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Trusting your staff and listening to others.

This month's edition includes a few stories about the importance of learning to trust your staff when making decisions about what to do next.

It's a high-risk decision and one that many of us over-controlling business types often get wrong.

For example, I was highly suspect of the business value of an article on the "Write on the River" group. Too artsy, too introverted, and what did this group of creative dreamers have to offer to us cold hearted and insensitive money launderers?

Of course, all of that is a gross mischaracterization of both groups. But it was not without some trepidation that I allowed my highly talented editor to pursue the story.

Having read her work here (see story, page 8) I have to admit that I found reinforcement for the old business maxim that recommends we listen carefully to others.

What she has produced is not only a credit to the grit, determination and entrepreneurship of those who dig deep into their personal passions and skills to produce something of economic value, but it is a reminder to all of us that our personal success is often found in listening. Listening not just to ourselves, our competitors and our customers, but also to our employees.

For me personally, I would say that writing was not my first passion. In fact, I am one of those steely-eyed accountants whose education was more about making sure the debits and credits are equal.

Somewhere along the line I found myself in the publishing business working with muddleheaded writers who couldn't care less about whether the ledgers balanced, but who found great inspiration in making some of the most boring stories interesting and compelling.

My editor has written a piece that shows behind all of the cliches and stereotypes is a group of individuals who are not unlike small business owners who strive to turn their own vision and personal passion into a viable economic enterprise.

Despite what most people who have never stepped out on their own journey believe, most will not become those rich, small business owners often maligned in the public forums. But those of us who have made the leap often find out that listening to others often results in remarkably improved results.

It's a good read and an event I should probably attend.

Also this month we present the results of this year's WBJ Readers' Choice Awards (page 4). It is always amazing to me that we don't have more ties than we do, but this year we had a couple of categories where the number of ties prevented a decisive winner. I'm leaving it up to my talented editor to devise a way to resolve this dilemma.

Our business tools section (page 18-19) includes an update on the pending impact to business owners from ObamaCare which is scheduled for full implementation beginning next year. While it is still a year away, the impacts and decisions business owners will have to make are complex. You need to start now to plan for this new program that will have a major impact on all businesses.

Because of our continuing effort to include more material from our local business community, I have had to cut my opinion column for lack of space.

I will be working to post regular opinion columns on the website.

Current government policies are having a major impact on small business both from Olympia and from Washington, D.C. I will also include Don Brunell, of the Association of Washington Business column, which is almost always a good read.

I encourage others to post comments or submit their own stories about the impact of the anti-business climate that is rampant among our politicians.

We can't all know how these mandated regulations and government rules are affecting your individual business and since our legislators and agency heads don't seem a bit concerned about that, we must make sure that our fellow business leaders are aware.

As Benjamin Franklin once said, "Gentlemen we must all hang together or we shall most assuredly all hang separately." From the very beginnings of this nation our founding fathers recognized the dangers of an over-intrusive government. Many of our citizens have forgotten that lesson. The power of the pen has been replaced by the computer keyboard, so weigh in and let us all know what we need to be telling our elected representatives about the course we are on.

Finally, the interview with the Pybus Market group (page 5) is a thorough review of how that deal came together and where it stands today.

It's a good read and we hope the project is successful.
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Article Details
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Author:Forhan, Bill
Publication:Wenatchee Business Journal
Article Type:Column
Geographic Code:1U9WA
Date:Feb 1, 2013
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