Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sharing Stefanie

My Stefanie is into the habit of sharing all her things with us. From food to toys, even paper cut-outs, nothing escapes the chance for her to do a good deed. There is no way we could turn her down, especially when she drops her infamous "it is good to share" line. Shiela and I could just shake our heads every time we find ourselves overwhelmed. We taught Stefanie the virtue, but we did not realize that she would take it faithfully.

Honestly, I often get irritated having to keep all of Stefanie's hand-me-downs or being forced to try whatever she is nibbling. I have to be careful though not to make her feel dejected. I may find it trivial, but to Stefanie, to someone who is sincerely sharing all that she has, it means the world to her.

In one of my consulting projects, I have a legitimate area of profit enhancement (on top of my fixed revenue); however, I chose not to pocket it. Instead, Paolo and I decided to pass them on, one hundred percent, to our team of consultants. My former business partner, who heard of the give away, could not comprehend my act. He questioned me for obvious reasons.

Paolo and I have our motivation. Like everyone else, we need to make a living. Nonetheless, we would like to see more plates that are just as moderately full. We do not expect gratitude from our team. Seeing them spend 15 working hours in a day to make our client happy is enough expression of thanks.

It is definitely good to share. If a 4 year old can do it, we all can.

Friday, April 24, 2009

P.L.O.C. and my friend

I feel sorry for a friend who, since May of last year, has not found his way back to the workforce. Nine months earlier, he had a job that fit him like a glove: great title without the responsibilities; average pay, commensurate to the tasks; security of tenure for as long as he could dance to the music; and, so-so organizational skill requirement. Mind you, it was a top management post.

Then, here comes me, the problem.

I had a client who was looking for a managing director, someone capable of running the show for one of his start-up companies. Since my client was trying to carve a niche in an industry, he needed an out-of-the-box marketing guy with an entrepreneurial mindset. Long story short, he decided to explore talks with my friend (leading to employment) despite my clear indication of the latter's weakness: organizational skill.

Nine months later, the better-paying/high-profile/ultra-demanding job proved too much for my poor friend. To my client, it was a very expensive experiment. The endeavor did not take off initially, but my client was able to confirm the viability of the business model. Not willing to give up, the latter reaped through the former's successor.

I feel guilty seeing my friend desperate to find work; I know I am partly to blame. I thought I have been of help moving him into a professionally run organization, doubling his salary, unleashing his potential, and securing his family's future. I was wrong. He was comfortable in the previous rut.

Organizational skill was my friend's demise. I should have known better.

As manager, every element of the sometimes taken for granted "P.L.O.C." has to be ingrained. Planning, leading, organizing, and controlling have to be learned (yes, they can be learned) and perfected. Otherwise, one would be better off down the corporate ladder.

Now, my friend is my problem. He sent me a text the other day; he was depressed. I am afraid I cannot help. He has to pick himself up first before I could.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Foundation of trust

Kids are really fortunate. Mistakes committed, either because of ignorance or adventure, are readily forgiven. Moreover, being young allows for ample time to recover.

Growing up, I was quite mischievous. Well, who among us did not go through such a phase in our childhood lives? Anyway, I am glad to be over the once embarrassing and forgettable chapter.

As an adult, I am lucky to have developed friendships, although few, laid on foundations of trust. All made possible by my early renewal, timely remorse.

Recently, I needed to post a bond for an undertaking. It was US$10,000.00 worth and needed a co-signor, a trusted ally. Without any hesitation, a friend casually signed up. He did not even read the documents; my word was enough. In another occasion, a former business partner transferred his shares of stock to my new group for nothing. Then, there are those who would literally and insistently offer their cash for use in exploratory ventures.

Trust is not about leveraging. The lever is trust.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Social curfew

Sometimes I wish I had more friends, sometimes even more. Most of the time though, I am fine with just a few. Strange, but we all are in our own peculiar ways.

Earlier, Shiela and I were invited by a good friend to Hard Rock Cafe. Being a predictable bloke, I politely excused my wife and me. "Thank you for the offer, but my little girl (4 year old daughter) will be a hassle," I told my friend. With all those alibis, I am surprised to be receiving genuine invitations still.

How am I going to explain it? Let me start by saying that I prefer peace and quiet. Lazy too, yes. Parties have never been my thing; I am a boring guest. I do not smoke, drink, or do drugs. I fancy to be home rather than out. Would you believe my wife gets her girl's-night-out but not me? I pass. If I do not, it will always be fishy. ALWAYS...

I could be pissing off my friends because of the social curfew. I reckon they are extending latitude more willingly rather than lose one good brother. I may be missing the action but not the true friendship.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Blood compact

Paolo and I worked out together for the very first time today. It has been weeks since he last went to the gym, so I suggested that he take it easy. Except for the difference in exercise intensity, our routine was pretty much the same. Talk about buddying up and sweating it out.

Our partnership started early last year when we put up an outsourcing company. Although the timing was not the most ideal, having to suddenly face the global economic turmoil, the collaboration was a winner. In him, I found a business partner worthy of my trust. Clearly, a light at the end of a dark tunnel.

The initial litmus test paved the way for another team up towards the end of 2008. The new industry was foreign to Paolo, but I had the patience to guide my brother. It was enough that I saw enthusiasm, commitment, and trustworthiness. All good. Hopefully, nothing wanes.

Until then, no sweat.