I recently decided to leave the world of education and move into sales. Many people have asked me how I came to this decision, so the following is my explanation:
Where to start? Ah, when I was a freshman in college, my advisor told me to pick a major. I told her I never wanted to take another English class and that I was undecided between being a business major and education. I choose business education so I didn’t have to decide. I took on an English minor as a way to stay in school for an extra year for track (and because I had an English professor who was incredible rude, offensive, profane, awesome).
Before I knew it I was student teaching and then got a job teaching English in Colorado.
I kinda enjoyed the whole teaching business/computers and coaching while at RHS, but about that time I was still considering the whole business/MBA thing. Once I finished that up, I definitely decided to bail on the whole teaching thing and abandon the getting sweared at/teaching how to use commas/grading papers.
A position came open at Runnion Equipment and I was able to move into it. While I will miss the people I work with and the summers (oh, the glorious summers), I am definitely excited for the new opportunity, and I am learning a lot every day which is fun. So if you know anybody who is looking for a crane, bucket truck, trailer, or forklift, let me know.
As I was perusing Twitter the other day, I saw that Valery Rozov of Russia decided to BASE jump from Everest. While it was from an altitude of 7,220m (about 1 mile below the summit), it’s still very rarefied air and incredibly dangerous. Red Bull has been on a tear the last few years pulling off dangerous stunts which have been quite successful (e.g Felix Baumgarter) and have done a great job enhancing their brand.
But as I was watching the jump yesterday, I was wondering, “What would happen, God forbid, if one of these guys killed themselves?” Red Bull has been branding themselves as risk takers and adventurous. How badly would their brand suffer? Would they back off on these marketing campaigns? I don’t think much would change. Maybe the stunts would be put on hold for a short time, but they have poured millions into their connecting themselves to adventure seeking youths. Air Races, Flugtags, F1 Racing, and the like would push their brand in the desired direction, but these stunts really put the Red Bull name out there.
I need to update my title tag and get rid of the MBA student part since I graduated a few weeks ago. I’ll also have to update my about page. I finished my negotiation class with an A and ended up with 3.78 GPA which allowed me to beat my goal of having a higher GPA than my undergrad (3.40). Now it’s time to take these 3 years and do something with this degree.
The triple contingency model in negotiations states a negotiator must be effective in 1) mastering the substance (planning), 2) building relationships and trust, and 3) managing the negotiation process. Further, this model is dynamic and takes place in the context of time. “The implication of the triple contingency model is that negotiators have to use their multiple intelligences to operate effectively and simultaneously in the three areas” (Benoliel & Cashdan).
Negotiations have been on my mind lately since I’m taking Negotiations as my final class at NIU and since the district I work for and the union have been in negotiations for last 10+ months. Dr. Burton sent us this good NPR program and the process of negotiation in relation to a really complex negotiation – Israel and Palestine.
Second Tuesday in a row that we had a snowstorm hit. While I had to go to work last week and had class cancelled at night, school was completely closed today. After drinking a LOT of coffee while playing with the new coffee grinder and some different techniques of the French press, I did some grading and got to working on the SteepleWeb marketing plan, particularly focusing on the social media aspect. We’ve neglected that a bit lately, so it’s my job to outline a strategy and set up a calendar. Now that the Hawks are on, I am going to write a proposal for Cracked.com about negotiating.
Just as I make my students reflect on their readings, I am going to do the same for my MBA readings. Today I read about several mistakes that negotiators frequently make.
Viewing Negotiating as a Fixed Pie – Many people head into negotiations thinking that it is purely distributive in nature (win-lose), but this is not always the case. It is important to look for opportunities which are mutually beneficial. In order to accomplish this, both sides need to share some information, especially about their priorities. Anchoring – This is definitely not the first class I’ve heard about anchoring bias, and I actually teach it to my students. Anchoring bias occurs when a participant focuses on the first offer made. Consequently, the person who makes the first offer typically has the more favorable deal. As a means to prevent this, it is important to know what your counter-offer will be, stick to it, and quickly present it. Escalating Commitment – Sometimes people focus on the past and there is a strong tendency to “justify prior decisions and behaviors, both to themselves and others.” This is particularly dangerous when a person has employed a losing strategy and refuses to switch. The solution is to ignore the sunk costs and quit heading toward a losing deal. Feeling Too Confident – “Overestimating the chances that your counterpart will meet your demands is a common and potentially devastating error.” It’s important to think like (or get) an outsider for an objective stance. Focusing Too Narrowly – This is especially critical during integrative negotiations (just like the peach case done in class last week). It is important think broadly and not get too wrapped up in the minute details. Framing Bias – This was actually in a different section, but was another bias that affects negotiations. The way a negotiation or problem is framed can have a significant impact on the outcome of the negotiation. Negotiators need to identify the appropriate frame, establish a referent point that leads to a positive frame. It is important to emphasize the inherent risk and opportunity for gain. Also, negotiators can create anchors or referents that lead to a positive frame and make the fact that the next offer may be rejected be as salient as possible.
When I was little, I remember reading some magazine, possibly Nickelodeon’s, and there being a small article about product placement. I don’t know how I remember it, but there was a screen shot for a Butterfinger in the Dennis the Menace movie. Since then, I’ve been trying to pick out any instances of product placement – it bugs the crap out of Amanda.
My favorite lesson I teach each year to my seniors is about the role of product placement in pop culture. Amanda and I were watching the third Transformers last week and since I knew Michael Bay is notorious for selling his movies, I tried to pick up as many I could.
Smeg refrigerator – Opening scene with people. I wasn’t sure what Smeg was so I had to look it up. It’s a brand. Unfortunately I just bought a new refrigerator. Chevy Camaro – Bumblebee. How does he never get dirty? My Chevy definitely gets dirty. Corvette – Another GM car. Cadillac – Even more GM. I heard GM paid $1.5MM for the first movie. Snap On – The logo is extra large on the toolbox in the hanger. Lenovo monitor – They are everywhere. Except at my workplace. And Amanda’s. Apple iPad – Very quick and subtle in the office. Mercedes – I think it was on the bad guy’s chest. Is Mercedes evil? Depends who you ask. Cisco – I have nothing to say about Cisco. Canon – The printer turned into something that threw the guy from the Hangover from out a window. Bud Light – Even Amanda picked this one up. Firestone – Apparently this is the old advertisement/billboard/store in the city of Chicago. The city must have done something since I’ve been there last. Waste Management – This was the cleanest dumpster I have ever seen. GMC – Another one Amanda got. Chevy Impala – Ferrari – Because I saw it in the movie, I want to go buy a Ferrari. Now to take a second mortgage on the house. Target – on hood that turned into a robot Gillett – There’s a Gillett razor in my shower, but the only reason it was purchased was because it a Chicago Bear’s logo. Macy’s – I think I’m going there tomorrow to buy a suit. Only if Men’s Warehouse had some product placement. . USA Today – Incredibly quick and subtle. I wasn’t sure if I really saw it. I think I might have convinced myself that it existed. Fox News and O’Reilly Show – I don’t watch either and probably never will.
I’m sure I missed a few, but if I was actively seeking them out, how effective were the ads? The overwhelming majority of these Amanda missed. This is something that interests me and I’m going to research more between grading and reading about negotiations.