Tag Archives: You're
Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
As the year begins to stagger to a close, you start to look around you, hoping that you’re still acceptable to the world.
Sometimes, it’s hard to know.
You’ve been working so hard. You’re been manically pursuing goals you wrote on a napkin in a particularly seedy bar.
And you still don’t remember how you got home from that bar.
Could it be, though, that those you work with think you’ve lost it?
Well, here’s a simple test. If you know — and use — the following five words, you’re still au fait with the world’s direction.
If not, woe is you.
We’ll start with one that surely everyone knows: Floss.
Ah, but wait. This isn’t the meaning associated with slipping a piece of string between your teeth.
Instead, it’s a little dance that people perform if they want to look especially silly.
You performed it in that seedy bar, didn’t you? That’s a relief.
Alright, let’s move on to VAR.
Yes, it’s easy to get your acronyms in a twist. VAR doesn’t stand for Variable Accounting Regimen. Nor is it Vineyard Arrest Record.
Instead — surely you knew this — it’s Video Assistant Referee, the device that tries to help soccer referees make the correct decision and still manages to occasionally fail.
You must know Gammon.
No, it’s not something to do with meat. Some might say, however, that it’s something to do with meatheadedness.
For the Collins definition is: “A person, typically male, middle-aged, and white, with reactionary views, especially one who supports the withdrawal of Britain from the European Union.”
Oh, you didn’t know? How reactionary of you.
Then there’s the most difficult of these words: Plogging.
No, I’d never heard of it either. It’s apparently the practice of jogging while picking up litter. Or picking up little while jogging.
But doesn’t stopping to pick up litter defeat the cumulative aerobic effects of jogging?
I’m plogged if I know.
Finally — and the winner in Collins’ great race — is Single-Use.
Surely everyone knows and uses this. Well, at least once.
Single-Use describes the greatest scourge of our times, I’m told.
These are products that made to be used once and then thrown away. Yes, like T-shirts from H&M.
Please don’t let that happen to you.
If you aren’t familiar with these five words, you, too, could be a one-year wonder, there to be thrown away by capricious rivals or recalcitrant employees.
That might turn you into a Gammon.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Chinese technology company ZTE Corp will be “shut down” in the United States if it engages in one more bad activity, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro warned on Sunday.
ZTE last week agreed to pay a $ 1 billion fine to the United States and to overhaul its leadership in order to end a crippling ban on the Shenzhen-headquartered firm from buying parts from U.S. suppliers and allowing it to get back into business.
The ban, which traces back to a breach of the U.S. embargo on trade with Iran, had prevented China’s second largest telecoms equipment maker by revenue from buying the U.S. components it relies on to make phones and other devices.
“It’s going to be three strikes you’re out on ZTE. If they do one more additional thing, they will be shut down,” Navarro told Fox, adding that everyone within the administration understood this was the policy.
Navarro was speaking as President Donald Trump arrived in Singapore for a historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, whose regime is heavily dependent upon neighboring communist ally China.
The United States introduced the ban in April because ZTE broke the terms of an agreement it had entered into with the U.S. government after pleading guilty last year to conspiring to violate U.S. sanctions by shipping U.S. goods to Iran.
The ZTE sanctions became a key focus in trade talks between Washington and Beijing, and a deal to lift the ban was struck as Trump sought concessions from China in order to avoid a trade war between the world’s two largest economies.
Prominent U.S. Democratic and Republican lawmakers last week introduced legislation to try to overturn the deal, saying ZTE posed a threat to America’s national security.
On Sunday, Navarro said Trump’s decision to allow ZTE to continue operating in the United States was a gesture to help build goodwill with China.
“The President did this as a personal favor to the president of China as a way of showing some good will for bigger efforts such as the one here in Singapore,” said Navarro, referring to the summit between Trump and Kim.
He added that ZTE was a “bad actor” but that the deal included safeguards, such as requiring the company to retain a compliance team selected by the Commerce Department for 10 years. The company already has a U.S. court-appointed monitor.
Reporting by Michelle Price; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Chris Reese
Make yourself indispensable to your clients and employers. You’ve heard it before. But we live in a fast paced, global economy. And it’s easier and faster than ever to replace a talented individual. This means it’s harder than ever before to become indispensable. There’s an easier way that doesn’t involve being a super talented genius.
You don’t need to be indispensable to be indispensable. You need merely to hold the only set of keys to essential elements of ongoing business.
The Problem With The Indispensable Argument
Even if you are indispensable, do your clients really believe that?
Companies large and small fire people all the time without knowing how critical they were to the business. People are irrational. And if so motivated, they’ll fire you even at considerable harm to their business. It’s not enough to be indispensable, you need to back it up with strong, material leverage.
What is material leverage?
In business terms, material leverage in business terms is an assisted advantage that exists outside of yourself but is perceived by others. The principle is simple. You legitimately own or control the linchpin of an ongoing transaction, or business and use it to influence terms of an engagement.
Examples include effective control over partnerships, pipelines, websites, apps, platforms, or databases. Or perhaps you have contacts that are essential to the other party’s operations.
Strong vs. Weak vs. No Leverage
The key to understanding the power of leverage usually rests on the amount of time, energy and attention required to replace whatever linchpin you own or control. The more time required, the more powerful the leverage.
No or Weak Leverage
If the resource that you own or control can be easily replaced in a day, you effectively have no leverage. If there is a whole marketplace full of easy alternatives, or the perception of one, you have no effective leverage or at best weak leverage.
Perception is more powerful than the reality. If the other party doesn’t perceive or understand the leverage, they won’t respond to your influence over it.
A good measure of strong leverage is if its value is worth more than your annual salary or fee. If your leverage is perceived to be worth 5x your fee, then they will likely bend your way. Not doing so would risk costing them considerably more. That’s strong leverage.
When & How to Use it
Basically if someone isn’t paying their tab, trying to cut you out, or you feel you’re about to be fired, strong material leverage can come into play.
Step 1. You have to decide what your goal is.
Are you trying to use your influence to keep a good deal going and growing, or is it time for you to cut ties? Decide now.
Step 2. Let them hear the branch creak.
Use your leverage as influence to resolve issues and negotiate, not to bully anyone. Do this by letting those involved hear the branch creak. This means to hint just enough of your potentially hazardous move to cause them to rethink their course of action.
If your goal is to keep things going, then you need to think of the use of strong leverage as more of a dance. It’s not a battle, it’s about keeping the appropriate amount of tension and pressure to move with your partner.
If the goal is to keep profitable engagements going as long as possible, don’t wield your leverage like a sword in battle. You may feel superior to the other party in the moment but you’ll lose the value of ongoing transactions with those involved in the process.
This is a more subtle art. The other party needs to hear the branch creak and contemplate their own peril. You need merely hint at your leverage and let them worry about perilous outcomes.
Remember, leverage only works if they and you both stay in the tree.
Step 3. Make the corrective action clearly known.
If you’re too aggressive, the other party may see no path forward and impulsively jump out of the tree on their own. They need to hear both the branch creak and know the corrective solution to make it stop.
If you decide to cut ties, the first move is usually not to pull the rug out from anyone. A longer exit, is often more profitable. Leverage allows you to negotiate the terms of an exit. You may have the other party simply pay you to keep your resources in play. This is more amenable as it buys everyone time to decide what to do next.
No one likes being under someone else’s thumb. But leverage buys you a seat at the table and an engaged audience, ensuring you can be heard out. Tread softly and carry a big stick.