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Johnny Unitas was one of the all-time great NFL quarterbacks. In fact, many attribute the modern passing offense to what he did in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Prior to Unitas, passing in the NFL was primarily lofting the ball downfield and hoping your receiver got under it for a catch. Unitas started throwing shorter, pinpoint passes to receivers running down and out patterns, and more.

The above is the background. The point of this memo is to take charge (of your job, life, business, etc.). There’s an old story about when Don Shula became coach of the Baltimore Colts. Unitas always called his own plays and during one game Shula sent a play in to him. Unitas called time out, headed to the sideline and asked his coach if he’d like to play quarterback.

That’s taking charge. It was his game, his huddle, his offense, and his plays. No doubt about it.

Over my career I’ve heard many successful business people say if they’re right on half their decisions it’s a huge win. The important thing is to take charge and make those decisions.

In my day-to-day world the big decisions are, should I:

  1. Buy a business (or another one)?
  2. Sell my company?
  3. Start the planning process to exit (with style, grace, and more money)?

A recent transaction happened about a year too late (always good to sell a year before you need to) but not too late that the wheels starting falling off (the company’s operation). The buyer should have a goldmine; he’ll improve the operations, culture, and profitability. The seller got a nice check, but 50-75% less than he would have received a year ago.

Take charge and make decisions, before the opportunity passes you by.

“The most difficult thing is the decision to act; the rest is merely tenacity.” Amelia Earhart

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