A Baby Boomer Reflects from the 17th Tee-Box

  • Jul 2, 2021

After decades of working with major corporations and small capital operations, time management concepts, the ability to change and adjust, and customer service remain critical and recurring themes.


Hard work is not passé. 


There is merit in making one more call to confirm necessary details, spending time to nail down points for a presentation, and visiting one more account before finishing a day of sales networking. 


Extra effort is a characteristic of good athletes and successful business people, but the great ones focus on working smart.


Shall we define working smart?


In today's world, it involves excellent usage of applicable and available information technology, careful control of one's schedule, and the constant honing of current skills with aggressive attention to learning new ones.


One of my colleagues refuses to be interrupted from his focus on tasks at hand and consequently gets more done in an hour than most people deliver with twice the time. 


He runs the production center, and his track record of quality claims eclipses the industry standard year after year. I can’t calculate the hours and energy saved but am grateful for not being forced to put out quality control fires inherent to most businesses.


Another one of my business associates introduced and drove a cloud-based management software project specific to our industry. 


However, it was seemingly costly and time-intensive in the initial stages of our exposure to its functions and was a distraction and frustrating at times. 


(I feared it had killed our business’s momentum.)


No pain – no gain. 


The streamlined proposal-to-invoice management system was integral to our survival of the Covid-19 disruption. Recent upgrades to the software will make our business even more efficient and effective as we advance.


We should not overlook the importance of soft skills and their usage to connect to people. People skilled in human relations might become a rare breed as we move from face-to-face meetings to modern forms of social networking. 


The need for people adept in human-to-human interaction will increase as AI reaches its ultimate potential.


An over-achieving millennial in our marketing department introduced some apps and workarounds which my father would have said are the "best things since sliced bread." For me, "it was the best thing since the introduction of the spell check." I don't think I could get through a workday without the new devices.


Some things shouldn’t change.


Polite, crisp, written business communication differentiates you from less conscientious competitors and allows for professional credibility even when two people have never met. 


(I haven’t had the opportunity to meet most of our customers in Europe in person, but we've become friends through email messages and Zoom conferences.)


Honesty, integrity, courtesy, and reliability remain factors in a game that will undoubtedly change rapidly, if not daily. 


The players in the top league will have to pivot through the maze of changes and make second and third efforts to get over unavoidable obstacles. 


The challenges and opportunities are infinite and unforeseeable from the 17th tee-box.

  • Category: Featured
  • Tags: Work, marketing, hard work, promotional, working smart, smart, business, reflection, small business
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