Friday, October 4, 2013

This Story to Continue

Similarly to this week's parsha Noach, Hashem decides to destroy the world and save Noach and his family via an ark the size of 1.5 US football fields, I have decided to rethink this blog.

After almost 2 years of writing the posts on this site, I have decided to take some time to regroup.


While at times the posts received a decent reading, many times it was reduced to under 40 readers.

In an effort to make the posts on here more substantial, and more well read, I am taking the time to look at different avenues to promote the posts, as well as review what made some of the posts better received than other posts.

The plans for this site and the information include some analytic studies and overall writing review.

I appreciate everyone that has been reading and stay tuned for a return in a few weeks. Chanuka time is my goal or Jan 1.

There is also a book publishing aspect which I am investigating.

Any comments and advice is appreciated.

Shabbat Shalom

Friday, August 16, 2013

Protect your clients and save yourself

When in business one lays down some ground rules. One makes sure to have a safe environment to work in, both physically and emotionally. The world is full of lawyers and rules, some rules which make little sense today because they are historical relics while others invite ridicule.

When working with customers one tends to think about what could go wrong, usually from both points of view, yours and theirs. This looking out for the next person or the pitfalls which may never occur has a basis found in many places in the Torah and this week's parsha is just one example.

In 22:8 we see this:
8When you build a new house, you shall make a guard rail for your roof, so that you shall not cause blood [to be spilled] in your house, that the one who falls should fall from it [the roof]. ח. כִּי תִבְנֶה בַּיִת חָדָשׁ וְעָשִׂיתָ מַעֲקֶה לְגַגֶּךָ וְלֹא תָשִׂים דָּמִים בְּבֵיתֶךָ כִּי יִפֹּל הַנֹּפֵל מִמֶּנּוּ:
Moshe told the people about this law...and they have been wandering in the desert for 40 years and had no roofs yet. A great example of why it says "when you will build a new house" that it is forward thinking. Hashem was looking out for people, on your behalf.

Since we know everything in life has a purpose, even though we do not comprehend it at the time, what are we learning from this. One explanation is that Hashem did not want us to be the downfall of someone else through his means. If you were destined to die, it would not be helpful to your friends or anyone that you die on their land. Adding extra protection to something that seems out of the ordinary would save even one life, and your own reputation, makes it worth it. 

When we look at everything our client is trying to do, we aim to not just complete our project but along the way safe guard them a little bit ore where possible because that little bit extra can go along way in saving someone's life or reputation later.

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Parsha Ki Teitzei in the book of Devarim, Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19 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 a business sense to what we can learn on a weekly basis. Enjoy, Shabbat Shalom

Friday, August 9, 2013

Who Lost the Account?

 There is no "I" in team but it sure seems like there is a he/she or they. Blaming someone for the bad things that happen in business is never a good idea, usually you need to work with those people again.

But if you are the manager, what do you do? Do you take the word of one person or do you seek out other input? Do you go with your instinct or perceptions or do you ignore it entirely?

Every case is different obviously but what is not different is when you only hear from one person about someone else. The implication is possibly quite the opposite of what you are told. People may not get along, maybe there was a mistake made, it happens although some people never let these things go.

In this week's parsha, 17:6 and later in 19:15 a famous line is told by Moshe:

6. By the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall the one liable to death be put to death; he shall not be put to death by the mouth of one witness. ו. עַל פִּי | שְׁנַיִם עֵדִים אוֹ שְׁלשָׁה עֵדִים יוּמַת הַמֵּת לֹא יוּמַת עַל פִּי עֵד אֶחָד:
15. One witness shall not rise up against any person for any iniquity or for any sin, regarding any sin that he will sin. By the mouth of two witnesses, or by the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be confirmed.   טו. לֹא יָקוּם עֵד אֶחָד בְּאִישׁ לְכָל עָו‍ֹן וּלְכָל חַטָּאת בְּכָל חֵטְא אֲשֶׁר יֶחֱטָא עַל פִּי | שְׁנֵי עֵדִים אוֹ עַל פִּי שְׁלשָׁה עֵדִים יָקוּם דָּבָר:

Sure a bit extreme, death is not a business mistake, but the premise is the same. If everyone says Joe lost the account, well, it probably is true. If one person says it, maybe he did and maybe he didn't.

When you hire people, do you get one or 2 references or look for an army of them? Hopefully you give the benefit of the doubt.
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Parsha Shoftim in the book of Devarim, Deuteronomy 16:18-21:9 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 a business sense to what we can learn on a weekly basis. Enjoy, Shabbat Shalom

Friday, August 2, 2013

False Prophets in Executive Skins

In my day job I have encountered numerous executives, some of which have been examples of great leadership, honesty and integrity and others, not so much.

What usually differentiates the two is something rather simple really, the former are open to ideas, the latter tell you what is going to happen why and how and why, usually followed by "because I said so".

If you think about something from your business, maybe a vendor you use, a car service, an email program or a coffee machine, you see how this can happen.

Do we need a new coffee machine? If so, why and what should it do? Compare this to the other executive that says I hate coffee or I want a Bean3000 machine and nothing else will do. Which do you think is the better way?

As one gets deeper into the business side this rears its ugly head even further. But cheer up as the torah thought of this and elaborates on what to do.

In 13:2-4 the parsha lays out how to know when a false prophet, or a new executive or leader can be found out.

