Is Inflation AWOL?

For several months we’ve been discussing inflation in our Vistage groups? Why? Because one of the reasons that Vistage members do better than the general business population is that they are talking about and acting on economic conditions before they arise. We’ve been expecting inflation to rear its head any day but thus far it is yet to materialize.

Economist Brian Westbury shares his explanation and forecast here.

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Phoenix Business Journal ACE Awards Feature Four Tucson Companies

On September 18 the Phoenix Business Journal announced the 2014 winners of its ACE Awards (AZ Corporate Excellence). This year Vistage International joined the list of companies sponsoring the ACE awards. In all the 50 winners included 12 Vistage International member companies including six that are either headquartered in or have branches in Southern Arizona. The six include:

  • Pima Medical Institute
  • Truly Nolen
  • Buffalo Exchange
  • Beach Fleischman
  • Sunland Asphalt (branch)
  • Pioneer Title (Sierra Vista)

Congratulations to all the winners.

View the ACE Awards Supplement here.

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SEO for CEO’s Made Simple

As the CEO you’re probably not directly responsible for optimizing your company website for search engines. You may want to know just enough to know if the people who are responsible are doing a good job of it. One way is of course to search yourself on the words you think your prospective clients might be using to look for companies like yours. For The Leader’s Edge we want to capture searchers who are looking for Business Coaching or Executive Coaching.

Another method is to take a look at your landing page and check for THBLI. Check for what? If I want to capture prospective clients, they would be searching for items related to Business Coaching.

T–Does your webpage have a TITLE that would be relevant to searchers? Our Title is Business Coaching.

H–Does your webpage have a HEADLINE that would be relevant to searchers?

B–Does your webpage have a BLOG with entries that would be relevant to searchers?

L–Does your webpage have LINKS that would be relevant to searchers?

I–Does your webpage have IMAGES with names relevant to searchers?



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From a recent newsletter by my friend and fellow chair Alan Hauge.

“You Vendor, Me Victim”:   or How Target’s friends did it in.

The hacking of 40 Million Target Shoppers over the holidays is a still unfolding travesty and other retailers like Neiman Marcus and others have likewise been affected.   It’s bad enough when hackers target your system directly, but it now appears that Target was compromised by the lack of security at its VENDORS;  the very people with the largest stake in Target’s success were the unwitting pathway for the criminals who stole so much personal data!

To Target’s dismay, it was announced on Friday that the vendor in question was not a giant merchandise supplier, but a small 125 person mechanical contracting firm in Pittsburgh, PA that had done some work for several Target’s stores.  Hackers targeted the vendor’s system and its connection to Target’s vendor management system through which they found the access they  were looking for..

If you’re a C-Level decision maker, this buck will find its way to your desk as the CEO of Target has learned to his sorrow; so take a few minutes for an executive summary by Vistage Speaker Mike Foster who has advised hundreds of Vistage CEOs across the US on how to understand and manage this increasingly risky aspect of their businesses..  In a recent blog post, he gives an overview of what happened plus the questions you should be asking your IT Staff before you get a very different set of questions from irate customers and other stakeholders because you failed to protect them.   Mike provides two videos (one short, one long) in that blog entry that provide a list of questions to ask your team to determine whether you’re being  hurt (unintentionally) by those who are supposed to love you.

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Everything I Needed to Know I Learned in Vistage

Explore an two-decade long journey with Tim McCarthy as he looks back on lessons learned in his Vistage membership in his new book, “Everything I Needed to Know I Learned in Vistage.”

From his web page.

“The maverick entrepreneur in me back in 1995 lacked process in all things.  It was so bad that one associate asked what our training program was and I said, “three words: figure it out”.  It took years of Vistage speakers and peer pressure for me to learn this but now I know:  Process precedes success.  My business was always creatively successful, but Vistage allowed me to become financially successful.”

“When I started with Vistage in 1995, my company had annual revenues of $2 million, 14 employees, was named to the INC. 500, and lost money. That year, my wife and I had been together 20 years and our children were 11, 15, and 16. I paid myself $48,000 in what was my seventh year in business. Since then, my first business was sold into private equity for $45 million.  I’ve started another three businesses and a foundation, and between them we manage about $60 million in assets.  Our three children are all married and all are running their own businesses … Alice and I have now made it 38 years together and we have two grandchildren. Most importantly, I’m happier than I ever dreamed I could be.  I have health, love of family, and an incredible fortune.  And daily, I live my dream of serving those who serve the poor, the focus of our foundation, The Business of Good.”

