Tell Me Why!
It is about maintaining and building new relation- and friendships. Values and mutual understanding are important to realize these aims. I am rather new in the blogger society – published my first post on February 12 – got today my 1,400 views – and it is nowadays all about writing, introducing and getting introduced.
My Blog is my brand-name (it is also my own name) and you have to be selective and careful to avoid any reputational damage. That means all the hard lessons of the real world are applicable.
This is what Russ Moon wrote me as way of first introduction:
“I do not lie, cheat or steal, nor do I tolerate those who do” Russ Moon
He simply started with mentioning his values and what he expects from me. Moon’s message inspires me. It is all about doing the right thing and if that is lacking walk away as fast as you can.
Do Great Artists Really Steal?
“Good artists borrow, great artists steal” Picasso
For my blog I copy paste a lot and rewrite, but when it is relevant it is truly my intention to mention my sources. Do I make mistakes? Everybody makes mistakes and as a start up something might have fallen between the cracks. For example based on reading my Blogs the perception could be that I perform benchmark studies and publish my own findings. Sorry, I lack the resources and time. I simply read the reports of (global) firms and use these findings to support my own opinions in my Blogs. I hope you have read or going to read these surveys as well. We simply learn from each other.
What is a line that should not be crossed?
In the academic world we have experienced a lot of fraud as well. Once respected professors are outcasted now. They either fabricated their scientific analysis or copy paste other people’s work without source mentioning.
Can this happen in our tax profession?
If you publish an article in tax literature and have not provided any contribution, have no practical experience in the matter and the only personal aim is to establish the perception of being a subject matter expert in the market, is that integer?
What is the similarity with the professor who was outcasted?
You not only lie to yourself, but you lie to your audience and that is not the way to maintain and start relationships.
I have faced such an experience as in a thought leadership article I wrote my name was – without my prior approval – removed and replaced by someone else. My personal view: the ethical line is crossed.
If integrity is an important part of your organizations values, you should always act accordingly and proactively manage as leadership. It is always about doing the right thing and never bargain these values.
A Case Study
“Whatever your brand stands for, you have to deliver on the promise. Don’t promise what you can’t deliver, and deliver everything you promise” Richard Branson
In order to get Michael Schumacher to change team you promise him a superior car and control over development and strategy moving forward. Michael does not have any doubts as the promise is made publicly known by the big boss himself.
- Can you still change – without Michael’s approval – the agreed conditions at the moment he arrives at his first day of work?
- Can you predict Michael’s reaction if you do this?
Would this be worse if Michael feels that the superior car drives like a bicycle, that nobody listens or is solution driven and that some extra death weight has to be carried by which steering in the right direction is extremely difficult.
Michael would probably have driven away as fast as he could (that is fast in his own car).
Would you blame him?
I refer to Moon’s quote:
“I do not lie, cheat or steal, nor do I tolerate those who do”
I would completely understand him. I have got my own reasons to do so.
Again, if integrity is an important part of your organizations values, you should always act accordingly and proactively manage as leadership. It is always about doing the right thing and never bargain these values.
Where Did I Get My Inspiration?
I have learned a lot from a book called ‘Tax Function Effectiveness‘ written by Tony Elgood, Tony Fulton and Mark Schutzman and have copy paste their methods used (the ‘Why’, ‘What’ and ‘How’) setting up this Blog. This book made me think differently. Their methodology facilitated that I was able to develop my own indirect tax methodology. Understanding and practice Six Sigma evolved the learning curve and this methodology further. We simply learn from each other.
I am a fan of Jack Welch, Steve Jobs and Richard Branson. They inspire me. Understanding the bigger picture is what I consider important in order to function effectively. I like to know a common aim first and contribute value to make it happen. We simply learn from others especially if we disagree, take position and keep an open mind.
In the start up phase of my blog I read other Blogs simply to find a role model. I have found one in Chris Brogan. I never met him but based on his Blogs this is a guy I definitely would drink a beer with. It is about common values.
My Own Mission Statement
“How often do you see me selling directly to you? How often do I ask for your money? I ask for your time sometimes, but I usually trade you that time for something of value to you. Do you know why? I give away over 90% of what I do for free. There’s a method to this. I do it because my primary goal is to earn your sense of community. I want you to feel like we are going to learn and grow together. I want you to share with others that you’ve learned something. I want you to be successful. And there’s a reason for this, too. If you are successful, then two things will happen. One, you will do better and that just makes me happy. Two, if you’re successful, you’ll think of me when there’s an opportunity that might be of benefit to me, or to both of us. That’s the opportunity” Chris Brogan
Chris inspires me. My own mission statement is already written: this time all copy paste or as Picasso said steal.
Why Are You Doing This?
I can repeat in my own words what Chris wrote and try to improve. For a Dutch guy that is definitely “being overambitious” and even if I would write it in my native language first, this will still not be possible. Why? His way of thinking – how it is written down – is exactly expressing what I feel. Don’t change the lyrics, a singer song writer would say.
I believe blogging is a new way of communication. Much more effective and efficient than writing in tax literature, which is often an one way street.
In my Blog” Is Google The Adviser Of The Future” I gave my view on the impact of technology development on among others our profession and ended with a provocative statement about automating the adviser. I consider the use of ‘humor” important. However, I believe you can automate a lot more than we currently can comprehend. Having an open mind was the message I wanted to get across. What likely can not be automated is what we feel and how we interact. That is why it is and remains a people business.
Like to end with a quote:
“I want you to feel like we are going to learn and grow together” Chris Brogan
Thanks Chris and keep on writing!
Richard Cornelisse is CEO of the KEY Group and worked previously as Big4 Partner in the Tax Performance Advisory and Indirect Tax Practice and blogs on Tax Function Effectiveness and Tax Control Framework developments.