Excerpt from the Book Interview " A Portrait of a Consultant"
An In-depth Interview with Joseph Anthony Miceli
by Dr. Salvatore Campanella
In "A Portrait of a Consultant", Dr. Salvatore Campanella has drawn a picture of a J.A.M. a business advisor, companies manager - in an unexpected and unique way.
It is a in-depth portrait of a person who is always on the move and in touch with business issues around the world managing companies.
Campanella takes us inside the personal life of a person who isn't accustomed to talk about himself; more likely, with others. This is not a work of fiction, even though one will find deep emotional moments. The answers are sincere and without restriction.
Campanella is successful in demonstrating to us all the sides of an Advisor's life. No question remains unanswered and no topic nor issue remains hidden.
This book is full o f memories, principle and anecdotes. Each is like a stroke of a brush that reveals different varieties of colors and textures. The expressions in Latin, Greek, and Italian finish the painting.
Campanella's book/interview is for all those who may have known Joseph Miceli, but never had the opportunity to learn about him or the chance to inquire further. It is also an important tool to help those who are searching for an Advisor, advocate, problem-solver, a successful company's manager.
This book can be used by young advisor as a valuable guide to learn all the essential qualities and principles necessary to become an accomplished Advisor.
His Personal Life
SC: Good Morning Mr. Miceli. Before we begin, I wish to state how happy I am to have this opportunity to interview you.
JAM: Good morning.
SC: Shall we begin?
SC: I believe it would be best if we could start with some general questions about your personality.
JAM: We, I hope not too personal. (He smiles with a mix of innocence and also experience)
SC: My first general question would be: In your own words, can you explain exactly who you are?
JAM: I can answer that in a few short words, but the explanation may be detailed. You see, I am a life-time-learner. As a matter of fact, I am still learning. My life has always been driven by curiosity. Since I was a little "bambino" (child) growing up on Sicily Island. I was fortunate because the surrounding environment helped me to develop my curiosity. Just north of my house, there is "the valley of the Greek temples" with the Greek ruins of the old Greek town of Akrakas, (currently the town of Agrigento); to the east is the house of Luigi Pirandello, the famous writer who won the Nobel Prize in Literature; to the west lies the "scala dei turchia" (the Turkish stairs) which is a white hill by the shore shaped like stairs that served as a gate for the invasion of the Ottoman Empire in Sicily; facing south, there is Mediterranean sea that irradiated my heart with the reflection of the light from the splendid Sicilian sun. Every day for ten years, me dear father used to drop me off at the local Public Library which was al old prison tower built by the Spanish at the time of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies by King Charles V. During that timers a child, my father would delight me with the Greek mythologies, in particular "The odyssey" by Homer. He would encourage me to open a book, to attempt new things and to explore life and the world around me. I learned about love and hate. I studied history of the world and about its creation; astronomy, chemistry and physics. Mathematical problems used to amuse me. I would dream of being one of the heroes in many battles and wishing one day that perhaps I would face one myself. I learned how cruel Humanity can be against its own kind. Even though, from Seneca, I leaned that the most important thing for humanity is humanity itself. I had read allot of books, searching for all kinds of answers. Many a time, I arrive at an answer only when I became an adult.
I am a religious man, but at the same time, I am a man of science. I love Mechanic and the Arts. I cannot hide the fact that sometimes I get emotional from the joy of staring at a painting or at sculpture. My desire to increase my knowledge accelerated the first time traveled aboard abet Plan, once again with my dear father. I realize that I could visit distant places and meet people far different from myself. Travel allows me to experience, vis-a-vis everything that I leaned beforehand and with that travel, each lesson come back to life.
Please allow me one more thought. Do not the impression that one can learn everything from books. It is necessary to experience life in her fullness and not by stepping back when life tries you. In my life, I saw many people who lost the battle with their own life. Begging others to flight their battles for them; they are less of a person. Not just in Society's eyes, but in the eyes of God, whomever that might be for them. We have an obligation to live our life and learn it's lessons. Not everyone needs answers to such questions like, where do we come from ? Why are we here? Or where are we going as a race? Not experiencing life is like going to a movie theater a falling asleep during the movie; or going to a library and not opening a single book. Think about the awe, the happiness and the change the caveman experienced when he first discover fire. Picture his face when he set the woods around his cave on fire; or when he understands that in order to hunt a Woolf Mammoth, he need the assistance of others. You need to experience happiness and sorrow; the sweet and sour of life. Go through the grievance process; the glory and the defeat. The most fascinating task is to understand people's behavior and find out what is inside their soul. Problem-solving scholars tend to narrow their foresight in dealing with other people's problems including their money problems. I believe that people's personal issues generate their money problems. The first book I read as child, "the little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery" has allots to do with my attitude, since reading the book made me looking forward to the next challenge; not missing an opportunity to learn. "Uber Alles" (above all things) Life is a learning experience.
SC: Wow ! Can I expect such detail to all my questions?
JAM: That depends. Do you wish to learn more about me?.
SC: Are you happy?
JAM: at all the time
SC: How can that be?
JAM: because I decide it so. I choose between being happy and being miserable. I can see "la bellezza della vita " everywhere.
SC: Ah, yes the beauty of life. I thought that was only when it came to women.
JAM: yes, that too.
SC: What is your religion?
JAM: (he raises his right hand in devoutness and clearly states) Catholic, Roman Catholic.
SC: Do you pray?
JAM: Yes, Often.
SC: May I ask what prayer does for you?
JAM: when people pray, the seem to ask God to let or not let something happen. Prayer doesn't change God's position on the issue. No, not at all. Prayer changes you ! And for the better if you let it!
SC: What is the one lesson that you learned in childhood that still inspired you to this day?
JAM: One of the greatest lessons I learned in my life originates from the Greek Epic The Iliad, by Homer. You know, the Trojan Horse sorry. From it, I have learned not to just question people when they "bare gifts", but also to be skeptic and diffident to the numbers, stories, assumptions or any other version of the apparent truth. This makes me able to be aware at all times to what is going on around me. Some may think this is critical, but in my line of work, one must be vigilant. The Trojan Horse story has been for me a major factor in my life.
SC: Has there ever been a mentor in your life?
JAM: Some special people have had an enormous effect upon my life. Me first mentor at early stage of my life was Rosa Schembri. She was my grandmother. She guided me thorough history and narrated events she had witnessed in first person. Her stories were always enlightening. She taught me the virtue of patience and the dignity of simplicity. From her I learned to be coherent. She was the first person to teach me the integrity of the word. She taught me with her example love.
The other great mentor of my life and the dearest to my heart was my father Ernesto. From him I learned the greatest lesson of my life - to be honest. My father possessed a noble heart and a gentle soul. He was been unable to betray anyone. He worshiped his parents, brothers ad sisters. He dedicated his life to his wife ad children.
