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> Executive Commentary – The rock is back at the door!


by Walter E. Tobin, ERA CEO
T: 617-901-4088


When I was wearing a young(er) man’s clothes and was on the road selling electronic components, I would work hard all month to hit my budget. I would track my progress each week with my sales manager to assess my progress and get his/her advice as to what I needed to do better to hit my goal and achieve success for the month.

The month would end and, voila! I hit my budget (OK, sometimes I missed it but work with me here!) … Whew! Success! I can relax and bask in the glory of success!

However, I had this one sales manager who would review my performance for the month, hand me my sales budget for the next month, and tell me: “The rock is back at the door.”

All of my hard work and pushing that rock (my sales budget) up the hill for a month and achieving success, now meant little if anything. It was a new month and a new budget — another new, and perhaps, larger rock to push up the hill! I was allowed no more than a day to relax and bask in my success before I had to get back to work.

I never forgot this analogy. Success is fleeting, and there will always be new and bigger rocks that need pushing up new and steeper hills!

ERA just completed a GREAT conference in Austin. It was a HUGE success! Our many conference volunteers and sub-committees, under the leadership of the Conference Chair Rick LaPiana, rocked the house! They owned that rock and drove it up a huge hill …

So … what’s next?

The rock is back at the door!

We have already begun to plan for 2019! ERA has renewed its contract for the AT&T Conference Center in Austin, Texas, for Feb. 24-26, 2019. Mark it down. Write It Now (WIN). We want to make 2019 an even better conference with YOUR help and involvement … BUT we will need your help to push this bigger rock up a steeper hill!

Our membership expects a world-class event for sure.

John Hutson, CPMR, president of MacInnis Group, is the 2019 conference chair. He is putting together a team for the various committee chairs and subcommittees. Raise your hand up and let me or John know that you want to help us “push the rock.”

In addition to the conference, ERA is heavily involved with ECIA in planning the EDS Connects Leadership Summit 2019 event in Las Vegas on May 15-18. We have booked an exciting speaker for the ECIA/ERA breakfast session on Thursday, May 17, at 6:45 a.m.

Elizabeth Laderman, senior outreach economist for the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, will deliver a presentation entitled “Recent U.S. Economic and Financial Developments and the Outlook.” I am confident that her presentation will prove to be most timely and very helpful for all attendees.

EDS is a great venue for all of us to meet with our rep, manufacturer and distributor partners to share best practices, make new friends and reconnect with old ones. The Mirage Hotel is a great venue for this event — exciting, fast-paced and lively for sure.

Stop by the ERA pavilion to meet our great staff, have a coffee and use our area as your base of operations. We would love to see you!

All of us at ERA will look forward to seeing you there … And remember: The rock is back at the door!



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