Monday, 21 December 2009

Winston Churchill

I visited the Winston Churchill Exhibition at the Cabinet War Rooms on Saturday and I was amazed at the detail and level of information contained in the Museum, along with many of Churchills clothes, personal items and papers. From a discarded Cigar butt to the flag that draped his coffin it is an exhibition to see again and again.

I have long regarded him as the Greatest Britain of the 20th Century and seeing the rooms such as his bedroom, study, broadcast room, map room and cabinet war room it confirms my opinion that without Churchill there would have been jackboots on the streets of London. His leadership skills were unusual but very effective. In fact, if you are going to lead a country through a war and win it you are obviously doing something very, very right.

I have been looking at the leadership model of Churchill and find the following components...

A man of great Integrity Churchill was 65 years old when he first became Prime Minister. Despite his age he had enormous Self Belief. One may say that success is the result of good judgement, that good judgement is the result of experience and that experience is often the result of bad judgement.

There is no doubt that the extensive experience that Churchill had accumulated (including his mistakes and failings) were central to his leadership style. This experience helped to found his Vision . The lessons he learnt helped him to be Decisive and make the right decisions.

Leadership is nowadays all the rage. There are countless, books, articles, websites and conferences devoted to leadership and developing the qualities of great leadership. In light of his iconic status, the Churchill leadership traits exhibited in 1940-45 are set to be discussed and debated by scholars for years to come.


Of course leadership itself is neither necessarily good nor desirable (Hitler, Stalin, Mao et al). Neither is it all about "charisma". Of course many leaders have been described as charismatic many were not.

Churchill, like Abe Lincoln, was not a particularly charismatic leader. This is in contrast to the devilishly charismatic Hitler. While Churchill had a powerful personality and wonderful Communication skills, no one wished to award him dictatorial powers for life (unlike Adolf!). Hitler radiated an almost super-human charisma. It has been said that after meeting Churchill you believed you could achieve anything. After meeting Hitler you believed that he could achieve anything! Churchill used this inspirational effect to build vital Collaborations

This difference between Churchillian Inspirational Leadership and Hitlerian Charismatic Leadership is wonderfully explored in Andrew Roberts' highly readable, stimulating and entertaining book "Hitler and Churchill - Secrets of Leadership".

It can be argued that far from leadership being "about charisma", rather charisma itself can weaken effective leadership: often leading to inflexibility, over confidence, inflated egos and "spin" over substance.

So leadership is not necessarily a good thing nor is it about charisma. In reality its not about a specific list of traits either. No two great leaders will possess the same list of traits or competencies.

Leadership is ultimately about getting things done that Drive to Take Action - and get results and imrpove performance. Its the ability to influence, motivate and provide the tools and environment to others so that they can best contribute towards the successful attainment of the goals of their community or organisation. Winston Churchill was a man of immense Courage and Creativity, these and his other qualities shaped the war during Britains "darkest hour". They worked for the great man - and I hope they prove to be thought provoking for you.

I cannot recommend the Cabinet War Rooms to you highly enough. Take a trip there and you will be amazed.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Typical Call

Heres a transcript of a call...the opener...

"Hi, Its Dave Moore from Pulse Media. How are you?"
"Fine thanks."
"Good. Tell me, are you the person who handles the marketing for your company?"
"Yes, why? What is this about?"
"I am the publisher for XXXXXXXXXXXXXX for the NHS. I believe my readership, the NHS, is your target market, is that right?"
"Yes but I am not interested in advertising with you."
"I know. And the reason I know that is because if you were interested you would have called me. You would have been on the phone biting my hand off to get involved in the opportunity I have here."
"Yes, really. I know that you, like me, get lots of calls like this each day. Whats more, I have learnt that at least one of the calls is a special one; one that is worth listening to. This call is yours. Why dont you work more extensively with the NHS?"
"Its a difficult market to get into."
"I hear that a lot. Many of the companies that work with me had the same problem in the past. Fact is...I am already into the NHS on a number of projects and I can bring you in with us on this project."
"How would you do that?"


Is Your Sales Manager An Idiot?

