BUT WHY?<br />My name is Blayne Jackson and I have been running my own company, Harmony Telecoms for over five years as an Independent <br />Telecommunications Recruitment consultant. I have been very fortunate to have travelled the world with Harmony and have met <br />some amazing people. The diversity of cultures, nationalities and personalities has always been fascinating and I wanted to find<br />out what people really think outside the “standard” business questions.<br />I have managed to interview seventy one Telecommunication professionals who on a confidential basis shared their expertise, <br />knowledge, experiences, hopes, fears and above all their honesty. The interviews were conducted face to face, over the phone or <br />by way of a written return. Unfortunately I have not been able to express the tone of voice, the initial gut responses (replaced with<br />a calculated response) or the passion in this survey as displayed by my contributors.<br />Project 42 is the title of this survey and was inspired by the Radio Play of 1978 written by Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide<br />To The Galaxy. Project 42 is intended to solely be used as a piece of light reading and the views expressed accordingly are there for<br />the enjoyment of the reader. I can confirm that all contributions have in no way been changed and hope that the information<br />presented answers the questions we never asked but always assumed!<br />
The Questions<br />When did you enter the Telecommunications industry in a professional manner? <br />If at university, did you know Telecommunications was your desired field? <br />What was your biggest break? <br />Luck or Hard work? <br /> What have been the biggest changes you have experienced since starting your career? <br /> Has trust played an important part in your career? <br /> Where would you like to see yourself in the next ? years? <br /> Have you ever had a mentor? <br /> In what scenarios did you ever feel uneasy? <br /> In hind sight, was there anything you didn’t need to feel so anxious about? <br />What would be your pearl of wisdom? <br />What has been the largest cause of stress at work? <br />Did you ever feel you could have done with extra support/ training but felt uneasy to ask? <br />Has seniority really lived up to assumption?<br />What question would you like to ask and had always assumed the answer?<br />Has career or money been the main driving force for you?<br />Your best moment – prepared or adlibbed? <br />Best company you have ever worked for? <br />Secret of success in the present day? <br />What has been the most rewarding/ frustrating part of managing? <br />If you had the chance to be 16 again, what would you do?<br />?<br />
When did you enter the Telecommunications industry in a professional manner? <br />
If at university, did you know Telecommunications was your desired field? <br />
What was your biggest break? <br />“Managing to change worldwide <br />marketing policy early on in career.”<br />“Having potential recognised and given a chance.”<br />“Having children.”<br />“IDENTIFYING A FLAW IN PROCESS.”<br />“Moving from a public to a private company.”<br />“Working with people and technology.”<br />“Starting own business.” <br />“Focusing on the transmission <br />in the wireless environment<br />vs. IP networks.”<br />“Day I gave engagement ring back to Fiancé and thus travelled and worked abroad.”<br />“Liking the sound of "Ground Communications.“<br />“Gaining Telco scholarship but strengthening application by chance as a fellow yacht member was on the evaluation committee.” <br />“Getting extensive paid training.” <br />“Just hard work.”<br />22%<br />Getting involved in the Mobile industry<br />14%<br />Meeting husband or wife<br />12%<br />Working abroad<br />4%<br />Promotion / Pivotal role<br />11%<br />Working for a specific company<br />5%<br />Don’t know<br />4%<br />Closing a Deal<br />4%<br />Chance<br />3%<br />Moving from a vendor to an operator<br />3%<br />Job after working in the forces<br />
What have been the biggest changes you have experienced since starting your career? <br />Remember, 71 Global professionals with over 1,500 years combined experience!<br />RESULT<br />65 different answers and 6 N/A!!!!<br />
