What’s In a Name?

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name
would smell as sweet.”
   — William Shakespeare

Where Do Names Come From?

Does a name really matter?  The Affordable Care Act was given its name before it was implemented and tested in the marketplace.  Based on this fact, one must conclude that the name was chosen either for its intentions and/or to influence public opinion.  What other reasons could there be?

What comes first, the name or the reason for the name?  I suppose a name can be arbitrarily assigned for no other reason than we need a word for it.  Even so, the name eventually takes on meaning and significance, sometimes more than the object itself.  The Cleveland Browns is a franchise consisting of players, coaches, supporting staff and stadium.  This includes the heritage and the name.  In 1995, when the owner made plans to move the franchise to Baltimore, the city threatened legal action.  The team name was so important that it became a major bargaining chip in the compromise that in the end, allowed the owner to move the team to Baltimore, but leave the name behind.

Names are assigned to something that is real or at least created in the mind.  I’m not aware of any situation where someone created a name first then set out to make something that fit it.  “Google!”  That’s a cool word.  I think I’ll make a Google this week, IF I can decide what it is.”

Business Development – A Confusing Name

Sometimes a name takes on brand new meaning even to the point where it has so many meanings that the name becomes confusing.  This brings us to the topic of the week: business development.  Some people associate it with the sales function.  Others would say business development is about building infrastructure or strategic business relationships.  Product development is another perspective. So which is it?

What you most often associate with business development probably depends on your personal perspective.  Here are two definitions that bring clarity to the name and accommodate our multiple perspectives:

“Business development is … the process of uncovering the “unknown unknowns” that can help to grow a company. The key is to focus on specific metrics that define growth for your business and then seek out the partnerships, people and products that increase those metrics.”
— Source:  www.businessinsider.com

“In 1997, the international Committee of Donors for Small Enterprise Development coined the term ‘business development service’ to describe services that improve the performance of the enterprise, its access to markets, and its ability to compete.  BDS includes training, counselling and advice, developing commercial entities, technology development and transfer, information, and business linkages.”
— Source: www.ilo.org

I like both of these definitions for their strong emphasis on people.  Even more, I like what Zig Ziglar said.  “You don’t build a business –you build people– and then people build the business.”

Clay Mathile, former owner of IAMS, once said this, “When you invest a dollar in a person, you get $10 back.  When you invest a dollar in a machine, you get $2 back.”

People are the intended beneficiaries of business development.  They are also the cause of it.  Therefore, business development is “of the people, by the people, for the people”.  Any activity that develops people is at the heart of developing business.  For this reason, I am proud to say that Wright Cross Performance Group, a company that develops people, is in the business development business.

CLICK HERE for business development opportunities the Ziglar Way!


 

Grateful!

This week “Clancy’s Quotes” will reach a major milestone — 100,000 page views!  I know there are plenty of sites that attract this much traffic in a day.  But, I’m not Apple Computers, ESPN or Playboy Magazine.  By comparison, there are far more sites that will never hit 1,000.  I guess being in the middle is a good thing.

Here’s another interesting piece of data.  During the last couple of years my blog has consistently appeared at or near the top of the charts when people Google “professional attitude.”  Today I am number two.  The previous several weeks I was number one.  Why?  I’m still trying to figure out how this happened.

I often wonder what draws people to a site with someone else’s philosophies about life and career?  Specifically, why do people care about what I think?  This I might never understand.  What I do know is that I am grateful for those who value ideas and think deeper than what’s on the sports page or showing on “Entertainment Tonight.”

Thanks for visiting my blog, reading my book, attending my workshops and being interested in what I have to say!  More importantly, thanks for your commitment to learning and growing professionally and for demonstrating the importance of this to those who look up to you.

God bless!

— CC

Mind Your P’s and Q’s

The ABC’s of Professionalism

There are several stories about how the English expression, “mind your P’s and Q’s” came to be. One such theory says that 17th Century barkeepers kept track of their patrons’ consumption and would instruct them to “mind their pints and quarts.” Centuries later my Grandma used the same expression with her young grandchildren. It never dawned on me that she was concerned about my drinking habits. From the perspective of a six-year old, I assumed she was talking about my manners.

