American Values Evaporating

Memorial Day got me thinking about how America passes its values from one generation to the next. I was irked by how Memorial Day has lost its meaning — honoring American war dead.

In my work with CEOs, I call that concept The Wisdom of the Campfire.

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We have two uniquely different holidays:

Memorial Day, the third Monday in May to honor American war dead

Veterans Day, the 11th day of the 11th month to honor American veterans

It is not a hard distinction to make and yet we fail to make it constantly.

There are other American values that are also evaporating from the American psyche. In no particular order, here they are:

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Values >> Culture >> Reputation >> History

In the life-cycle of a company — be it a high tech startup or a paint manufacturer — the initial culture of the company is grown from the seed corn of the founders’ values.

The first challenge for any founder is to codify his/her values while recognizing that she/he owns the culture when the ink is still wet on the founding documents.

The culture is a living organism in much the same way that yeast provides life to dough and water to somehow magically become bread when presented to fire.

It is important to think about culture, but it will happen whether you think about it or not.

If you fail to think about and nurture your culture, then it will become whatever organism is blowing through the air. [The air is different in Silicon Valley than it is in, say, Austin By God Texas. Know this.]

In thinking about culture, go here: The Company Culture Series — a collection of 14 blog posts on the subject of culture.

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Big Red Rules — 2017 I Edition — Debutantes and Values

Debutantes and values? Huh?

Big Red Car here on another glorious ATX, on Earth as it is in Texas, morning. Little late getting to the computer this morning.

Back in the day, I used to send y’all some Big Red Rules — rules for regulating your life and view of the world. When we blew through Big Red Rules X (twice as I recall), we shelved the project. Recently, I’ve gotten a lot of heat for some new rules and a redux of the old ones. So, here goes.

Today we review Values and Debutantes. An oldie and a new goodie. Enjoy.

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Values & Skin In The Game

Do you embrace values which require you to have skin in the game? Or are they and you all talk?

Big Red Car here using The Boss’s computer while he’s at church. The Boss needs to spend more time at church. Needs a good sermon.

So, I get on the issue of values with that cute Mercedes convertible who lives over on Gaston Avenue. We’ll talk sometimes and sip some 10W40.


Big Red Car’s “friend” over on Gaston. They like to sip some 10W40 on weekends when The Boss is distracted. Nice set of headlights?

She’s hot on the subject of values and I ask her, “What about values?”

“Don’t get me started,” she says and burps. The 10W40 is good, but she has a little indigestion. She’s still cute.

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Traditional Values or Conservatism?

Big Red Car here.  Well, The Boss is in Idaho skiing.  Huh?  Yes, just me and the house sitter in this nice warm, top down weather.  Already 75F and who knows how warm it is going to get?  Haha

Well, the Big Red Car has been doing a bit of thinking about the current values in our society.  [Ohoh, when the Big Red Car gets thinking, no telling what might happen.  The  Big Red Car is like that.  Haha!] Continue reading