Thursday, September 12, 2019

So LSU AD Forfeits the High Ground? Not so fast, my friends....

So how do I start this?

I just read an article written by Les East where he uses a headline and inaccurate information to insinuate the new LSU Athletic Director, Scott Woodward, has elected to stop sharing proceeds generated by athletics with Academics.

THIS IS A  CRAP ARTICLE!  Ol' Les should have his pen jammed in his eye socket for spreading such crappy information and suggestive headlines.

Woodward didn’t stop contributions (or “end donations”) to the University. He pulled out of an agreement where athletics committed to provide $36 million over five years by annually transferring $7.2 million, plus a portion of its net surplus, to support LSU's academic, research, public service and other missions. This commitment guaranteed funds to academics with no oversight or input regarding where these athletic contributions were allocated and with no regard to the actual earnings LSU athletics produced.

Woodward killed this... and should have! He has also pledged to continue providing support but based on profits realized and with a say in where the money is spent. Common Sense! And requested by the boosters supporting LSU athletics to begin with.

This article grabs attention using inaccurate and misleading claims and doesn’t include facts in the article. Sad!

The truth of the matter.... From the Baton Rouge Advocate:

LSU President F. King Alexander said there isn't as much a donation disparity between athletics and academics as perceived.

Alexander pointed out the separation between athletic fundraising and academic fundraising, citing an LSU Foundation report from June 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019, which said 70 percent of total donations went to academics, 28 percent to athletics and 2 percent went to alumni operations.

Alexander said there has been a concerted effort on the academic end to raise money for its needs, including the $1.5 billion campaign.

"Athletics isn't declining," Alexander said. "It's staying about where it has been in the past. The only difference is the aggressiveness that we're going out there with the campaign to raise money on the academic side to make up for the years that we perhaps should have been doing.

Since the guarantee of athletic contributions, there has been a decline in a concerted effort to address fundraising for academics. With Woodward pulling away the guarantee, there should now be a focus to increase academic contributions and how funds are allocated.

It’s a smart move. Would be nice if the author of this story did his homework before simply throwing out headlines to grab attention and stroke the flames of controversy with misleading content and a story lacking facts.

Seems to be par for the course in media these days. Les East... you're FAKE NEWS!


Article from Saturday Down South:  By Les East (twitter - @Les_East), Published August 2019:

Thursday, May 9, 2019

THE ELECTORIAL COLLEGE - What Were the Fathers Thinking!?!

So with the 2020 election on the horizon, it appears the HOT TOPIC of debate is back on the issue of the National Election and the Electoral College.  There is a major push underway to abolish the Electoral College and move the national election to a popular vote system.   This simply is a BAD idea.  In the words of Ricky Ricardo…  Let me’ splain!!!

The country isn’t nor was it ever intended to be a true democracy. The country is a democratic republic... or limited democracy. The constitution does not establish a true democracy, nor did the founders intend to do so. A true democracy results in “mob rule” and ignores 49% of the population based on nothing other than majority rule. This type of system fails the nation by disregarding interests of major areas of the country that contribute to the growth and prosperity of the nation as a whole.

As David Harsanyi wrote in a November 2016 piece for Reason, the Electoral College helps "create moderation and compromise": “To some extent, the Electoral College impels presidents and their political parties to consider all Americans in rhetoric and action. By allowing two senators for both Wyoming, with a population of less than 600,000, and California, with a population of more than 38 million, we create more national cohesion. We protect large swaths of the nation from being bullied. We incentivize Washington, D.C.—both the president and the Senate—to craft policy that meets the needs of Colorado as well as New York.” Here is a good article about the current debate (from which the quote above was pulled)...

The intent of the founders was to prevent mob rule. Here is a good read on the topic:

To change our system from a limited democratic government to a full democracy would have catastrophic results. The voices of farmers in the Midwest, ranchers, miners and small business owners in the plains and rural America would be forever lost, drowned by the voices of the mega-cities whose needs and visions are different from other parts of the country. 

