Independent in All Things, Neutral in Nothing

Archive for the ‘Coaching’ Category

Penn State Football Avoids the Death Penalty

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Tough sanctions by the NCAA, but still unsatisfying. Probably no penalty would have satisfied, even the death penalty. Somehow, though, the NCAA comes off badly, perhaps because so many presidents passed the buck to Emmert.

For the football team, I still think the NCAA and the school should have: kept the statue at PSU, and team got the death penalty. Colin Cowherd of ESPN got the statue question right — keeping it would have warned PSU (and many others) not to foist godliness upon mortal, fallible men. Juxtaposing that reminder with the death penalty  — “This is the man you loved, but he helped destroy his and your football program” — would not have helped with the healing at PSU, but it would have powerfully reminded many other schools to shine cleansing daylight upon all corners of their worlds, including athletic teams.

As an aside, ‘healing’ at Penn State doesn’t matter a whit. The healing of the victims– as much as possible in this case —  does. But how silly to think that a senior at PSU, whose view of Coach Paterno has shattered and who now faces a far less boisterous last year at the school because of the penalties, needs “healing”. Ridiculous.

With regards to Paterno, the NCAA sanctions do somehow seem appropriate. For years, observers bemoaned his remaining the coach. In hindsight, those commentators appear both right and wrong. Right, because they perceived something had gone wrong. Wrong, because they worried whether Coach Paterno, as he aged, could maintain control of the program. We now know he exercised far too much control on it, and on the university at large.

Finally, I empathetically repeat my Facebook post from July 12: “Penn State Trustees: You are all pieces of shit. If you had any decency left, you’d give up your cushy, esteemed posts and let better men and women assume the mantle of leadership to restore the university’s good name.”


Written by Russell S.

July 23, 2012 at 7:35 pm

Tide Triumphs

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For everyone who thinks the National Championship game was a snoozer last night, you’re only partially right. The game wasn’t competitive — although it remained closer than it should have because of Alabama’s inability to score touchdowns. But we witnessed one of the very best defensive performances in football — ever, period. LSU passed the 50-yard line once, and Alabama had one penalty, with three minute to go in the 4th quarter. Coach Nick Saban had his team supremely ready, and it showed. Stellar performance, and it made the game much more compelling than some might lead you to believe.

Written by Russell S.

January 10, 2012 at 1:29 pm

Sales Advice from Winston Churchill

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My friend Tom Disantis writes an excellent post on sales advice from Sir Winston Churchill. He has a really neat take on some of Sir Winston’s most famous sayings. Great stuff.

Written by Russell S.

December 15, 2010 at 3:20 pm

Revised: About Capitolism

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I have revised the About page, to more fully explain what Capitolism is, er, about. I have elucidated upon the goals of Capitolism and the issues in view. As I mentioned in a previous post, I am in the process of drafting a strategic plan for Capitolism in 2010, and will share that on the blog when I complete the plan.

About Capitolism:

Capitolism addresses, explores and focuses on issues concerning business, trade, leadership, management, economics and small business. Issues at the intersection of these topics will attract Capitolism’s particular interest. In probing these matters, Capitolism will rely on lessons from philosophy, history, literature, current events, great speeches, newspapers, magazines, sports, academia, science, theology, military history, poetry and the authors’ own experiences, as appropriate. The aims of Capitolism are threefold:

1. To explore challenging and even subterranean issues pertaining to business, economics and leadership

2. To offer a hopefully interesting and unique perspective on these issues to readers

3. To create a venue for wide-ranging, thoughtful, penetrating discussion on these issues

You, the reader, will judge how well or poorly Capitolism achieves these aims. We encourage your comments, whether you agree, disagree or violently disagree with our writings.

Written by Russell S.

February 6, 2010 at 5:20 pm

Four for Thursday: Articles I’ve Read and You Should Too

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Management’s Dirty Little Secrets, by Gary Hamel. Mr. Hamel makes some excellent points. Indeed, if you merge some of the data he presents, you see a key truth emerge: people do not leave companies, they leave bad managers. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Russell S.

December 17, 2009 at 1:31 pm

What Matters?

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Bob Prosen makes some excellent observations about America’s top companies — whether we say they are the best companies to work for or the most admired. Culture matters. Communication matters. Management and coaching matter. Consistent treatment matters.  Leadership follow-through on commitment matters. Raising the bar matters. Expecting high performance matters. Pressure-testing candidates’ fit with culture in the hiring process matters.

These seem like simple things. As concepts, they could not be simpler. But because of poor leadership, and people not adhering to principles in their behavior, organizations go awry.

Capitolism will have much more to say on this topic, throughout its writings.

Written by Russell S.

December 10, 2009 at 10:58 pm

How Do You Learn?

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For most of our lives, people tell us how to learn, or society dictates the how to us. Growing up, we sit in a classroom, listening to a teacher, taking notes and hopefully digesting the lesson. Perhaps the teacher intersperses exercises or group activities. We complete homework and assignments, and maybe even do (relatively simple) group projects. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Russell S.

November 16, 2009 at 9:37 pm