Loss

My mom died last Friday 24 April, a little over a month after her 79th birthday, of complications associated with her small cell lung cancer, treatments for same, and a confluence of other health problems that have been ongoing for about the past 10 years.  I didn’t understand her as a human being and I wish I had.  I wish I’d been a better son.  Easy for me it is to justify the steps I’ve taken over my lifespan to differentiate, but today I just feel a sense of guilt and failure. Sadness. Grief.

Wednesday’s Leadership Lesson

As I continue to observe and reflect upon the behaviors of human beings in a work context, I have developed standards for judging the usefulness of people as they go about their assigned tasks.  What I am looking for in others is:

  1. Orientation to reality
  2. Competence (and it won’t develop/exist without orientation to reality)
  3. Some evidence of basic goodwill – not a false altruism that thrives in the absence of an orientation to reality

If you haven’t got the first or second of these qualities, you’re not going to be able to produce value or function as a leader.  If you haven’t got the third of these qualities, you will fail to build and maintain trust necessary for the work group or unit to function.  Failures to have and develop these qualities lead inexorably to the Potemkin Village model of public service and, unsubsidized by redistribution of taxpayer wealth, to the collapse of commercial and industrial ventures.