Adonis Diaries

Archive for the ‘Essays’ Category


Bill Clinton said, “It’s the economy, stupid.”

In organizations, “It’s the leadership, stupid.”

The problem with organizations is toxic leadership.

Look around. If you don’t like what you see, look in the mirror. Maybe you can’t improve the entire organization, but you certainly can improve your team.

The sooner leaders own the dark side of organizational life, the sooner the lights come on.

Finger pointing and excuse-making cause organizations to remain dark.

Toxic leadership – the toxic trinity:

#1. Blind leaders can’t see their own incompetence.

There is no hope for those who feel capable when they’re incompetent, until they change their opinion.

Those who are incompetent have little insight into their incompetence. (Dunning-Kruger Effect)

You’re incompetent when you believe your job is more difficult than everyone else’s.

The more competent you feel, the less you know. Those who know the most know they have the most to learn.

Tips for blind leaders:

  1. Believe and act on the feedback you receive.
  2. Learn something and share what you’re learning with others.
  3. Ask questions. Spend a morning just asking questions.

#2. Insecure leaders feel threatened by the success of others.

You feel threatened if:

  1. Bravado, anger, or certainty are tools for shutting people down.
  2. You take credit for other people’s work.
  3. You minimize the success of others.
  4. Defensiveness is your default response to bad news or problems.
  5. You hold your head down when you walk the halls.

Tips for insecure leaders:

  1. Spend a morning praising and thanking.
  2. List your top 5 weaknesses.
  3. Develop a new skill with someone on your team.

#3. Squeaky wheel leaders obsess over problems.

Obsessing over problems makes you the problem.

Success is about seizing opportunities, not solving problems. (Inspired by Peter Drucker)

Tip: Monitor the ratio of positive to negative topics in your conversations. The 80/20 rule applies.

What’s on your list of toxic leader traits or behaviors?

Bonus material:

Why Incompetent People Think They’re Amazing (Ted-Ed 5:07)

8 Traits of Toxic Leadership to Avoid (Psychology Today)

Avoid over-confidence Bias with these 7 Actionable Steps (toggl)

Where are the natural counter-power intellectuals?

The natural counter-power intellectuals feel helpless when citizens are asked to vote for God or civic laws in the Arab World: The mission has always seemed insurmountable.

The hero is an Intellectual with a jihad mission to go one step further in this 100-year war…It took more than 3 centuries of such kind of “fallen heroes” to gain just a foot-hold…

La pratique intellectuelle a pour mission de s’interroger rationnellement sur le « comment » et le « pourquoi » de toutes choses.
Elle a pour essence le doute ,et le brouillard, et pour objectif le flirt avec la verite’ a travers l’acquisition du savoir pour enfin regarder le monde avec un esprit critique et le penser avec du bon sens.

La pratique intellectuelle a aussi pour mission de questionner et de faire réfléchir, elle est à la fois une gourmandise infinie et un contre-pouvoir.

Elle est même le plus puissant des contre-pouvoirs contre l’obscurantisme et le dogmatisme, l’aveuglement superstitieux et les préjugés.
L’intellectuel, se veut engager.

Or il n’y a d’engagement sans dérangement.

Le confort intellectuel est l’autre nom de la bêtise. Il faut donc frapper là où ça dérange, afin que l’on ait envie de participer activement, ardemment, au débat et finalement à la vie de la cite’.
Le plus scandaleux, c’est quand ceux-la n’alertent plus, n’avertissent plus, ne denoncent plus, gardent leur silence.

Pire c’est quand ils passent d’un cote’ de la barriere a l’autre.
Pendant longtemps, l’intellectuel dit « de gauche » a pris la parole et s’est vu reconnaître le droit de parler en tant que maître de vérité et de justice.

Meme dans notre monde arabe ce fut le cas. On l’écoutait, ou il prétendait se faire écouter comme représentant de l’universel.

Etre intellectuel, c’était être un peu la conscience de tous. (…) Il y a bien des années qu’on ne demande plus à l’intellectuel de jouer ce rôle. (…)

Les intellectuels ont pris l’habitude de travailler non pas dans l’universel, l’exemplaire, le juste-et-le-vrai-pour-tous, mais a ghettoye’ le savoir, de l’instrumentaliser au profit d’une personne, d’un capital, d’un engagement materiel.

