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Intentional…

Google intentional and among other definitions, you will find:

Planned, meant, studied, knowing, purposeful

Not the adjectives typically associated with millennials these days, true?

Much has been said and much has been written about the future of civilization as we know it when the day comes that millennials are running things.  We’ve seen the disastrous predictions when “they” are in charge, yes?  I’m a bit more hopeful (of course, I’m optimistic by nature).  I think we’ll be alright – after all:

We hope that when the insects take over the world they will remember with gratitude how we took them along on all our picnics. 

Bill Vaughan

However, there are many harsh realities we (and “they”) must face first for things to work out.  This 15 minute clip is sobering.  Two prefaces – (1) I wonder if you will have the patience to watch it in full and deny the temptation to fast forward to my point (2) at the 14:30 mark the speaker reveals the origin of ideas and innovation:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hER0Qp6QJNU

Speaking of observation, casual (in-person) interactions, and idea origination, I walk by the cubes of our Business Development Reps periodically.  A whole department of millennials; managed by millennials; quite the dichotomy from this gray-haired, periodic passerby.

I noticed after several fly-bys the word “Intentional” boldly written above one of the BDR’s desk.  Recently, I stopped and chatted with Megan about it – I wanted to know more about why she had posted “Intentional” above her desk.

“Gary, I’m focused on doing my job better” she offered. And then continued, “I’m trying to make each phone call I make and each voice mail I leave intentional.  I’m paying closer attention to how I’m doing what I’m doing.  I want to leave a memorable impression with the prospects I contact.”  WOW!  If that isn’t planned, studied and purposeful, aka intentional, I don’t know what is!  And all from none other than a millennial.

In the YouTube clip the speaker discusses how Corporate America today has to learn to manage, motivate, and lead millennials better.  He offers the position that they have capabilities – managers just have to tap into these capabilities differently than the way managers managed their teams of prior generations.  Naturally, this presumes managers know how to do this – which I believe they don’t – but I digress and will leave my thoughts on front line sales management to a future post.

Getting back to my casual conversation with my millennial colleague about her intentional approach, I’d like to add:

I am neither so green that I cannot teach; nor am I so gray that I cannot learn.

Since our conversation at Megan’s cube I have given the word intentional a lot of thought.  I think I am already in alignment with her on my intentional approach to the sales profession and my sales enablement responsibilities.  I think I’ve developed the requisite knowledge, skills and experience over the years the old fashion way – trial and error.

But as with others of my generation, I don’t think I have been as intentional as I should be with other sources of dopamine that the YouTube speaker cites.  So with my young colleague’s teaching I will be more intentional in 2017.

To remain in the sales profession we must either teach or we must learn, every day.  For my part, after 40 years I’m still learning.  In this case from a person who is younger than some of my horses LOL!

Yes – I have great hope for the future.

GAP

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Seems familiar…

I wanted to publish this before the final outcome; seems like I’ve been in the situation before (see http://thequoteguys.com/2014/02/youre-fired/ ).

Back then, my company was acquired.  New leadership did what new leadership often does; fired a lot of employees.   It wasn’t a surprise; I was told by a Vice President and friend of mine that the company was “in play” before I even took the job. It was a risk I accepted.

Under a “silver lining”, that event benefited me greatly; it resulted in me finding my current role which has been among the best jobs I have had in my entire, 40 year career.  Now in October, my current company will be acquired.

DEJA MOO:

The feeling you’ve heard this bull before. 

Unknown Sage

I believe I’m the obvious choice to continue in my current role.  But – who knows what the new leadership will value?  It’s OK though; this time is quite different from the last time and that’s what I wanted to share before the final outcome is revealed.

You see, the last time I went through this my Manager(s) disappeared.  As soon as the announcement was made it very quickly became “every man for himself”.  I did not have one single business interaction with my Manager at that time once the announcement occurred.  Not a phone call; not an email; nothing.

His replacement, who was hired by the new company’s leadership offered the business courtesy of a phone meeting or two.  But when we gathered in Omaha for what turned out to be the “final audition” for a remaining few spots, my new manager was nowhere to be seen.  It was pretty obvious that I was not going to “make the cut” – and as I wrote about – I didn’t.

