Monday, November 16, 2015

Bosses & Employees

Dear Rink Rats:

Can bosses be friends with their employees? When I started my business at 22, I didn’t think about it. Since then, my opinion has been shaped and battered through 36 years of torture, disappointment, disbelief, inspiration, support and appreciation.

I now have 110 employees, many of whom have been with me for more than 15 years — with an average tenure of nine years. But do I consider them my friends? Sure, some. I would certainly say I am on friendly terms with all of them. Some owners call their employees their family. Is that better or worse than calling them friends? I guess it depends on how you feel about your family!


Small Businessman in Glendora

Dear Small Businessman in Glendora:

Over the course of my career I had come to the conclusion that you can be friends with some of your employees — but not at the expense of being the boss. It has to be boss first, friend second. It is just like being a parent. Parent first, friend second.

But many employees don’t really need a boss. Yes, they may still need mentoring, and they may still make mistakes (just like the boss). But they take responsibility and try to do the right thing. They can be trusted. They look out for the best interest of the company. They work with you, not for you. They don’t need a boss in the worst sense of the word. But then there are always the “Facebook Employees” who have no common sense and require the supervision of a pre-schooler.

I am sure there are many business owners who would say that some of their employees are their best friends, and I am equally sure that many business owners would say you cannot be friends with your employees. So what is the right answer?

The answer depends largely on what your definition of a friend is. Sure, there might be a difference between a business friend and a lifelong friend. But in my case, I have numerous people who fit into both categories. And that makes me very happy and fortunate. Personally, I cannot imagine spending 50 some hours a week, dealing with the joys of victory and the agony of defeat, by myself.


Rink Rats

JACK ASS OF THE MONTH - GOP presidential hopeful Ben Carson argued on Sunday that anyone with “big frontal lobes” could see that the U.S. must not accept refugees from Syria.
Following recent terrorist attacks in Paris, Carson vowed to reverse President Barack Obama’s policy of accepting up to 10,000 Syrian refugees.

“Bringing people into this country from that area of the world, I think, is a huge mistake,” Carson opined to Fox News host Chris Wallace. “Because why wouldn’t [ISIS] infiltrate [the refugees] with people who are ideologically opposed to us? It would be foolish for them not to do that.”

“We should use our expertise and resources to help get them resettled — over there — and to support them over there,” he said. “But to bring them here under these circumstances is a suspension of intellect.”

“You know that the human brain has these big frontal lobes, as opposed to other animals, because we can engage in rational thought processing.”

The former neurosurgeon noted that his advanced brain gave him the ability to “extract information from the past [and] present, process it, and project it into a plan.”

“Animals, on the other hand, have big brain stems and rudimentary things because they react,” Carson explained. “We don’t have to just react, we can think.”

For these insightful comments Mr. Carson is our Jack Ass of the Month.

OPEN SEASON - Moving toward its third year of full implementation, the Affordable Care Act’s strains are showing as the law starts to transform the insurance industry. This enrollment season will be a challenge: The Obama administration and insurers are trying to lure holdouts who haven’t previously signed up for ACA coverage, even as premiums for many products appear set to rise sharply. Behind those increases is a tough business reality: While the industry’s total U.S. revenue has expanded, much of that growth has been unprofitable. The health law remade the individual market and insurers struggled to predict their costs. Now, insurers are recalibrating their approach for 2016, with changes visible at all levels of the industry.

COLLEGE CHRONICLES – Racism Issue Continues: Dean of students at Claremont McKenna College steps down in response to protests over treatment of students of color. New York Times:

JAPAN RETURNS TO RECESSION - Japan is back in recession after its economy shrank at a worse-than-expected annualised rate of 0.8 percent in the third quarter. The figure, which came in well below expectations of a 0.3 percent fall, is a fresh blow to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's efforts to end deflation and revitalise economic growth. .. Although there is little sign of the economy falling into a downward spiral, sluggish demand makes it harder to persuade companies to raise wages and investment next year. The Bank of Japan regards wage rises as essential for progress towards its goal of 2 percent inflation. ...

However, the breakdown of gross domestic product suggests there is still some momentum in the economy. Almost all of the decline was due to businesses running down inventory, which knocked 2.1 percentage points off annualised growth. By their nature, inventories can only fall so far. Meanwhile consumption contributed an annualised 1.2 percentage points to growth and net exports an annualised gain of 0.4 percentage point.

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to: Boutros Boutros-Ghali (93) Cairo, Egypt; Sam Waterson (75), Huntington, N.Y.; Neil Young (70), Toronto, Canada.

TEN QUESTIONS – Rink Rats continuing series asking ten questions to a Rink Rats follower, this week Ms. Jessica Naccache.

1). Jessica tells us about yourself; where did you grow up, go to high school, college?
I grew up in Covina, CA. I went to Sacred Heart for Elementary, St. Lucy’s Priory for High School, La Sierra University for undergraduate and University of La Verne for graduate.

2). What was your major in undergraduate and graduate study, and why did you select your majors?
I received a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and a Master of Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting. I wanted to become a doctor and go to Loma Linda University. That is why I received my BS in Biochemistry. After completing a semester of medical school; I decided being a doctor was not for me. Even though I had been exposed to several medical conditions/procedures/treatments/etc. due to my family; it was completely different when my family wasn’t the patient. That is why I decided to go into healthcare administration. It would combine my passion of healthcare and my business intellect. I chose Accounting as my emphasis because I love numbers.