The only reason this is a topic of discussion at this time is the loss of power by the democrats and the hatred the left has for the conservative policies of the right (and the disdain for Trump and elected republican leadership). They had power... lost it... and now need someone or something to blame.  Taken from a recent news article op-ed published by Howard Kurtz: 

These days, as The Federalist notes, the formulation doesn't always favor the GOP: "If you weren't born yesterday, you might recall that as recently as 2011, the Democrats controlled the White House, 59 percent of the House, and a filibuster-proof 60 percent of the Senate. Under the same laws, the same Constitution, and with an almost identical electorate, the Democrats controlled the political branches of government with huge majorities. How did they lose it all? Because the people did not like what they did with that power once they had it..."

And for another good read, here is an article from Walter Williams; a professor of economics at George Mason University. It is re-posted in Shapiro’s Daily Wire but is spot-on regarding the subject:

Now… There are a number of states deciding to enter into the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. The NPV compact is an agreement among a number of U.S. states and Washington DC to award ALL of their respective electoral votes to whichever presidential candidate wins the national popular vote. The compact is designed to ensure that the candidate who receives the most votes nationwide is elected president, and it would only come into effect when it would guarantee that outcome. 

Though I think this compact disenfranchises the voters of each state, I like the idea that each state is making their own decision how to move forward AS A STATE!  The US is not a true democracy.  It is a republic of states.  Each state should have its say as a state; as a group of people with common interests. 

I think this will eventually be challenged in court.  There will once again be a candidate who loses the popular vote but wins the electoral college.  When this happens, any state that decides to CHANGE their electoral votes will be challenged by the people of their state whose votes were overturned.  But again… power to the states!  That is what the Republic known as the United States of America was founded on. 

14 states and DC have joined.  Here is more reading on the subject:  

But the truth of the matter…

The true issue we have in the U.S. isn’t the electoral college or the equal representation of states in the senate. The true issue destroying our nation is the rise and strength of political factions and the intense divisiveness they produce. I didn’t vote for Trump and am offended by what he represents, but the political factions ensured either he or Clinton would be selected. Candidates like Sanders were squeezed out by the Democratic Party faction through super delegates and processes designed to ensure Clinton’s nomination, while candidates like Kasich were squeezed out in the Republican Party faction. And candidates like Gary Johnson and Jill Stein never had a chance. The “factions” and loyalty of voters to party over purpose is the issue. The game is rigged. Here is a great article on this as well: 

We “pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and TO THE REPUBLIC for which it stands... One Nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice FOR ALL.” A republic isn’t a true democracy, and a true democracy isn’t for all.... just for the majority.

Happy voting in 2020 ya’ll! 

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Diversity - AT THE TOP!

I just read an article in the WSJ which was an interview with PwC U.S. Chairman Tim Ryan.  Great read!  The article basically touches on the efforts of Mr. Ryan to force leadership and all employees into discussion about race relationships within the organization as well as a focus on diversity.  These efforts were born out of tragedy after Botham Jean, a 26-year-old PricewaterhouseCoopers senior associate, was shot to death by an off-duty police officer while watching football in his Dallas apartment.  The article / interview goes deeper into the efforts of PwC to focus on diversity at the cultural level as well as institute employee empowerment programs designed to sharpen the skillset of employees.

Tim Ryan: CEO - PwC
It was a great read but left me feeling like something was missing… like Ryan and PwC were falling short.  I’ll explain shortly. 

I like the fact PwC leadership decided to support and promote discussions about race and diversity.  They also did so on an internal level where the focus was truly about the employees and the company culture.  It was established as an opportunity for the people from all levels of PwC to learn about each other and understand different perspectives. Simply having diversity focus is more than just hiring diversity; its sharing a diverse culture.  PwC gets this. 

In an article written for the Harvard Business Review, David Thomas and Robin Ely noted, “…diversity goes beyond increasing the number of different identity-group affiliations on the payroll to recognizing that such an effort is merely the first step in managing a diverse workforce for the organization’s utmost benefit. Diversity should be understood as the varied perspectives and approaches to work that members of different identity groups bring….  Women, Hispanics, Asian Americans, African Americans, Native Americans—these groups and others outside the mainstream of corporate America don’t bring with them just their “insider information.” They bring different, important, and competitively relevant knowledge and perspectives about how to actually do work—how to design processes, reach goals, frame tasks, create effective teams, communicate ideas, and lead. When allowed to, members of these groups can help companies grow and improve by challenging basic assumptions about an organization’s functions, strategies, operations, practices, and procedures. And in doing so, they are able to bring more of their whole selves to the workplace and identify more fully with the work they do, setting in motion a virtuous circle.” 

