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According to Don Winkler, former Chairman & CEO of Ford Motor Credit Company and former chairman and CEO of Finance One — a subsidiary of Banc One, before it became part of Chase — and a client who I worked with at both Ford and Banc One, “we live in a world of infinite possibility. You just need to open your mind to all of the marvelous potentialities waiting to be discovered.”

Don Winkler knew how to grow a business and his people. He once said to me, “Jeff, I’m really just a farmer. I pick the right seeds. Plant them. Nurture them. Grow them. And then harvest them.” With that philosophy, Don’s “farm” flourished.

When I was working with Don and his team at Finance One, they provided loans to borrowers for both personal and business needs. One of the Finance One Companies was Banc One Consumer Financial Services. They provided funding to borrowers for debt consolidation, mortgage refinancing, student-loan programs, tax-related services and other financial requirements. With Don’s vision, this consumer finance company grew within five years — from receivables of $300 million to receivables of over $11 billion!

Because of this success, another “crop” was tilled on Don’s turf: Banc One Credit Corporation provided commercial loans to dealerships, (automotive, marine, recreational vehicle, commercial, etc.) for their “floor plan” or inventory, and financed customers’ retail purchases.

This division also grew with an “agricultural abundance.” The loan portfolio of these companies, (Consumer Financial Services and Credit Company), soon totaled more than $38 billion!

What was Don’s secret? He said, “It’s a transformational approach to business. It’s a discovery process that opens any organization and its people to a future of infinite possibilities and exponential growth.”

Don believed, “By changing unproductive attitudes and behavior, and harnessing experience and imagination, any individual, team or company can turn breakdowns into breakthroughs and garbage into gold!”

He also said, “There’s not a business in this world that can’t achieve compound annual earnings growth of at least 25 percent.”
But how? Don urges individuals and companies to undergo a metamorphosis.

METAMORPHOSIS

Don Winkler was trained as an engineer. Therefore, he knows entropy, or disorder, drains energy from essential work and results. And this drain is often the greatest enemy of any successful system, endeavor or business.
That’s why he devised a process that replaces disorder with direction. It replaces confusion with commitment. It turns the passive into the passionate.

Don’s six steps to breakthrough results are: 

  1. Create a vision and a purpose. Get people out of their mental boxes and away from old assumptions. Create a new picture of what your business could be. Don believes “true vision” is a mental image of the future the way you want it to be. It’s not stagnant. It’s evolutionary. It can be refined and reconfigured. It allows for the realities of time, the marketplace and changing needs to shape its flexible form.
  2.  Analyze the status quo. Take a hard look at where your business is and how things are being done.
  3.  Identify strategic issues. What is it about the status quo that could prevent the realization of your vision?
  4.  Plan and implement strategic initiatives. Design projects to knock down those barriers and pave the way to achieving your vision.
  5.  Set goals and objectives. Create specific targets to sustain investment. Support progress toward your vision.
  6.  Achieve true business breakthroughs. Although they’re unpredictable at the start of the process, these breakthroughs are its end result: the realization of a vision with unique competitive advantages.

What makes Don’s system different? He believes there are three reasons: 

  1. His definition of “vision” isn’t based on numbers. Instead it’s open-ended and infinite in scope — at the stimulating starting point and at the end-result of a bold discovery process.
  2. The system resists setting specific numeric goals until the end, rather than at the beginning, of the discovery process.
  3. His experience has proven the process doesn’t fizzle out over the long haul because it’s both evolutionary and self-propelling. It uses a project management system that keeps the ball rolling by assigning names and dates to every strategic initiative. This lays a strong framework for making and monitoring progress.

More: Peak Your Profits: Ahead of the traffic

More: Peak Your Profits: Put your mission into motion

The preceding is an excerpt from the new 5th edition of Jeff’s bestselling book, “Peak Your Profits.” It’s scheduled for a summer release and will be available on Amazon and at your favorite bookstore.

Jeff Blackman is a Hall of Fame speaker, author, success coach, broadcaster and lawyer. His clients call him a "business-growth specialist." If you hire speakers, please contact Jeff at 847-998-0688 or jeff@jeffblackman.com. And visit jeffblackman.com to learn more about his other business-growth tools and to subscribe to Jeff's free e-letter, The Results Report. Jeff's books include “Stop Whining! Start Selling!” (an Amazon Bestseller) and the soon-to-be released 5th edition, of the bestselling “Peak Your Profits.” You can also stay connected with Jeff via Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter: @BlackmanResults.

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