstacles will permit a man to execute what he has internally resolved, but whether, in any matter whatever, he has a free power of judging and of willing.
John Calvin (Institutes of the Christian Religion)
The man who focuses on efforts and who stresses his downward authority is a subordinate no matter how exalted his title and rank. But the man who focuses on contribution and who takes responsibility for results, no matter how junior, is in the most literal sense of the phrase, “top management.” He holds himself accountable for the performance of the whole.
Peter F. Drucker (The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done (Harperbusiness Essentials))
[…] detective novels are not novels of detection, still less of revelation, still less of solution. Those are all necessary, but not only are they insufficient, but they are in certain ways regrettable. These are novels of potentiality. Quantum narratives. Their power isn’t in their final acts, but in the profusion of superpositions before them, the could-bes, what-ifs and never-knows. Until that final chapter, each of those is as real and true as all the others, jostling realities all dreamed up by the crime, none trapped in vulgar facticity. That’s why the most important sentence in a murder mystery isn’t the one starting ‘The murderer is…’ – which no matter how necessary and fabulously executed is an act of unspeakable narrative winnowing – but is the snarled expostulation halfway through: ‘Everyone’s a suspect.’ Quite. When all those suspects become one certainty, it’s a collapse, and a let-down. How can it not be? We’ve been banished from an Eden of oscillation.
China Miéville
Dear Fathers of the Fatherless Children, Chief Guardians take on the responsibilities of being both the mother and father. I’ve noticed that a lot of people say, a mother can’t be a father. That could be very well true, however, we do not have a choice but to “play” the “father role” to the best of our ability. We are the mothers, but the fathers of the fatherless children cowardly volunteer our services. It’s hard enough being a mother, but it is harder trying to play the “father’s” role as well. However, those are the cards we were dealt. I can say, for the sake of the matter—no, we do not know how to be a “father”, but we do the best we can. That is why it is imperative that all fathers take responsibly and execute their role full-time.
Charlena E. Jackson (Dear fathers of the fatherless children)
The essence of economic inequality is borne out in a simple fact: there are 400 billionaires in the United States and 45 million people living in poverty. These are not parallel facts; they are intersecting facts. There are 400 American billionaires because there are 45 million people living in poverty. Profit comes at the expense of the living wage. Corporate executives, university presidents, and capitalists in general are living the good life--because so many others are living a life of hardship.
Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor (From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation)
Black lives matter. It’s true. From a Christian worldview perspective, we can plumb even deeper than a three-word catchphrase or hashtag. Black lives don’t merely matter; every black life was fearfully and wonderfully made by God himself. Every black life bears the divine image. Black lives are worth enough for the Creator to take on flesh and endure torture, execution, and infinite wrath.
Thaddeus Williams (Confronting Injustice without Compromising Truth: 12 Questions Christians Should Ask About Social Justice)
A Strategy, no matter how beautifully crafted, has to be executed by and with the people. Therefore, Invest in the people. Communicate the vision and strategy to them. Give them the opportunity to demonstrate how their day-to-day activities contribute to the organisation's strategy
Benjamin Kofi Quansah, CGMS
When you feel an emotion, you can ultimately bypass your neocortex—the seat of your conscious mind—and activate your autonomic nervous system. Therefore, as you get beyond your thinking brain, you move into a part of the brain where health is regulated, maintained, and executed. So
Joe Dispenza (You Are the Placebo: Making Your Mind Matter)
But still I would try to picture the exact moment when the beating of my heart would no longer be going on inside my head. .. But everybody knows life isn't worth living. Deep down I knew perfectly well that it doesn't much matter whether you die at thirty or at seventy, since in either case other men and women will naturally go on living— and for thousands of years. .. At that point, what would disturb my train of thought was the terrifying leap I would feel my heart take at the idea of having twenty more years of life ahead of me. But I simply had to stifle it by imagining what I’d be thinking in twenty years when it would all come down to the same thing anyway. Since we’re all going to die, it’s obvious that when and how don’t matter. .. It would take all my strength to quiet my heart, to be rational. .. Throughout the whole absurd life I’d lived, a dark wind had been rising toward me from somewhere deep in my future, across years that were still to come, and as it passed, this wind leveled whatever was offered to me at the time, in years no more real than the ones I was living. .. for the first time, in that night alive with signs and stars, I opened myself to the gentle indifference of the world. .. For everything to be consummated, for me to feel less alone, I had only to wish that there be a large crowd of spectators the day of my execution and that they greet me with cries of hate.
Albert Camus (The Stranger)
Style still matters, for at least three reasons. First, it ensures that writers will get their message across, sparing readers from squandering their precious moments on earth deciphering opaque prose. When the effort fails, the result can be calamitous-as Strunk and White put it, "death on the highway caused by a badly worded road sign, heartbreak among lovers caused by a misplaced phrase in a well-intentioned letter, anguish of a traveler expecting to be met at a railroad station and not being met because of a slipshod telegram." Governments and corporations have found that small improvements in clarity can prevent vast amounts of error, frustration, and waste, and many countries have recently made clear language the law of the land. Second, style earns trust. If readers can see that a writer cares about consistency and accuracy in her prose, they will be reassured that the writer cares about those virtues in conduct they cannot see as easily. Here is how one technology executive explains why he rejects job applications filled with errors of grammar and punctuation: "If it takes someone more than 20 years to notice how to properly use it's, then that's not a learning curve I'm comfortable with." And if that isn't enough to get you to brush up your prose, consider the discovery of the dating site OkCupid that sloppy grammar and spelling in a profile are "huge turn-offs." As one client said, "If you're trying to date a woman, I don't expect flowery Jane Austen prose. But aren't you trying to put your best foot forward?" Style, not least, adds beauty to the world. To a literate reader, a crisp sentence, an arresting metaphor, a witty aside, an elegant turn of phrase are among life's greatest pleasures. And as we shall see in the first chapter, this thoroughly impractical virtue of good writing is where the practical effort of mastering good writing must begin.
Steven Pinker (The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century)
Intrinsic to the concept of a translator's fidelity to the effect and impact of the original is making the second version of the work as close to the first writer's intention as possible. A good translator's devotion to that goal is unwavering. But what never should be forgotten or overlooked is the obvious fact that what we read in a translation is the translator's writing. The inspiration is the original work, certainly, and thoughtful literary translators approach that work with great deference and respect, but the execution of the book in another language is the task of the translator, and that work should be judged and evaluated on its own terms. Still, most reviewers do not acknowledge the fact of translation except in the most perfunctory way, and a significant majority seem incapable of shedding light on the value of the translation or on how it reflects or illuminates the original.
Edith Grossman (Why Translation Matters (Why X Matters Series))
No number has ever done it for us. Not a thousand, ten thousand, a hundred thousand. Even millions don't do it, and so every single year we pay our legislators to come up with more. But no matter how many prohibitions we come up with, they never do the trick, because no prohibited behavior has ever been eliminated by passing a law against it. Every time someone is sent to prison or executed, this is said to be "sending a message" to miscreants, but for some strange reason the message never arrives, year after year, generation after generation, century after century. Naturally, we consider this to be a very advanced system.
Daniel Quinn (If They Give You Lined Paper, Write Sideways)
How do tyrants hold on to power for so long? For that matter, why is the tenure of successful democratic leaders so brief? How can countries with such misguided and corrupt economic policies survive for so long? Why are countries that are prone to natural disasters so often unprepared when they happen? And how can lands rich with natural resources at the same time support populations stricken with poverty? Equally, we may well wonder: Why are Wall Street executives so politically tone-deaf that they dole out billions in bonuses while plunging the global economy into recession? Why is the leadership of a corporation, on whose shoulders so much responsibility rests, decided by so few people? Why are failed CEOs retained and paid handsomely even as their company’s shareholders lose their shirts? In
Bruce Bueno de Mesquita (The Dictator's Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics)
Were he now still among the living, Dr. Incandenza would now describe tennis in the paradoxical terms of what’s now called ‘Extra-Linear Dynamics.’ And Schtitt, whose knowledge of formal math is probably about equivalent to that of a Taiwanese kindergartner, nevertheless seemed to know what Hopman and van der Meer and Bollettieri seemed not to know: that locating beauty and art and magic and improvement and keys to excellence and victory in the prolix flux of match play is not a fractal matter of reducing chaos to a pattern. Seemed intuitively to sense that it was a matter not of reduction at all, but — perversely — of expansion, the aleatory flutter of uncontrolled, metastatic growth — each well-shot ball admitting of n possible responses, n² responses to those responses, and on into what Incandenza would articulate to anyone who shared both his backgrounds as a Cantorian continuum of infinities of possible move and response, Cantorian and beautiful because infoliating, contained, this diagnate infinity of infinities of choice and execution, mathematically uncontrolled but humanly contained, bounded by the talent and imagination of self and opponent, bent in on itself by the containing boundaries of skill and imagination that brought one player finally down, that kept both from winning, that made it, finally, a game, these boundaries of self.
David Foster Wallace (Infinite Jest)
Gentlemen, I take it we are all in complete agreement on the decision here.” Everyone around the table nodded assent. “Then,” continued Mr. Sloan, “I propose we postpone further discussion of this matter until our next meeting to give ourselves time to develop disagreement and perhaps gain some understanding of what the decision is all about.
Peter F. Drucker (The Effective Executive)
Feeling of discontinuity as a person. My various selves—how do they all come together? And anxiety at moments of transition from one “role” to another. Will I make it fifteen minutes from now? Be able to step into, inhabit the person I’m supposed to be? This is felt as an infinitely hazardous leap, no matter how often it’s successfully executed.
Susan Sontag (As Consciousness is Harnessed to Flesh: Journals and Notebooks, 1964-1980)
conception is just the first step. What really matters is execution.
Walter Isaacson (The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution)
What matters most is how well you understand your flywheel and how well you execute on each component over a long series of iterations.
Jim Collins (Turning the Flywheel: A Monograph to Accompany Good to Great)
No matter how loud a command, it still needs time to be executed.
D. Rus (The War (Play to Live, #6))
Executives often wrongly equate “good value” with “low price.” Instead, “good value” should mean outstanding value for the price.
Gary Hamel (What Matters Now: How to Win in a World of Relentless Change, Ferocious Competition, and Unstoppable Innovation)
in 1944 the Germans executed brutal, slaughtering attacks on the people of mountain Crete.
Adam Nicolson (Why Homer Matters: A History)
No matter the reason, the people didn’t turn on Jesus because they were Jews. They turned on Jesus because they were human.
Tony Jones (Did God Kill Jesus?: Searching for Love in History's Most Famous Execution)
So I’d come to a philosophy, my mantra: Ideas are easy. Execution is everything.
John Doerr (Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs)
You would think that this would be whether the entrepreneur’s idea is actually a good one. But finding a good idea is apparently not all that hard. Finding an entrepreneur who can execute a good idea is a different matter entirely. One needs a person who can take an idea from proposal to reality, work the long hours, build a team, handle the pressures and setbacks, manage technical and people problems alike, and stick with the effort for years on end without getting distracted or going insane. Such people are rare and extremely hard to spot.
Atul Gawande (The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right)
She wanted to be good, whatever that meant. As Saffy gazed up at the ceiling, hot tears burning down her cheeks, she prayed that the difference between good and evil was simply a matter of trying.
Danya Kukafka (Notes on an Execution)
If you want to know America—if you want to see it for what it was and what it is—you need to look at Indian history and at the Indian present. If you do, if we all do, we will see that all the issues posed at the founding of the country have persisted. How do the rights of the many relate to the rights of the few? What is or should be the furthest extent of federal power? How has the relationship between the government and the individual evolved? What are the limits of the executive to execute policy, and to what extent does that matter to us as we go about our daily lives? How do we reconcile the stated ideals of America as a country given to violent acts against communities and individuals? To what degree do we privilege enterprise over people? To what extent does the judiciary shape our understanding of our place as citizens in this country? To what extent should it? What are the limits to the state’s power over the people living within its borders? To ignore the history of Indians in America is to miss how power itself works.
David Treuer (The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present)
These ideas can be made more concrete with a parable, which I borrow from John Fowles’s wonderful novel, The Magus. Conchis, the principle character in the novel, finds himself Mayor of his home town in Greece when the Nazi occupation begins. One day, three Communist partisans who recently killed some German soldiers are caught. The Nazi commandant gives Conchis, as Mayor, a choice — either Conchis will execute the three partisans himself to set an example of loyalty to the new regime, or the Nazis will execute every male in the town. Should Conchis act as a collaborator with the Nazis and take on himself the direct guilt of killing three men? Or should he refuse and, by default, be responsible for the killing of over 300 men? I often use this moral riddle to determine the degree to which people are hypnotized by Ideology. The totally hypnotized, of course, have an answer at once; they know beyond doubt what is correct, because they have memorized the Rule Book. It doesn’t matter whose Rule Book they rely on — Ayn Rand’s or Joan Baez’s or the Pope’s or Lenin’s or Elephant Doody Comix — the hypnosis is indicated by lack of pause for thought, feeling and evaluation. The response is immediate because it is because mechanical. Those who are not totally hypnotized—those who have some awareness of concrete events of sensory space-time, outside their heads— find the problem terrible and terrifying and admit they don’t know any 'correct' answer. I don’t know the 'correct' answer either, and I doubt that there is one. The universe may not contain 'right' and 'wrong' answers to everything just because Ideologists want to have 'right' and 'wrong' answers in all cases, anymore than it provides hot and cold running water before humans start tinkering with it. I feel sure that, for those awakened from hypnosis, every hour of every day presents choices that are just as puzzling (although fortunately not as monstrous) as this parable. That is why it appears a terrible burden to be aware of who you are, where you are, and what is going on around you, and why most people would prefer to retreat into Ideology, abstraction, myth and self-hypnosis. To come out of our heads, then, also means to come to our senses, literally—to live with awareness of the bottle of beer on the table and the bleeding body in the street. Without polemic intent, I think this involves waking from hypnosis in a very literal sense. Only one individual can do it at a time, and nobody else can do it for you. You have to do it all alone.
Robert Anton Wilson (Natural Law: or Don't Put a Rubber on Your Willy)
Don't let it get to you, mom! The Western media also fights against us. That's where our reputation as fundamentalists and terrorists comes from." "You're right. Between one's fanaticism and the other's disdain, it's hard to know which side to choose. Personally, I hate Saddam and I have no sympathy for the Kuwaitism but I hate just as much the cynicism of the allies who call themselves "liberators" while they're there for the oil." "Exactly. Just look at Afghanistan! They fought there for ten years. There were 900,000 dead and today the country is still in chaos. No one lifted a finger! Because Afghanistan is poor! The worst is that the intervention in Kuwait is done in the name of the human rights! Which rights? Which humans?" At the time, this kind of analysis wasn't commonplace. After our own war, we were happy that Iraq got itself attacked and delighted that it wasn't happening in our country. We were finally able to sleep peacefully without fear of missiles... We no longed needed to line up with our food ration coupon...the rest mattered little. And then, there wasn't any more opposition. The protesters had been executed. Or had fled the country any way possible. The regime had absolute power...and most people , in search of a cloud of happiness, had forgotten their political conscience.
Marjane Satrapi (The Complete Persepolis)
in the scramble to survive, founders often hire to solve immediate needs and simultaneously create long-term problems. This mistake is common enough that Bob Sutton wrote a book, The No-Asshole Rule, to help executives recognize the damage these hires cause to culture.5 No matter how many golden lectures a leader gives imploring people to “Be collaborative” or “Work as a team,” if the people hired have destructive habits, the lecture will lose.
Scott Berkun (The Year Without Pants: WordPress.com and the Future of Work)
There’s nothing sophisticated about the process of getting the right people in the right jobs. It’s a matter of being systematic and consistent in interviewing and appraising people and developing them through useful feedback.
BusinessNews Publishing (Summary: Execution: Review and Analysis of Bossidy and Charan's Book)
You’ll always have enough reasons not to execute, not to do: not enough time, not enough money, not enough will or skill.But what matters isn’t what you lack. What matters isn’t your idea but what you do with it. What will you do?
Kevin Kelly
The wide confidence interval is a confession of ignorance, which is not socially acceptable for someone who is paid to be knowledgeable in financial matters. Even if they knew how little they know, the executives would be penalized for admitting it.
Daniel Kahneman (Thinking, Fast and Slow)
What is power, after all? Every one of the power elite’s overwhelming advantages—military forces, surveillance systems, crowd control technology, control over the media, and nearly all the money in the world—depends on having people obeying orders and executing an assigned role. This obedience is a matter of shared ideologies, institutional culture, and the legitimacy of the systems in which we play roles. Legitimacy is a matter of collective perception, and we have the power to change people’s perceptions.
Charles Eisenstein (The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible (Sacred Activism Book 2))
As with everything else in the gospels, the story of Jesus’s arrest, trial, and execution was written for one reason and one reason only: to prove that he was the promised messiah. Factual accuracy was irrelevant. What mattered was Christology, not history.
