04 June 2023

Look before you leap

Having being engaged for more than 40 years and took management responsibilities in major multinational companies I have learned to live in balanced environments.

In the early days of my career work/life balance seemed to have skewed towards business endeavours. I must admit it was a grinding period. Can you imagine travelling every week to Middle East, Eastern Europe, Africa, Russian Federation, and CIS States for a time scale exciding over many years? As well as attending meetings at HQ, in Canada, US, UK, Korea, Germany.

1990’s & 2000’s & to present day, telecoms and technology uplift or rather upgrade was taking the region by storm. Therefore being on the location and at the site had utmost significance. Do you remember those days when internet was not widely deployed? Written or verbal communications effectiveness was questionable. Even today nothing can take away the power of face to face meetings.

Please have a glance to the challenges that may provide a glimpse of thought for those who are mighty interested in covering large territories.

My sincere suggestion would be not to look at your feet. It's already too late to find out gaps and dents in the ground. Look to distances. Make sure that you have a prediction sketched on a piece of paper. Graphics and pictures usually illuminate the rough paths before a step is taken.

First Challenge. “Make presence felt”

This was the first consideration or I should call was the first challenge. Every customer wants to have a quality relationship with the supplier. Trust is built on personal contacts compared to product quality. Customers buy from friends who would not leave them empty handed when things progress towards the wrong direction. Sustainable happiness and satisfaction is constructed upon these correct interactions. Thus long term dependence is always considered to be the measure of nearness to the customers.

Therefore since persuasive maintenance of affiliation is time consuming efficient meetings has to be planed beforehand. Convincingness is a single attempt. Any doupt will linger on and drag along without a solution.

Second challenge. “When it rains it pours”

I know how difficult it is to design strategic road maps for each and every one of the addressed markets. Taking into consideration all matters beyond products, services and delivery. Environmental impacts play serious importance to decision making. Foreseeing risks and calculating mitigation factors item by item demands ever increasing strength and stamina. Intensity of energy consumed for a proper methodology is time consuming. Resources and data was not ready available back then and still is not now.

Up to a certain point in time during my professional career my colleges encouraged me to ask questions. It worked. I was receiving dead on answers. My learning has accelerated. As my understanding got deeper I started to realise that whatever the question was, there is a specific answer that did not correspond to the question exactly.

From that moment on I was curious about the answers rather that the questions. Analysing, gathering, writing down answers opened up my mind. The more I envisaged the more sharpened my answers got. Thus I was able to control the rain before the shower poured.

Third challenge. “Haste Makes Waste”

Now should you take a quick step forward without understanding all the angles? What if developments take a different route while you are busy with non-relevant detail? On the other hand what would happen if you try to cut the corners for the sake of rushing a program? Assessment of the situation and judgement are the key ingredients of a leader. Intelligence, acumen, common sense, trend awareness are the soft tools that will be beneficial for handing such complex circumstances. I am sure you have already acquired these competencies.

Resources are limited. Most importantly time, funds, expertise are rare and unique. Evidently there will be differences of ideas in every case. Hurried decision making may cause more damage than lightning striking a tree.

You must trust your intuition. Make sure that the proposal has a very high percentage of fulfilling the need. Design couple of scenarios in case things go wrong. Outline a mitigation policy to be implemented on time as conditions develop. If nothing works abandon and go back to the drawing board. Assume responsibility which will ease the stress and the team will continue without worry.

Lessons learned will create better answers to such questions that were never asked.

Well there are so many ideas to share.

I would like to dwell more on “Look before you leap” in terms of a decision making tool.

Create art as part of your everyday life.