The Leasing GroupThe Leasing Group

Tag : business

small business advice louisville

By The Leasing Group

Kindness is a Choice

The internet is thick with memorable quotes from wise, successful and recognizable business leaders.  They’re easy to find too.  For a quick look, Google search:

 

  • 5 quotes from Mark Cuban to inspire entrepreneurs
  • 25 business lessons from Jack Welch
  • Warren Buffett’s 15 most memorable quotes
  • Jeff Bozos’ 7 secrets of success

 

Much of this wisdom is a bit too obvious and not very original.  But one business quote recently captured my attention…

It’s harder to be kind than clever.  Cleverness is a gift, but kindness is a choice.”

 

As an entrepreneur who never received the gift of cleverness, I was relieved to find out I wasn’t to blame.  Simply put, my gene pool came up short.

 

More importantly, this quote gave me an opportunity to see kindness in a new light, as a choice.  Just imagine all the choices we make every day.

 

Kindness doesn’t require a high IQ, an exceptional work ethic or a quick wit.  Neither does it reside only with the high-achievers and creative thinkers.  It doesn’t care about our race, our residence, who we know, how much we know or what car we drive.  Kindness doesn’t discriminate in any way.

 

No matter our birth, our circumstances, or our fortunes and misfortunes, we can choose to be kind, or not.  It’s up to us.  There are no excuses.

 

Leasing Questions? (502) 456-2800

Business Leasing Application Online

More Experience, More Sources, More Approvals

buisness advice lexington

By The Leasing Group

Malcolm’s Greatest Achievement

Malcolm’s life changed the day he strolled into a Barnes & Noble looking for something to read.  On that fateful day, he met Kathy Rackley near the “Best Seller” shelf with an arm-full of books.  Thinking she might be able to help him select something interesting, Malcolm struck up a conversation. Kathy did more than help.  She offered him an invitation.  Two weeks later she introduced Malcolm as the newest member of her book club…a club of all middle-aged women, each one older than Malcolm’s mother.

 

Recently, this African-American University of Georgia football star spoke openly about his new passion for reading with a USA TODAY sports reporter. Specifically, the reporter asked Malcolm to talk about his greatest achievement, the one thing that made him most proud.  Malcolm’s response was characteristically honest.

 

“That’s easy.  I just finished the Hunger Games books in just two days.”

 

“But what about last season’s touchdown catches for the Georgia Bulldogs,” asked the reporter?

 

“I’ve been a very fortunate athlete and I love football.  But football has always come easy for me.  Learning to read was really hard.  I guess as a kid I spent too much time playing outside.”

 

What is your greatest achievement in life?  Is it what you were born to do?  Or, like Malcolm Mitchell, did it require more courage, more hard work and more determination than you ever thought possible?

 

Leasing Questions? (502) 456-2800

Business Leasing Application Online

More Experience, More Sources, More Approvals

the truth in business

By The Leasing Group

Truth about the Minimum Wage

Ask about anyone to weigh in on an increase in the minimum wage and you’re bound to get an emotional response.  As with abortion, gun control, and taxes, there’s very little middle ground on this issue.  The minimum wage is very polarizing topic.  Forget about changing minds.

 

For dissenters, the logic goes something like this…a free market system allocates resources, including labor, more efficiently than any other system.  Government interference only serves to disrupt this efficiency resulting in slower economic growth, higher labor costs and lower employment, all bad for businesses and for their workers.  Worse yet, the minimum wage is inflationary, and we all know what that means.  End of story.

 

I’m sure the intellectual thinkers of the day came to this conclusion honestly and without prejudice.  However, in its seventy-five year history, the minimum wage has not been the culprit feared by economic experts.

 

First, there is no evidence linking the minimum wage to a softening economy.  Second, with few exceptions, businesses don’t typically lay off workers just because of hourly wage increases.  Even when they do, unemployment does not necessarily rise.  Third, in a labor driven market, workers typically make more than the minimum anyway.  An increase rarely has the predicted impact.

