I had a dream that spoke to me.  Hear of my personal journey to make a life change and why I could no longer play the role of someone else.


Don’t Be Fatty Bolger

I have loved the Lord of the Rings novels for over 20 years.  It’s a story that describes great battles, tremendous heroism, deep sentiment, and the immortal struggle of good vs. evil.  Many of the characters for good or ill are larger than life-as is only right in an epic tale.

Throughout the book, however, there are a few characters which leave us unfulfilled.  Fredegar Bolger is one such character who’s story is eclipsed by others.  Fredegar, called Fatty by others, was also one of Frodo’s closest friends.  He was so close to Frodo that he actually helped the guy move.  If there is a greater indicator of kinship than that, I don’t know what it would be.  It takes a special kind of friendship to choose to move someone’s dinette set—especially the heir to Bilbo, the rather eccentric and richest hobbit in Hobbiton. Could you imagine how much crap the Howard Hughes of hobbits might have?

Fatty was one of Frodo’s closest friends.  He had the chance to join the hobbits on their journey to Rivendell.  But he didn’t.  Fatty was paralyzed by fear.  Bear in mind that Fatty knew that the Black Riders were on their tail and soon would find him if he stayed.  But Fatty was still afraid of the dark things rumored to live in the Old Forest.  With hearsay as his only evidence, his fear of the unknown even came to outweigh his fear of the more than the terrifying ringwraiths despite their being altogether evil.

It wasn’t just fear that held Fatty. His love of the Shire bound him like strong chains to his home.  The Lord of the Rings is a tale that celebrates adventure.  It is an epic tale where ordinary people are compelled by events to perform extraordinary things.  But to transcend conventional limitations, characters must  risk, endure, strive, and sometimes lose.  For most of us, home is familiar. Home is comfortable.  Home is safe.  It is unlikely that you will ever have to risk or endure from the comfort of your own couch.  But opportunity rarely makes house calls.  You have to get out there if you want to make a difference.

Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins Dont Be Fatty Bolger

Fatty Bolger’s story gives us a clue as to what life could have been like for Frodo had his fear and his love for the shire overwhelmed his appetite for adventure.  Frodo could have remained at home and enjoyed the last few days while he waited for the dark powers to capture him.  It’s easy to forget that no day was quite as pleasant for Frodo once he stepped out his door on his epic journey.

But here too, Fatty’s experience still informs us.  The Nazgul did come and Fatty narrowly escaped, but he was later imprisoned by Saruman and was so starved that no one could rightly call him Fatty anymore.  Fatty’s fate shows that you can’t hide from history.  For all of his hardship, what was his reward?  He was so unremarkable that his story was eliminated from the screenplay.

Fatty, in the end, became a footnote in what may have been the greatest epic tale ever written.  You can try to make your mark or you can remain at the mercy of everyone else trying to make theirs.  There is nothing wrong with a humble life, but if you have a burning desire within you to make a difference, you need to aim higher.

 Dont Be Fatty Bolger

The Costs of Losing Fame

One of the most important lessons the Value Zodiac teaches is that the vast majority of people are persuadable.

Because of this, there are occasionally times when an effective message interacts with specific cultural circumstances to create resonance.  At times like these, a mass consensus can quickly consolidate to create a mass movement.

Suddenly the ideas you may have been advocating for years or decades become immensely popular.  Success, long sought is finally before you.  It is surprising and you are filled with a great sense of validation.  This period may go on for weeks or years–sometimes decades.  But like all movements, the energy that sustains them eventually abides.  People are fickle and the diversity of thought combined with an evolving environment generally means that the great consensus around your ideas can fall apart just as rapidly as it formed.

350px Everest North Face toward Base Camp Tibet Luca Galuzzi 2006 edit 1 The Costs of Losing Fame

Many great people have been broken by this phenomenon.  When having struggled so long to find success, the prospect of losing that sense of recognition can be demoralizing.  When you are on you way up, the road is long and difficult, but you have the dream–the belief that the journey will be worth the effort once you reach the summit.  But few people envision the life that follows the summit.  The summit is lonely and small.  And when it comes to the summit of popularity, many others are climbing the summit after you.  Of course, there are many ways to describe success.  But those who believe that success is largely defined by popular adulation are going to be painfully impacted when they move off the popular stage.

