Posted by: drewdice | May 26, 2009

Just Win Baby…

Things in our world are moving faster than the speed of light, and if you haven’t noticed, check out the link at Shift Happens

While the current and future technological advances stimulate my curiosity and ignite my passion for additional learning and business opportunities, I’ve got to tell you that I’m more than a bit concerned about the shifts that are currently taking place. The United States is quickly falling further and further behind other nations in education (see the statistics in the video clip), and I don’t see consistent evidence that we are going to be able to make up ground. Specifically, China worries me, so please help me if my fears are misplaced.

They are on pace to become the largest global economy, outpacing the US and India in GDP by 2050. They are creating alliances and deals with other nations (see the recent deal with Brazil as an example) that will continue their posturing for additional global strength. I do believe that it is realistic that the dollar will soon be replaced as the number one global currency. China will have much to do with that. In Thomas Friedman’s Hot, Flat, and Crowded, he offers a position that the United States has adopted a “Dumb as we wanna be” mentality. I agree.

As a nation, we’ve gotten soft in our proactive drive, passion and desire to lead the world. Some argue that the Millenial generation suffers from a case of “entitlement”. I’d say that our entire country has that affliction. Don’t get me wrong, there are shining examples of achievement, remarkable philanthropy, astounding intellectual and business accomplishments that should make us all proud of what our country stands for.

At the same time, the world is quickly passing us by, and I’m afraid that many in this country are (and will continue to be) in denial, because we are the United States, and well, it just can’t happen. Well, it is happening, and if you are following the global news, as well as watching and participating in education and business here at home, I am sure you see daily examples of the “Dumb as we wanna be” mentality.

As an avid footbally fan, the analogy that comes to mind is the Oakland Raiders, who, for years, have had the mantra: “Just Win Baby”. Last time I checked, the Raiders haven’t won more than 5 games since 2002, and the Raiders have made more “Dumb as we wanna be” moves than any other team in the National Football League. Many football pundits feel that this losing tradition will continue until Al Davis, the Raiders owner, steps down, so the organization can undergo a radical shift in thinking. Thier structure, formula and strategy just aren’t working. We’ll see if the Raiders can lose their arrogance and get back to the basics of building a first class organization.

In the meantime, I not only believe we can rightfully regain our national swagger with leaders (on the national stage, but also on the regional and local levels) who think and act differently, but also that we will regain our prominence, not because we said so, but because our actions will earn our right for it to be so.

I’d love to hear your thoughts….

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Responses

  1. You are exactly right about playing catch up – especially in math and science education. One of our clients, the National Math and Science Intiative, has a plan to begin catching up. Check them out here – http://www.nationalmathandscience.org/

    • Doug,
      Thanks for the response. I checked out your client’s website, and it looks like the National Math and Science Initiative is on the right track with their programs and viewpoints. Keep the sharing of great information coming, my friend!

  2. Yes, Americans have become complacent with our (former?) role as a world leader. And I’m curious about what you mean when you write that we “rightfully regain our national swagger”? From my perspective, this is all about too much swagger and maybe it’s time that we get back to the basics — our sense of purpose and meaning, and how we engage with (and inspire) our community.

    • Susan,
      Thanks for your thoughts; complacency is a good word choice. My swagger comment is in direct alignment with your thoughts. When we had our swagger, in my opinion, we built our country, our prestige and our position as leaders with hard work, humility, doing what is right, and by striving to create with the purpose and meaning of which I think you speak. Other nations were inspired to live the American dream because it signified opportunity that came with morality, ethics, grit and hard work. Now, my sense is that when other nations are inspired to live the American dream, it may be more because they feel they can live the life of short cuts, making a quick buck, and rising to the top with no accountability.

      • Thanks for the clarification. Right on! Thanks for writing.

  3. One only has to look at the latest apologies from American leaders to reinforce this issue and or speak to the mediocore who interview for jobs with a sense of entitlement. I have not had one person show up at my door asking for employment who recently graduated and believe it is so hard to get a job. leadership begins with attitude and passion which I find less and less in our society (except for the TV show American Idol!).

    Wayne

    • Wayne,

      Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I always admire your passion for our country, our present, and our future. As you’ve described, we’ve got some big challenges as the span of generations in the workforce think and behave very differently.

      We are going to have to shift the way we think, relate and communicate, while also aspiring to accomplish unified global goals in our country.

      I look forward to your continued thoughts and participation!

      Andrew


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