Leadership Lessons From The Great Books

Leadership Lessons From The Great Books #109 - To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee w/Tom Libby
00:00 Welcome and Introduction - To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
00:30 Leaders Know the Difference Between Positions and Principles.
02:00 To Kill a Mockingbird: The Book Versus the Movie.
12:00 Summary of To Kill a Mockingbird, Chapters 1-4.
17:00 The Literary Life of Harper Lee.
20:00 Unpacking To Kill a Mockingbird with Tom Libby
23:00 Racial Dynamics, Childhood and Cultural Biases.
30:52 The Deep South, Yankees, and the Challenges of US Regionalism.
40:23 Dislike for inaccurate Boston accents in media.
42:00 Summary of To Kill a Mockingbird, Chapters 4-7.
45:00 Atticus Finch's Moral Compass: Leadership Lessons in To Kill a Mockingbird.         
44:07 Moral Perspective of Children and Adolescents.
43:00 Atticus Finch's Moral Compass: Leadership Lessons in To Kill a Mockingbird.
52:12 Language, Literature and Leaders Making Change.
59:08 Disregarding Lessons From Classic Literature in a Post-Modern Era.
01:03:22 Culture Moves Society: Stowe, Porter, Hurston, Lee, and the Fourth Turning.
01:11:45 Leading with Empathy and Integrity and Learning From Anyone.
01:16:47 Leadership Lessons from Sheriff Tate.
01:21:23 Jem and Atticus Finch and the Hierarchical Dynamics Between Fathers and Son.
01:27:06 Tom Robinson, Mayella Ewell, and Sexual Politics in the Jim Crow Deep South.
01:38:46 Tom Robinson's Conviction.
01:45:49 Poor White Pride and The Life and Death of Bob Ewell.
01:51:59 Boo Radley as a Surprising, Silent Leader.
01:57:38 Staying on the Leadership Path with To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
02:06:22 Tom Libby on Sales, Equal Opportunity, and Gender.
Opening and closing themes composed by Brian Sanyshyn of Brian Sanyshyn Music.

Creators & Guests

Jesan Sorrells
CEO of HSCT Publishing, home of Leadership ToolBox and LeadingKeys
Thomas Libby
Leadership Toolbox
The home of Leadership ToolBox, LeaderBuzz, and LeadingKeys. Leadership Lessons From The Great Books podcast link here: https://t.co/3VmtjgqTUz

What is Leadership Lessons From The Great Books?

Because understanding great literature is better than trying to read and understand (yet) another business book, Leadership Lessons From The Great Books leverages insights from the GREAT BOOKS of the Western canon to explain, dissect, and analyze leadership best practices for the post-modern leader.

Hello. My name is Jesan Sorrells, and this

is the Leadership Lessons from the Great Books podcast,

episode number 109

with our book today, a southern gothic novel

and, build on. I love saying that word. It's

Jesan, that stands alongside Uncle Tom's

Cabin as one of the rare books in the United States of America

and cultural and literary history that has grown larger in the

American social conscience over the long course of time.

The author wrote of what she saw and experienced directly

during her childhood and during a time when people weren't necessarily

bleeding all over themselves in public because there was no Internet

and there was no social media. Reactions

to the novel varied widely upon publication.

Despite the number of copies sold and its widespread use in education

litter literary analysis of this book is actually

shockingly sparse. In speaking about

the novel, the author once said, I know and I quote,

I never expected any sort of success with this book. I

was hoping for a quick and merciful death at the hands of the reviewers,

but at the same time, I sort of hope someone would like it enough to

give me encouragement, public encouragement. I

hoped for a little, as I said, but I got rather a whole lot.

And in some ways this was just about as frightening as the

quick merciful death I'd expected.

Close quote. This book,

which garnered its first time author

and unheard of Pulitzer Prize win, has not

endured a quote, unquote quick merciful death in the public conscience.

Instead, just the opposite has happened with

this book. Today, we will

be focusing on some of the very many

ins and outs of whatever

re one in high school, at least believes is one of the

important novels by a female author of the

late 20th century, the 19

sixties Tom Kill a Mockingbird by

Harper Lee. Leaders know the

difference between positions and principles and choose

very carefully where you will stand.

And, of course, today, as usual, we will be joined

by our regular co host, Tom Libby. This

is Tom's favorite book, and he was very excited to do this episode once

he saw it on the list last year. So how are you doing, Tom?

I am doing great. And you're right. It was it is definitely one of

my I put it in probably the top five of my all time favorites. Like,

when you think of books, you know, that you have read throughout your life Mhmm.

Number 1 and 2 kinda bounce back and forth between this and bury my

heart at wounded knee and a couple of others. But but this is definitely definitely

at certain points has been my one of my all time favorite books. And as

we get deeper into the book itself, I I'm sure

why will come out as during this episode fourth at least I hope the why

comes out. Yeah. It's I def I

so I had read this book, not in high not

early in high school, which is most people are usually assigned in, like, 8th, 9th

grade, somewhere in that weird, like middle school, early high school kind

of period. I got the book when I

was probably 16 or

17 was my first interaction with, to kill a mockingbird.

And I vaguely remember reading probably

about half of it and then just

kinda wandering away slowly from it. Not because it was a bad

book, but because at that time in my life, I was kinda distracted by

a whole bunch of other nonsense. You know, I was into movies, and I was

into comic books, and it just seemed, you know, it had

the, had the cover, by the way, the copy of the book that I have

here, I'll show it on the video. Those of you who are listening to the

audio can't see it, but this is the original,

Harper perennial modern classics cover from the

19 sixties for Tom Kill and Mockingbird. This is the cover of the book that

I had back in the day when I checked it out from the library, because

the library by the way, for those of you who don't know, the library was

this giant sampling thing before the Internet where you went and got books. You know?

Although I hear gen z is actually going there

because it's quiet and it's a no phone zone, and they can actually, like,

talk to people. Imagine that.

It's the new bar anyway. But this is the version that I

have. And, and the version that I had when I was a kid did not

have winner of the Pulitzer Prize on it. I I think they put that on,

like, after she, after she died, in 2016. And we'll

talk about, of course, fourth literary life of Harper Lee and get into a little

bit of her background, which is a little bit Tom be more fascinating than a

book, but to close my thought, I had read it when I was

like I said, 16 or 17. And I kind of just wandered away from it

and I never went back and picked it back up again. And then as a

result of this podcast, went back and looked at it again. And of course I've

seen the Gregory Peck movie, you know, who

hasn't? But I don't think I've revisited that either. I might go

back and watch that after we get done with this recording. Maybe I'll watch that

this weekend. I would suggest that knowing you as a movie

buff as you are because there are some nuances to that

movie that you just don't see today. Right. Right?

Like facial expressions and the the way that the cinematography

works on the Zooms and things like that because you don't need to do that

today with all the technology we have. And, I

would essays, you know, I mean, Gregory Peck is Gregory Peck. And

and, you know, people can argue how

great he was and one of the better actors of all time, blah blah blah,

so so forth. But I gotta honestly, in this movie, he was

even from my standard, like, he was really good. And then even more

a real weird thing that I realized

that that not a lot of people know, just a very small, you

know, kinda footnote turning, is this was Robert

Duvall's first movie.

Okay. That's interesting. Fun fact. Robert Robert Duvall

plays the, the role of Boo Radley in the in the movie.

Yeah. Yeah. And, it was his it was his first movie role. So I thought

that was interesting too. Just so for those two things alone, I would suggest you

watch the movie because it was interesting to to, to watch the movie

knowing that. Yeah. Well and I who's the last thing I saw

Gregory Peckin? The last movie I oh,

Roman holiday. Well, my because my daughter who

doesn't like other things, certain books, she

she really she really enjoys Roman holiday because she likes the idea of,

like, essays and riding around Europe. And, of course, Gregory Peck is in

that with, oh, what's her name? Audrey Audrey

Hepburn. And then of course, I've seen Gregory Peck

in guns of Navarone. And as an actor, he always

impressed me as being a guy who was he

was sort of he wasn't Cary Grant or Cary Grant always, like, sort of smirked

at the camera. He's a smirking kind of gentleman. That's why he could do comedy.

Gregory Peck took himself, at least least as an actor, I always thought

he did, and the roles that he played. He always played morally

serious roles, like, with moral weight. He sort of reminds me

a little bit of, George Clooney in

that way a little bit, except, you know,

Clooney came along at a different time and has different parameters because it's just

different era. But I could easily see Clooney doing Gregory Peck

Sorrells. Because I think he, I think he sort of likes that idea of

being a serious actor. Whereas

Carrie Grant was always more like Brad

Pitt. Yeah. Yeah. You know? Oh,

I know I'm good looking and I'm gonna kinda like smirk around it and

get whatever. I'm like, Tom it. Anyway,

I'll watch Tom kill Mockingbird this weekend. I'll I'll check it out. It's on, it's

on TCM classics actually, in the, in the max,

app. So I actually, I actually,

I saw it on, to be. Oh, on Tubi.

Okay. Alright. I I just got I just got turned on to Tubi, like, about

2 months ago. So It's an it's an interesting platform, but we don't have to

talk about tech. No. We don't. We don't. Because that will lead into a discussion

of, like, Brooklyn 99, and no one is, you know, no one is no one

cares about us. Exactly. No one cares about us talking about any of that. But

but I think but but book to the the movie book comparison,

I I felt very strongly that this was one of

those movies that did that did the book justice

Okay. Versus because I know a lot of times now, we're turning we're turning books

into entire series of shows on

on whether it's HBO or or whatever, HBO Max or

Netflix or whatever because we're we're trying to shy away

from trying to fit a, you know, 300 page book into a hour you know,

it's a 90 minute movie. Or they're doing things like Dune where they're

separating the movie out into, like, 2 or 3, 4 parts, but it's

still you know, Dune's 3 hours. So we're trying to fit

I I think this was one of the few books to me that took a

regular length movie and actually did the book justice.

Well, and I Her components were in it. All the major, like, dialogue was

in it. All the major story lines, all the major

moral thoughts that they had in it. Like, you got almost all of that

from the movie that you that you did by reading the book. So I thought

I thought it was a really good really good depiction. Well, Harper Lee was

involved in the, I believe she was involved in writing the screenplay. The original

screenplay. The original screenplay, which I mean, you know, if

Scott Fitzgerald wrote screenplays, but, you know, I think if I

remember correctly, and of course our listeners can correct me on this,

because I don't have IMDb up right now, but if I remember correctly, he

wrote the movie script for his novel tend to risk the night.

And he was, and he was, he didn't like Hollywood. He didn't like working with

Hollywood. He did it because he had to eat and he moved on with the

rest of his life, but he struggled with with that

conversion of his book to a script. But the other the

other author that I think of, 20 century author who worked really well in

film was William Faulkner. William Faulkner wrote a lot of

scripts and Faulkner. Well, no. Harper

Lee is often brought up in the conversation along with William

Faulkner as one of those, as I said in the turning, southern gothic writers

that sort of really captured this out during a particular historical and cultural

moment. And the fact that that script had all that in there

was probably I mean, obviously due to her influence. She knew what to cut, you

know, of her own, of her own work. All

right. Well, let's get into the book. As usual with a

book of this weight and this, size that is, of course,

still in copyright, you can't get an open source version of To Kill A

Mockingbird, like anywhere. We will be summarizing To Kill a

Mockingbird. So we'll be looking at really the first

part. This is divided up into 2 parts, and there's a lot of

stuff that happens in this book. We cannot possibly cover the whole book.

So I would recommend you going out and readers it. But Tom kill and

Mockingbird opens with, the characters of

Jim Fitch, Atticus Finch, dill,

Calpurnia, Boo Radley, who we already mentioned, played by Robert

Duvall, the film, and, and scout, Jesan

Louise Finch. She's the narrator of the story. Now Scout stands in

for Harper Lee, in this, in this

novel, and the entire thing is written. And

then this is gonna be one of the things that's gonna capture you. And it,

and as an adult, it really fourth kind of blew me away that she was

able to hold the narrative all the way through. But, it's

written through her, her eyes, right through what she essays,

and not the eyes of an adult, although it is an adult looking

book. But it's an adult looking back and then trying to fit themselves

into a 6 to 8 year old brain and

mindset, and not do it in a precocious or

precious kind of way, which is one of the one of the one of the

reasons why this book works. In chapters 1

through 4 of Tom kill a Mockingbird, we learned that, all of

the children, live in a segregated environment in,

in Macomb, Alabama. But they don't perceive the

segregation deeply, nor are they in an age where it will impact the

impressions of their lives. We often talk in our own era and Tom

and I will talk a little bit about this today as well, because this is

one of the main themes of the book. We often talk in our era about

can't children see race and how soon should we begin bias training with children

and how soon should we begin, you know, knocking down social and cultural

biases around race or gender or any other form of identity. And the

fact of the matter is, do children come in? No, not do

children. The fact of the matter is children come into the world with certain

impressions, for sure, but they also come in blank. It's a weird mix

and you don't know where the blank parts are and you don't know where the

impression parts are. And the first four chapters of To Kill A

Mockingbird really set that tone. We're looking at a child's

life through a child's eyes, and there is segregation,

but that word isn't even used

by Scout anywhere in the book. No. It's too

complicated a word for a

6 to 8-year-old. The father

Atticus Finch played by Gregory Peck in the movie, is a local

attorney. And the Jesan main theme of the

book that we'll talk about today is this idea of a paternal

presence that sets the moral undertone of not only a

family, but also of the book. Again, this is something that's really

interesting and why I don't think To Killamocky Bird could be written today.

