Tag Archives: business

Don’t Step in the Process…

Process

 

 

 

Peter Cook in a post on LinkedIn said, “Leadership is not about stopping things happening and pointless administration.” Same can be said about a process. Good ones keep things moving while making sure the right people are involved and informed. Bad ones, things stop and the pointless paperwork drill begins. Try not to step in the process. It’s a bitch to clean off of your shoes.


I’d Like That In Triplicate…

Approval

 I was on a conference call the other day and heard a conversation about the preliminary approval of something and the not quite preliminary approval due to concerns and the push for a final approval. I’m sorry, what? Either it’s approved or it ain’t. I was a little dizzy after that conversation.


The Financial Acumen Is Strong With This One…

Analyst Vader

I walked into the room as some talking head on CNBC was saying something about economic disturbances. Vader’s line immediately popped into my head. Didn’t take me too long to make the leap the rest of the way. As I have said many times before, it made me laugh.


Kitten Cute…

Logic

They don’t have to wear their suit of ignorance. it’s enough just to be in general proximity. This one really is speaking to my distaste for the condescension the asshats like to throw around when they are feeling superior. They can be such jerks.


The Third Eye…

Positioning

Every so often, the Wall Street Journal will run articles about venture capitalists and angel investors running around Silicon Valley dumping money on what they hope to be the next [insert latest internet/tech flavor of the month, e.g. Facebook, Twitter, etc., etc.,] with visions of billion dollar payouts dancing in their brains.

It makes one wonder what it is being lost in opportunity or overlooked in something that really might work and pay off but just isn’t as sexy as the new social media phenom.

Maybe it’s not always the best thing to predict and band wagon the latest sexy fad. Try looking at what is working now. How can you position around that?


It Leads to the Dark Side…

Armor of Ignorance

Last year’s Dilbert desk calendar had things on the back of the pages, to do lists, fun facts, puzzles, qoutes, etc. This little gem by  Laurence J. Peter showed up one day. He is the 20th century educator best known for creating The Peter Principal (“In a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence … Work is accomplished by those employees who have not yet reached their level of incompetence”).

Ignorance is some strong armor. There isn’t much that can penetrate it; not logic, not data. Ignorance of a situation makes people afraid and paralyzes them to inaction or indecision. As another wise philosopher once said, “Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate…leads to suffering.”

The best we can do is to keep fighting the good fight and not let ourselves to get sucked into their dark, fearful world.


Uncomfortable…


I’ve been a little outside my comfort zone lately. I’ve been given the opportunity to do business development for my company. This means going out and meeting people. Kind of putting myself out there to sell my company which also means a high possibility for rejection, etc.

Even though it is causing not a little stress, I am really enjoying it. I love being part of building the business instead of sitting in my cube at the customer’s whim. This is much more along what I want to do.

So, being outside one’s comfort zone can be good, sometimes. Who knew?


Asshat Much?

Mike Henry of Lead Change Group wrote a great article in response to another by George Cloutier.

Mr. Cloutier’s article,entitled, “Your Company is Not a Democracy,” was published in Entrepeneur magazine. This “Turnaround Ace” and NY Times best-seller is a big proponent of the “just view me as god” approach to business management. Nice. He provides other nuggets such as “be a dictator” and (my personal favorite) “Tell your employees ‘Don’t think – obey.”

The Asshat

Asshat

I’m really at a loss for words. Really, George? Fear? Benevolent dicator? Is there such a thing? Really? We’re not indentured servants or furniture. I think the Soviets used a similar business model and we all know how that worked out.

Read Mr. Henry’s article first and then go to Cloutier’s.

8pm – The above was written quickly this morning after reading both articles. I’ve had the day to reflect and want to expand upon my more visceral outburst above.

Unfortunately, I have seen it all too often (and, to an extent, am living it now); small business owners who believe as Mr. Cloutier does. They see employees more as burdens, a suck on company resources (profits). If a business is suffering, Mr. Cloutier teaches to blame the employee first. After all, if they were working harder, the company would be rolling in profits and the owner would be rich. Fear is not an effective motivator. It only gets you the bare minimum, just enough not to be fired.

Instead, maybe they should look at their business plan (if there is one), their growth strategy (if there is one) or even the industry/market. Maybe it is just dead, or over saturated.

Mr. Cloutier makes a snide remark in his article regarding the suggestion box. Employees aren’t paid to think, just obey. After all, if they were as smart or as great of a person, they would be running their own business.

Employees are smart. Listen to them, they are the ones doing the work. They might have innovative ideas that could cut costs, increase productivity, increase customer service.

I just hate reading articles like Mr. Cloutier’s. It just perpetuates bad behavior on the part of employers. That’s not managing or leading. It’s bullying. Times have changed. Feudal lords and serfdom went out of style a few years ago (I think).

Owners cannot do it alone. They need our help.


Gone Fishing…

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A friend at work offered a book he thought I would like, Shift by Peter Arnell, a big-time marketing guy in NYC. The book is pretty good, it is more about his struggle to go from over 400 pounds down to circa 150 (awesome feat, imho) but throws in some good life and business tidbits, as well.

His grandfather worked the fish markets in New York and would tell him this quite often, sometimes literally in regards to fishing and others, life. It resonated with me as I become more involved in business development in my company. I am trying to find where the fish are biting and then gently nudge management in that direction.

For a brief moment, I considered sending this drawing to Mr. Arnell and sharing what I said above. Then I read some stories that paint him to be an asshat. My fantasy of him loving my work and showering me with praise and being my new best friend melted into cease and desist orders and screaming into phones. Extreme, I know. He comes across as very charming in his book, very likeable, but that is easy to do in a book (or in a blog with stupid drawings) but a real jerk-wad in real life. Granted, the stories were few (and there were a fair share of positive ones) but why open myself up to that. I have enough asshats yelling at me.

What do you think? Share or keep our little secret?


It’s Big…

Pile Is Big

This is a follow-on to the Sharing cartoon from a while back. I have been too busy to be really angsty and haven’t come up with a new coffee-related or run-related one lately.

I will relate one story that kind of leads into this.

In creating a schedule for the project I am currently managing, I needed a section for getting out the word of the software being developed. I used the word ‘Marketing’ because, well, that’s what it is. No. I was warned, sternly, that marketing is so-and-so’s responsibility and will really get their panties in a bunch if I use that word.

I tried, ‘Socializing’ and that was rejected because our customer might not like that, either, since it is not specifically spelled out in the task.

I so don’t care. It’s a word. Call it ‘Talking Out My Ass.” I. Don’t. Care. Or, as the cartoon implies, I really don’t give a shit. It’s a word for a task, people.

Really, people. Get a life.


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