2. If there will arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of a dream, and he gives you a sign or a wonder,   ב. כִּי יָקוּם בְּקִרְבְּךָ נָבִיא אוֹ חֹלֵם חֲלוֹם וְנָתַן אֵלֶיךָ אוֹת אוֹ מוֹפֵת:
3. and the sign or the wonder of which he spoke to you happens, [and he] says, "Let us go after other gods which you have not known, and let us worship them,"   ג. וּבָא הָאוֹת וְהַמּוֹפֵת אֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר אֵלֶיךָ לֵאמֹר נֵלְכָה אַחֲרֵי אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים אֲשֶׁר לֹא יְדַעְתָּם וְנָעָבְדֵם:
4. you shall not heed the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of a dream; for the Lord, your God, is testing you, to know whether you really love the Lord, your God, with all your heart and with all your soul.   ד. לֹא תִשְׁמַע אֶל דִּבְרֵי הַנָּבִיא הַהוּא אוֹ אֶל חוֹלֵם הַחֲלוֹם הַהוּא כִּי מְנַסֶּה יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם אֶתְכֶם לָדַעַת הֲיִשְׁכֶם אֹהֲבִים אֶת יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם בְּכָל לְבַבְכֶם וּבְכָל נַפְשְׁכֶם:

Naturally you can not just fire your boss, however much you want to do so. But if you are on the look out you can see the signs and know that following them may not be in your best interest.

Politics at work is one thing, but claiming to know the right way forward when no one knows the future is just run on many levels.
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Parsha Re'eh in the book of Devarim, Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17
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 a business sense to what we can learn on a weekly basis. Enjoy, Shabbat Shalom

Friday, July 26, 2013

The Tough Get Going...How?

When the going gets tough, the tough get going. But how do they do that? Where does one get the strength, after plowing through work or client meetings for hours on end, how do you find the strength to just do it?

When it seems like the project will never finish, when it looks like there is no assuaging the executives whims, or when you think you will get out that few minutes earlier on Friday and then do not, what keeps you going?

This week's pasrha reminds us that although the problems mount and the times look dark, look back on the good times and the great efforts that you, your team, with hashem's help, got you through it all.

In 7:17 it says:

17Will you say to yourself, "These nations are more numerous than I; how will I be able to drive them out"?
 
יז. כִּי תֹאמַר בִּלְבָבְךָ רַבִּים הַגּוֹיִם הָאֵלֶּה מִמֶּנִּי אֵיכָה אוּכַל לְהוֹרִישָׁם:
18You shall not fear them. You shall surely remember what the Lord, your God, did to Pharaoh and to all of Egypt:
 
יח. לֹא תִירָא מֵהֶם זָכֹר תִּזְכֹּר אֵת אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לְפַרְעֹה וּלְכָל מִצְרָיִם:
19The great trials that your eyes saw, the signs, the wonders, the mighty hand, and the outstretched arm with which the Lord, your God, brought you out. So will the Lord, Your God, do to all the peoples you fear.
 
יט. הַמַּסֹּת הַגְּדֹלֹת אֲשֶׁר רָאוּ עֵינֶיךָ וְהָאֹתֹת וְהַמֹּפְתִים וְהַיָּד הַחֲזָקָה וְהַזְּרֹעַ הַנְּטוּיָה אֲשֶׁר הוֹצִאֲךָ יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ כֵּן יַעֲשֶׂה יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לְכָל הָעַמִּים אֲשֶׁר אַתָּה יָרֵא מִפְּנֵיהֶם:
Gain strength from your innermost thoughts and know it is not just you going through this. In a more business way, there is no I in team, they go with you and help you and do everything they need to do for you. Your team is made up of you God and your people, how could you not succeed?
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Parsha Eikev in the book of Devarim, Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25
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 a business sense to what we can learn on a weekly basis. Enjoy, Shabbat Shalom

Friday, July 19, 2013

Play By The Rules

When you talk to your manager you probably have heard this before, "just tell him/her that we did x,y and z and make sure you say it exactly that way".

You are not likely a neanderthal so don't you think you can produce a reply for a client without the direction? Where does this need to limit change and impose will come from?

You could argue leadership, but maybe it is just a personality type. Should you take such exact notice of what you set in writing or when you ask someone to complete a task? Or should there be leeway for themselves to augment or adjust what you dictated?

There is no correct answer and no doubt many times you could pen a better reply than your boss, but you may be missing their point as well.

In this week's parsha which repeats the 10 Commandments has this to say in 4:2:
2. Do not add to the word which I command you, nor diminish from it, to observe the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.   ב. לֹא תֹסִפוּ עַל הַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוֶּה אֶתְכֶם וְלֹא תִגְרְעוּ מִמֶּנּוּ לִשְׁמֹר אֶת מִצְו‍ֹת יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוֶּה אֶתְכֶם:
 
Hashem is pretty clear on this one. He knows what he is doing so just go along with it and no one gets hurt. Wait what about free will? You are free to choose to observe the commandments, but not change them.

When you change the wording or texts, it is like changing the rules and disobeying a direct order. By choosing not to observe the Mitzvot or commandments you have made a choice. If you choose not to observe, then you have no reason to question those who do. Likewise if you do not follow your management's lead, you may find yourself without a position in the company and have no one to blame but yourself.

Play by the rules and no one gets hurt is a valid maxim to live by for some people and now we know where this saying came from as well.
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Parsha Vaetchanan in the book of Devarim, Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11
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 a business sense to what we can learn on a weekly basis. Enjoy, Shabbat Shalom

Friday, July 12, 2013

It's not Easy Being the Leader

If you never believed practice makes perfect, would you believe a 120 year old stuttering man would deliver the longest and greatest soliloquy in history?

Orators of days past would love to have the ability to sway a group in such a way.

But who would have guessed he had it in him? Who am I talking about? Moshe.
Chapter 1
1These are the words which Moses spoke to all Israel on that side of the Jordan in the desert, in the plain opposite the Red Sea, between Paran and Tofel and Lavan and Hazeroth and Di Zahav. א. אֵלֶּה הַדְּבָרִים אֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר משֶׁה אֶל כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּעֵבֶר הַיַּרְדֵּן בַּמִּדְבָּר בָּעֲרָבָה מוֹל סוּף בֵּין פָּארָן וּבֵין תֹּפֶל וְלָבָן וַחֲצֵרֹת וְדִי זָהָב:
This week's parsha starts the farewell speech of Moshe. It will continue on until the end of the Book of Devarim. Lot of words for a man that suggests he has issues speaking. And yet he perseveres up until his death.

