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School of Business 01/09/10

The BusinessMakers

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Russ and John present the show that makes your head spin as we celebrate the geniuses who make it all happen. Includes: the BusinessMakers Quote of the Day—wisdom from football great Coach Lou Holtz. This Week in Business History includes powerhouses Julius Caesar (we go WAAY back!), Otis Elevator, Standard Oil and Coca Cola Co.; Navigating Business Jargon—acronyms, technospeak and trendy new stuff; and Dumbest Moments in Business History—airport security is getting personal.

Full Interview text

Russ: Vámonos and good morning. This is the BusinessMakers Show heard here and online at thebusinessmakers.com. This is episode No. 240 of that show that features those that make it happen.

John: Yeah, 240 episodes of School of Business and interviews and word of the day and all this. I mean it's enough to make your head spin.

Russ: That's right. All right, and here's our lineup for this morning. Our topic is age and we're gonna cover both ends of the spectrum. First up, for the Aflac BusinessMakers Flashback, we're featuring four of our favorite octogenarian guests.

John: Ah, yes.

Russ: S. Truett Cathy of Chick-fil-A; then Stewart Morris of Stewart Title; that's the fourth largest title company in the United States; then serial entrepreneur, Bill Sherrill; and lastly, founder of Weed Eater, George Ballas. And then for our featured guest segment we're gonna get on the other end of the age spectrum because I'm gonna be visiting with Anthony Broussard, iPhone game developer and founder and president of Quantum Potato Software Company, a 22-year-old that has been in the game design business and development world for over 12 years already. But first, that's right. It's time for the BusinessMakers School of Business and if we don't teach it, you don't need it.

John: The fact is it would take you weeks to dig all this up and also to get the expert commentary and analysis that goes with this information you're getting for nothing.

Russ: It can't be beat.

John: You probably could, but it would be difficult.

Russ: All right. And we kick off the School of Business each Saturday morning with a quote of the day.

John: Quote of the day.

Russ: And this morning I'm gonna quote Coach Lou Holtz. In fact, he said it recently in the context of the Texas Tech coach being relieved of his job.

John: Yeah, right.

Russ: And here's the quote: When you find yourself in a hole, quit digging.

John: Yeah, I've heard that before.

Russ: And I like it and it applies, so it's good advice. And that brings us to This Week in Business History. What happened during this early January week in business history?

John: Well, we're gonna start in 49 B.C.

Russ: Wow.

John: Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon which started a civil war in the Roman Empire. There was a law that prohibited Roman generals from entering the city of Rome leading their troops and crossing the Rubicon was a sign to Pompey, who was part of a triumvirate that was running Rome that also included Julius Caesar, that Caesar was coming into Rome for really no good reason other than to threaten the tenuous relationship he had with Pompey.

Russ: Okay.

John: And it later proved to be his undoing. It was the start of his undoing because about five years later Caesar was assassinated in the Roman Senate and he died – his last breath – he breathed his last breath at the foot of the statue of Pompey.

Russ: Okay. Wow, you don't get this detail in normal school, do you?

John: That's right. Yeah, that's great.

Russ: That was like almost 2,060 years ago.

John: This week in business history: In 1776, Thomas Payne published Common Sense. It was a pamphlet challenging the authority of the British government, and it was written in such plain and easy-to-understand language that it just kinda swept the colonies and actually –

Russ: Wow. Had a huge effect.

John: And it had a huge effect in motivating a lot of colonists that may have been sitting on the fence to join in.

Russ: Cool. Kind of a manifesto like?

John: It was kind of a – like a manifesto.

Russ: Yeah. All right, cool.

John: This week in business history: In 1861, Elisha Graves Otis receives a patent for the elevator, so next time you ride an elevator, you see Otis Elevator Company, that's who did.

Russ: You can say, "I heard about it on the BusinessMakers Show."

John: You heard it on the – and he did such a great job of – with his elevator pitch that they gave him the patent right away and the rest is history.

Russ: That's cool. There you go.

John: Okay. All right. This week in business history: In 1870, John D. Rockefeller incorporates Standard Oil.

Russ: Well, and that turned out to be quite a success.

John: Yes, it was and still is.

