How to solve big problems

4 minute read

July 6, 2019

Endless effort and spin has gone into trying to explain why Hillary Clinton lost in 2016 (without ever considering that her own baggage, views and personality had anything to do with it).  As I tried to explain long before the election in my book, “God, Guns, Grits and Gravy,” the elites of politics, academia and the media had sealed themselves into such an airtight echo chamber, they had no idea what the mysterious natives of that vast “flyover country” that they looked down on, literally and figuratively, were thinking. 

What they were thinking was that they were fed up to the gills with a double standard that gave the politically-connected a pass for things that would land them under the jail.  There were sick of being ignored and insulted for voicing legitimate complaints about how their lives were being adversely affected by leftist policies, disregard for the Constitution and selective enforcement of laws. They were tired of being called racist or xenophobic if they thought the welfare of suffering Americans, such as homeless veterans or people put out of work by illegal immigrant labor, should take priority over solving the problems of everyone else in the world.  

And on a visceral level, they were tired of the grating combination of ignorance and arrogance (a trait we’ve seen turned up to 11 since the 2018 elections).  It’s that condescending attitude of elitists who are convinced they are the smartest people in the room – so smart, in fact, that their ideas are the only ones that should be allowed to be expressed -- even though the results of their ideas throughout history prove that they don’t have the slightest idea what they’re talking about.  They think they know how to run the entire planet, but they have fewer practical skills than the average apprentice plumber.

During the Obama years, a lot of young savants with massive egos sailed triumphantly into Washington only to go slinking back to academia after seeing their precious theories shatter on the rocks of reality.  So what can all those Ivy League hothouse flowers learn about problem-solving from a lowly former Arkansas governor and business owner? 

Well, the most important tip I could offer is this:  Very big problems are usually not solved with very big solutions.  A 2000-page bill or a massive ten-year “plan” like the Green New Deal only creates a whole new set of problems.  If you want to turn a problem into a catastrophe, the recipe is simple:  just add lots and lots of federal bureaucrats and taxpayer money. 

When you have a big problem, Step #1 is to break it down into little problems.  Then put someone in charge of each problem who actually knows how to solve it.  It takes an experienced, executive decision-maker just to decide which decisions to make and which ones can be safely left to someone else. (This is something that doesn’t require political experience; anyone who’s ever run a successful business knows it instinctively.) 

Next comes the hardest part: prioritizing.  We’ve all seen executives who are constantly bustling and shouting.  They look busy – some people are even impressed by their constant bustling -- but they never really get anything done.  That’s because they’re trying to do everything at once, instead of focusing on issues in their order of importance. 

I’ll let you in on another secret: the importance of an issue is not determined by how important the people closest to it think it is.  You might have to disappoint or even anger people by telling them their pet issue isn’t your top priority.  Sorry, that’s part of the job. 

I once had a professor of religion who said one of the wisest things I ever heard about management:  “Don’t use all your water to put out too small a fire.”  If you use up all your resources and credibility overreacting to a small crisis, then what do you do when a big crisis comes along and your fire extinguisher is empty?  (We’re seeing this a lot in the media these days, when every little controversy becomes a hair-on-fire CRISIS, then gets dropped the second the next one comes along.  All this has accomplished is to erode their own credibility.)

Another essential skill is choosing the right employees.  If you have important jobs to fill, find people who’ve mastered every aspect of their current job and are happy there, but ready to move up.  Someone who wants a promotion because he’s not comfortable where he is won’t be any more comfortable higher up. 

You also don’t need an idealistic dreamer who leaps in from academia to reinvent the wheel.   Advanced degrees and high grades in school are admirable, but often, real world experience and common sense are more valuable.  When you need to put out a fire, you call a firefighter, not a Ph.D. in combustion theory.  And as we’ve also learned only too well from the FBI and the Mueller team, you don’t put people in charge who let partisan zeal prejudice the way they do their jobs or deal with the public. 

That’s what you should learn on day one of “Leadership 101.”  So how come so many of our leaders and the people vying to be our next Chief Executive still haven’t learned it?

 

Leave a Comment

Note: Fields marked with an * are required.

Your Information
Your Comment
BBML accepted!
Captcha

More Stories

Idiotic Policy

Idiotic Policy

Comments 26-32 of 32

  • Martha Bird

    07/06/2019 01:01 PM

    Governor, I wish there were a few more like you in charge who really know how to solve problems. Thanks for your insight.

