MORRIS: Feeling (mostly) thankful this year

Greg Morris
November 19, 2011
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

MorrisThanksgiving week is here. Can you believe it? Where has the year gone? Company budgets for next year are being finalized over the next few weeks. The holidays will come and go in a flash, and we’ll be able to put this year in the history books before you know what happened. This Thanksgiving, I’m feeling mostly in a thankful mood, but January—a month that comes with unique challenges—is looming.

Being a sales guy in the media business for a third of a century (that sounds longer than 33 years), I always worry about finishing the current year strong and getting the new year off to a good start in January. The finishing-strong part usually happens, but feeling like you’ve got any traction for January is elusive.

After mid-December, a lot of business folks concentrate only on what absolutely has to be accomplished to close out the year. They think it’s too early to worry about January, even though they know they should. Then, many business execs don’t really get back to full speed until the second or third week in January. By that time, the month is almost over from a revenue-generating standpoint. Yes, this is feeling like another January to me.

January’s worst qualities are snow, cold, ice and wind—a driver’s nightmare. As Al Pacino often said in the movie “Donnie Brasco”—forget about it. It takes twice as long to get to work and go home in such conditions. So, after all these years, I’ve officially decided something I already knew: I hate January. I figure the only logical solution is to pack up and go someplace warm until the weather improves and decision-makers get back to work. I’ll let you know how that works out.

Sorry to get off on a rant, but the thought of January’s quickly approaching makes me crazy. I meant for this column to be a positive look at the conclusion of another tough year in business. The truth is, this Thanksgiving, I’m very thankful our company is finishing the year strong and that there is optimism for an even stronger year in 2012.

Like many industries, the media business has been challenging for more than a few years now. However, when you put your mind to the task at hand and take it one day, one week, one month and one quarter at a time, the process seems manageable.

Out of necessity, I know many companies have figured out how to save money these past few years. Now it’s time to grow the bottom line through increased revenue while keeping a tight rein on expenses. That’s what we’ll be working on in 2012 and I know that’s what many other companies will be concentrating on, too. And, I’m more optimistic for that revenue growth today than I was at this time last year. I’m thankful for that.

Managing through challenging times is interesting. Sometimes, the most gratifying achievements occur while you’re not feeling all that successful. What I mean by that is this: In the course of implementing new procedures to accomplish tasks and goals more efficiently with fewer resources, sometimes you find out some amazing things. You discover you have an even more talented staff than you thought you had. You find out that great people can come together and accomplish great things working together as a dedicated team. Certainly that has been the case here at IBJ, and I’m feeling very thankful that I have the opportunity to work alongside such wonderful people. Many CEOs feel the same way.

It’s a lot easier to feel good about life when everything is going great guns. You’ve heard the saying that a rising tide lifts all boats. But, when things get tough for an extended period, that’s when you find out what you and your team and your company are made of. Legendary Green Bay Packers football coach Vince Lombardi was credited with saying, “It’s easy to have faith in yourself and have discipline when you’re a winner, when you’re number one. What you’ve got to have is faith and discipline when you’re not a winner.” I’ve got the faith!

So this Thanksgiving, I give thanks for my family and friends, good health, blessings bestowed, and for the opportunity to work for a great company, which would be nothing without our wonderful team. Happy Thanksgiving, and I wish you the same good fortune. Thanks for reading IBJ.•


Morris is publisher of IBJ. His column appears every other week. To comment on this column, send e-mail to gmorris@ibj.com.


Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. So much for Eric Holder's conversation about race. If white people have got something to say, they get sued over it. Bottom line: white people have un-freer speech than others as a consequence of the misnamed "Civil rights laws."

  2. I agree, having seen three shows, that I was less than wowed. Disappointing!!

  3. Start drilling, start fracking, and start using our own energy. Other states have enriched their citizens and nearly elminated unemployment by using these resources that are on private land. If you are against the 'low prices' of discount stores, the best way to allow shoppers more choice is to empower them with better earnings. NOT through manipulated gov mandated min wage hikes, but better jobs and higher competitive pay. This would be direct result of using our own energy resources, yet Obama knows that Americans who arent dependent of gov welfare are much less likely to vote Dem, so he looks for ways to ensure America's decline and keep its citizens dependent of gov.

  4. Say It Loud, I'm Black and Ashamed: It's too bad that with certain "black" entertainment events, it seems violence and thuggery follows and the collateral damage that it leaves behinds continues to be a strain on the city in terms of people getting hurt, killed or becoming victims of crimes and/or stretching city resources. I remember shopping in the Meadows area years ago until violence and crime ended make most of the business pack you and leave as did with Lafayette Square and Washington Square. Over the past 10 to 12 years, I remember going to the Indiana Black Expo Soul Picnic in Washington Park. Violence, gang fights and homicides ended that. My great grandmother still bears the scares on her leg from when she was trampled by a group of thugs running from gun fire from a rival gang. With hundreds of police offices downtown still multiple shootings, people getting shot downtown during Black Expo. A number of people getting shots or murdered at black clubs around the city like Club Six on the west side, The Industry downtown, Jamal Tinsley's shot out in front of the Conrad, multiple fights and shootings at the skating rinks, shootings at Circle Center Mall and shooting and robberies and car jackings at Lafayette Mall. Shootings and gang violence and the State Fair. I can go on and on and on. Now Broad Ripple. (Shaking head side to side) Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Ashamed.

  5. Ballard Administration. Too funny. This is the least fiscally responsive administration I have ever seen. One thing this article failed to mention, is that the Hoosier State line delivers rail cars to the Amtrak Beech Grove maintenance facility for refurbishment. That's an economic development issue. And the jobs there are high-paying. That alone is worth the City's investment.