Independent in All Things, Neutral in Nothing

Archive for November 2010

Business Lessons from A Christmas Carol

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Every year since 1996, I have read Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol between Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. No matter how good or bad the year, or how busy I find myself, I make time to re-read the book. Sometimes I read it with specific themes in mind to learn Dickens’ thoughts on them. This year, I wondered about his perspective on business. He writes much about business throughout the book, and his core message warns readers about the potential charms and dangers of business. More precisely, he warns not about business itself, but about focusing life solely on business concerns. Read the rest of this entry »


Written by Russell S.

November 29, 2010 at 6:48 pm

Two Videos You Have to Watch

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One explains QE2 and the Fed

Another by Bankrupting America disputes that the good times are rolling

Written by Russell S.

November 17, 2010 at 8:35 pm

Review: The Back of the Napkin

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Over my past several visits to bookstores and Amazon, I’d found two books of especial interest: The Back of the Napkin, by Dan Roam, and Visual Meetings, by David Sibbet. After reading a few reviews and taking a closer look at them, I decided to read The Back of the Napkin first, and hold off reading Visual Meetings.

Despite spending a good part of my career in consulting and executive education, I struggle with creating compelling visuals to convey key messages. Read the rest of this entry »

Plato’s Warnings to Modern Business Orators

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Father Schall, a professor at Georgetown University, tells his classes, “If you’ve read Plato just once, you haven’t really read Plato.” Keeping that in mind, I decided to pick up Plato again, and re-read the Gorgias. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Russell S.

November 13, 2010 at 4:31 pm

Obama: The Foreign Policy President? Part 2

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By Guest Blogger Ryan Berg

In my last post, I examined Obama’s potentially crippling defeat in the midterm elections.  I suggested that one way presidents typically deal with domestic problems is to turn to foreign affairs, where their latitude for unilateral action is far greater.  I also suggested that Obama, unlike Clinton and more like Reagan, faces an international environment that offers him plenty of room for decisive action.  Let us examine these windows of possible action, weighing their costs and benefits from a political standpoint. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by ryancberg

November 12, 2010 at 3:52 pm

Obama: The Foreign Policy President? Part 1

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By Guest Blogger Ryan Berg

In last week’s midterm elections, Republicans made significant inroads in the House and Senate, governorships, and state legislatures across the country.  In the words of the President himself, he received a “shellacking.”  Whether voters delivered President Obama an ideological repudiation or gave Republicans a wide-sweeping “legislative mandate” is not my interest; rather, I am interested in what Obama can do moving forward, with an outlook to his prospects in the 2012 presidential election. Read the rest of this entry »

Review: Your Well-Read Life

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If you’ve read much of this blog, you know I enjoy reading tremendously. Indeed, I enjoy reading so much that I sometimes read books about reading books. Thus I found myself reading Steve Leveen’s The Little Guide to Your Well-Read Life last week. It took just two nights to finish, but contains much good advice on reading and suggestions of books to read. Read the rest of this entry »