My father was a giant and I never personally knew it at the time. I had to discover it later on in life. He used to carry me on his shoulders. My father was like a lighthouse; from closeup, you would think it was a small light, but from far away, he still provided enough light to guide me throughout my life. " Sit tibi terra levis" (may the ground be light to you).
SC: What do you consider the best opportunity in your life?
JAM: the best opportunity in my life so far came to me while I was experience bad time.
SC: I don't understand. One of your best opportunities was while life was bad?
JAM: Yes, let me explain. Most humans are using bad events or awful circumstances in life as a defense mechanism. We like to look for a scapegoat. We find excuses and alibis to justify our actions and mitigate our failures. It is a desperate strategy to plea for forgiveness in the eyes of others. Instead of taking full responsibility of our actions. I believe in the end, we are not just responsible for the things we have done, but also for the things we have not done!
In life, you choose if you want o is the victim of circumstance or if you want to be the beneficiary. I personally choose the latter. I learned from my uncle who spent time at Mauthausen "arbeit Kamp" (Concentration Camp) during World War II. While he was there in the company of four Jewish doctors, he was able to learn everything about medicine. Being the beneficiary was one of him most important lessons. In the end, he went on to become a medical doctor himself.
Each problem in life comes with gifts. It is up to us to take advantage of these gifts.
SC: Do you ever get embarrassed?
JAM: hardly ever and this is why. To me, embarrassment is the response of a person who still has an ego invested in how others see him and I cannot afford that.
SC:So, you saying that your ego never gets in the way?
JAM: That's what you are saying.
SC: DO you have a motto that you are inspired by?
JAM: Yes, I do. " quod iubes et iube quod vis"
SC: You mean "give what you command and command what you give?" That's Saint Augustine, is it not?
JAM: Your Latinis good, and Yes you are correct. I believe the motto is self-explanatory and there is no need to go further with details.
SC: Have you ever hurt anyone in your life?
JAM: My life is marked by continued mistakes, bad decisions and even shameful behavior. Some choice are worse than others, and many of them are the source of unforgivable acts. I never waste the opportunity to apologize to anyone whom I may hart at one time or another in my life.
SC: In your own word, can you define friendship?
JAM: To me, friendship is the cornerstone of humanity. It is an endless source of opportunies. When you experience true friendship, you experience AGAPE (pronounced AH-ga-pay). Agape is the unselfish unconditional love one has for another.
SC:Do you follow any rules in life?
JAM: a few simple rules I follow that makes my life easier and more effective are as such: no gossiping; you are only wasting your time. In English, you use the common word "rumor" and in Italian is "rumore" and that means noise. So no gossiping or spreading rumors. For easy entertainment, watch T.V. or read a good novel. Make no assumptions. This can make life a living hell. Do not take whatever is said personally. This avoids all unnecessary suffering. Never, compare yourself with others. You will always find people who are less fortunate or better off than yourself. And, last but not least, always remember how sacred the integrity of your word really is.
SC: is there is any place on Earth that hold a special meaning for you?
JAM: Yes, that would have to be "Terra Santa" Do you know where that is ?
SC:I am not sure... it's either the Vatican or Jerusalem. No, NO. Of course it's the "Holy Land" Jerusalem.
SC: Can you honestly tell me what your dreams is in life?
JAM: My dream? Well, I've shared this with others before and I would be proud to share it with you now. My inspiration comes from the great Andrew Carnegie, who dedicated the first half of his life making money. My dream, like Mr. Carnegie, is to give everything away in the second half of my life.
SC: Are you rich?
JAM: Wealth is in the mind; Love is in the heart.
SC: Are you always so peaceful?
JAM: I am very peaceful and tranquil man. Calmness and tranquility are a blessing. Remember that circumstance do not make the man, they reveal him.
SC:what is your favorite soundtrack?
JAM: Like everyone else, I have many songs that I attach to a moment or event in my life. The true soundtrack of my life has been and always will be the Opera. Opera has been a source of inspiration to me. It has taught me allot about life and the human condition. I love to bring a guest to Teatro for the first time so that they can experience the power and beauty of the opera.
SC: what is you favorite aria?
JAM: Lucevan le stelle from la Tosca or Cavalleria Rusticana, in it there is a line that I dedicate to the love of my life. It goes, "if when I die, and I am going to heaven, if you are not there, I refuse to go inside".
SC: For the reaming questions of this section, I want the reader to acquaint them self with your personal preferences. For instance, what is your favorite car?
JAM: Old Fiat 500, that car is attached to all my childhood memories.
SC:Your favorite ice-cream?
JAM: Halzenut, but not any brand. Only the one made by a little kiosk owner in the middle of the Mediterranean sea - who is the guardian of an old family recipe. I remember the long walks I used to take with my father on every Sunday afternoon; eating gelato, smelling the scent of the harbor remembering the pleasure of racing the lighthouse holding my father's hand.
SC: Your favorite artist?
JAM: really? Do you have an easier questions? Perhaps you would rather have me a do a Postmortem diagnosis ? I mean really...
SC:Your favorite book?
JAM: The Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens
SC: last book you read?
JAM: The collected stores by Paul Theroux.
SC: what is your favorite actor/actress? And movie?
JAM: My favorite American actor is Spencer Tracy. My favorite Italian actor, without a doubt is Marcello Mastroianni. Best actress and academy award winner is Anna Magnani, sorry Sophia. But the best movie for me ever is "it is a wonderful life" made by the great Sicilian movie director Frank Capra. In fact, my favorite line in the movie is the phrase spoken by George Bailey's brother near the end of the film. It goes " to my big brother George, the richest man in town!" those riches were more than money.
SC:Who is your most admire Political figure from the past?
JAM: On March 1, 1815, a small British vessel docked in a small town on the French Riviera. A solitary figure stepped off the vessel and word went out that "Napolean is back ". He made his way through France to its capitol, Paris, and the King fled for his life. Many throughout Europe were terrified of Napoleon's power. Yet one man and one man only emerged as the Leader to stop Napoleon and him attempt to control all of Europe. Th scan allied himself with the powers of Prussia, Austria and Russia. Other countries, without question, lent this man their troops and their Commanders. This man that I admire was the Duke of Wellington. It was at the Battle of Waterloo that he made his stand. This battle was perhaps the most famous of all battles in all history. Napoleon was stopped!
SC: do you do any sport activities?
JAM:The only sport that I do is to keep up with the endless energy of my son.
SC: What do you do when you don't work?
JAM: The only reason I share this with you is to inspire others and not just to show off. Together with my wife, we volunteer in a nonprofit organization and other charity events. i encourage everybody to experience the feeling of being a volunteer; to help other is the best way to help yourself. Give away your money or your temp and don't worry, you will receive more than you give. I speak from personal experience.
SC: Your job require a lot of your time. How do you manage your life between family and work?
JAM: When I am home. I give my undivided attention to my family. I am a son, a husband, and a father. But once I am out the door of my home, I belong to my client.
