What to Do About Bad Government

Graffiti with a quote saying You can love your country without having to love your government

The dysfunction of our federal government risks derailing these great markets and economic conditions.

What can and should businesspeople (regardless of their political views), concerned above all else with the success of their companies, do about it?

Well, here are some effective business responses to three of the most troubling kinds of government dysfunction.

1. Government Nastiness.

For serious business people, the whole spectacle of our our nasty and tawdry national politics is just…depressing.

For this malady the counsel is abstinence.

As in: turn it off!

Just stop watching MSNBC, CNN, Fox and the rest of the political media.

Because they are not really in the news business, but in the entertainment business.

And the entertainment they sell is horror!

Far better to choose more uplifting and practical forms of diversion and amusement.

Like sports.

Which at their best are about high level competition, teamwork, overcoming adversity, and framing “losses” not as tragedies but as learning and growth opportunities.

As for real news, let’s focus on optimistic and business-friendly media like CNBC, Fortune, Fast Company, Inc., Entrepreneur, and the vast treasure troves of business books and online resources on every money-making topic under the sun and more.

2. Government Inefficiency.

More so everyday, government regulation and bureaucracy are just too cumbersome, inefficient, and “analog” for our globally competitive and digital world.

And while every administration talks a good game as to regulatory reform, the calcified nature of government means that annoying and expensive red tape will never go away.

So…the truly effective executive just deals with it.

By completing the forms and paying the fees no matter how pointless, irritating, and expensive they may be.

And then “gets back to business” as soon as possible.

3. Government Lousiness.

Businesses create profits that are then taxed to then pay for the work that government is tasked to do.

As in building quality infrastructure – roads, airports, power grids, etc.

And in distributing resources for education and workforce training.

And in negotiating free and fair trade deals with our global competitors.

And on and on.

The obvious problem is: almost always, government just does lousy jobs on it all.

And while every new administration promises better government, sadly the odds are very high that, for the foreseeable future, it isn’t going to be.

So we all need to just expect more congestion on the roads and at the airports.

And for new employees to not just need to be trained on the ways of our companies, but on basic business skills, too.

And for less-than-optimal trade policies and global “doing business” efficiencies.

And really just for everything that government purports to do, for it not be to done all that well.

Now is this too cynical a view?

Perhaps, but when it comes to government, while we can certainly hope for brighter days ahead, as businesspeople we must expect and plan for the worst.

And focus on those two most important things we can control and that make all of the difference:

Our heads and our hearts.

As we keep both aimed at sound business strategy and relentless execution, break out success will of course be ours.

And nothing from Washington can stop us.

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