Tablet PC – Is BlackBerry CEO predicting or manipulating the future?

Bloomberg reports that BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins doubts the future of Tablet PCs. Obviously Microsoft, Apple, Samsung, Google, etc thing differently. So what’s going on here. Is this the proverbial fox saying the grapes are sour simply because they are out of his reach? Does Heins genuinely believe that Tables really are not going to be profitable or a significant portion of the computing market? Is Heins wishing this to be so because his company has failed to get in on the action? Or is he trying to manipulate the game by speaking as an industry thought leader, in the hope that others will say, “Oh, well if that’s the case, we better shift our focus.” This would be an example of trying to reframe the conversation so you can say what puts your message in the best possible light. Nothing new or novel there.

Which is it? How do we tell? Perhaps there is a more important question:

What does Heins’ action say to you about your own behavior? How do you “spin” the story in an effort to manage the present and guide the future? What, if any, are the limits to such behavior?

The now deposed JC Penney CEO Ron Johnson spoke with certainty about the coming success of his “new” approach for the retail giant. Sadly for JCP employees and investors, he was wrong. May the new guy have better luck. Either way, Johnson was clearly, it seems to be, attempting to use the power of The Secret and the time honored “laws of attraction” to generate the energy to draw success toward his company.

Of course we all want and need to believe we will succeed. Psychological research suggests that the majority of people believe they are above average – a statistical impossibility. Even so, researchers go on to argue that if we did not have this exhuberance, if we were more realistic about our chances of success, we might not get out of bed in the morning. Imagine the sales person who started every call by saying, “I doubt you will want to buy from me – only 1 out of a 100 do – but let me tell you….” That approach equals failure.

Back to the original questions:
What is Heins doing here, and
How do we think about our own similar behavior
What are the moral boundaries or limits, if any, to such prognosticating?

What do you think?

Closing the deal – taking or giving?

Do you have trouble asking for things? Many people I know do, including myself. We are taught to be independent and self-sufficient.

“Stand on your own two feet. Don’t be a burden. Never ask others to do for you what you can do for yourself.”

That is all useful advice. Certainly we know and see people who could stand to take that counsel more frequently. Yet this same sage wisdom becomes a stumbling block for some of us in business and in life. The truth is, we need each other to help us meet any number necessities in our lives. Recognizing this fact will help us find harmony in our dealings with others.

Where in your life do you need to “close the deal?” It may be quite literally, in a business conversation where you are offering a product or service to a potential customer. It may be that you are raising funds for a non-profit or other important charity cause. Perhaps you are seeking to take an intimate relationship to the next level. Unless you are taking advantage of someone, the arrangement is imbalanced win-lose setup, then why are you hesitant to “ask for the sale”? Are you taking, or are you giving?

Clearly, if you are winning and the other person is loosing, then being embarrassed to push that deal makes sense. Better to structure a different deal that is win-win, or just walk away. If you are on the losing end, then it also makes sense to be uncomfortable.

When you arrive at a win-win situation, then it only makes sense to move forward to close the deal. One way to take some of the pressure off is to ask the other person, “What gain do you see for yourself in this situation?” That way, they are making the argument for you. You also discover what they see that you missed, and what you see that they don’t, so that you can offer further clarification.

At the end of the day, if you believe that you have a quality product or service, and are asking a fair price, then be proud to say so. If they don’t agree, find out why – you may learn some very important lessons for future development or marketing in your business. Or you may just conclude that this is not a good match, in which case thank them for their time, offer to direct them to someone else who can meet their need, and then ask for any referrals of future business they might send your way.

The right deal will be win-win, both parties are taking and giving in a fair exchange of goods, services, time, energy, and money. And all parties with integrity will walk away satisfied.

Tell us about a time when you struggled with this, and how you worked through it.