Monthly Archives: November 2021

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I Didn’t Approve That

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As a leader, be careful saying “I didn’t approve that.”

I would use that sentence if you want any (or several) of the following outcomes.

  1. A long line outside your office of things you need to “approve”.  No one likes to be undercut by a boss that says “I didn’t approve that.”  The best way to avoid that situation is to ask your boss to approve everything.
  2. You want to spend your time in the weeds and find micromanaging small decisions to be rewarding, impactful, and value creating.
  3. Creating an organization that is autocratic and not scalable.  See the part above about needing to approve everything and being in the weeds.
  4. Creating a closed and unquestioning culture.  Because the words, “X approved this” will be equated to don’t bother questioning this decision, even if it’s unclear if “X” actually approved it or there are other aspects of the decision that should be considered.
  5. To make decision making political.  You teach employees that to get to the desired decision, all you need to do is convince “X’ that it is a good decision.  No consensus building required. Actually, it is a game best played in private since a group setting might accidentally offer up a counterpoint that would work against your desired outcome.
  6. Demonstrating to your employees that they are not empowered and you don’t trust their judgement.  This has the additional benefit of driving employees who like to feel empowered and make decisions out of your business.  Yay, talk about win-win.

So, the next your team brings you something you weren’t aware of, I highly encourage you to shout “I didn’t approve that” in an emotional outburst. Sarcasm included at no additional cost…

Rules of the Game

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If you are the quarterback for a football team, telling the referee that you do not understand the rules really is not going to get you very far.

If you are the head of sales, you should have a basic understanding of the revenue recognition rules that affect your team and products. 

It is that simple.  

No. Excuses.

Influential Reads – October 2021

Reading Time: 2 minutes

October 2021

“There is a meaningful opportunity in the dispersion of HQ, education, and healthcare.”  – No Mercy, No Malice

Finished the book, That Wild Country, by Mark Kenyon.  Enjoyed learning about the history of U.S. public lands.  More on that to come…I am a bit behind in my writing.

Here are my most influential reads – in no particular order:

  1. This Market Makes No Sense – “The only thing I know for sure is there is a lot of money sloshing around in just about everything these days — stocks, bonds, savings accounts, start-ups, crypto, NFTs, collectibles and housing — and that makes this a difficult market to analyze.”
  2. I Collect Cashflows – “I like to collect the cashflows of the best businesses in the world. I pile them up high in my accounts, adding to them when values fall, automatically buying more when dividends and distributions are paid out.”
  3. Foreign Stocks’ Lost Decade – “Across the board, U.S. companies outperformed their overseas counterparts in every sector.”
  4. David Tepper shuns stock market – “Sometimes there’s times to make money…sometimes there’s times not to lose money.”  SMS: I ran into David Tepper in the hallway of my business school once. Tepper had just made a large donation and the school was being renamed and they were holding a celebration at our Friday Beers.  I had a buddy visiting from NYC who had just turned down a job with Appaloosa and had said on the way there, “I hope I don’t run into David Tepper”. And first thing, we ran into him.  I had a mortified look on my face and David Tepper made some off hand remark about that, that I am sure he doesn’t recall at all.  When I started to write that, I felt that would be a better story than it turned out to be.  Longer too.
  5. Understanding the Monty Hall Problem – “Here’s the general idea: The more you know, the better your decision.”
  6. Colin Powell’s 13 rules for how to lead – “It ain’t as bad as you think. It will look better in the morning. Leaving the office at night with a winning attitude affects more than you alone; it also conveys that attitude to your followers.”
  7. A Pastor Embraces Slowness – “She forwarded all work calls to voicemail and put in place a rule saying she must wait 24 hours before replying to any message that either made her upset or elated.” SMS: Great rule.  I wish Outlook would let me put more than a two hour delay on my emails.
  8. Carcinogens – “Measurements of the impact are all over the map, but we know fraud is pervasive. By one estimate, 88% of digital ad clicks are fake.” SMS: Makes me feel even less good about my company’s digital advertising spend.
  9. Why You Should Stop Reading News – “To be completely cured of newspapers, spend a year reading the previous week’s newspapers.” SMS: Yes, yes, I know.
  10. How the Bobos Broke America () – “A third rebellion is led by people who are doing well financially but who feel culturally humiliated—the boubour rebellion.”

Note: This is based on when I read the article, not necessarily when it was first published.  Unfortunately, my backlog of things I would like to read always seems to dwarf the amount of time I can devote to reading.

Top clicks across the site last month:

  1. Financial Model vs. Operating Model
  2. Family Adventure: Solarmere Loop Trail
  3. EBITDA Is Not A Good Proxy For Cash Flow
  4. Operating Model Tips
  5. Excel Template: Football Field Chart

Updated stats through October:

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