Focusing on fundamentals matters. Despite obesity, Americans aren’t really eating more, they are exercising less and expending fewer calories than in the past. When you try to do too much you accomplish nothing. Many business leaders experience trying to accommodate everyone even if it is not in the best interests of the business. Business people and especially CEO’s want to be the best. Realizing the importance of consistent measured growth is one example of fundamental analysis. Forecast only what matters and focus on the fundamentals. Fundamentals won’t come to life and be relevant unless they truly drive results. Identify where you can get the most bang for your buck. Avoid rollercoaster growth or it could hurt your business.
Intellectual integrity matters and it is the ability to hold a mirror in your organization. Intellectual integrity can go from clear and objective to tarnished and biased. The first 100 days are the most important time in a new assignment. A strong and certain start is important. But what matters is gaining a good understanding of what lies ahead – problems, opportunities and possible obstacles before stepping in. Turning around a business enhances your business reputation and the type of experience needed to move to the top. Focus on reality by viewing it from the outside.
Meeting Warren Buffett for the first time. Buffett was on the Gillette committee and owned more than ten percent of Gillette stock. Three weeks after the interview, Buffett announced Kilts would be the new CEO. Gillette offered powerful brands with crippling profits. Innovation is important when it drives sales and profits. Kilts would focus on improving areas and assured them results would follow. After five years, those focused areas were driving the company when they merged with Procter & Gamble. Refusal to accept reality happens all the time and the reasons for denial varies. Confront market reality. It’s easy to lose the view of reality, but do your homework before taking on a new assignment. Intellectual integrity is more than looking inward and applying personal values to making business decisions. Just doing the right thing isn’t always enough and you must go outside yourself and the business to do so.
Stay tuned for more on this book.