Sunday, October 30, 2011

Build the Relationship

I recently read a blog in the Harvard Business Review called The Values Proposal: Do Small Things with Great Love by Bill Taylor, a business writer and cofounder of the magazine Fast Company.  Taylor’s blog centers around an aphorism of Mother Theresa contained in the title - Do Small Things with Great Love.  Taylor’s suggestion is that business needs to take this idea as their mantra.
Much of Being Frank has been devoted to encouraging readers to find their path to happiness through both their inner thoughts and the outward manifestation of those thoughts into action.  Sharing a smile, even when it is hard, can brighten both your and others’ day (Fake it ‘til it’s Real), letting go of your past so your actions are only informed by your present (Held Hostage), and giving yourself permission to be who you are (Free from Judgement), are some of the suggestions I have made.
Her Book, The Mary Kay Way, illustrates her
business principals.
I have never thought to consider the business angle.  Sitting here now, typing this, I feel a little silly.  I have written many times about Samantha’s Mary Kay experience, about the company ideals and what they have taught me.  How silly of me that I would never consider the business culture of a multi-billion dollar, debt-free, cosmetics company when considering how a business might apply a Being Frank set of morals.
What is the key?  Well, according to Taylor, the key is having a set of Values and utilizing those values to inform your business model.  Using Mother Theresa’s aphorism,  Taylor opines that it is in the best interest of a business to act out of kindness and concern for their customers, not simply because of the bottom line.  A company that appears to only be concerned about its self interest may get your dollars now, but not your long-term business.  Unfortunately, much of corporate America seems only to be concerned with the immediate instead of the future.
Companies with a Values Proposition will have more long-term success than a company who is out for your dollar.  Having Values will generate value, something American investors like to see.  By investing in their clients, a company will help to guarantee future investments of their own.  They are creating a relationship.
Mary Kay has known this for years, long before Samantha was ever involved.  A successful Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant isn’t pushy, she (or he) builds relationships.  When a consultant step into someone’s living or dining room, they are there as their guest.  While a sale right then is always great, beginning a relationship with that customer is more important.  Through the consultant’s relationship with their client, they establish a long term customer, which guarantees success down the road for both the consultant and ultimately, for the Mary Kay Corporation.  I have sat through many training sessions with Samantha at both the local, regional, and national level, and every single time, the idea, if not the words, of doing small things with great love has been expressed.
Gary Vaynerchuk, of, and, echoes the same sentiment in a talk he gave to NYU’s Stern School of Business.  

