You might have seen the recent tweets about the correspondence between a customer and the PR of Le Creuset, and it might have been unnerving … and they might not be everybody’s cup of tea at the moment.
However, I found this note I made a few years back of an article I read in a magazine … to be honest, I cannot recall the magazine’s name, but it was one of those in a waiting area of a doctor/specialist’s rooms. I know this fact because it is the only time I will read a magazine from cover to cover … when I take my mother her eye specialist appointments.
The article was an interview with Paul van Zuydam and what stood out for me … hence the notes, were this:
8 Business Lessons from Paul van Zuydam:
#1 Don’t get distracted, even if you’re lucky for a while. You need to focus all the time.
- From personal experience and form working with clients for more than 20 years in the financial industry, I have seen how, when the focus is lost, so can all the progress that has been made lost. This is why the “gurus” keep on telling us to focus and be careful what we focus on. A snowball effect can start in an instant, but just as quickly can that snowball be disintegrated by hitting a brick wall.
# 2 Management is about letting people do what they’re good at and leaving them alone
- Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Richard Branson and several other successful individuals as stated this, in one way or another. Confusions state that if you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room. We are all just human and each of us has a special passion, letting team members excel in their passion through their work will only create a better environment for all, not to mention improve the achievements for the company.
#3 The most crucial interface in any business is the one between the product and the people who are parting with their money
- Previously I was told that I should stock up on the product knowledge I could and learn more and more of the products to become a specialist. It is not until recently that a mentor that I am currently studying, has told me to stop ‘vomiting’ everything I know on to potential customers… and rather concentrate on what they need. After all it is all about them!
#4 Start from a position of trust rather than suspicion and always give the customer the benefit of the doubt.
- We cannot judge a book by its cover… it does not matter what you think you know before hand based on any kind of preconceived idea we have … unless you are a physic or medium… we cannot know what the customer is understanding or thinking. It will only become knowledge once you start interacting with the client and to ensure proper and effective communication trust and understanding is part and parcel.
#5 I believe in the inevitability of gradual-ness. The most dangerous thing for ‘manufactures’ is BOOM or BUST
- This should be true of any business. I have seen SME’s who where absolutely fabulous in concept and on paper… but when the metal hit the road and the delivery of product or services was to start, they got caught with biting of to much. Or over invested and just could not carry … One lesson I use with all my clients is the lesson of eating an elephant. The Chinese proverb of the journey of a thousand miles was created on the same principle … Rather start with small steps or bites and gradually way work your way up.
#6 People have tried to buy me out many times – I always trun them down, I don’t want them to start saving money by lowering standards
- I did not personally understood this statement until recently when I was face with both a contractual agreement and a opportunity that was presented to me. In both scenarios I had to let go of my vision and mission to comply to the other parties ideal goal achievement…
- Yes, sometimes the short term gains might be really attractive and we could be in circumstances that such a opportunity could be very compelling. But here we have to return to our own core code of honour and make the decission that is best suited for us, towards our long term goal. Stand up for that which we believe in or will we fall for anything…?
#7 I believe in planning, but I am also an optimist. Sommetimes at my own expense, but that fine.
- One of the Naval Force use the term … 6P’s – Proper Planning Prevents P. I. S. S. Poor Performance. Every single Self-development Guru hammers on the fact that only through planning we will be able to move forward. I have through trail and error created a complete planning system, however I do sometimes become to optimistic myself … but that does not mean that all is wasted. Once proper planning is done, we can always back track and see where we have to make changes. Through planning we can also measure our efforts and conclude where we went wrong. And this is where failing forward is important.
#8 I am proudest of the fact that what I’ve achieved was never at anyone else expense
- Ever so often we hear that behind some seemingly successful individual there is an untold story of deceit and corruption … I personally think it all comes down to our personal code of honour. What is really at the core of your nature…
Taking these business lessons to heart and mind … I belief there is something each of us could take out and make our own.
To your continued success,
Yvonne E. Venter-Louw