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Can an Idealist be President?

Can an Idealist be President?

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The people of the U.S. have yet to elect an Idealist president. Imagine a Martin Luther King running for the job. Already you feel that’s a stretch, right? However, two major Idealists who did manage to rise to chiefs of state elsewhere in the world include Gorbachov and Mandela.

The problem with American Idealists is they tend to think rich people and large corporations are inherently evil. Even if the moguls might be toxic, they are the wrong people to treat like an enemy.

Here’s my issue. The President of the United States is allegedly the most powerful person on earth. But how would it be possible to avoid mingling with, haggling with, even fighting with the rest of the powerful people in the world and still claim to be the King of the Beasts? To make the point clearly, Hillary Clinton’s participation in the Clinton Foundation is often interpreted as sleeping with our enemies, inviting corruption, and compromising America’s stance in the world. But hello! How could an American President not deal with all of these people — the wonderful ones as well as the horrible ones — and still wield American leadership with knowledge, experience, and strength?

Idealists tend to make a populist case of “us versus them” — regular people versus rich people. What they are missing is that a real President must work with the values and power and strengths and needs of absolutely all the people in the world. Yes, it is true that regular people, through the ballot box, must never let the wrong powerful people take over decision making for them, but neither will those with gobs of money and indisputable world power allow some “crazy” Idealist mess too much with their personal influence and bank accounts.

The reality of the world is that nobody’s ideology is perfect, nor could it ever be. All decisions are always in flux. We cannot stop fighting for what we feel we need to fight for, but we all must realize that nobody wins all the time, nor should they. There are no precisely definable good guys and bad guys on the world stage. It’s a crowded place. If you want to be a King of the Jungle, then you had better be willing to play ball with everyone else who aspires to be a king. If you want laws and economics to be more fair for everyone, as Idealists usually do, then you had better organize your idealistic armies in the voting booths with stronger fervor and passion than that of the princes who would be kings.

So can an Idealist get elected as a U.S. President? John Kerry is an Idealist. He almost made it. If Eleanor Roosevelt lived in today’s world, she almost certainly would have been a contender. The track records of both of those people demonstrate that some Idealists retain a sense of the world as it really is and have enough toughness and foresight to haggle and fight with mighty people of all types.

As a side note, you might be asking if Bernie Sanders is and Idealist and if he could play on the world stage with all powerful people, nasty or wonderful? It is this blogger’s opinion that he might not qualify because he seems overly judgmental and unforgiving of the rich and powerful, people who might eat him for lunch. In addition, Sanders is not as much an Idealist as an ideologue, like Ron Paul with his ideology, or Ted Cruz.

Is Hillary an Idealist? Not for the most part, in my opinion. If she has ideals, they are very long-term. In the short run, her policies are incremental, as any successful leader’s initiatives would have to be in today’s world. Hillary would be more utilitarian and practical than tactically clever or diplomatic. If she wins the election and chooses people in her inner circle who make up for her weaknesses, she may be an admirable Queen of the Jungle. If not, we could be in for a tough slog.

 

 

 

Some people cannot vote

Some people cannot vote

Some people cannot or will not vote for real-world reasons.

My wife and I have been on the streets of Phoenix registering new voters this election season. You would be amazed how many people cannot vote, or will not.

Felons, for example, are forbidden to. Surprisingly both felons and ex-felons that we spoke with tended to admit up front that’s what they are. Of course plenty of people are not  full-blown felons, but are hiding outside the law. Consider folks with multiple DUI’s,  missed court dates, or persistent creditors from hell. Voter registration would shed more light on them than they want.

Plenty of Americans say they are working hard to keep the government out of their affairs. They can, and do, choose not to have government ID’s like driving licenses, medical cards, and voter registration cards. Because social security cards are issued to us as children, very few people can escape that ID, but they can still choose to reject nearly everything else. And we all know that plenty of people earn their living from unreported cash. We are not only talking about illegal immigrants.

Some politicos are pushing legislatures to make voter registration automatic for all citizens. I wonderful if they know they will get blowback from the many people who do not want to be on the grid, automatically or any other way.

We even met a few individuals who wanted to escape jury duty because, as you know, voter registration rolls are often the data source to locate jury candidates.

Homeless people want to get registered, but life can be so challenging that addresses and other contact info become quickly obsolete. So they may opt to not even try.

The saddest reasons we have heard for not registering deal with mistrust and disgust. Thousands  honestly feel their votes do not matter. Many say they know nothing about the candidates or about the issues — which is probably true in most cases. Plenty believe the system is rigged.

If you are an idealist who hopes for a hundred percent voter turnout, you must realize that’s an impossibility. On the other hand, the citizens who choose to vote continue to be the majority, at least we hope so. That’s why we’re in train stations, bookstores, and neighborhoods signing people up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many 2016 Prez Candidates Are RATIONALS!

Many 2016 Prez Candidates Are RATIONALS!

