Benevolent Leader

In serving the public for 35+ years as a CPA, I’ve worked with many leaders. Some were wanna-bees; some were dictators; some were regular bosses; very few were benevolent.

The launch of WordPress 5.0 has opened my eyes to understand more about Matt Mullenweg — creator of WordPress and founder of Automattic.

WordPress, “We don’t make software for free, we make it for freedom.”

Automattic, “We are passionate about making the web a better place.”

More Than Meets The Eye

In the realm of Technology and especially in the niche of Design, there is an acronym WYSIWYG — What You See Is What You Get. Matt Mullenweg has taken that to a new level of YEGWYDS — You Even Get What You Don’t See.

Until today, as I’ve done the Google Searches to discover more about this fellow, I had no idea as to his scope, depth, and influence.

What I can do, though, is share my personal experience with a benevolent leader. This story begins in July 2018, when I experienced frustration to the point of having Capital One stop the processing on a credit card purchase.

In my opinion, a company Process was dysfunctional — and, to add insult to injury, I felt that same company was disrespectful to People. As you know, I’m a big believer in POPPeople Over Process.

Well, come to find out, I was preaching to the choir.

Congratulations (In an Email)

Matt,

Congratulations on the very successful launch of WordPress 5.0 — and a tremendous Presentation at WordCamp US 2018.

As you remember, I was frustrated with Automattic because of Jetpack, until out of the blue YOU called. I’m still in awe that a Leader cares so much about those in his Realm to listen and understand.

There was outreach by one of your Employees to work with me to resolve the Jetpack error messages that I was receiving from the Google Mobile-Friendly Test. Silly me — I rejected the offer. My belief and faith in Jetpack and its People had been shaken.

Although, from that moment forward, I noticed a shift in tone. Earlier, my “issue” was not so much a Plugin that didn’t work (for me), it was the disrespect from a representative that turned me off. (HISTORY)

Today, with Jetpack installed, absolutely “no loading issues” — only Success. (CLICK)

Then, more recently was my frustration with Gutenberg and responses I received from Automattic happiness engineers. That was immediately resolved by Gary Pendergast. (HISTORY)

As a Builder, I share the history to document a foundation for my belief that you are Building Something Special. The histories, above, are proof that my experience is much more than a one-off, luck-of-the-draw, random series of events. These are demonstrative facets of purpose, design, and implementation inspired and encouraged by YOU.

Last week, while interviewed in a Podcast, you made a comment about being “a benevolent leader.” We both know it is impossible to “manage by committee.” In the history of all great scientists and artists, there was only one of them. Only when they put beaker to flame, or brush to canvas, did the discoveries and masterpieces appear. That’s the magic of one person with belief in creating Value.

Yesterday, I thought your response to Mr. Blonde Goatee was Sherlock Holmes brilliant, “My dear Watson it’s quite elementary. The interpretation of WE is found in the context of its use.”

Great leaders inspire others to follow. You do that.

Quite often at the completion of a Post composed and published with Gutenberg, I find myself exclaiming, “Wow — I did that!”

That my friend is the sign of a truly great Leader — when those in your sphere of influence say, “We did that ourselves!”

When we say that, it’s because of your Vision and Values.

Thank you for being that kind of Leader.

Best,

Kim

Character Matters

When was the last time you had the CEO of a multi-billion dollar Company call you up to listen to your concerns? I can answer that for me, “Never.” Until one July day, out of the blue, I get a call from Matt Mullenweg.

For me, that memory will be priceless, forever. At the time, I knew something special was happening. Only, today, do I understand a little more about the honor bestowed on me — by a man with humility — a Benevolent Leader.

According to Matt, “This release is named in homage to the pioneering Cuban jazz musician Bebo Valdés.” — WordPress 5.0 “Bebo

Since the phrase “Benevolent Leader” is a mouthful — and probably beyond acceptance in everyday use by Matt — he will affectionately be known to me as “Bene.”

Gentle Strength

Do You?

