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Everywhere I go, I'm asked if I think the universities stifle writers. My opinion is that they don't stifle enough of them.
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Blog Posts for September 2007

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Who's Afraid of Fair and Balanced?


Fox News did last night's Republican debate. Democrats are on record saying that they won't attend a Fox News Democrat debate. No wonder. Chris Wallace and Brit Hume asked some very hard-hitting questions, and I doubt that the Democrats want to face that depth of informed and researched questioning.



1 Comment
Tags: politics
by Brett Rogers, 9/6/2007 1:21:50 PM



Don't really feel like blogging lately, so I'm out until further notice.

In the meantime, enjoy anyone listed here.


1 Comment
by Brett Rogers, 9/12/2007 10:22:12 AM

The Unfortunate State of Most "Leadership"


Managers are not necessarily leaders. Managers, by definition, constrain people to meet an expectation.

Leaders blaze new trails. They blow out expectations. They're out in front of others.

Setting a goal is not leadership. A leader may or may not set the goal, but they damn well recognize the right direction and beat feet to get there. They fearlessly break out the machete and find the way.

People may not want to follow a manager, but they join a leader without hesitation.

A friend of mine recently said that most managers esteem themselves as leaders. Unfortunately, that's all too true.


by Brett Rogers, 9/14/2007 12:33:49 PM



I've been big time missing my art lately - I'm working on a development project in my weekends and evenings, so I'm unable to paint. But... I took the time in the past couple of days to put in a sidebar on my web site to display a mini gallery. I'll use it for other things later too, but for now it shows my work.

I also created a desktop wallpaper - kind of a collage - of my paintings.

You can download it at the store.


by Brett Rogers, 9/15/2007 8:19:23 PM

Unlimited Campaign Finances


I've been doing some thinking lately about Instinct, Choice, and Habit, but before I finish scribing that one out, I read on Glenn Reynold's Instapundit site today about the problems in campaign financials. The good professor says that allowing unlimited campaign contributions is a better approach. Being the free market guy that I am, that appeals to me, but actually I think it allows the White House - or any office - to be purchased. Which probably happens today anyway, but I'd like to suggest a different approach.

Why not let those campaigning to be president enter a microcosm and show us how they would lead? The federal government is not a place where the finances available are unlimited. No, they're limited. In fact, the more limited, the better. What I would rather see is to give the candidates a fixed budget - say $1 million - and that's the maximum. They can show us then how they can stretch that budget. What creativity would they employ to get their message out? Because if they frivolously spend unbelievable sums to get there, isn't the habit of spending spending spending a hard habit to break? And that's a huge problem in Washington.

Keep in mind, if our nation did something like this, I don't think that citizens should be at all limited in their free speech. If they choose to create ads, purchase radio or TV time, and air what they want to say, I'm all for it. If they choose to write about their political views, I'm all for it.

But the campaign? It has to live within its means, because that's what Washington should do, yet never does. Why not start that habit before you get there?


Tags: politics
by Brett Rogers, 9/20/2007 10:24:52 AM

The Drudge Feed


One of the most inefficient web sites there is, and yet one of the most popular, is Matt Drudge's site. It's very hard to find the new content on his site. I'm sure that's by design, as it probably helps his ad revenue to keep people wandering around the page longer.

Why has no enterprising young soul created a web site that sorts Drudge's headlines with the most recent additions first? Drudge has something like that with his archives page, but it's not complete - and it's redundant.

I could do it, but I'm busy with other things.

Anyone? It'd be simple to write...


by Brett Rogers, 9/20/2007 3:34:51 PM

On the Inside


Several years back, my friend John told me a quote by Lyndon Johnson, who spoke of J. Edgar Hoover. Johnson said, "It’s probably better to have him inside the tent pissing out, than outside the tent pissing in." It's a memorable quote, and has stuck with me ever since.

A few weeks back, I bought an issue of Scientific American Mind, the main article of which was that leadership is most effective when the group perceives that the leader is part of the group.

And then two weeks ago, I attended a work-sponsored workshop on Leadership that featured John Maxwell's book, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership.

I'm not much for "fate" and I don't believe that God steers our life, but I do believe that as we're ready to notice things, we do. I call this manna. Food on the ground that's there for the eating if we notice it and we're hungry. I'm noticing leadership lately, and there's food for me to eat, so I'm digesting.

Most of my career has been either starting or running my own company, or it has been working as a consultant. My mindset has almost always been that of the outsider. In the nest, but not of the nest.

I think in any group of which I become a part, I'm noted for my leadership abilities. I'm somewhat charismatic, I'm strong in my opinion and insightful enough to have a point usually worth hearing, and I trailblaze pretty well.

But I fear that I handicap myself completely because I remain aloof and stand there as the guy not totally sold on being in the group. Being in the group, with both feet immersed and not straddling a fence, gives me skin in the game. It shows that I'm committed.

Tamara and I watched Jerry Maguire the other night, which remains a really great movie and got better with this, my second viewing of it.

In it, Jerry talks to Rod and gets straight with him and asks, "Are we really friends?" to which Rod replies, "Why not?"

Jerry: Well, friends can tell each other anything, right? If we have our "friends" hats on...

Rod, warily: I think so.

Jerry: Alright. Here's why you don't have your ten million dollars yet. You are a paycheck player. You play with your head. Not your heart. In your personal life? (Jerry points to Rod's chest) Heart. But when you get on the field - (Jerry's finger rises to Rod's head) - you're a businessman. It's wide-angle lenses and who fucked you over and who owes you for it. That's not what inspires people.

Manna. Nobody leads from the cheap seats. There is no phoning it in. If my goal is to influence and inspire, then it's all heart from the middle of the group, fully invested and anchored in.

I've never really thought about leadership. I just kind of took it for granted, as though it were some magical, innate quality about a person. But it, like anything else, takes work and polish. And buy in.

I know why I've acted as I have, and I won't go into it here. But I will say that the best decision of my life, by far, was to marry my wife, the most passionate and invested creature who walks God's green earth. Tamara leads by example. I love that about her.

Occasionally, I feel something trying to work it's way out, and it takes me a bit to work it through and come to terms with it so that I know it. This was one of those things. I'm going to spend more time learning about leadership. I'm an ideas-into-action guy, and the only way to make that happen is to become a stronger leader with trusted influence. I had a dream about this last night, hearkening back to a time in my past when I was trusted with something and succeeded halfway. I accomplished the goal, but shot myself in the foot in the process. That woke me up and had me staying up for a couple of hours to wrestle with it.

Amazing, life is.


by Brett Rogers, 9/23/2007 6:31:56 PM



Our sons, Nick and Tyler, went to Homecoming. Here they are with their dates - Nick, then Tyler...


by Brett Rogers, 9/30/2007 11:10:28 AM