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Published:May 9th, 2008 13:26 EST
Take Responsibility of all Business Principles

Take Responsibility of all Business Principles

By Joel G. Block (Mentor/Columnist)

Of all the business principles that we could discuss, taking responsibility for your actions and for the outcomes that are generated by those actions has got to be at the top of the list. I`ve seen one company after the next find themselves in a situation that they don`t like and where they are unable to make changes because they don`t take responsibility for what got them there in the first place.

A few companies immediately come to mind. A couple of years ago, I was asked to see a company in northern California that had a very exciting expansion plan, but they were unable to fund that plan and therefore they asked for my assistance. My goal was to help them think about where funding could come from. I flew up for the day and sat with these people and began the process of understanding their business and their aspirations for the future.

Their aspirations were exciting, their hopes and dreams were exciting, and I even felt that they were realistic based on the market that they were serving, but they were unable to attract funding of any kind to expand their business into the market where they wanted to go. They even had the prospect of a very large strategic partner to be part of the program with them.

What became immediately obvious to me was that one of the two partners expressed that she could not understand why no one would give them any money. The fact that they had an underdeveloped business plan, that they didn`t have adequate projections, that their marketing materials were weak, that their story came up short, that they had little experience and that they`ve never managed an operation on such a grand scale before didn`t seem to make any difference to her. She was simply focused on the fact that no one would give them any capital.

I pointed out to them that there were a number of holes in their plan that needed to be filled and problems that needed to be solved " before they could succeed in raising the capital that they wanted.

Well, this was the beginning of the end of my relationship with them. This woman was infuriated that I would suggest that the reason that they were not succeeding had anything to do with her or her lack of preparation for taking the company into the equity market. Now, granted, this woman had worked for a firm that has people who worked the equity markets, but she herself was not one of the people who was on the street talking to their investors. She watched other people do it and didn`t know much of what it really took to succeed in this business.

The long and the short of this story is that you have to be able to look yourself in the mirror and take responsibility for what you`re doing and the results that you`re getting. And if you don`t like the results that you`re getting, there`s nothing wrong with figuring out how to change course. In fact, that`s the natural and smart thing to do. But if you`re unable to do that, you won`t make the progress that you need. I`ve seen example after example where people cannot understand why things aren`t going their way. To understand the problem, all they have to do is look in the mirror.

So, as you are working hard every day to build your company, or as you`re building your career, make sure that you look in the mirror when you are dissatisfied with the results that you`re getting. Those results might have something to do with actions that you`re taking that you can change and do differently. Taking personal responsibility might just be the answer that you have been searching for.

About Joel G. Block, President of Growth-Logic, Inc.
Often dubbed a "Growth Architect" by his clients, Joel Block advises companies on explosive growth strategies by driving revenue and sales. Well known in the capital markets, Joel is a successful entrepreneur, speaker and advisor. To bring Joel into your company, please visit or