You can overcome your fate. Look at his story:

  1. Should have drowned as a baby
  2. Saved by a Princess
  3. Does not know his family for nearly 80 years
  4. Raised in the palace
  5. Commits a murder
  6. Hunted down by the palace
  7. Escapes the police to live in exile
  8. Gets Married
  9. Sees a Flaming Bush that does not burn
  10. Speaks to God and God speaks back to him and he lived
  11. Told to go save the slaves in the country he fled
  12. Finds out at 80 years old, he has a brother who will help him on this journey
  13. Puts his trust in God and goes back to the country where he is wanted for murder
  14. Demands from the ruler to let an estimated 2million slaves leave
  15. Brings 10 plagues on the country and it's people
  16. Leaves with the slaves and most of the metals, food, precious gems and other items of value
  17. Crosses a river that miraculously splits for him
  18. Receives the 10 commandments...twice
  19. Watches a golden calf get created and destroyed
  20. Wanders around int he desert for 40 years because after 2 years they can not put their trust in him or God
  21. And through the next 38 years he puts up with nagging, arguments, civil unrest and demands for food and water
  22. Battles numerous giants, nations, people and wins all the ones he took part in
  23. Survives a curse by a necromancer
  24. Lastly, because he hits a rock instead of speaking to it, gets to die on a mountain top vista overlooking the one goal he had for 40 years

You think you work hard? He had no life balance he was 100% a 24x7 leader...for 40 years.

You may not have all the "luck" Moshe had, but you may live and work long into your later years and you may find there is a better goal in mind in the end than what you started with back when you were young.

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Parsha Devarim in the book of Devarim, Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22
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 a business sense to what we can learn on a weekly basis. Enjoy, Shabbat Shalom

Friday, July 5, 2013

No Honor Among Sales People

Sales commissions can drive you insane if you are the CFO of a company. These commissions can drive you crazy if you are not in sales either.

Why do they exist? Do they work and encourage sales? Do they prevent hoarding or thievery? Common saying is "there is no honor among thieves or sales people".

Even wonder about this and where it comes from? I may have a solution for you, it comes from this week's parsha. Think about these pieces of information:

The children of Israel are told to go out to war and they can keep the spoils of the war, subject to certain requirements, like a small piece goes to the priests, to Hashem as a thank you offering and some other items set aside for holy purposes.

Around 31:19-54, the breakdown of what went where and why is discussed but this sentence implies quite a bit at 31:53:
53. The soldiers had seized spoils for themselves.   נג. אַנְשֵׁי הַצָּבָא בָּזְזוּ אִישׁ לוֹ:
So even though it would all be split according to a purpose, there will still those that chose to take more. After all the livestock, metals and prisoners it wasn't enough? These guys wanted more.

Even when you compensate your staff in a way you deem appropriate, there will always be those that think otherwise. If everyone has the same compensation plan, that does not bode well for the truly great ones, nor for the bad ones. Every person should have a sales commission plan so IF they do help on any deals, they get some piece of the pie. A small price to pay in order to have a happy team work together.

Too often only the true sales people have any sales benefit plan. This causes some back office people and customer facing staff to not always perform at their best. However if they know they will get some benefit, however small, it is usually enough to bond them into giving it their all.

Saying a bonus is based on your ability to sell is not fair and neither is the shared group bonus. Include proper rewards for proper work and you will not have to worry about your soldiers taking spoils for themselves.

======================================================================== Parsha Matot and Massey in the book of Bamidbar, Numbers 30:2-36:13 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 a business sense to what we can learn on a weekly basis. Enjoy, Shabbat Shalom

Friday, June 28, 2013

Changing the Rules

In business we create guidelines, best practices and more similar types of rhetoric designed to assist people in their roles and responsibilities.

What happens when we are wrong? We define a best practice and someone raises the idea that you are wrong, what do you do? Most normal people would adjust your practice and move along after giving the item some thought.

In this weeks parsha we learn this from the discussion between the daughters of Zelophehad and Moshe and Hashem. The law had been stated that inheritance passed through the male side of the family. In this case there were only daughters after their father died, thus creating an imbalance among the tribes.So in 27:6-11 we see the answer:
The Lord spoke to Moses, saying:ו. וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֶל משֶׁה לֵּאמֹר:
7Zelophehad's daughters speak justly. You shall certainly give them a portion of inheritance along with their father's brothers, and you shall transfer their father's inheritance to them.ז. כֵּן בְּנוֹת צְלָפְחָד דֹּבְרֹת נָתֹן תִּתֵּן לָהֶם אֲחֻזַּת נַחֲלָה בְּתוֹךְ אֲחֵי אֲבִיהֶם וְהַעֲבַרְתָּ אֶת נַחֲלַת אֲבִיהֶן לָהֶן:
8Speak to the children of Israel saying: If a man dies and has no son, you shall transfer his inheritance to his daughter.ח. וְאֶל בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל תְּדַבֵּר לֵאמֹר אִישׁ כִּי יָמוּת וּבֵן אֵין לוֹ וְהַעֲבַרְתֶּם אֶת נַחֲלָתוֹ לְבִתּוֹ:
9If he has no daughter, you shall give over his inheritance to his brothers.ט. וְאִם אֵין לוֹ בַּת וּנְתַתֶּם אֶת נַחֲלָתוֹ לְאֶחָיו:
10If he has no brothers, you shall give over his inheritance to his father's brothers.י. וְאִם אֵין לוֹ אַחִים וּנְתַתֶּם אֶת נַחֲלָתוֹ לַאֲחֵי אָבִיו:
11If his father has no brothers, you shall give over his inheritance to the kinsman closest to him in his family, who shall inherit it. This shall remain a decreed statute, as the Lord commanded Moses.יא. וְאִם אֵין אַחִים לְאָבִיו וּנְתַתֶּם אֶת נַחֲלָתוֹ לִשְׁאֵרוֹ הַקָּרֹב אֵלָיו מִמִּשְׁפַּחְתּוֹ וְיָרַשׁ אֹתָהּ וְהָיְתָה לִבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לְחֻקַּת מִשְׁפָּט כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוָּה יְהֹוָה אֶת משֶׁה:
Stand up and believe in what is important to you and when rules or laws are defined that exclude someone or something, try to find a way to make it inclusive.

