Saturday, June 19, 2010

Did you just say THAT to an angel?

One of my favourite Dale Carnegie quotes is: "If you want to gather honey, don't kick over the beehive."
Just like bees, angels have adverse responses to certain stimuli. Keeping those in mind will make getting to their honey far more likely.  Following are some examples of statements (S) often made by "honey seekers" and the mental responses (R) they are likely to stimulate in the angels.  Depending on the mood of the moment, the responses may or may not be verbalized. Often, in front of a large audience, the "honey seeker" is better off if the response is just a silent smile.

S   We have no competition
R  Either you have not researched it, haven't found it, or are so deluded to not recognize it...
R  If no one does it, perhaps it's because no one needs it

S   We have made very conservative projections
R  Sure.  So did the 1000's that came before you; and you are not even smart enough not to say it
R  If you are conservative you are no entrepreneur, buddy, you better go work for the Census surveys

S   We researched it so much, this is now a sure thing
R The only sure things are death and taxes.  We do not like sure things.

S   We are creating a market
R Excellent! This is an answer in search of a problem, that will be a real quixotic adventure
R Cool! If I wanted to create "futures" I'd be buying into a kindergarten or a primary school

S   Our solution will become the standard
R My goodness! We only have to stop the people who today are doing whatever by the current standard and force/train them to do it a new way. Along the way we only have to redesign all regulations, training programs, certifications, cajole all vested interests, etc. AND we make no money until it's done. Where is my checkbook.

S   If we get 1% of .... to buy our product we'll make millions
R Ah! Here comes the 1%er again.  If I could only have a dollar for only 1% of the 1%ers that presented plans I'd have the best performing fund at next years ACA Summit
R  Sure buddy, and we are going to do it all with viral marketing too

S   I am the only resource but I'll have key man insurance
R I like that!  So for an early exit all I have to do is to pray for trucks to hit you.  This is so new a strategy, we could write a white paper for HBR
R  We could optimize this plan by doubling the premium and make you open a branch office in Darfur

S   We are co-managers
R No way.  We want to know which throat to choke when things don't work.  Only one throat.
R So, we are supposed to pay two to make decisions that one should be able to do?

S   We only have to scale... 
R But of course! The difference between your local taco stand and McDonald's is only scale.  Same for mom's kitchen and Campbell Soup or my kids' tree-house and the Sears tower. It's only scale.

Lastly there are the responses that "seekers" give including an implied  "you dumb ass" commentary.  They are always a good bet for making angry bees out of angels:

you have to understand...
No buddy, I have the cash and do not have to do anything, you have to make me understand

everybody knows...  
Ah well, I must be the only idiot that doesn't.  I stand corrected.  Thank you so much for that clarification.

as I said before...  
Excuuuse us! We are either forgetful, slow or inattentive.  We'll do better next time... since you ain't getting any "honey" this time around.


    Conclusion
    Much has been written about human communications since Dale Carnegie wrote his masterpiece, little of substance has been added. It remains one of the best  manuals around: you might read it again with your angels in mind.

    Marco Messina

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