What do Bush, Clinton, Cruz, Fiorina, Sanders, and Kasich have in common? Together with several colleagues in the personality assessment business, I am betting that all six of them are Rationals, i.e., Green in my Four Windows program. The only major Greens (nothing to do with the environment) in previous elections were Obama, Clinton, and Gingrich.  This year’s crop is nothing short of astounding because only a few Greens have ever run and won in the United States in all of its history, i.e., only nine to date.

Rational Greens make up only about 10% of the entire world’s population to begin with. And it’s no secret that Green people are difficult to sell because they tend to be the opposite of touchy-feely, the opposite of empathetic, the least humorous. Rationals are as serious as a heart attack. Listen to any one of them at any time: They spew facts and strategy like Harvard professors. The good news is that all of them think long-term and big picture. And they don’t suffer fools lightly.

No question about it, candidates inside and outside the Democratic Party will be worthy challengers to Hillary Clinton, like never before. The debates are bound to be worthwhile. We can expect more depth than we have heard before and, believe it or not, probably less name calling and fewer dirty tricks in the advertising.

How important is blogging?

How important is blogging?

I have seen precious little evidence that blogging matters. Millions of people are blogging, but who is paying attention? I am guessing that a handful of bloggers have such unique material and compelling issues that they of course rise to the top. The rest of us must be flailing in the wind, blogging to ourselves and a few friends, hoping against hope that what we think and say even matters. Is it possible that Facebook is more effective than most blogs?

Yes, I see some people and organizations stand out like Fast Company, the social media version of it. I’ve recently discovered Gretchen Rubin who is BRILLIANT. How does one complete for attention with those heavies in the marketplace?

Well the answer, I guess, is to do stuff that seems to matter — and, eventually, a few people might care about it as much as you do…and then they’ll spread the word.

Choose Valentine Gifts by “Color”

Choose Valentine Gifts by “Color”

If you want an idea or two for your loved one this Valentine’s Day, here you go.

We know to give presents that our loved ones actually want, and not what we want, right? It’s probably hardest to buy stuff for people so different from us because we ourselves do not place the same value on the gift. For example, my very Orange adult granddaughter wants a new tattoo for the holiday. To begin with, I don’t understand tattoos at all and certainly would never spend any money on one for myself. But that’s the point of a gift, isn’t it? It’s a gift — something truly valuable to the recipient.

If you do not remember what the Colors mean, here’s the link: http://www.jackdermody.com/4w.html

Gold Gifts. Who is the traditional, responsible Gold person in your life? They like what’s “right.” Here’s a partial list: tasteful jewelry and clothing, practical furnishings and utensils for the home, the next piece of a cherished collection, gift cards for the right store, or an intimate item that further bonds your relationship.

Green Gifts. Your rational, deep-thinking Green friends and family members like stuff for their minds: cutting-edge software, books, intriguing games, coveted resources, tickets to events around their favorite subjects and hobbies, and useful material things that keep life utilitarian and efficient.

Blue Gifts.Those idealistic, harmony-seeking Blue folks in your life may be the least expensive to shop for just because they can value “the thought” more highly the actual gift. Are you good at making things that you can custom-tailor for your loved one? Can you write something special? How about tickets to music, theater, and concerts? Flowers and arty things? Or a warm piece of clothing they’ll always remember you by?

Orange Gifts. Truth be known, nearly everybody wants to get what Oranges want and usually get. Oranges just want to have fun. They want to enjoy personal freedom. So they get surprises, trips, the latest clothes, cool tools, exciting games, toys, musical instruments, vacation tickets — well, you get the idea.

Here’s my own take on gifting. The best gifts are given with no strings, no investment in the outcome — except in the hope the gift will bring genuine joy — however temporary — to the recipient. Say what you will about the materialism of the day, underneath the colorful ribbons and enormous credit card debt is a desire to enrich the lives of others.

How to Fail Interviews for Top-Paying Jobs

How to Fail Interviews for Top-Paying Jobs

The problem with a great resume is it will get you the interview. A bigger problem is the interview itself. My friend Beth walked into a panel of interviewers who squashed her like a bug with brutal questions that only expert interviewers will deliver. Beth was squashable because she did not prepare for Expert questions. She had claimed to be executive-level material for marketing and ended up in a room full of actual marketing executives. They beat her up.  For example, what books and journals are you reading right now? What would you do if…? Who do you know? Can you prove what you just said?

Expert interviewers are not just “experts” per se. They possess what I call “Expert” personalities whose values reek of geekdom. They live for knowledge and competence and are rigorous about who they work with…and more importantly, who they pay to work with them. Read more about them in Job Interviewers: Get Inside Their Heads. (Amazon.com)

If you are reading books that give you pat answers to “standard questions,” throw them away right now. To get a high-paying job, you must be the professional you claim to be. If you did not finish graduate studies in your field, you will not be perceived as professional. If you are not continually reading and learning and gaining recognizably important experience, then you are not professional. Top money is given to top performers. Period.

Do I sound like your dad? Good. Listen up.

That’s right. Colors can’t solve all problems.

That’s right. Colors can’t solve all problems.

A snarky colleague can’t refrain from reminding me that the four classic temperaments (the four Colors) do not solve all of life’s problems.