This go ‘round has been an entirely different and an impressively professional experience.  The Vice President I report to has maintained open and frequent dialog with his direct reports.  Often with these almost daily phone conversations he can’t offer me much in the way of substantive information – we’re still in a “quiet period”.  It’s all happening relatively quickly, but even so I and my fellow colleagues have been in limbo for what will turn out to be 3 months.

In spite of the obvious reasons for trepidation, here’s my boss – fearless in his willingness to maintain open and frequent dialog.

It’s one of the most challenging leadership skills of all – maintaining open communication with your reports when the over-arching theme could be bad news.  He has been unbelievably even-handed and totally appropriate with his updates.  He doesn’t speculate; he doesn’t preach hope; he simply sticks to the facts as he knows them – and we all take it one day at a time.  Regardless of the final outcome, his leadership strength is admirable; one we can all learn from.

For obvious reasons, we are all hopeful.  As I stated earlier, this time I believe I am the obvious choice.  But soon enough we will all find out if the news is good or bad. It will be interesting to see how things will be communicated:

The phrase, “I have good news and I have bad news”, is really just bad news. 

We all know this because we learn of good news this way; “You’re not going to freaking believe this, but…” 

Thanks boss for maintaining your dignity – and respecting ours – in the face of adversity.  This may seem familiar but I’m very confident things will turn out for the best, regardless.

GAP

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15 and 50…

Observing leadership communications and leadership style have been an enthralling side benefit I have enjoyed throughout my career.  Of course in 2016 we are witnessing a big dose of our Presidential candidates’ leadership communications style.  I wonder what the journalists and historians will write 15 and 50 years from now.

What leadership communications style do you prefer?  Those who boast; blare; and blurt out the bigness of their bravado?  Those who calmly convey a collaborative and conservative approach?  Do we prefer political experience?  Intellectual superiority?  Business acumen?  All of the above?  Have your preferences changed over the past 15 or 50 years?

It’s been longer than 50 years, but Abraham Lincoln is recognized as one of America’s greatest leaders.  He had a particular leadership communication style, true?  What do you remember of his persona – his physical image?  His story-telling?  His unique way of managing people and politics?

My policy is to have no policy. 

Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln’s flexibility and willingness to adapt his “policies” to short-term circumstances is considered legendary.  But from a principled perspective almost every Presidential decision he made was grounded on saving the Union as being paramount above all else.  I think they will continue writing about Lincoln’s leadership 15 and 50 years from now.

Maybe you prefer leaders that advocate family-friendly work environments.  Much is being written these days about work-life balance; challenging and fulfilling assignments; the “gig economy”; more paid time off.  Of course, smart leaders don’t worry about employee vacation time – perhaps they follow the teachings of our favorite Unknown Sage:

Luten’s Laws

When properly administered, vacations do not diminish productivity: for every week you’re away and get nothing done, there’s another week when your boss is away and you get twice as much done.

Yes, I’ve enjoyed observing leaders and their communication style for more than 50 years.  Not just business leaders; but world leaders, sports leaders, even the leadership my wife displays as the patriarch of our family.  I’ve hoped some of their greatness has rubbed off on me – or at least appeared to have rubbed off:

The difference between being an elder statesman and posing successfully as an elder statesman is practically negligible. 

T.S. Eliot

Recently, Evan Goldberg Chairman and Founder of my company NetSuite, was interviewed for the benefit of the employees.  One leadership communication challenge is maintaining “contact” with employees when the company grows from a start-up to a multi-national corporation.  It’s been just a few more than 15 years since Evan launched his company with a great idea; a handful of employees; and a passion to succeed.

During this interview, one of the questions he was asked was about the type of employees he relies on to help with the company’s continued growth and success.  Evan cited two main attributes.

First, he looks for people who have “casual intensity”.  I like that description!  He described this attribute as those who work hard; invest long hours; willingly make personal sacrifice, without making a big deal about their efforts (and sacrifices).  These are the people Evan said that just go about getting the job done.