When you are on “your way down”, the sense of hope and its psychological nourishment that fueled you during the climb may abandon you.  This is potentially crushing and can leave you embittered, unpleasant, resentful, and defeated despite your time on the front page of People Magazine.

 The Costs of Losing Fame

Mark Twain 2 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Whether it is the tragic tales of William Randolph Hearst, Mark Twain, Margaret Thatcher, or Frank Capra, history is littered with amazing people who had great difficulty adjusting to a world that seemed to have moved beyond them.  Though history usually reconsiders these icons after death, it is of little comfort to them while they are living.

Fame is fickle.  It is an important lesson to not tie up too much of your self-identity in how you are perceived, for it is something that is beyond your control.  Being focused on building your character to your satisfaction, building a healthy family and strong personal relationships, and increasing your contribution in making the world a better place will, in the long run, be much more rewarding for you and far less fleeting.


 The Costs of Losing Fame

Dolley Madison – Portrait of a Jester

350px Dolley Madison Dolley Madison   Portrait of a Jester

English: Dolley Madison, c. 1804, by Gilbert Stuart. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you do a Google search for Dolley Madison, most of the websites refer to her as a historical footnote.  They will say that she is most noted for her saving the portrait of George Washington from the White House before it was burned by the English army when Washington was captured during the War of 1812.

What a disservice!  Dolley Madison had much bigger impact on early American history than perhaps any other wife of a politician in early America. Dolley Madison not only greatly assisted her husband President in becoming much more effective, but she also did much of what led to the United States being perceived in a much more serious way in the world community.  Mrs. Madison, for her time, was excluded from holding a formal role of power in the young nation.  Nevertheless, she wielded influence and power that was greater than nearly anyone else in the country and that arguably includes her husband.

By the time Dolley met James Madison, she’d already been circulating in Washington social circles. Despite the fact that James was significantly older than her, the two fell madly in love. After revolution and the formation of the new nation, James had to work on building an off-and-on political career. Dolley Madison took it upon herself to assist Mr. Madison in becoming more effective and influential.

The big bang theory leonard 412x232 300x168 Dolley Madison   Portrait of a JesterThis was no easy task. To use a more modern day example from pop culture, the pairing of Dolley Madison and James Madison was not far from the pairing of Leonard and Bernadette from the popular TV show The Big Bang Theory. Leonard, the socially awkward but brilliant experimental physicist for time dated the socially savvy, very attractive Bernadette. Like Leonard, James Madison had significant social challenges. James Madison stood 5′-4″ tall and never weighed more than 100 pounds. Standing beside men who included the towering George Washington at over 6 foot, James Madison did not look the part of a serious world leader. James Madison had an insular, tactical brilliance that was very effective in designing a government for people that was very afraid of a strong central government.

In many organizations, there is usually a small cadre of individuals who are the legislative wonks. These people have a mode of thinking that is not unlike that of a programmer. While most of us look at a piece of legislation and naturally presume that legislation is going to do what the rationale says is going to do. A person with a programmers mind, is going to look at the exception. They look at all cases where wording can be misused or misconstrued. It is the exception that leads to unintended consequences. These kinds of lawmakers know that there are people out there who’ll look for the loopholes of every law and some will use it to their advantage. James Madison brought a programmers mentality to drafting the United States Constitution. It’s why he formulated a system where each branch of government was able to counter the other branches of government. He knew that power does not rest in a document. The US Constitution bestows power in a distributed fashion, but once bestowed, each part of the government must work hard to retain that power. This was the genius of James Madison.

But like so many programmers of our day, people who have this way of perceiving things often find themselves lacking in other areas. The stereotypical programmer in popular culture is geeky, a four eyed, socially inept nerd that is completely without social grace or ability to relate well to other people. In a nutshell, this is precisely how people saw James Madison in his day. The great task before Dolley Madison was how to make this bookish, introverted and socially awkward geek and effective politician. Politics is all about effective persuasion and savvy deal making.

