Decisiveness is Critical when Times are Tough

Nov 2, 2011

It’s too simple to say some business executives perform better than others.  Way too many factors determine a company’s success or failure than just the actions of the CEO.  Especially companies that have been around for a long time.

Nevertheless, it’s interesting in challenging times such as these to see which companies in a particular category manage to survive while others disappear.  Almost no American business category has been hit harder in this economy than furniture.  I’ve been close to the furniture industry for almost 50 years.  The number of recent bankruptcies of both well known manufacturers and up-to-hundred-year-old retailers is unprecedented.  Hardly a day goes by that industry chronicle, Furniture Today, doesn’t report another bankruptcy of a company I know.

So when you read about one that’s in the black, you take note.  Last week a respected, old manufacturer, Flexsteel, reported a one-and-a-half-percent increase in profits.  Nothing to shout about maybe.  But when it occurs in a quarter in which sales were down six-and-a-half percent, that’s worth noting.

I don’t know the current CEO or CFO of Flexsteel, but I think I know the kind of executives they are:  decisive; quick to grasp and quick to respond; executives who can read industry factors clearly and react quickly and decisively; executives who out-perform those who resist making bold decisions until it’s too late.


John Malmo is a marketing consultant who concentrates on helping business owners grow their businesses with effective marketing.  To reach Mr. Malmo, hear and read more of his commentaries, or ask him a direct marketing question of your own, visit