Posts Tagged ‘Orange job’

Inside the Media: Oranges and Blues Everywhere

February 1st, 2009

As I get to do a fair number of media interviews, I’ve been very blessed to meet a bunch of media people in front of the camera and microphone and behind the scenes.

Spend about five minutes in any studio or radio station and you’ll quickly notice that the vast numbers of people are Orange and Blue. Both Colors have great flexibility, a strength that’s crucial in the business, and both share a core need to work with (and help) people. Yes, there’s prep stuff…but both Colors can control how much they do, and being on-time is not optional. It’s why every Orange in the business won’t ever share the typical Orange value of “almost” on-time.

Here are a few stories where you’ll quickly see the persons’ Colors:

A popular radio gardening show host frequently runs over into the newscast breaks. The host has a very soft voice, is incredibly patient, and finds it impossible to cut someone off. He also takes every caller still on hold at the end of the show because he wants to help them, and reward them for their patience. When he recently shared he couldn’t respond to all his e-mails anymore, he seemed on the verge of tears, sharing he felt so bad that he was letting people down as a result.

Before a recent morning interview, I was visiting with the traffic lady at the station who seemed very sad and depressed. When I asked what was wrong, she admitted that she was really concerned about how people would get to work with all the congestion and accidents that morning…

Last year I was scheduled for a one-hour radio show on Colors with a friend of mine. But that day, the station had installed a new telephone and computer system. There wasn’t a soul who could figure it out. Her first words were “OK, this could be fun…” and she actually meant it!

No, the phones didn’t work after the first call, but she unplugged things a couple of times, press this, I wonder what this does, re-booted it, took a call on her cell phone and passed on the question and NEVER got stressed. I don’t mean didn’t let it show – I mean did NOT let it affect her, her tone of voice, demeanor or show.

After my segment, the next guest didn’t show. No problem. She went onto a web site and started talking for 15 minutes on an upcoming theatre production with zero notice, no hesitation, stumbles, or anyone listening having a clue that none of her planned segment was coming together. Whatever the industry or job, that takes talent and you can count on any Orange pulling it off.

This Month on TV: A&E Parking Wars

November 1st, 2008

Yes, another reality show, but it’s worth watching once. Filmed in Philadelphia, the show follows a bunch of different Parking Authority staff at work. It was actually my high Blue brother who told me to watch the show, but it came with the Blue warning that “it’s pretty intense.”

Meet Brian, who introduced himself by saying: “I used to have a desk job. Now I’m out here (writing parking tickets) and I feel great – like a free-range chicken!” But also points out a number of times that he never “confuses kindness with weakness.” It’s pretty easy to tell high Orange Brian loves his job. “I’m just showing too much love out here (letting some off with warnings), but it’s like the falcon and the chicken…and I’m the falcon!”

Ah, the power of the ticket book, freedom to be outside all day, talk to tons of people, and Brian really enjoys the verbal abuse when the owner of the car shows up. An Orange lady was actually stunned that she was getting a ticket for double parking. But Brian was laughing, “another satisfied customer. It’s not their fault they’re getting a ticket. It’s my fault that I happen to be on the same block to catch it! She’s upset? I’m upset that I had to do the work to write the ticket. Oh well, she’s got $51 dollars worth of love.”

One of the tow truck drivers is Clarence, who also moonlights as a wedding photographer. When Clarence is sent to tow a ticketed van, the owner of the vehicle came out of the office building just as Clarence was lifting his vehicle.

Very calmly, the van owner explains that he was taking some tools into the building and it’s so hard to find a spot – then looks down. Busted! Without trying, he got to high Blue Clarence, who phones into the office to get the OK to release it back to the man. And what did Clarence actually say? “Sorry about that – you have a good day.”

He felt even worse on the next call. “On my car I’ve got over $900 worth of tickets, why are you towing my sister’s car after only three? Clarence feels terrible and tells the camera: “My compassion comes from situations…”

An Orange Profile: Sir Richard Branson

September 1st, 2008

Sir Richard Branson is the owner of Virgin Airlines, Virgin Records, Virgin Mobile that has just come to Canada and the U.S. and, well, everything Virgin. Branson is Orange off the charts and his net worth is now over $8 billion. He specifically goes into businesses that have the worst customer service, or industries were others are losing a fortune. He then turns the industry thinking and approach upside down, makes a ton of money and creates happy customers.

