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Keeping my day job…

I’ve been attending the Startups 2.0 MeetUp facilitated by Kenton Johnson (http://www.meetup.com/Startups-2-0-Rocket-Your-Ready-to-Launch-Startup/ ).  Kenton’s experience is outstanding and his content is stellar.   I’ve always been fascinated by the business of business.

At Kenton’s first MeetUp, he established context for the working sessions by citing “Mark Cuban’s 12 Rules for Start-Ups”:

Rule 01:  Don’t start a company unless it is an obsession and something you love.

Rule 02:  If you have an exit strategy, it’s not an obsession.

Rule 03:  Hire people you think will love working there.

Rule 04:  Sales cure all.

Rule 05:  Know your core competencies and focus on being great at them.

Rule 06:  Lunch is a chance to get out of the office and talk.

Rule 07:  No offices.  There is nothing private in a start-up.

Rule 08:  As far as technology, go with what you know. 

Rule 09:  Keep the organization flat. 

Rule 10:  Never buy swag.

Rule 11:  Never hire a PR firm.

Rule 12:  Make the job fun for employees.

I met Kenton at Denver’s 2015 StartUp Week.  That’s where I also heard Brad Feld speak for the first time (see http://foundrygroup.com/team/brad-feld/ ).  After Brad’s presentation those in attendance received a copy of his book, Startup Opportunities: Know When to Quit Your Day Job©.  The section, “Trust Me, Your Idea is Worthless” caught my attention.

How many people do we know who want to start their own company because (A) they have a “great idea” and (B) they want to sell their company to get rich?  In other words, they start a company with an exit strategy firmly in place – breaking Cuban’s Rule # 02.

IMHO, in the real world it doesn’t typically work that way.  I mean, if you’ve read the book by Paul Allen, Idea Man© and read about how Paul Allen and Bill Gates launched Microsoft, I bet you were as amazed as I was about their true genius.  Bill Gates didn’t become the richest man in the world by simply duping IBM with a software licensing deal.

Bill Gates became the richest man in the world by creating/coding the Disk Operating System (aka DOS) which ran PC’s – IBM’s and everyone else’s (except of course Steve Jobs at Apple, which is a story for another time).  Sounds straight forward?  Well think about how Paul Allen and Bill Gates had to figure out how to do this by writing the operating system for a machine that wouldn’t work without first having an operating system.  A classic “chicken or egg” conundrum.  Oh and by the way, Gates and Allen definitely understood Mark Cuban’s Rules # 01 and # 02, true?

Reveal Alert:  If you don’t want to read the book about the birthing of the PC era, here is the essence of their work:  (1) Paul Allen wrote a PC hardware emulator to make a DEC mini-computer act as if it were a PC, and (2) Bill Gates coded DOS to run and be debugged on that emulator.  Oh and by the way, Gates wrote his DOS code with pencil and paper; during marathon, 3 day coding sessions; in which he would collapse from exhaustion; only to resume after needed sleep and nourishment.

It seems to me that they ignored Cuban’s Rules # 06 and #12; but definitely maximized Rule #04.

What do you say – Is that the type of commitment coupled with genius seen by those today that have a “great idea”?  Maybe best to keep our day jobs – just saying.

GAP

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Simply complicated…

Doing business in today’s modern, wired, fast-paced, multiple time zone world can be complicated, true?  It seems the more “Dos” we do on our “To Do List”, the more “Dos” show up.  In mathematical terms:

Greater Effort = Longer To Do List

Ever get caught up in this break-neck pace of activity at work?  Or even after work?  Ever find yourself booking back-to-back meetings for the day?  Extending throughout the week?  Ever find yourself in a situation where the first meeting starts late; then runs over; pushing the pebble of catchup that results in an avalanche of missed deadlines?  Does Deadline-Dan work at your company?

Deadline-Dan’s Demo Demonstration

The higher the “higher-ups” are who’ve come to see your demo, the lower your chances are of giving a successful one.

Is preparation the answer to complication?  Repetition?  Experience?  Education?  Ahhh, education – lots of buzz about education.

Ever notice the preponderance of peddlers peddling online universities offering an MBA in 20 quick weeks?  Do you find it strange that these learning pieces tend to be promoted by members of my generation appealing to (aka “preying on”) members of the younger generation – bright, albeit less worldly, more impatient folks who believe they can actually earn a Masters Degree in 20 weeks?

