It’s a season of renewal and reflection. I’d like to share my best wishes to you and your families for a wonderful forthcoming holiday season, whatever your inclinations to celebrate. My gift in this newsletter is to spur some self-reflection in order to ignite your spark of renewal.
“Next year will be the year. I just know it. Conditions are improving, and I can see around the bend. Q-1 will be the start of something big.”
Is anyone on your team speaking like this, using generalities and emotional words to coast through the end of the month? Are you sure?
Looking forward requires more discipline, objectivity, and self-reflection than looking back. Looking back does little to improve your condition. It’s in the past.
Success requires that we look forward with imagination, confidence, and courage. Did you perform or underperform this year? Be honest. How did you measure the performance: yours, your team’s, and your company’s?
Looking back can be a helpful way to diagnose a condition that may be lurking unnoticed—what’s holding you or your company back from its potential greatness? Have you asked honestly of yourself or your team?
It can also be helpful when gathering one’s thoughts in self-reflection.
Successful movement toward renewal, rejuvenation, and inspiration requires clarity on the objective(s), acknowledgment of talent and resource constraints, and a degree of forgiveness such that the baggage of missed opportunity can be dropped and the path forward cleared.
Do you observe any of these activities in your company this month?
- Scrambling to book business before the holidays for the sole purpose of making a number?
- Are people requesting or hoarding vacation days for 2024?
- Strategic partnership commitments pushed to the new year that could have closed by now?
The facts demonstrate the economy is improving, even though everyday items such as food, housing, and (depending on where you live) fuel, and electricity are more expensive than last year. We experienced inflation at levels many in business had not seen in their lifetimes. It was a normal cycle of the economy that had been artificially depressed for years.
Both the US and global aerospace and defense markets are trending up and are forecast to improve by 10% (nationally) and 40% (internationally) over the next ten years.
The US government customer has never had better decision tools and means of communicating with the defense industry, yet they need your help more than ever to make the best use of those tools.
Congress continues to fail in the near term yet provides continuity in framing the government buying environment, passing policy, and spending bills annually. I didn’t say on time, but funds flowed into the government buyer’s checkbook. The government is far from broke and spends billions of dollars weekly.
Publicly traded defense companies continue to do well. Why? A few clear keys:
- Their public stock value forces unmistakable accountability for decision-making and outcomes.
- They employ specialists to navigate precise and specific avenues essential to government sales: business development, professional lobbyists, acquisition attorneys, accountants, estimators, and currency and economic experts.
- They innovate, but not to the point of distraction. If the government doesn’t want it, they let go of the idea (read that one again).
During this season of renewal, reflection, and celebration, allow yourself to get clear on what’s happening.
- Are your operating assumptions flawed?
- Are your performance metrics properly dialed in?
- Is the right team on the field and in the correct positions?
- Do you need some short-term contract help while you finally decide to get rid of [I’ll call him Bob]?
The questions can be challenging, but so is leadership. Take full advantage of this season of renewal and reflection. Only then can the stage be set for that phenomenal 2024 that’s upon us!
Go get ‘em!
For a copy of my book, Pitching the Big Top: How to Master the 3-Ring® Circus of Federal Sales, and more information on federal sales, visit Capitol Integration.