SC: I notice that your office is full of flags and model airplanes, Why? Do you collect them?
JAM: I give great deal of importance to flags. It is an important symbol to many. It isn't just representing a country but it is also represents an identity for its people. It is also a way to commemorate those who gave their life away for the value of that country. Most of the flags that you see are gifts from friends and clients around the world. Some are memory of a particular trip. The airplane is the machine that helps me visit those countries in a fast and safe mode.
SC: Are you afraid to die?
JAM: What a caterpillar calls death, a butterfly calls life. I believe I will only transform myself upon my death.
SC: what about your family?
JAM: I will be with them forever !
LIFE IN GENERAL
SC: Mr. Miceli, in this section I would like to get your opinion on, very, basic, general topics that may occur or are a part of the life of all. Be prepared, because I am just going to jump feet first into this. Okay?
JAM: I'm ready. I've even brought my galoshes in case gets thick in here. (we both break out into a fit of laughter)
SC: Okay, here we go, In your opinion, what is religion?
JAM: Wow ! You do jump in then, NO? Okay... to put it general, religion is man's effort to answer the unknown.
SC: What is politics?
JAM; I tend to agree with the statement that politics is a messy way to get things done.
SC: What about your feeling about time?
JAM:That is a good question. Some measure and experience time by the Circadian Rhythm. A quite by the name of William Beckett invites us to experience an eternity in an hour. I choose not to wear a watch or timepiece. I like to measure time with an old fashioned hourglass and when the last grain of sand finally drops, I like to see what I had accomplished in that span of time. But getting back to your question, time is a very limited resource. That's why for some it is very precious. When we are born, there is not limit to how much money we will make or how much success we Weill achieves in our lives. But we have been ladened with a limited number of years, months, and days. Th more we age, the less time we have available to us. When a client presents me with a situation, most of the time it has something to do with time.The supply of time is inelastic and there is noway to extend it. We cannot store it, sap it or even exchange it. Time is perishable.
SC: Perhaps you could touch upon the notion o ideals? All people have ideals. What is your opinion of them? Are they always a good thing?
JAM: I like to quote Carl Schulz when I think about ideals. He stated : "Ideals are like stars; you will not succeed in touching them with your hands. But following them, you will reach your destiny." Ideals for many are the road map of life. Some beliefs are noble in content and I admire people who persist in following them. But in some cases, it is necessary to question ideals. To know when to question them can separate success from failure. In 1931, a future Soviet leader of the Communist Party was born. He grew up as a Communist and was exposed to all aspects of its strengths and weaknesses. Later on in life, he eventually questioned the very existence of Communism and became the icon f "Perestroika". Mikhail Gorbachev knew the time was right to question his ideals. He remains a living legend to the saying ta "Solo i cretini non cambiano idea" What? What I di just say?
SC: Only the idiots never change their ideas, no?
JAM: Yes. Correct. Mikhail Gorbachev was no idiot. He was a brave man who saw the writing on the wall. I cannot remember who wrote this but it is a powerful thought: "there is nothing more powerful than an Idea whose time has come". Mr. Gorbachev knew this thinking changed the world.
SC: I agree. It take a special kind of man to question one's ideals. But to do so, one must face one's fears. How does fear affect people's lives?
JAM: In the middle of the great depression, Franklin Delano Roosevelt faced intense challenges never before faced by a sitting United Ste President. He addressed his nation with a famous speech, written by his advisor Napoleon Hill, tat stated "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself", in my own terms, i call this the "fear principle" and it has been recognized in all aspects of life. Business history is full of entrepenuers that have realized how important it is to be "fear free". Being "fear free" allows dreams and desires to come to fruition. This is a proven fact.
SC: can being "fear free" alone motivate people?
JAM: Andrew Carnegie and Walt Disney are two good examples of successful people who knew the importance of being "fear free" and, in doing so, both had the vision to put their dreams and desire to work. All successful people share this ability to dream. This only demonstrates the truth when I quote Victor Hugo in saying, " a dream is the factory of ideas". We all have te power to transform our dreams to reality.
SC:If we all have this ability, then why do you think we need each other?
JAM: Lao-Tzu write and I paraphrase, that if you want to go fast, go alone - but if you want to fo far, go with others. Many times we feel our dreams can only be accomplished by ourselves. When I encourage people to seek alliances, acquisitions and to interact more with others, I get the same response: go with others? With who? Strangers? Foreigners? Once more, I quote Victor Hugo, whom I seem to be quoting constantly, " A stranger is a friend I met yet".
SC: So basically, no one is a stranger? Are there any limits to whom you deal with?
JAM: Years ago, I ask my mentor, Rabbi Otto Rosenberg, "Rabbi, Why is Judaism on eff the oldest religions yet count only 20 million followers while Christianity is younger and counts more than 2 billion followers?" rabbi smiled at me and stated, "My dear, you have to thank your Jesus for that. Wasn't it his idea to open the religion to the gentiles?" We can learn much from this statement. Were not the gentiles the "strangers" at that time? Look at the results. 2000 years later, and Christianity has spread all over the globe. What I am saying now is Yes ... Open to the gentiles! Open to the Strangers " share your products, services and ideas with others. Look for alliances and cooperate all the time.
SC: Where do you see opportunity?
JAM: Everywhere i look? There isn't a simple piece of land on this planet that cannot offer a single opportunity, so long as one knows where to look and how to capitalize on it.
SC: I can agree with your premise that opportunity is available to all. But sometimes, what we want and what we can receive are two different things. In some cases, a compromise of some sort is necessary. In your opinion, just how important is the nature of compromise?
JAM:Very Important. You see, we live in a society where people want to settle matters the easy way. The want their cake and eat it too, to draw from an age old adage. Most people have the wrong idea about compromise. They think compromise is a "go half way" act or a "split the difference" mentality. But this is not always the case. I believe that ea case is different. As an old proverb says, "half a loafs better than no bread". But when considering the biblical story of King Solomon, the adage "half bay is worse than no bay at all" is in conflict. Compromise is an arragment that secures a short or long term outcome that best fits the needs of those involved.
SC: what is your definition of an intelligent person?
JAM: A person who can solve problems.
SC: Don't you think that Charisma is also a beneficial quality that can allow success in business?
JAM:I don't believe so. Harry Truman did not possess the power to inspire devotion nor enthusiasm from the American masses, yet he still was a very effective US President. There is a lot of important, business, and political figures that are not charismatic, and they know exactly what they can and cannot do. if others say tact I am Charismatic, I will take that as a compliment to the extent that tea enthusiasm that I produce is them is converted into positive action.
SC: You come across as an Optimistic individual. Do you consider yourself on optimistic by nature?
JAM:yes, I do. I am an optimistic but that can be a difficult thing at times. With the world we live in, when we don't know from one day to another what is going to happen to us, I still remain optimistic. An Italian author by the name of Tonino Guerra once wrote " L'ottimismo è il profumo della vita".
