The most excellent business course I attended was presented by an American; his name was Gregory Mann. I’ve done my utmost to find him on the net and sadly there is no trace. His message was clear and precise. None of the ‘You can do it’ inspirational talks of today. Gregory talked about strategy and limitations.
After the six-hour seminar, this ‘gentle’ man spoke to the attendees in an informal gathering at the hotel bar. I asked him who were the most successful people he’d met. “I do not know why you are interested in successful people. You have listened to me speak, and I talked about my time with the companies Mars and Boeing. Everyone involved in those companies was successful. Those who did not perform too well still had something to offer: not all of us can be one hundred percenters. The wise businessman knows even the janitors are an essential part of the running of the plants”.
It is an exciting group of thoughts: Very insightful: Because Gregory suggests that if you place someone on a pinnacle, you are ignoring the hundreds of people who are part of the success. Many of the ideas he spoke about that day are still part of my business and personal life.
His message may be considered by some to be outdated or irrelevant a decade and a half later. In truth his presentation was consummate with his age, no doubt he was a manager of the 1960’s – 70’s. His message was to my mind brilliant and compelling.
Gregory maintained that learning to understand peoples needs is far more critical than attempting to enforce one’s ideas and requirements on them. He suggested that knowing people and finding their strengths is more advantageous than trying to change their weaknesses. He also taught, that, those who become involved in situations which are not directly related to one’s family and business activities are diverting time and effort away from their success. I believe the ideas are worthy of consideration. We are nothing without those who surround us and enrich our lives. And we fail if we are concerned with issues which are not directly related to our environment.
Some will comment ‘I always do this’ and this is great. Only take one step back and check out if the thought is accurate, do we ‘always’ prioritise peoples best characteristics? Let’s consider a ‘hot’ news item. A celebrity who has been charged with drink-driving. With the press commenting on the ‘shame’ of the situation, and the national coverage few escape the story. Yesterday, someone asked me what I thought about the ‘star’. My answer? ‘I don’t, think about the star, he is not alone in his crime, and drink driving is seen as a social ‘no-no’, so whatever happens to him is due to his actions. He will have to take responsibility for his actions’.
The connotations of the ‘star’s’ actions are apparent to anyone with an open mind. The man is a fool. There is no excuse for drinking and driving, so what it the point of going further with the information?
Gregory taught a simple question to use when one is deciding if the expenditure time should be considered in any situation: it is: ‘Does this have an impact on my life?’ He explained this is a question which can be honed and refined, but on a fundamental level, it will suffice as a time saver and profit maker. He also suggested the question works on the two crucial aspects of our life existence. The two levels are personal and business choices.
So, does the ‘star’s’ D&D have an impact on my life? Does the price of the dollar have an impact on my life? Does marriage of a ‘Royal’ have an impact in my life? Answer the questions yourself.
There will be people who see the idea as ‘selfish’, and of course, they are welcome to their perception of the phrase. However, for many people, it is an excellent way of focussing on the essential situations and issues within one’s environment.
Gregory taught in an almost monotone voice. His explanations and examples were simple and precise. I have no note’s taken during the one day lecture, and still, his words impress. However, the dominant impression was his thoughts on the connection between family, personal and business environments. He claimed the lecture ‘Is good for a housewife to CEO’ and no doubting he was correct. Maybe, there would be no place for this unknown and forgotten business teacher in today’s world. One thing is sure in my mind; his lessons still hold water today.
They are: Respect everyone, value people good characteristics, one’s persona must be authentic, do not be impressed by fame, concentrate on issues and situations in which you are involved.
See You Soon