So Mr. Ryan got this one right.  He not only works on bridging a gap of understanding between different races and cultures; he does so at the employee-to-senior management levels, establishing a true culture that focuses on the heart of diversity; diversity in thought and focus on true differences and how these can be celebrated, shared and embraced.  Though it took a tragedy to spark this conversation at such a level, the result is a win for the people and culture of PwC.

An article in Chief Executive Magazine published a story on his efforts to address diversity and inclusion and noted the following.  “Ryan didn’t just take stock of where PwC was in the area of diversity and inclusion, he looked at the business world at large. What he saw was a lot of room for improvement. A lot of companies went the safe route and didn’t scratch the surface. As such, Ryan helped launch CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion in 2017, an initiative aimed at getting CEOs to advance diversity and inclusion initiatives at their companies.  More than 550 CEOs have signed the organization’s diversity pledge since last year and many led their companies in December’s “Day of Understanding,” where employees convened to discuss bias in the workplace. CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion has also published more than 450 best practices and already had three closed door/CEO only meetings on how they can expand and improve diversity and inclusion efforts across the business community.

I also liked Mr. Ryan’s thinking and comments about wanting people to be with PwC in both mind and body, and as such not only promote the discussion of inclusion and diversity but also focus on "upskilling"; putting in place programs to develop skills and foster personal growth for the employees.  Mr. Ryan’s move not only does the obvious “saw sharpening” to increase employee production; he presents programs to assist those who don’t have the skills necessary to advance where others climb freely… programs which can narrow the chasm of developed skill sets which exists between races (a point of merit in the discussion of “white privilege” and systematic minority suppression).  

As noted by Mr. Ryan in his WSJ interview, “To win the war for talent, part of the proposition has to be, ’Come for our culture, come for your career growth opportunities, come because you’re going to be constantly invested in to make sure you stay relevant.”  Successful organizations understand this and are acting accordingly.  Employee Engagement at its finest.  BRAVO PwC!

Understand… PwC is not alone regarding employee engagement.  Employee engagement is definitely on the rise.  A recent Gallup poll published in August 2018 noted three undeniable trends and facts:
  • 34% of U.S. workers are engaged, tying highest in Gallup's history
  • "Actively disengaged" percentage is down to 13%, a new low
  • Engagement is highly related to positive business outcomes

So what was missing?  THE NEXT STEP!  

In many industries, there is a serious lack of diversity in senior leadership though there are many organizations within these industries promoting diversity in hiring practices, cultural awareness and assimilation, and employee training and skill development.  

Here is a statistic for you:   According to a recent publication produced by BCG, “Among Fortune 500 CEOs at the time of publication, only 24 are women (less than 5% of the total), only three are black, and only three are openly gay, including just one lesbian…. Most company leaders—primarily white, heterosexual males—still underestimate the challenges diverse employees face. These leaders control budgets and decide which diversity programs to pursue. If they lack a clear understanding of the problem, they can’t design effective solutions.

Diversity in leadership is a necessity!  There is also true value in ensuring diversity in leadership roles.  The Ladders recently published an article by Sharon E. Jones which focused on the value of diversity in leadership and link in senior leadership diversity to greater financial returns.  Some of the major benefits noted were…
  • Diverse teams produce better solutions to complex problems; 
  • Diversity in leadership can help with retention of diverse staff
  • Diverse leaders can serve as mentors and sponsors to diverse professionals and others and build multi-cultural competencies within the organization

Her conclusion: "One of the best investments that a company can make is to be intentional about increasing the diversity in leadership by recruiting, retaining, and promoting diverse professionals."  And she is dead-on!

