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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Generosity, greed and the American (Canadian) dream

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Undoubtedly, our lives will be changed by the political and economic drama occurring in Washington and Wall Street. Our industry -- especially the residential side -- has been the most immediately affected by the current crisis, and only a person without any vision would say this won't influence other elements of the economy.

"What can you do about it?", you may be asking.
You need to respect your own needs and those of others. You need to be fair. You need to be responsible for your own circumstances, and not hold anyone else to blame.
I thought these points late yesterday afternoon when, in the midst of a business meeting to discuss a new project with joint venture partners, something didn' feel quite right. In the project, in an effort to invoke participation and support from the other partners, the revenue sharing balance seemed out of kilter (and unfair to me). So -- a mistake at this end -- after the meeting I wrote an email to the other participants making my feelings clear. (Previous postings have outlined the danger of using email for anything contentious.) One colleague responded in another email that he would be happy to leave the project. We need to talk. Maybe his response is the right solution; maybe it isn't, whatever, we need to respect each other to proceed and of course we need to respect the ultimate clients who will be paying for our services.

These types of discussions/decisions are part of business fabric, both small and large (and national/international). We can resort to deceit, to patchy compromises, to imperfect solutions, but if we respect our own needs and those around us, we have a much better chance of finding the right answers.

P.S. Here is an a meaningful and relevant posting in Jeffrey Gitomer's most recent newsletter: Why do businesses succeed or fail? HINT It's not just sales.

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