Who’s to blame?

4 01 2010

Don’t blame the world.

Don’t blame the boss.

Don’t blame your co workers.

Don’t blame the customer.

It’s all about our ability or inability to convince them.

It’s all about sales.

Our ability to “sell” the proposal, to “sell” our achievements, to “sell” our value,  to “sell our enthusiasm”, to “sell” our ideas.

If we find ourselves blaming others, it is time to change your plan, change your arguments, attitudes or presentation.

It’s our responsibility, not theirs.

Find a way to convince your audience, co workers, boss or clients, to make them enthusiastic or to understand.

If the customer wants red, and you want to sell blue, find the way to convince them that blue really IS better.

Or find those customers who want and need blue.

Or change what you are doing and sell red.

It’s not about the others inability to understand.

Stop making it their fault.

It’s all about our ability to provide the information, arguments and ideas that allow them to understand.

Stop pointing fingers and assigning blame.

It’s all about us.





Why don’t they

15 01 2007

How many times have you heard, or said, “why don’t they…….”

In the office it seems that everyone not directly involved with the decision making has the answers.

How many times have you heard:

  • Why don’t they just change or modify the process.
  • Why don’t they just lower the price.
  • Why don’t they give the supplier an ultimatum or find new suppliers.
  • Why don’t they give us the power to make decisions.
  • Why don’t they simplify the procedure.
  • Why don’t they hire an expert.
  • Why don’t they fire them.
  • Why don’t they do the right thing.
  • Why don’t they listen to us.

The next time you start with “why don’t they” stop and do the following.

  • Ask yourself what can YOU do to implement or bring your solution to the attention of the decision-makers.
  • Do you really understand the problem, it’s causes, consequence and secondary effects?
  • Do you have enough information to make an informed decision?
  • Have you mapped out the chronological actions (and costs) required to implement the solution?
  • What are the risks involved? There are risks associated with failure and with success, how can the organization prepare for those changes?
  • Have you told, written or explained your solution to the decision-makers?
  • Take action and do something about it.

An organization is strongest when everyone participates, and not necessarily when everyone participates in a linear and orderly manner. Your idea may have been missed in the analysis.

Good ideas and possible solutions are welcome (or should be welcome) at all times.

If your comments, solutions and ideas are limited to informal gripe sessions around the water cooler, it’s time to start writing them down and pushing them forward.

 

Stop waiting for someone else to do it, step up and let your voice be heard.

Related Links

Starting over

Analyze and plan using 7 simple questions

Why do we fail

Leadership lesson – A Message to Garcia

The Power of Something Extra





Are we killing team performance by over-communicating

30 11 2006

Are we killing team performance by over-communicating?

That is the premise of Kevan Hall in Drowning in Co-operation and followed up with additional comments in the Slow Leadership blog The Truth about Communication.

The idea that we must communicate and include everyone in the team in every part of the project, all the time, is a classic example of a good idea that has gotten out of control.

Teams perform well when each team member:

  • Has a specific job, not shared with others
  • Is proficient at what they do, no learning curve required
  • Has easy access to the resources, tools and information required in order to get the job done
  • Clearly understands the group objectives and expected outcome
  • Clearly understands how their input/output affects the other team members
  • Is individually responsible and accountable for their performance and on-time results
  • Is not smothered with controls and time wasting meetings
  • Shares relevant information and communicates with those team members who need that information in order to do their job correctly

Analyze how a relay race squad works together. Each member has a specific and unique function, each member runs their part of the race alone, they expect their co-worker to hand them the baton at the right time in the right place, they all share the same goal and final outcome.

There is no stopping for meetings and communication between members during the race, there are no meetings with the coach halfway around the track to see how they are doing.

The runners do not stop to explain why they are passing the baton to only one member of the team.

The coach selects the qualified members of the squad and interacts with the team members before (preparation and focus) and after the event (evaluation of results), not during the race.

The focus of each team member is on doing their job efficiently and professionally, in order to reach the shared objective in the shortest time possible.

As a leader your mission is to identify the people with the best skills required for each part of the project, empower them by giving access to the right tools and training, build enthusiasm for the project and the other team members contributions, clearly identify the goal and the expected performance for their part of the project and let them do their jobs.

Encouraging communication between team members and leadership is only important and desired when it is focused and shared with those who really need the information to get the job done.

 

Related Links

Leadership, want the job or just the title and benefits

Leadership – who do you want to lead

13 tactics guaranteed to kill any project

Step by Step beginner’s guide to project management

Slow Leadership: The Truth About Communication

Management Issues: Drowning in Co-operation





The 6 Fundamental Concepts Behind Every Successful Business

22 08 2006

1. Supply and Demand. The fundamental idea behind business and a market economy. Want to determine where to sell or buy, or predict if prices will be going up or down? Understand the concept of supply and demand.