By contrast, Dolley Madison was a master of etiquette, social grace, and making everybody around her feel fantastic. She threw lavish parties, was charming, and had a keen perception of how to work a room to advance her husband’s agenda. In effect, Dolley Madison was the first political consultant to a United States President — a business that thrives today. She created a forum for politicians from across the city to come together in what she called Wednesday Night Drawing Rooms, where she acted in the important role of hostess, facilitating relationship building and deal making long into the night.  In so doing, she helped to facilitate the growing of relationships that are so vital to the political process.

Zod Flag 293x300 Dolley Madison   Portrait of a Jester

General Zod in 2016!

According to the Value Zodiac, Dolly Madison is a Jester. There are many people who don’t think very highly of the set of values that make up the jester archetype. For these people I say you are doing them and yourself a great disservice. While it is true that the Jester is concerned with more superficial ideas of beauty, extravagance, and flair, the Jester knows something about influence that all of us should be cognizant of. A persuasive message is only as effect of as the vessel that carries it. If, the vessel is not credible, it becomes very easy to disregard the message. We’ve seen time and time again, particularly since the dawn of radio and later television, that any world leader who does not know the power of optics reduces his or her impact. Today, we see the vital role that optics plays in political campaigns.  Presidential candidates strive to have the most prominent flag pin on the lapel. They wear “power ties” to convey a sense of command in a debate performance. It is highly unlikely that you will ever see a political campaign featuring a candidate with a lisp.

Beyond politics, the values of the Jester figure predominately in arts, entertainment, and ultimately every creative endeavor. The aim of all of these is to influence. They are aimed to create an emotional experience in the audience. Whether it is a book or a movie, it is the effective use of the value set of the Jester, that allows us to for time, put aside reality, and suspend our disbelief so we can truly enjoy the experience in an immersive fashion. Without keen sense of detail of how things look, the audience would be often distracted by things that are obviously inconsistent. This pulls us out of the experience and makes the underlying influential message muddled and less impactful.

Dolley Madison’s skill as a politician was much more savvy than her husband and was the first of her two great impacts on early America. Many of the achievements of the Madison administration are due in no small part due to the effective lobbying of his wife. Dolley Madison was the first of the presidential wise to assume a more activist position in a presidential administration. In effect, she was the first “First Lady”. She revolutionized the role that Presidential spouses have played in American politics ever since.

In addition to her role in assisting her husband, Dolley threw herself into working with the Washington community. She started putting all of her effort into charitable foundations.  She played a role in efforts to make the capital of the United States much more attractive and impressive to foreign dignitaries. Ambassadors and statesmen would visit the District of Columbia and be rightfully impressed. No longer will foreigners see the United States as a rustic band of unhappy farmers and trappers, they would see the United States as having all of the same luxuries and sophistication of any of the capitals of Europe. Dolly Madison, had a lot to do with the United States assuming a position among the community of nations.

An argument can be made that the Madison’s, may have been the most important couple to ever inhabit the White House, for they both made huge impacts into our way of life and how the United States is perceived throughout the world.

He savvy in cultivating strong relationships simply by facilitating interpersonal connections in an enjoyable atmosphere should not be understated.  May we never underestimate the importance of the values of the Jester.

The Value Zodiac is a conceptual model that is used to measure an individual’s worldview.  It is a powerful tool to explain human motivation and behavior, which can be used for such important purposes as conflict management, effective persuasion, analyzing ethical dilemmas, etc.

 Dolley Madison   Portrait of a Jester

Ulysses S. Grant – Portait of a Farmer

350px GenUSGrant Ulysses S. Grant   Portait of a Farmer

English: Gen. U.S. Grant – Category:Images of people of the American Civil War (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today we’ll examine our first President through the lens of the Value Zodiac. He rode a roller coaster of failure and hardship mixed with almost unimaginable glory and achievement.  He rose from obscurity, personal struggle, and a history of painful personal setbacks to lead great armies in pivotal battles and later a great nation only to lose everything and get filing used his last days to seek ultimate victory over time itself.

