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Friday, January 20, 2017

WHAT I LEARNED ABOUT THE PRESS

BRYCE ON THE NEWS MEDIA

- Dealing with an irresponsible press.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

In 2016 I attended three Trump rallies as a member of the press corps. Frankly, it was an eye opening experience for me. At the beginning of each rally, there was an Invocation and a Pledge of Allegiance to the flag. Few reporters stood up to observe either which I personally found embarrassing. I also noticed the printed press had their columns written before Mr. Trump took the podium. This caused me to question their objectivity as they were more interested in what they wrote as opposed to what Mr. Trump actually said.

From all this, I discovered the news media is a cut-throat business that is more concerned with beating the competition as opposed to reporting the facts. Yet, there is a sense of fraternity among the members of the press. If you attack one, you are attacking them all, and they are quick to come to the defense of each other. When Trump supporters chanted, "CNN sucks, CNN sucks...", most of the press corps took offense and looked at the crowd with disdain.

From this, I have discovered the press possesses an incestuous relationship, you are either in or you're out. You either play ball with their sense of politics or face exclusion. This makes them very cliquish and difficult to get to know.

Those members of the press I talked with during the rallies seemed very insecure about their station in life. I found most to be pseudo-intellectuals. They may be excellent wordsmiths, but shallow in terms of original thinking and debate.

Today we are hearing a lot about "fake news," where stories are dreamt up and lack substance. I'm not sure I like the word "fake" as I tend to see such reporting as "fallacious" or "erroneous." They will quote someone like Mr. Trump, spin it, and report it to the public as if it were gospel to a gullible public. In other words, there is no such things as ethics among the press. It is considered perfectly acceptable to report a story incorrectly, and be slow in issuing a correction, if at all. Further, the reporter is rarely reprimanded properly.

So, what can be done? In Mr. Trump's case, he will continue to circumvent the press completely and communicate directly to the American people via social media before the news media has a chance to garble the message. Of course, they will continue to protest Mr. Trump's tweets, but he should be allowed to clarify his side of the story.

As to ethics, I still believe in prohibiting the issue of press passes or granting interviews to anyone who does not possess press credentials from The Constitution First Amendment Press Association (CFAPA). This pledge is a sort of hippocratic oath as applied to journalists. The CFAPA pledge means they will conform to ethical standards.

As an aside, I still like the idea of putting the press corps outside the White House on park benches until they learn to report the news responsibly.

Also published with The Huffington Post.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim's columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim's columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  THINKING IN 360 DEGREES - Getting the big picture.

LAST TIME:  TRUMP'S INAUGURAL ADDRESS: WHAT WE NEED TO HEAR - What should his speech include?

Listen to Tim on News Talk Florida (WWBA 820 AM), WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington "The Morning News" with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim's channel on YouTube.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

TRUMP'S INAUGURAL ADDRESS: WHAT WE NEED TO HEAR

BRYCE ON POLITICS

- What should his speech include?

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

Presidential inaugural speeches are typically used to provide a sense of the character of the president and what he hopes to accomplish in his upcoming term of office. It also affords the president an opportunity to provide a sense of what our priorities and values should be. As we have just survived a brutal election campaign, Donald Trump's speech will be incredibly important to heal the nation and help us move forward. There will be those who will dismiss his comments out of hand, but even they should listen carefully to what he has to say before criticizing him.

I have listened and read many inaugural addresses over the years, some are obviously better than others, and quite often there is some commonality between them, such as calling for the people to renew their efforts and support the nation.

If I were to write Mr. Trump's address, I would consider including the following subject areas and how past presidents addressed them.

A CALL FOR MORALITY

It is important to review and restore our sense of right and wrong. To this end Dwight Eisenhower found a clever way to express his sense of morality in his first inaugural address (January 20, 1953) by opening with the following:

"My friends, before I begin the expression of those thoughts that I deem appropriate to this moment, would you permit me the privilege of uttering a little private prayer of my own. And I ask that you bow your heads:

Almighty God, as we stand here at this moment my future associates in the Executive branch of Government join me in beseeching that Thou will make full and complete our dedication to the service of the people in this throng, and their fellow citizens everywhere.

Give us, we pray, the power to discern clearly right from wrong, and allow all our words and actions to be governed thereby, and by the laws of this land. Especially we pray that our concern shall be for all the people regardless of station, race or calling.

May cooperation be permitted and be the mutual aim of those who, under the concepts of our Constitution, hold to differing political faiths; so that all may work for the good of our beloved country and Thy glory. Amen."