Ever notice those cyber, higher educational oriented Masters programs (aka “magic pills”) tend to be run by people appealing to (aka “preying on”) the younger generation – resulting in the increase of student loan debt if not true knowledge?

How did we get to this point of whirring; multi-tasking; stressed-out; magic pill seeking; catchup?  And regardless of how we got here, “What do we do about it?”

I read and hear a lot these days about multi-tasking; causing limited attention spans; blamed on childhood “A.D.D.”; and associated with the plethora of millennials invading our workforce. To be fair, we can add in memory loss (and technological cluelessness) associated with those of my generation – the Baby Boomers!

Is this simply the result of today’s complexities?  Our favorite, Unknown Sage offers a simple observation:

Principles of success

  • Everyone has a scheme for getting rich that will not work.
  • When in doubt, mumble. When in trouble, delegate.
  • Whatever you have done is never a complete failure. It can always serve as a bad example.
  • When the going gets tough, everyone leaves.
  • In case of doubt, make it sound convincing.
  • It’s a simple task to make things complex, but a complex task to make them simple.

Perhaps the simple answer is that today’s business is in fact complex.  It’s true that I find the endeavors of sales & marketing to be both fascinating as well as intellectually challenging.  And being in the sales enablement profession, I often wonder how to enable sales professionals on mastering these complexities.  Back to our Unknown Sage:

Anderson’s Law

Any system or problem, however complicated, if looked at in exactly the right way, will become even more complicated.

There is no lack of enablement resources being peddled in the marketplace these days.  Just-in-time learning management systems; mobile phone training apps; bite-size pieces of “coaching consumables”; knowledge centers.  I wonder – do these simplify the problem, or make it, “become even more complicated?”

Indeed, there are lots of folks on the “sell-side” of this conundrum wanting those on the “buy side” to believe they have mastered the art of simplification by automating the learning of complexity in a series of simple, just in time, complexity-defeating consumables delivered via machine learning (and occasionally cyber universities).

Sounds simple.

GAP

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Worthless…

Bitcoins: aka virtual currency; electronic money; cryptocurrency.   Engagement: aka the non-monetized metric measuring the effectiveness of social media marketing.  Facebook: aka the new Customer Service media.  I can’t remember a time when I have had more fun getting less worth from such intellectual-based, mass-personalized, business thinking.

Is it me?  Maybe I’m the dinosaur here.  But just in case The Old Guy is on to something, indulge me a little longer, OK?

I like to look at our increasingly complex marketplace of buyers and sellers in a simplified way.  IMO, what connects the buyer and the seller is a transaction.  And – call me kooky – I’d prefer my transactions to include the exchange of money.  Cryptocurrency?  Non-monetized metrics of effectiveness?  Exactly how do I put food on the table with those things?

Now I enjoy the modern, social media; electronically mobile; highly intellectual world as much as the next person.  It’s highly entertaining.  I’m just saying entertainment is not commerce – even for the highly intellectual, highly creative technologies of our day.  Russell Kay cites this universal law:

Grabel’s Law: 

Two is not equal to three – not even for very large values of two.

You tell me – am I crazy if I believe that working for a living and building our businesses should include good, old fashion, hard currency?  Cash money?  Measuring the wrong thing (aka social media engagement); and accepting the wrong form of payment (aka Bitcoins) might be highly innovative; but – and here I go again – innovation is not the same as profit.  And without profit, what do we have?

It nonetheless spoke highly of the firm’s management that they seemed to be going out of business in an orderly fashion.

Norman R. Augustine

One social media premise is that engagement leads to a relationship; and relationship leads to cash money.  So here’s my disconnect:  As a prospect myself, when I’m buying some product or service I just want to buy the product or service – I’m not looking for friendship.  If the seller makes it convenient for me to transact; if they meet my expectations; then I’m likely to transact – repeatedly.

Isn’t it disingenuous to try to establish electronic rapport; or a social media relationship; in order to entice a prospect to transact business?  And after we transact, do we really have to rely on social media to receive customer service?

If a company wants to use social media for their Customer Service delivery platform – fine.  Then institute that approach as company policy; change the voice mail to “Please find our Customer Service Department on Facebook”; and get back to the basics of addressing customers’ needs in a professional and responsive manner.  We don’t care how the vendor solves our issue – as long as our issue is solved, true?