Finies les luttes pour l’autre, on lutte pour soi, mais avec quel acharnement.
De generateurs de consciences collectives, de contre-pouvoirs, d’eclaireurs de nouvelles voies, les intellectuels des regimes arabes et ceux du printemps arabe, reduisent leur role a celui de “ la voix de leur maître” et non comme une “Voix” a part.

Ils n’ont garde qu’une cigarette en main et une chemise deboutonnee, et un esprit sclerose.

(Inspire par Bourdieu/ Foucault)

Note: The intellectuals in the Middle-East still are confused about their Nationality. Most of the are sectarians and confine their opinions within their State/regime. Many, and they are majority, implicitly dream of an illusory Islamic/Arabic Nation, just because it is Not founded on any tangible reality and they stay within the realm of daydreaming wishes because they are confused in their political objectives and appease their leaders.

The objective and engaged intellectuals should view the Syrian nation (including the States of Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq) as the most rational and effective strategy of a unified One People to defeat our existential enemies in Israel and expansionist Turkey of Erdogan.

Among these clichés: What your personal experience Disprove?

1. Good things happen to who can wait…

2. Love can conquer all difficulties…

3. Follow your strong passions…

4. Man is a rational specie…

5. Genes/Nature account for most personal characteristics and life achievement…

6. Timing is everything…

7. Success is the result of consecutive failures…

8. Practice has nothing to do with theory…

9. Formal Education should not be an official obligation…

10. Critical moments Completely change your world view model…

How a steady, sustained resistance kicked Israel out of Lebanon (1982-2000)

Journalist British correspondent Robert Fisk wrote a book “Affliction of Nation” and I have been summarizing chapters of the Arabic version.

Fisk covered the civil war in Lebanon for 9 years and investigated on the ground.   Fisk wrote:

“As the invasion of Israel to Lebanon in June 1982 progressed, fear and apprehension of Israel military vanished.

Israel might was not in its soldiers, but its destructive fire power and air superiority. In this invasion, Israel emptied its last shot at scaring its neighboring States:  Israeli soldiers were hunkering down in their bunkers.

An Israeli war analysts wrote: “Illusion was the basis of this preemptive war and its motivation was concealed. This war was doomed to end in catastrophe”

I met the Israeli reservist soldier Dany (18 of age) on the Awwali River Bridge on Aug. 16, 1984.  Dany was born in Washington and is currently living in the kibbutz Ain Smorian. He was to serve for 9 months and resume his education in political sciences. Dany pointed to a Lebanese peasant in Saida and said: “He sees everything around him.  Soon, they will ambush us again. I understand their reactions: our antagonistic activities are not to be peaceful.  They have the right to hate us.  I wish I could speak Arabic and say: “Please, I am sorry…” All that I was taught of Arabic is “Do that, Go there, Hurry up…”

A beautiful girl waved to an Israeli soldier at a check-point in the town of Kfarfalous on Aug. 17, 1984.  The soldier said “Hi”. The girl smiled and cursed in Arabic: “Are you still alive? Curse of God on your people…”

Apparently, Israel failed to spread anything civilized in this region, much less democracy: Israel has succumbed to the mentality and customs of the Near-East.

Note: The Lebanese resistance started as Israel troops entered Beirut. Many Kamikaze suicide attacks on Israel headquarters, center of commands and gathering of soldiers increased between in 1983-1986, until Syria gave Hezbollah the exclusive “resistance right” against Israel occupation that lasted till May 24, 2000

Cases of Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya…

Are secular and national concepts anathema to Arab/Islamic spirit?

The successive “freer election” processes in the Arab/Islamic States that overturned dictator regimes are bringing in to power Islamic political parties, with almost landslides. 

In Morocco, Tunisia, and Egypt, where parliamentary elections have proceeded, the Islamic “Muslim Brotherhood” parties called “Party of Justice”, in emulation of the Turkish Islamic party in power, have captured no less than 40% of the votes. 

