Right FIT #336 – This week: Listening, Remote work, Berries

Sales and marketing Newsletter

Quick notes to help you grow your business in less time with less effort. . . sometime next week.

In this issue:

– Techniques for FIT
– Being Human
– Random Stuff

Techniques for FIT

  • Everyone loves a listener. It takes work to be a good one. It comes with the benefit of making you more interesting too.
  • Revisiting old books or past training materials is enlightening. Something new will occur to you, and it will likely be something timely.
  • When I say we were born salespeople, learning persuasion early, I’m asked for an example. My small child starting a conversation with, “How was your day?” Courtesy puts me on alert. Very persuasive. Learned very early.
  • “What are we going to do to increase the value we provide clients next week?” Good question to end the week on.

Being Human – Back to work

“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” – Heraclitus


I’m semi-obsessed with the back to the office stories in the news. When the pandemic started and business shifted as much work to remote as possible I knew it would cause a shift with remote work tools. For instance, each fall I teach a remote learning class to high school students. The kids are located all over the Americas forcing us to use Zoom and other remote collaboration tools. The first times through the class included lengthy tutorials on the tools. The current crop of students knows more about the tools than I do. I didn’t expect a work culture shift. Working remote is hard.

A week ago, business news-maker du jour Elon Musk told his employees to get back to their office 40 hours a week or leave. He must see value in the intrapersonal connections and collaboration, I thought. Then I saw his followup to a question about the new policy. “They should pretend to work somewhere else.” Huh.

The way we’ve been successful is how we know how to be successful. “I did X, and I am successful, so if you do X you should have the same if not similar success.” A CEO said this about the new generation of talent coming through his office. He got to the top by putting in crazy hours and doing amazing work. The Millennials and Gen Zers working for him didn’t have it from what he sees, he told me.

Musk and my CEO friend may be right.

One thing to consider, a thing I helped the CEO with, is revisiting his history, the story he tells himself. He came through the company with a cohort. How many of his peers had his stamina and work ethic? How many made it to CEO? Since it wasn’t 100%, or even 50% of his peers enjoying his success, is he sure there was no one on his team showing promise?

If your people are remote, and it feels like they are less productive, go get the data. Lack of productivity will be showing up somewhere. Get past the anecdotes and into the metrics. We know what we know until the data tells us otherwise. What gets measured gets managed. Remote work is no different.

Things change. New tools come along. Plans are altered. What shouldn’t change is your vision. If your current strategy isn’t making progress, show your people the data and make changes. I give you permission.

Random stuff


“The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done. . .” – Ecclesiastes 1:9

Robin-eating-serviceberry-Deb-Nystrom (photo via Flickr, Deb Nystrom)

This morning I am up early enough to look outside and see the sprinklers are working. You may remember that one of my first pandemic lockdown activities was fixing the sprinkler system. All it took was a rudimentary understanding of plumbing, YouTube, big holes, and lots of swearing. This morning it is working perfectly.

The house is asleep and there is no one to share my success with. No one except the pets. Wilson the ABC sleeps, and my lovely bride’s cat watches cat TV in the window. The tree in front of the window has berries, befitting its name, the serviceberry tree. Said berries are turning red and the robins are hopping from branch to branch picking the ripest ones. How many of these berries have made it through the bird, found fertile ground, giving birth to new serviceberries? I will never know, but I do know which ones that found their way to my truck. It’s a lot. Every spring.

The world is moving on. This week it’s doing so with one less person in my life.

The son of a good friend got sick and died. I knew him as a friend of my children, the way a parent knows their friend’s kids. As parents we burden our children with our expectations of how their lives will go, but our children’s worldviews are unique to them. It’s a blessing to witness them grow and imagine the world they see through their eyes. To have a little space in their journey.

Death at 27 isn’t supposed to be part of the journey. We are sad. Wounded.

Time will heal this wound as it’s done before. Life will go on.

And, as before, as will happen again, I need to clean what seems like an unusually large amount of berry birdshit off my truck.


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