Ignorance in business turnaround
People, who are in trouble, simply want to get out of trouble. The business of business turnaround has been a very interesting and wild ride over the years, especially in this age of the internet. I personally continue to grow my understanding and empathy, and always learn something more with each person that is, my client.
The work I do maybe largely misunderstood and skills taken for granted. People, who are in trouble, simply want to get out of trouble. Much of the time this doesn’t include changing anything personally, rather just getting back to business as usual. This ultimately means that the original set of problems will be repeated. Arrogance, indignant and entitlement plague most CEO’s. The trick is to use your character flaws to an advantage. Rather than be selfish in the things you like to do, do the things that need to be done. You know what doesn’t work yet you do it anyway hoping that this time somehow it’ll be different. And then when somebody tells you the truth your response is hopelessly filled with excuses.
I’ve never met a CEO in trouble that could tell me the bank balance.
Most company presidents have bookkeeping challenges. The books are never a priority. Whoever is entrusted with that job has little or no direction. Many times people learn their own way. Shown the correct way, they resist. This mechanism is at play in numerous other areas of life as well. None of us really want to change. And faced with relevant information that was historically not known an individual is either excited or threatened. The unfortunate end of the latter is negligence, immaturity and the worst, indignation.
Accounting is not the only problem. Excess is caused by entitlement. We believe that we deserve to continue doing whatever it is we prefer. As a CEO, there is complete freedom to operate in any way. Without accountability corruption will surely prevail. All at once the company is again at risk and the CEO is calling it quits, refinancing his house, filing a bankruptcy and blaming others. It is possible at this time to learn, especially if the teacher is sensitive to the student. The student must retain dignity at this point, willing to learn from mistakes and be grateful for the teacher. It is the job of the teacher to support as well as direct. A tough combination, people lucky enough to find it take it for granted. Why? Because we yearn for grandeur as if we had earned the pretentious honor of “give it to me because I want it.”
Cash flow is king as they say, but behavior is Ruler of the known Universe. Behavior is the only reason cash flow is positive or negative.
As a CEO we are able to employ and deploy any method we see fit for spending corporate and personal funds. We also have the option to ledger financials correctly or not. These opportunities are surely a recipe for disaster. As captured by the 19th century British politician Lord Acton “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Without correct checks and balances all people will go astray to a financial and social extent that is catastrophic. A foolish nature does not pay well. King Solomon, reigning over Israel during the times of Circa 970 to 931 BC is quoted in many scripts as saying: “fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
For the most part those in trouble do in fact adhere to the strict rules of order when facing the end of their corporation. Those who are strong in heart learn from their mistakes and continue on a path of enlightenment. They utilize the same team of people that created success from insolvency. Those who choose arrogance move on and waste valuable resources on foolish whims. Haughty and pompous personality quirks quickly return to their former self-importance and liberate themselves from learning by creating a whole set of new irrelevant programs and projects. Insolvency insidiously returns and the cycle again repeats itself. Unfortunately by this time the chances of reinstating success are long passed.
Transversely, winners who take their newly reorganized company to heart and believe in conversation, discover that relationship and wisdom will find peace and prosperity even in the tough times. Warren Earl Burger, 15th Chief Justice of the United States titled his book A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas. Life is not a set of financial equations that automatically yield security and wealth. Rather math is a profile of an organic world populated by millions of individuals with hopes and dreams. How each person decides to choose life will be reflected in the yield long term. Math is a complex set of numbers describing a single situation. Correctly executed these numbers point out errors that have caused what we call “the origin of failure.” By realizing this information the CEO can, if wisely choosing, to change course. By drilling down into the very essence of failure the cash benefit is enormous.
In further investigation of the dynamic of failure it’s important to look at hopes and dreams. These words fuel our daily lives. A broken heart can sever the nerve center of capability and productivity. How do we navigate such a dimension as emotion? Read carefully from here on my friends. Discussing true love, the nature of fear and the reason God created man will ultimately lead to a more solid bottom line. How? Please continue. Although these questions that may not have clear answers the mind is truly elevated, having been given a certain invitation to creative thought. In doing so various line items in the business are more easily dealt with. Learning opens the mind. Failure is caused in part from the ridiculous circle caused by an unchanging life that is dedicated to doing the same mundane tasks each and every day with little or no input from outside sources. Nonsense will prevail in this environment and goodness will fall to the wayside as an unnecessary inconvenient task. Socrates stated “any person who knows what goodness, or truth is, will live that way. The only lie or evil comes about when one is ignorant of good. Man will never knowingly lie even if he thinks he is. It is his ignorance of goodness and truth that prevents him from being a wise and honest man.”