Reza Aslan (Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth)
I asked you how the Germans could send Jewish children to die in the gas chambers. How, I asked, could they live with themselves after that? Was there really no judgement passed on them by man or God? And you said: Only one judgement is passed on the executioner – he ceases to be a human being. Through looking on his victim as less than human, he becomes his own executioner; he executes the human being inside himself. But the victim – no matter what the executioner does to kill him – remains a human being forever
Vasily Grossman (Everything Flows)
The idea...that our professional military men and women train for years without knowing whether they will ever have to actually carry out their missions to the fullest extent of their abilities is the very heart of what service is all about. Heroes aren't designated in advance. Everyone must always be ready to execute. In my experience, it's always the greatest heroes who claim they never did anything beyond what any of their buddies would have done in the same situation. Our training and our culture breed that response into us all, no matter what war we were part of. You train yourself to a standard and thereby make yourself interchangeable with others who share the same standard. And that gives everyone an equal claim to the pride that goes with having served your country.
Marcus Luttrell (Service: A Navy SEAL at War)
People go funny in the head when talking about politics. The evolutionary reasons for this are so obvious as to be worth belaboring: In the ancestral environment, politics was a matter of life and death. And sex, and wealth, and allies, and reputation... When, today, you get into an argument about whether "we" ought to raise the minimum wage, you're executing adaptations for an ancestral environment where being on the wrong side of the argument could get you killed. Being on the right side of the argument could let you kill your hated rival! [...] Politics is an extension of war by other means. Arguments are soldiers. Once you know which side you're on, you must support all arguments of that side, and attack all arguments that appear to favor the enemy side; otherwise it's like stabbing your soldiers in the back—providing aid and comfort to the enemy. People who would be level-headed about evenhandedly weighing all sides of an issue in their professional life as scientists, can suddenly turn into slogan-chanting zombies when there's a Blue or Green position on an issue.
Eliezer Yudkowsky
The follow-through, the execution, is a thousand times more important than a ‘great idea’. In fact, if the execution is perfect, it sometimes barely matters what the idea is. If you want to get rich, don’t sit around waiting for inspiration to strike. Just get busy getting rich.
Felix Dennis (How to Get Rich)
I am memorializing the just-barely-adults (mostly boys, mostly less privileged) who have died fighting wars that for the most part were not their own... the families who have had to go on without them... those who gave their life to this country by standing for our freedoms in non-wars--struggles-- struggles about race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, contraception and abortion rights, the environment, eradication of global disease and world hunger, the right to collectively bargain and unionize... who paid the ultimate price through their civil disobedience, protest, collective action, or just by living in a way that was so challenging to others that they were executed for it... the ones from whom we stole this land and those whose lives we stole to build it... those who were just trying to go to school, pray, shop, watch a movie, be, when they were gunned down in a country that loves its guns far more than its people... those who were killed for driving while black, walking while black, talking while black, sleeping while black. On Decoration Day we are decorated with their blood and their memory
Shellen Lubin
In fact, neither explanation does Jobs and Apple justice. As the case of the forgotten Iowa inventor John Atanasoff shows, conception is just the first step. What really matters is execution. Jobs and his team took Xerox’s ideas, improved them, implemented them, and marketed them.
Walter Isaacson (The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution)
Yet even among those who are not economically poor, work remains, as a matter of experience, a great burden. Those whose work consists of serving the great corporate principalities, for instance, are subject to dehumanized, enslaving, frequently idolatrous claims over their lives. Does anyone seriously suppose that the high-ranking executives involved in the price-fixing scandals in some of the great corporations in this country are anything but prisoners, no more truly free than serfs, confined and conformed to the interest of the principalities they serve?
William Stringfellow (Instead of Death: New and Expanded Edition (William Stringfellow Library))
New York or California? Chicago or D.C.? I could go now, too, I thought. I had a car just as much as she did. I could go to the five spots on the map, and even if I didn't find her, it would be more fun than another boiling summer in Orlando. But no. It's like breaking into SeaWorld. It takes an immaculate plan, and then you execute it brilliantly, and then—­nothing. And then it's just SeaWorld, except darker. She'd told me: the pleasure isn't in doing the thing; the pleasure is in planning it. And that's what I thought about as I stood beneath the showerhead: the planning. She sits in the minimall with her notebook, planning. Maybe she's planning a road trip, using the map to imagine routes. She reads the Whitman and highlights "I tramp a perpetual journey," because that's the kind of thing she likes to imagine herself doing, the kind of thing she likes to plan. But is it the kind of thing she likes to actually do? No. Because Margo knows the secret of leaving, the secret I have only just now learned: leaving feels good and pure only when you leave something important, something that mattered to you. Pulling life out by the roots. But you can't do that until your life has grown roots.
John Green (Paper Towns)
Unfortunately, you can’t vote the rascals out, because you never voted them in, in the first place. The corporate executives and the corporation lawyers and so on who overwhelmingly staff the executive, assisted increasingly by a university based mandarin class, remain in power no matter whom you elect.
Noam Chomsky (Government in the Future (Open Media Series))
Matters of judgment differ from matters of opinion or taste, in which unresolved differences are entirely acceptable. The insurance executives who were shocked by the result of the noise audit would have no problem if claims adjusters were sharply divided over the relative merits of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, or of salmon and tuna.
Daniel Kahneman (Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment)
And when the ocean starts rising to the level of whatever building they're in and whatever floor they're on as they write their editorials, yeah, then they'll agree that there's a greenhouse effect and we'd better do something about it. Sure, no matter how lunatic people are, at some point or other they're going to realize that these problems exist, and they are approaching fast. It's just that the next thing they'll ask is, "So how can we make some money off it?" In fact, anybody in business who didn't ask that question would find themselves out of business—just because that's the way that capitalist institutions work. I mean, if some executive came along and said," I'm not going to look at it that way, I'm going to do things differently," well, they'd get replaced by someone who would try to make more money off it―because these are simply institutional facts, these are facts about the structure of the institutions. And if you don't like them, and I don't, then you're going to have to change the institutions. There really is no other way.
Noam Chomsky (Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky)
Shit, man, democracy failed before it started. Who thought it was a good idea to let the masses of fucktards decide anything? [Guess I've got more faith in people.] People? The election of 2044 -- Curls Bellberry, a boy band presidency on the platform that the Earth is flat and that he'd nuke New York to save Social Security. There's a good reason he was the last president. Problem with letting people pick a leader is they gravitate towards confident sociopaths no matter how stupid they are. It's the perception of qualification that fools people. At least by having corporate executives rule us we get folks who are good at business. Life hurts, the world is fucked, and that's not going to change. . .
Rick Remender (Tokyo Ghost, Vol. 2: Come Join Us)
The wide confidence interval is a confession of ignorance, which is not socially acceptable for someone who is paid to be knowledgeable in financial matters. Even if they knew how little they know, the executives would be penalized for admitting it. President Truman famously asked for a “one-armed economist” who would take a clear stand; he was sick and tired of economists who kept saying, “On the other hand…
Daniel Kahneman (Thinking, Fast and Slow)
A management methodology that helps to ensure that the company focuses efforts on the same important issues throughout the organization.” An OBJECTIVE, I explained, is simply WHAT is to be achieved, no more and no less. By definition, objectives are significant, concrete, action oriented, and (ideally) inspirational. When properly designed and deployed, they’re a vaccine against fuzzy thinking—and fuzzy execution
John Doerr (Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs)
Those involved in mental as opposed to physical effort or who carry the responsibilities of management are presumed to require a higher payment for their submission to the purposes of organization than those who render only physical or manual service, however adept or talented that may be. This is because there is profound difference in the nature and extent of the submission that is made. The person on the shop floor or its equivalent gives more or less diligent and deft physical effort for a specified number of hours a day. Beyond that nothing in principle--not thought, certainly not conformity of speech or behavior--is expected. Of the high corporate executive a more complete submission to the purposes of the organization is usually required. He (or she) must speak and also think well of the aims of the enterprise; he may never in public and not wisely in private raise doubt as to the depth and sincerity of his own commitment. Many factors determine his large, often very large, compensation, including the need to pay for the years of preparation, for the considerable intelligence that is requires, for the responsibility that is carried, and for the alleged risks of high position. As a practical matter, his rate of pay is also influenced by the significant and highly convenient role the executive plays in establishing it; much that accrues to the senior corporate executive is in response to his own inspired generosity. But there is also payment for the comprehensive submission of his individual personality to that of the corporation. It is no slight thing to give up one's self and self-expression to the collective personality of one's employer.
John Kenneth Galbraith (The Anatomy of Power)
It matters little whether you are the mother of active children who drain away your energy, an important executive in a major multinational corporation, a graduate student cramming for impending comprehensives, a plumber working overtime to put your children through college, or a pastor of a large church putting in ninety-hour weeks: at the end of the day, if you are too busy to pray, you are too busy. Cut something out.
D.A. Carson (A Call to Spiritual Reformation: Priorities from Paul and His Prayers)
I wonder if heart meds are withheld from people, cancer meds, an asthma pump? We know Hep C treatments are. And naloxone, which can reverse an OD, has been. We certainly know meds that would slow the onset of AIDS have been kept out of reach of certain groups of people. What kind of society uses medicine as a weapon, keeps it from people needing to heal, all the while continuing to develop the drugs America's prisons use to execute people?
Patrisse Khan-Cullors (When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir)
What matters is that you learn how to manage yourself and others, before your industry eats you alive. Micromanagers are egotists who can’t manage others and they quickly get overloaded. So do the charismatic visionaries who lose interest when it’s time to execute. Worse yet are those who surround themselves with yes-men or sycophants who clean up their messes and create a bubble in which they can’t even see how disconnected from reality they are.
Ryan Holiday (Ego Is the Enemy)
In other words, too much of our attention is devoted to things that don’t matter... things that consume valuable resources (time, money and skill) yet don’t contribute in any meaningful way to fulfilling the system’s mission. In fact, without a clear understanding of the vertical dependency between action and outcome, many of the formal activities that take place in most systems are akin to rearranging the deck chairs on the RMS Titanic after it stuck the iceberg.
H. William Dettmer (The Logical Thinking Process: An Executive Summary)
I AM NOT SO INTELLIGENT The epiphany I had in my career in randomness came when I understood that I was not intelligent enough, nor strong enough, to even try to fight my emotions. Besides, I believe that I need my emotions to formulate my ideas and get the energy to execute them. I am just intelligent enough to understand that I have a predisposition to be fooled by randomness—and to accept the fact that I am rather emotional. I am dominated by my emotions—but as an aesthete, I am happy about that fact. I am just like every single character whom I ridiculed in this book. Not only that, but I may be even worse than them because there may be a negative correlation between beliefs and behavior (recall Popper the man). The difference between me and those I ridicule is that I try to be aware of it. No matter how long I study and try to understand probability, my emotions will respond to a different set of calculations, those that my unintelligent genes want me to handle. If my brain can tell the difference between noise and signal, my heart cannot. Such unintelligent behavior does not just cover probability and randomness. I do not think I am reasonable enough to avoid getting angry when a discourteous driver blows his horn at me for being one nanosecond late after a traffic light turns green. I am fully aware that such anger is self-destructive and offers no benefit, and that if I were to develop anger for every idiot around me doing something of the sort, I would be long dead. These small daily emotions are not rational. But we need them to function properly. We are designed to respond to hostility with hostility. I have enough enemies to add some spice to my life, but I sometimes wish I had a few more (I rarely go to the movies and need the entertainment). Life would be unbearably bland if we had no enemies on whom to waste efforts and energy.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets (Incerto Book 1))
Above all, disagreement is needed to stimulate the imagination. One may not need imagination to find the one right solution to a problem. But then this is of value only in mathematics. In all matters of true uncertainty such as the executive deals with—whether his sphere be political, economic, social, or military—one needs creative solutions which create a new situation. And this means that one needs imagination—a new and different way of perceiving and understanding.
Peter F. Drucker (Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices)
standout performance correlated to affirmative responses to these five questions: Structure and clarity: Are goals, roles, and execution plans on our team clear? Psychological safety: Can we take risks on this team without feeling insecure or embarrassed? Meaning of work: Are we working on something that is personally important for each of us? Dependability: Can we count on each other to do high-quality work on time? Impact of work: Do we fundamentally believe that the work we’re doing matters?
John Doerr (Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs)
locating beauty and art and magic and improvement and keys to excellence and victory in the prolix flux of match play is not a fractal matter of reducing chaos to pattern. Seemed intuitively to sense that it was a matter not of reduction at all, but—perversely—of expansion, the aleatory flutter of uncontrolled, metastatic growth—each well-shot ball admitting of n possible responses, n2 possible responses to those responses, and on into what Incandenza would articulate to anyone who shared both his backgrounds as a Cantorian 35 continuum of infinities of possible move and response, Cantorian and beautiful because infoliating, contained, this diagnate infinity of infinities of choice and execution, mathematically uncontrolled but humanly contained, bounded by the talent and imagination of self and opponent, bent in on itself by the containing boundaries of skill and imagination that brought one player finally down, that kept both from winning, that made it, finally, a game, these boundaries of self. ‘You
David Foster Wallace (Infinite Jest)
Recall that epic heroes were judged by their actions, not by the results. No matter how sophisticated our choices, how good we are at dominating the odds, randomness will have the last word. We are left only with dignity as a solution—dignity defined as the execution of a protocol of behavior that does not depend on the immediate circumstance. It may not be the optimal one, but it certainly is the one that makes us feel best. Grace under pressure, for example. Or in deciding not to toady up to someone, whatever
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets (Incerto Book 1))
How does a team—or a company, for that matter—create psychological safety? Edmondson provides a three-step answer in her talk: •​Step 1: “Frame the work as a learning problem, not an execution problem.” Because the future is uncertain, emphasize that “we’ve got to have everyone’s brains and voices in the game.” •​Step 2: “Acknowledge your own fallibility.” Managers need to let people know that nobody has all the answers—we’re in this together. •​Step 3: Finally, leaders must “model curiosity and ask lots of questions
Nir Eyal (Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life)
This intelligence keeps your heart beating more than 101,000 times a day to pump more than two gallons of blood per minute, traveling more than 60,000 miles in each 24-hour period. As you finish reading this sentence, your body will have made 25 trillion cells. And each of the 70 trillion cells that make up your body execute somewhere between 100,000 to 6 trillion functions per second. You’ll inhale 2 million liters of oxygen today, and each time you inhale, that oxygen will be distributed to every cell in your body within seconds. Do
Joe Dispenza (You Are the Placebo: Making Your Mind Matter)
My attorney general, Eric Holder, would later point out that as egregious as the behavior of the banks may have been leading up to the crisis, there were few indications that their executives had committed prosecutable offenses under existing statutes—and we were not in the business of charging people with crimes just to garner good headlines. But to a nervous and angry public, such answers—no matter how rational—weren’t very satisfying. Concerned that we were losing the political high ground, Axe and Gibbs urged us to sharpen our condemnations of Wall Street. Tim, on the other hand, warned that such populist gestures would be counterproductive, scaring off the investors we needed to recapitalize the banks. Trying to straddle the line between the public’s desire for Old Testament justice and the financial markets’ need for reassurance, we ended up satisfying no one. “It’s like we’ve got a hostage situation,” Gibbs said to me one morning. “We know the banks have explosives strapped to their chests, but to the public it just looks like we’re letting them get away with a robbery.
Barack Obama (A Promised Land)
Fitza estimates than in addition to these uncontrollable elements, about 70 percent of a company’s performance, for which the CEO normally gets credit and blame, is a matter of pure random chance. When a corporation sets out to find a new chief executive, it often hires headhunters and consulting firms, spending months of work and millions of dollars to pick just the right candidate. Fitza’s research suggests that they might as well have identified a pool of applicants with the general qualifications required for the job, and then just pulled names out of a hat.
Keith Payne (The Broken Ladder: How Inequality Affects the Way We Think, Live, and Die)
That when the Dodger, and his accomplished friend Master Bates, joined in the hue-and-cry which was raised at Oliver's heels, in consequence of their executing an illegal conveyance of Mr. Brownlow's personal property, as has been already described, they were actuated by a very laudable and becoming regard for themselves; and forasmuch as the freedom of the subject and the liberty of the individual are among the first and proudest boasts of a true-hearted Englishman, so, I need hardly beg the reader to observe, that this action should tend to exalt them in the opinion of all public and patriotic men, in almost as great a degree as this strong proof of their anxiety for their own preservation and safety goes to corroborate and confirm the little code of laws which certain profound and sound-judging philosophers have laid down as the main-springs of all Nature's deeds and actions: the said philosophers very wisely reducing the good lady's proceedings to matters of maxim and theory: and, by a very neat and pretty compliment to her exalted wisdom and understanding, putting entirely out of sight any considerations of heart, or generous impulse and feeling.
