Dancing With A Gorilla

“When you get tied up with any big company, it has the tendency to change your perspective. Getting involved with Ford was kind of’ like asking a big gorilla to dance. You start off leading, but before very long you’re being swung all over the floor, and pretty soon you lose sight of the fact that all you wanted to do in the first place was dance.”
Carroll Shelby, automotive icon

I was reminded of this quote upon Carroll Shelby’s passing this summer. It brought back memories of more than one time that I allowed a staff member’s exuberance to land a large account get in the way of sound business planning. Simply put, I got greedy. My bet is that anyone who has been in business any length of time has their own “big fish” story to tell.

As business seems to slowly reawaken in many areas of the country, I feel that we should all remember this lesson. It’s taken several years of decline in our markets to get to the point that we are today. Don’t think that landing one big job, or account, is going to be a quick remedy to get you back on top. Odds are, that account is going to end up on top of you!

Please note that I am not being negative regarding expanding one’s market or growing the business’ volume. Quite the opposite is true. Growth is necessary and exciting! Just make sure that you can handle the growth, rather than letting the growth handling you!

Tom Jennings

Wednesday, September 5, 2012