Apr 06 2010

“Whose job IS it?”

“So, ARE you


The Boss,


or not?”


(Part II of II)


    I heard a couple of resistant barks over my post last night which identified business owner / manager / operator limitations as being “self-imposed,” and which attributed business behavioral limitations to titles.

     Okay, I can accept that certain out-of-touch types of people find it difficult to buy into the thinking that they could possibly be doing themselves in, but the truth is that every limitation IS chosen and self-imposed, or is the result some choice that set that limitation in motion to start with.

     As for behaviors attached to titles, one need not look any further than government and corporate life to see evidence of this. For those who inhabit such grand seas of incompetence — titles are security blankets. Titles are used more to impress others than to designate responsibility.  

     Here’s what happens: I ask you what do you do for a living? You define yourself by saying, “I’m a business owner. I run the Outer Space Music Company; you know, songs for the future; that sort of thing.” I ask you for some recent examples. “Oh, my New Release Manager handles those. But I could check my Archive Manager for some older titles. What is it you’re looking for?”

     Well, I hate to tell you, Good Buddy, but if you own and run a business and have to rely on others to answer questions about the products or services you produce, you have let (chosen for) your title to get in the way of success. You are thinking “I am the Boss.

     When you think of yourself AS the Boss, you think you are entitled to let your specialists handle the day-to-day stuff while you go to The Downtown Presidents’ Club, the Better Business Bureau, and the Chamber of Commerce, and lunch with the bankers and play golf with the investors and . . .”

     You have created self-imposed limitations to be doing what you think you SHOULD be doing instead of what needs to be done. 

     There are in each person’s mind different specific sets of words, terms, responsibilities and behaviors associated with every title. Here’s a quick little word association game for your brain . . . What do you conjure up in your mind when I say: “President”? “CEO”? “Business Owner”? “Senior Executive Vice President”? “Practice Administrator”? “General Contractor”? “Captain”? “Post Master”? “Sales Manager”? “Officer”? “Shrink”? “Lawyer”? “Coach”? “Consultant”? “Princess”? “Union Leader”? “Community Organizer”? “Trainer”?

     Try these titles on 100 different people; you’ll get 100 different answers.

     When you think of yourself as “The Boss” you are preventing yourself from taking necessary steps outside that “Boss Box” to move your business forward. You are limiting yourself, and consequently your business. And it’s your choice.

Open Minds Open Doors. 


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Hal@Businessworks.US or 302.933.0116

“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson] 

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals. God Bless You.

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

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Feb 18 2010


Are You


Juggling Seagulls?


     Draw a bullseye with two rings around it and label the center space: FAMILY & PERSONAL, then label the innermost ring space: WORK & BUSINESS, and then label the outer ring space: FRIENDS & OTHER ACTIVITIES.

     Copy each heading onto a separate column or separate piece of paper. Then list the most appropriate items/ people/places/ things in each category. Allow yourself one minute per list. 

     Put the list down and walk away. Get some water or a cookie or just stare out the window. (This is like a little ginger between sushi pieces.) Then return to your target and lists. The amount of “blur” between your bullseye and your next two rings will indicate how “fastlane” your life is right now.

I say “right now” because this is a here and now exercise: what goes in each part of the target can change by next week, tomorrow, tonight, or within the next 6 seconds!

In fact, when life gets too hectic, it’s a useful device for daily assessment, for helping you sort out and stay focused on priorities.


     Whatever blur does occur, whatever lack of definition exists between the three areas should give you a good heads up on how efficiently or inefficiently you are using your time, as well as the extent of your allegiances to each entity that is taking time and attention from your life.

     Once you’ve done this little diagnostic study on yourself, and have a good overview of your current activities and involvements, you need to decide if these pieces are where you want them to be.

     Are you spending too much time with your business and not enough with your family, for example? Or, are you so caught up in someone else’s problem that you haven’t made time to solve your own?

     I once found myself so sucked into a Chamber of Commerce project to boost town retail traffic, that I ended up working nights and weekends just to catch up with my own business (which was not retail and stood to gain nothing from the initiative).