We live in a world where we are currently in the

backwash of the Homer Simpson father

figure kind of idea, where the father is kinda dumb

and, kinda not great. And the mom has to come along. I

even see this on social media. And the father the mom has to come along

and fix things that the father does. And there's a tension there.

Right? Because the reality is we do live in a world of competent fathers.

I mean, we're recording this, the day after d

day, in, in 2024.

And Father's Day is coming up, which is

according to one comedian I follow, but interestingly enough on Instagram,

the worst holiday ever.

He he has a compelling he's a compelling argument there.

Even my children struggle with what Tom get me for father's day. And I, and

I tell them as I'm sure every father who is listening, even Tom's a father,

every father listening tells them you don't have to really give me anything because I

can already get everything myself. If I already want to get it,

I don't need anything. But

Atticus presents that moral weight,

particularly for Scout and for her

brother, Jesan, and their friend, Bill. He also

presents the moral weight for the town, as a local

attorney, and we get the beginnings of that. And a lot of

the ways in which Scout views him are the way a

child views, views a grown up, not in the way

grown ups view other grown ups. So there are many things that

are mystery in these first four chapters to, to

scout. We also begin to explore in chapters 1 through fourth

character of the town of Maycomb, through its citizens and

their relation to history as perceived by a child. Again,

I wanna reemphasize, this is not written from an adult's

perspective. There's not an adult sense of maturity

and wisdom and and even cynicism on all of this. There is a sense

of innocence in To Kill a Mockingbird, and that's probably why it's

assigned to high school students, because,

you know, if you're a teenager, you can really read this book and really get

your arms around it because you think adults are stupid and they don't know anything.

And from your perspective, they are stupid and they don't know anything.

But you're also still a child. Right? You still

have some, depending upon your circumstances, sense of

wonder about what is laying in front of you in the world.

When we think about To Kill a Mockingbird, we have to think about Harper

Lee. She was born on April

28, 1926, and she died February 19,

2016, not but a few years ago.

She was an American novelist, and that's pretty much the only

job she had that I can find anyway. She was the

youngest of 4 children. Her parents were Francis

Cunningham and Amasa Coleman Lee. Lee's mother

was a homemaker, but her father was a former newspaper editor, a businessman, and

a lawyer who also served in the Alabama state legislature from 1926

to 1938. And I do believe that she had a strong relationship with her father

because, well, Atticus Finch is basically

Arberly's dad. Through her father, she was related

to confederate general Robert E. Lee and a member of the

prominent Lee family. Before, her father,

Amasa Coleman Lee became a title lawyer, he once defended 2 black

men accused of murdering a white storekeeper. Both clients, a

father and a son were hanged, which is how things happened back in the

day. And I'll tell a story here on the podcast a little bit

later, about my own personal

interaction with such

social problems. While enrolled

at Monroe County High School, Lee developed an interest in English literature,

in part through her teacher, Gladys Watson, who became also her mentor.

In the summer of 1948, Lee attended a summer school program. And by the

way, she was already writing by this point, small articles,

magazine publications, things like that. Right? And her father

thought that the summer school program, European civilization in the

20th century at Oxford University in England,

would help her may be more interested in legal studies at

Tuscaloosa because he really wanted her to go off and become a lawyer.

That turned out to be a hope in vain. And that was not the

path that she was going to go down.

So we've got Harper Lee and we've got to kill a mockingbird and we've got

some background here. So Tom, what's

your reaction to the first encounter your first encounter with Keller Mark.

We're talk a little bit about that, and the impression that this book has made

on you. Well, I

I think that that by itself is probably a loaded question because I I think

we could stop right there, and we could just talk for the next hour and

a half about just this question.

Because so I found one of the reasons I

found this book so fascinating was I grew up in a

very mixed race environment. I I grew I grew up

very poor. I mean, I felt like I was I was reading about

myself in some portions of this book. Right? Like, not

not I wasn't in Alabama. I get that. Like but and it certainly wasn't

racially segregated the way that they were talking about, but we felt economically

segregated. Like, whether you were black, white, or Hispanic, or or other,

we were all in that group treated just differently than some of our

counterparts that weren't growing up in that in that air in in that

same neighborhood. So but but one of the things that that really

stood out to me was, I should

probably preface this. So this this might make a little bit of an impact to

your to the audience. So I grew up not

knowing my biological father until I was about 21, 22 years

old. Okay. So when I so when I read when I started

reading, like, I I almost kinda

wanted a father like Atticus. Right? Like like Atticus Finch where and

I felt like he would be the kinda guy that I could bring home my

friends that were not

racially the same as me, and he wouldn't have treated them differently based

strictly on the way they looked because that's how that's the feeling you got

from him in the book, that his moral compass was in such a way

that that he was judging people by their merit,

not other factors, including how poor they were. And if you

again, if you read the book, Scout at one point even asks him, daddy, are

we poor? And he says yes. And she goes, are we as poor as the

other family? I can't remember the name of the family at this point, but are

we as poor as the other fit? And he goes, well, they're farmers and we're

not. The farmers were hit harder. So, yeah,

they're a little bit more poor than we are, but we're never gonna make them

feel that way, essentially. I'm paraphrasing. But

so he even looked at it like the poor

looking down at the poor, and he didn't care what their race or

or color was at that point. He just felt like we're not gonna make them

feel bad because they're more poor than we are. We're just gonna make them feel

we're gonna make them feel like they're they're our peers, so to speak. And again,

I'm paraphrasing. But when I when I'm reading stuff

like that and when I was looking at this as a kid, I'm thinking to

myself, wow. Like, I if I had a doubt like that, like, all my

friends could come over and he wouldn't think anything of it. Like, he wouldn't

he wouldn't invite them to dinner or because he does that in the

book with one of the one of the kids that Scout gets into a

conflict with. They end up inviting him over for dinner, and I was like,

I think that is cool now. So, you know, in in

in bouncing back between the book and the and the movie because I think again,

like I said earlier, I think this particular movie does a really nice job

interpreting the book. Right? Like in Gregory Peck in particular. And when you watch

Gregory Peck interact with the black community in the

movie, you just get this sense that

the segregation wasn't in his mind. The

segregation was was physical. I mean, obviously, you can see it, you know,

and it was written about and how this was a white neighborhood and that was

a black neighborhood. But the way that Gregory the way that the book is written

and as you're reading it and the way that Gregory Peck depicts it in the

movie, you could just get this sense from him that

the segregation isn't in his mind. The segregation is only there because it has to

be there, so to speak. Right? Yeah. It's it's required to be there, so I'll

deal with it because it's there. But he gives it just the

way he, again, I'm I'm referring to Gregory Peck in the movie. Just the

way he walks to the front porch and shakes the man's hand, and then you're

like, because in 19 thirties Alabama, you're just not expecting

that. Right? Like, you're just Right. You're not expecting that kind of that kind

of, respect and,

mutual, and there's a

and there's another part to it where, you know,

Atticus is leaving the courthouse and one of the one of the members of the

black community kinda nudges Scout and she he's like, hey. Stand up.

Your your father's walk like, this is important to your father. Stand up. Like and

it was the black community that was trying to teach her that lesson, not the

segregated white community. Like so I I I just felt like this book did a

really nice job of, like, and don't even get me started about,

what was her name? The the the the house, Oh, Calfurnia?

Calfurnica. Yep. Right? Because there was a there was a quick

and I think it might get lost to a lot of people about this

part, but Calpurnica pulled Scout aside

to discipline her. Now this is a black woman

disciplining a white girl in her own home, and

Gregory Peck thought nothing of it, which is, again, one of the things that I

found blew my mind. Right? And I was like, that wasn't supposed

to happen during those during those Tom, like and and and by the

way, and the movie kinda shows, like, she actually gives her a little tap on

the butt, and I was like, wow. This is this is powerful. Like,

this that to me was like, yes. Because

people like, I one of my favorite lines, and

and and I'm gonna get into a little bit of trouble here, so I I

I I apologize, but Yeah. I'm just gonna say I'm just gonna say it because

I say it. Right? One of my favorite lines is when people say them to

other people, like, I you know, and you've heard the phrase a 1000 times, Jesan.

I know you have. They say, well, I don't see color. Oh, yeah. And I'm

like, well, you kind of freaking have to, man. Like, we're

different colors. Like, you don't see color. Now that being said,

so when my kids asked me growing up so my kids asked me what that

meant. Right? Like, what did what do they mean when they say that? Do they

not recognize that that person is black or that person is brown because they're Hispanic

fourth that, you know, that when in the middle of summer, when we're tan, we

have a red tint to our skin. We always have a red tint that it

because of our culture. And and I was

like, okay. So when people say that phrase and they mean it

legitimately, they're naive. They have no idea what they're talking about. Because if

they if they truly say they don't see color, then they're not

experiences they're they're not experiencing the wonder of

cultural differences that we all have. Right? Mhmm. What I

think they mean by that is I don't

judge people based on strictly their color. I don't view people

or treat them based on their color because I

either dislike or like people based on the merits of the person,

not what their skin tone is. Right? So I like just as many

black people as I don't like. That has nothing to do with seeing color or

not seeing color. I like them as a person. I don't like them as a

Jesan. And I don't care what color they are. I'm I'm gonna base my opinion

of you on your merits. And the reason I say all of this is

because I think some of that comes out in this book with Gregory Peck in

the movie Tom. And the way that he sees people, the way he stands up

for Tom Robinson, the way in the scene, or or the

the the chapter when the mob goes to the jail. Right?

Because they're they're the the Tom Robinson finally came back to the local

jail because at some point, the the sheriff was holding him outside of

the outside of the communal jail because he he knew what would happen. Like, the

the the sheriff knew what would happen. And so as soon as soon as he

comes back, sure enough, mob shows up. And who's standing in front of the mob

not letting them in? Gregory Peck. Mhmm. And I was like, damn it. Like, I

really wanna know this guy. Like, because this kid this can't possibly

be a real guy in 19 thirties Alabama. Well,

that's apparently, it was, though. Apparently, it was, though.

So I think that's why this book

And again, I place it next to uncle Tom's cabin by Harry Beecher stow.

So, yeah, it's one of those books that

when I, when I finally bang through it and read the whole thing,

right. It's one of those books where I realized about 3

quarters of the way through, I thought this book came

along. And by the way, this is not Harper Lee's fourth. It has nothing to

do with her. She wrote, she published, she did what she was supposed to do.

That's her job. One of the things we've been talking about,

fourth we did talk about last month with some of our female authors, like Catherine

and Fourth Porter and, Zora Neale Hurston,

was, how timing

is hugely important. Yeah. Like, for for for Hurston,

unfortunately fourth her, you

know, she came along and then

she declined. And and and but the people had to pick her up later on.

Right? They had to they had to find her on their own. Right? Catherine and

Porter nominated for Pulitzer writers, but nobody

reads her stuff anymore. She's like Pearl Buck. Nobody reads her stuff anymore. And by

the way, we should be reading it. She wrote one of the better explanations

at an emotional level of what happens in a flu epidemic,

because she lived through the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918,

and she went bald and all her hair turned white. I think that made an

impression on her. I just think

it did. Timing is everything.

Stowe had timing with uncle Tom's cabin. Matter of fact, Abraham Lincoln

is quoted as, when he met her at the white house, I believe,

or in Washington DC. Because the white house didn't exist. Basically at that point in

time, they were building it. I think if I remember correctly.

But, he said to her, oh, you're the one you're the little woman who wrote

this great big book that started this war. You know? Yeah. And,

Harper Lee is just to sort of bring that forward another 100

years, Harper Lee is the woman that wrote this book that

landed in an environment that was right for desegregation.

And so I think that's why it's had its cultural impact. We'll talk a little

more about that today, had its cultural impact that it has

had and talking about your own personal

engagement with it. You said you read it in high school and

you emotionally connected with it because of your personal experiences.