In Egypt, even the ultra-conservative Islam (the Wahhabi Saudi Arabia brand of extreme obscurantism) has come second to the “Muslim Brotherhood” party with about 25% of the votes…

The election laws and procedures are very complicated, favoring the political parties with heavy financial funding from foreign States such as Saudi Monarchy/ Arab Gulf Emirate States/USA..

.The Islamic parties are the best organized and have invested in rural areas for decades: Such as local schools, health services (dispensaries, hospitals…), social services for the poorer communities..

.Basically, filling the vacuum that regimes failed to cover and care for…

Religions in all States have the basic power of rallying the poorer classes and downtrodden around mythical concept that play on the hope of better life, if Not on earth, at least in heaven.

Islam is one of the religion that through daily praying practices assemble millions in specific location. These assemblies are perfect for propagating coded orders to elect specific candidates

Fractured State of Reading, Writing, and Publishing: What Kindle has to do with the future?

For a long time I never thought I would have any use for a Kindle.

After all, who wants to read on a computer? And what about marking up the text, dogearing pages, or having more than one book open on my desk at a time?

Well, those behaviors are mostly my self-fueled obsessions when authoring original works of nonfiction.

For recreational reading, the mechanisms for highlighting passages and bookmarking pages on the Kindle are, while somewhat clumsy and indirect, still good enough to get the job done.

And then there’s the instant gratification aspect.

This weekend, I was up at my cabin, at 3000′ elevation and nestled deep in the alpine pinnacles of the Cascade Crest, and I decided that I wanted to read another one of the mystery anthologies edited by Ed Gorman and Martin H. Greenberg because I recently read By Hook or By Crook on the recommendation of Kristine Kathryn Rusch and it was fantastic.

So I just brought up the book in the Kindle store, paged through the related reads, and within sixty seconds of the impulse I was reading Between the Dark and the Daylight.

But now I have to read the bloody thing on my smartphone until my new Kindle arrives.

And while I wait, it occurred to me that the fractured Kindle screen pictured above strikes is a perfect image of the publishing industry and the entire state of reading these days.

The old world has been shattered by feedback loops in technology and ongoing market forces that just keep reinforcing one another.

Paper books ain’t going away soon, but I’ll probably live to see the day where they are uncommon for most titles.

Bookstores will be relegated to specialty boutique status, like the camera and stationery stores populating the deserted shoals of strip-malls.

And you know what that smells like to me?


The Courier was one example of how these shifts might spawn whole new experiences or categories of devices.

The Amazon Tablet might well be another. But whatever the next hot gadget or gizmo is, rest assured, I feel like a technological wolf, scenting a long series of innovations-to-come in the shifting winds, and I’ll be looking to make a killing. :-)

What of tablets with pen and multi-touch? What of Nicholas Chen’s Multi-Slate Reading System, a federation of cheap slates that you can scatter about your office like the glossy marketing brochures you get in the mail, tossed aside for the day where you may or may not read them? What of flexible, paper-like displays?

We’re still in the stone age here, folks, as far as e-readers are concerned.

We’ll look back fondly on the Kindle and its ilk as the quaint auto-buggies that presaged a sleek, sophisticated, and nearly unrecognizable future.

That’s where I want to be, even if I have to cobble it together with clunky prototypes, Frankenstein monsters of acrylic and delrin etched out by the laser cutter of my dreams.

In the meantime, you could do a lot worse than to follow Kristine Kathryn Rusch and her husband, Dean Wesley Smith, as they talk about what this means for readers and writers and the publishing industry writ large.

Note:  The original link

And I yet has to try reading on Kindle: I still has no such gizmos because I love hardcover books and read 3 of them at the same moment. Yes, I get bored reading a single story in one setting.

And I love to take notes and share the opinions and expressions that I liked

Leaders without commitments frantically bounce like balls in pinball machines with no clear direction. Commitments are stabilizing stakes in the ground that guide behaviors and inform decisions.

Commitments are decisions you don’t reconsider.

