Leadership and the Environment

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383: Sports, competition, and beating pandemics

Ep. 383

Are you fatigued from pandemic defenses like wearing masks and washing your hands? Is your community, like New York City, doing well? Do you feel since we're doing well, we can let up at last?

Do you know what happens when competing against an opponent you can beat, but instead of playing to your potential, you play to theirs? You tie them or even lose. The fatigue we feel is mental and emotional, which means under our control. We can choose from among plenty of role models who persevered through harder challenges than wearing masks and washing hands.

In this episode I share how I learned not to let up or play to the level of an opponent we could beat. I don't like to lose, especially when the stakes are life and death, all the more when I could cause someone else's death. I hope you share that motivation not to cause suffering to others.

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10/22/2020

398: Lt. General Paul Van Riper USMC, part 2: A Marine Versus Coffee

Ep. 398
Rip committed to avoid waste through coffee, which he describes as harder than he thought.Wait a minute. A three-star Marine Corps general is describing not using coffee cartridges as hard? In the Millennium Challenge we talked about in our first conversation he led a team taking on the best of the entire US war machine and won. How hard can coffee be?That's the point of this podcast. Personal change doesn't depend on calories burned, monetary costs, and so on. It depends on our hearts and minds, which depend on our stories, beliefs, images, and so on. It's as easy or hard as we believe.Another main point of this podcast is to empower you to change our beliefs, stories, and images. While a belief may make something as materially simple as changing how you make coffee seem impossibly difficult, recognizing that our belief is the issue puts resolving theproblem under our control. We don't have to accept that belief. We can change it.That's why I value Viktor Frankl and people like him so much. He turned living in Auschwitz into including experiencing love and bliss. What he can do, we can.Rip shares how he saw the situation before starting, how it ended up harder than expected, then he got to work on himself and his views, and you'll hear the results, as I heard more positive than he would have predicted.Systemic change begins with personal transformation. If you think the change will end with a few coffee cartridges, you're missing how systemic change happens. Among other things, now there's a Marine Corps three-star General who concerns himself with household waste and sees it as something to enjoy and look forward to. He presents it as decreasing feelings of guilt, taking responsibility, enjoying results. You'll hear that talking about responsibility and personal growth leads naturally to personal and professional growth at the highest levels of the military, about policy, strategy, campaigns, operations, and tactics.He shared preparing reading Von Clausewitz's On War. I almost can't believe the wisdom and experience I got to hear. This conversation helped prompt me reading the strategy works he described as well as valuing writing about sustainability. Beyond my blog, I'm working on my book and seeing how it reveals the core, as he described. I remember watching a video biography of President John Adams. After he was President a scene showing him fixing shingles on his roof. I thought of how human we all are, whatever our status, whatever importance we give ourselves. As JFK said, in the end we are all mortal. We share the same air, land, and water.We can view changes as obligations, chores, sacrifice, and burden---hardships for us. Focusing inwardly on ourselves characterizes depression. By contrast, we can view stewardship of nature as connecting us to others. Little improves how we feel more than acting in service of others. That's leadership. Even if we want to get ahead and think we have to do for ourselves, acting in service of others responsibly is leadership. If I want to get ahead it works. If I want more happiness itworks. If you prefer seeing stewardship as a burden keeping you from your career, that's your choice.Rip shared otherwise, as I heard it.
10/14/2020

396: Margaret Klein Salamon, part 2: Political or Personal or Political and Personal

Ep. 396
My goal in this podcast is to bring leaders from many fields and share what made them effective. I believe sustainability and stewardship would benefit from learning more effective leadership. A goal with each guest is to feature them. Everyone is unique. Everyone brings something we can learn from.Sometimes I don't achieve my goal. Sometimes a guest and I end up talking at cross purposes, which I think happened this time, meaning I didn't do justice to the guest. This time I started off exploring Margaret's views and experiences but part way through misunderstanding arose and I don't think I gave Margaret the chance to shine that she deserved. I apologize to her. I hope I didn't distract from her work. You'll hear at the beginning how her book led me to reflect, introspect, and act so I recommend it.If I messed up, I welcome constructive criticism. I hope she looks all the better for the conversation even if I don't. I hope you, the listener, enjoy hearing the conversation and get value from each of our perspectives. I think I captured the two purposes at the end---that I had trouble seeing her view that getting distracted from political change would not achieve the effects we need to turn things around and that she didn't see my view that personal action augments the political, not distracts.I hope each of us surprises the other by succeeding more in ways the other couldn't have conceived of, illuminating the other's world and expanding the other's view to where each of us becomes more effective than we would have otherwise.