I’m writing this article on my way home from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I spent a week here meeting several dozen CEOs who run mid-size businesses in the area.
The weather and people were great (actually warmer than San Francisco go figure!) and I discovered entire new industries I didn’t even know existed.
In my conversations, the topic of economic woes of Greece came up.
Here’s the gist of the Greek economic crisis.
The government borrowed a ton of money, gave it away to its citizens. Lenders wised up to this and refused to refinance government debts. Now Greece doesn’t have enough cash to pay loans that are due in the next 30 days (and can’t refinance those loans because their credit rating is now shot).
Meanwhile, Greek workers are protesting in the streets because they don’t want the government to cut back on entitlement programs.
Here’s my favorite one:
When you turn 59 years of age in Greece, you get paid a pension (sort of like our Social Security) that pays you 90% of your salary for life.
How can Greece possible afford to do this?
What I find quite galling is how Greek citizens are protesting the inevitable financial cutbacks.
This is a like a bunch of teenagers living it up and enjoying the party, and then complaining that they have a hangover the next day — and protesting because of it.
Hey, if you’re willing to enjoy the benefits, you need to be willing to deal with consequences. Pure and simple.
The Greek protesters are completely divorced from reality.
It’s not illegal to be a dumb politician.
It’s not illegal to vote for a dumb politician.
But if you do, don’t complain about it later.
In short, the Greek protesters are in complete and utter DENIAL.
It’s pretty hard to solve one’s problems, if you deny they actually exist. This is true for consumers and CEOs a like.
The ability to brutally confront the factual reality of one’s current situation (or predicament as the case may be) IS a serious competitive advantage in today’s economy.
And trust me when I say this ability is extremely short supply.
Don’t let denial get the better of you. Just man up (or woman up) as the case may be, and deal with it.