When I was a student in college learning music theory & composition, one of the techniques our professors used was to teach us all the rules of composition & music theory before we could break them. We would then better understand the full palette of musical techniques to combine. One of the courses that was especially interesting to me was "Counterpoint & Fugue." During this course we would be given part of a music line, around which we would build a short 4 -piece harmony. We were specifically told to not play the tune we were writing, and would instead listen to it for the first time when we submitted it to our professor. Following the basic rules gave great results, and ignoring all the rules was a fast track to failure. By following this technique we had another building block under our belts which formed the foundation for developing our own unique styles.
This technique applies to business - know the rules of business, the lessons learned through the efforts of others is tremendously beneficial. But learning from the mistakes of others is also valuable - sometimes failures prove to be even greater lessons. So for this post, I'd like to share two references around the topic of failure in business - How the Mighty Fall, by Jim Collins (author of the more famously referred to Good to Great), and The Seven Habits of Spectacularly Unsuccessful Executives (by Forbes.com contributor Eric Jackson)
Both articles provide wonderful examples of how not to run your company, and just like my old professor, Leonard Klein taught me - learn from the good & the bad, and along the way, you'll develop your own unique and winning style!
New Jersey Business owners - want to learn more about creating great companies? Join us, along with other business owners January 16th at our annual Business Summit "Turbo Charge Your 2012."