How far would you go to help your customer (even if you feel like puncturing their car tyres with a knife)?

Cover of "The Deer Hunter"
Cover of The Deer Hunter

“If anything happens Mike, you don’t – don’t leave me over there. You got, you gotta…Just don’t leave me. You gotta promise me that, Mike.” Nick – From the Deer Hunter

I recently re-watched the movie “The Deer Hunter”. Apart from the commentary of the times that the film depicted, the idea struck me that the characters held an important lesson for business.

Michael, the hero in the movie, looks after Nick and Steven. Michael helps to restore Steven’s marriage, broken by his disability because of the war. Nick is another story. Without giving the plot away, Mike tries his level best to “rescue” Nick from his emotional and psychological hell in Vietnam. Continue reading “How far would you go to help your customer (even if you feel like puncturing their car tyres with a knife)?”

A small circle of friends

(Copyright © 2015 by Chesney Bradshaw, all rights reserved)
(Copyright © 2015 by Chesney Bradshaw, all rights reserved)

No one warns you how important friends are going to be in your life. I’m not talking about friends of the road. I’m talking about friends who last a lifetime.

Parents are the first people you love in life. Whether they do it by design or accident, they prepare you for your future life ahead. When you leave home, no matter where you are, you always carry your mother and father in your heart. When you lose your mother and father, the pain, the loss, the tragedy of it all, leaves you broken until you can get your life back together. After your parents have gone it never feels quite the same. As the years roll on, all you are left with are the memories of faraway and long ago. Continue reading “A small circle of friends”

Trust me, I’m a consultant

(Copyright © 2015 by Chesney Bradshaw, all rights reserved)
(Copyright © 2015 by Chesney Bradshaw, all rights reserved)

We’ve all had that experience some time or another when a consultant comes into our business and believes that they have all the answers. Worse still, they believe that their way is the only way and the right way. Never mind that they know very little or next to nothing about your business.

Why is the consultant there in the first place? You may be struggling with a certain part of your business such as operations, distribution, marketing or even product development. The consultant may be there by invitation but not always so. They could be fobbed on to you because of your investors or shareholders and for some larger businesses they could be there as part of a business recovery plan. Continue reading “Trust me, I’m a consultant”

Where do you find a trusted adviser?

Trust
Trust (Photo credit: elycefeliz)

I worked for a food manufacturer one time. For me this was almost a dream job because I love food and come from a family who loved food. But one day my boss called me into his office to give me bad news. He would be retrenched and so would about 100 others from various companies functions. I was included in that number.

Suddenly I was in shock. My world was upside down. Let’s face it, most people rely on a salary to support themselves and their family. In a few days that would be gone. I had two children under five to support.

It was with a deep sense of betrayal that I tried to cope emotionally. In a few moments the world I had known was gone. The future I had seen had disappeared. I felt utterly and totally alone. Continue reading “Where do you find a trusted adviser?”

Do we have a deal? Stand up guys can agree fast when the gun is loaded

Christopher Walken
Christopher Walken (Photo credit: André “Gigopepo” Persechini)

Al Pacino in “Stand up Guys” plays an old criminal (Val) who gets out of prison after 28 years. He wants to have fun – sex, drugs and food – but little does he realise that a mob boss has hired Al’s best friend Christopher Walken (Doc) to kill him.

At one point in the movie Val and Doc have discussed an issue – and they have plenty to talk about in this feel-good crime comedy – and Val asks, “Do we have a deal?”

Under the circumstances, Doc is agreeable to just about anything Val wants to do because he has the impossible task of killing his best friend by 10 AM the next morning.

Decisions aren’t reached so fast in real-world negotiations that take place between small businesses owners and the host of people they end up negotiating with. It’s not what the negotiation books tell you. Some negotiations can take months or even years. Continue reading “Do we have a deal? Stand up guys can agree fast when the gun is loaded”