We once asked a banker and CEO about his decision to lend to a start-up technology company that later became a big success. The banker took out a sheet of paper and wrote two words: assets and liabilities.
This is the opening paragraph in a post contributed by Larry Stybel and Maryanne Peabody to the MITSloan Management Review.
Larry and Maryanne are cofounders of Stybel Peabody Lincolnshire and I have known Larry for many years and so when I come across a chance to either hear him speak or read something he has been a part of, I try not to miss it.
I have never been disappointed.
On the other hand, when I was made aware of this post which was called Enhance Assets or Reduce Liabilities? I almost didn't click the link. Not because I didn't think it would have plenty to say (as indeed it does) but because anyone who knows me will tell you that any term that even feels financial makes me break out in hives.
I mean I get the notion that the idea is to take in more than goes out, but when they start talking EBITDA, etc. let's just say it's not my idea of fun.
Needless to say, I'm glad I went and read beyond the opening paragraph, and if you are interested in gaining some real insight into the keys to managing an enterprise as well as those who manage the enterprise you will want to make the investment of the few minutes it takes to read what Larry and Maryanne have to say.
One of the things I most admire in people who write is the ability some have of being able to convey insights on topics of great complexity in terms that are simple yet very powerful.
It was one of the gifts that someone like Drucker had.
People have written about leadership forever and people have written about the characteristics of outstanding leaders forever too.
For those of us who play or have played roles in the interviewing process as we have searched for leaders for our companies and were looking for "something" but not quite sure how to express it, I think you will find in this piece a really great way to keep what what's important in mind as well as in perspective.