Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Common Courtesy Series: Know It All, NOT!

September 27, 2010

If you know it all—if you are the smartest person in the room all the time, then why are the rest of us here?  To blindly and mutely serve you?   To only do the menial tasks you deem too beneath you to do?  Are we only Neophytes that cannot survive without you?  I don’t think so…one person cannot possibly know everything there is to know about everything…even claiming to be the sole, preeminent expert in a specific topic or area is a stretch sometimes…unless you are actually a genius…aka Steven Hawking.  (Or maybe a robot.)  But even still, up to a certain point, you had to have learned what you know and/or got to where you are from the knowledge (and help) of others…so why wouldn’t you believe there are people out there that are just as, if not smarter than you now?  Always living and thinking in the “I”-mentality is not only selfish and very short–sighted, but it is also restricting the ability of others to view you beyond your own perceived intelligence.  Self-importance to this degree truly limits progression forward on a lot of levels—especially when you couldn’t have or didn’t do it all yourself.   

Now, I do firmly believe that you can have an expertise, be highly skilled, extremely knowledgeable in your area of concentration, however, you truly are not the only one of value and contribution.  Companies, business owners, etc. hire people based on the fact there is a need for competence in a concentration that they may not have the skills for or ability to handle in conjunction with all the other responsibilities.  So, if they hire someone to manage this specific need and fulfill the requirements, it becomes a joint effort to achieve success.  They must allow this employee, vendor, subcontractor to do the job they were hired to do and step aside…it is no longer “I”, “I”, “I”---it is We!  And actually, in the eyes of clients and other business acquaintances, hiring others that have complementing skill sets and experience does actually make you look smarter.  It shows you recognize that there are people out there that can bring different ideas, ways of thinking, options for success to the table.  But, you have to believe that these employees, vendors, subcontractors are there for the right reasons and not just to be subservient…they are an asset and should be treated as such.  They are part of the TEAM—hell in some cases, they are the TEAM.  So understanding their value is a common professional courtesy.  This is professional respect.  You did not do everything yourself.  You did not perform in a vacuum.  You are now a co-worker—not that that means at the same level, obviously there is still the hierarchy—but in the performance of the work product—you are co-workers.  Give the employees, vendors, subcontractors the respect due.  Understand that they have skills and experience to help and achieve results and you will be amazed at the lengths with which these people will go for you.   Not to mention, the success you can achieve together will be that much greater than what you can achieve alone. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Age Series: Coming of Age, Gracefully and Respectfully

September 17, 2010 - I’m not sure when or if we ever stop seeing ourselves as the younger versions we once were…but, at some point, there has got to be a time when you realize that mini skirts, belly shirts, tube tops and booty-shorts are NOT appropriate!  I mean…at home, behind closed doors, wear whatever you want…but when you step out that door to treat the rest of us to your presence, please don’t make me lose the $15 lunch I just ate…I, and I’m sure a majority of the general public, don’t want to see it…don’t even want to think about it…

I understand that there is fine line with today’s fashions being more about personal style and expression than good taste, but just because something has been created, it doesn’t mean it is for everyone, every body type, every size, or every age.  There are plenty of versions of the current, hip, trendy pieces where you can stay relevant, without sacrificing style (not to mention common sense).  For example, this season the hot, over-the-knee boots for Fall/Winter are all the rage—but there are age appropriate ways to wear them well…check out this link to Lucky Magazine’s video from Creative Director Andrea Linett on how to “pull on” this super cool, hip trend. 
http://www.luckymag.com/style/video/2009/12/over_the_knee_boots.  And, with other key wardrobe pieces, the trench, the skinny  jean, the flirty shirts---you can always count on InStyle for their How To Wear It (for 20's, 30's, 40's and even 50's) articles each month to assist as well.  There are plenty of opportunities out there to research and self-educate from online sites, magazines and even TV/Cable shows to become a fashionable "hit", but you should also use the old friend that never let's us down--the mirror!  Like it or not, it does not lie...we lie to ourselves and in some cases even our friends and family will lie to us---but the mirror is always true.  Trust it...