Russ: That's right.

John: This week in business history: Also, in 1870, a donkey is first used as symbol of the Democrat Party in Harper's Weekly and –

Russ: Goodness gracious. It seems like – if it were my party, I might have chose something other than a donkey.

John: Well, I –

Russ: Would you?

John: They may have not had much choice in the matter.

Russ: [Laughter] Like why not? Okay.

John: And the truth hurts.

Russ: Yes. [Laughter]

John: The week in business history: In 1889, the Coca-Cola Company, then known as the Pimberton Medicine Company, is originally incorporated in Atlanta, Georgia.

Russ: Goodness, man, big names.

John: That's a company that's done well.

Russ: They've done all right. Yeah.

John: Right. Okay, this week in business history: In 1890, the inventor of the first breath analyzer for determining blood alcohol level was Rolla Neil Harger, okay, and he was born on January 14, 1890. He was a professor at the Indiana University. His main interests were biochemistry, toxicology and pharmacology and he built this gizmo.

Russ: That's amazing.

John: And he called this device the Drunkometer, and it was – he also developed a simple equation that could let someone estimate the level of alcohol in a person's blood –

Russ: Drunkometer.

John: – that drunk from the Drunkometer and he fought – he lobbied – get this – he lobbies to legalize evidence from breath analyzers and he also lobbied to make sure that drunk driving was illegal, so he was in cahoots with the Mothers Against Drunk Driving now. This –

Russ: But it took lobbying to make drunk driving illegal?

John: Yeah, that's right.

Russ: I guess everybody thought it was okay back then for a while.

John: I guess for a while, yeah.

Russ: All right. All right.

John: This week in business history: In 1896 is the first intercollegiate basketball game. Wesleyan beats Yale 4 to 3.

Russ: Wow. They must not have had a three-point line.

John: And Yale was given a warning for running up the score, you know –

Russ: Running up the score. [Laughter]

John: – by the NCAA. This week in business history: In 1911, the first photo in U.S. taken from an airplane in San Diego, so I guess it was an aerial photo. I guess you could say the first aerial photo. Now it doesn't say here whether the airplane was up in the sky or not. It may not have been an aerial photograph.

Russ: But that was pretty early in the history of flying, too, wasn't it, in in 1911 Wow. Okay.

John: Yeah, right. Yeah, yeah. This week in business history: In 1945 is the birth date of Rod Stewart. He's got a panoply of hit records.

[Music: "Maggie May"]

John: This week in business history: In 1949, RCA introduces the 45-rpm record.

Russ: Now the 45-rpm was the biggest mainstay in my teenage years; I guess yours, too, based on –

John: Yeah, right. Yeah, right, the big – it had the big hole in it. I don't know why they had developed records for different speeds. I've never been able to figure that out.

Russ: Well, I think they had different quality. There was probably a marketing and business case as well.

John: Okay, this week in business history: In 1954, New York Yankee Joe DiMaggio makes one of the biggest mistakes in his life when he marries Marilyn Monroe.

Russ: And you think that was a mistake? Maybe –

John: Oh, yeah. They got divorced and I don't think –

Russ: Well, maybe it was fun for a while.

John: It may have been fun, but I think for the most part it probably was not.

Russ: It was a mistake.

John: It was. Right. Okay. This week in business history: In 1957, the WHAM-O Company produces the first Frisbee. Those of you who saw The Hudsucker Proxy and think Hudsucker Industries developed the Frisbee, you're wrong.

Russ: Yeah, Frisbee – are wrong.

John: It was this WHAM-O.

Russ: WHAM-O.

John: Right.

Russ: WHAM-O, who had previously introduced and announced the hula-hoop and had major success with that.

John: The hula-hoop, which also The Hudsucker Proxy, the Hudsucker company, so –

Russ: Claims that they did.

John: Claims they did it, but of course that's a movie and – you know.

Russ: Yeah. It's not that true.

John: You can't believe anything that comes outta Hollywood. That's for sure. This week in business history: In 1958, Jerry Lee Lewis, who I think at that time was married to a 12-year-old or something, "Great Balls of Fire." I don't know how old his wife was, but I think she was under 18. Let's put it that way.

