Donald, Dinesh and Hillary HooHah

This is a business blog, and a small business blog at that, but the big faceoff tonight deserves some comment.

Right on cue, mainstream media has been unrelentingly negative on their treatment of the Donald. Wall Street Journal, MSN.com, AOL. Many articles just don’t square with the facts, or the facts are buried in paragragh five, as in a weekend piece the Journal did on Donald’s loans from his father; THEY WERE ALL PAID BACK WITH INTEREST, but that’s in paragraph five. Donald is probusiness, in all way shapes and forms. A little fuzzy on trade, maybe, but it’ll shake out.

Everybody in the media misses the one thing Donald is about: leadership. Imagine him working on Putin over Syria. It’s easy to see him doing the negotiations personally. It’s not clear to us now why we even need to be involved in Syria. Obama already screwed up Iraq, and it might come back, so let’s put our marbles with the Kurds and with Israel. Besides, we invested a lot in the place. Domestically, leading again: lower taxes for business, cuts in spending, been tried successfully before by Reagan. Good blueprint, we think.

If you haven’t read Dinesh D’Sousa’s book ‘Hillary’s America’, you should. If you’ve read it, you’d never vote for her, or the Democrats. We don’t understand how anyone with her record could have the chutzpah to even contemplate running for President. Not likely, but she could be indicted while in office, be forced  to resign and we have Harvey Korman’s lookalike running the country. Scary scenario.

And, finally, there’s Herself, Hillary Hoohah. She says she’s probusiness, and did put out a probusiness tax plan about a month ago, but she lies about everything, so who can trust her? Again, if you read D’Souza’s book, you wouldn’t vote for her anything above dogcatcher. Sleaze would reign supreme. Herself wouldn’t get much done, because there’d be a Republican congress. Four more years of bickering.

So, let’s get ready to rumble. I call Donald in the third, Hillary on her corner stool.

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Bravo Soros (sort of)

The Wall Street Journal had an article by George Soros entitled ‘Why I’m Inventing $500 Million in Migrants’ today, and it’s sort of interesting.

No, Soros didn’t promise to pay $500 million in resettlement costs. After the usual blather about the benefits of immigration, in para 5 of the article is the meat: He actually says he’s going to invest $500 million in refugee and migrant startup businesses.

Cool.

All the investments will be owned by his non-profit, which we think is called Opportunity Fund. Profits will go to the Open Society Foundations.

We’ll match George, and donate our class fees at the American School of Entrepreneurship(www.theasoe.com). The $99 fee for four startup courses (the A’ones)  will be waived if a student can prove that he/she is an immigrant to the US or a migrant/refugee from somewhere, e.g., Syria. A visa number and date of granting is all we need, and we’ll instruct our webmaster to open up the access to the site.

And, if an immigrant/refugee has an ongoing business, we’ll offer four free courses on the ‘E” side of the School.

We like to see everyone succeed, regardless of where they’re from, and we do hope that other investors match Soros.

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3 C’s Can Boost Accountability in Your Workplace

This is the title of an article that appeared in the online version of Smartbrief recently, and really encapsulates what you need to do to increase the accountability of your people. It all starts with Commitment to the company, and to doing the best job they can. Otherwise, why did you hire them?

  1. The first C, aside from commitment to observe the C’s, is Communication. Make sure everyone knows what their role in the company is and try to foster communication up and down the organization. Maybe a key leader isn’t getting what he/she needs from her team members. He/she should pull them together and explain what he/she expects from the team and the parts. Everyone should know what their goals are, which should be part of their annual review and pay structure.
  2. Cooperation: all the team members have got to cooperate on delivering products and/or services. There aren’t any ‘lone wolves’. The leaders can bring the players together as needed (at least once a week) to find out what’s going well, poorly, and his/her concerns. It might take a beer or two.
  3. Consequences: Most people think of punishment, but that’s not quite it. If the goals aren’t being met, some reorientation and discussion may be necessary; maybe cooperation isn’t al it could be.

So, take these words to heart. You might start with a survey of your employees to see what they think of execution of the 3 C’s within your company.

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50% Deplorable

Way to go Hillary! Now we know how you really feel! Fitting that it happened at a fundraiser hosted by Barbara Streisand, a notorious business hater.

