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Capitalists

FedEx versus Federal Bureaucracy video with Newt Gingrich

August 8, 2007 | By | No Comments

Newt has a plan to find each illegal immigrant. It just might work.

Notice: This is not a presidential endorsement of Gingrich by the Yoest’s or the Family Research Council.

Full Disclosure: Charmaine has been published by The American Enterprise Institute, What Do Parents Want?

Lurita Alexis Doan, GSA Chief: Capitalism Meets Politics

June 25, 2007 | By | 2 Comments

When a person of note is covered by the media in Your Nation’s Capital, three questions are asked by the victim:

1) Is there a picture?

2) Is it above the fold?

3) Is the story running on the weekend?

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Lurita Alexis Doan If the newspaper publishes a picture of the person above the fold, then the media outlet is creating the “legs” that the story will take. The media outlet is helping to make the story, the story. And bleeding will follow. Because…

If it bleeds, it leads.

Lurita Alexis Doan, the top executive of the General Services Administration came to DC to make a difference after making a buck. In her old position running a for-profit technology company, she was most familiar with selling to the government and creating wealth and generating jobs.

She knows how to create wealth with efficient and effective management. But there was one skill set her new job in Government required that few for-profit businesses cover in management training:

Multiple points of accountability.

It was not enough for Doan to lead the billion dollar agency, manage her staff, boss and peers, and customers. She also had to manage the press, the public perception, and now, as we have all read, she must deal with the initiative-killing-congress in the person of Henry Waxman.

Representative Waxman is accusing Lurita Doan of a laundry list of offenses, but the most interesting is violating the Hatch Act.

Alert Reader Tom Commented,

Please accurately present facts, in particular the provisions of the Hatch Act. You clearly omit the prohibitions relevant to Ms. Doan’s violation: that no employee may engage in political activity while on duty or in a government office. The Hatch Act prohibits far more than the 3 actions you list…

Lurita Doan’s Hatch Act “violation” is no worse than driving down Constitution Avenue with a Bush bumper sticker.

Your Business Blogger knows a bit about the line that separates public service as a govenment appointee receiving a government paycheck, and electioneering.

Lurita Doan has been coloring well within the lines of The Hatch Act. At least much better than Your Business Blogger.

Because, unlike Lurita Doan, I inadvertently fudged the line. At least according to the Richmond Times Dispatch.

A number of years ago I sent out an invitation to friends to attend a fund raiser, from my spacious government office. Your Business Blogger,

Used a government computer

Fund raised for a particular candidate

In an election

I goofed. As RTD’s Tyler Whitley quickly wrote. But it was not above the fold, there was no picture, and the article was mid-week, but, thankfully, small. I was a dummy and got off light.

Doan is innocent and being condemned under The Hatch Act.

The Hatch Act of 1939 is arcane; difficult to understand and frightfully easy to misinterpret. Think IRS regulations.

But, there was no attempt on her part of using the agency or anything else to compel employees to do any partisan activities.

She made a statement that 6 people apparently heard and 30 people did not.

It was not her meeting, it was set up by her White House liaison and she was not aware of its contents beforehand. She readily admits she should have asked more questions. Of course, these are political appointees and they are allowed leeway in meetings at government buildings. She should have understood the nature the meeting before attending or making any statements. She has since taken steps to make sure all meetings are vetted through counsel and through her ethics staff.

No, Doan is not in violation. This is simply a witch hunt on the part of Democrats to get to the White House. And Democrats imply that only the GOP is being political. Lurita Doan has been caught in the middle of participating in this meeting and possibly making the statement on helping candidates — remember: Doan does business, not politics. But, she certainly has not advocated or pushed the GSA employees to do anything in an election.

An election that is still a year and half away.

The issue is more than any confusion over The Hatch Act. The Democrat attack machine sees Lurita Alexis Doan as a two-fer:

1) A George Bush appointee, and

2) A business person.