  • Ellen Eubank Wood

    07/06/2019 12:50 PM

    This may burn a few hairs, but, if you look at what God (the creator of the universe, the Guy who started it all) did...He started small, and picked the right people for the job...Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, etc. Then we come to Jesus who picked 12. He taught, gave examples, lived a life of compassion. Yeah, one was a bad apple, but didn’t we need that example too. What better way to run a government that to do what Jesus did. We can start by researching the people who are running for office, and then VOTE people.

  • Dennis Davis

    07/06/2019 12:24 PM

    Well Mike, I was always educated that your burdens are lifted at Calvary. You give your troubles/problems to the Lord and he will take care of them BIG or small. Everything was taking care of at the Cross when Jesus was placed on it and said "it is finished? and died.
    The reason democrats lost they took GOD out of their platform, they promote and support homosexuality, they promote the murdering of the unborn as well as not the born, they support illegals over the American Citizens, they support raising out taxes to pay for illegals and not Americans and so much more. Pray was the answer to us getting or President Donald Trump he is American, he stands for God and the defending of Christians here and abroad. Major thing is he stands with Israel and moved our US Embassy to Jerusalem the real Capital of Israel. As long as we stand by and with Israel our country will be safe for the most part we still need our Christians to repent as a nation and to get the Gospel out unto all 4 corners of this universe.
    Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savoir and may God Bless the USA until he returns to take those of us who are saved home.

  • john B Roberts

    07/06/2019 12:17 PM

    This is the correct way to solve problems. In prioritization solve the easy ones first to build up momentum for the harder ones. There may be several ways to solve each including doing nothing, brainstorm with the stake holders. Invite those with no ideas to leave. I have done this with insurmountable problems and quickly found a resolution.

  • Ann Bouchard

    07/06/2019 12:09 PM

    Um. Yeah. Right Huckabee.

  • CAPTAIN NICHOLAS GRAVINO DELTA AIR LINES

    07/06/2019 11:59 AM

    I have been fighting for 23 years The Downing of TWA 800 by a US Navy Missile during Global Yankee 96 , a military exercise off Long Island NY. I have the Airspace/ Altitude Reservation from the US Navy and ha a picture homing on TWA 800 that was taken by happenstance. This was an Obstruction of Justice by the Clinton Administration, NTSB, FBI, The CIA , the USNavy , the Secret Service and every politician that has come down the Pike since. No one has the Testicular Fortitude to set American History Straight No one gives a Damn

  • John W Bletsch

    07/06/2019 11:56 AM

    It's obvious that far too many in important positions are political appointees who were educated far beyond their intelligence. There is not an independent thought nor a lick of common sense among the lot. There are two kinds of ppl who should not be in public office; Political Science majors nor lawyers. Our founders warned against lawyers in office and would likely warn against the other.
    We must do whatever it takes to avoid being Venezuelad. Communism cannot be allowed even if it takes armed resistance against. Brown shirt ANTIFA is promising more attacks to silence any dissent and that requires preemptive action by LE & DOJ.
    I did not fight against communism 53 yrs ago in RVN to stand by allowing it in America.

How to solve big problems

4 minute read

July 6, 2019

Endless effort and spin has gone into trying to explain why Hillary Clinton lost in 2016 (without ever considering that her own baggage, views and personality had anything to do with it).  As I tried to explain long before the election in my book, “God, Guns, Grits and Gravy,” the elites of politics, academia and the media had sealed themselves into such an airtight echo chamber, they had no idea what the mysterious natives of that vast “flyover country” that they looked down on, literally and figuratively, were thinking. 

What they were thinking was that they were fed up to the gills with a double standard that gave the politically-connected a pass for things that would land them under the jail.  There were sick of being ignored and insulted for voicing legitimate complaints about how their lives were being adversely affected by leftist policies, disregard for the Constitution and selective enforcement of laws. They were tired of being called racist or xenophobic if they thought the welfare of suffering Americans, such as homeless veterans or people put out of work by illegal immigrant labor, should take priority over solving the problems of everyone else in the world.  

And on a visceral level, they were tired of the grating combination of ignorance and arrogance (a trait we’ve seen turned up to 11 since the 2018 elections).  It’s that condescending attitude of elitists who are convinced they are the smartest people in the room – so smart, in fact, that their ideas are the only ones that should be allowed to be expressed -- even though the results of their ideas throughout history prove that they don’t have the slightest idea what they’re talking about.  They think they know how to run the entire planet, but they have fewer practical skills than the average apprentice plumber.

