Monthly Archive for May, 2006

Top Sixteen Lies of CEOs

Top 16 Lies of CEOs

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Leaving a Job – A Few Lessons for Management

Here are some management lessons for anyone that runs a sales organization. No names will be used. If you know who I used to work for, I’d appreciate it if you kept it to yourself in the comments (or your own posts) on other weblogs about this entry.

These are the reasons I left my last job:

  1. They changed the entire sales organization structure and compensation plan in January 2006 to my short term detriment, but probably in the end it’ll work out well for the company. It’s a smart move, just wasn’t communicated well at all.
  2. They changed my compensation plan on January 1, 2006 and didn’t explain the new plan until late January 2006.
  3. The new plan took a good 25 percent of my last year’s pay out of my pocket, with no warning and no effort to compensate for the change.
  4. My boss promised lots of things he had the responsibility to deliver but didn’t have the authority to promise. Needless to say, enough of the promises were broken or backed out of to leave a very bad taste in my mouth. If you’re a manager, don’t promise things you don’t already have approved. Don’t say “I’ll try to do X if we hit this goal.” That’s an implied promise.
  5. My boss’s boss embellished facts (basically lied) to friends of mine and potential clients of ours… and then had the nerve to call it selling. I firmly believe in selling what you’ve got, not what you want to have. Don’t get me wrong… answer questions as positively as you can, but don’t outright lie.
  6. I was given a new sales territory, but wasn’t given the two biggest accounts in my sales territory, even after I asked for them multiple times and made arguments as to why they should have been mine. That planted the seed that said “We don’t trust you to handle this business.”
  7. I started to resent management, and wasn’t sure of my decision to work for this company based on the “new organization”. I had a hard time telling myself that “it would get better” when it clearly wasn’t.
  8. This will sound silly, but, no one asked me how I was doing until it was too late (ie. three or four weeks after I decided to start looking for a new job).
  9. My boss actually said these things in group meetings (or at least this is what I heard him say) “If you don’t like it, then you should find a new job” multiple times, and “The CEO is telling us ‘this is the message, if you don’t use the message, then we’ll fire you… if the message doesn’t work, we’ll change it.'” What was I supposed to do?
  10. Oh, and one other thing I thought was really stupid:

  11. The company published a “no-blogging” policy in sometime in early Q1. This “no-blogging” policy comes from a company that has had me telling clients that “transparency is the future of this business.” Ugh!

In the end, trust is a two way street, and I lost all trust in my current immediate manager and senior manager. I trusted them to take care of me, while I took care of them. When they showed that they didn’t trust me to take care of them, I started questioning their motives. Then I started seeing that they weren’t taking care of me. At least not fast enough for me, and while I never said point blank “fix this stuff, or I’m leaving” I did ask for help many times, and it usually fell on deaf ears, or so it seemed.

I told myself I’d give it 90 days in January. Guess what?

I was kicking ass under the new sales organization and structure as of the day I quit (number 4 in an organization of 15 or so, after starting at “tied for number 15” in January). I’d given it 90 days and didn’t see any real progress other than my own.

I can be successful anywhere, and I will be at my next job.

The funny thing is that I’ve left behind a really good bunch of people that’ll be really successful as individuals, and I hope that the old saying “a rising tide raises all boats” isn’t the only thing that makes my old company successful… but I’m fearful it might be. I was the 7th person to leave the sales side of the company in 5 months. 7th out of 15 or 20… tell me that that tells you when you see someone lose one-third of their sales staff through attrition that quickly.

I know there are lots of resumes out on the street from that company. So if you’re looking for a good sales person, senior sales person, or VP-level sales person, let me know, and I’ll put you in touch with my former co-workers, as best I can based on my NDA/non-compete.

Long story short, I stopped drinking the company Koolaid, because I stopped trusting my superiors.

For those of you stuck in bad positions: Find a backup plan if you want to make things better… find that next job, then go to your management and see if you can get things “made better” for you, if you want to keep that current job. If you don’t want to stay, leave, and take that next job. If you’re a good employee, and are worth keeping, they’ll probably fight to keep you. But remember, especially if you’re a sales person, that you’re only worth “What you did for me lately” so that tact may backfire for you if you threaten to leave and don’t have a backup plan… you never know.

First Day

Today was my first day at the new job. I showed up at 8, spent about 3 hours with the C-Level execs talking turkey, then spent a couple of hours with one of my direct reports. Then a meeting or two, then played with my laptop getting some of the settings just right. Then another hour or two with a peer and then with the President. Got home at 6:00… Then after playing with the kid, eating dinner, giving him a bath and talking to the wife a little, I started digging into some of the numbers I’ll need to learn. Overall: A great day! Can’t wait for tomorrow.

Will You Marry Me Apple?

