Posts Tagged ‘business’

This could have been avoided. . .

My heart goes out to Chris Neary. He’s the guy who got busted for carrying 15 kilos of marijuana, in a pack sack, across the border from Canada to the United States.

He was a business man

He wasn’t a smuggler. He was a small business man but his business wasn’t doing well. He became isolated from his friends and associates and, in his own words he was desperate, isolated and totally uniformed about what he was getting himself into. He said he didn’t ask anyone’s opinion about the wisdom of what he was doing. He just did it. Here’s a quote: “I felt it was up to me to turn things around and I tried to do everything myself. My ego took me to the top of the mountain literally.”

A lesson for all of us

Now, Chris has a lesson for all of us who are in business for ourselves. He fell into the classic small business trap of ‘I have to do it myself’ and this can lead to colossal failure and incredibly bad decisions. I know. I’ve made a few of them myself, and no, I never smuggled marijuana but I’ve done some awfully silly things in my small business that a colleague could have advised me against.

I’ve written about this

I’m just embarking on a small business alliance with another person who also provides communications services.  We don’t compete directly, although I suppose we could.  But it makes a lot more sense to support each other with business alliances.

We’re coaching each other

Here’s what we’re doing. We’re developing strategic plans for each of our businesses and we’re coaching each other to ensure that we follow our individual plans.  And when that gets rolling smoothly, we’re going to analyze how our individual pursuits can benefit both parties.

We both have challenges

She has different strengths than I have. I have different strengths than she has.  And of course, we both have our challenges.  Having done it on my own for many years, I welcome this affiliation.  Even though I’ve developed strategic partnerships in the past that fizzled and died, I really think this one is going to work.  I know from experience how difficult it can be to find the right person to work with you but when you can finally put it together the synergy is well worth the effort.

Develop strategic arrangements

If you’re a small business person who’s trying to do it all themselves, I urge you – stop doing this.  I can’t stress strongly enough the importance of aligning yourself with other people who can balance your challenges and who can benefit from your strengths. And you don’t have to limit yourself to one strategic partnership.  You can develop strategic arrangements with a wide group of people who have similar value.  If you find people you can align yourself with, who can help you to move forward while you help them to move forward, you’ll both benefit immeasurably.
What kind of strategic arrangements do you have in place?  How’s it working for you?  Tell us all about it.

Need a guest speaker?

If your group needs a skilled guest speaker or workshop leader, I’d like to help you. I provide a range of communications key note presentations and workshops. Please visit the presentations and workshops pages of this website and contact me to discuss how I can help you.

Need a presentation trainer?

Would you like help dealing with public speaking training and other communications issues? If so, please contact me to discuss my public speaking training programs. I provide one-on-one presentation training and group public speaking training sessions that provide tools to develop your public speaking skills. Contact me today!

About Thomas Moss

Thomas Moss is a speaker, writer and coach who provides business communications services, primarily in the Greater Toronto Area, including Oshawa, Whitby, Ajax, Pickering, Markham, Richmond Hill, Newmarket, Vaughan, Brampton and Mississauga. Service is also available outside of the GTA.

What should the pope do?

What would you do right now if you were the pope’s PR person?  What advice would you give to this pontiff whose brand is disintegrating before his eyes?

The pope has been accused

The pope has been accused of ignoring sexual abuse allegations, opting instead to protect the image of the church.  He has already apologized to various groups who were victims of church-oriented sexual abuse and he has asked for forgiveness on behalf of the church.  But he’s never admitted that he ignored those sought justice and protection for other innocent children.  For example, the Wisconsin priest who allegedly molested up to 200 boys at St. John’s School for the Deaf was moved by then-Cardinal Ratzinger to another diocese, where he continued to work with children.  The spiritual and moral lives of Catholics the world over have been challenged by these allegations.

Think in business terms

But let’s set aside the spiritual and moral issues for a minute and think about this in purely business terms.  Essentially, the pope is the president of one of the world’s largest corporations, with a customer base that’s estimated at over 1 billion.  And the only thing that keeps clients coming back week after week is branding.  The church makes a promise, its clients buy into the promise and for that they commit themselves and their dollars.

Protecting the brand

But now, overwhelming evidence is emerging that the church’s primary goal is to protecting the brand and those who promote it, rather than deliver on the promise.  (Does this sound like echoes of Toyota?)  And not only are the flames of that evidence moving up the chain of command, they are encircling the pope and singeing the fringes of his robes.  So, if you were the Vatican PR flack, what would you advise the him to do?

Imagine the impact

He’s in deep doo-doo.  According to Ted Schmidt of the New Catholic Times, 30 million Americans have walked out of the Catholic Church.  And that’s just America.  There are also reports that as many as a million Austrians are ready to pack up their rosaries and vote with their feet.   These are huge numbers – and they represent enormous revenue – from just two countries. Not to mention Ireland, Germany Italy and a string of other countries.  Imagine the global impact.

They’re circling the wagons

So far, officials in the Vatican are taking a defensive stance.  They’re circling the wagons of the faithful, trying to convince them that the church and its leader are the victims of a smear campaign at the hands of the media and other critics.  They are appealing to the blindly faithful and, to some degree that strategy will work, at least for a while.  But it won’t bring anybody back into the fold who’s already left, not even those who’d like to return.

Clean it up

My papal advice would be to come clean, admit the pope’s personal failings, use them as evidence that everyone, even God’s direct messenger, has failings and is a sinner.  And I’d recommend that the pope back up his mea culpa with strict commitments and commandments to force the church to clean up its act.  I’d suggest that an encyclical be distributed stating that the next – and all future – church officials found to be exploiting their flocks in any way would be immediately relieved of their duties, turned over to the authorities to face charges and, if found guilty, defrocked and excommunicated.
That would be my advice, but I’d love to hear yours.

Need a guest speaker?

If your group needs a skilled guest speaker or workshop leader, I’d like to help you. I provide a range of communications key note presentations and workshops. Please visit the presentations and workshops pages of this website and contact me to discuss how I can help you.

Need a presentation trainer?

Would you like help dealing with public speaking training and other communications issues? If so, please contact me to discuss my public speaking training programs. I provide one-on-one presentation training and group public speaking training sessions that provide tools to develop your public speaking skills. Contact me today!

About Thomas Moss

Thomas Moss is a speaker, writer and coach who provides business communications services, primarily in the Greater Toronto Area, including Oshawa, Whitby, Ajax, Pickering, Markham, Richmond Hill, Newmarket, Vaughan, Brampton and Mississauga. Service is also available outside of the GTA.