If I have to put my customer service complaint up on an online billboard (aka posting on Facebook) because I can’t get through to their Customer Service Department I assure you I won’t be their customer very long.  IRL, Facebook is not customer service (not even for large values of Facebook).  And real life is a reality:

Reality is that stuff which, no matter what you believe, just won’t go away.

David Paktor

So I promise – if you’d like to transact with me well, you don’t have to friend me on Facebook first.  And the next person who offers to pay me in Bitcoins – I’ll just smile and respond, “I prefer cash, thank you.”

GAP

Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my website too:  The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective© Please check it out.

“Good judgment”…

I have written recently about sales management best practices (a few worst practices, too).  I believe the topic primarily relates to the attribute of judgment:

Rule # 1 – Use your good judgment in all situations.

There will be no additional rules. 

Bob Nelson

But what is judgment to begin with let alone “good judgment”?  According to merriam-webster.com, the definition of judgment includes:

judg·ment     noun 

The act or process of forming an opinion or making a decision after careful thought 

The ability to make good decisions about what should be done

Careful thought; the ability to make good decisions – key metrics we use when judging the quality of our sales managers, true?  Our favorite Unknown Sage suggests this is the origin of judgment:

Good judgment comes from experience.  Experience comes from bad judgment.

Ok, but are we destined to acquire good judgment from “trial and error” only?  Can we learn from the experience (and judgment) of others?  Hoping the latter is possible permit me to offer a few of my experiences (if not judgments) on the topic of a sales manager’s biggest challenges.

Challenge #1 – Integrity – our greatest challenge: 

In my judgment, our integrity is always on display.  Performance is important; knowledge and skill contribute to performance; but what our people notice most is our integrity:

Don’t wait for the last judgment.  It takes place every day. 

Albert Camus

Challenge #2 – Changing sales territories: 

It’s an annual ritual isn’t it?  Raise quotas; shrink territories; modify compensation plans.  Quotas and comp plans may be sore spots for our sales reps; but territories can be downright well, territorial.  Ever notice that sales reps speak of territory in singular-possessive terminology (i.e. “my territory”)?  After careful thought I have come to the judgment that in reality it’s the sales manager who actually “owns” the territory.  We then permit sales reps to “rent” it – under a limited, 12 month lease – with a performance clause to boot!

Challenge #3 – Fairness: 

Territory challenges can lead to sales rep accusations that their sales managers are “unfair”.  Guilty!  I believe it is impossible for a sales manager to be “fair” to everyone on our team.    When I managed my teams I didn’t even try.  Nope, I operated under the “Principle of Equal Unfairness”.  When everyone on my team complained that I was unfair, then I knew I was being equally unfair – and in my judgment, that was fair.

Challenge #4 – Turnover: 

Turnover is inevitable.  Whether due to territory changes, (un)fairness, or even promotions; in my judgment sales managers must constantly prepare for roster moves.  So “ABR” sales managers – Always Be Recruiting.  Find good people; enjoy them while we can; help them succeed and advance; then go find some more!

Challenge #5 – Managing under performers: 

It precedes turnover – ours or theirs!  The reality is not everyone can do this for a living.  As a sales manager, our job is to get the job done.  Now I’d just as soon get it done with the people on my team.  But if I have an under performer, then I must find someone else who can perform.  In my judgment I can’t wait for the under performer to quit; I must initiate the action:

Among the chief worries of today’s business executives is the large number of unemployed still on the payrolls. 

Unknown Sage

Certainly, there are more sales manager judgment challenges.  These are my Top 5 – what are yours?

GAP

Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my website, too:  The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective© Please check it out.

Still Giving Thanks…

We are in the season of giving thanks.  Not that we should wait during the rest of the year to say, “Thank you”; but certainly November and December remind us of our blessings, don’t you agree?  So before I go any further, let me say, “Thank you”! 

Thankfully, I am blessed with family, friends, clients and colleagues who enrich my life beyond count.  Thankfully, I have you who accept my periodic posts and reciprocate with personalized responses of appreciation towards my little ditties.  Thankfully, I have readers such as Jim Anderson and Joe Carusi. 