During the Obama years, a lot of young savants with massive egos sailed triumphantly into Washington only to go slinking back to academia after seeing their precious theories shatter on the rocks of reality.  So what can all those Ivy League hothouse flowers learn about problem-solving from a lowly former Arkansas governor and business owner? 

Well, the most important tip I could offer is this:  Very big problems are usually not solved with very big solutions.  A 2000-page bill or a massive ten-year “plan” like the Green New Deal only creates a whole new set of problems.  If you want to turn a problem into a catastrophe, the recipe is simple:  just add lots and lots of federal bureaucrats and taxpayer money. 

When you have a big problem, Step #1 is to break it down into little problems.  Then put someone in charge of each problem who actually knows how to solve it.  It takes an experienced, executive decision-maker just to decide which decisions to make and which ones can be safely left to someone else. (This is something that doesn’t require political experience; anyone who’s ever run a successful business knows it instinctively.) 

Next comes the hardest part: prioritizing.  We’ve all seen executives who are constantly bustling and shouting.  They look busy – some people are even impressed by their constant bustling -- but they never really get anything done.  That’s because they’re trying to do everything at once, instead of focusing on issues in their order of importance. 

I’ll let you in on another secret: the importance of an issue is not determined by how important the people closest to it think it is.  You might have to disappoint or even anger people by telling them their pet issue isn’t your top priority.  Sorry, that’s part of the job. 

I once had a professor of religion who said one of the wisest things I ever heard about management:  “Don’t use all your water to put out too small a fire.”  If you use up all your resources and credibility overreacting to a small crisis, then what do you do when a big crisis comes along and your fire extinguisher is empty?  (We’re seeing this a lot in the media these days, when every little controversy becomes a hair-on-fire CRISIS, then gets dropped the second the next one comes along.  All this has accomplished is to erode their own credibility.)

Another essential skill is choosing the right employees.  If you have important jobs to fill, find people who’ve mastered every aspect of their current job and are happy there, but ready to move up.  Someone who wants a promotion because he’s not comfortable where he is won’t be any more comfortable higher up. 

You also don’t need an idealistic dreamer who leaps in from academia to reinvent the wheel.   Advanced degrees and high grades in school are admirable, but often, real world experience and common sense are more valuable.  When you need to put out a fire, you call a firefighter, not a Ph.D. in combustion theory.  And as we’ve also learned only too well from the FBI and the Mueller team, you don’t put people in charge who let partisan zeal prejudice the way they do their jobs or deal with the public. 

That’s what you should learn on day one of “Leadership 101.”  So how come so many of our leaders and the people vying to be our next Chief Executive still haven’t learned it?

 

Leave a Comment

Note: Fields marked with an * are required.

Your Information
Your Comment
BBML accepted!
Captcha

More Stories

Idiotic Policy

Idiotic Policy

Comments 26-32 of 32

  • Martha Bird

    07/06/2019 01:01 PM

    Governor, I wish there were a few more like you in charge who really know how to solve problems. Thanks for your insight.

  • Ellen Eubank Wood

    07/06/2019 12:50 PM

    This may burn a few hairs, but, if you look at what God (the creator of the universe, the Guy who started it all) did...He started small, and picked the right people for the job...Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, etc. Then we come to Jesus who picked 12. He taught, gave examples, lived a life of compassion. Yeah, one was a bad apple, but didn’t we need that example too. What better way to run a government that to do what Jesus did. We can start by researching the people who are running for office, and then VOTE people.

  • Dennis Davis

    07/06/2019 12:24 PM

    Well Mike, I was always educated that your burdens are lifted at Calvary. You give your troubles/problems to the Lord and he will take care of them BIG or small. Everything was taking care of at the Cross when Jesus was placed on it and said "it is finished? and died.
    The reason democrats lost they took GOD out of their platform, they promote and support homosexuality, they promote the murdering of the unborn as well as not the born, they support illegals over the American Citizens, they support raising out taxes to pay for illegals and not Americans and so much more. Pray was the answer to us getting or President Donald Trump he is American, he stands for God and the defending of Christians here and abroad. Major thing is he stands with Israel and moved our US Embassy to Jerusalem the real Capital of Israel. As long as we stand by and with Israel our country will be safe for the most part we still need our Christians to repent as a nation and to get the Gospel out unto all 4 corners of this universe.
    Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savoir and may God Bless the USA until he returns to take those of us who are saved home.

  • john B Roberts

    07/06/2019 12:17 PM

    This is the correct way to solve problems. In prioritization solve the easy ones first to build up momentum for the harder ones. There may be several ways to solve each including doing nothing, brainstorm with the stake holders. Invite those with no ideas to leave. I have done this with insurmountable problems and quickly found a resolution.

