The Inability to Deal with Unexpected Events = Failed Leadership

The Inability to Deal with Unexpected Events = Failed Leadership

In the last week, we have seen two examples of failed leadership out of the same industry – the airline industry. Leadership is about building a culture within an organization that can deal with the unexpected as the unexpected is the one thing that is certain. That is not what was going on at Delta and United.

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What is the hidden risk in your company?

I was recently talking with a friend who was giving a workshop to boards of directors on the risk within their businesses. This topic made me think of all the companies that I had worked with over the years and what was the biggest risk they faced but was not realized it within the organization. Upon reflection of all of 2 minutes, I came to the conclusion that that it was Excel!
 

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When Selling Your Business - Planning is Critical

We have all heard Alan Lakein's quote "Failing to plan is planning to fail". However, the problem today is that many middle market entrepreneurs sell their businesses without proper planning for the sale event and thus leave millions on the table.

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Selling Micro Caps to Reverse into Public Shell Companies – Snake Oil?

I recently saw an article on saying "Reverse Mergers are more Popular than Ever." The author was extolling the virtues of such transactions for MicroCap Stocks. However, this solution I rarely find delivers as promised,  in many cases is more of a poison chalice.

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The Achilles Heel of NonDisclosure Agreements

The Achilles Heel of NonDisclosure Agreements

Having represented many clients with selling their businesses, raising capital or entering into joint ventures, the issue of Non-Disclosure Agreements ("NDA") always arises. The primary focus of clients is on ensuring that the NDA is as strong as possible and often such that no reasonable party would agree to it. Thus, I find my job is to help them understand what is commercially reasonable, and more importantly to work with them to understand who is the other party executing the NDA.

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Every Business Needs a Good Prenuptial Agreement

Every Business Needs a Good Prenuptial Agreement

Over the last few years, I have come across a number of situations where one of the business owners want out of the business, and there is no Buy-Sell Agreement to resolve the situation.

In most cases, the owners have come to a disagreement on the direction of the company and the personal relationship has deteriorated to the point that it is hurting the business. 

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Don't Let the Bike Rack hit You in the Face

Don't Let the Bike Rack hit You in the Face

On Tuesday night I went roller blading with a skating group I have just rejoined as I had been told Tuesdays was an easy skate. Unfortunately most of the people on the skate were training for a long road skate, and so decided to make the evening an hour and half of hill work. 13 miles later and totally exhausted I skated up to my car which had my bike rack attached to the trunk. I opened the trunk, sat down, took off my skates and pads, stood up and closed the trunk. The rack hit me in the head and left a mark.

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Precision v. Accuracy: How about using a range?

Precision v. Accuracy: How about using a range?

The concept of precision verses accuracy was first brought home to me back in the depths of time while I doing Physics "A" Level in high school and calculating measurement errors in experiments. From this I learned that no matter how precise one's measurements were, there an inherent error in the tool which was used to measure the results. Taking into account that lack of precision provided more accurate results, which is what we sought.

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CFOs Beware: Problems with Financial Modeling

CFOs Beware: Problems with Financial Modeling

Through my work I have dealt with thousands of Excel, and for those that remember Lotus, financial models and I have to say that most of them are bad. I would like to summarize five of my least favorite things about the "bad" models I have had the unfortunate experience to deal with during my career. All of these issues, except the last one, are sufficient enough for me to walk away from the work or opportunity as they indicate that I am likely to find more problems in the finance area or business.

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Lessons I Learned from Squash that Apply to Business

Lessons I Learned from Squash that Apply to Business

The last piece in my series “Lessons I Learned from Sports that Apply to Business” covers a game that I love and only wish my ability was matched by my passion – Squash.  I have played the game for longer than I care to admit, but fortunately my understanding of the game has improved with time. The key points from squash that apply to business are, in my opinion are: (i) dominate the “T”; (ii) keep the other person on the defensive; (iii) not every stroke is a winning one; and (iv) when stuck in a war of attrition, change the game!

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Lessons I Learned from Snow Skiing that Apply to Business

Lessons I Learned from Snow Skiing that Apply to Business

I have loved skiing ever since I first started 40 years ago. When I first started I thought the aim was to go straight down the mountain as fast as you could; however, a broken leg soon cured that misconception. Still today I see many people bragging about how they skied down this difficult run or the other, but having seen them on the slopes I realize that they are getting down with little style or ability, and gravity is the main contributor. While they have survived, the chance of doing this repeatedly is small. In business as in skiing, the key is to be able to do the successful things repeatedly.

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Lessons I Learned from Waterskiing that Apply to Business

Lessons I Learned from Waterskiing that Apply to Business

A champion skier once told me a few things that have stuck with me:

  • slalom skiing is very easy, you set your position, accelerate across the wake, slow the ski down turn around the buoy and repeat six times;
  • a dedicated ski boat’s V8 engine will always beat you in a tug of war no matter how strong you are; and
  • where your eyes go, your body will follow.

How does these relate to business?

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