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Parsha Pichas in the book of Bamidbar, Numbers 25:10-30:1
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 a business sense to what we can learn on a weekly basis. Enjoy, Shabbat Shalom

Friday, June 21, 2013

Right Place at the Right Time?

Can you be in the right place at the right time? Or the wrong place at the wrong time? Is there really such a thing? Naturally if you believe in divine intervention then any place you are is the right place, even if the wrong outcome occurs.

This week's parsha, Balak the king of Moab learns that you can run but you can not hide from God.
27. Balak said to Balaam, "Come now, I will take you to a different place. Perhaps it will please God, and you will curse them for me from there.   כז. וַיֹּאמֶר בָּלָק אֶל בִּלְעָם לְכָה נָּא אֶקָּחֲךָ אֶל מָקוֹם אַחֵר אוּלַי יִישַׁר בְּעֵינֵי הָאֱלֹהִים וְקַבֹּתוֹ לִי מִשָּׁם:
Balaam has failed to curse children of Israel and  Balak suggests it is a location problem. What is amusing about this is the fact that Balak wants to protect himself from Israel's God and has no respect and because he is an idol worshipper does not view omnipotence as a reality.

When we go out in the business world, sometimes we face adverse circumstances. We may be in the wrong place or the wrong time but it always is up to us and our belief. yes, your personal preference may be for a different job or city or situation, but after a while, you too may find the answer is always the same.

You can not change what God wants for you although you may be able to influence the outcome if you believe first.
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Parsha Balak in the book of Bamidbar, Numbers 22:2-25:9
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 a business sense to what we can learn on a weekly basis. Enjoy, Shabbat Shalom

Friday, June 14, 2013

What Symbol is in Your Office

There are superstitions and then there are symbols that have alternative meanings. Which one is real and which one is more important?


Sports players have "traditions" they never say superstitions but they perform the same rituals every game, that is until the game they lose or get hurt and decide to adjust their rituals.

Speakers, presenters and musicians each  have their warm ups and preparing before they go on stage. They also call them exercises or training but they can be just plain superstitions.

Are these rituals right or are they wrong? Do they really help you or are they meant to attach you more to your inner self and in turn to God or your deity? Can one truly believe in a ritual that speaks to nothing? The atheists out there may argue there is no one listening and still others will argue there are realms of the world we can not see but influence us. It does not matter what your theological perspective is, what matters is that we all agree sometimes we need some help.

In this week's parsha, among other actions, the wandering Jews of the desert rail against Hashem and Moshe again about the hardships and the lack of bread and other things they miss when they were slaves in Egypt. Hashem sends venomous snakes to bite the complainers and then some of the people cried to Moshe to save them and this is what happened:
In 21:8. The Lord said to Moses, "Make yourself a serpent and put it on a pole, and let whoever is bitten look at it and live.

ח. וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֶל משֶׁה עֲשֵׂה לְךָ שָׂרָף וְשִׂים אֹתוֹ עַל נֵס וְהָיָה כָּל הַנָּשׁוּךְ וְרָאָה אֹתוֹ וָחָי:
Look up, to Hashem for help and be cured.  "Make yourself a Seraph" the Hebrew says, which can be interpreted as an angel, not just a serpent. If so, then surely looking at the angel, representing God would protect and cure them. Looking up at a snake, if you choose, could be about us seeing the parallel of how symbols can be used for good and evil.

In your office if you have the same rituals every day for your employees to follow, are they for good? Do they help people? Do they empower them? Or do your rituals limit them and provide a double edge sword of which to pride yourselves?

Do your company symbols inspire hope and greatness in yourselves and fear in your competitors? I hope so, because if it is the other way around you may need to start looking for a new symbol.
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Parsha Chukat in the book of Bamidbar, Numbers 19:1-22:1
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 a business sense to what we can learn on a weekly basis. Enjoy, Shabbat Shalom

Friday, June 7, 2013

The Executive Hallway of Failed Projects

When you walk down the halls of your company, what do you see? Awards? Community projects/pictures? Sponsorships of sporting events or local schools? Examples of your company's products?

When was the last time you saw the failures? The products that bombed? The projects that went horribly wrong? Executives that left disgraced?

This week's parsha, named after the protagonist, Korach, we see that commemorating the bad times can instill better actions in the future. 17:2-3 says:

2. Say to Eleazar the son of Aaron the kohen that he should pick up the censers from the burned area (but throw the fire away), because they have become sanctified,   ב. אֱמֹר אֶל אֶלְעָזָר בֶּן אַהֲרֹן הַכֹּהֵן וְיָרֵם אֶת הַמַּחְתֹּת מִבֵּין הַשְּׂרֵפָה וְאֶת הָאֵשׁ זְרֵה הָלְאָה כִּי קָדֵשׁוּ:
3. the censers of these who sinned at the cost of their lives, and they shall make them into flattened out plates as an overlay for the altar, for they brought them before the Lord, and have [therefore] become sanctified, and they shall be as a reminder for the children of Israel.   ג. אֵת מַחְתּוֹת הַחַטָּאִים הָאֵלֶּה בְּנַפְשֹׁתָם וְעָשׂוּ אֹתָם רִקֻּעֵי פַחִים צִפּוּי לַמִּזְבֵּחַ כִּי הִקְרִיבֻם לִפְנֵי יְהֹוָה וַיִּקְדָּשׁוּ וְיִהְיוּ לְאוֹת לִבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל:

With Korach and his followers out of the way, the only thing remaining from them, they were swallowed up by the Earth after all, was their censers. Turning these items into sanctified items for future generations to see and think about is a priceless memory.

America and some other countries do not want to revel in the past but move towards a future that plows over the past. As a religion, the Jewish people have numerous items that remind us of our past continuously because man is known to not care so much to remember the past. By reminding us of the dark days or people we strive to reach above and beyond.

As George Santayana said "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it".

Where do you keep your failed project hallway?