What have been the biggest changes you have experienced since starting your career?<br />Processes have killed creativity. <br />Processes driven by Insurance companies instead of good corporate governance. <br />Email and increase in politics. <br />Globalisation - which has enabled us to transcend culturally. <br />Ability to telecommute. <br />More efficient processes and thus the reduction of people. <br />Increase in accountants and fashionable Management practices.<br />Increase in accountants reducing entrepreneurial spirit.<br />Engineering being run by accountants.<br />Too many poor consultants getting the wrong job and badly effecting projects as well as fellow consultants. <br />Lack of skilled labour in favour of cheap workforce. <br />Increase in younger executives. <br />De-skilling of professions/ more multitasking. <br />Move to equality. <br />Shift away from the "slavery" type work ethics in the sub continent. <br />Evolution of compensation and benefits. <br />Communication within HR organisations. <br />Pace of business with very few experts anymore. Staff more vocal and question management decisions more. <br />Cost of cheap labour reducing even further, relative newcomers leaving industry compared with old school professionals. <br />
What have been the biggest changes you have experienced since starting your career?<br />How we address without respect anymore and the lack of privacy. <br />Mergers and Acquisition have reduced business progress .<br />Centralisation .<br />Telco Organisations becoming privatised and international. <br />Deregulation and the subsequent opportunities.<br />Competition and technology advancements. <br />Corporate policy limiting growth .<br />Everything is commoditised .<br />Health and Safety, positive and negative impact.<br />Reduction of quality but ethically more professional .<br />Travel/ Mobility. <br />More investor based management instead of knowledge based. <br />Writing with a pen and wearing casual clothing.<br />Speed to market. <br />Too much speed and not enough planning. <br />Growth of outsourcing.<br />Downturn in the economy of business. <br />Depreciation of loyalty.<br />Delegation of Duties and much more empowerment. <br />
Has trust played an important part in your career? <br />
Where would you like to see yourself in the next ? years?<br /><ul><li>On a beach sipping a Gin and Tonic wondering where the time has gone.
Where would you like to see yourself in the next ? years?<br />4% Involved with LTE or high end technical business.<br />Don’t Know<br />6%<br />SAME<br />11%<br />“Already living the dream”<br />15%<br />Retired<br />“Love my job as if it were my hobby!”<br />6% <br />In Sweden or another country.<br />People Development.<br />Running own business.<br />Or semi retired unless I win the lottery.<br />Sailing round the world on my sailing boat.<br />
Where would you like to see yourself in the next ? years?<br />3%<br />NGO work in Africa/<br />Government or UN<br />17%<br />CONSULTING/ OWN BUSINESS<br />“In the garden”<br />“Semi Retired”<br />19%<br />CAREER<br />COO<br />VP<br />“Where ever the sun shines”<br />Small Entrepreneurial Environment.<br />Something completely different.<br />Being in control.<br />Sustainable role where I can make a difference.<br />Financially comfortable.<br />10% VARIOUS<br />10 years<br />5 years<br />CEO/ GM<br />
Have you ever had a mentor?<br />8% Assigned<br />8% Unassigned<br />5% Many<br />1% Requested<br />“They have also been the people who recognised something in me and gave me the opportunities”<br />
In what scenarios did you ever feel uneasy? <br />
In what scenarios did you ever feel uneasy?<br /><ul><li>Overpromising in order not to loose the whole contract.
Having to upgrade a client to a new software version that hadn't been fully tested.
Inappropriate unreciprocated affection.</li></li></ul><li>In what scenarios did you ever feel uneasy<br />“I’m usually quite good at dealing with difficult situations. My main technique is to remind myself that all difficult situations come to an end. In Kabul we had a car bomb outside the office one afternoon that killed about 30 people. A contractor was also murdered and I had to attend. You kind of lose the ability to get uneasy after that.”<br />
In hind sight, was there anything you didn’t need to feel so anxious about?<br />
In hind sight, was there anything you didn’t need to feel so anxious about?<br /><ul><li>Thinking of others in confrontation.
Do work hard, do communicate, do not be afraid to get dirty, and do not blindly trust others.
Don’t waste time on worrying. You usually can sort anything out if you keep your nerve.
Don't believe the hype but read the small print.</li></ul>Ais for: <br />Always be curious!<br />Sis for: <br /><ul><li>Shortcuts don't always pay off.
Stay clean in all you do especially in countries where there are immoral opportunities.
Stay flexible. Separate private from business and don't expect to find the perfect job.