Gary V stresses the importance of building relationships with customers.  My favorite line from the video is when he complains about the flavor of Bud Light Lime, and a minute later a Bud Light rep shows up at his door.  This is the kind of business market we are headed into.  If a business isn’t building a relationship with you, then they are at risk of losing your business to another company that does.
My business runs on the same mantra, though I never really looked at it this way until reading the Taylor article and seeing the Gary V video.  In my educational endeavors, I build a three-fold relationship with every lesson I teach.  
Not me.  I am a dude.
First, I build a relationship with the student - do we click on a personal level, are we at a place where I can understand them and they me, and do we have a trust?  Before any of the information or skill I have to offer come into play, I have to ensure that this structure is in place.  The more established the student/teacher relationship becomes, the better chance I have at improving that student on their instrument.
Second, I build a relationship with the parents.  The parents of any student I teach are not concerned with the fact that I teach nearly seventy others students a week; they are only concerned with the fact that I teach theirs.  I must make sure to communicate with them based regarding expectations, student achievement, and organizational matters.  If I appear out of synch with them or their student, then our business relationship will soon come to an end.
Finally, I build a relationship with the band directors.  Without that relationship, I would never be able to step in the door of the school in the first place, or receive a recommendation to the parents that I teach their students.  When I first private taught years ago, I never considered the fact that that the students I taught were first and foremost the students of those band directors.  Operating within the band program’s parameters enables you to both educate the student, and oftentimes expand the knowledge within the program.
Damaging any one of these relationships would degrade my business.  The same can be said for my music arranging and drill writing business - if they don’t know me before I write for them, they take a risk in hiring me.  It is my responsibility to build the relationship from the ground up while we work together.  
Finally, you and I have a relationship; my hope is that it isn’t just a one night stand.  My efforts in constructing Being Frank into a blog that encourages readers to come back are grounded in building a long lasting relationship through relevant content and timely messages.
No matter your angle, business or personal, everything you do helps to build a relationship with someone.  Follow Mother Theresa’s advice - do small things with great love.  While it may appear to inconvenience you in the present, the investment in your future is completely worth it.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Unfortunately, they need to be asking
themselves the above question.
I am all for the Occupy movements, as I think we should all be.  Regardless of your political views, your economic views, or your moral views, the fact that we are witnesses to real American citizens exercising their right to free speech is exciting.  For over two centuries now, our military has fought for and defended that right across this world.  I think it is awesome to see it happening.
There is part of me that is interested in going down to the local rally to see what it is all about.  Personally, I am not invested in the message like the people demonstrating are, so I haven’t chosen to spend my time that way, but I applaud them just the same.
I have visited a political rally like this before, although in different circumstances.  During 2003, when I was living in London, President George W. Bush visited the UK.  Being Americans, we took an interest in our President coming to visit.  While the welcome Bush received from the government officials was nice I am sure, the welcome he would have received had he stepped into Trafalgar Square was not.
The day started with a parade, which stretched for miles through the streets of London.  The parade route ran nearby our flat, so I packed my bag and ventured out, hoping to see a little political activism of the British variety.  I threaded my way through the crowds, most of whom were young, and found a spot to stand and watch the parade right against the railing blocking off the route.  I was amazed to see who all were represented.  There were traditional Bush haters, straight-forward anti-Americans, anti-Globalists, anti-capitalists, socialists, communists, GLBT groups, anarchists, anti-Tony Blair groups, peace activists, global warming advocates, and anyone else you might imagine would make an appearance in a parade like this.
After watching for a while I decided to get some lunch.  I reached for the back of my bag to grab my iPod only to find that it had been stolen while I was watching.  How ironic that I would be watching a parade against most things America stands for, and my iPod would be stolen.  It was as if it was part of the show.
The parade eventually vomited its revelers into Trafalgar Square, sort of like London’s equivalent to Times Square in NYC, where they hung about for the rest of the day.  Massive stages had been erected on which people would deliver speeches decrying Bush and American war policies.  In one portion of the square, a giant effigy of Bush had been erected.  That night they burnt the effigy.
Passing through Trafalgar Square was only a small detour on my way to the theater from the flat, so I stopped by.  The mood was a little too excited and Bacchanal for this American, and while I was never spoken to, stopped, or even noticed, I still felt uncomfortable being there.  Needless to say, I didn’t hang about.
I still think about the parade and rally when I see demonstrations on TV.  Nowadays, it seems like peaceful rallies like this (with the exception of the burning of the Bush effigy) are always infiltrated with a few violent, dysfunctional people whose sole agenda is causing chaos.  No longer does it seem that a demonstration can simply be that, instead turning quickly from peaceful movement to riot.
I am glad to see that most of the Occupy movements have managed to maintain their peaceful nature for the most part.  The recent escalation of violence between protestors and police is a disappointing development in this truly American movement.  I hope that Occupy has not transitioned to Occupied as so many other demonstrations and rallies around the world have.
My hope is that these disenfranchised people, regardless of their individual messages, will be able to solidify and provide an agenda to present to the public.  Only through doing that will they free themselves from the infiltration of chaotic elements.  Only then will a true discussion emerge instead of today’s extremely fragmented and unguided conversation.
For those of you who disagree with the general message around which the Occupy movements are organized, I hope you can find a place in your heart to respect their right to do so.  As Voltaire is credited with saying: “I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
While I certainly do not wish it to come to any sort of defending to the death, I stand behind the Occupy movement in principal and hope it can manifest the order it needs to expel all negative and violent intentions as it develops its unified voice.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow

I have had a pain in my shoulder since the beginning of July.  Frankly, I think it was an injury sustained during a long and intense weekend full of sports.  What sport, you ask?  No, it wasn't the recitation of MacBeth soliloquies (referencing the title of today's blog).  It was Cornhole.
Not me.  I have better form.
For those of you who don’t understand the intricacies of the game Cornhole, let me provide illumination.  Imagine horseshoes but with bags full of corn.  Instead of a post, you are aiming at an angled table with a hole in the middle.  It is a little bit like a midwest version of curling.
Tossing the corn-filled bags for hours on end, day after day, I think I aggravated an onld injury I sustained in 2003 performing Bari Sax with the show Cyberjam.  Some advice based on experience - avoid dancing around on stage while playing bari and not wearing a neck strap; it certainly does no favors for your rotator cuff.
Anyway, my injury isn’t the point of today’s blog.  Procrastination is the point.  Honestly, I have been meaning to write this blog for awhile, but I just hadn’t gotten around to it yet.  The deal with my arm is just a way to illustrate the point.  When it first started hurting back in July, I figured it would go away, but it never has.  I keep telling myself I should go visit a doctor and get it figured out, but I keep putting it off.
Procrastination is a skill developed during early life.  I remember waiting until the last minute to take care of homework and projects as early as Middle School, although I am sure I was guilty much earlier.  Teenagers cherish the opportunity to procrastinate.  I experienced endless frustration with my high school students around progress report and report card time.  After combing through a plethora of grades, I would interrogate my kids - 
“Why is this a zero?”
“When was your project due?”
“Are you planning on turning this in!?!?!”
I am sure my teacher friends can all empathize.  For me, the most frustrating and stress-inducing times as as teacher were when I had to pursue and confront students about their efforts in classes other than mine.
College doesn’t change a thing.  In fact, I am convinced the freedom procrastinating students find off at University further cements their procrastinating habits.  My poorest grades at UH were the result of waiting to for the last minute, not due to a lack of comprehension.
As an adult, procrastination manifests through work assignments and projects, home activities (my yard needed to be mowed a week ago), bill payments (I know I have received a few late charges on bills in the past), and any number of other things adultish activities.
Just like the pain in my shoulder is a symptom of a larger physical issue - a possible tear or strain in the muscle or ligament - procrastination in our daily lives is more a symptom of a larger internal issue - fear.
Fear of failure.  Fear of acceptance.  Fear of change.  Fear of the unknown.  Fear of "fill in the blank."  Any number of fear-emotions can drive us to wait and wait and wait until we absolutely have to take care of our business or suffer the consequences.  Unfortunately, when we reach the point where lateness is a possibility, we have to suddenly make sacrifices.  We sacrifice quality, we incur late-charges, we lose points on our grade, etc.  By choosing to wait, we actually choose the consequences of our lateness.
Procrastination is hole we fall into; we have to dig ourselves out.  Would it be a surprise to you that we procrastinate finding the solution to the problem of procrastination?  I know I procrastinate, but I don’t do anything about it.  I have thought about solutions, but I don’t enact them.  I continue with my same daily rituals because change is hard.  The results would be unfamiliar.  At least I know the results of procrastinating.
Right now, the result of my procrastination is that it hurts to reach across my chest to scratch my shoulder, it is uncomfortable to lay on my right shoulder when sleeping, and it is difficult to lift with my right arm.  When will I do something about it?  Maybe later.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Who is Driving the Bus?

This is a throwback from when I was writing on another blog site before I switched to blogger.  I thought it deserved a replay. 



When I was in high school some friends of mine lead one of the local Catholic Church communion education courses for some of the younger kids.  While this in itself wasn’t significant to my youth, one of the lessons they taught has always stuck with me - 

Who is driving the bus? 

At the time, I thought it was the most ridiculous title for a lesson plan.  I was in my atheist phase at the time, although now I realize I was really just agnostic - more on that some other time.  Because of how I felt on religious matters, the silliness of the title stuck with me.  The image of a happy Jesus bouncing around at the front of a yellow bus, with all of us in the back, seemed down-right dumb.  

Now, looking back, the funny thing is that it has stuck with me after all these years.  The little kids my friends taught might not have learned the lesson, but it doesn’t really matter to me, because I did.  Try as I did to make fun, the title stuck in my brain like the ugly face my mom warned would stick if I made it too often.

I can't see the driver, can you?
From my perspective today, the lesson of who is driving the bus is an important one.  While I don’t gravitate towards the Catholic perspective, I feel the lesson applies to life no matter the religious temperament.  In fact, I am certain my atheist friends can benefit from looking to see who is in the driver’s seat, as the answer dictates the course your life is taking.

Essentially there are only two answers to who is driving the bus - you, or God (atheists, don’t quit reading yet, I am not being exclusionary - replace the word God with secular humanism every time you see it).  While it may seem like you driving the bus would be a positive thing - you have taken control of your life, choosing your own directions, heading towards your goals - anytime you are in control, ego is driving.  While your choices certainly may seem pure, they are designed to produce the most benefit for you.  This is the worldly answer - I am driving the bus.  The bus, and you, exist only for yourself.