So what about the board room?  PwC’s 2018 Annual Corporate Directors Survey shows that directors are listening more, learning more and engaging more. One of the top findings from the survey - "Board diversity has been a hot topic for years, and directors seem to be getting the message. Most recognize the value that diversity adds. Nearly all agree that it brings unique perspectives to the boardroom, and the majority say it enhances board performance. Most also say diversity improves relationships with investors—those who have been strong supporters of it. While 91% of directors say their boards are taking steps to increase diversity, many directors seem cynical: more than half say board diversity efforts are driven by political correctness. And nearly half think shareholders are too preoccupied with the topic. Some also hint that it’s just a “check-the-box” exercise."

Herein lies the heart of the problem. 

So my question to Mr. Ryan – “Do you value diversity in leadership? Does your board?  

PwC Board Of Directors:  
  • 20 Members.  
  • 15 White Men
  • 5 White Women
  • No minorities
Where is the diversity? It looks like PwC didn’t even check the box!

And don’t get me wrong… I am not attacking Mr. Ryan for the lack of diversity on the PwC Board.  I applaud Mr. Ryan for championing the issue and forcing C-level executives and senior management to face the issue.  He didn’t chose his board; they chose him.  In a perfect world, the PwC board would reflect the goals of diversity Mr. Ryan preaches (and practices).  If more leaders address diversity issues like Mr. Ryan has, this will happen in  time. 

So if diversity in leadership should be a goal for all organizations to strive for, how do we ensure we not only establish programs that discuss diversity and foster employee development but also shape tomorrows leaders… tomorrows senior leadership? Tomorrow’s Boards?  There must be a focus on 1- ensuring a diverse senior leadership team and board of directors, and 2- developing and implementing leadership development programs for the workforce in preparation for tomorrow’s senior leadership roles.  

Though there is a definite difference in the skill sets and core competencies possessed by senior leadership, management and the employee work force, there are many employees joining organizations at the entry level who possess the core competencies needed to be an exceptional leader.  They are the diamond in the rough of the company human capital pool.  However, prior to joining the organization, they may not have experienced the opportunities to develop their skill sets or show what they can accomplish.  They go un-noticed with their potential untapped.  Organizations who truly want to reach diversity milestones must consider instituting leadership programs designed to identify and develop diverse senior leadership from within!  IT is more than just developing talent into successful and productive team members . It is about effectively growing a diverse group of leaders from within... Leaders of tomorrow who get the company culture of diversity and the benefits it brings for the entire organization!

Let’s see Mr. Ryan take this on as well.  Maybe others will follow. 


WSJ Article: “This Boss Is Making Race Relations a Business Matter: PWC’s U.S. chief talks about discussing race, gun violence and justice with employees after a colleague was shot by a police officer”  Published March 13, 2019.  By Vanessa Fuhrmans.  Website Source:

For more information on PwC Chairman Tim Ryan:

Boston Consulting Group (BCG): Article – “Fixing the Flawed Approach to Diversity”,  Published JANUARY 17, 2019.  Authors Matt Krentz , Justin Dean , Jennifer Garcia-Alonso , Frances Brooks Taplett , Miki Tsusaka, and Elliot Vaughn.  Website Source:

SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) Website:  Article “Development Employee Career Paths and Ladders”.  Author Unknown.  Date Published Unknown.  Website Source:

Gallup:  “Employee Engagement on the Rise in the US”; By Jim Harter.  Aug 26, 2018.  Website Source:

Forbes: “How To Lead The Push For Diversity in the Workplace”, by Monica Thakrar; June 9, 2017.  Website Source:

Harvard Business Review. “Making Differences Matter: A New Paradigm for Managing Idversity”.  By David A. Thomas and Robin J. Fly.  Sept-Oct 1996 Issue.  Website Source:

The Ladders.  “The Value of Diversity In Leadership Roles”, by Sharon E. Jones.  November 12, 2018. Website Source:

PwC United States.  “The Evelving Boardroom: Signs of Change”.  PwC’s 2018 Annual Corporate Directors Survey.  Website Source:

Chief Executive.  “Why PwC Chairman Tim Ryan’s Top Priority is Diversity And Race”.  By Gabriel Perna.  Jan 9, 2019.  Website Source:

PwC Board of Directors Website Source: