Monthly Archives: July 2014

Don’t Be Arrogant, Be smart

I will never forget when in one occasion, I had scheduled a meeting with my boss at that time. I went to see him to his office but he was not there. After waiting for fifteen minutes, I started getting concern if he has forgotten that we were going to meet. I called him but no answer. I ended up waiting for forty-five minutes, and he never showed up. Later, I learned that he was chatting with some other people in another building and when he received my call, he had said that I could wait.

That sounds rough, right? It was rough. People who think that they are more important than others, people that their ego don’t let them see beyond their nose, people who don’t listen because they think they know everything are called arrogant. For me, these people show a false façade to hide their weaknesses and lack of confidence. Sometimes this behavior is trigger by the need of belonging to a group or reaching new positions. And some other times, people forget their roots when they succeed.

Arrogant people don’t realize that at the end of the day, they are simply like anybody else. They also have to buy their groceries at the supermarket, they go to bed every night like anybody else, and they also fall in love and have heartbreaks like anybody else. And what it’s worst is that the arrogant is avoided.

If you are being arrogant, get off that cloud and be yourself. I know that in this competitive world you want to win the race but people are not fooled. You don’t need to be arrogant to show your talents. And like Carmine Gallo says in his article 10 Ways to Tell if You’re Confident – or Arrogant, “Confidence is inspiring, arrogance is a turn-off”

I’d love to hear your comments!

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Training: Key for Business and Personal Success

This morning, I went to have breakfast at a restaurant in South Lake Tahoe. What a disappointment. First, I had to wait about 30 minutes to be seated and then, I had to wait another 30 minutes to get my order served. I noticed that a party of three that came in after me got their food first. So I asked the waitress about my order. She was not apologetic at all and just said that my food would be next. At first, I thought what poor customer service. Then, I thought maybe it’s not that but instead it’s lack of training. Maybe the kitchen personnel had not been trained to work efficiently, or the wait staff had not been trained to handle customer complaints.

Josh Bersin, Forbes contributor, reports, in his article How Corporate Learning Drives Competitive Advantage, that “one of the most important sources of competitive advantage is your  corporate learning strategy.”  I think training is crucial for the success of any business because it gives employees the necessary knowledge to effectively, efficiently, and safely perform their job.

Have you ever thought about how the lack of training your workers  might negatively impact your business? Let’s say you’re implementing new business software because you want to improve productivity. Well, if the users are not properly trained, then in the end, it will be more costly for your business. Your employees will get frustrated when they don’t know how to use it, they will even spend more time trying to figure out how to operate it, and they will be prone to make more mistakes.

Training is also very important at a personal level. We are all constantly being trained. You can call it learning new professional skills, learning how to use the new gadget you just purchased, or attending a workshop. Well, have in mind that when you are trained, you become more valuable! And like Queen Elizabeth II said, “It’s all to do with the training: you can do a lot if you’re properly trained.” So let’s get trained!

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Teamwork and the Amazing World of the Honey Bees

What do you think when you think about teamwork? When I started getting interested in beekeeping, I was amazed to find out what a great organization a honey bee colony is. I think we all could learn some from their dynamic colonies.  A honey bee colony like any business organization has teams and a leader.

The Bees Team in Action!

The Bees Team in Action!

In his book Beekeeping a Practical Step-by-Step Guide, David Cramp explains how the honey bees’ entities operate. The two honey bee teams -the workers and the drones- along with their queen work together as a unit to cope with the challenges that might arise. Each team carries out a number of complex tasks such as obtaining food, protecting, and maintaining the colony. And each team member knows exactly what and when to perform its tasks.

Honey bees also have the capacity of adapting if the circumstances require so. For instance, if they need more water to keep the hive cool, then, more worker bees are sent out to collect the water. Moreover, they know when to make a change. A colony of honey bees will relocate if the hive gets too crowded; they will create a new queen and the colony will divide into two. This decision of splitting is taken by consensus. The worker bees, through some sounds and a dance, will advise the queen that it is time to swarm.

I think honey bees are a good example of teamwork, cooperation, and hard work. Every member works for a common objective; they not only follow their leader (the queen) but they protect her as well. And at the same time, the queen works for the good of the colony. And ultimately, they produce a wonderful product: honey!

Try some honey in your coffee or in your cup of tea and think about teamwork!

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From Honesty to Integrity

Can you believe this? Last week, my friend Rene texted me saying “just in case anybody’s faith needed to be restored in good honest people. I was just at Raley’s and went through self-check. I asked for $20 cashback and when I left, I forgot to take it, walked away and remembered about it after going to another store. I called to Raley’s and they actually had it. Can’t believe it!”

I think that what it’s amazing is that Rene was so surprised about this episode. Why we have become so incredulous on people’s honesty? Well, we hear all the time stories about people being skimmed, companies deceiving investors, employees being dishonest, athletes doping, politicians’ scandals, and the list goes on….. I believe that a person who is dishonest is not lying to others but to himself or herself. So what is the point of being dishonest??

Moreover, if you are an honest person, you might have integrity, too.  Wait, isn’t honesty and integrity the same? No, not really. Honesty is the act of being truthful while integrity encompasses honesty, ethics, and principles.  People who show integrity are highly valued because they can be trusted; they are authentic. These people stand by their beliefs.

Integrity is not only valued at a personal level but also at a business level. Customers and other businesses look for doing business with entities that they trust. If you have noticed, many corporations have included integrity as part of their vision statement. This means that companies are looking for individuals that possess integrity as part of their team who can represent their corporate values.

So a good start to be a person of integrity is to be honest. Don’t you think this world would be much better if more people were honest? I’d like to hear your comment!

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Never Stop Dreaming

Some months ago, I was listening to Dolly Parton in a radio interview talking about her book “Dream More: celebrate the dreamer in you” and she said something that caught my attention. She said that dreams and wishes are different. She went on explaining that dreams are those for which you work hard while wishes are basically hopes. In the interview, she told the story about how when she was a high school graduate her dream was to be a star and how people laughed at her when she said it publicly.

I can’t agree more with Dolly. I believe a dream motivates you to work hard, makes you willing to sacrifice, and encourages you to overcome barriers. Sometimes people do not want to or are not willing to make a bigger effort or to make a change for those things they want. I think everybody has dreams but not everybody has the courage of pursuing them and like Dolly says they end up being only wishes.

Sometimes people discourage others in achieving their dreams. So when you are sure of what you want, go for it. I had a good friend that always said “it’s better to regret what you have done than what you haven’t done”. I believe that from every experience in life, you can always learn something and there is when you become wiser.

Other times you find people that inspire you to reach your dreams. In my case, I have a very close role model. My second oldest sister is being a plastic surgeon doctor for the last eleven years. A couple of years ago, she achieved her master in Health Administration while taking care of her two kids, working for a hospital and her own office. I admire her will and tenacity.

I can tell you that it feels extremely rewarding to achieve a dream. I’ve been attending college while working full-time and I’m about to conquer my dream. Although there were times when I wanted to quit, I did not stop. Some people told me, “I don’t know how you do it”. I was working over 45 hours a week, commuting, tending my home, and taking three or four classes per semester.  Well, I think that my dream motivated me to continue.

So I invite you to pursue your dreams and NEVER STOP DREAMING!

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