The Big Idea with Ron Davis
June 29, 2011
Ask Not What Your Industry Can Do for You
Idea of the Month
If you had just one really great idea you could share with the alarm industry, what would it be?
This month's great idea comes from Steve Doyle, executive director of the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA).
Doyle's great idea:
Commit to personal involvement in industry affairs and it will come back to you tenfold.
Steve Doyle is the executive director of the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA) whose membership consists of top executives from leading monitoring companies throughout North America and beyond.
These people are all pretty bright, thoroughly motivated and, in some cases, pretty aggressive in their thinking. Doyle, who was inducted into the SSI Hall of Fame in April, handles it all with grace and dignity. When I asked him about his great idea, he asked for some additional time to mull it over. Following is just part of what he shared with me:
"Why do the busiest people always seem to find time for industry leadership? The old standby phrase, 'If you want something done, give it to a busy person,' certainly holds true. The most involved are invariably the most successful people in terms of their own companies, their careers, their communities and their families. They make the time for professional involvement because they know that it pays huge dividends in terms of being on the cutting edge of what is happening in the industry — now, and more importantly, in the near future."
Doyle went on to suggest that leaders prepare for the future and fully embrace change, namely by counseling with the best minds in the industry and connecting their technical people with those in like companies.
Every association — no matter on a local, state or national level — offers many of the same opportunities to network with and seek advice from industry peers and trailblazers. The only thing that keeps an individual from benefiting from membership is taking that initial step to join. The next step is volunteering. It doesn't matter which role you take on at first because as time goes on you'll start meeting people, exchanging ideas and likely assume new responsibilities.
We are an industry that is going through the throes of change. Anybody who tries to navigate those changes alone is taking a chance on what the future holds for them. We see this all the time in our work arranging for mergers, acquisitions and the sale of alarm companies. So many times owners come to us seeking help to sell their companies only to discover they haven't prepared for the eventuality. Oftentimes they are ill prepared to maximize the dollar value of their companies. It's often been said that the day a president of the company sells is the day they will know their business best. It's true.
This brings me directly back to Doyle's notion. It is through personal involvement in the industry that you can reap rewards and benefits you never imagined possible. It always seems to come back in ways too large and complex to explain or even fully comprehend.
Suffice to say the more you give of yourself, the more you get back. Mentor others. See what three or four hours a week of involvement at the local, state or national level for our industry does for you. You will be surprised!
Ron Davis is Security Sales & Integration's "What's the Big Idea?" columnist and contributing market analyst. He is president of Davis Group, a full-service consulting firm serving the security industry, which also includes GraybeardsRus. He has 35 years of industry experience, including founding Security Associates International in the 1980s.