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Leadership Insights - July 2021

“I wish to have as my epitaph:

‘Here lies a man who was wise enough

to bring into his service men who knew more than he.’ ”

Andrew Carnegie

Founder of the American Steel Industry


Getting Your B2B Pricing “Right”

Much of the inflation we experience in B2C businesses had its start in the B2B realm. The surge in the price level caught many B2B companies off guard. “Many business-to-business (B2B) companies granted their customers pricing relief due to the pandemic, meaning they’d already sunk into a pricing hole even without inflation.

A short HBR Article offers five basic strategies to address the concerns of the B2B world. Take a few minutes to learn How B2B Firms Can Price with Confidence as Inflation Rises.

The Family Business Curse?

There is a perception that family businesses fail sooner and more frequently than non-family enterprises because of intergenerational conflict, entitlement and coasting on the founder’s success, and is reflected in the proverb “shirt sleeves to shirt sleeves in three generations.”

If you’re the third generation in a family business, take heart! Recent research suggests “that perception could not be further from the truth. On average, the data suggest that family businesses last far longer than typical companies do. In fact, today they dominate most lists of the longest-lasting companies in the world, and they’re well-positioned to remain competitive in the 21st century economy.”

This research is recapped in a short HBR blog post Do Most Family Businesses Really Fail by the Third Generation?. You may also want to review a related article from Forbes The 'Shirtsleeves-To-Shirtsleeves' Curse: How Family Wealth Can Survive It.

The CEO's Infinite Job: Mindsets and Methods

I came across an article several years ago that stated “The CEO’s job is like no other in the organization. It is infinite. Senior executives are, by definition, ultimately responsible for every decision and action of every member of the company, including those decisions and actions of which they are not aware. CEOs—even new ones—are allowed few mistakes.”

The job may be infinite but CEOs are not. With so much to manage, the only way CEOs can succeed is by managing themselves first. An excellent (and a little long but worth the read) article from McKinsey provides an executive summary of a long running study involving thousands of CEOs which extracted The Mindsets and Practices of Excellent CEOs. There is also a self-assessment that will help you determine if your mindsets and practices are aligned with those in the study.

If you’d like a quick overview of what Mindset really is to whet your appetite for the above article Check out this four minute video from Vistage’s best speaker on Mindset, Dr. Eve Meceda.

Thanks to Vistage Group 175 member Jackie Levin for sharing this McKinsey article.

Econ Recon

The Sugar High Continues: GDP Growth in Q2 came in at a remarkable 8.3%. While good news on the economic front is always welcome, especially as the country attempts to return to something resembling normal, we need to keep a proper perspective. Many feel the current economic growth is to a great degree the “sugar high” of aggressive monetary policy. Dr. Brian Wesbury offers a one page analysis sector by sector analysis of where the growth is. As impressive as the recent growth is, he concludes that “real GDP is still smaller than it would have been if COVID had never happened.”

Also, Dr. Wesbury’s Economic Recovery Tracker. Many of the metrics that plummeted during Covid are approaching their 2019 pre-pandemic levels in 2019 or have already exceeded them.


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