To Listen and Share or Not?

I had an interesting experience at a recent marketing roundtable that I was running for a fast-growing manufacturer of branded and private label products.

The founder and CEO was in the room along with a number of the members of the management and sales teams. One of the points that came up from the management team was that the entrepreneur did not share enough of his ideas and vision in advance. In essence, he continuously held his cards too close to his chest making it difficult for them to make day-to-day, tactical decisions that contributed to the long-term strategic direction of the firm.

The owner’s candid response surprised me, but I think the better phrase would be, “resonated with me”, and still does to this day. His response was that, “he does not share his vision because every time that he had in the past, everyone told him why it was wrong, why it couldn’t or wouldn’t succeed”.

He found the exercise demoralizing and, moreover, usually dead wrong. He had already built and sold one business successfully and was building another that was on a fast track to surpass $100 million in annual revenues.

I think that any one who is reading this can share his sentiment. I know that I do and can’t think of one successful entrepreneur that I have met along the way that has gotten there without an unwavering commitment to their own beliefs.

I also know that you can’t work in a vacuum.

How much do you listen and share?

– Ken Tencer