Heh… Go watch the “05:00” hour on Apple’s Fifth Avenue Retail Store web page, and you’ll see a young Asian man use Apple’s web cam to propose to his girl.

Apple’s Fifth Avenue Store web page

Funny.

The top 12 sins of Marketing Gurus

The top 12 sins of Marketing Gurus (and their books)

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The Top Ten Lies of Corporate Partners

The Top Ten Lies of Corporate Partners

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WordPress Theme Park

WordPress Theme Park

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CAN-SPAM

My new job deals with email and CAN-SPAM, so I need to become an expert on CAN-SPAM pretty quickly. If you want to read the law, as I do, here’s a link to a page where you can find the actual act, a summary of the law, and here’s another page with a good overview of the law.

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On Apple Repairs

Wanda's GirlRecently, I took my Powerbook (15″ 1.25 Ghz G4) and iBook (12″ 700 MHz G3) into the local Apple store for repairs.

The iBook was effectively a doorstop, in that the machine wouldn’t boot up at all, and it wouldn’t charge the battery. It’d been busted for a few months now, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to get it fixed.

My Powerbook was having problems with reading PC Cards (I’d bought two PC cards to read CF cards from my camera and neither of them worked on the Powerbook, but they worked fine on my Thinkpad, so I suspected the Powerbook had something wrong).

The process of getting these things fixed was pretty nice, though my wallet was lighter after my visit to the store.

Basically, on Saturday morning (May 6th) I went to the local Apple Store web page and signed up for a slot at the Apple Genius Bar. My slot was 2:20. Then I spent the day mowing the yard, playing with the kid, etc… and then left for the store at 1:45.

I got there a little early, and waited on the Genius to finish with another customer. Then he called my name.

He diagnosed the iBook first, while I booted up the Powerbook. The iBook had serious problems (I knew that, but he had to confim it) and to fix it, it would cost a flat fee of $280 plus tax to fix whatever was wrong with the iBook. Cool, I told him to “do it.”

Then we checked my PC cards in one of the store 17″ G4 Powerbooks. The PC Cards worked… so we looked at the PC card slot on my Powerbook. It didn’t look broken, but something was wrong. I knew I’d bought AppleCare for this Powerbook, but I hadn’t registered it… so they helped me call CompUSA and get a copy of my receipts, so they could put the Powerbook under the AppleCare agreement, and whammo = $0 to fix the Powerbook under warranty.

Then I bought a “refreshed” battery for the iBook at half price (refreshed means someone bought it and brought it back in 14 days) of retail, because that machine is about 5 years old, and a new battery should couldn’t hurt it. I’m thinking we’ll sell the machine on eBay in 6 months anyways, and we’ll get $500 or so for it.

Overall, my Apple Genius Bar experience was great. I got the iBook back in working order on Tuesday the 9th, and the Powerbook came back today (they were waiting on a part to fix it) and I’m very pleased.

Oh, and I bought a ProCare card, just so I can learn more about Aperture from a Genius some day this summer.

Thanks Apple for making it easy to get my stuff fixed.

New job on 5/22

Just a note to say I quit my job on Monday. Or at least I gave them two weeks notice.

I start my new job on May 22nd, and will post more then.

I’ll also say that my former company is enforcing my non-compete, which limited the offers I could accept (I had three on the table). In the end, the job I’ve taken is going to totally kick ass, and I’m excited about it (it’s the one I wanted to take anyways) but I wanted those other options open for my own negotiation power… and they’re being dicks about the non-compete.

Lesson learned: don’t ever sign another non-compete. A NDA, or IP-clause, fine… but not a non-compete.

More on the reasons I left and where I’m heading next after I get my last paycheck.

Sidenote: I should be blogging more again soon šŸ˜‰

WWJD?

Go watch this: WWJD?

Powerful stuff, huh?

One Lucky Advertiser

My friend Mike Orren is offering a crazy promotion to drum up some advertising dollars. And the crazy thing about it is that it just might work.

If you’re a Dallas area advertiser looking for a great way to reach people in the DFW Metroplex, you should take a look at PegasusNews and TexasGigs.com. This promotion would be a great way to stay in front of a truly passionate audience for a long time.

Fuck The Shit

Those 3 words are 3 funny words when set to music as this 80’s era video illustrates:

Download for your iPod+video now and have it with you for whenever you need to hear it (goes great with a bad day at the office).

Funnier story here: A friend of mine forwarded that video to a co-worker of his, who happened to be watching it as the VP of her department walked by her cube. It was an awkward situation to say the least. I hate cube farms for this reason, btw šŸ˜‰ Luckily, I’ve never had to actually work in one.

The Five Most Common Lies in Business

The Five Most Common Lies in Business – An irreverant look at some of the things I’ve heard in business over the past 10 years. Totally agree with these statements. If you hear yourself saying these things, check your BS meter.

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