Russ: And "Great Balls of Fire" reached number one during this week, right?

John: Yeah, right. Yeah, yeah. Right.

Russ: Well, what a song.

[Music: "Great Balls of Fire"]

John: Okay. This week in business history: In 1964, U.S. Surgeon General Luther Terry reports that smoking may be hazardous.

Russ: May be – 1964. We were just sort of figuring that out, I guess.

John: What's the purpose of the surgeon general anyway? They get to walk around in a nice Navy uniform.

Russ: Yeah. And why is it surgeon general? You know, surgery is a specific form of practicing medicine. Why isn't it just the doctor general?

John: I think it's a misnomer, okay?

Russ: I do, too.

John: 'Cause I think someone thought that the title was kinda fishy and they really meant sturgeon general. This week in business history: In 1964, American entrepreneur Jeff Bezos is born.

Russ: Man, what an entrepreneur he is.

John: All right, this week in business history: In 1969, seminal moment in the NFL. At Super Bowl III, the New York Jets beat the Baltimore Colts 16 to 7 in Miami. It was a big mistake to name Joe Namath the MVP 'cause according to the NFL record book, he threw for 206 yards, which is really no great shakes if you're gonna give someone the MVP, considering the fact that he was not a running quarterback, so he – virtually no rushing yards, and he didn't throw for any touchdowns.

Russ: But he engineered the winning team.

John: Well, he was a quarterback, okay? I don't think he called his own plays. Weeb Ewbank, who was the coach of the team, he called – yeah.

Russ: So who should have gotten it?

John: He – I think Matt Snell should have gotten the MVP 'cause he scored a touchdown and ran – rushed for 121 yards.

Russ: Okay, but he didn't wear those white shoes.

John: And he didn't make the prediction. The reason why Joe Namath got that MVP was he made that prediction, you know, a couple of days before the game.

Russ: And he was the coolest, most flamboyant quarterback of his time.

John: He was cool. He was cooler than Matt Snell. Right, right.

Russ: Yeah, he was. [Laughter] All right.

John: This week in business history: In 1971, All in the Family premiers on CBS, most notably for the – having the first toilet flush on television. See, what happened was Edna, his wife, would call, "Archie." And then you hear the toilet flush and then he'd walk out on stage or something. Yeah, yeah.

Russ: That's exactly right. Yeah. Interesting point.

John: This week in business history: In 1974, "The Joker" by Steve Miller – now there's a song that did hit No. 1.

Russ: Yes, it did. Yes, it's good.

[Music: "The Joker"]

John: This week in business history: In 1995, the murder trial against O. J. Simpson begins in Los Angeles.

Russ: Man, what a monumental moment that was.

John: It was a monumental moment. Now interesting thing – recently, a running back for the Tennessee Titans – Chris Johnson, I think his name is – entered into that exclusive pantheon of NFL rushers 'cause he rushed for over 2,000 yards. Now they also had pictures and the rushing yards of other football players, one of which was O. J. Simpson, who exceeded 2,000 yards. I had to do some exhaustive research to see if any of the yards in the Bronco chase – how many – if yardage in the Bronco chase –

Russ: Counted?

John: – was added to his total.

Russ: Was it?

John: No, no.

Russ: All right. Now were any of the others that have reached that pantheon – have they been accused of murder?

John: Well, I don't think so, but they may have been chased around in automobiles for whatever.

Russ: And so that wraps up this morning's history lesson.

John: That's enough.

Russ: Good job. Yeah, it was interesting and that brings us to Navigating Business Jargon. This is our vocabulary lesson where we go out and find new words, new acronyms, new techno-speak, and we are supposed to – required by contract to present it here in the contest format.

John: Yes, required by contract.

Russ: That's right, where I go out and select the word and then I say the word and then John tries his best to guess the meaning.

John: Yeah, right.

Russ: You ready?

John: I'm ready.

Russ: This morning's word is Palintologist.

John: Palintologist, okay. I think it has to do with Sara Palin, okay, not the – it's not the – someone who digs for fossils or something like that. So tologist is someone who studies Sarah Palin.

Russ: Ladies and gentlemen, hold your calls. We've got a winner.

