These days, those three words – better, faster, smarter – have become the goal for all sorts of businesses. Do a Google search and you’ll see them applied to banking, car manufacturing, data analysis, urban design, government, transportation, and even things like shoe design, cocktail making, and cleaning out horse stalls. Clearly, every business in every industry needs to be better, faster, and smarter in order to compete in the twenty-first-century world. The best IT in the world can’t achieve that goal, however. As an executive, you’re going to have to lead your troops in a different direction. You’ll need to integrate your IT department with your company’s people and processes—and you’ll need to do that again and again, in each phase of your company’s growth.

Back when I was a recon marine, my team and I learned to engage and execute our mission—and then leave without anyone ever knowing we had done what we set out to do. We weren’t flashy; our goal was to get things done, not look for attention. To achieve this, everything we did was so smooth, so efficient, so stealthy, that few people even noticed we were there.

Looking back, I realize my time in the marines planted the seeds that grew into my mission in the business world. I’ve learned that the back office and its IT backbone should operate a lot like a recon marine: it should quietly help the company achieve its mission, exceed all expectations, and then fade back into the woodwork. My early training, education, and experience has given me a unique perspective I want to share—so that you can execute your own recon mission to save your company from the ups and downs of the Business Storm Cycle. Because I’ve seen the transition points time and time again, I know specific, tangible things to help a business weather deceleration and get ready for a new acceleration phase.

That’s my calling in life: to help businesses move successfully through their growth cycles. I want to help you become better, faster, and smarter than ever before.