SC: Optimism is the scent of life. No?
JAM: Your italian is good my friend.
SC:Do you believe in coincidence?
JAM:I believe there is no such thing as coincidence. Things happen for a reason. You meet people for a reason. It is up to the individual to use such encounters for the betterment of all things. According to my good friend Robbi Otto Rosenberg, "There is nothing new under the sun". So everything has been done before, just at a different time or place.
SC: As we discuss subjects in more details, I can see you are a man of wisdom. When we deal with variuos forms of government that has been created by man over the centuries, the questions of Aristocracy arise. Do you believe in aristocracy?
JAM: the only form of Aristocracy that I believe in comes from the quote by Thomas Jefferson. He said, "There is a natural aristocracy among men, the grounds of which are talent and virtue".
SC:What is the truth?
JAM : You mean "veritas?" Now I am testing you " La verità anche se non è nota non impedisce alla verità di essere vera" Did you got this ? mister translator?
SC: The truth, even if it is unknown, doesn't stop it from being true", Am I right?
JAM: very right, my friend. To make my point, we are misguided, unfortunately, by our percepetion that can limit the understanding of truth. The truth is bigger than any one of us can idealize. the caveat with the "truth" is that sometimes we get confused by too many "looks likes", "seems" or "appears to be ". Luigi Pirandello once wrote " cosi è se vi pare" - "Thus it is, if it appear to you ".
SC: What kind of people do you dislike?
JAM: I dislike no one. I do dislike two types of behavior though, liars and the ungrateful. Let me explain. People who are liars are not living a true reality. On what level ca anyone deal with such people. Their reality is different from mine and therefore we have thus nothing in common. The ungrateful are people without a memory. The expect the benefits and demand to be a priority. They are heartless people. I say this because I believe that gratitude is the memory of the heart.
SC:Then how do you deal with a friend or family member that is hiding a misdeed'
JAM: I take the attitude that I constantly share with my son. I tell him that there is nothing he could do to make me love him any less. If a friend or family member is struggling with a dilemma and feels that he/she cannot share it, I used this phrase. From my son I get a hug and kiss. From Friends, family or other adult, most of the time I see tears.
SC: What is the "secret" for success?
JAM: First and foremost, I recommend that you do not read all those books with fancy covers that promise sucess in 24 hours, the secret of thought power or other fairy tales. The real secret of success is that there is no secret; no simple recipe for everybody. Success is an individual goal, unique to all people. Mother Theresa of Calcutta was successful in her own way. When she won the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, she was wearing a Sari and drank no champagne. When the ceremony was over, she endorsed the check, donated all the money and then traveled back to India. In other words, some people are successful because they are great artistis, famous businessmen or politicians. Other are successful in the world without big headlines or extravagant lifestyles. They are just simple folk. So. get inspired by people; get motivated with what you believe in. In the end, you are different from everybody else. Commonality is important but not determinating. You as an individual are unique and can build your success upon that. Nobody has the formula how to succeed in life, but I can tell you the formula to being a failure is trying to please everyone.
SC: Can you tell me who are the Real Poor in this world?
JAM: The answer is not based upon salary or any particular percentage. This may actually sound biblical to an extent, but I have a friend that was very poor. In fact, the only thing he did have was money..... and he a lot of it ! The real poor are those who fall down and refuse to get up; those who give up in their quest for betterment; those who just exist from day to day.
SC: How you define perfection?
JAM: "Perfection is finally attained not when there is not longer anything to add, but when there is no longer anything to take away". Those line are from Antoine De Saint*Exupery.
SC: What is the advice you can give to your children on the day they start seeking love from another?
JAM: The mother of a very good friend of mine from the South Shore of Long Island, New York after sharing a day of sailing on the Great South Bay and being received in her home as if it were mine, gave me this poem and I'd like to read it to you now: "look not for beauty nor color of skin; but look for a heart that is pure within, for beauty fades and skin grows old; but a heart that is pure shall never grow cold".
SC: Your final line about life?
JAM: Life is sacred. We need to understand that we cannot refuse to live it. Bare with me bacause I need to read this to you. "I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet." No matter how bad life is, there is always someone worse off than you. We must be able to count our blessing everyday. Sometimes that is not an easy thing to do. We may have to go to the basics like the saying states. Be happy you have 2 feet ! Life has so much to offer us if we jsut let it in! In the immortal words of Roberto Benigni, " La vita è Bella!". Life is beautiful ! no matter what !
sc: The next section will be dealing with the business aspect of your life. There may be some repeats of prior questions with, however, more emphasis on how the effect business as a whole. Shall we begin?
JAM: Please, do.
SC: Good. Okay, here we go. President, founder, director or advisor; which of these titles do you prefer the most?
JAM:Someone once asked that very same question to the famous Frank Sinatra many years ago. I will answer this question basically the same way he did. I prefer to be called "Papà". That's the best title that I have.
SC: Why did you open a new firm?
JAM: The idea to open a firm was not mine originally. It was presented to me by former clients and friends. Together with my family, I made the final decision to continue to serve those who had placed their trust on my operant over the years.
SC: which role in your firm do you prefer the most?
JAM: At JAM, I cover different roles. I am the advisor, temporary mngt, CEO, CFO, the negotiator, the brand ambassador. But I have to confess that the role that I enjoy the most is when I play the "Deus ex machine" ( This is a latin term for "God in the machine" taken from a time when early civilization would go to moving statues to request answer to their problems). I like to answer a call from someone who presents a case that may appear closed or irreversible. I also like to interfere in a Post-facto situation. I grew up hearing about irrevocable decisions "alea jecta est" "the die is cast" and I saw people waiting for the outcome. Meanwhile, I was cosntantly looking for alternative solutions.
SC: Do you always provide advice?
JAM:Only when it is need.
SC:and if you do not have an answer?
JAM: If I do not have an answer at the time, I ask for more time to discover one. There are no lies to be told, no cover-ups or stories to create due to lack of knowledge.
SC: How does your firm give prompt service to the needs of Your clients?
JAM: We do not commit to anyone if we cannot deliver.
SC: Is JAM an advising firm with a "pret-a porter" solution? one size fit all answer to all problems?
JAM: Some clients may be have similar situations, but every case is unique based on many different factors. to be more clearer, our approach is with one-on-one style.
SC: JAM welcome high-profile clients? how does one deal with issues liek privacy and unwanted media attention?
JAM: Privacy and confidentiality are our "chavel de bataille" and we use current technology along with old-time wisdom to avoid attention from Media.