Surround yourself with better people.</li></ul>Kis for: <br />Keep moving forward<br />Keep the dream alive, keep the faith and stay flexible.<br />Know all the other elements and progression is assured.<br />Mis for: <br />Many things in life will catch your eye but only a few will catch your heart, pursue those.<br />
Iis for: <br />If working internationally, understand & respect the culture by asking questions in the right way.<br />It's all about people.<br />Fis for: <br />Fight the fights you can win.<br />Follow your dreams and do what you enjoy, rather than worry about the money, which will follow (no, I don’t take my own advice).<br />Ois for: <br />Only thing that is consistent is change.<br />Uis for: <br />Understand and learn from business and culture.<br />Understand people - cause and effect.<br />Use politics for leverage.<br />Yis for: <br />You cannot listen with your mouth open.<br />Ris for: Recognise how others view things as they behave accordingly.<br />Tis for: <br /><ul><li>Take care of the people and they will take care of the business.
Take risk, be different and don't plan ahead too much.
The only true competitive edge is for your employees to learn faster than the opposition.
Treat people at the top and the bottom the same.
Trust your gut. Don't buy on credit. Buy property and not a lifestyle.
Try and find your natural rhythm. Accept you can't always be the best.</li></ul>Wis for: <br />When changing jobs expect the role to be 80% of what was advised.<br />Work hard, know end goal, listen to your heart and don't compromise yourself.<br />
His for: <br />Half of success is showing up.<br />Helping others.<br />Nis for: <br />Never give up pushing on closed doors to see what's behind.<br />Eis for: <br />Enjoy it in the right context.<br />Every door that closes really opens another window.<br />Gis for: <br />Get the job done and overcome politics.<br />Give it a go and don't look back.<br />Go for it, don't worry and be confident.<br />Go into a career you enjoy and have a passion for.<br />Lis for: <br />Listen to people with more experience than you.<br />Look at yourself as a brand and be mindful of your brand value. Be patient & give value to all that you do.<br />Bis for: <br /><ul><li>Be careful how you treat people on the way up.
Be mindful of your impact on your environment. Strive to make a difference.</li></ul>Pis for: <br />Plan well, look for the pit falls and work with your team.<br />
What has been the largest cause of stress at work?<br />3%<br />Corporate and industry politics<br />4%<br />Being away from family<br />11% <br />Ill informed decision makers<br />3%<br />Don’t get stressed!<br />21%<br />Achieving targets (Budget variations)<br />4%<br />Redundancies<br />4%<br />Employees personal problems more than business<br />4%<br />Being let down<br />
What has been the largest cause of stress at work?<br />Chauvinism.<br />Board of directors. <br />Having to fire people. <br />Accountants influencing engineering.<br />Balancing work with family.<br />Family members of staff passing away.<br />Dealing with un-educated, ill informed morons who happen have <br />been lucky to be in a more senior position than me.<br />Lack of structure.<br />Working with specialists who have minimal knowledge of soft sciences <br />(humanities, sociology, political economy, political sciences).<br />Business Development being too good and not being able to deliver.<br />Dealing with unreasonable bosses.<br />Different objectives when all should be in line.<br />Exclusion due to cultural differences.<br />First CEO role - scope of responsibility.<br />Lack of team work & focus on short term benefits rather than long term solutions. <br />Working in a thankless job in a soulless place.<br />Losing business opportunities.<br />Job you don't want to be in and looking for the next job.<br />Continuity of worth.<br />Initiating a project without the proper resources.<br />Meeting deliverables whilst understanding cross cultural boundaries.<br />Low quality workmanship.<br />Malicious agendas.<br />Trust.<br /> <br />
Did you ever feel you could have done with extra support/ training but felt uneasy to ask?<br />1%<br />I never face this problem and fought to get what I wanted!<br />10%<br />Always asked<br />1%<br />No to start but most recently YES.<br />4%<br /><ul><li>No but feel have lack of business skills.