I read it in high school And I got distracted

by it because other emotional things, and I'll talk a little bit about this

today, but other emotional things were happening with me around that

area. And so there was a lot of confusion there, not about

segregation, not about racism, not about any of that, but

confusion about where do I personally stand as

a man? Like, what is that going to be? And I

didn't, at that time of my life,

I did not have a whole lot of good role models. Right? I had a

whole lot of bad ones, but I did not have a whole lot of good

role models. And so, you know I didn't I

didn't have any. Yeah. You didn't have any. You didn't have any.

You know? So I think that that's the other

place where this book lands to your point. And then talking

about Calpurnia, you know, you mentioned, you know, the, and she's the, you

know, the African American housekeeper that lives in the,

in the house with the finches. The paragraph here,

in the first it's in literally the very first chapter. It's exactly what you're

talking about. And I quote Calpurnia was something else again. Now this is again

through scout's eyes, right, through the 6 year old's eyes.

Calpurnia was something else again. She was all angles and bones.

She was nearsighted. She squinted her hand was wide as

a bed slat and twice as hard. She was always ordering me out of

the kitchen, asking me why I couldn't behave as well as Jim when she knew

he was older and calling me home when I wasn't ready to come. Our

battles were epic and one-sided Calpurnia always

won mainly because Atticus always took her. She had

been with us ever since gem was born and I had felt her tyrannical

presence as long as I could remember.

I loved it. I love that. Come on. Love it.

It it's it's it again again, when you're thinking about the

time and the error that this was supposed to take place Yeah.

I bet you half of America would not have believed that actually happened if

you'd announced it at the time. Right? So well well hold on. Well

okay. Let me let me do this. I'll tackle this one early.

So one of the things that you do get from people who live

in the fourth, and I lived in the south for a good chunk of my

my high school years. You know, people call Texas the south

who are from the northeast. Y'all don't know what you're talking about. This is the

west. Y'all no clue what you're talking about. Not you, but just in general, you,

the global you. Y'all don't know what you're talking about. This is the west out

here. It's not Yellowstone, Kevin Costner West, but it's trust

me. It's the west. People walk around here unironically with

cowboy hats on and giant belt buckle belt buckles. Like, give me a break. Come

on. And they're wrestling cows. So I don't even wanna

hear it. When I think of the south,

I think of the deep fourth geographically.

That's the deep fourth. And even Georgia is shifting around.

Well, to me, Georgia's the south, but the 3 other 3 are the deep south.

Right? Like, that's, like, I think that's where the the dividing line is for me.

Yeah. Like, you got, like, you know, Georgia, the Carolinas,

Georgia, Tennessee. That's all the south. Then you get into the deep south, which is

like Alabama, Louisiana. Well and there's an and there's an argument to be

made that maybe the south begins at the begins on the east

side of Dallas and moves to, like, the the west side

of Atlanta. There's an argument to be made there, maybe,

geographically. Right? And maybe goes as far north as

maybe Memphis and as far fourth as Jacksonville. Okay.

When you talk to actual people who actually live here,

it actually live in those areas that I've named, that geographic boundary that I've

named. One of the things that drives them absolutely nuts. And actually

the book references it Tom some of the women in the sewing circle. Talk about

it. In part 2 of the book,

one of the things that drives them nuts is the

perceived on their part. And they're not wrong in this, by the way,

the perceived hypocrisy on the part of, as they call them Yankees,

who will talk about equality all day, but

won't let black people marry their daughters.

At least we down here, actually the Sony circle actually says this. One of

the ladies does at least we down here are keeping them in their place, but

we're allowing them to rise in their own place. So which one is, and of

course, you know, it's framed as which one is better. And

we talk about Martin Luther king Jr. On this podcast every February with,

with black history month. And one of

the great, I don't

know if I would call it a success. Jesan are the

great knock on effects from the civil rights struggle

was in the 1960s seventies was the

forcing of Americans,

on either side of what was formerly known as the Mason Dixon line. No one

even uses that term anymore, to actually

confront their individual hypocrisy. So

people in the north north of the Mason Dixon line, had

to confront, okay. We say

black folks are equal to white folks,

but guess who's coming to dinner as a popular film. Right? Like that that didn't

I don't know if I remember correctly. That's a place in, like, California that didn't

take place in, in, Alabama. And then, you

know, the south separate, but equal,

but we're not going to give money to make it actually equal. We're

going to let it just sort of do whatever it's going to do with let

a 1,000 puppies bloom. Okay. I

think those dynamics are well represented in the book.

And I think that that is, that is a huge literary

achievement for a first time author.

And it represents not only the level of her talent, but I

think it also represents her level of

hotspot maybe. Because she didn't know what

she didn't know. Writers. She didn't know that you were not supposed to do

that. I was just gonna say, she just kinda threw it out there. Just kinda

threw it out there. Yeah. Let's see what happens. Let's see what happens. I was

gonna see what to her own words, like, she was hoping fourth,

like, a quick depth. Meaning Right. She wanted if if she was not going

to be a good author, she wanted to know right away, so she'd go do

something else. Right. Right? That that was the whole point of that statement. Yeah.

Her, one of her mentors, was,

oh, what's his name? The guy

who writers. I'm not going to remember it.

It doesn't matter, but he was a famous twentieth century author. Y'all can look it

up on Wikipedia, but he was one of her mentors and,

Turning Capote. There it is. I knew if I talked long enough, it would eventually

come, come into my brain. So Truman Capote who wrote, in cold

blood. Okay. A book which we will not be covering on this

podcast, but, Truman Capote

basically advised her to write from her direct

experience as much as is humanly possible. And so I

think that what you're seeing in Atticus

is what not only her father was,

And I think Southerners

had a problem with this book because it we're gonna talk about it winding up

on the banned book list too. Yeah. I think Southerners

had a problem because not because they didn't have Atticus types

in their midst. They did.

I think they looked at the Atticus types as their dirty

laundry. Oh, so I was thinking And they didn't

want their dirty laundry exposed to the rest of the world. I was

thinking that the Atticus Finches of the world were

not as impactful in real life as they were

portrayed. Because Is it No. I think well, I think that's the dirty laundry part.

I think that's the dirty laundry part. Right? And then Hollywood comes along. And and

and here's the other part that we, like, forget. The dynamic

between regions in this country. Cause this country is, I mean, we're a third of

a continent for God's essays. The dynamic between the regions in this

country, is, I mean, we saw this with

COVID is still sharp. It's still sharp. Like I thought it had

died down. Right. But nope, Nope. It's still an undercurrent. It's still

there. And so from a Southerners perspective, number 1, I

got these Northern Yankees coming down here turning me I got Tom desegregate. And

then I got these California hippies coming here and making some.

Like, get out of town, go back to your, go back to where you belong

and stop coming down here and telling me how to live now.

Now from the Californians and the the Hollywood perspective, oh, we're

gonna go down there and we're gonna make a movie and it's gonna be socially

relevant and we're gonna expose. And I'm not saying this is the thought process of

folks making, you know, to kill a Mockingbird. I'm just saying that this is the

undercurrent sort of,

exaggeration or metaphor or or or or

or or literature, right, that we put on It's like a righteousness.

Right? It's like righteousness of Hollywood. Like, they feel like they're gonna they're gonna do

it right. They're gonna make sure it's right. It's authentic. It's the like, and

they they I shouldn't say they never do, but they rarely get the gist

of it. You know, like, it I Jesan, I I think you got some

kid watching movie in New York or in Boston going, wow. Is that what the

fourth is really like? Holy crap. Or if you're from

Boston and you watch a movie like the departed and you go, who has an

accent like that? Like, I don't know anybody that like like so the rest of

the country thinks we speak like that? They're like, what is wrong with

this? Because they over they over they tend to overemphasize

that quirkiness of whatever region they're talking about. Right? Like Right. So, again, the

Boston accent and, by the way, I know we have one. I get that. But

and and and some of my some of my best friends have Boston accents.

So it's We were just we were just talking about Dennis Leary before fourth

recorded this podcast. You know, I hit record. But and I forgive them for that.

And no. No. But but but the way when Hollywood gets their things on their

their their grips on it, they're like, we're gonna make it authentic, so we're gonna

make this Boston accent really pop, really show. And I feel like they do

that everywhere else. Like, around and not just the country, by the way. I feel

like they do it around the world when they're making a movie about anywhere. It's

like they they they grab onto that thing that the region is known for and

they over accentuate it to make sure that people understand that that's what they're doing

and they're trying to make it And then they overdo it and it becomes

a nuisance to people. Like, every time a TV show, a

movie, or documentary is made about

our the the the fourth or whatever, I'm just waiting

Tom my cringe hackles are already up, because I'm waiting to

hear the Boston accent that drives me bananas. Because, like,

half the people around me do not speak like that. Like, we're not

it doesn't so and I'm assuming that's part of their problem too. Like, when they're

gonna say, we're gonna make this Southern, but we're gonna make it authentic, and we're

gonna give we're gonna ring this to the and then I'm like,

and and I'm sure southern people cringe at it. Right? Oh, yeah. To Tom your

point, the the rest of the country or the rest of the people watching it

think that this is authentic, and this is how everybody down there acts, and everybody

down there is, and everybody I I it drives me crazy

sometimes, but Well, and the nuance of the book, and then we

can, we'll go back to our, go back to re summarizing here fourth, in a,

in a moment. But the nuance of this book is

that to your point, she wrote an

individual book about individual people living individual

lives inside of a

group, social cultural, socio

cultural milieu that,

and by the way, there are characters in this book, like Ms. Maude,

right. Or on Alexandra. It's not just Atticus

Finch, Dill, and miss Rachel.

Love that kid, Dill. There were characters in this

book, even the villain, Bob Yule,


they knew the thing they were in,

but they didn't have the power or the will to

change it. And See, I I felt like

that was I felt like that was stronger from the sheriff's perspective than Bob

Ewells. Right. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Oh, yeah. When he's talking to Atticus at the

end At the end. When what happens with the kids and all that, and he's

like, listen. I loved it how he froze. Like, I'm 43 years old.

I don't know a whole lot about a lot of things, but I know a

lot about this. Yeah. You let me make this decision.

Right. And he and he took the burden off Atticus' conscience.

Right. But, like, that's an exam well, we talk

about this sometimes on the podcast. That's an example of an adult in the room.

When I when I say on this show, where are the

adults in the room? That's what I'm talking about. That

interaction right there. Where are the people who will go, listen,

name your age here. That's older than whoever's in the room.

I've got a few more years of life on you. I know a few more

things, and you know a lot about a lot of fancy things, and

book is that cool. But I know

about the permanent things that you don't know about yet. So I'm gonna

make this decision, and you're gonna kick and scream, and you're gonna

cry and wail. Hell, you're gonna blow me up on that thing called TikTok that

I'm not even on. I don't care.

This is the decision that needs to be made right now. And then they just

go off and make it. And they go off and go over the consequences of

it. Yeah. It was also a good example of, like, doing what's

right is not always by the book, so to

speak. Right. Exactly. Right? You sometimes you have to some yeah.

Sometimes you have to take a a slight left turn to Tom make sure

that there's a difference between

being right and being just. Right. And in this and in this particular

case, I felt like the right decision

was making sure that the just decision was was was to the

surface. Well, and Harper Lee wasn't. So again,

she's writing this through the perspective of a, of a 6 to 8 year old.

So a 6 to 8 year old is not going to ask

the question. And I think this is why there's been very little

literary analysis of this book because a sophisticated

critic in our year of our Lord 20, fourth is

going to ask this question. Why

couldn't the sheriff have done the same thing for

Tom Rob?

And the answer to that question is this

6 to 8 year olds don't deconstruct the world to figure out

who's got power and who doesn't.

6 to 8 year olds don't perceive

the socio cultural political milieu

in the same way that a 35 year old critic with an ax

to grind in a blog in New York or wherever does.

They just don't, they haven't lived that experience. We

all get to talk about a lot about lived experience. Well, the lived experience of

a 68 year old, ain't that The limits of a

68 year old is, well, this thing happened over here with

the adults, and then I went off. And by the way, this is exactly how

the book is written. And then I went off and did a bunch of stuff

with my buddies, and I got into a bunch of shenanigans. I loved how she

talked about Halloween. I I love that line. The

ham. Right. Like, she she took up whole pages about this.

I'm like, what modern author would have the guts? It's it was

amazing. And oh, and by the way, the

reason why there was a ham let me let me go to this for just

a moment. And this is the back chapter of the book. Yeah. The reason why

there was a ham. So was in October

fourth the back end of the book, and they're talking about Halloween

and talking about the costume and missus Tootie and Fruity

Barber and, sort of why,

why Halloween happened in the way that it happened.

And, and I quote,

the Jesan change in Maycomb since last year was not one of national significance.

Until then, Halloween and Maycomb was a completely unorganized affair. Each

child did what he wanted to do with assistance for other children if there was

anything to be moved, such as placing a light bugging on top of Libby stable.

