Looking great

LinkedIn. We all use it. It’s American. 316 profile views. In what time-frame? Is that great? Based on what? Compared to whom? Who is doing the viewing?

And your “accomplishments are being recognized.” The word accomplishment is a big one. MerriamWebser defines it like this:

“The act or fact of accomplishing something; completion – accomplishment of a goal; a feeling of accomplishment; something that has been accomplished; achievement; her family is proud of her academic accomplishments; an impressive accomplishment.

316. Great !

An American in Berlin

German Feedback

“I started working for a German company a few years ago and was immediately excited to find that they had a culture of frequent feedback.

As the weeks went on, the feedback kept on coming. Very quickly, I began to see a pattern; it was almost entirely negative. All delivered amazingly well, with examples of how I’d fucked up alongside helpful guidance on how I might want to improve.

The onslaught continued; it was relentless. It became apparent to me that there was very little chance of me passing my probation period if this continued. So I buckled down, pushed myself to breaking point and put in those extra hours to save my job. But still, it kept continuing critical feedback, after critical feedback.

For the first time in my career, I was going to fail my probation period. There was no point in getting feedback on how I improve the situation. I was getting it daily. I was just shit.

So finally, my final probation review came around. Everything was excellent; the company was super happy with my progress and delivery. I passed my probation period with flying colours. But it had broken me. I was fried and burnt out.”

Feedback: Be a little German, Be a little American.

Americans Feedback

“I have recently started working in an entirely new industry, leading a small team. Shortly after joining, my team’s scope changed to a new problem space.

Again, this company had an active feedback culture and processes. Constant feedback was given to the team every two weeks from leadership. As we built the team and worked out how we were going to achieve our new goals, we got feedback all the time. And it was always positive.

This didn’t play well for me. I knew that there was no way that we could be that good, we were a team with little experience in what we were doing, how could we be doing that well? There must be areas for improvement.

As this continued, positive feedback began to feel more and more empty. I went hunting for critical feedback. Unfortunately, this manifested in me trying to find critical input for the team bellow me. I became overly focused on trying to find areas for improvement in the team.

The problem came to a head when one of my team said ‘I only get negative feedback from you, and I don’t know what to do about it.’ I was so focused on finding the negative areas that we could improve on, and I had not given any support for improvement. I had also failed to celebrate the positive.”

Mr. German Man is direct

An American woman. Married to a German man. How her husband is very direct. And about how Americans learn to be indirect, especially when giving negative feedback.

Warning ! This woman is a youtuber. And an American on top. So, she is more than a bit animated. And frankly, she could have made her points in about two minutes instead of seven and a half.

Watch the first three minutes.

Mr. German Man is deflationary

An American woman. About how her German husband is deflationary with scores. And how she is inflationary. Can’t separate the two.

Now this woman is a youtuber. And an American on top. So, she is more than a bit animated. And frankly, she could have made her points in about two minutes instead of seven and a half. But wait, it’s YouTube. And not a webinar.

Begin watching at minute 4:00.

July 2021 – Massive Flooding

Daylong torrential downpours in the western part of Germany during the third week of July in 2021 led to catastophes in several town. Homes were destroyed. Automobiles swept through the streets. Dozens were killed. Either unwilling to evacuate their homes as or doing so too late.

Chancellor Angela Merkel, on her final trip to Washington as head of the German government, during the official press conference with President Joe Biden, consoled the German population with guarantees of federal assistance.

Armin Laschet, the Premier (governor) of the State of Northrhine-Westphalia, and the chancellor-candidate of the governing party Christian Democrats (think Adenauer, Kohl, Merkel) in the September elections, was on-site in the town ravaged by the flooding.

Malu Dreyer, the Premier of the State Rheinland-Palatinate, of the SPD (Social Democrats), was also on the scene in the hard-hit town of her state. They, and the mayors of the towns, were interviewed extensively.

Interestingly, from the American perspective, none of these leaders – federal, state, local – gave the kinds of words of encouragement and motivation that their American counterparts would have given, and routinely give in such situations.

An American would expect: “Folks, this is a catastrophe. This is aweful. But you know what? We’re Germans. We know how to handle these kinds of situations. It was not long ago that we had to pick up the pieces after the Second World War. It took decades. We can do this ! We will do this ! Because we’re Germans. We know how to do this. So let’s get to work !”

Jesse Owens and Lutz Long

Berlin, 1936, the Olympic Games. The great American track and field athlete, Jesse Owens, wins the gold medal in the 100 meter, the 200 meter, the 4×100 meter dash, as well as in the long jump.