And the second quality of employee he prefers are those types of people you would enjoy going out to lunch with.  Coincidently, this attribute was echoed by my best friend Steve:

Never trust someone who doesn’t go out to lunch with you.

Well, truth be told I’m not much of a go-out-for-lunch-type.  It’s OK though – I doubt anyone will remember that 15 or 50 years from now.

GAP

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Triangle – the conclusion…

This is the last little ditty devoted to the term “engagement” that is prominently used in Corporate America today.  I believe the term engagement has us surrounded.

Much has been said and much has been written about Leadership Engagement – that was my first post in this triangle series http://thequoteguys.com/2016/03/triangle-the-series/ .  Employee Engagement has also received lots of attention – that was the second corner of the triangle http://thequoteguys.com/2016/03/triangle-the-series-continues/ .  Today, let’s turn our attention to Customer Engagement.

I believe we can “feel” customer engagement when they are collaborating with us; i.e. actively participating with us in the pursuit of their solution (or problem resolution).

Alternatively, we’ve all experienced “that client” whose opinion of our company’s product or service wasn’t so hot:

After exhausting every possible way to assist an irate client for the past 45 minutes, and then concluding her phone conversation in the professional manner she had been trained for, the client service representative was heard to let out a pent-up, rhetorical question of frustration, “What does this customer want me to do about their problem, perform magic”?

Is magic (aka venting) the same as collaboration?  I don’t think so.

I’m referring to those customer interactions we have experienced where they help us help them.  I’m remembering situations where the customer wanted us to get it right.  And on those occasions when we strayed from what’s important – they offered us course-correction:

As a young, inexperienced salesman he was simply following the 1st call script he had been trained on.  Sitting in front of the Director of MIS of his largest prospect the salesman repeatedly emphasized his company’s outstanding customer service which he had rehearsed over and over again with his sales manager.  The sales rep ground on “service” and “servicing” to the point that the MIS Director finally interjected; 

“Gary, my family owns a dairy farm.  And periodically we take our cows down to a neighbor who has a bull so we can have our cows serviced.  You might consider not telling me how your company is going to service me.”

The young, inexperienced salesman course-corrected at his client’s suggestion and succeeded in securing a new account.

I suppose it can be hard to follow our customers’ direction at times.  I mean, we have invested all of that energy and effort becoming experts with our products and services – we’d like the customer to patiently sit there and listen to us spew all of our expertise, true?

Perhaps we can heed the advice Tom Sant wrote about way back in the 1990’s in his book Persuasive Business Proposals: Writing to Win Customers, Clients, and Contracts ©

“GYST”:  Don’t write anything until you “Get Your Stuff Together.”  Lots of gas-filled balloons are launched from word processors by people who began to write before they really knew what they were talking about, why they were talking about it, or to whom they were talking.

If we can get past the spewing; if we can get to the GYST; if we can listen to our customer’s input; more times than not they will tell us exactly how to sell them; exactly how to get it right.  Besides, though we may think of ourselves as experts, our clients usually know the truth:

Make three correct guesses consecutively, and you will establish a reputation as an expert. 

Lawrence Peter

So let’s stop guessing; invite customer engagement; stop talking at them; start collaborating with them; accept their course-corrections; and gain their business.  After all, the commissions pay the same, true?

GAP

 

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Let me elaborate…

In my last post I wrote a little ditty as I traveled to Boston to work with one of my clients.  Last week, I had a dozen clients travel to Denver to work with me.  And, they paid to attend my “training class” to boot!  Did they experience anything “Different”?

My last post was a summary of my self-reflection on what makes me “different” (see http://thequoteguys.com/2015/08/whats-different/ ).  I asked at the same time for you to pause for a moment and address, “What makes you different?”  Did you?  Did you take a moment to crystalize exactly what makes you; your product/service; and your company “Different” in the eye of your customers?  No?  Too busy?  Well:

Many receive advice.  Only the wise profit from it. 

Publilius Syms

Today – permit me to elaborate.

“I’m a pretty good talker, but I’m even a better listener.  And boy – do I love to talk!”

Courtor’s Rule:

If people listened to themselves more often, they would talk less. 

Unknown Sage

(I’m still working on this rule.)