Yes, its true, if you're a sales manager and encourage or require your sales reps to make more than 25 calls a day then I personally think youre completely nuts! Youre crazy and you know nothing about the sales cycle. For you, achieving your sales numbers is all about the quantity of calls, but not the quality of the call itself. You want the best of both worlds, but the reality is you cannot have both.
With "too much" quantity, you sacrifice quality and as a result, you're actually creating limitations on the success of both you and your sales team.
The sales cycle begins with research. Research allows you as a salesperson to engage your prospect with qualifying questions to uncover needs. How can you take a genuine interest in your prospect with the expectation of making more than 25 calls a day? It's just not realistic.
Making more than 25 cold calls doesnt preposition you for sales success, it positions you for sales failure. Such an unrealistic sales goal of 25 or more calls is a myth. It's a belief system that is incorrect. Its a 'DISBELIEF' system. It makes you less effective, leads to job dissatisfaction and contributes to false beliefs that cold calling is an ineffective way to generate new business.
Many years ago, I became a victim to this school of sales thought. It made sense to me. It was my world. I was told that I could not be successful with less calls and that the only way to make my sales quota was to fire up my telephone and make from 50 to 65 or more cold calls a day. If you had told me to make less than 25 cold calls then my first reaction would have been, "Well, its all a numbers game and how can I make my sales quota by dialing less than half the required cold calls?" That was my thought process then, but today, its the reverse. It's a whole different story.
How did I go from one extreme to another extreme?
Its actually a simple answer. I learned the hard way. This article will hopefully be an eye opener for many and you can use this information to speed up your sales success! The reason why I was a former believer was because I didnt have a clear understanding of the entire sales process. I didnt fully understand each stage of the sales process. As a result, I was more focused on the mechanics of picking up the telephone and how fast I could get to the next call rather than on the exchange of engaging dialogue with my prospect. I was not taking a genuine interest in my prospect, but rather, I bought into an unhealthy belief system that started with my sales manager.
This unhealthy belief system (more calls equals more sales) removes the most important part of the sales process and this missing element is called consultative selling. This type of selling requires research, engaging dialogue and makes you put the prospect first. It's a more productive way to earn new business and with the expectation of some Sales Managers that you need to make more than 25 calls a day to make your numbers is just not true. It's not realistic. Don't buy into their misunderstandings and fears. Your success is not about quantity, it's about finding a healthy and realistic balance between quantity and quality.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Fantastic response

I just spoke to a potential client and she said. "Sorry, I cant think and I cant TALK until February!"
"I said "When in February shall I call you?"
Silence at the other end...
"Have you started already?" I asked.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009


Sometimes it is like pulling teeth. You email the confirmation over to your client and you write 'Please reply with "I AGREE TO YOUR TERMS AND CONDITIONS" and that is all I need to secure your position.'
What comes back more often than not?
and the best one of all...

Christ on a bike!!!!! What do you have to do to get through to some people?????

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Sales Epidemic

There seems to be a hell of a lot of people off work at the moment. Flu, Cold, one of my people is off with Pig Flu (well, he is a bit of a swine!) and it seems like they are dropping like both ends of the phone.
The weather is bad; so it cant be sunbathing. The TV is rubbish; so it cant be that. What could it be? Not the truth!!??? Surely not!!! In a SALES ROOM?????

Monday, 23 November 2009


I recommend that you print this and put it where you can see it. In those down times when you get 'no,no,no' from your prospects, read it and then pick up the phone or knock on another door...

"I had it in my heart. I believed in myself,
and I had confidence. I knew how to do it,
had natural talent and pursued it."

Muhammad Ali

Puck It!!!

When asked about his outstanding performance on the ice, Wayne Gretzky replied, "A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be."

Where is your business focusing? I've found that one of the most powerful practices as an entrepreneur is to spend a day away from the office, dream a little, and envision my company 1, 3, 5 years into the future.

When I occasionally "fly into the future" it makes it easier to come back to the present, push through obstacles, and chart my course to the future I have envisioned.

Spend some time in the future and you'll be able to "skate to where the puck is going to be!"