What many people don’t know, however, is that the silver medalist in the long jump, the German Carl Ludwig “Lutz” Long, had given Owens the kind of advice that only a true colleague, and friend, would give.

Going into the 1936 games Long had been the reigning German champion and holder of the European record. The Nazi hierarchy – and the German people – had anticipated gold for Germany.

In the qualification round Owens had fouled twice in a row by stepping on the white board delineating the jump-off point. A third foul would have disqualified him. Jesse Owens would have failed to advance to the final round. The crowd, the millions listening by radio, and especially Owens himself, were unsettled.

After that second fault, Lutz Long walked over to his competitor and advised him to simply imagine the foul line to be located one foot closer than it actually was, saying that he just had to avoid fouling a third time, and that his third jump would easily be enough to advance to the next round.

Some sources claim that Long went so far as to lay down his white towel marketing where Owens should leap from, ensuring that he would not foul a third time.

Jesse Owens took the advice given to him by that German, advancing to the final round, and then setting a record which would hold for decades. Lutz Long took the silver.

Immediately after the medal ceremony, when Owens and Long stepped off the podium – and in full view of Adolf Hitler and many of the highest ranking National Socialist officials – Lutz Long, the German, smiled, shook hands with Owens, then hooked Jesse’s right arm into his left and proceeded to walk with him around the track, smiling, talking, congratulating.

1936. Tensions in Europe were very high. The German regime was espousing a crude racial theory. And in the United States, an African-American like Jesse Owens was treated as a second-class citizen, at best. With the world watching, and in conscious defiance of his own government, Lutz Long, a German, reached out to his archrival to give a small bit of helpful advice. Unsolicited.

Postscript: After the 1936 Olympic Games Jesse Owens was celebrated triumphantly in the U.S., only then to be forgotten for two decades, and to struggle financially, until the 1950s brought him a presidential appointment as American Ambassador of Goodwill by Dwight Eisenhower, and with it lucrative celebrity endorsements as well as a long, healthy, happy life.

Lutz Long, his German friend, died in battle against the Western Allies in Italy at the age of thirty. Fast forward the video above to 1:38 mins:

“You could melt down all of the medals and cups I have and they wouldn’t be a plating for the twenty-four carat friendship I felt for Lutz Long at that moment.” Jesse Owens

Rankings USA

Rankings – or standings – are particularly popular in the U.S. Where an individual, team, organization „stands“ is always in competitive comparison to other individuals, teams, organizations.

Examples of college and university rankings include US News and Business Report, Princeton Review College Rankings, College Prowler Traditional College and University Rankings. Subjects of rankings include Liberal Arts Colleges, National University, Research, Student Satisfaction, Diversity, Alumni Networks, among others.

Business school rankings are found in BusinessWeek, Forbes, US News Business School Rankings, Princeton Review Business School Rankings, Wall Street Journal Business School Rankings, Poets&Quants, the Economist. Subsets include region, country, specialization, composite, and endowment.

Law School rankings are found in Vault, LLM Guide, Princeton Review Law School Rankings, US News & World Report, Gourman Report, Hylton, Leiter, National Law Journal, QS World University Rankings, and Judging Law School Rankings.

Corporate rankings are found in Fortune 500, MarketWatch, Most Ethical Companies Rankings, Netweek Green Rankings, Careers.org Company Rankings, Forbes Company Rankings, SEO Company Rankings. Subcaterogies include revenue, ecologically friendliness, ethical behavior, innovation, size, industry, sector, social media presence, pay, employee satisfaction, and career development.

Bernard Schriever – “Black Saturday”

In his book A Fiery Peace in a Cold War: Bernard Schriever and the Ultimate Weapon (2010) author Neil Sheehan describes the life and work of Bernard Schriever, who is considered to be the father of the American nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).

Schriever and his military and civilian colleagues believed firmly that if both the United States and the Soviet Union possessed these weapons of mass destruction the probability of them being used actually would be decreased.

Schriever had to overcome strong institutional resistance within the U.S. Air Force whose leadership was convinced that manned aircraft﹣strategic long-range bombers﹣was the only way to maintain a credible deterrent against the Soviet Union.

Through telling the story of Bernard Schriever and the development of the American ballistic missile program from the end of Second World War up to the mid-1960s Sheehan tells the history of the Cold War, which would last up until the 1990s with the Fall of the Berlin Wall, the unification of West and East Germany, the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union, and the freedom of Eastern Europe from Russian domination.