“I’m a pretty good listener, but I’m even better at remembering.”

What I say may not matter but what the client says always matters:

We hear only half of what is said to us, understand only half of that, believe only half of that, and remember only half of that. 

Mignon McLaughlin

“I’m pretty good strategically with the “big picture”, but I’m even better tactically with identifying the myriad of details.”

Pay fantastic attention to detail.  What details get in the way of our being easy to do business with? 

Tom Connellan

“I’m a pretty good presenter, but I’m even a better problem solver.”

The hardest problems get solved last. 

Frank Hayes

“I’m pretty good at committing to being prompt, but I’m even better at arriving prepared.”

Average sales people like to wing it. Champions like to make money.  So they don’t wing it – they prepare.  Intensively. 

Tom Hopkins

“I’m a pretty good leader, but I’m an even better follower.”

People don’t at first follow worthy causes.  They follow worthy leaders who promote worthy causes. 

John C. Maxwell

“I’m pretty good at positioning my company competitively, but I’m even better at acknowledging the “reality of multiple solutions” each client has.”

Our competition got me out of bed in the morning; paranoia is a wonderful motivator. 

Scott Deeter

“I’m pretty good at orchestrating a sales-cycle, but I’m even better helping my clients’ coordinate their evaluation process.”

Sell the way the customer buys and allocate your resources accordingly. 

Rick Page

“I’m pretty good at overcoming objections, but I’m even better at identifying client fantasies that no vendor and no product can address.”

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

David Paktor

“I’m pretty good at negotiating price, but I’m even better at helping my clients clarify the value.”

To assess your added value, you have to put yourself in the other player’s shoes and ask what you bring to them. 

Barry J. Nalebuff

At last week’s class, I wasn’t sharing stuff I know because I always knew that stuff.  I was simply re-telling what I’ve learned along the way from these wise people named above and untold others.  Was my clients’ experience with me “Different” than all the other classes they’ve attended led by all of the other instructors who attempted to instruct them?  What do I know?

Only the customer can tell.  Was the class successful?  Well, no one quit; no one got hurt; I’m calling it a win!

GAP

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C’est la vie! Déjà vu…

Here’s to a happy (and safe) July 4th everyone!   It’s a 3-day weekend for many; 4-days off for some.  And here’s to our forefathers who freed this country from the British Empire.  Permit me to offer three things that helped them do it:  Leadership, Free Speech, and the French.

Two of these three remain part of our everyday lives.  (Not sure what happened to the French?)  I know many families with ancestors that immigrated to America from other countries.  I don’t know very many from France though, do you?  C’est la vie! (Which of course is French for, “Their bad!”)

The French helped us gain our independence; gave us the Statue of Liberty; and then said, “Bon chance!”  Thankfully we still have our leaders to poke fun at, oui?  Managers and executives at our companies are frequent targets of humor, even though they mean well:

But even top management types are mostly harmless when you get to know them.  Given lots of love, some even make good pets. 

Rick Levine

After a while all good employees settle in and get used to our managers’ idiosyncrasies, don’t we?   When our reporting lines change we don’t have to let it bother us.  No matter who our boss is today, it will likely change tomorrow so we should just focus on getting our jobs done, don’t you agree?  Cirque du Soleil!  (Which of course is French for, “Same circus – different clowns.”)

At work, our (wine) glasses remain half-full.  (Oops – my faux pas!)  In America, our companies and our managers remain among the best of the best in the world.  And with France’s help during the Revolution, we are truly blessed to live in the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave!  Vive La France!  (Which of course is America’s way to say, “Thank You” to the French.)

Our political leaders remain fodder for daily humor – but beware:

The trouble with practical jokes is that very often they get elected. 

Will Rogers

As we know, 2015 is a highly charged year of politics… magnifique!  (Which is French for, “What else is new?”)  If we took all of the money spent on political commercials, including those mud-slinging, character-slamming, negative-messaging, ugly blasts from all those special interest groups, we could take as much paid vacation as the French.  A la mode!  (Which of course is French for, “I’ll take my vacation with ice cream too, please!”)

