Sunday, October 25, 2020

How the Tennessee - Alabama Game Proves that Management Failure is Business Failure

As I continued to cringe the auto updates I was receiving on my ESPN app on the Tennessee - Alabama football, I began to think about the many readings and experiences I've had in dealing with businesses that have gone out of business. Crazy to think that a college football game can inspire such thinking, but what can I say, Tennessee hurt me deep. 

In spite of hiring a new coach a little over a couple of years ago (Coach Jeremy Pruitt) from the SEC King himself, Nick Saban, there came a time of refreshing and hope. Hey, maybe we would live up to our legacy of being in the top tier of SEC football and no longer being bottom feeders... at least I thought. After watching yesterday's beating and thinking about the why and how business's fail, something became crystal clear to me. 

The Number One Cause of Management Failure in Business

One of my favorite books, The Business Doctor by Dr. Arnold Goldstein, talks a lot about what causes businesses to fail. To me, he's the goat on this topic. Going back to the TN-Ala game, I asked myself: is it the quality of players? is it the schemes and game plan? Heck, is it the mascots? It's easy to say it's the coach or the players, but I believe it goes deeper than these things. According to Dr. AG, the number one cause of management failure in a business is the failure to have the foresight to recognize the seeds of one's own destruction and to ultimately do something about them before it's too late!!! How does this relate to the game? Well, it goes all the way back to how we did Phil Fulmer in his last few seasons as head coach. Rather than help him into making a smooth transition by identifying a successor and allowing him to groom and mold him, we just dropped him like a bad habit. Because of this, we've been on the coaching merry go round and haven't even gotten close to experiencing true TN football. 

One of the glaring voids I've noticed with many small business owners is the lack of having a succession plan in place or even an emergency plan in case something terminal or at worst fatal happens to them. We get excited about starting and operating a business, but we hardly ever consider the possibility that we may not get the chance to see the business achieve the heights that we may have experienced in our dreams. Don't wait until it's too late... start with the end in mind. Plan for the end while at the beginning: are you envisioning a sale of the business or transferring the business to an heir? Do you have the proper commercial insurance packages in place especially key person life insurance