I’ve been studying the history of the American Civil War since I was in elementary school. I remember being riveted to the television to watch the 15 hour long Ken Burns documentary on the subject. (Impressive for a 13-year-old).

One of the most compelling personal stories was that of the remarkable journey of Ulysses S. Grant. Today, we will look at general and later President Grant through the context of the Value Zodiac. The evidence strongly supports the idea that Grant most closely identified with the Farmer archetype. The following paragraphs explore Grant’s history to illustrate why the Farmer archetype figures so prominently in his life’s journey.

Grant grew up a quiet boy in Ohio. His father, Jesse, was a tanner and very successful businessman and Galena, Illinois. But Grant identified more with his mother who was uncommonly introverted. Grant was quiet-mannered but developed a knack for animal husbandry, particularly horses. He was a fantastic horseman. Jesse Grant believed his son to be ill-suited for a business career and got him an appointment to the military academy at West Point. His performance at West Point was unremarkable. He graduated in the middle of his class. He did well in mathematics and geology which were well-suited to his introverted temperament. He was initially deployed to Missouri where he met the love of his life, Julia Dent. The two would later marry after a secret four-year engagement. (Julia’s father disapproved of Grant’s prospects through a military career.)

Despite having large reservations about the cause, Grant followed Major General Winfield Scott and future President Zachary Taylor to Mexico. Grant thought the Mexican War was a tremendous mistake. Years later, he said, “I was bitterly opposed to the measure, and to this day, regard the war, which resulted as one of the most unjust ever waged by a stronger nation against a weaker nation.” Grant, upon later reflection, came to see the American Civil War as a form of divine punishment to atone for the sin of the Mexican war. Grant believed that nations, like individuals, are punished for their transgressions. Here we see the values of the Farmer archetype represented. The concept of karma — the belief that you reap what you sow — is well represented in his thinking.

Despite his reservations about the war, Grant nevertheless resolved to do his job. He was a soldier and did not feel it was his place to cast judgments on people who wrestle with difficult decisions such as putting men into jeopardy on the battlefield. But he used his time in war to educate himself. He learned about military leadership by carefully observing the actions and decisions of his commanders. The two main leaders of the Mexican War on the American side were Zachary Taylor and Winfield Scott. Grant identified much more with Taylor, who was indifferent to parade-ground pomp and circumstance or formal military protocol. By contrast, Winfield Scott reveled in the ceremony. After winning the Battle of Chapultepec, Scott celebrated lavishly, which Grant thought was quite distasteful.

After the war, Grant never demonstrated any high sense of ambition. He wish to simply fulfill his service commitment and move back into a more quiet civilian life. Grant was soon deployed to the west. He was unable to pay for passage for his wife and children. Missing them greatly, Grant tried a number of ways to raise additional money to bring his family to him. He tried and failed at several different business ventures. On one occasion, one of his partners succeeded in swindling him out of his investment. Grant’s distance from his family, aggravated by his record of financial folly and boredom from peacetime army life, drove Grant to abuse alcohol. It is speculated, that this alcohol abuse was the reason for his sudden resignation for the Army in the 1850s.

Grant left the Army and decided to try his hand at farming. His father had offered to bring him on in his Galena, Illinois tannery business but only on the condition that Julia and his kids live with relatives in Kentucky because money was so tight. The Grants, after being separated by years during his deployment, refused to be parted again. As so often happened in Grant’s life, while he had the skills and temperament to be a successful war fighter, he demonstrated little talent for doing anything else. He had no aptitude for farming. His crops failed. Grant turned to bill collecting, but didn’t have it within him to press for payment. He tried selling insurance, but was terrible at sales. Grant ultimately ended up in his father’s tannery after all, after Jesse Grant again offered him a job — this time without condition.

