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morris code seeds

It is useful to learn from case studies of successful people and businesses you wish to emulate. Having role models or heroes can be incredibly powerful, like lessons from No Rules Rules. I’ve always been a student of disaster and failure as well, because trying to understand a comprehensive perspective on what works and what doesn’t is key to understanding true reality. We start our weekly staff meetings with everyone sharing a “rose” and a “thorn” (and what’s the gift – PQ). And as my favorite quote from Charlie Munger goes, “All I want to know in life is tell me where I am going to die. Then I will never go there.” In engineering, if you can eliminate the failure modes, what’s left is likely to work.

I had a lot of early personal exposure to the concept of loyalty from a prior career, racing road bikes. Lance Armstrong was a hero to me and many others, overcoming cancer to become the greatest cyclist in the world. I studied his life quite intently, trying to learn how I could emulate such great achievements. But, the deeper I dug beneath the surface, I realized his operating style and stated values, with “loyalty” at the top, came to resemble something else I was studying in college around the same time: organized crime. (I was an engineer at Cornell and fortunately they mandate you take a portion of your classes outside your college!) It took almost a decade and the government’s legal power of subpoena to break through the “omerta” (code of silence) that enveloped Lance with his powerful personal loyalties. When it did, he was revealed to be a cheater and fraud, and it collapsed his world in disgrace.

As an idea, “loyalty” is often held as a virtue. But the usual definition of loyalty is to an individual, which often serves as the enabler of unsuccessful or even evil actions. The storming of the Capitol in Washington last week is a great example: each of those highly motivated individuals who invaded the building were doing so in the name of loyalty to their President, and their shared loyalty spurred them to act as a mob.

The most extreme historical example of evil from loyalty was a subtle change that Adolf Hitler made to the oath of the armed forces in 1934. He modified it from a pledge of allegiance to the constitution of Germany, to himself personally.

While the topic of loyalty comes up in politics often, it is hardly confined to that domain and this is not meant to be a political article. If you are interested in politics, Wait, But Why has the best deconstruction I’ve seen.

Morris code seeds

“It’s just a blessing to be selected for this role,” Morris said. “This is where I began.”

2021 Community Engagement Programs

One of her highest profile projects is the ‘Stache of Books Community Library, a literacy initiative for children that utilizes a repurposed Tulsa World newspaper box to dispense free books. As an educator, former reading teacher and co-owner of Solid Foundation Preparatory Academy – a Tulsa pre-K through 5 th grade private elementary school – the community library project is near to her heart.

Morris came into the position in January 2021 and immediately set her ideas in motion. Several of those initiatives are already realized, sparking opportunities for Tulsans and the campus community alike.