The liberal media and liberal Democrats don’t care for either.

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Dan Gainor

Director Business and Media Institute I had lunch the other day with Dan Gainor, pictured at left, below the fold, who is the The Boone Pickens Free Market Fellow and Director of the Business and Media Institute — a part of Brent Bozell’s Media Research Center. I ask him about the liberal bias — the media bias against businessmen. “Nearly every businessman is shown by Hollywood to be a crook, or worse,” says Gainor. Portraited as monsters. Or hypocrites, like, say, a church-going thief. As he writes in Bad Company: For the American Businessman, Primetime is Crimetime,

One enduring American cultural image is the man in the gray flannel suit. A businessman, with briefcase in tow and tie crisply knotted, who left the family for an honest day’s work and eventually returned home worn and weary. But TV long ago abandoned that icon and replaced it with the stereotype of corporate evil.

And Democrats believing this script — and all that flickers for truth in Hollywood — hate Bush, hate capitalism, hate businessmen.

Lurita Alexis Doan knows how to make money in the Free Market and is on the Bush management team. Making Doan the (immediate) target.

Capitalism bested communism. But Capitalism and Business will have a bigger challenge with liberal Democrats like Henry Waxman in Congress.

###

Thank you (foot)notes:

See Christopher J. Dorobek’s take at the jump.

See Lurita Alexis Doan: Good Management Meets Bad Politics

And How To Cut The Federal Budget at a Government Agency by Lurita Alexis Doan

Did Doan understand The Manager’s Mission? Bob Novak indicates that Doan clearly does not enjoy the support of her management molecule: Boss, Peers, Staff, Customers. See Hatch Act Hatchet Job.

Testimonial Two-Step has more on DC tactics.

Also see NewsBusters for exposing and combating liberal media bias.

Read More

Product Endorsement: LegalZoom

May 24, 2007 | By | No Comments

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Starting a(nother) company?

Your Business Blogger has assembled a few from scratch and was putting together Management Training of DC, LLC.

But I really dreaded all the lawyer and government bureaucracy hassles. Again.

So I bought LegalZoom. Goodness, they are good.

Alert Readers know that Charmaine and I have very simple tastes: We simply require the best of anything.

LegalZoom was a pleasant surprise. Fast, Easy, Cheap, with Follow-up.

Go buy them. You will be pleased.

Incorporation, LLC, DBA, Copyright, Trademark, Divorce, Wills, Living Trust, Power of Attorney, Prenuptials, Immigration Services, Name Change, Patents.

I got the LLC.

Go try their site and service and let me know what you think.

###

Thank you (foot)notes:

Full Disclosure: Your Business Blogger has a financial interest in LegalZooms success. And I didn’t have to talk with a lawyer.

Carnivals: Editors’ Pick, Present and Review. For Free

May 15, 2007 | By | No Comments

Looking for a job? Vist College Students Advisor for a tutorial: Good News About Jumpstarting Your Job Search brought to you by the Carnival of the Job Search ~ 5th edition.

Carnival of the Capitalists is hosted this week by Gyaan Sutra. Must read for business leaders is Sunk costs: Know when to pull the plug, by Wayne Hurlbert;

When faced with a sunk cost situation, learn to identify it as an ongoing drain of company resources. If there is no possible remedy, cut the plan adrift, and start over with a new idea.

Your successful and creative company must understand sunk costs, and know when to pull the plug. Admit your mistakes, and move on to a different plan entirely. Your business success depends on it.

See Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office? Although I would like to see a bit more on negotiation skills for Women. At Carnival of Careers in Middle Age #2.

And drive on over to Ask Patty (about cars). Car Carnival. Cool. Read The Seven Biggest Driving Mistakes By Kristin Bailey Murphy

Visit The Carnivals

April 30, 2007 | By | No Comments

Evil HR Lady has answers for human resource management,

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Mistakes can lead to success…

Really.