  • Ann Bouchard

    07/06/2019 12:09 PM

    Um. Yeah. Right Huckabee.

  • CAPTAIN NICHOLAS GRAVINO DELTA AIR LINES

    07/06/2019 11:59 AM

    I have been fighting for 23 years The Downing of TWA 800 by a US Navy Missile during Global Yankee 96 , a military exercise off Long Island NY. I have the Airspace/ Altitude Reservation from the US Navy and ha a picture homing on TWA 800 that was taken by happenstance. This was an Obstruction of Justice by the Clinton Administration, NTSB, FBI, The CIA , the USNavy , the Secret Service and every politician that has come down the Pike since. No one has the Testicular Fortitude to set American History Straight No one gives a Damn

  • John W Bletsch

    07/06/2019 11:56 AM

    It's obvious that far too many in important positions are political appointees who were educated far beyond their intelligence. There is not an independent thought nor a lick of common sense among the lot. There are two kinds of ppl who should not be in public office; Political Science majors nor lawyers. Our founders warned against lawyers in office and would likely warn against the other.
    We must do whatever it takes to avoid being Venezuelad. Communism cannot be allowed even if it takes armed resistance against. Brown shirt ANTIFA is promising more attacks to silence any dissent and that requires preemptive action by LE & DOJ.
    I did not fight against communism 53 yrs ago in RVN to stand by allowing it in America.

How to solve big problems

4 minute read

July 6, 2019

Endless effort and spin has gone into trying to explain why Hillary Clinton lost in 2016 (without ever considering that her own baggage, views and personality had anything to do with it).  As I tried to explain long before the election in my book, “God, Guns, Grits and Gravy,” the elites of politics, academia and the media had sealed themselves into such an airtight echo chamber, they had no idea what the mysterious natives of that vast “flyover country” that they looked down on, literally and figuratively, were thinking. 

What they were thinking was that they were fed up to the gills with a double standard that gave the politically-connected a pass for things that would land them under the jail.  There were sick of being ignored and insulted for voicing legitimate complaints about how their lives were being adversely affected by leftist policies, disregard for the Constitution and selective enforcement of laws. They were tired of being called racist or xenophobic if they thought the welfare of suffering Americans, such as homeless veterans or people put out of work by illegal immigrant labor, should take priority over solving the problems of everyone else in the world.  

And on a visceral level, they were tired of the grating combination of ignorance and arrogance (a trait we’ve seen turned up to 11 since the 2018 elections).  It’s that condescending attitude of elitists who are convinced they are the smartest people in the room – so smart, in fact, that their ideas are the only ones that should be allowed to be expressed -- even though the results of their ideas throughout history prove that they don’t have the slightest idea what they’re talking about.  They think they know how to run the entire planet, but they have fewer practical skills than the average apprentice plumber.

During the Obama years, a lot of young savants with massive egos sailed triumphantly into Washington only to go slinking back to academia after seeing their precious theories shatter on the rocks of reality.  So what can all those Ivy League hothouse flowers learn about problem-solving from a lowly former Arkansas governor and business owner? 

Well, the most important tip I could offer is this:  Very big problems are usually not solved with very big solutions.  A 2000-page bill or a massive ten-year “plan” like the Green New Deal only creates a whole new set of problems.  If you want to turn a problem into a catastrophe, the recipe is simple:  just add lots and lots of federal bureaucrats and taxpayer money. 

When you have a big problem, Step #1 is to break it down into little problems.  Then put someone in charge of each problem who actually knows how to solve it.  It takes an experienced, executive decision-maker just to decide which decisions to make and which ones can be safely left to someone else. (This is something that doesn’t require political experience; anyone who’s ever run a successful business knows it instinctively.) 

Next comes the hardest part: prioritizing.  We’ve all seen executives who are constantly bustling and shouting.  They look busy – some people are even impressed by their constant bustling -- but they never really get anything done.  That’s because they’re trying to do everything at once, instead of focusing on issues in their order of importance. 

I’ll let you in on another secret: the importance of an issue is not determined by how important the people closest to it think it is.  You might have to disappoint or even anger people by telling them their pet issue isn’t your top priority.  Sorry, that’s part of the job. 

