Tag: marcus evans
on May.11, 2011, under other
Last night, a reader in California whom I have never met, and doesn’t work in the same industry sent me a message on facebook telling me how he liked ”ode to Marcus Evans…” blog entry so much he printed out a copy and passed it out to all the people in his office.
During my training this morning, I thought a lot about this blog and the theme associated with it.
I also reflected on my experience since I wrote it 3+ years ago – and the numerous super bitches who have popped in and out of my life since I first posted it.
Whether you work for naseba or not – I challenge everyone to read this (revised edition) and reflect.
Loyalty vs disloyalty is a theme I have discussed throughout this blog.
Some people have commented how I was “disloyal” to my previous company…
Therefore, I wish to explore the root of this “disloyalty.”
For this entry and discussion on “disloyalty” … I am going to use myself as the example.
The purpose is to try and positively, influence anyone who might be able to relate to my story.
In fact, we can ALL relate to this discussion, whether you work for naseba or not.
I did not quit my previous company because I was looking for “greener grass…”
I did not quit to secretly, start my own company.
I did not quit.
I was pushed out because I had become a “super bitch.”
“Super bitch” is a theme which I have hammered throughout this blog … and in my opinion — it’s the “root” to disloyalty.
Like many people in this industry … when I joined my previous company in Tokyo it was my first real job.
I started to sell very quickly…
with my quick deals in a ‘underperforming’ office came some sort of “power” within the office.
It did not matter that I had never been a manager, thus had zero management experience …I knew better than the boss.
It did not matter that I had never been in the corporate world, thus did not understand company procedures and protocol … I knew it all.
With my sales success came a “superficial power” within the office – at the time, I was in my early to mid-20′s and I didn’t know how to handle the quick success and big pay checks.
Sincerely, I wanted the best for the office and the company.
I was a very loyal and a sincere guy, but with my sales success; then my teams sales success; and ultimately my offices success — I became uncontrollably, arrogant.
My Chairman met me once a month, and naively/ungratefully, I completely… took his time for granted.
Like a spoiled baby — I expected the Chairman to take the time to meet me …
International travel … I traveled the world and I took it completely for granted.
“all companies send their staff around the world and put them up in 5 star hotels??”
I expected my boss to take my calls … and I called whenever I wanted.
I expected my boss to reply to my emails and I hammered him with emails whenever I wanted — often suggesting to him on how to do his job.
I was probably one of the top talents in the company, and (arrogantly) I thought I knew everything.
Upon reflection, being the best sales man allowed me to get promoted to GM quickly …. get a nice salary, as well as rewarded with office override, bonus commissions etc.
In one year, my basic salary was increased by more than 300%
But I just expected this…
I just expected to have my salary raised…
I just expected to receive a bonus for doing my job very well.
I just expected…
With my success and large pay checks I became “unmanageable” … I thought I knew more than my multi-millionaire Chairman.
After all, I was very talented…
I was great at closing deals … training young kids to sell … building teams…
But the truth: I was a fucking nobody.
I became difficult to manage.
I became super arrogant.
I spoke disrespecfully, to the Chairman on the phone and via email.
Many people reading this entry can change the roles in this blog –from the old Scott and Marcus– to you and your current boss — whether that boss is at naseba or not.
No matter how good you might be in your role at your company – do not fall in the trap of believing you are more important than you really are.
I am proud of what we are achieving at naseba … but there is NO WAY I would have developed/learned/matured if I had not first reflected and ultimately, changed.
I was not disloyal to Marcus in setting up naseba.
I was disloyal to Marcus by becoming a “super bitch” when I worked for him and thinking I was someone more important than I really was.
on Apr.04, 2011, under searching for John Galt...
Yesterday, Fabien reminded me of a great example of how one person’s positive influence had a massive impact on the whole…
10+ years ago…. I opened a sales office for Marcus Evans in Nice, France in a small “serviced office.”
At that time there was only one “serviced office” location in Nice, and it was near the airport.