Nothing like p.o-ing 50% of the Republicans, a lot of whom own small businesses. Who provide something like 85% of the job growth in the country.

We suspect that the accumulated lies, deceptions and backtracking caught up with Hil. We doubt she can recover. Tim Kaine reminds us of Harvey Korman.

We watched ‘Churchill’s Secret’ last night, about an apparent heart attack that he had in 1953 which was completely hidden from the British public. Couldn’t happen now with our 24-hour news cycle.

What did she get in Chelsea’s apartment? Our guess is a shot of amphetamines, which would clear up the cough and provide a boost.

So, Hil, you might as face the inevitable. You’re done. Give the ball to ‘ol Tim.

 

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Fear and Loathing at American Airlines and the TSA

Well, I didn’t think the time my wife and I had an airliner door closed in our faces (on Delta) on the first leg of a European vacation could be topped, but I think AA has done it.

And I’m sorry to say that I say this because I know both Doug Parker and the recently departed Scott Kirby from their days at America West, and they’re both savy airline guys otherwise smart on customer service and running an efficient airline.

But, maybe the cuts have gone too deep; my flight out of Denver recently was about the worst experience possible.

  1. American had a nifty new checkin site (with baggage handling behind the counter) at the bottom of the garage where the busses drop off, but the gate agent looked and acted like the checkin process might be a near death experience. He referred me to  the main checkin counter, which was about 15 minutes away in the main concourse, and of course didn’t give me directions. So much for diversity hires and apparent lack of training.
  2. At the main counter, I encountered world’s worst counter person in Sheri. She didn’t want to check in my single bag because I was 2 minutes late for the 90 minute bag checkin rule. It would be nice if American informed me of this rule; we could have left for the airport earlier. I don’t like to do a carry on because my bag is on the limit for size. So, I missed the first flight…..no way I could get through the dreaded TSA and still make the flight.
  3. So I waited for 3.5 hours. But I did make a new friend with an Egyptian businessman flying back to Cairo via London on British Airways who thought the whole situation with American rather comical.
  4. And then the AA flight was delayed about 2 hours, probably because of weather, but no one at the AA gate informed us why the flight was delayed, they just posted the new arrival time and departure on the board. How hard is it to pick up the mic and say a few soothing words? Jeez.
  5. And then there were the usual funnies involving TSA. The good news was that they jumped me ahead of about 15 people to go through a new line they set up. I was shocked; Denver TSA is legendary for being inefficient. But, Denver’s  TSA rep caught up with it when a TSA gate agent wouldn’t look at my basket until her supervisor did (another diversity new hire) and didn’t tell me I couldn’t take my bottle of Acquafina water on the flight. A supervisor had to do it. No employee empowerment here. No mentions of water as a prohibited item, either. How hard is that? I hope President Trump makes the airlines pay for TSA, and uses the Israeli model for flight security.
  6. At least American improved my seating position to the exit aisle window. I think first class was sold out, in their defense.
  7. Do I hear any calls for Business Class, which is what my Egyptian friend was flying on British Airways? I’d pay more to do it.
  8. BTW, kudos to Super Shuttle for being on top of all delays and only making me wait about 5 minutes to catch a bus from Sky Harbor to home. I’ve ridden with them since their inception, and they’ve just gotten better, even as they’ve expanded nationally.

So, it’s small wonder that flying on the airlines is an adventure and most airlines have such a bad rep. Guess I’ll buy a backpack and fly Spirit Airlines at 50% off the American rates.

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News You Can Use (with a Little Research)

It occurred to me that I’ve never outlined in a blog the articles I give to my groups and clients to the electronic public, so here goes (we hope to do this towards the end of every month):

  1. The Industrial Evolution: be prepared to automate some of your jobs out of existence. inc.com.
  2. Collaboration Is More Than a Buzzword: what should you do to make your employees more collaborative? (hint: change company culture). Big topic. inc.com
  3. Earlier deadlines for reporting Obamacare (if you have more than 50 employees). Kiplinger.com
  4. More firms are using bonuses, not pay raises, to reward employees. Kiplinger.com
  5. Employer Impact of Marajuana Regulation: this was the Arizona impact, but over 40 states have laws about it. ardp.org. Companion article on why businesses oppose marijuana legalization in Arizona. azcentral.com.
  6.  Lead a Revolution from Within: Be an internal disruptor, don’t wait to get run over. fortune.com
  7. $12 Arizona Minimum Wage Plus Sick Leave: an Arizona ballot proposition in November. NFIB special ballot. Serious implementation problems if it passes, since AZ is at $8.05 now.