John: Hey, how about that?

Russ: It's a person who studies or is fascinated by former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, Palintologist.

John: There you go.

Russ: So if you use that word in a social environment now, you'll –

John: You are a Palintologist.

Russ: You are. [Laughter] All right, and that brings us to dumb moments. Do you have a dumb business development for us?

John: Yeah, this is something that's brewing here. Well, you know about the full body scanners they're gonna start introducing in some of the international airports –

Russ: That's the newest thing. Yeah.

John: – because the underwear bomber got through and if you haven't seen some of the photos of what you're gonna look like when you're photographed in one of these scanners, it reveals everything. I mean everything.

Russ: That's right.

John: In Manchester Airport in Great Britain there's a 12-month trial of the full body scanner. Now the problem is people who are under 18 years of age are exempted.

Russ: And why is that?

John: Because of the child pornography law. You cannot take pictures of children – you know, they consider children anybody under 18. Now also this is a civil liberties issue because of – you know, everything's all there, you know, and this is gonna be a bonanza for tort lawyers because of the civil liberty issues and what happens, we all know that a lot of the terrorists attacks out on – over in the Middle East are sometimes committed by kids, you know. They –

Russ: Right, right. Probably by the time you're 18, you're too old to think, "Well, why would I wanna do that?"

John: Yeah, right. They take some 10-year-old and strap a bomb to him and say, "Walk into that room. There's some candy in there." And then the kid goes in there and boom, he's gone, so.

Russ: So we got a problem.

John: So all this money that's – these things cost about £80,000.00 in British, you know, currency to – and it's all for naught, you know.

Russ: Yeah. Wow.

John: I think what they ought to do is get MRI machines and then you just lay down and the conveyor belt takes you through there and not only can the airlines rest assured that there's no explosive going on but you can find out if you have cancer or heart disease or – this could probably be part of the healthcare bill, you know, that every time you get on an airline you get a free scan.

Russ: [Laughter] It's a great idea.

John: So maybe they ought to do that.

Russ: All right, good deal. All right. And before we wrap up this morning's School of Business, it's time for the very popular PKF Texas Entrepreneur's Playbook.

John: The guy's never late, always pleasant to deal with, always has good information for people.

Russ: Mr. Greg Price on the piano.

Greg: This is Greg Price with PKF Texas' Entrepreneur's Playbook.

One of the items I find at the heart of many communication breakdowns includes conversation around commitments and the ability to honor, or not meet these obligations. If your organization is having trouble with commitments, try this exercise.

Before giving a commitment to someone do this quick self assessment before offering a response. How do I assess the integrity of my commitment? I recommend a quick review of your sincerity.

With sincerity you should:

  1. Only make promises you intend to keep
  2. Believe you understand the commitment
  3. Believe you have the resources and skills to keep it
  4. Will apply your energy to the task at hand
  5. Do substantial planning to mitigate risk

You should honor your promises unconditionally. When you see the commitment is at risk you should:

  1. Alert the creditor immediately
  2. Apologize and offer an explanation
  3. Inquire about potential damages
  4. Negotiate strategies to minimize damages
  5. Recommit

Remember honoring your commitments doesn't necessarily mean fulfilling them. Commitments are always first broken ethically (integrity) before being broken effectively. The breaking point occurs when the committed person realizes the promise is at risk and decides to keep quiet about it.

In his book Conscious Business, Fred Kofman writes, "You behavior always express your values in action. Your integrity hinges on whether your values in action agree with your essential values. When they do you feel pride. When they don't you feel quilt."

To read and comment on the PKF Texas' Entrepreneur's Playbook, visit my blog, fromgregshead.com. PKF Texas the fit, that's right!

Russ: All right, and that wraps up this morning's School of Business. Stay tuned in for the Aflac BusinessMakers Flashback where we're featuring four of our favorite octogenarian guests on the show, followed by our featured guest segment where I'm gonna interview 22-year-old Anthony Broussard, iPhone game developer and founder and president of Quantum Potato Software Company, a young man who's been developing software since he was 12 years old. You're listening to the BusinessMakers Show heard here and online at thebusinessmakers.com.

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