Friday, December 21, 2012

Tactical Pre-Meeting Planning

Did you ever go on a sales call and let the other people in your team know they should not say anything? Or be more specific and say to them to only mention X not Y? Naturally we all do, this is how we set expectations, control our meetings and staff and also train junior employees.

The most common reasons are because you are running the meeting but also because sometimes other leaders should not be afraid to talk to you or do business with you. It happens, really.

One of the earliest references for this comes in this week's parsha when Yaakov and his whole family, all 70 people plus their households, go to Egypt. Yosef tells his brothers to say they are shepherds so they would stay away from the Egyptians who hated shepherds. 
46:31-34
31. Joseph said to his brothers and to his father's household, "I will go up and tell Pharaoh, and I will say to him, 'My brothers and my father's household who were in the land of Canaan have come to me. לא. וַיֹּאמֶר יוֹסֵף אֶל אֶחָיו וְאֶל בֵּית אָבִיו אֶעֱלֶה וְאַגִּידָה לְפַרְעֹה וְאֹמְרָה אֵלָיו אַחַי וּבֵית אָבִי אֲשֶׁר בְּאֶרֶץ כְּנַעַן בָּאוּ אֵלָי:
32. The men are shepherds, for they were [always] owners of livestock, and their flocks and their cattle and all they have they have brought.' לב. וְהָאֲנָשִׁים רֹעֵי צֹאן כִּי אַנְשֵׁי מִקְנֶה הָיוּ וְצֹאנָם וּבְקָרָם וְכָל אֲשֶׁר לָהֶם הֵבִיאוּ:
33. And if it comes to pass that Pharaoh calls you and asks, 'What is your occupation?' לג. וְהָיָה כִּי יִקְרָא לָכֶם פַּרְעֹה וְאָמַר מַה מַּעֲשֵׂיכֶם:
34. You shall say, 'Your servants have been owners of livestock from our youth until now, both we and our ancestors,' so that you may dwell in the land of Goshen, because all shepherds are abhorrent to the Egyptians." לד. וַאֲמַרְתֶּם אַנְשֵׁי מִקְנֶה הָיוּ עֲבָדֶיךָ מִנְּעוּרֵינוּ וְעַד עַתָּה גַּם אֲנַחְנוּ גַּם אֲבֹתֵינוּ בַּעֲבוּר תֵּשְׁבוּ בְּאֶרֶץ גּשֶׁן כִּי תוֹעֲבַת מִצְרַיִם כָּל רֹעֵה צֹא

Yosef maybe was afraid Pharoah would think his brothers were army like men and be afraid of them. In fact Pharoah says if you have some stronger brothers, make them managers over the cattle and shepherds. Yosef maybe had no reason to worry, but he wanted to play it safe and make sure all went according to plan.

Either way, this was not lying. they were shepherds all along. But since yosef had not seen his family in 20+ years it was possible they were no longer shepherds but traders or merchants which would imply different information. 

If you never think ahead of your meetings, you may end up in the wrong end of the discussions and that never helps anyone.
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Parsha Vayigash in the book of Bereishit, 44:18-47:27 It is said that the Torah or Bible
could be interpreted in over 70 ways. More likely these days 100's of ways. In light of this idea, I am writing some posts that bring business sense to what we can learn on a weekly basis. Enjoy, Shabbat Shalom