The process, or more
fitting, the mindset I recommend to individuals who want to start a business
should actually be implemented long before they hang out their shingle. Before starting a consulting firm or business
that depends on your personal reputation it’s to your advantage to make sure
your personal brand is already known, carries influence, and inspires trust. That means building and nurturing your
personal brand and network must be top-of-mind from the very beginning of your
career, even while you are still working for someone else.
My great-great-great-great grandfather
John See was in winter quarters at Valley Forge with Washington. When John was only 8 years old his
father was killed at the Muddy Creek massacre in Greenbriar Co., Virginia in a
conflict with Native Americans. My great grandfather homesteaded on the
eastern plains of Colorado where my grandfather was born in a sod cabin. My parents were raised on farms in central
Iowa and northern Missouri. Neither had
indoor plumbing and my mom did not have electricity.
Is the freedom to fail a myth at your
company? Can you name one person in your
organization that has had major visible failure? If so, is that person still employed
there? If they are, is their career
still on track? If your business culture
is risk adverse you may not be able to name even one person.
Oh sure, you’ve read plenty of success
stories in which the protagonist had to “overcome challenges.” But I’m not talking about mere challenges
that surfaced in a situation that ultimately was marked as an accomplishment.
When our children were young and still
living at home my wife and I would “delegate” some of the household
chores. Cleaning bathrooms, vacuuming,
mowing the lawn and other duties were performed in exchange for
allowances. Their efforts did not always
produce spectacular results, but the tasks were accomplished for the most part,
and life lessons passed on.
and development of people is the highest calling of leadership. ~ Harvey S.
When we became empty nesters we decided
to delegate some of those chores to outsiders.
been a real professional during this process; I’ve grown to trust you, and I honestly
like you. You’re going to get this order. That is, if you don’t mess it up at
It was early in my sales career and I was
sitting across the desk from my client, a bank president. It was a complex solution situation that had
been playing out for months. He was finally
holding my sales contract, valued at over one million. This deal would make my numbers for the year,
secure a promotion, and I was replacing a competitive system, making the win as
sweet as they come.
West, young man" is aphrase often credited
to the American author Horace Greeley
concerning America's expansion westward, related to the then-popular concept of
Manifest Destiny. My great grandfather traveled west to homestead on the Great
Plains. That’s where my grandfather was born - in a sod cabin. I’m not old as
dirt, but I am a trailing edge baby boomer with both pre-digital and digital
world footprint. That makes me a “digital immigrant
,” while my children, all born after
1980, are considered “digital natives.
Does your company encourage questioning in any substantive way? If
so, does your company provide any training programs focused on guidelines and
best practices for questioning? In
truth, many companies, whether consciously or not, have established cultures
that tend to discourage inquiry in the form of someone’s asking “Why are we
doing this?” The impulse is to keep
plowing ahead, doing what we’ve done, and rarely stepping back to question
whether we’re on the right path.
According to Socrates, “Wisdom is limited to an awareness of your
I’m where I am today because of the 1980’s
oil crash. If not for the oil crash I
may not have gone on to get my MBA. If
not for the crash I probably would not have ventured into the technology
industry, first with NCR Corporation and then other organizations. For that matter I may not have moved to Ohio.
I was from Iowa, in the heart of the
corn patch. But after completing my BBA
in 1981 from Abilene Christian University I could see that the West Texas oil
patch was booming.