By Sid Chadwick
“I want you to provide Earl coaching to be successful with business development ……without that….his probability for success…. owning this company, any company… is not good…”…………President, Regarding His Company’s Future
Earl had become a “comfortable” Customer Service Department supervisor at his employer. However, his company president….was not wired….for comfort. His legacy included development of a series of successful local publications --- which were successfully sold, providing a long-term income for his family.
While accomplishing that, he’d continued his commercial printing operation, and in the process….become a noticeable figure in his community’s development --- particularly with non-profit, charitable organizations. At this very moment, he was preparing to take his fifth medical team to Haiti, including organizing to again – dig wells --- for safe drinking water --- for outlying, rural villages.
My honored working relationship with this rare president….went back…..over twenty years.
For Earl, he wanted to make sure that if he sold his company to Earl, a loyal CSR supervisor, that Earl had a high probability to be successful.
Now Earl is no ordinary CSR supervisor. When he makes his mind up to accomplish a challenge, he has a decent track record. At this very moment, Earl runs between two and four miles every evening, and has, to date, lost over 100 pounds. He’s got a 5K on his radar screen --- in the next two weeks.
This president….is thoughtfully, thinking ahead. He wants his company’s legacy to be successful, after he’s no longer there --- partly for his community, partly for his employees, and partly for Earl. He wants whoever takes his company over, to have a high probability for success. He understands that no one can predict the future, but if you know how, and have the confidence to successfully develop customers and business, your probability for success --- just went way up.
And he knows it’s not just about money…..When he sold his four publications, it was not to the highest bidder. It was to the one buyer whom he judged to understand what was needed, and who had the values and depth of understanding of what small town publications, needed --- to be successful. (Hmmm…..sounds like a “Clinic” --- for want-to-be publishers, doesn’t it.)
I know owners who are preparing their succession plans, with their financial, and production --- lieutenants. Certainly, those qualities are important.
However, as I reflect, I know of no organizations in this great industry that have “gone down” --- with lots of business.
For my entire working career, I’ve advocated taking financial and production personnel to see customers….as often as you could find the opportunity. When a production or financial key person understands and assists developing customers, there’s a harmony in that organization --- that’s identifiable.
Many owners in our great industry care about their communities….and from that perspective, contribute to their communities in ways that make a profound and often quiet --- difference, for tens of thousands of people, and generations --- not yet born.
“Happiness does not depend on what you have or who you are. It solely relies on what you think.”……….Budda