Grant’s early life gives us clues to his character. Introverted and bookish and despite his skill as a horseman, he never demonstrated a strong ambition for promotion. He was immensely devoted to his family and it pained him when they were parted. Grant himself, was a man of principle, but refused to let his personal preferences get in the way of doing his job. He demonstrated a certain level of social naivety and incompetence by being swindled by people close to him and being indiscreet with his personal struggles. By the late 1850s, all evidence pointed toward Grant being relegated to obscurity — not the least bit noteworthy. Grant recognized this and was content with it.

When war broke out, he was tapped to muster volunteers in Illinois. However, Grant remembered that he actually performed quite well during the Mexican War. He recalled that of all of the things he tried to do, war fighting was the one area, apart from his successful family life, where he felt he was competent and talented. He wanted the field command. When he got his chance, he soon became recognized for his command ability — winning battles at a time when Union victories were few and far between. He took command and never looked back.

Grant had several traits that made him an exceptional military leader. He conceptualized and operationalized textbook military campaigns. His training in the quartermaster’s corps in the Mexican War impressed upon Grant reinforced the importance of keeping an army well supplied, well fed, and ready to fight. Grant was a master at military logistics. Grant had a simple approach to war-fighting. He developed a strategy and refused to be distracted or diverted from executing that strategy. While other commanders were prone to question their strategy in response to enemy movements or actions, Grant continued to press on with complete faith that it would work out (also echoing the Farmer).

A quote by William Tecumseh Sherman does a great job illustrating this concept.

“I am a damned sight smarter man than Grant. I know more about military history, strategy, and grand tactics than he does. I know more about supply, administration, and everything else than he does. I’ll tell you where he beats me though and where he beats the world. He doesn’t give a damn about what the enemy does out of his sight, but it scares me like hell. … I am more nervous than he is. I am more likely to change my orders or to countermarch my command than he is. He uses such information as he has according to his best judgment; he issues his orders and does his level best to carry them out without much reference to what is going on about him and, so far, experience seems to have fully justified him. “

Comments to James H. Wilson (22 October 1864)

350px Ulysses S Grant%2C Cold Harbor%2C VA%2C June 1864. Ulysses S. Grant   Portait of a Farmer

Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant standing by a tree in front of a tent, Cold Harbor, Va., June 1864. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In addition, Grant never got bogged down in military command politics. Unlike other generals who flamboyantly assumed command of the Army of the Potomac, Grant felt no need to replace Gordon Meade (who had acquitted himself well at the battle of Gettysburg the year before). Grant’s lack of pretentiousness endeared him to his men. He was often seen along roadsides where his army marched. He wore a simple dust covered private’s jacket with general stars. He was a soldier’s soldier, much like US General Omar Bradley would be almost 80 years later in World War II.

But Grant’s greatest gift was being remarkably unflappable and coolheaded under fire. There are a few people who experience a rush of adrenaline instead of fear during battle. Grant was one of those people. Battle energized him and increased his focus. He did not react impulsively to bad news. He was quick to improvise and to exploit opportunities. Grant always was a soldier doing a soldier’s job and doing it in a masterful way.

At the conclusion of the war, Grant shared Lincoln’s sense of magnanimity. He felt no desire to punish his former enemies. He acknowledged how the Confederates fought for closely held values and beliefs. He understood that people fighting for what they believe in deserve respect, even if they didn’t agree with their aims. This kind of humble and respectful demeanor that he brought to negotiations was key to begin the healing process for the country.

Grant always honored the chain of command. It was only when he climbed the rungs of that military hierarchy and later civilian leadership, that he came into his own. He had earned the right to advocate for his principles, unlike years before when he objected to the Mexican war. As President of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant was the only President who actually cared about promoting civil rights until Lyndon Johnson took up the issue a century later. He brokered peace agreements between warring factions both in the United States and abroad. In many ways, his post-military life is echoed by another farmer in American history, a peanut farmer from the State of Georgia — a good man of great principle, who was poorly equipped to deal with the subtle intrigue of American politics — President Jimmy Carter.

Though Grant was never unpopular, his troubled and corrupt Presidential administration did impact his popularity. But like Jimmy Carter, post-presidency, Grant enjoyed resurgence in popularity through his effective peacemaking ability.  As is characteristic of the Farmers, like Grant, they make excellent peacemakers because although they do have strong personal principles, they are so dogmatic about them to make it difficult to understand or demonstrate respect for the principles of others.