One room with 12 desks and 12 phones … one window and nothing else.
Within two training schools, Adam Fletcher and I filled the office with young, hungry recruits from the UK.
The office was broken up into 3 teams of 4.
Each team was good, but one team was the best: E-Espana.
It was August 2000, and these brand new recruits were working on an event to be hosted in Spain (E-Espana) the following April.
All 4 were brand new to sales, with no sales experience whatsoever….
Their first month (August) — each of them sold at least 79,000 euro.
Fabien Faure sold 159,900 euro that month, his first month in sales.
According to Fabien, it started the 3rd week when he came into the office at 8am and noticed a bus ticket which had been left on his desk by Richard McBride, one of the guys on his team.
The bus ticket was stamped: 5:15 am.
Fabien looked at Richard who smiled and said to him ”glad you could make it…” and he continued to research.
Fabien was the first person on this team to sell, and according to him, he didn’t want to lose to Richard, so the next day he – himself got to the office by 6am only to discover Richard was already in the office.
Within a few days, the entire team of 4 began coming to the office by 6am …
and Richard is the one who developed, led and fostered this teams brilliant ethic and success.
Fabien remembers how it turned into a game to see who would be the first person in the office, and often one of the team was in the office by 5:15 am just to be the first one.
I am not exaggerating.
The perfect team.
When one was losing focus, the others would act like coaches helping get the person back on track.
After a few months, I sent Richard and Fabien to the Chicago office for a week of training – honestly, it was just to give them an incentive to go to America.
On the 2nd day in the Chicago office, Richard made more than 200 sales calls which shatter the Chicago office record.
Back in Nice, Richard and Team Espana had a great positive impact on the office.
Within 2 months, the tiny Nice office of just 12 people became the number 2 revenue generating office in the company – easily, doing more business than several offices with 50 – 100+ sales people.
It was a perfect machine.
Although the other teams didnt come in the office as early as Team Espana, everyone worked with the same drive -in my opinion because of Richard.
Fabien Faure is great today, and I suggest it all began back in 2000 working with Richard McBride or was it John Galt??
The world we live in today is different to the one in 2000, however, the power of positive influence still remains the same.
on Dec.05, 2010, under make it happen
This blog is motivated by an email I received yesterday from an old staff who worked for me in Shanghai back in 1999 … I havent heard from this person since 2000, but his email and his mention of a couple stories in his mail motivated me to post this blog…..because it blends into the theme I have been recently discussing: “the importance of core values.”
When I first opened an office in Shanghai back in 1999 for the previous company I worked…..
I was in the right place at the right time and recruited a couple great sales leaders to help me build an army of successful operations, production and sales people.
The office took off quickly, and within a few months we had 70 mainland Chinese employees making their success happen – even though we had American, Australian, New Zealand, Chinese and British employees, the office had been built by people who all had similar, or the same “core values.”
Within just a few months, the Shanghai office became one of the most consistent, and best performing offices in the company — so the CEO of Asia (based in Sydney) asked me to watch over the Hong Kong office while the General Manager of that office was on a 3 week vacation.
The Hong Kong office averaged less than US$20,000 a week …. I wanted to be the managing director of Greater China, so controlling the HK office was my goal.
As I type, I remember back to that phone call where Simon (the CEO) called me about watching over the office for 3 weeks….
I explained to the CEO of Asia that if my name was going to be associated with the Hong Kong office for 3 weeks, then I had to be able to run the office my style.
He laughingly called me an “arrogant prick” but agreed.
It’s an easy 3 hour flight from Shanghai to Hong Kong…
on the flight, I reviewed the previous 12 months of sales figures for the HK office which also included staffing, recruitment information (where I noticed massive turnover of staff) There was only one person in the office who seemed to have any consistency, a Hong Kongnese sales woman who was also on vacation for the period I would be in the office.
For the 3 weeks I was in Hong Kong, the company put me up in the Mandarin Oriental hotel – a gorgeous 5 star hotel which I completely took for granted. (issues discussed in “ode to Marcus Evans…”)
The memo I received the day before my trip stated there were 20 staff working in the Hong Kong office, 18 of them were in sales.