 

For supporters, the arguments are more tangible.  With so many workers teetering at the poverty level, we’re all better off when workers and their families don’t require the public safety net.  And, since the cost of welfare in all its forms far exceeds the inflationary cost of wage increases, doesn’t a rising tide lift all boats?   Additionally, working families contribute to the tax base.

 

On balance, a modest increase in the minimum wage actually does more good than bad.  I think its time for conservatives (me included) to get out of the way.

 

Leasing Questions? (502) 456-2800

Business Leasing Application Online

More Experience, More Sources, More Approvals

business leasing company

By The Leasing Group

The Extra Mile – Land of Opportunity

The English Dictionary defines “going the extra mile” as…”doing more than expected or required to achieve something, expecting nothing extra in return.”

 

Who doesn’t love having an “extra mile” person on the team?  We might even think of ourselves as “extra mile” people from time to time.

 

So, why is going the extra mile such a rare occurrence?  Maybe it’s because extra mile effort is simply too demanding.  Maybe it’s because going the extra mile requires extreme thoughtfulness, superior creativity, unrelenting determination, personal sacrifice and self discipline.

 

Extra mile people are those who solve customer problems without waiting to be asked.  They look for ways to serve and then follow through when others have long since left the building.  Their hands shoot up when called to volunteer and they don’t leave until the job is completely done.  They do what’s necessary, not just what’s required, even on their own time.

 

Going beyond the expected can be a very lonely place and few accept the challenge.  But the “extra mile” is a magical place too, a place filled with opportunity for those with the courage and determination to go there.

 

Leasing Questions? (502) 456-2800

Business Leasing Application Online

More Experience, More Sources, More Approvals

buisness advice

By The Leasing Group

Popping the Student Loan Bubble

I usually cringe when I read about Elizabeth Warren advising the Secretary of the Treasury, chairing a Presidential oversight committee or crafting legislation in the Senate.  As chief architect of the Consumer Financial Protection Board and its founding leader, she and the CFPB have harmed community banks, created mountains of bureaucratic red tape, hurt borrowers and done virtually nothing to protect consumers.

 

Now Warren is weighing in on the student loan problem.  On the surface, lowering interest rates and capping monthly payments sounds great.  No one, including me, wants graduates to be saddled with so much debt that they can’t start families, buy homes or create businesses.  But Warren’s proposals don’t address the root causes of this $1.2 trillion crisis.

 

The issue is directly linked to two very bad policies:

 

  1. Easy student access to credit without spending controls.  In other words, students are permitted to borrow for purposes beyond tuition, room and board.  Without controls, loans pay for night lives, smart phones, cars, sporting events and all sorts of non-educational endeavors.
  2. Little oversight of or limits to education cost increases.  Generally, public and private institutions alike do a poor job of controlling their costs.  They don’t have to as long as the government loan program will pay.  Additionally, “for-profits” schools routinely enrich themselves at student and tax payer expense receiving a disproportionately high number of loans coupled with high loan defaults.

 

Warren’s proposed solutions create more problems than they solve because they don’t address the real issues.  If we’re going to deal with our student debt problem, we must address the reasons for the problem, not simply lower payments on loans way too high in the first place.

 

 

Leasing Questions? (502) 456-2800

Business Leasing Application Online

More Experience, More Sources, More Approvals

small business advice

By The Leasing Group

“Character Doesn’t Matter Anymore”

Really!  I was surprised to hear this from my banker friend, but he seemed so certain.

 

He went on…

I’m serious.  Today’s bank examiners don’t have much interest in a borrower’s character.  They only focus on the numbers.  Look, I’ve been a community banker for over thirty years.  I know my customers.  I know their families, their birthdays, their golf handicaps, if they honor their commitments, their favorite restaurants, even where they go to church.  Most of them have never missed a loan payment, even in bad times.”

 

I was immediately reminded of the “Five C’s” every bank lender learns in his or her first week of training.  Capacity, collateral, conditions, capital, and of course…character.

