Dec 28, 2011

- New Year Resolutions...

This year has been a wild one, filled with changes, sometimes forceful cones, nevertheless every year has its own specifics...

Let us reflect on our past year, individually as well as collectively, and choose wisely what has served our greatness and what hasn't. 
Let us become more conscious about our choices and decisions and let us rejoice in the beauty of a new cycle of 365 days to experience a more essential adventure.


1* Speak less, reflect more


Words, while amazingly necessary, aren't as essential as the power they carry. When we are given a chance to think about our thoughts a little longer, we can truly give them the most appropriate vessels to be traveling from within to outward. Sharing thoughts is a great responsibility as it gives a way to one’s truth. Take a little more time to reflect on your thoughts so that when your voice find the most appropriate way to share them, they come out as healing vessels and building stones.


2* Worry less, love more


This year, give yourself a space to Love more than worrying. 
Worries aren't serving anyone nor anything. 
Worries are expression of the Ego losing control. 
Bring more Faith and more trust in the goodness of Life as its nature is always aligned with excellence. 
The path may not always be clear for the mind (where worries originate). 
However, it always is clear for the heart (where Love exists).








3* Hold less, express more
Any kind of emotional held back is simply Life not given the chance to be expressed. This is a powerful energy that when stayed behind can ultimately turn creative energy into deadly substance consuming the self and lowering the inner-vibration. Self-expression is the core of the Human Being. It is an undeniable right of the Soul and the purpose of this experience.


4* Judge less, forgive more


Remember one thing: 

The Life that you observe is the Life that you are. What you see outside is what you know of yourself inside. 













Judgments and critics are the deep wounds that one must be willing to open so that he can bring healing. 


Forgiveness is the first medication that must be administered after self-awareness has brought clarity to the situation.




5* Do less, be more


While doing is what is being asked from us, we remain Human Being before anything. The doer side of us cannot properly do unless he has “been” before and began to grasp what this Being-ness means. This new year, attempt to give a little more room for the Being side of you so that you truly empower the doer part of you. not only will your experience expand but more so you will feel greatly align with your purpose.


Many of our world's problems and conflicts arise because we have lost sight of the basic humanity that binds us all together as a human family.


From a category point of view, it's also helpful to focus on the different facets any of our resolutions might fit in:


The four facets are:
  1. Material prosperity
  2. Spiritual prosperity
  3. Physical prosperity
  4. Social prosperity
These four facets give us a complete and balanced view of prosperity. By reflecting on them, you will get a complete view of how your life as a whole progressed in the past year.

To help you reflect, I’d share some questions you can ask yourself for each facet. By giving honest answers to them, you will be able to see whether or not you have progressed the way you wanted in each facet. For the questions to which your answer is no, you can also ask why to find out the reason behind it. For example, take this question:
Did you achieve the desired net worth?
If your answer is no, you can then ask:
Why?

The answer might be because you didn’t save enough, or there were unexpected expenses you weren’t prepared for. You can use such answers to better prepare yourself for the coming year.
So, here are 20 questions to help you reflect the past year:

1. Material prosperity

  • Did you achieve your desired net worth?
  • Did you achieve your desired income level?
  • Have you built the habit of spending less than you earn?
  • Have you been able to eliminate debt?
  • Have you built the habit of saving?
  • Have your career progressed as you wanted to?
  • Have you reduced your spending on some unnecessary expenses?

2. Spiritual prosperity

  • Have you found your life mission?
  • Did you feel fulfilled?
  • Could you honestly say that you are happy?
  • Have you built the necessary habits for spiritual growth? The habits here depend on your belief. They could be meditating or reading sacred texts, for example.

3. Physical prosperity

  • Have you built the habit of exercising?
  • Have you built the habit of consuming nutritious food?
  • Have you had good rest?
  • Did you feel physically fit in doing your daily work?

4. Social prosperity

  • Has your relationship with your spouse been as good as you wanted to?
  • Has your relationship with your family been as good as you wanted to?
  • Has your relationship with your friends been as good as you wanted to?
  • Did you make a lot of new friends?
  • Did you get to know people from more diverse backgrounds?
While the questions listed here are not comprehensive, at least they can give some ideas about how your progress is. Besides, you will be able to see which facet requires the most attention. Since you should maintain the balance of all facets, the facets you lack most are the ones that you should pay more attention to.
The questions can also help you identify the specific actions you should take for each facet. For example:
  • If your answer to the question Have you built the habit of exercising? is no, then you should focus on building the exercise habit.
  • If your answer to the question Did you get to know people from more diverse backgrounds? is no, then you should focus on knowing people from different worlds.
  • If your answer to the question Have you found your life mission? is no, then you should focus on finding your life mission.
You can then prioritize the actions based on what will make the most impact on your life. All these, I believe, will help you set your goals for the new year. 

