Afternoon Tea in Jerusalem Blog

Life in Israel

Israeli commercial life and society

In addition to my work as a business coach, one of my interests is blogging about life in Israel. This is a country full of contrasts – over eight million citizens living in an area the size of Wales. You can see snow and the lowest place on the globe in the same day. Although surrounded by geopolitical extremes, Israel has achieved a decade of high economic growth. My work brings me in contact with an array of new companies, exciting technologies and dynamic characters. Sitting back with a relaxing cup of strong tea (with milk), you realise just how much there is to appreciate in the Holyland. Large or small operations, private sector or non profit, my clients provide experiences from which others can learn and benefit.

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“How’s work? I’m fine, no really”

Stop screwing yourself over” is an excellent Ted Talk by Mel Robbins. One of her key points is that when we are asked how we are doing, we often reply “fine”, and with the flattest of intonations. In effect, we are lying to ourselves.

Self employed, just starting out in a company, or C-Class executive, we all look for something meaningful to do at work and with our lives. Earlier this week, I read an item from somebody who today is a practicing Jew. His article traces his past from Woodstock and the heavy culture of the late 1960s to his life in Jerusalem today.

Finding out the true definition of ‘fine’ was a slow and sometimes very painful story. He learnt that what he had valued as a golden lifestyle was simply worthless. He needed to change all ways up.

Trying to answer the question “what is it that we actually do?” often appears so simple, yet it is rarely so straightforward to answer. When discussing this topic with CEOs, I tend to rephrase the conundrum:

“What is it that you are selling”?

The answer is not a service nor a product nor a piece of entertainment. As Ray Kroc of McDonalds was soon to realise, he was offering a family experience. He did this by pricing out chips and sugared drinks to his clientele.

Yesterday, I spent some time pitching to a new potential client. They are seeking help to raise funds for a new social project. They described their achievements to date in glowing terms.

Then came my turn to play business coach and mentor. They could not even begin to respond when I questioned what would make the financial contributor “fine” if they are to be associated with such an effort.

So, be honest. How are you doing today……..and why? More importantly, what do you need to change in order to answer with a smile in your voice.



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