3). Tells us about your career thus far.
It was hard to start my career in healthcare administration. I started as an executive assistant and contract administrator for a community hospital. After that, I tried to focus on my love for number and went into a finance position. I left there after a year and returned to healthcare administration. I needed both, numbers and healthcare. Less than a year ago, Alta Hospitals System, LLC; a parent company of Prospect Medical Holdings, Inc.; gave me an opportunity to grow in my career as Manager of Finance Operations. I was very excited for the chance to grow and be exposed to several hospitals. At the end of August 2015; my boss, Corporate/Regional Director of Finance Operations, gave her resignation. In September 2015; I was promoted as the interim Corporate Director of Finance Operations. I oversee 7 hospitals currently and am building my team. Once I accomplish 2 major corporate projects and build my team successfully; I will be able to become a permanent (not interim) director.

4). What have been the most positive and negative aspects of your professional career thus far?
A positive aspect is that healthcare is a small community. I have met several people in my current role from my previous companies. They know my potential and strengths; so they support my growth. Another positive aspect is that healthcare is growing; there are so many opportunities to grow and learn. A negative aspect is that healthcare is a hard community. You have to prove yourself often to even have the opportunity to grow. Another negative aspect is that it is hard to jump into management in healthcare. You must show your potential. But once you do show your potential, there are tons of opportunities.

5). How do you see your career progressing?
I would like to run a hospital or a group of hospitals as an administrator initially and eventually as a CEO. It will take me time but that is how I see my career progressing.

6). How has education added to your life and career as of today?
Education has given me the tools to be able to do my job well. In my MBA curriculum, I was exposed to a lot of things. This helped me see the big picture and helped me know what it takes to run a company.

7). What is your perfect summer vacation?
A nice beach so I can swim, tan, and enjoy. Of course, some cocktails are necessary.

8). If you had some "mad money" what would you purchase and why?
I would invest it and spend the interest. I would do that so I could have the tax write off and still enjoy the money. With the interest, I would travel, buy a nice home, buy a nice car, and just enjoy life.

9). What are you currently reading?
Patients Come Second: Leading Change by Changing the Way You Lead by Paul Spiegelman

10). Define happiness.
Happiness is being able to wake up in the morning and thank God for everything He has given you in spite of all the negativity that may cloud the positivity.

LIKELY HEIR? - Vin Scully is (likely) heading into his final season with the Los Angeles Dodgers and on Wednesday, the team just might have hired his successor.

Joe Davis, currently with FOX Sports, where he calls Major League Baseball, college football and basketball games, will assume play-by-play duties alongside Orel Hershiser and Nomar Garciaparra. The 27-year-old will work 50 road games, with Charley Steiner handling the rest.

NFL PICK OF THE WEEK – Sunday 11/22, 5:30 PM NBC; Cincinnati Bengals (8-0) at Arizona Cardinals (6-2), Bengals will drop their first game; Cardinals 24 – 21. Season to date (5-5)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 11/21, 12:30 PM ET ABC; #13 Michigan State Spartans (9-1) at #3 Ohio State Buckeyes (10-0), the winner moves on to more big games, the loser on to a minor bowl game. Sparty in an upset, 30 – 28. Season to date (7-4)

SMALL COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 11/21, 1:00 PM ET HGTV; #1 Mount Union Purple Raiders (10-0) vs. St. Lawrence University Saints (8-2). The first round of the NCAA D-III playoffs, congrats to the Saints for their NCAA appearance but it will be a long Saturday afternoon in Alliance, Ohio: Mt. Union moves on 48 – 14. Season to date (10-1)

COLLEGE HOCKEY GAME OF THE WEEK – Saturday 11/21. 7:00 PM ET HGTV; #15 St. Lawrence University Saints (7-3-1) at #4 Quinnipiac University Bobcats (10-0-0), The Saints are off to a good start but a crucial four game road trip will test them, Bobcats take this one 4 – 2. Season to date (0-0).


(D-III playoffs, Nov. 21) University of La Verne Leopards (8-1) vs. #4 St. Thomas Tommies (10-0), congrats to ULV for their first SCIAC title since 1994, but don’t look for a warm climate or warm welcome in St. Paul, Minnesota: Tommies are too much 50 – 21.

Season to date (87-57)

DRIVING THE WEEK – Global markets today will continue to react to the events in Paris but large sustained falls seem unlikely ... President Obama is at the G20 meeting in Turkey and will attend a meeting on "enhancing resilience through financial regulation, international tax, anti-corruption and IMF reform" before multiple bilateral meetings and a press conference ... 

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew is also in Turkey for the G20 ... The American Bankers Association and the American Bar Association conference hold the 27th annual Money Laundering Enforcement Conference through Tuesday 17 ... House Financial Services has a hearing Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. on the SEC ... Consumer Prices at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday expected to rise 0.2 percent headline and core ... Industrial Production at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday expected to rise 0.1 percent ... FOMC Minutes out at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday ... Index of Leading Indicators at 10:00 a.m. Thursday expected to rise 0.5 percent.

Next week: What is on the iPad? Holiday Movies.

Until Next Monday, Adios.

Claremont, CA
November 16, 2015


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