From The Editor | January 19, 2012

What I've Learned From Jeff Yelton

Jim Roddy

by Jim Roddy, president, Business Solutions magazine & Jameson Publishing

Jeff Yelton's recent resignation as President of ScanSource's POS and Barcoding division gave me an opportunity to reflect on his contributions to our channel. If you've never heard Jeff present or read his writings, you're missing out on vital channel information. (At the bottom of this page, I've linked to some content produced by Yelton.)

I've been fortunate to have the opportunity to spend one-on-one time with Jeff – whether it was a sweltering van ride to take a tour of the Zappos headquarters in Las Vegas or walking in freezing downtown Minneapolis after a Vikings/Cowboys playoff game – and have really valued his perspective on our channel. I've taken away several specific data points and lessons from those conversations that we've applied at BSM.

An overarching leadership lesson I've learned interacting with Jeff is the importance of making sure you, as a business leader, set aside time to study your business climate by consuming as much vital information as you can and then apply those lessons as appropriate. Your business needs you to see around corners to know what's next. The only way you're going to have vision into the future is to look beyond your office walls. Be curious. Read up on studies. Listen to podcasts. Watch videos. Dig into magazine articles. Ask questions when you interact with other channel executives. Follow blogs. Engage in social media. Attend panel discussions. Ask more questions.

The information is out there. You need to take the initiative to consume that data plus build relationships with folks whose perspective will provide you with additional important information. If you don't set aside time to do this on an ongoing basis, your company won't be a channel leader.

I think (and hope) Jeff will stay active in our channel just because he's so darn passionate about it. Wherever he lands, it will be a gain not only for his new employer but for all of us who have the opportunity to learn from his studies of our channel.

As promised, here are links to content produced by Jeff that I think you'll find helpful for your channel business. These will help you in your quest to become a better student of our industry:

Economic Forecast For The Retail Channel

ScanSource's Yelton Talks All-In-One POS

Jeff's Yelton's VAR Blog

A VAR's Guide To Finance

A VAR's Guide To Legal Requirements

Yelton Cautions VARs On Two Trends