Fortunate to get more training than </li></ul>most that led to my success.<br /><ul><li>Referred to Mentor.</li></ul>4%<br />Didn’t receive<br />4%<br />On job training<br />23%<br />YES<br />28%<br />NO<br />22%<br />Not answered<br />
Has seniority really lived up to assumption?<br />39%<br />YES<br />28%<br />NO<br />Not in a small company<br />Not in a small company<br />13%<br />Yes/ No<br />As stressful as imagined but not as rewarding.<br />Accept and behave<br />Always respected seniority<br />Key is delegation<br />Seniority is in the eye of the beholder<br /> and ego must not manifest to <br />affect the dynamics with colleagues.<br />But don't like managing<br />From a responsibilities point of view<br />Overwhelming responsibility<br />Respect experience<br />Much harder<br />See everybody as equals<br />Lonely and lack of trust<br />More hard work<br />Responsible for more people and problems<br />More operations than technology in a technical role<br />Not as easy<br />Takes fun out of job and lonely<br />Takes fun out of job and lonely<br />Rarely<br />It’s easier to make money at a senior level - its less physical work, <br />you produce more cash for less physical input.<br />I thought I’d get above the humdrum administrative duties but that’s never been the case.<br />The discretion to set targets and control resources is good. The downside is that more people than ever seem to expect access to you.<br />I don’t really pursue “seniority”. For me it’s more about the opportunity. That said, there’s a lot more stress in senior positions – money compensates for this to some degree – but there are days when I wish I had a job that I could switch off from at 5 o’clock. <br />More senior roles take up a larger <br />Proportion of the work/life balance.<br />
What question would you like to ask and had always assumed the answer?<br /><ul><li>Do you travel as much as me? Should I travel as much? Does it make that much of a difference.
How do you know when to let go of a project, bid or strategy.
How much more time or money do you need to deliver?
I would ask Google if they ever dreamed they would get to the size they did or was it planned?
I'd ask a CEO how are they able to present bad results in a positive way?
I’d ask Motorola if partnering with Siemens in 1989 was a wise move for a European foothold?
If it were your own money would you make the same decisions?
Is it just me or do the same idiots show up in the same international jobs when they have been incompetent?</li></li></ul><li><ul><li>Have I achieved my potential considering?
Are you comfortable with the efficiency of processes and procedures?
Are you happy and have a good insight into your company?
Are you having the same issues with vendors?</li></li></ul><li>What challenges are you facing. Why did you fail before?<br />What do people really think about me?<br />What do you want from your job?<br />What have you contributed to society? What will be your legacy?<br />What have you done in the last month to improve profitability?<br />What is my future with my organisation?<br /><ul><li>It’s often important to know the answer to one’s question before asking it.
Jesus has come to chat with you now, do you have a list of questions?
Was I polite enough and did I treat people in the right way?
Did you achieve your plans?</li></li></ul><li>Has career or money been the main driving force for you?<br />
Your best moment – prepared or adlibbed? <br />3%<br />Too many to mention!<br />Vacation.<br />Fire fighting.<br />Getting a patent.<br />Promotion, GM at 27.<br />Birth of my daughters.<br />Winning is about hard work.<br />Adlibbed, preparing never works.<br />Speech at World Mobile Conference.<br />Running own company.<br /> Won international award. <br />Seeing my three sons born.<br />Navigating $500m of ship through Pearl Harbour.<br />Made manager of the year for a major Global Vendor.<br />Adlibbed - Getting recognition by the CEO and from the locals.<br />Launching a mobile operator. <br />Adlibbed - Was expecting a call whilst on holiday for <br />confirmation of an <br />order worth £5m. The customer actually placed an order for £14m!<br />Birth of my children and marriage. <br />52%<br />Prepared<br />41%<br />Adlibbed<br />