Friday, 20 November 2009

Glengarry Glen Ross

Blake: You're talking about what.You're talking about... Bitching about that sale you shot, some sonofabitch who don't wanna buy land, some broad you're trying to screw, so forth. Let's talk about something important. They all here?
Williamson: All but one.
Blake: I'm going anyway. Let's talk about something important. Put. That coffee. Down. Coffee's for closers only. You think I'm fucking with you? I am not fucking with you. I'm here from downtown. I'm here from Mitch and Murray. And I'm here on a mission of mercy. Your name's Levine? You call yourself a salesman you son of a bitch?
Dave Moss: I don't gotta sit here and listen to this shit.
Blake: You certainly don't pal, 'cause the good news is - you're fired. The bad news is - you've got, all of you've got just one week to regain your jobs starting with tonight. Starting with tonight's sit. Oh? Have I got your attention now? Good. "Cause we're adding a little something to this month's sales contest. As you all know first prize is a Cadillac El Dorado. Anyone wanna see second prize? Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third prize is you're fired. Get the picture? You laughing now? You got leads. Mitch and Murray paid good money, get their names to sell them. you can't close the leads youre given you can't close shit. You ARE shit. Hit the bricks pal, and beat it 'cause you are going OUT.
Shelley Levene: The leads are weak.
Blake: The leads are weak? Fucking leads are weak. You're weak. I've been in this business 15 years...
Dave Moss: What's your name?
Blake: Fuck you. That's my name. You know why, mister? You drove a Hyundai to get here. I drove an eighty-thousand dollar BMW. THAT'S my name. And your name is you're wanting. You can't play in the man's game, you can't close them - go home and tell your wife your troubles. Because only one thing counts in this life: Get them to sign on the line which is dotted. You hear me you fucking faggots? A-B-C. A-Always, B-Be, C-Closing. Always be closing. ALWAYS BE CLOSING. A-I-D-A. Attention, Interest, Decision, Action. Attention - Do I have you attention? Interest - Are you interested? I know you are, because it's fuck or walk. You close or you hit the bricks. Decision - Have you made your decision, for Christ? And Action. A-I-D-A. Get out there - you got the prospects coming in. You think they came in to get out of the rain? A guy don't walk on the lot lest he wants to buy. They're sitting out there waiting to give you their money. Are you gonna take it? Are you man enough to take it? What's the problem, pal?
Dave Moss: You - Moss. You're such a hero, you're so rich, how come you're coming down here wasting your time with such a bunch of bums?
Blake: You see this watch? You see this watch?
Dave Moss: Yeah.
Blake: That watch costs more than you car. I made $970,000 last year. How much'd you make? You see pal, that's who I am, and you're nothing. Nice guy? I don't give a shit. Good father? Fuck you! Go home and play with your kids. You wanna work here - close! You think this is abuse? You think this is abuse, you cocksucker? You can't take this, how can you take the abuse you get on a sit? You don't like it, leave. _I_ can go out there tonight with the materials you've got and make myself $15,000. Tonight! In two hours! Can you? Can YOU? Go and do likewise. A-I-D-A. Get mad you son of a bitches. get mad. You want to know what it takes to sell real estate? It takes BRASS BALLS to sell real estate. Go and do likewise gents. Money's out there. You pick it up, it's yours. You don't, I got no sympathy for you. You wanna go out on those sits tonight and close, CLOSE. It's yours. If not you're gonna be shining my shoes. And you know what you'll be saying - a bunch of losers sittin' around in a bar. 'Oh yeah. I used to be a salesman. It's a tough racket.' These are the new leads. These are the Glengarry leads. And to you they're gold, and you don't get them. Why? Because to give them to you is just throwing them away. They're for closers. I'd wish you good luck but you wouldn't know what to do with it if you got it. And to answer you question, pal, why am I here? I came here because Mitch and Murray asked me to. They asked me for a favor. I said the real favor, follow my advice and fire your fucking ass because a loser is a loser.

Thursday, 19 November 2009


STILL hate voicemail. I just do not see the point in leaving a message informing the client who it is they need to avoid. I have tried it, left a lot of info, left a little info, left NO info and the results are alwys the same. 1% of voicemails are responded to. The biggest responder I have had is ?Hi this is Dave Moore. My number is XXXXXXXXXX. Would you please call me when you can because I need to speak to you about?? hang up. I got a call back a few times from people wondering what happened and I said I had no idea and that I left them a message explaining what I wanted, ?well, let me explain again?. Unethical, possibly but I am not convinced that voicemail works. I use my voicemail as a screener.

Computers and Software

Isn't it amazing how when you help someone with a problem on their PC, be it hardware or software, word goes around the office like wildfire and are the IT guy!!!

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Eyes Wide open or Eyes Wide Shut?

The exact meaning of Eyes Wide Shut is debated. In the context of this blog post, I'm going to use the expression as a way of representing our perspective on counterfeit customers.

Counterfeit customers are customers that really aren't...well...customers.

