Bernie Anderson
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the blog

Current musings, whatever they may be. 

Remember Borders

That giant retail bookstore many of us used to frequent?

The one that folded back in 2011?

Here are the five reasons Time Business Insider says Borders doesn’t exist in the strip malls of America anymore.

  1. It was too late to the web
  2. It was too late to e-books
  3. It opened too many stores
  4. It had too much debt
  5. It was over-invested in music sales (in CD form, when everything was going digital).

Makes complete business sense.

But I’m going to conjecture a deeper leadership issue.

There was a failure of an essential leadership practice.

Lack of vision because of a failure to practice outsight.


What is on your current horizon?

If you can’t see it, then you should begin looking outside of yourself for answers. Don’t continue driving into the fog.  That’s a fool's errand, ending in disaster.

If you don’t have clear vision, stop now and get it.

Here’s the scary part.

You also need to make sure the vision you have is not a mirage. Some short-sighted executive at Borders probably gave a report about all of the potential CDs they’d be able to sell in 2020.

They would have been better off investing in vinyl. 



(Note: I use books and bookstores as examples a lot here for a couple of reasons. For one, they’re the perfect example of a changing, disrupted industry in a change-driven, disruptive economy. And second, books are my first love and bookstores were my first jobs.)