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Leadership Insights - September 2022

“A desk is a dangerous place from which to view the world.”

John le Carre’


British Secret Intelligence Agent

and Best Selling author of “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”

and other espionage novels

The Right and Wrong Ways to Fail

“Many notable success stories began in failure: Henry Ford went bankrupt before starting the Ford Motor Company; Thomas Edison and his colleagues tested thousands of materials before creating the carbon-filament lightbulb; J. K. Rowling received twelve rejections before the first Harry Potter book was published.”

So begins an article that deserves the attention of everyone who will at some point fail (i.e. everyone!) before they succeed. It turns out that there is a right and wrong way to fail. An article summarizing research on failure offers some interesting and surprising insights.

The authors looked at data surrounding success and failure in three different endeavors:

  • Grant Applications (776,000 in all) to the National Institutes of Health

  • Funding Proposals from the National Venture Capital Association of over 50,000 startups.

  • The Global Terrorism Database of 170,00 terrorist attacks over a 45-year period

Success in each of these initiatives was driven by the way in which leaders learned from their prior failures (not if they learned). This short, provocative article deserves your time if you’d like to know Why Do Some People Succeed After Failing, While Others Continue to Flounder?

Share this one with the young people in your life.

When You Get that Call From Someone Who Wants to Buy Your Business (Part 3 of 3)

Vistage Speaker Patrick Ungashick has helped hundreds of members get ready to exit their company. In the past two editions of this missive, I’ve shared the first two articles of three that he shared regarding “What You Should Do with ALL Those Unsolicited Offers to Buy Your Business?

Part 3 focuses on the TEAM you’ll need to exit on your terms and no one else’s. This is no time for DIY.

(Parts 1 and 2 of Mr. Ungashick’s series can accessed on the same webpage as Part 3 if you missed them).

A “Quiet Quitting” Sampler

Since featuring it several weeks ago, there have been quite a few articles on the latest challenge employers are facing in the War for Talent: Quiet Quitting”, most simply described as doing nothing more than a job requires with no thought to advancement etc.

I offer here a sampling on the topic from my most trusted HR Resources. This will be with us for a while I’m afraid. Let’s educate ourselves:

Econ Recon

Inflation: The emergence of inflation as a real economic problem after a forty-year hiatus was a surprise to many. It may also surprise you to learn that despite the despair you may be experiencing at the checkout line, there are signs that inflation is abating which may make the steps needed to reign it in less painful.

Dr. Alan Beaulieu of ITR Economics looks hard at the inflation data and makes a strong case for “Signs of Relief.

Housing: A remarkable feature of the pandemic was the hot housing market created by cheap money and an enhanced propensity to move created by the option “to work from anywhere.” Trees don’t grow to the sky, and the residential housing market has cooled. Are we headed back to the grim housing market of 2008?

Dr. Brian Wesbury thinks not. In a one page analysis, he explains why the current dynamics of housing reflect “Housing Prices Plateauing, Rents Catching up:, and why this is more like “indigestion” in the housing market, not an “implosion” like 2008. Also, his “High Frequency Data Tracker for the week” provides interesting sector and industry data.

A Note From Scott:


Where do you get your advice? Would you value getting agenda-free advice from other successful, non-competing, growth-oriented business leaders?

Going it alone is tough. Vistage members grow 2-3 times faster than their non-member peers, according to D&B. With less stress and greater life balance.

Contact me below to explore if you're a fit for one of the seats in our CEO peer group.

Warm regards,


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