 

Capacity is a measure of the borrower’s ability to take on additional debt.  Collateral represents the assets used to secure the debt.  Conditions are the loan terms, such as interest rate and repayment schedule.  Capital is the money provided by the borrower; sometimes known as the down payment.  All four of these “C’s” are very easily quantified.

 

Character, is different.  Measuring character is like trying to nail Jello to a wall.  It’s hard to do.  Character refers to a borrower’s reputation.  Honesty, reliability, integrity, and responsibility aren’t found anywhere on a balance sheet or income statement, but they’re just as real.

 

Maybe those who make today’s rules should first spend time behind the lending desk.   They might learn that a borrower’s character is more important than ever.

 

Four C’s are okay, but Five C’s are better.

 

By The Leasing Group

“Know it alls” Not Wanted Here

Jack Welch retired as General Electric’s Chairman and CEO in 2001 after a twenty year run, over which GE enjoyed unparalleled profitability and diversified growth.  During his tenure Welch was notoriously known for pruning the company of 10% of its lowest performing managers each year.  Investors and peers alike considered his bold honesty and decisive courage his greatest leadership qualities. 

Today Welch continues to write, teach and advise managers on the subject of leadership.  Below are the most destructive qualities he finds in POOR leaders: 

  1. A “know it all” attitude coupled with failure to listen to other points of view.
  2. Distant and detached behavior, often remote and un-engaging.
  3. Insensitive, hurtful and bullying comments directed to subordinates.
  4. A reluctance to make difficult decisions for fear of making mistakes.

On the flipside, Welch points to the shared traits of SUCCESSFUL leaders, qualities worth learning.  This list includes good listening skills, sensitivity, personal engagement, courage without arrogance and continuous self awareness. 

I’ve never seen or heard Welch include an Ivy League education, a high IQ, charismatic speaking ability, uncompromising personal ambition, overflowing self-confidence, or a blue-blood pedigree?  These qualities seem conspicuous by their absence.

By The Leasing Group

Thoughts on Full Employment

I will admit it.  Surfing the C-Span channels for economic debates on policy affecting employment is not everyone’s definition of fun.  Professor X wants more stimulus while director Y rails over failed stimulus of the past.  Senator Z argues in favor of fiscal constraint and a balanced budget while a panel of congressmen and women question the wisdom of lower spending during an anemic recovery.  Before long my head is exploding with conflicting arguments. 

 

What are we to believe amidst so much chatter, where every point of view has its supporters and detractors?  Is it possible to determine truth from fiction, given the arguments and information at our disposal?  After sorting through the pros and cons, I’ve assembled a list of recommendations.  While far from perfect, they seem worth considering.      

 

1.  Achieve energy independence.  Isn’t it time to put thousands to work by easing regulation on energy exploration, production and transportation, if we can do this safely?  The benefits….new jobs, 100% energy independence, millions of dollars pumped into our economy, and freedom from Middle East terrorist influenced oil.

 

2.  Train for tomorrow’s jobs.  How about creating a new class of interest-free student loans available to fund training for the high tech jobs of tomorrow, the jobs crying for talent?  A four year college degree is not for everyone.  Educating the lawyers, doctors, engineers, artists and psychologists is fine, but we must also train computerized machine tool technicians and digital press operators.

 

3.  Tax policy to reward “Made in USA” employment.  Bring the overseas manufacturing jobs back home and give them to anyone who wants to work.  With focused favorable tax incentives directed to the right companies, we can do this and employ Americans in the process.  What’s standing in the way? 

 

Is full employment possible?  Is a living wage possible?  Is a revitalized middle class possible?  I think so.  It’s simply a matter of agreeing on a job creation policy and implementing it.  No excuses acceptable.

 

small business advice louisville
Kindness is a Choice
buisness advice lexington
Malcolm’s Greatest Achievement
the truth in business
Truth about the Minimum Wage
business leasing company
The Extra Mile – Land of Opportunity
buisness advice
Popping the Student Loan Bubble
small business advice
“Character Doesn’t Matter Anymore”