Where does the money come from for all these commercials about more guns; more fracking; less privacy on behalf of more security; blah, blah, blah?  Brings to mind Lawrence J. Peter’s perspective:

What this country needs is more free speech worth listening to.

Freedom of speech is truly one of our greatest freedoms though.  I suppose the price we must pay for this great freedom is listening to someone’s outrageous commercial, yes?  Sacrebleu!

So as American citizens we should be patient – leading this country is not for the faint of heart.  And if these daily commercials resort to the same tired talk-tracks, well:  Deja Moo!  (Which of course is French for, “The feeling that we’ve heard this bull before!”)

So here’s to the USA; our outstanding leaders; the support from the French; and our great freedom of speech in the Land of Opportunity.  Certainly, without this freedom I would not have the opportunity to write my little ditties.  And without these, it would be harder for you find something to waste time on at work; oui Mon ami?

GAP

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Giving Advice…

Giving advice, now there’s a lightning rod topic.  It is a terrific compliment when someone solicits us for advice, yes?  However, when we give unasked for advice it can be received very differently.

It seems to me that advice-oriented conversations either progress (or digress) based on a variety of variables.  When should we speak?  When should we listen?  Whose advice should we follow?  How do we avoid that lightning rod?  Reminds me of a party:

Nothing makes me more tolerant of a neighbor’s noisy party than being there. 

Franklin P. Adams

But I digress.  I was approached by a young colleague seeking career advice last year.  He had two, internal opportunities; wanted my opinion on which one might be better.

His request was a compliment and a surprise.  I barely knew him; our jobs are unrelated; we didn’t even work on the same floor.  Nonetheless, he had been told I was some sort of seer or soothsayer or something so he sought me out for advice.  Of course, you already know how I feel about seers and soothsayers:

It seems to me that no soothsayer should be able to look at another soothsayer without laughing.

Cicero

I agreed to meet; discussed his career options; answered his questions the best I could; offered him a little seeing and soothsaying.  With a “let me know how things turn out”, I wished him well.

That was last year.  I see him in the office from time to time; say “hello” at the coffee machine.  I’m thinking the fact that he’s still with the company is a positive indication.  If I were clairvoyant, I would know for sure if my advice benefited him.  Of course, you already know how I feel about clairvoyants:

At a recent annual meeting of the International Association of Clairvoyants, the meeting began by reading the minutes of next year’s meeting. 

Unknown Sage

I was reminded of this collegial career advice encounter recently as I was finishing up a weekly, 1-to-1 conference call with one of my clients.  These 1-to-1 meetings have been both a compliment and a surprise.  I do my best to encourage my client to set the agenda; drive the conversation; focus his priorities.  And he does get each meeting started down a certain path.

But then, after asking for my advice he sits back… and … proceeds to multitask.   I can literally hear him keyboarding in the background and I notice as he occasionally puts me on mute for a moment or two.  Upon my inquiry, he apologizes offering that a “client issue” just hit his in box and he’ll “only need a second to respond”.  This of course, makes me wonder what kind of client issue only needs a second to respond?  But I digress.

In reality he is my client and I strive to comply with my clients’ requests – even for 1-to-1 meetings listening to their multi-tasking.  This particular client is very tenured and very experienced so when he sends me Meeting Requests I take them as both a compliment and a surprise.  Perhaps I’m simply confirming what he already knows: 

Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn’t. 

Emily Jong

Sometimes we just need someone to help us sound out what’s on our mind, true? Sometimes it’s the listening not the advising that matters.  If I were a better soothsayer or clairvoyant, I’d know when to speak and when to listen.  I’d be better at avoiding that lightning rod!

GAP

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Brevity…

Brevity is a skill, true?  Lord knows, it’s not one of mine!  (Can you say verbose?)

Oh well, at least my readers have patience – I hope!

