Week of May 1, 2017

“It is our attitude at the beginning of a difficult task which, more than
anything else, will affect its successful outcome. The greatest discovery of
my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes.”

William James
Psychologist, Philosopher, Educator
Author of “Pragmatism”

Are You in Day 1….or Day 2?

Last week, some insights about introverted CEOs were offered here. Did you follow up on the enclosed link referencing Jeff Bezos? If not you should. Why? If you understand how a company makes decisions, you’ll understand a lot about the company. In his annual letter to Amazon shareholders, CEO Jeff Bezos shares how Amazon makes decisions, offering a vital distinction between companies who are in “Day 1” mode …..and those who in “Day 2”. Take a look at Bezos’ 2016 missive to his investors and think about “what day” it is for you.

Retail Maneuvers-Part 2

An earlier edition shared a video on what is happening to the business of retailing. This follow up focuses on the impact on the millions of employees who work in retail. Donald Trump was to some degree elected because he recognized the employment woes of those in the manufacturing sector whose jobs had gone offshore or were eliminated by technology. This short article outlines the negative dynamics of retail employment and the coming losses in that sector that the president will have to address as well.

Your Business and the Bomb

Most people have heard of the Manhattan Project, undertaken during World War II to develop the atomic bomb. It is estimated that it would have cost $30 billion in today’s dollars and required the services of thousands of dedicated employees for over three years; most of whom had no idea what they were really working on.
This short article from Industry Week provides a summary of the leadership and project management lessons we can learn from one of the biggest undertakings in human history. If you find this summary meaningful, you may wish to follow up with “Now It Can Be Told” the book written by General Leslie Groves who supervised the project. What’s the “Manhattan Project” in your career or company?

The Long Game, Properly Understood

C-Level types are expected to see to the long term interests of the company. The truth is, even those who take the time to create a 3 to 5 year plan rarely live by it. Life in general and business in particular has come to be dominated by “short termism.”

A provocative TED talk by Ari Wallach may challenge you to rethink just how long a game you are really playing and just what you should consider to be “long”. (Hint: 3 to 5 years may be nowhere near long enough). Here’s “three ways to plan for the very long term.”

Econ Recon: Return of the Flippers?….What CEOs are saying

Return of the Flippers?: It’s a hot residential real estate market in many parts of the country, but is it too hot? Will the next recession see the return of the “flippers” who were so active nearly 10 years ago? ITR Economics’ Connor Lokar looks ahead and provides some interesting advice for would be flippers.

CEOs Say……: What do your fellow CEOs have to say about the economy? Check out the 1st quarter results of the Vistage CEO Confidence Index . On the same page, review the WSJ/Vistage Survey and the two downloads.