“Results are obtained by exploiting opportunities, not by solving problems.”

Peter F. Drucker


“I trained for a world that doesn’t exist … I feel I have no future …”



I clearly support integrity in business, good business practices, diversity and even positive business actions that impact society and community. That said. Sometimes business conversations go sideways when discussing these things. Its almost like business people don’t really know how to talk about them so they invent things like “purpose” or start talking about creating a positive culture or anything other than the business of doing business. Politicians are even worse. Their lack of understanding of what business really is and how it is done <even the ones who claim to have been in business> is frightening because they actually craft policies that can affect business.

All that said. 100% productivity and 100% being productive.

If a business person were asked what is a successful business, they may throw out either (a) some business jargon or (b) some mushy mumbo jumbo. But the true answer is “being as close to 100% productive every day as possible.”

Let me break that down so there is no confusion.

100% people show up.

100% are healthy (and their family is too so they can focus).

100% are productive.

100% of their potential to contribute to productivity is used.

100% feel like they are doing something productive.

100% of the productivity has some recognized value to whomever will end up using it.

I am sure I could add a couple, but that seems to get the point across. If all that happens the business itself is potentially optimized to its 100% potential. I could even argue that it even nears the possibility that every employee (100%) will be more likely to feel like they have contributed in some way (because a 100% productive and impact would actually be something to be proud of).

If I said this to a business person they may haggle with some things, but in general they could see the prize (and value).

If I said this to a politician, they would look at me like I was from Mars.

To be clear. I continue to believe a business person, with no government experience, can never successfully manage a country. So, while a lifetime politician will always struggle to understand the underlying attitudes and behaviors of a successful business, a business person cannot simply apply business learnings to actually running a country. In my mind I believe someone who understands attitudes & behaviors & motivations is one most likely to be a successful leader. And this doesn’t mean understanding anger or frustration, but rather what motivates, inspires and makes people move rather than stand and bitch. In fact, leadership doesn’t mean standing around, or at some podium, blaming all the problems America has on ‘other people’ or shouting at the top of your lungs saying “I can solve these problems.” Most likely instead of pointing out the problems, we should seek the opportunities that exist <and there is a shitload> and explain how to exploit them.

Shit. The founding fathers of America did just that.

They didn’t sit around bitching about problems and wringing their hands over seemingly insurmountable obstacles nor get angry because answers & explanations did not seem to exist or maybe seem unattainable at the moment. They argued over which opportunities represented the best opportunities for the better progress of America.

They didn’t have all the answers, but they certainly knew the objective – identify and exploit opportunities. Oh. Yeah. Most were also business people.


The easiest way to explain this 100% thing is actually healthcare.

I believe it is the right of everyone to have healthcare not because “it is basic human rights” <even though it seems like it should be>, but rather because I have run a company and its good business.

A healthy employee base is happier, shows up more often <less absenteeism>, is more energetic and, ultimately, more productive. Period.

I have to envision the same logic applies to a citizenry <and add in the component that a healthier unemployed base is more likely to become employed … and a healthier poverty base is more likely to get out of poverty>.

 Yes. These are not empathetic reasons; these are pragmatic reasons. These aren’t some simplistic “insurance will be cheaper and everyone will have it and we will not let people die on the streets” type reasons. This is about opportunity, equality and productivity. This is about maximizing the productivity of America <of which business benefits when that happens>.

All those politician job promises and economic growth promises and even those vapid promises to the poor and inner cities would be more likely to succeed, and the people able to contribute, if they were happy and healthy.

If we could just avoid that wretched ‘is healthcare a right or a privilege’ discussion and just state that America is an economic engine I think the conversation <and maybe even the solutions> would be better off.

Back to business.

Business owners would kill to limit absenteeism and increase productivity when an employee is at work.

The day I can get all 180 employees, or 18, at work, 100% healthy, is the day my business is most productive. Heck. The day I can pluck a new employee out of the unemployment box who is healthy, and has a healthy family, I am a happy business person.

That is what healthcare does. Extrapolate that out to America itself. The day I can get 180 million working people at work, 100% healthy, is the day that America is at its most productive. Extrapolate it out even more. The day I can get 330 million people healthy, doing whatever they need to do that day, is the day that America is at its most productive <it’s kind of like attaining economic singularity>.

While healthcare is certainly a moral issue it is also an economic productivity issue. If everyone in America is healthy, then our economy is healthy. Frame the discussion this way and it gets us to stop talking about ‘mean’ and ‘cruel’ and start talking benefits.

This discussion lends itself to education, business culture, mental health, childcare, opportunity in general, how government conducts itself, the military, diversity, well, someone smarter than I can bring the idea to Life in any tactical & policy discussion you want. All of those things feed into the corner office in any Csuite as potential answers to “how can I enable and insure maximum productivity.” They are not soft socialist freebies; they are tactics to optimize strategic productivity and growth. And maybe the hidden message in that pragmatic view is “the health of the business and the health of the people and the health of society/community are inextricably linked.”


Someone is gonna say “100% isn’t possible.” I am gonna say “shut up.”

One of the great lessons in life is if you move toward something you are more likely to get closer to it (regardless of what “it” is).

100% captures the inexactness of life and it is meant to. 100% is the reason we should do half the shit we talk about in business.

If we get diversity right, we get closer to 100% productivity.

If we get a better working environment right, we get closer to 100% productivity.

And, yeah, even if we get that nebulous culture thing right, we edge closer to 100% productivity.


Some asshats are going to come out and point out the successes created without having what I am suggesting. And you know what? They may be asshats, but those stories are real. They exist. The problem is they are exception and business is not effectively grown by attempting to make the exceptions the rule, they are successful, instead, by examining why there are only exceptions and removing obstacles to make it more the rule. Where they truly are asshats is they use these exceptions to justify an obviously flawed system.


This isn’t “trophy for everyone” thinking nor is this to suggest everyone is equally talented, what this suggests is if you provide the foundation for 100% of the people, 100% of the people are more likely to be the best they can be. In other words, at their most productive. I wish more people would talk about this stuff this way. Ponder.


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Written by Bruce