2017 Manifesto: Domination.

My 6-speed transmission in life has been stuck in neutral for quite some time.  Sometimes, it felt like we hit reverse but oh well.  More importantly, How can you drop the hammer and hit the floor the accelerator unless you have an idea or clue where you’re going?  I propose you could in an aimless direction and ‘enjoy the journey.’

Well, ‘forget the journey.’  ‘Enjoying the journey’ is a one way destination towards mediocrity and average.  Two words which are my kryptonite.  If I’m average, it’s time to re-evaluate life.  Well, we’ve re-evaluated life and now I know where I am headed.

One word:  domination.  Total domination.  We’re talking levels of:

  • Germany dominating Poland in 1939,
  • The United States (and friends) dominating Iraq in the Persian Gulf War in 1991,
  • The 1927 New York Yankees,
  • The 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls,
  • Microsoft with the Windows operating system, and
  • Apple with the iPod.

Dominate [dom-uh-neyt] verb:  to rule over, govern, or control.

What is it that I intend on dominating?  The domains in which I chose to enter.  The arenas in which I step into and take battle.  We’re not talking Theodore Roosevelt’s cold and timid souls that know neither victory or defeat.  We’re talking stepping into the fucking arena like Gladiator, slaying the competition (eat a dick Commodus), and then triumphantly asking to a degenerate crowd, “Are you not entertained?”

This is what I will dominate:

When you think of the word ‘leadership’ your first thought will be:  Patrick Jones.

When you think of a ‘Naval Officer’ your first thought will be:  Patrick Jones.

When you think of ‘Information Warfare’ your first thought will be:  Patrick Jones.

When you think of ‘Information Professional’ your first thought will be:  Patrick Jones.

Not second.  Not third.  Not Top 10.  Your first fucking thought.

Now, you may find yourself asking, “Self, who is Patrick Jones to believe such thoughts?”

Well, I am glad you asked and here’s two answers:

1.)  Who am I NOT to think such thoughts?

2.) Who the fuck are you to tell me that I am not capable?

3.)  Why don’t you believe the same for yourself?

In my life I have been told I embody traits such as arrogance, cockiness, narcissism, and intense.

To everyone who has told me such things:

Thank you.  You are right.

In an effort to become more ‘humble,’ I have realized I wear it like a $5 cologne from the drug store.  Smells like shit.  Doesn’t work.  Pass me another fragrance of ‘arrogance’ and I’ll wear it like Acqua di Gio.  Hell, I even attempted to become more humble to ‘silence’ my ‘haters.’  What a fucking mistake.  Haters – I don’t know how many I had but damn I need more of them.  Hashtags of #patjones #patjonesing #coachpat exist so why attempt to stop and why not add more?

People who are ‘your friends’ are the absolute fucking worst and serve nothing more than to project their own insecurities onto you and to what you stand.  Haters only concern themselves with gossip and using their creative outlet to figure out what is going on in other’s lives.  There is about a group of 15-20 people TOTAL in my life (family and my band of brothers) who I genuinely care about what is going on in their lives.  Outside of that, I could care less.

Side note:  If you haven’t managed to piss someone off within the course of the day, then what did you stand for – the middle ground?  Being a ‘Yes’ man?  Cool story, bro.  You’ll always have a place in the work force because you comprise (at least) 80% of it.

Too often a humble brag is used in order to sheepishly convey accolades or accomplishment.  Team #blessed or ‘I’m so humbled to blah blah blah’  Fuck that.  Everything is earned.  Life certainly does have a way of humbling you with a swift kick to the dick and a serving of humble pie.  Only you can choose if you continue to feast on yesterday’s meal (the humble pie) or if you’re hungry for your next.  So do these things:

  1. Swallow the humble pie,
  2. Pay compliments to the chef, and
  3. Crush some steak at your next meal (if you’re vegan, crush some kale?  Gowen help me out here.)

You decide how long you savor the humble pie – no one else.

Where are we going with all of this as I crush some decaffeinated coffee at Starbucks on a Friday night?  A few highlights:

  • That life, as we know, is not about following passion.
    • If you choose to ‘follow your passion’ then Godspeed.  You’re better served locating the north star and heading in that direction in order to locate Santa Claus, his reindeer, and his slave workforce (aka his elves).
    • Kudos to you and your nobility of finding your passion.
    • Get really fucking good at something.  Become successful with it.  Then become passionate about that success.  And repeat.
  • Be You.
    • Ruffle feathers.
    • Piss someone off.
    • Love everyone.
    • Stand for something.
  • Stop posting about politics on Facebook.
    • No one cares.
    • There’s enough of that shit.
    • Endlessly sharing unoriginal content says more about you than it does the shared post.
  • Ponzi schemes are everywhere.
    • I will not join your fasting-cleanse diet.
    • I will not join your 10 member workout group to get sweaty.
    • #fitfam is the fucking worst family since The Waltons.
  • Detox from social media.
    • The NewsFeed will aimlessly consume you.
    • Most people are not that interesting (see endless shares).
    • Read a book.  Seriously, titans of industry – do you think they aimlessly consume shitty information that is DIRECTLY targeted for your consumption?  Facebook spends millions to engineer your addiction – congrats.
    • ‘Staying in contact’ is a bullshit excuse to not call someone.
  • And finally, I will dominate 2017.  Stay tuned.