UNITING THE COUNTRY

America is deeply divided today due to political ideologue, resulting in culture clashes and riots. Although an inaugural address cannot singularly solve such a problem, it can help set the tone for uniting the country.

Probably nobody knew the pain of a divided country better than Abraham Lincoln. In 1858, before assuming the presidency, he gave his famous "House Divided" speech at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, warning of the dangers of division, but it was his second inaugural address (March 4, 1865) where he began to call for unity and forgiveness near the conclusion of the Civil War:

"With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan--to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations."

THE DIGNITY OF THE COMMON MAN

Theodore Roosevelt's "Square Deal" speech, delivered at a banquet in Dallas, Texas (April 5, 1905), referred to the dignity of the common man and, as such, his rights as an America citizen:

"We must act upon the motto of all for each and each for all. There must be ever present in our minds the fundamental truth that in a republic such as ours the only safety is to stand neither for nor against any man because he is rich or because he is poor, because he is engaged in one occupation or another, because he works with his brains or because he works with his hands. We must treat each man on his worth and merits as a man. We must see that each is given a square deal, because he is entitled to no more and should receive no less."

A CALL FOR HOPE AND OPTIMISM

So far, the 21st century has proven to be a difficult time for all Americans, be it as a result of 9-11, the economic recession, and social upheaval. As such, it is necessary to lift up the spirits of the citizens, and offer them a glimmer of hope.

Following cousin Teddy's "Square Deal," Franklin Roosevelt wanted to lift the hopes of Americans suffering from the Great Depression with a "New Deal." In July 11, 1932, TIME magazine quoted him as saying:

"Throughout the nation men and women, forgotten in the political philosophy of the Government, look to us here for guidance and for more equitable opportunity to share in the distribution of national wealth... I pledge myself to a new deal for the American people. This is more than a political campaign. It is a call to arms."

In Ronald Reagan's second inaugural address (January 21, 1985), he admonished Americans:

"My fellow citizens, our Nation is poised for greatness. We must do what we know is right and do it with all our might. Let history say of us, "These were golden years-when the American Revolution was reborn, when freedom gained new life, when America reached for her best."

President Calvin Coolidge made the observation:

"Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent."

THE NEED FOR RESPONSIBLE CITIZENSHIP

The need for responsible citizens is an important attribute for any country to promote moral values, patriotism, and to improve society.

In his first inaugural address (January 20, 2001), George W. Bush observed:

"What you do is as important as anything government does. I ask you to seek a common good beyond your comfort; to defend needed reforms against easy attacks; to serve your nation, beginning with your neighbor. I ask you to be citizens: citizens, not spectators; citizens, not subjects; responsible citizens, building communities of service and a nation of character.

Americans are generous and strong and decent, not because we believe in ourselves, but because we hold beliefs beyond ourselves. When this spirit of citizenship is missing, no government program can replace it. When this spirit is present, no wrong can stand against it."

A CALL FOR LAW AND ORDER

Today, we suffer from a lack of respect for law and order. Law Enforcement officers have been assaulted and assassinated, and we have experienced massive demonstrations, with very few being peaceful in intent.

At an address at the Minnesota State Fair in St. Paul, MN (September 2, 1901), Theodore Roosevelt said:

"The first essential of civilization is law. Anarchy is simply the handmaiden and forerunner of tyranny and despotism. Law and order enforced with justice and by strength lie at the foundations of civilization. Law must be based upon justice, else it cannot stand, and it must be enforced with resolute firmness, because weakness in enforcing it means in the end that there is no justice and no law, nothing but the rule of disorderly and unscrupulous strength. Without the habit of orderly obedience to the law, without the stern enforcement of the laws at the expense of those who defiantly resist them, there can be no possible progress, moral or material, in civilization. There can be no weakening of the law-abiding spirit here at home, if we are permanently to succeed; and just as little can we afford to show weakness abroad."

EXTENDING AN OLIVE BRANCH TO ALL COUNTRIES

America is now accused of "leading from behind," thereby losing respect in the world community. It is necessary for America to again be looked upon as a force to be reckoned with.

At John Kennedy's inauguration (January 20, 1961), he explained his foreign policy:

"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

This much we pledge--and more.

To those old allies whose cultural and spiritual origins we share, we pledge the loyalty of faithful friends.

