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An Attitude of Gratitude

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015

In our personal lives, it is said that we should have an attitude of gratitude. This should certainly carry over to our work lives as well. I had an experience recently that reminded me how important it is that we are grateful for what we have and show that by being thankful to those we come in contact with.

Company A is a great client of mine. They partnered with Company B on a recent project. At the insistence of Company A, we were the preferred vendor that Company B came to to produce part of this project. We produced our piece of this project in record time and delivered it as required. We thought that was the end of this interaction until about 2-3 weeks later.

Turns out there was a problem. Because the product was not up to the standards of Company A, Company B was coming back on us to re-do the entire product. This would have been an incredibly expensive proposition. It was decided that a meeting between the three of us would be the best way to problem solve and move forward. I was dreading the possibility of being thrown under the bus and blamed for something that we really weren’t responsible for. I couldn’t have been more wrong.thank-you

Since I feel that the key person in this story saved the day, we will call him “Clark Kent.” I was greeted promptly by Clark when I arrived for the meeting. Though we had never met before, he knew who I was and explained what a valued supplier we were to Company A. He had already looked into our problem and gathered all the relevant information. That is when the unimaginable happened. He accepted the responsibility for this problem. Neither we or Company B were blamed. Company A had had some miscommunication internally and that ultimately led to this hiccup. The calm demeanor and kindness this man exuded was unlike anyone I had ever dealt with.

Having spent 25 years in sales, this may have been a first. All too often people are more worried about who to blame than they are on finding a solution and moving on. It was a game changing moment for me. Why am I telling you this story? I chose to take this interaction to a higher level and not just let that be the end of it.

I got the name and email address for Clark’s boss. I relayed what an amazing interaction I had with Clark and what an tremendous asset he must be to Company A.  Clark emailed me back and thanked me for my gushing accolades about him. He said that in all his years, no one had ever taken the time to thank him for what he does and how he handles himself.

How sad is that? The point of this story is exactly that. Never miss an opportunity to be kind and thankful to customers, vendors or suppliers. Pay someone a compliment. Take a gift basket or box of baked goods to random people that you have contact with. Let those around you know that they are appreciated and that you are grateful for the opportunity work with them. We should always be humbled by the fact that we have a job. Every day is an opportunity to do something great for someone else.

What did you do today to make the world a better place?

Unique Opportunities Await!

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

Years ago, I received a call from one of my customers, late on a Friday afternoon. After exchanging a few pleasantries, he said that he had a unique opportunity for me. My curiosity peaked, I asked what it was. Turns out he had a rush job he needed printed and delivered by Monday morning! That was definitely unique, likely impossible, but definitely unique.

Our lives and our jobs are constantly full of unique opportunities. We may see them as problems, headaches, obstacles or challenges. No matter the form they take, they are still opportunities for us to learn and grow. If it weren’t for all these opportunities, where else would we be able to learn in this trial by fire world.

Now I realize that this may be easier said then done. We all have situations occur in our lives that push us to the breaking point. That is just reality. What we can change however, is how we look at and approach these situations. When life throws a speed bump your way, use it as a tool to learn something from it. Once you’ve made it through, now you have a knowledge base that is at least one solution bigger than it was before. Next time you will be that much better equipped to problem solve a particular situation. Life is full of unique opportunities, seize them as ways to learn and grow. Never quit learning.

Carpe Diem!

Vendah or valued supplier

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

In the Dilbert comic strip, they refer to their suppliers as Vendahs. It’s apparent that it is an adversarial relationship and they do not view the suppliers in a good light. This is the problem that we actually see out there in the world right now.