Here is a great insight into his business approach from an interview with Glenn Beck:

BECK: Your high school principal, correct me if I’m wrong, said: “You’re either going to end up in jail or you’re going to be a billionaire.” Why?

BRANSON: I think maybe he saw a little bit of a rebel in me and I suspect that’s why he said it.

BECK: What were you like? What were you like as a …

BRANSON: I mean, I — I was hopeless at school. I mean, I had no interests at all in conventional education. I didn’t like the way that we were being taught at school. I thought there must be a better way — a better way of teaching people, that schooling should be more interesting. So I questioned — I questioned a lot about the way things were being done.

I never had any interest in school. I thought school should be more interesting and I decided to leave at age 15. And so Virgin has been an appropriate name. Almost every industry we’ve gone into we’ve gone into from scratch and…

BECK: You were virgins at it…

BRANSON: We were virgins at it. And as you say, we also, you know, if we start a new airline somewhere in the world, we’ll try to take on cabin crew, not pilots, if you please note, cabin crew who haven’t necessarily worked for other airlines before. So they’ve come with — we train them and they come with a fresh approach.

BECK: How do you — how do you go from “Tubular Bells” to, “I want to run an airline”?

BRANSON: I was in Puerto Rico one day, and we — I got bumped off — off an airline. And I was desperate to get to the Virgin Islands. And I went backstage and got out, sort of, can I hire a plane. And I got a blackboard and I wrote, “$39 one way to Puerto Rico. And I went back out, and all the people there bought a one-way ticket to Puerto Rico, and Virgin was born. And there were lots of happy customers. And we actually made — I don’t think I divided the number of passengers quite rightly, so we made about $39 on the trip.”

Want to know more? Here is the link to the full Glenn Beck interview from Headline News:

Sir Richard Branson Rules of Business:

Haggle – everything’s negotiable


Keep it casual

Move like a bullet

Have fun working

Be a common regular person

This Month on TV: Ramsey Kitchen Nightmares

April 1st, 2008

This new reality show from FOX has world-class chef Gordon Ramsey taking on the challenge of complete restaurant makeovers throughout the U.S. One of the first episodes was at The Old Stone Mill in Tuckahoe, New York and its owner Dean.

In spite of not being profitable for more than a year, this high Gold owner fought like crazy during the first two-thirds of the show against all of the high Orange Ramsey changes. But like the story of Restaurant Makeover earlier this year, here’s a hint: Don’t bet against the high Orange will and skill to turn things around.

Changing direction of the restaurant is a sign of weakness, argued Dean, in a last ditch effort to avoid changing the menu in any way. Yet Chef Ramsey’s comeback hit the Gold owner even harder: “Look at how you dress, your hair, the cutlery – everything is immaculate, but you serve crap for food! It’s more important that it gets out in a certain time, but you don’t give a crap about the quality. You’re scared of change – you can’t handle it!”

By this time, Dean seemed somewhere between puking and wanting to hit Ramsey, especially since he was being criticized in front of his staff. A sure kiss of death is to ever criticize a Gold in front of other people. OK, but Ramsey didn’t know – and didn’t care. In fact, he had to bring in his design team to re-design the restaurant during the night, in order to avoid more hassles and push-back with the owner.

The redesigned restaurant received great reviews, but it was Dean’s wife who had to be the first one to embrace it. “I didn’t know this would involve any kind of makeover” was Dean’s response with that deer in the headlight look. But Ramsey got right back in his face: “You’re scared of failure AND you’re scared of change!”

In the kitchen itself, the chef had given up and admitting he had lost his passion for cooking due to Dean’s micro management. Out front, Dean had hired a fellow Gold to manage his restaurant. That made sense as his Gold valued, and looked for, a manager that shared his ideas of organization, décor, cleanliness and efficiency. But it was his manager who also cracked badly and became so stressed that he simply walked out: “I’m just not ready for all these changes.” In the background of many scenes, Dean was often straightening something out, sorting and re-arranging cutlery. At least those were things he could control, and find comfort in, during this high-stress time.

