Archive for January 1st, 2008

The Soldier Begat the Organization Man

The group that calls itself the Greatest Generation spent its formative years learning that there is nothing sexier than a guy who is screaming in another guy’s face. It got a crash course in absolute obedience. A decade later there was a book called The Organization Man and a movie called The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit.

While twelve million men went through the straight, unapologetic, 1984 screaming obedience training, twelve million women the same age learned for the first time that a wife and mother was a failure. Rosey the Riveter and the Women’s Army Corps were the ones who didn’t hide under their beds at home.

A decade later, they were either adults or Housewives.

The other hundred million or so Americans did not go through the totalitarian obedience training, but for four years every aspect of life was crushingly regulated, and everybody was part of The War Effort.

The War Effort ten years later became the Social progress efforts in all their many forms.

Please don’t lecture me about the Depression Effort, I’m trying to make a point here.

I was not raised fifty years ago. I was raised a century before THAT. Our blacks lived in their own houses supplied by us and attitudes around me were roughly antebellum. Everybody fit into their OWN community. It was OUR area.

There was a concept of invasion when someone from the outside did something in our back yard. No one has a back yard today. We look at the world from top down: How does my country into the Community of Nations, how does my state fit into the room left over from the International Community, how does my country fit into what is left after the rules are set by the state, and so forth.

A few people got a hint of this when the term “tax expenditure” got into the budget. The idea that every dime you do NOT tax people is expenditure by government got a few yells, but it is in now. The same people who had no difficulty with the idea that white children were “a precious resource” that had to spread to maximize Holy Integration readily agreed that while their kids went to private schools, working class children belonged to the Community, not to their parents.

Mantra Thinking readily ties all these concepts to together. But Organization Thinking could never see the connection. Those who were part of the organization mentality or who wanted it to DO what they wanted done didn’t SEE the connection, but, like anyone with a one-track mind, they could FEEL that all these roads led in the right direction.

Meanwhile, everybody else tried to Fit In. The Catholic Church excommunicated people who did not go along with integration in the South. When the same Holy Supreme Court that outlawed antimiscegenation laws because it didn’t like them got rid of anti-abortion laws because it didn’t like them, the Church rose up in fury.

One after another, people tried to “fit in” with the latest Effort, to show that while they were unreasonable on the one that directly affected them, they were not only FOR the other Efforts, they were fanatical about them.

Which is a perfect description of respectable conservative Anti-Racism today. The Effort folks backed them all.

Opposition always failed because opposition always lacked Mantra thinking. For that reason Opposition always went bananas. Anti-Great Society became Libertarianism; Opposition to the Humanist Effort became The Religious Right.

It never occurred to anybody to oppose the Effort approach itself. Screams had to met with screams, kookiness could only be argued with by an opposite kookery.

9 Comments

Dave

For a coach the discernment of player’s potential is only half the battle. The other half is encouraging players to be articulate about what they do in training, why they do it, and their role in the game.

How can you develop competitive excellence if what you are working on, spending time on, and thinking isn’t on target?

I can talk to any group of law judges, for example, put them in a room, and give each of them 3 minutes to articulate their jobs and I guarantee that you would be shocked beyond comprehension at their inability to deliver a genuinely cogent and coherent result.

I could do the same thing for any group of government employees, excepting janitors, guards, and typists, and I guarantee you, only a few of them would be able to articulate anything cogent about why and how they spend a major piece of their lives.

Let’s not talk about priests, pastors, psychologists, academics, and most researchers. The result of such a test would be mental ward stuff.

Furthermore, I shudder at the thought of this test being given to average GI in Iraq, including all officers to the highest levels. You would get seemingly cogent responses, but real coherency would not be there.

In contrast, I know that if this test were administered to the employees and company officers of corporations such as Wal-Mart or Les Schwab, for example, they would pass it with flying colors. Similarly, this test would be passed quite nicely for the players and coaches of any professional sports team.

These organizations have a focus that is missing in most of society, including the military and intelligence agencies.

BW said, “I need to develop a group of clear thinkers before I die”. That is the most fundamental thing that needs to be said about coaching depth.

Superior organizations force their players to be articulate. It is a requirement for participation. Real justification for what they are doing and why they are doing it is required. Accordingly, being articulate is mandatory.

Run of the mill organizations never force their people to be articulate about their jobs. They never understand that superior organizations are built on very simple enablers. I always know that I am in a poorly managed organization when “the players” are not forced to explain on a regular basis what they are doing, why they doing it, and how it supports the mission with the liars being punished. Also, superior organizations are always focused on simplifying things.

Now granted, this is for an organization where people are paid to participate. But nonetheless, we ourselves need to understand how important this is.

Aldous Huxley never tired of saying: “Don’t tell me what I am to accomplish without telling me how I am to do it.”

And BW has already given guidance to this: “The right thing said at the right time has been more influential to course of events than all the military battles fought in history”.

I know that I have already been widely influential with those in my daily life. I am the one giving the racial explanation for things. What I say makes sense and is true. Accordingly, it is received and remembered.

It is that simple. That is how “Mantra thinking” is spread.

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