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Archive for February, 2012

No Shortcuts

We love shortcuts.
We love the Express Lane
(No standing in the slow line.)
We love our EZ pass
(No waiting to pay the toll.)
We love” diet pills” that promise to make the pounds melts away.
(None of that “just exercise and eat healthy” nonsense.)

Oh, how we love our shortcuts.

We are so in love with them, we have expanded them into all areas of our lives:
• Our relationships in and out of work
• Our careers

But when we’re not standing in line in the grocery store or the toll booth, do they really work?

The Case against Shortcuts

Let me cut to the chase. I don’t believe short cuts work. Not if change really matters.
Let me share a couple of stories.

Harold’s Story

Harold is a nice young man. Twenty-four years old. A college graduate living at home with no job and no prospects for one. A client told Harold’s parents about me and they agreed to fund Harold’s sessions with me.
Harold shared a story that was unique to him but not news to me. He played sports in high school and college. He had a couple of short-lived jobs but mostly relaxed and spent time with friends in the summers. He majored in business because he thought it would give him a good general background. He didn’t like living at home but certainly did not expect to take any menial job or any low-paying entry level position. “Could I help him?” “Absolutely, I replied, if he was willing to take the time to do a thorough inventory of his skills and life experiences; if he was willing to thoroughly research potential employers; learn and use the most effective techniques for finding work.” If he was willing to do all that, I absolutely could help him.
For 35 years I’ve successfully used this approach with over 2,000 people and its worked well when they were willing to do the hard work. Harold said he was sick and tired of his situation and was definitely willing to do whatever was necessary. We set an appointment for the following week. Twenty minutes into the appointment Harold was a nowhere in sight.
I called him.
He apologized. He had “forgotten” the appointment.
We made another. He cancelled that one two days later.
I suspect Harold is currently waiting for the “job fairy” to sprinkle the magic dust on him.
Please remember him in your thoughts and prayers.
He will need both.
There are no shortcuts.

Sharon and Janet

Sharon and Janet run a successful interior design business outside of New York City.
They are very good at what they do and found financial success very soon after starting the business 11 years ago. As they grew and expanded, the need arose to hire more and more people. When I began working with them four years ago, they were in the middle of another growth phase. Helping small businesses manage their growth is one of my areas of expertise. They had never had more clients, they had never made more money and they had never been more on edge. Janet spoke first. “These people want too much money to come to work here, especially the good ones. They want retirement, bonuses, health care and other benefits.” “So what do you do?” I inquired. “We go after young people who have less ‘life expenses.’ They work out better with our model,” Sharon added. “How is that working for you?” I asked. “Horribly. We fired two last year and a new one just gave notice.”
The solution to share the wealth and the reality that you get what you pay for were
two concepts that Sharon and Janet where simply not interested in embracing.
They continue to do their work, they continue to expand and they continue to feel frustrated.
Life could be easier if they would approach their staff with a spirit of generosity but doing so would require more introspection than either of them are interested in.
Keep them in your thoughts and prayers too.
Until they do the hard work of investing in quality people, they will not see real change.
There are no shortcuts.

You may not be looking for work or running a business but I suspect somewhere in your life you long for real change. You have drifted away from your spouse and miss the closeness. Go get help and learn to talk and listen better. You’re overweight and out of shape. Learn to eat less and eat better. Learn how to get in shape and stay in shape.
Do the hard work.
The rewards will be worth it.

There are no shortcuts.

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CTS Consulting, Inc

3126 Berkshire Road

Baltimore, Maryland 21214

phone 410-444-5857

cell 443-286-2488