Giving Back: Support Hunger Relief
Hunger is an issue that continues to be very important to me and I have
decided to get involved! For the 4th year in a row I am walking in the
CROP WALK and I need your help. CROP WALK is sponsored by Church World
Services (CWS), which has received a ranking of "Excellent" from the
American Institute of Philanthropy.
Please consider making a donation to my efforts. Your donation supports
programs that work to solve this world-wide challenge, including
responding to relief efforts associated with such devastating events as
You can help by visiting my
personal donation page where you can make a secure online donation. If
you would prefer to make an "offline" donation, contact me at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Anyone who contributes $25 or more will
receive a 64MB USB memory stick.
Thank you for your support in helping to solve hunger.
The Makings of a True Professional
Catherine Blake, President & Founder, Sales Protocol International
As a business professional, don't you want to improve your edge? Author
Stephen R. Covey, in his book
The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, refers to this as
"sharpening the saw." He tells the parable of two men given the task of
sawing wood from sunrise to sunset. The first man toiled constantly while
the second worked intermittently. At the end of the day, the first man
asked the other, "How did you saw more wood than me when I worked so much
harder?" The second man replied, "Because I took time out to sharpen my
The only way we can improve ourselves is with desire, discipline and
focus—every day. But there is so much more to being at the top of our
game. It runs deeper than desire.
What defines you as a business professional? Is it your attitude? Is it
something you put on, like an air, or is it real? Think of a person you
really admire: someone you work with or an executive you look up to. What
is it about this person that's different? Executive search firms call this
the "it factor," and if you try to pin them down and ask for a definition,
they won't exactly be able to tell you. What they will say is that at a
certain level, competency is a given. Many people have the skills to do a
particular job, but firms look for something more in a candidate. They
What is "it"?
It's a martini—shaken, not stirred. Take a fine vessel – well dressed and
groomed and sophisticated in the ways of etiquette and international
culture – then add wisdom, intelligence, a dash of wit and a splash of
charisma, all mixed over rock-core values, shaken and poured into the
hearts of those who can appreciate and savor this special blend. Realize,
too, that this elixir can be wasted on individuals whose experience isn't
sufficiently refined to appreciate the quality ingredients.
James Bond aside, people who possess that je ne sais quoi own
something more profound than the veneer of well-tailored suits, designer
attachés and European sports cars. Now don't get me wrong: Being a
business professional does mean you care enough about yourself and others
to project the image of your employer's "brand." For example, if you
represent an airline, then you are expected to follow protocol and
maintain a conservative, traditional look.
Manners are important for a professional, but this really goes beyond
etiquette. Consider one of my colleagues from years ago. We worked for a
Fortune 500 company and launched its global accounts program. He was in
California, and I was based in Boston. He had the skills for the job,
having been a business professional since the dark ages, and he knew all
the right people—not to mention he dressed to the nines with cuff links,
suspenders (or braces, as I've been told) and fine suits. But something
was missing. To my disappointment, I discovered he wasn't a nice person.
He proved highly competent but out for only one thing: himself. What this
translated to was a manipulative, unethical coworker I didn't dislike but
rather felt sorry for. He had the trappings but lacked the essential
quality of success: good character.
In today's market economy, the heart and soul of a business professional
lends itself to key elements: some related to competence and many related
to character, which you can't fake. What do you do if you're not happy
with something about your character? What if you want to take your career
to the next level? What's holding you back? You have to be willing to
change, and that's hard work.
However, change is far from impossible. Do you think everyone who joins
the Marines is a Marine on their first day of boot camp? The drill
sergeant seeks the weakness of each man and woman and breaks them down
before building them up with respect, dignity and a set of core values
that shines through. Recruits put self-interest aside and serve a greater
purpose. They're transformed into leaders who know what they stand for.
It's like the old adage: "If you don't stand for something, you'll stand
What are the enduring character traits of a true professional? I would say
there are three: discernment, integrity, and compassion. Stay tuned for
the next newsletter edition where I'll begin to discuss them in more
About Sales Protocol
Sales Protocol International provides sales training, coaching and
strategy to organizations that desire to achieve their personal best,
honestly and ethically. Our programs yield top-line results and contribute
to a healthier organization.
The company is founded on the strong ethical values of integrity,
professionalism, and honor. A percentage of all profits are donated to
support local, national and international charities to make the world a
better place. We are also dedicated to volunteering our time, talent and
treasures to the local community.
+ The Makings of a True Professional
+ Recommended Reading
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Where is the "C" in CRM? by Jean Kovacs discusses the importance of
satisfying the individual needs and expectations of customers and
partners, in order to optimize the impact of CRM. Ms. Kovacs provides a
case study of NEC, a company that achieved success with CRM by making it a
priority to provide customers with a unique and satisfying experience.
About Customer Centricity, Inc.
We strengthen overall company performance through
better service delivery and management.
We boost efficiencies in front-line customer service and technical support
teams, order processing, fulfillment, field service, logistics and other
key operations functions.
In short, we align the resources of your organization to exceed your
customers' expectations in the most effective and efficient manner
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