Stop Saying "We": Why You Should Say "I" and "You" More at the Office   If you can’t communicate team spirit without using “we,” then you have a problem. I have a controversial opinion. The Harvard Business Review people aren’t going to like this, but professionals on teams need to stop saying “we” so much: “We aren’t doing a good enough job of supporting our customers like ACME Corporation.” “We crushed it by landing that new deal with ACME Corporation.”  “We should create a new line of roadrunner traps for our clients at ACME Corporation.” Saying "We" Is a Poor Substitute for Teamwork and Personal Responsibility The conventional wisdom is that using “we” here (instead of “you” or “I”) promotes a sense of shared responsibility and team-mindedness while also protecting team members from being singled out for blame when things go wrong. The “we” supposedly softens the blow of criticism while preventing egotism from individual praise. But I would argue that the exact opposite ends up happening, even with the most well-intentioned usage. Let’s look back out our examples: “We aren’t doing a good enough job of supporting our customers like ACME Corporation.” Despite the intention, this criticism is not going to land equally on all hearers. Even with the politically correct usage of “we,” this sentence has the same effect of criticizing the person responsible for customer support. Everyone knows it. Only...
Fiction Under the Influence: Ayn Rand’s Literary Legacy This is how it starts. You read We the Living and get a taste for freedom. You read Anthem  and develop a benevolent sense of life. You read The Fountainhead  and insist on having a mind of your own. Then you read Atlas Shrugged, and from then on, nothing but hardcore free-market capitalism will do. Now I can think of worse things than having to spend the rest of my life reading Atlas Shrugged, but, fortunately, the market is taking care of people like you and me. Novelists are finding innovative ways to carry Ayn Rand’s literary legacy into the future. The following is just a sample of the novels and authors writing thrillers, adventure, science fiction, and romantic realism with a Randian perspective. With this many writers to choose from, you and I will be fixed for reading for life. Thrillers In the thriller genre, the emphasis is on good versus evil and the individual against the collective. Robert Bidinotto, Terry Goodkind, Erika Holzer, Vinay Kolhatkar, Brad Thor and Kira Peikoff present a wide range of difficult problems requiring nerves of steel to solve. Robert Bidinotto’s award-winning Dylan Hunter series--Hunter, Bad Deeds, and Winner Takes All--is geared toward readers who crave justice, especially justice at odds with the criminal justice system. Bidinotto is well-versed in Rand’s ideas. He even wrote a compendium to Atlas...
It is one thing to grieve the election of a president many consider inappropriate to the office. But it is quite another to call for the murder of a sitting U.S. president. For the second time this year, rapper Snoop Dogg has parodied the murder of President Donald Trump. Posting the cover of his new album on Instagram—“Make America Crip Again”—Dogg stands insouciantly over a corpse wrapped in the American flag, identified with a toe tag that reads “Trump.” The rapper says the image is “not a statement or a political act,” but “something that’s missing. . . . I’m trying to fill a void.” Presumably, the death of our president. For more than two centuries, the election of an American president—the world’s oldest, continual, republican head of state—has proudly demonstrated the orderly and peaceful transfer of power and authority. As President Ronald Reagan remarked in his first inauguration, “Few of us stop to think how unique we really are. In the eyes of many in the world, this every-four-year ceremony we accept as normal is nothing less than a miracle.” Our constitutional republic endures because we understand no matter who wins the greatest prize in our political system, we all agree to accept the outcome. Yes, we protest, we argue, and we criticize, but in the end, without a bullet fired, we know we must accept the final verdict. We accept it because, as Americans, we have entered into a solemn covenant with our government, which, by our consent, protects our...
“Islamic Philosophy: The Good, the Bad, and the Dangerous” is a two-part lecture about the philosophical roots of Islamic terrorism. I gave these lectures at The Atlas Society’s Summer Seminar in 2004. They were my homage to the victims of 9/11.   For everyone who witnessed the event, September 11, 2001, stands out as a moment in memory. I remember almost every detail of that day. I was in an early meeting that morning in our office in Poughkeepsie, NY. When I came out, the receptionist showed the photo of a plane hitting the north tower of the World Trade Center. The plane looked tiny—I thought it was a civil aviation accident—and I went into another meeting. When I came out, the second plane had hit and we all knew it was war. I sensed that this was the most significant, world-changing event I would experience in my life, with the possible exception of the fall of the Soviet Union. I worked late into the night thinking and researching, and by the next day I knew the essence of the event: It was an assault on civilization—and specifically an act motivated by what Ayn Rand called “the hatred of the good for being good.” I wrote my analysis and we published it September. 13: “The Assault on Civilization.” But it’s one thing to grasp the moral essence of an event. It’s another thing to understand what lay behind it. As an Objectivist, I believe that philosophical ideas...
Human Action - Part 6 Early in Atlas Shrugged, Dagny and her then-lover Hank Rearden, the brilliant and hardworking founder and head of Rearden Metal, decided to take a vacation together. Rand took pains to point out that neither Dagny nor Rearden were the type to feel entitled to a vacation. Rearden mentioned that he’d last vacationed five years ago. Dagny recollected she’d vacationed last three years ago. Neither Dagny nor Rearden would have expected on their travels to learn, passively, “something of human affairs” that they didn’t already know. They certainly wouldn’t have wanted to become part of the scenery. In Rand’s benevolent universe, the world was there to be acted upon by the rational, self-interested mind, not the other way around. Yet, there was an element of abandonment as the lovers decided to set off on a road trip that Monday morning. It wouldn’t be their work or their identity that they abandoned however. They would abandon, for a little while, the problems The Equalization of Opportunity Bill was causing for them and devote themselves instead to the pleasure of being completely themselves in the company of someone who loved and appreciated who they were. The road trip was a remarkable interlude of joy in a tense, embattled plot, and a lighthearted tribute to the romance of the active life. Rand began the account with one of her lyrical descriptions of nature, albeit from the point of view of the windshield of a moving car: The earth went flowing...

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