09/28/17

Critique — CEO Shoptalk

Everybody needs a good critique, right? Ahhh, criticism is the breakfast of champions, no?

Big Red Car here on a cloudy Texas day. Only going to be in the low 80s today. Time to start thinking about the swimming pool, eh? Haha, Hell no. Swimming today, y’all.

So when you’re a CEO you will receive and give critiques. Makes sense, no? Performance appraisal — feedback — is the breakfast of champions.

Today, I want to get your mind right about how to receive this when it is you being critiqued. Ready?

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09/27/17

The American Flag, a Veteran’s Perspective

Veterans have a special attachment to the American flag. Allow me to explain why.

Big Red Car here in a cloudy Austin By God Texas day with some reflections from a veteran on the flag of our great country. This is written to explain how enraged veterans may be over recent events which they interpret to be disrespectful to the flag under which they served and, by reference, disrespectful to them. The Big Red Car is not doing missionary work here, not trying to espouse a view, but trying to provide information for you to be able to understand how a veteran might feel about this.

“I want you to see how this became about the flag, the Star-Spangled Banner, veterans, and patriotism. It is not an illogical conclusion,” said your Big Red Car.

Firstly, this controversy was initiated by NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick when he sat down and then, subsequently, took a knee during the playing of the Star Spangled Banner at the start of a San Francisco 49ers game (26 August 2016) . He explained his action thusly, “I AM NOT GOING TO STAND UP TO SHOW PRIDE IN A FLAG FOR A COUNTRY THAT OPPRESSES BLACK PEOPLE AND PEOPLE OF COLOR.”

His words are the glue that attaches his protest to the flag. The flag was being displayed during the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner. There is no necessity to look for linkages to the flag and the Star-Spangled Banner, they were there from the beginning. They were put there by Colin Kaepernick.

Kaepernick went on to say, “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

In this manner, Kaepernick drew attention to the idea that policemen killing innocent people should not be tolerated. He fleshed this out in numerous statements which identified specific police killings of black men.

Let’s stop for a second and reason together. Regardless of whether one agrees with Kaepernick’s actions, is there anyone in favor of cops killing black men? As a foundation value, that is not particularly controversial. Nobody wants cops killing anybody, if it can be avoided.

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09/25/17

Horribles — the List of Horribles

Horribles, Big Red Car? What are you talking about? Horribles?

Big Red Car here on a nice Monday, bit of sun and all is well in Austin By God Texas. On Earth as it is in Texas.

When you get finished with Vision, Mission, Strategy, Tactics, Objectives, Values, Culture and when your pitches are pitch perfect (elevator, taxicab, board, onboarding), you have a business engine canvas, a business process graphic, dollar weighted org charts — you are a top 1% CEO.

Now, what do you do?

You create your List of Horribles.

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09/25/17

The NFL — Wrecking A Brand

Big Red Car here on a cool Monday, bit cloudy in the ATX. This weekend the NFL went to work in a serious way to wreck its brand. It was a damn good start.

If you have the American flag, the Star Spangled Banner, veterans, patriots and patriotism, Mother Goose, and Donald Trump on one side while the NFL and some 13% of its players are on the other side, which side do you want? Which one walks away with the win or the lesser amount of damage? You decide.

Let’s review the bidding, shall we?

Last season, we had twenty-nine year old Colin Kaepernick, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, take a knee during the playing of the National Anthem. When asked, “Why?” Colin responded, “To protest police oppression of people of color.”

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09/23/17

Facts & Strategy

Facts are nice things. Not as nice as a root beer float, but nice.

Big Red Car here on a cool Texas morning with the Fahrenheit set at 72. Hello, Fall!

So, I am in the midst of helping a bunch of CEOs either craft their first crack at strategy or to revise something they did some time ago.

Writing strategy is an exercise in storytelling. It is fiction. It is the future and all writing about the future is fiction. It is fiction you intend to make come true, but it is still fiction.

It is, however, based on facts.

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09/22/17

Mercedes Benz v Tesla — Game On Electric SUVs

Big Red Car here on a gray Texas day, y’all. Going to be a nice cool one.

So, the Big Red Car is a muscle car, meaning I drink regular gasoline, put out the torque, and sip a bit of 10W40 (The Boss has me on an “old guy” synthetic oil diet. Son-of-a-bitch! I liked the old fashioned oil, but I admit my joints feel better with the old guy stuff. Just as long as he stays away from the Blue Emu.).

So, Mercedes announced it is going to spend $1,000,000,000 to get into the electric SUV business. Hello, America!

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09/14/17

Juicero — Judgment

Juicero, Big Red Car?

