Adonis Diaries

Archive for April 13th, 2017

25 Truths Everyone Raised By Lebanese Parents Will Understand, April 9, 2017

Growing up Lebanese: it’s quite an adventure.
1. You know how dangerous it is to walk on freshly mopped floors.

2. You know better than to tell your dad “ma khassak” (it is none of your business)
3. It’s guaranteed that if you’re going somewhere, you’ll be taking ekhtak/khayyak with you. (Have to be accompanied by a sister or a brother)
4. It’s not your dad who’s wrong, it’s the brand new DVD player that “doesn’t work properly”.

5. You were forced to take a jacket with you everywhere, even in sunny 30-degree weather.
6. That feeling of true happiness when your dad tells you to take money from his pocket.
7. This:


8. Smoking is the worst thing you could do, but both your parents smoke.

9. Granted you have pictures of yourself smoking a cigarette as an infant.
10. The 20 questions you get bombarded with every time you want to leave the house.
11. Running away when you get a phone jammed in your face so you can talk to your 3amto (aunt) from the day3a.

12. To your face: you’re the worst kid. Behind your back: you’re a straight-A angel.

13. You’re not really sick unless you have a 40-degree fever and/or are hospitalized.
14. You get screamed at for walking barefoot. During winter it’s too cold, and during summer it’s too dirty.
15. 7Up and Panadol are guaranteed cures to every illness under the sun.


16. Your parents buy fruits by the ton. Oh you want strawberries?Here’s a field.
17. This reality:


A post shared by Arab Problems (@arabproblems) on Aug 28, 2016 at 6:39am PDT

18. The waynik/waynak (hey you) text is guaranteed to send shivers down your spine.
19. Slippers are not just footwear, they double as weaponry.

20. You don’t know true fear until your mom finds out you ate out while she spent all day making mloukhiyye.
21. Your mom has one set of gold encrusted tea cups reserved for guests.
22. Ice cream during winter is a huge no-no.
23. Leaving your hair wet after a shower is a sure way to get pneumonia.
24. Fucidine on everything and anything.
25. And this is how you knew shit was about to hit the fan



Integrating Young Leaders?

Why this process is Not the norm?

Bill Hybels on Integrating Young Leaders


5 reasons leaders don’t integrate young leaders



Getting the most from young leaders:

Peter Drucker believed leaders of nonprofits had lots to teach corporate leaders.
With that in mind, I’m delighted to share insights from my conversation with, Bill Hybels, one of today’s most highly regarded leaders from the nonprofit world.
Everyone wins in a multigenerational leadership environment.
Bill Hybels on multigenerational leadership
Bill Hybels

Bill Hybels

Bill Hybels on multigenerational leadership (1:35):

Audio Player


  1. Learning. The same people sitting around the same table represents stagnation. Mentoring, for example, has multi-generational opportunities.
  2. Connection. Isolation grows as time passes. Integrating young leaders develops new connections within leadership teams and organizations.
  3. Openness. Young leaders don’t say, “We tried that already,” because they haven’t.
  4. Vitality. The enthusiasm of youth is transformational energy.

5 reasons leaders don’t integrate young leaders:

  1. Arrogance. Young leaders don’t deserve a place at the table.
  2. Fear. The old ways feel safe to old leaders.
  3. Control. The need for control motivates old leaders to keep others out.
  4. Position. Love of position makes old leaders guard their position.
  5. Inexperience. Young leaders don’t have enough experience to lead.


Old leaders worry that young leaders will fail. Bill suggests gray hairs remember their own younger days.

My gosh. I should have been arrested for some of the leadership pranks I pulled…” Bill Hybles

Dealing with failures of youth (1:24)

Audio Player


How Bill Hybels tries to overcome intimidation (0:59):

Audio Player

Getting the most from young leaders:

  1. Coach. “I do a lot of real-time coaching.” Bill Hybels
  2. Opportunity. Provide opportunities for young leaders to test themselves.
  3. Fail. When young leaders bite off more than they can chew, let them go. Encourage them to learn from failure. (Always evaluate the cost of potential failure against the benefit, before making this type of decision.)

How might old leaders integrate young leaders into organizational life?

What opportunities and/or dangers do you see from integrating young leaders?

Note: I talked with Bill at the World Leaders Conference in West Palm Beach, FL. Thanks to Ben Lichtenwalner of Modern Servant Leadership for setting up this conversation.


They are complementary with advantages: Optimists and pessimists

If I were in a position of power, I’ll surround myself with optimistic consultants, counsels and close assistants.

If I were in a position of power, I’ll appoint the executive and operators from the kinds of pessimists.

Many think that I got it wrong and not matching any logic or scientific research outcomes.

Power is assessed and evaluated by the number and quality of decisions.

Decisions considered almost impossible to undertake and eventually taken are highly ranked in your favor.

And these decisions require a climate of optimistic surrounding.

Pessimistic executives and operational personnel will achieve what has to be done and do the job most effectively: They are paid for a job well done. And they are better than optimists in considering the dangerous risks in health, safety and hasty execution in any project.

Pessimists may take longer to finish the job, but the job saves you many fold the delays from repairs, lousy maintenance tasks, accidents and near accidents.

The correct term is Effectiveness in the longer-term.

The Not so realist neural mechanism in the Hippocampi, amygdala, and anterior cortex Cingular are the center or source of optimistic activities. Otherwise, from our successive experiences, mankind tend to be at least slightly depressed as they observe the world as is.

Until we manage to communicate with various animal species, the conjecture is that pessimism is a typical mankind survival addition.

The magical thinking that reinforce our confidence allows us to adapt to contingencies contrary to our plans.

There are people with rooted pessimism tendencies. Prosper Merimee wrote in 1873:

Get rid of your optimism and start figuring out that we are in this world to fight one another

In general, people who survive calamities, particularly man-made catastrophic phenomena and genocide are mostly of the pessimist kinds. Once they decide on a line of actions, they don’t look back.

The active pessimist live side by side with the will-powered optimists.

Sane optimist needs the well-founded pessimistic arguments in order for his rational thinking to be useful and works for encouraging cooperation among individuals: The much needed guidance to getting out of the planetary obstacles.

What we need are the pessimists who circumvented their natural tendencies in order look optimistically into the future: What we can observe today that could guide us into a better future.


Access a database of 70,000 books banned around the world going back to 1575

Soon the world will have a massive physical monument to censorship.

This year, Argentine artist Marta Minujín will open an installation built from books, all of which were banned around the world at some point in history.

The “Parthenon of Books,” a re-creation of her 1983 installation in Buenos Aires, will be unveiled in June at art festival documenta in Kassel, Germany.

Minujín and her team worked with researchers from the University of Kassel to identify book bans of regimes past.

The resulting list, which will help books be vetted for the installation, names around 72,000 forbidden titles going back to the 1500s.

The list, last updated in January, highlights extensive censorship in Nazi Germany, 18th-century Austria, and the Soviet Union, and draws on a huge list of banned books kept by the Catholic Church from 1559 to 1966.

It would be “simply impossible” to create a comprehensive list for all regimes for all of time, says Florian Gassner, who co-leads the project. But the list does contain a fascinating smattering of censorship attempts from the rest of the world:

In China where the state continues to censor political discourse, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll was also restricted in 1931.

In the 1970s, books by Karl Marx and Fidel Castro were banned in Argentina, as well as El Principito (Le Petit Prince) by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

During the country’s period of extensive censorship in the 1970s and ’80s, the government banned a host of children’s books, including those of icon María Elena Walsh, whose songs and poems criticized the Argentina dictatorship.

During the 1940s, Canada restricted Norman Mailer’s The Naked and the Dead, while the Soviet Union banned George Orwell’s 1984.

The University of Kassel database also shows that in 1870s United States, Giovanni Boccaccio’s Decameron and Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales were both banned from sale for their obscene material under the Comstock Laws.

The project aims to collect 100,000 books to build the installation. Anyone can donate books for consideration, but only those legal in Germany will be included.




April 2017

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