Finally, to those nations who would make themselves our adversary, we offer not a pledge but a request: that both sides begin anew the quest for peace, before the dark powers of destruction unleashed by science engulf all humanity in planned or accidental self-destruction.

We dare not tempt them with weakness. For only when our arms are sufficient beyond doubt can we be certain beyond doubt that they will never be employed."

WHERE WE SHOULD BE GOING

Americans value leadership as they like to know where the country is headed.

To illustrate, it was John Kennedy who called for a renewed effort of America's space program and putting a man on the moon before the end of the decade. His talk was delivered at Rice University in Houston, Texas (September 12, 1962).

"But why, some say, the Moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask, why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? ...

We choose to go to the Moon! ... We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win ..."

This speech reflected vision and inspired the people, helping to make the 1960's an era of possibilities.
 

Such eloquent rhetoric will be impossible to replicate in a single speech, but if Trump can effectively touch on each of these subject areas, the country will become more confident and possibly less divisive. His objective should be to inspire the nation and motivate the citizens to work together cooperatively, morally, and responsibly.

Whether you love him or hate him, you can ill-afford not to listen to his inaugural address. Stay tuned for January 20th, when we will learn how to "Make America Great Again."

Also published with The Huffington Post.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim's columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim's columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  WHAT I LEARNED ABOUT THE PRESS - Dealing with an irresponsible press.

LAST TIME:  PERFECTION REQUIRES PATIENCE - Sometimes it is simply not possible to achieve.

Listen to Tim on News Talk Florida (WWBA 820 AM), WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington "The Morning News" with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim's channel on YouTube.

Monday, January 16, 2017

PERFECTION REQUIRES PATIENCE

BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT

- Sometimes it is simply not possible to achieve.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

If you ever happen to see a craftsman at work, regardless of their field of endeavor, they are mindful of Michelangelo's axiom, "Trifles make perfection, and perfection is no trifle." This of course means perfection rarely occurs in quick and dirty situations. Instead, a methodical approach is preferred over trial and error, whereby careful consideration is given to all of the elements of planning, design, testing, and installation, where the development of each component in the product is carefully scrutinized for quality. In other words, perfection requires patience to achieve. We should, therefore, be mindful of the speed versus defect phenomenon, whereby the faster we go the more likely we are to experience defects in workmanship; the slower we go, the less likely.

Regardless of our best intentions, it is still possible to overlook a minuscule detail thereby hindering perfection. Sometimes perfection is simply impossible to achieve, which is when we have to become practical and change tactics.

To illustrate, years ago we were hired by a Blue Cross/Blue Shield plan to look over a new Claims Processing system they were building. The focal point of their problem centered on adjudicating claims whereby they wanted to devise an automated way to analyze a claim and determine the amount of money to be paid out. They had spent considerable time and money analyzing adjudication and were frustrated they couldn't come up with a standard algorithm for computing all claims. We studied the problem and found that 90% of their claims were easy to analyze and calculate adjudication. For example, simple doctor visits, a broken bone, normal childbirths, etc. were easy to analyze and compute. However, unusual medical claims such as complications at childbirth, and accidents from a massive car accident, involved many more variables and, consequently, were difficult to compute based on standard algorithms. After studying the problem carefully, we reached the conclusion that trying to accurately calculate 100% of all claims was an impossibility. It was simply not practical to try to achieve this lofty goal and, as such, was a waste of time pursuing it. Instead, it was our advice they simply automate the 90% claims they could easily perform and segregate the remaining 10% for handling by a human adjuster. To their surprise, this worked remarkably well and saved them considerable money.

Too often in systems and software development people try to do the impossible and often run into a stumbling block when trying to achieve their goal. Do we continue to waste time and money on a problem that cannot be conquered or do we stop, lick our wounds, and move around? The problem is knowing when to stop.

This is ultimately based on the concept of the "80/20 Rule" (aka, ""Pareto’s Principle"). Vilfredo Pareto was an Italian economist who observed in 1897 that 80 percent of the land in England was owned by 20 percent of the population. Pareto’s theory thereby relates to the ratio of input to output; e.g. twenty percent of your effort produces 80 percent of your results. From a time management perspective, it means 20 percent of the people are normally responsible for producing 80 percent of the work.

The concept of 80/20 can also be applied in other situations, as demonstrated by the above Claims Processing System. The point is, instead of continuing to beat your head against a wall, maybe it will be more practical to simply walk around it.