Your objective should be to have good and balanced progress in all four facets.



lh/mlb/ich

Dec 24, 2011

- Merry Christmas


... So this is Christmas and what have you done, Another year over, a new one just begun.


Nous y sommes. Ce soir, c’est la belle nuit de Noël. Et ce soir, au-delà de tout, au-delà des discordes, des doléances, de l’amertume et de la douleur, ce soir, je/on pardonne. Emballées les rancœurs de l’année écoulée. Emballées dans des paquets cadeaux, sous le papier soyeux, emballées et bien ficelées avec des rubans rouges. Posées sous le sapin les erreurs commises. On oublie et on passe à autre chose. On tourne la page, on termine le chapitre, on ferme le livre et on le range dans la bibliothèque de nos (mauvais) souvenirs. On peut même le jeter au bûcher (des vanités), mais on pardonne.





Ce soir, c’est Noël et ce soir, je pardonne. 


Je pardonne à ceux qui m’ont trahie. ہ ceux à qui j’ai donné ma confiance. Je pardonne à ceux devant qui j’ai baissé mes armes, fissuré mon armure, mis de côté mon bouclier. 


Je pardonne à ceux qui m’ont trompée avec (ou sans) scrupules. ہ ceux qui ont essayé de m’humilier ou qui m’ont jugée. Qui ont pensé que ce que je faisais était infaisable. 


Je pardonne à ceux qui ont dit que je n’étais pas à la hauteur et à ceux qui ont pu imaginer que j’étais quelqu’un d’autre. 


Je pardonne à ceux qui ont voulu me modeler, me changer et me façonner à l’envi. ہ ceux qui m’ont fait croire à l’impossible, à ceux qui m’ont fait rêver et, enfin, à ceux qui m’ont fait cauchemarder. Je pardonne à ceux en qui j’ai cru. ہ ceux en qui j’ai placé mes espoirs, à ceux à qui j’ai raconté mes doutes, confié mes secrets. 


Je pardonne à ceux qui m’ont vendu des mots en s’écoutant parler. ہ ceux qui ont menti. Je pardonne à ceux qui m’ont lâchée en cours de route. Qui m’ont laissé sur le bas côté, suspendue au garde-fou. Je pardonne à ceux qui ont médit et calomnié des choses à mon sujet. ہ ceux qui m’ont traînée dans la boue. 


Je pardonne à ceux qui m’ont descendue de mon piédestal et ont changé d’avis. Je pardonne à ceux qui ont peur de l’obscurité et à ceux qui ont peur de la lumière, ceux qui se plantent, ceux qui pleurent. 


Je pardonne à ceux qui ne sont pas venus et ceux qui sont partis. ہ ceux qui craignent l’amour, à ceux qui fléchissent devant leurs (vieux) démons, à ceux qui sont lâches. 


Je pardonne aux menteurs et aux hypocrites parce qu’ils n’y peuvent 
rien. Je pardonne aux colériques, aux haineux et aux discourtois... 
Je sais pourtant qu’aussi grande puisse être ma compassion, il y a des gens à qui je ne pourrai jamais pardonner. J’essayerai quand même. 


Et je demande d’avance pardon si je n’y arrive pas. Ce soir, je demande pardon à tous ceux que j’ai blessés par inadvertance. Pardon à ceux que je n’ai pas rappelés. ہ ceux que j’ai négligés. ہ ceux que j’ai oubliés. 


Je demande pardon à ceux qui ont cru en moi. ہ ceux que j’ai jugés trop vite. ہ ceux que j’aime et à qui je ne l’ai pas assez dit. 


Je demande pardon pour mes erreurs. Je demande pardon pour mes faiblesses et quelques-uns de mes défauts. Je demande pardon à ceux que j’ai fait pleurer. Pardon pour ces moments qui ne seront plus que des souvenirs. 