Ever notice that some of the most historically significant speeches in American history are brief?  Take Martin Luther King for instance.  Famous for his role in leading the American civil rights movement, his still-cherished, “I have a dream” speech delivered over 50 years ago was brief.  According to HistoryBuff.com:

Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech was delivered on August 28, 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.  He spoke for approximately 17 minutes.  http://www.historybuff.com/audio/king.mp3

Abraham Lincoln was even briefer. His most famous speech was less than 271 words.  According to AngelFire.com:

November 19, 1863

Perhaps no speech in American history has been more revered than this short message by Lincoln on the occasion of the dedication of a cemetery in the little town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

I was recently asked by one of my clients to interview two finalists for their firm’s marketing position.  Although I am a sales professional not a marketing professional, I agreed to do the interviews because I believe the sales and marketing communication disciplines (written and spoken) are blurring in the modern marketplace.

It took me about 4 hours to prepare for the interviews.  That included two phone conversations with my client; one with the CEO; one with his Recruiter.  I wanted to clarify the skills, attributes and/or characteristics they wanted me to focus on to insure I was not duplicating or interfering with areas they were focused on.  I also prepared a structured interview template (to prevent Mr. Verbose from appearing!).

I was following former President Woodrow Wilson’s “game plan”:

If I am to speak for ten minutes, I need a week for preparation; if fifteen minutes, three days; if half an hour, two days; if an hour, I am ready now.

It takes preparation to be brief.  In my case, I structured 4 interview questions.  Allotting time for the candidates’ questions of me, it was good preparation for 1-hour interviews.  The candidates were evidently not as familiar with American history; nor as prepared to be brief.

I’ve often associated this phenomenon with stress.  When we are in stressful, selling situations (and during an interview we are selling ourselves), if we’re not totally prepared we tend to throw more words at it, don’t we?  Well, that’s what they did.  And “throwing more words at it” is often not “better”.

He can compress the most words into the smallest ideas of any man I ever met.

Abraham Lincoln

I recapped my interview notes and sent them to the CEO and the Recruiter.  Since I am not a hiring manager for them, I stayed within the boundaries of my 4 questions and did not offer them additional opinions on candidate “fit”.  That’s their prerogative.

But this experience was excellent reinforcement for my sales and leadership responsibilities.  I mean, who can go wrong following Abraham Lincoln’s advice?

My friends, the less you see of me the better you will like me.

Of course, if we plan to apply a “less is more” technique, then whatever we select to include in the “less” better be the “good stuff”, yes?  And to insure we offer the good stuff, albeit briefly, we best allocate sufficient time to prepare.  Yet even with preparation, Mr. Verbose lingers near by.  But I digress – see what I mean!

GAP

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C’est la vie! Déjà vu…

Here’s to a happy (and safe) July 4th holiday week!   And, to our forefathers who freed this country from the British Empire.  Permit me to offer three things that helped them do it:  Leadership, Free Speech, and the French. 

Two of these three remain part of our everyday lives.  (Not sure what happened to the French?)  I know a lot of families with ancestors that immigrated to America from other countries.  I don’t know very many from France though, do you?  C’est la vie! (Which of course, is French for, “Their bad!”) 

The French helped us gain our independence; gave us the Statue of Liberty; and then said, “Bon chance!”  Thankfully, we still have our leaders to poke fun at, yes?  Managers and executives at our companies are frequent targets of humor, even though they mean well: 

But even top management types are mostly harmless when you get to know them.  Given lots of love, some even make good pets.

Rick Levine 

After a while all good employees settle in and get used to our managers’ idiosyncrasies, don’t we?   When our reporting lines change we don’t have to let it bother us.  No matter who our boss may be today, it will likely change so we should just focus on getting our jobs done, don’t you agree?  Cirque du Soleil!  (Which, of course, is French for, “Same circus – different clowns.”) 

At work, our (wine) glasses remain half-full.  (Oops – my faux pas!)  In America, our companies and our managers remain among the best of the best in the world.  And with France’s help during the Revolution, we are truly blessed to live in the Land of the Free; Home of the Brave!  Vive La France!  (Which of course, is the American way to say, “Thank You” to France.) 

Of course, our political leaders are fodder for our humor – but beware: 

The trouble with practical jokes is that very often they get elected.

Will Rogers 

As we know, 2013 is a highly charged year of politics… magnifique!  (Which is French for, “What’s new?”)  If we took all of the money spent on political commercials, including those mud-slinging, character-slamming, negative-messaging, fear-uncertainty-and-doubt blasts from all our special interest groups, we could take as much vacation time as the French.  A la mode!  (Which of course, is French for, “I’ll have my vacation with ice cream, please!”) 