Your best moment<br /><ul><li>Saved millions of $, turned the fortunes of an operator around </li></ul>and was thanked not only by co workers but <br />their wives due to the larger scale impact.<br /><ul><li>Turning up in a very hard country with three colleagues </li></ul>and building a business and launching our products <br />to 500,000 customers in 9 months.<br /><ul><li>Best moments are seldom to do with work and </li></ul>involve family and friends.<br /><ul><li>Turned a company around in 8 months to </li></ul>positive and growing profitability.<br /><ul><li>Getting a contract in Turkey and quoting a price </li></ul>that the client assumed was Sterling.<br /><ul><li>Advised a major Swiss Merchant Bank to act accordingly </li></ul>during the start of the Gulf War. <br /><ul><li>Giving an unexpected speech in Bulgarian/Kiswahili </li></ul>and Romanian - native English speaker.<br /><ul><li>Giving a presentation in Russian and launching an </li></ul>Asian countries first Video to Mobile service.<br /><ul><li>Technical lead in a network roll out and completed </li></ul>40% ahead of schedule due to team commitment.<br /><ul><li>Awarded by the chairman of a Global Mobile business the Most Innovative Network Project of the group. </li></li></ul><li>Best company you have ever worked for?<br />1st<br />“Flexible, supportive and provided the ability to travel.”<br />2nd<br />“Understood people and had a clear vision. Enlightening, company recognition and looked after employees.”<br />Own Company<br />3rd<br />“Opportunities and freedom. Long term thinking.”<br />“Great environment.”<br />“95 till '00 fun, team work and defined processes.”<br />“I get to sleep with the company secretary (My wife).”<br />4th<br />“Being personally thanked for working long hours and weekends./ Global pride in achieving so much in such a short space of time.”<br />“Entrepreneurial, trusting, pioneering and organic grown.”<br />“Job Complexity.”<br />
Secret of success in the present day?<br />Know your way around, <br />have good connections and be polite.<br />Hard work, enthusiasm, passionate, perseverance and strive to make good relationships.<br />Look after the metrics, look after your staff and don't price yourself out of the market.<br />Building lasting relationships.<br />Education and experience are the pivotal points. Element of luck and who you know not always what you know.<br />Being able to admit you are wrong but <br />lead and make decisions.<br />Passion is what people recognise above all else, passion to succeed, passion to improve.<br />Striving for it to be a pleasure for the people you do business with.<br />Plan your work and work your plan.<br />Keep a positive attitude and offer solutions no matter how bad.<br />Passion, care for other people, know when to cut losses, listen and be flexible.<br />
Secret of success in the present day? <br />سعادة<br /><ul><li>Strength of income from property backed up by a day job.
Being flexible and understand which battles are worth fighting and which aren’t.
Also the importance of working the back channels to obtain cross-functional buy-in for new initiatives. This is important so that issues are understood by stakeholders up front and any concerns can be addressed before going to official sign-off.
Have humility. Discern whom is the right mentor.
Build your team as you can't do it on your own.</li></li></ul><li>What has been the most rewarding part of managing?<br />“Joy of developing the talent of subordinates that is a lasting legacy.”<br />“Laughing with staff, completing projects.”<br />14%<br />Team Work<br />11%<br />Acknowledgement<br />46%<br />People Development<br />“Changing and developing.”<br />“Seeing people deliver on huge assignments under massive pressure led by me.”<br />“Paying commissions.”<br />“Appreciation of the effort you made trying to help someone.”<br />“Freedom.”<br />“Working in an environment when you don't need to manage.<br />“Seeing young people growing and learning from me and with me.”<br />“Helping others succeed. Benefitting from the energy, knowledge and abilities of those around me.”<br />5%<br />Mentoring<br />“Finding solutions through mutual agreement.”<br />“Mentoring and giving people opportunities.”<br />
What has been the most frustrating part of managing?<br />12% <br />Out of my hands!<br />Not able to get buy in to make the desired change which seemed most appropriate.<br />Not having freedom to take decisions.<br />Having to work with policies.<br />Having decisions overturned.<br />Restraints from management<br />Forced to make changes.<br />Managing companies expectations.<br />16% <br />Managing or inheriting incompetent, lazy and non performing staff. <br />Down sizing and losing good people.<br />9% <br />Individuals not reaching their own potential.<br />18% <br />Having to manage people.<br />Lacking vision to recognise potential.<br />Not delivering to their hype.<br />Not listen or debate.<br />Not see the value in learning.<br />People who will not take good advice.<br />4% <br />Bad Management.<br />
What has been the most frustrating part of managing?<br />Havingto keep your temper when you see an <br />individual’s work is very low quality.<br />Lack of feed back, blame shifting.<br />Lack of understanding of business<br />Managing people's egos<br />Not being appreciated.<br />Placing your utmost trust into an individual who then for some reason implodes on you and makes themselves look like a complete arse.<br />Politics.<br />Spending time delivering results- not developing the next generation.<br />Suggestions not being considered due to stubbornness.<br />Spending too much time at work and not with my family.<br />Working hard and not being able to give a bonus.<br />Performance suffers due to time settling in.<br />Control freaks, managing egos and seeing people destroy their career.<br />Cultural ethics.<br />