My first day in the office wasn’t a big surprise — the office was in a gorgeous part of HK, had a view of the harbor, but was messy.
The CEO of Asia knew how competitive I was so he sent a company memo to all the GMs stating that “Scott Ragsdale was running the Hong Kong office for the next 3 weeks.”
As I was walking into the office, a young, good looking British guy was walking out …
I stopped him, and asked where he was going… he told me he had worked for the company for the month, saw no future so had quit the previous week and was just picking up his pay check.
I remember the way the guy spoke to me – looking me directly in the eyes as he spoke, you could see he had something – a spirit, or a passion, something that not everyone has…
He was dressed very well (I dont mean he was wearing an expensive suit, just very sharp)
I introduced myself, and told him to go back in the office, listen to my morning speech and see if what I had to say was something which might change his mind.
Within a few minutes of the work day beginning, I had a morning meeting with the office to introduce myself.
I also used the meeting to discuss the next 3 weeks…
I explained that we would spend the first few hours cleaning the office up, retraining and getting ready for the next 3 weeks…
I set several ridiculously generous incentives for the 3 weeks (I often gave lavish incentives out of my own pocket to make the job more fun – it was my way of investing)
I told the team that one of the 3 weeks we would break US$100,000 in business for the week (Simon had challenged me to do this because it was something which had never been achieved before in this small office).
As I was speaking, I saw one of the young men roll his eyes to two girls in the office …. and the girls giggled. (all three were Hong Kongnese)
I terminated all three of them on the spot, in the middle of my meeting …. once they were gone, probably 3 minutes later, I continued the meeting…
I knew all the sales figures, thus I knew these nobodies didn’t really exist anyways….two of them had worked for the company for more than 2 years and in those 2 years didn’t do much, definitely, did not add value to the office so I was certain that I had done what was best for both the office and the company.
As I stood there waiting for the 3 to leave the office, the sharp young British man (Adam Fletcher) came up and told me (I can still hear him say) “I am hooked.”After my meeting he immediately, started to clean up the mess, and his actions got the rest of the team to start cleaning up the office (you could see (clearly) this guy was a leader)
We spent the first morning cleaning, making the office sharp – and then I retrained the sales team – all at the same time, judging who I believed wanted what I wanted …
After lunch, I terminated 4 more because they showed up 15 minutes late … surely, just to say “fuck you” to me.
… so by 14:00 on the first Monday, I had terminated 7 out of the 20 staff …. In an office that I was just overseeing for 3 weeks.
My CEO (Simon) called me later that day from Sydney telling me how the General Manager of the office (a man in his early 30s from Mumbai) had called him on his mobile from his vacation to say ‘Scott Ragsdale is destroying my office!!!’
The CEO knew me well … and gave me the trust and support I needed and told me “he looked forward to seeing my results.”
The following day, my 2nd day in the office …. I got rid of a few more.
Now the office was down to 8 staff …. 7 of them sales staff. I was convinced that all 7 had the same “core values.”
The office did US$74,000 that first week; US$48,000 the second week and $108,000 the third week.
(I still have the memo from the Chairman and CEO highlighting the success achieved over those 3 weeks)
Upon reflection – my biggest achievement during those 3 weeks was not the 3 weeks of great sales, but more importantly — I saved the company from losing two exceptional talents – one of them being the young British guy and the other a young American woman who both went on to senior management positions in the company. (both were quiting or had quit the company the day I arrived)
The British guy, Adam Fletcher worked with me for several years, and was directly involved with closing and developing several million euro of business during his time with the company.
How could I get that shitty little office to do 3 weeks of big business so quickly??
Because … during the 3 weeks I was in that office – I ensured everyone who was with me had the same core values, or if they didn’t have the same values … at least, I was convinced they wanted to have the same values as me.
