Ted Cruz is the Worst of all That is Wrong With Politicians



For anyone who happened to watch Ted Cruz’s “performance” at the Republican National Convention last week, they were presented with a real-time example of why he is so universally disliked and distrusted by those who have ever worked with him. Ted Cruz is the most deceitful politician to play on the presidential stage since Richard Nixon. Just looking at Cruz and that shit-eating little smirk on his face when he thinks he has made a good point makes him look like a Cheshire cat who has just enjoyed licking his own ass.

Over his political career Cruz has, at one time or another, hung out to dry his Party, colleagues and his country; all for his personal aggrandizement and to further his ambitions.

Trump magnanimously offered Cruz a platform to speak at his RNC party, without any restrictions. (Trump gave Cruz 10 minutes and he took 23.) It was assumed that if Cruz was willing to speak at the Trump party, that he would do the courteous thing and endorse the nominee. Not! Instead, Cruz used the platform and national television exposure to give a smug, churlish and truculent grandstanding speech that was intended to steal the spotlight from Trump, and put the focus on himself. He was successful, but maybe not in the way he envisioned.

In simple terms, Cruz put his own personal ambitions ahead of a unified effort to defeat Hillary Clinton. It’s fine if as a senior Republican leader you can’t countenance Trump as the Party standard-bearer, but at least have some class about it. But “class” is not a word often (if ever) used in a sentence describing Ted Cruz. John Kasich has not been able to bring himself to endorse Trump, but to his credit he expressed his feelings by staying away from the convention; thus preventing his stance from becoming a distraction. But not Cruz, he saw his unwillingness to support Trump as an opportunity to showboat and attract personal attention.

Cruz’s actions were akin to being invited to the wedding of a beautiful young woman, then when invited to make a toast, he talks about how wonderful marriage is as an institution, but then goes on to comment on how ugly the groom is and to suggest that he is the one the bride should have married.

What was Cruz Thinking?

As is his history, Cruz was thinking about himself and no one else. It is likely that Cruz saw the Republican convention as his first campaign rally for his 2020 presidential campaign. Cruz’s first objective is to hope, pray and do what he can to assure that Trump will lose the election. In Cruz’s self-centered way of thinking, a Trump thumping will clear the way for him to pick up the mantel of disaffected conservatives and give him a leg-up on the Republican nomination in 2020.

There probably would have been more acceptance for Cruz’s disavowal of the Trump nomination with his call to “Vote your conscience” had he not taken the stage of the RNC to do so. His credibility with the delegates and conservative voters was already damaged by the fact that he spent the first two-thirds of the Republican primaries cozying up to Trump and refusing to repudiate his qualifications and inappropriate comments. Cruz, like virtually everyone else, thought Trump was going to implode and when that happened he could be the one to inherit the disaffected conservative Trump voters, leading to his own nomination.

The motivation for the Cruz approach at the convention was obviously to position himself for 2020. He seems to think that God has vested him with the power and mission to bring the Republican Party back together again. (Come to think of it, Cruz does look a bit like Humpty Dumpty.) However, success for Cruz in this effort will be problematic because so many people in the Party don’t like or trust him. And he certainly didn’t do anything to enhance his chances by his performance at the convention.

Cruz may have envisioned himself as the reincarnation of Ronald Reagan who, after a bitter nomination fight with Gerald Ford at the 1976 Republican convention, offered up a brilliant, if reluctant, endorsement speech that paved the way for his victory in 1980. The problem is that Cruz is no Reagan. Taking on Trump and his supporters the way Cruz did, reminds me more of Nelson Rockefeller’s speech at the Republican Convention in 1964. Rockefeller not only refused to endorse the nominee, but directly challenged Barry Goldwater and his supporters; and was lustily booed off the platform. Even though Goldwater was soundly defeated in the election and the Republican Party decimated, the fallout from the Rockefeller speech meant that he never had a chance to be president himself.

We’ll have to see how Cruz’s conniving, narcissistic actions at the RNC play out over the next four years, but one thing is certain, he did not make any new friends among the delegates and Party leaders. But in Cruz’s mind that may be okay, because he didn’t have any friends anyway.

Ethical Leadership is More Than Just Being Ethical



Ethics is doing the right things that are required to be done. Ethical leadership is doing the right things that are not required to be done. 