Travel and be more patient.<br />Specialist in astrology.<br />More Property investments.<br />Spend more time sailing!<br />Save more.<br />Investor.<br />Get trade, buy flats, employ PC user for my office.<br />Get some financial backing and acquire mobile phone licences.<br />Too<br />Many things to note!<br />Property<br />14%<br />SAME<br />4%<br />Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything<br />Golfer<br />Basket Ball Player<br />SPORT<br />I’d hate to be 16 again…so it’s quite likely I’d be wishing I was 50+!!!<br />Jockey<br />Tennis Player <br />14%<br />Plan more, earlier on<br />Dancer<br />Athlete<br />CHANCE<br />£1M<br />Ice Hockey Player.<br />Cricket<br />To Hire<br />ARTS<br />“Often wondered about what I would do if I went back to certain points in my life and could make a different decision. I’ve come to the conclusion that not much would change as we are the same person and react to pressures and influences in the same way.”<br />Find an industry that I can make a big difference in<br />CUMULUS<br />IF YOU HAD THE CHANCE TO BE 16 AGAIN, WHAT WOULD YOU DO?<br />Politician or Arbitration Lawyer<br />CUMULUS<br />“Wouldn't change anything. What has happened has happened and this makes me the person I am and if you change anything you change who you are. We are the sum of those events and experiences we have lived through, although being a porn star might be good fun and a lot less stress.”<br />STUDY<br />SECOND CHANCE<br />Professor<br />Telecoms<br />READ<br />I can't think of anything I'd do at age 16 that I didn't do. I was very involved in my school. I had a job. I dated and was popular and I got my drivers license. I guess if anything, I would have been nicer to my sister's and my Mom.<br />More volunteer work and focus on the indirect impact I make.<br />Learn more languages.<br />13<br />%<br />Use my brain more than my balls. <br />Harmony<br />NO<br />VISITING<br />TRAVEL<br />10%<br />Leisure<br />To Hire<br />Have Another<br />GO<br />Travel the Silk Route.<br />Travel Writer.<br />Fly planes,<br />eat sushi, travel and live in Africa<br />Back Packing.<br />Go round the globe.<br />Take a year out.<br />Travel and play more golf.<br />£1M<br />Have more fun, leave all the worries of the future, dance, sleep and travel.<br />
Anecdotes<br />On a flight with Ugandan Airways some time ago I was shocked to see smoke coming from the overhead locker. I thought it would be a good idea to point out to the Stewardess this quite alarming situation before take off and called her over. “Don’t worry Sir, it has been doing that for a few weeks now!<br />On the same flight it turned out that the drinks trolley was a blue cool box which was passed around and retuned to the Stewardess!!”<br />“ Whilst working in Nigeria, one of my construction managers told the Nigerian site workers that he wanted the site hut painted Orange to conform with the local aviation H & S regulations.<br />When he returned to site several days later, he found that the guys had painted the hut green!<br /> <br />Construction Manager - “Why have you not done as I asked” .<br />Nigerian Worker - “Sir, we have painted the hut orange” .<br />Construction Manager - “Are you colour blind……………….. that’s green”.<br /> <br />Then the Nigerian Worker held up a local orange and said - “Sir, it is the same colour as this orange”…………………………….. (all Nigerian oranges are in fact green in colour).<br />
Anecdotes<br />“In the early days of mobile we were building a site in a notoriously rough area in Liverpool. Security at the site was pretty laps to say the least and each evening the local youngsters would use the tower as a climbing frame. BT were under a lot of pressure from the local Police to up the levels of security at the site so a chain link fence became a chain link fence with barbed wire became a palisade fence.........<br /> <br />Eventually we agreed to install a "state of the art" microwave security fence at the site with a link back to the main control centre so the Police could be alerted when the fence triggered.<br /> <br />As we were breaking new ground here the site survey attracted lots of BT's top brass.....and me.<br /> <br />The representative from the Security Company ADC who were selling us the Security Fence were judiciously answering increasingly stupid questions from BT's senior management.<br /> <br />"What is the sensitivity of the fence, will it trigger if a man breaks in?" Answer "Yes of course"<br /> <br />"How about a boy?" Answer "Again yes"<br /> <br />"How about a small animal such as a rabbit?" Answer "No, a rabbit will not trigger the alarm"<br /> <br />I asked my question.<br /> <br />"How about a man dressed as a rabbit?" ..................................no answer.”<br />
