03/25/17

J & H Upholstery — Rehab Your Leather

Big Red Car here in a sunny ATX with the good vibe of the Carolina Tarheels making it to the Elite Eight. Gotta love those Heels. OK, now they play … Kentucky, who beat them 103-100 in the regular season, but that “regular” season was a long time ago. I thought Kentucky looked fabulous beating UCLA.

So, today the Big Red Car is keeping company with a slightly oldish 2006 GMC Yukon, which The Boss received for free. Free is good. Free is also complicated.

Free — after $2,250 worth of upholstery repair, fluid changes, A/C work, new brakes, shocks, bit of power steering work — is not always inexpensive. Still, let us not look a gift horse in the mouth as it rides like silk and will be a great road trip car.

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03/23/17

The Power of Monkey See – Monkey Do — For CEOs Only

Monkey See, Monkey Do — Big Red Car, have you lost our mind?

Big Red Car here on another spectacular Texas day in the making. On Earth as it is in Texas, y’all. [Does that irritate you?]

So, The Boss is talking to a newish CEO and they get on the subject of performance appraisals. The Boss was a CEO for 33 years and in that time period appraised a lot of performances.

The subject isn’t really about performance appraisals. The subject is about using easy tools to do most of the work. To find things that work and mimic the Hell out of them. To stop re-inventing the wheel. Sheesh!

[Normally, the Big Red Car will say, “Your generation didn’t invent sex or business, dear reader.” But, today, I will not.]

Performance appraisal is one of those subjects that rears its ugly head every few years and somebody adds a twist (360-degree performance, full moon appraisals being one of the most recent) which is supposed to make already sliced bread even better. [Big Red Car, a lot of tired ass cliches today. WTF?]

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03/22/17

Reckless Endangerment — Travis County Sheriff’s Office v ICE

Bit early in the ATX, but the Big Red Car has to tell you about the reckless behavior of our Travis County Sheriff, Sally Hernandez as it relates to ICE and not honoring detainers. Travis County is the home county of the city of Austin By God Texas. Austin is sometimes referred to as The People’s Republic of Austin.

On 1 February 2017, Sheriff Hernandez announced her new policy of not cooperating with ICE (US Immigration and Customs Enforcement) as it relates to honoring certain (almost all) detainer requests.

This is on the forward edge of the battle area between the Federal government’s objective of deporting criminal aliens, thereby Making American Safe Again (couldn’t resist, sorry), and the sanctuary city movement.

Already, the State of Texas (in the person of Governor Greg Abbott) has taken action against Travis County and canceled state grants for veterans (amongst other worthy endeavors) to the tune of $1,500,000. Seems a small amount, but it is meaningful if you are one of those veterans impacted. [Full Disclosure: The Boss is a veteran and this really pisses him off.]

Bottom line: Our Sheriff is releasing criminals into Travis County. These criminals (charged with and/0r convicted of serious crimes)  would, otherwise, be deported to their country of origin.  Sheriff Hernandez’s actions, in failing to cooperate with ICE, are recklessly endangering the safety of Travis County citizens and Texans, in general.

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03/21/17

Employment Agreement Series One More Time

This post was made four years ago and is still relevant today. If you are a CEO, you need an Employment Agreement. Get one and consider the following information when you do.

Here are some blog posts on the issue of C Level Employment Agreements.  Click on each link to read the pertinent blog post.

The Design of Compensation Packages for C Level Execs and Senior Management

C Level Employment Agreement Provisions

C Level Employment Agreement — Position

 C Level Employment Agreement — Salary

C Level Employment Agreement — Benefits

C Level Employment Agreement — Short Term Incentive Compensation

C Level Employment Agreement — Long Term Incentive Compensation

C Level Employment Agreement — Compensation, Something Special

C Level Employment Agreement — Managing the At Will Employee Relationship

C Level Employment Agreement — Termination

C Level Employment Agreement — Severance Package

C Level Employment Agreement — Change of Control Provision

C Level Employment Agreement — Parting Shots

You can do this. I’m counting on you. But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car.cropped-LTFD-illust_300.png

03/20/17

Uber – Cultural Wheels Falling Off?

Big Red Car here on a slightly cloudy Texas day. It is a good day because The Boss’s North Carolina Tarheels prevailed while the wicked Dukies were defeated by the valiant South Carolina Gamecocks. Go to Hell, Duke. [The Heels didn’t exactly cover themselves in glory, but they won and they advance.]