Also published with The Huffington Post.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim's columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim's columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  TRUMP'S INAUGURAL ADDRESS: WHAT WE NEED TO HEAR - What should his speech include?

LAST TIME:  TAKING THE SPORT OUT OF ATHLETICS - Is the scientific approach dehumanizing sports?

Listen to Tim on News Talk Florida (WWBA 820 AM), WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington "The Morning News" with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim's channel on YouTube.

Friday, January 13, 2017

TAKING THE SPORT OUT OF ATHLETICS

BRYCE ON ATHLETICS

- Is the scientific approach dehumanizing sports?

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

As charges of doping were brought against members of the US Bicycle Team, the investigation discovered the problem was much larger in scope than originally thought, not just here in America, but internationally as well. Americans should be familiar with the drug problem by now as just about every professional sport has had more than its share of incidents and scandal. Actually, we shouldn't be surprised by the rise of doping today as athletics are less about sports and more about business, big business.

Gone are the days when athletes would play just for the love of the game, who would endure bus rides and uncomfortable hotel rooms. Gone are the days of the amateur status, even the Olympics is no longer a haven. Athletes now take a professional and highly scientific approach to sports. We measure every shot, stroke, basket, and swing, in terms of speed, distance, height and trajectory. The athletes themselves are carefully monitored in terms of age, calories consumed, pounds, inches, breath, heartbeats, and grams of fat. Nothing is overlooked. Everything is precisely scrutinized by packs of high-priced sports consultants. Got a hangnail? Stop the game and have it fixed by people specializing in sports medicine. Need a better bat, ball, or iron for your game? An army of vendors are at your disposal representing billions of dollars in merchandise. It's not about the sport of the game anymore, it's about business, and the precision by which we develop and market it is overwhelming. It's no small wonder doping is the next inevitable stage in the evolution of athletics. Frankly, I'm surprised by all the hubbub surrounding drugs. Since we have radically altered what the athlete wears and the tools of his/her game, tampering with human physiology seems only natural.

All of this has changed the face and character of athletics. Today's World Series champion would surely whip the "Murderer's Row" of the 1920's, the "Gas House Gang" of the 1930's, and the "Big Red Machine" of the 1970's, but they were certainly more interesting to watch as they had more character than science. The antics of people like Babe Ruth, Dizzy Dean, Mickey Mantle and many others were legendary. Fortunately, they were natural athletes who could overcome their hijinks with some rather brilliant play. "It ain't braggin' if ya can back it up," said Dean to answer his critics and reflected the philosophy of such players.

Throughout the 20th century fans relished the colorful characters who became icons for the teams they played on. In baseball, you had players like Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Johnny Bench, Brooks Robinson, Harmon Killebrew, Sandy Koufax, Stan Musial, Ted Williams, and Cal Ripken; inspirational "Iron Men" who played with quiet dignity and grace. Then there were the fierce competitors like Ty Cobb, "Shoeless" Joe Jackson, Jackie Robinson, Willie Mays, and Pete Rose who played with seemingly reckless abandon. There were others who butchered the English language, causing sports writers to scratch their heads in bewilderment, like Yogi Berra, Satchel Page, Bob Uecker, Sparky Anderson, and Casey Stengle who said such things as, "Most ball games are lost, not won." Their logic may have seemed convoluted, but they told you only what they wanted you to know, which quite often was a smokescreen to conceal what they were really thinking.

Players were often given friendly nicknames like "Pee Wee," "Slick," and "Charlie Hustle," and were considered intricate parts of our community. They were our neighbors, our friends, our heroes, and possessed the same human frailties we all shared thereby making it easy to identify with them. At one point, baseball was 50% character and 50% skill. Today, it's all about skill, and in the process the charm of the game is diminishing. Instead of being viewed as an average Joe with an uncanny ability to play their game, today our athletes are viewed as Supermen and Superwomen with Godlike abilities.

Baseball was not alone in terms of colorful characters. Football had players like Daryle "The Mad Bomber" Lamonica, "Slingin" Sammy Baugh, Norm Van Brocklin, Bart Starr, Kenny "The Snake" Stabler, Len Dawson, George "The Grand Old Man" Blanda, and of course, "Broadway" Joe Willie Namath. Aside from quarterbacks, there was Dick Butkus (whose last name alone would strike fear into his opponents), Alex Karras, Jim Brown, Bob Lilly, Merlin Olson, Chuck Howley, Ben Davidson, Ray Nitschke, Forrest Greg, Lou "The Toe" Groza, Anthony Munoz, Paul "The Golden Boy" Hornung, and Ted "The Mad Stork" Hendricks, players who made a name for themselves on and off the field.

