It is never enough…

Republican Sen. Richard Burr proposes taxing scholarships of student athletes who ‘cash in

When is it ever enough? That is, the governments need for more money — taxes!

Disgusting but probably an accurate portrayal!

You can debate the technical details of the IRS regulations and Congress’s Tax Law, the later now estimated to be about 2600 pages, and not 70,000 which is a popular number often cited by independent tax watch dogs and popular with the media. Even at 2600 pages, who in their right mind…?

Point is… here is just another elected official, Burr, in this instance, who is looking for more money for the government.

It is disgusting.

Talking to an American tour guide in Rome, Italy…. He lived in Rome for 20 years. I asked him what he found to be the biggest difference between the Italian and US governments. He said, ” In Italy, the people are rich and the government poor. In the US, the government is rich and the people poor”.

No, the writer has not lost sight of all our freedoms in this country.

But it remains that the government is huge, wasteful, greedy and carrying a choking debt, all of which is costing all of us dearly .

The answer is not more taxes Senator Burr!

***** S&E *****


In my corporate career I had 11 different management positions, domestic and international, with 2 global corporations.  And so 11 different bosses. And, since I worked in Human Resources, I had an additional 11 different matrixed bosses.  

Some of those positions covered as many as 13 countries, 19 manufacturing plants and 13,000 employees, some the entire globe, and one, a world region.  So with little imagination one could appreciate the sophistication, complexity, and business savvy of some of my bosses.

This is not about me, but about some of the stuff I learned from them.

From boss #1, I learned about using humor to lessen conflict, the importance of accuracy in writing, labor relations skills, and honesty in negotiations, and compensation processes and systems. And, supporting the community.  Scope: individual contributor.

From the next, the importance of influence, and maintaining morale in a 500 person manufacturing facility and how to keep an even keel in tumultuous situations.  Scope: single plant.

Boss # 3.  Striking a balance between work and family.  And, you don’t always win those corporate arguments.  And the importance of celebrating employee successes at work.  And maintaining a professional presence in the face of diversity.  And masterful instruction in understanding business finances and statements.  Scope: single plant

Next, how a peer manager who becomes your boss, who for reasons not mentioned here, changes from an adversary to a partner.  It is all about teamwork and often the team is what it is and you leverage the strengths and put up with the shortcomings. And how decisions have to be made in the best interest of the corporation and the stockholders, with the outcome sometimes being negative for local employees and their communities.  And, how to manage through that with compassion and empathy. Scope: single plant.

Boss # 5: Managing multiple locations, avoiding the label “I’m from headquarters and I’m here to help”, removing people who are entrenched in the organization and who don’t do their jobs.  How to run a complex multi-location project. Working through the intricacies and frustrations of the corporate political animal. Importance of helping people manage their careers, sponsoring them, and moving them when they are ready.  Scope: seven locations.

Next, working under a boss who has lost control of an organization, is a poor manager and leader, and leveraging internal resources and the greater corporation to get things done.  How to restructure a business, manage product line relocations, and associated, highly complex communications planning and implementation. a Scope: single plant.

Number 7:  Working in an environment with a verbally abusive boss for 2 years; sticking it out for another 5 years and winning the “war”.  You can change almost anything you put your mind to and be free to be creative on your job. How important and appreciated employee recognition can be.  And creating and deploying talent management as a critically important tool and process. And another masterful instructor on understanding business finances and statements, and international business management.  Managing from strategy to implementation to metrics in a complex, matrix work environment. Scope: 13 plants, 3 countries.

Boss 8: How to keep your cool in any situation, lessons on managing through the political landscape.  Scope: multiple plants, 13 countries.

Next.  Another master in business financial management and multi-location, multi-country, international business management to include acquisitions and divestitures.  Scope: multiple plants, 13 countries.

Boss 10: The value of giving people enough space to do their jobs. Managing careers.  Scope: 4 world regions, global.

