What’s on Jim’s Mind

Paul Nardone Guest Speaker at CEO Gathering

Paul Nardone kicked off discussion at this week’s CEO Gathering, “Selling to Financial vs. Strategic Acquirers”. Ten CEOs joined us for dinner and discussion, including Jiankang Huang, Peter Lemay, and Charles Marble. Paul addressed points such as: What moves can I make to improve my business’s valuation the most? What tradeoffs do I make...
Read More »

Fred Alper to kick off CEO Gathering on Feb. 28

I’ve invited Fred Alper to kick off our upcoming CEO Gathering about “The Post-CEO Life” on Thursday, February 28, in Lexington. The gathering includes dinner and discussion. We will meet from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Learn more and register here. Here are the questions that will frame our discussion: Looking ahead to the post-CEO...
Read More »

Todd Blount Shares CEO Story Sept 12

I’ve just read the cover story of Refrigerated & Frozen Foods from December. The magazine awarded “company of the year” to Todd Blount’s business, Blount Fine Foods. Todd has participated in past Johnston Co. CEO Gatherings. On Sept. 12, Todd will kick off the discussion. Todd chose our topic, “Hiring Outside Talent into the...
Read More »

Stubbornness–Like Cholesterol

Bold conclusions become convictions, and then stubborn mode begins. In their stubborn mode (my radio amateur friend would call it “full transmit”), entrepreneurs disconcert us with their seeming immunity to contrary new data and opposing opinions. A founder’s heroic stubbornness drives the business toward extremes–decisive success, or quick death. They spend their time charging...
Read More »

Being Right vs. Being Stubborn

The interplay between being right and being stubborn is the engine of business success. It took me years to appreciate this. Early on, I was influenced by quantitative business school training and Fortune 500 number crunching. I was prone to revisit and fine tune business decisions each and every time there was new data,...
Read More »

Allergic to Truth–Part 2

People who lapse into telling the truth are subtly or explicitly penalized. Maintaining the appearance that there are no problems becomes more important than fixing problems. Problems grow.  In such a company, people come to some destructive, but accurate, conclusions: 1) Customers who don’t know any better are most likely to buy from us,...
Read More »

Allergic to Truth–Part 1

Here’s a typical sequence that describes a few of the common ways the truth allergy can creep in. Perhaps you will recognize it in your company. A company designs a new product. The designers say they have designed it to meet the needs of the target customers, but the truth is the designers have...
Read More »