The Reality
We've all done it. We've been assigned a new customer quota for the month/quarter/year. We immediately begin to think how we can manipulate the system to hit our quota. Our real goal is to silence sales management and we know we can do this by hitting our new account number.
Does this really help anyone? Eyes wide shut. In many cases, sales management has lost sight of the challenges of adding new accounts. They think all we need is a phonebook and a phone. End of story. Dinosaurs. Eyes wide shut.
Oh sure, the new account activity blossoms for a few months. But check back a year later. Everything is back where it was before the new business development machinations. Maybe even worse. Eyes wide shut.
This is a dysfunctional prospecting environment for both the sales professional and sales management. It produces smoke and mirror customers. It creates a lot of activity, but not any long-term gains. Eyes wide shut.
Counterfeit Customers
In our enthusiasm to hit our new account quota we kill anything that moves and call it dinner. Unfortunately, our kills don't come close to satisfying our appetite and there are never any leftovers. Are the following really new customers we want or need?
Cherry Pickers.
Customers that buy from us because we're the only company that has what they are looking for. No cross-selling opportunities exist here and loyalty is zero.
Convenience Buyers.
These customers view us as nothing more than a convenience store. In their world, our prices are out of sight, but they'll buy the minimum from us because we're handy, for now. They?ll always be small; they?ll always complain about price.
Give-Me-Credit Buyers.
This, of course, is a big problem during a recession. We're nothing but a bank to these customers. They want us to help them finance their business. Our credit department will be calling us for collection assistance.
High Maintenance, Low Volume Buyers.
These customers embody every aspect of Paretos 80/20 rule when it comes to investing too much time on small customers.
Accounts That Matter
We can differentiate between counterfeit customers and accounts that matter with the five-point test below. Checking all five of these boxes allows us to claim a customer as an account that matters.
1. The customer has made at least three purchases. One order does not a customer make.
2. They pay their bills according to the credit terms we've given them.
3. They purchase a broad spectrum of our products and services.
4. Not only does our employer make a decent ROI (i.e. net margin) on the customers purchases, but the commission income makes it worth the sales professionals time.
5. We are viewed as the incumbent supplier by the customer and are connected to the right decision makers.


It's important to evaluate our accounts. How many of them meet the five criteria above? This will give us a feel for both our number of accounts that matter and how much legitimate business development might be needed to fill the gaps.
We all sleep better with our eyes restfully shut when we have accounts that matter instead of counterfeit customers.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Rude Customers

For all Who Work With Rude Customers, shame you can't actually do this!

An award should go to the Virgin Airlines desk attendant in Sydney
some Months ago for being smart and funny, while making her point,
when Confronted with a passenger who probably deserved to fly as cargo.

A crowded Virgin flight was canceled after Virgin's 767s had been Withdrawn from service. A single attendant was rebooking a long line of Inconvenienced travelers. Suddenly an angry passenger pushed his way to the desk. He slapped His ticket down on the counter and said, 'I HAVE to be on this flight and It HAS to be FIRST CLASS'...
The attendant replied, 'I'm sorry, sir. I'll be happy to try to help You, but I've got to help these people first, and I'm sure we'll be Able to work something out.'
The passenger was unimpressed. He asked loudly, so that the passengers Behind him could hear,

Without hesitating, the attendant smiled and grabbed her public Address microphone: 'may I have your Attention please,' she began - her voice heard clearly throughout the terminal.
'We have a passenger here at Desk 14 WHO DOES NOT KNOW WHO HE IS. If anyone can help him find his identity, please come to Desk 14.'

With the people behind him in line laughing hysterically, The man glared at the Virgin attendant, gritted his teeth and said, 'Fuck You!' Without flinching, she smiled and said, 'I'm sorry, sir, but you'll have to get in line for that too.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Ultimate Guide to Sales Closing

More information soon but I am soon to launch the e-book for download. This is the book I give my sales staff. Its a list of counters and closes and is broken up into individual objection headers. Its known in the industry as a rebuttal book and is dynamite. It will be available to download immediately for only £100.00.
Full details soon...

Advertising - does it work? Yes, if done right!

I am amazed at how advertisers, when they get no response from an ad they have placed, always blame the magazine. this is wrong.
The fault lies with the advertiser. plain and simple.
The reason? their advert was rubbish.
Tottenham Court Road is the biggest collection of electrical shops outside of Hong Kong. They all do business.
Lets imagine you open up an electrical shop in that road but nobody comes in, nobody buys. Are you gonna call Camden council and say "Tottenham Court Road is rubbish for selling electrical goods. i wanna move!" No. I think your first thought would be "What the hell have I got in my shop window?"
The advert in a magazine is the shop window. Make sure your customers realise that if they get it right it will work. If they get it wrong, its not your fault. You delivered to them. They didn't deliver to themselves.