Props to Grant Cardone’s ‘The 10x Rule’ for fueling this manifesto on a Friday evening – after back squatting, eating 2 pop-tarts, and benching – this came out.

Goodnight.

Love,

Patrick

 

 

 

 

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Life Begins at the End of Your Comfort Zone

Plebe boxing, I remember it like yesterday.

The boxing instructor was also my football coach.  A Spartan-like Marine Corps Major whose only rule (and grading criteria) was if you backed-up, you failed.  The only profound statement former unified heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson ever made was,

“everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” 

In a way, Coach was making it easy – he expected his fighters to meet their adversary and never back down.  Forward – always.  Or as the 5th Marine Regiment moniker proudly proclaims, “Retreat, Hell!”  From fear and challenge I discovered an invaluable life lesson.

When was the last time you really felt scared?  Chances are it was the last time you broke free from your comfort zone.  That safe and overly repetitive process we call our daily routine is in-fact our comfort zone.  Taking a chance, risking embarrassment, or potential failure takes a great act of courage.  Although, not unlike stepping into the boxing ring, these challenges are worth taking if you desire to stretch your potential to the max.

What do you really have to lose?  Well that’s a loaded question.  Your comfort zone is likely tied intimately to the people, places, objects, and habits that are familiar to you.  For some, this can be a good thing.  If your surroundings are helping you achieve your goals, you might have a valid support structure.  However, too often, it is the very comfort zone we have established that has failed to serve our most primal needs.

Bad habits and bad associations can be broken.  True change begins when one’s behavior and thoughts are aligned.  The first challenge is to get into the ring, facing down your enemy.

The best advice I can give you to prepare for this battle: backwards plan.  Here are four easy steps:

  1. Establish your end state goal.
  2. Determine the logical steps one must take to achieve this end.
  3. Lay out reasonable benchmarks for reaching each of these essential progressions.
  4. Finally, stick to it.

Do no back-up.  Consistency is key.  Find ways to reinforce these new positive behaviors and be accountable to the support structure you have in place.

This is not easy stuff.  Much like the boxing ring, you can get knocked down. And getting knocked down hurts.  Sometimes it even leaves scars.  As retired Army General Stanley McCrystal challenged, if you consider yourself a leader, the people you have counted on will you help you out.  Most importantly. if you’re a leader, the people that count on you, need you on your feet.

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them. [Bruce Lee]

Busy? You’re Not Busy – You’re Lazy

“Hey – how are you doing today?”

“Busy.”

Holy.  Sh*t.  If the next person responds to the question, “How are you doing today?” with, “Busy” I will lose my mind.

Last week within just a few hours, nearly a dozen people mindlessly recited to me that they were busy.  The hell does this even mean anymore?

Everyone is ‘busy.’  Congratulations, you’re just like everyone else in the world.

Everyone has 34,003 things on their plate.  Some more ‘important’ than others.  However, when has this word becomes a badge of honor, who is really ‘busy’ and who is just really ‘lazy?’

We’re not busy.  We are distracted.  Distracted by the notifications, the bells, and the whistles of modern conveniences and autonomy.  Thanks group text message notification, you’re killing me.

Anyways, here are four tips to become less ‘busy:’

  1. Establish the day’s priority.

Competing priorities?  Once everything becomes the priority, nothing is the priority.  When something is essential, it is a thing (not several or multiple things) that is absolutely necessary.  You can rob Peter to pay Paul, or you can tell Paul to f*ck off until you are able to pay him in full.  Congratulations Peter, you have been spared on this day.

2. No one cares.

Spare another the tale your tale of woe with your ‘busy’ day.  No one cares about your ‘Lifetime Story’ where you are you nominated for Best Actor/Actress in the leading role of the victim.  When someone asks if you are busy – smile, and say your day is going well.  More importantly, ask how their day is going.  95% chance their day is ‘busy.’

3.  Own your ‘To-Do’ List

Yeah – your boss, your sister, your blah blah blah just dumped stuff on you.  Own it.  Figure out how to get the sh*t done and don’t place the onerous on another – place it on yourself.

4.  Get off social media, email, television, and turn off notifications.

Simply detox from these’outlets’ which do not serve your purpose of No. 1.  If you’re REALLY busy but you have plenty of time to tell someone about the latest viral video from YouTube or you take endless ‘Personality’ quizzes on Facebook – this just in you’re not f*cking busy.  Also, it is quite okay to cheat on your iPhone or Galaxy with a book.  Also, turn off ALL notifications on your phone.  No one, yourself included, needs to be tethered to your device every 73 seconds in which a ‘bing’ goes off.

