Fundamentals Rule: Just GET REAL!

June’s unemployment figures are no less chilling for me a week after they were released as they were right before this nation celebrated Independence Day. I can’t think of a more important, complex, or daunting challenge than getting the country back to work…meaningful, productive, rewarding-on-all-levels employment that is best created by well-run companies.

Typically I solve business problems and introduce initiatives that create well-run organizations by focusing on the illness” rather than the symptoms. But I’ll go against my own grain to briefly focus on what I believe to be the leading symptom creating today’s illnesses, in my view best captured in this CNBC news report:

Actually, the symptom can be found in the article’s opening 4 words, “Baseball legend Lenny Dykstra….” Baseball legend? Don’t get me wrong, Dykstra was a fine major league player who played on some of the more interesting teams in recent memory, but a career .285 hitter is no legend. It was only a few years ago that “Nails” Dykstra was hailed as the single greatest investment mind by the breathless media, but further inspection and longer-running results suggest this was all myth.

At minimum, creating jobs, building high-performance organizations, maintaining competitive edges all require hard work, great skill, real knowledge, and willingness to inspect-to-improve. However, the evidence shows too many would much prefer to skip past all this by finding some easy way with some short answers or slogans. Nationally, this is not “change you can believe in” but “delusions you can be scared by”.

To me, prematurely anointing Lenny Dykstra an investment savant or now branding him as a legendary player is in the same category as rating agencies rating their customers’ financial products, disclaimers where there used to be warranties, excuses where there used to be commitment, and much more. On several occasions I’ve reinforced my strong belief that fundamentals rule and of these the most basic as well as necessary is: get real.

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