It’s a curious thing that we have so many words for this antiquated expression.  Thankfully we’re still concerned about subject, whatever one chooses to call it.

Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter which fork you use.” — Emily Post (1872-1960)

Politeness is to human nature what warmth is to wax.” — Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)

“Nothing is less important than which fork you use. Etiquette is the science of living. It embraces everything. It is ethics. It is honor.” — Emily Post (1872-1960)

“Life is not so short but that there is always time for courtesy — Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Civility costs nothing and buys everything.” — Mary Wortley Montagu (1689-1762)

“Without an acquaintance with the rules of propriety, it is impossible for the character to be established.” — Confucius (551 BC – 479 BC), The Confucian Analects

“Observe decorum, and it will open a path to morality.” — Mason Cooley (1927-2002)

The fact that mankind has adopted codes of behavior has been constant throughout recorded history. What have changed are the specific rules and their relative importance. The character of George Washington was strongly influenced by “110 Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation.” Here are a few samples:

#15 — Keep your nails clean and short, also your hands and teeth clean yet without showing any great concern for them.

#19 — Let your countenance be pleasant but in serious matters somewhat grave.

#22 — Shew not yourself glad at the misfortune of another though he were your enemy.

#108 — When you speak of God, or His attributes, let it be seriously and with reverence. Honor and obey your natural parents although they be poor.

#110 — Labour to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience.

— Catherine Millard, “Rewriting of America’s History” pp.59-60

Those with adult children know first-hand how technology and generational attitudes affect changes in the current code. Certain “P’s and Q’s” of one generation might be “don’t know and don’t care” to a younger demographic. They are busy with other priorities. I don’t have access to President Washington’s entire list, but it’s a certain bet that it does not include the proper way to “de-friend” someone from one’s cellular favorites.

Cell phones and email are among the top disruptive technologies of the last 15 years. Appropriate behaviors are still being defined and learned.  For fun, I visited some Web sites that addressed cell phone etiquette of which I chose five for comparison. The authors agreed that ringers should be off in places like theaters, cell phones and driving don’t mix, and talking louder on a cell phone is unnecessary and rude. Four of the five complained about personalized ring tones. After that, they were all over the map, indicating we don’t yet have a common baseline for cell phone etiquette.

One way to learn about manners is to Google “pet peeves”. There are pet peeve lists about cell phone usage, driving, recruiting, baseball, the workplace, the bathroom, and even pet pet peeves. Those gripes which enough people share will eventually spawn new or revised rules of etiquette.  However, these lists also contain some pretty petty pet peeves. (Maybe alliteration is on yours.)

Bad manners (good manners, too) affect everyone.

“Whoever one is, and wherever one is, one is always in the wrong if one is rude.” — Maurice Baring (1874–1945)

Treat everyone with politeness, even those who are rude to you – not because they are nice, but because you are.” — Author Unknown

There’s an interesting three-way relationship among respect, manners, and morals in the following quotation:

“To have respect for ourselves guides our morals; and to have a deference for others governs our manners.” — Lawrence Sterne (1713-1768)

The subtle but important meaning is an inferred relationship between morals and manners. Without this connection, manners would merely be arbitrary conventions. Good manners come in two forms: acts of kindness and omissions of kindness (things one refrains from doing or saying.) In most cases these are small, simple matters requiring little knowledge and effort.

“Good manners are made up of petty sacrifices.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

“Good manners: The noise you don’t make when you’re eating soup.” — Bennett Cerf (1898-1971)

Like all character issues, minding one’s P’s and Q’s produces tangible social and professional benefits.  In fact, the return often far exceeds the investment.

“Politeness and consideration for others is like investing pennies and getting dollars back.” — Thomas Sowell (1930- ), Creators Syndicate

“Good manners will open doors that the best education cannot.” — Clarence Thomas (1948- )

“Outcomes rarely turn on grand gestures or the art of the deal, but on whether you’ve sent someone a thank-you note.” — Bernie Brillstein (1931-2008), “The Little Stuff Matters Most”

P’s and Q’s can help produce “peace and quiet” in a fast-paced, stressful world for you and those whom you meet.

“Good manners and soft words have brought many a difficult thing to pass.” — Sir John Vanbrugh (1664?-1726)

God bless,

— CC

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