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Archive for July, 2007

My boss of 3 years retires

July 31st 2007, will be the last working day of Josef Schwagmann in Nokia Siemens Networks. Josef was my boss in the company from 2004 to 2007. Josef is one highly respected person in the organization. I am personally influenced by him in more than one way. As a young engineer when I joined his team, I was not sure how it would be to work with an old German , the age of my father. But he settled all my doubts in no time. I can openly declare that he is the single most energetic person I have seen in my entire career. The youngest soul that I have ever worked with. His enthusiasm propelled me to work harder and instilled in me the feeling of joy when I accomplished my tasks with good success. He amazed me time and gain by redefining his own scope of work and inspiring me to look beyond defined boundaries and closed parameters. Success partied with us at regular intervals and I understood one very important fact that I will strive to achieve – “To always wear a smile on your face in the face of the toughest challenges”.

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Easier said than done, but believe me friends this one characteristic will transform your lives. Be it at office or at home. You will take more balanced decisions if you stick to the rule that you wil smile in the face of all adversity. I have decided that I am going to try this as much as possible to see how I can change my world and of those around me.

For Josef , I wish him all the very best for the third phase of his life where he plans to invest his time in research, academics, pottery, traveling etc. For all that you have given to me as invaluable learning – I thank you from the deepest valleys of my heart.

Listen to Pulsifer : “Retirement – Now Life Begins”.

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I respect salesmen

Last week I had the chance of making an out of turn contribution towards our sales activities by accompanying my company’s Customer Team (CT) on a visit to a major potential customer in India. The discussion was to be focused on convincing the customer about the power and purpose of our product. We were a team of four, 2 colleagues from the CT, my Boss and myself. To those of you who are thinking what propels me to write about this fairly straight forward activity here my answer is that it was the day that changed me and my attitude towards the guys from sales. I underwent a sea change of attitude towards these poor fellows who deserve more respect than what they get.

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By observing the way they struggle in the corridors of a potential customer, arguing, convincing, selling the software we develop, negotiating product capabilities and comparing with our competitors, accepting brickbats and arrogance from the person on the other side of the table without losing their calm. I think they are doing an excellent job. It is easy to fight out at the development center to get the creamiest of development tasks to be implemented in the latest jargon-ed programming language on the most hep operating systems with the most comfortable of deadlines but it takes a lot of character to really face the customer on his territory trying to sell this stuff. At the development center in our air conditioned offices when we blame sales guys of selling junk, seldom do we remember that they are sweating it out on the negotiating table to get the customer to at least listen to their side of the story. In the end the latest technology and the latest development method does not matter to anyone – what matters is numbers. How much sold and what was the margin.

David Ogilvy the ad genius once said In the modern world of business, it is useless to be a creative original thinker unless you can also sell what you create.”

 

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