Win­ter 1995 Newslet­ter Front Page

Excerpt from Win­ter 1995 Mack­ey Advi­sors Newslet­ter

At a recent per­son­al growth sem­i­nar, the facil­i­ta­tor played a tape about a man on a fly­ing trapeze. He relat­ed life to swing­ing above the crowd on a fly­ing trapeze. He spoke about the man hold­ing onto the present bar, afraid to move for­ward to the new bar com­ing his way. He held on, know­ing that hold­ing on to the bar would not move him for­ward. Stick­ing with the known, fear­ing the unknown. A choice many of us make every day.

I see this same behav­ior in busi­ness. While cash flow dwin­dles, employ­ees grum­ble, growth stag­nates, and it becomes less and less fun to come to work every day, the own­er stays with the known. It seems there is no vision of what life could be like, and no real belief in their abil­i­ty to change. Rather than turn inward and exam­ine their com­pa­ny, they blame their cur­rent state on the com­pet­i­tive­ness of the mar­ket, lack of ded­i­ca­tion by their staff, or cus­tomers that have unrea­son­able expec­ta­tions.

My per­son­al expe­ri­ence with grow­ing my busi­ness has had many moments when I clung to the cur­rent bar. Some­times the pain had to get pret­ty intense to call me to action. As I look back on those times, the only thing I would have changed was to move quick­er, to face my fear soon­er.

One of my most try­ing moments was 5 or 6 years ago after mov­ing to our cur­rent office space. I prac­tices pub­lic account­ing the way I had seem it done at oth­er firms. The firm had grown 300% in one year, and that was the only good news. The rest of the sto­ry was that I was work­ing 60 to 75 hours a week, 52 weeks a year. Prof­its were down. I felt no one in my office served clients the way I did, so I felt com­pelled to do it myself. I was the last word on every­thing. I had no per­son­al life. I didn’t know my daugh­ter, who was just start­ing school. Life wasn’t fun any­more. I decid­ed every­thing had to change. I spent the week­end in the office, but this time I treat­ed myself as a client. I ana­lyzed where I was and set a new path.

Faith, intu­ition and read­ing every­thing I could get my hands on about man­age­ment served me well. I also relied on what I knew to be true. Peo­ple are our most valu­able asset. Treat peo­ple with respect and give them the sup­port and they will rise to the occa­sion. I held a staff meet­ing, and announced that we were about to move into a peri­od of intense change. These changes includ­ed many of the ideas we are using today, our prof­it par­tic­i­pa­tion pro­gram, our hug pro­gram, the Thanks­giv­ing gifts pro­gram, bi-annu­al retreat ses­sions, month­ly staff meet­ings, indi­vid­ual goal set­ting, shar­ing the com­pa­ny data with every­one, quar­ter­ly book read­ing pro­grams, and that was just the start.

The best change was one of atti­tude. That meet­ing began a cul­ture that embraces core val­ues. Val­ues such as, change is crit­i­cal to suc­cess, inno­va­tion is everyone’s job, clients make everyone’s pay­check, mar­ket­ing is everyone’s respon­si­bil­i­ty. The results have been noth­ing short of a mir­a­cle. I have a life. I know my daugh­ter. I work hard, but usu­al­ly only 50 or so hours a week… and I love to go to work every day! Best of all the peo­ple I work with love to come to work every day too. They have an abun­dance of oppor­tu­ni­ties to cre­ate their own indi­vid­ual suc­cess.

Life is tru­ly expe­ri­enced in those moments when we let go of the present and ven­ture forth with faith and vision into the future. To help clients see the future we now have a divi­sion, called Strat­e­gy 2020. Led by Paul Coul­ter, we can help clar­i­fy your vision, and chart a path to get you where you want to be.