“Why am I evil? Well, I’m not, but that’s the perception of all of us in HR. Need to fire someone? Come to HR. Need to explain to someone why, even after working their rear end off all year, that their annual increase is 2.7%? Come to HR. Need to come up with new mountains of paperwork? Come to HR. So, come join me on the Evil Side. Oh, and send me your HR questions.”

See her edits and editorials at Carnival of Human Resources #5, and be sure to read Delegation as a Leadership Style, From Susan M. Heathfield, and her Tips for Effective Delegation. With good advice. If every manager delegated properly and treated his desk like a pyramid, Your Business Blogger would have fewer clients.

Or maybe all managers should be sociopaths.

See The Carnival of Australia and learn what ANZAC Day is. Aussies are allies.

And bookmark The Integrative Stream, who is hosting the Carnival of the Capitalists. (I will ‘roll ‘em, as soon as the Panzer Commander unlocks by blogroll…) William Crawford has,

been a software developer, a manager, a Chief Technology Officer and an author of books about enterprise computing. In 2006-2007, I spent a year working on Healthcare Information Technology policy issues at the United States Department of Health and Human Services, in the Office of Policy at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the largest healthcare payor in the world.

Right now I’m focused on industry liaision activities for the Harvard Medical School Center for Biomedical Informatiocs, and am an MBA candidate at the Sloan School of Management at MIT. I’m also an SM candidate in the MIT Biomedical Enterprise Program, which focuses on bringing together management and scientific professionals to create innovative biomedical businesses. You can never have too many graduate degrees.

And while at the Carnival visit Wayne Hurlbert, who reminds us in Preventing mistakes: Creativity to the rescue

“All business owners and managers make mistakes. In fact, if no mistakes are made, nothing is being done in the business at all. Literally.

Fear that one’s mistakes leads to immediate dismissal simply locks down the company. No one will suggest any new ideas, and will revert to covering the backs and keeping their heads down. Entrepreneurs should welcome innovation and fresh, creative ideas. Forward thinkers and innovators should be rewarded and encouraged to seek new solutions to the organization’s problems. Mistakes will be made. The key is to keep the errors small, and to learn from the experience.”

Wayne gets it right, as usual. Benefit from his wisdom, which is interesting, since he makes few mistakes. Read him.

I usually recognize a mistake… the second time I make it.

How To Cut The Federal Budget at a Government Agency by Lurita Alexis Doan

April 27, 2007 | By | 3 Comments

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The Honorable

Lurita Alexis Doan

Chief Executive

General Services Administration Why is Congressman Waxman so unhappy with Lurita Alexis Doan, head of GSA?

Is it contracts, campaignings, competence?

Your Business Blogger recently sat down with Lurita Doan. She was really quite at home with the intense blood sport that passes for politics. (She’s from Louisiana.) (And works academia.) We discussed her management style and her goals in government.

Doan came to Your Nation’s Capital to save money in the giant GSA. And to make a difference in the business of government. Rob Bluey reminds us in TownHall.com that,

“The agency oversees nearly $66 billion in federal spending — more than a quarter of the government’s procurement dollars. It has 12,300 employees who are spread out in offices around the country.

So what do GSA employees do with all that money? The GSA is the world’s largest landlord with more than 8,300 government-owned or leased buildings. It is responsible for a fleet of 170,000 vehicles, making it the world’s largest purchaser of new cars. The computer infrastructure it oversees is valued at more than $100 million. The agency is the world’s largest credit card service, and believe it or not, the world’s largest conservator of art.”

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Jimmie Stewart as

Jefferson Smith in Frank Capra’s

1939 film classic

Mr. Smith Goes to WashingtonLurita Doan came to Washington, DC to serve out of passion for her country. But unlike Jimmie Stewart in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Mrs. Doan came with a plan.

Lurita Doan placed herself in the Waxman cross-hairs by breaking rice bowls in the bowels of government.