SC: As client, you welcome VIP's and big companies. How do you acquire them? how do you get their business and their trust'
JAM: First of all, I don't look for them - they somehow find me (he laughs and winks at me). As for the second question, I have been askingthat question myself may time and came to the realization that beside the professional aura of my firm along with the excellent staff, it has something to do with my attitude towards others. I am sincerely interested in the quality of the person; I do not get influenced by who they represent, but more by who they really are. This questions reminds me of a particular eveining, I believe it was in Las Vegas. I was assisting a well known musical artisti during a perfomance, behind the scene, and afterwards we dined. He began to say that we never discuss the quality of his music, his career or his achievements as an artist. I believed I had hurt his feeling by not discussing there topics with him. He added that I never asked him for concert tickets for myself or my friends. He thought that perhaps I was embarrassed of him. Moreover, he said that he and I have never taken a picture together. "Would you mind if we take a picture of you with my wife and I ? at that moment, I realized, by looking into his eyes, that he was emotional. Would you believe that I was asked by a famous music artist for permission to do something that he paid enormous amounts of money to avoid others from asking him the very same question. Believe me, I felt very honored.
SC. I hope you accepted the request'
JAM, Si Si Certo ! (Yes Yes of course!) I felt even more uneasy when, at the end of dinner he said to his wife, "Joseph is not my fan, he is a friend of mine." I guess that can answer your question as to why VIP's are comfortable to have me around. They rae used to people that wish to take advantage of their friendship. to me, firendship is a privilege. I keep all my friends in a special place inside my heart. In there, they are safe, and nobody can do any harm to them!.
SC: You have all types of clientele from all walks of life? all religious backgrounds?
JAM: Yes that's true. Ministers, Rabbis, Imams and Priests are also among my friends.
SC: Do you advise them also? Perhaps you have some inside scopp for them?
JAM: Like which one is right? (We both break out laughing). No, no. But to some extent, I do advise them on certain issues. You see, my job is, in part, to exhort all people to dialogue.
SC: Do you always travel or do you prefer Video Conferencing?
JAM: In our type of business, Vido Conferencing is useless. I do not travel to meet people, but for several other reasons. A long trip adds more importance to the message I deliver. it's a form of respect. It shows the interest that one party may have for the other. It protects privacy and creates intimacy. A face-to-face meeting allows all the non-verbal communication to be more effective; more important than all the words spoken.
SC: Do you ever give advice over the phone?
JAM: Absolutely not ! (he said indignantly).
SC: Even if the offer you additional payment?
JAM: Are you trying to insult me? Even if they offer me additional fees, I would have to refuse their request!
SC:Please, Mr. Miceli, I meant no disrespect.
JAM: No, none taken. I must stress the fact that we cannot help our client without knowing more about them.
SC:Reference are important in business and politics. How do you build the best credentials?
JAM: We harvest what we sow. When I am presented to someone for the first time, he may ask for references. I simply answer, "ask around about me. For around, I mean the world". No, no I am not joking.
SC: When is your job the most difficult or the most challenging?
JAM: When I find tempermentally unsuitable people for the job - explosive tempers and those easily offended. Presidents, CEO's, and other people of power are accustomed to command, not negotiate, nor eventually compromise. Some are inept or incapable to compromise because the are impatient for quick solutions to the complex problems confronting them. Most are among my friends and that makes my job even harder. But, overall, I still love my profession.
SC: You 've mentioned love before. Just what is your opinion of love?
JAM: (He looks at me for a second, then smiles with a content grin and state..) ! Amore vincit Omnia !
SC: Love Conquers all, NO?
JAM: Your Latin is better than you think. (he smiles) I can do one better than that. I quote Dante Alighieri when he wrote: "L'amore è la forza che muove il sole e le altre stelle". Do you know Dante Alighieri also?
SC: Si che lo conosco molto.... I mean, I know him very well. If I can translate if for you, it says " Love is the force that moves the sun and all the stars".
JAM:Yes it does. You are starting to surprise me, Dr. Campanella.
SC: Thank You, Now, getting back to business. What happens when a client with a unique problem shows his embarrassment? and how do you make such a situation more confortable?
JAM: I quote Terence when I say that I am a man and nothing that is human surprise me.
SC: What, no Latin this time?
JAM: If I must.. " Homo sum, humani a me nil alienum puto".
SC: You are open and optimistic person, but I can see that you are very vigilant. Why?
JAM:Well, in my life I have learned to detect the presence of pretenders and to never rely upon the promise of others. In todays world, we cannot afford to lower the guard against fraud, deceptive schemes and clever forgeries.
SC:You have mentioned when you dislike certain types people. Tell me when you dislike your job?
JAM: The only time I dislike my job is when a client insists with an attitude I call the Pompeii Principle, aka easy fix.
SC:I don''t understand. The Pompeii Principle?
JAM: Yes, that's when I have to explain why it is so ineffective to dust the furniture in Pompeii before the Vulcano erupts. Some people think that is should be an easy fix to most problems and advanced thought is not really necessary.
SC: As I look around your office, I notice, aside from the previous mentioned flags, various types of Collodi's book "Pinocchio" and I even see hand-made marionettes. What is the significance of "Pinocchio"?
JAM: Yes, I do have quite the collection. In the book, "Pinocchio", the characters, the "cat" and the "fox", both promise Pinocchio that if he buries his gold coins in the "campo dei miracoli" (filed of miracles), a tree will grow in it's place the next day and this tree will bare lots of gold coins. Believe it or not, even to this day, many people come to trust characters like the "cat" and the "fox".
One can easily replace the "cat" or the "fox" with the last broker who called and promised to make you rich overnight or instead replacing the field of Miracles with the name of the last business oppurtunity or fancy-named Mutual funds or the stock market in general. Instead of Pinocchio's desire to buy his father Geppett a gift, replace that with the greed of many investor that always are naive and at the same time guided by the instant gratification and easy profit. You see the reason that "Pinocchio" is a classic? After all, it's not just for kids !
SC:What can be the most surprising when you deal with other people's problems?
JAM: After many years of experiencing the problems of others, the most surprising aspect is the way others see their problem. Most of the time, that is the only obstacle. When one is caught up in a situation, it is very difficult to see what is going on clearly. When I am Introduced to a problem, I try to see the entire situation for what it is.
SC: What is the common constant in the business world today ? How do you deal with them?
JAM: "The seasons are not the same anymore; We seem to pass from winter to summer without the middle seasons. The youth are not respecting their elders: they are wearing different sandals and tunics. The politicians are corrupt; they do not represent the interests of the people anymore". This quote sounds like a recent opion poll in the New York Times. Instead , it is dated 400 b.c. and is actually a letter from Plato to a friend.
Since Plato's letter, the world has changed dramatically. The only thing that hasn't changed is the motivation behind our emotions. We express our feelings the same way since the beginning of time. We are emotionally living beings with interpersonal relations and, at times, our business can be intensly personal. It is obvious that human emotions are involved around issues like Mergers/Acquisitions, Consolidations, Selling-off businesses or closing down a plants. Hundreds, if not thousands of lives are personally affected by these activities. Moreover, promotions, compensations, hirings/firings, reogranizations and other forms of decision-making all require outside information before any major decison is enacted. We advise our clietns to use our E.D.D. (Emotional Due Diligence) program in matter such as these. E.D.D. is a report that includes an overall emotional status of the Company's shareholders, management, employees, customers and other actors like suppliers, distributors, compatitors and partners. EDD is a journey for all parts of a particular firm with distinct measuraments. This is a service we provide to our High-Profile Clients.
