Gary D's Take

Continue to praise the good and call out the bad.

Continue to praise the good and call out the bad.

Mar 15, 2020

First let me make it clear that I do not agree with the opinion that the Covid-19 Pandemic is all a made up thing and not really a deal. Of course it is just like H1N1, SARS, MERs Ebola, etc Do I think that some folks are hyping this a little too much for political and ideological purposes…perhaps.Time will be the ultimate arbiter of that. The best example of that is the January travel ban by the president. At the time , he was derided and ridiculed for being racist and reactionary,,today it seems like that is the major reason we are not as hard hit as places like Italy and Iran who didn’t do that.I am not young and not particularly healthy…depending on who you ask…..I have no beef with the government or most companies on how they are responding and certainly not anybody in health care god bless them all….I am however an observer of human nature…. just like in every act of god we have visited on us…there will be people who show extreme acts of kindness and heroism and unfortunately some who will be horrendously selfish and even prey upon their fellow man….I will continue to call out both when I see them. I hope that everyone will do the same as I truly believe that doing so, especially on social media, is the best way to keep the exploiters in check and to encourage the best in our fellow man. Bad things most often happen in the dark and sunshine is the best disinfectant.

I am political but I keep my mouth shut about it.

I have been blogging for 10 years. I just realized it. I have been very meticulous about keeping all my posts. The first one was in 2007.

Here it is  http://garyedunlap.com/2007/09/10/just-another-manic-monday/ It starts out with:

“Well here goes! I read recently that some IT companies would not take you seriously unless you had a web presence ie a blog.
Now I have never worried too much about being taken seriously however, as a well know gadget guru, technophile, geeky nerdy on the bleeding edge of technology kind of guy…I really don’t know how I have gone this long without my very own blog.I have been led to believe that a blog should be posted to every day like a diary and should talk about what you are doing or have done that day like a diary. Guess what, I AIN’T gonna do that! Let’s talk instead about the things that matter most to me and hope nobody reads this!”

Since I was hoping that nobody would read what I wrote, you could say that I accomplished my goal with my blogging 🙂

In going back and reading some of the things I have written in the past 10 years , I realized that although I am very passionate about all things political I don’t write about politics much. Its such a well covered subject and I am not highly schooled in it so I don’t wax political very often.

Today is one of those exceptional days where I feel like doing just that.

My friend since childhood whom I am friends with on Facebook, just posted that he was unfriending some folks because of their incessant posting about what an awful person Donald Trump is. I know you have seen and heard this stuff till it runs out your ears just like I have. Just like the stuff that we heard about Barrack Obama for 8 years. I didn’t like President Obama very much. I don’t like Donald Trump a great deal either. I did not vote for President Obama but I did vote for Donald Trump. I haven’t loved a president since Reagan. I kinda liked Bill Clinton but all his stuff with the ladies made it impossible to love him like I did Reagan. I voted for Trump because I thought he would shake up the system and he would be tough enough to take the heat it would cause. So far so good.

The shaking up was the most important thing for me about Trump. Our system of government is broken and needs an overhaul. The 5th estate , the press . has lost it’s way as well. They don’t report the news now they try to shape it. I don’t like that at all. We have created a new class of royalty in our country , politicians. We have career politicians who think their job is to get re-elected. The idea of the founding fathers that we would be governed by people who took a break from their real lives and served for a time then went back to their REAL lives has gone completely out the window. That’s our biggest problem along with the size and complexity of the federal government that now requires an army of career bureaucrats to run it. All these things that once merely annoyed me now are really concerning me. I worry about the world that my daughter is going to live in. What will happen to her when I am not here to protect her?

That’s why I voted for Trump. The next person who comes along and looks like they will take government by the ears and shake it as hard as they can, gets my vote.

 

We Are Afraid Of FEAR!

We Are Afraid Of FEAR!

Nov 26, 2012

Our worst fears have been realized. Barrack Hussein Obama has been re-elected to a second term. The demise of our country is at hand. The sky is falling. Gotterdammerung. Armageddon. Revelation.                             We should all move to………………….. WHERE?

   REALLY?                                                       

Never in my life have I heard more idiotic drivel from the right wing press and out in the marketplace. Grown men and women saying things like, “ Our country can’t survive another four years of this!” This what? What exactly is THIS?

THIS – the inevitable collapse of an artificially enhanced and vastly overpriced real estate market.

THIS – changes in business driven by disruptive technologies that have radically altered consumer buying patterns.

THIS – a commercial lending environment that is less fluid in reaction to consolidation and failures caused by the real estate meltdown.

THIS (probably the biggest THIS of all) a climate where business owners and managers put off making critical business decisions because “They don’t know what’s going to happen.”

“I don’t KNOW what’s going to happen.”  Let’s think about that sentence. You don’t know what’s going to happen. Of course you don’t. Nobody KNOWS what will happen in the future. We never did and we never will.

“I am afraid things will get worse.” When change is happening all around you, if you don’t adjust, most likely your circumstances won’t improve.

I am just going to say this OUT LOUD because somebody needs to: The biggest thing that has damaged our economy is FEAR!

We have allowed ourselves to be frightened into a state of near torpor by politics and the news media. “ Business is bad…nobody is doing anything.” I hear that about a hundred times a day. Think about that statement… If NOBODY is doing ANYTHING……..OF COURSE BUSINESS IS BAD! Business is about DOING THINGS!