Je demande pardon si j’ai causé de la tristesse et je demande pardon pour mes instants de désarrois. Je demande pardon si je n’ai pas assez donné et si je n’ai pas su recevoir. 


Je demande pardon pour les interrogations que j’ai pu provoquées, pour les demandes non exaucées. 


Je demande pardon à ceux que j’ai déçus. 


Je demande pardon à ceux que je n’ai pas aimés, à ceux que je méprise, à ceux à qui j’en ai voulu. 


Je demande pardon pour mes futures maladresses, pour les décisions que je vais prendre, pour les erreurs que je vais commettre. 


Je demande pardon à ceux qui m’aiment et à ceux qui ne me comprennent plus. 


Je demande pardon, parce que j’ai souvent peur. 


Je demande pardon pour tout et pour rien. Parce que je ne sais pas s’il y a eu faute. Mais je sais qu’il y a eu blessure. 


Je demande pardon et je pardonne à Dieu mes offenses. 


A very merry Christmas and a happy New Year, Let’s hope it’s a good one without any fear.
War is over if you want it, war is over now. 




.../zuk

Dec 14, 2011

- 10 Ways to Realize Hidden Opportunities


"Great moments are born from great opportunities," said the late Herb Brooks, one of the world's most famous hockey coaches.  


Brooks certainly seized opportunity during his career.  He agreed to coach the 1980 U.S. Olympic team that beat the "unbeatable" Soviet Union in Lake Placid, New York during the famous "Miracle on Ice" game on the way to winning the gold medal.  It was a modern-day "David vs. Goliath" matchup. Many coaches would refuse such an overwhelmingly difficult job.  In fact, several did.  


But Brooks saw opportunity in the monumental challenge of leading a bunch of young, amateur, college all-stars against the essentially professional players of the Soviet Union and other European hockey powers.  


That opportunity paid off, to say the least.


Whether you're talking about sports, business or any other subject matter, seeking, finding and capitalizing on opportunity are among the most important things a professional must do.     
There's one big problem with opportunity, however.  It is often hard to find and even harder to harness. 


"We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations," said Charles Swindoll, an American religious author. 


I agree wholeheartedly with Swindoll's characterization.  The best opportunities are often hidden.  They are often located in places we least expect to find them and are presented by people we least expect to provide them.  


That reminds me of the old story that sales managers like to share with their young trainees: "On his way back from a three-day fishing trip, a multi-millionaire visits the showroom of an upscale, luxury car dealer.  The salespersons, seeing an unshaven, disheveled, poorly dressed man, essentially ignore him. Offended, the multi-millionaire buys a top-of-the-line model the next day from a direct competitor." There are a lot of ways to tell that classic missed-sales-opportunity story, but they all sound something like that.   
If opportunity is so important to our success, and so difficult to find and recognize, we need to focus more of our energy on it.  Unless you're naturally good at it, finding and capitalizing on opportunity needs to be a deliberate focus: 


Open your eyes and ears - we can no longer afford to be indifferent, or even worse, oblivious to the world around us.  Be on the lookout for ideas that could lead to new opportunities.  Even more important than eyes and ears, keep your mind open too.  Many of us miss opportunities, because they don't fit into our pre-existing paradigms.


Remember that all people count - sometimes we get so obsessed with the "right" people, we miss out on valuable opportunities from people, who on the surface, can do seemingly nothing for us.


Fight through the fear - one of the biggest reasons we miss out on extraordinary opportunities is because we are too afraid to leap.  Herb Brooks wasn't too afraid to leap; we shouldn't be either.


Let your creative juices flow - the Nobel Prize-winning scientist Albert Szent-Gyorgi once said, "Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought."  The more creative you are, the more opportunity you will discover.  See the world in a different way, and doing things like nobody else, and just watch the opportunities that manifest. 


Take risks - As the old saying goes, "nothing risked, nothing gained."  Unless you take a chance and do something new, you'll keep running into the same old opportunities.


Work really hard - "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work," said the great inventor Thomas Edison.  


Set meaningful goals - make those goals specific too.  The more you clarify what you really want, the quicker you will recognize it when it shows up.


Find quiet time - many people have found great opportunities, because they prayed for them or spent time meditating about them.  Such activity creates focus in your mind, and a focused mind is a powerful mind. 


Believe - visualize success and tell yourself that good things will come.  A positive mind is more receptive to hidden opportunity.


