Friday, January 30, 2009

The Trouble with

30 January 2009

Although I am anxious to hit the movies this weekend to see "Taken" I have some other issues that will be the focus of much of my attention. As many of you know I have two sons; a 17 and 14 year old who are currently at war with each other.

Now to set the have to fully understand that both boys are the love of my life and each has qualities that resonate with me on different levels.

The eldest, Jake is an athlete and willing to try anything. I recently returned from a skiing trip with them and watching Jake manipulate his snowboard was absolutely magical. I have been skiing since I was 4 and I have seen both good and bad but to see Jake "free ride" is art all by itself.

Ian is the reserved yet very dedicated skier. He handles all the terrain on the mountain to include the big bumps and does so with gusto. He, like his elder sibling is masterful as he descends the mountain without any hesitation. His lines are clean and he is constantly chasing his brother to find the quickest, most difficult difficult path forward

And there is where the problem begins....

You see they have been inseparable since birth and now as one is older and "experiencing" life anybody that gets in his way is fair game...including his brother.

That is just not right!

Looks like I am in for a very long weekend of attempting to mend fences between the two.

Perhaps I should go to Sports Authority and buy some boxing gloves (like my Dad did) and do what my brother and I did to settle family arguments...fight each other!

Hmmm.....I miss my brother...I have not spoken to him in almost a year and have not seen him in ten years.

Brian Hayes

Thursday, January 29, 2009

When is an increase not good for our Soldiers

I recently read an article on regarding the rise in military suicides. I have attached the web version (link) below for everyone to review. Some sobering statistics.

The figures - as a segment of our national population - are not staggering (an often overly used DC term) however they do show a marked increases over the past several years specifically with our returning combat veterans. At least 125 soldiers were confirmed to have taken their own life in 2008, compared with 115 in 2007, 102 in 2006 and 87 in 2005. This figures show a definitive increase even though the services are rapidly moving to address the matter.

Army BG Sutton who is the director of the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury states that these men (and women) "have been exposed to the most corrosive environment known to warfare and that they have lost fellow soldiers and friends."


Now I don't know about you but BG Sutton's comments do not strike a very solid chord with me. We all understand that what they are seeing in war is not what you see in the video games however lets get past that and focus on the "what to do when soldiers return from combat duty" and how best to help them adapt.

I never made the rank of General nor did I play one on TV however a rational person looking at this would say that since these deaths are all occurring once soldiers redeploy shouldn't we concentrate our collective efforts at that point versus worrying about the prosecution of the war?

Too many times, and in this case too many dollars are being spent incorrectly. Assisting troops as they go through the decompression stage of returning home as well as providing outlets so that these losses decrease should be the core focus of BG Sutton, the DoD and the Veterans Administration rather then discussing what they do in combat. We get that! What we don't get is how we can afford to let this increase over the past several years continue to...well...increase without putting in check what we have supposedly accomplished to date.

No doubt this will be high on the list of the new incoming VA Secretary, GEN (Ret) Shinseki as he prepares for confirmation hearings. Although it is a very somber topic I am anxious to hear how this old soldier plans to fight this campaign

Brian Hayes

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


January 28, 2009

As many of you know I have worked across the globe in a multitude of high-risk, high reward assignments however my current position takes me into the world of the "not-for profit community"

Now let me first state that I love what I do - other then being a soldier it is the most tangible assignment I have ever had and affords me the opportunity to look in the mirror at the end of the day and KNOW that I really have made a difference!

So why am I writing about expectations and the management of such?

Well when a task is given to a professional person in a professional organization one expects that a professional effort will be given in completing said tasks. Right?

That is an assumption that is best left on the side of the road these days. As a manager one must continually follow-up with ones subordinates - that is a given - but as I make my way through this organization I am met with possibilities that doing things the right way is not always the "right way"

I was floored earlier today after being called in and "told" that I needed to be "reeled in" only because "we cant move that fast" - never mind that the customer wants and needs our product or that we have already pledged to meet his timeline without fail in order to secure the work. The expectations of others (our customers) don't matter; what does matter is the internal expectation that (get this...!) everybody is happy.