If you’d like to turn in your badge of honor called ‘busy,’ the world will thank you for it.  At the least, the person who asks how your day is going will be grateful.

 

 

Tuesday with TED – Army/Navy Edition

Technology.  Entertainment.  Design.  More affectionately known as, ‘TED.’  These ‘talks’ offer an engaging presentation of revolutionary ideas and perspectives from brilliant minds.

Each week, we’ll examine a TED Talk from TED’s expansive library of topics ranging from the annual TED Conference to locally, organized TEDx Events.

Befitting of Army/Navy week, we’ll look at General Stanley McChrystal’s talk on leadership and Admiral James Stavridis’ talk on global security.

Stanley McChrystal:  Listen, learn,…then lead.

  • And I saw my battalion commander, because I had let him down. And I went up to apologize to him, and he said, “Stanley, I thought you did great.” And in one sentence, he lifted me, put me back on my feet, and taught me that leaders can let you fail and yet not let you be a failure.
  • So how does a leader stay credible and legitimate when they haven’t done what the people you’re leading are doing? And it’s a brand new leadership challenge. And it forced me to become a lot more transparent, a lot more willing to listen, a lot more willing to be reverse-mentored from lower.
  • I came to believe that a leader isn’t good because they’re right; they’re good because they’re willing to learn and to trust.  This isn’t easy stuff.  It’s not like that electronic abs machine where, 15 minutes a month, you get washboard abs.  (Laughter)  And it isn’t always fair.  You can get knocked down, and it hurts and it leaves scars.  But if you’re a leader, the people you’ve counted on will help you up.  And if you’re a leader, the people who count on you need you on your feet.

Of all the TED Talks I have listened, McChystral’s is by far one of my personal favorites.  The quote of ‘leaders can let you fail and not let you be a failure’ and ‘…if you’re a leader, the people you’ve counted on will help you up.  And if you’re a leader, the people who count on you need you on your feet’ speak volumes.

When you’re entrusted to a program or project, the people in which you lead will fail.  They will experince short comings.  ‘Fail early, fail often.’  In the context of brainstorming orgenerating ideas for momentum, the more initial action created the greater the body of work one has to edit or revise.

Successful organizations encourage failing, but most importantly, failing without retribution.  The idea or notion of, ‘don’t come to me with a problem, come to me with a solution’ is archaic and antiquated.  If an engineer has a problem but has one in which he is unable to solve, should that individual keep that problem to themself?  No.  Ultimately, open communication, transparency, authenticity will breed trust.  And trust is the lifeblood of any healthy relationship.

James Stavridis:  How NATO’s Supreme Commander Thinks About Global Security

  • My thesis is, open-source security is about international, interagency, private-public connection pulled together by this idea of strategic communication on the Internet.
  • It’s a perfect evocation of that great population survey, the six largest nations in the world in descending order: China, India, Facebook, the United States, Twitter and Indonesia.
  • …there will be times when we will apply hard power in true war and crisis, but there will be many instances, as we’ve talked about today, where our militaries can be part of creating 21st-century security, international, interagency, private-public, connected with competent communication.

  • No one person, no one alliance, no one nation, no one of us is as smart as all of us thinking together.

  • My thesis for you is that by combining international, interagency, private-public, strategic communication, together, in this 21st century, we can create the sum of all security.

Open-source.  This is the popular method in which problems are solved.  As alluded to by Stavridis, the military in its role must be flexible and agile to play the kinetic role it is designed, but also an expansive non-kinetic role which engages and leverages the capabilities of other agencies and entities.

‘Stove pipe’ is a common theme in organizations.  The more issues and problems are addressed by a broader talent base, a more efficient and better resolution is sure to rise.  The military and global security is no exception.

9 Books of 2016 Every Leader Must Read

“Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.”

-Harry S. Truman

I firmly believe in this quote by HST.

As a leader, ‘self-development’ is not intended for you.  Self development is for the people who look to you for guidance.  Those of whom you lead, deserve your absolute best in every capacity – morally, mentally, physically, and spiritually.

This not only refines your ability to lead, but, most importantly, your ability to serve those whom you lead.

These 9 books, all released in 2016, will make you, not only a better leader, but a better person.  Accompanying each recommendation is a video (a little ‘hack’ to save you the time) which highlights the main takeaway of each work.

Each work will challenge you.  They will challenge your perspective.  They will challenge your past.

They will force you to reflect.  Reflect on your experiences.  Your successes.  Your failures.  Your shortcomings.  Your victories.  These books will make your 2017 better than your 2016.

Let me know your thoughts, and any recommendations you have in the comments below.

Enjoy!

Ego is the Enemy

Tribe

When Breath Becomes Air

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

Deep Work

Originals

Peak

Grit

Code of the Extraordinary Mind