Behind The Agenda
Every business has an impact on society and the way that people live their lives — from the products and services they deliver to the way they operate.
In retrospect, knocking the nephew of a future European president off his feet with a whip-cracking face slap was probably not my finest moment. I was told it took him a good thirty seconds to snap out of the shock and start crying. His security detail didn’t know what to do. A friend of his family had to come over and pick him up.
But before he scooped him up and dragged him back to his family, kicking and screaming, he padded me approvingly on the head while scolding the crybaby spoilsport for trampling my sand castle. I can’t remember any of it. I was four.
What’s notable about that summer day at the beach, according to my parents, is that I didn’t get angry. I just got up, slapped him across the face and then sat back down in the sand and started to rebuild my castle from scratch.
I’m no longer building sand castles or slapping people around — but I’m still building. Building teams. Building companies. Building a culture of high standards.
I believe in challenging conventional thinking by doing things differently and envisioning a better way forward. Finding a solution to a problem begins with believing there is one.
Let’s face it: The days of having a clear, predictable path into the future are over. To succeed, we need to adapt by intentionally exposing ourselves to disruptive forces.
In today’s world, people with the skills to adapt will see their standard of living go up while those without will see it evaporate. The same goes for businesses. I founded WSD Capital Management to change that by taking a leading role to address the critical issues facing public companies, and helping our portfolio companies successfully compete and thrive in an increasingly ruthless global economy by defending their sense of purpose.
This is not the time to rest on your laurels.
Laurels Are For Losers
Benevolent hostility is at the core of the way I do business and it has been key to everything I’ve done from the outset. More than any other factor or philosophy, it is embedded in both my personal and my firm’s “Growth Through Fortitude” approach.
There’s little doubt in my mind that the timeless sense of purpose and the constant call for renewal is the key thread that connects successful organizations across decades and across generations. The important factor is to remember to do what’s right rather than what’s popular or politically correct; which — in the long run — will always be more important than being the toast of the golf course.
Progress Takes Courage
What history has demonstrated is that there’s zero chance that the necessity of organizational change will diminish in the future. If you stand still, you’ll fall behind. Defending your sense of purpose is a process of continuous learning and improvement. An entrepreneurial approach build on innovation, transformation and dynamism is key.
You have to enjoy what you’re doing. If you’re good at it, you’ll be doing it for a long time.
You’ll need to surround yourself with people who share your passion and work ethic, and then you have to be sure that there is a demand for your products or services and be better than your competition. Success is a team sport.
Information alone is no longer the currency it once was. What creates value is how you interpret and apply the available information. Iterate. Ask questions. Ask more questions. Explore.
Being knowledgeable is no longer as valuable as it once was because there are numerous, almost instant, alternatives to gain knowledge. In today’s world, a unique perspective is the only quality that will protect you from the dangers of herd mentality.
Fear those who say they have all the answers but don’t ask any questions. Closed minds are weapons of mass destruction.
Challenge conventional thinking by doing things differently and envisioning a better way forward. Life’s all about doing what’s right rather than what’s popular because whenever you’re focused on living up to other people’s standards, you aren’t focusing on raising your own. Progress takes courage.
Share Your Comments
It’s impossible for one person or team to have all the answers. We can only share our own views and perspectives and then invite you to share your insights as well, respecting the fact that there are a wide range of opinions on most topics.
We welcome your views as we face the many challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.
Message From Ertan
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
I’d like to take the opportunity to welcome you to my website and hope you’ll join me as we embark on a challenging journey.
“Every successful process is the sum of its engagements. To stay ahead of the curve, you have to keep looking for new ways and opportunities for growth – both personal and organizational. One way of doing that is to start your day by asking yourself ‘what am I missing’, rather than ‘how cool am I’.”