Friday, June 24, 2016

Axiom 83: Rise Above Corruption

"The fight for justice against corruption is never easy. It never has been and never will be. It exacts a toll on our self, our families, our friends, and especially our children. In the end, I believe, as in my case, the price we pay is well worth holding on to our dignity." 
-Frank Serpico

"Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. and if you gaze long enough into the abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you." 
-Friedrich Nietzsche

The further I have advanced in the business world the more I see a shady underbelly that I hoped did not exist. In America I had hoped that corruption did not exist but it lingers in the shadows ready to derail your success at any moment. It is a sad state of affairs when corruption occurs but you must not become part of that corruption also. You will destroy your reputation and your long term success if you do.

I did business with a large customer account for years. Then shortly after a new purchasing person started working for them we began having problems. All of a sudden each small mistake we made was blown out of proportion. We got smoking mad emails from this guy telling us how awful of a supplier we were.

We did everything we could to make this guy happy. We lowered his prices, delivered quicker to him, and did everything we cold to give him better service. However, he was not happy with us and we lost the majority of their business. Later on when he left the company we heard that our competitor was paying him behind the scenes in exchange for business.

Our service wasn't that bad after all. We only got those nasty emails so he could justify ordering from our competitor. It's just one sad example of corporate corruption from many I have seen.

I know who the liars are. I know who the payoff people are, Eventually they all get caught, fired, or shamed. Luckily there is still enough legitimate business out there that you don't have to play their game. Let them think they won for the time being. Eventually they will lose. It is just a matter of time.   

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Axiom 82: Being the Boss is Harder than You Think

"If you want to build a ship, don't drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea." -Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

"Don't blame the boss. He has enough problems.
-Donald Rumsfeld

Everyone thinks that being the boss is easy, but it is harder than you realize. It's not all big money, big perks, and easy street all the time. As you become more successful at some point you're going to have to cross the threshold and become a leader instead of a follower. 

Here are just a few of the things that most people don't realize is hard about being a manager:

1. Long Hours - The manager usually has to work longer hours than their employees. With larger responsibilities comes a larger workload. You have to learn as a manager how to delegate as much out as possible. It's the only way to get everything done.

2. Employee costs are high - You think your boss is a cheap ass and should pay you more, but a manager can only pay an employee what they are worth in productivity. There are a lot of costs associated with running a business, and the company you work for is probably not nearly as profitable as you think. 

3. Always thinking about work - A manager always takes work home with them physically and/or emotionally. The employee is at home enjoying their evening while the manager is at home thinking about work. 

4. Stress level is high - The pressure to perform and deliver is much higher than with the employees.

5. Your boss has a boss - Your boss has a boss that is likely even more unforgiving. It could be a bank, an investor, a landlord, the government, or all of the above. Everyone works for someone else.

6. Firing People - While it feels good to hire people, promote people, and give raises it feels 100x worse to fire someone - even if they have it coming.

7. They can't socialize with you - You're boss can't have lunch with you, can't be your true friend, and is never sure how truthful you're bein
g with them. There is that invisible manager-employee line that should not be crossed.

8. Good managers hate rules - Rules are only in place because of bad employees. Managers don't like having to act like police officers, they have plenty other things to do. All managers would love a perfect environment where employees do what is expected and there is no conflict.