July 22, 2021

I’ve constantly reminded my colleagues that what they need is a long term plan. That goes for CLOs (what are your long term threats?) those in private practice (what is your long term plan?) and those in business (what is your long term marketing plan?). Everyone seem to get so caught up in the weeds they do not see the trees or even the forest. Even one popular business related book reminds entrepreneurs that they should have a 40-year business plan.

In retirement, there are few really pressing needs. There is no longer an office to go to or a deadline to meet. In fact, I am at a coffee shop overlooking one of my favorite beaches sipping an ice tea. Time therefore takes on a different meaning than for many people caught up in the daily rat race. But in fact it should serve to remind you that long term interests, issues, risks and plans are more import than short term gratification, issues and interests. Things tend to unfold gradually not instantly. It may take a while to see 5 years or 10 years down the road but that is more important in the long run than thinking about what today or tomorrow will bring.

If you are a CLO or GC, to be effective, you need to be able to counsel your company on the risks it will face 5 years from now (not just tomorrow) and help establish processes that will protect it from long terms risks. Your role is a pro-active one not re-active. Let your staff work on immediate cases (or your outside counsel or law firm) but part of your job as a GC is to look down the road 5 years ahead from a 50,000-foot vantage point. It’s time to prepare for long term threats!

If you are in business, what are the business trends for 5 years from now that you see? What about 10 years from now. Jeff Bezos admitted that his job at Amazon was to see the future not the present. To be successful you need to see long term business trends and cycles. You need to look at risk issues that will pop up 5 years from now.. the immediate ones are already here. Does your risk management processes handle future threats? Is your Compliance Program vibrant and robust enough to cover long term threats and issues? What processes are in place that recognize future potential risks?

Retirement is in essence a new career for me. Therefore, I need to see down the road 10-15 years out. Where will I live? What should I do to keep myself occupied? What should I do to maintain my health? How long will my finances last? Will social security ne around in 10 or 15 years, etc.? I therefore am faced with long term concerns and considerations not immediate ones.

So, those of you not yet retired, remember long term thinking is important. Sure you need to think about tomorrow, but more importantly, what about 5-10 years from now? Have you thought about your long term marketing plan? What are your 5 or 10 year goals?

Everyone needs a long term plan.

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