The best leader doesn’t have say a thing to get his underlings to do his bidding

They say a true leader is a coach.  Rick is neither — he’s a storyteller who compels his readers to follow their own path to whatever they enjoy the most — pain, bliss, or painful bliss or blissful pain, numbness, joy, they choose it — whatever they do, they’re accomplishing Rick’s goals without knowing it.

That’s a true leader — Rick is the best mob boss in the business.

Think about that the next time you kill someone or steal in the name of justice — you just did what Rick told you to without question.

Mob bosses have different hobbies.

Rick likes to dance.

But Rick likes to dance with his girlfriend — let him make you jealous one more time.

Unto these hills revisited

I look up at the wall of plaques and artwork behind the student desk on which this notebook PC obeys the rule of gravity.

“Having earned the Eagle Scout Award in 1976 and desiring to continue to promote, support and apply Scouting ideals through Service Richard L. Hill II is hereby recognized by the National Eagle Scout Association as a member in good standing through the year 1991.”

I am Richard the second, not Richard III.

Once an Eagle Scout, always an Eagle Scout, but never having fought or lost in hand-to-hand combat on the field of battle.

There is fame in a name, if not in a person who bears/wears it.

There is a difference between a person as a distinct set of states of energy and a person who represents labels that local subcultures place or imprint upon that person.

When I was a Boy Scout, there was a leadership hierarchy that formed within our ranks, partially encouraged by the adult leaders.

Some of the boys naturally took charge while others were trained to accept roles of responsibility, however reluctantly, by ambitious parents.

Scuttlebutt, or rumours/gossip, spread between us as in any group.

The acquisition of badges and other honours was indicative of factual accomplishments, not imaginary or rumoured ones, thus separating the talkers from the doers.

The elected leader of the U.S. government, President Obama, stated over the weekend that he supported the integration of homosexuals into the Boy Scouts of America.

Boy Scouts

Boy Scouts is an outdoor program designed to develop character, citizenship, and fitness for boys ages 11 through 17. Through the advancement program and peer group leadership, Scouting helps a boy develop into a well-rounded young man. The Eagle Scout Award, the highest rank in Scouting, is recognized around the world as a mark of excellence.

Scout Oath:

“On my honor, I will do my best, to do my duty to God and my country, and to obey the Scout Law. To help other people at all times, to keep myself physically fit, mentally awake, and morally straight.”

The Scout Law:

“A Scout is … trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.”

What, I ask myself, is “morally straight”?  According to the Scouts website, morally straight means:

To be a person of strong character, your relationships with others should be honest and open. You should respect and defend the rights of all people. Be clean in your speech and actions, and remain faithful in your religious beliefs. The values you practice as a Scout will help you shape a life of virtue and self-reliance.

From what I understand about homosexuals, their sexual preference or orientation is set at birth according to their development in the womb.  Whether or what environmental factors come into play during foetal development, I don’t know and haven’t taken the time to investigate.

I know that our local economy contains many productive members of what is currently labeled the LGBT community; therefore, my participation in the local economy as consumer/producer means that I benefit from the economic participation of lesbians, gays, bisexual and transsexual individuals.

I don’t know enough about gays/homosexuals to tell one from a heterosexual except when I see an effeminate guy who, I assume, is most likely gay.

I certainly believe that paedophilia and homosexuality are not synonymous, just like seeing images of guys dressed as women in all-male reviews onboard naval vessels means that they are probably neither transvestites nor transsexuals.

However, I can remember from my Scouting days the aversion of members of our troop to the effeminate behaviour of boys who tried to join but never really belonged and eventually quit.

There were boys who didn’t have the physically prowess or fortitude to handle the long hikes, who weren’t interested in learning the set of skills necessary to advance to the next level of Scouting, regardless of their manly or effeminate behaviour, and quit, too, so it wasn’t just the outwardly effeminate types who didn’t make it in Scouting.

Although I was a member of the Presbyterian Church, the Scout troop I belonged to was in a Southern Baptist Church, which was very conservative; in fact, after I left the Boy Scout troop when I graduated high school, our Boy Scout senior leader, who felt the church wasn’t conservative enough, went off and formed an independent church for the true conservatives of the community.

Which leads me to this [re]discovery, the existence of alternatives to the Boy Scouts of America, including Royal Rangers (which reminds me of the Royal Ambassadors of the Southern Baptist Church when I was a kid).

Socioeconomically, I have not a single problem interacting with any person willing to conduct business under the guidance of a sense of fair play, despite my subcultural misgivings about our personality differences, because at any time until a transaction is completed, either one of us can walk away and not see each other if we so choose, returning to our subcultures which rarely meet eye-to-eye.

We can suspend our disbelief in the existence of each other, or not.

We can be appalled at our reactions against or behaviours toward each other.

Often, we return to the subcultural practices with which we feel most comfortable.

There may be Scout troops where the acceptance is normal of boys who are not rugged enough or are too effeminate for the type of troop to which I belonged in the 1970s.

If the Boy Scouts of America accepts homosexual boys, it goes against everything I learned and earned my way to the rank of Eagle Scout.

When I was a teenage boy, would I have shared a tent with a known homosexual?  Definitely not.  I would have accepted him as a fellow classmate in public school and participated in school functions with him, even calling him friend, but in Scouting there would have been a separation between us that I, for lack of a better word or phrase, would have called a natural subcultural reaction.

In the public forum, there is a willingness to suspend our disbeliefs in order to buy and sell goods/services/ideas, where we drop our guards and reduce ours fears of others not like us to achieve socioeconomic goals, temporarily overcoming comfortable, everyday barriers we place to shelter the subcultural beliefs ingrained in us as children.

