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?
===========================================
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.

========================================================================
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.

========================================================================
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.

========================================================================
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