Top leadership commitments include:

  1. Care.
  2. Serve.
  3. Clarify. Clarity drives success.
  4. Know where you’re going and tell others, often.
  5. Act. Step toward the future. Only look backward as it enables forward movement.
  6. Choose optimism or get out of leadership.
  7. Point out what isn’t working, quickly.
  8. Don’t whine.
  9. Set deadlines.
  10. Find celebration points every day.
  11. Act in harmony with your heart. Pleasing others always falls within your values.
  12. Pause. Stop doing and spend time in self-reflection, daily. Failure to reflect creates disconnected frantic lives.
  13. People before projects. It’s always about building people who become part of effective teams.
  14. Study people. Know and understand what makes them tick and wind their clocks.
  15. Ask hard questions.
  16. Stop giving answers; help others find them.
  17. Encourage all the time, even when correcting.
  18. Use mistakes as learning opportunities rather than blaming moments.
  19. Let others know they matter by explaining their contribution.
  20. Look people in the eye, gently.

Bonus: Say, “I don’t know. What do you think?”

Facebook contributors have started their own list of leadership commitments: Leadership Freak Coffee Shop

Which leadership commitments are most important?

What did I leave off this list?

The word I don’t hear much

“We have a crisis in leadership. Confidence in leaders continues to decline. At the same time, our current financial situation says we are in desperate need of leaders.”

“Would you trust your leaders to babysit your children?” John Baldoni.

Leadership begins with trust. Acting in the best interest of others builds trust. Self-interest, at the expense of others, destroys trust.

Leaders who think more about what they get than what they give can’t be trusted.

During my conversation with Baldoni, he said, “We need more sacrifice in leadership. Sacrifice is doing what’s right for others, first.” John Baldoni.

The power of sacrifice:

  1. Sacrifice builds trust, commitment, and loyalty.
  2. Great achievement always calls for sacrifice.
  3. Sacrifice reveals the heart. Calling others to sacrifice without self-sacrifice degrades others.
  4. Self-sacrifice enables leaders to call others to sacrifice.
  5. Sacrifice is the path to connecting with something bigger than you.
  6. Leaders willing to sacrifice take the long view.
  7. Ethics and integrity have meaning in tension between self-service and others-service.

Calling leaders to sacrifice is calling them to love others more than they love themselves.

Many topics in leadership are challenging and awkward; sacrifice tops the list. I don’t hear much about sacrifice. It’s time to bring it back.

Check out John Baldoni’s new book: The Leader’s Pocket Guide: 101 Indispensable Tools, Tips and Techniques for any Situation.

What does leadership-sacrifice look like from your perspective?

Don’t get so busy getting things done that you end up done yourself. Experience shows many leaders between 45 and 55 years old are so connected with business that they become disconnected with themselves.

Don’t get so lost in business that you lose yourself.

Gary Anzolone, CEO of CEO Clubs NYC, sat beside me for lunch yesterday at the Harvard Club. I asked Gary how he became interested in the CEO Club movement.

Gary said he remembered the first time he attended the CEO Club. It gave me a chance for self-reflection, to have conversations about business but not actually do business. As Gary talked, the words refreshed and encouraged came to mind.

Leaders are so busy doing business they seldom take care of themselves beyond distracting entertainments.

Leadership is who you are before it is what you do.

Most leaders most need focused time to care for invisible issues, matters of the heart.

Leader’s hearts are nourished
by authentic relationships with other leaders.


  1. Take the first step by opening up, authentically. Don’t spill your guts. Just toss a bit of your heart out.
  2. Cultivate relationships with those who reciprocate your openness.
  3. Look for courageous truth speakers who look you in the eye and say it like it is.
  4. Look for someone who affirms more than fixing or explaining. Fixers offer advice too quickly. Those who explain why you think or feel the way you do, devalue and minimize you. The world is filled with fixers and explainers; stop being one yourself.
  5. Brag to someone and see if they try to out-do you.
  6. Celebrate the success of others.
  7. Look for connections outside your business.

What are you doing to connect with other leaders? 

The effects of whaling and its end.
“Whales are the canaries of the ocean,” says Philip Hoare, “the measure of all that is healthy, and all that is sick on earth.”