Basketball had Bill Russell, Bob Cousy, John Havlicek, Larry Bird, Jerry West, Oscar "The Big O" Robertson, Willis Reed, "Pistol Pete" Maravich, Magic Johnson, Wilt "The Stilt" Chamberlain, Walt "Clyde" Frazier, Bill Bradley, and Dave DeBusschere (who also pitched for the Chicago White Sox). Hockey had such luminaries as Wayne "The Great One" Gretzky, Bobby "The Golden Jet" Hull, Bobby Orr, Gordie Howe, Mario Lemieux, Stan Makita, as well as Phil and Tony Esposito who were affectionately referred to as "Mr. Go" and "Mr. No."

All of these men were not only talented, but possessed a character that people naturally gravitated towards. To them, it was about the love of the game which they played fiercely and competitively, and the fans loved them for it. Regardless of their achievements though, all of these heroes of yesteryear would probably be defeated by today's scientific approach to sports which is sad by my estimation.

Has the scientific approach taken the fun and excitement out of the game? Maybe, but you cannot argue with such things as attendance and revenues, which is what it is all about today.

As much as we might like to see doping disappear from sports, it will undoubtedly continue. Beyond this, the next stage will be the genetic engineering of athletes of the future. As long as we remain obsessed with the economics of the game, athletics will lose its heart and soul. Frankly, I don't think we will be satisfied until we've driven the human element completely from the game and create Robo-players. Then it will be nothing more than a race for the best technology which, in essence, it is already.

I for one, will miss the human character of players like Bob Uecker who said, "When I came up to bat with three men on and two outs in the ninth, I looked in the other team's dugout and they were already in street clothes."

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.
Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim's columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim's columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  PERFECTION REQUIRES PATIENCE - Sometimes it is simply not possible to achieve.

LAST TIME:  A FRESH PERSPECTIVE OF DONALD J. "TR"UMP - Daniel Ruddy's recent book on Teddy Roosevelt provides tremendous insight into Mr. Trump.

Listen to Tim on News Talk Florida (WWBA 820 AM), WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington "The Morning News" with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim's channel on YouTube.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

A FRESH PERSPECTIVE OF DONALD J. "TR"UMP

BRYCE ON POLITICS & HISTORY

- Daniel Ruddy's recent book on Teddy Roosevelt provides tremendous insight into Mr. Trump.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

To understand the mind of our 45th President, Donald J. Trump, one need only go back approximately 100 years in American history and study the character of our 26th President, Theodore Roosevelt ("TR"), considered one of our greatest presidents of all time (see Mt. Rushmore). In author Daniel Ruddy's recent book, "Theodore the Great" (Regnery History, ISBN: 978-1621572640), published in August, just prior to the 2016 general election, an uncanny resemblance emerges between TR and Trump. Ruddy's intent is to debunk the many misconceptions related to TR, particularly his recent characterizations as a liberal Progressive. It is true Roosevelt helped to build the Progressive Party (aka, "Bull Moose Party") in the early 20th century, but any resemblance between progressives of that time to today is purely coincidental.

Ruddy picks through history and develops a convincing argument of TR's conservative legacy. Roosevelt implemented several common sense reforms, but he was hardly someone seeking social change. Interestingly, Ruddy's book is not written in chronological sequence as most history books are, but carefully subdivided into sections explaining his positions on domestic and foreign policies. By doing so, we begin to see the image of Donald Trump emerge who espoused several of the same thoughts on the campaign trail.

The comparison between the two is remarkable, beginning with the fact both were New Yorkers running as Republicans, from wealthy/affluent families. TR sought public service as his path to greatness, Trump developed a real estate/entertainment empire. Despite their wealth, both felt the plight of the common people and wanted to be considered their voice, hence they were elected more as populist candidates as opposed to any formal ideologue.

Both strongly believed in American greatness and despised liberal socialism. Just like Trump, TR viewed himself as the spirit of America wanting the same things for the country as he was blessed with, such as fame, power, and glory.

Roosevelt and Trump preferred proven experience over theory, particularly as it applied to social schemes, which TR commonly referred to as "educated ineffectives." Teddy was fond of saying, "It is well to keep in mind the remark of Frederick the Great that if he wished to punish a province he would allow it to be governed by philosophers."

