• Intelligent Shift

Coffee Shop Questions Vol. 2

It is time to do another coffee shop questions. We had gotten a cool question from outside the company so I sprung it on Mike and Alissa.

The question: Which business cliché have you found to be true or completely false?

After some time to think . . .


Matthews: I’ve always heard the business cliché of “don’t burn bridges”; it always made sense, but never really impacted me……until I left the confines of a company that I had been with for 16 years! And found the cliché to be completely true. We work in such a small community, if you treat someone with disrespect, or don’t follow up, or act unethically, you increase the risk of it coming back to bite you. Don’t turn your back on someone because you don’t like a business decision they made. Think big picture; when am I going work with this person again and need their support.


Lucky for me, I always treated folks the same way at work as I would on the street; with respect and tolerance. And it has benefited me 10-fold as I had to reach out to 100s of folks as we started our new venture- customer, primes, employees, etc. My advice; be respectful to everyone. Not only is it the right way to treat other humans, it will help you out when you need it the most- when you’re looking for your next job or business opportunity. Oh, and respond back to emails when someone asks you a direct question/inquiry- it’s simple to do, and is remembered when you don’t.


Alissa: A business cliché that has always resonated with me is: There is no "I" in "TEAM". This rings true now more than ever as Mike, Mike, and I hit the six-month anniversary of Intelligent Shift. We are building a team at Intelligent Shift that starts with creating a culture of trust and transparency; that means there is no room for egos. Understanding each others' strengths and recognizing our own blind spots is key part making sure that our own "I's" don't get in the way of this team. One book that I have recommended many times over the years (and bought for multiple people who worked with me) is "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team". If you have not read it I recommend it as this cliché is something you must learn and re-learn throughout life to be successful. No matter where you are in your career this is a must read and exemplifies why this cliche rings true.

DeFede: I don’t know if it’s a cliché, but I hate “all companies are the same”, especially when talking about big companies. I once heard a COTR say that they ignored management volumes because he assumed all companies would score the same. As a small business, we have a front row seat to how companies operate. It’s actually shocking how different they are. Some just bid low and accept high turnover, while others rarely lose a person. Some throw subs off to hit financial goals, while some sacrifice everything for mission success.


I’d say this to customers and my contractor peers– if you aren’t thrilled, don’t settle. Act because there are better options. Last week, I met a candidate who was referred from two friends I trust. After talking with him, I knew Intelligent Shift wasn’t the right fit. I introduced him to a company who had all the things he wanted. They hired him. Life is too short to force fit yourself. Go be happy.

That's it- if you have a question, send it to contact@intelligentshift.com. Next blog- key questions to ask on an interview.



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