Duke loses

Duke’s Grayson “Tripper” Allen catches a glimpse of the scoreboard which says: “Y’all are losers, Dukies.” OMG, is that sweet or what? [Full disclosure, the second the Tarheels are out of the Dance, the Big Red Car is all, “Go Duke!”]

So, “Uber Uber Uber alles, Uber alles in der Welt” is having a few cultural issues. Recognize them for what they are — cultural challenges which start at the top.

Cultures are defined by the VALUES of the top dog. Lots of folks want to believe that culture comes mythically from the Culture Fairy, but, alas, that is not so. The CEO (founder) defines the culture when he unpacks his values in his fancy new office.

Therein lies the problem at Uber. The top dog, one Travis Cordell Kalanick has some very questionable values. No, let’s not say that. Let’s explore what’s happening over there at Uber and let you decide. So, no judgmental nonsense from the Big Red Car. You decide.

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03/19/17

CEO — Learning To Walk

Big Red Car here in the ATX during SXSW, Texas bluebonnets, azaleas blooming, March Madness, and a bit of spring skiing? Is this a great country — Texas, I mean — or what?

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Bluebonnets and Indian paintbrush co-existing in the Hill Country west of Fredericksburg. Peak bluebonnet is a few days away.

OK, so The Boss is talking to a youngish CEO.

“I may not be cut out to be a CEO,” says the youngish CEO. “Maybe, I’m just not CEO material.”

This CEO is actually quite brilliant but the CEO-ing gig is kicking his ass right now.

The Boss listens. A lot of dealing with momentarily troubled CEOs is letting the poison out and that requires a lot of listening. Sometimes, they need to be talked in off the ledge.

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03/14/17

Point of View — Entrepreneurs v Funders

Big Red Car here on a sunny SXSW Tuesday in the ATX. On Earth as it is in Texas. No sign of snow, but it’s early.

So, the world is divided into three basic camps:

 1. Entrepreneurs and founders — consumers of capital

 2. Funders of all kinds — angel investors, venture capitalists, friends & family

 3. Ballerinas & poets — folks who are not in the startup world and are gloriously happier in their ignorance of it

Each understandably has a unique point of view depending which role they undertake. Forget about the ballerinas & poets for this discussion.

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03/13/17

NCAA Tournament Conflict — No Official Presidential Bracket 2017

Big Red Car here, y’all. So the first game in the NCAA Basketball Tournament is on tap for Thursday, 16 March 2017 — said the basketball junkie posing as a Big Red Car.

But, what I want to talk about is way more important than our annual fix of basketball (which is important as Hell, don’t get me wrong).

What I want to talk about is this: President Trump has not held a public event to fill out his bracket!

As you know, his predecessor, President Obama, was a huge bracket filler-outer (seems a bit awkward, but go with me).

President Barack Obama participates in an ESPN interview with Andy Katz regarding the President's 2014 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament bracket, in the Map Room of the White House, March 18, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

President Obama billing out the Official Presidential Bracket with ESPN’s Andy Katz. Nice Presidential seal and must have cost a lot of YOUR money.

So, I called President Trump and tried to get to the bottom of things. He graciously gave me permission to quote directly from his comments (provided by the NSA and CIA who are conveniently tapping his phones currently).

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03/8/17

CEO Reflections

Big Red Car here in the ATX feeling a little cloudy — ooops, that’s the weather. Me, I feel marvelous. Let’s talk about the first time CEO, shall we?

So, I catch The Boss talking to a pal the other day. They were Second Lieutenants in a combat engineer unit in the Republic of Korea back in the early 1970s.

 

The Proper Young Lieutenant

The proper young lieutenant, having just landed in a rice paddy fertilized with “night soil.” If you recognize those “soiled” boots as Corcoran Jump Boots, then you have a sharp eye. Stroke of good luck, landing standing up, because of the aforenoted night soil.

 

It was a dicey time and they were both platoon leaders. Both of them would end up as Captains within 18-24 months, which was pretty damn fast even for those days.

“So, when did you first think you knew what you were doing?” asked The Boss’s compadre.

“I’ll get back to you when that happens.”

They laughed.

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03/6/17

Texas Bluebonnet Season

OK, y’all, I’m giving you fair warning. We’re getting close to Bluebonnet Season in the Texas Hill Country west of Austin By God Texas.

Last year and in 2015, I got a lot of push back for not warning folks of the impending bluebonnet blooming.

So, here it is, dear readers. Get ready to take a trip to the Willow City Loop.

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Do not blame a Big Red Car if y’all miss the Bluebonnet Season in the Hill Country just west of Austin By God Texas. On Earth as it is in Texas!

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