Are You Ready to Be a Ripple?

A fellow executive and I were chatting recently.  We were discussing the serious challenges facing a potential client and how we might help this company solve some very severe cash flow and business operational challenges.

This led to my friend reminiscing on his career and life.  A synopsis of his musings are as follows:

  • At the age of 25, he had aspirational goals to change the world
  • At 35, he narrowed his focus to the United States
  • At 45, he decided it was best to change only his community & current company
  • At 55, he shared the only person he’s focused on changing is himself
  • We both stared at each other for a moment.  I laughed.  Then said, “how true.  How very true.” 

Wisdom is a wonderful thing.

There is little question there are some huge challenges in the world today.  If you listen to the very knowledgeable and experienced financial, banking and economic professionals turned authors like Ray Dalio, Jim Rickards and Nomi Prinz, the 11-year market run is bound to end at some point and time.  When it does, serious implications are likely. 

Gravity is in play. The higher you go, the further you fall and the impact can be painful.  Those that are prepared will certainly experience change, yet with such change grand opportunity will be plentiful.

The problem is many small and lower middle market business owners, CEOs and executive teams are operating in denial or too much debt.  It is so important to pause, reflect and do some honest “what if” planning.  Further, many executives are so far into the woods, they can no longer objectively see the trees. 

Taking stock of what is working and what needs improving is critical to longer-term sustainability. Successful change always starts at the top.  By examining one’s strengths and managing one’s weaknesses, strong CEOs and owners can set the example for others in their organizations.  When leaders are unwilling to change their organizations continue to suffer.

There are a few key elements to facilitating the necessary reflection, planning and pivoting needed to weather the pending storm that is likely to come ashore.

  • Do you have the “right” people in
    place to deliver desired results?  A
    company can’t rely on one or two individuals. 
    In today’s complex business world, a strong team is needed
  • Do the current team members
    continually hold an optimistic yet realistic attitude?  Enthusiasm, excitement and passion are
    powerful.  It is equally important to be
    grounded, balanced and clear on the difficult decisions that must be made
  • Does the team continually take
    necessary actions to ensure positive progress is made?  Understanding what must be done is
    great.  Talking about what must be done
    is better.  Taking the necessary action
    to ensure optimal results is best.

Aptitude, attitude and actions.  Such simple concepts with immense

Personally, I’m an optimist. I’m also a realist. I may not be able to change the world but I can certainly work to improve myself. In so doing, a positive ripple may be created that will counter the tsunami that is likely brewing.

Be a ripple in your company. Trust that others will do the same. This is the surest way to create positive change.