Prepare - as the old Boy Scout motto says, "be prepared."  You never know when the perfect opportunity will open up.  If you're not prepared, you might not act on it quickly enough.  In his autobiography, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said he believes in "relentless preparation."  He constantly prepares for crisis, so he will perform properly.  Same thing applies to opportunity.




/eyeonsales

Dec 9, 2011

- They Changed My Sales Comp Plan! What Should I Do?


Sales Question:

"I have over 15 years of sales experience, with over 5 years at a Fortune 500 company handling million dollar accounts in a sales/maintenance role with about 20% new business development. After leaving that position due to a family issue I have been struggling in my last couple of jobs as a 'new business development' salesperson. Long story short, three jobs later I realize I am terrible at cold calling and don't like it either.

After 90 days my current employer eliminated my base salary and put me on a commission only plan. I have a pipeline that could potentially allow me to match my salary but I am feeling as if I've been slapped in the face and my motivation to work with my CEO is seriously diminished.

What would you suggest that I do?

ANSWER:

Well, for starters, no one "likes" cold calling. What you need to like is cold hard cash. So if you're in sales, and you like cash, there's hope for you because you can learn how to become successful at cold calling. It's teachable. I might even know someone who could help.

But before we dig a little deeper into that, let's discuss what most likely happened with your employer...

Does This Sound Familiar?

Your stellar resume landed on the desk of your current employer who was seeking someone that could help take his or her company to the next level. You interviewed well and were full of confidence. Shortly thereafter, the job and the "higher than they had budgeted" salary plus bonus structure was yours, and the boss couldn't wait to see you make it rain.

Only it didn't rain. In fact, it did the exact opposite of rain. You hit the longest drought of your sales career and your employer can no longer afford to pay you on promises. They need cash to run a company and have decided to put you on straight commission.

What you need to understand is that selling by phone / cold calling / business development etc requires a different skill set than "managing" accounts. Kind of like how it's one thing to be the running back, and it's another to be the field goal kicker. Same game. You can even be on the same team. But it requires a different skill set in order to be successful.

So with the economy the way it is, high paying base salary jobs are hard to come by let alone keep and I get why your current employer realized that your impressive resume was no longer enough to justify what they were paying and you would be wise to see it from their view point as well, otherwise you will never grow as a business professional.

However... What I don't get is how your employer expects you to generate what they need most – revenue – without giving you the tools you need to be successful.

Now don't get me wrong, I wholeheartedly believe salespeople are responsible for their own success and that includes investing in themselves.

But if they believe in you, yet need to take away your base, I would think they would want to at least look into helping you get the skills you need in order for everyone to win.

Unless they think it's a "motivational" issue and that you needed to be motivated to sell... But here's the thing, no one stays motivated when they keep getting rejected on the phone. And the only reason salespeople get rejected a lot is because they haven't learned what to do and what not to do.

If they've offered to provide you with the sales training needed in order to improve your cold call skills, my advice is take it and stick it out. Straight commissioned sales are where all the money is.

But if they've offered no help you have 3 choices:

  1. Get help on your own
  2. Go work for a company that is willing to help their inside sales team succeed
  3. Find a job / position that is in need of the skills you already posses


Here's what I love about all three of these options:

You control all of them. Your success (or failure) is up to you.







/eyeonsales

Dec 3, 2011

- The Myth of Work-Life Balance


Many companies extol the value of work-life balance for their employees, but the reality for senior executives? There isn't any. Frequently, stressed and harried managers look up the organization hierarchy and assume that they'll have greater control of their time when they advance to the C-suite. What they don't understand is that modern-day telecommunications, the hair-trigger requirements of financial markets, and the pace of global organizations create 24 x 7 work lives for most executives. So, forget work-life balance and think personal organization and finding ways to relax.


I see too many new and aspiring executives who are naïve about what it takes to succeed at the C-suite level and surprised by the withering demands placed upon them. The first step in dealing with the workload is putting in place the support structure that allows you to focus your energies on key priorities and issues where you can add the greatest value to the business.


Think for a minute. If your boss came and asked you to lead a major change initiative, your first questions would be about the budget and staff you would have at your disposal for the effort. The same logic applies to preparing to operate as an executive. At work and at home, who are the people who allow you to leverage your time and energy: your go-to staff members to keep track of major projects at work and those who help with childcare, eldercare, or managing a household?