Yes, the show is a little over the top. Hello? It’s a reality show and it’s on FOX! Yes, it’s heavily edited and attempts to create drama. But the Colors stresses and conflicts are as real on the show as they are for all of us, every day, when we don’t understand. Do most of us handle it differently or better? I don’t know – only you do. Does it sometimes get to this point? Yes, probably. But then, don’t most of us not really fight for things, listen, accept change or become willing to look at something slightly differently until it’s almost too late?

This episode ended with a cut-in from a few months later. Dean looked totally in control and even received the keys to the city from the mayor. “I needed the change. I couldn’t wait any longer. Now I have something to be really proud of, and I’m excited about what the future holds.” I did send Dean and his wife a copy of the Colorful Personalities book and a note. Knowledge really is power and better late than never…

PS: Many episodes get even more confrontational as lots of chefs are high Orange, and supremely confident that their food and restaurant will blow Chef Ramsey away. Stay tuned for some heavy duty Orange-Orange conflicts.

Holding Onto the High Orange or Green Founder

January 1st, 2008

What’s known to very few investors is that mergers & acquisitions of companies don’t usually work in building value for shareholders. Yes, about two-thirds of mergers actually reduce the value of companies, according to experts in the field. The reason? The founder and most of their top talent quickly leave the company when the merger is completed and thus robs the firm of their best expertise.

The reality or perception is that the company will now be run by bean counters, or at least by people who don’t have the drive, energy, vision or creativity that made the takeover firm successful in the first place! And in the majority of cases, it’s a high Orange who founded the firm and is quickly out the door, rather than now working as a middle-manager.

In these business acquisitions the new owners are discovering huge insights into understanding what makes entrepreneurs valuable in the first place, and finding ways to retain them. One great example is the purchase of Small Planet Foods by General Mills where the company was left to run much as it had been before the acquisition. With that approach it’s now one of General Mills fastest growing divisions!

In the technology field the same holds true for high Green entrepreneurs. When Yahoo purchased the online photo-sharing company Flickr, they were smart enough to immediately asked co-founder Caterina Fake to take over her own division within Yahoo to come up with the next new idea. In a quote to Fortune magazine: “That was perfect for me. Entrepreneurs have a drive and a passion that needs to be channeled. A cushy job is not what these people are looking for. They’re looking for a challenge!”

This Month on TV: Restaurant Makeover

October 1st, 2007

If you get a chance, find a show called Restaurant Makeover on the Food Network. The first time I watched it, guest designer Cherie Stinson took on the renovation of The Town Grill restaurant.

The good news was that Stinson is high Orange. The bad news was that both restaurant partners were high Green. The first quarter of the show was Stinson attempting to convince the owners that their place was “dingy, dark, 1990s decorations, crappy clutter and a bar that looked like it was built by a 10-year old.” It became apparent that she wanted to (make that: was going to) gut the place, whereas the owners had been looking for a new paint job, at most.

But when it comes to creativity and visualizing renovation, or decorating changes, always bet on the high Orange and trust them on this! The same holds true for most high Blues, it’s just that designer Sherry Stinson’s high Orange wasn’t going to cave in, settle, compromise or make a deal of any kind. (She was also the reason this episode had a course language warning – not something that would be necessary with a high Blue designer).

Her solution to the impasse? Agree to “minor changes” and just get the owners to leave for the week. But then, the typical Orange mindset tends to be: I’d rather ask for forgiveness than permission or: Yea – whatever – I’m going to do this and you’ll LOVE it when I’m done! (Yes – news flash: they do that in your office, too!)

In any event, within a couple of hours, her crew had gutted the place. But imagine the look of horror on the face of the owners. “Well,” said Stinson, “we might as well keep going now…” which simply had the hyperventilating owners leave again. While she may have had no credibility with the high Green partners, the end result was worth it when the comments started with “nice” and “good”, but quickly escalated to “awesome and amazing.”

Whether it’s your Christmas party, creative ideas for your team, or some renovations at home, make sure you have a high Orange involved. After all, we can’t be specialists at everything – but this is an area where your Orange friends or teammates will shine and really come through! For a high Orange, something like this isn’t work – it’s fun, an awesome challenge and they’ll win – and you’ll love it!

Kind of like the words of a bumper sticker: Sit down, hold on and shut up.