9378 Chapters
Medium 9781626566996

17 Partners, Not Opponents

Malhotra, Deepak Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Caught in the Crossfire

NOT SO LONG AGO, a successful entrepreneur who was a student of mine (“Sam”) found himself at the tragic end of a true reversal of fortune.1 It had all started out so well. A year earlier he had received a call from one of the largest retailers in the United States, asking whether he would be interested in earning some extra revenue. There was no catch. The retailer had decided to switch suppliers for one unique type of apparel, and the new supplier was an overseas Asian company. The retailer had never worked with this Asian company before and reached out to my student for help. Sam already had a good business relationship with the retailer, and although he did not know the Asian company either, he was very familiar with the manufacturing landscape where the company was located. The retailer wanted Sam’s company to act as an intermediary between them and this Asian company. For almost no work at all other than coordinating the purchase and sale of product, he would get a percentage of each transaction that took place. If all went well, Sam’s company stood to make over a million dollars each year—a sizable amount of money for him.

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Medium 9781626563254

#52 Give Back

Manning, John Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Are you grateful? Being grateful is a behavioral style, and so much more than just the giving of thanks over a meal, in response to a gift, or a reaction to kindness. It’s a position, a mindset, a value, an attitude, and a choice. But most importantly, being grateful can be a positive influence to others by giving back and transforming the lens through which people view your organization.

Organizations that give back can build employee pride, fueling motivation for yourself and others. It can also be a lever you can pull to breathe fresh energy into the workplace and give yourself and your organization more meaning. Not every leader or organization practices giving back or incorporates it into his or her company values, yet it is a surefire way to build a stronger organization.

Many of MAP’s clients have purposefully implemented programs that give back. They invest in their community, donate a percentage of profits to charities, or find other meaningful ways to give back. One organization has a very active employee appreciation program and sponsors an orphanage in Mexico. Another puts on an annual walk-a-thon for the disabled, and a third company has an afterschool learning program that buses disadvantaged students to a safe location where they’ve hired a teacher to tutor and care for the children. In the case of this particular company, which also gives 10 percent of its net profit to a specific charity, the culture has totally transformed into a more motivated, highly inspired workplace—and the results from that have been seismic. Within four years, this organization went from being a $5 million company to a $20 million company.

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Medium 9781576759042

1. The Source of the Entrepreneurial Impulse – The Quest Begins

Jaworski, Joseph Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

WHAT IS THE SOURCE OF THE ENTREPRENEURIAL IMPULSE? WHAT IS THE SOURCE OF OUR CAPACITY TO ACCESS THE KNOWLEDGE FOR ACTION WE NEED AT THE MOMENT?

In the spring of 1998, I was sitting in the back row of a large auditorium in the Shell Learning Center at the Woodlands just north of Houston. Eighteen months earlier, Shell Oil Company (the then-autonomous unit of the Royal Dutch Shell Group of Companies), Texaco, Inc., and Saudi Aramco had announced their intention to form an alliance of all their refining, distribution, and marketing (their “downstream” operations) in the United States. The “Alliance” would be the largest downstream organization in the world, with annual revenues approaching $40 billion. The Alliance hired Generon, a firm I had cofounded, to help develop its senior leadership and to assist in the integration of the units into a cohesive whole.

On that spring day, about 250 senior officers, who were members of the transition team, had gathered for the kickoff of the new venture. The chief operating officer of Texaco, Glenn Tilton, gave the opening remarks. In those remarks, Tilton identified the greatest challenge facing the Alliance – how to compete effectively with the newer and more nimble entrepreneurial downstream operators that had appeared in the marketplace in the last five years.

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Medium 9781605097060

Chapter 2 Roll Back the Reagan Tax Cuts

Hartmann, Thom Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

You must pay the price if you wish to secure the blessings.

—Andrew Jackson

WHEN I WAS IN DENMARK IN 2008 DOING MY RADIO SHOW FOR a week from the Danish Radio studios and interviewing many of that nation’s leading politicians, economists, energy experts, and newspaper publishers, one of my guests made a comment that dropped the scales from my eyes.1

We’d been discussing taxes on the air and the fact that Denmark has an average 52 percent income-tax rate. I asked him why people didn’t revolt at such high taxes, and he smiled and pointed out to me that the average Dane is very well paid, with a minimum wage that equals roughly $18 per hour. Moreover, what Danes get for their taxes (that we don’t) is a free college education and free health care, not to mention four weeks of paid vacation each year and notoriety as the happiest nation on earth, according to a major study done by the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom.2

But it was once we were off the air that he made the comment that I found so enlightening.

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Medium 9781576750575

Chapter Five Right in Place Doing Right by the Planet

Shapiro, David A. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

In every introductory ethics class, there are always a few students who want to argue that morality is nothing more than a way to ensure the survival of the human species. Our conceptions of right and wrong, they say, are entirely a by-product of evolution; the real reason we think something is good is because it contributes to the passing down of our genetic material to future generations; the real reason we say it’s bad is because it reduces the likelihood of having descendants.147

There’s certainly something to be said for this view. If the right thing to do consistently resulted in our inability to procreate, we probably wouldn’t keep thinking it was the right thing to do. We’re not lemmings, after all—contrary to the impressions of many politicians and advertising executives.148

On the other hand, it’s hard to accept that right and wrong are entirely the result of natural selection. If that were the case, then it would be much harder to explain why rape or adultery, for instance, are generally—and quite justifiably—considered to be wrong.

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