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My Interview with Rhetoric

20141123_135926Me: So should I call you Rhet or Rick?

Rhetoric:  That’s pretty funny.  What else you got?

Me: Or maybe Dick? 

Rhetoric: Some might call me that.  But you can call me bombastic, magniloquence, pomposity, verbosity or hot air – like in balloon.  I’m high flyin’ BAYBEEEEE!  

Me: Excuse me  if I’m curt, but you seem out of control lately.

Rhetoric:  Whatever it takes baby!   Or Curt…whatever you like

Me: Whatever it takes?

Rhetoric: Winner take all.

Me: But at what expense?

Rhetoric: Not my concern.  My job is to deliver the goods.  May the best persuader win.

Me: So you have an endless stream of believers, followers, practitioners?

Rhetoric:  Don’t forget college professors.  And yes, even the most reasonable and ethical people cave to my charms – once, of course, they get a taste of power.

Me: So you and power are buddy buddy?

Rhetoric: Bet your ass.  And argument, coercion, influence, murder, mayhem, war, mass destruction…guns and roses.  You know, the usual suspects.

Me: You like to up the ante?

Rhetoric: Always.  Why not?  I can’t lose.  I’m playing both sides – one against the other.  Throw in another party or extremist group.  More the merrier.

Me: Do you ever care who wins?

Rhetoric:  Not really.  But usually the one that’s best at persuasion or coercion wins the presentation…or election or whatever.

Me: If you had to convince people to tone it down, how would you influence them?

Rhetoric.  Something like this….Let’s face it people.  You’ve been duped by those who are pushing all your emotional buttons to override your brains and get what they want from you.   The good new is, you can change all that.  Here’s what you need to do – find out the facts, share truthful information, keep your tone reasonable and aim to be honest and fair with others….NOT!

Me: Had me going there for a minute.

Rhetoric: That’s what I do man.  I get people going.  Where they end up, well that’s their f-ing problem.

My Interview with Reason


Note: Over the years I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing many well-known people. Recently I sat down with a more timeless figure for a brief interview, as follows:

Me: You seem to be taking a lot of “hits” these days.  Are you the most abused the major voices?

Reason:  Well, you can’t trump emotion.  Pun intended.  But it’s always been that way.  People are moved by fear or greed more than reason.

Me: So you are boring?

Reason:  Well, to some.  All the logical, analytical, thinking people like me.  But they only make up about 20% of the population globally

Me: But doesn’t everyone say, “Let’s be reasonable” or “That doesn’t make sense” from time to time?

Reason: When it suits them.  When they don’t like what another person or party is saying.  It’s a convenient way to TRY and negotiate back to square one.

Me: So, what are your values?

Reason:  My values?

Me: Yes, what’s most important to you?

Reason:  “Just the facts, mam” (jokingly).  I mean, really, facts, figures, statistics – truth.

Me: Do you have a life?

Reason: Yes, I’m dating an algorithm – who KNOWS how to push my buttons, if you know what I mean. (winks)

Me: So you’re not totally boring?

Reason:  If you look at many of the great teachings and speeches over the course of history, they all have some aspect of reason.

Me: Of course.

Reason: I’m really behind everything.  Either as a reason, or an attempt to be reasonable or efforts to establish credibility and trust with others.

Me: But still outgunned?

Reason: By a long shot.  I would estimate 80% of the global population follows, buys, votes and otherwise acts on impulse, power or emotions like guilt – rather than reason.  And that’s a fact jack! (grins)

Me: But you are one of the main voices of influence.  Those being warning, inspiration, encouragement… and reason.   Certainly you see yourself as influential?

Reason:  Certainly.   I already have my place in the historical voice and printed word hall of fame.  Glad of that.  At least I don’t HAVE to work so hard anymore.

Me:  But there IS work to do?

Reason:  Absolutely.  And I will never quit trying to help people understand the facts, the truth, what makes sense.  I can’t help myself.  I’m just made that way.

Me: Who do you think will be the next president?

Reason:  I have no good reason to speculate on THAT topic.

My Interview with Civility

20141125_100700 (1)Over the year’s I’ve interviewed many well-known people.  Recently I met with a more timeless figure at The Willard Hotel in Washington D.C. for a brief interview, as follows:

Me: You’ve dropped out of sight in recent years, especially in America. What’s going on with you?

Civility: I’m freaking tired. The B.S. is getting old. People don’t give a darn about anything except themselves or their side any longer.

Me: Wow, didn’t expect that response. Is that normal for you?