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Parsha Korach in the book of Bamidbar, Numbers 16:1-18:32
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 a business sense to what we can learn on a weekly basis. Enjoy, Shabbat Shalom

Friday, May 31, 2013

"In the Dog house"

How long can you hold a grudge? A lifetime? A day? A month? A year? Longer than some dotcoms survived?

If there is nothing we have learned over time, it is that what goes around comes around. Holding a grudge really serves no purpose aside from assuaging one's personal feelings. Having problems with employees and putting them "in the dog house" should have limits too.

This week's parsha, we learn this from Hashem directly in 14:32-35 where the following occurs right after the 12 heads of the tribes had spent 40 days spying on the land of Israel and reporting back that it was a great place, but filled with giants:

32But as for you, your corpses shall fall in this desert. לב. וּפִגְרֵיכֶם אַתֶּם יִפְּלוּ בַּמִּדְבָּר הַזֶּה:
33Your children shall wander in the desert for forty years and bear your defection until the last of your corpses has fallen in the desert. לג. וּבְנֵיכֶם יִהְיוּ רֹעִים בַּמִּדְבָּר אַרְבָּעִים שָׁנָה וְנָשְׂאוּ אֶת זְנוּתֵיכֶם עַד תֹּם פִּגְרֵיכֶם בַּמִּדְבָּר:
34According to the number of days which you toured the Land forty days, a day for each year, you will [thus] bear your iniquities for forty years; thus you will come to know My alienation. לד. בְּמִסְפַּר הַיָּמִים אֲשֶׁר תַּרְתֶּם אֶת הָאָרֶץ אַרְבָּעִים יוֹם יוֹם לַשָּׁנָה יוֹם לַשָּׁנָה תִּשְׂאוּ אֶת עֲו‍ֹנֹתֵיכֶם אַרְבָּעִים שָׁנָה וִידַעְתֶּם אֶת תְּנוּאָתִי:
35I, the Lord, have spoken if I will not do this to the entire evil congregation who have assembled against me; in this desert they will end, and there they will die. לה. אֲנִי יְהֹוָה דִּבַּרְתִּי אִם לֹא | זֹאת אֶעֱשֶׂה לְכָל הָעֵדָה הָרָעָה הַזֹּאת הַנּוֹעָדִים עָלָי בַּמִּדְבָּר הַזֶּה יִתַּמּוּ וְשָׁם יָמֻתוּ:
Yes it is good to be The King but also god to be clear when providing your discourse and punishment. Explain the situation, provide a logical punishment and leave it alone.

Hashem did not walk away from the people, quite the opposite, Hashem made sure the younger generation would learn from the experience and hopefully not repeat the same mistake.

And so should you when you are faced with similar problems in your company. Make an example out of the individual if you must, but make sure everyone knows the reason.
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Parsha Shelach in the book of Bamidbar, Numbers 13:1-15:41
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 a business sense to what we can learn on a weekly basis. Enjoy, Shabbat Shalom

Friday, May 24, 2013

Retaining Key Employees

Did you ever work for a company you hated to leave? You liked the people, the location maybe even the coffee shop down the road. But somehow all that familiarity that binds you to them does not make you want to stay when a better deal comes along of a monetary or management type role.

Most likely you were well liked and undoubtedly management would like to keep you, especially in this age. One way they could go about this discussion is the way Moshe did it in this week's parsha. Chapter 10:29-32
29. Then Moses said to Chobav the son of Reuel the Midianite, Moses's father-in-law, We are traveling to the place about which the Lord said, I will give it to you. Come with us and we will be good to you, for the Lord has spoken of good fortune for Israel.   כט. וַיֹּאמֶר משֶׁה לְחֹבָב בֶּן רְעוּאֵל הַמִּדְיָנִי חֹתֵן משֶׁה נֹסְעִים | אֲנַחְנוּ אֶל הַמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר אָמַר יְהֹוָה אֹתוֹ אֶתֵּן לָכֶם לְכָה אִתָּנוּ וְהֵטַבְנוּ לָךְ כִּי יְהֹוָה דִּבֶּר טוֹב עַל יִשְׂרָאֵל:
30. He said to him, I won't go, for I will go to my land and my birthplace.   ל. וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו לֹא אֵלֵךְ כִּי אִם אֶל אַרְצִי וְאֶל מוֹלַדְתִּי אֵלֵךְ:
31. He said, Please don't leave us, for because you are familiar with our encampments in the desert and you will be our guide.   לא. וַיֹּאמֶר אַל נָא תַּעֲזֹב אֹתָנוּ כִּי | עַל כֵּן יָדַעְתָּ חֲנֹתֵנוּ בַּמִּדְבָּר וְהָיִיתָ לָּנוּ לְעֵינָיִם:
32. And if you go with us, then we will bestow on you the good which God grants us.   לב. וְהָיָה כִּי תֵלֵךְ עִמָּנוּ וְהָיָה | הַטּוֹב הַהוּא אֲשֶׁר יֵיטִיב יְהֹוָה עִמָּנוּ וְהֵטַבְנוּ לָךְ:
Moshe invites his father along for the journey of a lifetime. Moshe promises it will be good for his father in law because God has said so. Chobab replies, nah, you go, I'm going to go home and get some sleep.

Moshe then lays out the problem with Chobab leaving could be seen as a benefit to marauders because Chobab knows the encampments. And then Moshe tries again with God will help him, too. The implication of verse 32 is Chobab would not get any sympathy from God once he left.

A serious predicament here but in the end Chobab leaves and Moshe endures 38 more years wandering in the desert. Keep in mind at this point Moshe is about 82 and Chobab must be at least 100 to be his father in law if not more likely 150. Chobab had heard about the miracles god did for Bnei Israel and figured the best times were now behind them and he could go home in peace, presumably to die and be buried in his homestead.

Sometimes the employe needs to go and you are better off letting them because tomorrow they will be enticed again and you would be in the same boat. You can try to promise everything will be better but like Chobab leaving Moshe, they know it is time to go, you should trust their judgement and move on yourself.
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Parsha Behaalotecha in the book of Bamidbar, Numbers 8:1-12:16
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 a business sense to what we can learn on a weekly basis. Enjoy, Shabbat Shalom

Friday, May 17, 2013

Can Executives Apologize?

