Mark Linsenbardt International

The Linsenblog

Some thoughts on jobs.

I have been talking to a lot of people lately, and I have seen more of them without jobs than I ever have before. Downturns, Layoffs, Companies closing, etc. What strikes me the most is that despite knowing that we are in a different kind of economy, and despite knowing from history what a downturn, or a recession, or even a depression does to the workforce. Lots and lots of people are looking for jobs for many months or even years, unwilling to change their mind about what “They Do” or what “They are worth”. It seems that as a whole, the people of the United States have forgotten that what we “are worth” is completely determined by the market. What a company would pay for a qualified employee in the best of times, might be drastically different than what they are willing to, or even able to pay for the same employee during the times that are not so hot.

It also seems that there are far fewer people willing to start a business, work independently or for multiple companies in smaller increments etc. Even though history would suggest that this is the BEST time to start a business, to find new ways to be valuable to people or companies in new ways.

We simply have to change our minds. We have to look for a little more of the original spirit that forged our country. We have to realize that we do not have a “Right” to a job, and that having a job was never the American Dream. The opportunity is HERE NOW but it takes courage, it takes commitment, it takes effort!

Change your mind! If you are without employment and you are not earning now, what do you risk? We have to stop wishing for the world that was, the economy that was, and the jobs of yesteryear. We have to look at our circumstances as they are, we have to see the world as it is. We then have to act in accordance with the world that is, with the now that presents itself to us.

You can stand around and complain that there are no jobs, or you can go find a way to be VALUABLE to someone else. After all if you are looking for a job that is really what you are doing, you are looking for a spot where you can be of sufficient value so as to be paid for it. Starting a new business of any kind is the same, look for a way that you can apply yourself in a way that is valuable to another, if there is someone willing to pay you a wage for that GREAT, if there is not, but there are folks who will pay you directly for the product or service…. WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

My good friend Carol is nearly famous for saying “most of you are waiting, I don’t know what you are waiting for, but you are waiting…”

Stop waiting and start acting, change your mind, change your actions, change your reality.

Nobody will do it for us, we must do this for ourselves. We have to do SOMETHING.

You never know, along the way you might just rediscover the American Dream.

Purpose, Direction, and Motivation

Purpose, Direction, and Motivation are the three things that a leader MUST provide to the team in order to have success. Leave any one of them out, and the results of the team will suffer.

This material should be included in all high school curriculum at some point instead of just in the MJROTC courses, because the fundamentals of leadership are simply a requirement to achieving ones goals.

The leader must provide Purpose, so that the team knows what it is supposed to accomplish. They must understand the goal so that they can act in the absence of the leader. They must have a understanding of the objective, of what is expected of them and by what standard they will be judged in order to set for themselves an idea of what accomplishment means.

The leader must provide Direction, because the team needs also to know HOW the objective is to be reached. In some cases the objective is enough and the direction that is given is to use best judgement, rely on past experience etc, but in this case Direction has still been given, and the team members will perform well because they have been given this trust. It is unwise to do this all the time, or the leader will never shape the team the way he or she wants, and will never have demonstrated the kind of thinking required, resulting in the team feeling insecure when they use their own judgement. So Direction then is first used as a training aid, and ensures that the team delivers the result in the manner expected, and then later as a means of ensuring that the team members will call upon experience and grow in their own leadership skills because they have been given the direction to do so, once that place in the development of the team has been reached.

The leader must lastly provide Motivation to the team. The team can understand what is expected and how the expectation is to be reached, but not having an internal drive to accomplish the task, they will perform only at low levels, and the team morale can suffer. The leader MUST take it upon him or herself to provide motivation in whatever manner the team needs most, and which will result in the highest performance. If the leader thinks that the team should self motivate, or that having a job is enough – it is just LAZY thinking and the results will nearly always demonstrate this.

So while these things to not in and of themselves make a great leader, in order to effectively lead, these basic fundamentals must be provide to the team, and it is the leader… who must provide them.

Purpose, Direction, and Motivation

Physical vs Moral Courage

If you ask the average man, very likely he would say there are many kinds of courage However I believe and the Marine Corps teaches that they boil down to but two. Physical Courage, and Moral Courage.

Physical Courage is overcoming the fear of bodily injury, while Moral Courage is overcoming the fear of emotional harm or rejection from others.

Physical Courage is the one that most men will point to when puffing their chests and telling the world how brave they are. Overcoming fear of physical injury after all is present in the performance of many sports, social violence in the form of fights, and more. In no way should you take away from this writing that I am diminishing physical courage, after all, without that rare and most powerful form of this courage displayed by so many of our troops throughout the years and many wars, none of us would enjoy the lives we currently do. Physical Courage then, is profound to be sure.

Moral Courage on the other hand is a tricky business, it is sometimes so subtle that a bystander could miss it. Which can make it all the more difficult to find, since the trick about it is really to risk the pain, when very likely nobody will recognize it as courage, and still you find that you must do what is right.

Would you risk the admiration of your friends to do the right thing? The love of your spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend? Would you risk friendships and trade being liked?

Would you risk your own reputation in order to do the right thing as you see it?

Hard questions to be sure. We all like to think that we can do the right thing when it matters, but when tested, how many of us fail? When questioned, how many of us seek to explain ourselves and get back what we may have lost, or undo the very good that we might have done by remaining silent and taking the pain for the highest good.

Say for example your good friend is addicted to diet pills and you are concerned for his or her safety. Knowing that if you tell someone, your friend might well never speak to you again. Are you willing to trade their friendship for his or her life?

I believe we should think about these things before they happen. We should decide ahead of time and revisit that decision often. This repetition trains us so we can act more confidently when the situation presents itself, even when in our hearts, the conflict rages, when we want so very much to take the easy road, and just be liked…

The leader will often make decisions that are unpopular, often will take actions that others will condemn. The leader must act according to his or her own moral code and stand by it even when it will cost them. This goes to the core of setting the example.

After all, what other people think of us, is really none of our business.