Charles Dickens (Oliver Twist)
Mental toughness is the ability to focus on and execute solutions, especially in the face of adversity. Greatness rarely happens on accident. If you want to achieve excellence, you will have to act like you really want it. How? Quite simply: by dedicating time and energy into consistently doing what needs to be done. Excuses are the antithesis of accountability. Important decisions aren’t supposed to be easy, but don’t let that stop you from making them. When it comes to decisions, decide to always decide. The second we stop growing, we start dying. Stagnation easily morphs into laziness, and once a person stops trying to grow and improve, he or she is nothing more than mediocre. Develop the no-excuse mentality. Do not let anything interrupt those tasks that are most critical for growth in the important areas of your life. Find a way, no matter what, to prioritize your daily process goals, even when you have a viable excuse to justify not doing it. “If you don’t evaluate yourself, how in the heck are you ever going to know what you are doing well and what you need to improve? Those who are most successful evaluate themselves daily. Daily evaluation is the key to daily success, and daily success is the key to success in life. If you want to achieve greatness, push yourself to the limits of your potential by continuously looking for improvements. Within 60 seconds, replace all problem-focused thought with solution-focused thinking. When people focus on problems, their problems actually grow and reproduce. When you train your mind to focus on solutions, guess what expands? Talking about your problems will lead to more problems, not to solutions. If you want solutions, start thinking and talking about your solutions. Believe that every problem, no matter how large, has at the very least a +1 solution, you will find it easier to stay on the solution side of the chalkboard. When you set your mind to do something, find a way to get it done…no matter what! If you come up short on your discipline, keep fighting, kicking, and scratching to improve. Find the nearest mirror and look yourself in the eye while you tell yourself, “There is no excuse, and this will not happen again.” Get outside help if needed, but never, ever give up on being disciplined. Greatness will not magically appear in your life without significant accountability, focus, and optimism on your part. Are you ready to commit fully to turning your potential into a leadership performance that will propel you to greatness. Mental toughness is understanding that the only true obstacles in life are self-imposed. You always have the choice to stay down or rise above. In truth, the only real obstacles to your ultimate success will come from within yourself and fall into one of the following three categories: apathy, laziness and fear. Laziness breeds more laziness. When you start the day by sleeping past the alarm or cutting corners in the morning, you’re more likely to continue that slothful attitude later in the day.
Jason Selk (Executive Toughness: The Mental-Training Program to Increase Your Leadership Performance)
government ought to be clothed with all the powers requisite to complete execution of its trust. And unless it can be shown that the circumstances which may affect the public safety are reducible within certain determinate limits; unless the contrary of this position can be fairly and rationally disputed, it must be admitted, as a necessary consequence, that there can be no limitation of that authority which is to provide for the defense and protection of the community, in any matter essential to its efficacy that is, in any matter essential to the formation, direction, or support of the national forces.
Alexander Hamilton (The Federalist Papers)
OKRs have two variants, and it is important to differentiate between them: Commitments are OKRs that we agree will be achieved, and we will be willing to adjust schedules and resources to ensure that they are delivered. The expected score for a committed OKR is 1.0; a score of less than 1.0 requires explanation for the miss, as it shows errors in planning and/or execution. By contrast, aspirational OKRs express how we’d like the world to look, even though we have no clear idea how to get there and/or the resources necessary to deliver the OKR. Aspirational OKRs have an expected average score of 0.7, with high variance.
John Doerr (Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs)
When the world is hostile and persecuting, when the world moves against him and ostracizes or alienates him, a true disciple is not afraid, because he has utterly and totally given himself over to the lordship of Christ, confident in His care no matter what, even against the hostility of the world. Another characteristic of discipleship is that a true disciple is loyal to his Lord. In verse 32 Jesus told us, “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven.” When the heat is on, when the pressure and the persecution are bearing down and the world is attacking, the true believer will openly confess Christ. He won’t bail out. He won’t deny his faith. He won’t recant. He’ll stand up and proclaim Christ, no matter what the circumstances. He’ll go to prison and even face execution before he will deny his Lord. Someone will say, “What about Peter? He was a real disciple, but he denied his Lord.” It’s true. He did. But it was before the Holy Spirit came to live in him. After that, he never again was disloyal. He died for being loyal to Christ: crucified upside down, as he requested, because he said he was not worthy to die like his Lord. Such loyalty marks the ones whom Christ will confess belong to Him.
John F. MacArthur Jr. (Hard to Believe: The High Cost and Infinite Value of Following Jesus)
An OBJECTIVE, I explained, is simply WHAT is to be achieved, no more and no less. By definition, objectives are significant, concrete, action oriented, and (ideally) inspirational. When properly designed and deployed, they’re a vaccine against fuzzy thinking—and fuzzy execution. KEY RESULTS benchmark and monitor HOW we get to the objective. Effective KRs are specific and time-bound, aggressive yet realistic. Most of all, they are measurable and verifiable. (As prize pupil Marissa Mayer would say, “It’s not a key result unless it has a number.”) You either meet a key result’s requirements or you don’t; there is no gray area, no room for doubt.
John Doerr (Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs)
There was a shamefulness about the experience of Herbert's execution I couldn't shake. Everyone I saw at the prison seemed surrounded by a cloud of regret and remorse. The prison officials had pumped themselves up to carry out the execution with determination and resolve, but even they revealed extreme discomfort and some measure of shame. Maybe I was imagining it but it seemed that everyone recognized what was taking place was wrong. Abstractions about capital punishment were one thing, but the details of systematically killing someone who is not a threat are completely different. I couldn't stop thinking about it on the trip home. I thought about Herbert, about how desperately he wanted the American flag he earned through his military service in Vietnam. I thought about his family and about the victim's family and the tragedy the crime created for them. I thought about the visitation officer, the Department of Corrections officials, the men who were paid to shave Herbert's body so that he could be killed more efficiently. I thought about the officers who had strapped him into the chair. I kept thinking that no one could actually believe this was a good thing to do or even a necessary thing to do. The next day there were articles in the press about the execution. Some state officials expressed happiness and excitement that an execution had taken place, but I knew that none of them had actually dealt with the details of killing Herbert. In debates about the death penalty, I had started arguing that we would never think it was humane to pay someone to rape people convicted of rape or assault and abuse someone guilty of assault or abuse. Yet we were comfortable killing people who kill, in part because we think we can do it in a matter that doesn't implicate our own humanity, the way that raping or abusing someone would. I couldn't stop thinking that we don't spend much time contemplating the details of what killing someone actually involves.
Bryan Stevenson (Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption)
especially in the key task of translating broad strategic concepts into feasible operational orders. Marshall understood that Eisenhower had a talent for implementing strategy. And that job, Marshall believed, was more difficult than designing it. “There’s nothing so profound in the logic of the thing,” he said years later, discussing his own role in winning approval for the Marshall Plan. “But the execution of it, that’s another matter.” In other words, successful generalship involves first figuring out what to do, then getting people to do it. It has one foot in the intellectual realm of critical thinking and the other in the human world of management and leadership. It
Thomas E. Ricks (The Generals: American Military Command from World War II to Today)
No matter what you do for a living or who you think you work for, you only work for one person, YOURSELF!. It makes no difference if you work part time, have a salaried position, are a top executive of a corporation or run your own business. You are selling your existence at a set price. Your career goal in life should be based on doing work that you’re passionate about, while saving your time and increasing your profit. This is your life. You have the same existence in this life as any world leader, corporate executive or celebrity. You have your own free will to make decisions to get you exactly where you want to go. There are opportunities around every corner. Go find them!
John Geiger
As with everything else in the gospels, the story of Jesus’s arrest, trial, and execution was written for one reason and one reason only: to prove that he was the promised messiah. Factual accuracy was irrelevant. What mattered was Christology, not history. The gospel writers obviously recognized how integral Jesus’s death was to the nascent community, but the story of that death needed elaborating. It needed to be slowed down and refocused. It required certain details and embellishments on the part of the evangelists. As a result, this final, most significant episode in the story of Jesus of Nazareth is also the one most clouded by theological enhancements and flat-out fabrications.
Reza Aslan (Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth)
Don't get me wrong, a lot has changed...lynchings have become white knees pressed against a black neck. Black knees in kneepads, in protest on the ground have become career enders for Super Bowl-contending quarterbacks. Attempting to spend a counterfeit twenty-dollar bill has become guilty before investigation--a death sentence without a trial--a public execution. Looking at a construction site has become justification for chasing, harassing, fighting, shooting, and killing a man...a man...amen. I agree with myself, as I have to do because whiteness doesn't allow itself to agree with my truth. We tell you we're hurting. You tell us we're not. I hurt. I said, I hurt! When will this country ever begin to believe me?
Razel Jones (Wounds)
About five miles back I had a brush with the CHP. Not stopped or pulled over: nothing routine. I always drive properly. A bit fast, perhaps, but always with consummate skill and a natural feel for the road that even cops recognize. No cop was ever born who isn't a sucker for a finely-executed hi-speed Controlled Drift all the way around one of those cloverleaf freeway interchanges. Few people understand the psychology of dealing with a highway traffic cop. Your normal speeder will panic and immediately pull over to the side when he sees the big red light behind him ... and then he will start apologizing, begging for mercy. This is wrong. It arouses contempt in the cop-heart. The thing to do – when you're running along about 100 or so and you suddenly find a red-flashing CHP-tracker on your tail – what you want to do then is accelerate. Never pull over with the first siren-howl. Mash it down and make the bastard chase you at speeds up to 120 all the way to the next exit. He will follow. But he won't know what to make of your blinker-signal that says you're about to turn right. This is to let him know you're looking for a proper place to pull off and talk ... keep signaling and hope for an off-ramp, one of those uphill side-loops with a sign saying "Max Speed 25" ... and the trick, at this point, is to suddenly leave the freeway and take him into the chute at no less than 100 miles an hour. He will lock his brakes about the same time you lock yours, but it will take him a moment to realize that he's about to make a 180-degree turn at this speed ... but you will be ready for it, braced for the Gs and the fast heel-toe work, and with any luck at all you will have come to a complete stop off the road at the top of the turn and be standing beside your automobile by the time he catches up. He will not be reasonable at first ... but no matter. Let him calm down. He will want the first word. Let him have it. His brain will be in a turmoil: he may begin jabbering, or even pull his gun. Let him unwind; keep smiling. The idea is to show him that you were always in total control of yourself and your vehicle – while he lost control of everything.
Hunter S. Thompson (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas)
Once, we were artists. Pure! But we, all of us, we became a distraction, compromised for the sake of fame, comfort, the approval of strangers. We spend our lives pursuing something as empty as `relevance' and they use our fear of losing it to corral us. Dirty Malaysian money. Saudi money. We'll take it all. What went wrong? We sing and dance not to entertain but to distract people from the crushing gears of a capitalist machine that has no ideals save for greed and violence. And let's not kid ourselves, Hollywood is the best PR firm the gunmakers ever had. What a sick culture." "But what about artistic beauty?" asked Cameron Diaz. "When you can perceive beauty there's no excuse for serving ugliness. For aiding cons, inflaming desires, promising everything and delivering nothing. It doesn't matter what you put on TV because people are so frightened and lonely they'll watch it just to hear human voices and feel like they're not alone. They're so beaten down all they need is a soccer tournament every four years and they stay in their place. This is not a society. This is a system of soul-murder. And history will not be kind to us for our complicity, because we know better. The executives"—he nodded Maoishly to the Disney team —"they can say they were serving their god Mammon, but we artists can't. We're all East German playwrights now, complicit with the regime! And there will come a time of judgment. We're destroying the planet. This cannot last.
Jim Carrey (Memoirs and Misinformation)
Change always starts at home. The only person you can actually change is yourself. No matter how functional or dysfunctional your organization, you can begin applying XP for yourself. Anyone on the team can begin changing his own behavior. Programmers can start writing tests first. Testers can automate their tests. Customers can write stories and set clear priorities. Executives can expect transparency. Dictating practices to a team destroys trust and creates resentment. Executives can encourage team responsibility and accountability. Whether the team produces these with XP, a better waterfall, or utter chaos is up to them. Using XP, teams can produce dramatic improvements in the areas of defects, estimation, and productivity.
Kent Beck (Extreme Programming Explained: Embrace Change (The XP Series))
I ask why they picked that particular failing strategy. A common answer: They say that they heard that it was a perfect strategy, an A-strategy, for getting word out about a company. Everyone is using it. What they haven’t taken into account, though, is their own disposition, talents, and resources. Their own readiness. Businesses are like individuals. What’s perfect for one is awful for another. There is no such thing as an objective “A-strategy.” An A-strategy is only an A-strategy if you’ll execute on it. If you don’t have the desire, talent, or resources to fully execute, then your B- or C-strategy should be elevated to A-strategy status. Execute on the strategy you’ll perform with gusto. Gusto matters. Excitement matters. Follow-through matters. Completion matters.
Mark Levy (Accidental Genius: Using Writing to Generate Your Best Ideas, Insight, and Content)
Cultivating a willingness to succeed despite any and all circumstances is the most important variable of the reengagement equation. Your willingness to succeed builds self-esteem. It broadens your concept of your own capability, yet it is the first thing we lose touch with when things go bad. After that, giving up often feels like the sanest option, and maybe it is, but know that quitting chips away at your self-worth and always requires some level of mental rehab. Even if what forces you to quit is an injury or something else beyond your control, you will still have to bounce back from the experience mentally. A successful mission seldom requires any emotional maintenance. In order to execute on your willingness to succeed, you will need to be able to perform without purpose. You’ve heard of purpose, that magical missing ingredient crucial to landing a fulfilling career and building a happy life. What if I told you the importance of finding your purpose was overblown? What if there never was any such thing as your good friend purpose? What if it doesn’t matter what the fuck you do with your time here? What if it’s all arbitrary and life doesn’t give a flying fuck if you want to be happy? What then? All I know is this: I am David Fucking Goggins. I exist; therefore, I complete what I start. I take pride in my effort and in my performance in all phases of life. Just because I am here! If I’m lost, I will find myself. As long as I’m on planet Earth, I will not half-ass it. Anywhere I lack, I will improve because I exist and I am willing.
David Goggins (Never Finished: Unshackle Your Mind and Win the War Within)
A sous-chef with dreams of her own restaurant empire may have mastered the art of classical French sauce making, but not yet have developed the signature cooking style she imagines as the cornerstone of her own chain of restaurants. She gauges her progress not only by whether she is moving toward her aspirations, but also by her improving skills. Our chef may not yet have the stature of Chef Auguste Escoffier or Emeril Lagasse, but she can remember a time when she could not name the five French mother sauces, let alone execute them. She's made progress. Appreciating the skills she has developed is a marker along the path toward her culinary aspirations. The sense of accomplishment that accompanies improved skills is one of the rewards we reap when we dedicate ourselves to mastery.
Marian Deegan (Relevance: Matter More)
You will have noticed that my interpretation of The Trial as the account of a man who, at a certain point in his life, suddenly asks himself why he exists, and then considers various possible justifications for his existence until he is finally obliged to admit honestly to himself that there is no justification, corresponds to what I have said in the Preface to the Notes: Every man, at every moment of his life, is engaged in a perfectly definite concrete situation in a world that he normally takes for granted. But it occasionally happens that he starts to think. He becomes aware, obscurely, that he is in perpetual contradiction with himself and with the world in which he exists. The Trial describes what happens to a man when he starts to think: sooner or later he condemns himself as unjustified, and then despair begins (K.'s execution, the execution of hope, is the beginning of despair—henceforth he is a dead man, like Connolly and Camus and so many other intelligent Europeans, and do what he may he can never quite forget it). It is only at this point that the Buddha's Teaching begins to be intelligible. But it must be remembered that for Connolly and the others, death at the end of this life is the final death, and the hell of despair in which they live will come to an end in a few years' time—why, then, should they give up their distractions, when, if things get too bad, a bullet through their brain is enough? It is only when one understands that death at the end of this life is not the final end, that to follow the Buddha's Teaching is seen to be not a mere matter of choice but a matter of necessity. Europe does not know what it really means to despair.
Nanavira Thera
Do you want to know what General Putnam is thinking? It’s this. He’s thinking that he can’t win the war if he doesn’t keep the people on his side. He’s thinking that he can’t keep the people on his side if the troops are running amok among the civilian population—raping the women, stealing cattle, burning houses. He is determined to scare the wits out of the troops to keep them in line. And he’s thinking that it doesn’t matter very much who he executes to do it. So many men have died, so many mothers have wept, so many brothers and sisters have cried. He is thinking that in the long run if he executes somebody, he’ll shorten the war and save more lives. It doesn’t matter to him very much who he executes; one man’s agony is like another’s, one mother’s tears are no wetter than anybody else’s. And that’s why he’s going to have Sam shot.