Learn more about Tim’s journey at


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How Do You Define Culture?

How do you define company culture. In 7 years of conducting Vistage meetings, I don’t think there are many where culture is not discussed. Despite the fact that we can talk about it, most are at a lost to define what it actually is. Vistage speaker Balaji Krishnamurti, himself a turnaround CEO offers a compelling and unique definition in this short audio clip.

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Some Thoughts for Thanksgiving…Or Any Day for That Matter

The following list was written by Regina Brett, of the Plain Dealer, Cleveland, OH.  If you meditate, or just find a quiet space every now or then, they are a good, healthy reminder about what’s important.

1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short – enjoy it.

4. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and family will.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don’t have to win every argument. Stay true to yourself.

7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.

8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.

12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye But don’t worry; God never blinks.

16… Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

17. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful.  Clutter weighs you down in many ways.

18. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.

19. It’s never too late to be happy.  But it’s all up to you and no one else..

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now.. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words ‘In five years, will this matter?’

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.

35. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

36. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood.

38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.

41. Envy is a waste of time. Accept what you already have not what you need.

42. The best is yet to come…

43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

44. Yield.

45. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.

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Hire the Best, Fire the Rest and Stay Out of Court


In December we are privileged to host Vistage Speaker Hunter Lott. Here’s a brief description of his presentation.

In this highly interactive program, Hunter Lott blends employment practices, humor, and the law to simplify and make practical the answers to some of today’s toughest management issues.


  • Hire and Fire for “ATTITUDE”
  • Streamline your DOCUMENTATION
  • Evaluate your potential for lawsuit
  • Stay out of COURT

Issues are covered from a very practical point of view, giving concrete examples of how to overcome the frustration of dealing with employment law and still growing the business. Lott’s ability to mix these examples with humor and a working knowledge of employment law make this an informative and fast-paced presentation.

Value to Members: Members will leave with an ability to audit their own businesses for risky practices and cut through the clutter of employment law to improve harmony and productivity. Included is a review of handbooks, a number of sample policies, a summary of key legal issues, tools to think like an outsider along with solutions to nagging HR frustrations.

Biography: Hunter Lott is a partner in HCap International, publisher of the upcoming Please Sue Me series and owner of HRonCall, an outsource HR support service. For more than 18 years, Lott has given over 4,000 presentations to more than 100,000 managers and owners across the United States.


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Experience Vistage on June 11 at Hacienda del Sol



Every month Tucson Vistage members give up a day at the office to spend that day with 15 of their peers? Easy? No. Invaluable? Yes. Watch to find out why. Vistage Value

On  June 11 join Tucson’s business leaders for a half day version of a Vistage CEO meeting. Enjoy a popular Vistage speaker leading you through an accelerated Strategic Planning exercise. Learn what it is like to explore a tough question or issue you are facing with the help of a room of your peers. Schedule an appointment to see if you qualify for membership in Tucson’s newest CEO Peer Advisory Group. That group is already 25 percent subscribed, including the President of one of Tucson’s largest aerospace companies.

Come as a guest. Full information here.



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Optimism Rebounds in Q1 2013 Vistage CEO Confidence Index

CEOs reported an improved economy and brighter prospects for their own firms despite recent cutbacks in federal spending, in the Q1 2013 Vistage CEO Confidence Index. The Confidence Index was 96.6 in the 1st quarter 2013 survey, up from 87.0 in the prior quarter and the highest level since last year’s 105.1. The underlying strength in the economy has begun to shift the attention of CEOs from uncertainty about federal policies to the more traditional concerns of small firms centered on revenue growth, controlling costs, and staffing.

Below are some key highlights from the Q1 2013 Vistage CEO Confidence Index (all members surveyed):

  • 49% of CEOs think that economic conditions have improved compared with a year ago, up from 35% in Q4 2012.
  • 68% of CEOs anticipate their firm’s sales revenues will increase in the next 12 months.
  • Just 11% of CEOs found it easy to find people with the right skills to drive their business growth, while 75% found it difficult to find qualified talent.
  • 16% of CEOs believe the sequester will adversely impact their business.
  • 82% of CEOs expect U.S. fiscal uncertainty will continue throughout the year.

See  more results here.

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