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THE STORY OF A THEOLOGIAN TURNED CONSPIRATOR Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Unstoppable Resolve
I ’ve talked before about howmuch I like to read. Whenever I get some free time, I grab a book and try to learn a few things, whether it’s about business, life, faith, or history. But lately, I’ve been engrossed in a nonfiction story so compelling that I’ve found it hard to put down. “Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy” by Eric Metaxas is an interesting biography of a German theologian forced to reckon with his theology and faith in the time of Hitler’s rise to power, shifting from being a conscientious objector to being an active co-conspirator in multiple plots to assassinate the leader of the Nazis to bring an end to the war. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was raised in a privileged environment in early 20th-century Germany by his mother, a devout Christian, and his father, an
agent. In that capacity, he worked cooperatively with a network of senior German Officers who were actively working against the Nazis. During this time, he helped Jews escape the oppression of the regime, and he eventually became involved in three failed plots to assassinate Hitler. The last attempt was the von Stauffenberg conspiracy, code-named Valkyrie, which ultimately led to his execution. He was executed by hanging at the age of 39, upon the direct order of Adolf Hitler, with at least four of his co-conspirators, only two weeks before the Flossenburg concentration camp was liberated by the Allies. And one week after that, Hitler committed suicide and the war was over. For me, it’s next to impossible to imagine the depth of Bonhoeffer’s moral dilemma, the real world strength of his faith, and his struggle with conflicting loyalties as he progressed from being an outspoken Hitler critic to clandestine resistance and ultimately to conspiratorial treason. After all, he was a proud German who deeply loved his God and his country. While most of his countrymen were deceived by the satanic evil of the Third Reich, he chose to pay the ultimate price for living out his beliefs. At the end of the day, Bonhoeffer thought it the plain duty of the Christian — and his privilege and honor — to suffer with those who were suffering, and at that moment in history, no one was suffering more than the Jewish people. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a true disciple, and for him, the cost was martyrdom.
pastor in Spain and studying at New York’s UnionTheological Seminary, he solidified his steadfast faith. He wrote the seminal “The Cost of Discipleship” in 1937, which Christianity Today calls “a call to more faithful and radical obedience to Christ and a severe rebuke of comfortable Christianity,” a text that still looms large in contemporary Christian theology. But, during Bonhoeffer’s studies, Hitler had clawed his way to the German presidency, solidifying the violent Nazi party’s grip on the country’s politics. It made Bonhoeffer sick to see the country he loved bending to the will of such an evil man, and in 1934, he came together with other like-minded pastors and established the Confessing Church, in direct opposition to the Nazi Party’s hijacking
of the official German Church. Banned from teaching openly, he ran an illegal, underground seminary for the Confessing Church until it was closed down by the Gestapo. Frustrated by the constant surveillance of the Gestapo and desperate to help the people of Germany (and the rest of the world) escape from the moral bankruptcy and utter criminality of the murdering Nazis, in 1940 he joined the German Military Intelligence Service as an Intelligence Officer. In actuality, however, he was really a double
agnostic, who was the Chair of Psychiatry and Neurology at the University of Berlin. By all accounts, Dietrich was something of a prodigy, talented at playing piano and equipped with a remarkable intelligence. At age 14, he told his parents that he wanted to be a minister and theologian, much to the chagrin of his father, and embarked on the spiritual path on which he remained for the rest of his life. As he bounced around the world in his early 20s, serving a stint as an assistant
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MARKETING HORROR STORIES
A Lesson inWhat Not to Do
Every marketing professional wants their campaign to be memorable. They want consumers to take notice — or take the bait — and make their company a big profit. But sometimes, things don’t go exactly as planned. The campaigns below certainly won the attention of consumers, but in each case, what started out as a marketing dream quickly turned into a nightmare. Fiat’s Direct Mail Disaster In 1992, women across Spain received anonymous letters inviting them to go on a “little adventure.” The letters stated, “We met again on the street yesterday, and I noticed how you glanced interestedly in my direction.” Fearing a stalker, many women locked themselves in their homes. A few days later, another letter arrived, revealing the identity of the “secret admirer” as the new Fiat Cinquecento. Yes, the creepy letters were part of a marketing campaign by the Italian car company. Fiat apologized and ended the campaign after criticism from consumer protection groups, Social Minister Cristina Alberdi, and the 50,000 women who received the letters. KFC and Hoover Can’t Do Math A shocking number of companies hold giveaway promotions without calculating exactly how much they will cost. Here are a few examples. • Back when “Oprah” was the biggest show on television, KFC ran an ad offering a free two-piece chicken meal with two sides and a biscuit for anyone who went to their website and downloaded a coupon. Over 10.5 million coupons were downloaded, and KFC had to give away $42 million in free food. • In the 1990s, Hoover Company in the United Kingdom offered two round- trip plane tickets with the purchase of a vacuum. Unfortunately, even in the ‘90s, most vacuums were still cheaper than plane tickets, and Hoover lost 50 million pounds in what remains the biggest promotional disaster ever. Cartoon Network Causes a Bomb Scare Guerrilla marketing can create valuable word of mouth — think about the success of the movie “It” last year. The marketing for the film included simple red balloons tied to storm drains. But Cartoon Network didn’t have quite the same luck in 2007 when they tried to promote their show “Aqua Teen Hunger Force.” When the network put electronic devices featuring a character from the show all over Boston, city residents thought the strange contraptions looked like bombs and called the police. This triggered a terrorist scare that ultimately cost the general manager of Cartoon Network his job.
At Risk Services/Insurica, we’re known for having some of the best insurance agents in the state. We’re a team of friendly, experienced individuals who find genuine pleasure in ensuring that our clients have the precise coverage they need to succeed. But behind our array of skilled producers are the employees who work to establish a firm foundation for our company so that team members and clients alike have the best experience possible. Our bookkeeper, Pam Glidewell, is one of these unsung heroes. She may not have many chances to connect directly with clients, but you can bet that she impacts them all the same. We’re certain that without her dedication and accounting expertise for the last 15 years, the company would simply not be what it is today. Lucky for us, she appreciates the rest of the Risk Services/Insurica team as much as we appreciate her. “It’s a small group, but a good one,” she says. “My favorite part of the job has always been interacting with the rest of the team. It’s one of the main reasons I’ve stuck around in this company for a decade and a half.” Pam also just appreciates the way that Risk Services/Insurica does business. “It’s a great place to work,” she says. “Even at the corporate offices, everyone is eager to assist you whenever you need something. And the management has been excellent at every turn.” Outside of the office, Pam spends as much time as she can with Gabe, her 2-year-old great-grandson. When she’s not with him, you can often find her reading the latest gripping Harlan Coben mystery or “watching chick flicks,” as she readily admits. When an employee has been with our company for as long as Pam has, we don’t take that lightly. We’re immensely appreciative of everything Pam has done for the company over the years and look forward to her continued service, as thorough and exemplary as always.
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How Your Drivers Can Minimize Your Risk FOLLOW THESE GUIDELINES FOR PEACE OF MIND
those habits going forward. Teach them to practice pre- and post-driving inspections every day to emphasize the need for safety. Take some time on that first day to walk them through your expectations about driving habits. Sit in the passenger’s seat with them while they go on their first drive. Coach them through their daily routine, rather than relying on them to read your employee handbook cover-to-cover. Lastly, require all of your employees to follow the relevant laws. Keep track of your employees. Drivers are human, which means some of them may forget when it is time for them to renew their licenses. If you establish a tracking system for deadlines, there’s a smaller chance of missing the renewal time. Furthermore, keep track of employee credentials and update their training periodically. Even veteran drivers need refreshers on how to maintain road safety and compliance with laws.
On the road or at a job site, your drivers and workers are the face of your company, which makes them responsible for minimizing potential disasters or risks. Follow these simple rules to help you prepare, equip, and manage your drivers in order to protect your company from unnecessary risk. Set the expectations in the first interview. Everyone is struggling to find employees, but hiring someone just to fill a position puts your company and your clients at risk. When weeding out candidates, look for those with driving experience or those who have training. Drug tests can also help you select viable candidates. Follow the U.S. Department of Transportation’s guidelines for testing to ensure your company is compliant with regulations. Foster good habits. A new employee is moldable. If they start their first day understanding your company’s emphasis on safety, they will continue
Learn more about how you can prevent disasters in your trucking or driving business by calling Risk Services/Insurica at 501.666.6653.
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INSIDE This Issue Brad Johnson on the Life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer page 1
Would You SurviveThese Marketing Nightmares? Meet PamGlidewell page 2 Reducing Your Company’s Driving Incidents Sudoku page 3
Discover ‘The Art of Learning’ page 4
‘The Art of Learning’ A Child Prodigy Rethinks Success
most. But Waitzkin firmly positions his journey through the chess world as the antithesis of what he calls “the art of learning.” As the author states, “The moment we believe that success is determined by an ingrained level of ability as opposed to resilience and hard work, we will be brittle in the face of adversity.” Waitzkin was very gifted at chess, and he didn’t have to push himself early on, but by the time he did find challenging opponents, he found loss and adaptation impossible to handle. It wasn’t until he stepped out of the rigid grids of chess and into the flowing movements of tai chi that Waitzkin was able to formulate a guide to success. Appropriately subtitled “An Inner Journey to Optimal Performance,” Waitzkin’s story of grappling with
This is a book about a journey. It chronicles a life of international chess tournaments, high-stakes martial arts competitions, a boy who found too much success, and the man who had to relearn everything because of it. Yes, “The Art of Learning” reads like a gripping, emotional memoir, but make no mistake — Josh Waitzkin’s work doubles as an effective guide for business owners striving to attain perfection in their fields.
Josh Waitzkin’s name will be familiar to longtime chess fans and movie buffs alike. As a child prodigy, Waitzkin won his first national chess title at age 9, which quickly made him an international sensation. His father, Fred Waitzkin, wrote the renowned book “Searching for Bobby Fischer,” chronicling his young son’s journey into the world of chess. This then inspired the movie of the same name. Now, one does not normally think of child prodigies as being great sources of insight into finding success. By definition, prodigies are exceptional — exceptions who operate on a different playing field than
childhood stardom and climbing the brackets of the tai chi chuan circuit is full of wisdom applicable to anyone looking to achieve mastery in their field. With compelling personal anecdotes and a unique
perspective on what success really looks like, “The Art of Learning” is a fresh, vibrant addition to the personal development genre.
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