Roosevelt and Trump both looked for practical solutions as opposed to academic theory. Ideology was not considered as important as getting the job done. In Trump's case, Republican conservatives and libertarians attacked him during the course of last year's campaign, accusing him of not being a true-blue conservative. As a businessman, Trump has been trained to look at both sides of an issue before rendering a decision. The same was true with TR.

The morality of Roosevelt and Trump are remarkably similar. For example, both believed each person must lead a worthy and productive life; as Ruddy writes regarding Roosevelt, "that it should be a strenuous life of duty, hard work, and self-sacrifice." Both see faith and family as important attributes of the American character, and that religious belief was essential for an orderly society.

Both TR and Trump were wary of big government, detesting bureaucrats who wasted money. In Roosevelt's case, he was accused of making the government too big. The reality though was he wanted to increase the power of the government, which at the time had been ineffective, not to simply create a behemoth.

TR saw himself more as a reformer as opposed to a progressive. To illustrate, he created the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to protect consumers from such things as tainted meat, food, and drugs. He was widely regarded as a Trust Buster to protect the rights of workers and arbitrated an end to a national coal strike. He also called for the creation of a federal agency to regulate Big Business, hence the creation of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). He did not do this to conform to an ideologue, but out of necessity for the people, which he referred to as a "Square Deal" for them, and the people loved him for it.

In foreign affairs, TR believed in "Speaking softly, but carry a big stick," a motto which appears to be Trump's approach for his administration. TR dramatically increased the size of the Navy, and constructed the Panama Canal, which could move the Great White Flight between oceans. By doing so, America became a power to be reckoned with. This did not lead to war, but gave TR the means to quietly negotiate settlements with other countries. By doing so, America became a world power, on the same level with Britain and Europe. In Trump's case, he wants to rebuild the military so he too can speak softly with other countries.

Roosevelt also negotiated the end of the Russo-Japanese War which earned him a Nobel Peace Prize. His artful negotiation to settle matters between the Russians and the Japanese, while subliminally protecting American interests, was masterful. It was also at this time when the "special relationship" between Great Britain and America was born, thanks to the diplomacy of TR.

According to Ruddy, without Roosevelt's belligerent reputation, the world could no longer ignore America as an economic, diplomatic, or military power which, consequently, led to world peace. Never before had America been so respected in global affairs. Trump's unpredictability will likely earn him a similar belligerent reputation as he will undoubtedly negotiate softly with a "Big Stick," be it through the military or economics.

There are two other subject areas where TR and Trump share views, in immigration and civil-service reform. TR was happy to welcome immigrants to America provided they adapted to our culture, not the other way around. He further believed, immigrants with "a low moral tendency or of unsavory reputation" should not be allowed into the country. Trump feels likewise. As to civil-service reform, TR acted like a rugged no-nonsense sheriff of the old West, bent on cleaning house. Trump shares these same opinions, particularly in breaking the strangle hold government bureaucrats have over companies, thereby becoming an impediment to conducting business.

Remarkably, both TR and Trump were strong supporters of the Second Amendment for gun ownership. In fact, TR was well known to carry a revolver with him both during and after his presidency.

One area in particular, where the comparison is so vivid, was in their fight with the liberal press, particularly the New York Times and Washington Post who constantly attacked them. Consider these quotes from the Post regarding TR:

"He has taken many prizes...as the very Prince of Bumptiousness and the High Priest of Brutal Arrogance. Habitually, he is a well-mannered, well-educated, quick-witted gentleman. Sporadically, he is perhaps the most thoroughly Boeotian hoodlum who has ever been smuggled into polite society."

"He is conceited to the point of bursting, and opinionated beyond the resources of descriptive writing."

Such characterizations of Roosevelt by the press could have easily been written about Trump today, and probably worse.
 

The parallel between Roosevelt and Trump is striking. They share many of the same opinions and see the world in the same manner. Trump's edge over Roosevelt is in the area of finance, where Teddy was self-admittedly weak. Trump's expertise should, in theory, be conducive for improving trade, returning companies to America, adding jobs, and building a stronger economy.

If Trump and TR were to somehow change places in history, there is little doubt the liberal left would want TR's head on a plate and Trump's face would be on Mt. Rushmore. By refuting Trump, the liberals are refuting the legacy of TR, the president who made America a world power in the 20th century.

