Ready for winter driving?

We hear a lot about winter tires and their importance and nothing could be more important at this time of year.

However, there is more to winter driving than just tires. The important aspect of winter tires is that because your tires are round, the tiniest portion (contact patch) is in touch with the ground and we put a lot of faith in that. Here is a little more to focus on.

First, check out this video of rally driving in the winter: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Onyg-rEWHI

Our belief is that we cannot drive quickly in the winter because there is very little traction. I guess you now know that is not true. So what can be the big difference?

It is almost one word, concentration. Given that we understand there is no such thing as an automobile accident, they are more fairly understood as unintentional crashes, largely because of a lapse in concentration. 

Whether someone swings into your line, you have a blow out or lose traction on the ice, there are ways to manage the corresponding results.

For these drivers to drive at this speed on lose traction surfaces, it requires the utmost in concentration.

Now, if you stick a coffee in one hand, a cell phone in the other, the radio on full blast with some passengers talking to you about a myriad number of topics unrelated to driving safely, do you consider yourself to be concentrating? 

Of course, the answer can only be no. In our driver-training courses that we run this can be easily demonstrated with a test called a distracted slalom. 

The immense concentration can even compensate for something going wrong on the car. But to be fair, the reason rally drivers are going so fast is because of a very well setup suspension and steering system and they have thoroughly learned to understand vehicle dynamics. 

To get through the winter safely, I would certainly visit a local BigO tire store, get your tires and wheel alignment checked out and make sure your car is in the best possible condition for winter driving — it’s days away.

If you want to see some fast winter driving locally, check out bigwhiterally.com and mark your calendar for the first weekend of December.

Stay safe.


Under my leadership

It is a really interesting time to read headlines in B.C. with the municipal-election campaigns under way. 

While Kelowna is fraught with accusations of Trumpian style campaigning, it is interesting to see the positioning of individual candidates. 

With a little experience in municipal politics, I was interested to read comments that pertained to a candidate's “leadership." In other words, because of “their leadership,” so much was achieved. 

It is true that a talented, inspirational leader can claim successes, but a true leader will give credit to the team and take the blame for failures.

I guess it is the time of year, but now we see the bravado of a campaign emerging for example: "because 'I' did this, you benefitted." 

What I actually found in my short career in politics (a very badly paid career) is that while mayors may spend more time in the office and have a leadership role in crafting administrative agendas, their vote means very little unless council deliberations end up in a hung vote.

In other words, mayors are tie breakers.

The role of the leader (mayor) in a municipal council in my humble opinion is to assist in creating consensus amongst a diverse set of individuals. 

Where is credit due? Your guess is as good as mine.

A person's track record speaks more about their success than their words. So let someone's actions speak louder than their words. If they can build consensus, they will be viewed as good leaders because of their team’s successes.

The statement “under my leadership” is redundant.

Trump's tax troubles

I arrived back from another trip to the U.S. today and must admit it was a little overwhelming to be there and turn on the TV to see nothing but Donald Trump coverage.

It was either rampantly supportive or equally as negative. What is for sure, by design or by accident, Trump is a master of TV ratings and many media outlets are having a serious bump in viewership as a result.

I was stunned by the reference to the recent New York Times article with two words associated with the reporting – tax evasion.

To qualify right up front, you will, if you get caught, very likely face an unsettling future including possible jail time if you evade taxes. 

Journalist speaking about the article were saying everything that Trump had done was tax evasion. Of course, it makes a good headline, just like New York Times article, but in fact, from what I read, it is not at all true. 

The challenge in my mind comes from the fact that the word evade and avoid sound very similar and may be defined similarly, but in tax law, they are quite different.

It is the word “avoid” that is an inappropriate descriptor.

Evading taxes is illegal. It is ignoring your legal liability to the taxman. It is illegally structuring systems that hide taxable income and incorporates elements of tax management that are considered illegal.

Avoiding taxes is quite the opposite. It is sound management of your financial affairs within the context and the regulations of the tax system. 

One example was the Trump family setting up an intermediate logistics company to source, purchase and supply their real estate company with products required on a day-to-day basis for the efficient running of the real estate empire.

The commentators were stating that this is a classical tax-evasion ploy used by rich people around the world to hide money and make more money. 

Two things that rub me the wrong way are:

  • this is likely not evasion (not knowing all of the facts makes it hard to make the determination), it sounds extremely reasonable and plausible.
  • it is not only “rich” people, it is sensible people who have a professional accountant advising them on how to manage their tax affairs.

While I would not be surprised if there were all kinds of erroneous accounting within Trump’s affairs, the only conclusion you could draw from the article in my mind is that Trump is not as much a self-made billionaire as he would have us believe — and that is not new news.

What is even more interesting is that the news anchors talk about "those rich people” as if the anchors themselves eat in the same restaurants as you and I (normal people!) do.

They live in New York or Washington and with salaries as high as $15 million, so you can bet they have a professional accountant and a few tax structures that “all of those rich people” use.

And they eat in the most expensive restaurants in town.



Hate the likers!

Many years ago, I wrote my very first jazz composition. It was for my future wife, and it was titled Love to Hayter.

Of course, when it was announced over a microphone, it caused everybody to cringe until they found out it was my wife’s maiden name. 

Similarly, I now find I dislike Likers.

The word “like” has become so pervasive in our younger generations' spoken language that I cringe when I am sitting next to a table of teenagers, or even millennials, conversing.

It is so bad that I like catch myself like using like too much. Quit it.

It shouldn’t be there and don’t tell me to get over it. 

An example of using like unnecessarily is the following sentence:

  • “So, I was like at this film screening, like the other night, and like the moderator used the word “like” I was so like horrified that somebody from like stage would use the word like.”

A dictionary definition of like may be 

  • 1. having the same characteristics or qualities as; similar to."There were other suits like mine in the shop."

In fact, if we changed like to similar, which is like kind of the same, we get the following sentence:

  • “So I was similar to at this film screening, similar to the other night and similar to the moderator used the word like I was so similar to horrified that somebody from similar to stage would use the word like.

See how completely and utterly redundant it like is.

Stop it.

More It's All About . . . articles

About the Author

Mark has been an entrepreneur for over forty years. His experience spans many commercial sectors and aspects of business. He was one of the youngest people to be appointed as a Fellow of the prestigious Institute of Sales and Marketing Management before he left the UK in 1988.

His column focuses on ways we can improve on success in our lives. Whether it is business, relationships, or health, Mark has a well-rounded perspective on how to stay focused for growth and development.

His influences come from the various travels he undertakes as an adventurer, philanthropist and keynote speaker. More information can be found on Mark at his website www.markjenningsbates.com

He is a Venture Partner with www.DutchOracle.com a global Alternative Investment company.

Mark Jennings-Bates:
[email protected]

Photo credit: www.SteveAustin.ca 

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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