Achieving Business Excellence with John Spence

Lessons from the Boat Show

As many of you know, in addition to doing work as a business consultant, speaker and executive trainer I also own a small advertising firm called Flycaster & Company, which specializes mainly in the marine/sportfishing industry.  Last week my partners and I traveled down to Miami for the boat show and I believe there are some great lessons to be learned from the turmoil now facing that troubled industry.  As you read what I have to say about the boating industry in this blog, just keep asking yourself: “How might this apply to my business and my industry?” I have a feeling you’ll likely see many strong similarities. Continue reading “Lessons from the Boat Show” »

Great Leadership Advice for Challenging Times

The feedback from my recent video post of the Six Keys to Business Survival for 2009 has been exceedingly positive, and we plan to do several more videos in the coming months.  However, I came across an absolutely outstanding article by Dan McCarthy on his website “Great Leadership” that I think is one of the best I’ve read in a long time on how to lead in challenging times.  His comments and advice are spot on as well as being realistic and two-the-point.  I strongly encourage you to forward this link on to anyone in a leadership position — it’s just some great solid information that people need to be thinking about right now.  Also, be sure to click on the links in side of his article that lead to the article and white papers from DDI – these are also absolutely fantastic.


Here is the lead-in to Dan’s article, I promise you’ll enjoy the rest and the links:

Great Leadership for Challenging Times

I know this is a long overdue post. After all, this blog is supposed to be all about leadership and leadership development, and while there have been hundreds of articles written about how to lead during these challenging economic times, I’ve yet to add my own two cents…

To read the rest of this article click HERE

Hope this helps — I look forward to your feedback — John


Six Keys to Business Survival in 2009

Getting 2009 Started Off Strong!

I believe that two of the the most important factors in running a successful company are: robust communications and a sharp focus on the key organizational strategies.  Unfortunately, it is been my experience that most leaders do a relatively poor job of communicating what they want their people to focus on.  Given the incredibly challenging economic times we are in, now more than ever it is critical to clearly communicate to all of your people what is expected of them and what they need to do to keep your company strong and successful.  However, you don’t want to bog them down with long speeches or a 50 page strategic plan.  The goal is to keep it as concise and focused as possible. Continue reading “Getting 2009 Started Off Strong!” »

What I Learned at the Global Institute for Leadership Development

I have just returned from spending a week in Palm Springs, where I attended the Global Institute for Leadership Development as a student. It was an amazing event, with some of the leading business thinkers in the world delivering thoughtful and timely presentations. For five days straight, from eight in the morning until 6 PM at night, we went nonstop from session to session, speech to speech, and also got personal coaching on our leadership and management styles. I took well over 80 pages of notes, to the point where I thought my fingers might never recover. Rather than give you an exhaustive recap, I’d like to summarize here a few of the key take-aways I got at this wonderful event… Continue reading “What I Learned at the Global Institute for Leadership Development” »

Six Key Strategies for Success in a Challenging Economy

For the past 14 years I have served as an advisor and coach to more than 300 companies worldwide. Recently, I have had a number of clients ask for my advice on how to handle the current business downturn. In some of the industries I work in the numbers look extremely bleak and I am predicting that there is going to be a serious shakeout of any weak players. To make sure you are one of the strong that survive, here are my top recommendations for what you need to focus on to successfully navigate these difficult economic times. Continue reading “Six Key Strategies for Success in a Challenging Economy” »

Some Thoughts on Opening a New Business

A very close friend of mine, David Huffman, is considering opening up a restaurant, so I wanted to give him a few quick ideas to help him get his new venture off to a super start, but really I think these ideas apply to just about any business… Continue reading “Some Thoughts on Opening a New Business” »

How to Run an Effective Strategic Planning Retreat

A very close friend asked me to facilitate his organization’s upcoming strategic planning retreat, but unfortunately the days he needed were already booked for another client. The next best thing I could offer was some advice. I have probably facilitated 80 or 90 retreats in the last 20 years, from non-profits to the Fortune 50 – here is how I typically approach a planning retreat… Continue reading “How to Run an Effective Strategic Planning Retreat” »

Great Lessons from a Leading CEO

I was just reading the transcripts of a Q&A session that Anne Mulcahy, the CEO of Xerox, gave at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business and was extremely impressed with some of her answers. Anne was recently named the fifth-most-powerful woman in the world by Forbes magazine, so it is probably worth reading these comments very carefully… Continue reading “Great Lessons from a Leading CEO” »