Look around you…the businesses that are prospering are the ones that embrace change and the new technologies and marketplaces. The businesses that ARE doing well (and they are out there) are the ones that are fueled by a  brightly burning conviction that they have something better to offer in the marketplace. One of the great disservices done by the media is a failure to showcase businesses that are prospering. I don’t really blame the media for this. Like government , we get the news that we ask for. Stories about spectacular business failures are easier to write and get more attention. So how do you find those businesses that are growing and doing well? Look around you.

“They Didn’t Win-We Lost.”

“They Didn’t Win-We Lost.”

Nov 10, 2012

Dwight Eisenhower ~ “No one can defeat us unless we first defeat ourselves.”

 

I was involved in a bid process a few years ago. It was my first big one. The similarities to a services bid and an election are many. In the end , we lost the bid. Why…..not because the customer was stupid? A lot of my colleagues felt that was the case…. NO we failed to make a compelling case. One of my colleagues felt that the customer was biased toward the incumbent….and he was right…..and we knew this going in. We failed to make a dramatically compelling case for dumping the incumbent and going with us. Sound familiar? Did we have the best product…absolutely…..did we FAIL to explain that to the customer in terms that were meaningful to him..ABSOLUTELY!

I went on to win several more bids in my career with that company. As a matter of fact, I never lost again. I learned a lot from doing all those bids but I learned a whole lot more from losing that first one….vastly more.

Is there a lesson to be learned from the election for Mitt Romney and the Republicans? Without a doubt there is but the bigger lesson is really for the whole country..the rest of us. The Romney campaign failed to make a compelling case and to explain that case in terms that were meaningful to the majority of the people. Regardless of the relative merits of the product itself, if you can’t explain to the customer why they need it and make a compelling case for them buying it in terms that are meaningful to them…you will lose! In a court of law who wins? The side that is right? NO…the winner is the one that makes the most compelling case.

Gene Chizik of Auburn is in danger of losing his job…not because he did something illegal or immoral but because he LOST. In sales , the ones who figure out how to win reap the spoils , the ones who don’t go to the back of the unemployment line. Which one would you hire? Gene Chizik or Nick Saban? Would you hire the salesman who consistently outperforms everyone else or the one who doesn’t? Me personally…I want the winner. If you can’t figure out how to win , chances are there will be some other things you won’t be able to figure out down the road.

How did we get HERE?

How did we get HERE?

Aug 30, 2012

When I was in college at Southwest Texas Sate, some friends of mine and I were on our way back from a” field trip” to Nueva Laredo , which is just across the Mexican border from Texas. We had all been researching the local customs very diligently and one of my friends was ‘napping’ in the back of his van while I was driving. Somehow we found ourselves somewhere in Houston which is slightly off course if you are headed to San Marcos, just south and west of Austin. Also with us was another fraternity brother who , while not “napping” was still “overwhelmed” by the cultural experience we had shared. When my “napping”friend awoke , he looked around and asked me , “How the HECK did we get HERE?”

This (heavily edited) anecdote from my early college career is very descriptive of how we have reached the current state of our country at the present time. On the wall in my office is a saying,” There are three kinds of people – those who make it happen , those who watch it happen and those who wonder what happened.” Clearly my “napping” friend was the one “wondering” what happened. My “overwhelmed” companion watched it happen and obviously , I was “making” it happen. How was I chosen to be the “maker” of things happening? Clearly , I was the obvious choice out of the three as I was not as “sleepy” or “overwhelmed” as my friends. While I somehow managed to get us out of Mexico and into Texas (I still wonder about that) , my vision for the path we needed to take was flawed. We probably should gave recruited a different driver…… or taken the bus. My “napping” friend , now “refreshed and alert” , took over the driving and got us back to school without further mishap.

My hope is that those who have been “overwhelmed” and watching for the last four years , have recovered and are now ready to embrace a new driver for our journey. Hopefully , those “napping” are awake now and most importantly , the current “makers” of things happening , will realize that just because you may have been the “best” of a bunch of bad choices , you really aren’t capable of getting us where we need to go. It’s time to let someone else drive.

A Different Recession in Alabama

A Different Recession in Alabama

Aug 22, 2012

In 2007 there were eight Fortune 500 companies headquartered in Alabama. Today there is only one. Texas whose economy is rebounding at a faster rate than any other state has fifty one Fortune 500 companies that make their home there.

What happened to Alabama ? Other states that have seen an exodus of large corporations include Michigan and Maryland.  Michigan’s reason is pretty obvious but what about Maryland? By all accounts Maryland’s problem is the recent rise in tax rates. Big companies are sensitive to a lot of factors but  operating costs are high on the list. So did Maryland kill the “goose that laid the golden egg”? It certainly looks like it.

It doesn’t take an economics degree to realize the prosperity fallout associated with having a “500”  company headquartered in your state. Big companies tend to buy the things they need locally and large companies need lots of stuff. Remember this conversation , “Why is ABC Company buying so many widgets?” answer, “Oh they supply X to (insert name of Fortune 500 company here).”

So what’s the fix for Alabama’s “Fortune” deficit? I certainly don’t have that answer but I do know that if we don’t do some thing, Alabama’s comeback trail will be hard , long and treacherous.