11/20/17

Critical Thinking v Emotion (Feelings)

What exactly is critical thinking, Big Red Car?

Big Red Car here on a crisp Monday. Been gone to Savannah and New York City for my annual pilgrimage to celebrate somebody’s birthday, to see the Broadway shows, to eat decadent food, and to watch the NYC Veterans Day Parade. Missions accomplished.

On the plane back, I got to thinking about the issue of critical thinking. Somebody whose opinion I respect said that much of what is going on today is driven by a failure to think critically, accelerated by an intellectual laziness to simply follow one’s emotions.

Continue reading

11/1/17

Career – Managing Your Career 2017 and Beyond

Career, what career, Big Red Car?

Big Red Car here in the ATX on a gloomy, wet day. Ahh, it is still good, y’all. Will be 80F by afternoon and maybe, just maybe, the sun will burn through.

Today, in our new gig economy, it is almost impossible to get the word “career” out of one’s mouth and not have it drown in your smile. Companies don’t provide career opportunities; and, companies in or around the tech space, the startup ecosystem, make no bones about it. They are all headed to the pay window and one can only hope to have a few stock options with which to enjoy the trip and then find another gig on the flip side.

But, in spite of this, YOU still need to take care of YOU.

That’s what we are going to talk about today — you managing your career in the day of the gig economy.

Continue reading

10/26/17

Exit Interview — CEO Shoptalk

Exit interview, y’all?

Hello, dear readers. It is 66F here in Austin By God Texas. It is clear, crisp, and lovely. It is sweater weather.

So, the last couple of posts we have discussed how to fire and layoff employees.

When you part company with an employee, a useful exercise is conducting an exit interview. An exit interview may provide a soon-to-be-former employee an opportunity to harness their candor and tell you some things they might not if they were dependent upon you for their next paycheck.

The question is how to conduct the exit interview?

Continue reading

10/23/17

Leadership Changes — CEO Shoptalk

Leadership changes can effect policy which can alter outcomes. Leadership changes are critical to outcomes.

Big Red Car here on a glorious Texas, Austin By God Texas, day. Ahh, on Earth as it is in Texas!

One of the easiest ways to change outcomes is to change leadership. I say this in the context of business leadership (startups, in particular), but the example I will use has to do with the Middle East and ISIS. Hello, America!

If you have been following the unending war in Iraq and Syria, you will note several interesting things.

ISIS is kaput and it is only a matter of time before its leadership is dead, and its footprints disappear.

Let’s explore how this happened.

Continue reading

10/17/17

Manliness — Being a Man in the Modern Age

The Big Red Car shares insights on manliness in the age of Harvey Weinstein. Be a man. Man up.

Big Red Car here on a perfect, sunny Texas day. On Earth as it is in Texas.

The recent Harvey Weinstein imbroglio has the Big Red Car wondering if the Nation is still producing MEN. Not, “men.” MEN.

Guys like our fathers, who won World War II by kicking the crap out of the Nazis and the Japs and made the world safe. Guys like George (NMI) Washington, who founded the country, beat the Brits (most proficient army and navy of their times), and generally showed the world how the cow was going to eat the cabbage at this democracy stuff.

Maybe we’ve just forgotten what it means to be a man and need some remedial instruction.

So, here goes.

Continue reading

10/14/17

Principles and practices – CEO Shoptalk

Principles, Big Red Car? How about a Texas v Oklahoma prediction instead?

Big Red Car here on a cloudy Saturday waiting for the Texas v Oklahoma football game to start. We light it up at 2:30 PM Texas time.

I used to go to the game in Dallas for about a third of a century. Then #1 son took his show on the road and I stopped going. Sigh.

Now, I am going to watch it on the telly. But, I can get snacks all the time. Unlimited beef jerky, the thick kind. Also, Orangina. Lots of orangina.

So, today we talk about the way a CEO guides their company to the Promised Land. The Promised Land is a self-defined concept, but it is whatever you want it to be.

We talked about the difference between firings and layoffs last week.

Layoffs — CEO Shoptalk

Firing People — CEO Shoptalk

Continue reading

10/11/17

Layoffs — CEO Shoptalk

Layoffs are never fun. Here’s how to think about and do it.

So, it is gorgeous in the ATX — high 0f 78F, currently sunny and 67F. On Earth as it is in Texas! A day to eat outside.

So, we spoke earlier about firing folks for cause, remember?

Firing People — CEO Shoptalk

Today, we follow up on that by talking about layoffs. Layoffs are “not for cause” terminations, while firing people is “for cause.” Know the distinction. Either way, it is a hard day at Slippery Rock when you have to fire or layoff folks.

Continue reading

10/4/17

Firing People — CEO Shoptalk

Firing people and laying folks off is a hard day. Here are some thoughts on how to do it.

Big Red Car here on a cloudy, but soon to be sunny, day in the ATX, God’s country. On Earth as it is in Texas! Muggy today.

So, a CEO has a series of things she struggles with. We talked about that right here:

CEOs — Doing Tough Things Shoptalk

One of those things is terminating employment either by firing someone (for cause) or laying someone off (not for cause).

They are both difficult to do. Here’s some thoughts on the subject.

Continue reading

09/28/17

Critique — CEO Shoptalk

Everybody needs a good critique, right? Ahhh, criticism is the breakfast of champions, no?

Big Red Car here on a cloudy Texas day. Only going to be in the low 80s today. Time to start thinking about the swimming pool, eh? Haha, Hell no. Swimming today, y’all.

So when you’re a CEO you will receive and give critiques. Makes sense, no? Performance appraisal — feedback — is the breakfast of champions.

Today, I want to get your mind right about how to receive this when it is you being critiqued. Ready?

Continue reading

09/27/17

The American Flag, a Veteran’s Perspective

Veterans have a special attachment to the American flag. Allow me to explain why.

Big Red Car here in a cloudy Austin By God Texas day with some reflections from a veteran on the flag of our great country. This is written to explain how enraged veterans may be over recent events which they interpret to be disrespectful to the flag under which they served and, by reference, disrespectful to them. The Big Red Car is not doing missionary work here, not trying to espouse a view, but trying to provide information for you to be able to understand how a veteran might feel about this.

“I want you to see how this became about the flag, the Star-Spangled Banner, veterans, and patriotism. It is not an illogical conclusion,” said your Big Red Car.

Firstly, this controversy was initiated by NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick when he sat down and then, subsequently, took a knee during the playing of the Star Spangled Banner at the start of a San Francisco 49ers game (26 August 2016) . He explained his action thusly, “I AM NOT GOING TO STAND UP TO SHOW PRIDE IN A FLAG FOR A COUNTRY THAT OPPRESSES BLACK PEOPLE AND PEOPLE OF COLOR.”

His words are the glue that attaches his protest to the flag. The flag was being displayed during the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner. There is no necessity to look for linkages to the flag and the Star-Spangled Banner, they were there from the beginning. They were put there by Colin Kaepernick.

Kaepernick went on to say, “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

In this manner, Kaepernick drew attention to the idea that policemen killing innocent people should not be tolerated. He fleshed this out in numerous statements which identified specific police killings of black men.

Let’s stop for a second and reason together. Regardless of whether one agrees with Kaepernick’s actions, is there anyone in favor of cops killing black men? As a foundation value, that is not particularly controversial. Nobody wants cops killing anybody, if it can be avoided.

Continue reading