James Lincoln Collier (My Brother Sam Is Dead)
The second role is "the task of the public," which should be very limited. It is not for the public, Lippman observes to "pass judgment on the intrinsic merits" of an issue or to offer analysis or solutions, but merely, on occasion, to place "its force at the disposal" of one or another group of "responsible men" from the specialized class. The public "does not reason, investigate, invent, persuade, bargain or settle." Rather, "the public acts only by aligning itself as the partisan of someone in a position to act executively," once he has given the matter at hand sober and disinterested thought. "The public must be put in its place," so that we "may live free of the trampling and the roar of a bewildered herd." The herd "has its function": to be "the interested spectators of action," not the participants; that is the duty of "the responsible man.
Noam Chomsky (Chomsky On Anarchism)
As a legal matter, then, the case seemed straightforward enough. But it was also highly political, and it placed the authority of the Supreme Court on the line. Madison was seen as likely to defy a direct order to give Marbury his commission. How could the Supreme Court uphold the rule of law without provoking a confrontation with the executive branch that could leave the Court permanently weakened? Marshall’s solution was to assert the Court’s power without directly exercising it. His opinion for a unanimous Court—speaking in one voice in the new Marshall style, rather than through a series of separate concurring opinions as in the past—held that Marbury was due his commission but that the Court could not order it delivered. That was because the grant of “original” jurisdiction to the Supreme Court in Article III did not include writs of mandamus.
Linda Greenhouse (The U.S. Supreme Court: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions))
Our safety lies in repentance. Our strength comes of obedience to the commandments of God. My beloved brethren and sisters, I accept this opportunity in humility. I pray that I may be guided by the Spirit of the Lord in that which I say. I have just been handed a note that says that a U.S. missile attack is under way. I need not remind you that we live in perilous times. I desire to speak concerning these times and our circumstances as members of this Church. You are acutely aware of the events of September 11, less than a month ago. Out of that vicious and ugly attack we are plunged into a state of war. It is the first war of the 21st century. The last century has been described as the most war-torn in human history. Now we are off on another dangerous undertaking, the unfolding of which and the end thereof we do not know. For the first time since we became a nation, the United States has been seriously attacked on its mainland soil. But this was not an attack on the United States alone. It was an attack on men and nations of goodwill everywhere. It was well planned, boldly executed, and the results were disastrous. It is estimated that more than 5,000 innocent people died. Among these were many from other nations. It was cruel and cunning, an act of consummate evil. Recently, in company with a few national religious leaders, I was invited to the White House to meet with the president. In talking to us he was frank and straightforward. That same evening he spoke to the Congress and the nation in unmistakable language concerning the resolve of America and its friends to hunt down the terrorists who were responsible for the planning of this terrible thing and any who harbored such. Now we are at war. Great forces have been mobilized and will continue to be. Political alliances are being forged. We do not know how long this conflict will last. We do not know what it will cost in lives and treasure. We do not know the manner in which it will be carried out. It could impact the work of the Church in various ways. Our national economy has been made to suffer. It was already in trouble, and this has compounded the problem. Many are losing their employment. Among our own people, this could affect welfare needs and also the tithing of the Church. It could affect our missionary program. We are now a global organization. We have members in more than 150 nations. Administering this vast worldwide program could conceivably become more difficult. Those of us who are American citizens stand solidly with the president of our nation. The terrible forces of evil must be confronted and held accountable for their actions. This is not a matter of Christian against Muslim. I am pleased that food is being dropped to the hungry people of a targeted nation. We value our Muslim neighbors across the world and hope that those who live by the tenets of their faith will not suffer. I ask particularly that our own people do not become a party in any way to the persecution of the innocent. Rather, let us be friendly and helpful, protective and supportive. It is the terrorist organizations that must be ferreted out and brought down. We of this Church know something of such groups. The Book of Mormon speaks of the Gadianton robbers, a vicious, oath-bound, and secret organization bent on evil and destruction. In their day they did all in their power, by whatever means available, to bring down the Church, to woo the people with sophistry, and to take control of the society. We see the same thing in the present situation.
Gordon B. Hinckley
The natural rights which he retains are all those in which the Power to execute is as perfect in the individual as the right itself. Among this class, as is before mentioned, are all the intellectual rights, or rights of the mind; consequently, religion is one of those rights. The natural rights which are not retained, are all those in which, though the right is perfect in the individual, the power to execute them is defective. They answer not his purpose. A man, by natural right, has a right to judge in his own cause; and so far as the right of the mind is concerned, he never surrenders it. But what availeth it him to judge, if he has not power to redress? He therefore deposits this right in the common stock of society, and takes the arm of society, of which he is a part, in preference and in addition to his own. Society grants him nothing. Every man is a proprietor in society, and draws on the capital as a matter of right.
Thomas Paine (Rights of Man)
The racial categorization of Blackness shares its natality with mining the New World, as does the material impetus for colonialism in the first instance. This means that the idea of Blackness and the displacement and eradication of indigenous peoples get caught and defined in the ontological wake of geology. The human and its subcategory, the inhuman, are historically relational to a discourse of settler-colonial rights and the material practices of extraction, which is to say that the categorization of matter is a spatial execution, of place, land, and person cut from relation through geographic displacement (and relocation through forced settlement and transatlantic slavery). That is, racialization belongs to a material categorization of the division of matter (corporeal and mineralogical) into active and inert. Extractable matter must be both passive (awaiting extraction and possessing of properties) and able to be activated through the mastery of white men.
Kathryn Yusoff (A Billion Black Anthropocenes or None (Forerunners: Ideas First))
Treating Abuse Today 3(4) pp. 26-33 Freyd: The term "multiple personality" itself assumes that there is "single personality" and there is evidence that no one ever displays a single personality. TAT: The issue here is the extent of dissociation and amnesia and the extent to which these fragmentary aspects of personality can take executive control and control function. Sure, you and I have different parts to our mind, there's no doubt about that, but I don't lose time to mine they can't come out in the middle of a lecture and start acting 7 years old. I'm very much in the camp that says that we all are multi-minds, but the difference between you and me and a multiple is pretty tangible. Freyd: Those are clearly interesting questions, but that area and the clinical aspects of dissociation and multiple personalities is beyond anything the Foundation is actively... TAT: That's a real problem. Let me tell you why that's a problem. Many of the people that have been alleged to have "false memory syndrome" have diagnosed dissociative disorders. It seems to me the fact that you don't talk about dissociative disorders is a little dishonest, since many people whose lives have been impacted by this movement are MPD or have a dissociative disorder. To say, "Well, we ONLY know about repression but not about dissociation or multiple personalities" seems irresponsible. Freyd: Be that as it may, some of the scientific issues with memory are clear. So if we can just stick with some things for a moment; one is that memories are reconstructed and reinterpreted no matter how long ago or recent. TAT: You weigh the recollected testimony of an alleged perpetrator more than the alleged victim's. You're saying, basically, if the parents deny it, that's another notch for disbelief. Freyd: If it's denied, certainly one would want to check things. It would have to be one of many factors that are weighed -- and that's the problem with these issues -- they are not black and white, they're very complicated issues.
David L. Calof
Indeed, ridiculously and violently, Trump administration of the United States has blown down all the rules and principles of the United Nations Security Council and its incredibility, which nations of the world had established and decided unanimously and consistently on the failure of the League of Nations for the world peace and security in a fair, and equal way. Trump's Middle East Plan, executes only the humiliation of itself; whereas, self-determination of the Palestinian nation will stay definitely with its all dimensions regardless of some Ali Babas' betrayal and treachery of slavery-minded Arabs to the Palestinian cause. One may consider such a plan as a Bare Political Mafia-ism that will result in a collapse of civilized-morality, equality, honesty, and transparent justice in the context and concept of Western and American own perspectives and values. Palestinians boldly speak; however, civilized societies cowardly stay silent. It is a sensitive and shameful matter, tragedy, and the death of humanity and human rights.
Ehsan Sehgal
Despite the dangers and discomforts, climbing is for many an all-consuming passion. They interrupt, end, or never start their careers, focusing exclusively on completing the next climb. Climber Todd Skinner said free climbing means "going right to the edge" of your capabilites. For many climbers, this closeness to death - the risk of dying - produces an adrenaline rush that most other life experiences simply can't. It is what keeps many of them married to the sport. Probably no other sport creates such a feeling of oneness with Mother Nature. Attached to a mountainside by fingertips and toes, the climber necessarily becomes part of the rock - or else. One climber says that while scaling a granite face, she felt close to God, so intense was her relationship with the natural world. Climbers speak of "floating" or "performing a ballet" over the rock, each placement of foot and each reach into a crack creating unity with the mountain. The sport is one of total engagement with the here-and-now, which frees the mind from everything else. Climbers' concentration is complete and focused. Their only thought is executing the next move... Ken Bokelund... said: "Climbing for me has always been the strength of the body over the weakness of the mind. If you train so that you are very strong physically and you have mastered the techniques, then all that's left is believing. Freeing your mind of fear is the key. This is very difficult to do, but when you can achieve it, then you are in true harmony with the rock. Fear is just one more thing to worry about and is very distracting. It can make you fall... ...when you know you are strong enough to complete any maneuver, once that level of physical confidence is achieved, then you are able to put fear out of your mind. Climbing becomes a very simple pleasure. It's just you and the rock. It's a total clarity of being, a time when nothing matters, you're moving without any thought, you're in a place where time stands still. Even when you're on a wall for days, when you get down, everything seems exactly the same, as though time never passed.
Bob Madgic (Shattered Air: A True Account of Catastrophe and Courage on Yosemite's Half Dome)
According to the Constitution as ratified, the legislature was to be the most powerful and important branch of government. Jefferson echoed this theme in the opening paragraph of his speech. “To you, then, gentlemen, who are charged with the sovereign functions of legislation, and to those associated with you, I look with encouragement for that guidance and support which may enable us to steer with safety the vessel in which we are all embarked amidst the conflicting elements of a troubled world.” Notice that Jefferson was not setting policy; he was looking for “guidance and support” from the “sovereign” men who served in the legislative branch. He would not be “chief legislator.” Jefferson’s job, as he saw it, was to make recommendations and then execute the laws of Congress, nothing more. And in a subtle though important change, Jefferson’s “recommendations” would arrive as a written message to Congress rather than in person—the executive was not to encroach on legislative matters. Every successive president continued Jefferson’s practice until Woodrow Wilson took office in 1913.
Brion T. McClanahan (9 Presidents Who Screwed Up America: And Four Who Tried to Save Her)
The subway was the great leveler—underground, the Wall Street titans stood in the shuddering car and clutched the same poles as the junior IT guys to create a totem of fists, the executive vice presidents in charge of new product marketing pressed thighs with the luckless and the dreamers, who got off at their stations when instructed by the computer’s voice and were replaced by devisers of theoretical financial instruments of unreckoned power, who vacated their seats and were replaced in turn by unemployable homunculi clutching yesterday’s tabloids. They jostled one another, competed for space below as they did above, in a minuet of ruin and triumph. In the subway, down in the dark, no citizen was more significant or more decrepit than another. All were smeared into a common average of existence, the A’s and the C’s tumbling or rising to settle into a ruthless mediocrity. No escape. This was the plane where Mark Spitz lived. They were all him. Middling talents who got by, barnacles on humanity’s hull, survivors who had not yet been extinguished. Perhaps it was only a matter of time.
Colson Whitehead (Zone One)
Colonel Cargill, General Peckem’s troubleshooter, was a forceful, ruddy man. Before the war he had been an alert, hard-hitting, aggressive marketing executive. He was a very bad marketing executive. Colonel Cargill was so awful a marketing executive that his services were much sought after by firms eager to establish losses for tax purposes. Throughout the civilized world, from Battery Park to Fulton Street, he was known as a dependable man for a fast tax write-off. His prices were high, for failure often did not come easily. He had to start at the top and work his way down, and with sympathetic friends in Washington, losing money was no simple matter. It took months of hard work and careful misplanning. A person misplaced, disorganized, miscalculated, overlooked everything and opened every loophole, and just when he thought he had it made, the government gave him a lake or a forest or an oilfield and spoiled everything. Even with such handicaps, Colonel Cargill could be relied on to run the most prosperous enterprise into the ground. He was a self-made man who owed his lack of success to nobody.
Joseph Heller (Catch-22)
The experience of stress has three components. The first is the event, physical or emotional, that the organism interprets as threatening. This is the stress stimulus, also called the stressor. The second element is the processing system that experiences and interprets the meaning of the stressor. In the case of human beings, this processing system is the nervous system, in particular the brain. The final constituent is the stress response, which consists of the various physiological and behavioural adjustments made as a reaction to a perceived threat. We see immediately that the definition of a stressor depends on the processing system that assigns meaning to it. The shock of an earthquake is a direct threat to many organisms, though not to a bacterium. The loss of a job is more acutely stressful to a salaried employee whose family lives month to month than to an executive who receives a golden handshake. Equally important is the personality and current psychological state of the individual on whom the stressor is acting. The executive whose financial security is assured when he is terminated may still experience severe stress if his self-esteem and sense of purpose were completely bound up with his position in the company, compared with a colleague who finds greater value in family, social interests or spiritual pursuits. The loss of employment will be perceived as a major threat by the one, while the other may see it as an opportunity. There is no uniform and universal relationship between a stressor and the stress response. Each stress event is singular and is experienced in the present, but it also has its resonance from the past. The intensity of the stress experience and its long-term consequences depend on many factors unique to each individual. What defines stress for each of us is a matter of personal disposition and, even more, of personal history. Selye discovered that the biology of stress predominantly affected three types of tissues or organs in the body: in the hormonal system, visible changes occurred in the adrenal glands; in the immune system, stress affected the spleen, the thymus and the lymph glands; and the intestinal lining of the digestive system. Rats autopsied after stress had enlarged adrenals, shrunken lymph organs and ulcerated intestines.
Gabor Maté (When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress)
And Schtitt, whose knowledge of formal math is probably about equivalent to that of a Taiwanese kindergartner, nevertheless seemed to know what Hopman and van der Meer and Bollettieri seemed not to know: that locating beauty and art and magic and improvement and keys to excellence and victory in the prolix flux of match play is not a fractal matter of reducing chaos to pattern. Seemed intuitively to sense that it was a matter not of reduction at all, but — perversely — of expansion, the aleatory flutter of uncontrolled, metastatic growth — each well-shot ball admitting of n possible responses, 2n possible responses to those responses, and on into what Incandenza would articulate to anyone who shared both his backgrounds as a Cantorian 35 continuum of infinities of possible move and response, Cantorian and beautiful because infoliating, contained, this diagnate infinity of infinities of choice and execution, mathematically uncontrolled but humanly contained, bounded by the talent and imagination of self and opponent, bent in on itself by the containing boundaries of skill and imagination that brought one player finally down, that kept both from winning, that made it, finally, a game, these boundaries of self.
David Foster Wallace (Infinite Jest)
The violent secularism of al-Nasser had led Qutb to espouse a form of Islam that distorted both the message of the Quran and the Prophet’s life. Qutb told Muslims to model themselves on Muhammad: to separate themselves from mainstream society (as Muhammad had made the hijrah from Mecca to Medina), and then engage in a violent jihad. But Muhammad had in fact finally achieved victory by an ingenious policy of non-violence; the Quran adamantly opposed force and coercion in religious matters, and its vision—far from preaching exclusion and separation—was tolerant and inclusive. Qutb insisted that the Quranic injunction to toleration could occur only after the political victory of Islam and the establishment of a true Muslim state. The new intransigence sprang from the profound fear that is at the core of fundamentalist religion. Qutb did not survive. At al-Nasser’s personal insistence, he was executed in 1966. Every Sunni fundamentalist movement has been influenced by Qutb. Most spectacularly it has inspired Muslims to assassinate such leaders as Anwar al-Sadat, denounced as a jahili ruler because of his oppressive policies towards his own people. The Taliban, who came to power in Afghanistan in 1994, are also affected by his ideology.
Karen Armstrong (Islam: A Short History (Modern Library Chronicles))
I Now Pronounce You Dead On the night of his execution, Bartolomeo Vanzetti, immigrant from Italia, fishmonger, anarchist, shook the hand of Warden Hendry and thanked him for everything. I wish to forgive some people for what they are now doing to me, said Vanzetti, blindfolded, strapped down to the chair that would shoot two thousand volts through his body. The warden’s eyes were wet. The warden’s mouth was dry. The warden heard his own voice croak: Under the law I now pronounce you dead. No one could hear him. With the same hand that shook the hand of Bartolomeo Vanzetti, Warden Hendry of Charlestown Prison waved at the executioner, who gripped the switch to yank it down. The walls of Charlestown Prison are gone, to ruin, to dust, to mist. Where the prison stood there is a school; in the hallways, tongues speak the Spanish of the Dominican, the Portuguese of Cabo Verde, the Creole of Haiti. No one can hear the last words of Vanzetti, or the howl of thousands on Boston Common when they knew. After midnight, at the hour of the execution, Warden Hendry sits in the cafeteria, his hand shaking as if shocked, rice flying off his fork, so he cannot eat no matter how the hunger feeds on him, muttering the words that only he can hear: I now pronounce you dead.
