Getting to the Point | The Exkalibur Newsletter | September 8, 2017

This week, the U.S. braces for another powerful hurricane headed toward South Florida. Our hearts and prayers go out to our friends in Florida … while wishing that Irma would drop dead in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

Here are some of the highlights in this week’s edition of Getting to the Point:

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Hurricane Irma Bearing Down on Florida

I wish this particular story didn’t have a political bent, but those who take advantage of these disasters will become political footballs before it’s all over.

Although this Consumerist article, Airfare Prices Out Of Florida Skyrocketing Ahead Of Hurricane Irma was widely read, it appears that the airlines are coming to the rescue.

Jet Blue reportedly led the way with $99 seats according to NBC in Airlines Cap Flight Prices Out of Florida Ahead of Hurricane Irma. Adding extra flights has been possible for some but not all airlines given Irma’s expected path. Hats off to the airline industry for coming to their senses.

At the same time, we also need to remain vigilant about fake news, as Fortune reported in These Hurricane Irma Myths Have Gone Viral. Don’t Fall for Them.

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Creating a Culture of Accountability

In my decades as a Leadership Coach, one of the top 3 issues that comes up in almost every conversation is the lack of Accountability within the organization.

Leaders are frustrated that things don’t evolve as they planned. People miss their deadlines … and the leader only learns about it when the deadline has passed.

  • Promises are made all over the organization, but too many of them are quickly granted and rarely kept.
  • Expectations are vague and imprecise.
  • Timelines, Milestones and Deadlines are treated as targets, not commitments.

I Think I Know What It Is, But How Do I Get It?

That’s what we’re going to cover in our [highlight]FREE WEBINAR AT NOON ON WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 20[/highlight]:


The webinar will not be an academic or theoretical discussion, but a practical, real-world, in the trenches conversation describing the key ingredients required to build an accountable organization. You’ll walk away with some invaluable tools to Become a More Effective Leader and Create a Culture of Accountability.

More specifically,

  • I’ll cover what you must do as a leader to model that behavior and get others to follow your lead, and
  • I’ll provide some proven models that will help you lead the way, organize your team and set realistic timelines and deadlines for “who’s going to do what by when”?

MARK YOUR CALENDAR today for this powerful and insightful webinar …

[highlight]AT NOON ON WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 20[/highlight]

You’ll get all the details on Tuesday so you’ll be able to sign up and join us for this FREE webinar.

I hope I’ll see you there.

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No More Hangovers

Read from GQ, How to Cure a Hangover, According to the Bartenders Who Gave Them to You.

On the rare occasions in the distant past when I knew I had earned one, the best suggestion I ever got was to drink as much water as possible before you went to bed. It worked pretty well.

There’s a slew of other suggestions that might work for you.

Don’t say I never did anything for you.

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Start Drinking. Coffee First. Then, A Chilled Mug of Another Post-Holiday Adult Beverage.

I hope you had a great Labor Day weekend and not too many burgers, dogs and mugs of adult beverages over the holiday?

No problem if you did indulge a bit … because I’ve got another serving of an adult beverage you really need to taste.

No Calories. No Carbs. No fat … AND what better time to turn to another adult beverage loaded with the protein you need to turbocharge your organization.

There is one similarity to other adult beverages:

  • You will forget about your mistakes.

But with today’s drink, you’ll also forget the mistakes of others.

Come on over and taste the fuel that will fill your tank and the tanks of your teammates.

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Work-Life Balance? How About Plain Ol’ Life Balance?

The struggle continues for everyone looking to find balance in their lives.

You’ve seen countless stories like this, but I remember when the news focused on Urban Meyer, the fabulous football coach from the University of Florida (and now at my nemesis, Ohio State. I’m still a Meyer fan, just not of his team. What do you expect from a Michigan man?)

Meyer was rushed to the hospital with chest pains at the age of 46 and ended up taking a leave of absence from his beloved game and radically changing his life.

Silicon Valley Didn’t Get That Memo!

