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Are You Flexible Enough To Succeed

When I was in college, a famous British rock group performed in our amphitheater, and this was nothing less than a major event.And it was free to students! Our Commissioner of Assemblies had set it up, and this was one of the reasons he was crowned Student Body President, the following year!.But the concert itself was less than 100% gratifying, because the group refused to play its greatest hits, opting instead to showcase its more orchestral ministrations that just happened to appear on their current album.In time, the fame of that group declined precipitously, and to this day I wonder if it is due, at least in part, to its members' inflexibility.Peter F.

Drucker, the recently departed management guru and my professor, has pointed out that many people and companies keep themselves from rising to the top because they are inflexible, especially when it comes to responding to what he terms, "the accidental success.".That rock group succeeded with tunes it didn't especially like, and it probably thought were no good. So, they were embarrassed to win with efforts that weren't as "serious" as those that they could produce with a larger orchestra.Drucker cites examples of department stores that had a rule of thumb that fashions should account for about 75% of profits, yet unexpectedly, televisions and refrigerators started becoming the leaders.

The president of Macy's for one, was concerned and actually tried to find ways to slow down appliance sales so fashions could catch up, becoming restored to their proper and rightful spot in the pantheon of profitability.In other words, instead of seizing the new opportunities presented by appliance sales, management was inflexible, wasting time and money to try to restore the old balance.If an opportunity comes along that can bring you sudden success, will you be flexible enough to ride it to victory, or will you insist on riding your old horse, instead?.


Dr. Gary S. Goodman, President of, is a popular keynote speaker, management consultant, and seminar leader and the best-selling author of 12 books, including Reach Out & Sell Someone®, You Can Sell Anything By Telephone! and Monitoring, Measuring & Managing Customer Service, and the audio program, "The Law of Large Numbers: How To Make Success Inevitable," published by Nightingale-Conant. He is a frequent guest on radio and television, worldwide.

A Ph.D. from USC's Annenberg School, a Loyola lawyer, and an MBA from the Peter F.

Drucker School at Claremont Graduate University, Gary offers programs through UCLA Extension and numerous universities, trade associations, and other organizations in the United States and abroad. He holds the rank of Shodan, 1st Degree Black Belt in Kenpo Karate. He is headquartered in Glendale, California, and he can be reached at (818) 243-7338 or at:

By: Dr. Gary S. Goodman

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