It’s become obvious to almost everyone that the great American business machine that built the most dynamic, most powerful and most beneficial economy in human history is not what it used to be. So, what’s wrong and how do we make it right?
Picture a football game. You’re sitting in a prime seat, 5th row up from the edge of the field right on the 50 yard line. You love the game. You’re excited to be here. Two of the best teams ever to play in the league are here to master the turf and battle for glory. One team is your favorite. You have rooted them on for years. You are invested in the outcome of the game. You anxiously anticipate sharing, with thousands of other cheering fans, the moment-to- moment agony and ecstasy of the pending contest.
But something just doesn’t feel right. You look out over an empty field and instead of beautifully manicured grass with evenly spaced parallel chalk lines and glistening goal posts precisely set at each end…your eyes are greeted with this. The lines at one end of the field are further apart than at the other end and instead of straight, many of the lines there warp and swirl. Some are even dotted and some are incomplete. The goal posts are on wheels, easily moved, and one has been placed behind the end zone and set on a diagonal to the field. Where healthy grass once ruled over an even playing field, there now resides a patchwork of clumps of scattered hay strewn to conceal holes and ruts some so deep that they can swallow a man whole. There are places between hay patches where soda cups and hot dog wrappers compete for attention with popcorn trays and mounds of rotting nacho chip and dip. You look at your program and notice that it announces a rule change. There will be no switch of sides after half-time and your team plays toward the catawampus goal post placed well behind the end zone.
As your eyes behold this sorry sight, a little voice echoes inside your head and poses two questions. “How can my team play on this field? What kind of game is this anyway?” Certainly the game that is played here won’t be the one you came to enjoy. Your team, one of the best ever to play the game, can’t win and neither team is likely to survive the perils of the playing field.
This is what the game of business has morphed into over the last 50 years. The game has never been perfect or entirely fair. But there was a time in America when the playing field was mostly level, the lines were mostly straight, the goal posts where mostly set where points could be scored and where the rules applied equally to most of the parties most of the time. The players could survive the game and live to play another day. The best players could wow and dazzle us and the best team could actually win.
Okay. So, what’s the point, you ask? If you are a business owner or in management, you can easily draw parallels directly from this analogy to your company and its challenges. And, if all I did was bring your attention to problems you could not fix, then there would be no point.
This website and blog named Relight America™ will serve as a resource to bring people from every walk of life together to solve our mutual economic challenges. It will offer a means by which we can collaborate to make our lives more productive. Some of the best business minds on the planet are joined with me. We will be sharing ideas and resources that will empower both businesses and individuals to take control of their own future and prosper. We will be creating a new playing field for business, one that is fundamentally fair and lets each team and each player shine to the enjoyment of all in a revitalized game where virtually every team owner, player and fan wins most of the time in proportion to their contribution.
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