If he is sitting here, who is driving the bus?
The alternative answer - letting God (secular humanism) - drive the bus motivates us to make decisions that affect those around us positively.  Ego is left behind, replaced with the desire to benefit others.  We choose to serve others instead of serving ourselves.  

While I never sat in the lesson my friends taught, I am certain this is the message those young kids would have heard.  No matter the language or name, as long as the person driving the bus is a manifestation of love for others, your path is sure and true.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Finishing the Phrase

I had the distinct pleasure of being a judge for the Pride of the Dutchmen Field Show in Orange City, IA.  Where?  Yes, that is right - Iowa.  Land of corn.  Land of cows.  Land of Agriculture.
Being that Orange City is not very big (nothing is in Iowa except the corn fields), the judges flew in to Souix Falls, SD, and then drove to Orange City.  Our hour and half ride gave me the opportunity to evaluate whether or not the Great Plains lived up to all of my stereotypes.  It did.  The land was rolling, flat, wind-blown, and full of crops.  I have been through West Texas many times, and what the landscape is very similar, West Texas gives the distinct impression of being empty.  Iowa gave the impression of being full to bursting; just not full of people.
The Pride of the Dutchmen will be participating
in the 2013 Tournament of Roses Parade!
The Dutchmen band director - Steve Connell - made sure we were taken care of.  We were fed the peak of Iowan cuisine, dining on steaks from Archie’s Waeside, home made deserts, an inventive variety of pizza from the Pizza Ranch, and a delightful brunch hosted at the Connell homestead.  All around, we had a good time. 
I judged Visual General Effect, and while I admit, I didn’t know what to expect from bands seemingly in the middle of nowhere, I kept my mind open.  I am glad I did, because I saw some great productions from some little bands.  This was the eighth year of the Dutchman contest, and over the eight years, the contest has infected the local groups (25 were at the contest) with the design itch.  I was expecting half-cocked college imitations, but instead experienced actual productions.  It was a very pleasant disruption of my expectations.
The one comment I did find myself making to many of the bands had to do with visual phrasing.  Judging effect, whether music or visual, means consideration is given more to the design elements and whether or not those elements are being achieved through the performance.  While many of the bands began visual phrases, they failed to push through to the end of the phrase, leaving the audience feeling confused and unfinished.  Without completion, the effect is lowered, depressing their score.
I noticed the same thing this past weekend at the Lone Star Preview contest.  While not a judge, I still tend to be a fairly critical person (The Critic), and many of the bands at the contest succumbed to the same anticlimaticism (btw, I just made this word up, it was the only one that seemed to work).  Their phrases began, developed, and then fizzled.  Needless to say, I was eager for bands to finish their phrases, would probably exacerbated my excitement when some of them did.
I can’t help but draw conclusions about life using this idea of finishing phrases.  Grocery stores unintentionally provide a prime surface level example of the frequent occurrence of the phenomenon.  What am I talking about?  Shopping carts.  Oh . . .My . . . God.  If there is one place I can expect my blood pressure to shoot through the roof, it is the parking lot of a grocery store.  I can’t stand to see people push their cart full of groceries to their car, unload it, and leave it tucked against a curb, in between the cars, or just floating in the parking space next to their car.  I am frequently amazed at the display of laziness and the loathing to walk the extra 20 feet to return the cart to the store or the strategically placed bins in the lot.  Wow.  Rant done.
This is an example of general humanity not finishing a phrase.  There is a certain shape to the phrase of a shopping cart.  Pick it up at the front of the store, fill it with groceries, empty it at the car, replace it in the designated bin or back at the front of the store.  With out the final step we don’t complete the phrase.  It would be like not finishing this 
I am confident that all of us have succumbed to the ease of not seeing a phrase completed at some point in our life.  Sometimes, finishing the phrase is difficult, so instead, we leave off.  One of my good friends recently returned to Houston from New York City, and while it would have been easier to return with his wife and daughter two months earlier, he chose not to.  Why?  He finished the phrase, completing his time with his company instead of cutting it short.  I applaud his resilience.
I know I have left projects unfinished, apologies incomplete, ideas fragmented and hanging onto their penultimate chords, never resolving (I have never left a shopping cart, though).  Do I need to go back and resolve them all?  Not necessarily.
I think it is smart to tie up the loose ends of our past that we can.  When we abandon a phrase, we sometimes leave them accessible and sometimes not.  I think it is a good idea to evaluate our history to see where we might have jumped ship before we arrived at our destination.  Figure out what resolutions are possible and advance towards them.  For those phrases to which we can never return, accept them and let go without allowing them to become an anchor.
As always, use previous experience as a learning opportunity, a teachable moment, to help propel you into your present.  Adapt to your new experiences so you can finish your phrases.  If you find yourself repeating the same phrases again, learn how to finish them this time around - maybe you won’t have to repeat them anymore.
On my judging tapes, I never once asked the band directors to revisit the same show the next year, but this time design a finish to their visual phrases.  Instead, I urged them to fix what they could with the time they had left in their season, offering some suggestions on how.  I also advised them to make sure future design considered the pacing of their phrases, developing them towards their completion.  Using this year’s experience to better next year’s results means their programs are heading in the right direction.

