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Viewpoint - Bob Gershberg - September 2021



If you Always do What you Always did, you Will Always get What you Always got

by Bob Gershberg, CEO/Managing Partner Wray Executive Search

The challenges we currently face in running and growing our companies are largely different in scope and nature than the many we have had to overcome in the past.  We are always well advised to focus on best practices to get us through the tough times while remaining mindful of being well positioned to thrive during the subsequent upswing, even if it seems dreadfully slow getting here.  We have spent much of the last eighteen months cutting costs and often cutting people.  “Lean and mean” is always the preferred method to get through the turbulence.  So now that your team is lean ask yourself these arduous questions:

  1. Is it the best and most effective team in your segment?

  2. Do they know how to solve difficult problems?

  3. Do they know how to gain competitive advantage?

  4. Can they leverage your assets, time, resources and energy to achieve the goals?

  5. Can they be true to your brand?

  6. Can they lead with absolute integrity and uphold the company’s core values?

  7. Do they encourage unique ideas and creative thought?

  8. Can they build bonds of trust?

  9. Can they drive execution?

  10. Are they the absolute best suited to compete over the next 3 years?

If you are hesitant in shouting a loud YES in response to each of these questions, you had better contemplate the consequences.  In the business world as in the sports world, THE BEST TEAMS ALWAYS FIND A WAY TO WIN!

I have long held that retention is overrated and misunderstood.  Retention is a winning strategy only when you retain your “A-players.” It is downright dangerous if you retain mediocrity or worse yet incompetence.  We all recognize the importance of hiring the right person for the right job and are painfully aware of the astronomical costs to our companies when we do not. Likewise we must recognize the importance of retaining on that very basis as well.  Lowering our standards is not an option, nor is long time to fill or replace on critical positions.  Ram Charan, the highly acclaimed business advisor, speaker and author states, “Those leaders who deliver results consistently over a long period of time are the ones who recognize what an individual can do best. They link the business need and the person's natural talent. They take the time and effort to place individuals where their strengths can have the most impact……Without the right people in the right jobs, a company cannot grow and thrive.”

If your executive search firm’s gene pool is becoming watered down find a new recruitment partner.  There is a plethora of talent out there just clamoring to bring their skills, passion and insights to a brand in need.  And they just might understand how to master leadership and execution post 2021!

The mission is simple – build teams that are uncommonly passionate about the industry and brand.  Make certain they are the right people for the right time because “if you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got.”  And that is likely not good enough in these competitive times.

Knowing the key metrics, key goals and the organization's vision is great but being able to execute is the key to winning the game.  Tom Peters states, “The thing that keeps a business ahead of the competition is excellence in execution.”  Herb Kelleher, the late former Chairman and CEO of Southwest Airlines alleged, “’Strategy’" overrated, simply "doin’ stuff" underrated. We have a ‘strategic plan,’ it’s called doing things!”

A few great leaders early on in our history by the names of George Washington, John Adams and Ben Franklin valued shared vision.  They proposed a motto that represented the mission, E Pluribus Unum: “Out of Many, One”.

Build a team of incorrigible winners and let them execute the mission to fruition!

All the best,


Bob Gershberg |CEO|Managing Partner|

(888) 875-9993 ext 102

Finding tomorrow’s leaders today!

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