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October 09, 2008 - Image 41

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2008-10-09

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Business I career coach

Trust Your Gut

I

ntuition: Being aware of or knowing
something without having to dis-
cover or perceive it; something known
instinctively without actual evidence for it.
Major life decisions — like starting
a family, choosing a career or closing a
business — can be scary and lonely. Trust
your gut and it will be easier to face the
unknown.
Time and again people ask how to make
tough choices when I coach and give
seminars. I always recommend following:
intuition.
Do you want to go work for someone or
yourself? Should you fire someone or give
him or her another chance? Should you try
to salvage your underperforming business
or close it?
You shouldn't make a decision blindly
but you should trust your gut when mak-
ing it. Do research, ask tough questions,
weigh options. Along the way, don't forget
to tap into a little intuition.
Some of our country's most respected
business leaders made difficult choices

that clearly involved intu-
ition. Do you think Florine
Mark (Weight Watchers), Bill
Davidson (Guardian Industries)
or the late Max Fisher (oil
industry tycoon) would have
achieved such remarkable
successes and developed into
well-known philanthropists had
they not trusted themselves and
followed intuition?
Alex Manoogian, who
founded the home product
giant Masco, trusted his gut time and
again. First, he fled Turkish oppression in
1920 to come to America with just $50.
Next, he moved to Detroit to capitalize on
the high wages being paid by the boom-
ing automobile industry. He followed his
gut again, buying out his two partners at
Masco Screw Products Company within
the company's first year.
Bill Gates followed his gut when he
dropped out of Harvard to start Microsoft
and now he is one of the richest people in

the world. (I am not suggesting
dropping out of college.)
There are countless success
stories about people who trust-
ed their guts and took risks. To
name a few: Look at business-
man and former race car driver
Roger Penske, who owns an
auto racing team that has won
the Indianapolis 500 13 times.
Today, Penske Corporation is
the second-largest publicly
traded dealership chain and he
is working on the Smart Car.
Detroit businesswoman Cindy Pasky is
another example. She couldn't get a bank
loan to pursue her dream of starting her own
IT staffing company. Convinced she could do
this and manage it better than her previous
employers had run theirs, she trusted her
instincts and asked herself, "Why not now?"
In 1990, she borrowed money from friends
and today the company is one of the nation's
largest staffing companies for information
technology services.

Former Detroit Piston All-Star Dave
Bing relied on intuition to start the Bing
Group auto supplier after his success-
ful sports career. Now he'll have to do
the same in deciding whether to run for
mayor of Detroit.
When you visualize your future and
think of every possible alternative that
could go wrong, trust your gut. Flipping
a coin is one of the best ways I know to
decide between two alternatives.
As you flip it, think about what you
want the coin to be when it lands. What
did you wish for while it was spinning in
the air before it came down? That is your
intuition. Trust it.

Robert Sher, CPA, is a certified executive

coach. Formerly CFO and partner for Schostak

Brothers & Company, he serves on the boards

of charitable and professional organizations

as well as being on the West Bloomfield

Township Board of Trustees. He is treasurer

of the American Institute of Certified Public

Accountants Foundation.



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October 9 • 2008

A41

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