You Didn’t Make It Grandma

Apple Pie

photo by "ilovebutter"

If your grandma made you your favorite apple pie, would you tell her she didn’t actually make it herself? I mean, somebody else grew the wheat that was turned into flour, which was trucked on government roads to a store owned by somebody else. There are literally hundreds of people involved in the making of that pie.

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Are You Strong Enough to Quit?

Quit Now

photo courtesy fuzzcat

The other day I was listening to a podcast by a fellow Free Agent Academy member, Andy Traub, in which he talked about the fact that he was a quitter. He said he’s quit tons of stuff. In fact he’d just quit serving in a roll recently at his church. He was quite proud of being a quitter.

So obviously there’s something more to this story, right? There is. He is talking about quitting things that aren’t in your strengths so that you can make more room for the things that are. So often we get ourselves involved in a million different things at once just because there’s a need, or it’s something we are capable of doing, but it isn’t really within our strengths or passions. When we allow that to happen, often the result is that other areas of our lives suffer. We shouldn’t allow that to happen.

Another positive thing about quitting is that at least you tried it in the first place. Many people live in fear of failure and never even strike out to try new things. How do you know if you’d be good at it or that it’s something that really fires you up? There is no shame in trying something and discovering that it’s not your thing and then gracefully backing out of it. Don’t let your fear of failure hold you back. Failure is a part of growth. Learn from it and move on.

Are you a good quitter? What do you need to quit at?

Encouragement for Navigating the Sales Jungle

Jungle Warfare book coverI recently received from Thomas Nelson Publishing a complimentary copy of Christopher A. Cunningham’s new book Jungle Warfare – A Basic Field Manual for Christians in Sales. When I first chose this book, I thought that it would provide strategies for improving your sales techniques. What I found is that it is more of a devotional for those in sales to help encourage them and help them deal with issues specific to their field. It is a 22 day devotional followed by a section on dealing with specific questions a salesperson may face.

While the book was not what I was expecting, I did find it to be an excellant and appropriate devotional. I enjoyed the excerpts from the author’s grandfather’s Basic Field Manual on Jungle Warfare. I thought the references were appropriate to the topics of the devotionals and that the author chose Bible references that tied in well. Each day also leaves space for prayer reflections and personal thoughts. This is a definitely a book that is meant to stimulate further personal reflection, not just a quick read. I definitely feel this would be a good devotional for anyone in the sales profession to spend some time with.

Man Up BP!

BP Not Responsible for Spills

Photo courtesy f2n_downtown

I just read an article on CNN.com about the oil rig that had an explosion and sank in the Gulf recently. Following is an excerpt from that article.
A separate report by a different Transocean consultant on the Deepwater Horizon’s equipment cited at least 26 components and systems out of 129 categories on the rig that were in “bad” or “poor” condition, according to a report in Thursday’s New York Times.
Transocean’s spokesman told CNN all equipment on the Deepwater Horizon was in line with government guidelines. “Every device met regulatory standards,” Colasuonno said.
Can you believe it? They have nothing better to say than “Every device met regulatory standards”? I am so tired of blame shifting and finger pointing in society today. The oil rig exploded. People died. Animals and fish are dying. The fishing and tourist industries along the Gulf are set back an unknown number of years, and all they have to say is that they met the minimum guidelines that the government set. Since when is the government an expert on the oil industry? If reports that they commissioned themselves stated that things were not at their prime operating condition, shouldn’t they, being the experts, have done something about it?
And worse yet, now that the worst has actually come to pass, shouldn’t they take the responsible route and say “we screwed up. Here’s what we’re doing about it.”? Once again I come back to the book QBQ! by John G. Miller. What we need is a return to personal responsibility. I would have so much more respect for a company that owned up to a mistake and dealt with it head on. Don’t follow the poor example set by BP. When you make a mistake, or even if you didn’t make the mistake, but there is something you can do about it, skip the blame game that’s more fit for a 4 year old and address the issue head on. Come on BP, man up!

Lead Like Ike by Geoff Loftus

Lead Like Ike by Geoff LoftusI recently received a complimentary copy of Lead Like Ike to review from Thomas Nelson Publishing. It’s subtitle is “Ten Business Strategies from the CEO of D-Day”.

This book takes a look at the leadership qualities of Dwight D. Eisenhower as he planned and implemented the D-Day invasion that became the turning point of World War II. The interesting approach that Geoff Loftus uses to analyze Ike’s leadership is by looking at the Allied Forces as if they were a corporation competing against another corporation in the form of the German resistance. This analysis provides a unique perspective regarding the interactions and planning phases of the preparations for D-Day.

It is very interesting reading about all of the various strategies and obstacles that were encountered throughout the process. I greatly enjoyed reading about the successes and failures leading up to the invasion and all of the conditions that surrounded Ike as he tried to plan this monumental strike. The author provides a lot of insight into the personal interactions that Ike had with his superiors and his staff throughout the process. While the story was very informative and intriguing, I did feel that the metaphor of the Allied Forces being a corporation was sometimes stretched a little too far. Often it seemed as if it was being forced into the mold instead of being a natural extension. I do believe that the lessons drawn are very relavent to today’s business world however and corporations could learn a great deal from reading this book and following the strategies employed by Ike during this process.