“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
Harry Potter Chamber of Secrets
“Little by little, a little becomes a lot.”
Mostly hard and difficult choices.
Of course … a business leader can make some easy choices and avoid the more difficult ones.
Simplistically, the novice business leaders see a prize and set about attempting to attain that prize.
Let’s call that ‘tunnel vision objectives’.
Frankly, if that represented the best of the best in terms of leadership … running a business would be fairly easy and almost anyone could run & manage a business.
But. That’s not reality. That’s not really the way it works. Rarely are things as simple as they appear and even more rarely is something a simple cause & affect, do this and get that, without any unintended consequences.
I thought about this as I watch the Trump administration take some fairly extreme steps to <as Ted Cruz seems to have patented> “take the boot off the necks of businesses.”
The Trump administration is bringing a sledgehammer to business regulations.
I have actually have little doubt that the measures the moral-less Trumplestiltskins will actually make the American economy grow more easily and possibly even create some higher growth than we have been enjoying.
But, that is easy.
That is something a beginner would do because it is obvious and, if your only goal was to show “wins & results” that is what you would do.
The more difficult thing is to create a menu of objectives, balance them all out as important, and set about a plan of action to attain them in which you remained positive on almost all fronts and accept the fact you will sacrifice some ‘higher highs’ on some items on the menu for positives on all fronts.
This business management choice is more difficult because anyone with half a brain could pull out one thing on the menu and point out how it could be done better and be doing better.
I did that crap when I was in my 20’s. It is a cheap way of scoring points and showing you can drive some specific results.
And it is on this greater point where I believe the Obama administration doesn’t get enough business credit.
I will not argue they didn’t overreach on some regulations and some initiatives … because I believe they did. And, yet, even with the overreach, which obviously constricted business & economic growth, they still left the reins loose enough for the business & economy to grow at a quasi-healthy rate.
Could someone suggest it was an “anemic healthy” rate? Sure. That is if you viewed it by ignoring any restrictions and any other objectives and any other priorities they outlined. And if you did that I would argue you were either lazy or self-serving.
The Obama administration demanded business growth and yet demanded a longer term action plan to accommodate the environment, climate, immoral business practices and, in general, a variety of activities which girded the economy and the country for the long term.
The economy did grow. Unemployment did decrease. Wages did slowly increase.
And at exactly the same time regulations were put in place to steer desired long term behavior.
Basically … from a business perspective … the Obama administration managed to figure out how to meet short and long term objectives at exactly the same time.
Were they perfect? Of course not.
Could they have managed the balance differently? Sure.
Did they balance it well enough? Yeah. the results prove it out.
In business we always need to strike a balance between doing what is best for our business and doing what customers want and doing what our customers need … and all within short term needs and long term demands.
And, yes, customers are more empowered today than ever before but as a business leader you view what the customer wants through a lens of “what is best for the business itself.”
The Obama administration appeared to balance what the customer wanted, and needed, with what the country <the business> needed & wanted.
Not to get into business management weeds but this shows an ability to assess the greater opportunity cost for all things considered in attaining all objectives. What this does, when you do it well, is to insure you view the ‘easy’ choice you are sure to assess how fast the ‘costs’ accrue against all objectives <not just on the choice itself>.
A good business person always assesses the overall impact on your business with every choice.
Ultimately, it is a balancing act to insure everything you do should produce value for your business and for customers. This is not easy and it doesn’t beget a shitload of easy decisions. But it does make for balanced strategies and balanced tactical executions.
I do not see any of this with the Trump administration.
A good business person wouldn’t bring a sledgehammer to existing rules, regulations and initiatives but rather a scalpel – and surgically assess and slice out specific items which would increase the overall flow of the lifeblood of the economy <without killing the body>.
But, apparently there are no good business people in this new administration <despite what Trump says about himself>.
You can argue with the objectives the Obama administration prioritized and you can argue over any specific priority <or depriotization> but given the objectives & priorities they selected … they attained what almost any business leader would kill for – a win on almost everything.
In a world in which we almost demand singular focus the administration said “no” <philosophically I agree with that mentality> and developed multiple objectives and managed them all relatively equally.
All I really know is that the Obama administration most likely did not get enough credit business & economy-wise.