"The Man, The Mission, The Passion" Husband, Father, Attorney, CPA, Steward Leader, Entrepreneur, MBA, Author, Builder, HBS OPM 25 Class, Mentor, Teacher

Every Yes is a No

Most of us are limited in some respect, often by time, money, or energy. This is true for organizations as well as individuals. It is vital to remember that every time we say YES to a request for time, money, or other resource, we are saying NO to something else. There is only so much time, money, or energy available.

If we allocate our resources for maximum effectiveness and efficiency, then we need to remain aware of what we say no to. When Congress overspends and creates a deficit, we are saddling our children (perhaps, by now, our grandchildren) with debt. We’re saying no to them, denying them options and opportunities because we did not wish to discipline ourselves. When you consistently work late or spend your weekends on the golf course, you may be saying no to your family. When you buy more car or house than you need, or take that expensive vacation once too often, you may be saying no to your financial security at retirement time or your kids’ college educations.


Duh! “House Panel Finds Conflict in Executive Pay Consulting”

A recent study by a Congressional panel found conflicts of interest abounded in the executive pay consulting field (Reported in The New York Times, 12/6/07). No kidding, Sherlock!

My father was on our local city commission and he shared with me the way that city staff frequently would tell the commission that staff was underpaid and that a consultant was needed to determine proper salary increases. Staff would present the commission with a “short list” of 3 to 5 consultants from which to chose. While this range of choices created the appearance of independence and the commission certainly could pick anyone it wished, as a practical matter, it chose from the list presented and, of course, every consultant listed would recommend a substantial pay raise.


Monopoly: The Natural Goal of Every Business

The natural goal of every business is monopoly. Why? Because the goal of every business is profit and the way to maximize profit is to achieve a monopoly.

Of course, a start-up business detests a monopoly. That business wants to get a foot in the door and give the big guys a run for their money.

But most every business wants to grow* and eventually they become one of the big guys**, in which case, all things being equal (i.e., no government regulation), the inevitable happens. Organizing a cartel/oligarchy is much easier than enduring the rigors of competition day after day.