I once had a professor of religion who said one of the wisest things I ever heard about management:  “Don’t use all your water to put out too small a fire.”  If you use up all your resources and credibility overreacting to a small crisis, then what do you do when a big crisis comes along and your fire extinguisher is empty?  (We’re seeing this a lot in the media these days, when every little controversy becomes a hair-on-fire CRISIS, then gets dropped the second the next one comes along.  All this has accomplished is to erode their own credibility.)

Another essential skill is choosing the right employees.  If you have important jobs to fill, find people who’ve mastered every aspect of their current job and are happy there, but ready to move up.  Someone who wants a promotion because he’s not comfortable where he is won’t be any more comfortable higher up. 

You also don’t need an idealistic dreamer who leaps in from academia to reinvent the wheel.   Advanced degrees and high grades in school are admirable, but often, real world experience and common sense are more valuable.  When you need to put out a fire, you call a firefighter, not a Ph.D. in combustion theory.  And as we’ve also learned only too well from the FBI and the Mueller team, you don’t put people in charge who let partisan zeal prejudice the way they do their jobs or deal with the public. 

That’s what you should learn on day one of “Leadership 101.”  So how come so many of our leaders and the people vying to be our next Chief Executive still haven’t learned it?

 

Leave a Comment

Note: Fields marked with an * are required.

Your Information
Your Comment
BBML accepted!
Captcha

More Stories

Idiotic Policy

Idiotic Policy

Comments 26-32 of 32

  • Martha Bird

    07/06/2019 01:01 PM

    Governor, I wish there were a few more like you in charge who really know how to solve problems. Thanks for your insight.

  • Ellen Eubank Wood

    07/06/2019 12:50 PM

    This may burn a few hairs, but, if you look at what God (the creator of the universe, the Guy who started it all) did...He started small, and picked the right people for the job...Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, etc. Then we come to Jesus who picked 12. He taught, gave examples, lived a life of compassion. Yeah, one was a bad apple, but didn’t we need that example too. What better way to run a government that to do what Jesus did. We can start by researching the people who are running for office, and then VOTE people.

  • Dennis Davis

    07/06/2019 12:24 PM

    Well Mike, I was always educated that your burdens are lifted at Calvary. You give your troubles/problems to the Lord and he will take care of them BIG or small. Everything was taking care of at the Cross when Jesus was placed on it and said "it is finished? and died.
    The reason democrats lost they took GOD out of their platform, they promote and support homosexuality, they promote the murdering of the unborn as well as not the born, they support illegals over the American Citizens, they support raising out taxes to pay for illegals and not Americans and so much more. Pray was the answer to us getting or President Donald Trump he is American, he stands for God and the defending of Christians here and abroad. Major thing is he stands with Israel and moved our US Embassy to Jerusalem the real Capital of Israel. As long as we stand by and with Israel our country will be safe for the most part we still need our Christians to repent as a nation and to get the Gospel out unto all 4 corners of this universe.
    Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savoir and may God Bless the USA until he returns to take those of us who are saved home.

  • john B Roberts

    07/06/2019 12:17 PM

    This is the correct way to solve problems. In prioritization solve the easy ones first to build up momentum for the harder ones. There may be several ways to solve each including doing nothing, brainstorm with the stake holders. Invite those with no ideas to leave. I have done this with insurmountable problems and quickly found a resolution.

  • Ann Bouchard

    07/06/2019 12:09 PM

    Um. Yeah. Right Huckabee.

  • CAPTAIN NICHOLAS GRAVINO DELTA AIR LINES

    07/06/2019 11:59 AM

    I have been fighting for 23 years The Downing of TWA 800 by a US Navy Missile during Global Yankee 96 , a military exercise off Long Island NY. I have the Airspace/ Altitude Reservation from the US Navy and ha a picture homing on TWA 800 that was taken by happenstance. This was an Obstruction of Justice by the Clinton Administration, NTSB, FBI, The CIA , the USNavy , the Secret Service and every politician that has come down the Pike since. No one has the Testicular Fortitude to set American History Straight No one gives a Damn

  • John W Bletsch

    07/06/2019 11:56 AM

    It's obvious that far too many in important positions are political appointees who were educated far beyond their intelligence. There is not an independent thought nor a lick of common sense among the lot. There are two kinds of ppl who should not be in public office; Political Science majors nor lawyers. Our founders warned against lawyers in office and would likely warn against the other.
    We must do whatever it takes to avoid being Venezuelad. Communism cannot be allowed even if it takes armed resistance against. Brown shirt ANTIFA is promising more attacks to silence any dissent and that requires preemptive action by LE & DOJ.
    I did not fight against communism 53 yrs ago in RVN to stand by allowing it in America.