Posts Tagged ‘productive time’

Be My Valentine

Thursday, February 14th, 2019

Do you know who, in a business setting, your prospective business partners are “sleeping with”? I include those that they have formal alliances with and those that they have informal ties to, and the obligations inherent in those relationships. I raise the point because often in an unstructured transactional setting with ultra high net worth individuals, a full or partial sale of a business or an asset may involve culturally diverse parties, an extended chain of communication and overt secrecy. Time is short and excitement rises fast, what is not said (taken on trust) or not researched may be more important to your future relationship (loss of power and control) than what is said.

The Next Big Thing

Monday, February 4th, 2019

In my business transition advisory work, I find 80% of entrepreneurs and executives in high-growth and mid-sized businesses very clear about the preferred outcome for the business, 50% very clear about the simplest path to it, 20% very clear about their own ideal future post-transition and less than 10% very clear on the optimum way to get “there”. Why? They’ve consciously or unconsciously ceded power and control to others, not prioritised themselves, or worse, they are in hiding behind a veil of procrastination. Have I hit on a very uncomfortable truth?

Pull up a chair, eliminate the distractions and let’s resolve now to clearly, and unambiguously, answer the three most important questions:

  1. What am I tremendously passionate about?
  2. What rare and powerful combination of skills, behaviours and expertise do I uniquely possess or could quickly develop?
  3. Where would the application of those talents have a transformational impact on the future of (enter organisation name), and its’ key constituents (enter clients, employees, investors, board members, business partners, suppliers names and so on)?

Armed with that level of clarity, what stops you setting aside time now in your diary to meet with those individuals? For many of my clients, it is really one of three reasons: you don’t trust your own judgement (“I am unfamiliar who’d have a need for me outside what I know”), you don’t see a need (“opportunities will come to me”), or you don’t see the urgency to do it (“I’ll get around to it once my immediate business goals are met”). Some site money as an excuse but that is very rarely the case unless you are broke.

The harsh truth is without the discipline, hard work and talent, to make it happen now, it will rarely lead to a desirable personal conclusion. You’ll end up forever circling half-explored opportunities, amid growing frustration of wanting to get “stuck into something”. When you do have the need post-transition, finding the “right opportunity” is incredibly difficult (your ideal relationships and interactions have changed markedly). Finally, you find perhaps for the first time, in the case of entrepreneurs, founders and executives on “exit”, you are beholden to others’ timing and priorities, which don’t align with your own.

Hiring qualified experts like me (depth and breadth of insight globally supported by a track record of success) can demonstrably help, strategically, where you are seeking validation of your own judgement, and tactically, pathways to ideal names, monthly accountability or creation of a post-transition structure “in waiting”. For example, the entrepreneur, who decides that he wants to invest in other entrepreneurs or the executive, who wants to work with private investors or philanthropic initiatives. However, it is really down to you and your desire to mitigate the risks of an unsatisfactory outcome.

Legacy Trumps Opinions

Tuesday, September 18th, 2018

Everyone has an opinion about something today (Trump, Brexit, societal changes) and when given a large platform (social or public media), the barrage of people “shouting” about something, is at times deafening, and largely wasted. In death, as I was reminded at a close friend’s funeral yesterday, the only score that counts is what you have positively contributed to the lives of the people around you and beyond (“legacy”).  

Pick My Pocket

Thursday, June 7th, 2018

If you don’t have a clear threshold, where free marketing advice stops and paid advice starts, you’ll forever have your pocket picked by clients, prospects, investors, business partners and friends. I’d urge you to adopt a “pick my brain fee” (say $500 or a $1,000) for an hour of unfettered advice to a for-profit business. Instantly, 80% of these requests will immediately cease. Those that agree to it, will reward you with a committed paying client or business partner. Here is a golden rule: you might offer some free insights on “what” they might do, say, act upon etc. but they must agree to pay you before you start explaining “how” they might accomplish their objectives. Repeat after me, “I am not a charity unless I choose to be. My time is scarce and valuable.”

© James Berkeley 2018. All Rights Reserved.

 

Truly Connected

Tuesday, November 21st, 2017

Why does the size of a great many people’s personal networks (number of LinkedIn connections, Instagram followers etc.) say more about their own self-worth than the value they actually confer? If the objective is to build and cultivate an increasing number of peer-level trusting relationships and offer people of interest impressive value that cannot be done anonymously in cyberspace.

I recall an experience with a London-based recruiter keen to impress me with his Global Private Banking and UHNW wealth management connections and return a favour. “If you’d like my help, have a look at my LinkedIn connections and let me know, who I can introduce you to.” After reluctantly following his approach and mentioning three names, he immediately responded, “Sorry they don’t know me well or they’ll confuse you with my candidate work.” We settled on another one at his suggestion, a rather prickly character, running a private investment office with a venerable European family background. “Go and see him, I’m sure it will be a valuable use of your time”.

Five minutes into the meeting, it was abundantly clear that the investor had close to zero relationship with the executive search partner and that in offering the introduction, the recruiter was clueless about the investor’s needs. Indeed, I’d hazard a guess that of the recruiter’s 2000+ LinkedIn connections, perhaps only 15 know him well and he has a contemporary understanding of their needs.

This isn’t exclusive to the executive search sector. I have had recent examples with highly successful Board Chairs, private equity partners, bankers and corporate executives, who are conciously obsessing about the size of their networks, largely for their own ego trip. However when you press hard or follow through, you find 80% of the people in their network, really don’t know them that well, today, or at all.

Don’t assume someone is “truly connected”, however impressive their “past” or the size of their network. Ask for recent examples of highly similar introductions and the results that arose. Listen, do your own homework and make your own judgement.

© James Berkeley 2017. All Rights Reserved.