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How To Manage Transformation Effectively

Written by: Simon T. Bailey, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


Every week I am blessed to learn about a company and how it impacts an industry. Recently, after two date changes due to the pandemic, I was finally able to serve Great Lakes Wine & Spirits. This is an 80+-year-old company in Detroit, Mich., USA that has over 1,000 employees.

man sitting on bench smiling at camera.

They’ve remained a family-owned and operated, Michigan-based business. It serves all 83 counties in the state as a multifaceted industry leader in the alcoholic beverage wholesale business.

They were kind enough to ask me to share my latest thinking with their leaders. However, I took three pages of notes as I discovered what makes them great and how they think about the future.

Here are just a few ideas that I learned and will apply to my business:

  • Recognize change and change how you think about the future.

  • Be ready to wear several hats. Gone are the days when one says, “That’s not my job.” Be multidimensional in how you approach business.

  • Improve the team experience. People want to work for a leader who wants them to win at home, in their community, and in their life. It’s not just about hitting your monthly revenue target.

  • Be an example for others to follow.

  • Ask yourself on a daily basis, “Is this where I want to be?” If so, act like it.

  • Train your team members so well that they will leave. Make sure that everyone is cross-trained.

  • Be confident. Be calm. Be organized.

  • Use all available internal technical resources. It will work if you work it.

  • Do not ask your team members to do something that you are not willing to do yourself.

  • The hardest person to manage is the person in the mirror. Always hold yourself to a higher standard of excellence.

  • Be a team player who wants to make everyone better.

I am forever grateful that I had an opportunity to serve Great Lakes Wine & Spirits. They treated me and my wife, Jodi, like royalty by reserving overnight accommodations at the prestigious Detroit Athletic Club.

I walked around this club, which was founded in 1887, and had my wife take a quick photo. I wanted to remember this moment as I think about the future.

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Simon T. Bailey, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

SUCCESS magazine calls Simon T. Bailey one of the top 25 people who will help you reach your business and life goals. He joins a list that includes Oprah Winfrey, Brene Brown, and Tony Robbins. Washington Speakers Bureau recognized him as one of the 12 business speakers who emboldened audiences to think big and lead with purpose. Simon was the first Black American sales director for the Disney Institute based at Walt Disney World Resort. Since leaving Disney, he has served more than 2,100 organizations in 50 countries. His three LinkedIn Learning courses have been viewed by 250,000 individuals in 100 countries. He’s also written 10 books and has one of the 100 most-read motivational and successful blogs.



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