What is a Negativity Firewall and Why Do I Need One? 

Bruce Wilson - May, 2022

From Our Founder, Bruce Wilson

Blocking out the constant stream of noise isn’t the same as putting your head in the sand. A firewall strategy means having the discipline to filter out the distractions that can keep our business  from winning. There’s a reason why there is silence in golf and why ‘quiet please’ is part of the tennis Grand Slam, and it’s not just etiquette. Top players, like top CEOs, need to concentrate on taking their best shot. 

I learned the importance of this in the early days of my career, working with ValleyCrest founder Burt Sperber. When recessions, inflation, or other economic events were taking their toll, Burt always said, “do not read the papers”.  Easier said than done when the news was not a constant digital feed in our phones. But the point he made then is even more relevant now: too much information is stressing us out and it’s taking us off our game.

I’m not sure what the employees thought about Burt’s advice, but company management got the message… we do not run our business by listening to others. If we believe that times are tough, we will have a tough times.  If we focus on success, we will be successful. And we were.

Being a positive leader is something you work at. It requires maintaining perspective and remembering that everything is temporary. So my advice to CEOs is, be a role model for positive leadership, stay focused on what matters most, and rally your troops to tune out negativity and believe they can win the day.


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