Bruce Blessington

Common Sense Commentary
    • Business
    • Leadership 
    • Finance


Reading List

Good to Great 
Jim Collins
(Harper Business)

The West Point Way of Leadership
Col. Larry R. Donnithorne (Ret.)

Why Common Sense?
The empty chairs and empty table could well symbolize the absence of common sense that has gotten us into our present, global economic pickle. Some business managers, boards of directors, government officials and families seem to have forgotten important fundamental pronciples in a near mindless pursuit of gain and goods. Fortunately, this is the behavior of some but not all.

How is it that in these difficult times certain business organizations not only survive but even prosper? Despite the odor of scandalous risk management and compensation practices wafting out of some boardrooms, there are many directors who consistently discharge both their fiduciary responsibilities to their shareholders and their obligations to all stakeholders. They just don't get the same number of column inches in the Wall Street Journal as the scoundrels. Similarly in government, despite what the cynics would have you believe, there actually are state and federal  officials who do their best to serve the taxpayers. And, there are many American households where a bigger home, a newer, more upmarket car and toys of both the adult and juvenile variety are not top priority. These families don't have $25,000 in credit card debt either.


So what's the theme here? I would suggest to you, dear visitor, that these positive role models subscribe to some fundamental principles of management, leadership and personal discipline that we would all recognize as being grounded in plain old common sense. Forgive me for listing a few examples. If you shout "of course!" after reading the succeeding paragraphs you will have made my point; they are indeed quite commonsensical.

Integrity is fundamental to achieving enduring success.
No organization can last if integrity is not part of its cultural DNA. From business to families, high ethical standards are the foundation for achievement.

It's not all about  me. Subordinating oneself to the goals of the organization, team, country or family produces a better result than elbowing one's way to the front of life's queue. When the larger entity succeeds, everybody wins.


Leadership is best practiced from the front, by example. Marines aren't the only leaders who need to be visible, accessible and encouraging their troops to "follow me" (and my example). Cynicism replaces motivation when leaders "talk the talk" but don't "walk the walk".

Don't  Invest in stuff you don't understand.

From Enron to Madoff there’s a legion of smart people who lost a ton of money because they didn’t understand the enterprise in which they were investing.


In these pages, I hope to provide some thought provoking writings on business, leadership and finance with a theme of common sense. I hope you will favor me with contributions of your own.