SC: How do you assist your clients when they request advice on Human-resource-related issues?
JAM:Often I receive requests inquiring about the reliability of the company's most important and significant asset - It's People. This is what I refer to the People Problem.
SC: and how is it dealt with?
JAM: We perform an analysis of current and past occurences concerning a particular issues. We collect evidence, examine facts and conduct interviews. Then, and only then, we advise. Ultimately, I always perform a "Litmus test" in which a single factor is decisive. But not any amount of analysis can ever replace our process of intuition. Our minds have a built-in process to resolve problems.
SC: what has been the most delicated issue that you have dealt with involving your clients?
JAM: One of the most deplorable action any man can do against another is the act of blackmail. No matter if the target is a company, an executive or any othe important person. Even though some people do put themselves in certain compromising positions, nobody, and I mean nobody has the right to "hush-money" from any naive or neglected individual. Unfortunately, some individuals, due to some weakness, or if I can say, lifestyle, allows events to develop. I have learned that desperated people do desperate things.
SC:Perhaps you could elaborate? or tell me if it si about any one in particular?
JAM: You mean like name names? are you for real ? Please, do not insult me any further and go on to the next question?
SC: I meant no disrespect. Moving on from what I understand, part of your job is dealing with people that required analysis and to explore inside of the human soul. DO you expect to perhaps find secrets?
JAM: I have no expectations about anything. All I can say is that the Human Soul is so vast that one can hide an oil-tanker inside of it. Most of the time, my job is to find the vessel. Wait... are you familiar with Charles Dickens? " A Tale of the two Cities"?
SC: Of course ! "tis a far better thing that I do now than I have ever done before. And tis a far, far better place that I go to than I have ever been to before".
JAM: Very good ! then you wouldn't mind if I read the opeining paragraphs of Chapter Three?
SC: please do.
JAM: "A wonderful fact to reflect upon that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other. A solem consideration, when I enter a grat city by night, that everyone of those encloses it's own secret; that every beating heart in the hundred of thousand of breasts there, is, in some of it's imaginings, a secret to the heart nearest it ! Something of the awfulness, even of the death itself, is referable to this." Scholars try to answer the reason why we love, we hate, we kill, Pascal wrote : " Le couer a ses raisons que la raison ne connait point" (The heart has it's reason that for reason knows nothing of). We are getting used to reading big headlines about regular people committing crimes and we ask ourselves: why? how can this be? The answer is simple. Even Good People do Bad things. Nobody is above reproach.
SC: Even Ceaser's wife?
JAM: Especially her ! (he says with a laugh). You see, all felonies are sins, but not all sins are felonies. With the time, I had learned to discover the worst and unnamed secret inside the human heart.
SC: Can you predict the future?
JAM: Are you serious? Do you mean what I am having for lunch?
SC: NO, but perhaps you can foresee trends or directions that society will encounter?
JAM: Karl Heisenberg, physicist and philosopher helped to establish the Modern Science of Qauntum Mechanics. Out of this came the famous "Uncertainty Principle". We all know how many uncertainties we face in our daily lives. Self-Dilemmas, the unreliability of a particular source, contigency circumanstaces, irresolute decisions; these are a few of the uncertainties, not counting catastrophes, wars and political instabilities. However, still today we have eminent analysts tht came to believe that they possess the truth in their own pocket and that they can predict the future. Nassin Taleb, in his book "The black Swan", describes very well these people as charlatans, cards readers or fortune-tellers. I do not generalize. I have met great professionals around the world that do their jobs with passion and honesty, while others should have applied for a job in the local circus instead of going in front of a camera and trying to predict the future and sell illusions. Nobody can predict the future no matter how much information from the past one can store in his/her brain or into the world's greatest computer. I am drawn to a funny story meanwhile I was stuck in a hospital bed, Due to the limited informational resources, most of the newspapers I read were a few days old. One in particular, The Wall Street Journal, I would received 1 to 2 weeks old and I would laugh at all the wrong predictions made by those whoar supposed to know. I am a big Nassin Taleb fan and share with him a great passion for David Hume and also his reading obituaries in the New York Times. I am also fond of the Turkey Principle.
SC: Excuse me... The Turkey Principle?
JAM: yes, You see, for 364 days out the year, the turkey sees the man with the two yellow gloves feed him by spreading the seed on the floor fo rhim to eat. He bases his security on the fact that every day, those sme two gloves will throw food and he will get his next meal. One day, when the turkey is secure in the fact that his next meal is coming, instead, on 365 day, his neck is snapped and he becomes the thanksgiving Meal ! Following this same premise, I have developed what I call my "unpredictbility factor" and come to realize just how unpredictable life is. In Italian, we call it "La variable impazzita" and I recommend to all the necessity of alternative options and worst-case scenarios.
SC: Wow! You do have the ability to open one's eyes, don't you? My next question is how do you procede with business if you have to represent two clients at the same time?
JAM: In such a case where both parties are our clients (former or current), we operate using the D.B.S. (Dynamic Bridge Solution) service. This is a formal agreement (concepttualized and create by myself and made more fluid with the help of my associates) where both parties agree to full disclosure all useful information concerning the circumstances that best fit the interest of all parties involved. D.B.S. allows both parties to be presented with an exhaustive picture of the circumstance that reveals hidden aspects, insightful information and can save time and resources also.
SC:What do you tell your clients if they procrastinate?
JAM:I tell them my favorite saying... "The choice is yours, the time is Now" Simple and to the point.
SC:What is the best way to win in some cases?
JAM: In certain cases, the best way to win is to avoid the situation all together.
SC: What advice do you give those young advisors just starting their career?
JAM: First and foremost "Gnothi Seauton". It's Greek
SC: My Italian is fair, my latin is just above poor, but unfortunately, my greek needs a little help.
JAM:Okay, I'll give you this one. It mean "Know thyself".
SC:Yes, but won't that take these young advisors years?
JAM: yes, well, I didn't ask them to start a career in advising either. Men are like a little chustnut tree, it takes more than 25 years before it can bare a fruit.
SC:When does JAM stop providing advice? does it stop with you?
JAM: JAM, eventhough it is named after me, is not about me at all.
SC:Then why do you name this firm after yourself?
JAM: The only reason I name this firm JAM is because I take full responsability for everything that happens within this firm. At JAM, my goal is to foster young talent that has been guided and mentored by professionals from around the world and give it the ability to grow and learn. I am focusing on the idea of breeding a new class of advisors. I dedicate part of my time to meet with professors from the best universities from around the world and discover new talents. I encourage them to work for us or for many of our clients. I like to create opportunity for others. This is my way to give back to society; to create a legacy for the future generations.
SC: Would you like to be remembered for something like this?
JAM:to be rememberd, you would have to be able to change people's lives. I cannot deny that I would like this idea... buy my goals are differents. I am committing my life to make the world a better and fairer place for the generations to come.
SC:How do you deal with a strong personality-type individuals, if I may be a little politically
JAM:Do you mean pig-headed people?
SC: to an extent.
JAM:Eng. Velani, one of the founder of the first Italian flag carrier (Airline) once said, "it's better to deal with a man with a bad caracter than with a man without a personality. Good or bad, a man without a personality is like a hammer without a handle - just useless!" In my life, I ahve learned to deal with the most difficult people and still be successful.
SC: So, your opinion, who is the best negotiator ever?
JAM:Best negotiator ? that would have to be Moses? Because he convinced God to only ten Commandments. Unfortunally, adultery had to stay. (we both break out in uncontrollable laughter!)
Sc:Hands down, I'd have to agree. What is the bet tye of salesman?
JAM:without a doubt, the best salesman is the one who can truly solve the customer's problems. Believing in this principle, he comes out the best. All others are just amateurs.
SC:The current question that is making the rounds in all circles of the world these days is the idea of a "One world order" or the idea of "globlal governance". What is your take on such a subject?
JAM:The idea of "one world order", over time has assumed negative connotations. I prefer "Global Governance" and believe it is the way to resolve common problems. This resolution of problems would involved all the major international players with, and this I state Imperatively, the inclusion of other minor entities to assist in the outcome. I wuld like to share with you a though from one of my friends that we have adopted here at JAM. It is a vision that we have about the world which is the same vision shared by the Astrounauts when they orbit our planet: the planet is one, without borders, bounderies, limits or frontiers. Our planet is one big opportunity and only smaller minds divide it.
SC:So far, your main theme is to stress the need to be with others, to stipulate alliances and establish cooperation. Why do you feel such interaction is important?
JAM: I never get tired of repeating these words; "No man is an island", when either dealing with companies or countries. What makes this sentence so important can be explained by a short story I wish to tell. This story is about a young boy named Winston who, whole playing in the fields, fell into a small pound. He subsequently was rescued by a man whom I'll call Mr. Fleming. Winston's father offered Mr. Fleming a reward for rescuing his son for which Mr Fleming adamantly refuse. Winston father insisted and, insistead, decided to help Mr.Fleming's son with his education. Mr Fleming gladly accepted. In 1945, Mr. Fleming's son, Sir Alexander Fleming, won the nobel prize in bacteriology for being the man who discovered penicillin. Later on , Winston, whom by now you've figured out that his surname is Churchill, had developed pneumonia which he almost succumbed to. In fact, the penicillin saved his life, So it would seem that the Fleming saved Winston Churchill's life not once but twice. The world owes the discovery of penicillin to Churchill Senior's generosity; it also owes the freedom of the free world to Sir Alexander Fleming's father. You see, we are all connected with the world of business and politicals; more than just a simple relations.
SC:How do you view current countries' foreign policy and diplomacy?
JAM: and you want an answer in how many words? (He Laughs). I mean, we could be here all day with this one! In order to answer this question, a preamble is necessary.
SC: When isn't one necessary ? (We both laugh).
JAM: Did I mention how important the gift of the word is in my business?
SC: Yes you have and I get your point.
JAM: Good. Then where was I? ah Yes. Diplomacy. We have great diplomats around the world at this very time. Unfortunately, many countries have no true Foreign Policy strategy. And as a result of this, some countries are actually isolated and "lonely". No matter how hard they try to show confidence and individual thought, what they are lacking is true acquaintaices, productive interrelationships and alliances. even when one reads the big headlines about upcoming alliances, one must be cartain that some diplomacies are stil isolated. There are elements of distrust that are beneath the appearance of harmonious ceremony. Also, there are countries who say the are among the community of nations, but instead choose not to raelly be a part of it. Most diplomats are sitting on Major International Organizations but are not as active as they should be. Instead, the are constantly passing on opportunities that can benefit themselves and other nations. Some countries' diplomats are poorly trained and lack the importance of experience. Other countries allocate small amounts of resources - whether they are funds or time. IN poor or developing countries, budgets are extremly limited or can be at the mercy of other, more generous, rich countries. I can say without a doubt that many diplomacies are cut-off from current forms of Global Governance. Most of the diplomat's agenda are about focusing on their own economic development and their National Interests - chasing the next agreement or more concerned with growth instead of overall security and economic health. Shorthsighted vision is common and with it, poor outcomes are guaranteed. Moreover, many rich countries' diplomacy are forced to deal with a lot of nonsense and acting like internatioanl Grievance officies instead of leading and making major decisions. They are obligated to deal with what I call the "Cry baby diplomts".
SC: How can JAM add value to these "valueless" relations?
JAM:At JAM, we have reached a conclusion to simplify one of the advisor's dilemma: "A choice between giving adivce; whispering to others what their options are and how to best achieve them. Playing the role of one's Majestic expert and helping the client in revealing the solution for themselves. We offer to facilitate their own problem in a different and more effective way. At JAM, we have a MODUS-Operandi that can differentiate our own style from that others. It is what we call "JAM's system in place". We consider that such a system is as important as the Coca-Cola secret.
SC: You mention Business and/or political advisor. Can you tell me the difference commonalities between these two worlds?
JAM:The rulesof approach among people are the same in business and politics. In business, one is required to deliver what was promised. In business, unlike politics, there is a tendency to measure results in the short-term whn considering Time. Failure to deliver your promise and you are, more likely, out of the game. Politics is different. In Politics, there are too many people that I call "perdi-Tempo" which is Italian for...
SC:"time-wasters" Time losers... right?? (still showing off)
JAM: Yes ..good ... can I move on? These Perdi-Tempo like to slow down the dicision-making process; postpone any resolution; delay any final commitment; for both personal and perhaps sinister motivations. In business and politics, you meet individuals who constantly recycle and perpetuate themselves in order to remain "within the loop" and not lose the graps they have on the situation-at-large. Most of the business decisions are motivated by the dollars sign or by the next quarter's financial results or whether one can make shareholders happy. In politics, it is more difficult to make people happy, even when considering long-term projects. Consider the native Americans when they decide on a course of action, they consider the risks/benefits of such an action and it's impact on the next seven generations. Depending upon the situation, you might make the first generation unhappy. In Business, like politics, you meet a lot of different type of people. Some of them I call, if you bear with me, "marronists.."......(He pause and looks for something from me, but I have no idea what he is trying to convey). Well.. are you going to interpret or not?
SC: I am sorry.. I mean , I am good, but not that good, I've never heard of that term before.
