Category Archives: Business Brief

Business Brief April 15, 2013

Selling Epiphanies

Volume II, Issue 4, April 15, 2013

Rewarding Your Sales Force With A Green Jacket

If you know anything about golf, you know about the green jacket… the prize for winning the Masters! The Masters Tournament is the most coveted of the four major championships. Most players say they have dreamed of donning the green jacket since their youth. So what makes this tournament so special; the beauty of the course, the prestige’s Augusta National Golf Club, the $1.4 million purse, the great Bobby Jones who founded and helped design Augusta in 1933, co-founded the Masters Tournament, was the most successful amateur golfer ever (not earning any money for competing), and the only player to claim a “Grand Slam,” winning all four major championships in a single calendar year (1930), or is it the green jacket itself?

I dare say, it IS the illusive green jacket. The aura around the green jacket has been created over time, having one represents membership into an exclusive club, one of prestige and accomplishment. Bobby Jones himself demonstrated that it wasn’t about the money, it was about the game, the honor among men, and yes… the win. When the green jacket is put on the winner it represents they have earned the right to be counted among the best.

Salespeople who seek to be among the illusive top tier will win for the honor, the prestige, and the right to be in the club… those are the folks you want on your team! So, when looking for your next hire, ask “Are you hungry?” “Are you hungry for winning?” “Are you hungry for being number one?” “Are you hungry for wearing the green jacket, and all it represents?” Now create the exclusive club and watch them compete… you win!

Of course, $1.4 million is nice to have, and certainly a motivator… sign me up.


Business Tips… delivering success

I couldn’t help including and commenting on the following story. For all of you bankers, use this story to compel your clients to use all safety controls available to guard against fraud. For  all of you responsible for your company’s banking… listen to your banker! Also, I thought you might find the twist of fate as amusing as I did. Given the recent turmoil in Cyprus, with the government confiscating depositors funds, I wonder if the crooks may just have had the tables turned on them… they could have been savers… how ironic would that be : – )

Victim of $440K wire fraud can’t blame bank for loss, judge rules Choice Escrow failed to take banks advice for securing wire transfers, court says

By Jaikumar Mijayan March 26 , 2013 

Computerworld – A federal court in Missouri has rejected an escrow firm’s attempt to blame its bank for a $440,000 cyberheist in March 2010.

In a ruling last week, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri held that Choice Escrow and Title LLC had essentially failed to follow its bank’s  recommended security procedures and therefore had only itself to blame for the loss.

Choice filed a lawsuit against BancorpSouth in November 2010 after unknown attackers stole the username and password to the company’s online bank account and used the credentials to transfer $440,000 to an account in Cyprus.

Choice alleged that the theft occurred only because the bank failed to implement commercially reasonable security measures as defined in the Funds Transfer Act provisions of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC).  Choice Escrow maintained that BancorpSouth should have known the wire transfer request was fraudulent because it was initiated from outside the U.S — something that had never happened before with its account.

In a countersuit, BancorpSouth noted that the wire transfer had been initiated by someone using Choice Escrow’s legitimate login in credentials and from an IP address associated with the escrow firm’s bank account.

Importantly, the bank said it had specifically asked Choice to adopt a dual-control process where two individuals would be needed to sign off on all wire transfer requests. Choice officials had declined the control, despite being warned about the risk of fraudulent wire transfers, the bank noted in a motion seeking a summary dismissal of the lawsuit.

Resources… building on exceptionalism

Hiring Wisdom: Top 10 Ways to Guarantee Your Best People Will Quit

by Mel Kleiman on Apr 8, 2013

Here are 10 ways to guarantee that your best people will quit:

10. Treat everyone equally. This may sound good, but your employees are not equal. Some are worth more because they produce more results. The key is not to treat them equally, it is to treat them all fairly.

9. Tolerate mediocrity. A-players don’t have to or want to play with a bunch of C-players.

8. Have dumb rules. I did not say have no rules, I said don’t have dumb rules. Great employees want to have guidelines and direction, but they don’t want to have rules that get in the way of doing their jobs or that conflict with the values the company says are important.

7. Don’t recognize outstanding performance and contributions. Remember Psychology 101 — Behavior you want repeated needs to be rewarded immediately.