2. Cause and Effect. Physics applied to the business environment. What you do will affect your competitor and the market and vice versa.

3. People like to feel important and special. Learn this and you’ve discovered one of the fundamental qualities of a great salesperson or marketer.

4. Simple clear communication, on-time. Don’t make it technical, keep it easy to understand. Answer all questions when asked, and never forget to call back and follow-up.

5. Get the work done, on time, and with the highest degree of quality possible.

6. Ask lots of questions and get all the answers.





International business traveller – ambassador, explorer, map-maker

21 08 2006

The critical roles played by international business travellers.

International business travellers play an incredibly important role as ambassadors, explorers and “map-makers” inside their organizations and with their overseas contacts.

Ambassadors, Explorers, and “Map-Makers”

Ambassador of your country and culture. During your trip your actions and reactions are being watched by others. They are trying to confirm, deny or create stereotypes of your country. Everything including your inter-personal skills, business negotiation skills and manners, the way you dress and eat, your choice of hotels, table manners, social skills, and the ability to make small-talk and conversation will be watched, examined and commented upon after you leave. Keep this idea clear at all time during your trip, it is important.

Ambassador of your company. Prepare and bring all materials required for the negotiations and business interactions. Project an aura of professionalism, a willingness to learn and share, and honesty. Create relationships with a long-term vision. You may be promoted or leave the organization some day, but your international contacts will continue to do business with your company.

Ambassador of you. International business is all about relationships, and your behaviour and attitudes are critically important as the liaison and trusted representative. Make promises you can keep, follow-through on the projects and projects. Project honesty and a concern for doing business and maintaining relationships. Your actions should focus on creating a climate of trust and open communication. Don’t try to be someone you are not.

Explorer. The international business traveller, technicians, and sales and business development executives have the added responsibility of verifying existing information, establishing new contacts that will be beneficial in the future, and discovering new ideas and opportunities. It requires an inquisitive character, a bit of courage and a spirit of adventure.

Map-Maker. Often neglected by organizations is the cultural, political and personal information gathered by international business people. This information (or data), should be gathered, filtered and consolidated, and available to the organization after every overseas trip. “Maps” should be made for future consultation and reference. The map-making role requires the separation of the facts from interpretation, personal anecdotes and opinions. This information becomes the foundation for all future strategic and operating decisions.

Related Links

7 Tips for International Business

16 Essential Questions – International Business Traveller’s Quiz

How to do Business in Mexico, Parts 1 – 28

International Business Trip Planning, Part 6





Tip: How to call Mexico from the US

16 08 2006

Calling Mexico from the US can be confusing to the novice.

To dial Mexico from outside the country, you must dial “011” (access code) followed by the country code.

Mexico’s country code is “52” (country code).

Next is the area code. Mexico telephone numbers have a three digit area code followed by a seven digit number for most of the country.

The exception to the rule (and this is Mexico, there are always exceptions to the rule) can be found in 3 cities; Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey. These cities have a two digit area code followed by an 8 digit number:

  • Mexico City “55” + 8 digits, area code is 55
  • Guadalajara “33” + 8 digits, area code is 33
  • Monterrey “81” + 8 digits, area code is 81
  • All other cities in Mexico “3 digits” + 7 digits, area code contains 3 digits

If you were to dial Mexico City: “011” + “52” + “55” + telephone number (8 digits)

If you were to dial Acapulco: “011” + “52” + “744” + telephone number (7 digits).

  • UPDATE October 17, 2006 – If you are dialing a Mexican cellphone from the USA after November 4, 2006, you must dial “011” – “52”- “1” -“Area Code” – “Telephone number”, this new rule covers 90% of the cellular phones in Mexico. Changes for Dialing Long Distance to Cellular Phones in Mexico

Selected area codes for some Mexican cities:

 

