Business leaders often talk about the need for their companies to be resilient — resilient to the economy, to industry highs and lows and even to natural disasters. Best-case scenario, we have a sustainability plan in place and never have to use it. Worst case, we don’t have a plan, something hits and the company tanks. But while a solid business-continuity plan is essential, I also know how far ingenuity and an entrepreneurial spirit can take a company during hard times.
In 1966, my grandfather died suddenly, leaving a successful Tulsa company with no one to lead it. Two days after his death, my grandmother decided to fill his shoes, despite the fact she had never worked a day in her life. She had three children to feed so failure was not an option. Her resilient spirit won out, and she led the company until she sold it in 1970. When she learned retirement wasn’t her thing, she started Nameplates Inc. (now NPI) in 1973.
This article originally appeared in the Tulsa World. Read the full article here.