Cancel OK

The CEO’s Perspective

Competing in an unstable world

Is it me or is the world becoming a more unstable place? You know the litany of issues—conflict in most every corner of the globe, slow or no growth economically, instability in governments, greed running amok.

The presidential election in November offers a choice between two very different individuals. Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump come at the world in divergent ways, but they are similar in the fact that their track records focus on themselves. Each shares the mistrust of the electorate.

Regardless of who wins, there will be a tectonic shift in politics for years to come. Issues germane to the produce industry—such as immigration, border concerns, food safety, and environmental matters—will be affected in significant ways.

Do we have reason to be concerned?

The answer, like always, is that it “depends.” It depends, first of all, on whether we can hold ourselves and each other accountable and be willing to commit to doing the right things for the right reasons.

This is not just something you might hear at a place of worship; it is where meaningful change must begin—with each of us, not our elected leaders. It is true that the “right” reasons will be viewed differently by each person, but we can all agree there are actions that speak to generally-accepted human interactions, including respect for life and property, integrity in human dealings, and treating others as you wish to be treated.

The Summer Olympics provides a solid example of singlemindedness: years of practice and hard work for the privilege of just being able to compete.

In the produce industry, we have the privilege to compete every day, and for the most part, the history of dealings between competing firms is very solid. While each firm wants to succeed, success is not viewed as coming at the expense of others or at the destruction of another’s business.

The element of looking after oneself is always present, but self-determination and singlemindedness are demonstrated in ways that uplift and make all involved better.

It is hard to be positive given today’s circumstances and more to the point, about the future. But if we consider the Olympics as a backdrop, we see athletes who set an example we should all emulate—work hard, try hard, accept what comes, and try again.


C. James Carr is the President & CEO of Blue Book Services.