Thoughts for the Day

Quality

Spend as much as you can on quality, either for people who work for you, items of plant and machinery, pens/pencils, whatever. Do not allow standards to drop for the sake of a few pennies.

A quality environment influences:

a) the way you work
b) the way others perceive you and more importantly the standards that you require of them

Process

Love what you are doing and apply your talents to love the process of doing. The more you enjoy the process, the easier the goals become. If you don’t enjoy the process and the Now, make a change and enjoy something else.

Reciprocity

Doing something for others first is more likely to generate returns, but don’t expect instantaneous feedback. Rewards have a distinct habit of being delayed and the more you expect them, the more disappointed you will become if they don’t appear as you expected.

Equally when presenting a new idea, explain what is in it for other people, not just yourself.

Consistency

The roots of this word are Greek meant ‘to stand’ and ‘together’.

Do your actions stand together with your words?

The single most pervasive cause of stress is within your control. Your deeds should match your values.

Why would you want to behave any differently from your core beliefs?

It is a matter of gathering all your energy and passion (see Passion) in a unified direction and focussing on to those goals in a consistent manner.

Inconsistency saps energy.

It is the one thing I have struggled with for most of my life. I am an extrovert personality who thinks out loud and I have to impose strict self discipline to see that my energies are properly directed.

Dual Standards exact a cost, consistent behaviour helps people understand you better.

Mission creep

We have all done it and seen it done. Make sure you stay on your mission by constantly reviewing the objectives. If your objectives move then your behaviour needs to alter to acheive different goals.

Journey

You can travel far by being still

Jocularity

Comedians will tell you that jocularity depends on timing. Knowing when to put in that quip for maximum effect is a key skill; conversely saying the light hearted comment at the wrong time can be disastrous.

know your audience, know the occasion and the timing will flow.

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?

Instinct

Do you trust your own instinct?
Have you ever tried to sell something to someone and thought that although they said the right things, this sale will backfire?
Have you ever met someone who seems OK but something is nagging you about their behaviour?
Have you ever gone along to a meeting and it has not turned out as you expected?

Don’t worry, these are all examples of you trying to make sense of the world.

Your instinct is a very powerful tool. It is a whole host of memories and analyses dragged up from the depths of your brain and based on the amount of time you have spent on this planet.
You may not be able to instantly recognise the problem, but your feeling of discomfort is driven by your subconscious mind telling you this is not right.

Learn to trust your instincts and don’t be persuaded otherwise. You may of course not be ‘right’, but most of the time you will be, as the definition of ‘right’ is purely your personal definition and hence driven by your instinct.
I would suggest there are some parts of your instinct that need curbing (that desire to throttle someone who is annoying you), but most of the time your instinct is trying to help you make sense of the world.

Happiness

Happiness 1

This is about doing something you like with people you respect. Develop your talents by constant use and discover new ones to try out with other people and make their lives different and better. If we travel in the right direction and apply our wisdom wisely then Happiness happens.

Happiness 2

This is down to you, it is not about other people make you happy (or sad). It is about how you respond to them.

Happiness 3

What makes you happy will change with time, so embrace change, remain positive about it and happiness will flow.