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Ed Smith
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I will not talk about the Olympics. I suspect by now, unless you’re an Olympic fanatic, that you are heartily sick of this giant world sport spectacle.

I’m a Canada fanatic and want to know moment-by-moment how we’re doing in every sport and non-sport (such as some of the snowboarding spin-off events).

I appreciate the skills involved in snowboarding, but don’t have any real interest in them. I’m a downhill skiing/curling/hockey fan, sort of a meat-and-potatoes man in sports. OH loves the competitive figure skating. This time we’re both major Kaetlyn Osmond people.

In the meantime, truth be told, either of us will watch anything competitive, especially if Canada is involved.

But I said I wouldn’t talk about the Olympics. Not much point since at the time of writing they haven’t started yet.

My prediction is that Canada will do OK, but not as well as in Vancouver. My major hope is that everyone gets out of there unhurt.

I heard there’s been a major terrorist cell active in St. Anthony training to disrupt anything they can get into. Evidently they’re upset by the fact that there’s no fish filleting competition.

OH says if there are any terrorists in St. Anthony, they’ll probably be my relatives. That’s not fair. There are lots of terrorists in St. Anthony that aren’t my relatives. Ask author Earl Pilgrim. She’s been listening to too many stories of my boyhood — and certain boyhood friends. Come to think of it, some of them were my relatives.

Don’t want to talk about the PC leadership race, either.

Is that really a race, by the way? Is a one-man competition a track meet? Didn’t know Mr. Barry was a PC. Not sure he knew, given some of his pronouncements over the years. Perhaps, like me, he’s nothing.

Don’t mean that in any literal sense, Mr. Barry. You’re far from nothing. So I am I. You just have more money than I do. Given your success as a businessman, I’m sure you earned every penny. So did I in my job, but somehow it didn’t mount up the same.

It’s an interesting thought that people who make scads of money in business seem to make great leaders. Consider Brother Danny Williams, for example. Of course there are exceptions. The name Bush comes to mind. Other than that, the principal does seem to apply. (Oops, small spelling error there. Don’t know many rich principals.)

Is that because when you get enough money you feel you can tell people to go to hell if you want to, and therefore you come across as a straight shooter? You can stand up to other provinces and the CEOs of international conglomerates and prime ministers with every confidence you can handle the likes of them? That must have something to do with it.

It’s said that knowledge is power. I suppose it depends on the kind of knowledge. If you know how to manipulate millions of dollars so that you’re making millions more dollars; and if you know how to judge the relative strengths of other people and can use that to your advantage; and if you know yourself well enough that you are confident the decisions you make are good ones, then you undoubtedly have power and know how to use it wisely and well.

If you use that power only for your own gain through unscrupulous practices and not caring for anyone or anything else, you can be a leader but a very bad one and it will ultimately show. Whatever his faults, Danny Williams had the best interests of this province at heart, and it showed.

Whichever one you are, you should avoid talking about dumping buckets of sheet over people’s heads, and in any case doing it only when you have to.

So why am I talking only about rich businessmen? Because at the moment, I don’t know anyone else running for a leadership position.

Perhaps among the PCs not enough of them are interested. Perhaps not enough of them are rich. Perhaps too many of them see the writing on the wall.

You can find all that stuff in Smith’s latest publication, “Leadership Principles For Dummies.” There are other guiding principles that should be read by most people in leadership positions.

Leadership positions are not always filled with leaders. This book would therefore seem to be essential reading for those occupying them. Here are three examples of leadership principles to be found in my book.

Principle 1: never pee against the wind. It is imperative for normal males in order to follow this principle to ascertain which way the wind is blowing. This is doubly true for politicians. In recent weeks we have seen survival-minded individuals change positions several times to make sure they don’t pee upon themselves. Sometimes, however, the stench of urine isn’t the only smell that ultimately clings to them.

Principle 2: never eat the yellow snow. If what you are about to grasp isn’t lily white and clean, don’t reach out your hand for it. The shadow of the auditor general may be about to fall all over you, and make you sick.

Principle 3: be wary of growing hair on the palms of your hands. This can happen to politicians who try to screw others and end up screwing themselves.

Backstabbing and maligning colleagues fall into this category. Especially avoid this if the object of your intentions is off on holiday.

While conventional wisdom states that it is difficult if not impossible to screw someone long-distance, politicians are living proof that people still try to do it. These are individuals with especially long knives and/or tongues.

I know I promised at the beginning not to talk about either the Olympics or the current leadership races. It really pains me to admit it.

But I lied.

Ed Smith is an author who lives in Springdale. His email address is

Organizations: PC

Geographic location: Canada, St. Anthony, Vancouver Springdale

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