Tough love in business is hard to find. Break the rules, you should get punished, but usually it depends who broke the rules, when and where.

When this happens, do you hem and haw, or try to spin the blame elsewhere? Or do you take your punishment, admit your guilt or apologize to the offended party and rejoin the office. Hopefully not to repeat the offense again.

In this parsha the subtext of 5:7
7they shall confess the sin they committed, and make restitution for the principal amount of his guilt, add its fifth to it, and give it to the one against whom he was guilty.
The idea that we are fallible, but can be redeemed, is important to push out to your employees. There are many ways to salvage one's efforts, but you must take the first step and confess your guilt.

As we watch executives not take ownership of their companies faults or even their own personal mistakes, it is hard to impress the attitude of ownership for one's actions. If your own leaders fail to admit their guilt, how can one expect their employees or citizens to react any differently. Blaming the weather, the traffic, the people using the product or just lying to save one's skin, is not the way to lead. Can executives apologize? Of course, but not always from the outset. Social media changes this attitude because too many can voice their opinion even if your inner sanctum thinks the opposite. 

Be upfront, confess and move along, but be more wary of your next actions.
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Parsha Naso in the book of Bamidbar, Numbers 4:21-7:89
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 a business sense to what we can learn on a weekly basis. Enjoy, Shabbat Shalom

Friday, May 10, 2013

The 3,000+ Year Old Analytics

Numbers. No way around it, lots and lots of numbers. Analytics have finally come to roost, but they were in fashion 3,000 years ago or so.
numbers torah

Want to know how many people to feed for a dinner? At sea? You need numbers.
Try to understand the latest viral video? You need to count very high numbers.
Why are numbers so important?

This week's parsha speaks about the numbers of people in each tribe, in each family and more. The quantity in this case is to prove a sizable nation was roaming the desert. When it would be time to settle the new country, the size of the tribe would make a difference obviously, but what else could we be learning from these numbers?

The numbers are not specific down to the last one, but rounded to a flat 10 or 100 or 1,000. In a similar way to how we would portray the details in an infographic. While the details are not perfect, the overall point is made, the numbers do not lie, in this case. 

In business, make your case with real data, but use general points of reference because that is how the people think. Aside from Pi, what other numbers come to mind that include parts of a number or even come as a 23,549 type answer?

Pricing gurus have known for years that a price of $.99 is better to say than $1.00 because it is about your purchasing dollars. However we also know memory works better with numbers they recognize and can relate to or are linear.

Next time you are doing a presentation or creating an infographic, keep in mind what you want people to remember about your numbers and you will go far.

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Parsha Bamidbar in the book of Bamidbar, Numbers 1:1-4:20 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 a business sense to what we can learn on a weekly basis. Enjoy, Shabbat Shalom

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Devoted to What?

Sacred cows. Everyone has them, some are more sacred than others. In every business there exists these ideals that never get conflicted and always stay apart from the business side.

Where did this idea come from, that something could be so untouchable? What is the benefit to us to maintain them?

This week's parsha, the latter half of bechukotai, ends with the following from 27:28:

28However, anything that a man devotes to the Lord from any of his property whether a person, an animal, or part of his inherited field shall not be sold, nor shall it be redeemed, [for] all devoted things are holy of holies to the Lord.
 
כח. אַךְ כָּל חֵרֶם אֲשֶׁר יַחֲרִם אִישׁ לַיהֹוָה מִכָּל אֲשֶׁר לוֹ מֵאָדָם וּבְהֵמָה וּמִשְּׂדֵה אֲחֻזָּתוֹ לֹא יִמָּכֵר וְלֹא יִגָּאֵל כָּל חֵרֶם קֹדֶשׁ קָדָשִׁים הוּא לַיהֹוָה:

If you have devoted something to Hashem it is put aside, all alone, to exist solely for this exercise in thanks.

Naturally few people put anything aside at their office in such a fashion, but how many documents or directives are almost written in reverential stone? Who says a tech person can not call the client and discuss something of a sales nature? Likewise who says the sales people should not provide help in areas they have a background?

Too often we find ourselves stuck in the middle between what we want to do but something is in our way. This obstacle is there to remind us that there is a better way to accomplish our task and we need to be respectful of why these rules exist. It can be for the greater good of the people and the office if you have some lines of respect within the organization. The Torah upholds these offerings to bring you good tidings that would otherwise not be to your benefit.

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Parsha Behar, Bechukotai in the book of Vayikra Leviticus 25:1-26:2 26:3-27:34
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 a business sense to what we can learn on a weekly basis. Enjoy, Shabbat Shalom

Friday, April 26, 2013

Don't Hit Back

Vengeance is mine! Not exactly something you expect to hear from your client or sales rep every day. Yet, it does get heard, usually internally at least.

We all have or had customers at one time that we wish we could put through some form of torture yet to be known for all the problems they bring. Rightly so we are also advised to let go of these horrid clients. The problem is they are usually the ones paying you the most money.

So what can you do? What should you do? This week's parsha has the infamous eye for an eye sentence, quoted below from 24:19-20
19. And a man who inflicts an injury upon his fellow man just as he did, so shall be done to him [namely,]   יט. וְאִישׁ כִּי יִתֵּן מוּם בַּעֲמִיתוֹ כַּאֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה כֵּן יֵעָשֶׂה לּוֹ:
20. fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth. Just as he inflicted an injury upon a person, so shall it be inflicted upon him.   כ. שֶׁבֶר תַּחַת שֶׁבֶר עַיִן תַּחַת עַיִן שֵׁן תַּחַת שֵׁן כַּאֲשֶׁר יִתֵּן מוּם בָּאָדָם כֵּן יִנָּתֶן בּוֹ:
No, please do not attack your clients. The inference is really about monetary payment. And what does one do when you can not bill more on a project? Some people try to weasel their way back to a client and say they need more money or time or both. Other people will merely shrug it off and maybe add their costs back into a new project.