That lesson is going to be learned the hard way according to the NY
In Silicon Valley, Working 9 to 5 Is for Losers. This is less about the resulting issues … but you can be sure they’re on the way … but more about what some of the SV cowboys think is most important in life.

“… just as a lot of industries have begun paying more attention to work-life balance, Silicon Valley is taking the opposite approach — and branding workaholism as a desirable lifestyle choice”

+ Make you wonder about the truth in the reported desire more than 2/3 of fathers want to be an equal parenting partner?

But, Here’s One Memo Silicon Valley Did Get

If you want a quick update on some of the stunning investment results from some of the top SV investors, take a look at Forbes, Midas 2017: Meet The 100 Best Venture Capitalists In The World.

It only takes ONE BIG ONE to be set for life … if you can find it!

The Gender Pay Gap Ain’t Gone Yet …

… but it should be. From Bloomberg, How Top U.S. Law Firms Get Away With Paying Women Less, you can catch up on the latest flurry in the legal profession, where discrimination lawsuits from career lawyers are fairly uncommon … ’cause it’s kinda like aiming a flamethrower at a mound of TNT.

+ The U.S. doesn’t have exclusive ownership of this problem as the Guardian reports in Let’s not lose sight of the BBC’s shameful ethnic pay gap.

Painkillers Rampant Among Non-Workers

In Nearly half of working-age American men who are out of the labor force are using painkillers daily from Quartz, we learn these painful statistics:

“Over the last two decades, working-age American men have been ever so quietly exiting the labor force. These days, around 12% of prime-age men, those between 25 and 54, are neither employed nor looking for work—up from around 8% in the mid–1990s. During that same time, and nearly as quietly, America began pounding painkillers: between 1999 and 2015, sales of prescription opioids per person more than quadrupled.”

“Nearly half of prime-age men who have ducked out of the workforce take painkillers on a daily basis, Krueger finds. And around two-thirds of those men take prescription pain meds each day—which translates to about 2 million men.”

This article will help you understand the economic impact of the disabilities uncommonly associated with the opioid crisis and why if you have a disability, you’re most likely out of the work force.

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This Issue Will Dominate The Future

This issue will get nothing but bigger in coming years as we face the opportunities generated from gene editing and gene therapy and balance them against the issue that some call “baby manufacturing”.

From TED in Opinion: Should we use gene editing to produce disease-free babies? A scientist who helped discover CRISPR weighs in, you’ll see how challenging this issue has become … a question that is …

“… particularly timely due to the Nature study published this month that described how scientists at Oregon Health and Science University, working with collaborators in California, China and South Korea, were able to correct human embryos of a common and harmful genetic mutation.”

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Apple’s Special Event: Tuesday, September 12

Although Apple is always tight-lipped about their product events, it’s expected that we will finally see the new iPhone8, Watch and AppleTV … and more.

The event will be the first time the Steve Jobs Theater will be used to seat the 1,000 invitees.

“Apple’s fall 2017 event will be its most significant in years thanks to the debut of a radically redesigned iPhone that features an edge-to-edge display, a vertical rear camera, facial recognition capabilities, a much improved processor, and wireless inductive charging functionality. The new iPhone features a display similar in size to the display of the 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus, but with a body closer in size to the 4.7-inch iPhone 7. ” [macrumors]

+ Bloomberg and many others think we’ll also get our first inside glimpse of Apple’s brand new Cupertino campus, Apple Park intended as Steve Job’s final legacy.

+ Gizmodo also has a cheat sheet with further details about what is expected at Apple’s event.

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What Do We Wish Most For at the End of Life?

Death is part of life, they say, but many of us who have gone through the death of a loved one, often struggle to understand that concept.

You really need to watch this TED video, What really matters at the end of life.

“ BJ Miller is a hospice and palliative medicine physician who thinks deeply about how to create a dignified, graceful end of life for his patients.”

AI Might Be Our Ally in the Fight vs. Alzheimer’s

There is probably no one who hasn’t experienced the pain of Alzheimer’s somewhere in their family.

IMHO … among all the afflictions that may fall upon us … none seems more debilitating and painful to watch than the ravages of Alzheimer’s.