By Martín Espada for Sacco and Vanzetti, executed August 23, 1927
POEM – MY AMAZING TRAVELS [My composition in my book Travel Memoirs with Pictures] My very first trip I still cannot believe Was planned and executed with such great ease. My father, an Inspector of Schools, was such a strict man, He gave in to my wishes when I told him of the plan. I got my first long vacation while working as a banker One of my co-workers wanted a travelling partner. She visited my father and discussed the matter Arrangements were made without any flutter. We travelled to New York, Toronto, London, and Germany, In each of those places, there was somebody, To guide and protect us and to take us wonderful places, It was a dream come true at our young ages. We even visited Holland, which was across the Border. To drive across from Germany was quite in order. Memories of great times continue to linger, I thank God for an understanding father. That trip in 1968 was the beginning of much more, I visited many countries afterward I am still in awe. Barbados, Tobago, St. Maarten, and Buffalo, Cirencester in the United Kingdom, Miami, and Orlando. I was accompanied by my husband on many trips. Sisters, nieces, children, grandchildren, and friends, travelled with me a bit. Puerto Rico, Los Angeles, New York, and Hialeah, Curacao, Caracas, Margarita, Virginia, and Anguilla. We sailed aboard the Creole Queen On the Mississippi in New Orleans We traversed the Rockies in Colorado And walked the streets in Cozumel, Mexico. We were thrilled to visit the Vatican in Rome, The Trevi Fountain and the Colosseum. To explore the countryside in Florence, And to sail on a Gondola in Venice. My fridge is decorated with magnets Souvenirs of all my visits London, Madrid, Bahamas, Coco Cay, Barcelona. And the Leaning Tower of Pisa How can I forget the Spanish Steps in Rome? Stratford upon Avon, where Shakespeare was born. CN Tower in Toronto so very high I thought the elevator would take me to the sky. Then there was El Poble and Toledo Noted for Spanish Gold We travelled on the Euro star. The scenery was beautiful to behold! I must not omit Cartagena in Columbia, Anaheim, Las Vegas, and Catalina, Key West, Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, and Pembroke Pines, Places I love to lime. Of course, I would like to make special mention, Of two exciting cruises with Royal Caribbean. Majesty of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas Two ships which grace the Seas. Last but not least and best of all We visited Paris in the fall. Cologne, Dusseldorf, and Berlin Amazing places, which made my head, spin. Copyright@BrendaMohammed
Brenda C. Mohammed (Travel Memoirs with Pictures)
We are about to study the idea of a computational process. Computational processes are abstract beings that inhabit computers. As they evolve, processes manipulate other abstract things called data. The evolution of a process is directed by a pattern of rules called a program. People create programs to direct processes. In effect, we conjure the spirits of the computer with our spells. A computational process is indeed much like a sorcerer's idea of a spirit. It cannot be seen or touched. It is not composed of matter at all. However, it is very real. It can perform intellectual work. It can answer questions. It can affect the world by disbursing money at a bank or by controlling a robot arm in a factory. The programs we use to conjure processes are like a sorcerer's spells. They are carefully composed from symbolic expressions in arcane and esoteric programming languages that prescribe the tasks we want our processes to perform. A computational process, in a correctly working computer, executes programs precisely and accurately. Thus, like the sorcerer's apprentice, novice programmers must learn to understand and to anticipate the consequences of their conjuring. Even small errors (usually called bugs or glitches) in programs can have complex and unanticipated consequences.
Harold Abelson (Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs)
Most presidents would instantly draw a sharp, clean line between campaign operations and the use of military force. This is the proverbial “wag the dog” scenario where a president in trouble seeks to bomb his way out of it by hitting a target overseas. With no adult supervision in the Pentagon—just who is the acting, provisional, temporary, staffing-agency, drop-in SECDEF this week?—no one should put it past Trump to escalate conflicts with China, Iran, or elsewhere when some part of his lizard brain tells him that some boom-boom will goose his polling numbers. Some of my former GOP colleagues will whisper, “How dare you accuse the American president of ever using the military for…” and then drop the subject, because no matter how deep they are in the Trump hole, they know who this man is and what he’ll do. Trump proves time and again that morals, laws, norms, traditions, rules, guidelines, recommendations, and tearful pleading from his staff mean nothing when he gets a power boner and decides he’s going to do something stupid. President Hold My Beer comes from the Modern Unitary Executive Power theory, where there are no limits, no laws, and no right and wrong. I’m not saying it’s a matter of if Trump will wag the dog in 2020. I’m saying that anyone who thinks he wouldn’t is a damn fool.
Rick Wilson (Running Against the Devil: A Plot to Save America from Trump — And Democrats from Themselves)
Whilst the earlier forms of oppression confronted by Gandhi and King were in decline, when King turned his attention to economic injustice, it was another matter. He had come to realize that the fundamental, underlying injustice in American life was the exclusion of the poor of all races and cultures from the opportunity to attain even the bare minimum of the necessities of life. Martin King, then, entered a new and different arena. He was involved no longer in fighting regional, social injustice but rather in attempting to confront the core issue of economic injustice in American society, which went hand in hand with waging a costly war and the growth of militarism. This new struggle brought him into direct conflict with the federal government and its numerous agency surrogates whose mission it was to serve and protect American corporate interests at home and abroad. The new post-war corporate colonialism was very far from being a spent force in 1968. If his opposition to the war was unacceptable to the corporate beneficiaries, the Poor People's Campaign was intolerable. Not only could it turn into a revolution which could only be stopped, if at all, by the massacre of Americans but, in the very least, millions of Americans would unavoidably be required to see for themselves the previously unseen massive number of their impoverished fellow citizens.
William F. Pepper (An Act of State: The Execution of Martin Luther King)
There’s a big difference, in other words, between having a mentor guide our practice and having a mentor guide our journey. OUR TYPICAL PARADIGM FOR mentorship is that of a young, enterprising worker sitting across from an elderly executive at an oak desk, engaging in Q& A about how to succeed at specific challenges. On the other hand, a smartcut-savvy mentee approaches things a bit differently. She develops personal relationships with her mentors, asks their advice on other aspects of life, not just the formal challenge at hand. And she cares about her mentors’ lives too. Business owner Charlie Kim, founder of Next Jump and one of my own mentors, calls this vulnerability. It’s the key, he says, to developing a deep and organic relationship that leads to journey-focused mentorship and not just a focus on practice. Both the teacher and the student must be able to open up about their fears, and that builds trust, which in turn accelerates learning. That trust opens us up to actually heeding the difficult advice we might otherwise ignore. “It drives you to do more,” Kim says. The best mentors help students to realize that the things that really matter are not the big and obvious. The more vulnerability is shown in the relationship, the more critical details become available for a student to pick up on, and assimilate. And, crucially, a mentor with whom we have that kind of relationship will be more likely to tell us “no” when we need it—and we’ll be more likely to listen.
Shane Snow (Smartcuts: The Breakthrough Power of Lateral Thinking)
The movement actually managed to succeed in lobbying for the passage of involuntary sterilization laws in thirty American states. This meant that the state could neuter people who fell below a particular IQ without their having any say in the matter. That each state eventually repealed the laws is a testament to common sense and compassion. That the laws existed in the first place is a frightening indication of how dangerously limited any standardized test is in calculating intelligence and the capacity to contribute to society. IQ tests can even be a matter of life and death. A criminal who commits a capital offense is not subject to the death penalty if his IQ is below seventy. However, IQ scores regularly rise over the course of a generation (by as much as twenty-five points), causing the scale to be reset every fifteen to twenty years to maintain a mean score of one hundred. Therefore, someone who commits a capital offense may be more likely to be put to death at the beginning of a cycle than at the end. That’s giving a single test an awful lot of responsibility. People can also improve their scores through study and practice. I read a case recently about a death row inmate who’d at that point spent ten years in jail on a life sentence (he wasn’t the trigger man, but he’d been involved in a robbery where someone died). During his incarceration, he took a series of courses. When retested, his IQ had risen more than ten points—suddenly making him eligible for execution.
Ken Robinson (The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything)
A Favorite start to a book [sorry it's long!]: "In yesterday’s Sunday Times, a report from Francistown in Botswana. Sometime last week, in the middle of the night, a car, a white American model, drove up to a house in a residential area. Men wearing balaclavas jumped out, kicked down the front door, and began shooting. When they had done with shooting they set fire to the house and drove off. From the embers the neighbors dragged seven charred bodies: two men, three women, two children. Th killers appeared to be black, but one of the neighbors heard them speaking Afrikaans among themselves. And was convinced they were whites in blackface. The dead were South Africans, refugees who had moved into the house mere weeks ago. Approached for comment, the SA Minister of Foreign Affairs, through a spokesman, calls the report ‘unverified’. Inquiries will be undertaken, he says, to determine whether the deceased were indeed SA citizens. As for the military, an unnamed source denies that the SA Defence Force had anything to do with the matter. The killings are probably an internal ANC matter, he suggests, reflecting ‘ongoing tensions between factions. So they come out, week after week, these tales from the borderlands, murders followed by bland denials. He reads the reports and feels soiled. So this is what he has come back to! Yet where in the world can one hide where one will not feel soiled? Would he feel any cleaner in the snows of Sweden, reading at a distance about his people and their latest pranks? How to escape the filth: not a new question. An old rat-question that will not let go, that leaves its nasty, suppurating wound. Agenbite of inwit. ‘I see the Defense Force is up to its old tricks again,’ he remarks to his father. ‘In Botswana this time.’ But his father is too wary to rise to the bait. When his father picks up the newspaper, he cares to skip straight to the sports pages, missing out the politics—the politics and the killings. His father has nothing but disdain for the continent to the north of them. Buffoons is the word he uses to dismiss the leaders of African states: petty tyrants who can barely spell their own names, chauffeured from one banquet to another in their Rolls-Royces, wearing Ruritanian uniforms festooned with medals they have awarded themselves. Africa: a place of starving masses with homicidal buffoons lording over them. ‘They broke into a house in Francistown and killed everyone,’ he presses on nonetheless. ‘Executed them .Including the children. Look. Read the report. It’s on the front page.’ His father shrugs. His father can find no form of words spacious enough to cover his distaste for, on one hand, thugs who slaughter defenceless women and children and, on the other, terrorists who wage war from havens across the border. He resolves the problem by immersing himself in the cricket scores. As a response to moral dilemma it is feeble; yet is his own response—fits of anger and despair—any better?" Summertime, Coetzee
J.M. Coetzee
The first thing to understand is that just because somebody interviewed well and reference-checked great, that does not mean she will perform superbly in your company. There are two kinds of cultures in this world: cultures where what you do matters and cultures where all that matters is who you are. You can be the former or you can suck. You must hold your people to a high standard, but what is that standard? I discussed this in the section “Old People.” In addition, keep the following in mind:   You did not know everything when you hired her. While it feels awkward, it is perfectly reasonable to change and raise your standards as you learn more about what’s needed and what’s competitive in your industry.   You must get leverage. Early on, it’s natural to spend a great deal of time integrating and orienting an executive. However, if you find yourself as busy as you were with that function before you hired or promoted the executive, then she is below standard.   As CEO, you can do very little employee development. One of the most depressing lessons of my career when I became CEO was that I could not develop the people who reported to me. The demands of the job made it such that the people who reported to me had to be 99 percent ready to perform. Unlike when I ran a function or was a general manager, there was no time to develop raw talent. That can and must be done elsewhere in the company, but not at the executive level. If someone needs lots of training, she is below standard.
Ben Horowitz (The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers)
The painting did not exist until I made it,' Karabekian went on. 'Now that it does exist, nothing would make me happier than to have it reproduced again and again, and vastly improved upon, by all the five-year-olds in town. I would love for your children to find pleasantly and playfully what it took me many angry years to find. 'I now give you my world of honor,' he went on, 'that the picture your city owns shows everything about life which truly matters, with nothing left out. It is a picture of the awareness of every animal. It is the immaterial core of every animal - the 'I am' to which all messages are sent. It is all that is alive in any of us - in a mouse, in a deer, in a cocktail waitress. It is unwavering and pure, no matter what preposterous adventure may befall us. A sacred picture of Saint Anthony alone is one vertical, unwavering band of light. If a cockroach were near him, or a cocktail waitress, the picture would show two such bands of light. Our awareness is all that is alive and maybe sacred in any of us. Everything else about us is dead machinery. 'I have just heard from this cocktail waitress here, this vertical band of light, a story about her husband and an idiot who was about to be executed at Sheperdstown. Very well - let a five-year-old strip away the idiocy, the bars, the waiting electric chair, the uniform of the guard, the gun of the guard, the bones and meat of the guard. What is that perfect picture which any five-year-old can paint? Two unwavering bands of light.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Breakfast of Champions)
Making matters worse, the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain that governs so much of our higher executive function—the ability to plan and to reason, the ability to control impulses and to self-reflect—is still undergoing crucial structural changes during adolescence and continues to do so until human beings are in their mid- or even late twenties. This is not to say that teenagers lack the tools to reason. Just before puberty, the prefrontal cortex undergoes a huge flurry of activity, enabling kids to better grasp abstractions and understand other points of view. (In Darling’s estimation, these new capabilities are why adolescents seem so fond of arguing—they can actually do it, and not half-badly, for the first time.) But their prefrontal cortexes are still adding myelin, the fatty white substance that speeds up neural transmissions and improves neural connections, which means that adolescents still can’t grasp long-term consequences or think through complicated choices like adults can. Their prefrontal cortexes are also still forming and consolidating connections with the more primitive, emotional parts of the brain—known collectively as the limbic system—which means that adolescents don’t yet have the level of self-control that adults do. And they lack wisdom and experience, which means they often spend a lot of time passionately arguing on behalf of ideas that more seasoned adults find inane. “They’re kind of flying by the seat of their pants,” says Casey. “If they’ve had only one experience that’s pretty intense, but they haven’t had any other experiences in this domain, it’s going to drive their behavior.
Jennifer Senior (All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood)
Sometimes, for instance, there would be a matter the governor didn’t want to discuss in public, but we knew he’d be asked about it at his next public appearance, or in any case Aaron would be asked about it. Let’s say the head of a cabinet agency had been accused by a state senator of running a cockfighting ring. His behavior would fall within executive purview, but since he had not been indicted or even legally accused, he couldn’t be fired or forced to resign. Aaron knew the governor would be asked about it at a press conference, so our office would issue a statement to any member of the press who asked about it. “[The senator’s] remarks have raised some troubling questions,” the statement might say, “and we’re looking closely at the situation in an effort to determine whether it merits further investigation by state or local law enforcement. At the same time, we want to avoid rushing to judgment, and we hope all concerned will likewise avoid making accusations in the absence of evidence.” This is the kind of statement Aaron would need: one that said something without saying anything. It would get the governor on record without committing him to any course of action. Hence the rhetorical dead weight: “state or local law enforcement” instead of just “law enforcement”; all that about “rushing to judgment” and “making accusations in the absence of evidence,” as if anybody needed to be told that. If a reporter asked the governor about it, he could avoid talking about it without having to use that self-incriminating phrase “No comment.” “I’d go back to what we’ve already said on this,” he might say, and repeat the gaseous phrases of the statement.
Barton Swaim (The Speechwriter: A Brief Education in Politics)
This is where these writers placed their bets, striking a dangerous balance between silence and art. How do writers and readers find each other under such dangerous circumstances? Reading, like writing, under these conditions is disobedience to a directive in which the reader, our Eve, already knows the possible consequences of eating that apple but takes a bold bite anyway. How does that reader find the courage to take this bite, open that book? After an arrest, an execution? Of course he or she may find it in the power of the hushed chorus of other readers, but she can also find it in the writer’s courage in having stepped forward, in having written, or rewritten, in the fi rst place. Create dangerously, for people who read dangerously. Th is is what I’ve always thought it meant to be a writer. Writing, knowing in part that no matter how trivial your words may seem, someday, somewhere, someone may risk his or her life to read them. Coming from where I come from, with the history I have—having spent the first twelve years of my life under both dictatorships of Papa Doc and his son, JeanClaude—this is what I’ve always seen as the unifying principle among all writers. This is what, among other things, might join Albert Camus and Sophocles to Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Osip Mandelstam, and Ralph Waldo Emerson to Ralph Waldo Ellison. Somewhere, if not now, then maybe years in the future, a future that we may have yet to dream of, someone may risk his or her life to read us. Somewhere, if not now, then maybe years in the future, we may also save someone’s life, because they have given us a passport, making us honorary citizens of their culture.