Why the change in attitude among the people? What is different between then and now? Several reasons come to mind, starting with substantial changes in technology affecting us socially, medically, militarily, economically, and politically. In particular, the people now have sophisticated technology greatly affecting communications, entertainment, and used for the dissemination of news and information. By doing so, an enormous media industrial complex has arisen affecting how people think. Over the last 100 years we have also witnessed substantial changes in morality; our perspectives on such things as divorce, bankruptcy, homosexuality, drug abuse, etc. have changed greatly. Lastly, today we have citizens who are far less educated in history and government than our predecessors, making them more amenable to socialist values. Their false perceptions in how the country works has led to an arrogance of ignorance, making them more pliable to manipulate. All of this today impacts how we perceive our politicians, particularly the President of the United States.

To better understand Trump, one must read Daniel Ruddy's book as his description of TR is amazingly insightful and gives us some idea of what to expect during Trump's tenure of office. After studying this book, I believe Teddy would agree with Trump that it is time to "Make America Great Again."

Also published with The Huffington Post.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim's columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim's columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  TAKING THE SPORT OUT OF ATHLETICS - Is the scientific approach dehumanizing sports?

LAST TIME:  DEALING WITH ADVICE - Some tips for entering the work force.

Listen to Tim on News Talk Florida (WWBA 820 AM), WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington "The Morning News" with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim's channel on YouTube.

Monday, January 9, 2017

DEALING WITH ADVICE

BRYCE ON BUSINESS

- Some tips for entering the work force.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

Back when we were headquartered in Cincinnati, our corporate attorney was the same person who represented some of the members of the legendary Big Red Machine, including Johnny Bench, the famous Hall-of-Fame catcher. My father got to know Johnny over the years through our attorney's holiday parties. Years later, after we moved to the Tampa Bay area, my father called our attorney on a day when Bench happened to be sitting in his office. Wanting to send his regards, my father asked to speak to Johnny on the phone and told him his grandson (my son) was playing catcher in Little League and asked Bench if he had any advice for him. He replied, "Yes, there are three things he must do; first, if you're the catcher, you must catch the ball at all costs, that is your job; Second, when you make a throw to another base, point your opposite foot in the direction of the base, it will help guide you in the proper direction, and; Third, always wear a cup." Although his last point was said in jest, it was not without merit. Over the years, as I coached several Little League teams, I always began my catcher clinic with this little anecdote. It was simple, humorous, and because it originated from someone highly respected in his trade, my players took it to heart.

Throughout our lives we are always seeking advice, be it from a parent, a mentor, a coach, a teacher, or whomever. The obvious is not always obvious and, as such, we find our way through life by the help and society of others. Although we may be seeking acceptance for our decisions, advice is primarily aimed at lighting the way to a destination we must travel alone. Consequently, the better the advice we obtain, the more confident we will be in our journey as it helps minimize the number of mistakes we may make.

If you are familiar with my work, you know several of my tutorials are aimed at offering advice to young people as they enter the work force, including my book, "Morphing into the Real World," which is a handbook on how to develop their personal and professional lives. Recently, I asked some confidants what three pieces of advice they would offer young people, and although there was some commonality in their answers, there were also differences:

The "Great One" of Sarasota is a management consultant who worked in a Fortune 500 company for several years and is intimate with both Information Technology and corporate politics. His advice:

1. Stay hands on, be a subject matter expert, stay on top of the skills required for your profession.

2. Develop solid communication skills, written and verbal and use them often.

3. Embrace positive workplace ethics and treat others as you would want them to treat you.

Another friend is a much traveled writer from Michigan who frequently pens political articles:

1. Forget the current fashion trends: hide any tattoos and lose all piercings that show. Dress for success.

2. Brush up on your writing skills. The shorthand you've learned from texting leads to some rather bad habits which can make you look bad.

3. Research the company you are applying to so you can ask intelligent questions and establish a better rapport with your interviewers.

A friend from Texas has experience in both the military as well as research and development in the corporate sector:

1. Do your research. Make your career in a viable industry you like. No one does well in a job they hate.

2. Be honest with yourself and evaluate what you are bringing to the job. Jobs exist because there is a business need. How do your skills answer that need?

3. If you are going to work for a company, then put yourself into it. Take ownership, be accountable, work as if the success of the company depends on your performance alone.

Another friend is a radio personality from New York with a broad and well rounded experience in the business world:

1. When you first walk through the door, find someone you respect that will mentor you.

2. Find out everything you can about the field you have just entered, e.g., history, statistics, market share, potential, and know your product.

3. Dress for the job you want, not the job you have and remember that FILO means "First In, Last Out"; people will notice.

