Don’t Be Charmed By Security

Even with the economic conditions here in the States, specifically the employment situation, many still seem to be charmed by security.  I'm alluding to security in the form of career/work.  Now certainly, some have all but concluded that security is a myth.  But I find many career/work pilgrims are disturbed by current trends.

I used to be in that group, but am now a freak of the not-so-weird variety.  Why?  I entered my period of mass disruption almost 4 years ago.  Back then many felt certain about the future.  Now…

Well, let's face it, life (all things in) has never been certain.  And that's part of our problem.  We bought the marketing message of "too big to fail."  I know we're better off with a sense of not taking anything for granted.  Especially since that's the way business and life were supposed to be conducted/lived.  Leaders of the highly developed nature know this to be true.

We just haven't done a good job at handling success and good times.

Now's the time to embrace uncertainty and insecure times.  Watch your values shift and find out what right alignment is all about.  I think the following might open up for you:

  1. God knows what he's doing.
  2. Family and relationships trump everything but #1.
  3. You don't need as much as you think (trust me, the economy will be ok).
  4. You'll demand more of your organization.  For example, your paid for your results, not your time.
  5. Taking a pay cut in order to do something impacting will seem right as rain.

The Problem With Small Getting Large

One of my favorite merchants in the town I live in, is not one of my favorites anymore.

They once were small and engaging, but now world domination seems to be the order of the day.  No more "we'll search and see if we can get it" or "haven't seen you in the store lately."  I miss being Eric to them. 

The problem with some entrepreneurs is they are trying to fill a void by being "uber-successful."  What is forgotten is what get's left behind-the customer.

By the way, the void above is rarely filled by getting large. 

I'm appreciating small these days.

So Many Masks, So Little Time

I've written and taught about wearing masks before, but this post (The Joy of Quitting) from Seth got me thinking.  What if we burned our masks (the type that suck away our authenticity) in some great fire?

Politicians tend to be prone to mask wearing.  Ironic as that may be, since they really are supposed to be servants of the citizenry.  This is soberly played out in the video clip link of President Nixon in Seth's post.  The pre-speech interaction and honesty is worth the view.

When you wear masks to "project" or to deceive, you are taking a poison pill.  A pill that takes life very slowly…over time.  Most would agree that it's not worth the cost. 

Have you come to that conclusion?

Here are a some stakeholders who stand to benefit when the masks are discarded:

  1. Your family.  Believe me, they are longing for you to show up.
  2. Your career.  Are you really doing what is consistent with your wiring?
  3. Your next entrepreneur venture.  The potential benefactors of your ideas are worn out from empty ideas by mask-wearers.
  4. Your customers.  Too much coming at them-everyday-for you to be anything less than authentic.
  5. Your organization.  They may see potential in you that you're afraid to face.

The Calling-Red Pill Versus Blue Pill

Came across this post (via Dan Schawbel on Twitter) from Yahoo Hot Jobs and felt inspired to include the video clip above.  It's from the Matrix.  The classic scene between Morbius and Neo, where a pill of blue and a pill of red are offered to Neo.  Essentially, stay dead with the blue or wake up with the red.

My intention here is to alert you to #5 on the list from Yahoo.  I totally disagree with the writer's assertion that not everyone is called to something.  Granted, some may not know, some might have forgotten or some may be trying to kill it.  But everyone has a calling.

Sadly, we live in a culture that stands in opposition to your calling.

God weaved the vision in you and I.  The crux is what we allow "the Matrix" to take away or kill.  Every story is hinged on this conflict.

Everyone Has A Story

I subscribe to the Pigg Pin because I need help in the garden.  Kevin dispenses in an understandable way, and I don't have to spend crazy amounts of time implementing the advice.

His post is more about his journey in life and entrepreneurism.  It's rooted in accidents and attraction, but one that I share on a different path.  I believe we all have something in common with Kevin.  Shame that so many spend a lifetime denying it.

Cheers to you if your living the dream, and to Kevin for the gardening and entrepreneur advice.

How Perception Can Lead To Reality

The above is a speech from Rory Sutherland.  He gives some veiled (pay close attention)advice on how to take what you are and do to a new level.

Have you thought about the implications of how you or your service/products are perceived today?  Have you asked anyone (customer, employee, vendor)?

The speech is about 20 minutes in length, but it will feel like 10.  The quote from G.K. Chesterton is powerful too.

Hidden Costs

One thing that drove me crazy when I was paying for my sins in corporate America was all of the hidden costs inside the organization.  As a corporate manager I was always asked to cut expenses.  However, I was rarely asked to look at those hidden costs.  The costs that were silent killers.  For example:

  • Meetings.  Need I say more?
  • Training events that were the equivalent of a U2 concert.  Entertainment versus learning here.  Feels good in the moment, but forgotten when it counts.
  • Employees and their organizations who don't fully understand the difference between time and results.
  • Outdated policies and procedures written 20 years ago that are as relevant as a powder blue tuxedo.
  • Hiring practices that are driven by HR.  The hiring of talent is not a legal process.

If your organization really wants to be efficient and lean, then take a look at the hidden costs. It could lead to a new curve.  Failure to look always leads to atrophy.  And as we know atrophy lives next door to extinction.

How Social Media Can Save Customer Service Training

Was doing some research for a friend/client on customer service training materials this week.  I decided to use Twitter (my top choice for social media portals) as a tool to do some research on the matter.  A simple search on the term "customer service training" is all it took to create a hmmm moment.  And though my research was not very scientific, it did reveal some things I knew instinctively.

First, customer service is a very popular discipline for a number of companies/consultants.  Must mean that bad customer service is more the norm than the exception.  I agree with that on its face.

Second, I don't think the customers (organizations) of the customer service training product are fully aware of what's going on inside their own walls. 

Here's what brought me to the above conclusions:

  1. My typed search "customer service training" revealed that for every two consultants offering training, there were an equal number of employees who were referring to customer service training as a boring event, a cure for insomnia, or a pain in the rear.  Again, this wasn't a scientific result, but it seems that many employees are nodding yes, but thinking and feeling no.
  2. Employees, especially those in larger entities, feel like their targets for cost cutting and lay-offs.  Creates a jaded, if not callused view of things.  Wonder how these folks treat customers who have legitimate needs/issues?
  3. Why the disconnect?  Leadership.  Some managers may think they're leading well, but have yet to look behind them to find no one following.
  4. Fixing conclusion #3 creates a bridge for change.
  5. Employers are missing out on the power of social media.  See this article for more on that.  But I'm speaking of finding out what's REALLY going on with the employee base.  Might save them some money and go a long way in reinventing how they serve-employees and customers.

There Are Many Reasons Why God Is Opposed To The Proud

Maybe you have heard the statement, or read the bible verse, about God being opposed to the proud.  Well, here are some reasons in our day and time that helps us understand why:

  1. Proud people don't give a _____ about you and I.
  2. Proud people tend to always want the credit.
  3. Proud people can not be trusted.
  4. If you're willing to listen, proud people will show their cards pretty quickly.
  5. Proud people will try to explain their dysfunction away.
  6. Proud people believe their humble.
  7. Proud people have a low reservoir of sympathy.
  8. Proud people are in your corner-when you're winning.
  9. Proud people aways see others as inferior.
  10. Proud people die lonely and alone.

Next time you engage with a person full of pride, tell them God is on defense.

By the way, pride is always knocking on your door.  Be careful.