6. Don’t have any fun at work. Where’s the written rule that says work has to be serious? If you find it, rip it to shreds and stomp on it because the notion that work cannot be fun is actually counterproductive. The workplace should be fun. Find ways to make work and/or the work environment more relaxed and fun and you will have happy employees who look forward to coming to work each day.

5. Don’t keep your people informed. You’ve got to communicate not only the good, but also the bad and the ugly. If you don’t tell them, the rumor mill will.

4. Micromanage. Tell them what you want done and how you want it done. Don’t tell them why it needs to be done and why their job is important. Don’t ask for their input on how it could be done better.

3. Don’t develop an employee retention strategy. Employee retention deserves your attention every day. Make a list of the people you don’t want to lose and, next to each name, write down what you are doing or will do to ensure that person stays engaged and on board.

2. Don’t do employee retention interviews. Wait until a great employee is walking out the door instead and conduct an exit interview to see what you could have done differently so they would not have gone out looking for another job.

1. Make your onboarding program an exercise in tedium. Employees are most impressionable during the first 60 days on the job. Every bit of information gathered during this time will either reinforce your new hire’s “buying decision” (to take the job) or lead to “Hire’s Remorse.”

The biggest cause of “Hire’s Remorse” is the dreaded Employee Orientation/Training Program. Most are poorly organized, inefficient, and boring. How can you expect excellence from your new hires if your orientation program is a sloppy amalgamation of tedious paperwork, boring policies and procedures, and hours of regulations and red tape?

To reinforce their buying decision, get key management involved on the first day and make sure your orientation delivers and reinforces these three messages repeatedly:

A. You were carefully chosen and we’re glad you’re here;

B. You’re now part of a great organization;

C. This is why your job is so important.

This was originally published in the April 2013 Humetrics Hiring Hints newsletter.

Knowledge Sharing… having an edge

Certifying employees at various levels of achievement and responsibility will aid you in identifying next-step career advancement as well as ensure efficiencies in all critical processes. The certification process can illuminate the employees’ hidden talents and expose them to their next promotion. An example for the financial industry might be establishing a credit certification for front-end employees for varying types of credit facilities at varying dollar amounts to ensure better front-end deal assessments are being made prior to submitting for credit approval. Cleaner deals submitted means a cleaner pipe and quicker movement through the overall process. A forklift dealership might certify on different equipment models to ensure the competence level of their sales and service personnel. And a medical practice might certify on claim filing for the various insurance companies to minimize rejected claims. Employee certification supports employee confidence, and employee confidence leads to better engagement and performance. (Chapter 6)

“Knowledge in itself serves no purpose; knowing what to do with what we know and doing it brings the result.” L.Seamans

In The News

New I-9 Form Finally Released; Employers Must Use It by May 7

by Shanon Stevenson on Mar 11, 2013

Last Friday, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the release of the new I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Form.

All employers are required to use the new I-9 immediately to verify the identity and employment authorization eligibility of their employees.

Although USCIS requires employers to use the new Form I-9 beginning March 7, Citizenship and Immigration has provided a 60-day grace period for employers to continue to use the current version of the form (or the 02/02/09 version) until May 7, 2013.

Failure of an employer to ensure proper completion and retention of Forms I-9 may subject an employer to civil money penalties of up to $1,100 per I-9, and, in some cases, criminal penalties. Although the new two-page Form I-9 mainly contains format changes, additional data fields, and further instructions to the employer, it increases the administrative burden placed on employers.

Here is a section-by-section summary of the changes to the Form I-9:

Section 1: Employer Information and Attestation

Fields are added to list the employee’s email address and telephone number, but are optional; and

  • For an employee who checks “An Alien Authorized to Work Until ...” and who were issued an I-94 card, he or she will also need to list the foreign passport number and country of issuance.

Full Story…

Current News & Events

(December 17, 2012) HOUSTON, TX – Seamans & Associates announced today that Human Resource expert Robyn Brend has joined the firm as Senior HR Consultant and Benefits Director.

(November 19, 2012) HOUSTON, TX – Seamans & Associates announced today that financial expert Debbie Hankins has joined the firm as Senior Regulatory and Compliance Consultant and Audit Division Director

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