Anecdotes<br />Location: South Pacific, in a remote jungle location, Papua New Guinea (PNG).<br /> The Opportunity: Try to combine sites-on-air with a sales road-shows for any local festivals / events. <br />Scenario: Difficult and challenging environment by which to expand 'footprint' of coverage and distribution as minimal infrastructure.<br /> <br />THE CHIEF OF THE VILLAGE APPROACHES……….<br />Chief: 'What is this you have? What does it do?<br /> <br />Salesman: ' Well Chief, it’s a mobile phone and it allows you to talk to your 'wontoks' (friends or family) and can make your life better'!<br /> <br />Chief: How does it work?<br /> <br />Salesman: For a man of your standing you will find it easy Chief. It works on a battery and when you have entered your wontoks number's you can select his name, press this button and you can talk to him!<br /> <br />Chief: OK, I understand . How much is it?<br /> <br />Salesman: Kina 20 ( $10 USD approx) <br /> <br />Chief: What! Kina 20 !!!! I can feed my family for 5 days on that. If I want to talk to my wantok then I just walk a day or so to the next village! What happens when the battery runs out?<br /> <br />Salesman: Well Chief you just plug the charger in the phone and the electric socket and it recharges.<br /> <br />Chief: What a waste of money! Well we don’t have electricity in my village and this is just a gimmick it will never take off!!!! <br /> <br />..... And the morale of the story;<br /> <br />Cultural awareness and acceptance is a 'key' element is developing countries.<br />Ensure you fully cover all the permutations of customers needs - I learnt form this and introduced alternative charging methods such as solar power chargers etc. <br />Not everybody in your researched addressable market needs a mobile (at the moment).<br /> <br /> <br />
Anecdotes<br />“On a project in Vietnam, I was wandering around one of the local markets in Hanoi. One of the items on my list was to buy light bulbs. At one stall, I saw a large cardboard box full of light bulbs, but with no wrapping. On inspection, it was clear that the bulbs had blown and were useless, but many people were still buying them. I couldn’t figure that one out, I just could not think of another use for broken bulbs. So on the way into the office the following day I asked the driver why Vietnamese people buy broken light bulbs.<br />He told me, it was because they were very cheap compared to working light bulbs. After telling him not to be facetious (and then having to explain that word), he informed me that people take them to the office and swap them for good ones, so the company pays for everyone’ light bulbs. Easy really.”<br />“Whilst working in Thailand my wife received a phone call informing her that her father had been taken into hospital with a heart attack. She in turn called me and I asked our local admin assistant "I need a flight ticket immediately, where can I get one from?" <br />She looked very strange at me so I asked again only a little louder this time "I have an emergency and need a flight ticket ASAP, were can I go to get one?" She replied "KFC“. So I said to her "KFC?" She said “Yes Mr. Mike you want FRIED CHICKEN?"<br />“During a business development trip to Western Siberia in the early 90’s my colleague and I were handsomely entertained by the local oil baron who wanted a mobile network set up in “his” town. After a few days of discussions and bearing in mind the political upheaval and ongoing financial crisis in Russia, we came to the crucial element of how this network was going to be paid for. He escorted my colleague and I to a small office. There were no special security features, just a normal key lock and no signs on the door. The room was full, top to bottom of US dollars. I could not imagine how much was there.<br />“Why”, I asked,” is all this cash in this office? This amount of cash should be in a bank.”<br />“What banks there are,” he said, are not safe, and are largely controlled by the Moscow based government. The government was not aware of how much oil was being sold outside the quota system run by Moscow. Hence we can only stockpile the cash we raise from these back door sales.”<br />
Recommended Reading&Contributors Quotes<br />“Moral Compass”, William Bennett<br />“The Leader's Way”, The Dalai Lama<br />“The Diamond Cutter”, Geshe Michael Roach<br />It's not the black or white but how you manage the grey.<br />Gut instinct, streetwise and intuition.<br />Where would we be now in engineering if H&S was prevalent in the 1800's?<br />Accept the best you can do.<br />Recognise how other people view other things and you.<br />Only 1:20 people are effective.<br />Human beings never grow up!<br />People are looking for a type of business mum or dad - looking for leadership.<br />Once in a VP position life is a home run!<br />If you have to be told that you are not performing you have issues.<br />Always be mindful how decisions you make impact on families lives. <br />