Guest Column | April 10, 2014

What IT Channel Executives Can Learn From Legendary Basketball Coach John Wooden

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Tom Fedro, President and CEO, Paragon Software Group

By Tom Fedro, President and CEO, Paragon Software Group 

The legendary John Wooden, arguably the greatest basketball coach of all time, once said, “Never confuse activity with accomplishment.” Whether you’re a vendor or a reseller, that statement resonates — because one of the most difficult aspects of managing a start-up is dealing with the excitement level of the new venture and reining in the tendency to believe that activity for activity’s sake is critical at all times.

In the nineties, led by an almost euphoric market and the ability to tack “dot com” at the end of anything, one could watch stock prices soar as investment capital flew in and companies filled giant break rooms with ping pong tables, arcades, snack bars, and more. The business atmosphere at that time was electrifying, but in many cases the activity wasn’t anything approaching best practice. (This isn’t to say that amenities for employees can’t help attract and keep good staff, it just illustrates the frenetic pace of business in emerging markets.) A few years later, the tech “bubble” imploded, and the net result was a great loss of shareholder value, layoffs, and paper millionaires realizing they had non-paper debts.

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