Gentle Strength

Do you want to be heard?

~ Speak softly.

Do you want to be strong?

~ Offer gentleness.

Do you want to influence?

~ Be authentic.

Imagine a mountain stream of flowing, rushing, bubbling, fresh water. In that stream is a large boulder.

Observe it and these three truths become obvious — It is silent » It is solid » and, It deftly parts the water.

The same is true of the human condition — Whoever is the most certain wins.

Competitive greatness is not an evil premise. If everyone improves through the effort of each individual to grow into a better person, there is a cumulative mutual benefit.

To Gain There Will Be Pain

With pain comes the opportunity for offense. When hurt, how do we react? Do our emotions run wild, resulting in a primitive reaction of — Freeze, Flight, or Fight? Or, do we use that first moment, when we’re frozen in disbelief, to purposefully choose our response?

Can we speak softly to simply state our beliefs?

Can we wrap gentleness around a definitive position?

Can we be authentic and true to the passion at our core?

If

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Rudyard Kipling

There is a caveat to softly, gently, and authentically communicating our beliefs to others. It produces mutual benefit, only, when we are analogous to streams of living waters. An inlet and an outlet are required for living water. What about those individuals who are more analogous to a swamp?

The Answer

The answer is inherent in a riddle:

Don’t answer the foolish arguments of fools,
or you will become as foolish as they are.

Be sure to answer the foolish arguments of fools,
or they will become wise in their own estimation.

What?! Yes

Don’t follow their illogical rabbit trails through the briars.

Do state positions of belief — softly, gently, and authentically.

What is the surest way to discover if someone is a fool? If the individual listens, they are wise. If they are quick to interrupt and be disrespectful of any position contrary to their own, they are a fool.

Hard is easy — Easy is hard

Regardless of the condition of others, we can only change ourselves into better individuals. It is so very easy to be shrill, brash, and wishy-washy. It is so very hard to communicate with our Butler’s voice, in our Servant apron, and from our True heart — while grounded in gentle strength.

Able and Willing

We want what we don’t have.
If we have it, we don’t want it.

Granted, there are a few individuals, who purport that they have risen to a higher level of existence, by not wanting anything. They claim to be perfectly happy with nothing.

Making the best of whatever the situation — in which we find ourselves — is different than doing nothing. Those who do nothing are stuck in a rut, regardless of the rationalization for their inactivity. And, you do know the definition of a rut: A grave with the ends kicked out.

Grow In Value

To lead ourselves and others to higher levels of awareness and success, we must grow.

We grow and become of greater value in service only as much as we choose.

Each and every day, each and every decision, our choices are determined by the answers to these two questions:

•  Can I do IT?
•  Is IT worth it?

In other words:

•  Am I Able?
•  Am I Willing?

Am I Able ~

All we do begins with a thought. Change nothing and nothing changes. The easiest thing in the world is to find reasons why something can’t be done, which results in no leadership and no growth. Simply, by believing IT can be done, our minds begin finding ways to achieve.

Am I Willing ~

Where there’s a will, there is a way. Our willingness is governed by two raw emotions — Pain and Pleasure. Given enough pain, our will becomes stronger. Offered enough pleasure, our will finds a way. The beauty of will is that IT resides within our sphere of influence.

A mind changed against its will,
Will be of the same opinion still.

How do we persuade our minds to choose the greater motivator of pleasure?

One way is to tempt it with Riches. The better way is to feed it with Purpose.

Oh, I know, that money trick is a quick-and-dirty way to get our attention. To hold it, though, requires the intrinsic higher rewards, which originate from doing the right thing.

Do It Right

Sometimes, we know what that Right Thing is. Other times, we struggle to DO IT — right. That’s when we remember the Three-E Formula — Enlightenment, Empowerment, and Encouragement.

Enlightenment is the catalyst for believing we can do IT.

Empowerment is the motivation for choosing to do IT.

And, from time to time, our confidence is bolstered by the Encouragement — of family and friends — for us to be Able and Willing.