The same can be said about us.  Finish those phrases.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Save a Pretzel for the Gas Jets!

I am for Rick Perry.  That is right.  You did not misread the words.  I did not stutter.  I am supporting Rick Perry for the President of the United States of America.  Governor Good Hair has proven himself worthy, earning my vote for the 2012 General Election.
My position may come as a surprise to some of you as many of my previous blogs have railed against the Governor as being out of touch with education, preferring to favor the wants of his cronies before the needs of his constituents, and pursuing a type of government that supports those with power over those with the least.  I understand your confusion, after all, I have only recently come to the decision to support Mr. Perry myself.
What changed my mind?  Let me lay it out for you.  This country is in a bad place.  We have definitely been far worse - the 1930s, the 1860s, the 1810s, the 1770s - but not by much.  This country is in need of something different, something Rick Perry has to offer that we haven’t seen since the likes of George W. Bush.  We need humor.  We need strategery.
What could be better than a country full of smiling Americans?  We would be the goodwill ambassadors to the world, spreading our cheer everywhere we go.  
What recession?  We have laughter.  (nb: we are not currently in a recession)
What debt crisis?  We have joy.
High unemployment?  We are high on life!
Has the stock market got you down?  Angry about the conflict in Afghanistan?  Sick of hitting the pavement looking for a job?  Never fear.  With President Rick Perry, all of your cares and worries will vanish immediately.  
Never has a country needed a pick me up like we do.  The Governor’s amazing ability to lend himself to parody and satire are perfect for the job.  Just check out his latest campaign video.  

SAVE A PRETZEL FOR THE GAS JETS!!!!  I can get behind that.

In fact, I can get behind a President who favors Hot Yellow Kool-Aid.  Can’t you?  I’ll drink that Kool-aid!
The Republican battle for the presidential nomination is exceedingly boring, save for Rick Perry.  Most of these people are way too serious.  I think it would be fun to have a president named Herman, but Cain looks like he gets paid by the frown.  

If Michelle Bachman would turn to the camera every once in a while and make her famous crazy eyes, I might be more supportive, but she prefers the serious, motherly look.  

Huntsman has some comedic value, but I am afraid he will either succumb to skin cancer or shrivel up like a raisin before the election.  

Ron Paul is . . . well . . . he is Ron Paul.  I am just waiting for the punch line from him, something like, “y’all know I am just kidding about this repeal talk, right?  JK, LOL!”

Besides, he kind of looks like Magneto from X-Men.  I don't know that I liked Magneto's politics either (although they are very similar, aren't they).

But, Rick Perry trumps it all.  Well, unless Trump jumps back into the race.  I can just see Trump’s speech after winning - “Barack Obama . . . You’re Fired!”  Speaking of Obama, there is a serious man.  The reason this country is sitting on the edge of a financial precipice right now has nothing to do with Washington politics or overreaching banking institutions, rather, President Obama is just too serious.  
When Obama speaks, I am soothed, I am comforted by his tone.  I am lulled into a sense of peace.  Comfort?  Peace?  No thank you!  I want to laugh, smile, pat my friends on the back, and not be cajoled into false confidence in the future.  Even the attempts to parody Obama don’t live up to what Perry has to offer, and besides, Obama has a foul mouth.