Big Red Car here in the lovely, sunny, cool ATX enjoying a fresh squeezed carrot juice with some ginger and some sugar beets. Do not tell the guys at Jiffy Lube about this. All they serve is that senior citizen synthetic crap.

So, have you heard about the failure of Juicero? No? Allow the Big Red Car to explain it to you. Comes now, Juicero! Juicero! Juicero!

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09/12/17

Editing for CEOs — CEO Shoptalk

Editing for CEOs, Big Red Car? Huh?

Big Red Car here on a perfect Austin By God Texas morning, y’all. Day for a long run with the top down in the 70F weather? Indeed!

OK, today, we talk about editing in the context of finally getting you to commit to writing the Strategy for your company, dear CEO. Just a first draft.

That is Strategy in the Vision, Mission, Strategy, Tactics, Objectives, Values, Culture continuum with a side of crawl, walk, run. Whew! That is a mouthful.

Nothing is done until it is done and that means you have to edit it. So what exactly does that mean?

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09/11/17

11 September 2001 — FREEDOM

Big Red Car here on the sixteenth anniversary of one of the worst days in the history of the United States of America. It ranks with Pearl Harbor in the minds of Americans.

That day triggered what has been a continuous war on terror which took the US into a new phase in the history of our country. It has not changed since then, and, maybe, it has gotten worse.

The terrorists succeeded in one thing — imprinting that date on our collective memories for all time. In the important things, the terrorists failed miserably.

It has changed some things about our lives, but it has not changed the bedrock value of freedom. It is our freedom that was at the core of the terrorists hatred of the United States.

Freedom has prevailed and it always will. Freedom is what makes us Americans and freedom was the target of that attack.

God bless America. God bless freedom. Never forget who we are and what we stand for. No terrorist can change that value. Ever.

I know that and I am a Big Red Car.

09/7/17

New Hampshire Voter Fraud 2016

Voter fraud, Big Red Car?

Big Red Car here on an early Friday morning to discuss New Hampshire Voter Fraud in 2016.

Let me share two important facts:

 1. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D) won New Hampshire by 2,736 votes.

HRC (D) 348,526 votes
DJT (R) 345,790 votes

 2. Senator Kelly Ayotte(R) was defeated by Governor Maggie Hassan(D) by 1,017 votes.

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09/3/17

Growing Up — Job Descriptions

Job descriptions, really, Big Red Car?

Big Red Car here on a gorgeous, sunny Texas day. All the rain has lowered temperatures, everything is green, and it feels like fall already (which doesn’t normally happen until mid-October). Houston is still flooded, but it is starting to drain. Now, the real work begins.

I had a hard time figuring out the right title for this bit of wisdom, so I used Growing Up – Job Descriptions. I would have to give myself a D- on the title. Sorry. The message is deeper than that.

I am seeing a lot of successful startups failing to improve their basic functions as they get out of the cradle into the crawl, walk, run continuum. I am also seeing some struggling to make it so.

Working with a more mature, serial entrepreneur on a largish turnaround, it became apparent how different it is when a startup is using crayons and a more mature enterprise — even a turnaround — is able to operate at a higher level, using fine point pen competence.

So, when do you know that you have to take off the training wheels? Not important, as long as you know you have to one day. Here is an example.

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09/2/17

Strategy — First Draft

Strategy — let’s get you writing that First Draft, shall we? First, let’s figure out where it fits.

Big Red Car here on a sunny, dry ATX morning. Sun is shining, but it is cool. Maybe the summer is over? Haha, you’re so silly. This is Texas. Summer doesn’t end until October 23.

OK, so I keep getting folks who don’t get where Strategy fits into the Vision, Mission, Strategy, Tactics, Objectives, Values, Culture continuum.

I want to help y’all, so I made a picture of it for you.  Continue reading

09/1/17

Gasoline Prices

Big Red Car here (with a full tank of regular, y’all) telling you what’s going to happen with the price of gasoline in Texas and the rest of the country.

[Note: The country is actually divided between Texas and the “rest of the country.” Sorry. Deal with it. If y’all had better barbecue and wider acceptance of breakfast tacos, this wouldn’t be happening, but, no, you don’t. Do you? Whose fault is that?]

This is what’s going on in Texas. The people are fighting back. The Texas National Guard is there. The Colorado National Guard is there. Help is pouring in faster than the rain. This is after all, Texas. Just for the record: No KKK, white supremacists, Nazis, BLM, ACLU, SPLC, or Antifa. Texans, National Guard, serious people doing serious work. God, this makes me proud of our Nation, my State, and our people. This is who we are.

Hurricane H [we are not longer saying THAT name, son-of-a-bitch] has knocked out all of the Gulf Coast refineries. This has dampened supplies of gasoline and other products.

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