In their drive to succeed, many new executives get caught up in a merry-go-round of business reviews, executive team meetings, e-mail, and late-night conference calls with colleagues around the world. At one large, global company, the CEO was known to keep his top 100 people on speed dial for impromptu phone calls at any time of the day or night. In many companies it can be difficult if not impossible to break away from this routine even for a long weekend, and the cumulative effects of stress and workload are damaging. We know a great deal about the long-term health dangers of prolonged stress. However, as described by Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis, and Annie McKee in Primal Leadership: Learning to Lead with Emotional Intelligence, the effects on executive effectiveness are just as profound.


Under continued stress an executive loses his or her perspective on issues and the ability to look at problems creatively. Molehills become mountains. Conflict with colleagues becomes personal. The "flat spots" of our personality — for example, arrogance, inflexibility, aversion to risk or a tendency toward negativity — become evident. And most of us revert to tried and true solutions — the enemy of breakthrough strategies and new innovations.


Say goodbye to the two-week vacation with the family. That's history in most organizations. Instead, seek to find those activities that allow you to relax — even if only for 15 minutes a day. One CEO races performance sports cars on weekends. Another works out vigorously early every morning and adds a walk around Central Park on weekends. Yet another would end a grueling day of work listening to jazz on a professional quality sound system installed in the basement. Such executives recognize that these moments of relaxation are critical to maintaining resilience: their ability to rebound from obstacles and setbacks whether it's an unplanned marketplace event, the resignation of a key staff member or a promotion decision that didn't go their way.


Many managers are "sprinters" early in their careers. Recognition, rewards, and promotions come their way quickly. However, to succeed at the C-suite level where the pressures are greater and the consequences of failure more punishing, it's critical to equip yourself for the long haul. And that means making sure you have the necessary support structure around you and those precious few moments of relaxation that help you maintain the bounce in your step and the optimistic tone required of a senior leader.




/hbr

Dec 1, 2011

- The New Rules on Dressing for Success


... super-successful Silicon Valley clients who dress in ripped denim, Vans shoes and t-shirts. They are worth hundreds of millions, even more, but it's a status symbol to dress like you're homeless to attend board meetings. Conversely, ... trash-hauling company executives who dress in suits and ties every day of the week. And this contrast shows the dramatic shift that has occurred in business attire in recent years, as each industry has developed its own rules. 


So how do you learn the rules? Back in the early 1990s, as a young exec, I read Dress for Success by John T. Molloy. It gave me a clear understanding of how to dress to impress. But the "business casual" dress movement has turned all of that book's ideas into quaint nostalgia. But fair or not, dress still has an impact on how you're seen. For sales people, especially, first impressions matter.


... not a fashion plate, but do have some simple rules for successful dressing if you are in sales.


Know your prospect's uniform.
Before you meet with a prospect, you should know that company's dress code. "Business casual" has a lot of meanings. Call the front desk at the company and ask what the company's dress code is and what the men and women wear. Or ask your contact. The point is, part of your responsibility is to understand that company's culture, including its dress code. Ask for examples, especially of the senior most person who will be in your meeting.


Dress one step up.
If your prospect is in denim, you wear khaki. They wear sport coats without ties; you are in suits without ties. The point is that you always dress one step further up the clothing ladder than your prospect, but not two. One step says that you respect and value them. Two steps can send a loaded message.


It's not just what you wear--but how you wear it.
Polished shoes, pressed shirts and well-fitted pants always.  At this point, some of you are thinking, "Does he really have to say this to people?" while others are saying, "Why do I have to tuck in my shirt?" But when your clothes are pressed, buttoned down and well-fitted, you convey that you are a person who pays attention to the details and are professional 


Grooming trumps style.
Even if you're wearing a great suit, if you've got a terrible haircut, you'll give a bad impression. As crazy as it sounds, everything on the grooming punch lists - fingernails, facial hair, haircuts and oral hygiene--matter. 


Know your company's uniform.
One of my clients makes sure that when his sales reps are making their sales calls, they wear a very specific uniform. (His company's clients accept this because they see it as an extension of the brand; the company sells safety products.) It doesn't matter if the reps are presenting in a board room or on a manufacturing plant floor, they wear the sample simple uniform. Obviously, if you work at this company, you follow this dress code in order to fit in.
Remember, you can dress in a way where your attire is the only message people remember, or you can dress in a way that takes nothing away from the message of value your company brings to them.






/cbsnews

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