Vision, Belief & Passion: Episode 267 of the Action Catalyst Podcast

Bruce Black has over 40 years of C-level business experience building several high-performance companies as a founder, leader, entrepreneur, and CEO. For the last ten years, Black has used much of that prior business knowledge to help private middle-market business owners improve their company’s performance, lower their risk profile, and achieve maximum value in a sale. Black’s firm, IBG Business, was a national finalist in 2016 for middle market strategic sale of the year and awarded the M&A Transaction of the Year in 2015 by ACG of Arizona. From 2005-2008, Black spent three years organizing, leading, and managing a 444-unit ground-up condominium project in the Phoenix valley for Chicago-based Terrapin Properties.

From 1980-2002, he co-founded McCord Travel Management at 29 and over those 22 years, he and his team grew McCord from $0 to over $600 million with 800 employees, becoming one of the largest corporate travel management firms in the US. Driven by a passion for service, McCord’s success came one client at a time and through targeted strategic market acquisitions. Under Black’s leadership as CEO and President, McCord’s business strategy was to serve the most demanding and least easily pleased clients.  Those clients eventually included some of Chicago’s, Los Angeles’, New York’s and San Francisco’s top law firms, consulting organizations, entertainment companies, movie studios, advertising agencies, national accounting groups, and architectural firms. During his time at McCord, Black was selected as an Inaugural Member of University of Illinois at Chicago Entrepreneurial Hall of Fame. McCord was successfully sold in 2002 to Atlanta-based BCD, a $3.6 billion competitor. At the time of the sale, 22 years after the start, their first client, Hewitt Associates, was still there!

If that same two-decade period wasn’t challenging enough, at the same time Black helped form Graphicorp, a recognition and inspirational awards company that eventually went on to become the public company Successories. He also led the formation of Synergi, an international corporate travel firm. As Chairman for its first ten years, Bruce led the alliance from an initial 4 countries to 54 countries that spanned the Americas, EMEA, and Asia-Pacific.

Black’s first job, after graduating from Iowa State University with double majors in political science and sociology, was in outside sales for a small specialty food manufacturing company. Black now lives in Scottsdale, Arizona with his wife and their black lab where he spends time consulting with select clients, is an active mentor to startup companies, and is also an avid hiker, motorcycle rider, and mountain biker.

Show Highlights:

  • Put the work in and the outcomes that you envision can become real. -Bruce Black
  • First step, get rid of the self-imposed barriers that are caused by improper thinking. -Dan Moore
  • “Make change your friend; it’ll always be there for you.” -Clint Eastwood, The Bridges of Madison County
  • Your personal attitude is really the only thing you can control. -Bruce Black
  • Putting plans in place where “no” is not an acceptable answer is part of our business model. -Bruce Black
  • With every acquisition we made, we tore up our culture because it’s only as good as our newest member. -Bruce Black
  • Culture eats strategy for breakfast. -Peter Drucker
  • You can never communicate enough. -Bruce Black
  • No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thought. -Voltaire
  • You are what you think you are. -Bruce Black

Bruce’s closing thoughts: I have a happy mindset about making mistakes because every time I make mistakes I learn more. My self-talk is a bit of the glass is half full, but also go big or go home. If it’s worth doing, do it well. Do what you want but be prepared.

The Action Catalyst is a weekly podcast hosted by Dan Moore, President of Southwestern Advantage, the oldest direct-sales company in America, and Partner with Southwestern Consulting. With more than 45 years in sales leadership and marketing management, Dan has a wealth of knowledge to share on how to make better use of time to achieve life, sales, and other business goals. Each week, he interviews some of the nation’s top thought leaders and experts, sharing meaningful tips and advice. Subscribe on iTunes and please leave a rating and review!

Leave a Reply

Close
Close