11/11 update

Just had someone in the office not take part in the 2 minutes silence. They are now having a career change. They just do not understand the cost many people made to allow them to live the life they have right now.

11/11 Rememberence

I have just told my team to be off the phone at 11 o'clock to honour the 2 minutes silence. Its amazing how some of them, under 21, have no idea why. Scandalous!!! Lets make sure that we remember the brave service men and women that gave their lives to protect us.

Credit crunch

AS the recession continues to bite, fans of bargain bakers Greggs are going dough-nuts for the High Street chain.
The credit crunch-busting business aims to open 600 more shops in the coming years after selling a staggering 130MILLION sausage rolls last year.
Rising to the top ... Greggs favourites. While other High Street firms have suffered, the Geordie-based bakers have recorded a 3.8 per cent rise in sales over 12 months. Greggs' Meal Deals - any bloomer sandwich, a cookie or doughnut and a drink for £2.99 - have undoubtedly helped in these tough times. But it is their "iconic" 57p sausage roll which has led the way. There is now even a Greggs Sausage Roll Appreciation Society on social networking site Facebook. It is, according to its founders: "A group for all those people who find it difficult to walk past a Greggs without nipping in for a sausage roll when you can smell the aroma of the freshly baked sausage meat in pastry". One member, Travis Grant, boasted: "4-a-day. Love it!" And David Bradford rated them: "Best edible item in the world!" Greggs dates back to the late 1930s, when John Gregg started a business delivering yeast and eggs in the north east of England. He was called up to the Army with the outbreak of war in 1939, but his wife Elsie kept the business going. In 1951 they opened their first shop on Gosforth High Street - and it is still there today. Over the next 30 years the firm grew steadily, numbering 261 shops by 1984. Now their "Ready when you are" slogan and reasonably priced butties and pies have proved a winner in troubled economic times. Not everyone is happy with them, however. David Barling, senior lecturer in food policy at London's City University, is one food expert who has criticised their products. He said: "Sausage rolls wouldn't be ideal in any nutritional diet. "In the case of industrially produced bread, a lot of the nutrients are removed from the grain and then reinserted later as added-value extras. It is less healthy for us." Others have hit out at the levels of saturated fats, salt and sugar in Greggs' products. But the firm's marketing director, Scott Jefferson, has hit back. He said last night: "We sell 2.5million sausage rolls a week - at 57p they're one of life's pleasures. "As with all the food we make, our sausage rolls are free from hydrogenated fat, added trans fats and artificial colours. "We will be providing nutritional information for all our nationally available savouries and sandwiches in January so customers can make an informed choice." Clearly Mr Jefferson has plenty of satisfied customers in his corner to help him win his bun-fight with the nutritionists. One fan, builder Ryan Payne, 21, from Bampton, Devon, said last night: "Greggs is comfort food. When you've been out working hard on site all morning in the cold it's just the job. And it's cheap." Here are a few food facts about just how many Greggs goodies we munch through in a year:
Enough steak bakes to place 329 on every seat at Wembley Stadium.
Enough sausage rolls laid end to end to reach from Newcastle upon Tyne to Sydney, Australia.
Enough jam doughnuts to give seven to every person who went on the London Eye in 2008.

I don't know what you think but, although Greggs is not part of a staple diet of mine, this is very impressive.
Have you ever worked out figures like this for your business? Have you worked out a metaphor for your company? Greggs could say that they sold a shedload of food and made a lot of profit but by using the metaphoe of Wembley Stadium, Newcastle to Sydney and the London Eye you really appreciate the size of the turnover rather than just facts and figures. Can you do the same with your company and make the point of how successful you are really hit home to your customers? Think about it!

Friday, 23 October 2009

The Past Does Not Equal The Future

Many people get discouraged when they look at what has happened so far in their lives. They say, "I guess I just wasn't cut out to be a success. I've never really made anything work for me."

Every successful person knows that when it comes to success, the past does not dictate the future. If you look at your current results to define who you are and how successful you can be, you may disempower yourself and even limit your future success. It's like driving to work and figuring out where to turn by looking into the rearview mirror instead of at the road ahead of you. It doesn't produce good results.

