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Leadership & Business Wisdom

UNREALIZED BUSINESS POTENTIAL

“OPPORTUNITY IS WHERE YOU FIND IT,” NOT WHERE IT FINDS YOU.

Luck, chance and catastrophe affect business as they do all human endeavors. But luck never built a business. Prosperity and growth come only to the business that systematically finds and exploits its potential. No matter how successfully a business organizes itself for the challenges and opportunities of the present, it will still be far below its optimum performance. Its potential is always greater than its realized actuality.

Dangers and weaknesses indicate where to look for business potential. To convert them from problems into opportunities brings extraordinary returns. Opportunities have to be reflected against the experience of a company and against its past success and failures. Sometimes all that is needed to accomplish this transformation is a change in the attitude of the executives. Three questions will bring out the hidden potential of a business:

  • What are the restraints and limitations that make the business vulnerable?
  • What are the imbalances of the business?
  • What are we afraid of, what do we see as a threat to this business – and how can we use it as an opportunity?

ACTION POINT: Answer these three questions for your enterprise and move closer to optimum performance.

FINDING OPPORTUNITIES IN VULNERABILITIES

FINDING AND REALIZING THE POTENTIAL OF A BUSINESS IS PSYCHOLOGICALLY DIFFICULT.

Finding and realizing the potential of a business is psychologically difficult. It will always be opposed from within because it means breaking with old, established habits. It often means giving up the very skill people are product of. To fight the threat, to manage an imbalance, and above all to make a process efficient despite its inherent weaknesses, requires great effort.

Searching for the potential of opportunity in a company’s vulnerabilities, limitations, and weaknesses is therefore likely to be resented by its most accomplished people as a direct attack on their position, pride, and power. This is the reason why the opportunities are often not realized by the industry leaders but by people on or near the outside. That this area is difficult, both objectively and psychologically, only means that businesses have to work hard at it and that managements have to stress it heavily.

ACTION POINT: Convert the vulnerabilities of your enterprise into opportunities.

“It’s a recession when your neighbor loses his job; it’s a depression when you lose your own.”

HARRY TRUMAN

“Our economy is based on spending billions to persuade people that happiness is buying things, and then insisting that the only way to have a viable economy is to make things for people to buy so they’ll have jobs and get enough money to buy things.”

PHILIP SLATER

“The man whose whole life is spent in performing a few simple operations, of which the effects are perhaps always the same, or very nearly the same, has no occasion to exert his understanding or to exercise his invention in finding out expedients for removing difficulties which never occur. He naturally loses, therefore, the habit of such exertion, and generally becomes as stupid and ignorant as it is possible for a human creature to become. “

ADAM SMITH

“Once you realize that trickle-down economics does not work, you will see the excessive tax cuts for the rich as what they are — a simple upward redistribution of income, rather than a way to make all of us richer, as we were told.”

HA-JOON CHANG

“No nation has ever taxed itself into prosperity.”

RUSH LIMBAUGH

“When we replace a sense of service and gratitude with a sense of entitlement and expectation, we quickly see the demise of our relationships, society, and economy.”

STEVE MARABOLI

“Bailing out people who made ill-advised mortgages makes no more sense that bailing out people who lost their life savings in Las Vegas casinos.”

THOMAS SOWELL

“You know what’s truly weird about any financial crisis? We made it up. Currency, money, finance, they’re all social inventions. When the sun comes up in the morning it’s shining on the same physical landscape, all the atoms are in place.”

BRUCE STERLING

“You can’t tax business. Business doesn’t pay taxes. It collects taxes.”

RONALD REAGAN

“The best way to boost the economy is to redistribute wealth downward, as poorer people tend to spend a higher proportion of their income.”

HA-JOON CHANG

“In the fashion industry, everything goes retro except the prices.”

CRISS JAMI

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