In a New Year’s Eve Special, Liberia’s ‘Dynamic Duo:’ the amazing bassist, Ernie Bruce,…

first_img(Part 1)The “tango,” (a ballroom dance of Latin American origin) has always been performed by couples. That no more and no number less than a duo (two) could effectively showcase the intricacies (sophistication, difficulty) of the dance, leaves those of us who will never master the dance with the strong belief that the tango might not be an undertaking for the weak and feebleminded. The well-known saying: “it takes two to tango” could have gotten started as nothing less than a suggestion – that anyone attempting to tango alone on the dance-floor had allowed himself to be fooled into thinking that the hard-work that the tango demands of two people, working vigorously together, could be done as easily and as successfully, by one person. And that might be why that simple but straightforward statement to the foolish – “not to tangle with the tango all by oneself,” has taken on a life of its own. It would go on to become a household word, meddling in the affairs of millions who find nothing better to do than to go about believing that they are bigger than what they really are. “It takes two to tango” did not stop at that point: It took on a life of its own, smashing its way into other cultures, focusing the attention of people all over the world, on the unexpected things that other people did – or didn’t do – in matters that involved almost everything other than dance!Soon, film, television, poetry and drama, began idealizing (celebrating, making special) that simple, short and snappy maxim or saying: “it takes two….” In the process, the media often targeted and exposed the ubiquitous (found everywhere) “I am the man” braggart, telling himself and others that he was stronger or more important than his partner, and was able to carry his share of the work as well as his partner’s. Today, through song, the soundness and power of that expression has been put to music. People the world over now share that almost unrivaled ditty, (a short, simple song): “No Man Walks Alone.” Take a look:No man is an island,No man walks alone.Each man’s joy is joy to me,Each man grief is my own.We need one another:So I will defendEach man as my brother—Each man as my friend!Before moving on let’s step back a little and revisit the title-fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman in Zaire in the early to mid-1970s. It might teach a few lessons about how to avoid jumping into things with one’s mind made up ahead of things. George Foreman entered the ring that fateful day, full with all of the answers: Answers to questions he clearly had failed to ask himself; or answers to question that he had failed to ask someone else. Muhammad Ali was the underdog, and George Foreman was going to beat him to death. Forman did a good beating: But, it was himself he had beaten up. It was he who almost died – from the shame of unimaginable defeat. Foreman is a changed man today; thank God! But the question: “What if?” still remains.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

How to bridge the divide between you and your clients

first_imgFor small businesses and freelancers alike, it’s important to recognize that your business is as strong as the relationships you build with your customers.We can learn a lot about creating those relationships from the customer experience industry. In particular, we can learn how to create customer-centric messages and how to weave the customer relationship into marketing strategies and plans. This starts with something as simple as reaching out directly to customers with a personal note.As you grow, you may implement more complex systems to reach out to customers with consistent, branded messages. Make sure that, no matter what technologies you use, the goal remains the same. To create lasting, personal connection with customers and clients.Shorten the distance between you and your customerThe shorter the distance (or perceived distance) between you and your customer, the stronger the relationship. Freelancers and small business owners can learn from the CEO of men’s apparel brand Masorini and how he uses email to connect with customers in a crowded market.After every purchase, Masorini sends a personal thank you note from the CEO directly to the customer. This small online store is demonstrating that they recognize the value of every customer and every customer’s experience.Make a personal commitmentBy doing this, the CEO shows his personal commitment to his customers. He inserts himself into the customer journey in a unique and powerful way.This mindset applies in the freelancer-client relationship, too. Consider these questions: Are you reaching out to your clients with clear messages?Are you taking a moment to say thank you, or to connect in a person-to-person way, beyond outlining deliverables?Express gratitudeWith the thank you note, the Masorini CEO accomplishes three goals: create a relationship, build loyalty, and increase sales. All of this applies to the freelancer-client relationship.As part of expressing gratitude for your client and the work you are creating, you also want to connect with and listen to the client so that you can better structure your workflow and manage your relationship in a way that benefits both you and the client.Personalizing your outreach helps to accomplish those goals in a positive context that builds, rather than challenges the relationship.Acknowledge challenges and limitationsWhen you acknowledge challenges and limitations on the client’s side and your own, you reinforce trust and loyalty. Both trust and loyalty are key to creating a better experience for your client and a strong relationship that is profitable for you.Here we learn another lesson from the small business, boutique retail space. Online retailer Hello Spud did something truly impressive by using email and handwritten correspondence. They made me a loyal customer by making me wait!Apply lessons and customize to your needsIn many ways, the retail space can be a much easier space in which to create loyalty and customer retention. Of course, there are many situations that are specific to freelance projects. And there is no one size fits all solution.However, the best practices we see in place as customers are a great place to start. Create experiences for your clients and build relationships that make your clients excited to work with you and eager to spread the word about the unique value that you provide.last_img read more

FCPA Flash – A Conversation With Ryan McConnell Regarding FCPA Compliance

first_imgThe FCPA Flash podcast provides in an audio format the same fresh, candid, and informed commentary about the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and related topics as readers have come to expect from written posts on FCPA Professor.This FCPA Flash podcast episode is a conversation with Ryan McConnell (founder of the boutique Houston law firm R. McConnell Group). McConnell recently authored an article titled “Watching Which Way the Wind Blows: You Need Good Forecasting to Build Good Compliance,” and in the podcast he discusses: (i) how many company risk assessments are fundamentally flawed; (ii) how best to forecast FCPA risk; (iii) and whether the DOJ and SEC’s approach to enforcing the FCPA is fair to certain companies.FCPA Flash is sponsored by Kroll. Kroll is trusted by companies and compliance officers worldwide to help prevent, detect, and remediate FCPA challenges with scalable, end-to-end compliance solutions: from high-volume third party screening and automated monitoring, to risk-based due diligence, to complex investigations and monitorships.last_img read more