So Chairman Waxman takes a day off from surrendering to the jihadists in Iraq to hold hearings. He gets a three-fer:

1) Ignore the War on Islamofascists

2) Berate a cost cutting manager, and

3) Smear Karl Rove

Ignore, Berate, Smear. Not a bad day for Democrats.

Following is Doan’s memo on How to Cut the Federal Budget at a Government Agency.

Your Business Blogger could have used such a guideline during my tour of duty in government and my feeble attempts to rein in costs to save tax payer dollars (the goal of most Republicans).

The government, the country needs more Lurita Doans. And fewer Henry Waxmans.

HOW TO CUT THE FEDERAL BUDGET AT A GOVERNMENT AGENCY

BASIC GROUND RULES

1. Make a decision not to cut salaries or benefits (PC&B) if a t all possible. The agency should make the commitment to value the skill sets and labor of its employees as its most valuable resource. This kind of cut should be considered only as a last measure, after all other options are exhausted and that commitment and understanding must be shared with the Agency’s employees, so that they know their personal lives are not at risk. This allows employees to focus on the true goal which is to cut the budget thereby improving efficiency and value to the American taxpayer.

2. Budget cuts should be employee driven in order to release the entrepreneurial energies of the employees who will find better ways to do the same things.

3. Each office within the Agency is accountable for achieving the desired cuts. At GSA, we proposed a 9% cut, but targeted non-performing programs.

4. Additional targets were : unnecessary travel, overseas travel except as it directly related to job performance, promotions above GS-15, hiring of GS-15 or higher, volume travel to conferences—often times limiting the number of attendees at conferences, consolidated purchasing[strategic sourcing]/

5. Each office and each employee at GSA was told that there were “no sacred cows.”

6. Each office was given a timeline / timeframe in which to provide the CFO the targeted cuts.

7. The Budget Process at GSA was collaborative, but by no means consensus driven.

8. I asked that we base the budget cuts on non-performing programs…

Read More

Are Business Elites Capitalists?

March 2, 2007 | By | 2 Comments

Your Business Blogger once partnered with a former McKinsey Consultant, a brilliant mind with a Ph.D. in Math from Columbia. I once wondered aloud why McKinsey, indeed all big business seemed to be confused conservatives.

If you are in business, doing business, creating wealth — you must be a Calvin Coolidge conservative GOP’er. Right?

“Silly knave,” says my elder, better business partner. “Businesses always start out conservative — but turn liberal as they get bigger.” Then he launches into correlations and matrixes and standard deviations, proof theorems for the evolution from small government business conservative to big government business liberal elite.

Someone should write a book, I thought. And warn us.

Someone has.

Tim Carey has written the Big Ripoff.

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Tim Carney


Tim’s thesis is that Big Business actually embraces and welcomes Big Government regulation to install barriers to entry to hinder smaller competitors.

Big Government has become the enabler of, and provided of a competitive advantage for Big Business.

Liberal elites in business are more interested in protecting a current position than in encouraging innovation, especially if the new ideas come from outside the company. (Goodness, Big Business doesn’t care for innovation inside their companies.)

And like true progressives these days, the author, the topic, the debate is blasting at the Conservative Political Action Conference. CPAC 2007 in Your Nation’s Capital.

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CPAC 2007


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Big Ripoff

by Tim Carney

Published by Wiley


Tim was a panelist at CPAC debating America’s Business Elites — Do They Really Believe in Free Enterprise.

After Tim’s compelling presentation, it is clear that Big Business Elites are not good for business.

Exxon and Global Warming and Capitalism

February 17, 2007 | By | 2 Comments

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The plaque reads

For your part in the successful

delivery of the first

North Slope crude

to the Benicia Refinery…

token sample 4 August 1977 “Exxon, the sign of the double cross,” quipped one leftist wag. The oil energy giant is often maligned by anarchists, non-capitalists and environmentalists. No matter what a Fortune 500 does, it will be maligned by socialists.

