Executive Strategy

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I think differently 

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I think differently and when it comes to business it helps. Fundamentally when you are different it focuses you to look at things in another light.  

  • Education

My early education was spent Springer School. It is a school for children with disabilities both physical and mental. I was a kid who wore thick glasses and stuttered a lot and I had a problem with reading comprehension. The teachers there taught me that my mind was visual and to use the books I was reading to show the story in my mind.  

 Math and science were never my strongest classes and high school was tough; I failed out my junior year. I am lucky because I am an above average test taker, but Ohio State wasn’t exactly a breeze either. I excelled in social classes, but math was an issue. Then after getting a D in a calculus I decided to switch things up and try a business calc. Now every business has a story to tell and instead of X’s and Y’s it was $$ a lot easier for my visual brain. For the record, business school was pretty fun.  

  • Family

My Mom is a strong woman, with a New York state of mind. She always stressed education to us and giving back to the community. I guess I never really understood gender bias because my Mom proved she could do anything, mental excellence was her mantra.  My Dad is an analytical thinker and as an accountant he taught me how to rationalize and think through problems. 

I’m a middle child and I laugh because my brothers got all the smart jeans. My older brother Curtis, is an engineer at Lockheed Martin who always talks about the details. He and my younger brother went to the same college at NC A&T. When my younger brother, Michael was receiving his degree from the college of engineering, the Dean joked to my older brother that my younger brother had missed being the Valedictorian by a hair.  

Dean, “Michael is really smart, but he missed graduating top of the class.”

Curtis looked at the dean and smiled, “Your Valedictorian at a 3.98 had one degree, my little brother at 3.97 has two.”

Yeah, it’s all about the details.

Michael has taught me a lot about changing my career direction and never being too old to learn. With a degree in electrical and mechanical engineering he went on to get his Master’s in Computer Science from USC. He changed gears and decided to leave the engineering world and get his Law Degree from Northwestern, now he says the law is a lot cooler.

My wife has shown me how to be creative in business, learn to think with your left; the best business people are also very creative.

  • Politics

I’m equally offended when people call me a Democrat or ask me if I am Republican. The idea that things are red, or blue seem a little too basic. I can read the issues and watch CNN and Fox. I like politicians that serve the community and don’t look at public office to build their brand. It is our duty as Americans to be educated on the issue, so we have a choice whether to kneel or stand for our Country.

  • Religion

Faith is a wonderful part of life. I was raised Baptist, went to Catholic schools and yes, I believe Jesus was Jewish. I have some brilliant Muslim friends who hug me hello and call me brother. I am learning more about Buddhism and other great ways of worship. We shouldn’t let diversity divide us, knowledge about other cultures should only bring us together.

  • Back to Business

With every company there is a story to tell, one about the numbers the other about the people. As a business person, I realize that our community matters, capitalism counts just as much as socialism. If we focus too much on just the numbers, then we forget about the people who make us great.  

Be Creative – there is no box.

By Dane Flanigan


Dane Flanigan is a business consultant who helps companies build strategies to grow sales. http://www.DaneFlanigan.com