As the war ended, Grant had developed a keen sense of evaluating the motives and character of others in his presence. This insight served him well as President Lincoln’s elected successor. Andrew Johnson, the Vice President who assumed the presidency upon Lincoln’s death, became more and more vulnerable and Johnson made several attempts to eliminate Grant as a potential rival. Grant had learned to see these threats for what they were and was able to avoid getting ensnared by them. Grants weakness, however, was that he never learned how to see threats that were hidden. The quote from Sherman above is particularly poignant. Although not caring about the actions of an enemy “out of your sight” often serves you well in a time of war, such a disposition is deadly when it comes to politics. Since Grant always took on challenges head-on, he naïvely assumed that others would do so too. This made his dealings with others extremely costly. He was blind to the rampant corruption of his Presidential administration. His lack of awareness also made him an easy mark. His business associates swindled him on multiple occasions. The last time this happened, well after his retirement from public life, left his family destitute. He simply had no awareness for threats he couldn’t see and it cost him dearly.

Ruined by the failure of one of his partnerships through no fault of his own, other than trusting the wrong people, Grant faced the prospect of his family living in poverty. To make matters worse, Grant was diagnosed with throat cancer. Determined to provide for his family and to pay off his debts, Grant set to work on completing his military memoir. He wrote day after day sometimes thousands of words each day. Each day he became weaker and weaker. By the end he was no longer able to eat or speak. He finished his work just four days before he passed away — restoring his family fortune and honoring all of his debts.

Grant’s memoir is considered one of the best autobiographies by a world leader in history. His tone was simple, clear, and without self adulation or pretense. The work is also noteworthy in how it teams with an extremely positive and optimistic perspective — the optimism that is so associated with the Farmer archetype. The last chapter of his memoirs, Conclusion, is essentially a list of the goodness of people throughout the world and expresses Grant’s hope for a better world — a world that can shed some of the animosity from its wars throughout history. He also discusses his confidence in a new America, strengthened by the Civil War and able to stand proudly among the community of nations. He also expresses his belief that the American people will achieve a new level of peace.

He wrote: “I feel that we are on the eve of a new era, when there is to be great harmony between the Federal and Confederate. I cannot stay to be a living witness to the correctness of this prophecy; but I feel it within me that is to be so. This universally kind feeling expressed for me at a time when it was supposed that each day would prove my last, seemed to me the beginning of the answer to ‘let us have peace’.”

350px US Grant family c1872 Ulysses S. Grant   Portait of a FarmerGrant is remembered for his excellence as a military commander. But I think his greatness is really tied to his understanding of the life of the common person and the common soldier that was made possible by his humility and his utter lack of pretense. He was always guided by strong individual principles and values. He was a loving husband and father. Grant is a unique American story. And although he was a terrible farmer, he is one of the best embodiments of the Farmer archetype in American history.

English: Ulysses S. Grant seated on porch with his wife, Julia, and son, Jesse. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Value Zodiac is a conceptual model that is used to measure an individual’s worldview.  It is a powerful tool to explain human motivation and behavior, which can be used for such important purposes as conflict management, effective persuasion, analyzing ethical dilemmas, etc.

 Ulysses S. Grant   Portait of a Farmer

Einstein Was Not A Scientist

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Albert Einstein during a lecture in Vienna in 1921 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s shocking to say that maybe the most renowned scientist in history is not a Scientist. But according to the Value Zodiac model, Albert Einstein was most likely the scientist’s nemesis — the Shaman.

Einstein was a theorist. Theorists are thinkers that use conceptualization to perform educated guesses to discover truth. Theorists often intuit an answer. They stumble onto ideas that seem to “make sense” to them, reflecting the central value theme of harmony that represents the Shaman.

Physicists have long understood that electricity and magnetism were related. The question that faced physicists in Einstein’s time was how electricity and magnetism (E & M) were related to classical Newtonian physics of moving bodies.

