Dean 3.0

Dean 1.0 was my career at NCR.  Dean 2.0 was my four years of teaching.  Now it is time for Dean 3.0

I have made a decision for moving forward.  After a lot of research and thinking, it is clear that what I want to be is a “coach”.  Simpy put, a coach helps people achieve their goals  That pretty much sums up where I want to go with my next phase in life.  Reflecting on my teaching, I realized that I was way more interested in helping people see their way towards goals than I was on specifically teaching them some new knowledge.  Understanding where they are and where they might go was infinitely more fun to me. The desire, the motivation needs to come from  another person, I provide the guidance and direction.

I’ve read a few articles about coaches.  A coach as I am NOT looking at it is a “change agent”.  A coach is an “awareness agent”.  People generally cannot change if someone else is forcing or leading the change.  Change needs to come from within.  The coach is there to help the individual recognize where they are now and where they wish to be.  It is really different than a “mentor”.  A mentor is there to give advice and direction.  It is not a “therapist”.  A therapist  typically works with someone who has a deficiency that needs remediation or fixing.

 In order to become what I want to be as a coach, I have decided to take classes to get certified.  I learned many valuable lessons as a teacher. One of those lessons was that if I did not have the necessary training, I could not overcome all of the obstacles to become what I want to be.  So classes it is.
To begin, I will be taking a four week class at the Gestalt Institute in Cleveland. The class meets one week a month, every other month (November, January, March and May).  That means I will be gone the week of November 9 to Cleveland for my first week of classes.  Once I have started learning the techniques, I’ll be able to articulate them better but here is what I know.  One of the fundamental philosophies is the “paradox of change.”  This theory revolves around the fact that change cannot occur until a person fully accepts what they currently are, rather than simply striving to be different.  In order to change, we first must be willing to acknowledge what we are.  I’ll be focused on getting the knowledge required to “read” people better and to learn more about how to help them understand and overcome the inertia/objections/rationalizations/resistance that cause all of us to not maximize our potential.  In between classes, I apply some of the lessons learned.  So I won’t be an “official” coach until at least May.
What specific kind of coach will I become?  That is still to be determined.  There are many types (besides the sports coach which I am not going to be).  For example, an “executive” coach typically works with corporations to target specific individuals who need to work on an area of improvement.  Generally the corporation is paying the bill.   In every other case it is the individual paying.  A “fitness” coach works with people trying to improve fitness.  A “life” coach works with individuals who want to improve some aspect of their life.  And so on.  The Corporate way is probably the most lucrative but probably not where I want to go.  That is what I need to decide in the coming months.
I am excited for this new journey.  I think this combines my skills and interests in a great way.  I feel like it helps me achieve my goal of “giving back” to others.  It lets me be my own boss and challenge me to be a giver.  But I am also very apprehensive.  It is going to be taking me way out of my comfort zone in numerous ways.  I will be required to learn how to read people’s emotions way better than I do now.  I will need to learn to dig into those emotional responses to get to recognition of the current state.  It will require me to help others find the right answers, not me telling them the right answers or my opinion of what will work (The Moses Effect).   That is not easy.   I am going to have to build my own business and charge people for my services.  Never had to do that before.  But the adventure begins.

 

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I am really confused about voting

On Election Day, I will be one of the approximately 40% of eligible voters to vote. But to be honest, I vote with no enthusiasm. And I am a VERY uninformed voter.  So is that a good thing to have me voting?

Obviously, since only 40% of eligible voters vote I am in the minority of people who could vote.  So it is on the surface a good thing that I vote.  It seems like a tragic occurrence that most eligible voters do not use one of their fundamental rights.

As to my second point, I am probably in the minority on voting with “enthusiasm” in these mid terms elections. According to a study by the Pew Research Center, among likely voters, 68% identify with a party (37% Democrat, 31% Republican) and just 30% are independents. People who vote in the so called “mid term” elections, tend to be people who feel strongly one way or the other on candidates. Put another way, more people with strong party affiliation vote than those who are independent.  So more people voting have more enthusiasm than I do because they want their party to win.

As for my third point, that I am an uninformed voter, let me explain. If you gave me the name of someone running, I probably could not tell you what office they are running for, what party they are with and where they stand on any issues. It is sad. But I have to admit that the constant drum beat of negativity, inaction, uncompromising attitudes and my perception of politicians’ disregard for the future of our country leaves me turned off by politicians. I am unwilling to make myself interested – and that is a shame. On me.

The basis of our country is an informed electorate selecting candidates that best meet America’s (or Ohio’s or Montgomery County’s) needs. If we do not care who gets elected, we live with the consequences. Are we no better than Russia, where it is determined who you will vote for ahead of time for you? Are we simply like the political machines of the past that people voted “straight tickets”? Is an uninformed,  unenthusiastic voter like me doing my civic duty? The answer is probably “no”.

So what am I going to do about it? Probably nothing. This time.

But I have decide for the next election cycle I am going to focus on the local and state races.  Try to find out about the candidates.  Have an informed opinion. My excuse for inaction up to now?  It goes like this:  I have reached the conclusion that the vast majority of people running for office are not doing it for the good of our country. And even if they started out with altruistic motives, I believe the system of parties and political money forces them to change or get defeated the next election. Paradoxically, this “conclusion” of mine is an opinion based on my own views, no facts. How sad is it for a grown man to be so obstinate and stupid?  Unfortunately, I don’t think I am in the minority on this way of thinking.

Time for me to change.  Easy to say because I am committing to 2016.  But I have to start somewhere.  How about you?

War

According to the US Constitution, only Congress can declare wars.  Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 of the United States Constitution, sometimes referred to as the War Powers Clause, vests in the Congress the power to declare war, in the following wording: “The Congress shall have Power…] To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;”

Most Constitutional scholars agree the framers of the Constitution deliberately separated the powers of declaring and waging war.  They were fearful of a powerful Chief Executive becoming like a king – doing whatever he wanted to do.  This was a deliberate separation of powers that our Constitution is famous for.  The President submits a declaration of war.  The Congress approves and declares war (or not).  Separation of powers is one of the basic tenets of our form of government – whether we like it or not.

This power to declare war was further strengthened in 1973 when Congress passed the War Powers Resolution, which requires the President to obtain either a declaration of war or a resolution authorizing the use of force from Congress within 60 days of initiating hostilities. The President must go to Congress if he wants us to go to war or send troops for America’s purposes.

So why I am I writing all of this?

The last time war was officially declared by Congress was  June of 1942 when we declared war against Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria. Since then we have fought in Korea, Viet Nam, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan among the many fights we have been in.  In all of those cases, we did not officially declare war on those countries.  But we have had thousands of Americans die.  We talk about a “War on Terrorism”.  What is up with that?:

I am trying to figure out why Congress abdicates their responsibilities.  Here is what the Senate says about it on their web page: “Since that time (World War II) it (the Senate) has agreed to resolutions authorizing the use of military force and continues to shape U.S. military policy through appropriations and oversight.”  “Agreed to resolutions”?  What about doing your duty as outlined in the Constitution?

Is it because no one wants to sound like they are against war?

Why wouldn’t the Republicans do it just to spite the President?

Is there no member of Congress with enough courage to demand a vote on sending out troops into war?

Even after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor in World War II, Senator Jeannette Rankin voted against the declaration of war on principle.  She was a pacifist.  Have we no one today with similar principles today?  For me, this is one more example of the complete failure of our elected leaders to do what is right for our country.  Will we ever see a reversal?