Your current situation is the direct result of your past thoughts, decisions and actions. If you look at your current situation and make decisions about who you are and what you can have based on those results, then you will repeat the same thoughts, decisions and perhaps even actions that got you where you are today. What this guarantees is that you will get the same results again and end up with more of whatever you have now.

When you change your thoughts, you will change your results. If you understand this principle, you can change your life. This is a new way of thinking for most of us... but true success begins only when you turn away from the things you don't want and begin to focus on what you do want.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Increase your Chances of Talking to a Prospect

10 Tips to immediately increase your chances of talking to someone!!!

1. Prospect: "We're not interested."
You: "What exactly are you not interested in?"
(This is a great response to use with prospects and gatekeepers when they've given a response before you've even made a pitch. Many of them will stop and ask you what you're offering. )

2. Prospect: "How did you get my name?"
You: "Um, I'm not sure. I think you attended a trade show a while ago and we got your card."
You (#2): "I asked the receptionist who I should speak with."
(When cold calling, don't say you're just calling names in your database. Prospects hate being treated as a number. Knowing that their name is in some database is equally disturbing. Try to personalize your call as best you can.)

3. Prospect: "Can you call me back in 6 months (or later)?"
You: "Sure. What's going to change by then?"
(Your prospect may have a legitimate reason for pushing back or she may just be brushing you off. Don't waste time chasing prospects who will never buy. Asking what's going to chance will let you know for sure.)

4. Prospect: "Can you send me some information?"
You: "You know, a lot of people tell me that just to get me off the phone. Is that what's happening here?"
(Use this response only if you feel you the prospect is just trying to get rid of you. Don't waste time and money sending information to prospects who have no intention of buying what you're selling. How will you know? Use your gut.)
You (#2): "Sure, where should I send the info? (Get the address). "You know, we're actually going to be over in that area in a few days. Can we give you the information in person?"
(Great response for appointment setters or salespeople whose goal is to set up a meeting.)

5. Prospect: "We're happy with our current vendor."

You: "That's not a problem. A lot of our current customers started off with your vendor but once we proved our value they switched."
(This gets the prospect thinking that maybe there are better products or services than what they're using.)

6. Prospect: "We handle everything in house."
You: "That's great because our product (or service) doesn't replace your internal staff. We work with them to make their lives easier."
(Many people fear what you're selling will eliminate jobs. This response will put them at ease.)

7. Prospect: "You'll have to call our corporate office."

You: "Who should I ask for?"
(Don't cold call if you don't have to. Get a name and when you call let the prospect know who referred you.)

8. Gatekeeper: "Can I take a message?"
You: "No. Don't worry about it. I'll try him later."
You (#2): "Does he have voice mail?"
(Some gatekeepers will actually take a message. Others use taking a message as an excuse to qualify you. As soon as you tell her what the message is regarding, she may tell you your prospect is not interested. Use your gut and determine if taking a message is really the gatekeeper's motive.)

9. Gatekeeper: "She's on another call."
You: "I'll hold."
(Do this only if you really have the time to hold and are not bogged down with a dial quota. Waiting for your prospect to get on the line is better than trying to catch her in the office.)

10. Gatekeeper: "May I tell him what it's regarding?"
You: "Just tell him it's (say your name). He'll know."
(This works well when you're speaking with gatekeepers who are just weeding out salespeople. In many instances they will put the call through because it sounds like you already know the prospect.)

Friday, 16 October 2009

Steve Jobs

In the last month I have found myself more and more interested in the whole Steve Jobs thing. By “"Steve Jobs thing” I mean the management model used. It rages against the normal protocolic (is that a word? If not, then its © me) systems of management. I read and hear reports that he is a nice guy, friendly, supportive and a people person. I also read reports that he is a megalomaniac, control freak, thief of other people’s ideas, tyrannical bully.

Whatever he is, what he does works. He has a great team behind him and I can only assume that he instils loyalty. Either that it is a form of Stockholm syndrome, like when the kidnapped people start to empathise and side with their captors. The Apple seminars are like a motivational rally. He is supposed to have an aura about him, which is known at Apple as a reality distortion field. Basically he has charisma. Nearly all of the powerful people you meet, or the ones perceived to have power, will have that. I don’t think or believe that they have it. I think we create it through our apprehension or interest.

The basic tenets of the Steve Jobs business model are strange, but they are effective. Some of them look out of place, or questionable. Nevertheless, they work.

