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Newt Gingrich’s role as House Speaker was during Clinton”s administration. His Ph.D. in American history wasn’t left in his hometown — nor were his visionary leadership skills.

Following his highly successful and effective Contract with America, he created curricula for a lesser-known yet highly-successful series of courses at Georgia’s Reinhardt University called “Renewing American Civilization” — a general topic well worth revisiting today.

His curricula were based on his series called “Five Pillars of American Civilization,” which are:

1. The Historic Lessons of American Civilization and the use of history for analysis and problem solving.

2. Personal Strength, the Key Pillar of American Civilization and Peter Drucker’s “Effective Executive.”

3. Entrepreneurial Free Enterprise as the great producer of wealth, solutions and opportunities.

4. The Spirit of Invention and Discovery, and the development of pragmatism and practical common sense as key characteristics and contributors to American Civilization.

5. Quality as defined by Dr. W. Edwards Deming; customer orientation, teamwork, continuous improvement, systems analysis and the spirit of Deming.

The first four pillars are well known and easily accessed. It’s No. 5 that needs explanation. Today, we call this discipline “Lean, Six Sigma."

Kern County is heavily invested in LSS disciplines — with a great return on that investment. Simply review their dashboard at www.launchkern.com. The city of Bakersfield is lagging in this respect and needs to “join the club” for the benefit of all — city management, staff, and, of course, taxpayers!

Both the state of California and our federal government — all branches — need to do so as well.

A few years ago, at a CSUB economic conference, an Air Force General at Edwards AFB confirmed to me that LSS is a key element in our military culture. For them, he said, it’s applied automatically and universally within our military.

So, what steps do local, state and federal governments need to take to inculcate this discipline into their respective cultures? Fortunately, it’s not “rocket science” — as they now say in our country’s new Space Force!

Dr. Deming passed away almost 30 years ago — yet his “Total Quality Management” has evolved into “Lean, Six Sigma” with underlying principles unchanged.

“Lean” means eliminating waste. “Six Sigma” means continuously improving systems and their processes with the goal of reducing defects to 3.4 per million opportunities. “Zero defects” is unrealistic. We are fallible human beings.

You can readily visualize how different — and greatly improved — our federal government would be if most bureaucratic waste were eliminated and the time and accuracy of bureaucratic processes were verifiably faster, better and cheaper!

Our local member of Congress, Kevin McCarthy, as House Minority Leader, should begin preparation now for his likely elevation to Speaker after the 2022 midterm elections. The House of Representatives would be an ideal branch of government for McCarthy to initiate LSS. (He should also draft a contemporary “Contract with America!”)

McCarthy should confer immediately with our Kern County CAO, Ryan Alsop, whose leadership is an outstanding example of public entity LSS implementation and effectiveness. Then, McCarthy would be well advised to consult with LSS “Master Black Belts” — experts in LSS — in Washington, D.C., for added counsel before and after his elevation to Speaker.

Think how this leadership action would reduce the size of our federal bureaucracy and yet increase its effectiveness simultaneously! Once integrated into the House’s culture, this effort should move to the Senate and ultimately to the Executive Branch where it’s direly needed.

LSS also should be implemented in state and local governments across “our fruited plain” — as well as increased within our private sector — to transform our nation into an example for the rest of the world to emulate!

Gingrich correctly defined all five pillars. No. 5 Quality is especially needed to reduce our constitution-defined federal government to its proper size and scope — yet with increased effectiveness.

Visionary leadership combined with LSS are all that’s required to make this happen.

John Pryor is a local management consultant and author of “Quality Risk Management Fieldbook” published by International Risk Management Institute in Dallas. It combines the disciplines of Risk Management with those of Quality Management (Lean Six Sigma) for successful business and governmental leadership.