Behavior is the key. To change one must provoke the mind and encourage a person to rise above an emotional state. Self-esteem, personal challenges and comparison to others plague our every moment. How can we survive such attacks? The problem is that few are willing to take the time and discover the answers. Certainly, one would think, there is a single self-help book or an equation that covers all financial and emotional problems? In short, sorry, such a book would be fraudulent. Therefore without personal coaching and attention to your particular set of challenges you are left to your own mind. Never go in there by yourself. You will provoke selfishness and a cynical view of all teaching. Simply put: “a bad attitude derives pleasure from engaging itself and feels quite superior in doing so,” until of course, your luck runs out.
So how to combat our selfish, indignant nature? A movement in Europe during the years between 1685-1730 outlined just such a question. Appropriately titled “The Age of Reason” or Enlightenment, Europe questioned traditional authority and embraced the notion that humanity could be improved through rational change. The Enlightenment produced numerous books, essays, inventions, scientific discoveries, laws, wars and revolutions. The American and French Revolutions were directly inspired by Enlightenment ideals and respectively marked the peak of its influence and the beginning of its decline. Why decline? People went right back to their old intolerant and easy ways of doing things. No accountability. Accountability seems to be so much trouble, doesn’t it? Well, yes, of course if you enjoy stupid. You see, common sense does not seem to be common and stupid is clearly terribly expensive. Companies and families alike suffer an incredulous life at the hands of stupid decisions. Enlightenment’s important 17th-century precursors included the Englishmen Francis Bacon and Thomas Hobbes, the Frenchman Renee Descartes and the key natural philosophers of the Scientific Revolution, including Galileo, Kepler and Leibniz. Its roots are usually traced to 1680s England, where in the span of three years Isaac Newton published his “Principia Mathematica” (1686) and John Locke his “Essay Concerning Human Understanding” (1689) — two works that provided the scientific, mathematical and philosophical toolkit for the Enlightenment’s major advances. When is the last time you or anyone you know discussed such individuals as listed above or the findings of these powerful minds? The answer to that question is sad. This writing is the first you’ve thought about such topics since you were in grade school. Unfortunately there is little or no memory of any of it.
So, what’s the point? Learning is the point. Study and serious introspection before taking action allows the consequence to be less chaotic. Considering the experience of others and accepting that no matter what you’ve done in your life, you have limited experience and your ego can choke out the opportunity of God’s original blueprint of success. The actions that a CEO has taken to create insolvency will happen again without a good solid look at understanding yourself and the world that surrounds your street address — long before you and beyond. Consider these things! Learning about your fellow man will definitely shore up sales. Understanding religion and politics will expand the mind and awareness of the times. Acceptance of fiduciary duty and the setting down of “know-it-all” thinking will yield more money in your pocket rather than re-financing your house for payroll. Despising those who know more than you and believing yourself to be the only one who gets it is a profitless venture. Learning how to stay inside the financial box of a corporation, given to you by Heaven, will require a CEO to push back pride. Honor the process of learning without resistance, destroy indignant behavior and finally observe and respect a Turn Around team that will, and may have already, rescued you from failure, financial ruin and emotional trauma. Stay the course of historical success when it finally happens. Get back to your roots.
Remember the reasons that you started the company. Love, Honor and a good product, that’s why we get up in the morning! The list that needs to be done each and every day is tailored made for a CEO in this time, in this company with a current set of standards outlined by the successful rules of numerous administrations and corporations that prevailed in past times. Learn from them! These standards are taught by the Rettig Corporation everyday to those individuals brave enough to put pencil to paper and embrace learning. How do you do that? Accept the fact that your very best thinking is why you are where you are, and that left unchecked that set of senseless directives, made up by you, will prevail again and again.
Resist your need to be right, especially when you could be absolutely wrong as is based in historical evidence listed line item by line item on your bank statement. Resist your need to put down and judge the opportunity before you. Invite knowledge when it seems irrelevant to you. Believe the fact that you don’t know what is relevant! Without skills acquired from a person with experience and education you will remain stuck in a circular hell on earth. You’ll never realize, until it is too late, that there is a terrible predator stalking you. The Predator’s name you might ask?
Sharpen you pencil. Make a note. Put it on your desk. Write it on the mirror — staple it to your forehead.
If taken down by this monster you’ve fallen away from wisdom. You’ve become part of the ranks of wasted talent. The world will forget you. There is a short list of losers because nobody even bothered to write the names of those stubborn goofballs that wouldn’t yield to common sense. Fight against mediocrity. Win over yourself and the ridiculous opinions of those individuals who are stuck in a circle of nonsense. Be alive and open to information that can make you a super star, allow the universe to let you “continue”, not fail completely. Do not accept failure. In history there are stories of incredible human beings who have overcome impossible odds to emerge in sublime achievement. They were willing. Be clear, crystal clear. Heaven and Earth are looking for one thing and one thing only:
Pay the Price.
Make the Time.