Consider This

Robert Stevenson’s Thoughts on the Pursuit of Excellence

Recessions Are Great Teachers

July 28, 2019

by Robert Stevenson

Andy Grove, former Chairman of Intel, once stated. “Only the paranoid survives. Paranoids believe someone or some force is out to get them.” In this time of a thriving economy, companies have a tendency to relax and that, to me, is a big problem. Mr. Grove went on to say, “Success breeds complacency and complacency breeds failure.”

I had one company I worked with whose sales went from $1.3 billion to $338 million during the last recession. Their CEO told me they could have quit paying ALL their employees and they would have still been losing money. The CFO suggested they declare bankruptcy, but the CEO would not accept defeat. Rather than lay good people off, everyone took a pay cut; senior management took an even higher percentage pay cut. They had made one grave error; 90% of their business came from one industry. So, they decided to look for things they could manufacture in recession-resistant industries. The recession forced them to change and now they are a thriving company doing $2.1 billion in sales. Today, 57% of their business comes from one industry and their goal is to have no more than 30% from any one industry.

Their company is stronger today because of what they learned from surviving a recession. Our last recession was a humbling experience for many companies … but it should also have been a time of great learning as well. We definitely had to learn to do more with less if we were going to survive. There are things the last recession should have taught us that we should still be doing.

So, I decided to put together a list of things we should have learned in our last recession, to help serve as a reminder for us all to keep doing them. In Good Times or Bad Times … these should be standard things we all do. I hope you will find the list helpful.

"Your only true security in life
is your ability to perform."

About the Author

Robert Stevenson is an expert at building a high-performance business culture, improving efficiency, and accelerating growth. He is one of the most widely sought-after speakers in the world today, as well as a best-selling author. He has owned five companies, sold internationally in over 20 countries. Robert has spoken to over 2,500 companies throughout the world and his research in the area of corporate and entrepreneurial success is extensive. Over 2 million people have benefitted from his powerful, practical, and thought-provoking programs. He is a true master at blending facts, inspiration, conviction, and humor into all his programs.

Companies like FedEx, Prudential, Lockheed Martin, Anheuser-Busch, Chevron, American Express, and Berkshire Hathaway continue to rely on him for a fresh, unique perspective on businesses’ most crucial issues. To learn more about Robert and what he can do for your team visit his website at

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