Lazy Americans…

Roland Martin on Lazy Americans

Worthwhile article that hits on a number of issues. We can discuss the “self-esteem epidemic” and the nature of leadership and leadership styles.

For instance, Martin mentions Steve Jobs’ no-nonsense leadership style in unambiguously positive terms. Fire a B- or C-teamer on the spot rather than accept a crappy design.

Now, one thing we’ve got a pretty good handle on in leadership theory and research is that there are two basic dimensions or categories of leader behaviors — initiating structure (task-oriented) and showing consideration (relationship-oriented). Both of these are positively related to various good outcomes in the workplace.

It seems that Mr. Martin favors a task-first approach for leadership to make America its most competitive self. This is pretty consistent with Goal-Setting Theory, one of the other well-supported empirical findings in applied psychology and management: Difficult, specific goals lead to higher levels of task performance, on average, than vague, easy, or “do your best” goals. This is partially because such goals focus attention and indicate levels of acceptable performance, and encourage persistence until the task is accomplished (I’m being a bit woolly on this, but it’s close enough for government work).

Still, in general, people are not always satisfied with hard-nosed leadership. They’re more likely to turnover in these environments. Is that bad, though? It could be what’s known as “functional turnover”, which basically means that the dead weight quit, but the real superstars stay working for you.

I don’t have answers here, just some thoughts that this article led me to consider.


No internet censorship!

Do not allow OUR GOVERNMENT to implement painful, ridiculous, totalitarian approaches to the internet. We’ve given up enough freedoms; we’ve failed badly enough as a country, we’ve failed to live up to our ideals. We’re better than this. The internet, as it currently exists, is the best expression of the values our founding fathers tried to codify in our Constitution. We’ve failed many times, throughout our history, in varying ways. We ARE better than this. We can let our voices be heard. Let’s start here. Let’s take back our country. Let’s not allow YET MORE REPRESSION.

I’ve had enough.

We’ve let Labor be silenced. We’ve let our ideals be shattered. We’ve allowed terrible things. Let’s start small. Let’s start where it affects us. Let’s move on from here (and I really, really mean that). Save the internet as we know it. Then, let’s move on from there.


In the last week, I’ve managed to finish 5 conference reviews, and turn
an R-and-Red paper back over to my coauthors, wrap up the
analyses/method and results write-up of another paper and send it back
to my coauthors. And also staked out two more papers that I can finish
up (before the month is out?), and started yet another paper.

Why? I realized how much of the semester had gotten away from
me. Transition years are, apparently, always difficult. Still, with my
post-doc, by this point in the year I’d started, submitted, revised, and
gotten accepted my first on-site paper, re-submitted a major revision
of another paper (since accepted), and brought gotten a solid running
start on two more papers (sitting in post-rejection limbo). So, that
transition wasn’t as bad. Still, the "professor" label comes with
it…just so much more work than I could possibly have expected.

I shouldn’t be doing this post now, but there was the weblogger buffer
in Emacs when I came back over here to double-check some data. Silly me.