Home > Ideas > Onward …

Onward …

The clock has ticked over, past the midnight hour, to usher in another new year … for some it announces the beginning of a new business period and for others it is time to renew their resolve and put into practice the long-overdue plans and promises.

Last year on this date the blog presented Sales Resolutions – the article discussed the essentials of a game-plan for success in Sales. While I believe that Business Plans can & should have definite Start-Date and End-Date (for better focus) I don’t think personal resolutions need to be linked to a date unless there is a concrete reason for starting later. I am speaking in particular about resolutions that are set aside for commencement on January 1st, on one’s birthday or even on some other person’s birthday – it just does not make sense to me.

I made a business call today – although most private companies are closed (to permit the late night parting and revelry that their employees usually get involved in to usher in the New Year) there are many large organizations, particularly the ones in the Government Sector, that work on Jan 1st.

I sought out one such, where I had been hoping to make a breakthrough for a while, and fixed an appointment. The idea was not to fulfill a resolution, but to be productive on the very first day of the year and to keep the trend going right through the year.  It was a case of doing the necessary at the earliest – I also made sure that there was no late night partying on New Year’s Eve in order to be fresh and alert for the business visit. The call was a huge success and it gave me great satisfaction – I can afford to party now, but I won’t, because it isn’t a priority.

You may say that resolutions have their symbolism too; maybe so, but why link them to dates, essentially ones that cause inordinate postponement.

“I will stop smoking on my father’s birthday.”

“I intend to be nice to customers from next New Year’s day.”

“I promise to stop drinking from my Patron Saint’s birthday.”

And I fail to see the connection.

If you think it is important then the time to stop drinking and smoking and the time to be good to your customers is NOW / TODAY, not a date in the future!

We are not trying to make a symbolic gesture and such measures are usually not effective or worthwhile. If it is important then drop everything else and do the needful.

On Dec 8th my blog had started its 2nd year. I had posted 2 articles on that date – one by myself and another written by a close friend, who is a Guest Relations expert. Since then the blog has not seen any new additions.

What is the impact?

–          The readership built up in the last one year has eroded; the blog is languishing. It is also possible that some of them would have lost interest or have gone elsewhere in search of reading material.

–          The energy that went into the creation of articles is missing – the reasons for not writing were genuine, not excuses, but still it caused a dilution of interest and effort. It would seem to readers that this effort is of secondary importance.

–          The dialogue, and the Connect, that had developed between the writer and the reader has been lost; the writer now needs to redouble his effort to return to the old level.

–          Instead of reaching a new level at the commencement of the new period the engagement and the pace has been lost.

The lack of new articles had nothing to do with resolutions – I went through a hectic 10-period of work which called for focused effort and then I decided to take a break to spend time with the family; both caused a cessation in my writing efforts.

While the reasons mentioned above are legitimate and permissible I am just offering another thought:

–          I could have written a few extra articles in the more relaxed period earlier and built up a buffer that would help me tide over the busy period. I could have kept the drafts of the articles ready and just posted one every alternate day to keep the readership alive.

–          I could have included a few more Guest Articles, interspaced with my own work, and ensured new material for the readers.

These are just some ideas I wish to throw into your head about planning and resolving to get things done. While making resolutions one needs to check whether the postponement could cause more damage and call for a much larger effort than what would be required if one were to start immediately. Would the delay also lead to a drop in resolve and cause one to falter?

–          What is the business impact of delays, postponements and drop in intensity of effort?

–          How does one buffer for the period of one’s absence? Can some pre-work cover up for it?

–          How does one keep the engagement with the customer at a high round the year?

It’s important that we think about these issues to keep business going onward … and ahead!

  1. January 2, 2013 at 3:31 am

    Jay, good present… clinical i must say…Fully with you on the engagement part… we need to engage in a committed way in any endeavours most of all in sales / contracts for sustained business. The habit of taking NY resolutions and washing it down the drain with the same day’s drink is not on… The other day sitting at the dinner table with wife and sons (my elder son has joined us from a 2 week break from US) it was the routine post dinner discussion & one of the topics was this… you cant fool all the people all the time. Sadly in most IT/ITES companies this is what we see… a top VP spends 2 years in one company then jumps over to another to spend another 2 years then on to another one… there is so much dearth of talent these guys some how get a break somewhere..!! this is true with retails chain Spencer, to More to BigBazaar to Metro to Reliance etc etc … or Airtel to Aircel to Vodafone to Idea to Rcom to xyz… where is commitment, where is engagement ?? If you ask me such guys need to be exposed sector wise- needs of the hour..!!

    • JayadevM
      January 2, 2013 at 4:57 pm

      Hi Uday,

      Am glad you found time on your birthday to read my article and shared this useful comment afterwards.

      You are right – a lot of young professionals are switching jobs before they have completed the learning process in their assignment – they have not made themselves worthwhile for the employer, nor have they benefited fully from the job. It will dawn on them much later. Money & Power are the ideals for such individuals.

