Charismatic leaders need to decide if the legacy they want to leave is one of an individual who did great things or of a great company that lasted long after they were gone. The research shows that you can’t do both.

In Robert Kreigel’s book, If It Ain’t Broke…Break It! he argues convincingly that the time to make change is when things are going great. When times are good we have time, money, energy and options. Unfortunately, we usually wait until we are in crisis and are out of time, money, energy and options before we even think about change.

We have our end of the year tax appointment next Monday. That reminded me of a ranch I visited a few years ago. The owner’s son showed me around. As we pulled out of the yard we passed a big aerator they’d bought to crush sagebrush.

We tend to build our businesses around the exception rather than the rule. If an office in town managed their business that way, they’d have fire trucks circling the block 24/7 because, after all, someday a fire might break out.

An Idaho rancher wrote me an email asking for my advice on how to navigate a collapsing cattle market and an unpredictable future. He asked, “What do you do when money is tight and the future is uncertain?” Our natural reaction is to tighten our belt and try to ride out the storm. But is that the best strategy?