Archive for January 5, 2012

Succes is Independent of Circumstances

A lot of people and organizations blame circumstances beyond their control for failure: poverty, race discrimination, the economy, competition, government and plain bad luck. There is clear evidence that success can be achieved independent of external circumstances.

 

Below is exhibit X to make this point. This is a passage taken from my favorite business author Jim Collins from an adaption of the book “Good to Great” for nonprofit.

“Do you know which company attained the number-one spot in terms of return to investors on a dollar-for-dollar basis, of all U.S. publicly traded companies from 1972 to 2002?  It’s not GE.  Not Intel.  Not even Wal-Mart.  Who came out number one?  According to a 30-year analysis in Money Magazine, the winner is Southwest Airlines.

Think about that for a minute.  You cannot imagine a worse industry than airlines over this 30-year period: fuel shocks, deregulation, brutal competition, labor strife, 9/11, huge fixed costs, bankruptcy after bankruptcy after bankruptcy.  And yet, according to Money Magazine calculations, a $10,000 investment in Southwest in 1972 would have returned more than $10 million by 2002.  Meanwhile, United fell into bankruptcy, American limped along, and the airline industry remained one of the worst imaginable.  Not only that, airlines that had the same model as Southwest got killed along the way.  Airline executives have habitually blamed industry circumstances, ignoring the fact that the number-one best performing investment in the universe of American public companies over a 30-year period is– just like them – an airline.”

 Great companies and successful people do manage to find a path for success regardless of their external environment.

January 5, 2012 at 6:28 pm 1 comment


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