A couple of decades ago I had the great fortune to work as part of a team of really “STRONG” personalities. Five men, one woman. Did I learn a lot from that group! They were mostly Type As, highly intelligent and effective communicators.  We were building a company in the “old” days before ZOOM – some of you may remember when salespeople entertained clients! When these salespeople weren’t entertaining clients, they didn’t take/make much time to get to know each other. Characteristics of the group (when not dealing with clients):   

  • Disciplined and businesslike 
  • Command and control style 
  • Loud 
  • Forceful 
  • Rigid (in posture and in thinking) 
  • Concise and sometimes abrupt

You can imagine how those qualities deliver stellar results when they are pointed at the right kinds of goals.  Unfortunately, these same qualities tend to intimidate some of the other equally highly intelligent and effective types in the group like the analyticals, amiables, and expressives.  

One of the lessons I learned from a Wise Old Consultant (WOC) that our CEO was smart enough to engage to work with our group was: “…It might be a good idea to be the person who gives in first.  Yes, it will probably be a really hard thing to do, especially when you are young and a woman who is trying to be treated as an “equal”…” Amazingly, I got much further ahead this way than trying to force my ideas into other people’s heads.  In fact, once I moved from trying to force my ideas across to asking for help, two of these senior members of the team came to my side of the table to try to understand.  They ended up helping me “sell” the idea of recovering costs plus profit for the long-term good of the company (even though it made their jobs more difficult.)  

We were able to make this progress in spite of the fact that some of our goals conflicted because I had been inspired by that WOC to be the person willing to “fall on her sword” in order to take that first step.  And yes, all of this is fine to write about now, but it was REALLY hard to do.  But then again, when is anything really worth doing easy to do?  That first step can make the difference of a lifetime!   

If you’d like to discuss the first steps you might want to take in exiting your business, whether that might be selling to an outside party, transitioning to an internal buyer, or even buying another business to get scale before exiting, please call.  We can help you determine whether you want to take that first step and what it might be.    I can be reached anytime via email: [email protected] or phone at: 224-688-8838.

We’re here to help you Harvest Your Potential!

*Some of those dominant types have to be watched, though.  Make sure you are not the weakest member of the team If you are in a group like my chickens.  If you are, remove yourself!  With chickens, if one has an injury or weakness, sometimes the rest of the flock will pick on that one relentlessly.   As a chicken keeper, you have to remove the weak or you might find them dead!

Alison Hoffman

has more than 25 years of experience in strategy, operations, mergers and acquisitions and delivering business-to-business client solutions. Her areas of expertise include managing operations for profitable growth, organizational design and strategy activation. She brings a wealth of experience through her work in evaluating, valuing and purchasing over 30 companies, leading company-wide cultural and business integration projects and consolidating best practices among business processes and corresponding computing systems. Read Full Bio