Nobody Asked Me, But….

Nobody Asked Me, But (with all due attribution and apologies to legendary sportswriter Jimmy Cannon, who originated this)….

  • People just look goofy when they walk around with a blinking blue light in their ear. If they’re dressed well, they look even goofier. I told a lawyer in Atlanta that I wasn’t going to talk to him until he took it out of his ear. (Was he going to take a call during our meeting?)
  • The customer or the client is not always right. In fact, if the client were usually right about the issues you’re discussing, you wouldn’t be discussing them.
  • If you read a book on management and do not mark a single passage to be copied and considered or used at a later date, then I wouldn’t exactly rush out to buy works from that author again.
  • I watched people enter a conference room where a participant, with permission, had a dog in a cage. The dog was a puppy, extremely well behaved, and just happy to be there. There were, sure enough, two kinds of people: those who said, “What a cute puppy!” and went over to make its acquaintance, and those who frowned and steered a wide course around the area. Barring those with dog hair allergies, guess with whom I want to spend my time?
  • I watched a sizeable blackbird at the pool in Naples unsuccessfully attack a stale piece of food found under a table. After a minute, the bird picked up the morsel, hopped to the side of the pool, and dunked the food until it became soft to enough to break apart. Three minutes later he was done and departed. If a black bird can do that, why can’t you make your client interactions more malleable?
  • When the buyer says, “I have no time,” or “We don’t have budget,” you have made some minor errors but your position is recoverable. If the buyer says, “I don’t see the value,” you’re probably cooked.
  • When a female airport security officer has carefully applied eye makeup and lipstick, and has her hair well coiffed, yet acts like a Gestapo interrogation officer, I don’t think she’s understood what “putting on the right face” really means. (She works at the Naples Airport, look out.)
  • If you’re telling me that you’re “technologically illiterate” and don’t have an email address or use a computer for speed in gathering information or ordering merchandise at times, you might as well tell me that you can’t read or are afraid to use the telephone. That excuse was cute 15 years ago but it’s downright dumb today.
  • I’ve just facilitated a real-time consulting practicum, in which two teams worked on issues at a major U.S. organization and developed recommendations within two hours that were presented in 30 minutes, which the buyer thought were “awesome.” And, what, you still want to bill by the hour?
  • There are two equally ridiculous extremes: Refusing to look at business email on the weekend, and refusing to go to the beach during the week. You don’t have a business life and a personal life. You have a life. You might as well maximize its potential.

© Alan Weiss 2008. All rights reserved.

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