But parents thought things went too far last year when the piece of

miss Tucci and miss Frutti was shattered.

That's an 8 year old. That's writing specifically from an 8 year old's perspective fourth,

I'm sorry, a 6 year old's perspective. Missed back to the book for just

a second turning. Missus Tootie and Frutie Barber were maiden ladies, sisters who

Libby together in the only Maycomb residence boasting a cellar. The Barber ladies were

rumored to be Republicans. No judgment there. Just this is the thing I

hear as a sister what it is. I don't even know what that means. Having

migrated from Clanton, Alabama in 1911, their ways were strange

to us. And why they wanted a seller, nobody knew. But they wanted 1, and

they dug 1, and they spent the rest of their lives chasing generations of children

out of it. And I quote further, missus Judy and Frodey,

their names were Sarah and Francis, aside from their Yankee essays, were both

deaf. Miss Trudy denied it and lived in a world of silence, but

miss Frudy, not about to miss anything, employed an ear trumpet

so enormous that Jim declared it was a loud speaker fourth

one of those dog victrolas. And I had to pause for a minute and think

about the logo, by the way. Well, I was like, that's brilliant. Logo? The

RCA logo. That's brilliant. Back to the book for just

a moment. With these facts in mind and Halloween at hand, some wicked

children had waited until the missus Barber were thoroughly asleep, slipped

into their living room. Nobody with the Radleys locked up at night.

Stealthly made away with every stick of furniture therein and hid it in the

cellar. I deny having taken part in such a

thing. I read that twice just to

get it, just to make sure I got the joke. Yeah.

That's, that's the mind of a 6 to 8 year old.

And that's that there are whole passages like this

in this book, and that's why it defies literary analysis, I think.

Well, that it well, that and and one of the most one of the

most profound parts of the book was when

Scout at the end at the end of the book, when Scout is trying to

ease the mind of Atticus as to why the sheriff is right And coming

from the mind of a 6 year old Yep. It was powerful in

its simplicity. And it was and it was it was

simple because it was coming from the mind of a 6 or 8 year old.

But, you know, to your point, but that's where all the power came from. And

you're like, oh, damn. Like Mhmm. That

was written very, very, very well. And and how

how she pulled back a lesson she learned from him earlier in

the book, he she basically used his own words, not against him,

but she used his own words to teach him his own lesson.

Right. I I just think, again, it was it was great. It was really

good. I love this book. Let's get

back to the summary. So we're gonna go through there's only leaders part of the

book. We're bouncing around a little bit. But, in chapters 4 through

7, school shows up for the kids.

And, school is precisely what you would think that it would be,

for a, for a, for an 8 year old and

a, I think, I think Jim was, was probably,

11 at the time. And scout was like 6. So Jesan

scout worked their way through school. Those scout who can read and write at an

unexpected level in the 1st grade, much to the chagrin of her teacher,

does not value school highly. As a matter of fact, she

almost equates it with being in a prison with a bunch of weirdo

inmates that she has to deal with constantly.

And by the way, one of the things that's also interesting about this book in

the early chapters is we do establish that scout is clearly a

Tom. Oh, yes. She is clearly

a little girl, and she knows she's a little girl. She's not confused that she's

a little girl. There's no gender dysphoria going on about her being a

little girl. She knows she's a little girl, and

and she could fight as good as her brother, and she will waylay you in

a heartbeat if she thinks that you're getting out of line. And, you

know, if she thinks that her brother's getting out of line, she go try to

waylay him Tom. And the level of and it

reminded me of being a kid. I will be honest. It did. It reminded me

of being a kid in the nineties. The last time I

do believe the last time children actually took care of

things in between themselves where it didn't escalate to like a weird

level of psychotic violence,

either, online or in Jesan.

It was just, I've got, I've got these 2 hands. You want to come on,

get some or what? Right. We can't fix this now. And,

you know, the siblings, Jesan scout,

you know, were able to do that. And Harper Lee really described that childlike

environment. Very not childlike that. Yeah. Well, yeah, that childlike

environment very, very well. Both siblings also engage

in the early chapters in all kinds of varieties of shenanigans,

all the way from,

turning to prank book Radley, the, the reclusive

neighbor in town Jesan. And, and these

shenanigans culminate in culminate in Jim losing his pants turning to escape over a

fence, out of a out of a out of a yard full of

collared greens.

Harborleigh does a really good job in these early chapters of bringing

around the neighborhood's dark side and

seeing again, how that's perceived through the eyes of a child.

As rumors begin to swirl. And again,

the children are not paying attention to this as a level of a, that an

adult would not even a little bit of teenager would. They're they're pre

adolescents. They're like they're kids. And they

start hearing about how Atticus is defending. And and

by the way, they don't even say Tom Robinson. Abbott's Atticus is defending

this, well, I'm gonna use the word here because it is in the book, this,

well, this nigger. By the way,

that's why this book is on the banned book list

because the word is

used quite prominently. As a matter of fact,

if I be so bold, Harper Lee,

whom by the way, never took any heat as far as I'm aware for

the usage of this word in the way that Ernest Hemingway did

in the sun also writers. And he only used it. Like, I think like, like

there's a, there's a whole passage in there where Mike is talking in the book

about a writers, But because Hemingway is writing

about adults, Hemingway gets run. Harper Lee is

writing about children, so she's okay.

Interesting. Wasn't there a a point, though, where Atticus even asks her

not to use that word? Yes. He does. Yes. Yes. And he's like he's like,

okay. Can we not? Can we pass on that? And Okay. And it's just

such a part of her existence, but he doesn't but he doesn't tell her

why she shouldn't use it. True. But I think but

that might be why that Tom be one of the smaller reasons that Harper

Lee never got vilified for it because there was a point in which

somebody looked at her and said, can we please not? Can we please not

use that word? Like Right. It's I think there was a little bit of a,

like, a, like, a gotcha moment for for for people reading it. You know what

I mean? Like, so, like, people reading it and especially, I think today,

in our oversensitivity version of the world, people reading

it today, I don't think they pick up that same nuance. No. Right? Oh,

god. No. I think they they just see the word visually and they autumn they

have a visceral reaction to it that that word shouldn't be in books. We shouldn't

be reading it. And not to mention the fact that forget about, you know, if

God forbid you're in a classroom and you have to read it out loud. Right?

So the teacher now has to make sure that she's selecting students

to read that are going to actually read the word. And now she's

he or she are hesitant to to we're

if you It's nonsense. We're we're in a different kind of place. It's nonsense. It

well, I'm not sure if it's nonsense or not because there's still some uncomfortability in

it. But but but my point to it is is that the nuance is

gone. Like, that's more important to me. Like, you you wanna skip over

the word? Fine. I I get that. You you don't wanna let the student read

the word? I get that. Fine. But if you're losing the nuance to

that, you're missing the bigger picture.

If we're not going okay. Nuance. I agree with you.

I agree with you on the nuance piece, and I want to double down

if I can't read to kill. No, not even if I, if a

13 year old kid in

Evanston, Illinois, a 13 year old black kid at

Evanston, Illinois, can't read to kill a Mockingbird.

Then they also can't rebury my heart and wounded me.

Sorry. No, they just can't. Sorry. They can't, they can't read empire

of a summer moon. They can't read The Sun Also

Rises. They can't read, Huckleberry Finn. Oh, by the way, they can't

Huckleberry Finn Huckleberry Finn's on that list, by the way. Oh, I know. Want to

get, like Oh, I know. They can't read the Rape of Nanking by

Iris Chan. Yeah.

Because you know what? The

responsibility that falls on the people to teach the

nuance is now being abdicated in

favor of everybody being comfortable. Yes. Right. And you

don't grow and change in order to,

let me be blunt, fight the things you think are

wrong without knowing what exactly

the hell it is you're fighting and all the

nuances of it. Like I'm

one of those weird people that turning that and I'll go for

it. I'm one of those weird people that think selections from the Bible should be

read as literature in school. That will never happen.

We're we're not we're not we're not, what, 70 years almost

podcast. You can't pray in school? We're 70 years past that. I mean, once that

door opened, forget it. You're done. You can't you can't bring in religious books. And

by the way by the way by the way, bible, let's read from the Quran.

Let's read from the Talmud. Let's Let's readers fourth. Let's do the

whole freaking thing. Because guess what?

White light 15? You need not just a

little bit of that. You need a range of

that. Yeah. Because even more so than college and

a humanities degree where you get to go specialize, let's be blunt,

in high school where 84% of the people

in this country, when they graduate from high

school, fourth. It's been this way since the GI bill in the 19 fifties.

fourth% of people who graduate from secondary education

do not go to college. Been that way since 19

fifties. That number has never moved.

It goes up 1 goes up 1 or 2 percentage points when it's economic

downturn. It kinda goes down when things are good. 16% is the

average since 19 fifties. So

16% of the graduating population Goes to college.

Goes to college. We haven't moved the needle on that

number. Do you know why? Because

people, when they get through high school, you know what they essays? And they

said, you said it. I said it. Get me the f out of

here. What did I learn? Yeah. I wasted my damn time.

Right. I I looked at it as I don't want another 4 year sentence. Literally

fourth that came out of my fourth. Because I felt like high school was like

a like like a sent I I was sentenced to be there, and I

had to finish it, and that was it. Like, it was like it was a,

yeah, it was like it was a prison sentence for me. Sentence. That's By the

way, that's how she's writing it in this book. That's how Scout looks at it.

She's like, I'm I'm doing time. I already know

I already know how to read. Atticus taught me how to read. Well, your dad

better not teach you how to read. And she's like, what? I don't even understand

the words that are coming out of your mouth. Yeah. And and the other thing

to to go to to circle this back around to the the word the word

that started this whole thing. Uh-huh. Can I can I just remind people

that words only have the power that we give them? Yep.

So if you are that teacher in Illinois and you wanna read

this book, that word is only gonna have the amount of power that

you allow it to have. Like, I mean, I don't know as a society

that, like, we're frowning on using that word in general, and I

get that. Like, I I certainly get that. Like, I don't I'm not sitting here

thinking that we should go around using that word for everybody. That's just

asinine. No. But but when you're talking about

classic literature in times and the times

were different, if we can't you you listen. You and I have talked about this

so many times now that I think maybe the listeners are gonna start getting bored

with it. But if you're not learning from that past and you're

not truthful to that past to Tom that past,

then you are damned and bound to repeat it. So if we

start scratching this these words and and again, there are other

words that that not just that one, but there are a a plethora of

these books and words that are in these books that people don't wanna talk about

anymore because they're not politically correct and whatever.

But if they're taken in the framework of those book, we're

we're doomed to okay. So it's not gonna be that word, but that

some other word is gonna be depicted as just as hurtful,

and we're gonna use that instead because we're not learning from the past. We're

just repeating it. And, again, you and I have mentioned this several times Tom this

podcast, and I'm I I don't I don't want our listeners to not listen to

us anymore, but it is true. It is true. Words have

the power that you give them. Take the power away from

it. Take the power away from the word. The I

I I highlighted in here. I'm looking for my highlight. Was as you're as you're

talking, I'm looking for my highlight. I think it was when Heck was talking with,

with Atticus. And he says, and I I actually

paraphrased it to my wife the other day about something else.

But people in general find what they're looking

for. If you go looking for

something, they find it. So if you're looking for bias in

literature, congratulations. You'll find it.

You'll find it. If you're looking to be butthurt, and, yes, I'm using that

term, on this podcast about a word, about

the language, you're well, guess what? You're you're gonna find

that hurt for your butt. You just you are. You're

going to find it. If you are looking for

revelatory or even maybe not even revelatory, if you're

looking fourth, like, Tom opened up with if you're

looking for meaning,

and and a role model and

hope, Guess what?

You're gonna find it in literature. You're gonna find it in the great literature

of the 20th 20th century and of the 19th century and of the 18th century.

You're going to find it in great western literature, hell's bells. You're gonna find it

in great eastern literature. You're going to find it. That's why this is

called the leadership lessons from the great book. And guess what? I get to

decide because it's my podcast. What's great?

I get to decide that. And, yes, we have talked about it

repeatedly, but guess what? There's always new people coming in who haven't heard it

fourth. They're not gonna go back through all 100 and some odd episodes to find

it out. So someone's gonna wind it up, then it's gonna it's fine.

I get incredibly frustrated when I see books on a banned

list because Libby,

not lists, sorry. Books can jumpstart social reform, which is what

this book did. Sure. Just like I already

mentioned, knuckle Tom's cabin cabin and, and

the time at which to kill a mockingbird came along.

You know, we were, we were kind of on the cusp because this book was

published in, 1960, I believe.

