Friday, September 28, 2012

The Bragging Demons of Business

When you look around in business and want to emulate others, how do you decide who to emulate? Is it a business tycoon? Sports coach? Movie or TV star (their real life or portrayed character)? Author? Politician?

Do you emulate the good and the bad parts? We try not to, but as an example take Steve Jobs. He could only accomplish what he wanted by being very demanding in a way few people would accept from anyone. Yet he is one of the people most influential on other s in life and business.

But what if all of this is wasted? Maybe it's a great idea today, but not tomorrow, to emulate these people.

In the parsha this week, which is the song of Haazinu, Moshe elaborates on what leads people astray. He put it very well in 32:17-18:
17. They sacrificed to demons, which have no power, deities they did not know, new things that only recently came, which your forefathers did not fear.   יז. יִזְבְּחוּ לַשֵּׁדִים לֹא אֱלֹהַּ אֱלֹהִים לֹא יְדָעוּם חֲדָשִׁים מִקָּרֹב בָּאוּ לֹא שְׂעָרוּם אֲבֹתֵיכֶם:
18. You forgot the [Mighty] Rock Who bore you; you forgot the God Who delivered you.   יח. צוּר יְלָדְךָ תֶּשִׁי וַתִּשְׁכַּח אֵל מְחֹלְלֶךָ:

The idea that following other gods or demons and be in love with the newest "thing" was not a good trait to have in a person. Forgetting your God or your parents and family, is not the best way.

Who would think that 3,000 years ago the problem of people chasing after the latest thing already existed? Can you imagine someone in a tent or make shift building saying they were going out to buy the newest idol because their old one was still okay just not new?

Often times I wonder what brilliance people think they will gain by getting the haircut of a movie star or the latest gadget. When I was younger we wanted to get bragging rights over our friends for somethings we did but as I got older that seemed pretty pointless. Evidently, not everyone came to the same conclusion that i did or the Torah did.

Aspire to greatness, acquire knowledge so you are not ignorant, share what you learn so others may benefit.
Shana Tova and Leshana Haba Beyerushalayim
Parsha Haazinu in the book of Devarim, Deuteronomy 32:1-32:52 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

Friday, September 21, 2012

When Sales and Management Collide

It happens quite often in business. The sales people do their job, get the client interested, come close to sealing the deal, maybe even get it signed...then management knocks on the door.

Management comes along and asks how could we complete the project in such a short time or at such a low cost. Maybe they brought this up earlier and the sales person brushed off these ideas in favor of the sale.

Will it become a "I told you so" deal or not, who knows. Management is supposed to prevent these situations from occurring, but somethings are beyond their control.

And so we are reminded in this week's Parsha by Moshe who admits he is on his last day on Earth and if Bnai Israel follow in the ways of God all will be good for them. Unfortunately, God had a different view of the future. Here in 31:16-18:

16. And the Lord said to Moses: Behold, you are [about to] lie with your forefathers, and this nation will rise up and stray after the deities of the nations of the land, into which they are coming. And they will forsake Me and violate My covenant which I made with them.   טז. וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֶל מֹשֶׁה הִנְּךָ שֹׁכֵב עִם אֲבֹתֶיךָ וְקָם הָעָם הַזֶּה וְזָנָה אַחֲרֵי אֱלֹהֵי נֵכַר הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר הוּא בָא שָׁמָּה בְּקִרְבּוֹ וַעֲזָבַנִי וְהֵפֵר אֶת בְּרִיתִי אֲשֶׁר כָּרַתִּי אִתּוֹ:
17. And My fury will rage against them on that day, and I will abandon them and hide My face from them, and they will be consumed, and many evils and troubles will befall them, and they will say on that day, 'Is it not because our God is no longer among us, that these evils have befallen us?'   יז. וְחָרָה אַפִּי בוֹ בַיּוֹם הַהוּא וַעֲזַבְתִּים וְהִסְתַּרְתִּי פָנַי מֵהֶם וְהָיָה לֶאֱכֹל וּמְצָאֻהוּ רָעוֹת רַבּוֹת וְצָרוֹת וְאָמַר בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא הֲלֹא עַל כִּי אֵין אֱלֹהַי בְּקִרְבִּי מְצָאוּנִי הָרָעוֹת הָאֵלֶּה:
18. And I will hide My face on that day, because of all the evil they have committed, when they turned to other deities.   יח. וְאָנֹכִי הַסְתֵּר אַסְתִּיר פָּנַי בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא עַל כָּל הָרָעָה אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה כִּי פָנָה אֶל אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים:
This is God telling Moshe the future and that the last 40 years of Moshe's life have been for nothing.

If you ever were a teacher or a presenter at a conference you know this feeling quite well. No matter how you explain the subject, there will always be those who can not follow directions. In this case, it led to many problems for Israel then and through the millenia.