Civility: It’s a new normal. Everywhere you go people are angry, cursing and foul-mouthed about everything. Just trying to fit in during this “modern age.” (sardonic grin)

Me: And that part about being tired and things getting old. Most of us would suspect you are both eternal and eternally patient. No?

Civility: Well, one out of two ain’t bad. I am eternal. Not so sure about the patient part. I’ve had it up to here with humans.

Me: Reminds me of a book I read about burnout. That highly idealistic people give, give and give. And when there’s no return or reward on their efforts they “burn out.”

Civility: Sound about right. I mean we’re talking thousands of years. Sure, I was born special. But I figured humans would’ve evolved by now with all the lessons from history and teachings from every conceivable discipline about how to treat each other.

Me: America – the world – definitely needs you Superman. When will you return from your “fortress of solitude?”

Civility: Maybe never. And it’s not like I’m cooped up. I’m free to roam the planet watching people, parties and nations and taking in all the absurdity.

Me: And what if people, you know – doom themselves?

Civility: Well, as we discussed, I’m eternal – so no skin off my nose. And, as you can imagine, patience would no longer be an issue for me. (smiles)

Me: So what would you do with yourself then?

Civility: Probably listen to a lot of Three Dog Night. I like that song about Jeremiah was a Bullfrog. You know, “Joy to the world. All the boys and girls now. Joy to the fishes….”

Personal Motivation & Professional Relevance, Part 3

Staying relevant is your other full-time job…

Rich Drinon Leadership Communication

SDS presentation-creationProfessional Relevance       

Staying relevant in this day and age has become a full-time job.  Because technology is constantly evolving and it touches every area of your life it is essential that you learn to think and act in new ways in several arenas.  And, as a leader, it’s important for you to stay relevant in relation to your position.

Know Your Self

By participating in this series you’ve probably learned many important things about yourself.  What you know about self gives you a good frame of reference from which to plan, act and improve.  Some of the key areas of self-knowledge forming that frame of reference are:

Personality & Preferences

Knowing your behavioral style and which things come easily for your or which take more effort gives you an idea of where to best focus your talent or self-improvement energies.

History: Past, Present & Future

What have…

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Personal Motivation & Professional Relevance, Part 2

Turn your verbal skills inward…

Rich Drinon Leadership Communication

SDS presentation-creationDeveloping Your Internal Coach

You’ve coached others to success through careful instruction, correction and positive affirmation.  Now it’s time for you to turn that approach inward.  You’ve helped others see themselves in new and favorable light.  Now it’s time for you to become your own coach and do likewise – for you!  Some key levels of self coaching are:

  • Results
  • Behaviors
  • Attitudes
  • Self Coaching


Right now there are areas in your life where you are pleased with the results – and areas in which you are not.  Those results could include achieving goals in the workplace, having a better home life or making friends with others.


In the same way an athlete’s performance on the field determines his or her results on a consistent basis, so does your behavior dictate the results you achieve.  You’ve heard the saying, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always…

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Personal Motivation & Professional Relevance, Part 1

What you say to others is important. What you say to yourself is equally so.

Rich Drinon Leadership Communication

SDS presentation-creationMost humans develop their initial thoughts and feelings about life from external sources of learning, influence and motivation.   These sources usually include parents, peers and personal heroes.  At some point one begins to make up his or her own mind about what to believe in regards to society, the work world and self.  This article examines external influences, personal motivation and professional relevance and suggests ways the leader can take more deliberate control over his or her development and results.

External Influences – For Better or Worse

Perhaps you were told certain positive things about yourself at a young age because you showed an interest, inclination or basic ability in a certain area such as math, science, sports or music.  Or perhaps everyone commented on how humorous you were or good with people.  As a result you enthusiastically developed along these lines and gained greater skill, accomplishment and perhaps recognition. …

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Resolving Conflict

Reasonable approach. Basic steps. But oh so hard to manage and master…

Rich Drinon Leadership Communication

SDS presentation-creationConflict happens! And when it does, the leader must be prepared to address issues between parties.  Some leaders have a low tolerance for confrontation and avoid intervening in conflict between followers.  They take the attitude, “The issue will work itself out.” Others are quick to squelch disagreement between parties by discouraging contention but not helping the individuals resolve issues.  In this case, issues linger below the surface and may be displayed through less overt skirmishes or passive – aggressive behaviors.  By being proactive, a leader can address conflict and resolve issues before they spread like a virus or escalate to war.

Conflict is a natural part of working and living with others. Sometimes conflict is positive, bringing to light different ideas, strategies and methods for conducting business.  Positive conflict can generate a creative or competitive tension that makes an organization dynamic.  Conflict can also be negative. When the competition between…

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