<[Bill Leach 940412.19:52 EST(EDT)]
[Bill Powers (940411.0739 MDT)]
...people don't need to know WHY their actions succeed in controlling
their perceptions. As Rick has said periodically, even when they do
wonder why, they supply their own answers and are satisfied that they
People generally don't need to know why their actions succeed. They need
to know why their actions fail or don't succeed all of the time. Not
everyone will ask, not everyone that asks will find out and even of those
few that do, not all will adjust their goal accordingly... but there will
be some and there are quite a few asking.
There is a built-in conflict between understanding PCT and the
interests of anyone in a commerical establishment. The entire
structure of the commercial world is built on the control of one
person by another: the ability of one person to say, "Here is the ...
This in itself is a perception and one that is not in my opinion fully
correct. It is my opinion that the educational institutions not only do
not understand the principles of "free enterprise" but are even
responsible in large measure for the morass that exists today.
company that you will tip the balance in their favor -- and by the
very nature of the business world, you can't make this a general
promise, because if everyone used your services most of them would
still lose the competition.
And the "seeds" of the misunderstanding rest in the implications of the
preceding statement, in my opinion. The problem is, again in my opinion,
that "free enterprise" is automatically assummed to mean that there are
only winners and loosers. In our simplistic view of business
competition, we assume that there will be only one product that will be
successful and therefore all other loose. This is and always has been an
absurd assertion based upon total ignorance of observed and observable
Even in the greed driven, greed glorified, over-regulated, corrupt, and
possessions centered economic system that we have today it is still
almost impossible to find 50% of the people agree on anything much less
what they are going to buy next!
Now the above does not in any way attempt to deny the "reality" that a
PCT approach must face in the business world today. It is necessary that
there are people in business that do not like the way that they seem to
have to do business. Many business people still look to symbols of
excellence such a Hewlett-Packard (which is a shadow of its' former self)
and say they were "doing things right", why can't we operate as they did?
Where in all this are you teaching managers how to be firm, how to make
the tough hire-and-fire decisions, how to put the company's survival
ahead of mere personal problems, how to be nasty when the situation
calls for it?
This is a tough question and I too will be interested in hearing any
answer that Dag may have for you. However, as I see it, the answer is in
the "life models" or "life standards". There are a number of "standards"
that each of us set. Most of these standards have priorities to relate
them to each other.
If one believe that when one accepts the money of another to do a job,
such as accepting the "stockholders" money to run a company, a whole set
of living standards come into play. Is it right for me to allow an
employee to, in the purest sense, steal from those that have invested in
the company? If that person steals property or assets from the company
the question is quite clear but if the person "steals" by accepting money
from these people without doing the work that they promised that they
would do, is that really any less ethical?
A very serious problem that we have in the world today and particularly
the United States is that THE LAW literally allows people to steal from
their employers without recourse. This is an abomination! This problem
is very real but it is not any more or less a "PCT problem" than is any
What PCT ultimately offer these problems is the same thing that it
offers every other problem... a means to work out a solution. A solution
that is not based upon "wives tales", mysticism or other malarky.
There really are people that are "working" in jobs that they really
should not be trying to do but neither they nor their employer know or at
least have any idea why this is true.
...question, whether overtly or not, the very justfication for the way
the business is run from the ground up; you're questioning its very
reason for being. ...
... Why should ten companies compete to sell the greatest
amount of essentially the same product? Why should companies try to
create an ever-increasing demand for things that in themselves are ...
Why indeed? I don't doubt that the principles taught by PCT call into
question the very structure of most business but then PCT is not the only
thought that is and has been doing just that.
Why should a company strive incessantly to be Number One?
Because it is probably human nature to attempt to excell.
Why should it strive to put other companies out of business?
Well, this one I have to answer again... Why indeed? Greed maybe?
Why, in short, should companies behave in a way which, if found in the
behavior of your neighbor, would be considered psychotic?
Eloquent but not relevant to the question.
You are trying to teach PCT to people who were raised from the
cradle to think that money, power, and prestige are the most
important things in life, and who have been taught since Junior
Little League that if you don't get to the top of the heap, you are
nothing. You are dealing with the products of an educational system
that teaches competition as a virtue almost every minute of every
day, and with inhabitants of a social system which admires violent
combat -- but only the winners. You're trying to sell PCT to those
As usual, Bill's cuts right to the essence of a problem. Indeed, the
blame does rest primarily with the educational system. They have had
ample help from the media and they seem to feed each other.
"Competition is a virtue" but when? and more importantly, when is it not?
I suspect that the really only good "competition" is competition with
oneself and that this holds for business as well. Compeating to be the
best at something is in itself good. Having a society that say that a
Nancy Carrigan (for example) is a "has been" because she ONLY placed
second is a horrible problem.
A "bleeding-heart liberal" is one that does not believe that people are
responsible for their behaviour or at least should not be held
accountable. I personally do not see where PCT can be used to assert
that people should not be responsible for their behaviour... if anything,
PCT seems to assert more strongly than ever that they ARE responsible.
OTOH, PCT can very well show all of us where we may be responsible for
problems that others are having though are own behaviour and I'll will
admit, that is a frightening concept!
PCT will appeal to companies in which everyone from the CEO on down
is ready for the therapist's couch: not Fortune 500 companies, but
companies teetering on the brink of total failure. You can't save ...
I tend to agree that you are at least partly right here. However, I
again assert that companies ARE spending fortunes to try to discover the
"secret" to success. Almost all of the "modern" management "tricks" that
are being proposed have some success but they all fail to be THE secret.
I believe that possibly PCT teaches what works, why and maybe most
important of all, how to properly measure the success of any efforts in
PCT is no more the panacea for management problems than the model is a
complete working model of the human brain.
Virtually ALL human actions that result from volition are a result of an
almost(?) unimaginable amount processing. Even the act of choosing
something to eat is complex beyond belief in its' detail, much less
something involving a "work" decision.
It is completely naive if one believes that a PCT based approach will
"remove" all business obstacles. There are still "con-men" (con-persons
in "newspeak"?), liars, thieves and cheats AND there always will be.
People with fundamentally different fundamental life standards will
likely always have trouble "getting along", PCT notwithstanding.
Finally, I want to take another shot at the educational system and those
that believe that the "American System" is fundamentally flawed. To
start with the "so called American System" of economics that we have
today is NOT the American System, it is rather the British Mercantile
System... the so called "free trade" system.
A really serious assault on the American System was partially successful
following the assination of Lincoln. The conversion to the mercantile
system was essentially complete by the end of the "great depression" but
"momentum" has kept parts of it in operation even to this day.
The Mecantile IS based upon force control. The American Free Enterprise
system is not based upon control but rather upon the PREVENTION of
control. The idea being that if there is no outside control besides
customers and clients free to exercise their own choices for WHATEVER
REASONS THEY THEMSELVES CHOOSE, then the business that serves this
interest best will succeed best. Though the consumers reasons for making
a descision have been greatly discussed and "researched" it was fully
expected by the brilliant men that conceived this system, that the
consumers would indeed consider such things as how a business treated
their own employees.
Given a true American Free Enterprise system, it is likely that the
company that did indeed treat their employees as living control system
would be the most successful.
Another point worth mentioning is that this system that is "so unhuman"
per the teachings of almost 100% of the educators in this country is the
very same system that created a standard living that has consistently
kept the vast majority of American living in comfort that even the
wealthy of the rest of the world often have had difficulty maintaining.
It is this same "decrepit" system that raised the average lifespan for
Americans to the point where "old age" deseases have had the opportunity
to become the new limits to life.