Independent in All Things, Neutral in Nothing

Archive for the ‘Professional Style’ Category

First Trip With Col. Littleton No. 1 Saddlebag Briefcase

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Used my Col. Littleton No. 1 Saddlebag Briefcase for the first time this week, on a business trip to Louisville. I’ll post a review soon. Short version: I love it.



Written by Russell S.

July 12, 2012 at 4:55 pm

A Crisis of Male Ambition? Part II

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Yesterday, I posted on an article that I contend shows a disparity in mean male and female ambition.  I also noted one caveat using data from the Princeton University Committee on Undergraduate Women’s Leadership.  Yet, spinning a convincing narrative of the ambitious male is as commensurately difficult as spinning an explicative narrative of the unambitious male—the male on the opposite end of the bell curve.  One take is that American society failed to spin a compelling and inspirational narrative for young men to follow.  Most importantly, we do not ask young men to think of their lives in terms of generational advancement (beyond increasingly vacuous narratives, such as the ubiquitous “American dream”).  Such a successful narrative may proceed as follows: “Your father worked as a small businessman in small town America.  However, you now have the opportunity to run a global firm out of that town, or a larger city if you prefer, except you will have manufacturing plants in India, China, and Brazil, too.  The great opportunities of this global and interconnected world mean that you can be more prosperous than your father was, or have a more diverse, cosmopolitan, and compelling lifestyle.  Yet, you will need to work and plan for it.  You will need to cultivate a global vision.  You will require greater education, for instance, a degree in Industrial or Mechanical Engineering, and perhaps an MBA.  And, by the way, there is a broad framework of federal and private student loans to allow you to achieve these goals and become an effective businessman.”  Lacking such a narrative, young men risk missing the context of generational advancement and progress within which they ought to position their educational and vocational goals/ambitions.  Read the rest of this entry »

A Crisis of Male Ambition? Part I

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This article in the New York Times caught my eye.  Shrinking unemployment numbers—now at 8.3% nationally—are a product of improved private sector hiring, but also of young people dropping out of the workforce in droves, some of them seeking refuge in graduate school.  Yet, women find themselves more likely to enroll in graduate school and certificate/training programs than are their male counterparts.  Are women more ambitious than their male counterparts of today? There exist now—for the first time in three decades—more young women in school than in the work force.  The article summarizes the trend as follows: “Though young women in their late teens and early 20’s view today’s economic lull as an opportunity to upgrade their skills, their male counterparts are more likely to take whatever job they can find.”  Read the rest of this entry »

On Leadership and Solitude: Its Connection and Absence in Society

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In a speech to cadets at the US Military Academy, William Deresiewicz addresses issues of privacy vs. solitude, leadership vs. achievement, and conformity vs. vision.  Deresiewicz argues cogently that universities, especially top universities, perform a great disservice to their students by failing to position them for successful and reflective leadership.  In fact, Deresiewicz questions their very definition of leadership as askance.  Elite education no longer affords students the toolbox to offer refreshing visions and transformational change.  Instead, they teach graduates to “keep the ship moving,” follow an established routine, conform to their superiors, and make conservative choices, if faced with any.  And this definitional change in leadership does not apply solely to those working in government! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by ryancberg

January 20, 2011 at 2:19 pm

For the Gentlemen Readers

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Gentlemen Readers,

If you wear a tie for work, or even just occasionally, you probably end up staining a tie every now and then. If this happens to you, I have a recommendation. A couple years ago, I read about a tie cleaning company in GQ. I could not remember most of the article, but I did recall the company referenced has a four-tie minimum for its cleaning services. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Russell S.

February 19, 2010 at 3:21 am