“I knew immediately something was terribly wrong, but you can know that and not allow the thought in your head, at the front of your head. It dances around at the back, where it can’t be controlled. But the front of the head is where the pain begins.” Sebastian Barry (1955 – )
It was time to throw in the towel on B&R Pet Supply, our $6M money pit. My recommendation was quickly approved at our board meeting. At the break, our lead outside director, Ren McPherson, approached me.
His face 5 inches from my nose, he peered into my eyes and said, “Ever since I heard the name B&R, I thought BM. How long did it take you to size up that we had a disaster on our hands?”
“About six months,” I volunteered, my throat getting drier by the second.
“How long did it take you to pull the plug,” he continued.
“Three years,” I mumbled.
He moved 2 inches closer, his eyes steely, “What’s that called when you get a hunch there’s something’s out of whack and you know it’s time to act?”
“I don’t know,” I uttered with a sigh.
“Intuition!” he cried. “Intuition! Use it! You have 3 months to size up a smelly situation and 3 months to act. Never forget it.”
He closed with a forbearing smile that telegraphed he believed in me. He backed away. That was that.
It’s impossible to forget that moment or his words. It was one of the most motivating minutes in my life. He profoundly impacted my courage to cut to the chase whenever I get an inkling of buried bull shit.