Syria, Murdoch, Darren Clarke and Japanese Soccer

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

Our multiple-threaded, near parallel universes of an economy – state budgets seem on verge of collapse, stock market spiraling into higer orbit – connects me nearly daily with those exploring careers after college, career transition after military service and finding work having ‘lost their situations’ (a quaint British euphemism for personal catastrophe). Curiously, I am aware of several who have improved their professional situations while a significant percentage of us have opted to hunker down waiting for this nightmare of an economic storm to pass.

I have plenty of platitudes and only-if experiences to broadcast to those who ask for career advice and connections. The itemized list will follow. Meanwhile, these thoughts arise amidst the “I cannot wait until it gets here; OMG, it’s here!” attitude towards the sweltering days of July – however, it is rare that North Carolina is hotter than New Orleans (101 vs 91- yacudlookitup) – and by the way, the hottest July 21st in recorded NC memory was in 1952. Take that I Hope That You Are Wrong Predictors of Arrived Global Warming!

I am interested in changes in business communication and personal engagement wrought by this l’enfant terrible, the Internet. I like to believe that despite the multiple aches and pains and some permanent injury to our global economy, ours is an incredibly interesting and opportune time to be alive (what choice do we have really?). Reading the NY Times on Monday, I observed that as old ways of communicating are rejected, habits of excellence are enduring. I observe that Syria and News Corps are reeling because these two entities have tried to rule by controlling the message; hoarding accurate information; and worshiping the only recently desanctified, now false god, Knowledge is Power, in Greece known as Klueles.

Whatever the descendants of Twitter, Facebook, texting or tablet computing and how they may modify our introduction to information, there will be plenty of opportunities for those who help others to know, aka the Roman deity, Kollaborate. Call it scholarship or leadership or experience, the likes of Darren Clarke and Nadeshiko Japan will forever succeed. Clarke’s experienced approach to the amusingly horrible playing conditions of the Open, the golf tournament once known as the British Open, was surprisingly satisfying for its lack of spectacle. He took a measured, confident approach to the course and the pressure of the Tournament by withstanding impressive challenges by Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson, the longest of long ball hitters, who at points on the final day seem to convert the dunes, winds and pot bunkers into a sunny round on a local public course (Johnson drove through the green on a 400 yard+ hole!)

In the Women’s World Cup Final, either victor would have been an inspiring winner. The American team earned their way to the final with upset victories over Brazil and France. They also defeated Japan twice this year. In the end, really in the penalty-kick decided tie-breaker, the Japanese team played with courage and conviction recovering from nearly desperate circumstances in both the regular game and the overtime period. Good for our friends in Japan, of course, as it’s been a year of awful setbacks due to compounding natural disasters.

Sports are not governments and playing well at games is not the equal of sustaining businesses. Obviously, Syria and News Corps are trying to hold-on to hollowed models of management. Time is not on their sides even if they retain plenty of fight (I guess Gaddafi could be added this equation). The next orbit of our new world will continue to value calmness under pressure and confidence within circumstance regardless of who else participates.