Thursday, November 24, 2011

Observations From the Back Row

Rich Kozlovich

Over the course of my life I have been in leadership roles a number of times. As I looked back over each occurrence I realized that I made a lot of mistakes. Why? Because it took a while for me to understand the most important thing a good leader needs to know; and that is if subordinates are doing their jobs, then leave them alone and let them do their jobs without interference because you probably aren't better at it than they are. However, if you find that they aren't doing their jobs then you have to either fix them or fire them and hire someone who can do the job....and then leave them alone. I also learned that if I have to do a subordinates job I can't do mine properly. In short; my prescription for good leadership is that I give everyone the freedom to fail. Generally speaking I have found that when people have to take their destiny in their own hands success becomes their only option.

Unfortunately those in leadership roles in government just don't get “that liberty might be the answer”, and that doing nothing may be better than having bureaucrats and elected officials that have never worked a real job, started or ran a real company do stupid things that ends up being activity as a substitute for accomplishment. It also never occurs to them that doing nothing, or reducing the level of what they are already doing is more along the line of ‘doing something’ that will be successful. Reducing government involvement and getting out the way by ‘doing nothing' is the most important ‘do something’ they can do.

There are two stories below that clearly outlines the problem, the ideology, reality and the real solution. I think you will find this worth the effort.

The authoritarianism, simple-mindedness and failure of America's pundits - David Brooks, Thomas L. Friedman, and the banal authoritarianism of do-something punditry
Consider for a moment the paradoxical pain of being a best-selling political pundit so successful that American presidents don’t just seek but heed your advice. You have lobbied in your columns for the commander in chief to deploy your signature catch phrases, and he has. You have, in times of both crisis and sloth, advocated robust federal action in the name of national “greatness,” and the people in power have mostly followed suit. You have been flattered by invitations to the White House and pecked at by lesser partisans, yet you’ve maintained your critical distance in the patriotic spirit of post-ideological problem solving. All this influence and success, and somehow the country still sucks…… American discourse is saddled with a large and influential do-something school of political punditry, a cadre of pragmatists from Meet the Press to your local editorial board who are forever seeking to solve the country’s problems by transcending ideology, demanding collective citizen sacrifice, and—always—empowering authority.

Deroy Murdock: Supercommittee, take notes from Puerto Rico
The gridlocked members of the congressional Supercommittee should grab President Barack Obama and decamp to a tropical island. Specifically, they should visit Puerto Rico, where a courageous leader is using free-market reforms to reinvigorate this recently moribund U.S. territory………. Fortuno was inaugurated on January 2, 2009, just 18 days before Obama. Since then, these two officials have marched in opposite directions, with opposite results.

"We were closer to the abyss than most states," Fortuno says. "When I came into office, we were facing not just the worst recession since the '30s, but the worst budget deficit in America, proportionally. We were literally broke. We did not have enough money to meet our first payroll. We had to take out a loan to do that. At that point, my wife asked me if we could ask for a recount."………… "You needed to obtain an average of 28 permits and endorsements to do anything," Fortuno says, regarding regulatory relief. "You had to go to 20-plus different agencies to do that. Today, you go to one agency, and you get your permit there, or you can go to PR.gov, and get it online."

"We have created a better business climate, and it shows," Fortuno explains.
A five-year property-tax holiday and the scrapping of capital gains and death taxes have helped push existing home sales up 35 percent this year (while they fell 7.9 percent on the Mainland) and new home sales soaring 92.2 percent (as they sagged 9.9 percent up north)

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