Basically, what I am saying is that our country needs to head in a new direction, a direction dictated by a man whose intrinsic value is measured in his ability to produce laughter, not in his ability to adeptly answer questions posed to him during debates.  
Rick Perry is that man.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Greed is Good

Greed is good.  These are the famous words spoken by Gordon Gekko, Michael Douglas’ character from the movies Wall Street, and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.  Gekko is a stock trader, driven by the investment game, always on the prowl for the trade that will make him more wealthy and famous.  For Gekko, greed is the driving factor.  He is owned by both his material possessions and by the opinions others have of him.  Without them, he is nothing.
For many of us, greed seems like a game only the wealthy can play.  We associate greed with only the wealthy, refraining to consider that we ourselves could be greedy.  In my last blog - Aiming Higher - I discussed the drives that push each of us.  I used myself, my wife, and a local school as  examples of people who were striving towards success.  Do we live up to the Gordon Gekko model?  Are we greedy?
First, lets analyze what greed is.  Webster defines greed as a selfish and excessive desire for more of something than is needed.  This definition seems to be extremely broad considering the way greed is bandied about today.  Typically we associate greed with money and power.  The current Wall Street protest #OccupyWallStreet is centered around the idea that the powerful and wealthy are driving down our future through their hoarding of money.  If they were less concerned with their own wealth, then the future of the country and the global economy would be much brighter than it seems to be today.
Is this true?  Milton Friedman, a conservative economist from whom Reaganomics originated, has a well known youtube video in which he discusses greed on Phil Donahue’s show. 

Friedman argues that all successful societies in the history of man have been centered around a free market economy fueled by greedy individuals.  Further, he declares that even in socialist and communist societies, greed still exists, though the market to exploit greedy drives is absent.  

I agree with Mr. Friedman.  Greed is prevalent in all societies.  The brilliance of capitalism lies in society’s ability to harness the powers of greed to better the lives of its citizens.  The United States of America would not be where it is today without the shrewd businessmen of the past who have driven our industry and economy to the peak of human wealth.
Unfortunately, after every peak there is a descent (read The Long Ride to see how this applies to life in general).  There seems to be a point in a free market economy where the have’s seem to have it all.  We are not at that point yet, but the fact that 10% of our population owns 90% of our wealth would suggest that the United States is close.  Factor in the current economic conditions, news stories highlighting CEOs earning massive bonuses while losing their companies money, and the plight of the unemployed and poor, and it is easy to see why #OccupyWallStreet has its sights set on financial district of New York City.
Back to my examples from Aiming Higher.  I freely admitted that one of my goals as a drill writer and marching arranger is to make money.  I enjoy the work and appreciate seeing the work of my mind produced and carried out in real time, as well, but I love to get the checks in the mail.  Does this make me greedy?  I don’t think it does.
I believe that the drive to be successful is separate from the drives associated with greed.  The drive towards success can be corrupted and lead towards greed, but I do not think the two are intimately intertwined.
Where is the point where they separate and consideration of individual success becomes something negative?  To me, that point lies in the choice to pursue something that serves your interest at the acknowledged destruction of others.  Enron is one of the best modern examples of corporate greed.  The drive to succeed, which in this case was evidenced by a rising stock price, was corrupted into a drive to make money.  Executives fabricated earnings reports, causing the stock price to artificially inflate.  When the scheme was discovered, the stock collapsed, leaving those who had trusted their financial welfare to Enron’s stock value crushed.
Greed lies in the purpose, the intent behind the action.  Samantha is driven towards owning a successful Mary Kay business by the opportunities it affords her as an individual and a woman, and the financial opportunities it offers our family.  If she allows those drives to corrupt her integrity to the point where she is taking advantage of other people and consciously causing others harm for her own benefit, then her drive to succeed has become greedy.
The Oak Ridge High School Band (donate here) seeks funding to offer its students the opportunity to experience something unique in the Macy’s Parade.  If the director’s somehow had their only welfare in mind when applying for, accepting, and promoting the parade, then they could be called greedy.  But, as long as their motivations take into consideration the wellbeing of others, they are not.
Greed is less of an action and more of a mind set.  Gordon Gekko’s actions pushed past the edge of a reasonable drive towards success, leading him to believe that greed is good.  While I agree with him to a point, too much greed can be a very bad thing.