Yeah. So shortly after it was shortly after Brown versus

Board of Education to speak to Kansas. It was shortly before all

the, you know, MLK, Martin Luther King's movements. Yep. It was

like that right it was right in the middle. So I'm not suggesting that this

was the catalyst, but I do think people reading this felt

a heck of a lot more comfortable moving fourth. Like, because

they Well well, in culture books are part of culture. Maybe a heck

of a lot more is probably not the right phrase. But it it gave people

a sense of what the past could have looked like.

Again, like, with Atticus and the way that he interacted with people and the way

that he treated people and the way that he his his moral compass, if the

past could look like that, then why the hell can't the future look like that?

Right. Exactly. Well and and culture moves society. We talked about

this with Catherine and Porter with her book, with her short story, pale horse, pale

writers. The solo episode that I did, I would

recommend going back and listening to folks who recommend them to go back and

listen to that. Because I mentioned

particularly in light of COVID and sort of the moment that we're

in now, at least in the United States where we have on the one

side writers in august magazines, like the Atlantic

and, and on, and on August

television stations like CNN,

proclaiming that. Well, you know, we

made mistakes were made during COVID. Of course we, when we say mistakes were

made to think about the language of that, There's no accountability in that

sentence. Well, mistakes were made. Everybody should just get over it. My

bad. See you next time. And then

on the other side of that, you have the Patrick Henry resistance types, and

I'll go ahead and sign up to be with with those folks who

look around and go, excuse me. What?

Now I'm not as far in it as some of

those types are where they're calling for a reckoning and heads on

pikes. You know, I'm not calling for Doctor. Anthony Fauci to

like be publicly, you know, castrated or anything like that. And

they've never do that. Maybe he should

probably give back some of the money he got from like Pfizer that might be

helpful. That might lead people to have him, you know, believe he's trustworthy,

maybe sell some of that Pfizer stock that he's got. But, but, but, you

know, you know, Hey, I don't get between a man and his money. Okay.

My point is if we want there

to be a cultural reckoning, the thing that moves

culture is, well,

literature and movies. It isn't people

on social media. They think they do, but they don't. They actually

follow culture. Culture is moved by the artifacts that we

create inside of it. Movies, books,

stories. These are the things that move culture. And

then guess what happens when culture moves? Laws are

passed after culture changes because number 1,

politics always politicians are always late to the game. And number 2, government's

always a late a late bloomer. Like, they don't even know what the hell is

going on until after everything's already gone, ever after everything's ever ever

after everything's already happened, it has moved culture. This is why when you see things

in the culture that are moving a culture towards a particular way, if you

object to that, go fight it in the culture. That's where you've gotta go

fight it. That's why we have culture wars. That's what that term means. Okay?

And Harper Lee and Harriet Beecher Stowe and Catherine Fourth and

Zora Neale Hurston, they all wrote books that

contributed to the foundation of cultural change in the 20th

century without one law being passed. And

by the way, they're all female. Like, I want to bring up that point too.

This isn't some like this isn't some like

Smoky and the bandit racist white white guy writing some

book. You know? Like, I I saw I I've never I've never I

didn't know what Harper Lee looked like in the in the Wikipedia article. Like, they

had one picture of her from, like, back in, like, I don't know, maybe the

forties or fifties when she was a young woman, and then they had another one

where she got some presidential Jesan medal of freedom and fourth she passed away from,

like, Barack Obama or whatever. And, you know, she's nice little old

lady, just like a little Christian grandma. Who'd be

like praying somewhere. Shouldn't look like anybody

turning. And it's it's and and by the way,

when you go look at Harry Beatrice, she wasn't threatening either. Same thing. Yeah. It

was the same thing. You know? Out of out of all the fourth names that

I mentioned, Katherine Ann Porter kinda book like a little bit like a model,

but even her, like, Spanish. Right? Zora

Neale Hurston, You know, the thing that she was not classically

beautiful, but she was a woman who when you look at

her picture and when you look at how she's photographed, she's always looking directly at

the camera. She's coming for you. She was busy. This is how

culture shifts. That's what I'm saying. Hurston, though,

like, I I I found it interesting that I was

she wasn't classically beautiful, but I was drawn to her because I felt like she

was a bit more regal. Right? Like Yes. She has, like, a regal quality to

her, which which made her a bit more attractive than the

average. Oh, yeah. Absolutely. To Tom fourth point, not necessarily

classically beautiful. I I agree with that. I mean, she's, you know

but but I she was definitely far from ugly. I like, I I

found her to be like I said, the the word regal comes to mind. She

had a poise about her, Tom your point, because all I'm seeing is

images from, you know, pictures. But so it's like but she had a she had

this poise about her that came across from the camera. Like, it was anyway,

I thought she was she was she was that sucker. Yeah. She

was she was impressive in a different fashion, like, in a different

way than than some of the but, anyway So, I mean, I'm saying all

that to say this. If we want people to change the culture, we have to

allow them to use whatever words they need to use in order to change the

culture. And we used to kind of understand that. And now

we're in this weird. And of course book because we're

at the end of the 4th turning. We're at the end of our, of our

latest seculum cycle. I understand why we're here. It's not weird to

me. And by the way, we are coming up on

our next the beginning of our next seculum cycle. I already mentioned that we're

recording this podcast, the day after, D

day. June 6, 1944.

That's 80 years ago as of yesterday.

80 years is a S that's a, that's a secular, that's a cyclical

cycle in history. It's an 80 year cycle in the west. We go through 80

year cycles. That means we're done. It means, like, this is the last year of

the cycle. And by the way, the last 20 years of an 80 year cycle

are always chaotic, which as I said repeatedly on this podcast, we've had

nothing but chaos since the year 2001. We're at the

end of chaos, kids.

The cultural tastemakers that are going to set the

next positive cycle for us in this country

had really better understand and be competent about what culture really

is and where culture really lies, particularly with our ability to self publish

our ability to do the kinds of things that you and I are doing right

now. Those, these are huge tools that we've

never had before. And so are we gonna get

really angry about language? Like, really?

Are we really gonna do that in order so we have because because we are

that we can't move the culture. That's my whole point. We can't move the culture.

You know? Dave Chappelle I go back to words only have power that you give

them. Dave Chappelle infamously says the Jesan amendment exists. I love this

in case that first amendment don't work out.

Okay. And he's he's and this is a man who he's

got a whole bit about living in Ohio and going to Walmart

and buying a gun. Like, Hey, I gotta go Walmart by gun.

And the white guy at Walmart sold him a gun, sold him a

shotgun. I think it was, you know, it goes buckshot buckshot

buckshot buckshot.

He did a whole bit, whole bit about this. Oh, no. It was it was

buckshot buckshot rounds. That's what it was. You know, you wanna pepper him up a

little bit first. And he goes Yeah. Yeah. You got anything on there that says,

I don't want a white guy running through my backyard? The white guy the

white guy at Walmart goes, that thing right there.

That'll do it. Welcome to America.

This is it. This is where we live. This is the

culture moves things here. Alright. Let's

round the quarter on this. What is leadership let's talk about leadership because

we should probably talk about that. What

what insights about leadership and competency can leaders gain from To Kill

a Mockingbird? Because we talked about Atticus. We talked about Harper Lee. We talked about

sort of scout a little bit, how she's pugilistic. I mean, it's

it is written as a no. It's not written as a kid's book. It's not.

That's the deceptive part. It comes off as a kid's book, but it's not.

So I think there's I think there's actually a lot to unpack there from a

leadership perspective, but I think 2 things come to

mind very, very quickly. Number 1, one of the one of

the more powerful lessons of the book talks about

seeing situations through somebody else's eyes. Right? There's there's a lot of talk about

how when she comes out, when Scout, drops

when she walks Boo Radley home or whatever, she's standing on his

podcast. Standing on Boo Radley's porch, looking at the rest of the

community, she finally gets a sense of what it might must feel

like to him. Right? So from a leadership perspective, being able

to address a problem or a situation with the other person's

thoughts and minds mindset in mind when you do so, trying

to look at the problem from their perspective could potentially be very very powerful

for you. Right? Number 1. The second one that comes across, we already

talked about it a little bit, was at the very end when Scout basically

sets Atticus' mind at ease using his own his

own language and his own lesson, that that

I always talk let me back I'll I'll tell you this from a sales perspective,

strictly from a sales perspective because I find that sales leaders

sometimes forget that you can learn yourself as a

sales leader. You can learn something about sales from somebody who's never been in the

industry before. They've never been a salesperson before. They're brand new to it. So in

this case, they're Scout. Because they

have an idea fourth thought or a does not mean you should just ignore them

because they have no experience. Listening to them and listening

and trying to learn something from somebody else's perspective or

getting somebody who's taking your lessons

from fresh eyes and regurgitating them back to you,

you may hear something different in your own words. Right? Like, so or you may

you may you may have a lesson to learn from that brand new person that

you weren't thinking you were learning. It's it's all this

this reciprocal and circular thing that you think of, but I think

for me, from a leadership perspective and and, of course, I mean,

all of us should be taking Atticus' lead when it comes to

moral compass, moral code, doing the job that you're asked to

do whether you like it or not, being fourth being, you know,

I I go back to also when and, again, I know we're we've got a

lot of spoilers here, people. So if you haven't read the book yet and you're

thinking, I apologize, but when Tom Robinson dies, the

way that Atticus responds to that to me was really he

was a community leader at that point. He wasn't a white man. He wasn't dealing

with the black community. When he goes back to that family to tell them there

that that that he is now dead, Again,

he he that's a leadership role to me. Right? Like, he looked at that and

said because even the I forget who he was talking to at the time. Maybe

it was the sheriff that he was like, oh, now I gotta go tell the

family. He was like, I'll do it. Let me let me tell them.

He took that ownership of that because he knew it was gonna happen.

Like, this and you could tell not so much in the writing of the

book, but the way that Gregory Peck depicts it at the courtroom at the end

of the court trial, you could just tell

why he wasn't surprised when he got the knock on his door that Tom Robinson

was dead. Like, he knew it. He he just knew it and that he

took that burden on himself as the community leader to make sure

he was the one to go back and take ownership of that to his family.

So, again, I it's like I think there's a lot to unpack. I think if

you look at this from because because, again and there's a couple

of interactions with the kids and a couple of the other

members of the community that kind of like, it's

almost like one of those, like, like, you're his kids. You didn't know your dad

was this cool? Like, you didn't know you didn't know your you didn't you didn't

know your dad was like, everybody in the town looks up to him? You didn't

know that? Because they're so close to it that they don't get it. Right? They're

so close to him that that's just their dad and he's their dad and they

whatever. And they don't and it takes a little bit of the book to

understand that Atticus is not simply a run of the mill

guy. He's not simply just another lawyer. He's not simply there's a

reason that the judge specifically comes to him and says,

listen. I was thinking about asking you to take this case. How would

you feel about that? So instead of just throwing it down his throat going, oh,

by the way, you're the court appointed attorney. You have to do this. He came

to him because he knew he was gonna do the right thing. Like, he he

he knew he presented it to him as a as an option, but it

really wasn't. But he presented it to him that way because he knew Atticus would

do it. And he knew that he would do a good job with it. He

knew that Tom Robinson was only gonna have a shot in the dark

if Atticus was the guy because of his stature, because of his

leadership, because of his position in the town, all that other stuff. And

all that negativity that Atticus got from the town was

was superficial. Mhmm. It was superficial because ultimately people

respected him. Ultimately people knew that he was gonna do the right thing no matter

what they said. Ultimately, there's just a lot of that that happened.

So I think I think there's a lot. And I don't know how I don't

know how you felt about it or if you had additional commentary, but I I

felt there was a lot of really good leadership lessons in this book. Oh,

yeah. We're gonna we're gonna use this opportunity to take a turn and talk a

little bit about those leadership principles a little bit more in-depth, particularly around the

trial. I wanna talk a little bit about judge Taylor as

well, and the men in the town. So we've got judge Taylor, we've got sheriff

Hector Tate. Obviously, we got book Radley and then

I wanna talk about Bob Buell because I

think I think there's a lesson there as well.

That is the minority report Jesan. So we

go to the lessons that make us feel good or make us feel morally right.

But you can learn leadership even from a negative

there's things there's things to be learned from Kim Jong Un or from

Fidel Castro. There's things to be learned. Usually, what not to

do, but also

sometimes sometimes what to do. So,

yeah, let's let's talk a little bit about that. By the way,

the line that I was gonna quote earlier from the book, is actually from judge,

from judge Taylor when he's correcting mister Ewell,

during his, during his testimony, during the,

during the trial. And the judge essays, and I quote, people generally see what

they look for and hear what they listen for, and they have the right to

subject their children to it. But I can assure you of one

thing. You will receive what you see and hear in silence, he's addressing the

court, or you will leave this courtroom, but you won't leave it until the whole

boiling of you come before me on contempt charges.

