Mr. Buffett. In our own businesses we should find competent employees

Over the past few days, many of us read or at least heard commentary on Mr. Buffett's letter to the shareholders of the investment firm he manages, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK) We found out that he was disappointed with his company's "subpar" value increase of only 14.4%. Wow, most of the cash located in our bank accounts, barely does 1% and you are lucky to get 5% from most other investments, which carry much more risk. Almost anyone would love to be able to get a 14% return on their investments.
On a dissimilar note, we look at the diminishing fortunes of the Dallas Cowboys and their owner, Jerry Jones. Although Mr. Jones has won financial success, he has not enjoyed as much success on the field in recent years, which eventually will lead to dismal earnings for his football team.
Why has Mr. Buffett been so successful over the 48 years he has been managing his firm, while Mr. Jones has done so poorly? They are both successful, in terms of wealth, and they both manage well respected organizations. But there is a big difference in their style of management. Mr. Buffett manages from afar, while Mr. Jones manages with a microscope. Mr. Buffett looks at the big picture, while Mr. Jones looks at each and every detail. Sometimes I am surprised to see Mr. Jones in his owner's suite and not on the field calling every single play.
When reading the BRK shareholder letter, we read numerous congratulatory comments and thanks to several different operating managers. Mr. Buffett finds companies that are well run and sits back and watches them perform. He has well defined incentive plans in place that allow the individual managers to run the show however they feel inclined and then reward those managers for their accomplishments and success.
He looks at monthly, quarterly and annual financial information and analysis and studies the overall picture very carefully, then may adjust or persuade the individual managers to fine tune a thing here or an item there. But he is mostly a hands-off owner.
Maybe we all can learn something from Mr. Buffett. In our own businesses we should find competent employees and managers and allow them to implement their ideas, after all, they are the hands on people involved in the various processes, divisions, product lines and such. One person cannot do it all. Mr. Jones cannot be owner, general manager, coach and whatever and find long term success. It will not work. That type of system is doomed to fail at some point.
Randal Roberts has over 30 years of commercial and international banking experience. He has helped more than 2,500 different companies with their businesses. He is willing to help you find the resources you need to start your own business or improve the one that you already have. Visit [] for more information.

