Monday, October 06, 2014

Treat Others as They Want to be Treated!

I attended a trade show recently as a visitor, not an exhibitor.  The very first booth I stopped at, I tried to engage the woman to find out more about the business she was representing.  At some point she asked me what I did.  I gave her my one sentence statement that I usually use when asked that question. 
We chatted a bit more (about her) and then I asked for and reached for one of the business cards displayed.  She said, "Those are generic cards, they don't have my name."  I asked if I could have one with her name.  Her reply was, "If all you're planning to do is to try to sell me sales training, then I don't want to give it to you."  I replied that it was not my plan; that I like to have resources that I can refer my clients to, but that it was OK, I would not bother her.  And I moved on.

I will be exhibiting this week at a trade show and as a result of my experience above, I am reminding myself to:

1.  Be kind to everyone. 
2.  Be courteous to all that are showing interest in some way. 
3.  Remember that I don't know who I'm talking to.  They may be or know the very prospect I've been trying to do business with. 
4.  Have a nice way to send people on their way...after all they have been a guest in my office (booth) away from the office!
Am I forgetting anything? 

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

October's Book - Leadership is an Art

Here is our monthly contribution from Don Kardux, providing us with the book-of-the-month to read!

Don begins:  "I’m Dutch and proud of it. Grew older not up in Holland…. Michigan.

Yes, there are pictures of me at three and four years of age in full Dutch costume standing in a field of Tulips. (Debby's note:  now that's an image we should include here!)
I marched in the Holland High School marching band at ‘Tulip Time’ (our May celebration of the mighty Tulip and dollar).  I marched wearing wooden shoes and 12 pair of sweat sox (blister preventers).

We have contributed to catchy phrases, “Dutch Treat” (everybody pays) “Dutch courage” (Whiskey) and the famous “Red light” district in Amsterdam.  But, we have a positive presence. The Dutch are famous furniture makers.

Holland is twenty miles west of Grand Rapids- “Furniture City” and less than four miles west of Zeeland.
Zeeland is the home of Herman Miller Furniture and Herman Miller CEO (at the time- late eighty’s ) was a Dutch gentleman named, Max De Pree.

Max is ninety years old, now, and the book he wrote in 1987 changed my life. Our company's (Business Navigators) approach to helping managers become leaders echoes his philosophy.

James O’Toole, University of Southern California- Graduate School of Business, in the original introduction wrote:
“I got my first chance to visit a Herman Miller factory, I was give carte blanche to go anywhere and talk to anyone, managers and workers. The only problem was that I couldn’t tell one from the other! People who seemed to be production workers were engaged in solving the ‘managerial’ problems of improving productivity and quality. People who seemed to be managers had their sleeves rolled up and were working side by side, with everybody else in an all out effort to produce the best products in the most effective way. ‘The signs of outstanding leadership are found in the followers, ‘Max writes in this wonderful little book.”

Max relates, in his introduction, “Leadership is an art, something to be learned over time, not simply by reading books. Leadership is more tribal than scientific, more a weaving of relationships than an amassing of information, and, in that sense, I don’t how to pin it down in detail”
Finally, on page 11, Max says, “The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between the two, the leader must become a servant and a debtor. That sums up the progress of an artful leader.”

Between the two… it’s the dash following the birth of an idea and followed by the end.

In 148 pages ‘The Art of Leadership’ is more than a good read. It’s a great way to live your life!"