Sometimes you will sell a client on a product or solution only to find your company has decided to end the products life and how do you feel as that sales person? Moshe accepted this loss and wrote it all down for us to read today. The Torah shows the good and bad of many people, we know they were not all saintly but they believed in God. Knowing you did your job well even if management seemed to go in a different direction later sometimes is all you have left. Move on to the next sale, it's going to be huge.
Parsha Vayelech in the book of Devarim, Deuteronomy 31:1-31:30 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, September 14, 2012

Hidden vs. Revealed Information

Oh the things we think about when we are with clients. All types of things, pricing, location, commissions, dates and more but what we really are trying to do is keep listening to them.

In return they are listening to us, extremely carefully. they want to hear certain ideas or phrases to either make them feel better or provide them a reason to disengage from us. they also want to believe we are their savior.

What we reveal is for the the clients benefit. What we do not say, is for our benefit. The magic that one does, whether it is a travel agent, a copy printer, technical consultant or a sales leader is your own magic. You expect to get rewarded for knowing the right person place or thing to complete the task.

And so it was in this week's parsha. Moshe is on his last day on Earth and he asks for the Heavens and the Earth to pay witness to the decisions of the Israelites. He mentions this in 29:28:

28. The hidden things belong to the Lord, our God, but the revealed things apply to us and to our children forever: that we must fulfill all the words of this Torah.   כח. הַנִּסְתָּרֹת לַיהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ וְהַנִּגְלֹת לָנוּ וּלְבָנֵינוּ עַד עוֹלָם לַעֲשׂוֹת אֶת כָּל דִּבְרֵי הַתּוֹרָה הַזֹּאת:
What we say is our word and as Heaven and Earth are not going anywhere, neither is anything we say at the time in front of our clients.

What is kept hidden is for us alone to use and let others wonder.

Stand by your words and all will be good for you we are told and you can't go wrong.

Parsha Nitzavim in the book of Devarim, Deuteronomy 29:9-30:20 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

Friday, September 7, 2012

Passion Selling

When you go into your clients offices, what do you look for? Naturally, if you are in sales you may look for something to discuss with them, an award, an interesting choice of sculpture or painting or maybe you just want to understand how they got to where they are today.

I was speaking to someone today that is in kiruv, outreach, about the 30 seconds to 2 minutes one has to size up someone in order to work with them on sales. He was fascinated by the ideas I expressed and was wondering how to do all of it in 2 minutes. I pointed out to him that his natural tendency to be jovial and excited by everything he does, and represents, grows on people. It is this exuberance that allows him to not need to know people so well because one can not help but become involved in anything he discusses as it relates to his outreach program.

Passion sells. Just like in social media and business, culture rules, but one can learn to change their viewpoint and in turn others viewpoint, by being vigilant to one's boundaries.

Find your passion, and you will find your success usually.

This week's parsha Moshe shows Israel the benefits and the downside of not being passionate and loving to Hashem.  There are many curses in this parsha, but there are also many items which lead to a better outlook. It depends on your viewpoint.

Moshe reminds everyone about all the miracles performed on their behalf over the 40 years in the desert because he knows his passion can instill in the people to follow the ways of Hashem. Their clothes never wore out, nor their shoes, drank new wine or old, as described in 29:3-5

3. Yet until this day, the Lord has not given you a heart to know, eyes to see and ears to hear.   ג. וְלֹא נָתַן יְ־הֹוָ־ה לָכֶם לֵב לָדַעַת וְעֵינַיִם לִרְאוֹת וְאָזְנַיִם לִשְׁמֹעַ עַד הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה:
4. I led you through the desert for forty years [during which time] your garments did not wear out from upon you, nor did your shoes wear out from upon your feet.   ד. וָאוֹלֵךְ אֶתְכֶם אַרְבָּעִים שָׁנָה בַּמִּדְבָּר לֹא בָלוּ שַׂלְמֹתֵיכֶם מֵעֲלֵיכֶם וְנַעַלְךָ לֹא בָלְתָה מֵעַל רַגְלֶךָ:

5. You neither ate bread, nor drank new wine or old wine, in order that you would know that I am the Lord, your God.   ה. לֶחֶם לֹא אֲכַלְתֶּם וְיַיִן וְשֵׁכָר לֹא שְׁתִיתֶם לְמַעַן תֵּדְעוּ כִּי אֲנִי יְ־הֹוָ־ה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם:
All this to bring a passion to a people that probably took much for granted. Moshe knew who he was dealing with and he had to hit them where it mattered to them. Their heart, their head and their stomach.

If you can do this with your clients, your sales should increase as well.
Parsha Ki Tavo in the book of Devarim, Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8 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