Ethical behavior is considered a surefire precursor to effective leadership and success in business. It means behaving in compliance with society’s laws and accepted mores; which basically boils down to not lying, cheating and stealing.
Possessing solid ethics is not all that challenging or rare. Publicized “perp walks” to the contrary, the business world is filled with thousands of ethical individuals working hard to be effective leaders nd successful in business. That is good, but for the individual who desires to stand out from the crowd and distinguish themselves as an exceptional leader – in all ways – it is not enough to simply comply with the minimum rules of ethics. Ethical leadership requires an effort to do more than other ethical individuals in positions of leadership. The way to do this is to turn ethics from a negative – don’t do this – admonition into actions that create a positive connotation by adopting a pro-active approach to ethics.

Here is what I mean.

Traditionally, being an ethical leader entails doing the right things that are required to be done. However, when it comes to ethical leadership it means going beyond the standards of others and consistently doing the right things that are not required to be done. True ethical leadership is simply doing more than what should be done by doing what can be done.

For example, there is no requirement to give a single-parent extra paid time off to be with a sick child, but it is the right thing to do and a leader who does so is doing more than what is ethically required and this translates into ethical leadership.

Adopting this elevated level of ethical leadership is neither complicated nor a secret. Leaders who exhibit traits of ethical leadership operate in a constant, consistent, respectful, parallel and open manner. Basic ethics does not require that they act this way, but they do, because they understand it is what will distinguish them from other leaders. Those who practice ethical leadership also realize that reciprocal respect, loyalty and commitment will be willingly offered by those working under this philosophy of leadership and, in the long run, it offers them the greatest chance for success.

Companies led by those who have embraced the concept of ethical leadership go well beyond the standard of ethics that an employer is required or expected to offer an employee. This activity is not limited to salary and benefits, but reaches to the very heart of that relationship. The end result is an environment in which people are highly motivated to work and contribute to the success of the leader and organization.

It is no coincidence that companies functioning under the aegis of ethical leadership consistently perform better than those that don’t. That does not mean competing companies are managed by leaders without ethics, but only that those with ethical leadership characteristics are able to outperform the competition on every level.

The world is crowded and competitive. If you want to be more than just part of the crowd trying to compete, you have to stand out and be different. Adopting a philosophy of ethical leadership – not just doing the right things that are required to be done, but also doing the right things that are not required to be done – will set you apart and put you on the path to being recognized as an exceptional leader.

When you get right down to it, it is the most ethical thing to do.

Be Surprised if You Win the Lottery, but Not by Your Success.

from “If You’re Not Making History, You Are History” by Bob MacDonald

If success surprises you, it means you were not in control of the outcome.

There were a lot of people surprised by my personal success and the success of the company – LifeUSA – that I helped bring into being, but I was not one of them.

After flunking out of college I was able (but only barely) to find a job selling life insurance door-to-door. Few could have foretold a successful career path for me, but I could.

From the very start of my career I began to collect and put aside one of every personal business card depicting my climb to the top of the business-ladder. I did this because I visualized a time when those cards would be framed and hanging on the wall in my top-floor executive office.

And that happened 15 years later when I became president and CEO of ITT Life Insurance Company. I mention this, not as some ego trip, but as validation that at least I was not surprised by my success; for me it was anticipated and expected. This confidence in my ultimate success motivated me to chart a winning course and do the things that would make the vision of those cards hanging in my office become a reality.

In 1987, when we were forming LifeUSA, the virtually universal reaction from those outside our group was that because the insurance industry was dominated by huge companies, it would be impossible for a new, start-up company to compete and be successful. My response to anyone who would listen was, “In five years, LifeUSA will be a national company competing effectively against the very largest companies.” Not many believed that, but I did.

Five years later, when LifeUSA was a national company competing effectively against the very largest companies, people constantly came up to me and asked, “Aren’t you surprised by the success of LifeUSA?” My response was always the same, “No! My only surprise is that it did not happen sooner.”

To some, this response may have seemed arrogant, but only because most people are surprised and think it must be an accident when others are successful. Isn’t it interesting that most people are not surprised when they witness or experience failure? And yet when they see success, they assume those who attained it must have been just lucky or at least surprised by it, because they would certainly be.

But have you also noticed that often those who are the most successful are the ones least surprised by their success? That’s because they planned and worked hard for their success. It’s fine to be surprised if you win the lottery, because you have no control over the outcome; if you win it is a random happening that is not likely to be repeated. However, if you are surprised by success it means that you were not in control of your success and it becomes a random happening that is unlikely to be sustained.

The point here is that when you prepare for success – rather than just hope for it – you are more likely to achieve it and when you do, you are not surprised. Nor should you be.