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Steve Marr Blog

Steve Marr's contributions
Feb 03
2017

Take a Walk-Around Break

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The New York Times recently ran an article titled, “Work. Walk 5 Minutes. Work.” The message was that by taking short walk- around breaks was very effective in improving overall productivity in the personal health.  I agree.

Feb 01
2017

Dress for Success

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I may be dating myself with this article and I know many younger workers will not agree with my premise. Years ago John T. Molloy wrote a best-selling business book, Dress For Success, which I believe is out-of-print. The theme of the book was dress for the job that you would like not the one that you have.
 
I’ve counseled a number of younger workers about their business career. One piece of advice that I always provide is to upgrade their wardrobe.  I’ve heard the same response many times, “It’s not how I look; it’s what I know and do.”  I usually respond by saying, “But the LORD said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.’" (1 Samuel 16:7, NIV) My point is that most people do look at outward appearances.

Jan 30
2017

Addressing Overhead

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I reached a point in my business career when a terrifying thought struck me:  I had become overhead. In the past my positions focused on direct work with customers or clients that brought in revenue. However, my administrative responsibilities were focused elsewhere. When I grasped the implications of what it meant that I no longer generated income for the company, I took two major steps to maximize my situation.

Jan 26
2017

Amazon and Uber: Big Business without Profit

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When I was in international trade, we quoted business on an extremely thin margin.  An old joke went something like this:  “We may lose a little on every shipment, but we’ll make it up on volume.” Sometimes following a strategy of low pricing with little or no profit may be wise.  In the shipping business for example, if you land a large airfreight account at no profit; you are often able to negotiate lower rates with airlines. While you may not make money on your big account, you’re improving the margin on other business.

Jan 25
2017

Tolerating Anger in Others

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In life we will encounter angry people. King Solomon understood this when he wrote, “Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end.” (Proverbs 29:11, NIV) Like most of us I have encountered angry people. When possible I prefer to avoid such individuals.  However, there are times I am unable to completely distance myself from them.
 
One example was “Mark” who was a member of a Homeowners Association who had a lot to say about many things.  In some meetings he would become belligerent to the point that most in the neighborhood didn’t want to deal with him.  In the vacuum that occurred when others failed to step up, Mark would decide issues for everyone else. This was unacceptable to me.  While there were times Mark was correct, there were enough times he was wrong. On several occasions when I stood up to Mark, he turned his anger toward me. While I didn’t enjoy being his target, I tried to respond appropriately. I continued to challenge the way he used anger to decide issues for everyone.