Much like you, I was too busy to attend last month’s Future Leaders event in Toronto with Thomas Caldwell, chairman of Caldwell Financial Ltd. (My excuse was better than yours, though, 'cuz it was my daughter’s birthday.)
We both missed a great session. Fortunately, Future Leaders writes up summaries of its meetings, so here are a few highlights from Caldwell’s provocative presentation, A Barbarian at the Gate.
Caldwell, now one of the largest seat holders on the New York Stock Exchange, says many successful people were not great achievers early on (think high school). What drives many leaders, he says, is some form of unfinished business.
Caldwell has experienced many setbacks in his career, at one time losing everything. But he considers this the best thing that ever happened to him. He changed his life and his work habits to ensure it never happened again. “Success is great,” he said, “but you only grow in adversity.”
Caldwell identified four wins in business:
1. Win for the customer: a valuable product at a competitive price; keeping the customer satisfied, especially after the sale.
2. Win for the employees: encourage employees to keep going; give them another chance when they screw up; energize your team.
3. Win for the owners: share what you are doing and don’t be greedy.
4. Win for suppliers: pay accounts right away, and pay fair prices; don’t be like the big companies and banks that abuse the system with their payment practices.
For more on Future Leaders, click here.