Thinking beyond the next quarter

PB-logoHere is my January Management Matters column in Prairie Business Magazine:

Generations of wise businessmen and women from across our region have understood the importance of cultivating long-term relationships. To many of these prairie sages, investing time and other resources in building strong, trustworthy partnerships was much more important than closing a short-term deal. They recognized the value of these relationships far and away exceeded the value of most assets listed on the balance sheet.

Of course this relationship wisdom is no longer commonplace across our country. It seems the closer one gets to an ocean, the shorter the planning horizon becomes. Lately we have seen too many examples in Washington, New York, and Silicon Valley where leaders are much more focused on the short-term wins than long-term success. Let’s hope our regional younger professionals are not learning bad lessons from watching the management blunders by leaders myopically focused on reporting quarterly results.

To be truly successful, leaders must have the vision to think and act strategically. This truism moves from good advice to absolute certainty in the global arena. The long-term orientation of many international partners is rooted in the same strong relationships that are woven into the fabric of prairie leadership. As you consider the future of your organization, remember that in most cases your business was built on a solid foundation of relationships. So don’t allow the lure of a short-term gain to blur your long-term vision. This is not the time to mimic the antics of those breathing salt air.