And then to the point about Atticus,

and this is this is right after Atticus finds out about

Tom Robinson's, death. Miss Maudie

says to, aunt aunt Alexandra. And so aunt

Alexandra is, Atticus's sister.

And, you know, their relationship is interesting the way that,

again, it's perceived through scout's eyes. It

is a it is a at least from her perspective, it is a tension driven

relationship. And I can remember thinking that way about

the relationship between relatives and my family, female relatives and male relatives, female

male relatives in my family, because I didn't understand all the dynamics that had occurred

on the back end, that got them to where they were. Just like

I'm sure my kids look at my relationships with my siblings in a

certain particular kind of way because I can't really explain it to them. It's

just sort of like, this is how we were raised. But, and we

all have those kinds of dynamics. And so when a child observes this, you

know, it's very interesting. And, and in the book,

after Tom Robinson gets shot and then Atticus goes out to go and

deal with the the challenge at the at the prison where he had wound up

Tom, miss Maudy says, have you ever thought of it this way,

Alexandra? Whether may comb knows it or not,

we're paying the highest tribute. We can pay a man. We trust him to

do right. It's that simple.

That's it. That's that's leadership. We trust him to do

right. Speaking of

the book, back in the earlier writers. So

Jesan Atticus, have a conflict.

And it's interesting because jam is not set up as

a male counterparts to Atticus. He set up as his

own character, Very often in coming of age stories,

which I guess this would kind of qualify as that as a buildos

roman, it would, typically,

when a story is told through the eyes of a child, the sibling is set

up as the adult stand in. And that's not

quite how it works in Tom kill a Mockingbird. Gem is allowed to be his

own character. He's allowed to develop and grow.

But he's also, you can tell, in direct tension with his father.

And by the way, you know, one of my,

I shouldn't essays, passions. It might be obsessions. And, again, this is

because of my previous life experiences, which I'll talk a little

bit about here as we get around to the trial. One of

one of my obsessions is with fathers and sons, the relationship between

fathers and sons. I don't think that merely gets talked about nearly enough

in our culture. A, because men don't really

know. No. That's not it. We're not enculturated

in the last parts of the 20th century and the early parts of the 21st

century to actually talk about the

dynamics of being a son to a

father, nor are we incentivized as

men to talk about, at least extensively, to talk

about what it actually means to raise a son.

Women tell us very often what we should be doing

and how we should be behaving, but there's

very little talk even on even on even in in the in the mountains and

mountains of videos and words that are on social media and on the Internet. There's

very little practical talking about the nature of fathers and Jesan, really the

relationship between fathers and Jesan. And, this is

somewhat explored in the early chapters of, to kill a

mockingbird, by the way, which sets up what happens later on in the back end

of the book when, well, when

Jim does the only thing that Jim can do, when,

when Bob Yule decides that he's going to follow through on his threats.

As I said before, breaking into boo Radley's backyard doesn't go so well. And,

Jim loses his pants because he is still a kid and he is still engaged

in shenanigans. And, there's a fire with

questionable beginnings that's never fully explained that burns down miss

Maudie's house. And it's kind of a narrative thread that kinda

hangs in the first part of the book, but Harper Lee does a

really clever job of, a, never really re referring it referring back

to it again, kinda like Anton Chekhov's gun. She just leaves the

gun on the table. But, also, she uses it to set up

miss Maudie and uses that narrative or that thing happening to her in the

narrative as a way to set her up as a strong character, sort

of a sort of a female version of Atticus Finch.

But, again, removed from scout. Right? Because she's over there and

and scout is over here. So let's talk

about that trial.

In the Fourth, in the 1930s,

which is when this book is supposed to be set. Jim

Crow was alive and well, by the way, that term is, I think it's only

used once maybe in To Kill A Mockingbird, and it might just

be me placing that term on the book. I don't actually think she actually wrote

those words in the book. I don't I don't think I remember seeing those physical

those actual words. But yeah. Right. But everybody knew what Jim Crow was.

And for those of you who don't know what Jim Crow was, Jim Crow was

a series of laws that, socially

separated black people from white people in the

deep south and also quite frankly in the north. Now in the north,

Jim Crow was informal. It wasn't written down. It

was just something that quote, unquote knew, when,

when the writer, Ralph Ellison it was Ralph

Ellison or might have been James Baldwin. I can't remember.

No, it was Richard. Writers? It was one of those 3 when Richard, right? Yes,

it was Richard. Right? That's right. Yes. Because I remember when I was reading about

his biography for the, for the podcast episode we did on native sun, when he

was trying to find a, hotel

in New York City as a socialist, as part of

the communist party, the communist party

hotels in New York City were segregated,

which is insane to me because the entire ideology

of communism is about workers of the world United. There are no separations

between all of us. We're all united against the man. And what could be

more of an more exemplary of being the

man than, I don't know,

discriminatory practices in your hotel.

Like that's the man, if I ever heard of it.

Well in the Jim Crow south,

Tom Robinson runs across

a set of people who are living in Macom,

are just on the other side of where the and the word is used in

the book, the Negro settlements are, where

the Yule's live. Now the Yule's live in,

from scout's perspective, they basically live in trash. Right? They live in

the garbage dump, and they mine the garbage dump. And they

are poor. They are white, and they mine the

garbage dump. And so you put those three words together. And while that term

of poor white trash is never actually used, that is what

is meant by Scout's description.

And from this description, you do get the idea

that the only thing that the Yules have is

the fact that they don't share the same skin color

with, the the folks who are living in, well,

the black part of town. Now in the book, that's

an interesting description because when Scout talks about it, she talks about how

basically the Yule's live in trash. And then in the Negro

settlements, she talks about how they go down there with Christmas once a year to

help out the Yules. You could smell the good smells coming

of book, coming out of their little tiny shacks and everything was neat and as

as as neat as a pin. That's how she describes it. And then the Yules

are living in this literal, literal shotgun

shack with 7 kids Yeah. And squalor. Right?

So, you know, a moral

and again, scouts, what, 7 years old? She's not drawing a moral conclusion

from this. She's just saying, this is what I saw. And

this is, this is this. Well, this creates a

dynamic where Tom Robinson, a, a

Negro farm worker, walks past,

the Yule's every day and gets caught up with Mayella.

You will Bob Yule's daughter

And, in the process of trying to do her some favors, which he probably

shouldn't have done, I would have advised him to stay away from her.

Not because she was poor, not because she was white,

but because, well, she was a different class,

in all the ways that class writers. It doesn't have anything to do with money

that doesn't have any Hold on. There there there's there's another piece to this. Tom

Robinson was married. This was another I don't care what color she is, but there's

another woman asking you to help out in the no. You just don't need to

give advice to yourself. That. Put yourself in that position in the first

place. Which which, I mean, the so that was brought

out at the trial. Yeah. And scout of again, this is a

7 year old. Right? So, like, it's through the just sort of skipped

over. And I went back and I looked at that and I thought, what that

guy's wife have to say? Yeah. Right. Well, you're never gonna find out. You're never

gonna know. Because

because she she whooped his ass on the way to the getting

arrested just for being in the vicinity. Never mind whether he was

guilty or innocent. She didn't even care. Alright?

She she didn't care he was guilty or innocent. The fact that he was

helping her. Forget it. She's she killed she kicked his ass.

I'm not helping anybody. I don't help anybody. I tell

my wife, I don't even know other women's names. I don't know their faces. I

don't I don't know who they are. I have no idea. I don't know. Do

you want me to? She goes, no. Exactly. I don't know. I don't know who

they are. I have no idea. I'm married. I walk over

here, which is what Tom Robinson should've done. Should've done. Right. The only women that

I know are people that are in my family. Yes.

I know her. I know her. I know her. I'm related to them. That's it.

No. That's all that matters. Small anecdote. Went to chicken

process Tom process some chickens. We've talked about this off the air,

but I, heard processed some chickens a couple of weeks ago.

And another couple that we know is there, and,

I I said a variation of literally that. I don't know any other women. I

don't talk to them. And the woman standing there, she goes, well, I feel attacked.

And I go, listen. You're not a woman. You're his wife.

Writers, that's like, we're don't pretend like you don't understand what's going

on. You're here. Stop it. Come on.

Oh my god. So but but I I I found so

I I gotta tell you a small Yeah. Go ahead. Yeah. We're gonna you're jumping

into it. Small tidbit of information too. This book

almost, almost changed my mind

to go to college and to go to and to go potentially to go to

law school and to go to, like I I

when I read this, I was like, I wanna be a lawyer. Like,

I Atticus had me so wrapped up in and again, the the

if you read if you read the transcript, or if you read the

portion of the book that is the trial. Mhmm. And I was like,

I I was like, well, he there's no way that the that this guy is

innocent. He is Right. Clearly innocent, clearly innocent. Look

at the great job this guy did. I wanna be a lawyer like that. And

then to find out that there was no way on this God's green earth that

a 12 person jury of all white men are gonna

let this poor guy walk away knowing damn well

he was innocent. No. There's no way, shape, or

form that anyone in that jury could have possibly even thought that he even had

a shot in hell of doing it. But yet, there's no way, to your

point, with Jim Crow and all that other stuff happening in the 19 thirties in

Alabama, the second he was arrested and put on trial,

they knew. And and I that's kinda what I go back to with, like,

Atticus knowing he he knew from the start how it was gonna

end. He already knew that. There was no question in his mind, but he

still went through with the best defense possible for his

client, so to speak. Right? So I read that and I was like, oh, I

wanna I wanna be a lawyer. And then I met leaders, and I was like,

never mind. I'm not doing that. Never mind. I don't wanna be a lawyer.

And he's not he's not out of constraint at all. No. Not even close.

Well, one of the challenges I had with the trial,

reading this as a person who

walks around in the skin of, you know, an African American in America.

And who has made without getting deeply into my

personal life here, but who has made certain choices about who I love and who

I marry and who I make children with and who I make a life with

and all this kind of stuff. There are

pieces of this where, to my point about

Tom Robinson, that you also

reinforced, you know, you could see the train wreck

coming. And the reason you could see the train wreck coming

is because

when you're no.

When you're in that kind of social environment, I'm gonna frame it this way, when

you're in that kind of social environment, what power do you really

have? And by the way, not power to take someone's

life, which is what Bob Yuall thought he had.

Not power to make a

social change, which is what Atticus Finch was trying to do. Right?

Not even power to influence a

family, which is what Alexander was trying to do. Right?

If you're Libby Will, what power do you have? You've

none. You live in a garbage dump.

You are in a segregated society that tells

you that these people over here with this darker skin,

because of the fact that they have this darker skin are less than you,

and yet with your 2 eyes, you can see them living better

than you. There's something here that, as we say

these days, the maths don't math. Right. It doesn't add

up then when you go to the welfare

office and by the way, this is during the depression. So So you not only

live in a garbage dump, but you live in a garbage dump during the depression,

which is even worse. K? And so you go to the aid office

and you don't speak well. You don't act well. You don't

dress well. You maybe take a shower not even a shower.

A a a bath once a year. All your kids

don't have a Tom, you don't know where she is, you're you're basically hitting

all the rungs all the way down the ladder

of how to not be socially appropriate regardless, by the way, of skin

color, regardless of skin color, but you're hitting all those rungs.

And and by the way, scout brings this up

and the people whose

color you share don't wanna

have anything to do with you, weather. Yeah. They don't like you. They don't like

you. Jim

Crow fundamentally existed, and I'm going to say

something extremely controversial here. But

Jim Crow fundamentally existed to protect poor

white women

from poor black men. That

was what Jim Crow fundamentally existed to do because it

wasn't actually about the race. It was actually about the

racial designations and the racial distinctions and the racial separations. Everybody

said it was, but it wasn't really about that. It was about

making sure that people of a certain class

stayed where they were,

regardless of their skin color.

Bob Ewell may have thought that Jim Crow worked out for him when Tom Robinson

died, but it turns out

that actually it didn't work out for

him because guess what? He held a grudge.

And that is one of the fascinating things about this book that I think

begs analysis, particularly from a leadership perspective.

He had no power. How was he gonna go out and grab that power?

Well, he was gonna go grab that power by harassing

the white man who embarrassed him and

made him look bad, made him lose face.

He got what he wanted. He got the structure

of the system to work for him in the way that it had worked for

him based on the laws that were set up by the system. He got the

outcome. He should have been happy, and yet

yet he was not. Explain Bob

Ewell to us because that's one of the

more fascinating characters to me in this book.