     The crunch infiltrated my time commitments to my family. The small disruptions that surfaced were clearly the tip of cataclysmic explosion. I extracted myself from the C of C mission and discovered — lo and behold! — the retailers I was knocking myself out to promote didn’t care enough to pick up the ball for themselves.

This is NOT to suggest that voluntary community work is not worthwhile. It most certainly is. But it’s a good idea to look before you leap. For your own good, as well as the cause involved, such engagements are most successful when they are clearly defined, clearly justified, and clearly scheduled.

Plus –realistically — where choice is involved (vs. for example, an emergency), no one should ever commit to helping others who is not coming from a position of strength to begin with . . .

  • A sick teacher is an ineffective teacher.

  • A cashpoor business cannot donate to charities.

  • A business owner who’s preoccupied with family survival issues or debt collection issues cannot be an effective sales leader.

     Draw your target again tomorrow. See if anything changes. Can you make something change? Maybe if you stop juggling one fewer seagull, it will fly away! 

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  FREE blog subscription: Posts RSS Feed

  Hal@Businessworks.US   302.933.0116

  Open Minds Open Doors 

   Thanks for your visit and God Bless You.

  Make today a GREAT day for someone! 

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Jun 17 2009

Networking Begins After Networking Is Done!

“Don’t I recognize you


from my last job?”


(OR, “An employee today could be a customer tomorrow!”)

     There are not many pages that small business owners and managers like ourselves can take from universities or big business owners and managers, but here’s a new one that’s worth paying attention to…we like to think (being small and flexible and aggressive and innovation-driven) that we have a lock on the whole notion of networking.

     I mean when’s the last time you saw campus or corporate executives at Chamber of Commerce mixers or Better Business Bureau networking events? Ah, but they (academic hot-shots and corporate type muckity-mucks) are mainstays in the job search networking arenas. Yes, you might say, but that’s not real networking; that’s just exploitation of another job search tool.

     Who’s to say? After all: whatever you network for is what you network for. Hmm? If, in other words, you attend a networking event cranked up to meet and greet prospective employers, then job search is indeed your purpose. If you bring six pockets full of business cards with the idea of getting everyone you meet to visit your blog, or follow you on Twitter, then your purpose is to build an audience.

     The point is that we all network everyday with associates, employees, vendors, customers, referrers, prospects, even friends and family. Sure, so what’s this big page from big business (and academia, which hasn’t even a clue about business reality) all about?

     Many major corporations, which themselves have stooped to conquer unsavvy academic methodologies are now seeing great sales and business growth opportunities from networking with former employees! Aha! So, it’s not all of academia here that’s lighting fires? Correct.

     The ignition points are lodged in the sacred college and university halls of alumni associations, alumni directors, and development officers. They started it. Corporations are following it. Small business is next and starting to happen! The corporate social networking we’ve all heard about is now beginning to add a new dimension: employee alumni programs.

     A 2009 article by Mary Hall identified a few representative companies that have already entrenched themselves in commitments to build successful alumni programs: Microsoft, McKinsey, KPMG, Booze Allen, BearingPoint, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, Bain & Co., Dow, Coca-Cola, Accenture, Agilent.  

     Hall’s article poses the question: Why would a company want to focus its attention on a group of people who are no longer employees? Because, she says, “whatever path former employees choose, they are likely to be expanding their personal networks and getting to know new people. Why wouldn’t a company want to do the same? An employee today could be a customer tomorrow or have in their network a future hire.”

When ALL is said and done, isn’t it true that ALL of business

is ALL about relationships?

Alumni associations are here for small and mid-sized business. Many already recruit employees from them. Many hold annual reunions that produce payloads of workable i9deas because they come from those who understand how the business works to start with.

# # #

FREE blog subscription: Posts RSS Feed

Hal@Businessworks.US  302.933.0116

Open  Minds  Open  Doors

Many thanks for your visit and God Bless You.

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

No responses yet


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