Tag Archives: Food for Thought

It’s time to scrap the Olympics and start over.

Sports is not my business but I’ve learned to spot when disruption is needed. The Olympics are an outdated model that stresses host countries, has bloated, problematic administration and is organized and presented in an obsolete fashion. I would like to see the greatest athletes organize and start an alternative sporting event, perhaps with help from media and other stakeholders. Modernize and streamline the worldwide athletic competition business!

Use Cirque Du Soleil as a model. What they did to disrupt, modernize and re-define “the circus” should be done with Olympic style competition. One simple idea that comes to mind is to use existing facilities instead of building these “Olympic Cities” that sit largely unused afterward. Check out some of the ruined sites here.

There’s no reason why the outmoded Olympics should continue. Here’s an example of how the Rio Olympics are shaping up to be a disaster. It’s been a long time since the Games have been a smashing success. They are ripe for disruption. Sports need to be based on excellence and constant self improvement.

UPDATE 8/11/16:  Here’s Time Magazine’s take on Olympic disfunction and corruption.

#Rio #RioOlymics #RioProblems #Olympics

Shortlink: http://ow.ly/2AO9302QIUF

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#Business and Life Advice from the Grateful Dead #Dead50

Grateful Dead closed out their 50 Year Career in Chicago last night at Soldier Field (a mere 2 blocks from my home). It was the same location as their last show with Jerry Garcia in 1995. I’ve never been a big DeadHead but have appreciated their music, longevity, experimentation and also their business sense. They were one of the first bands to have their own record label and sell their own tickets, and everyone knows they are kings of merchandising and brand building. They changed the concert touring business as well with their traveling band of fans, long improvisational shows, and allowing fans to tape their shows starting decades ago.
Along with Led Zeppelin they were one of the rock bands that did the most to shape the music and concert business.
Over the weekend I tweeted some of my favorite Grateful Dead lyrics that also can be taken as good self improvement advice in business and life.
Fare Thee Well!

once in a while gdead

maybe you find direction gdead

gdead one man gathers

gdead silver mine

long distance runner c

are you kind gdead

To learn more about the Grateful Dead’s business innovations and lessons, read this short article from guy who wrote a whole book on it.  Or here’s another one.

What a long, strange trip it’s been.

–TTBG

 

#MarriageEquality and #GunRights Show Us How To “Do the Impossible”

In 2008, Barack Obama met with a fundamentalist preacher during his presidential campaign, to state his opposition to same sex marriage.  The most liberal candidate in recent history felt supporting same sex marriage was politically dangerous just 7 years ago.  This week when the Supreme Court affirmed the right to same sex marriage was protected in the Constitution, it was the expected outcome.  And the vast majority of businesses, politicians and citizens saluted the decision.  The White House was lit in rainbow colors.  From Impossible to Inevitable in 7 years.

rainbow white house

I grew up in the country hunting, fishing and shooting guns.  Even in our conservative region in “the good old days” we still never imagined that all citizens would someday have the right to carry loaded weapons, concealed or open in holsters, in nearly every public setting.  Yet today every state is required by Supreme Court ruling to allow public possession of firearms, including concealed carry.  From Unthinkable to Unstoppable.

gunrallymarch

What these two remarkable developments have in common is an organized, passionate group taking sustained political action.  In both cases, citizens mobilized into a political force over decades, raising money and more importantly wielding the votes to threaten candidates’ and politicians’ careers if they didn’t support and advance their issues.  Gay Rights and Gun Rights activists didn’t get discouraged or give up until they achieved their goals.  It’s impossible to deny the effectiveness of their determination.

American Citizens are almost universally disgusted with American Government.  This is one sentiment where the left, right and center actually agree!  But we typically say we can’t do anything about government waste of taxpayers money, inefficiency, bloat, bullying citizens, corruption, unethical behavior and other problems.  We say “that’s just the way it is” and it will never change.  Or we feel we can just vote in “our guys” without changing the rules of the system.  History shows that tactic does not solve the dysfunction.

Whether we agree or disagree with the hard fought triumphs of the Gay Rights and Gun Rights movements, their victories show this fatalistic attitude about improving our society is simply a cop out.  What’s more important than wise use of taxpayer dollars and the integrity of our leaders?  Citizens can clearly seize power if enough people care and put in a sustained effort.  We have the power to step up and make things better.