Edwidge Danticat (Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist at Work)
The fight spilled out into the press. Allen blasted the censors. “They are a bit of executive fungus that forms on a desk that has been exposed to conference. Their conferences are meetings of men who can do nothing but collectively agree that nothing can be done.” The thin-skinned network reacted again, cutting Allen off in the middle of a barb. Now other comics joined the fray. That week Red Skelton said on his show that he’d have to be careful not to ad-lib something that might wound the dignity of some NBC vice president. “Did you hear they cut Fred Allen off on Sunday?” That’s as far as he got—the network cut him off. But Skelton went right on talking, for the studio audience. “You know what NBC means, don’t you? Nothing but cuts. Nothing but confusion. Nobody certain.” When the network put him back on the air, Skelton said, “Well, we have now joined the parade of stars.” Bob Hope, on his program, was cut off the air for this joke: “Vegas is the only town in the world where you can get tanned and faded at the same time. Of course, Fred Allen can be faded anytime.” Allen told the press that NBC had a vice president who was in charge of “program ends.” When a show ran overtime, this individual wrote down the time he had saved by cutting it off: eventually he amassed enough time for a two-week vacation. Dennis Day took the last shot. “I’m listening to the radio,” he said to his girlfriend Mildred on his Wednesday night NBC sitcom. “I don’t hear anything,” said Mildred. “I know,” said Dennis: “Fred Allen’s on.” On that note, the network gave up the fight, announcing that its comedians were free to say whatever they wanted. It didn’t matter, said Radio Life: “They all were anyway.” Allen took a major ratings dive in 1948. Some
John Dunning (On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio)
As they stand in the muck of the Cypress Swamp, black and thinly crusted, each Step breaking through to release a Smell of Generations of Deaths, something in it, some principle of untaught Mechanicks, tugging at their ankles, voiceless, importunate,— a moment arrives, when one of them smacks his Pate for something other than a Mosquitoe. “Ev’rywhere they’ve sent us,— the Cape, St. Helena, America,— what’s the Element common to all?” “Long Voyages by Sea,” replies Mason, blinking in Exhaustion by now chronick. “Was there anything else?” “Slaves. Ev’ry day at the Cape, we lived with Slavery in our faces,— more of it at St. Helena,— and now here we are again, in another Colony, this time having drawn them a Line between their Slave-Keepers, and their Wage-Payers, as if doom’d to re-encounter thro’ the World this public Secret, this shameful Core. . . . Pretending it to be ever somewhere else, with the Turks, the Russians, the Companies, down there, down where it smells like warm Brine and Gunpowder fumes, they’re murdering and dispossessing thousands untallied, the innocent of the World, passing daily into the Hands of Slave-owners and Torturers, but oh, never in Holland, nor in England, that Garden of Fools . . . ? Christ, Mason.” “Christ, what? What did I do?” “Huz. Didn’t we take the King’s money, as here we’re taking it again? whilst Slaves waited upon us, and we neither one objected, as little as we have here, in certain houses south of the Line,— Where does it end? No matter where in it we go, shall we find all the World Tyrants and Slaves? America was the one place we should not have found them.” “Yet we’re not Slaves, after all,— we’re Hirelings.” “I don’t trust this King, Mason. I don’t think anybody else does, either. Tha saw Lord Ferrers take the Drop at Tyburn. They execute their own. What may they be willing to do to huz?
Thomas Pynchon (Mason & Dixon)
I’m pretty sure Brooke is moving to Charlotte.” Vaughn’s expression turned serious. “Charlotte? What brought that on?” “One of Sterling’s competitors offered her some big executive VP position. It sounds like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.” “Wow. What did you say when she told you about it?” “I said, ‘Congratulations’ and told her to knock ’em dead in Charlotte.” He saw Vaughn frown. “What was I supposed to say? ‘Don’t go?’ You’ve seen her in action; you know how good she is. If she wants this, she should take it.” Vaughn nodded. “You’re right. She should.” Cade pulled back. That was . . . it? Granted, he was no pro at the heart-to-hearts, but he’d expected maybe a little bit more. “Glad we’re on the same page.” “Absolutely. You and I—we are in total agreement.” Vaughn leaned back in the bar stool. “Now if Huxley were here, he, on the other hand, would probably have an entirely different take on the matter.” When Vaughn said nothing further, Cade took the bait. “And what would Huxley’s take on the matter be?” “Probably something about how you should tell Brooke how you feel, regardless of whether she’s moving to Charlotte. You know how Huxley’s all into being honest and open like that.” Then Vaughn met Cade’s gaze straight on. “And after that, he’d probably tell you that if he ever finds a girl who fits him as perfectly as Brooke fits you, that he hopes you’re a good enough friend to say, ‘Dude, get over your shit, get off your ass, and go talk to her.” Cade blinked. This. . . from Vaughn. “Huxley sure has a lot to say.” “Yeah, he’s always been a know-it-all like that.” That, at least, got a grin out of Cade. “Well, I will take Huxley’s advice into consideration.” A comfortable silence fell between them. “And, Vaughn?” Cade looked at his friend, speaking in all earnestness. “Thanks.” Vaughn tipped his glass in acknowledgement. “Anytime, Morgan
Julie James (Love Irresistibly (FBI/US Attorney, #4))
Imagine that you are a seamstress who works in a cloth shop in the city of Corinth, in Greece, in the year 56. Eutychus, a guy who lives next door to you and works in a leather workshop nearby, has just joined a new club, and he tells you about it. First, they don’t meet in the daytime, but either early, before light, or after dark. There are only enough of them to fill a decent-sized dining room, but they call themselves the “town meeting.” You’re not quite sure what they do at these meetings. They don’t appear to worship any god or goddess that you can see. They use the term “god” sometimes, but this god doesn’t have a name, and to you that would be bizarre. Remember, you are pretending that you’re a Greek living in the year 56 in Corinth. To you, these people look as if they don’t believe in gods at all; they look like atheists. The people in this new club have a very high respect for a criminal Jew who led some kind of guerrilla war and was executed long ago, somewhere in Syria. Eutychus says, though, that this Jew is still alive somewhere. In fact, Eutychus says that the Jew “bought” him, although you didn’t know that Eutychus was ever a slave. In fact, you’re pretty sure he wasn’t a slave. So what does it mean that this guy bought him? At these town meetings they eat meals—which is not unusual since most clubs in your society eat meals—but they call the meals the “boss’s dinner,” or sometimes “the thank-you.” Some people say they eat human flesh at these dinners, but you doubt that because for some reason they seem to be vegetarians. You doubt whether vegetarians would eat human flesh. Eutychus says that to initiate new members into their club, they “dip them,” naked, and then they “get healthy.” Once you’re in the club, they call you “comrade,” and you have sex with anyone and everyone, because it doesn’t matter anymore whether you’re a man or a woman; in fact, they kind of figure you’re neither—or both.
Dale B. Martin (New Testament History and Literature (The Open Yale Courses Series))
There followed, however, the devastating experience of the Communist Party’s purge of the anarchists on Stalin’s orders. Thousands of Orwell’s comrades were simply murdered or thrown into prison, tortured and executed. He himself was lucky to escape with his life. Almost as illuminating, to him, was the difficulty he found, on his return to England, in getting his account of these terrible events published. Neither Victor Gollancz, in the Left Book Club, nor Kingsley Martin, in the New Statesman – the two principal institutions whereby progressive opinion in Britain was kept informed – would allow him to tell the truth. He was forced to turn elsewhere. Orwell had always put experience before theory, and these events proved how right he had been. Theory taught that the left, when exercising power, would behave justly and respect truth. Experience showed him that the left was capable of a degree of injustice and cruelty of a kind hitherto almost unknown, rivalled only by the monstrous crimes of the German Nazis, and that it would eagerly suppress truth in the cause of the higher truth it upheld. Experience, confirmed by what happened in the Second World War, where all values and loyalties became confused, also taught him that, in the event, human beings mattered more than abstract ideas; it was something he had always felt in his bones. Orwell never wholly abandoned his belief that a better society could be created by the force of ideas, and in this sense he remained an intellectual. But the axis of his attack shifted from existing, traditional and capitalist society to the fraudulent utopias with which intellectuals like Lenin had sought to replace it. His two greatest books, Animal Farm (1945) and Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), were essentially critiques of realized abstractions, of the totalitarian control over mind and body which an embodied utopia demanded, and (as he put it) ‘of the perversions to which a centralized economy is liable’.
Paul Johnson (Intellectuals)
Unwashed and undernourished, having spent over four days on five different trains and four military jeeps, Alexander got off at Molotov on Friday, June 19, 1942. He arrived at noon and then sat on a wooden bench near the station. Alexander couldn’t bring himself to walk to Lazarevo. He could not bear the thought of her dying in Kobona, getting out of the collapsed city and then dying so close to salvation. He could not face it. And worse—he knew that he could not face himself if he found out that she did not make it. He could not face returning—returning to what? Alexander actually thought of getting on the next train and going back immediately. The courage to move forward was much more than the courage he needed to stand behind a Katyusha rocket launcher or a Zenith antiaircraft gun on Lake Ladoga and know that any of the Luftwaffe planes flying overhead could instantly bring about his death. He was not afraid of his own death. He was afraid of hers. The specter of her death took away his courage. If Tatiana was dead, it meant God was dead, and Alexander knew he could not survive an instant during war in a universe governed by chaos, not purpose. He would not live any longer than poor, hapless Grinkov, who had been cut down by a stray bullet as he headed back to the rear. War was the ultimate chaos, a pounding, soul-destroying snarl, ending in blown-apart men lying unburied on the cold earth. There was nothing more cosmically chaotic than war. But Tatiana was order. She was finite matter in infinite space. Tatiana was the standard-bearer for the flag of grace and valor that she carried forward with bounty and perfection in herself, the flag Alexander had followed sixteen hundred kilometers east to the Kama River, to the Ural Mountains, to Lazarevo. For two hours Alexander sat on the bench in unpaved, provincial, oak-lined Molotov. To go back was impossible. To go forward was unthinkable. Yet he had nowhere else to go. He crossed himself and stood up, gathering his belongings. When Alexander finally walked in the direction of Lazarevo, not knowing whether Tatiana was alive or dead, he felt he was a man walking to his own execution.
Paullina Simons (The Bronze Horseman (The Bronze Horseman, #1))
Thy Justice seems; yet to say truth, too late, I thus contest; then should have been refusd Those terms whatever, when they were propos’d: Thou didst accept them; wilt thou enjoy the good, Then cavil the conditions? and though God Made thee without thy leave, what if thy Son Prove disobedient, and reprov’d, retort, Wherefore didst thou beget me? I sought it not: Wouldst thou admit for his contempt of thee That proud excuse? yet him not thy election, But Natural necessity begot. God made thee of choice his own, and of his own To serve him, thy reward was of his grace, Thy punishment then justly is at his Will. Be it so, for I submit, his doom is fair, That dust I am, and shall to dust returne: O welcom hour whenever! why delayes His hand to execute what his Decree Fixd on this day? why do I overlive, Why am I mockt with death, and length’nd out To deathless pain? how gladly would I meet Mortalitie my sentence, and be Earth Insensible, how glad would lay me down As in my Mothers lap? there I should rest And sleep secure; his dreadful voice no more Would Thunder in my ears, no fear of worse To mee and to my ofspring would torment me With cruel expectation. Yet one doubt Pursues me still, least all I cannot die, Least that pure breath of Life, the Spirit of Man Which God inspir’d, cannot together perish With this corporeal Clod; then in the Grave, Or in some other dismal place, who knows But I shall die a living Death? O thought Horrid, if true! yet why? it was but breath Of Life that sinn’d; what dies but what had life And sin? the Bodie properly hath neither. All of me then shall die: let this appease The doubt, since humane reach no further knows. For though the Lord of all be infinite, Is his wrauth also? be it, man is not so, But mortal doom’d. How can he exercise Wrath without end on Man whom Death must end? Can he make deathless Death? that were to make Strange contradiction, which to God himself Impossible is held, as Argument Of weakness, not of Power. Will he, draw out, For angers sake, finite to infinite In punisht man, to satisfie his rigour Satisfi’d never; that were to extend His Sentence beyond dust and Natures Law, By which all Causes else according still To the reception of thir matter act, Not
John Milton (Paradise Lost: An Annotated Bibliography (Paradise series Book 1))
Why, he asked, do all of our policing efforts have to be so reactive, so negative, and so after the fact? What if, instead of just focusing on catching criminals—and serving up ever harsher punishments—after they committed the crime, the police devoted significant resources and effort to eliminating criminal behavior before it happens? To quote Tony Blair, what if they could be tough on crime but also tough on the causes of crime?3 Out of these questions came the novel idea for Positive Tickets, a program whereby police, instead of focusing on catching young people perpetrating crimes, would focus on catching youth doing something good—something as simple as throwing litter away in a bin rather than on the ground, wearing a helmet while riding their bike, skateboarding in the designated area, or getting to school on time—and would give them a ticket for positive behavior. The ticket, of course, wouldn’t carry a fine like a parking ticket but instead would be redeemable for some kind of small reward, like free entry to the movies or to an event at a local youth center—wholesome activities that also had the bonus of keeping the young people off the streets and out of trouble. So how well did Richmond’s unconventional effort to reimagine policing work? Amazingly well, as it turned out. It took some time, but they invested in the approach as a long-term strategy, and after a decade the Positive Tickets system had reduced recidivism from 60 percent to 8 percent. You might not think of a police department as a place where you would expect to see Essentialism at work, but in fact Ward’s system of Positive Tickets is a lesson in the practice of effortless execution. The way of the Nonessentialist is to go big on everything: to try to do it all, have it all, fit it all in. The Nonessentialist operates under the false logic that the more he strives, the more he will achieve, but the reality is, the more we reach for the stars, the harder it is to get ourselves off the ground. The way of the Essentialist is different. Instead of trying to accomplish it all—and all at once—and flaring out, the Essentialist starts small and celebrates progress. Instead of going for the big, flashy wins that don’t really matter, the Essentialist pursues small and simple wins in areas that are essential.
Greg McKeown (Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less)
During his time working for the head of strategy at the bank in the early 1990s, Musk had been asked to take a look at the company’s third-world debt portfolio. This pool of money went by the depressing name of “less-developed country debt,” and Bank of Nova Scotia had billions of dollars of it. Countries throughout South America and elsewhere had defaulted in the years prior, forcing the bank to write down some of its debt value. Musk’s boss wanted him to dig into the bank’s holdings as a learning experiment and try to determine how much the debt was actually worth. While pursuing this project, Musk stumbled upon what seemed like an obvious business opportunity. The United States had tried to help reduce the debt burden of a number of developing countries through so-called Brady bonds, in which the U.S. government basically backstopped the debt of countries like Brazil and Argentina. Musk noticed an arbitrage play. “I calculated the backstop value, and it was something like fifty cents on the dollar, while the actual debt was trading at twenty-five cents,” Musk said. “This was like the biggest opportunity ever, and nobody seemed to realize it.” Musk tried to remain cool and calm as he rang Goldman Sachs, one of the main traders in this market, and probed around about what he had seen. He inquired as to how much Brazilian debt might be available at the 25-cents price. “The guy said, ‘How much do you want?’ and I came up with some ridiculous number like ten billion dollars,” Musk said. When the trader confirmed that was doable, Musk hung up the phone. “I was thinking that they had to be fucking crazy because you could double your money. Everything was backed by Uncle Sam. It was a no-brainer.” Musk had spent the summer earning about fourteen dollars an hour and getting chewed out for using the executive coffee machine, among other status infractions, and figured his moment to shine and make a big bonus had arrived. He sprinted up to his boss’s office and pitched the opportunity of a lifetime. “You can make billions of dollars for free,” he said. His boss told Musk to write up a report, which soon got passed up to the bank’s CEO, who promptly rejected the proposal, saying the bank had been burned on Brazilian and Argentinian debt before and didn’t want to mess with it again. “I tried to tell them that’s not the point,” Musk said. “The point is that it’s fucking backed by Uncle Sam. It doesn’t matter what the South Americans do. You cannot lose unless you think the U.S. Treasury is going to default. But they still didn’t do it, and I was stunned. Later in life, as I competed against the banks, I would think back to this moment, and it gave me confidence. All the bankers did was copy what everyone else did. If everyone else ran off a bloody cliff, they’d run right off a cliff with them. If there was a giant pile of gold sitting in the middle of the room and nobody was picking it up, they wouldn’t pick it up, either.” In
Ashlee Vance (Elon Musk: How the Billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla is Shaping our Future)
As it turned out, Mary Jo White and other attorneys for the Sacklers and Purdue had been quietly negotiating with the Trump administration for months. Inside the DOJ, the line prosecutors who had assembled both the civil and the criminal cases started to experience tremendous pressure from the political leadership to wrap up their investigations of Purdue and the Sacklers prior to the 2020 presidential election in November. A decision had been made at high levels of the Trump administration that this matter would be resolved quickly and with a soft touch. Some of the career attorneys at Justice were deeply unhappy with this move, so much so that they wrote confidential memos registering their objections, to preserve a record of what they believed to be a miscarriage of justice. One morning two weeks before the election, Jeffrey Rosen, the deputy attorney general for the Trump administration, convened a press conference in which he announced a “global resolution” of the federal investigations into Purdue and the Sacklers. The company was pleading guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States and to violate the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, as well as to two counts of conspiracy to violate the federal Anti-kickback Statute, Rosen announced. No executives would face individual charges. In fact, no individual executives were mentioned at all: it was as if the corporation had acted autonomously, like a driverless car. (In depositions related to Purdue’s bankruptcy which were held after the DOJ settlement, two former CEOs, John Stewart and Mark Timney, both declined to answer questions, invoking their Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate themselves.) Rosen touted the total value of the federal penalties against Purdue as “more than $8 billion.” And, in keeping with what had by now become a standard pattern, the press obligingly repeated that number in the headlines. Of course, anyone who was paying attention knew that the total value of Purdue’s cash and assets was only around $1 billion, and nobody was suggesting that the Sacklers would be on the hook to pay Purdue’s fines. So the $8 billion figure was misleading, much as the $10–$12 billion estimate of the value of the Sacklers’ settlement proposal had been misleading—an artificial number without any real practical meaning, designed chiefly to be reproduced in headlines. As for the Sacklers, Rosen announced that they had agreed to pay $225 million to resolve a separate civil charge that they had violated the False Claims Act. According to the investigation, Richard, David, Jonathan, Kathe, and Mortimer had “knowingly caused the submission of false and fraudulent claims to federal health care benefit programs” for opioids that “were prescribed for uses that were unsafe, ineffective, and medically unnecessary.” But there would be no criminal charges. In fact, according to a deposition of David Sackler, the Department of Justice concluded its investigation without so much as interviewing any member of the family. The authorities were so deferential toward the Sacklers that nobody had even bothered to question them.