As for me, I offer the following:

1. Pay attention; learn as much as you can.

2. Tell the truth; do not fabricate an excuse or answer.

3. Consider someone other than yourself; thereby promoting teamwork and the concept of sacrifice for the common good. In other words, try to get along with your fellow workers.

You'll notice, there is nothing magical or complicated in the advice given here, just some rather simple lessons which have proven beneficial over the years. Regardless of the advice given you, whether it is included herein or found elsewhere, you must always remember one important fact, it is only advice; nothing more, nothing less. Whether you believe the advice is valid or not, YOU are the person who must decide to make use of it, not your advisers. They are not the ones who will be held accountable for the ultimate decision, YOU are. As any attorney, accountant, or financial adviser worth his salt will tell you, they are paid to give you advice, but only YOU can make the decision. Let's just hope you are getting good advice. As for me, if someone like Johnny Bench says my catcher should wear a cup, by God my catcher is going to wear a cup.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com
For Tim's columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim's columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  A FRESH PERSPECTIVE OF DONALD J. "TR"UMP - Daniel Ruddy's recent book on Teddy Roosevelt provides tremendous insight into Mr. Trump.

LAST TIME:  A NEW TWIST ON COMPANY VACATIONS  - Are unlimited vacations practical?

Listen to Tim on News Talk Florida (WWBA 820 AM), WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington "The Morning News" with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim's channel on YouTube.

Friday, January 6, 2017

A NEW TWIST ON COMPANY VACATIONS

BRYCE ON BUSINESS

- Are unlimited vacations practical?

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

My brother-in-law recently paid us a visit. He recently retired from General Electric, an old customer of ours, and we talked a little shop. He brought to my attention, a new vacation policy of G.E.'s whereby salaried employees can now take as much vacation time as they want, as long as it doesn't interfere with their project schedules. Like most companies, the scheduling of vacations used to be critical and you were typically rewarded vacation time based on your length of service to the company, e.g., one week after one year, two weeks after two years, etc. Evidently, it is not that way anymore.

Now, employees can take as much time off as they desire whenever they want, which is referred to as the "permissive" approach by the company. Such a policy may be well suited for female employees who have become pregnant and want to spend time with their newborn before returning to work, but this is now applicable to everyone.

In a way, it is similar to the old concept of "flex time" which allows employees to come to work either earlier or later and depart earlier or later, but they have to be at the office for a certain length of time each day (such as eight hours) and work between certain hours, such as 10:00am to 2:00pm. This provides employees a certain amount of freedom in order to honor other commitments, such as making a doctor's appointment, shopping, tending to school children, etc.

General Electric certainly did not invent the concept. Richard Branson, the founder and chairman of the Virgin Group announced it in the fall of 2014. However, G.E. is the biggest company to date to embrace the concept which now affects over 30,000 salaried employees, not hourly workers. General Electric's size adds legitimacy to the concept. The big question though is, "Does it work?" As G.E. has only been using it since early 2015, it may be too soon to determine its success.

The biggest concern, of course, is the temptation to abuse the system. To overcome this problem, managers have to be on top of their game in terms of project management and being able to balance the use of human resources. Bottom-line, how well does the manager trust the employee? In yesteryear, managers had to carefully schedule resources in order to meet delivery deadlines. When completed with one assignment, the employee was given another.

The question then becomes, "Is enough work being allocated to the employee?" If the worker takes off for several months at a time, it would suggest that, No, the employee is not performing his/her fair share. Now, I will admit some employees are more productive than others and can complete project assignments faster, but the manager should be cognizant of this and adjust the workload accordingly. However, this is 20th century thinking.

Today, it is a new world in corporate America where millennials are flooding the work force, people who want more personal time for themselves. To earn such freedom as unlimited vacations, they must demonstrate they can assume responsibility and deliver on time. However, if they feel "entitled" to such perks, the program is doomed to failure.

Again, this is a concept still in its infancy. Some companies will embrace it, others will have difficulty swallowing it and abandon it if their output suffers. As for the rest of us, it will be fun to watch.

By the way, in my day, unlimited vacation was typically referred to as "retirement."

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim's columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim's columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  DEALING WITH ADVICE - Some tips for entering the work force.

LAST TIME:  OUT WITH THE OLD... - Time to clean house as we start 2017.

Listen to Tim on News Talk Florida (WWBA 820 AM), WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington "The Morning News" with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim's channel on YouTube.