Tuesday, February 04, 2020

Are Your Signals Favorable

From 1987 through late 1990, I worked for a huge land developer, and building company in central Florida.  The division I worked for covered three counties in central Florida and our gross sales were regularly in excess of $100-million-dollars a year - in 1990 dollars. 

One year we were working a very large land deal, about $10-million for the raw land - a commitment of an equal amount to develop it - a $200- $300 million dollar build out over 2-5 years, likely $30-40 million in profit.  Smaller deals seldom go smoothly, large ones almost never go smoothly.  After months of chasing details the deal was set to close, the day before the seller decided it had to close in their office in Miami, not our office in Orlando.  Paperwork was rerouted, airline tickets and rental cars booked.  

The next morning the division manager responsible for the deal, overslept, had a flat tire on his car, arrived at the airport barely in time to make his flight.  He looked down and realized he had on one brown shoe and one black shoe.  He made the call. To many things had already gone bad that day, it was not going to happen. He rescheduled for the following week, when people had time to plan and be ready.  The deal closed smoothly the following week. 

Shortly after the deal closed, a tech company announced plans to build a plant 2 minutes away to make microchips for the defense industry, hiring a couple thousand engineers and technicians. Prices and values went up 25% overnight.  I left before the project closed out - but I understand it was sweet all the way to the end.  

The division manager told that story, and impressed on us, that if the signals are not good, it is okay to stop, regroup and try again another day.  


  1. pay attention to your inner voice; it speaks truth. sometimes postponing things to the next day brings good luck.

    1. So sound, in our get it done now culture.

  2. I had "one of those days" yesterday. I hope the signals are better today, LOL!

  3. Well I already mentioned the train disaster in this city. The company missed the deadline by nearly two years and everyone rushed to having it work by this fall. Yesterday the train was making the news because everyone was shocked that for the most part, it worked. Imagine how bad a system is when you make headlines because it's working-ish. There is a lesson there for everyone else.

  4. I need to be better at stopping/stepping back when things become overwhelming, at work and in life.

  5. Anonymous2/05/2020

    Trouble is I don't think we do generally. We press on.