There are only two elements of success; timing and your ability to act.


Recently I had a conversation with an associate of a previous career life and they said "man, your sense of timing is impeccable". Maybe, but I'm not lucky. I'm not prophetic. I'm not a fortune teller. What I am is experienced and I left that organization when my experience told me that my "truth" was different than the organization's and things were headed into corporate Hell. It was Thomas Hobbes that said "Hell is the truth learned too late." Right on brother!


It's been said that experience is simply the name we give our mistakes. Yes, my experience has come from my mistakes and also important, the mistakes of others. These experiences and learning opportunities, mistakes of yours and others, create a framework for decision making in the future and the present. It's almost instantaneous now when my 'spidey' sense goes off. Six companies, six industries, and thirty years of making mistakes has made me a master of timing, seeing the truth of the right now and the future walk into the middle of the valley of Hell.



So having impeccable timing comes down to two very simple things:

  1. Understanding the truth of the current situation.

  2. Doing something about it, at a minimum, have a plan.

So in addition to understanding the current situation, it's also important to have the right sense of the definition of the truth. It's not a manufactured truth either. I've heard executives say "there is one version of the truth". That should be a red flag indicating validation of past events is more important to them than focusing on the likelihood future events. Also, you'll find that it's true, there is only one version of their truth.


So, even in a finite function like Accounting there are multiple ways to record revenue, expenses and capital. I'm not going to say that history isn't a good predictor of the future. I'm saying that when you are looking to place blame instead of celebrating what was learned, the fate of your organization is predictable.


In terms of doing something about it, there are lots of obstacles that can get in the way. The biggest hurdle is your financial obligations. It's incredibly important for you to meet your obligations and it's not likely that you can just walk into the boss's office and resign. I do think however that you need to acknowledge that the end could be in sight and you may not have an option if the organization is in distress, goes bankrupt or is acquisition target. I'd suggest that you start your job search if you haven't already done so. Additionally, and MOST IMPORTANT, you need to start building a financial nest egg. Not to do these two things almost immediately is ignoring the inevitable.


To have "an impeccable sense of timing" I have always remembered Dick Keyser the CEO of W.W. Grainger once telling me "Mike, we do the right things right here". That has become a personal bellwether of the "truth" for me and a leading indicator of the integrity and ultimately the future long term viability of an organization. The day that you get a sense that the mission isn't about "doing the right things right" is the day to start to plan your journey to the next opportunity in your career. See, you too can have an impeccable sense of timing!


You can find this article and much more from The MBAR Group and TalentBlvd founder at: or TalentBlvd,com


About Mike McNamara:



Mike has held C-Suite, Executive and Senior Sales, Marketing, Business Development, and General Management roles with Equifax, Cox Enterprises, WW Grainger, and Federal-Mogul Corporation. Mike has led sales, service and operations organizations of over 1,500 associates and accountable for P&L responsibility in excess of $250M.


Dedicated to giving back, Mike formed The MBAR Group in 2009 with the sole intent of providing pro bono career and business consulting services to the underprivileged and underserved. Today as founder and CEO of TalentBlvd, he coaches a number of high profile business and media personalities as well as holding advisory board positions guiding a number of multimedia and small business startups.


Mike earned his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University and holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Michigan State University. He is a past chapter President of the American Marketing Association. Mike and family split time between their adopted state of Missouri and family home in NW Michigan where their philanthropic causes include The Kingdom House – St Louis, BACN in Benzonia, MI., and Samaritan’s Purse, Boone NC.

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April 4, 2020