Thoughts for the Day

Faults

Overlook faults in others and don’t dwell on them. Look at your own faults and eliminate them.

Virtue

The ability to recognise and act in accordance with the spirit  not the letter of the law.

You need to know the greater good, do the good and deliver the goods.

Reputation

No reputation is built on the basis of a single experience or the result of a solitary factor.

Reputation is a culmination of all the things you are good at done consistently well over an extended period of time. Once you have established what this is and what these things are then protect them and cherish them as valuable assets.

Debt collection

First thought
A sale is not a sale until:
a) you have an agreed amount payable and you have had the dance with terms of trade / order / delivery / invoice / credit note
b) you have got the money in the bank

Second thought
You have got past “Go” so before you collect your £200
a) you have made sure your documentation is right
b) you have sent a statement out asking for the agreed money
c) you have followed this up with a phone call asking when the cash is expected
d) you have still not reveieved the money and are threatening legal action, but deep down you know you won’t do this because it is costly (and so does the customer)
What else should you do?

Here’s what I tried. I appealed to his sense of fairness and switched roles.
I sent this email extract out when I became frustrated at a customer who was obviously having cash flow difficulties but was afraid to tell me.
I have changed the names to protect the innocent.

The background to this was a debt owing on the Car Rental business.
Dear Customer (real name withheld),
I can only support what Nicki says, we believe we have acted in good faith in reinstating Insurance and Central Reservations business, and we will keep to our part of that arrangement.
What I am finding difficult is believing your committment to ensuring that contractual obligations are met on time.
Despite assurances from both of you that all committments will be met, we have had two payments this week that have not.
One on Monday and one today totalling together in excess of £1000, at the time of writing this email, I am still not clear in how you will be rectifying this position.

Our debt position is now worse than it was one week ago

I am now faced with the embarassing position of releasing a car to you with a cheque that has not been cleared (it did not arrive when promised) and I am becoming nervous about this transaction.

I have also been in touch with Kelly who is equally disappointed we have not made inroads into the preparation of a budget which will enable us to competitively quote for your business.

Under the circumstances, how do you want to take this forward and are you able to meet the committments you made to us last week?

What would you do if you were me?

So I tried this re-framing, and yes, it got the desired result. That customer is still a customer, but ask yourself this – what would have happened if he ignored this request? Simple, you would have come to the instinctive conclusion that the customer’s values are simply not the same as yours and you should seriously consider doing business in the future. That is why you should set credit limits for each customer and limit your exposure with people you are uncomfortable with. Remember there are approximately 60 million people in the UK. How come you got landed with this one?

Passion

Get passionate, do everything to the max, otherwise you will kick yourself if you fail because you didn’t give it 100%.

Live each day as your last because one day it will be.

Work beyond the call of duty, get other people excited about your projects and set goals with your heart, not just your intellect.

Leadership 3

My definition is that this means helping people to realize their full potential by giving them advice from my own experiences.

Successful leaders are motivated by their desire to help and support others.

Team Work

We all work in teams of varying shapes and sizes, here are a few lessons to help teams work better:

Do:

  • Negotiate and agree explict (written if necessary) rules of engagement.
  • Continually give feedback.
  • Have respect for other points of view and address team issues immediately without procrastination.

Don’t:

  • Treat team members as irrelevant.
  • Deny the importance of feedback.
  • Belittle contributions.
  • Break into subcommittees.
  • Cross talk.
  • Imagine you will all get along.

It is better also if you clearly define the Goals and Objectives of the team so that all members appreciate and understand their respective duties.

Crisis

If you come across this here are a few tips:

Firstly, try and plan for these. Put some scenarios in when you pretend that a crisis has happened. Ffamiliarity will mean that the crisis is not so critical.

Form a team of people who can help you manage the crisis and have better experience.

Adopt a crisis mentality. Sometimes democratic processes may not work. Adopting a strong leadership approach works best. Be careful about the choice of leader.

Protect and preserve your core values, these will see you through the crisis.

Be prepared to change. The reason you are in a crisis is that you did not see it coming and you therefore did not change in time.

Dont let the crisis dominate your life. Try to continue as normal as possible in other non-critical areas. Keep a sense of perspective.

Finally, the crisis will pass. Analyse the results and learn from your mistakes.

Advice

Knowing when to get advice is important: to visit a psychiatrist you have to be mad. What is important is not that we fail to seek advice when needed but we know why we are asking for help and what we require to achieve the end result.

Change

You are capable of changing. You change your underwear, hairstyle, partner, job because you want to.

When other people want you to change, review your capabilities to change. If you don’t want to go along with the change then remove yourself from that environment.

If you do accept the change then embrace it.

Resisting change because you don’t accept it is purely selfish and you should spend your time elsewhere and not block other people’s progress or willingness to change.

Resistance to change is a huge drain on your emotional and physical energies. Go somewhere where you are more comfortable and your energy is projected onto positive change rather than obstruction.