Abundance In Action

I heard a terrific talk by a leader who truly understands how to act from a position of abundance. Mike Anderson is CEO of the Ft. Dearborn Company, a high-quality label producer here in Chicago. Mike shared his turnaround story with us over breakfast. He told us about changing a struggling, family-owned company into a dynamic, customer-aligned organization – double in size with strong profitability. In the process, Mike gave us his 10 key factors for a successful turnaround:

  • 1. Be beyond reproach – only unquestionable actions.
  • 2. No one likes change – make it easier to move forward than backward.
  • 3. Everyone likes to be successful – celebrate the successes.
  • 4. Change agents project all credit to others – they spread the glory far and wide.
  • 5. Zero tolerance for contra actions – if someone bucks the change, they go!
  • 6. Consistent communication – up at 2am to talk with the third shift.
  • 7. Communicate goals and measures – clear goals and objective measures.

These are all great initiatives and critical elements for a successful transformation, but I would contend that more important than all of these was a leadership team that truly operates from a position of abundance. Mike and his team actively support their employees (see numbers 3-6 above), zero in on creating benefits for their customers, and are willing to share the credit and rewards from success.

Mike is in a tough business during difficult economic times. Yet his commitment to act from a position of abundance is delivering double-digit growth, increasing profitability, a strong market position, and a stable and dedicated workforce. In fact, Ft. Dearborn no longer needs to recruit employees. They find the company.

Acting from abundance makes a huge impact!


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November 2008
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