One Thing That Could Radically Impact Your Business Success

“Whose office is that?” I asked the secretary. “That is Don Thompson’s office,” she answered. “Who is Don Thompson?” I asked. Sterling Software, led by Sterling Williams, had just completed the unfriendly takeover of Informatics General Corporation. Sterling was a $20mm public company, and they completed a leveraged buy-out of a $140mm public software company. […]

How an Article in Fortune Changed My Life

On a business trip in 1986, I was flipping through Fortune magazine, and I came across an article about Ronald Perelman. Here’s how the article began. REVLON CHAIRMAN Ronald Owen Perelman has a penchant for contrasts: a tangy personal life and the practice of Judaism, fancy restaurants and junk food, earsplitting rock music aboard his […]

How Do You Fire Innocent Employees?

And Get Those Left to Trust You

This is the second in a three part series on trust. “You have to do a layoff,” said Jim Porter. We were a fast growing company and an icon of success. In fact our byline was “We are success.” Cracking the market was exciting. We experienced amazing growth through market acceptance. When a market is buying, there […]

Success Blinded Me to My Employees’ Needs

“Do you believe in vacations?” my head of customer service asked me. It was a little after 7 pm, and Mike and I were walking to our cars together to head home. We talked about how overwhelmed he was given the torrid pace of our sales organization. Our software company had the timing just right, […]

Right Board Members Essential For Success

“This isn’t the way a board should operate!” exclaimed my fellow board member. “What’s the problem?” I asked. “A board of directors shouldn’t be discussing detailed operational topics like this. We should be reviewing proposed strategy and the associated budgets,” he said. You must have the best founding executive team and the best founding board. […]

Do Your Employees Cry on the Way to Work?

“Sometimes I cry on the drive to work,” said Teresa. We’re were talking about how strongly she felt about working at Chick-fil-A corporate. Teresa works on a team in the cafeteria preparing lunches daily for over 3,000 people. “Why do you do cry?” I asked. She said, “This is such an amazing environment, and it is filled […]

What Can Crush the Entrepreneur on the Brink of Success?

I was contacted by the daughter of an entrepreneur who worked with me in the 1980’s. The last time I saw her she was just about to graduate from the University of Georgia. She is now married with two kids and, this past January, started a new business called Swatchpop. Swatchpop helps consumers solve decorating dilemmas. […]

Make Them Captains of the Patrol Boys

Empower Millennials with Responsibility

Sister Mary Dorothy looked at me and said, “I would like you to be the captain of the patrol boys. Are you willing to do it?” Enthusiastically I said, “Yes!” I was in sixth grade at St. Paul’s Catholic School in Jersey City, New Jersey. Up to that time, I shunned leadership roles even among […]

The Sad Reason Many Entrepreneurs Fail

3 Secrets To Being A Successful Entrepreneur

Being an entrepreneur can feel like the loneliest job in the world. This is true for two reasons. First, you have no boss to protect you. Second, everyone you talk to is on the defensive because they feel like you are selling them something. Loneliness is the reason many entrepreneurs fail. Not because the business is […]