When you are faced with expenses on a project that were unforeseen, not due to your negligence but oversight or plain "who knew THAT would happen", you should be able to receive that back from a rational person.

These days if it is not in the contract you may be out of luck. Reasonable people do not want to see you hurt as a business and should be amenable to your billing.

If you find there is no reasonableness, you may want to rethink the future dealings with the client. Never get into such a heated battle that the sentences above would come into play. It serves no one to even threaten to perform these actions. I have been in meetings where it looked like there would be a fight, on one occasion probably a gun fight, but cooler heads prevailed.

Ask yourself next time you get into a similar situation, what would you do?
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Parsha Emor in the book of Vayikra Leviticus 21:1-24:23
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 a business sense to what we can learn on a weekly basis. Enjoy, Shabbat Shalom

Friday, April 19, 2013

Honesty is the Best Policy


Don't lie to customers. Really, do not lie to customers.

No matter how many times I say this to sales people, trainees or employees, they still do it.I could ask if they are Bible believeing people but I doubt that is the correct way to handle this.

When you have good news, you usually say it to the person's face directly.  When you have bad news you try to make it sound better, which is understandable. However, lying will not make the bad news any better, it should only make it all worse.


Sometimes the simpler way is the better way. Some may argue that in parsha Kedoshim are a different form of the Ten Commandment but let us just say these are reiterating some known laws.



11. You shall not steal. You shall not deny falsely. You shall not lie, one man to his fellow.   יא. לֹא תִּגְנֹבוּ וְלֹא תְכַחֲשׁוּ וְלֹא תְשַׁקְּרוּ אִישׁ בַּעֲמִיתוֹ:


Keep this in mind for your employees and your customers. Confess when you do something incorrectly and be upfront on subjects or solutions you are not well versed. Your clients will appreciate it much more knowing you were honest with them.

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Parsha Acharei Mot-Kedoshim in the book of Vayikra 16:1 - 18:30 and  19:1-20:27
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 a business sense to what we can learn on a weekly basis. Enjoy, Shabbat Shalom

Friday, April 12, 2013

Did you Really Fire All the Bad People?

The term, "cleaning house", ever wonder where it came from? I think I might know.

Every time something really bad goes on at a company every newspaper or columnist says they will be cleaning house. But aside from firing everyone, what does this really mean? Since the same companies tend to get in trouble often, you might think they would learn from their mistakes. One could also think, the term is not really true since obviously the house is still unclean.

This week's parsha, a double parsha, pretty much sums up this entire idea. Leprosy is the topic and in order to clean your house of it, it was considered a spiritual flaw of the individual, the Cohen had to do some tasks.
It could get pretty detailed but here are a few lines about it from Chapter 14.

41.And he shall scrape out the house from the inside, all around, and they shall pour out the [mortar] dust from what they scraped, outside the city, into an unclean place.
 
מא. וְאֶת הַבַּיִת יַקְצִעַ מִבַּיִת סָבִיב וְשָׁפְכוּ אֶת הֶעָפָר אֲשֶׁר הִקְצוּ אֶל מִחוּץ לָעִיר אֶל מָקוֹם טָמֵא:
44.then the kohen shall come and look [at it]. Now, [if] the lesion in the house has spread, it is malignant tzara'ath in the house; it is unclean. מד. וּבָא הַכֹּהֵן וְרָאָה וְהִנֵּה פָּשָׂה הַנֶּגַע בַּבָּיִת צָרַעַת מַמְאֶרֶת הִוא בַּבַּיִת טָמֵא הוּא:
45. He shall demolish the house, its stones, its wood, and all the [mortar] dust of the house, and he shall take [them] outside the city, to an unclean place. מה. וְנָתַץ אֶת הַבַּיִת אֶת אֲבָנָיו וְאֶת עֵצָיו וְאֵת כָּל עֲפַר הַבָּיִת וְהוֹצִיא אֶל מִחוּץ לָעִיר אֶל מָקוֹם טָמֵא:
If your unclean habits run so deep into your walls, your house had to be demolished. You could try to clean the house, but if you are the problem, no amount of cleaning will help you. 

Just a little thing to think about in a world of perpetual "cleaning house" stories.

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Parsha Tazria-Metzora in the book of Vayikra 12:1 - 13:59 and  14:1-15:33
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 a business sense to what we can learn on a weekly basis. Enjoy, Shabbat Shalom

Friday, April 5, 2013

Kosher Company Guidelines

If I told you that your job, your family, your house and everything you did followed a guideline of life, would you believe me?

Not sure I would believe me either. When you start to work at a new company you may, or may not, receive guidelines. They may be disguised as a company manual or in a wiki but they should exist and you should read them. You may learn much about your new company or you may choose to not read it at all. The company of course has a checklist they gave you the manual or a link to it. The company may even have you agree that you read it. But did you really read it? Will it help guide you in your job or your new role? Or do you ignore it and move along because you can not be bothered?

Now juxtapose work guidelines with the laws of Kashrut, or Kosher animals, which is a complex and lengthy discussion in this week's parsha of Shemini. The simple of it many people know, but the secondary items, like touching a dead animal is not allowed, is not as well known.

The laws were provided for a sense of holiness to Israel. In doing so, they became both an albatross to some and a spiritually uplifting legacy to others.

If laws were easy, people would follow them but we have laws to protect people, sometimes from themselves, sometimes from others. Kosher laws are there to provide a line between everything we do in life such as our friends, our choices of how we live or where we live. It is not easy and for some it hangs on them until they break or give up.

People who look at the Kosher laws and think, it is so much easier, guidelines to limit the choices to one view, helps answer a choice for another. Making decisions is hard. Sometimes too hard. The Torah has laid out a way that we can follow in our own directions, if we know what path we have chosen. For many this is the easy way out, no doubts, no guesses, no worries, no lies, just the guidelines to steer you in the right direction.

Hopefully your company has chosen to help you in your travels and provided you guidelines that make it easier for you to get your job done and you have followed these guidelines.

