Lessons Learned with a Loaded Gun at My Back

Skills I learned while working my way through college gave me off to a fast start in corporate America and gave me confidence later in my career to be tough, resourceful and the determination to get deals done.

As leaders one of our top responsibilities is to build the best team possible. When you are looking through all the resumes be sure to look closely at what people did outside the classroom. I am certain they do not teach this at the big brand schools.

This is a True Story. The story of a college Repo Man.

Happy Birthday to Me

I learned an important lesson on this job on my twenty-second birthday, January 18, 1978. My buddy, Don, and I received a call to repossess a pickup truck in Farmington, Arkansas. The address we were given was “somewhere along a rural route,” and as our boss was giving us the details over the phone, he said, “The place is a little bit of a cult.”

“What exactly do you mean, a little bit of a cult?” I asked.

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Are You a Risk Taker or Reckless?

In my 38 years in Corporate America I found myself taking calculated risks and being reckless.  The reckless decisions were painful and expensive and took a long time to recover and get back on track.  It’s easy to see in hindsight which ones was which but at the time I did not know if it was risky or reckless.  This article is written to help you figure it out before you make a reckless decision.

The key questions to ask yourself

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Experience is More Important Than What You Learned in College

I am writing this article to reinforce what most of you know, its about skills, experiences, work ethic and getting along with people much more than what college you attended.  This is part of my story.

I proudly went to the University of Arkansas.  Partly because I grew up a crazy Razorback fan but mostly because it was only $225 a semester for tuition.   (1974)

Even though the tuition was low, I still needed to work to pay for the majority of my expenses.  My parents gave me $100 a month and that was really more than they could afford.  This led me some jobs that most of my friend would never do because they were tough, humbling, risky and all paid on commission.  In sold pots and pans and vacuum cleaners door to door and reposed cars and trucks. 

I promised you, it’s the skills I learned in these jobs that got me off to a fast start in corporate American and gave me confidence later in my career to be tough and get the deals done.


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The Difference Between a Leaders and a Manager

Leaders decide who needs to do what work and when it needs to be accomplished.  They make resource decisions, trade off decisions and develop the talent of their team that will get them to the long term vision. Leaders set the metrics that will effectively measure if they are getting the work done that need to be done to hit their goals.

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