And now the tree-spikers/tree huggers are even madder. Or are celebrating. It is sometimes hard to tell the difference.

Two items:

1) Exxon recently stopped its discretionary funding of a left-leaning think-tank. And,

2) Acknowledged that the temperature has risen.

Steven Mufson at the Washington Post quotes Ken Cohen, spokesman for Exxon,

“There is increasing evidence that the earth’s climate has warmed on average about 0.6 degrees centigrade in the last century,” Cohen said in a recent e-mail. He said “the risks to society and ecosystems could prove to be significant, so despite the areas of uncertainty that do exist, it is prudent to develop and implement strategies that address the risks.”

************

Risk. Part of any strategic plan is risk analysis and how to best mitigate any downside. If there are external environmental factors that would affect the profitability of the company, Ken Cohen would like to know about it first: to keep from losing money and to make money. If danger is coming, the company has to know. Exxon is not a hobby or a charity.

Well, maybe part of Exxon is.

Ken Cohen also runs Exxon Mobil’s Charitable Foundation. An organization that gives, gives money away.

What kind of corporate monster is this? The Alert Reader will not know from the Main Stream Media.

There recently has been questionable reporting and media miscues on Exxon which seem to be common-sport for the mainstream outlets. Exxon, like any well loved (red-state) American institution, suffers from corporate ad hominem attacks. I’ve seen better reporting on blogs, such as Right Angle, Heritage, or The Club for Growth and The Corner at NRO.

************

Do people really hate Exxon as The Washington Post implies? And if the oil giant is really, really disliked as the MSM and lefty blogs suggest, is there is a measure where we can guage the guilt?

So I ask Ken Cohen on a recent conference call, “How many people own Exxon stock?”

He didn’t know.

And it might not be knowable. Cohen says that the Exxon stock is “widely held” and is a popular energy stock held by “every major stock fund” in America. Cohen says that there are about two and one half million individuals who own a single share or more. And half of the Exxon stock is owned by institutions, such as a mutual fund. Where a single investor might own only a piece of stock.

What Cohen does not know, but we can only guest, is that millions and millions and millions of Americans have invested in the success of ExxonMobil by buying the stock. I am one of them.

Exxon is a winner not only in the stock market but also in the market place — at the gas pump. The world has a number of competitive substitutes to fuel up our giant SUV’s — BP, Shell, Chevron Mobil and we all like Exxon.

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Exxon Mobil The American public buys what Exxon is selling. We buy the stock; we buy the gas.

Exxon Mobil in 2005 had sales of over $370 billion. But oil is not how all this money is made. The talent to turn oil to gold comes from the deep well of Exxon Mobil personnel ingenuity. It is not the natural resource, but the human resource of a talented head-count. The company has some 14,000 scientist and engineers world-wide. These smart people make Exxon Mobil the largest energy supplier in the world. And will keep their company on the cutting edge of energy development if the earth warms or cools in the future.

It’s not big oil; it’s big ideas.

************

Peter Drucker called himself a social ecologist. He believed that the best companies in the near future would be “Post Capitalist.” I believe Exxon is part of this future.

1) Exxon reinvested nearly 210 Billion Dollars over the last 15 years back into its business. This nearly matches its earnings. Employees like this. More at the footnotes.

2) Exxon has paid a dividend on its stock for 100 years. It throws off so much cash that it purchases its own outstanding stock. Investors like this.

3) Exxon keeps prices relatively low. Consumers like this.

4) Exxon scientists have written 40 papers for peer review journals. The academy likes this.

5) Exxon has donated $100 million to climate change programs. Stanford University likes this.

Ronald Reagan once said that the real value of (show) business was knowing the difference between critics and box office. Global warming critics will continue to have no effect on the Exxon box office of capitalism.

###

Thank you (foot)notes:

The conference call was arranged by Rob Bluey of The Heritage Foundation.

Full Disclosure: The family of Your Business Blogger has a financial interest in the continued success of Exxon. My father retired from the Navy, was by bored teaching school and went back down to the sea in ships and worked on the Exxon boats.

