Who says we can’t come out on top?

Who says we can’t come out on top?

Immediately following the Super Bowl, I wrote an article with a similar theme as this one. But after last weekend, I again felt this message needed to be said, so kindly indulge me.

Last Saturday, NUMBER ONE ranked Kansas University took the basketball court against NUMBER NINE ranked University of Northern Iowa. 87% of the polls stated with authority, that KU would defeat poor lonely UNI. The KU fans believed it, the pollsters believed it, the media believed it, the announcers believed it and of course with a somewhat smug attitude, the KU Jayhawks basketball team apparently figured this game that would be nothing more than a stepping stone to the next level.

Only one factor all these folks didn’t count on. The University of Northern Iowa (Panthers) basketball coaches and players didn’t believe it and refused to get sucked into that sandbox of negativity. They arrived in a humble and non ostentatious way, no bragging, no showboating, no out loud predictions, no media pundits to fall back on, just a meaningful purpose, drive, determination and a desire to take the next step one basket at a time.

Final score, Number One ranked KU, 67, Number Nine ranked UNI 69. Please don’t misunderstand me here, KU was ranked number one. They earned that from very hard work from many very talented coaches and players. By all statistics, they should have run over UNI with ease, but I have to ask myself, “did complacency set it?” Did they jump into the sandbox of negativity in a reverse manner, thinking they were number one and invincible?

The correlation to this one basketball game vs. the business fight of our lives that most of us are in, does in fact parallel themselves. We have on one side the media spinning all the news of the day into negative connotations to make it sound more glamorous. Glamour and hype sell newspapers and advertisement in TV and Radio. And if we just listen without keeping our feet of reality solidly on the ground, suddenly we are sucked into that proverbial sandbox of negativity too. How do YOU feel when you are negative and down? Does it make you feel safe? Warm and cozy? In a winning mood? Of course not, so maybe you should ask, “why am I willing to play in [that] sandbox?”

There continues to be only one way to make it back to the top. It includes hard work, determination, drive and the will to not let anything stand in your way. I talk all the time about making a plan and working the plan, one week at a time followed by the next then another; then those weeks turn into one month followed by another. I am asked almost every week, “what can we do different that hasn’t been tried.” My response remains the same….HONESTY, BECOME THE EXPERT ABOUT YOURSELF, YOUR COMPANY AND YOUR PRODUCT/SERVICE. Then and only then are you ready to define how you differentiate from all of the competitive other souls that want the same piece of ground you stand on.

There is a new NORMAL in the making and that new NORMAL is still changing and trying to get comfortable in its role. As experts in our field whether it is sales, management, engineering, manufacturing, service, marketing or human resources, we need to be able to see far enough ahead to help OUR NORMAL into the future and not fall back onto the rough and possibly complacent ride that got you here.

As always, please accept my wishes for another great week. Your comments or concerns are always welcome. Call or write and I will respond immediately!


George F. Mancuso, CPC
Gman Business Resources, Inc.
Grinnell, Iowa


Are There New Communication Rules in 2010?

March 21, 2010

Q: “Many of your topics are inclusive of face-to-face business relationships. As we are entering an era using a new vehicle of communication, virtual communication, I find that many leaders who are great at inspiring and building relationships face-to-face are really struggling when forced to accomplish this on-line or over the phone. Are the ‘smoozing’ techniques changing in this new world? Have you seen this transformation in your business relationships? Can you offer any advice?” (Rene, Insurance Executive, New Jersey)

A: Great questions Renee and thank you for your readership. A few weeks back my Sunday article asked, “Do you respond to phone calls and Emails?” It was probably the biggest Email response I ever received following an article. The responses were not divided equal but most executive, engineering and Human Resource people said no, usually defending their position and most sales or customer service people said yes and complained about the non-responders.
To say the least because I have and do walk in both sets of shoes and I empathize with both sides of the isle.

With that said we must realize the following:
a. It’s very easy to wear an electronic “mask” in today’s world
b. It’s very easy to camouflage oneself under the cover of voice mail and Email
c. It’s very wrong to become confrontational in an Email or voice mail
d. It’s a demonstrated fact that many sales, management and other executives are uncomfortable in these uncertain and uncharted territories
e. The decision making process has reached an all time dependency under the category of procrastination

The “NO’s” responses in my earlier article had several commonalities which included words like; “intrusion, bothering me, too busy, too many, no need, no time, unsolicited, unwanted and don’t care.”

The “YES’s” on the other hand used words like; “Yes, absolutely, my life line, how I make an honest living, I respond to all and the NO people is my pet peeve.”

So to answer your questions;

1. There are no new “smoozing” techniques. And I personally am against trickery to get folks to respond, even though in many cases it seems like the only way to get through.
2. This transformation of hiding out has manifested itself to almost every industry. From the executive recruiters I speak with to the big ticket sales people and all in between, the complaints remain the same. And in today’s world, the time tested aphorism “what goes around comes around” has never been at a higher level of demonstration.
3. As for advice, I can only suggest that you treat people as you’d like to be treated. I’d like to suggest that you meet with your top management people and ask them your questions. Do they electronically hide? How does YOUR sales department handle it when they can’t get their message across?
4. Once we start treating each other better, we as a business community will truly be in recovery and on the grow. Stay the course of a consummate professional and the rewards will come to you. Its okay for you to step up to the plate and lead the charge.
5. There is no magic elixir or words of wisdom beyond your knowledge, compassion, determination, education and will to succeed.
6. Bottom line, “.… is for YOU to define your character, identify what sets you apart from the competition, refine your approach and just make it happen!”

I certainly hope this week is a tremendous one for you. Your comments are always welcome and if I can be of assistance please call or write and I will respond immediately!

George F. Mancuso, CPC