Two all-inclusive trips for four to Jamaica

Sweeeeet! Baskin-Robbins, the world's largest chain of ice cream specialty stores, is blasting into summer with a selection of new and refreshing frozen treats in celebration of Sony Pictures Animation's animated action-comedy Surf's Up, in theaters June 8, 2007. Baskin-Robbins is introducing seven gnarly surfing-themed frozen treats to get ice cream lovers geared up for summer. Baskin-Robbins is also making a splash from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean with a mobile tour and the Big Wave Instant Win Game.
Baskin-Robbins is creating a frenzy of excitement this summer with its new tubular Surf's Up inspired flavors, Penguin Swirl and Splish Splash(TM). Ice cream lovers will go wild for the flavors' unique colors, as the black ice cream and blue sherbet turns tongues penguin black and ocean blue within the first lick. In addition, consumers can cool-off with one of Baskin-Robbins refreshing new Fruit Blast Smoothies, a combination of real fruit and non-fat frozen yogurt, available in a variety of new and exotic fruit flavors like Berry Pomegranate Banana.
"Baskin-Robbins is going back to its California roots to bring summer fun to its customers," said Scott Colwell, Baskin-Robbins' vice president of marketing. "We are excited to kick-off our mobile tour and help ice cream enthusiasts sweeten their day with our refreshing new treats."
Surf's Up Ice Cream Treats
This summer Baskin-Robbins invites dudes and dudettes to dive into summer with some irresistible ice cold treats. Baskin-Robbins Surf's Up ice cream and frozen treats are available at participating stores nationwide now through August 19, 2007, while supplies last.
o Penguin Swirl: A swirl of black Mixed Berry ice cream and white Tutti Fruiti ice.
o Splish Splash(TM): A refreshing blend of Blue Raspberry sherbet swirled with Blueberry ice.
o Fruit Blast Smoothie: Real fruit blended with non-fat frozen yogurt blasts a smooth and satisfying flavor. Available in new Berry Pomegranate Banana, Strawberry-Banana and Mango.
o Fruit Blast: Real fruit blended with ice, blasts a refreshing bold and intense flavor. Available in new Berry Pomegranate, new Blue Raspberry, Strawberry-Citrus, and Wild Mango.
o Penguin Cone: A frosted penguin leaning up against a palm tree is a refreshing change to Baskin-Robbins single scoop of ice cream in a sugar cone.
o Surf's Up Sundae: Beat the heat with a tropical treat! Very Berry Strawberry, World Class® Chocolate and Nutty Coconut ice creams layered with pineapple topping and crushed graham cracker, topped with whipped cream, half a banana and a Surf's Up chocolate bar.
o Surf's Up Ice Cream Cake: A full sheet cake transformed into a beach scene, complete with Cody and Tank riding the waves. Available in Baskin-Robbins new Fudge Crunch Cake, a layer of fudge and chocolate crunchies in between two layers of ice cream.
Catch a Wave and Win
To create an even bigger splash this summer, Baskin-Robbins has created the Big Wave Instant Win Game online. Contestants can visit or to view scenes from Surf's Up and see if Cody Maverick successfully rides the wave. When Cody hangs ten, the contestant wins! If Cody wipes out, consumers receive a coupon offer for Fruit Blast Smoothies and can come back again the next day for a chance to win. Consumers can play each day through July 31, 2007 for a chance to win Baskin-Robbins coupons and many exciting prizes including:
A trip for four to the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Honolulu
Baskin-Robbins Treats for a year
Surf's Up video games, DVDs and more!
In addition to the Big Wave Instant Win Game, the Web site offers even more Surf's Up inspired fun including the Gnarly Name Generator , downloadable Surf's Up wallpaper, screen savers, buddy icons, a mini-version of the Surf's Up video game by Ubisoft and more.
Flavor History and Innovation
Baskin-Robbins has created more than 1,000 ice cream flavors over the past 61 years, many inspired by fashions, people, events in time and pop culture trends. Baskin-Robbins continues to be the leader in ice cream flavor innovation by consistently introducing new ice cream flavors to its extensive flavor library. The iconic brand is committed to delighting taste buds of all ages with exciting new and traditional menu options.
About Baskin-Robbins
Baskin-Robbins, the world's largest chain of ice cream specialty shops, creates and markets innovative, high-quality ice cream, specialty frozen desserts and beverages in more than 5,600 retail shops around the globe. Baskin-Robbins was founded by two ice cream enthusiasts whose passion led to the creation of more than 1,000 ice cream flavors and a wide variety of delicious treats. Headquartered in Canton, Mass., Baskin-Robbins is part of the Dunkin' Brands, Inc. family of companies. For further information, visit
About Surf's Up
Surf's Up is an animated action-comedy that delves behind the scenes of the high-octane world of competitive surfing. The film profiles teenage Rockhopper penguin Cody Maverick (Shia LaBeouf), an up-and-coming surfer, as he enters his first pro competition. Followed by a camera crew to document his experiences, Cody leaves his family and home in Shiverpool, Antarctica to travel to Pen Gu Island for the Big Z Memorial Surf Off. Along the way, Cody meets Sheboygan surfer Chicken Joe (Jon Heder), famous surf promoter Reggie Belafonte (James Woods), surf talent scout Mikey Abromowitz (Mario Cantone), and spirited lifeguard Lani Aliikai (Zooey Deschanel), all of whom recognize Cody's passion for surfing, even if it's a bit misguided at times. Cody believes that winning will bring him the admiration and respect he desires, but when he unexpectedly comes face-to-face with a washed-up old surfer (Jeff Bridges), Cody begins to find his own way, and discovers that a true winner isn't always the one who comes in first.
About Columbia Pictures:
Columbia Pictures, part of the Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, is a Sony Pictures Entertainment company. Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America (SCA), a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE's global operations encompass motion picture production and distribution; television production and distribution; digital content creation and distribution; worldwide channel investments; home entertainment acquisition and distribution; operation of studio facilities; development of new entertainment products, services and technologies; and distribution of filmed entertainment in 67 countries. Sony Pictures Entertainment can be found on the World Wide Web at
About Sony Pictures Animation:
Sony Pictures Animation was established in May 2002 to enable Sony Pictures Entertainment to tap into the vast imagination of the creative community, develop characters and stories that are best realized through digital production and bring entertainment for audiences of all ages to the screen. The division's first film, Open Season, was released in September, 2006. Sony Pictures Animation currently is in production on Surf's Up (due in theaters June 8, 2007) and Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs (spring 2009).