You would have to have been marooned on a desert island not to have heard or read about the collapse of so many large organizations over the last several months. For me there is an incredible amount of irony in this situation.
For the last several years I have consulted with several companies, most of which are under $15M in annual revenue. Some of the companies have direct salespeople in the field, some have reps on the phone and some sell their products through distributors. The companies range from insurance to shipping products to marina products and software. If that isn’t a cross section of Americana business I don’t know what is!
The owners range in age from 40ish to 67. All of them have a college degree and one has a Masters degree. If you were to pass them on the street there is nothing about any of them that would blow you away. They are all regular people. (Sorry guys!) There are no Armani suits, hand-stitched Italian loafers, or monogrammed shirts. However, they all have certain things in common:
- They run tight financials.
- They know their markets and the competition.
- They hire people who understand the culture of their company. (No primadonnas need apply!)
- They take risks that make business, economic and social sense.
- Their egos are in check.
- They understand one of the most sacrosanct of all business philosophies-relationships build customer loyalty.
- Their surroundings are a tribute to Office Max.
- They only want to hear the truth!
- None of them have golden parachutes!
I really respect these guys! They are a pleasure to work with because I don’t have to play any games when I share my opinions with them. If they don’t agree with what I have to say we discuss it like two adults. The dialogue is strictly business focused with attention to costs as they relate to future revenue.
I’m not in the habit of pointing figures and laying blame on the big kahunas that are responsible for so much economic stupidity. There is enough of that going on in the media so you don’t need a dose from me. The interesting thing is this. People at the top of the business food chain will make even more money if they do it with even a nod to social consciousness. My word of caution to the “grabbers” is this: what goes around comes around and it never ever fails!
The Final Thought: “Don’t let your ego write checks your body can’t cash.” Unknown