It amazing to me that these organizations survive. I had heard it one time previously but again it was said with vigor and zest today; "time lines are merely tools to measure how late we will be in delivering a product to our customer"

I I still active on

Brian Hayes

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Tip of the Spear

I recently read and interesting piece in the American Thinker - the article dealt with the recent developments in the Middle East and specifically the fight in Gaza. One quote from the piece resonates with me the most:

"Whether we could or we couldn't or we did or we didn't doesn't matter. They believe we have the capability."

In defeating terrorism a Nation has a right to use whatever means it has at its disposal - what Israel did (besides administering a blistering ground/air campaign) was to initiate an informational campaign based on its its enemies perception of "what Israel could do technologically." Israel knew this and played it out in the prosecution of the campaign and then sat back (euphemistically) and watched the enemy react.

When historians look back at the actions executed by Israel no doubt they will concentrate heavily on the Hamas/Iranian connection. Too much has been captured (and destroyed) by Israel not to fully implicate the Iranians in sponsorship. Only time will tell.

This was a great piece by Mr Joel Sparyregen and well worth the read. Whether you agree or disagree with the issues surrounding the circumstances you at least need a clear and accurate picture. After talking to contacts in the area and bouncing information back and forth this is as balanced a piece as you will find. Too bad it is only the first in many in an ongoing struggle with no end in sight.

Brian Hayes

Full Article

On Point....Running and Driving in Northern Virginina

For some very interesting reason it would appear that once the white stuff starts hitting the ground people just seem to loose it; all sense of civility and even more importantly a sense of what to do.

I began my day today just like any other ...with PT regimen commencing at roughly 530AM. Nobody on the road, a light snow falling and I am wearing...shorts! I do not go for all that frilly running gear they sell at the high end running boutiques. I spend the money on shoes and not on outer garments. That said when the first vehicle approached me with its high-beams and came within a shoe length of plowing into me I could easily make out the driver glancing at her (not a him this time...a her) Blackberry or other like device.

As I recovered from jumping into the grass and ensuring I had everything still attached I continued on my way. I have a route that snakes through neighborhoods which are easier to navigate and keep me away from the traffic yet I still had a quarter of a mile to go till I reached the turn-off and hit Nirvana...the place where my music and breathing become one...but alas another driver had plans for me!

You see I run on the Old Mount Vernon Highway outside of Ft Belvoir. It's a great course but the road itself lends runners to running against the traffic. Its amazing what you can "see" when cars are hurling towards you! I have almost been hit by a young couple sharing a bowl of cereal; a drunk driver who cursed at me violently and several other speeders who always seem to float to the right as they chat on the phone.

I bring up the aforementioned cases only as I make the turn and am immediately confronted with (another) a man on a cell phone who plows through the intersection only to quickly correct his deviation while I (again) dive for the trees.

So I guess the point of this fine rambling is that it has nothing to do with the weather; people just don't care about the act of driving. We have become a society that multi-tasks to the detriment of everything else we do; whether that be driving, texting, eating or chatting or in my case running! SO now add to my daily routine "dodging oncoming multi-taskers who just don't care."

That is Life On Point view...rain, shine or in the case of getting to DC today....snow!

Brian Hayes

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Life On Point Blog

Welcome Everybody!

So this is our first foray into the world of blogging. As the President and CEO of Life On Point Consultants (LOPC) headquartered in Northern Virginia. I will be utilizing this venue to discuss what we at LOPC think are important issues associated not only with our business practice but also life in general; everything from politics in Washington to the traffic in NOVA!

On behalf of LOPC we look forward to hearing from you as we begin this effort and not hold back!


Mr. Brian Hayes
Life On Point Consultants