MY OPINION: No one makes serious progress without a big WHY.
This is the first of what I hope to be a series of posts. I was asked to focus my messages on why someone from a small, locally owned business would be willing to invest both the time and money in an executive education. We will get to that, but first I had a few opening thoughts.
First, why me? That might be the best question of all. I believe I was asked to share my thoughts because my experience represents the best the program has to offer. That is partly my doing yet largely the focus of the program. I started the program as a second generation family member who had the responsibility of sustaining a successful business in this community. My undergraduate degree was in accounting and finance and with many years to reflect, my education was largely useless as related the responsibilities that lay before me. We are all driven by something. Perhaps for some, it is fear – maybe a fear of failure or of success. In my case, I was concerned that my skills and education were wanting relative to the challenges that I was facing. A Chinese proverb suggests the following – shirt sleeve to shirt sleeve in three generations. (Mom & Dad start the business and grandson loses it) I was the generation in the middle. Was my legacy going to break the cycle or start the downward spiral? For months, perhaps longer, a small voice inside of me was asking this question and I knew I did not have the best answers.
I will offer greater insight into our business as these posts continue, but for not, suffice it to say that our company is a customer accumulation business. We had a 38 year history of success. Almost continuous and sustained growth. How would I keep it going? All businesses face the reality that competition increases, especially as rewards grow. If you want to play in the NFL, you better have the talent, plus something more. My WHY was to find that something more. These posts are intended to speak to anyone who has an intuitive sense that there is something more out there and I might be able to help you find it – because I did – at Loyola University of Maryland.
You must first decide if you are looking, and I mean really looking.