Tag Archives: Conscious Business

Life’s Nice Surprises

Cheryl offers:  I LOVE my dogs and as I read Women Want More by Michael J. Silverstein and Kate Sayre, I learned I am in the good company of most women because women receive great joy from their pets. Now they aren’t all dogs of course. They might be cats, pigs, or iguanas, but in their research to determine what women want, these two Boston Consulting Group consultants learned that women want time with their pets, regardless of education level, income bracket, career choices, or location. Even more important to retailers, we are willing to spend a lot of our money on those babies. It makes perfect sense to me. When I’m experiencing a tough day, have a headache, or come home after a 14 hour day, there they are. My dogs have a way of cheering me up and making whatever was bothering me just moments before disappear. They insist on taking daily walks and maintaining a schedule. What a relief; otherwise, I’d likely sit at the computer too long and miss some great fresh air. All of a sudden, I might be working away, and here comes one or the other. It’s always a surprise which one of the four has been volunteered by the others to lead the charge.  And I must admit, it’s a nice surprise. In fact, I’m wondering right now, who will wander in to save me…hurry, I’m tired!

 Sara adds:    There are a couple of leadership lessons here.  First, when someone (two or four legged) wants to have fun, do stuff together and always (always, always) trusts us, it’s hard not to respond in like kind –   that’s the lesson on the receiving end.  The message on the sending end (leadership in action) is one of consciousness.  If we learn a lesson from our pets, it’s to be really aware of our employees because it’s contagious!   Fred Kofman states it in Conscious Business, “Conscious employees take responsibility for their lives…unconscious employees do the opposite.”  Consider the value of an employee that takes responsibility versus one who does not.  Which would you rather have?  Let’s go back to the lessons.  First, if a leader shows their employees that they want to have fun, do stuff together and that they trust them, it’s hard not to smile and join in. And consciousness modeled by a leader is picked up by those they lead.  Remember how the excitement of the dogs invited play from Cheryl.  Excitement from a leader invites engagement (or consciousness.)   My dog pokes me in the ribs with her snout when I’ve been sitting too long.  She is a great inspiration!

What is the future?

The differences between men and women in business are amazing, complex, and sometimes predictable.  Cheryl and Sara are going to spend some blog-space exploring how men and women manage to speak directly with one another and still not communicate!

 Sara’s view:   For her, the future includes everything…no really, EVERYTHING. It can be the next fifty years.   For him, the future can be next month.  Here is a little background.  When we were on the playground, as children, the girls would play complex games of life that would span from one “recess” to the next.  The boys would play a game that ended with the bell.  The next game would begin the next time they were released to play.  Two difference perspectives on “future” were developing.  These ideas are courtesy of Play Like a Man, Win Like a Women by Gail Evans.

 The children on the playground grow up and now meet in the boardroom where the discussion is about the life of a product.  She’s thinking about the implications for every other product in the company, the R&D and manufacturing teams, and the consumer (to name only a few considerations). He is considering the P&L, market share percentages, and when the competitive pressure might be great enough to dump the product and move on.   Disconnect?  Yes.  Result?

 Cheryl’s view: Some traditional wisdom states “Timing is everything.”  In this case, it just might be. What will likely happen next is these parties will translate their thoughts into conversation. With such differences in perspectives, one could almost predict the inevitable conflict. What Fred Kofman states in  Conscious Business is “Each individual enjoys property rights over his or her opinions. The problem is that we take our opinions to be more than simply our view of the world; we think of them as an accurate description of the world.”  Our gender differences certainly are a powerful force in forming our opinions, and thus our view of the world.

 As the conversation progresses, the outcome is almost predictable.  She will likely see him as “short sighted, greedy, and unconcerned with the long term impact.” He might see her as “soft and too people focused, looking at aspects no one could control, and clueless on how to win.” Oh good, the result is now playing the Blame Game! And with that game come the reinforcement of well honed gender biases.   Hofman suggests that “Each party is entitled to their opinion, and nobody has the right to claim ownership of the truth.” Unfortunately, based on their gender specific experiences, each believes their view is the truth.  Checkmate.