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“In the 1930s, Harry J. Hoenselaar was just another ham salesman in Detroit trying to find an edge,” writes award-winning NY Times journalist and food culture expert, Kim Severson. Hoenselaar was an expert at knifing ham from the bone. He would spend significant parts of his day handing out samples and teaching drugstore clerks how to slice it for samples. Severson states, “He knew there was a better way.”

Hoenselaar did find a better way. He created what he would call an “Apparatus for Slicing Ham from The Bone” and filed his first patent on September 7, 1944. Spiraled ham for Hoenselar and his family-run business would lead to spiraling sales. In 1957 he opened the first “HoneyBaked Store.” The company would grow to over 400 retail locations in 40 states.

In 1981, the spiral-cut patent for HoneyBaked Ham expired. It would become more than a business speed bump. It was a business broadside. A flood of competitors, including your local grocery store, stepped into the spiral-cut sales space. And it’s a significant space. According to the National Pork Association, in 2016, spiral-cut hams represented 34% of all hams sold in the United States.

Expiration dates impact business success. Expiration dates also impact leadership and management success. Brazilian soccer legend, and former FIFA world player of the year, Kaka, states:

“Leadership, by fear has an expiration date.”

Command and control management/leadership is well past its expiration date. It no longer drives results, and it needs to be discarded.

Author and thought leader, Albert Tate, says that “Leadership is not something outside of us to be grasped. It is something inside of us that needs to grow.”

If we are not consumed with lifelong learning and yearning for improvement, we’ll soon find our leadership effectiveness has expired. If we are not continually innovating and renovating our businesses, we will find they are drifting dangerously close to their expiration dates.

Business and leadership success have expiration dates. What are you doing today to stay relevant to drive your desired results? Coaching can provide a pathway to help you avoid business and leadership success expiration dates. Coaching can help you stay fresh and focused. Not looking at the expiration dates of your business and leadership skills doesn’t eliminate them. Do something today to renew your results and drive you closer to your dreams.

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Topics: leadership, business success

Dan Whitfield

Written by Dan Whitfield

Dan is dedicated to "coaching up" small business owners and leaders of growth-oriented sales organizations. His goal is to help you get where you want to go. Faster.