Words of Advice from Patton

I think it was in December of 1970 when I first became aware of US Army General George S. Patton. The movie my friend and I wanted to see was sold out, so we watched Patton instead. I was both entertained and captivated by the movie, and through the years, have learned more about the man, using his philosophy in past columns, training sessions and the like. With that background, let me share with you some of the quotes that ...

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What must change next year?

If you are like many individuals, you are already thinking ahead to 2018.

You are likely thinking that you want to have a better year than this year, because you have taken time to carefully consider what you want to accomplish.

Your goals might be considered “SMART,” which stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time bound.

If your goals have not included these criteria you might want to consider some editing and fine-tuning to make to be more clear.

Business goals are great ...

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Four reflections before Christmas

It’s been an interesting month for me and I want to share it.

First, and very sadly, I learned of the continuing deterioration in the health of an employee working at one of my clients. While the doctors are still treating her, which is a very hopeful sign, she has, unfortunately, spent more time in the hospital lately than at home.

This is a very special individual to me; during my battle with cancer in 2016, she was one of what I ...

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There is only one way to lead

Through the years I have been a son, brother, cousin, uncle, student, employee, supervisor, manager, director, college professor, husband, father, grandfather, neighbor, friend, best man, non-profit board member and business owner.

All were positions of great importance. Each in its own way was a leadership position.

I’ve had the pleasure of reading many books by and about leaders and leadership, many of which I’ve shared with you in my weekly columns during the course of the last twenty years. The books have ...

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The real world explained for business critics

I run peer groups of business owners and CEOs. My clients are intelligent, articulate and committed individuals.

We meet each month for half a day. Each person who attends makes a sacrifice of time, money and in opportunity cost to attend. As I facilitate the meeting, I am well aware of all the things running through the minds of those seated around the table. Often, lengthy “to do” lists are scratched out during the course of our meetings.

Each person attends to ...

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Thoughts on the Thanksgiving holiday, 2017

In just a few short days, it will Thanksgiving Day, followed by the holiday shopping frenzy. Analysts predict this will be the best holiday shopping cycle for retailers in years.

As we hit the first speed bump on the road to the end of the year, some businesses are already slowing down, wrapping things up and are preparing for a fast start in the next calendar year.

Other companies remain busy, including those in retail, restaurants, airlines, shipping companies and grocery outlets, ...

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Four times when risk was rewarded

More than fifty years ago, key family members who owned a business worked with an advisor to develop a growth plan to expand their manufacturing facility. When the plan, including financial projections, was finished, they made an appointment with a loan officer of a major bank.

The loan officer took one look at the financial statements and told them to sell the assets and close the business because they would never make a go of it, despite having already been in ...

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Quit fighting and start delivering

It isn’t the prospect that kills the spirit of someone in sales. Nor is it the lack of trying that stops the forward progress of a project, or the size of the raise that kills an engaged employee’s initiative.

What grinds organizations to a halt is the battle that many companies find themselves in.

pogpCompanies today aren’t fighting the competition, they are fighting themselves. As the ...

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Ten tasks to tackle in the next two months

Halloween officially reminds us that only two months remain in the year. Yet those in Entrepreneurial America know that now is the time to get things done for a great year end. Focus returns to achieving goals set at the beginning of the year.

Two months is plenty of time to turn things around and make your numbers before the end of the year. Here is the recipe for doing just that.

First, get employees back on the regular schedule. Summer and ...

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When Stubborn Becomes Stupid

This is a true story of a business I advised. It illustrates that sometimes being stubborn, an oft-admired trait in the business world, often leads to unexpected and unintended consequences.

The company, a family business, had been around for a number of years, in a mature industry. It had grown big enough to survive economic ups and downs, yet its saving grace was its business model. The company signed long term contracts with clients, who in turn sold to consumers.

When this ...

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