- June 9, 2012
- Posted by: Stephen Johnson
- Category: Vistage
“Success seems to be connected with action.
Successful men keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.”
Conrad Hilton, founder
No Sense Clinging to A Golden Age”
Abraham Lincoln liked to tell the story of a wise man who was asked to make a prediction that would be true at all times and under all circumstances. The sage responded: “This Too Shall Change.” British Entrepreneur and Financial Times Columnist Luke Johnson reflects on the dangers of nostalgia for the entrepreneur and executive and warns that there is “No Sense Clinging to A Golden Age.”
There’s also no sense in staying with a business model that doesn’t work as technology involves. The pace of change is accelerating, as Kodak discovered entirely too slowly. I challenge business owners to ask themselves two questions when they think they might be at the end of a “golden age” for their business:
1) If you weren’t already in the business you are in, would you enter it today?
2) If the answer to 1) is “no,” what are you doing about that?
Heading Inflation Off at the Pass:
If you need further convincing about inflation, Vistage Staff Economist Alan Beaulieur cites the fact that investors in TIPS (Treasury Inflation Protected Securities) are Buying at a Negative Yield as additional evidence that decision makers and investors are increasingly more worried about protecting principal than capital gains (Alan also provides some great management advice, as always, on what CEOs should do about it.)
Smartest Guy in the Room Need Not Apply:
The Essential Entrepreneurial Trait?
Steven Jobs, Bill Gates, Oprah, Larry Ellison….successful entrepreneurs always seem to be the “smartest guy in the room”….or are these exceptions to a much more widely shared characteristic of successful entrepreneurs? Click here and find out if you have one surprising sign that you’re cut out to be an entrepreneur.
One of my members made the observation that he “was not even close to being the best or smartest student in his major in college.” But he was the “best businessman.” Amazing how the boss is not necessarily the technical giant, but is necessarily the leadership giant. What are you doing to become the best leader you can be?
“Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish” : Author’s postscript to the Steve Jobs Bio.
Since its release in late 2011, Walter Isaacsons’ wildly successful biography of Steve Jobs has been noteworthy for its revelation of Apple’s founder as a visionary with far more rough edges in dealing with his people than the user friendly nature of his products would suggest.
Isaacson recently penned an article for the Harvard Business Review in which he urges us to focus less on Job’s people skills and more on what he calls the “14 imperatives” that he finds in Jobs approach to building a great company; among them “Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish.” This article, The Real Leadership Lessons of Steve Jobs, appears to a free download, but if not it is worth the $6.95 you’ll pay for it.
14 Imperatives are too many to work on at one time. So what are your top three to start with? Mine are: 1) Focus 2) Tolerate only “A” players and 3) Take Responsibility End-to-End. I challenge you to figure out the one, two or three things that will make the most difference in your company, practice those three daily until they become habits, and then keep adding another skill or imperative one at a time until you’ve grown into the CEO you need to be.