Of course she is right. In fact, before proceeding, let me recommend an easy introduction to personality theory that covers much more than Colors ever would: Making Sense of People: Decoding the Mysteries of Personality by Samuel Barondes. It’s new. You get to find out what today’s psychological community agrees on. But beware you might finally change that major to Psychology before you’re through.

But why is Colors so great? Without answering all life problems?

It’s simple.  Just the act of identifying ourselves with one of four Colors tells a lot about our personal values and needs. And most of us understand the focus is on how great we are, rather than what might be “wrong.” By seeing ourselves in one of only four groups, it’s hard to get paranoid or “invaded” when it’s clear there are millions of other people “just like us.”

And there’s more good news. With the simple day-to-day tools that are part of personality studies, you and I see real hope that we’ll get along better with others and communicate more effectively.

Still, a small percentage of my clients feel even the Colors program is more invasive than they like. They say they don’t want their test results shared with the rest the team. Occasionally such folks get excused from a workshop.

I know what they mean. As I am combing through Barondes book a third and fourth time, I literally sweat about my neuroses and examine my life deeply…well, like many of us did as young religious children. Here’s hoping you won’t read my notes before I’m dead. LOL, as they say.

The reason I do the workshops is this: The old ways, the moralistic ways, the religious ways, even the fully scientific psychological ways look harsh and invasive to most folks. The four classic temperaments as seen through the four Colors, the Four Windows — allow us to think and talk about ourselves safely and still make big changes without embarrassing ourselves.

Guess a stranger’s temperament – right now!

Guess a stranger’s temperament – right now!

Guess a color. Right now? Everybody wants me to reveal how to spot a person’s Color (temperament) without a test or survey. Better yet, they would love to be able to guess a personality type in just a matter of minutes. Think about it. How great would it be to assess people during a short business meeting or over that first drink at a bar!?

FYI, if the stranger next to you now wants to actually take the survey, it’s free. Go to http://jackdermody.com/free-survey.

How good are YOU? Do you think you yourself are pretty good at guessing a person’s Color the first few minutes you meet? Here is “my take” here and PLEASE let me know if you agree, disagree, or have something to add to the conversation.

The bad news is I will get laughed off the stage if I sell tickets to poor souls who actually think I am good at guessing Colors.

Sizing folks up for temperament can be a tough call.

Don’t know what the four Colors mean? Go to http://jackdermody.com/4w.html.

Greens. I get Greens wrong all the time – those clever clones of Sherlock Holmes. Countless Green rationals develop diplomatic social skills and pleasant tones of voice, shrouding tough logic and demanding connectivity of concepts. However, they do give themselves away by wearing highly efficient and job-oriented clothing rather than the fashionable. It’s no surprise that the corporate garb in “Greenland,” e.g., at Google and utility companies, favors jeans and t-shirts. They will be the least self-conscious about geeky eyeglasses, index cards in shirt pockets, and tools attached to belts.

Blues. Blues are pretty easy to spot. Blue body language can be gentle, welcoming, and vulnerable. The clothes they choose tend to be soft, flowing, unique, and highly comfortable rather than efficient, trendy, or “expected.”

Oranges. Oranges stand out like the artists and athletes they tend to be. They do care about how they look – a lot. Orange body language screams pride, energy, movement, and comfort with their own sexuality.

 Golds. Obedient Golds wear the corporate uniform, whatever it is. If you ask them, they want to fit in and do so with taste and care. Gold body language is rarely flamboyant.

 How good are the odds now? So much for first impressions. With the information you’ve just been given, you just might be right about 30-50% of the time.

 Have more time for a first impression? If you actually get to have a conversation with these folks the first time you meet, other clues pop up.

 Greens. Greens may freeze up with small talk and will prefer to deliver facts and carefully considered analyses. You know that they have found you interesting if they keep asking questions as you speak. Otherwise, don’t waste your time feeling sorry for yourself if they clam up or find an excuse to move away from you.

Blues. Blues enjoy light conversation, including personal stuff and philosophical flights of fancy. They move easily from topic to topic and tend to listen as much as talk. Don’t be surprised that they look into your eyes more than the other types – and even touch you from time to time.

Oranges and Golds. Oranges and Golds (75% of the population) tend to get queasy if abstract conversations (preferred by Greens and Blues) begin to take a lot of time. Both Orange and Golds prefer dealing with concrete ideas.

Oranges normally prefer action over conversation, but will engage if the talk is lighthearted, funny, fun, or somehow riveting, such as with sports talk. Oranges are more likely to use “colorful” language than the others.

Golds enjoy process talk, like a Grisham novel, in which they remark about the way things work, the steps of a story, the highlights of a trip, the design of a house, … you get the idea.

 Be more accurate. Go with TWO Colors. Okay, there you have it. If I could recommend anything, I’d say try to guess a person’s first TWO Colors. That way, you can adjust the conversation to the strengths and values of both Colors and probably find you are being well received.

Your turn to chime in. What do you think? What is YOUR experience? Write me at dermody@cox.net.