Would I be comfortable placing my child under the leadership of a gay Boy Scout leader?  Not without understanding my son’s personality.  If he, based partially on my tutelage and guidance of him during his formative years, was willing to accept homosexuals as people, I might, but if the leader was effeminate or in any way not part of my everyday set of subcultural practices, then probably not.

I had childhood friends who were gay.  Some of them are even on my list of Facebook friends but none of them made it to the rank of Eagle Scout because their set of behaviours placed them in a different subcultural circle than the members of the Scout troop I was in and will be a part of in my thoughts the rest of my life.

My Scout troop at the Southern Baptist Church no longer exists.  The Scout troop at the Presbyterian Church in which I grew up still exists, churning out future leaders on a regular basis.

I haven’t been active in Scouting for a long time.  One of my nephews, a member of a local Southern Baptist Church, achieved the rank of Eagle Scout around the year 2000, while the other nephew, who belonged to the troop at my hometown Presbyterian Church, reached at least Webelo and maybe Tenderfoot but lost interest in Scouting, having other activities that he wanted to pursue.

Scouting is not for everyone just like public schools are not for everyone.  There is more than one way for a boy to become a “well-rounded young man.”

What I don’t know is just because a homosexual boy can become a socioeconomically successful person as an adult, with whom I, as a person, am willing to interact and call friend, is he ever a man the way I was raised to understand that a man is heterosexual by nature?  If not, then there’s no way a homosexual boy can ultimately succeed in Scouting, despite learning and mastering all the skills that Scouting provides, because he has no chance of subculturally becoming a “well-rounded young [heterosexual] man.”

Speaking of a just society

How many people work for a structured organisation?

My brain is fuzzy this morning so I’m just making this blog entry a thought experiment.

Corporate organisational charts are typically hierarchical, especially viewed from a monetary compensation viewpoint.

The higher up the chart you go, the fewer the people but the more they’re paid.

People (employees, consultants, etc.) are just one cost of doing business.

What if we redefined the cost of working for a structured organisation?

What if we told employees that part of their pay was tied to profit sharing?

What if every minimum-wage job taught employees not only how to work together with other people as a team but also how the risks and rewards of running a company are shared so that it’s not just the CEOs and executives who get bonuses but also everyone else on the organisation chart?

What are the costs and benefits for such a program?

Could we remove the necessity for minimum wage and unions if we as a nation said that all employees were entitled to sharing the profits for a job well done as a team?

Would employees feel a better sense of ownership and pride in their work?

How could such a plan be integrated into early childhood education?

How do we instill into children that every one of us is a profit center?

Some of us profit monetarily and some of us profit emotionally/spiritually; some both; some neither.

How does this apply to people who are congenitally unable to grasp the concept of teamwork?

Until we meet again…

There comes a moment in every narrative where the main character not only questions primary motivations but also decides to make major changes in plot directions.

Today is such a day.

The Reluctant Leader, who has listened, advised, observed, reported and acted, is passing the baton to the next person on the Committee.

It is time to say goodbye to the leadership role, leave the Committee and retire to the cabin in the woods.

Every Committee member faces this day, some with sadness, some with gladness, and all with a sense that one’s duty has been completed and curiosity sated.

Our species is well on its way toward recontinuing its reconfiguration of the environment in which it initially adapts and later transforms.

The majority will follow along, bleating like happy sheep, adopting the latest technology, as it always has.

A few stalwarts will maintain a lifestyle away from the state-of-the-art for various reasons — affordability, learnability, stubbornness and lack of need for more efficient, interconnected whizzbang gadgetry to increase social cohesiveness.

We’ll create new labels, imagine new futures and pine for golden days of yore.

We’ll repeat ourselves, repeat ourselves, repeat ourselves.

I, the narrator, whose personality is intimately tied to the main character in this narrative, have lost the incentive to be here, no longer needing to seek my father’s approval or prove my worth to my wife’s parents by writing a blog that substitutes for the child I never sired with my wife for them (even for reasons outside my control).

I am free.

And that is as it should be for someone like me.

Goodbye, so long, and thanks for all the Phish posters on walls of paintslingers extraordinaire!

Parting Shots – “Gone crazy. Back soon.”

A CIA employee quit to become a bishop.  Now all his files are marked “Sacred” and “Top Sacred.” — The American Legion magazine, May 2012

Reminds me of an insight that occurs and re-occurs in me with occasional irregularity.

Do you ever wonder why people and organisations make and keep secrets?

Well, for starters, if they fail at a secret task, only those in on the know will know what they know about what failed and why it failed.

In addition, they can [somewhat] control the perception of the failure.

That’s why I operate on a species-level scale.  I want our failures out in the open as much as possible so we can learn from our mistakes and get out of the perception-is-reality business.

To be sure, we’re an unusual species, in that our disguises are meant for each other as well as for predators/prey.

But many species play bluffing games with each other, having larger antlers, bigger nests, brighter plumage and flashier courting rituals.

We are, supposedly, smarter than all that.

We can — again, supposedly — see through our limited attempts of increasing our chances for reproduction and resource access.

Supposedly.

That’s the key word here, isn’t it?

Perhaps I put too much thought into our abilities to rise above our past.

We all make mistakes.  Me, especially.

Mine, as thinker, writer, and tinkerer, are here as much as possible for you to peruse and ponder in making decisions about yourself and ourselves together as one superset of states of energy (i.e., one species).

Enough pondering. pompous pontification for today.  Time for action.