Do we just like to complain, or do we actually want to change our nation and world for the better?  Whatever you care about, don’t cop out and say it can’t be done.   This week’s Supreme Court ruling on same sex marriage is just one example proving that’s not true!

As dysfunctional as our politics have become, Citizens in our Republic are still in control of our own destiny.  But in politics as in business, success takes hard work and persistence.

sorry-for-the-inconvenience-we-are-trying-to-change-the-world

Read more about how same sex marriage triumphed in Slate.

And check out just a couple of examples of how the open carry and concealed carry movement succeeded in legalizing widespread carrying of loaded firearms.

Amazing things can be done when people care.

— TTBG

 

 

Business and Life Wisdom from Mom

My Mom kept it simple when we were growing up, but I still think of the things she said to guide us daily.  I still turn to her sayings in my business and personal life.

~ “Be considerate!” ~ I strive to think about what I am about to say or do and how others will react and feel.  This is a healthy version of being “PC.”

~ “I’m going to count to 3…” ~ I’ve learned to stop and think before speaking or taking action and I’ve never been sorry after doing so.

~ “Tomorrow is another day.” ~ I strive to let the grudges and failures of today not pollute my future attitudes and action.

~ “Mind your P’s and Q’s!” ~ In my lifelong involvement in  bar/restaurant hospitality industry, I’ve learned it’s a nickel and dime business where failure is often caused by ignoring a lot of little things.  I think that’s true of many other endeavors, both business and professional.

~ “It’s just one of those things.” ~ I have a need to analyze and understand everything, and I have to make peace with the reality that sometimes stuff just happens, and people act in ways that don’t make sense.

~ “We’ll see…” ~ Mom’s version of “maybe,” in response to those endless kid requests.  She taught me to be tactful in controlling requests, but staying open to possibilities.

~ “MOB!” (Mind your own business) ~ This is one I use every day and it saves me time, money, and aggravation.

~ “Don’t be unpleasant.” ~ Smile and the world smiles with you. Or as I say to Clients in the hospitality business, “Smile and Make Money!”

~ “Go outside and play!” ~ Mom had very tough rules limiting media screen time. Of course there was only the TV screen back then.  But growing up we “watched” much less than our friends, as Mom would kick us out the door to go expend some energy and grow our imagination.  Today, I’m aware that passively consuming too much media is binging on mental junk food.  I try to model behavior and spread the word to friends and associates that spending time with “talking heads,” talk radio, reality TV and negative web sites is mind pollution.

~ “Do unto others, as you would have others do unto you!” ~ The Golden Rule, present in every major faith, was big for my Mom and it remains the ultimate piece of Life Wisdom

So here’s my favorite Mother’s Day Song from Junior: “Mama Used to Say.”

And Here’s some more thoughts on what some “old school” mom’s taught us kids.

Happy Mothers Day!

 

 

#EarthDay Is Not A Hippie Holiday

~~ If we don’t manage waste and our business assets responsibly, our business will fail.

~~ Same goes for humankind managing the earth’s resources. But the stakes are much higher – we only have one planet.

~~ Responsible waste disposal and resource management must not be partisan issues.

~~ Here is what some of our leaders have said about preservation of Earth’s environment over the years. Earth Day is not a hippy holiday, and concern over the environment is not a left wing cause.

“Conservation is a great moral issue, for it involves the patriotic duty of insuring the safety and continuance of the nation.” — Theodore Roosevelt

“As we peer into society’s future, we – you and I, and our government – must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering for, for our own ease and convenience, the precious resources of tomorrow. We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without risking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage.” — Dwight D. Eisenhower

“Restoring nature to its natural state is a cause beyond party and beyond factions. It has become a common cause of all the people of this country. It is a cause of particular concern to young Americans, because they more than we will reap the grim consequences of our failure to act on programs which are needed now if we are to prevent disaster later.” — Richard Nixon

“The preservation of parks, wilderness, and wildlife has also aided liberty by keeping alive the 19th century sense of adventure and awe with which our forefathers greeted the American West. Many laws protecting environmental quality have promoted liberty by securing property against the destrutctive trespass of pollution. In our own time, the nearly universal appreciation of these preserved landscapes, restored waters, and cleaner air through outdoor recreation is a modern expression of our freedom and leisure to enjoy the wonderful life that generations past have built for us.” — Ronald Reagan

“We need the tonic of wildness…At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.” — Henry David Thoreau