It's like the Amy Mann song from,

oh gosh, Magnolia, the Magnolia soundtrack book in

the day, you got what you wanted, but now you can hardly stand

it. And that's

Bob. He got what he wanted. But the problem did he, though? Did he

really, though? Because by the by the verdict,

maybe. But what he wanted ultimately was

for everybody to be on his side and blaming Tom

Robinson. He wanted everybody to believe him. And the fact that

Atticus didn't, that's, like, that's what

held the grudge. It had nothing to do with the verdict. It had to do

with the fact that that he it was it was almost like a

But at a material level, if if

if we and by the way, this book was written at at the tail end

of modernism. Right? So at the in modernist books,

which are typically books that are published between the end of World War 1 and

the beginning of the the end of the well, at the beginning of the middle

of 19 sixties. Everything from from the

Ford, Maddox Ford, and Ernest Hemingway, all the way to Joan

Didion. That's modernism. Right? In modernist novels,

the villain gets what they want, but they don't know how

to deconstruct it. In postmodern

novels, which is everything written since the 19 sixties, Don

Delilah, Charles Portis, not only

does the villain not get what they want, sometimes the villain gets justice, sometimes the

villain doesn't. Other Tom, the villain gets punished, sometimes the villain doesn't.

Sometimes it's an antihero. We have no idea what the hell is going on. This

is where you get Patrick Bateman from Bret Easton Ellis, but you also

get, like, you also get, oh gosh, lucky net

pepper in, in, true grit. Like,

the postmodern novels are all over the map because we've deconstructed everything.

But modernist Sorrells? In modernist

writing, there's still that Christian strain

of moralism that the villain gets what

they deserve. Well, well, that's a different statement.

He definitely got what he deserved in the end of the book.

Sure. At the end. But but that that's that's a

different comment than a few seconds ago where you're asking, like, he got what he

wanted. Oh, yeah. That's that's my point. I don't think he got what he

wanted. Tom Robinson being convicted

was not the ultimate goal for him because he knew that was gonna happen. He

he again, everybody in the town knew that was gonna happen. Like, there was even

a, there was a a phrase in there somewhere that

before the trial started, I I can't remember the, of fourth, it's been

a while since I've read it and I and I know I've read it, but

there there's there's a there's a phrase in there or or some a sentence or

2 in there that tells you that you know already that he's going

to be convicted. There's no doubt in your mind he's going to be convicted before

the trial even starts, before you even start reading it. Right?

So but that's not ultimately what Bob Ewell wants. What

ultimately Bob Ewell wants is validation and

vindication and and from the rest of the from everybody. So as

as people start understanding that they know he's lying,

that he it it it that's where the grudge lies. The grudge lies

with with somebody it's not Tom Robinson. He doesn't have the grudge against Tom

Robinson. He has the grudge against the person who was able

to essentially show the town who he really was.

So what he what he ultimately wanted was for the entire town to be on

his side. They wanted them he wanted the town to view him

like they view Atticus because he was right and just and he was

but he wasn't, and it and it came out in the trial. And that's really

where his his, his His vindictive.

Yeah. He's vindictive. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And the only way he could do

it is to get because he knew he couldn't confront Atticus face to face. There's

no way. Well, and he he had multiple opportunities. He was offered

the opportunities to do so, and he declined. Declined? Because he I

we we get the vibe that Atticus would've whooped his ass. Right? Like, if we

get the vibe, Atticus was not somebody to mess with. Now they don't

explicitly that's the other thing Harper Lee does really, really well.

She says stuff without saying it. Writers, that's the best part of it. Like, to

your point with the Jim Crow laws, with the the social reform piece, with Atticus.

Like, there's a lot of things she says that without saying it, fourth white trash.

She doesn't say those she doesn't use those words, but you don't you know damn

well what she means. So she did the same thing with

Atticus in the way that he has respect in the town. He just comes you

get the feeling that he was the guy that nobody wanted to mess with in

any way, shape, or form. So you went to

the direction that he felt he could hurt him, which was going after his children.

Okay. So there is a and we've talked about it briefly on this

hierarchy is. Women don't, but men know. We, we all know we talked about

this fourth, you know, who's the alpha, who's the beta, who's the Sigma, who's whatever

in the room. Okay. And there's some of us who don't care about that. You

don't care about that. You're like, whatever the hell I'll go in whatever room I

want. I don't care. That was sets, makes you good at sales because

you have to be that guy. I'm that guy because I'm just,

I'm just pugnacious, and I don't you know?

My own ego is fine. This is whatever. I

I got a healthy ego. I need a stomp on my chest to know I'm

a man. I'm I don't yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, please.

But if you but but but but if you're gonna come over here, like,

you know, like I'm not gonna, like, we're gonna do, we're gonna do some business.

Writers. Okay. The hierarchy of makeup

to your point is set up where Bob is at the bottom of the hierarchy,

of these characters. Atticus is considered to be at the top because he's in the

legislature. And then you've got the sheriff, sheriff

Heck, and then you've got the judge, judge Taylor. Now

the judge in the trial runs

his courtroom like his own fiefdom, because

it is. Right? That's where, like,

he could do what he wants. He could set his own rules. If he wanted

to move all the black people out the balcony and make them sit, what are

you gonna do? Like, bam. Gonna happen. Done. Y'all wanna

be in contempt or what? Or do you wanna sit here and be quiet? Like,

he he he makes the law there. Right? And by the way,

we see this interestingly enough in our current

political contra Trump, around well, a former

candidate who shall not be named, who's a current candidate for president. You

know? And and and going through the

trial process, we are all being re

reminded of how much,

power a judge, even a district court judge

has in their own territory and in their domain and not even

a former president of the United States gets to overstep that.

Yeah. Okay. Interesting dynamic. It doesn't work like that

in other countries. That is incredibly unusual in most other

countries. The judiciary is impotent

to say the least, or at least a rubber stamping of whatever the

dominant structure says is the way that we're going to go, but

not, not in this country, not the way we've got things set up.

Okay. Judge Taylor.

Wasn't gonna let Bob Yule get out of control. And by the

way, to back up your point, Bob Yule tried to get judge

Taylor, or at least that's intimated in the book.

Yeah. So it wasn't just is

that his ire was aimed at Atticus. His ire was aimed. And I

guess this backs up your point further. His ire was aimed at the entire

male hierarchical structure of makeup. He wasn't

going to hurt no woman, but the dudes, he was going to try to like,

get, get those, get those dudes.


Then we have the dynamic of

the false accusation of rape.

Now this one's kinda touchy because

for me, anyway, because I have had people in my

family who have perished due

to false allegations

of right.

As recently as the 1990s,

a person in my family was lynched in the

south. I won't say which state because of

a false accusation. And that

when the member of my family who was related to this

individual went and tried to go to the law about this because there's no more

Jim Crow and we have equality. Right? Went to the local

sheriff. The local sheriff told my relative, and I quote,

everybody here knows what happened. Go


And so I looked at this through that lens

Tom. Right. And I don't talk about this ever. The member, this is the first

time I've ever been mentioned this publicly. I don't write about it, talk about

it. It's just one of those things that just Libby, one of those things just

happens to people, and you just sort of it is what it is.

And by the way, it hasn't changed my view of like race relations or any

of that other kind of stuff. Like I'm able to have a principle and, and

I'll, and have a position. And I'm able to hold 2 constricting TED thoughts in

my head at the same time and be okay. Like, I can do that. Right.

When we look at that false accusation and when we look at Mayella,

so the the the the the dynamic there of

her, She has even less power in the structure than even

Bob does. And there is some intimation in the story that Bob was

beating his daughter and may have even indeed been,

you know, assaulting her, sexually or

otherwise. And she is even trying to use the system

and use the testimony to serve her own

ends. As a matter of fact, when she talks to Atticus

in the cross examination, that's one of the more fascinating parts of the

story to me because,

it's a perfect example of a person who

literally is, she's underneath Book. Even she is at the, she's at

the bare, the bare bottom of the social structure. She

she's she has nothing. She's the only conception. She's so far down. She

doesn't have a conception of how far down she is. And yet, the thing that

she holds on to is her pride. And I think that was

Bob's sin. His sin was pride. And I said all that to

say that. I think that that was the thing that got him. I don't think

it was actually he wanted the respect of the town. I think he just had

pride. He just had pride.

Pride in what? Pride in what? Pride he was he was he was the

guilty party of beating his his daughter and and possibly, to

your point, possibly other things and pushing that guilt off on

somebody else. Where's the pride in that? What do you that's not

I'm saying that pride was the driver. He so

it's people are weird, Tom. I got you know this. People are

weird. Their motivations are weird. Right? And I

look at a guy like Bob, and I go, okay.

He was a proud man.

What he had to be proud about didn't matter. It doesn't matter because it doesn't

matter how how we look at that. It mattered how he looked at that.

And, again, we're looking at this through scout's eyes. So we're getting a we're getting

we're looking at it through a narrow keyhole. We have to kinda be aware of

that. Right? And I think that

in and and maybe this maybe me putting more weight on this

character than this character can actually handle. But when I

look at Bob Ewell, I don't see a person who's just pursuing

revenge out of out of a

sense of I want these people to respect me. I see him

pursuing it as a sense of I have hurt pride. My pride has

been hurt. My pride has been damaged, and I'm

gonna go restore that. I don't know.

I I I I'm not sure. I I

mean, I understand where you're coming from, and I I definitely We could sit on

this. It's okay. We could sit on this. I was saying I I I could

I could see where you're covering. I I just don't think he was that complicated.

I I like, I think he was more simple than that. I think it was

really that simple that, you know, Atticus

Atticus made him look bad, and now he's gonna hold a

vendetta against him. And it's that simple. I don't think I don't think he had

enough thought. I don't think he had enough brain cells to realize that he

had pride. Like, that that's the way they depict him anyway. Right? Like,

he's Right. Like, that that I'm not sure he had an I'm not sure he

had enough self

awareness to be prideful of anything in particular about himself. Well,

okay. Alright. Let me ask you this question then because we're we're gonna we gotta

turn a corner here. We talked for a couple of hours. We book wait a

wait a we spent some time on this.

Would you say that Bob had principles?

I know. I know. I know. He's a simple man. Lack of lack of principles,

maybe. He's he's a simple man with simple appetite. He's he's other

principles. That's that's that's that food is too rich for Bob.

Okay. Let's move up the hierarchy. Clearly, Atticus had

principles clearly. Clear clearly. Yeah. Dutch Taylor, very

principled, right, particularly in his courtroom. Right? The sheriff, which we've already

mentioned, clearly got principles.

Jem, right, the brother, not principled yet, but coming

along. Right? And actually You could see you could see them developing. You could see

them developing. Right. Okay.

Tom Robinson probably could have benefited from having some principles.

Yes. For sure. I think one of Oh, go ahead. Go

ahead. Sorry. Like, the principle of just not going to someone else's house to whom

you're not married. Even if you're walking by on your way home from

work. Like, just go to work. Just go to work and go home. Yeah. Stay

on the other side of the street. Stop. Okay. Yeah.

The one the the one that surprised me, I think, was was Boo

Radley. When you talk about principles Yeah. That's the one that stands

out that is like, wait a minute. We're we're let

we're we're turning down a path of belief about this character.

And now throughout the course of the book, you realize that

that legend is not true. I mean, that I'm not suggesting that we

it's not an epiphany at the end of the book that he's that he's got

some Sorrells, But it is surprising

to see that his principles

still drive him even though he's reclusive and he does not interact with anybody.

He he wants no part of the town. He wants no part of talking with

anybody. He wants no part of interacting with anybody, but his principles

still guide him to do the right thing

even though he's still that recluse of that's what surprised me. That was was

the part that was like, did I feel like he was gonna get involved some

way? Sure. Like, you you knew that there was something there because the book kinda

drags you along that way about, it's like a it's it's almost like the

climax of a movie. Right? It, like, builds up, builds up, builds up, but I

wasn't expecting that to be the climax of the movie, so to

speak, where Lou Radley really has

a keen sense of what's right and wrong and what's principled about

and and that protective nature that that comes across toward the end. So I I

think that one surprised me more than anybody, you know, whether Bob not having

principles or the sheriff having principles or Atticus, of course, having

a a a a gigantic moral

compass. Yeah. You know? Yeah. But Boo Radley

was the one that that I was pleasantly surprised about at the end of the

book that that that, and and, you know, to be honest, if you

think about it from a leadership perspective, Boo Radley is that

silent leader. Right? Like, that that guy that doesn't cause a lot of ruckus fourth

that girl that doesn't draw a lot of attention to herself, but yet

everybody seems to follow her or him. Right? Like, that's, like,

that's Book Radley's character to me. Like, everybody kinda takes

a page out of his book because of something that he

is like, something he does, but he just kinda does it in in a way

that nobody really like, he doesn't want people to notice. So

the there's a line in the book that Atticus actually tells,

Scout and gem, when they get

guns for Christmas. Right? He tells them they can shoot all the blue jays that

they want. Yep. But it's a sin to kill a mockingbird. Right?

Right. Which I'd never okay. And I I've I

have been really dug deeply into sort of where that idea comes from.

