Friday Five July 22 2016

Out of the gate is the news that the US Democrat National Committee’s email servers were compromised from January of 2015 until recently. Emails are being leaked that show the Dems rigged their primary system against Bernie Sanders – something the Sanders supports will just love to hear. The security of Electronically Stored Information (ESI) is well understood by nearly everyone, it seems, other than the Democrats. If the hackers can get into the Democrats’ servers, is there any legitimate question left as to whether or not hackers got into Mrs. Clinton’s servers that were sitting in her closet? And we want to entrust the country’s national secrets to these people?

HClintonOnce again, Hillary Clinton is associated with another scandal, but isn’t close enough to get the blame pinned on her. She skirts by with plausible deniability, but overall, the body of scandals that seem to appear wherever she goes cannot be denied. They touch her, but somehow, unlike the Peanuts cartoon character PigPen, who seemed to be constantly dirty because of the dirt and PigPendust that followed him, she isn’t soiled by the scandals. If you want a primer on the Clinton scandals, just read here, here and here.

Our national debt now stands at $19.4T. Last year, we paid $402B on interest for the national debt. This year, we’re already at $348B and it’s only July. By comparison, our first Federal budget that exceeded $400B was in 1979, a mere 37 years ago. We’re stealing the wealth of our next 5-10 generations in this country, paying for our safety net party and our lack of savings for old age. We are kidding ourselves if we think this won’t negatively impact our country’s ability to survive in the coming 100 years.

If we were to pay off the national debt using $500B/year, it would take over 40 years to complete the payment process.

Sheryl SandbergThirdly, Sheryl Sandberg’s loss of her husband teaches us all that walking in another’s shoes is essential if we are to fully understand their plight. In addition, significant, personal events do affect our work and there’s not much any employer can do about it.

Fourthly, if you’re leading a company and you need to make significant changes, take a look at this article from the Wall Street Journal. I like the idea of using a small changes as a wedge that leads to larger changes.

Lastly, corporate governance is a real issue, especially in privately held companies. While this article is focused on public companies, closely-held companies need competent Boards that can hold leadership accountable, even when the leadership is a brother, sister, mom or dad.