If you get Soundings Trade Only, and most people in the industry do, please make sure you read my article on page 38 of the March 2013 issue. It is about industry icon Charlie Strang, who was Chairman of the Board of OMC when Johnson and Evinrude’s combined market share was in the 60% range. He is an amazing guy who is still going strong at age 91.
Charlie recently emailed me that he and his wife had just returned from a trip to Paris and Monaco where he received a special award from the UIM, Union of International Motorboating.
He wrote, “Barb and I are just back from a couple of weeks in Paris and Monaco and are slowly readjusting to the time change! We went to Monaco to accept a trophy from the Union of International Motorboating (UIM) for my fifty-plus years of work in the international boating field. It is called the Casiraghi Award in memory of Stefano Casiraghi, the late husband of Princess Caroline of Monaco. Stefano was a top-notch Offshore racer until he was killed in a race a few years ago.” Continue reading
I could hardly believe it when I heard the President of the United States say, “If you’ve got a business – you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” (Barack Obama, Roanoke, VA, July 13, 2012) My first thought was, “Did I hear him right? Did he really say that?” Yes… he did say that.
Just because the government built the roads we drive on, provided teachers at our schools as we were growing up and invented the Internet (or was that Al Gore?) doesn’t mean all entrepreneurs necessarily had help starting a business. Most didn’t! Continue reading
“My best ideas have mostly come from others. And a lot of them came from this man.” I heard those words at a retirement party for a mid-level manager, and they made a big impression on me. In my corporate life, I had attended a number of retirement parties which, while honoring of the retiree, were (frankly) pretty boring. However, at this event, the retiree’s boss included that statement in his brief speech. It was probably one of the most honoring things he could have said about the retiree. And I am sure the retiree remembered those words the rest of his life. Certainly, those words have stayed with me ever since.
I have realized that most of my good ideas have come from others. As I climbed the corporate ladder, I was fortunate in being able to always surround myself with a staff of talented managers who were constantly feeding me with ideas. (I later learned that a couple of them could not be trusted, but that is a different story, perhaps for a different time.) Some of my managers’ ideas were really good, some were fair, but many were great. As an example, one particular regional sales manager, who will remain nameless, (he will know who I am referring to) was constantly coming up with bold ideas to make corporate sales goals and beat the competition. Some of his ideas were a bit risky or I thought would be too challenging to management, but many were dynamite and helped our team excel. The key thing that I learned over the years is to listen to others and you will find a great source for what can be your best ideas. And be sure to give credit to the sources of those great ideas!
Much of the wisdom I have garnered over the years came from others. If I could have “do overs” and go back in time to the beginning of my career, I would want to take back with me some of that wisdom. Otherwise I would probably make the same mistakes again. Following are what I call my personal “pearls of wisdom” garnered over the years from folks I respected. I wish I had known all of this back when I was starting out in the business world. Continue reading