This is an unpaid blog post.

Exxon’s reinvestment of earnings back into its businesses — self-funding intrapreneurs, is uniquely American and universally, globally misunderstood as compared to other international company strategies. It is the common belief that the Chinese, say, have long horizons and invest for the long-century long-term. Waiting patiently for profits. This, of course, is a lie. I was rudely awakened to the brutal, short term, take-it-all-now mentality of working with Chinese managers on the mainland. They would quietly tell me that they wanted the money today, because the government might take it tomorrow. Uncertainty grabs the quick buck, and hides it away in profit taking. The American Exxon Mobil looks to the next century, not the Chinese counterpart.

One of the reasons the liberals hate Exxon is because of the oil giant’s political donations. Just as conservatives do not like Starbucks for theirs. I can’t live without gasoline. But I can live with out coffee…

Waitaminute…let me think about this…

The plaque above was presented to Your Business Blogger’s dad.

What is, perhaps, Ken Cohen’s real worry? Numerous state-by-state laws on weather warming. There is no telling what Tacoma Park, Maryland would do. Cohen says, “One thing heavy industry cannot live with is a patchwork quilt of regulations.”

See the lefty Lawyers, Guns and Money. Robert Farley was not at the same conference call. I am not sure he is even on the same planet.

Bring it on quotes The Guardian article, as if that were real journalism. The Guardian hates America. Liberals the world-over loath America.

Your Business Blogger knew Exxon before the marriage to Mobil; any Mobil omission is not a slight.

The Carnival of Debt Consolidation Is Up

February 7, 2007 | By | No Comments

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A carnival to manage debt

And is expertly hosted by Debt Consolidation Lowdown.

Carnival hosts get paid only in kind by your kind clicks. Please visit. The site is owned by BizNicheMedia.

Getting Business Done On 9.11.01

September 9, 2006 | By | No Comments

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Dad & The Dude

prepared for war

September 11, 2001

photo credit:

Charmaine Yoest, Ph.D. Just after 9am on 9.11, I was doing what all business owners were doing: selling something. I was on the phone with a client. Making a pitch to attend a series of seminars, with CNN on in the background. I was a bit distracted by the live feed of a burning building.

While making ‘the ask,’ it was clear that my customer was not aware that we had just been attacked. I wanted to say something, like, Turn on your TV and stare at real pain. It just didn’t look real. I continued instead with the conversation. Your Business Blogger is not normally so focused. In denial, perhaps. Disasters are not normally good for business.

There was work to be done. My next class was on September 19.

And I didn’t want the customer on the other end of the phone distracted until the sale was closed. Then we could go to war.

The deal done, I noticed my boy, The Dude, was concerned that the attacks would continue down to us in Charlottesville, Virginia. “We got to get ready!” he shouts and scampers around digging up my old uniform, boots, saber and his grandfather’s bayonet. (Old soldiers never die, they just file away. Apologies to MacArthur.)

The Dude spent the rest of the morning marching outside our front door. Looking out for terrorists. It must have worked.

Charlottesville was not attacked.

But we were affected. Everyone was. But I wasn’t sure that the bank was going to delay getting their money over a pesky act of war. I still had to earn a living.

How would the war affect business? Not the macro, but mine? I had a seminar and clients coming into town in little over a week and the world was on fire. Would anyone show up? Would anyone care?

We North Americans do business like we do war. We win. Donald Trump becomes Victor Davis Hanson. At 8 am on 19 September 2001, 86 professionals showed up and got down to business. A packed room.

The free lunch helped.

Even my business partner, Faisal Alam, came down from New York City to join us. He is Muslim.

The country was mourning, but on the move.

I started with a minute of silence in remembrance of those lost in the World Trade Towers.

Then we all got back to work. Each making the world a better place. Even with a war on.

###

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Thank you (foot)notes:

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