Putting your job on the line

by Fabrice Calando on September 12, 2014

There’s a common misperception in corporations that once in a while you need to put your job on the line. It’s all or nothing, do or die, winner takes all.

I’m not sure where it stems from. Maybe it’s all the sports analogies: the bottom of the ninth, game seven, a few seconds left in the fourth quarter. Or maybe it stems from something else. Maybe it’s a way to remove responsibility from every other day of the year.

Truth is, everyday you step in the office, every time you answer a client’s call or develop a strategy and objectives you’re putting your job on the line. Each day you have a responsibility to move the organization forward and each day you are up against forces that could lead to the company closing or contracting.

Some choose to be passive, to wait for the boss to decide, to hide behind what’s been done, to rehash old ideas. Others step up and take charge, choose themselves and push forward.

Regardless, they’re both putting their job on the line. Let’s not kid ourselves: there is no Stanley Cup, World Series or Super Bowl in business. It’s about relentless dedication, small steps, being generous and taking bold stands.

Each day we put our job on the line because there is no big prize, just the opportunity to see another day.

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Until it’s gone

by Fabrice Calando on September 10, 2014

The thing about abundance is that it’s precisely that – plentiful, always available, never done. It’s easy to take abundance for granted, assume it will always be there. We might even realize it’s there and think it doesn’t matter.

But what happens when the abundance becomes scarce? What happens when the resources aren’t there, when the access and information leaves?

If it’s not until it’s gone that we miss it, will it be too late? Will we ever get it back?

The question then is, is it worth risking?

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In the end, it’s really about the people

by Fabrice Calando on September 9, 2014

Ten or so years ago I worked at a manufacturing company in the east-end of Montreal. I took the job because I needed the money, not that it paid particularly well. I hated everything about the job and left after a year to work for a young dotcom.

When I left, you would think I’d be happy and excited. I was, but truth is I also felt a little sad. I hated the job, but liked most of my colleagues. I was sure I’d miss them.

Isn’t it interesting how wherever you work whether in a manufacturing plant or at Uber, it’s about the people.

Why isn’t it about the work? You rarely hear someone say “the work was fascinating and challenging and I left knowing I would miss that.” Colleagues are important but we are, after all, there to work.

Are we looking to fill job openings instead of looking for the right fit? Is work not keeping up with expectations? There’s a gap, a lost opportunity somewhere.

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Risk vs. Danger

September 4, 2014

The difference between risk and danger is that risk is perceived, danger is real. Risk is the perception that something unfavorable will happen. Truth is danger rarely, if ever, occurs – finding yourself between a beat and her cub pretty much never happens. Trouble is, we usually confuse the two. In fact, one of the [...]

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When the means become the end

September 3, 2014

The idea of the 40-hour work week started in the 18th century as a push back to working conditions at the time. Henry Ford popularized the concept much later. Simply put, the thinking was: giving workers more rest time would, in turn, increase productivity. A theory that at the time proved to be true. At [...]

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Are we teaching success?

September 2, 2014

I read somewhere that success happens when others are taking time off. In other words, success happens when you’re willing to grind it out when others are taking their break. It’s less about bursts in performance and more about slow and steady effort. Today, as our kids are pilling into classrooms I think it’s important [...]

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Missing the opportunity

August 28, 2014

An industrialist is someone who looks for stability. At the opposite end of the spectrum, the capitalist seeks opportunity and unmet needs. That means the capitalist takes risks, trying to serve a bigger purpose while the industrialist avoids risk, supports the status quo and looks inward. Almost by definition then the industrialist misses opportunities and [...]

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Are you mission-driven or compliant?

August 27, 2014

Seth Godin makes the point that, “[m]ission-driven beats compliant, every time.” If you aren’t willing to make it your mission, if you aren’t willing to take it personally, if you would rather “merely accept a mission, or grudgingly grind through a mission,” then why are you there? Sure making it your mission will ruffle some feathers [...]

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What if that’s it?

August 26, 2014

What if that’s it? What if we’ve reached our limit? With all the talk about a changing landscape, world of abundance, a connected economy, what if we just can’t do any better? What if the top-down, broadcast marketing and gimmicky sales is all we can do? After all, with numbers like this, maybe this whole [...]

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Is your product new or novel?

August 25, 2014

A product the marketplace hasn’t seen before is either novel or new. When you offer novelty, it’s usually easy get trials; it’s easy to get users to sign-up and try it out. The challenge is converting that trial into adoption. The solutions usually revolve around growth, engagement, good enough and rapid prototyping. On the other [...]

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