Acapulco “744” + 7 digits
Aguascalientes “449”+ 7 digits
Apizaco “241”
+ 7 digits
Cabo San Lucas “624”
+ 7 digits
C
ancun “998”+ 7 digits
Celaya “461”
+ 7 digits
Chihuahua “614”
+ 7 digits
Ciudad del Carmen “938”
+ 7 digits
Ciudad Juarez “656”+ 7 digits
Cuernavaca “777”
+ 7 digits
Culiacan “667”
+ 7 digits
Durango “618”
+ 7 digits
Ensenada “646”
+ 7 digits
Guadalajara “33” + 8 digits
Guanajuato “473” + 7 digits
Irapuato “462”+ 7 digits
Ixtapa “755 + 7 digits
Jalapa “932” + 7 digits
Juchita “971” + 7 digits
Leon “477” + 7 digits
Los Mochis “668” + 7 digits
Matamoros “871”
+ 7 digits
Mazatlan “869”
+ 7 digits
Merida “999”
+ 7 digits
Mexicali “686”
+ 7 digits
Mexico City “55” + 8 digits
Monterrey “81” + 8 digit
Morelia “443” + 7 digits
Nogales “631”
+ 7 digits
Nuevo Laredo “867”
+ 7 digits
Oaxaca de Juarez “951”
+ 7 digits
Playa del Carmen “984”
+ 7 digits
Progreso “861”
+ 7 digits
Puebla “222”
+ 7 digits
Puerto Vallarta “322” + 7 digits
Reynosa “899” + 7 digits
Saltillo “844” + 7 digits
San Francisco del Rincon “476”
+ 7 digits
San Miguel Allende “415” + 7 digits
Silao “472” + 7 digits
Tampico “833” + 7 digits
Tijuana “664” + 7 digits
Torreon “871” + 7 digits
Veracruz “229” + 7 digits
Villahermosa
“993” + 7 digits

intl. access + country code + area code + telephone number

“011” + “52” + “2 or 3 digit area code” + “7 or 8 digit telephone number”

For a complete list of all Mexican cities, check out the TELMEX area code search page (in spanish) Link

 

Related Links

What to dial in order to reach a cellular phone in Mexico

How to do business in Mexico

How to negotiate with Mexican business people

Mexican official (and unofficial) holidays

Advice on what to expect when doing business with Mexico

Meeting people in Mexico – kiss, shake hands or hug?

Before you go on your business trip to Mexico

Tipping Guidelines for Mexico

Official Government websites of the 32 Mexican states





How impersonal is your life and your world?

15 08 2006

We live in an impersonal world. I hear this constantly and wonder exactly what people mean when they say it. Is this a warning, an observation, a criticism, a declaration of failure in their ability to create and maintain relationships?

The world has always been impersonal, it’s just not possible that millions of human beings will relate to one another with familiarity. It’s an impossible scenario.

So why all the focus on how impersonal our lives are lately?

Is it a cry for help, a diagnosis and awareness that something is wrong or could be better?
It’s because we have isolated ourselves, by ourselves.

Impersonal is what YOU make it, it has to do with your interaction and participation with others. You are in control, you are not a victim.

Our access to wealth, communications and easy travel have allowed us to travel and move our residence often and meet thousands of people throughout the world during our lifetime. This was not possible 100 years ago.

We no longer live in Norman Rockwell’s Main street America, in a small town, where we know the neighbors, the teachers, the firemen, clerks and shop owners. We didn’t invest enough time in a safe stable environment in order to learn about others and become secure with ourselves and diversity.

In today’s world it’s so easy to walk away from ideas, behaviours and people who are not like us. We can now live by ourselves, in our own little world, designed by us and just for us. The only problem is, we are social creatures and we do want others in our lives. We have created a dilemma by isolating ourselves.

It’s just common sense that this exposure to so many people we don’t know, and who don’t know us, is bound to create a bit of tension or coldness in our initial contacts. Depending on how you respond and interact with others, these interactions can remain cold and impersonal, or might warm up and become pleasant and more personalized.

Simple acts that allow others to let their guard down are all that’s necessary. A smile, a hello or thank-you, a question or comment that initiates a conversation is sometimes all it takes to break the ice.

Relationships are made and created through trust and time. It’s about giving your time, showing interest, and learning. You cannot expect to become best friends with anyone in a week or month, be realistic. You cannot create a meaningful relationship by watching co-workers or neighbors through your window.

Proof of how easy it is to begin a relationship can be found with the Internet, social networks, chat-rooms, etc. All you have to do is throw out a comment or question and in a matter of minutes be involved in communication with a perfect stranger. Why then the complaints about an impersonal world? What’s different when you are not on-line, and are face to face with another human being?

If you think the world is cold and impersonal, take a look at your actions and behavior and determine if you are actively participating to open the door in your communications and relationships. Does your world revolve around you, your problems and your little internal universe? I’ll bet you think the world is impersonal.

Are you interested in giving, sharing, listening, learning and accepting others and their diversity? I’ll bet you think the world is a pretty fine place to be.

Related Links

Lonely and have no friends

What happens when we have no friends

Social networks, are they a part of your life?