  2. Raaj
    January 2, 2013 at 5:08 am

    Another good one Jayan… spot on.
    You are absolutely right…. if it is worth doing…. now is the time.
    How many times do we have to remind ourselves of this.
    Thank you.

    • JayadevM
      January 2, 2013 at 4:51 pm

      Thank you, Raaj!

  3. Kailash
    January 2, 2013 at 6:56 am

    J, I m here and was waiting for your article :), And what you presented above is very true/bulls eye. I wanted to start running and wanted to do 10klm in an hour and i was not waiting for 1st Jan, in fact i started around 15 days back and i’m crossing 6klm in 30 mints so i’m doing great and i’ll be crossing 10klm in 1 hour in next two weeks. So by 15th Jan i’ll be crossing my milestone if i would have started on 1st Jan, 1st i wouldn’t have responded to your blog like this 🙂 and i would have crossed 2klm in 20 mints by this time. So no need to wait for good time to start good things. Cheers !!!

    • JayadevM
      January 2, 2013 at 10:49 am

      Keep running … and make haste! 🙂

      I am glad you did not postpone after the decision was taken. Best wishes on your 10!

  4. January 2, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    I tend to engage fully in something and then completely withdraw.
    May not work with blogging, but it did work for me in business.
    I would do a seminar, and then do only follow-up calls for a few days.
    Then only no-reason calls to clients. Then only portfolio reviews.
    On some days, read up on markets, catch up on operational work and only take in-coming calls.

    On vacations, I completely withdraw, unless there is a call from office.

    I believe in recharging of batteries.

    • JayadevM
      January 2, 2013 at 4:49 pm

      Interesting, Shoba!

      Obviously it’s worked well for you, but like you said it may not work that smoothly in another line of activity.

      But I am in complete agreement with the “completely withdraw while on vacations” thought.

      Thank you for sharing your views on the subject.

  5. January 2, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    Great read again Jay! I had one of the busiest evenings at work yesterday 01 Jan’13; If I had decided to take it easy, my bosses would be busy shelling out compensation in the next few days… lol! I did take New Years Evening off to dine out and relax with Lily with the strong intention of holding fort the next day when most of my colleagues would be tired after putting up a good show the night before!! Keep one’s priorities right….. the rest will fall in place!!

    • JayadevM
      January 2, 2013 at 6:53 pm

      Hey Jamy

      You top my list of supporters and it seems in 2013 you plan to keep that status unchanged.

      I am glad you had fun with the family, but then you focused what’s important and pitch-hit for others too. Well done!

      Wishing you a wonderful 2013!!

  6. Madhu
    January 3, 2013 at 6:31 am

    Its a date thats easy to remember when you look back at successful/failed milestones !! But yes if you need to make a resolution make it NOW ! I for one stopped smoking in May 2 yrs back…nothing to do with any specific date just stamped out the cigarette in hand.

    Good read Jay !

    • JayadevM
      January 4, 2013 at 4:02 am

      Thank you, Madhu.

      I am glad you kicked that terrible habit without postponement.

  7. Bernard John
    January 4, 2013 at 2:53 am

    Dont bother Jay; there are some of us here who can read :>))

    • JayadevM
      January 4, 2013 at 3:57 am

      Hi Bernard

      I did not get that! Anyway, thank you for reading.


  8. jaishvats
    January 4, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    In school I have learnt a Hindi dhoha by Kabir that starts with ‘Kaal Kare So Aaj Kar, Aaj Kare So Ub’ Do tomorrow’s acts today and todays acts now…..I keep telling myself this whenever I want to get started with something….

    • JayadevM
      January 4, 2013 at 6:37 pm

      Absolutely! I too studied that doha in school, but have not followed it in practice. 🙂

      Hi Jayashree,

      Welcome back. Thank you for the support – my blog’s Annual Report says you are among the Top-5 respondents.


  9. Kathy
    January 5, 2013 at 8:33 am

    Spot on Jay as always….i kind of missed reading your posts and thought maybe you are busy with something else…Glad to see you back…..i guess your fans would still be around even though you disappeared for a while….Commitment is something one rarely sees these days especially among the young ones..it reflects clearly in how they keep jumping jobs in search of fame n name n money.They are not interested in learning a job fully nor are they faithful to their employers.A prime example are the folks who join handling agencies at the airport.Most of the time they come in just to jump into some airline or other.
    And please do not disappear again….:)

    • JayadevM
      January 5, 2013 at 8:52 am

      Hi Kathy

      What an honour! Thanks a ton!

      I shall be around till you guys tell me to stop!! 🙂

      And you are right about the tendency among today’s young set to jump ships too soon .. and I have heard from Managers across the globe that growth and quality work happens only when people stay on for a while. One needs to stay a minimum of 3 years, but ideally 5, to explore all possibilities in a job and before one says enough – and that is sufficient time to find out whether the organisation has better plans for you. Only after only that should you consider a change .. but the kids are so restless today.

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