It’s something I learned when I was just a sales executive in Tokyo …
At the time, I had no power because I was just a newly hired sales staff, but I saw firsthand how one negative staff – destroyed, or nearly destroyed the bunch.
It was a brilliant management training course – because I saw firsthand how just one negative employee, destroyed the potential success of many – like cancer.
Three years after my Hong Kong adventure, I was based in Europe and was transferred to run the Barcelona office ….Barcelona was a massive office for the company in the number of staff who were in it, but shit figures when it came to business.
My first day in that office I fired at least 15 people, maybe a few more than that – people who came late, left early, or obviously didn’t want what I wanted.
That week, the office had the biggest week it ever had in the 2 years it was open …
(I am sure there are people who still talk about that first week because it was exceptional, like God came down and touched us)
Every manager falls in the trap of wanting to have as many staff as possible to “manage” … but the secret is not the number of staff a manager oversees, but to ensure everyone on the team has the same “core values.”
Much more can be achieved with a small group of people with the same values than can be achieved by a large group of people who have mixed values.
Maybe the best team I ever worked with was TEAM MONACO…
The team was made up of French, Italian, British, and American, but everyone worked together as a team – with the same goal, to be the best ….
From my experience, I dont believe that one can simply blanket the same management style over employees from France, India or China, etc, however, by ensuring the team/office have the same “core values” … the chance for consistency and success is far greater than simply just employing anyone for the job.
What “core values…” am I talking about….? will be discussed tomorrow.
I intentionally, do not use examples from naseba to discuss my point in this blog … this is not to say that we are perfect, or that everyone at naseba has the same “core values”
Unfortunately, as we have expanded, senior management (me included) have slipped in regards to sticking/ensuring everyone has the same “core values.”
I am certain this has slowed us down; prevented us from climbing faster and more efficiently – something which is being reviewed and addressed.
on Jan.12, 2010, under other
At the end of 2002, when we first started naseba, literally the very first day … I received an email and phone call from one of my ex-staff at M.E. asking if I would give him a reference.
This person had been the production manager in Tokyo as well as in my Shanghai office – and (at the time) I liked him.
I thought he was very good at his job, thus I happily agreed to give him the reference.
When the HR woman from Australia called me, I gave this ex-staff a 45 minute glowingly, positive reference and even told her that I would hire him myself if I could afford him.
The woman asked me “so you suggest we hire him?” And I said, “yes, hire him without hesitation.”
During the 45 minute conversation, she asked me how big was the team he had managed (in reality it had been around 8-10 producers) but I told the woman his team was “18-20 and the best team in the company.”
I guess my previous employee had told the woman he managed a team of 40+ …. (which I did not know before hand)
When this ex-employee did not get the job, he blamed me.
He sent me the most disrespectful email I have ever received from a previous employee, telling me I was jealous of him, I was a fluke…he threatened to black mail me….the email was ridiculously, over the top disrespectful — especially, considering I had taken super care of this Australian during the time he worked with me in Tokyo and in Shanghai.
There have been a couple others over the years who I had given a great reference, but ultimately they didnt get the job and of course blamed me…
Therefore, I have a policy where I do not give references for any ex-employee, no matter how much I might have liked the person in question – because I will be blamed if the person does not get the job.
Today, my assistant received a call from someone in Singapore asking to speak to me to get a reference for a previous manager who worked for me a while ago. When my assistant told the guy calling for the reference, I do not give references…he even told the guy, this does not reflect poorly, whatsoever on the person in question, just my policy.
Apparently, the guy calling then said to Tom, “if Scott doesn’t have 3 minutes to speak to me, then tell him to go fuck myself” …..
That’s an odd reaction from someone (presumably) in HR calling to get a reference for another person.
Just when I begin to think I have seen it all….
where is John Galt?
on Jun.02, 2009, under other
yesterdays blog was a repost of a blog I wrote two years ago, “ode to Marcus Evans..”
Recently, we have had several readers from M.E. as well as old friends from M.E. send me emails or comments, thus I felt it would be useful to repost.