Peak Your Profits: Bob Dylan was right

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Of all the forces acting on us, change can be the most beneficial and the most cruel. As Bob Dylan once sang, “Oh the times, they are a changin’ ... ”

If anybody knew about change, it was Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart. Some claimed Walton’s middle name was “change.” He spent little time on deliberation, but lots of time on action.

Walmart has agreed to sell an 80% stake in its Brazilian business to private equity firm Advent International. The retailer will take a non-cash writed down of about $4.5 billion on the deal.

This strategy enabled him to be a successful store owner. At the time of Walton’s death in 1992, Walmart’s annual sales were in excess of $55 billion dollars. Today, they surpass $486 billion dollars.

No crystal ball, but …

“The key to success will be a willingness to take long and major risks. The best companies will be better anticipators of change, willing to commit resources freely and determined to stay the course.” Powerful words stated by a man who knew their value and truth — Robert W. Galvin, former chairman of Motorola.

The logo of Motorola  at their plant in Toulouse, south western France.

Galvin was at the helm of Motorola’s vast corporate transformation in the late 1980s. Under his leadership, Motorola emerged as a world-class supplier in three rapidly expanding (at the time) electronics markets: two-way mobile radios, paging devices and cellular telephones, where they initially emerged as the global leader.

Galvin realized that to be competitive, to win, a company or an individual can’t rest upon their laurels or previous accomplishments. He knew acceptance, comfort and complacency breed mediocrity. Quickly. Devastatingly. And usually unprofitably.
Many corporate marketers, entrepreneurs, and businesspeople fear brand loyalty is extinct. Today’s demanding consumers expect quality and value, and if they don’t get it, they’re willing to change.

Their vote is cast at the cash register, online payment link or purchase order.
However, leaders and visionaries know change also brings opportunity, even if it must be tempered by a wee bit of humility.

Galvin admitted, “Challenging conventional wisdom is crucial to restoring a company’s competitive edge. You have to acknowledge you don’t know all the ways of doing things best.” (Perhaps, Galvin’s sentiment should have been embraced by future Motorola leaders? In 2001, Motorola’s revenues plunged by almost $8 billion dollars. And their losses approached $4 billion dollars.)

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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 And visit 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.