An epic struggle for survival is unfolding in the pristine Arctic – as the planet gets warmer, the ice is melting and instead of governments finding a plan to save it, the US is allowing Shell to go in and drill for oil. It is insane, but this week, one woman can stop it, and it’s up to us to make sure that she does just that.

Lisa Jackson, Environmental Protection Agency head can right now withdraw the permit because Shell has violated the conditions and last week the company lost control of one of its rigs, narrowly avoiding disaster off Alaska. Environmental activists are raising the alarm, but unless we make it a global scandal, Shell — the biggest company in the world — will get their way and others will soon follow the charge.

Lisa Jackson stood up to Big Oil before, but Shell has invested billions and won’t be easily turned back. Let’s make this decision the line in the sand that protects this great wilderness from becoming an oil field. Click below to send Lisa Jackson a message and share this with everyone — let’s flood her with global encouragement to save the Arctic:

The Arctic is melting faster than even most scientists predicted. Climate change is driving dangerous temperature rises — just last week, a chunk of a glacier nearly 40 kilometres long broke off Greenland. Some estimates predict that in just 4 years, the arctic will be completely free of ice in the summer months, soaring temperatures even higher and leading to the melting the Greenland ice sheet which would raise sea levels by 6 metres.

Yet for some this planetary disaster is the 21st century gold rush. Companies and countries who hope to make billions are lining up to frantically grab their share of oil, gas, and minerals. To them the Arctic is not a home to whales and polar bears, it is a new frontier, and it’s one of the reasons why nations like the USA, Canada and Russia have spent years blocking global climate treaties.

This is a simple decision: the people and planet’s future or increasing Big Oil’s profits with a 40% possibility of a catastrophic oil spill. If Lisa Jackson gives Shell the permit now then Exxon, Chevron and the rest of Big Oil will cover these beautiful icy wastelands with dirty rigs, pumps and pipes. Let’s now urge Lisa Jackson to stop Shell before it’s too late. Click now to send a message and share this with everyone:

Arctic drilling has already been condemned by the British government, Insurance companies, the US Coast Guard, and in the last week, Greenpeace and others have been taking to the streets. But to stop this madness we all need to join together to target the one person that can stop it. Let’s ensure that the Arctic is saved from the danger of drilling and instead protected as a global treasure.

With hope,

Iain, Alice, Sam, David, Aldine, Diego, Ricken and the rest of the Avaaz team

The ugly genocide scapegoats: The real evil will not transpire

Ottoman Empire

New nascent German Empire colonial behind most of this century genocide.

Germany planned the Armenian genocide because they constantly supported zrussia expansion into the Ottoam empire and they were supporting the Tsar in this WWI war.

Germany was behind the famine in Mount Lebanon because they turned off the lights along the Emperor trip from Damascus to Beirut because they did Not appreciate Guillaum trampeling on The Virgin shrines in Palestine.

Germany committed extensive genocides in its African colonies, in Angola … and eastern Africa.

They supported the genocide in the Congo by Belgium monarch Leopold.

The other colonial powers, England, France and Italy did Not raise a finger and encourage Nazi Germany to go ahead in WWII…

Excuses of this Zionist  Roger Cohen  for Israel’s successive preemptive wars on Gaza

Glenn Greenwald posted this news:

New York Times columnist Roger Cohen  is explaining why he has always been and still is “a Zionist”.

He wrote the crucial paragraph that gives the vital context for the Israeli attack on Gaza.

Any discussion that excludes these facts is inherently unreliable:

New York Times columnist Roger Cohen - explaining why he has always been and still is "a Zionist" - writes the crucial paragraph that gives the vital context for the Israeli attack on Gaza. Any discussion that excludes these facts is inherently unreliable:
Note: And that generated a counter reaction of a Messianic Islamic fundamentalist movements in Daesh, Nusra, Qaeda… claiming the same land area as Israel, a land we call it “Greater Syria” or the Levant and Iraq.




March 2023

Blog Stats

  • 1,518,869 hits

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by

Join 764 other subscribers
%d bloggers like this: