Chin-Ning Chu’s The Art of War for Women

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I was having internal struggles/conflicts the past weeks/months that I decided to start my year with this book, ‘The Art of War for Women’ by Chin-Ning Chu.

I bought fifteen new books before the year started and out of those new treasures, this seemed to be the most appropriate at this time – ‘It’s about the Art, not the War’ it says.

So here are 32 valuable lessons I picked up from this book that I hope will help those who, like me, are facing/dealing some challenging things or tough times with their work/career:

1.You have to give up your attachment to clear-cut realities and instead embrace the whole spectrum of colors and paradox and ambiguity

I learned this early on during my salesman career – attach, detach. But it never gets easy.

2.Don’t look for rules or consistency. The only rule is, there are no rules

While I long have accepted that there are always exceptions to the rules, it’s quite hard for me to accept that there is none. Rules always give that sense of direction.

3.When you do the right thing for the right reason, the right result awaits

4.’Having it all’ means something different to different people

5.Always find a new job before you quit your old one

I have this principle when it comes to relationship and work not to look for another one when I’m still involve with one. I usually wait until it’s all over and done with the previous one before hopping on to the next. But it’s never successful – I always end up staying. Playing safe, it seems is the surest way to go.

6.Sell yourself first. Until you have convinced the world that you are worthy of great things, don’t expect to be given much responsibility

7.You need to take a giant step back. Understanding the opposition begins with understanding yourself

8.Live every workday as if it were your last day on the job, and you’ll be amazed at how focused and confident you’ll be

9.If you get hurt enough, eventually you learn

Hardest way but the surest way! 🙂 Nothing beats this one – tried and tested.

10.A unique resume requires some soul-searching

11.Win first, then fight.

12. Victory is not in your control but rather the gift of your enemy

13.No matter how hard you work, no matter how much you prepare, you will encounter things that you didn’t plan for – you will have to adapt

14.The battle plan will change as your opponents grow stronger. What will remain is you

15.Be nice to yourself first. Let the rest of humanity take care of themselves

16.You cannot climb the corporate ladder with glass slippers on; for that you need combat boots. It takes a warrior to climb a ladder – the point is, we need to choose

17.Notice the signals of timing hidden all around

18.The truth is less important than what your opponents believe to be true

19. You need to call on that power of perseverance when things are not going your way

20.We all need to simmer from time to time

21.Women from Mars never get to the top

22.There is something that all Venus women forget: there is always a younger Venus waiting to replace her

23.Earth women succeed

24.If you know how to handle one person, then undoubtedly you can manage a million people as a single unit

25. No good can come of praising or punishing people when they don’t deserve it – you need to impose discipline appropriately

26.The hotter the position, the hotter the seat

27. Why fight if you don’t have to?

28.You do not always know why people do what they do; they just do it

29. The courage to finish the job, that’s the killer instinct

30.Not every battle is worth the fight

31.When you play with fire, you get burned

32.The secret is endurance – change what you can, endure what you cannot

Crash Course in Sales: Attach, Detach

My attachment to these few remaining merch mats is getting deeper and deeper ❤ After 'flying above the clouds' early morning yesterday and after conquering heavy rain last night, we will be crossing sea in a few. See you, Bacolod! ❤ Attach, detach, R. Another letting go tomorrow and full blast body massage next! 🙂

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Crash Course in Sales: Persuasive Selling Format

I was preparing since yesterday for my meeting today with our General Manager and I remember his telling us during the Sales School we conducted last month that Persuasive Selling Format is not just limited to Sales transactions but is applicable to our everyday life as well.

I’m trying to master the PSF for the past weeks so I used it with him this morning.

PSF at work *examples written below were already paraphrased:

1. Summarize the Situation:
Boss, I want to add more value to the company but I’m not sure if I’m doing it as what is expected of me – if I’m fulfilling my purpose.

2. State the Idea
I would just like to align with you on some things including your expectations to me and my team to ensure that I/we am/are still on track with our organization’s goals when it comes to item 1, item 2, etc.

3. Explain how it works
Based on how I understand our major program, it should be executed this way but based on the trade visit I did at Commonwealth yesterday, there were gaps that will greatly help improve the sales performance if those will be addressed immediately. Insight one, insight 2, insight 3 … Aside from this item, other insights are this and this, etc. But that was just one insight at one site. I want to understand the whole picture this month so I’m targeting to visit at least 14 sites until end of the month. *shows the proposed coverage plan for the whole month of November

4. Reinforce the Benefits
Being the Trade Marketing Officer, I want to own this project – be the system/process owner. I can help the team in executing it smoothly and flawlessly by properly guiding and demonstrating how it works in actual situations. At the same time, have a deeper understanding of the whole program myself so I can give the management team in return insights that were data-based and data that were from different sites with different peculiarities.

5. Close
So, for this month, Boss, I’ll focus on this and this and I’m planning to do this and this and run this by this date, if okay with you.

The ending – all were approved and more! PSF ❤

Crash Course in Sales: The Marketing in Trade Marketing

After days of budgeting for 2014, my much anticipated TAO Marketing Community General Assembly, with 60-70 ‘members’, that was originally scheduled months ago finally pushed through today, November 8, 2013, amidst the Yolanda scare in the news (the ‘monster’ storm to hit the Philippines).

As excited as always, I was there an hour earlier so I can get to fully read the pre-work case study given to us as assignment.

Being the Trade Marketing Officer in our company, TriDiamonds Corporation, which is just barely four months old as one of the subsidiaries of THI under TAO, and coming from the two-year old start-up company Frabelle Corporation as Key Accounts Specialist and Trade Marketing Officer, my interactions are mostly with the Sales people while the Marketing side/part happens only when we have new promos/programs/products coming up, not to mention that Trade Marketing in these two companies have been, most of the time, a one-woman team while Marketing, up to now, is almost always a two-woman team so we rarely get to have that quality time to really sit down and just talk about Marketing.

We were so absorbed by Sales, and this is not a bad thing – this, in fact is what lacks in other companies that I know , that this marketing assembly that will just focus on Marketing is a much needed breather and is so timely, not only because it’s the planning season but also because I’ve been having internal debates/conflicts the past weeks as to what am I really doing here? what is really the sense/purpose of my job in our organization? am I adding value to it? am I doing it properly? what are the things I really should be doing and I should start to stop doing?

And then we were given green cards and orange cards.

What do we honestly expect from this session?
What does it mean to become a Marketing person in our respective companies?

I’m honestly craving for an in-depth knowledge of Marketing so I can improve my performance in our team and help our team grow.

Marketing for me is about timing (being at the right time) and positioning (being at the right place/segment). And being the marketing person in TriDiamonds Corporation, I (should) set the pace and the excitement in the organization. *This,of course, is in proper alignment with both Sales and Marketing

And this I realized while I was listening to our speakers/facilitators – Marketing is also always about making choices, taking calculated and creative risks and betting on it.

Making choices in terms of deciding who to target, what to expect from the consumer and how to do it. Taking calculated (sometimes crazy) risks as to deciding if it’s the right time to do it or if it’s the best person to represent it. Taking creative risks as to coming up with campaigns/lines that will reach the hearts of the consumers that will also stick to their mind. And betting on it since Marketing expenses are costly.

Now that I seem to grasp what marketing is, I still have to figure out who are we, really?

Let me quote Ms. Ciao Esbaldon, who is the head of our marketing community:

Marketing people should never, ever, be walked over

There’s more to our colorful and exciting PowerPoint presentations – ‘they are not just for show’ – they are for sending across the message in the most visual/best way possible for it to get through the target audience.

I’m so thankful I never missed this assembly for the world. Community gives us identity and marketing community like this in our company keeps me on track. I’m excited as ever! Baby steps, Rikkiaw.

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Crash Course in Sales: Starting Right to Realizing the Law of the Big Mo (Momentum)

July 1, 2013. It’s official today: TriDiamonds. After one year, eight months, and twelve days, here we are, some of the remaining pioneers of Frabelle Corporation pioneering another gem, the TriDiamonds Corporation.

And here I am, back to my Monday checkpoint with myself: my purpose and my cause in this world.

I randomly grabbed a book, randomly opened a page and here’s what I got: ‘page 203, Small Beginnings’ of the Law of the Big Mo chapter of John C. Maxwell’s The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership

Leaders always find a way to make things happen

‘…they were all sliding backward fast, and they needed something to move them forward. (He) was disappointed, but he refused to give up…he knew that if he could help his students experience a few wins, build their confidence, and give them hope, he could move them forward…and all along he modeled hard work, dedication to excellence, and ganas-desire’

I remembered when we were starting in Frabelle. We literally started from scratch introducing the company and the brand to whoever we come across with and then with baby steps we opened one Modern Trade chain and one GenTrade stall after another until finally, we earned some credibility, earned a little niche in this Fast Moving Consumers Goods industry.

And now, a turnabout.

The Law of the Big Mo (Momentum) is right: ‘getting started is a struggle, but once you’re moving forward, you can really start to do some amazing things’.

Momentum begins within the individual leader. It starts with vision, passion and enthusiasm. It starts with energy…’You cannot kindle a fire in any other heart until it is burning within your own’

What was my burning desire? Sales. Putting systems in place. Sharing this gift. Chasing dreams. Follow-throughs. Making a difference.

If only I was given a chance to talk this morning, I would talk about this. ‘The steps forward weren’t huge, but it was building a momentum’.

Same like with each of the *David in us. (*symbolism of each Frabelle Foods salesperson). Whenever I recall our first selling day, I see that ganas in all of us. I still remember that ‘gigil’ and I still feel those hearts. Those salesmen whose hearts acquired great momentum that do not want to do anything to get in its way.

I was not able to give a little talk this morning, but every time, in the near future, that I will … I will always bring us one step back to where we started, to that 3am ceremony, build the momentum in the hearts of my colleagues then we will all move two steps forward while we shout this out loud: Frabelle Foods, start right, finish strong. Hoo-Haa!

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Crash Course in Sales: Focus

FOCUS as shared by our former GM means ‘Face One Course Until (you) Succeed’. Check. But of course, you also have to always ‘keep the fire burning’.

After all, ‘you cannot run a full throttle when applying your mindset to all of the different things running through your head. Focusing is the key to manifesting your desires – Stephen Richards’

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Crash Course in Sales: The Law of Influence

The true measure of leadership is influence – John C. Maxwell, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership

I was organizing my photos in my phone when I chance upon this newspaper clipping from our GM, Boss NMT. And then I remembered how he influenced me in a good lot of ways.

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1. It’s so easy for him to throw a compliment.

I was new in Frabelle then when one afternoon, when I was remitting my collection, he suddenly uttered, ‘magaling ka palang magsulat. I’ve read your blog. It’s been an unexpected motivating pressure that I welcomed ever since that I replicate when I was also given a chance to have people under me. I made sure to always recognize and compliment small or big successes of our team.

2. He’s thoughtful in his gifts.

My love for reading came back when during our very first Rara in Sales on our first month of selling, he gave out ‘Straight from the Heart’ prayer books for the dealers but since I was the only girl in that group that time, I was given my own copy as well. And then I’ve been lucky enough to be given more books by him during important sales celebrations: The Greatest Salesman in the World 2 and How to Win Friends and Influence People. Then I made sure I have lots of books (opened and unopened) in my car every time so that when any situation calls for it, I have a ready gift for my dearies, on the spot. One can never go wrong with good books.

3. He has unwavering commitment to having high standards when it comes to quality and execution that made me love my chosen profession even more.

He knows when to challenge the team and he knows when to say the right words when the team needed it the most. He takes time to really share what he has read that he thinks will help the team. So I, in turn, make time as well to download those to my team and to really put high value to the standards he had set for the Company.

Our interaction may be short but his influence lingers – a great leader, indeed, one of my inspirations. I was also able to save some of his texts:

‘Found this quote today (author unknown): ‘A diamond is simply a lump of coal that did well under pressure’ Go T**D******* team! Hoo-haah’

‘Nice. That’s what admirable about your work attitude. Keep it up Rikki. :)’

‘I’m glad you found the book meaningful. I wish it will influence you positively as much as it has helped me develop personally and professionally. Keep up the good work. Keep the faith and fortitude. Happy New Year! :)’

THANK YOU, Boss Noel!

‘No matter what anybody else may tell you, remember that leadership is influence – nothing more, nothing less’ – John C. Maxwell

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