Although I am uncertain how the majority of Americans view this Washington sequestration soap opera, many small business owners are disgusted. Sequestration is just another example of mismanagement in a long line of examples. This is no way to run a superpower.

Government is not a business. It has different goals and objectives. Small business owners realize that managing government is unlike managing a business, and running the world’s most important power is a difficult and daunting challenge.

Nevertheless, everyday small businesses use many management concepts and techniques that our elected officials would be wise to employ. Derived from this are the following suggestions I believe Members of Congress can apply today:

  1. Stop using continuing resolutions. No small business would operate successfully with this type of budgetary process. A $16.5 trillion economy needs more predictability. I cannot imagine how much lost productivity each government agency incurs by this budgetary foolishness. Develop and agree on a budget, measure past performance and set goals. Then pass the budget.
  2. If you authorize and purchase goods and services — pay for them. We do this everyday in our personal and business lives. You are ruining America’s credit and reputation. We would have thought members of Congress would have learned about the importance of paying our debts from Alexander Hamilton.
  3. Pay attention to the United States’ loss of image and soft power. It is difficult to overcome a ruined reputation. Our government is sending the wrong message to our rivals and enemies. Image is important to our national security — physical and economic. As small business owners, we guard and protect our reputation as though it were gold.
  4. Federal employees, like any employees, require leadership. A lack of leadership is bad for morale and productivity. Employees who don’t understand the company or agency vision and lack direction from superiors are constantly on their heels.
  5. As entrepreneurs, we can’t envision the operational problems your actions are inflicting on government agencies. Your inept management is causing confusion and waste.
  6. Your customers — American citizens — are losing faith in your management of their government. We are not speaking about partisan policy, but the practical and competent management of our government. We generally view your partisan infighting as having little to no regard for the institutional well-being of the only system that stands between us and anarchy. We need rule of law and protection of property rights.
  7. If we did not compromise nearly everyday in some way in the supervision of our businesses, we would be out of business. If we only were concerned with managing our enterprises utilizing ideological policy concepts, our businesses would not be successful. Day-to-day relationships do not function that way. We have to remain honorable, but flexible.
  8. Have a bigger vision for what we are attempting to achieve as a people and as a great civilization. Isn’t that what this is all about? Has 2,500 years of Western Civilization come to partisan bickering regarding which party is more pure. As entrepreneurs, we have big visions for our lives and businesses. That vision drives our passion for what we are trying to accomplish. We want a government that has a powerful and admirable vision for its future.
  9. Our final suggestion: read the Preamble to the Constitution. You may have forgotten the reason why we have a Constitution. America is a wonderful place and it deserves much more visionary and inspired leadership from the great institution of the United States Congress.

In case you forgot it, here it is:

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.


James Wilfong
About The Author James Wilfong
James Wilfong is Chairman of Innovative Applied Science. He also is an international business practitioner, educator, Veterans business advocate, public servant, and a member of VET-Force and the President’s Task-force on Veteran’s Business Development.

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