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Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbit

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Natalie Babbit has written an eventual classic, which to me stand for something.  Often nowadays, people will label something as an instant classic, which I am afraid is used too loosely and to broad.  In fact, I think that instant classic, in itself is an oxymoron.  To be a classic, the thing pointed to must stand the test of time.

The wonderful and relatively short-story (although it isn’t labelled a formal short story) there are so many things that Natalie Babbit does to get a foot into the door of your mind.  Winifred, Milo, Jesse and the Tuck’s along with the man in the yellow suit pose not just an engaging story of discovery and fantasy, but moreso of ideals as far as ethics, virtues and abilities. 

Questions like:

Should anybody live in this life forever?

When is it okay to push the limits of parental control?

When do we trust others?

Are there times when the “law of the land” doesn’t impose fairness and what can you do about it?

In Tuck Everlasting, tens and hundreds of questions are posed in the minds of the ready to determine where the footing of the reader is.  Where do you stand when considering the right and wrong of the given situation.

Clearly, the the story of Winifred, it isn’t difficult to understand where she views and does what she does, dispite the gray area she may drift into in making good moral decisions.  This book, though simple and great for young readers as well as adults, should penetrate deeper into the considerations of the mind. 

The crowning lesson for me personally is that life is intended to be temporary and because of that, life can be rich and valued – even in the good or bad times.  Life does end (this life) and your legacy can enrich those who will be bequithed your influence.

Watch the movie too – a bit different in the exact following of the book’s reading, but the story is told from end to end.


I Hate Arrogance!

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Hubris – Noun – arrogance, excessive pride, excessive self-confidence.

Exessive Arrogance

The Hubris Leader - Leading To Stage 1 Of Their Fall

As a quick sub-post to How The Mighty Fall, stage one of the fall, as Jim Collins puts it, is the evolution of hubris. The characterization of becoming overconfident in ones abilities, creating and “everything I touch turns to gold” type of approach to maintaining (although the hubris is not conducive to maintaining, so this is somewhat said tongue in cheek) or growing a business.

Can the hubris nature be at a lower level in the company? Typically not. In fact, it is usually quite the opposite. As with most structural situations where hubris exists, leading a company to an unhealthy confidence is usually an false emotion distilled by the top of the company.

The lower levels; those crunching the numbers, doing the market research or responding to the customers are those who first become unweary at the sight of such confidence, asking, “Do they really not see what could happen?” They are those presenting caution in their findings, but often falling on deaf ears of because those ears a this hubris filter that only allows findings and research that reinforces that great achievements of the company.

The leader is so confident that they are forward facing, that they mistake their vision for a mirror, presenting them only with historicals and blocking the actual view. Just as if they were driving their care with the hood up, the leader things that they drive well enough that they can still respond to any potential dangers, when in fact, their vary actions of allowing this to take place are a danger. It isn’t that they aren’t aware of the possible danger, they are actually promoting it.

As the story goes of the drive who is able to drive the vehicle over the mountain pass with treacherous terrains and at one point requires tremendous skill to take the vehicle through a narrow pass, where a mountain side is on one side and a stark cliff falls off immediately on the other. The owner of the product that needs to make it over the pass interviews drivers with most expressing how close they can come to the edge without falling off, while one drive expresses that he will do everything to stay as far away from the edge as possible. Of course the interviewer goes with the “safest” solution.

Many hubris situation have a “pushing the envelop” sort of approach” (not result), which is what poses the danger. This arrogance has a precondition of success, regardless of the field and often leads to a lack of preparation or a reckless disregard of the facts and cautions.

Often these hubris leaders throw the lower level employee, expressing caution and restraint, under the bus and in some cases label them as not being a team player or not fit for the company.

Good for the employee, they have the chance to find the right leadership and avoid the painful fall into stage one and likely onto stage two of Jim Collin’s description.

More opinions to come.

Written by ebookwisdom

April 2, 2010 at 6:18 pm

Nobody, Not Even The Giants

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How The Mighty Fall – And Why Some Companies Never Give In

And Why Some Companies Never Give In

Good Extension From Good To Great

Is a book by the business guru, Jim Collins, on how great companies fall apart really necessary or timely, when we face a recession.   Not to discount anything other that the timing of the book, wouldn’t it be obvious that even great companies have the real possibility of being exposed to failure.

Of course Mr. Collins didn’t build his study around a recession, nor was the timing to develop a related topic simply around a world wide economic crisis.  The book isn’t about banks and financial markets.  It isn’t about the real estate or mortgage industries, although none of these industries are immune from failure, as we have all observed during the last two years.

The research for How The Mighty Fall is in part to disclose and discover how once great and even unparalleled companies can succumb to arrogance, misguided drive, fearful pursuits and suffocating paralysis.  Despite the possibility to stumble over their own feet, the great companies kneel in humility in the hope to regain significance.  Many don’t, but some do.

Mr. Collin’s objective is not only to overcome the potential digression, but first to act as a warning to all others of how to know you are entering or passing through stages of decline.  The hope would be to recognize this but also to prevent it.  If a company where to find themselves within a stage of decline, they could then also learn from Mr. Collin’s book to pick up from where they are and follow the success a few who have managed to change their poor evolution and resort back to the initial drive that allowed them to recall who they were before.  Acting according the the entrepreneur nature of somebody who has everything to lose, but is willing to put in all of the time, effort and risk to achieve.  The attention to detail of the entrepreneur is what guides the giant to recreating their historical drive and nature.

Over 256 pages, Jim Collins will disclose his findings.  The read is relatively quick and to the point with sufficient examples to allow the reader to create similar circumstances.  Discovering the five stages of decline may help identify what stage you could be in.   These observation are not groundbreaking, however, as with many fantastic observations, it is in the recognition and identification that we epiphanize real truth

Excellent read and for any business mind, work the time.  I prefer the book to the Jim Collin’s read, as he is slightly too dramatic for my tastes.  Looking past the characterization of Mr. Collins, the content is the meat needed and wanted.  At least pick it put at the library.

Written by ebookwisdom

April 2, 2010 at 4:50 am