Where does the money come from for all these commercials about more guns; more fracking; less privacy on behalf of more security; blah, blah, blah?  Brings to mind Lawrence J. Peter’s perspective: 

What this country needs is more free speech worth listening to.                                 

Freedom of speech is truly one of our greatest freedoms.  The price we must pay for this great freedom is listening to someone’s outrageous commercial, yes?  Sacrebleu! 

So I suppose as American citizens we should be patient – leading this country is not for the faint of heart.  And if these daily commercials resort to the same tired talk-tracks, well:  Deja Moo!  (Which of course, is French for, “The feeling that we’ve heard this bull before!”) 

So here’s to the USA; the support we received from the French; and our great freedom of speech in the Land of Opportunity.  Certainly, without this freedom I would not have the opportunity to write my little ditties.  And without these, it would be harder for you find something to waste time on at work; true Mon ami?

GAP 

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What is >…

Do you find yourself pursuing more and more and more these days? Can’t get “enough”?  Life is one, big super-sized experience, true?  Technology certainly offers consumers “more”; the Federal Government is the master of the “more”; and today the IRS takes their turn.  (Enough!) 

But what is “more” anyway?  And does, “more better” mean more; better; both; or neither?  Our Unknown Sage suggests: 

            Less is more. 

Is that it?  Is “less” > “more?  My doctor said after I weighed in that it would be better if there were less of me.  Hopefully my readers don’t feel that way! 

People who read me seem to be divided into four groups; Twenty-five percent like me for the right reasons; 25 percent like me for the wrong reasons; 25 percent hate me for the right reasons.  It’s the last 25 percent that worries me. 

Robert Frost 

At work, is your Manager pushing the “more button”?  Companies ask their people to do “more” with less every year, don’t you agree?  Why is that?  Can’t our companies succeed if executives didn’t ask their employees for “more”?  Usually, a reason for asking for “more” is not even offered.  The leaders just say, “We must”, and the followers say, “It is what it is”.  

But in America, we can still take pride in this phenomenon.  Brian Tracy suggests: 

Do more than you are paid for.  There are never any traffic jams on the extra mile.                                 

OK.  I agree that I am capable of doing “more” without having to ask for “more”.  Doing a good job; doing the job right, can often be fulfilling enough, yes?  “Pride” > “more”. 

Our organizations are asking our customers to pay “more” for our products or services, too.  Yep, everybody seems to want “more”.  (And don’t even get me started on the price of diesel fuel.)  But, what is “more” again, and why do we seem to have so much of it? 

The Denver Broncos want “more” for season’s tickets.  Their rationale?  Could be Peyton Manning’s contract; maybe it’s due to the NFL’s flat salary cap year.  (Flat salary cap – how did that happen?)  Could be that it’s simply something they have always done.  (“It is what it is”.) 

My company just completed a hefty price increase (although to be fair, it’s the first price increase in over three years).  It was the justification that caught my attention:  “Customers buy on perceived value – higher list price conveys value better”.  Is that the origin of “more”?  Higher price conveys higher value?  Frank Hayes, in his write-up on Conventional IT Wisdom several years ago wrote: 

Exactly what you want, always costs more than you can afford. 

Perhaps the origin of “more” comes from society’s extreme, recreational preferences.   Careful what we ask for: 

            Phillip’s Law: 

Four-wheel drive just means getting stuck in more inaccessible places.

Unknown Sage           

How about social media?  Is “more” better?  There certainly is quite the din of tweets, posts, and videos.  Viral today; gone and forgotten tomorrow.  Can our Unknown Sage have something when he states? 

Talk less, say more. 

No – in the final analysis, I don’t believe “more” is better; or more profitable for companies; or that “more” pricing conveys higher value; nor is “more” necessarily more fun.  “More” is definitely not “less”.  “More” is simply “more”. 

And if we can’t always have “more”, we will just have to settle for “enough”.  And many times, “enough” is > “more”. 

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.