This was actually a light month for reading.

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You Can Do It!

We just had an interesting new joiner of Solutions Forum….an ex-con who started his clothing design business with $50 in a shack behind his house, because no one would hire him as a screen printer/designer. He actually conceived the business while still in prison.

Now he’s doing fine (aside from having more ideas than money), and is about to get some of his designs and T-shirts listed on Amazon, which, I suspect, is gonna be Huuuuge. He did a test recently and sold 33 in 7 minutes. Not bad.

He’s got great instincts, and joined us to have us act as a focus group as well as business advisors.

So, don’t think that you can’t start a business. If you’ve got a dream and $50, you can do it. We can help. 1-800-716-9626.

 

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Tim, We’re Here for You

There have been several articles lately about Tim Cook and his leadership style, most recently in FAST COMPANY, where he complained that it was lonely at the top.

Well, yeah. Doesn’t make any difference how big the company is.

But, we’ve written a lot about Apple in this blog, and we’d be pleased to help. John Heinrich has served as a counsellor to heads of large companies before, when there were new CEOs. John happens to be an Apple stockholder, too, so he’s got a vested interest in seeing Apple do well.

So, Tim, give us a all. 1-800-716-9626. We’re here.

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Trump on Trade

It’s no particular secret among our friends and associates that we like Donald Trump; went to school with him and have supported him for President.

However, his trade policy needs rethinking. It sounds like protectionism, but there are times when it sounds more like equal tariffs/fair trade.

Lower tariffs, the economic texbooks tell us, promote job growth and spcialization into particular industries. Protectionism is acceptable when a country wants to get an essential industry off the ground, such as solar.

However, it’s clear that some countries, notably Mexico and China, have higher entry tariffs than we do, and they should reduce them. I think this is what Donald is saying, but he needs to clarify it at some point. We would think that his stable of economic advisors, notably Steve Moore, would be so advising him.

But, trade isn’t essential to the growth agenda Trump advocates, but it will help. Getting lower taxes, less regulation and fewer agency interventions will do more.

 

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The Trump Meltdown

Well, Donald has about reached his nadir; he didn’t show for a rally in Phoenix, although there was a hellacious monsoon storm, so he’s mostly forgiven. But no one apologized for the no show on national TV from Denver or wherever he might have been. Mike Pence was here, but didn’t apologize, not that it was broadcast on the 10 pm news.

It’s time for Donald to take stock of what’s going right and wrong. We in the business community are praying that he makes it, and this constituency remains solid, although an informal poll taken among my friends at a local gathering of the Leadership Council of Arizona NFIB didn’t get a lot of enthusiasm for attending the rally, even before the storm.

Donald has got to realize that it’s time to broaden his appeal beyond the white males. Here are some ideas:

1.WHERE ARE THE AD BUYS? YOU CAN’T DEFEND ON YOUR PERSONAL APPEAL FOREVER! THE RNC HAS SOME MONEY! SPEND IT!

Hire some surrogates in the minority communities: Jason Riley and Ben Carson are on board as African Americans, ask them how man appearances they want to make.

You need a high profile female endorser, such as a Carly Fiorina, if she doesn’t still have bad feelings about losing to you. Meg Whitman, a nominal Republican is backing Hillary. AARGH!

Same thing with a Latino or Latina endorser; you trashed Gov. Susan Martinez of New Mexico, who would have been good.

Stop the petty fights: take a deep breath when you know the press is baiting you (which they’re going to do until November) on a question and think for a couple of beats before answering. You know most of the mainstream press is against you, occasionally even Fox, so don’t give them any ammunition.

Stay focused on jobs and the economy; it’s your sweet spot. It’s ok to criticize Hillary on these, because she has no ideas. Your tax plans are excellent, as is your debt plan, but deserves more explanation.

Anyway, Donald, you’ve got 88 days to turn it around. The electorate is just about paying attention.

Your former classmate at Wharton, John.

 

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