Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Little Personal History and Background

Disclaimer: The next few entries in this blog are rather personal. As you start to read them, you might think that I am bragging about my accomplishments. Read on. What you will see is that the opposite is true. Instead of bragging on my accomplishments, I want to point out what I was thinking at the time and what was really happening. I want to point out my own blind spots, in the hope that you might look for yours as well.

It is my intent in these next few posts to publicly display why I am so passionate about the importance of self development and why I believe that organizations should foster that development. It is this passion that led me into coaching in the first place. It is also the same passion that led both Laurie and I to form ECI Learning Systems.

As you read these next few posts, please see if anything here relates to you or to the people who work for you. And think of how acknowledging this situation in your own life or your own company can open the pathway to your success.




I graduated from college in June of 1977. Prior to that I accepted a position at a small consulting firm in Chicago. This company wanted me to work for them so badly that they created a position for me, allowing me to work part time until graduation. Three months later I received a raise for contributing beyond their expectations. Three months after that I received a promotion and another raise.


Because I got results.

Two years later I left that company to move to Ohio, with a number of significant successes already under my belt.

In Ohio I went to work in the Retail Industry. I was not working in a store, but in the accounting department where I was the Manager of the Accounts Payable department. I was 23 years old and running my own department of about 7 employees. Within 3 years I had been promoted twice, had 50+ employees and was the Divisional Controller.

Why had I progressed so quickly and been promoted so frequently?

Simple.... I got results. I got things done that other's had not been able to. I solved problems that had been troubling the company for years. I understood the concepts of Retail Accounting better than my counterparts twice my age. I would not tolerate failure and looked upon every project and assignment as a personal challenge.

I was proud of what I had accomplished and knew that I would always be a success becuase I was smarter than a lot of the people around me.

That company got sold and I moved to Johnstown, PA where I took over as Assistant Controller for another retailer, a bigger retailer whose controller wanted to retire and was looking for his successor. This was perfect for me.

Unfortunately the parent company decided to sell the division and I would soon be losing my job. However, the company president had taken a liking to me.


I got results. In the short time that I was there I had demonstrated a solid understanding of the business. He wanted me to follow him to his next company, but I declined for personal reasons.

A few years later I found myself in Washington D.C. as the Director of MIS for one of the most prestegious retailers in the country. Once again I was proving my value. I increased productivity in all of my areas; we cut costs and still outproduced our counterparts in other divisions. I turned a poorly running organization into a showplace for the rest of the company. As in the past, I found that I was able to overcome challenges that had stumped my predecessors and peers.

I was good and I knew it. There was no hurdle that I could not overcome.

But the retail industry was in trouble and I knew my division was about to be sold. Not wanting to go through the emotional turbulance of another company sale, I looked outside of retail and took a position at MCI Communications.

Going from retail to telecommunications would not be easy, but I was not worried. After all, I knew how to get results. I had shown my value in one industry and was confident in my abilty to learn another. Sure it would be a challenge. I mean, all of the new terminology, the technology issues of telecommunications versus retail, and of course, the size of the company. MCI was huge compared to what I was used to.

But I knew I could get results.

Till next time.....

Dave Meyer

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