Blog: Mindset — The Need for Proper Perspective – Part 3 

Mindset: the proper mix of perception, perspective and priority 

I have seen a good investment turn sour when the founder/entrepreneur changes their perspective.

An example of how perspective can warp judgment: I may have lost yet another friend because I use my right to disagree. The founder owned a small, successful company, and one day we had the following conversation.

“Dick, I am going to sell my company.”
“No, you won’t.”
“Why do you say that?”
“Because the last seventeen company owner guys I worked with who said they wanted to sell didn’t sell, and since I am a consultant who relies on my experience and statistical probabilities, I would bet that you won’t sell.”
“Well, you’re wrong. I don’t need your advice anyway.”

Why did I tell him that he probably wouldn’t sell his company? There are several reasons.  Mine were based on my experience and the “sellers” personality. His were based on naivety and a wrong perspective.  The result was we had very different perceptions and perspectives.

The following can be a danger for a startup founder/entrepreneur that can be driven to what is called a “self style” business where the investors lose all hope for a return on their investment. Here is what can happen

  1. Exploring a sale can often only be an ego trip for the owner/founder, who needs to find someone out there who thinks his company is worth a lot.
  2. The company has become a way of life for them, not just a job or a business, and it is hard to give up – perspective
  3. The owner finds, as Mel Brooks once said in a movie, “It is good to be king.”Since he answers to no one, why risk a change? – perspective
  4. Even if the founder starts to get a little serious, the owner’s price includes all the blood, sweat, and tears that went into building the company and his price will be too high for an investor looking only at the economic return on his potential investment – perception.  I had seen many deals collapse at the last minute and did not want to go through that again.
  5. At some point in the process, the owner usually realizes what is happening and begins to worry about what he will do after his company is sold. He asks, “Where will I go Monday morning if I have no company?”

Planning, priorities, perspective, and perception add up to focus, a key to successful management. Making a company work depends directly on the definition and implementation of priorities, and meaningful priorities depend on sound planning, accurate perceptions, and ensuring that all personnel involved have the proper perspective. Often, to deal effectively with employees (or customers, for that matter); you must realize that you have to deal with their perspective of the situation, no matter what the facts are.  I have heard more than once before a planning session.t won’t happen again.  Can’t we call this in?”  My recommendation has been to not even start the process if that is the attitude.

Building and implementing a good plan requires that the perceptions and perspective of the team are clear and well understood. The best-formed plans will go astray if everyone isn’t aligned—if they aren’t seeing things the same way. In making plans and decisions, listen carefully and look for and respond to perceptions; do not rely on fact and logic only. Also, make sure everyone has the same perspective and will support the plan with enthusiasm. This is why it is so crucial for a company to have a mission statement: it’s the tool that gets everyone’s perception and perspective aligned.