Thursday, May 22

The 5 Stupidest Habits You Develop Growing Up Poor


I've told you about being poor. But we aren't poor now. But I still make these mistakes kids. I'm a banker and I'm supposed to be good with money. And I'm terrible at spending. Spend too much on gifts. Spend too much on bonus or tax refund time. Or not save enough or properly. These are terrible habits kids. Don't make the mistakes I made. Very bad terrible habits. 



The 5 Stupidest Habits You Develop Growing Up Poor

Cracked Columnists

Cracked Columnists

As some of you know, until the last couple of years, I was poor as shit. The first 18 years, I was a kid and couldn't do anything about it. The next 17, I was still a kid and wouldn't do anything about it. I take full responsibility for that, and I don't point a finger at anyone for the way I lived. I dug my own hole.

But along the way, a few miracles happened (including landing a job that doesn't suck), and I've finally found myself living the way I always pictured a normal person would: bills paid, groceries in the fridge and two gold-plated nude statues of myself standing proudly in my front yard.

But as anybody who's been through the poverty gauntlet can tell you, it changes a person. And it doesn't go away just because you're no longer fighting hobos for their moonshine. For instance ...

#5. You Develop a Taste for Shitty Food

Wednesday, May 21

Developing leaders in a business


There are many articles and books like this out there. Talking about how to become a good leader. Fairly non contentious advise here son. 

But I would add 2 points. Be flexible with your leadership style. At one point you may need an autocratic style while another time you may need a democratic style. Or a consensual style. Or a communicative style. No one model is right for all situations son. So be flexible. The key here is to recognise that different situations exist. And then you use a different tool. It's like people just having a hammer in their tool box. And then everything looks like a nail. Smart people have several tools in their tool box and use them appropriately. 

Second point, don't be an arsehole. Seriously. Don't. Be nice. It goes a very long way. Nobody wants to work for an arsehole. It's surprising how many leadership books fail to mention this and it's not surprising how many arseholes become leaders. Very weird. 

And never have low expectations son. Expect high. Light a fire. Stand on a burning platform. Sense of urgency. Conquer the world!



Developing leaders in a business

The shortcomings of command-and-control management are becoming ever more apparent. The hierarchy of bosses organized into ranks, with each superior exercising authority over subordinates who do exactly what their boss wants, has long been the dominant form of corporate organization. But recognizing that they are handicapped by their current systems, many companies are now questioning the way they manage themselves. They are striving for greater effectiveness and flexibility to cope with and capitalize on the fast-moving, ever-changing competitive conditions they see just ahead.

I believe that the old command system must be replaced. Fixing it is not good enough. My view is that authority should be replaced by leadership. By that, I don’t mean that a business should be run by a single leader, but that it should be run by a network of leaders positioned right through the organization. Leaders and leadership teams working together will, I suggest, run a business more effectively than a hierarchical, command-and-control structure.

What makes a leader?

Leadership scholars define a leader as a person who sets attractive goals and has the ability to attract followers, or constituents, who share those goals. Above all, a leader must be trusted and respected. Trust between a leader and constituents opens up two-way communication, making it possible for them to realize their common goals.

Anyone who aspires to lead must develop certain qualities and attributes. By “qualities,” I mean elements of character or personal makeup that are typically difficult (but not impossible) to learn. People usually bring their qualities with them when they join a company. “Attributes,” on the other hand, are more like skills and hence easier to learn. Fortunately, the attributes needed for leadership far outnumber the qualities.

Tuesday, May 20

Florence, 1100-1532, What a Republic!

Kannu Choti

Florence is one of the cities that I'm desperate to visit. It's high on my list. Along with Venice. It's an extraordinary cornucopia of artistic riches. And has a history that is literally breathtaking. 

We have read so much about Florence and it's grandeur that it's unbelievable that one city can actually absorb so much brilliance. And not just one or two people kids but it had people who were from all walks of life and all areas of human endeavour. 

The below mentioned example of Florence's political development is brilliant. We are citizens of a liberal democracy with a constitutional monarchy sitting over the elected members, judiciary and executive. Yes people quibble about which model is good, like the American one or the French one but the weight of history is something to consider. Very important. 

Fascinating background to Florence. We will go there soon :) 



Mike Anderson's Ancient History Blog: Florence, 1100-1532, What a Republic!

Florence, in this blog? I thought this was supposed to be ancient history! Yes, but sometimes we can find value when we compare political systems from different times in history. The Republic of Florence an interesting case to compare to Republican Rome, because it gives us another example of how men try to build stable governments. Florence was a city republic like Rome but it was never able to expand in the same way because of the circumstances of its time. Still, its leaders faced the same challenges the Romans did – socio-economic class differences, economic interests, and cultural influences. In my last post I mentioned that those designing Republics, including America’s founding fathers, went to great lengths to insure their infant political systems would not revert to monarchies through the consolidation of power. Florence stands as an extreme case of this paranoia.

As one of the great merchant cities of the middle ages (Pisa or Antwerp would be other examples), Florence escaped participation in the feudal system because it had a strong capitalist engine and could operate as an independent political system. Feudalism could only take root where bureaucracy failed and it did not fail there. The Florentine political system certainly had its ups and downs, but it was business that moved Florence forward and politics were regulated by business.

By the year 900 A.D, the great cities of Europe had been weakened to a point where it was necessary to start from scratch. Commerce and artisanship had to be rekindled by recruiting citizens with the right skills from the outside, mostly from the agrarian economies of the surrounding territory. Florence always found aristocratic control unacceptable, so any tendency in that direction was continually resisted. Its leaders were a new class of man; middle class merchants we call burghers, who were independent, entrepreneurial, and confident. Between the years of 900 and 1250, these burghers turned Florence into an autonomous institution by resisting and expelling those who would attempt to impose on them some kind of hierarchical model of government. They were aided in this effort by the emperors and popes who wasted time and money fighting among themselves for control of Italy rather than attacking the city.