The way in which Einstein intuited his way into history highlights Einstein’s Shaman disposition. Einstein started by using the unusual experimental tool of the thought experiment. Unlike traditional experimentation which relies on setting up a unique set of circumstances in the physical world, controlling for variables, and measuring the results, the thought experiment is one that takes place entirely in the imaginative mind.

When Einstein was 16 years old, he imagined himself trying to chase a beam of light. He realized that if he was moving at the speed of light alongside the beam, he would see the beam as being in a fixed location according to his perspective. This was his first inkling of what eventually became his theory of special relativity.

Einstein began developing relativity by supposing that the speed of light was constant. At the time, he had no physical evidence of this, but he inferred this from the work of another scientist named Maxwell, who had done some groundbreaking work in the field of E & M. With the assumption that the speed of light was constant, Einstein created a couple of thought experiments.

Taken to the next level, Einstein imagined himself and his wife looking at each other across an open field. Einstein stood upon a moving railroad car. His wife stood on a fixed point on the ground. If Einstein were to fire a particle of light between two horizontal plates on his cart, he would see the particle moving up and down between the plates, but his wife would see the particle bouncing up and down but along diagonal paths as the cart moved down the track.

If our assumption that the speed of light is constant is true, this creates a paradox because the particle is seen by both parties is hitting the mirrors at the same time, even though the particle appears to travel a longer distance as seen by Einstein’s wife while traveling the same speed.Einstein Thought Experiment 300x138 Einstein Was Not A Scientist

This doesn’t make sense. How can two things travel different distances in the same time while moving at the same speed? The answer lies in examining the clocks each person is using to measure time. Einstein’s clock moves forward at a slower rate than his wife’s clock. This is the concept of time dilation.

Einstein made this leap of logic without a shred of experimental data. He reasoned his way to this result in his head. It allowed into derive of his famous mass-energy equivalence relationship.e mc2 300x179 Einstein Was Not A Scientist

Many of his contemporary physicists roundly condemned his findings — accusing Einstein of circular reasoning. His postulating that the speed of light was a constant made his calculations tremendously easy and elegant. But he was right!

Good theorists are rarely good experimentalists. Because they so often focus on the big picture or big ideas, they often quickly become bored with the mundane effort that is associated with scientific experimentation. Although Einstein published his general theory of relativity in 1915, relativity was not provided an experimental basis until Arthur Eddington and his team performed observations of stars during a solar eclipse in 1919. This again illustrates how important it is for people of different approaches to life work together to maximize the impact of both.

Einstein was a Shaman. Shamans always look for simplicity. The elegance of E = mc2 is in its ability to condense so much complicated physics into a simple relationship. This simple relationship “made sense” to Einstein. It reflected the central value theme of harmony that is associated with the Shaman.

The same sentiment which led him to his biggest breakthrough also later led him to his biggest professional challenge after other scientists began to develop the probabilistic-centered theory of quantum physics. Einstein famously said, “God does not play dice.” Since quantum theory did not make sense to him, he rejected it despite the experimental data that emerged to support it. He worked to the end of his life trying to refute quantum physics. In the end, Einstein was relegated to the fringes of his profession because quantum theory conflicted with his vision of the world. Einstein’s story only proves the central tenet of the Value Zodiac — that we all have unique gifts which are worldview helps us to find tremendous insight, but if we don’t keep an open mind to other points of view, we can lose that which makes us great.

 Einstein Was Not A Scientist

The New American Center As Seen Through the Value Zodiac

Last October, Esquire Magazine and NBC News released the results of a new poll finding what they referred to as the “New American Center”.  The researchers were surprised that a majority of respondents didn’t fall into the standard left-right paradigm.

Political pundits have long presumed that the electorate was composed of 40 percent of people on the left and 40 percent of people on the right and that politics consists of fighting over the middle 20 percent. One might consider this assumption to be a product of professional myopia.  When you work in an us or them world, you dismiss the importance of those not belonging to either group.