It’s really all about common sense and honestly knowing how to age gracefully and not ridiculously.  So, when in doubt, just remember these simple rules to not being pointed at followed by laughter erupting at your presence---1)  A belly shirt does not mean if you have a belly you wear it—that goes for men AND women!.  2) A tube top is not for women with tube-boobs!  3) Booty-shorts are not appropriate if your booty is not where it used to be...peeking from under the short is not the same as sagging beneath the short!    These are just a few simple "rules" that are easy enough to remember and should jolt the common sense area of the brain as other apparel items may be attempted.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Common Courtesy Series-Answer the Call for Success

September 8, 2010

It appears that the common courtesy of a response has fallen by the wayside and blatantly ignoring a business associate (at any level) has become acceptable.  Is it not understood that anyone and everyone is or could be a customer to you and/or your business??  Everyone claims to be busy, but if you are not returning phone calls and emails, just how busy are you any way?  Responding to and dealing with people is what we are all supposed to be doing everyday…so if you aren’t responding to one, how many others are being ignored as well.  How much company revenue is sitting untouched because of the failure to respond?  I’m sure the Board and/or CEO (CFO for that matter) would love to know how much more money could have lined their pockets if each call or email was answered. 

Working a very time-sensitive deal that would ultimately put the brand of a client in the face of hundreds of thousands of potential customers with the residual of close to a million by the end of the term---customers that have proven over 90% brand loyalty to other companies that have ventured into this arena—several calls and emails went unanswered.  Really?  Calls and emails regarding an opportunity where brand loyalty that has proven to garner billions of dollars in revenue each year—that’s right, billions—go unanswered?  Not to mention, this type of opportunity is exactly what clients want to be brought to them…something non-traditional, out-of-the-box, yet, popular enough to attract and maintain millions of loyalists, that will move the needle…ignored?  Is it due to ignorance?  Is it due to arrogance?  Either way, simply not returning a call or answering an email is not a smart business decision…you never know who will be the next big thing…you never know what opportunity you have let slip by could have made you the next big thing!?  But, that aside, it is just common courtesy…and frankly, professional.  I can’t speak for everyone, even though this blog is an attempt to speak to everyone…all I can say is that I truly don’t want to do business with a company that fosters this behavior…I can only imagine that this is acceptable throughout the ranks and my time and resources are not considered valuable.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Rules of the Road Series-To Blink or Not to Blink

August 31, 2010 

So when did it become ok to not abide by even the simplest of rules? Regularly I notice that there are many rules that are simply ignored these days and the topics for writing here will be expansive. But, for this particular day, my frustration stems from a very common rule-breaking event…Something that is so simple, it is mind-boggling as to why...not using your blinker (signal) is not playing by the rules. The rules of the road that is…is it because these offenders feel that it is unnecessary? Is it because they feel it doesn’t matter? Is it because they simply don’t care? Well, if it wasn’t necessary it wouldn’t be installed in cars in the first place…right? If it didn’t matter, then no-one would use it. But, the reason for having it is also simple—it’s a safety thing…it’s the way of communicating your intentions while operating a vehicle…a rule with which you abide by for the safety of driving on the roadways…but not only is not using it unsafe, it is unbelievably rude, stupid and selfish…not using it does matter, not using it is careless, not using it is simply stupid. Think outside of the 3000 lb box with wheels you are sitting in, beyond your own laziness and selfishness for a moment, to the thousands of others out there that are put in danger by the simple fact of not using your signal. Others sharing the roadways next to you, behind you, coming at you; others riding bicycles, or walking to work; men, women, children, old, young, tall or short…people that just simply want to know whether you are going to turn into them, in front of them, or stop dead in the middle of the road for no apparent reason! The blinker is the one way of communication to alert all those around you that you are going to do something other than continue straight on your current path…a blinker could alleviate close calls, rear-end collisions, pedestrian clips, and side swipes. Using a blinker also contributes to a decrease in road-rage…rage that is usually caused by someone cutting in front of another without looking or signaling…causing a potential accident. 

But, if you are one of those people who can’t think beyond your own 3 ft of personal space to the consideration of others…then continue on…don’t think of anyone else but yourself…and don’t think about passengers you are carrying. You are putting yourself, your children, your family, your friends, anyone that is riding with you in harms way…but that’s apparently that is a risk you are willing to take…so continue on.  

A blinker is the “signal” of what you plan to do within the next 5-10 seconds---one of the simplest (easiest) communications tools there is (next to a single hand-jester) to inform someone of your intentions. However, outside of my own personal rage towards the jerk that refuses to use their blinker…I suggest we do what Americans do best and demand change. Let’s march, let’s parade, let’s petition! If indeed it is overwhelmingly popular to not use a blinker, then why don’t we all join forces for change and ask the automakers to install voice notification systems that will scream your intent to turn, change lanes or pass a slower vehicle…or your alarm system to beep incessantly until your direction changes…that certainly would be less offensive than that small little light blinking…and don’t forget about all the calories you can save by not raising that one finger to push the blinker button—but, I can assure you, not using your blinker has caused many others to raise a finger towards you…so, let’s get back to abiding by the rules, even if it is just this one little one…USE YOUR DAMN BLINKER…PLEASE!!