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Parsha Shemini in the book of Vayikra 9:1 - 11:47
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 a business sense to what we can learn on a weekly basis. Enjoy, Shabbat Shalom

Friday, March 29, 2013

The Long View of Management from Pesach

This week it is Pesach or Passover and we do not read the regular weekly parsha. In this case i opted to post about Pesach and business.

While I have taken the week off for the holiday, naturally many of my work related friends have not and this has led to interesting conversations.

In one example, someone used a hash tag which had zero meaning to me. Since I could only read the newspaper during the holiday, and this was not a newsworthy event unless you are heavy into social media and maybe the 1st Amendment, I had no idea what she was referring.

The differences between what we see in our daily life of work, materialism and physical aspects when compared in contrast to Pesach prove this out.

Pesach is when we remind ourselves of not just being freed from the Egyptian slavery but also from the mindset of idolatry and a general lack of spirituality. There is nothing new in this, but the example with my friend raises this to a modern view. If one is so tied to their work and being connected all the time, they lose track of how the world around us exists and lives. Living in a bubble, you only hear echoes, never anything new.

So get out of your bubble and recognize what is important is not the day to day, but the long haul and spiritual side. I may opt out to follow everything going on, and that is fine, because if it was really important, it would be for me and sent to me. As we answer the not so nice son on Pesach, this is what Hashem did and does for me. My trust is better than my email reliance.

While I have been out, my team has, I hope and trust, been taking care of things and when I return anything that is important will no doubt be told to me. My long view of management works for me as well because I want them to become managers and grow in their roles and this gives them the freedom to experience it for a week.


Friday, March 22, 2013

Keep the Fire Burning

You want to keep the midnight oil running, but you can't always do it yourself. You need your team to work with you and be there so you are not a one man show.

Except when you want to be a one man show.

Even the one man, needs time to relax, sleep, get over being sick, watch something on TV or even eat once in a while. Unless you have planned for all of this, you will not get very far in business. If you have a 24 hour business, you need someone, somewhere, getting work done all day and all night.

And so it is in this week's parsha. A Cohen's work is never done and there are always sacrifices and offerings going on, back then. These days there are more and more ways to do business 24x7x365. We see this from 6:6 where it says:



6. A continuous fire shall burn upon the altar; it shall not go out.   ו. אֵשׁ תָּמִיד תּוּקַד עַל הַמִּזְבֵּחַ לֹא תִכְבֶּה:

This fire was always on because there were always transactions getting completed. As long as the fire was still alight, business could run it's course. If the fire were to stop, then there would be nothing left. The parallel to the business world is everywhere and it all started back then.

If you have enough sales leads, you will keep your business afloat. If you have enough clients in need of help, the fire keeps burning. Once you get big enough, then your fire takes on a different form, one that is much harder to squelch but also harder to maintain unless you have planned accordingly.
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Parsha Tzav in the book of Vayikra 6:1 - 8:36
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 a business sense to what we can learn on a weekly basis. Enjoy, Shabbat Shalom

Friday, March 15, 2013

Magic Pixie Dust

Ever wish you could sacrifice your SOW to the marketing or sales God? Whenever you need to fix something, you just sprinkle some pixie dust and poof, all is better.

Life doesn't work that way. But wouldn't that be a great job in your office, Chief Sacrifice Officer.

We should be so lucky to do some magic and be redeemed, or so you think.

What makes this different from what is found in this week's parsha is the spiritual aspects that were implied from the mistakes people made that could be absolved. Every religion has a way, maybe because it is easier on Earth to accept this.

In business it would help if one could back out of mistakes, but then we would not learn from them if we knew thy would just get magically resolved.

Instead we focus our efforts on not having the same outcomes. The Torah recognizes people are not perfect and provides an out for their inner feelings of regret and mistaken actions.

The chance to think about what we did, on purpose or by accident, in order to make a better tomorrow is what make us all unique. The ability as an organization or a community to admit mistakes, to clients, each other, or God, is the message which we can take from this week's parsha.

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Parsha Vayikra in the book of Vayikra 1:1 - 5:26

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 a business sense to what we can learn on a weekly basis. Enjoy, Shabbat Shalom

Friday, March 8, 2013

Impressions are so Fleeting

Ever wonder where the idea of sugar coating something came from? Possibly the term came from this week's parsha. Throughout the entire parsha which explains in immense detail how the Mishkan or Tabenacle, The Ark of the Covenant, menorah, altar and curtains and other instruments were created, in almost every case the Torah also says the items were overlaid in copper, silver or gold. Before you ask where did these nomads in the desert have all these jewels, metals and more, remember when they left Egypt they asked for their wages and personal belongings back from the Egyptians.

Why should everything be covered by these metals? And what is the Torah telling us for our needs and future?

In some cases, for the altar as one example, it makes sense as gold and silver would melt under the heat but copper, which was used to cover the altar has a much higher melting point. Science aside, we learn that in people's eyes, appearance is important.

When we go on interviews or meet someone for the first time, many decisions about the person met are decided unconsciously in under a minute. Appearance must be important and the grandeur which is alluded to for some of the items is even more pronounced when dripping in gold and jewels.

In time of course all of these items would disappear, through battles or lost in time or hidden as some speculate, but they were built to be temporary housing for Israel while they were in the desert. In time the Temples would be built, and destroyed, which would have greater items.

When you look at business methods and the choices which are made, there is so much effort put into the opening meetings and documents with the expectation we will "fill in the blanks" later. There is also the belief that as the project grows and strengthens we will produce better documentation and representation of ourselves.

That is the plan, but is not always the outcome. Just like in time all of the items designed in this parsha disappeared, so to will the desire to impress and eventually have us revert to a stronger foundation with less excitement. We should strive to maintain the magic of the early days of the project and keep up the appearances that remind our customers why they work with us.
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Parsha Vayakhel in the book of Shemot Exodus 35:1 - 38:20

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 a business sense to what we can learn on a weekly basis. Enjoy, Shabbat Shalom