Sunday, June 26, 2005

HardBall Politics

Still a bit jet lagged – seem sluggish. I survived my overnight flight, gave myself permission to only run 2 miles figuring that the 7 miles the day before still gave me an OK average. I usually only run 3-5 miles per day.

Had pretty solid meetings and conference calls for the morning at Ronson, lunch meeting then back to my Guelph office where I met my middle daughter Beth. I had not seen her for 3 months since she was on a school term in England. It was great seeing her if even for only a few minutes. She is sweet.

Felt terribly guilty about sneaking home for a 2 hour nap before my ex-EMJ board dinner which went well.

Today is mostly just a catch up on a few things in the office day and work on a huge deal I have in the hopper.

Waiting for the flight home, I finished reading “Hardball: How Politics is Played told by one who knows the Game” by Chris Matthews. He is a US political talk show host. Much of the book is about applying political tactics to work environments. It is the 4th or 5th book I have read in the past few months on politics. Makes me realize what a brutal game Politics is (and I thought computer distribution was rough).

SYNNEX is much larger than EMJ so I am keenly aware of there being more politics at work. This is especially strong when changes are being made. So I looked for books to help me with this. Although this is a good recreational read, it was of limited help for me in my current situation.

One line that I thought was good is “all politics are local” (by Tip O’Neil). I realize what I need to do to garner support is to be local everywhere. Another point which I have long practiced is to invest in people. The more I invest in them, the more committed they will be to my success. The book talks about how to handle rumour and attacks – Head on and with truth. It talks about how to build power and support, the only 2 of which I can use are: Play to your strengths and underpromise and overdeliver.

Back to big P Politics. I always say I am non-Political – largely because that makes business sense. If I supported any party, I would likely offend one of my customers or suppliers or employees. It is no win in business to be political.

3 Comments:

At 9:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You wrote: "The book talks about how to handle rumour and attacks – Head on and with truth."

A good quote about the importance of telling the truth, Jim, but unfortunately, it is not the corporate way. Corporations are not about telling the truth. They are about profits, plain and simple. If the truth is uttered by corporate representatives at all, it is only because it is convenient, or in some cases, to avoid prosecution. Otherwise, famous lines like: "If any jobs are to be lost [post-merger], they'll be lost at SYNNEX, not at EMJ" will continually dot the corporate countryside as sure as they always have. But it is not like you, specifically, are to blame, Jim. As an analogy: can a man blame a scorpion for stinging him? Of course not. It is simply its nature, developed and honed to suit the environment in which its species has adapted to survive. It is no different for the corporate executive; striving to survive in the cold, calculated and artificially created climate of the corporation.

If you like quotes, here is one that I like, this one by Mark Twain:

It is a civilization which has destroyed the simplicity and repose of life; replaced its contentment, its poetry, its soft romance-dreams and visions with the money-fever, sordid ideals, vulgar ambitions, and the sleep which does not refresh; it has invented a thousand useless luxuries, and turned them into necessities; it has created a thousand vicious appetites and satisfies none of them; it has dethroned God and set up a shekel in His place.

Try not to bruise your finger slamming it down on the delete key. After all, you might be able to sell that keyboard some day.

 
At 12:05 AM, Blogger Jim Estill said...

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At 12:24 AM, Blogger Jim Estill said...

Ouch. Speak the truth as it is today recognizing that over time, changes will sometimes be neccessary. I have learned to temper my statements. Good learning.

As for profits. These are essential for the welfare of any business. Without profit, there can be no business.

And, I am truly sorry you lost your job. I hope you find the opportunity in it.

 

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