Over the course of my career, I’ve had the good fortune to be exposed to a very wide range of business situations. I’ve led companies both big and small, in growth mode and in turn-around situations, public companies and those owned by private equity sponsors. I have also had to opportunity to advise those who run companies as well as the owners of companies.
Not surprisingly, I’ve seen hundreds of examples of corporate dysfunction—from minor to major, from the absurd (like selling snowblowers in Miami) to more common (like leaders hoarding information). Sometimes this dysfunction can lead to serious performance problems. I’ve never been someone who looks the other way; in fact, I’m the one who usually asks, “Why do we do it this way?” “How can we do it better?” “Do we need to do it at all?” and other questions that get to the heart of the matter.
In fact, I’ve spent the majority of my career untangling the spaghetti—identifying problems, and leading teams to solve these problems in order to increase productivity and profit. I devote a lot of time talking with employees to understand what they can do to help the company succeed—and what they can do to better serve customers. These employees derive great satisfaction from seeing their thoughts and ideas generate results. I love watching people move beyond their comfort zone and really excel at what they do.
From the diverse experiences I have had as a CEO of several global companies, a consultant, an advisor to private equity firms, a board member and an investor, I have created a unique business model—building on what I’ve seen work and what I’ve seen not work. My model is based on five basic principles: Learning to see with fresh eyes, finding hot buttons to focus on, maintaining transparency, going at high speed, and connecting with employees and customers. While they sound simple, these principles are not always easy to implement. It takes work and a willingness to change the way you are used to doing things.
At the core of my model, what I have found is the real key to success, is engagement—engagement at all levels of the company. No matter what the set of circumstances, if you want things to improve, engagement is where it starts.
I am excited to be able to share with other leaders the knowledge, tools and programs that I’ve developed over the years. It is my hope that the content you find here might inspire you to look at your company’s operations and issues in a new light. I will be posting here on a regular basis, so I hope you will check in again.