Patrick Radden Keefe (Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty)
Two kinds of development help explain how a readiness built up to kill all Jews, including women and children. One is a series of “dress rehearsals” that served to lower inhibitions and provided trained personnel hardened for anything. First came the euthanasia of incurably ill and insane Germans, begun on the day when World War II began. Nazi eugenics theory had long provided a racial justification for getting rid of “inferior” persons. War provided a broader justification for reducing the drain of “useless mouths” on scarce resources. The “T-4” program killed more than seventy thousand people between September 1939 and 1941, when, in response to protests from the victims’ families and Catholic clergy, the matter was left to local authorities. Some of the experts trained in this program were subsequently transferred to the occupied east, where they applied their mass killing techniques to Jews. This time, there was less opposition. The second “dress rehearsal” was the work of the Einsatzgruppen, the intervention squads specially charged with executing the political and cultural elite of invaded countries. In the Polish campaign of September 1939 they helped wipe out the Polish intelligentsia and high civil service, evoking some opposition within the military command. In the Soviet campaign the Einsatzgruppen received the notorious “Commissar Order” to kill all Communist Party cadres as well as the Jewish leadership (seen as identical in Nazi eyes), along with Gypsies. This time the army raised no objections. The Einsatzgruppen subsequently played a major role, though they were far from alone, in the mass killings of Jewish women and children that began in some occupied areas in fall 1941. A third “dress rehearsal” was the intentional death of millions of Soviet prisoners of war. It was on six hundred of them that the Nazi occupation authorities first tested the mass killing potential of the commercial insecticide Zyklon-B at Auschwitz on September 3, 1941. Most Soviet prisoners of war, however, were simply worked or starved to death. The second category of developments that helped prepare a “willingness to murder” consisted of blockages, emergencies, and crises that made the Jews become a seemingly unbearable burden to the administrators of conquered territories. A major blockage was the failure to capture Moscow that choked off the anticipated expulsion of all the Jews of conquered eastern Europe far into the Soviet interior. A major emergency was shortages of food supplies for the German invasion force. German military planners had chosen to feed the invasion force with the resources of the invaded areas, in full knowledge that this meant starvation for local populations. When local supplies fell below expectations, the search for “useless mouths” began. In the twisted mentality of the Nazi administrators, Jews and Gypsies also posed a security threat to German forces. Another emergency was created by the arrival of trainloads of ethnic Germans awaiting resettlement, for whom space had to be made available. Faced with these accumulating problems, Nazi administrators developed a series of “intermediary solutions.” One was ghettos, but these proved to be incubators for disease (an obsession with the cleanly Nazis), and a drain on the budget. The attempt to make the ghettos work for German war production yielded little except another category of useless mouths: those incapable of work. Another “intermediary solution” was the stillborn plan, already mentioned, to settle European Jews en masse in some remote area such as Madagascar, East Africa, or the Russian hinterland. The failure of all the “intermediary solutions” helped open the way for a “final solution”: extermination.
Robert O. Paxton (The Anatomy of Fascism)
Lieutenant Smith was asked by Mister Zumwald to get him a drink,” Wilkes said. “She responded with physical violence. I counseled her on conduct unbecoming of an officer and, when she reacted with foul language, on disrespect to a superior officer, sir, and I’ll stand by that position. Sir.” “I agree that her actions were unbecoming, Captain,” Steve said, mildly. “She really should have resolved it with less force. Which I told her as well as a strong lecture on respect to a superior officer. On the other hand, Captain, Mister Zumwald physically accosted her, grabbing her arm and, when she protested, called her a bitch. Were you aware of that, Captain?” “She did say something about it, sir,” Wilkes said. “However… ” “I also understand that you spent some time with Mister Zumwald afterwards,” Steve said. “Rather late. Did you at any time express to Mister Zumwald that accosting any woman, much less an officer of… what was it? ‘The United States Naval services’ was unacceptable behavior, Captain?” “Sir,” Wilkes said. “Mister Zumwald is a major Hollywood executive… ” “Was,” Steve said. “Excuse me, sir?” Wilkes said. “Was a major Hollywood executive,” Steve said. “Right now, Ernest Zumwald, Captain, is a fucking refugee off a fucking lifeboat. Period fucking dot. He’s given a few days grace, like most refugees, to get his headspace and timing back, then he can decide if he wants to help out or go in with the sick, lame and lazy. And in this case he’s a fucking refugee who thinks it’s acceptable to accost some unknown chick and tell him to get him a fucking drink. Grab her by the arm and, when she tells him to let go, become verbally abusive. “What makes the situation worse, Captain, is that the person he accosted was not just any passing young hotty but a Marine officer. He did not know that at the time; the Marine officer was dressed much like other women in the compartment. However, he does not have the right to grab any woman in my care by the fucking arm and order them to get him a fucking drink, Captain! Then, to make matters worse, following the incident, Captain, you spent the entire fucking evening getting drunk with a fucktard who had physically and verbally assaulted a female Marine officer! You dumbshit.” “Sir, I… ” Wilkes said, paling. “And not just any Marine officer, oh, no,” Steve said. “Forget that it was the daughter of the Acting LANTFLEET. Forget that it was the daughter of your fucking rating officer, you retard. I’m professional enough to overlook that. I really am. There’s personal and professional, and I do actually know the line. Except that it was, professionally, a disgraceful action on your part, Captain. But not just any Marine officer, Captain. No, this was a Marine officer that, unlike you, is fucking worshipped by your Marines, Captain. This is a Marine officer that the acting Commandant thinks only uses boats so her boots don’t get wet walking from ship to ship. This is a Marine officer who is the only fucking light in the darkness to the entire Squadron, you dumbfuck! “I’d already gotten the scuttlebutt that you were a palace prince pogue who was a cowardly disgrace to the Marine uniform, Captain. I was willing to let that slide because maybe you could run the fucking clearance from the fucking door. But you just pissed off every fucking Marine we’ve got, you idiot. You incredible dumbfuck, moron! “In case you hadn’t noticed, you are getting cold-shouldered by everyone you work with while you were brown-nosing some fucking useless POS who used to ‘be somebody.’ ‘Your’ Marines are spitting on your shadow and that includes your fucking Gunnery Sergeant! Captain, am I getting through to you? Are you even vaguely recognizing how badly you fucked up? Professionally, politically, personally?
John Ringo (To Sail a Darkling Sea (Black Tide Rising, #2))
But the man who owned the vineyard said to one of those workers, ‘Friend, I am being fair to you. You agreed to work for one coin. So take your pay and go. I want to give the man who was hired last the same pay that I gave you. I can do what I want with my own money. Are you jealous because I am good to those people?’ “So those who are last now will someday be first, and those who are first now will someday be last.” (20:1–16 NCV) “Do you begrudge my generosity?” the landowner is saying. The answer, of course, is yes, they do. They begrudge it quite a bit. Even though it has no impact on them whatsoever, it offends them. We hate it when we are trying so hard to earn something, and then someone else gets the same thing without trying as hard. Think about this for a moment, in real, “today” terms. Someone gives you a backbreaking job, and you’re happy for it, but at the end of the day, when you’re getting paid, the guys who came in with five minutes left get the same amount you just got. Seriously? It’s imbalanced, unfair, maddening . . . and it’s also exactly what Jesus just said the kingdom of God is like. Not only is it maddening; it’s maddening to the “good” people! Common sense says you don’t do this. You don’t pay latecomers who came in a few minutes ago the same amount that you paid the hardworking folks you hired first. Jesus tells this story, knowing full well that the conscientious ones listening would find this hardest to take. And, as a matter of fact, as a conscientious one, I find this hard to take. I’m just being honest. This story does not fit my style. I’m all about people getting what they deserve. Oh, it’s offensive, too, when Jesus turns to a guy who’s being executed next to Him, and tells him, “Today, you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43). What did the guy do to deserve that? He did nothing. If you call yourself a Christian, and you want things to be fair, and you want God’s rewards given out only to the deserving and the upstanding and the religious, well, honestly, Jesus has got to be a complete embarrassment to you. In fact, to so many upstanding Christians, He is. He has always been offensive, and remains offensive, to those who seek to achieve “righteousness” through what they do. Always. People who’ve grown up in church (like me) are well acquainted with the idea that Jesus is our “cornerstone.” He’s the solid rock of our faith. Got it. Not controversial. It’s well-known. But what’s not so talked about: That stone, Jesus, causes religious people to stumble. And that rock is offensive to “good” people: So what does all this mean? Those who are not Jews were not trying to make themselves right with God, but they were made right with God because of their faith. The people of Israel tried to follow a law to make themselves right with God. But they did not succeed, because they tried to make themselves right by the things they did instead of trusting in God to make them right. They stumbled over the stone that causes people to stumble. (Rom. 9:30–32 NCV) And then Paul says something a couple verses later that angers “good Christians” to this day: Because they did not know the way that God makes people right with him, they tried to make themselves right in their own way. So they did not accept God’s way of making people right. Christ ended the law so that everyone who believes in him may be right with God. (Rom. 10:3–4 NCV) It’s not subtle, what Paul’s writing here. For anyone who believes in Him, Jesus ended the law as a means to righteousness. Yet so many think they can achieve—even have achieved—some kind of “good Christian” status on the basis of the rule-keeping work they’ve done. They suspect they’ll do good things and God will owe them for it, like payment for a job well done. Paul says, in effect, if you think you should get what you earn, you will . . . and you don’t want that.
Brant Hansen (Unoffendable: How Just One Change Can Make All of Life Better)
Anna Chapman was born Anna Vasil’yevna Kushchyenko, in Volgograd, formally Stalingrad, Russia, an important Russian industrial city. During the Battle of Stalingrad in World War II, the city became famous for its resistance against the German Army. As a matter of personal history, I had an uncle, by marriage that was killed in this battle. Many historians consider the battle of Stalingrad the largest and bloodiest battle in the history of warfare. Anna earned her master's degree in economics in Moscow. Her father at the time was employed by the Soviet embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, where he allegedly was a senior KGB agent. After her marriage to Alex Chapman, Anna became a British subject and held a British passport. For a time Alex and Anna lived in London where among other places, she worked for Barclays Bank. In 2009 Anna Chapman left her husband and London, and moved to New York City, living at 20 Exchange Place, in the Wall Street area of downtown Manhattan. In 2009, after a slow start, she enlarged her real-estate business, having as many as 50 employees. Chapman, using her real name worked in the Russian “Illegals Program,” a group of sleeper agents, when an undercover FBI agent, in a New York coffee shop, offered to get her a fake passport, which she accepted. On her father’s advice she handed the passport over to the NYPD, however it still led to her arrest. Ten Russian agents including Anna Chapman were arrested, after having been observed for years, on charges which included money laundering and suspicion of spying for Russia. This led to the largest prisoner swap between the United States and Russia since 1986. On July 8, 2010 the swap was completed at the Vienna International Airport. Five days later the British Home Office revoked Anna’s citizenship preventing her return to England. In December of 2010 Anna Chapman reappeared when she was appointed to the public council of the Young Guard of United Russia, where she was involved in the education of young people. The following month Chapman began hosting a weekly TV show in Russia called Secrets of the World and in June of 2011 she was appointed as editor of Venture Business News magazine. In 2012, the FBI released information that Anna Chapman attempted to snare a senior member of President Barack Obama's cabinet, in what was termed a “Honey Trap.” After the 2008 financial meltdown, sources suggest that Anna may have targeted the dapper Peter Orzag, who was divorced in 2006 and served as Special Assistant to the President, for Economic Policy. Between 2007 and 2010 he was involved in the drafting of the federal budget for the Obama Administration and may have been an appealing target to the FSB, the Russian Intelligence Agency. During Orzag’s time as a federal employee, he frequently came to New York City, where associating with Anna could have been a natural fit, considering her financial and economics background. Coincidently, Orzag resigned from his federal position the same month that Chapman was arrested. Following this, Orzag took a job at Citigroup as Vice President of Global Banking. In 2009, he fathered a child with his former girlfriend, Claire Milonas, the daughter of Greek shipping executive, Spiros Milonas, chairman and President of Ionian Management Inc. In September of 2010, Orzag married Bianna Golodryga, the popular news and finance anchor at Yahoo and a contributor to MSNBC's Morning Joe. She also had co-anchored the weekend edition of ABC's Good Morning America. Not surprisingly Bianna was born in in Moldova, Soviet Union, and in 1980, her family moved to Houston, Texas. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, with a degree in Russian/East European & Eurasian studies and has a minor in economics. They have two children. Yes, she is fluent in Russian! Presently Orszag is a banker and economist, and a Vice Chairman of investment banking and Managing Director at Lazard.
Hank Bracker
You can’t dabble and expect to win. What matters more than anything you do is everything you do. Once you’re clear on why your organization must change, what you intend to achieve, and how you intend to achieve it, make certain that every decision and every action is painstakingly aligned with your intentions.
Michael Canic (Ruthless Consistency: How Committed Leaders Execute Strategy, Implement Change, and Build Organizations That Win)
Her name is a banner to rally every angry young man who believes his fortunes would be better if the clocks could be turned backwards to a golden England of yesteryear, before the break with Rome. An England that exists only in his imagination, but no matter – he will plunge the country into ruin to recover it.
S.J. Parris (Execution (Giordano Bruno, #6))
The choice is not between hands-on or hands-off. In our research, the entrepreneurs who led their companies from start-ups into some of the greatest corporations in history generally had both a hands-on style and an empowering style. No matter how big their companies became, they remained closely connected to their people, hyper-aware of facts on the ground, and directly engaged in strategic imperatives. If you lose your voracious curiosity about tactical details, if you lose passionate interest in people and how they are feeling, if you insulate yourself in the protective cocoon of executive comforts, you may well wake up one day to discover your company has already entered a doom loop of decline and self-destruction.
James C. Collins (BE 2.0 (Beyond Entrepreneurship 2.0): Turning Your Business into an Enduring Great Company)
Your best is all that matters. That is all you can do. If you do it with your 100%, it is more than enough. Execute what is in your control and everything else would fall into place sooner or later. Do not seek approval every time even though you clearly know you have done your best.
Dr. Aryan (The Work Ethic Sensation: Unraveling the Secrets of an Insanely Strong Work Ethic today)
That’s when I finally got it. I finally understood. It wasn’t the thought that counted. It was the actual execution that mattered, the showing up for somebody. The intent behind it wasn’t enough. Not for me. Not anymore. It wasn’t enough to know that deep down, he loved me. You had to actually say it to somebody, show them that you cared. And he just didn’t. Not enough.
Jenny Han (It's Not Summer Without You (Summer, #2))
They were strong. Fierce.” I nodded, her eyes holding mine. And in her words I saw the promise. The memory. The equality of women in the tribe. “In war,” Aggie said, her voice going softer, “it was important that the losses in battle be compensated. If warriors of the tribe were killed, no matter if our people won a battle or lost, those warriors had value that had to be replaced in some way. After a battle, the Tsalagi would take the same number of prisoners, scalps, or lives that they lost.” Aggie paused, watching my face. Even more gently, she said, “Women led in the execution of prisoners. In the torture of prisoners. In the buying and selling of prisoners as slaves to recoup the financial cost of war. In the adoption of prisoners into the tribe. Such was the right and responsibility of women. As mothers. As widows. As warriors in their own right. “There was no one more fierce than a woman avenging her husband or son.