Jim is a reader, a friend, and one of my coaches.  Because he knew how much it would mean to me, he gave me the book Principle-Based Leadership © that he authored.  Thankfully, I am fortunate enough to be thought of as principled-based and a leader. 

Thankfully, I have been fortunate enough to work for some of the 20th century, “all time” business leaders, including Josh Weston of ADP; Larry Ellison of Oracle; and Dave Duffield of Integral Systems (which preceded PeopleSoft and now Workday).  

Joe is a reader, a friend, and another one of my coaches.  He recommended Marc Miller’s book, Selling is Dead © which is the most applicable sales coaching piece that I have seen written this century.  (If you think about many of the great sales authors, Mahan Khalsa, Robert Miller, Stephen Heimann, Neil Rackham, etc. – most of their work was written last century.)  Thank you Joe! 

So, ready or not, its Thanksgiving week!  Hard to believe it’s here already isn’t it?  I guess time flies when we’re heads down, working during these challenging, economic times.  (By the way, there are only 30 days left before Christmas!) 

With the ski resorts open in Colorado; winter is upon us as well.  No worries, though.  The kindness I receive from Jim, Joe, and all those around me, will keep me warm: 

            A kind word warms for three winters.

Chinese Proverb 

Thankfully, many are optimistic that we will have a successful “Black Friday”; “Small Business Saturday”; and “Cyber Monday” of retail sales.  This will help contribute to our economic stability. Thankfully, we have retailers who are able to brave the “Advertise & Hope” approach to sales.  Thankfully, I chose the Business-to-Business sales profession where we can go out and “sell somebody something” vs. waiting, and hoping, shoppers find our establishment. 

Thankfully, we have people much smarter than me to help put this economy in proper perspective.  The next best thing to being a financial genius is to mingle with those who are: 

Market Terminology for Dummies: 

Bull Market –      A random market movement causing the investor to mistake himself for a financial genius.    

Momentum Investing – The fine art of buying high and selling low.    

Standard & Poor – Your investment strategy in a                 nutshell.

Mailbits.com 

Oh well – I guess I’m not much of a financial genius.  I’ll just have to keep working at it. 

            If you can’t be a genius, imitate the daring. 

Endora Weltz           

Thankfully, we will spend time with family, friends, food, fun, football, and even a movie thrown in during the Thanksgiving holiday.  Thankfully, we will have a few quiet moments to reflect on all we have to be thankful for. 

Thankfully, I have readers who read my posts and recommend me to others.  May the peace and power of a positive perspective be with you and yours this holiday season. 

GAP 

Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my website and book, too:  The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective© Please check it out.

“Me” is actually “me’s”

How many people are you today?  No – I don’t mean in a multiple-personality, schizophrenia weird kind of way; nor in an online, avatar, Farmville kind of way.  I simply mean there are probably more of “us” than just “us”.

A sales rep from Insidesales.com recently called me.  I’ve attended several Insidesales.com webinars and enjoyed Ken Krogue’s coaching – check ‘em out: www.insidesales.com .

Anyway, the rep began his conversation with the assumption (and erroneous statement) that I was no longer employed by the company whose phone I had just answered his call from.  I immediately corrected him stating that I was still so employed.  In fact, I told him I am at the same company phone number and use the same company email I used to register for all of the Insidesales.com events – that’s how he got my name and number for today’s call in the first place.

Naturally, his presumption stimulated my curiosity, so I asked how he came to such a conclusion.  In his defense he offered my LinkedIn profile as Exhibit A – there my persona shows I am an author at Penny or a Pound Publishing – which, of course, one of me is.  But not all of “me’s”.

Today “me” is actually “me’s” and I believe “you – singular” are actually “you – plural”.  I offered this point of view to my young, caller; suggesting he avoid presumptions in the future and simply seek to verify the facts (a critical skill in his profession).  He accepted this coaching from the “old guy” persona.

After the call I reflected on the phenomena of being presumed under one persona vs. another – both personas being the “real me’s”.  The first time I can remember this occurring was my freshman year at college.  The Athletic Director had diligently and competitively recruited me for several months and when I committed he triumphantly informed his assistance basketball coach of his accomplishment.

His assistant varsity coach, Bill Foss, was also the head basketball coach of the freshman team as well as an assistant coach of the varsity football team (it was a small school; and a long time ago).

