Finding My Voice

For years I have struggled to find my business “voice” – a point of view so I could focus my efforts, hone my business skills, and share my passion for business. After all, conventional wisdom tells us that “the riches are in the niches” and that specialists make the big bucks.

But I had a problem: I am a generalist.

My last 10 years at corporate America were at the Vice President level of well-known public companies (Kodak and Iomega), but my title was General Manager. By Wikipedia’s definition, a General Manager “is responsible for effective planning, delegating, coordinating, staffing, organizing, and decision making to attain desirable profit making results for an organization.”

Yep. That’s me. I create organizations responsible for sales, marketing, operations, finance, and “attaining the desirable profit.”

Then it occurred to me: I had taken to heart the lessons I learned during executive training at INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France. The course title was “Achieving Outstanding Performance.” I spent a week with 30 other business professionals from Europe, Asia, and Africa (I was the only American) discussing companies that had long term success through a combination of focus, balanced resources, and constant reevaluation of products, process, and people.

The really amazing thing was that all departments worked together. Organization structures, compensation plans, incentives, and performance measurements were all coordinated so there were no internal winners and losers. That was the opposite of what I saw and experienced at the large corporations.

Lesson learned.

I came back and went to work creating teams and companies that achieve outstanding performance. There was a lot of planning, team building, and “unconventional wisdom.”

I found my voice. I have my focus.

Achieving Outstanding Performance.

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