You hire people for their expertise, for their experience and knowledge.
It is important to remember this going forward. Team building is not easy. As Gino Wickman writes in his book Traction:
“You can only run your business on one operating system.
You must have one abiding vision, one voice, one culture, and one operating system. This includes a uniform approach to how you meet, how you set priorities, how you plan and set your vision, the terminology you use, and the way you communicate with employees”.
Ego cannot exist when you are a leader. Everyone you hire has to have a voice that must be heard, respected and discussed. Think of your company as a big chain. If even one link is broken, the risk you face is that your company’s well being will suffer.
Geography? YES Geography has everything to do with returns, loss of revenue, chargebacks, fraud and lost inventory.
Whether you sell tangible or intangible goods online, you MUST know your global Geography.
If you sell anything that has to do with technology, it’s better to exclude some countries, rather than just targeting revenue to prove that your company is successful.
Experience has taught me that sales to under developed countries, or countries that do not have technology readiness, will result in loss of revenue and inventory.
Let’s say you sell to Albania as an example.
First and foremost, you need to know that their postal services are iffy at best, especially if an order comes from any town other than Tirana, which is their capital.
Second, if you are lucky enough and your item arrives, 8 out of 10 sales will become claims, returns and chargebacks because your product will not work at this country.
The same applies for downloadable products (intangible goods and services). Your back end MUST be able to disable any service as soon as it becomes a refund or chargeback because it is not as described. This is the most common reason for chargebacks and claims from such countries. Your sales and marketing teams are promising something that customers will take your word for it, believe in it and buy it.
So do your company a favor and learn your Geography, and also eliminate sale to some countries. It is a thousand times better to have solid sales in fewer countries, than global sales with problems, returns, cancellations and chargebacks.
Another day, and another survey showing organizational uncertainty about preparation for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), now less than three months away.
In this one, enterprise data management firm Solix conducted an online survey with more than 100 companies. While the sample was relatively small, the respondents were all IT professionals, thus giving some insight into where those departments are:
Two-thirds of the respondents didn’t know if individuals’ personal data could be purged entirely from their systems.
Twenty-two percent were not aware they needed to comply with the GDPR if they captured and maintained data of European Union citizens, since they are based outside the U.S. (Many experts say they do.)
Nearly 40% said that personal data at their companies is not protected from misuse and unauthorized access throughout its lifecycle.
Sixty-four percent of responding organizations don’t have a Data Protection Officer, as required by GDPR.
More than half don’t know if they have explicit consent from individuals for processing of their personal data.
The big takeaway, Solix Technologies’ Executive Chairman John Ottman told me, is that “not only are most companies not ready, most do not understand the extent of their obligations.”
I find it amazing, how discussions can lead to ideas for my blog.
We all need to feel great at work and establish solid relationships with our colleagues, managers and bosses.
Having said that, there is a fine line. You cannot mistake work relationships as personal. Don’t get me wrong. There are true, deep and long lasting friendships being born from your work environment.
But you have to understand your environment, always be respectful, and never “demand” social inclusion.
Not being included in events outside work, does not mean that you are not liked at work or not respected. Believe in yourself, don’t be “short”, don’t take work related issues personally. NEVER be sarcastic and ask why you were not included. This is plain rude, and shows insecurity.
IF you feel left out, then sit and think really hard if you are as giving, as collaborative and as helpful at work as you should be. If the answer is YES, then know that : This is NOT personal. This is work.
IF some of your truths say NO, then try to change your attitude, be more of a team player, try to do good every day.
IF you start a true friendship, NEVER cross the line, NEVER ask for personal favors, NEVER put your newfound friendship in an awkward position by taking liberties at work. Work is work, friendship is friendship.
Do not muddle those two.
My advice is:
Stay true to your values, be respectful, respect others no matter their position on the corporate ladder, always offer a helping hand, be compassionate, know how to say thank you, and always apologize honestly for a mistake or faux pas. We are all human.
Do not start disliking colleagues for non inclusion outside of work.
We all have our social circles.
This doesn’t mean that you are “hated”.
Grow up and believe in yourself and abilities. After all, you were hired for a reason. Find this reason in your heart and go for it with all your passion, hard work and team spirit!
You are tired. Your life is hard. You have personal problems.
You are not alone.
Everyone has one or more issues in life.
This doesn’t mean that you are allowed to bring this baggage with you at work.
There is a savoir-faire and a code of behavior, no matter where you work, or what you do in life.
I have been in the Corporate sector since 1978, and have slowly but steadily created my own “Ten Commandments”. If you follow these rules, you can only succeed.
Try them out. What do you have to lose?
1. ALWAYS come to work early and with a smile on your face.
2. ALWAYS give 110%. Don’t wait for others to tell you what to do. Be proactive.
3. SHOW your superiors that you are interested. Genuinely interested.
4. DO yourself a favor and learn Time Management. It’s a priceless tool to organize your daily tasks, and workflow.
5. NEVER make personal announcements in front of all your colleagues. Personal information might make others uncomfortable and is usually inappropriate, unless you announce that you are getting married… You get the point.
6. WORK. Don’t waste your employer’s and your time by getting up and moving around your company every 10 minutes.
7. NEVER say you completed a task unless you actually did.
8. RESPECT your job, RESPECT yourself. Show some passion and enthusiasm.
9. Always help where help is needed. As your company needs you for the work you were employed to do, so do you. Without your employer you would have no work and so no income.
10. EARN RESPECT. NEVER DEMAND IT.
There are people out there who take anything for granted. In our hectic world things get lost in the shuffle. This is not ok under any circumstances.
Despite what people think, there is still etiquette in business of every kind, and it applies to all,
whether it is an assistant, a manager, a business owner, or a colleague. People in every level of the workforce do their work, a lot of them go out of their way to help, take the extra step to make things easier.
The right thing to do is to respond immediately, and send a short thank you note. There is no excuse for taking anyone’s efforts and work for granted. It shows poor manners, poor judgment and in the end lack of politeness. The oxymoron here is that the same people who do not reply or acknowledge what you do for them, complain when they need something and it is not done or they do not get a response.
Guess what? You can’t have it both ways!
I have spoken about organizing your work but I am writing now about the way to be a great leader, colleague, manager, employer, and friend.
Networking, doing business of any kind, being present in today’s communities, businesses and relationships, doesn’t allow you to be nonchalant, forgetful, or dismissive.
Thank you is a word that takes you very far, whether you send an email, call someone, text them or simply talk to them.
When I train people the first thing I mention is, that being “there”, assertive, honest and giving it your all will take you far. BUT there is another aspect to this. Gratitude is another big asset. Whether you are grateful for someone’s work or help, or when someone thanks you for what you’ve done, makes all the difference. It validates your efforts, and of course makes you want to work twice as hard knowing that your work is being appreciated.
When I say work I encompass every action; an interesting introduction, a first time meeting, an assignment well done, a completion of a flawless event, you name it.
We need to be aware of other people’s kindness, hard work and existence. When we dismiss anyone, we will “get what we pay for”. The people surrounding us, will not give it another thought, will just do their daily tasks and will not go out of their way any longer to make sure that you are served.
And when we talk about free lancers, people for hire, independent contractors, professionals of every kind who work with clients, beware! If you are the client, you might get dropped, because although in today’s market people need their hard earned money, they’d rather work with less clients and be acknowledged and heard, than work with someone who doesn’t apply themselves, is dismissive, forgetful and disorganized.
Think about this and if you implement some good manners, and start listening to people who you hire for their expertise, you will end up being more successful, better in your field and have an easier life!