Long War: Every Day is a Great Day
By Laurence Sanford

Professor Hickey, who taught my sophomore Business Law class, constantly used the expression "life is a long war and the main priority is to survive." His words apply equally as well to business and to selling.

As part of the survival process, a person’s attitude or outlook is often critical. So let’s agree that, “Every day is a great day – some days are just greater than others”. Certainly I agree that, over the course of each week, month or year we will all have our good and bad days, but, for the sake of preserving our attitude, maybe there’s a more optimistic way to look at it.

I’m choosing, “Every day is a great day – some days are just greater than others.” Most successful people, they say, are optimistic!

In fact, Americans tend to be optimistic – probably due to our pioneer, can-do, entrepreneurial spirit.

A very successful business person and friend once told me that, when greeted and asked, “How are you?” he always responds “great”. Another successful person used “fantastic”.

The reasons their responses are always “great” are simple:

  • No one really cares how you feel with the exception of a few loved ones
  • If you compete with or do not depend on the other party for advice, then there is no value in telling them that you are doing poorly
  • You feel better when you think positive thoughts
An equally good argument can be made for taking this same approach when managing or leading a sales force, department or organization.

Leaders make things happen; and nothing happens if the leader does not think and act positively – as if things are great! If running or developing a new business, then the leader is an entrepreneur who starts with an idea and makes it grow into a viable business. This rarely happens as a result of negative thinking!

In his book “Corporate Life Cycle,” Dr. Ichak Adizes identifies four roles of management – production, administration, entrepreneurialism and integration (PAEI)

Businesses have life cycles from inception to growth and, in some instances, to death.

The “E” or entrepreneurial role encompasses the long term viability to create change and innovation. Without the “E” thinking and acting as if things are “great,” the PAI’s will not perform and fulfill their roles. Adizes’ corporate life cycle consists of:

Courtship, which Adizes refers to as paEi. The entrepreneur commits to an idea.

Infant or Paei. The producer needs to produce sales.

PaEi. Producer and entrepreneur generate sales and ideas

Adolescent or pAEi. Administrator establishes controls for growth.

Prime or PAEi. All systems click!

Stable or PAeI, which is the first stage of aging. “E” is diminished.

Aristocracy or pAeI. Integrators and Administrators take over.

Bureaucracy = -A--. Only the administrators are left

Death

The only way is to prevent a business or organization from dying is to keep the entrepreneurial spirit alive and to promote a fertile environment in which every day is a “great” day.

Laurence Sanford is a PC&A Associate and a consultant with PTCFO. He can be contacted through our office.