JAM:The term Marronisti originates from the spanish inquisition and is the name of someone who practices two faiths simultaneously; one in secret and one out in the open. Basically, a hypocrite who attempts to uphold one ideal but practices another. There are plenty of Marronisti in politics today. There are many people who feel that the world of politics is a noble art. And it should be considered that when dealing with others in the filed.
SC: When dealing with politics, whether dealing with marronisti or any other types, one must walk a very fine line in order to satisfy all parties. In this attitude any different when dealing with foreign delegations? I mean, it seems there is so much more on the line?
JAM: I am glad you asked me about this. One of the many programs I have developed in entitled "Promotion In" which is an exciting program designed to estlish or increase interest in a particular country's tourism agenda, diplomacy and business interrelationships. Promotion in is an ample programm organized to arange systematic planning and unite efforts to improve existing relations or form new alliances; stipulate and develop new practices and activities; initiate and originate new programs between countries or companies. The program's fuction and focus is to increasethe level of the attention to one's country or company's agenda. We are very proud every time we can use this program and present all the benefits it has to offer.
SC: It sound like you take pride in what you do, No?
JAM: Yes I do. Don't you take pride in what you do? YOu should. I am proud of my work and my creations to the extent that whn someone asks me how many yeaers I have been working, I simply say that I have never worked a day in my life. This is because what I do is not work to me. I love what I do.
SC: You have stated that you do a lot of traveling around the world. Do you travel to "non-aligned countries" also?
JAM: You are showing your age, Dr. Campanella "Non-Aligned " is an old term that had it's origin during the Cold War between the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Unfortunately, it is still an actual reality in today's world. Certain countries choose to remain in a neutral stance for one reason or another. I believe their is an obligation to talk with these countries and, perhaps, intensify the talks when further divergence occurs. To listen to these countries and to give them a voice is a must! I have never taken a postion of condemntion; whther it were a people, an idea or a movement. I would rather hear them out and respect their point of view even when they are different from mine. The may be right and the ahve the right to be heard. I am not saying that just by listening about the situation you can resolve all the difference, but you can learn a great deal of information about any issue with just your ears.
SC:There have been, throughout history, alternative ways to get the oppostion to listen. One instance that comes to mind is the act of an Embargo. Is this an effective tools?
JAM:I will spare you examples of the ineffectiviness of embargoes and restrictions. However, no one side ideal possesses the magic wand or the recipe for an easy fix to a difficult situation.
SC:If one side is never absolutely correct, then where do you think "authentic power" comes from?
JAM: I strongly believe and agree with Pope Francis I when he stes that " authentic power comes from serving others". This is far different from what Mao Zedong once stated when he said that power comes from the barrel of a gun.
SC:Since we are talking about rich and poor countries, I would like you to consider the following premise. It seems that gap between rich countries and poor countries are widening. Disparity and contrast are under observation from every one these days. What is your perspective?
JAM: Some countries are highly ambivalent. They either welcome assistance from developed countries or the are essentially distrusful. Some countries see the International system as unequal and unfair. There is a lot of discussion and confusion about this topic with very few people presenting a good plan of action. The majority are just stating what they are against and not what they are for. It is a major part of diplomacy to just say no instead of saying yes!
Sc: what is the solution?
JAM:What ? .. You too! do you think there is a solution over the counter? My hope is the poeple I appeal to all people. In the past, we have had great examples of countries that were destroyed by war. Today, these very same countries have emerged as great economies. Other countries are leading politically and economically in certain parts of the world. These countries What I call a special spark that separates them from a pack. I'am talking about countries in Central and South America, Africa and Asia. Some are more dynamic than otehrs, but they all share similar problems. Some are dealing with climate change; some are dealing with their past; others are dealing with recent wars and their aftermath; and still others are succesuful with double digit growth. But to some extent, all these problems are similar. They are test that each and every country must go through to become a more stable government. Remember, it is easy to male a governmente but it take sometime to make a citizen.
SC:You advise business and politics on governance issues. which type of governance do you prefer or do you consider the most effective?
JAM: The Roman Catholic Church is one of the most effective from of governance. Their model is envied by corporation. More then a billion catholics spread around the world. They are relying on teh work of about 400,000 Priests, who are supervised by almost 4000 bishops and governed by just a little more than 100 Cardinals that have the power to elect a Pope. Five (5) level of governance from teh remote parishioner to the Pope. Think about corporate world and compare. I believe the all would benefit if they took on the same form of governance. From client to a CEO in just five (5) levels. Imagine, communication decisions and reaction within a few steps. talk about efficiency !
SC: Can you give me a scenario when a problem can be really challenging?
JAM:One scenario that comes to my mind is when we deal with a problem that has it's originality based upon another problem - especially when the problem is You!
SC: Me'.. perhaps you can be more elaborate?
JAM:HAve you heard of Ignaz Semmelwaies? he was a European doctor who discovered the origin of "childbed fever". In the mid 800', Semmelwais had worked at Vienna's General Hospital, a reasearch hospital, and tried to get to the bottom of a horrendous mortality rate among women in the maternity ward. This mortality rate for pregnant mothers was one in ten. Imagine, one out then women died while giving birth! this terrible risk was well known. Semmelwais reported that patients were frequently kneeling and begging to be moved to a separate section of maternity ward where the mortlity was only one to fifty. Semmelwais bacame obsessed with the problem. In particular, he attempted to understand why the difference between the tow mortality rates of the two sections were so large. The one difference he noted was in Semmelwaus's section, the women were attented by doctor while in the other section, they were attented by midwives. He tries to equalize various factor among the two maternity wards. He standardized everthing from birthing position to ventilation and diet. he even standardized the way the laundry was prepared.
Semmelwais felt he must remove himself from the issue because he was getting no where with his studies. He decided to take a 4 month sabbatical and visit another hospital. Upon his return, he discover that the death rate had fallen significantly in his section of the Maternity ward during his absence. This vexed him further and eventually his reasoning led him to the possible link to the research done on cadavers by the hospitals doctor. This is significant because Vienna General was a research and teaching hospital. The doctors on duty would split their time between cadavers contamination and the maternal morality rate because back then there was no "Germ Theory" discoverd yet. In examining the situation, he recognized the fact that he spent far more time doing research on cadavers that any other doctor. From this observation, he developed the theory of "the childbed fever" - a theory that became the percursor to our current germ theory. He conclued that particles form teh cadavers and perhaps other diseased patients were being transmitted to healthy patients by the hands of the physicians. He then required all physician wash their hands in chlorine and lime solution to remove such particles before attending other patients. A miraculous effect occured. The mortality rate of pregnant women dropped from one-in-ten to one-in-one hundred. Semmelwais took his own discovery with sadness and was heard saying "Only God knows the number of patients who went prematurely to their graves because of me!"
you see! sometimes the greatest challenge that I am exposed to is when the problem is you! I mean .. not you personally...although I am sure you have some issues you are going through at this time (he says with a smile). You may be the problem. You may be the carrier!
thank you for reading more is coming !