In a 2010 television interview (Booknotes on C-SPAN) Sheehan contrasted Schriever with his American-born military colleagues, Generals Paul Harkins and William Westmoreland, both who had overall command of U.S. forces in the Vietnam War.

Sheehan had been a young war correspondent in Vietnam for United Press International (UPI), later with the New York Times. As told in his book A Bright Shining Lie (1989), which won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, the American generalship during the Vietnam War was unwilling to accept that America was losing that war.

General Schriever, according to Sheehan‘s research, made clear time and again to the members of this organization, whether military or civilian, that he wanted timely and accurate reports on the problems the program was experiencing, and was far less interested in the progress made.

So-called progress reports had become common within the U.S. military after the Second World War, and according to Sheehan, symptomatic for an institution unwilling to face what was not working.

Schriever would tell his subordinates that he would never fire anyone for failing, but instead for failing to inform him immediately of problems. For Schriever, as stated by Sheehan, success would take care of itself if one focused on solving the problems at hand. Go to minutes 24:10 to 26:50.

Bernard Adolph Schriever was born in 1910 in the German port city of Bremen. His father was an engineer. They immigrated to the U.S. only months before the U.S. entered the First World War in 1917.

Schriever grew up in New Braunfels, Texas, an area mostly populated by German immigrants. Read about his fascinating life in Wikipedia

Awards

Award: To give or order the giving of something as an official payment, compensation, or prize to someone; a prize or other mark of recognition given in honor of an achievement. From Anglo-Norman French awarder, variant of Old French esguarder “consider, ordain.”

Americans believe strongly that awards motivate people to perform. The College Football All-America Team is an honor given every year to the best college football players at their respective positions. The Heisman Memorial Trophy is awarded annually to the outstanding player. The Lombardi award is awarded annually to the best college football lineman or linebacker.

The College Basketball All-America team is made up of those players voted the best in the country by the sports press. The Naismith Award is given to the country‘s most outstanding college player.

The Cy Young Award is given to the best pitchers in Major League Baseball, one each for the American and National League. The Most Valuable Player Award, commonly known as the MVP, is the oldest individual award.

The Academy Awards, known as the Oscars, are given annually for excellence of cinematic achievements, in more than a dozen categories. The ceremony is televised live in over 100 countries. The Grammy Awards recognize outstanding achievement in the music industry. The annual presentation ceremony features performances by prominent artists.

Valedictorian is an academic title given to the student delivering the closing statement at a graduation ceremony. Valedictorians are typically the student with the highest academic ranking in their graduating class.

The National Honor Society recognizes high school students demonstrating excellence in the areas of scholarships, leadership, service, and character. The Phi Beta Kappa Society, an academic honor society with 280 chapters, promotes excellence in the liberal arts and sciences at the university level.

American children receive trophies for placing first, second and third in sports competition. In recent years it has become common for all participants to receive some kind recognition for participation alone, including even trophies.

Elementary school students continue to receive stickers or stars on their homework assignments – shiny, glow in the dark, big in size – in order to acknowledge good work.

The Medal of Honor is the highest military honor in the U.S., awarded for personal acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty. The medal is awarded by the President in the name of U.S. Congress.

October 2012. Apple CEO Tim Cook: “Apple is having another incredibly successful year, thanks to all of the hard work by you and your teams. Your focus and dedication to making the best products on earth is what makes Apple such an incredible place. To recognize the efforts that made this amazing year possible, I’m happy to announce that we’re extending the Thanksgiving holiday once again this year. We will shut down with pay on November 19, 20 and 21 so our teams can spend the whole week with their loved ones.”

Unpuncturable

Unpuncturable – it can’t be punctured. No flat tire. 

The Marathon Plus is the only bicycle tire in the world which is allowed to describe itself as unpuncturable. It is made by the German company Schwalbe with its patent on a Pannenschutzgürtel – literally flat tire protective belt. The belt is five millimeters thick and is made of highly elastic rubber. Neither thumbtacks nor glass can cut through it.

The Marathon Plus tire is not only unpuncturable, it has a so-called anti-aging exterior. Schwalbe’s goal was to create a truly durable product, a deep-seated German desire to make things which have Beständigkeit – resistance, stability, permanence, constancy.

Schwalbe was founded in 1992 by the Bohle family. It has remained a family-owned and -run company. It is the leading bicycle tire company in Europe, operates worldwide. They describe themselves as tire fanatics.