On the first day of practice I was warming up under the watchful eye of Coach Foss.  It was then that he noticed I had a small, jingle-bell attached to my shoelace.  I thought this was a good idea back in high school as a way to break the concentration of my opponents – but this was now college ball.

Suffice it to say Coach Foss presumed I had a certain persona – let’s call me a “finesse player”.  Anyway, he pulled out a linebacker, blocking pad from his football gear and told us to line up for a rebounding drill.  I’m sure he was thinking he would now show “me” his game wasn’t a finesse game.

To Coach Foss’ surprise, I reached down into my sock and pulled out a mouthpiece to protect my teeth.  Oh, he was quite familiar with mouthpieces on the football field; he wasn’t as accustomed to anyone using one on his basketball teams.  We proceeded to complete his rebounding drill and I proceeded to demonstrate “me” was a “power player persona” too.  Yes, “me” was actually “me’s”.

I bet your “you” is plural too as we live in a society today that supports our endeavors of interest even when it means we portray multiple personas – including Facebook, LinkedIn, and yes, even Farmville.

GAP

Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my website and book, too:  The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective© Please check it out.

Hoping in Duple Time…

What stimulates your hope?

The Polka is a happy, little tune – don’t you think?  (“Really, Gary?  The Polka?  Slow day?”)

No, really.  I was station-surfing the other day; looking for a little hard-rock music.  It was Monday, which for me is Mandatory Metallica (helps me start my week).  I came across Polka music on the radio and it immediately triggered memories of my childhood – and the movie “Home Alone”.  Did you see that movie?  John Candy played Gus Polinski, the leader of a Polka Band from Milwaukee. Remember his pride over one of their hits, “Polka-Polka-Polka”?  Classic!

From Centralhome.com (of all places):

Polka is defined as a vivacious couple dance of Bohemian origin in duple time; it is a basic pattern of hop-step-close-step; a lively dance tune in 2/4 time.

Vivacious; lively; duple time; doesn’t that just perk you right up?  OK, who brought the accordian?

Answer.com adds:

Polka music is a form of European dance music which originated in Bohemia (what is now an area within the Czech Republic).

And from Wikipedia:

Apparently, it was so well-received that it became a sort of dance craze, spreading across all of Europe, and to the US.

“OK Gary, but the Polka?  Today?  How does that stimulate hope?”

Well, you see the Polka is part of my family roots.  When I was in grade school my Cousin John in Chicago played the accordion and everyone would dance (lively; in duple time!).  I remember the cold beer would flow, as would the rich happiness of blue collar, working families, who made the most of celebrations that they could rarely afford.  Although they struggled to make ends meet, when they partied – they really partied – and they Polka’ed!

There have been other dance crazes, for sure.  In the ‘60’s it was the Twist.  Who remembers doing the Hustle in the ‘70’s? Today, who hasn’t done the Electric Slide?   How many of these dances will outlast the Polka?

Back to Wikipedia:

The actual dance and accompanying music called “polka” are generally attributed to a girl, Anna Slezakova of Labska Tynice, Bohemia, in 1834.

Alright Anna! 179 years and still going strong!

When my relatives danced the Polka years ago, it was all about celebration.  Celebrating some occasion, for sure; but also celebrating family; celebrating life; celebrating hope!  The hardest working people are often the ones that enjoy family gatherings and modest accouterments the most, yes?

These celebrations are enthusiastic expressions of hope.  Hard working people stay pretty focused day-to-day; living paycheck to paycheck.  They have to.  But when it’s time for a family celebration, hope springs eternal!

Throughout the ages, dances of hope were common among many people. Texas Bix Bender, who brought us such sage advice as:

Don’t squat with your boots on.

and,

Never drink down stream from the herd.

Also offers us insight about dance, the future, timing, and hope.  In the Great Plains and throughout the West, for instance, we’ve all read lore about the rain dance.  And Texas Bix said:

Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance.

So I’m smiling today about the timing of my life and the opportunity to envision memories of my Cousin John playing the accordion while my Uncle Frank and Aunt Bernice danced the Polka into the wee hours of the morning. Yes – the Polka – a happy (and hopeful) little tune indeed.

What stimulates your hope?

GAP

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Who’s at fault?