It came from somewhere, and put it in the book.

Well, they do explain it a little bit in the book. Right? Because the the

crows and the blue jays destroy things. They go after they go after,

you know, farms, farmers, the seeds. Like, they destroy some of those crops. The

mockingbirds don't harm nobody. All they do is

provide us beautiful sounds and music. Right. Or something to that

effect. Something to that effect. Yeah. So it's a sin to kill the mockingbird because

it's a defenseless creature that has no other purpose than to bring beauty into the

world. Right. Now the reference that Scout uses to Book

Radley. To Boo Radley. Right.

Except let's be let me be clear here. Boo

Bradley knife demand. Okay. Come on.

With a kitchen knife. And

and then and then in the process

because he's he's sensitive and delicate, it doesn't wanna have anything to do with the

town and da da da da, all these things that you mentioned. He's

I'd have allowed to go back into it. This is, by the way, where I

agree with the sheriff even though he didn't frame it this way. Boo Bradley was

already in prison. Yeah. Boo Radley,

because of his past experience with his father and the kinds of things that had

happened to him before he even showed up, or before any of this nonsense

or not nonsense. These shenanigans ever started.

He was already locked in a prison of his own mind. And sometimes

well, again, to paraphrase from the the the the great

movie Magnolia, the sheriff in there, the cop in there

says, you know, being a cop is hard. Sometimes

some people need to be listened to sometimes some people need

to take a beating and sometimes some people need to go to jail and

that's a really hard call and I have to make those kinds of calls every

day And I don't always do it well.

And that's the case with book Radley. Right? Yes, for

sure. He, he had to be in his house. That was his

jail cell. And it might be a

sin to kill a mockingbird, but it's not a sin to lock one up

apparently. And Tom just let it be a well,

let it be a caged bird. Right. The

moral compass piece as we round the corner here,

Atticus had a gigantic moral compass and it occurs

to me. And that was one of the big things I pulled from this book.

It occurs to me that just like when we, when we read about, Malcolm

Books, Malcolm X had a huge moral compass too. He did.

Now his moral compass, his moral authority came from religion.

That's where his moral compass came from, from from Islam. Right?

Martin Luther King Junior had a moral compass. His moral compass came from Christianity.

We read Charles Fourth' true grit. The

character in there, The, the female

character in there, her moral compass, came

from her Christian Pentecostal Pentecostal? Yeah.

It might have been Pentecostal. I can't remember right now. I read a lot of

books on this podcast. You'll remind me. But it came from from that her

her came from that Christian basis. Right? Her Christian moralism. Right?

Essays thing here. Right? Except

religion isn't a powerful driver in here.

They talk about going to church, but it's not the

the it's not the the orbit

around which their lives turn as sometimes as satirized,

not as satirized, exaggerated or assured by about people in the south.

One thing I tell folks is that people in the south can be just as

unchristian as people in the north. Please give me a break

or there's human beings. The church is full of writers.

There you go. That's the point of it. And so, like, I think

We're callers. Anyway Hey. Hey. Hey. You know what? Come right on, dad. We've

got room for 1 more. You

know, so we have to

understand as leaders, I think.

And this is it is something I really emphasized during the first

half of this year on this podcast. We have to

understand where our moral compass comes from. I

need you to have one. I I

I I I I I I can't I think we've had enough of leadership in

our world that doesn't have a moral compass. I just think we've had

enough, or at least I've had enough. You you need

to articulate where your moral compass is coming from. And if you by the way,

if your moral compass comes from, and I've said this fourth this podcast, if it

comes from ESG or DEI or some social thing

or whatever culture, fine. Say it. Say that that's where your moral compass comes

from. Like, the CEO of Patagonia.

I think that guy's moral compass is

not where I would put mine, but that's

fine. No one's holding the gun to my head saying I gotta go buy a

Patagonia sweater. Like, it's fine. Go have your moral compass

wherever you want. That's freedom. That's what we have in America. Doesn't impact Tom.

Go go do what you wanna do with your company. You, you know, you wanna

give away your entire company to save a bunch of trees and like Montana. Cool.

Knock it up. You built it. That's your moral compass.

And by the way, be very clear with people when they come to work at

Patagonia, that this is what they're getting. This is why I think

that companies like Amazon on the other end of that spectrum,

particularly underneath Bezos, not so much under, under this new

guy, but under Bezos, Bezos was very, very clear.

We are here to work. I don't like human beings. They're a

real problem. You could all be replaced with robots tomorrow.

So work Tom your highest level of productivity. I will pay you whatever

that highest level is, and then you can get the hell out.

Why are we objecting to this? Why does this make us feel icky? Well, it

makes us feel icky because so many leaders don't clearly

articulate where their moral compass comes from, nor do they

have the capacity, I think, to defend it. And that's just the

inadequacy. And the other

thing that I would take from this is that as my grandmother

might say, the child is the father of the man. Right. And so,

you know, pay attention to what's happening with your

children. In particular, not as early as the shenanigans

they're getting into, but in particular, the example you provide for them as the

patter familias is the, as the person who looms

large in their conscience. Like, I know I know that I loom large in

my kids' consciences. I know that, Tom, you know, you loom

large in your child's cut. You do in your children's conscious. They you're a big

mountain to get over. Like, that's just that's it. And you may not

think you're that big, but guess what? Like

you are in their head. You are, and

that's very, very significant.

And Atticus was a gigantic

mountain that scout couldn't even begin to

understand, you know, and as she's

writing the book, looking back on her life,

I get a sense that she appreciated that more,

obviously, the older and older she got. So

how do leaders stay on leadership path with To Kill A Mockingbird?

How do we how do we do that? Well, I think I think

we already talked about that a little bit. I think I think it I think

part of it is, like, being open to learning lessons from

from a multitude of layers and levels and not being not

sitting on your high horse thinking I'm the CEO, so I know everything. Like, being

able to, again, listening to your own words being regurgitated to

you and take, you know, taking, you know, taking a a spoon

of your own medicine, so to speak, on occasion being it

it also shows it shows that

portion of the book shows Atticus'

humility. Like, he's humble enough to know that when Scout repeats

this back to him, she's right. It's not, oh, you learned the

lesson I taught you. Oh, it's not it's not, oh, see?

You you you got it. No. No. No. It's you are right. Like,

he didn't he doesn't go into that. Like, and I think that's part of sometimes

what we lose as leadership, is not allowing somebody else

to be right. Just let them be right and learn that lesson back

for fourth yourself so that you can become a better leader. Yeah.

Yeah. How do we anchor

that kind of leadership to social reform? Because there's all

these kinds of things that we would like to see fourth. Right?

From bias at various places

all the way to social inequalities. I mean, we've had an

endless outpouring, particularly over the last 5th

10 to 15 years of just, like, this is

the endless parade of problems.

And yet we have not had an equally

endless outpouring of an endless parade of solutions,

much to my frustration, by the way. How do

we tie this you have to know moral leadership

or you have to have a moral compass in order to lead to

fixing some of these problems that we'd like to see fixed. And by the way,

we could pick any problem. Libby, we don't have to even pick a big one.

We could pick, book, picking up trash in your neighborhood. Like, how do we how

do we get leaders to get a community to

place their trust in them?

Because I'm not worried about I'm not worried about changing the environment at a global

level. I'm worried about picking up trash on my street. Yeah. Jesan. Listen.

I've always been a huge advocate. I I I don't know the

answer to this question. I'm gonna be I'm just gonna be very clear and

say, I don't have the answer to this question other than to

say that every leadership role that I have ever had,

there's not a single person underneath me that could say that

I didn't experience everything they did because I was right there with

them. I I would go I would I was in the, you know, when I

was in the restaurant industry, I would wash dishes as a general man I I

ran the restaurant. I would still wash dishes. So the dishwasher could never say that

I didn't understand what they were going through. When I was in as sales management

and sales leadership, I was the one on the ground floor selling the stuff before

I ever got there, so the sales rep could never tell me that I didn't

understand the plight that they were going through. For me,

the only thing that I have in my in my power

is to lead by example. Right? Is to be shoulder to shoulder with

them, elbow to elbow with them so that they know that

I'm never going to throw something at them that I

wouldn't be willing to face myself.

Outside of that, I don't have an answer for any of this.

Because my my answer is always going to

be, I'll do it first. If you don't think that that's

doable or it's workable or I'll do it first. And

then once I do it, I'll teach you how to do it. And

then you'll lead me when I tell you you'll listen to me when I tell

you that this can be done and here's the numbers that we wanna hit and

all this stuff. You're gonna there's gonna be buy in there because they know that

I'm not just blowing smoke up their keisters. Right? Like,

it's so for me and believe me, I'm I am a

100% aware and positive that there are better ways. I just don't

know of any other than to roll up my sleeves and do it. I that's

that's the only that's the only shit that's the only leadership

material that I have. Mhmm. Like and you could talk about, like, there's difference

you know, there's conflict resolution in how you can read this book and get better

at that, and there's the, sure. I'm not downplaying any of that.

I'm just saying when it comes to who do I want to follow, I

wanna follow somebody that I know for a fact has been there, done that, and

they're not gonna lead me astray just because. So if you want

people to if you want people to pick up trash in your neighborhood, go pick

up trash. I'm gonna go pick up trash. Go pick up trash. If you want

people to treat people better in your

workplace, start doing it yourself. I'm gonna start treating you better. Exactly.

Exactly. Want, if

you want income income inequality to be

overcome, well, give up some of your income.

And and by the way, one of my I I had this conversation, some with

somebody recently. One of my favorite things about being in sales Mhmm.

Is that the salary Mhmm.

Doesn't care what color you readers, doesn't care what gender you are.

You earn your book you earn your your actual money on your own

merits. It's about who you are and and how good of a salesperson you are.

So that pay inequality, I never had the real

I'm not suggesting it's not real by any means or it's not there. I just

personally have never had to I've never had to deal with it in that

level because now as people are getting promoted and stuff like

that, you know, and let's just let's say a woman woman gets promoted to

a to a sales manager, you better damn well know that I was

not allowing our company to offer her less money than the sales manager I

hired 6 months ago that was a guy. That wasn't gonna happen. I was

because to me, the a sales manager gets paid the

same that the last sales manager got paid. Why would why would we offer her

less money? Now if that if that puts me in a light of

being sensitive to that that pay inequality, then sure.

I'll I'll I'll gladly say thank you. But to me, it wasn't. To me,

it was just I was looking at the job, the

role. I didn't care if it was male, female, black, white,

Hispanic. None of that mattered. This is the role. This is what it pays, and

there you go. And in sales, that's a lot easier to do. So I I

will say that that's a lot easier to do because there's not because in other

facets of business, there's all the the KPIs are so different.

What you judge people on is different. It's it and it

becomes very gray, and I don't like gray, which is why I love

sales. It's it's very clear. You're a great salesperson. We're

gonna you're gonna get paid because you're great. It's that simple. If

you suck, you're fired. It's that it's that it's really that

simple. I've never fired a minority person

and had them look at me and go, that was because I'm a girl, that

was a a woman. Sorry. That was because I'm a woman fourth that was because

I'm black or that was I've never had that happen. When I've every time I've

ever fired somebody, it's been like, look, you suck. That's it. The

paper the numbers say that you're not very good. Now there

have been rare occasions where somebody said, well, I didn't get the training

I expected. Okay. Let's back the truck

up for a second. Let's talk about your training. Did you get this? Did you

get that? Did you get this? Yes. Yes. Yeah. Whatever. Okay. Well, then you got

the same training everybody else did. So you're fired.

So you're fired. So you gotta go you gotta go as good. Answer is if

the answer is no, you know, again, because certain roles I

I I play, I I'm hiring different levels. Right? So certain roles I

go, what did you you got the same turning? Well, I didn't get I got

this one, but didn't get the next 2. Alright. Let's talk about, you

know, a improvement plan. Right? Let's talk about a

a a production improve improvement plan, a PIPA a PIPA or whatever. So

then maybe they don't get fired that that day, but they're gonna have very clear

expectations that they're going to get that training, and you have now 60 days to

turn this around fourth you're fired. Or you're fired. Yep. But again, that has nothing

to do with race, color, sex, none of that. It's just clear. It's

very clear. So Yeah. Anyway. But to your

original question, yes. I I if the trash needs to be going to pick up,

I I'm gonna at least get it started. I might ask for help. I I

I'd be the Tom Sawyer of that. Mhmm. Right? Like, look how much fun I'm

look how much fun I'm having picking up this trash. And if you don't wanna

join me, go on. Join me. And then I might back away into the trip.

He's He's gonna he's gonna sell it. He's gonna sell

it. He's gonna sell it. Well, with that, I'd

like to thank everybody for listening today to, the leadership lessons

from the Great Book Pad podcast. Almost flipped that at the end.

And, with that, well,