Faith Hunter (Black Arts (Jane Yellowrock, #7))
Here’s how to advise your executive and negotiate the workload: Keep a list of everything your boss asks for. Keep a list of the top strategic priorities you are working on. Have regular meetings with your boss where you take out these lists. Make recommendations about what to prioritize, based on the context of business and the content of these two lists. When you show your boss these lists, several things happen: He gets embarrassed, as he hadn’t realized he had asked for so many things. When he sees it spelled out right there in front of him, he can see it’s unreasonable. You win lots of credibility for keeping the list, catching everything, and not dropping anything. You make him comfortable that you’ve got it covered. He trusts you. You can ask him “Is this still important?” You will find he has forgotten about several of the requests and has decided that others don’t matter anymore. You will realize that you are not beholden to everything on the list! You will be able to negotiate time lines and suggest priorities.
Patty Azzarello (Rise: 3 Practical Steps for Advancing Your Career, Standing Out as a Leader, and Liking Your Life)
The reality is that the true fundamental transformation in America (and the West generally) has come in the realm of culture, notably in matters of sexual orientation, gender, marriage, and family. The shift there has been unprecedented and far beyond anyone’s imagination in 2008. It was signaled most conspicuously in June 2015 when the Obama White House—the nation’s first house—was illuminated in the colors of the “LGBTQ” rainbow on the day of the Obergefell decision, when the Supreme Court, by a one-vote margin, rendered unto itself the ability to redefine marriage (theretofore the province of biblical and natural law) and imposed this new “Constitutional right” on all fifty states. If ever there was a picture of a fundamental transformation, that was it. And that was just one of countless “accomplishments” heralded and boasted of by the Obama administration. In June 2016, to celebrate the one-year anniversary of Obergefell, the White House press office released two extraordinary fact sheets detailing President Obama’s vast efforts to promote “LGBT” rights at home and abroad.663 Not only was it telling that the White House would assemble such a list, and tout it, but the sheer length of the list was stunning to behold. There was no similar list of such dramatic changes by the Obama White House in any other policy area. Such achievements included the infamous Obama bathroom fiat, through which, according to Barack Obama’s executive word, all public schools were ordered to revolutionize their restrooms and locker rooms to make them available to teenage boys who want to be called girls.
Paul Kengor (The Devil and Karl Marx: Communism's Long March of Death, Deception, and Infiltration)
Part of the divide is amongst ourselves, and it has to do both with class and race, as in, ‘This county used to be so great, but then these urban problems came in.’” They wrongly blame immigrants for taking their jobs when it was greedy corporate executives beholden to greedy shareholders who offshored the jobs, keeping more profits for themselves and treating the working class like a coal seam in Appalachia—a resource to be mined, no matter the human or environmental cost.
Beth Macy (Raising Lazarus: Hope, Justice, and the Future of America's Overdose Crisis)
This simple view of the matter suggests several important consequences. It proves incontestably, that the judiciary is beyond comparison the weakest of the three departments of power55; that it can never attack with success either of the other two; and that all possible care is requisite to enable it to defend itself against their attacks. It equally proves, that though individual oppression may now and then proceed from the courts of justice, the general liberty of the people can never be endangered from that quarter; I mean so long as the judiciary remains truly distinct from both the legislature and the Executive. For I agree, that “there is no liberty, if the power of judging be not separated from the legislative and executive powers.
Alexander Hamilton (The Federalist Papers)
None of that matters right now. Don’t give it another thought. All that matters now is you and me. You know you are a mess. You are a sinner. Your entire existence has been built around you. Step in out of that storm. Let your heart crack open to Joy. I was punished so that you don’t have to be. I was arrested so you could go free. I was indicted so you could be exonerated. I was executed so you could be acquitted.
Dane C. Ortlund (Deeper: Real Change for Real Sinners (Union))
None of that matters right now. Don’t give it another thought. All that matters now is you and me. You know you are a mess. You are a sinner. Your entire existence has been built around you. Step in out of that storm. Let your heart crack open to Joy. I was punished so that you don’t have to be. I was arrested so you could go free. I was indicted so you could be exonerated. I was executed so you could be acquitted. And
Dane C. Ortlund (Deeper: Real Change for Real Sinners (Union))
None of that matters right now. Don’t give it another thought. All that matters now is you and me. You know you are a mess. You are a sinner. Your entire existence has been built around you. Step in out of that storm. Let your heart crack open to Joy. I was punished so that you don’t have to be. I was arrested so you could go free. I was indicted so you could be exonerated. I was executed so you could be acquitted. And all of that is just the beginning of my love. That proved my love, but it’s not an endpoint; it’s only the doorway into my love. Humble yourself enough to receive it. Plunge your parched soul into the sea of my love. There you will find the rest and relief and embrace and friendship your heart longs for. The wraparound category of your life is not your performance but God’s love.
Dane C. Ortlund (Deeper: Real Change for Real Sinners (Union))
A good strategy is effective no matter what the opponent does.
Eric Engle (Cold War II? China, America, Global Strategy, and the New Cold War (Quizmaster China: Political Economy))
That’s when I finally got it. I finally understood. It wasn’t the thought that counted. It was the actual execution that mattered, the showing up for somebody. The intent behind it wasn’t enough. Not for me. Not anymore.
Jenny Han (It's Not Summer Without You (Summer, #2))
evolution was no longer a matter of biology – it was a matter of consciousness.
ExecutiveGrowth Summaries (Summary: Sapiens - A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari)
You’re wrong about one thing. I’ve failed plenty. But I’m not going to fail at this. And since you insist on staying, you’ll get a front-row seat to my success. Enjoy the upgrade from the cheap seats.” She turned and sauntered away. Done with the confrontation. Done with him. Cheap seats? Oh heck no. Insult his sauce? Whatever. Insult him? Fine. But she’d hit a nerve by smack-talking like a spoiled princess. Dazzled by her beauty—and that was on him—he’d forgotten for a moment she was selling hand-me-down sauce from an inherited restaurant. Secure by birthright in comforts he’d spent his childhood chasing, only to fail, again and again. Forget forfeiting. Not only did he plan to show up and outsell Simone Blake every week, but he’d accept the invitation to pitch his brand on The Executives. Win an investment and prove once and for all, in front of the whole country, that he mattered. He might come from nothing, but he was going somewhere. Cheap seats? She’d be watching his victory from the couch.
Chandra Blumberg (Stirring Up Love (Taste of Love, #2))
Executives who complain about “execution” problems have usually confused strategy with goal setting. When the “strategy” process is basically a game of setting performance goals—so much market share and so much profit, so many students graduating high school, so many visitors to the museum—then there remains a yawning gap between these ambitions and action. Strategy is about how an organization will move forward. Doing strategy is figuring out how to advance the organization’s interests. Of course, a leader can set goals and delegate to others the job of figuring out what to do. But that is not strategy. If that is how the organization runs, let’s skip the spin and be honest—call it goal setting.
Richard P. Rumelt (Good Strategy Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why It Matters)
we will examine the tensions between the execution mindset required to exercise leadership within a mature ecosystem and the alignment mindset required to establish leadership in an emerging ecosystem. Understanding how to manage the fit between these mindsets and your position in the ecosystem cycle matters regardless of whether your purpose is selecting leaders, working under leaders, or developing yourself as a leader.
Ron Adner (Winning the Right Game: How to Disrupt, Defend, and Deliver in a Changing World (Management on the Cutting Edge))
It takes an alignment mindset to establish an ecosystem. However, once it is aligned, the skillset and mindset of alignment become objectively less important. What matters at this point is execution within the boundaries of the ecosystem—the management challenge of getting the trains to run on time, and the opportunity to get the most out of the figurative train lines—extending new services, bolting on adjacent businesses, and doing all this at growing scale with growing efficiency while managing the established relationships within the ecosystem.
Ron Adner (Winning the Right Game: How to Disrupt, Defend, and Deliver in a Changing World (Management on the Cutting Edge))
Nonetheless, the pattern seemed to repeat itself endlessly. A GE executive was named CEO of another company. News of the appointment would send the stock of that company soaring. The men were lavished with riches when they took their new jobs, signing multimillion-dollar contracts that ensured them a gilded retirement, no matter how well they performed. A period of downsizing usually ensued, and profits often ticked up for a few quarters, or even a few years. But inevitably, Welchism exacted its price. There was little focus on long-term strategy, and a slavish devotion to meeting quarterly results. “They wouldn’t know strategy if it hit them in the head,” said Roger Martin, the former Rotman School dean. “All they know how to do is take what they’ve got and refine it, make it operationally more effective.
David Gelles (The Man Who Broke Capitalism: How Jack Welch Gutted the Heartland and Crushed the Soul of Corporate America—and How to Undo His Legacy)
However radical these changes in executive authority may have been, many Americans believed that they did not get to the heart of the matter and destroy the most insidious and dangerous source of despotism—the executive power of appointment to office. Since in a traditional monarchical society the distribution of offices, honors, and favors affected the social order, Americans were determined that their governors would never again have the capacity to dominate public life. The constitution-makers took exclusive control over appointments to executive and judicial offices from the traditional hands of the governors and gave it in large part to the legislatures. This change was justified by the principle of separation of powers, a doctrine Montesquieu had made famous in the mid eighteenth century. The idea behind maintaining the executive, legislative, and judicial parts of the government separate and distinct was not to protect each power from the others, but to keep the judiciary and especially the legislature free from executive manipulation—the very kind of manipulation that, Americans believed, had corrupted the English Parliament.
Gordon S. Wood (The American Revolution: A History (Modern Library Chronicles Series Book 9))
of God, seeing “scripture can only be understood thro’ the same Spirit whereby it was given.” Our reading should likewise be closed with prayer, that what we read may be written on our hearts. 6. It might also be of use, if while we read, we were frequently to pause, and examine ourselves by what we read, both with regard to our hearts, and lives. This would furnish us with matter of praise, where we found God had enabled us to conform to his blessed will, and matter of humiliation and prayer, where we were conscious of having fallen short. And whatever light you then receive, should be used to the uttermost, and that immediately. Let there be no delay. Whatever you resolve, begin to execute the first moment you can. So shall you find this word to be indeed the power of God unto present and eternal salvation.
Phylicia Masonheimer (Stop Calling Me Beautiful: Finding Soul-Deep Strength in a Skin-Deep World)
On our way, a man dressed in spandex running clothes stopped Bernie in the street. “Senator Sanders, Jeff Katzenberg, nice to meet you.” “Good to meet you too.” Bernie just strolled on. Katzenberg, the former Disney chairman and DreamWorks CEO, looked stunned. As we continued up the block, I turned to Bernie and said, “Do you know who that was?” “He said his name was Jeff, right?” “Senator, that was Jeff Katzenberg, one of the most powerful media executives in the world and one of the biggest Democratic Party donors.” Bernie didn’t even bother with a response. Most Democratic politicians are desperate to secure meetings with people like Jeff Katzenberg. For Bernie, Katzenberg didn’t matter—it was as though his mind couldn’t process the idea of his supposed importance or relevance. Bernie would have been more likely to stop for a teacher, a nurse, or a mechanic.
Ari Rabin-Havt (The Fighting Soul: On the Road with Bernie Sanders)
The “All The Time” part is what matters most. Your behaviors define who you are in real time. If you want to live your values, to reach your goals, you have to execute the behaviors to match all the time. Not a few hours a day. Not a few days a week. All. The. Time.
Trevor Moawad (Getting to Neutral: How to Conquer Negativity and Thrive in a Chaotic World)
There was no distinguishing between “Trumpism” and Trump. His rejection of politics as usual included the “decision-making loop” through which ideas traveled from the conservative superstructure to the legislative and executive branches of government. All that mattered to Trump was the last thing you said about him. His impulses replaced the daily schedules and routine processes
Matthew Continetti (The Right: The Hundred-Year War for American Conservatism)
Most people, I was learning, were cowards, and most laws had nothing to do with justice. Justice was a private matter that you didn't expect anyone to execute for you. You did it yourself, or it didn't get done.
Jacqueline Holland (The God of Endings Sneak Peek)
being dependent does not guarantee dependence on the appropriate caregivers. Every child is born in need of nurturing, but after infancy and toddlerhood not all children necessarily look to the parent to provide it. Our power to parent rests not in how dependent our child is, but in how much our child depends specifically on us. The power to execute our parental responsibilities lies not in the neediness of our children but in their looking to us to be the answer to their needs. We cannot truly take care of a child who does not count on us to be taken care of, or who depends on us only for food, clothing, shelter, and other material concerns. We cannot emotionally support a child who is not leaning on us for his psychological needs. It is frustrating to direct a child who does not welcome our guidance, irksome and self-defeating to assist one who is not seeking our help.
Gordon Neufeld (Hold on to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers)
The uses to which Rousseau’s doctrine has been turned are a mater for amazement and provide a striking lesson in social history. All that has been taken over from it is the magic formula, popular sovereignty, divorced both from the subject-matter to which it was applicable and from the fundamental condition of its exercise, the assembly of the people. It is now used to justify the very spate of legislation which it was its purpose to dam, and to advance the indefinite enablement of Power – which Rousseau had sought to restrict! All his school had made individual right the beginning and the end of his system. It was to be guarantee by subjecting to it at two removes the actual Power in human form, namely the executive. The executive was made subject to the law, which was kept strictly away from it, and the law was made subject to the sacrosanct principles of natural justice. The idea of the law’s subjection to natural justice has not been maintained. That of power’s subjection to the law has fared a little better, but has been interpreted in such a way that the authority which makes laws has incoporated with itself the authority which applies them; they have become united, and so the omnipotent law has raised to its highest pitch a Power which it has made omnicompetent. Rousseau’s school had concentrated on the idea of law. Their labour was in vain: all that the social consciousness has taken over from it is the association between the two conceptions, law and popular will. It is no longer accepted that a law owes its validity, as in Rousseau’s thought, should be confined to a generalized subject -matter. Its majesty was usurped by any expression of an alleged popular will. A mere juggling with meanings has brought the wheel full circle to the dictum which so digusted our philosophers: “Whatever pleases the prince shall have force of law.” The prince has changed – that is all. The collapse of this keystone has brought down the whole building. The principle of liberty has been based on the principle of law: to say that liberty consists in obedience to the laws only, presupposes in law such characteristics of justice and permanenece as may enable the citizen to know with precision the demands which are and will be made on him; the limits within which society may command him being in this way narrowly defined, he is his own master in his own prescribed domain. But, if law comes merely to reflect the caprices of the people, or of some body to which the legislative authority has been delegate, or of a faction which control that body, then obedience to the laws means in effect subjection to the inconstant, uncertain, unknown, arbitrary will of men whoch give this will the form of law. In that event the law is no longer the stay of liberty. The inner ligatures of Rousseau’s system come apart, and what was intended as a guarantee becomes a means of oppression.
Bertrand De Jouvenel (On Power: The Natural History of Its Growth)
First, think about execution more sequentially than in parallel. Work on fewer things at the same time, and prioritize hard. Even if you're not sure about ranking priorities, do it anyway. The process alone will be enlightening. Figure out what matters most, what matters less, and what matters not at all. Otherwise your people will disagree about what's important. The questions you should ask constantly: What are we not going to do? What are the consequences of not doing something?
Frank Slootman (Amp It Up: Leading for Hypergrowth by Raising Expectations, Increasing Urgency, and Elevating Intensity)
Strictly speaking, business rules are rules or procedures that make or save the business money. Very strictly speaking, these rules would make or save the business money, irrespective of whether they were implemented on a computer. They would make or save money even if they were executed manually. The fact that a bank charges N% interest for a loan is a business rule that makes the bank money. It doesn’t matter if a computer program calculates the interest, or if a clerk with an abacus calculates the interest.
Robert C. Martin (Clean Architecture: A Craftsman's Guide to Software Structure and Design)
No matter what bosses say, it’s all about them. You are just an instrument to them. They’ll treat you well as long as you’re useful.
David F. D'Alessandro (Executive Warfare: 10 Rules of Engagement for Winning Your War for Success)
From Adobe’s experience, I’d say that a continuous performance management system has three requirements. The first is executive support. The second is clarity on company objectives and how they align with individual priorities—as set out in our “goals and expectations,” which equate to OKRs. The third is an investment in training to equip managers and leaders to be more effective. We’re not shipping people out to courses. We’re steering them to one-hour sessions online, with role-played vignettes: “Do you need to give difficult feedback? Here are the steps.
John Doerr (Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs)
Structure and clarity: Are goals, roles, and execution plans on our team clear? Psychological safety: Can we take risks on this team without feeling insecure or embarrassed? Meaning of work: Are we working on something that is personally important for each of us? Dependability: Can we count on each other to do high-quality work on time? Impact of work: Do we fundamentally believe that the work we’re doing matters?
John Doerr (Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs)