Adonis Diaries

Archive for November 2018

Here’s a question from a recent workshop participant. “How do you handle someone complaining about a co-worker?”

First, you want people to come to you. Some managers want challenges, problems, and people to go away. They hide in their offices, sneak to the elevator, or duck into the restroom to avoid facing tough conversations.

By Dan Rockwell?

Suggestions for dealing with co-worker complaints:

  1. Ask the complainer, “What can you do to solve this?” Some complainers want you to solve their problem. That’s a last resort. Savior-managers create irresponsible employees.
  2. The complainer may say, “I don’t know what I can do.” Say, “Why don’t you come back this afternoon with some ideas?”
  3. Develop a strategy to deal with the issue. If you can’t, try number four.
  4. Invite the person being complained about to a meeting to discuss the issue. You’ll be surprised that issues have several sides.
  5. Focus on issues and performance rather than personalities, unless personality is the problem.
  6. Take small steps in positive directions, don’t expect giant leaps. Identify observable behaviors. If you can’t see it, you can’t measure it.
  7. Follow up. “Let’s get together in two weeks to follow up.”

More suggestions:

  1. Withhold judgment.
  2. Never take sides.
  3. Clarify, is it personal or performance. It’s often personal.
  4. Warning, backstabbers are masters at seeming helpful while being destructive.

Bonus tip: When you bring the two parties together and one of them had no idea there was a problem, you’re dealing with a backstabber. Excuse the one who’s in the dark and deal with the real issue.

Most importantly: Deal with interpersonal tensions because relationships are worth it.

Read what Facebook contributors added: Leadership Freak Coffee Shop

You’re great at doing but are you great at connecting? I’m still blown away by Henry Mintzberg’s one word of advice, “Connect.”

Business stresses and people tensions result in unhappy, disengaged staff unless leaders model and encourage connecting. Meaningful relationships break the grip of distrust, disengagement, and fear.

Connecting with others is the secret to success in business and happiness in life.

Continue being great at getting the job done and add connecting to your leadership skills.

Great success: Great success requires great connecting. If you can succeed without out others you aren’t going very far.

You can’t lead people you don’t know and understand.

Connecting tips:

  1. Believe connecting is good for business, others, and you. You can’t fake it. Techniques without authenticity create fakers who aren’t trusted and often end tragically.
  2. Go to others; don’t wait for them to come to you. Leaders move first.
  3. Be fully present. Give the gift of yourself.
  4. Engage in small talk. Avoid being so focused on tasks that you ignore people.
  5. Give yourself first. Model the type of conversations you’re encouraging in the office.
  6. Acknowledge emotional states but avoid subtle put downs. “You seem happy today, what happened.” For example. You might privately say, “You’ve seemed down lately are you okay?”
  7. Listen with your eyes. If eye contact is uncomfortable focus on the forehead.
  8. Listen with your body. Relax your stance to avoid a, “I have to get going message.” Sit if you can.
  9. Show appreciation to everyone regardless of status.

Suggestions from Facebook contributors:

  1. Communicate the good and the bad.
  2. Put people first.
  3. Be yourself.
  4. Share without concern for the gain.
  5. Show compassion.
  6. Have empathy.

See the list of suggestions from Facebook contributors: Leadership Freak Coffee Shop.

How can leaders connect with colleagues, superiors, or subordinates?



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World War II veteran and Labour activist Harry Leslie Smith standing with refugees

Veteran Labour activist Harry Leslie Smith has died aged 95.

Harry, who served in the Second World War and wrote movingly of the suffering and death of loved ones, friends and neighbours before the foundation of the NHS, campaigned not only for the protection of our health service but stood with refugees and against all the predations of Tory government on our vulnerable citizens.

Harry showed an energy that people half his age would have been proud of. He was in Canada when he died, after being hospitalised following a fall.

News of Harry’s illness sparked a worldwide surge of sympathy, solidarity and interest, with leading figures from many nations expressing hope for his recovery under the hashtag #IStandWithHarry.

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Harry as a young man in his military uniform

Harry met his German wife Friede in the devastation of post-war Hamburg and his book about her and their experiences, Love Among the Ruins received huge acclaim.

Their son described her as ‘[Harry’s] true homeland’.

Episodes of his ‘Harry’s Last Stand‘ podcast can be downloaded from iTunesSoundCloud and other services.

The SKWAWKBOX sends sympathy and solidarity to his family. RIP.



The more you learn about gratitude, the more it becomes a magic elixir.

Robert Emmons, one of the world’s leading experts on gratitude, says…Gratitude has the power to:

  1. Heal.
  2. Energize.
  3. Change lives. (Like any positive change in attitude? Given that we can’t change much of our character?)

Defining gratitude:

Gratitude is an affirmation of goodness in the world. You recognize that you have received gifts and benefits.

Gratitude is a recognition that the source of the goodness we have received is outside ourselves.

The good things you achieve are made possible in part by the goodness others extend to you. (Successful connection by listening intently?)

Gratitude is an affirmation that you are not self-sufficient.

Emmons says that gratitude strengthens relationships, “… because it requires us to see how we’ve been supported and affirmed by other people.”

Developing gratitude:

Receive: You must be willing to receive to experience gratitude. When you refuse to receive gifts and benefits from others, you shrink your leadership with ungratefulness.

Record: Take one-minute every Monday morning to record something or someone you’re grateful for. Don’t worry about keeping a daily gratitude journal. (Is Thursday a bad omen?)

Don’t commit to spend more than 15 minutes a week writing about gratitude. (why need to haphazardly suggest numbers? )You can do more. But commit to something so small that you can’t fail.

Put your gratitude practice on your calendar so you won’t forget it. (You mean to note to remember to search for gratitude opportunity every day?)

When you write: (what writing has to do to learn accepting gratitude?)

  1. Be as specific as possible.
  2. Elaborate on details. More detail on fewer items is better than a long list.
  3. Focus on people.
  4. What would life be like without certain people in it?
  5. Consider good things as gifts, not something you expected.
  6. Remember and record good surprises.
  7. Revise if you see yourself repeating.
  8. Commit to be consistent whether it’s once a week or more.
  9. Don’t over-commit. One to three times a week is more effective than every day.

The above list is adapted from “Gratitude Journal.”

How might leaders take their gratitude practice to the next level?

What are these jargon: Macro and micro policies, leadership, economics, management…?

Like stating: “Macro-leadership is just as bad as micro-management.” 

During a conversation with Dan Rockwell, Henry Mintzberg explained that, “It’s destructive to separate management from leadership. Leaders need to get their hands dirty.”

No buy in: Mintzberg believes that leaders focused on setting strategy and vision but who are removed from the front lines eventually develop a vision for the organization so out of touch that the rest of the organization fails to buy in.

Frustrated buy in: Mintzberg also believes there’s something worse than failure to buy in. There’s the problem of buying into a pie-in-the-sky vision but being incapable of taking any steps toward realization.

More devastating: Disconnected strategy and vision is one problem with macro-leadership but there’s something more devastating.

“Arrogance comes from detachment.” Henry Mintzberg

When I asked Mintzberg to share the one piece of advice he most loves to share he said one word, “Connect.

Humility: Connecting expresses, creates, and nurtures humility. Withdrawal suggests independence; connecting requires interdependence.

Humility is always practice never theory. (curious to discover all the alternatives and potentials for improvement?)

Talking humility without practicing humility results in arrogance. When Jesus said let the leader among you be as one who serves, he turned leadership on its head and explained the cure for arrogance.

“Humility is common sense… None of us is an expert at everything… Humility is holding power for the good of others.” John Dickson.

Sources of arrogance: Facebook contributors suggest sources of arrogance include:

  1. Fear.
  2. Being surrounded by indulgent “yes” people.
  3. Being a talker not a doer.
  4. Prior success. You think you know how to make it work because it worked before.
  5. Not being okay with saying I don’t know.

See more reader contributions on Facebook.

Mintzberg’s latest book: “Managing


How do leaders connect? What prevents leaders from connecting?

Israel dressing up its terrorist cells in Humanitarian workers: the case of Gaza

The Israeli army is putting humanitarian workers at risk in Gaza

According to the Israeli media, the soldiers who took part in a botched intelligence operation in Khan Younis earlier this month were dressed up as humanitarian workers. If the details are true, it could put countless people in danger.

By Yael Marom

Palestinians stand next to the remains of a car destroyed during fighting between Hamas militants and Israeli special forces in Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, November 12, 2018. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

Palestinians stand next to the remains of a car destroyed during fighting between Hamas militants and Israeli special forces in Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, November 12, 2018. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

Israeli troops impersonated humanitarian workers in order to carry out an intelligence operation deep inside the Gaza Strip, according to details of the botched operation leaked by Hamas and reported by the Israeli media.

If true, the operation could put bona fide humanitarian operations and employees at risk in the coastal strip, where two-thirds of the population is reliant on humanitarian aid.

The operation gone wrong, which left both senior Israeli and Hamas commanders dead, brought the two sides to the brink of war earlier this month.

The Israeli military censor forbade Israeli media outlets from publishing most details of the incident. After Hamas began leaking details of what happened, however, some Israeli journalists followed suit, primarily repeating the information released by Hamas, and presumably with the permission of the IDF Censor.

On Friday, Israeli journalist Ehud Yaari reported that the Israeli special forces team had entered Gaza through one of the two civilian crossings into the strip, either Erez or Rafah, with forged documents.  “They rented a house in Gaza and operated under the guise of a humanitarian aid organization,” Yaari said on a primetime news broadcast.

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A day earlier, Walla! News reporter Amir Bohbot published the following account, also presumably with the approval of Israel’s military censors:

Palestinian reports indicated that the special unit’s operations were part of a longer, broader operation. For that purpose, the unit rented a building and a yard in the Gaza Strip from a Palestinian police officer who did not know with whom he was dealing. Members of the special unit told the officer that they were running a humanitarian aid organization that specializes in distributing food to the needy in Gaza.

For this purpose, the unit operated undercover as Palestinians from the Gaza Strip to distribute aid and managed to get into the homes of Hamas members. According to the [Hamas] reports, some of which appeared on social networks, the special unit successfully planted [technologically] advanced devices to collect signals intelligence in sensitive locations such as entrances to tunnels, rocket launching sites, and the homes of senior Hamas members.

The reports in the Israeli media missed the story entirely: if Israeli soldiers did, in fact, impersonate humanitarian aid workers for the purpose of carrying out military operations, that could be a war crime. It could also endanger the lives of actual humanitarian aid workers.

“If the details are true, this behavior could be considered a blatant violation of international humanitarian law, which says that it is forbidden to use symbols of humanitarian organizations for military activity,” said attorney and human rights activist Eitay Mack.

“It could endanger those who actually operate in these organizations,” Mack added. The Israeli army has effectively justified any paranoia or suspicions Hamas and others might have of humanitarian groups.

This is already happening, according to Ya’ari’s report, which detailed Hamas’ confusion following the incident. After the covert Israeli operation was exposed, Hamas security forces reportedly erected checkpoints and carried out arrests in Gaza.

“Hamas said, wait a second. Israel had a base inside Gaza with people, equipment, a Mercedes truck, a Volkswagen car, weapons? What happened here? How long was this going on? Are there other similar things happening?” Yaari speculated.

When Israeli security forces suspect Palestinian or foreign humanitarian workers are collaborating with Hamas, the Israeli press accuses the Islamic movement of “cynically exploiting” the protections and privileges given to humanitarian groups, even when many of those accusations eventually turn out to be baseless.

Palestinians wait to cross into Egypt through the Rafah border crossing in the southern Gaza Strip after it was opened by Egyptian authorities for humanitarian cases, February 7, 2017. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

Palestinians wait to cross into Egypt through the Rafah border crossing in the southern Gaza Strip after it was opened by Egyptian authorities for humanitarian cases, February 7, 2017. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)


But instead of asking why the Israeli army does the same, instead of explaining to the viewers at home the real meaning of impersonating humanitarian aid workers, instead of asking how it is even possible for Israeli forces to operate deep inside the strip over a decade after “Israel left Gaza,” the media just moves on to the next news item. In the Israeli media, the IDF spokesperson and censor, respectively, decide what reporters report.

A look at what the Israeli media said it the wake of the botched operation and after Hamas started leaking details of it indicates that most journalists published exactly what the Israeli military spokespeople expected.

The Israeli army censor’s attempt to keep this story under wraps was not really about trying to prevent damaging information from reaching hostile elements in Gaza. Its main purpose was to conceal vital information from Israeli citizens.

After all, the details revealed by Hamas had already been published by news outlets and on social media around the world.

Photos supposedly identifying the Israeli operatives are out there for anyone to find. The entire world knew of the name of the Israeli officer who was killed while the Israeli media was forced to refer to him only as “M.” (I still don’t know the name of M)

Once again, the people kept under the dark cloud of censorship are Israeli citizens. And Israeli journalists are playing along.

Yael Marom is Just Vision’s public engagement manager in Israel and a co-editor of Local Call, where a version of this article was originally published in Hebrew.


Why at least 8 trillionnaires companies pay ZeroTaxes? Not counting many financial multinational companies

By Danny Auron – Avaaz

Last year, Amazon’s tax rate in many places was almost ZERO, thanks to loopholes that let giant companies pocket billions that should be for our schools, hospitals, etc. But now some European leaders are backing a revolutionary plan — take just a bit of the trillions the internet giants earn to give it back to the people — like Robin Hood. Add your name to make sure this plan flies at a key summit in days — then we’ll take it global!


Amazon made almost $200 billion in revenue last year — yet in many places their tax rate was almost 0. ZERO!

Internet giants are using tax loopholes to pocket billions that should be going towards our schools, hospitals, and other public services. We pay our taxes — why shouldn’t they?

Europe is on the verge of passing a revolutionary law that would make them do just that  take just a bit of the trillions the internet giants earn to give it back to the people, like Robin Hood. But these monster companies are fighting back, because they know if it passes it’ll go global.

It isn’t just one company, or one rich CEO. 8 men (Uber, Google, Facebook…) now have as much wealth as half the world. Poverty has declined and many countries have experienced a great deal of economic growth, but wealth is concentrating more and more in the hands of an impossibly wealthy few.

This plan wouldn’t change that in a moment, but it’s a step in the right direction. The idea is just to make “digital services” companies (like Amazon, Apple, Google, etc) start paying a very low tax in the country where they make the money, instead of letting them shuffle all their earnings to tax shelters.

It isn’t about demonising successful companies.

It’s about building a global economy that works for all of us, not just CEOs.
About stopping them from pocketing billions and billions of dollars that should rightly be paid in taxes and used for education, health care, and the infrastructure they use to deliver their products to us. And unlike Robin Hood, this isn’t stealing — it’s just changing the law to make things a tiny bit more fair.

If Europe’s Robin Hood bill passes, others will follow. That’s why these internet giants are doing everything they can to stop it. But if we can deliver our message to key capitals before a major summit in just days, insiders say we could tip the balance.

This would be an unprecedented shift in how the world works, a clear sign that the status quo is changing and we won’t just let the rich get impossibly richer forever. But all it does is take the laws that apply to you and me — pay your taxes! — and makes it work for them too. That’s how the world should work — so like always, that’s what we should fight for.
More information:

EU’s Divisive Plan to Tax Facebook, Amazon Returns to Spotlight (Bloomberg)…

How Uber, Google, Facebook and Other Tech Giants Avoid Paying Billions in Tax? (Medium)

Silicon Valley faces sweeping new taxes in Europe (CNN)

The tech giants will never pay their fair share of taxes – unless we make them (Guardian)

Mon cher Ado. Part 60

C’est vrai , mon cher Georges , que le Collège de Champville avait le mérite de bénéficier d’un temps moins humide que celui que nous avions à Jounieh , en bord de mer .

C’est vrais aussi que nous avions , pour chaque division , des terrains de basket-ball couverts ( ce qui nous arrangeait en tant que basketteurs ) , et des amphithéâtres en gradins où nous assistions tous les mardis , à l’heure de l’étude du soir a des films que commentait Monsieur Antoine Weis .

C’est vrais que chacun des élèves du Secondaire occupait à lui tout seul une chambre indépendante ..

Oui , mais en nous éloignant de la mer qui nous avait bercés au cours de notre adolescence , nous avions perdu tous les plaisirs que cette mer nous procurait .

Tu dois te rappeler , mon cher Georges, lorsque nous allions nous baigner du côté de chez Beyrouthi, une plage désuète mais combien agréable pour nous . (Is that the little plage I considered as the private property of the Bouwery family?)

Tu dois sans doute te souvenir aussi qu’au mois de juin , de chaque année , nous n’avions cours que jusqu’à midi .

Ensuite nous déjeunions et nous faisions une heure de sieste avant de passer à l’atelier de bricolage , et enfin partir avec nos affaires de plage pour nous baigner tels des fous en nous mesurant certains jours , lorsque la mer se déchaînait, aux vagues qu’on cherchait à percer avec la fougue de notre jeunesse .

Sur le chemin qui nous menait à cette plage, je me rappelle d’une boutique dont le nom m’échappe mais qui exposait dans sa vitrine des maillots aussi bien d’hommes que de femmes , de toutes les couleurs et joliment coupés , et qui me faisaient rêver le temps d’une seconde ou deux …

Sans oublier qu’en face de cette boutique il y avait le vendeur de pâtisserie orientale dont je raffolais mais qui nous étaient inaccessibles .

Au retour , épuisés de nous être défoulés à fond la caisse , nous allions souper , sans compter , avec notre appétit de jeunes tigres affamés .

Heureux temps de notre adolescence !




November 2018

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