Get Busy.
Face hard decisions Head On!
Don’t get emotional.
Be firm.
Get Informed – don’t guess.
Reach out for help.
Focus means saying NO.
Stay focused.
Focus on what you are good at; Delegate everything else.
Be a despot.
Generate alternatives and then pick the best.
Design pixel by pixel.
Don’t be afraid to start from scratch.
Avoid the Osborne effect.
Don’t shit on your own doorstep.
When it comes to ideas, anything is game.
Don’t listen to your customers.
Find an easy way to present new ideas.
Don’t compromise.
Design is it's function, not just looks, sound and touch.
Thrash it out.
Include everyone.
Partner with ‘A’ players, fire Bozos.
Seek out the highest quality.
Invest in people.
Work in small teams.
Don’t listen to “yes” men.
Engage in intellectual combat.
It's OK to be an asshole as long as you are passionate about it.
Find passion.
Use the carrot and the stick to get great work.
Put boot to ass to get things done.
Celebrate accomplishments with unusual flair.
Insist on what seems impossible.
Become a great intimidator.
Be a part time ingratiator.
Work people hard and yourself harder.
Don’t lose sight of the customer.
Study the market and the industry first.
Don’t consciously think of innovation.
Concentrate of products.
Remember that motives make a difference.
Be flexible.
Burn the boats.
If you miss the boat, make sure you catch it.
Look for big changes in the world that can be used to your advantage.
Set a deadline.
Don’t worry where the ideas come from.
Don’t worry where the tech comes from.
Leverage your expertise
Trust your process.
Don’t be afraid of trial and error.
Embrace the team.

As you can see, there are a few rules here that make you think, ‘WTF?’ but these are the basic rules of Steve Jobs’ management/ business style.

Whether or not we agree with them, they work for him. Mention Apple and you see Steve Jobs. Mention iPod and you think of Apple and then Steve Jobs. His seminars for Apple are like a self help guru spouting technobabble. Apple is fast becoming, or has become, the company everyone would like to work for instead of Google, or if Google were not recruiting. I read that Jobs has had some organ replacement procedure after a tumour on his pancreas. He is now back at work and I wish him well, though I doubt he is reading this. Jobs is a buddhist, interested in Zen who hardly drinks and doesn't smoke. His background involves hallucinatory drugs so he has tried it, didn’t like it. Or if he did, he realised that drugs and running a major corporation doesn't mix. I read he has a passion for pineapple Pizza.

The thing I like and respect about Steve Jobs is that he appears to be a kick-ass, take no bullshit, kinda guy. Remember. He started Apple, got downsized (which is French for getting F*%ked and then sacked) and then came back on his own terms and now runs it. Ya gotta admire that...

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Dont Worry - Be Happy - ANYTIME

A non-judgemental, and non derogatory, posting about Comic Relief. Enjoy! Unless you are from over the borrrrrda! Hoots ya dog!

Well. Comic Relief has been and gone thankfully. I don’t know about you but I am fed up with people begging. It’s either this campaign, this flood, this famine or this lame excuse. I am not tight. I am not miserable. I just object to the whole scenario.

What gets on my nerves more than the begging? The fakeness of it all.

People wearing their pyjamas to work. Why? It wasn’t to raise money. There were chuggers and raffles and quizzes all over the place doing that.

I walked through an office on Friday and people were wearing their pyjamas, dressing gowns and wigs. I donned the wig and a red nose for the obligatory pic but was soon over it all.

The challenge I have with this is that this is a false sense of fun. It's a one-day thing. People act like this because of an outside influence. A form of peer pressure. "We are doing this to help others". Well, here's the deal Shylock: You could have a lot of fun every day if you put your mind to it and did it for no other reason than you wanted to. I don’t mean you have to wear a red nose, a wig or dress up like a gay boy at a Mardi Gras.

What I am saying is that you can get up in the morning and, Carpe Jugular – seize the throat!
Squeeze every drop of joy you can out of each experience. Aim high. Do things you would never dream of. Say things you only internalise. If your boss is a bitch or a bastard, tell them. Call people on their shit. Don’t let people hinder or stop you. Do not buy into their bullshit. Help other people. Give to people without expecting anything back. You will get it back tenfold when you least expect it.

‘Be positive’ sounds like a blood group but it's more than that. See yourself successful, see yourself having a great time, and see yourself having fun. Instead of waiting for Red Nose Day do it Every Day!

Now go out and do it without charity.