I see myself as a pretty positive, future-focused guy.  I love to laugh and have fun at what I do. And I have been blessed to be doing something I love for many years with people that I genuinely enjoy working with. So the vast majority of the time I am one happy guy!

But sometimes the craziness in our world, both business and otherwise, makes me more than a little frustrated.  So please allow me this opportunity to vent a bit about things that I simply do not understand, and quite honestly, drive me a more than a little nutty:

  • Some people forget that everyone is important!  Not just the leader, or the coach, or the Maître D – but EVERYONE!  In the big scheme of life, no one is more special than anyone else yet I see far too often people being dismissive of people they perceive as not being that important to them.
  • Why is it that roller suitcases (that 90% of business travelers’ use) are so hard to roll on hotel carpet?  You know what I mean- you’re cruising down the nice faux wood floor of the hotel lobby and then you hit the carpeted section where the rooms begin and BAM – you almost pull your shoulder out because the carpet has your roller bag in a vise grip!  So why has no one figured this out?!
  • Why do I get so many emails from people I don’t know or have ever heard of asking me if I want a meeting to discuss their service or product?  Maybe they should try and build a relationship with me first?  Speaking of that, why do I have 5,300 connections on LinkedIn, yet only 75 of those people seem to truly want a “relationship” with me by their actions and the frequency of their persistent, relevant, contact with me?
  • And if 70 % of all of the jobs we will get in our LIFETIME will come from our own network why don’t we teach people how to build a valuable business relationship in college? To pay tens of thousands of dollars for an education and not learn 2 of the most important life skills seems like a huge miss to me.
  • If I can get free WiFi in pretty much any restaurant, coffee shop or retailer I happen to walk into off of the street without buying anything, why do I have to pay $50 for 30 minutes of WiFi access on every American Airlines flight when I pay them tens of thousands of dollars every year jetting around the US and the world to see clients?
  • Why don’t more salespeople study their craft? It’s a profession just like being a physician is a profession. We all know that physicians have to have a certain number of continued education hours every year to keep their license – not to mention keep current in the best approaches to treating patients – so why do so many sales people feel they “got it” because they are so “experienced”?  Would you want an “experienced” surgeon whose last exposure to education and practicing his craft was 15 years ago in Med School to perform surgery on ANYTHING?  Heck no!  So why do we think our customers want the same from us?  Be a professional and train.  You may be good but you can ALWAYS be better!
  • Why do so many sales managers stop studying selling not long after they become a sales manager?  I’m pretty sure sales people want more from their managers than a free lunch.  EVERYONE that I know who is worth their salt in anything wants to get better at it.  And most of those want someone who can help them get better.  How can a sales manager who can’t actually sell model what really good looks like?  Simple answer – they can’t.
  • I flew on a Boeing 767 the other day. A huge airplane that has more electrical outlets than my family room in VA but it is an engineering disaster.  No WiFi and every time I put my arm on the arm rest, the sensitive keypad would cause my seat to tilt back and the leg support to come out!  And Boeing, American or someone should give you a free flight voucher if you are successful in putting the tray table away on the first try!  Really?  The great minds at Boeing couldn’t do any better than this? 
  • Why don’t we teach goal setting in college…or even high school?  Goals are so important as they give our thoughts and actions direction.  They keep us focused on what we want to accomplish, and just importantly, how we want to accomplish it.  In essence, goals are the milestones that one strives for on their personal and professional journeys thru life.  Yet, when you speak to most young professionals, even those coming out of some of the strongest business schools in the country, they have no idea how to set goals or the importance they play in the journey of life and business.  A little concerning don’t you think?
  • Lastly, in my mind, people seem to be more closed-minded than ever before and our world seems to be lacking in a big way in the important principles of civility and common sense.  ANY notion that as a society we have eliminated “prejudice” is ridiculous. If anything, prejudice has increased as we believe OUR opinions are the only ones that count and we have little or no willingness to listen to or understand others.  

Of all the things I listed above that cause me to shake my head, Number 10 is the one that keeps me up at night. I lose sleep on this one as it strikes not at the core of success within a profession or business, but rather our success as a society.  And that my friends, we ALL need to come together and fix.

Thanks for letting me rant a bit.  I look forward to visiting with you all again next week.