My wife just endured one of those “clients-from-hell” experiences.  After investing hours and hours coordinating a cruise for a new client; the client cancelled at the last minute.  Nine months of effort cancelled – no cruise; no commission; no long-term client relationship.  Who was at fault?

It started out innocent enough; a pastor wanting to coordinate a church retreat.  Timing was fine; the sail date was a year out.  A man of God and his flock – how bad could it get?  My wife even secured approval from the cruise line to qualify his trip for fund raising; the cruise line would contribute $50 per cabin; my wife pledged another $10.  Seemed like a win all the way around.

Then reality set in – missed deposit deadlines; delayed paperwork; lost credit card; last minute changes; demands for upgrades; the works.  And no matter what was provided, “more” was demanded.  And when “more” was no longer available; “cancel” was called on.  But who was at fault?

Well obviously it was Murphy’s fault:

Murphy’s Law: 

If anything can go wrong, it will. 

Unknown Sage

In fact, our favorite Unknown Sage offers us a lot about this person Murphy and what he does to our client service experiences:

Murphy’s Law gives rise to Murphy’s Philosophy:    

Smile… tomorrow will be worse.

Murphy’s Eighth Corollary:

It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious.

Addendum to Murphy’s Law:

In precise mathematical terms, 1+1 = 2, where “=” is a symbol meaning seldom if ever.

Gattuso’s Extension of Murphy’s Law:

Nothing is ever so bad that it can’t get worse.

Yep – it got worse.  My wife earned a masters degree about Murphy with this client!

If we’ve been in business long enough, we’ve all faced the, “Who’s at fault” moment, true?  Who gets the blame?  Does it matter?  Sometimes, we just get “run over” by one of those disingenuous, impossible-to-satisfy clients, determined to totally waster our time; and then say it was our fault.

A man in a hot air balloon realized he was lost. He reduced altitude and spotted a woman below. He descended a bit more and shouted, “Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don’t know where I am.”

The woman below replied, “You’re in a hot air balloon hovering approximately 30 feet above the ground. You’re between 40 and 41 degrees north latitude and between 59 and 60 degrees west longitude.”

“You must be an engineer”, said the balloonist.  “I am”, replied the woman, “How did you know”?

“Well”, answered the balloonist, “everything you told me is, technically correct, but I’ve no idea what to make of your information, and the fact is I’m still lost. Frankly, you’ve not been much help at all. If anything, you’ve delayed my trip.”

The woman below responded, “You must be in Management.”  “I am”, replied the balloonist, “but how did you know”?

“Well”, said the woman, you don’t know where you are or where you’re going.   You have risen to where you are due to a large quantity of hot air.  You made a promise, which you’ve no idea how to keep, and you expect people beneath you to solve your problems. The fact is you are in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but now, somehow, it’s my fault.”

Unknown Sage

I wonder if his name was Murphy.

GAP

Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my website and book, too:  The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective© Please check it out.

One of “those” days…

I cut myself shaving this morning – of all mornings.  Was it going to be one of “those” days?  I was getting an updated head shot on my LinkedIn profile later today.  Ut-oh: 

            Murphy’s Law 

If anything can go wrong, it will. 

Well, maybe no one will notice.  I headed off to the office, just like any other day: 

            Maah’s Law 

Things go right so they can go wrong. 

Upon arrival, I discovered that I had left my briefcase (with office keys and computer) at home. Ut-oh.  Guess I was preoccupied with stopping the bleeding on my chin.  As I retrieved the necessary tools of my trade I experienced what the morning reverse-commute is like: 

            Law of Life’s Highway 

If everything is coming your way, you’re in the wrong lane. 

I returned a bit late but ready to face the day; the first incoming call came from one of my colleagues.  He asked if I knew how to run this new application we were given to create content for our learning management system.  Like me, he had received instructions on how to use this program from our application expert.  Ut-oh.  Like me, he followed the instructions as best he could. And like me, he was now reaching out to someone other than our “expert” for assistance, because: 

            Rudnicki’s Nobel Principle 

Only someone who understands something absolutely can explain it so no one else can understand it at all. 

We ignored the biblical prophecy of “the blind leading the blind”; avoided the ditch; and figured out how to record his content; although it consumed the rest of my morning. 