In Artificial Intelligence Could Predict Alzheimer’s Years Before Doctors, we welcome some good news about our chances of getting ahead of this devastating disease.

“A study published in July in the journal Neurobiology of Aging found that artificial intelligence could detect signs of the disease in patient brain scans before physicians. The computer-based algorithm was able to correctly predict if a person would develop Alzheimer’s disease up to two years before he or she actually displayed symptoms. It was correct 84 percent of the time.”

Fake is a Popular Term These Days. Worse When Applied to Service Dogs.

Our family is a big fan of dogs. We’ve lost 6 dogs to heaven so far with two others currently romping about the family campus. Finnegan, a black lab we lost several years ago, was a trained Guide Dog for the Blind, and our current black lab is a certified Therapy Dog.

So, it’s with an ample disdain we learn in Stop Faking Service Dogs that people with real disabilities are at risk because of the flagrant abuse of this certification.

“The Americans with Disabilities Act limits the definition of a service animal to one that is trained to perform ”work or tasks” in the aid of a disabled person. So, while a dog that is trained to calm a person suffering an anxiety attack due to post-traumatic stress disorder is considered a service dog, a dog whose mere presence calms a person is not. The act states, “dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.”

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Ozark, a Netflix Original

A friend of mine suggested this new and quirky series. I haven’t finished it but quirky it is … with a cast of hopeless and hopeful characters whose lives intersect at the Lake of the Ozarks.

It keeps getting better with some unexpected plot twists and a few local characters whose necks you’d like to twist.

You can play the latest trailer here. Jason Bateman, the lead character with Laura Linney, has got himself in a real jackpot:

“A financial adviser drags his family from Chicago to the Missouri Ozarks, where he must launder $500 million in five years to appease a drug boss.”

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For Once, It’s the Blind Leading the Not-Blind.

The sports world doesn’t always get it right with its intense focus on winning, which means only the best make the team, and only the best of them get to play.

Not last Saturday in the USC game vs. Western Michigan. It brings tears to your eyes when you see that a Blind Football Player Snaps for Extra Point in a U.S.C. Win.

Make sure you don’t miss this short video.

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Red Swan by P. T. Deutermann (standalone)

One of the most talent yet unheralded authors in the Mystery-Thriller-Suspense genre is P.T. Deutermann. He’s written a great 4-book series featuring Cam Richter, a Sheriff in North Carolina with his two German shepherds you wouldn’t mind having alongside. He’s also written a superbly realistic and engrossing series focused on naval operations during WWII.

I’ve now read all of his 21 novels, and on many occasions, I’ve read the book jacket, and thought, “Umm, I’m not so sure about this one” … and then it turns out to be just as great as its predecessors.

I’ve stopped thinking about it now because every book he writes is superbly interesting, intricate, suspenseful and the words flow smoothly from his pen.

Do yourself a favor. Don’t overlook this fabulous author. He may be one of the least known in this genre, but undeservedly so. He’s a terrific author at the top of his game.

You could start with Cat Dancers in the Cam Richter series or Pacific Glory, the first book in his thrilling naval series … or start with Red Swan if you want his latest novel.

“Set in contemporary Washington D.C., Red Swan begins with an ominous phone call from Carson McGill, the Deputy Director of Operations in the CIA, to retired CIA officer Preston Allender. Henry Wallace is dead. A behind-the-scenes operator at the CIA, Wallace was integral to the Agency’s secret war against China’s national intelligence service, which infiltrates government and military offices, major businesses, and systems crucial to our security. Wallace had severely damaged China’s Washington spy ring with a devastating ruse, a so-called ”black swan,” in which a deep-undercover female agent targeted and destroyed a key Chinese official. Now, Wallace’s mysterious death suggests that the CIA itself has been compromised and that China has someone inside the Agency. [Amazon]

“But as Allender quietly investigates, he makes a shocking discovery that will upend the entire American intelligence apparatus. For Wallace’s black swan operation may have been turned against the CIA; a red swan is flying and the question is: who is she, what is her target, and where will she land?”

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