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In most industries, the business environment remains brutal; growth is slow or non-existent and price competition rampant. The question on the minds of many business executives is simple: How can I increase profits and grow when all my customers care about is low price, low price and low price?

In his still-insightful 1999 book, Fast Track to Waste-Free Manufacturing: Straight Talk from a Plant Manager, John W. Davis discusses how to improve a manufacturing operation by a simple and relentless focus on waste. The methodology he describes is really applicable to improving any process in your business.

For many business owners or entrepreneurs, the long-term goal is to sell your company and monetize all the value you have created. So, what can you begin working on today to ensure that you rake it in from the eventual sale of your business?

In her thought-provoking book, The End of Leadership, Barbara Kellerman writes: “One of the problems plaguing the leadership industry is its fixation on developing good leaders, while ignoring completely the problem of stopping or at least slowing bad leaders. Stopping bad leadership is as important as creating good leadership.”

A little over 20 years ago, I entered the hallowed halls of the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. Through 21 years’ post-MBA experience, I find these lessons from Wharton have proved most valuable in the business world.