Trying to break the pattern of one of “those” mornings, during my lunch hour I read a few posts in my LinkedIn Groups.  One Group comprised of sales and marketing executives, had this post, “What concerns you most about the new year?”  Ut-oh. 

I responded to this post because I believe the sales profession is (or at least should be) a profession of optimism.  A post about “concerns” can be made by anyone I suppose, but for us sales professionals, we look at the world through a different lens: 

            Too much respect for problems kills faith in possibilities.  

Unknown Sage 

I felt better after sharing the Unknown Sage’s perspective with the “concerned” sales executive.  But then the phone rang.  Ut-oh. 

It was one of my clients calling to complain about an email he received from one of my other colleagues.  I agree with you – I’m thinking he should have just called her vs. me, but hey – it was definitely one of “those” days. 

After clarifying his issue (which could have been easily resolved by calling my colleague vs.me), I was tempted: 

Look, do you want to make a decision on this?  Or do you just want us all to drive home tonight and feel bad about it?

John F. Akers 

But for some odd reason a scene from Shakespeare’s 1596 play Henry IV, Part One, popped into my head reminding me that, “discretion is the better part of valor”.  So I agreed to speak to my colleague on his behalf, which I did.  She resolved his “concern”.  And I headed to a meeting: 

Oh, you hate your job?  Why didn’t you say so?  There’s a support group for that.  It’s called everybody, and they meet at the bar. 

Drew Carey 

Now that’s my kind of meeting when I’m having one of “those” days – you? 

GAP 

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Giving Thanks…

We are in the season of giving thanks.  Not that we should wait during other parts of the year to say, “Thank you”, but certainly November and December remind us of our blessings, don’t you agree?  So before I go any further, permit me to say, “Thank you”. 

Thankfully, I am blessed with family, friends, clients and colleagues who enrich my life beyond count.  Thankfully, I have readers who accept my periodic posts and reciprocate with periodic responses of appreciation towards my little ditties.  Thankfully, I have readers such as Chris Corcoran and John McCall.  

Chris is a reader and a client.  Because he knew how much it would mean to me, Chris bought me the book Softwar: An Intimate Portrait of Larry Ellison and Oracle © by Matthew Symonds.  Thankfully, I was fortunate enough to work for Oracle back in the day that the majority of this book was focused on. 

Thankfully, I have been fortunate enough to work for some of the 20th century, “all time” business leaders, including Josh Weston of ADP; Larry Ellison of Oracle; and Dave Duffield of Integral Systems (which preceded PeopleSoft and now Workday).  

John is a reader, too.  Earlier this month, he generously sent me a very special email: 

Gary, about a year ago I tried to compile quotes from one of the most wise men in American history. I enjoy your site and emails and I hope these quotes (or most of them anyway) you will find to be as hilarious, spot on and useful as I do. I hope you are well. 

John attached a compilation of Benjamin Franklin quotes for my enjoyment.  Thank you John!  

So, ready or not, its Thanksgiving week!  Hard to believe it’s here already isn’t it?  I guess time flies when we’re heads down, working during these challenging, economic times.  (By the way, there are only 36 days left before Christmas!) 

With the snow we have already had in Denver; winter is upon us as well.  No worries, though.  With the kindness I receive from Chris, John, and all those around me, I will stay warm: 

            A kind word warms for three winters.

Chinese Proverb 

Thankfully, many are optimistic that we will have a successful “Black Friday”; “Small Business Saturday”; and “Cyber Monday” of retail sales.  This will help contribute to our economic recovery. Thankfully, we have retailers who are able to brave the “Advertise & Hope” approach to sales.  Thankfully, I chose a Business-to-Business sales profession where we can go out and “sell somebody something” vs. waiting and hoping shoppers visit our establishment. 

Thankfully, we have people much smarter than me to help put things in proper perspective.  You see, I’m not the smartest guy in the room.  But I am coachable; listen well; and have an excellent memory.  Thankfully, the next best thing to being a genius is to mingle with those who are: 

Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted.

Albert Einstein           

Thankfully, we will spend time with family, friends, food, and fun with a little football and even a movie thrown in during the Thanksgiving holiday.  Thankfully, we will have a few quiet moments to reflect on all we have to be thankful for. 

Thankfully, I have readers who read my posts and subscribe to my book.  May the peace and power of a positive perspective be with you and yours this holiday season. 

GAP 

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