What is most memorable is how many people said it was an impossible challenge – profitability could never happen. During a meeting with a former Bank President I reviewed the financials so that he could reassure me all would work out with a few changes in the organization. I was wrong – he sat across the table from me and there was no way this could turn out to be a success story. He had seen too many similar situations and they all turned out the same way – bankrupt. And then I kept thinking about what my mother used to say to me when I was growing up; “Nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it. Nothing” and so I shook off the words of my valued mentor Jerry and put everything I had into making things work out.
It took time but in the end it worked out. The seemingly impossible happened, the financial condition steadily improved and 400 people kept their jobs.
I took away many valuable lessons from the experience:
1. Just because something is really hard doesn't mean it can’t be done.
2. Wishing and wanting something to work out isn’t enough – you have to have a strategy and a strong will for it to happen.
3. Even when people tell you something is impossible – you have to look for the people who believe you can pull things off.
4.The strategy can never be cooked up in you own head – it’s done by enlisting as many smart people as possible to help talk things through.
5. It’s important to be humble enough to ask anyone who can assist you for help.
6. Even when people say it’s crazy to believe in impossible things the most important opinion you have to listen to is your own. And if you say it’s possible – you’re on your way to making it happen.
7. It’s important to recognize when you have accomplished your goal and congratulate yourself but most importantly thank the people who helped make it happen.
Believing in the impossible doesn’t always involve staying in the same company, working at the same job, dealing with the same difficult people – often it means believing that if you gather your courage and make a move what you once thought to be impossible might be waiting for you on the other side of where you are now.