Leadership Library Archive

Midweek Motivator
by Tim Moore 
Wright Angles
by Brian Wright 
Tommy Kramer
Talent Coach




Midweek Motivator:  A Time to Stay, A Time to Go
September 2, 2009

by Tim  Moore
One of the most excruciating decisions we'll make is the one that changes our life by moving on. When I made the decision to sell my first radio acquisition in beautiful Coastal Northwest Michigan, I felt a torrent of emotion for the great memories, and even greater performance of my incredible staff. Over the years we owned the station, WKHQ averaged a 19-share in a 20 station Arbitron market, exceeded even our wildest sales goals, and was personally visited by everyone from John Lynch, CEO for Nobel Broadcasting San Diego, to Bernie Parish at WPLJ New York. "106 KHQ" had been the subject of articles spanning from the Detroit News to Inside Radio and Radio & Records.  Everyone knew about the station in the Great Lakes region and well beyond.
At 32, I had taken the plunge; leaving the embrace of a corporate job in Dallas, leaping into ownership, where to be frank, I was over-credited with our station's largess. In fact, what I had managed to accomplish was the collection of an incredible core team who came out of larger markets for the scenery and standards we built together on the shores of Lake Michigan. Most of that team went on to distinguished leadership positions, but on the day I turned over the keys, I remembered the old biblical saying: "faith is the substance of things hoped-for, the evidence of things not seen." I was moving on because I knew there was little else we could accomplish together, I feared eventually my team could get bored with my leadership, and that going out at the very pinnacle of any young owner's dream, regardless of market size or company scope, was the only way to leave a halcyon era in one's life.
Today in the super-charged world of troubled companies and distressed practitioners of the unknown, we're hearing more questions about the uncertainty of "leaving," balanced in some instances with the false comfort of "staying." It's here where our advice is tenuously offered, since as an entrepreneurial outsider we must try extra hard to present our advice as a peer resource from a peripheral contributor and not a peripheral opponent. The fact is, when you make a major career change, there has to be some kind of connection. A guy we know tells the story of a Beverly Hills attorney who wanted to become a potato farmer in Oregon! Now there's a guy who was born to lose.
Sometimes "moving on" means literally moving on: following the right signs that will lead us to the next chapter where what we've known and what we've learned will magnify our experience and success. I've often uttered this caveat when encouraging someone to move for the right reasons:
Never attach too much finality to any decision
The irrepressible Mae West once quipped, "Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before." The changes in our lives may not be the ones we've hoped for. But they can usually help us grow. Pat Riley said it best: "When you come to the fork in the road...step on the accelerator." 
When we reinvent ourselves and engage the new people we're impacting, we are destined to relive the passages of evolution: from newcomer to upstart, from upstart to contender, from contender to winner, and from winner to champion.
Moving on is inevitable when there is only one real alternative. It is not a retreat from defeat but, when done right, an exhilarating change that grows your heart and your spirit. And in a short life, what more could we want?




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Grand Rapids, MI
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