When I was ten, my family lived in Ohio. One day my parents asked me and my sister if we wanted to go to Disney World with my grandparents and cousins. Of course!! We couldn’t wait!
A couple of months later we jumped in the car to go to the airport. Being the inquisitive kid, I asked what airline we were flying. Dad said, “We’re not flying on a commercial airline, we are flying on a private jet.” Wow! Who would of imagined!?!
When we got to the airport, there were three private jets in the hanger. I had to ask my parents, “How did we get to fly on a private jet to Florida?” My parents told me my grandfather had done a favor for a gentleman many years ago and this was his way of repaying him.
After a couple of minutes to consider that point, I asked “What kind of favor was it? Where did we bury the body?” My mom responded, “Nothing like that! During the depression, Grandpa just lent him some money to start a dairy store and he has been very successful!” Again, after a moment to consider, I asked, “So if we lent him the money, why does he own the jets and not us?”
At that point my parents told me to run along and play with my cousins!
My grandfather was an intelligent, hardworking man. He started several businesses, worked hard and was reasonably successful. However, the man he lent the money to started with less, yet grew a number of businesses to great heights. What explains the difference? Luck? Hard work? Brains? Something else?
From that day on I was preoccupied with why one company beats the competition year in and year out to become an industry leader while a similar one stagnates and then declines. It has taken me decades of managing, consulting, listening, interviewing, and more to find the combination of tools and techniques that produce these results. I have worked with a number of companies to refine the implementation of these techniques and prove that it works. The result is dramatically better results.
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