Spring ahead of the competition, but, of course, always do the right thing

 - 
07/27/2010

I just finished reading an HME News story about a provider who later this summer plans to add a line of shoes with "coil springs."

I got a chuckle out of that. In my mind, I picture a guy bouncing around on sneakers attached to some big mattress springs. Bouncing through the supermarket. Bouncing down the sidewalk. Bouncing up and down while he mows his lawn. Of course, he's got a big smile on his face because springy shoes are fun.

Boing. Boing. Boing.

I sent out an email to some coworkers. Who would use these shoes?

Someone emailed back: Basketball players.

Boing. Boing. Boing.

HME News Business Summit

Don Davis understands company finances as well as--and maybe better than--anyone in the HME industry. And guess what? He'll be speaking at the HME Business Summit, Sept. 12-14, in Nashville. When I asked all Summit speakers to tell me some of the best business advice they'd ever heard, here's what Don emailed me:

I was an ambitious young executive in a company loaded with ambitious young executives, and I made a mistake. Although the mistake wasn't a threat to our company's survival, it nevertheless negatively impacted profit and our debt covenants. With a little finesse, I could have covered the whole thing up by blaming the shortfall on operations, and it's unlikely anyone would have ever known. My boss gave me the best advice I ever received, he just said to "do the right thing" and followed it up by asking if I would be proud to discuss my decision with my family at dinner that evening? The decision became so simple. I admitted my mistake to the CFO and although he wasn't happy, he and I worked on the appropriate disclosure and a new policy to prohibit this problem from recurring. A year later, I was promoted to CFO upon the retirement of my predecessor. I have used that simple bit of advice throughout my life and truly believe if you "do the right thing," everything else will take care of itself.

Mike Moran