They found that fifty one percent of people didn’t fall into the traditional left-right paradigm.  Of course, this finding really should come as a surprise to no one.  People are remarkable in their capacity to avoid being pigeonholed into binary categories. The truth is much more nuanced.

Value Zodiac Left Right 300x224 The New American Center As Seen Through the Value ZodiacLet’s look at the traditional left-right paradigm from the point of view of the Values Zodiac.  Granted the following analysis isn’t collectively exhaustive, but, one of the fundamental disagreement between today’s political Left and Right is over the proper size and scope of government.  Those on the Right generally emulate the values of the Hermit and the Free Spirit.  They see a strong Federal government as coercive and want to be largely left alone.  Additionally, they put more faith in the spontaneous order of free markets to provide for the welfare of society and keep power decentralized.  Contrast this with the more Progressive Left.  The Left is more driven by the values of the Healer and the Police Officer, in that they believe in more collectivist approaches to social problems and they believe in using the power of government and strong institutions to ensure that excessive power does not flow to entrenched special interest.

This defines the fundamental impasse between Left and Right in today’s America.  But, careful examination of the Value Zodiac shows that the Left-Right paradigm only covers 4 of the 12 archetypes.  Those who adhere to the other 8 archetypes are part of the wide persuadable middle.  So when the researchers arrive at the “surprising” fact that fifty-one percent of individuals do not conform to traditional left-right labels, I really think the researchers are understating the truth.  When we oversimplify people into simple us-versus-them categories we do ourselves and our goals a disservice and we do not give others the respect they deserve.

The Value Zodiac is a conceptual model that is used to measure an individual’s worldview.  It is a powerful tool to explain human motivation and behavior, which can be used for such important purposes as conflict management, effective persuasion, analyzing ethical dilemmas, etc.

Exciting New Development – The Value Zodiac Explains a Lot

In the past several weeks, there has been some exciting development of the Value Zodiac.  The Value Zodiac was initially developed in spring of this year.  At the time, the model was divided into four quadrants in part to give the model of visual appeal, but there was some suspicion that the quadrants could be more significant.    Value Zodiac New Insight 300x245 Exciting New Development   The Value Zodiac Explains a Lot

Last month there was a breakthrough.  The model was not oriented correctly.  The figure right shows the original model.  The new insight came about when the model was turned a few notches.  Value Zodiac Framed SKEW 2 300x275 Exciting New Development   The Value Zodiac Explains a Lot

Let’s analyze the revised model by the quadrant.  The bottom-left quadrant is made up of people who are big on policies and procedures.  They are more comfortable with precedent and tried and true methods.  They also value hard data.  The bottom-right quadrant is composed of people who are humble and work to make others feel comfortable.  They have no need for the limelight and largely want to work quietly and independently.  They see no need in trying to wield power over others.  The upper-right quadrant is comprised of people who like to have fun, who are very creative, and seek truth from intuition and less data driven sources.  Finally, the upper-left quadrant is made of of highly competitive folks, people who believe in getting everyone involved in solutions to problems–leadership, and those who are masters of persuasion and messaging.

Organizational development professionals and leadership training professionals may notice echos of another leadership model here.  It’s the DISC model.   Value Zodiac DISC1 300x276 Exciting New Development   The Value Zodiac Explains a LotOne of the biggest criticisms of DISC(R) is the fact that two individuals have an identical DISC score but have very different performance levels and professional outcomes for the same position.  The Value Zodiac provides an explanatory framework for this phenomenon.  The problem with DISC is that it lacks precision.  The Value Zodiac is three times more precise than DISC.  As such, it provides a much greater explanatory framework of human motivation.

Perhaps one of the greatest strengths of the Value Zodiac is the fact that unlike most other personality assessments, it was not developed empirically, but theoretically.  Recall that the model was not developed to make sense of data, the model was developed first to evaluate personal values.  Therefore, if the theory holds, it provides a much better explanatory framework of human motivation than a construct developed merely to explain data.

The Value Zodiac derives DISC.  As a man of science, I don’t use that term lightly.  For this reason and others, the Value Zodiac is a powerful tool, as valid as DISC, but with much greater managerial utility.