The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Friday, February 14, 2014


Over the past year, I've been involved in a manufacturing start-up—a small company that builds and sells aftermarket products for a specific electric vehicle. Prior to that, I spent about 12 months in design, planning and pre-launch activities (literally, starting in my garage) for the company. It's been a hard work, but rewarding.

Prior to beginning work on the new company, I was in "semi-retirement," writing college textbooks and the occasional novel. Today, in my spare time (hah!) I continue my authoring work (in fact, the 8th edition of one of my textbooks was published in February 1st).

I mention all of this because one of my recreational activities is golf. During semi-retirement I played 2 or 3 times a week and had a 7 - 8 handicap. But as the demands of my new company began to grow, golf had to take a back seat to my management and technical responsibilities. When a planned Wednesday afternoon golf date collided with a business issue, the golf got cancelled—every time. And that's happened many, many times over the past 2 years.

I hate to be petty, but I find it fascinating that Barack Obama plays as much golf as he does. The New York Times reports:
“[President Obama’s Friday] meeting with King Abdullah [of Jordan], at Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage, Calif., raised questions at the White House on Wednesday, because the two leaders are practically running into each other here and Mr. Obama appears to have no other official business in Southern California. There is, however, a tantalizing bit of unofficial business for a president whose wife and daughters will be away on their own travels, leaving him alone on Presidents’ Day weekend in a secluded oasis where the forecast is calling for mostly sunny skies and a temperature of 89 degrees. After seeing off the king, administration officials said, Mr. Obama plans to stay on for two days at Sunnylands to play a few rounds of golf at the estate’s recently refurbished nine-hole course, which has been played by presidents from Dwight D. Eisenhower to the elder George Bush.”
So ... this coming weekend, Obama is stealing two days to play golf in the sunshine at the taxpayers expense (for Airforce 1, security, lodging, etc). That's okay, I suppose, except that you'd think that with the monumental problems he faces in both the domestic policy (the Obamacare trainwreck, the IRS scandal, massive new federal debt, continuing stalemate in congress, immigration reform, etc., etc.) and foreign policy (so many failures it's cruel to list them all), you'd think he'd maybe cancel golf and focus just a bit more on his core responsibilities.

The president's staunch defenders suggest that he needs to relax because of the immense stress of his job, otherwise he can't operate effectively. I get that, except that Barack Obama seems to be incapable of managing the federal government's activities effectively, golf or no golf.

Executive responsibilities demand focus and time, at least if you want to do things right. And although my little company has a budget that is less than 0.00000003 that of the federal government, I just can't justify playing a lot of golf when I have business issues to address. Today, I play golf less than once a week (on Saturdays, when I can) and my handicap is up to an 11 (yuck!). The wages of being a responsible manager, I suppose.