hospitality technology made simple by kevin sturm Consulting

do you have different types of ethics?

Yesterday I had the pleasure of speaking at Westmont (my alma mater) to the Business Ethics class. There were even a few pre-med students in the class so they got to hear the story of a doctor bound student who took a different road.
In preparing some material I began to formulate some questions regarding having multiple types of ethics. I asked the class, "Have you heard of Marriage Ethics, Sports Ethics, Driving Ethics, or Raising Kids Ethics?" They all said, “No.” But they were taking a class called “Business Ethics”. Why do we have an entire subject dedicated to Ethics in Business?

Yesterday morning I had breakfast with my college coach and we were talking about how it is often easy to justify a different set of ethics in sports. A similar example came up in my conversations with the class when one of the students talked about the last World Cup the USA Women's soccer team won. I had not heard this but the USA goal keeper had stopped a shot during a shoot-out that won them the game. After the game was over a slow motion replay showed the goal keeper steeping forward towards the shooter. In soccer this is illegal as you can only move laterally to stop the ball during a shoot-out. In keeping with a single sports theme, would you slide tackle someone in soccer knowing you could not get the ball to keep them from scoring?

If you knew it meant the difference between winning or losing the World Cup would you take a step forward? It is cheating and against the rules, but could you justify it for that? I don't know if the goal keeper did it on purpose or accident, but she did break the rules.

As a separate example if it meant paying the rent or not paying the rent, would your normal ethical actions change? Do your ethics change when you have more to lose?

During my research I found a quote that my buddy DJ had told me a while back from John Maxwell and made it the topic of discussion with the class.
“There's no such thing as business ethics—there's only ethics. People try to use one set of ethics for their professional life, another for their spiritual life, and still another at home with their family. That gets them into trouble. Ethics is ethics. If you desire to be ethical, you live by one standard across the board.”

The discussion in class was great and they really had awesome insight. Way better insight than I had during college. They even asked me some questions that I had not thought about with regard to a few personal experiences I shared with them. The short of it came to the fact that when there is more at stake you are more willing to move the ethical line. I even got a question during one of the discussions from a student asking if there was any way to “spin” a message so that it did not seem so bad. He didn't use the term “spin” but I think that was the underlying question. It is the dilemma of a whole truth versus half truth. If you tell half the truth does it cancel out not telling the whole truth, and is a half truth more ethical when there is more at stake? I say no, but my experience has showed me that when more is at stake what is ethical becomes hard to see.
I have not read John Maxwell's book, but his underlying premises is The Golden Rule still applies to life. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Thanks to moms around the world (especially mine), you were right.

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care enough to be different

A couple weeks ago an old coworker, Kelly Oshiro, contacted me through LinkedIn, which is just rad because we had not talked since she left Santa Barbara. The world being so connected is really wonderful.

Kelly and her boyfriend Sam just moved back to Santa Barbara and Sam was looking for a job. Kelly wanted to know if I could possibly provide any guidance. On Tuesday I met with Sam and it was awesome to meet someone so passionate about what he wants. He is a natural product evangelist and I know will be supremely successful.

We talked about what kind of job he wanted, the type of company he wanted to work for, and what was important. He knew what he wanted, but was making one of the biggest mistakes I see when people are looking for a job. His resume was normal, totally normal. Normal equals boring and unmemorable and when applying for a job you want to be remembered. Here was the basic format of Sam's resume.

Sam's resume looked like 99% of the resumes I've seen. He was using one of the common formats, which means his resume was not unique or rememberable because almost everyone is using those formats. If you want to

If you are putting together a resume there are a few big DOs and DON'Ts to keep in mind.

  • DON'T copy the exact format of the sample resume you are using. DO care enough to personalize the style of the resume making it different. Different gets remembered.
  • DON'T list bullets of what you were responsible for at each job. Frankly I don't care what you did, I care what you accomplished. Accomplishments should be measurable and show you you improved the company in some way. Here is a good example from Resume-Resource.
  • DON'T send 20 resumes that are generic to 20 companies. DO want a job bad enough that you spend time customizing the resume for the job you are applying for.
  • DON'T list your GPA unless you had a 4.0 and just graduated, and DON'T put it at the top of the resume.n DO list all education and certifications that are applicable to the job you are applying for.
  • DON'T list “Proficient in Word and Excel” if you're applying for a job that assumes you are. For most jobs it is already a requirement to know these applications. DO list applications that you are proficient in that are unique (i.e. Perl or Java) and make you remembered.
  • DON'T list an “Objective” that says something like, “To get a job and an exciting company in the IT related field.” DO create a “Professional Summary” that is basically your elevator pitch on why someone should hire you.
  • DON'T make it one page and hard to read because of information overload. DO instead increase it to two pages so it's easy to read, but put all the stuff you really want them to see on the first page.
  • DON'T write a cover letter to “Whom It May Concern”. DO enough research to find out the name of the hiring manager or recruiter in HR and direct your resume to them.
  • DON'T ever not apply for a job because you think you're under-qualified. DO take a chance and try to get a job that may be your next big move.
I could probably go on and on, but that seems to be good enough for now. Happy resume writing!

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last day

And I got this fortune in my fortune cookie today. No Joke! How awesome is that?

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watch out for falling rocks

I’m off to a rocky start.

A week ago was supposed to be my last day with Agilysys but I elected to extend my employment. I’ve been managing a large project for six months with a major account that has gotten delayed by one month, and after review decided it was better to not transition the project. There are a few reasons for this, all of which have something to do with hoping to get future business through my own company with the group I’m working with. Additionally the person it would transition to is a really great friend and already loaded with projects.

When I first announced I was going out on my own there were immediately some very large opportunities that came my way. Two of these projects were a year or longer and would have generated over 75% of my income for 12 to 18 months. One of the projects fell through a month ago because the company hired a hotel management company and the other fell through today because of a possible merger or buyout of some kind.

I found out about the second one by breaking one of my cardinal email rules. I was taking Brody to preschool this morning and popped open my email at 8:30 am while he was eating breakfast. The first email I read was from a client saying that it looked like the project was going to fall through and not happen. This immediately put me in a bad mood. Reading email first thing in the morning can do that to you, because email all too often has bad news. My bad mood then affected the family (and our cat who annoyed me and then took the brunt of my bad mood).

If I had waited till 10:00 am to read email I would have been in a better mood when I got to work, had my coffee before finding out bad news (which is important), and Chrystal and Brody would not have experienced my bad mood (and the cat would have had a better morning).

But as in all situations, you dust yourself off and....hi ho, hi ho, it's off to marketing I go.

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