Boss 11: Working through the ever present, frustrating micro manager.  Boss 12 replaced boss 11. A skilled, masterful leader who gave you freedom and space to do their job. Scope: world region.

All: Most subscribed to and lived by corporate values and ethics across the two corporations.  For most there was only one result when behavior dictated otherwise… zero tolerance.

***** S&E *****  

An anatomical look at stock market aliments…

There are a multitude of factors that drive stock market fluctuations that result in investor angst. And the human body is also subject to great health fluctuations caused by many factors to include genetics, living style, diet, and so on. The Market and the body share some common maladies. Some that come to mind…

  • Congressional Bacterial Infections
  • Media Mad Cow Disease
  • Presidential Influenza
  • Floor Trader Thrombosis
  • AOC Abnormalities
  • Interest Rate tumors
  • Wall Street Spasms
  • Trump Trama
  • Investor Shock
  • Biden Bullshootitis
  • International Gout
  • Leadership Lice
  • Supply and Demand Dracunculiasis
  • Blitzer Brain Seizure
  • Broker Diarrhea
  • Pelosi Plague

It is just enough to make you want to bury your money in the backyard!

***** S&E****

Help Yourself Help Others…

…quotes on leadership from some very famous people.

They are great to read, but, stop short of contributing to your tool kit unless put into practice.

The fact is anyone can use this advice, there is no requirement to be famous, only a desire for self-improvement and a genuine interest in leadership and leading!

Great “take-aways” for leaders, managers, supervisors or anyone who interfaces with anyone, so I suspect that is all of us! And in one way or another I believe we all have the opportunity to lead in some capacity.

A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves. —Lao Tzu

***** S&E *****

So simple, some complex… communications!

On several occasions I hired a communications consultant for annual key management team meetings to impress on our management group the critical importance of the skill — communications.

Often the message was a rehashing of the basics as if those are not present then messages (written, spoken) fail to achieve the goal. Consider the graphics below on Role, Process, and Buy-in. Of course the degree of planning would vary depending on complexity of project.

In the end our consultant would make sure the group left with the same thought as a takeaway and consider in their work…”when something goes wrong, 90 percent of the time it can be linked to poor communications”.

***** S&E*****

Such Little People…

What frosts me about the current DC rock throwing mess over a phone call to the Ukraine is that, Trump’s poor leadership and inappropriate behavior aside, not one of those elected; corrupt, thieving spin-masters could pass the same or equal scrutiny.  And that probably applies to all those congressional panels where a handful of our elected, ego-driven fools grill the target of the week.   And when do they successfully address (emphasis added) the debt, infrastructure, the medical mess, immigration, and a few other major issues?  They don’t.  It is all about the political parties, and special interest money; clearly not about the country.  It is tragic, embarrassing, all of it lethal, destructive, incriminating behavior. 

How could perception be so much in err?

Such little people in such huge jobs.

***** S&E*****

Part of the Fabric

If you are taking on a new management assignment, if you are a new boss, you have but a short time to make expected changes. “Expected Changes” are usually anticipated by employees and coworkers when the boss’s position turns over.

The longer the new boss is in the job, employees and coworkers settle into the new ways (or the status quo; old ways) and do not look for continuing, significant changes. At that point the boss can become part of the fabric of the organization where significant change becomes a larger and possibly more difficult undertaking.

A new boss may be tested by some who could not convince the last boss to make a change… just be aware as the change may be unnecessary or counter to a direction that the business needs to pursue. Examine the request carefully.

To avoid becoming part of the fabric, as a new boss, make significant changes within the first three months through the first year. Make sure your boss and other bosses affected are on board. That does not mean you need everyone’s concurrence. A participative environment is is important, it helps with building buy-in for change. That does not mean that running the business or department is a democracy! It should not be!

Making changes for change sake is foolish… changes that improve efficiency, performance, morale, and the numbers — perfect!

Never, never, never underestimate the importance of continuous, accurate and all- encompassing communications when planning and implementing change.

***** S&E *****