JPTearsheet, November, 2020 Vol. XII No. 11
"Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you'd have preferred to talk."
—  Doug Larson

The Best Business Skill You’ll Ever Acquire
People are funny. They’ll spend thousands of dollars to get a business degree. They’ll spend thousands more to earn an MBA (Masters of Business Administration.) The best students who complete those programs will learn a lot. They’ll learn a lot from many instructors who, themselves, are very smart.

Yet many of those students will begin their careers – and many more will wander through significant portions of their careers without grasping one of the most basic business lessons you’ll never hear in B-school. What is this sage for the age?

Whether or not they in fact practice what they preach, an advertising campaign from Verizon hit the nail on the head: “Can you hear me now?”

Imagine where so many businesses would be if they listened as much as they spoke. Long-time business icon, the late Peter Drucker counseled to stay close to your customer. Well, you can sit right on top of your customer but if you’re not listening to what that customer is telling you, your proximity doesn’t really amount to much.

Companies will spend millions of dollars on advertising, public relations, social media, with little or no consideration to what their customers want to hear. Companies will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on consultants and then ignore their advice.

And it goes beyond listening to your customers. It also involves listening to your employees; to your community; and even to others in your industry.

Listening isn’t a function. It’s not even an art. It’s a mindset. It’s a commitment. It’s a humbling experience. It requires putting your omniscient ego on the back shelf in favor what someone else is saying.

It’s essential to any business endeavor.
Burgermania.  Americans eat 50 billion hamburgers each year – more than three per week for every man, woman and child. McDonalds sells more than 1,500 burgers each minute.
— The History Guy

So, what is it?  An Irish court has ruled that the bread used in Subway sandwiches is not bread.
– The Guardian

To thine own self be true. Of all true and false questions, 56 percent are true and 44 percent are false. 
—  QI

Ah rats! For the sixth consecutive year, exterminator Orkin has named Chicago as America’s most rat-infested city – followed by Los Angeles and New York.  
— too numerous to mention

Covid explosion. “One of the worst (Covid outbreaks) in all of Europe” occurred in Switzerland as a result of people attending a yodeling concert. 

Covid reduction. The pandemic-driven drop in college enrollments this fall will cost American colleges and universities an estimated $120 billion. 
— New York Times

Bouncey bouncey. The average cost of overdrawing your checking account has risen to $33.47. 

Need a job?  Today in America there are nearly twice as many people working for the government (22.5 million) than in all of manufacturing (11.5 million). This is an almost exact reversal of the situation in 1960. 
The Wall Street Journal
The Time is Now
This may be the perfect time to act if you’re considering starting a newsletter for your organization. Starting now with concerted effort, you should be able to publish your first edition in January – a great way to start the new year.

If you think a newsletter should be in your future, The JPT Group can help. Download our free digital booklet – Getting Started with Your Newsletter – to get some basic questions answered as well as a little inspiration and some tips to nudge you forward. Be sure to check out “Something Special” at the end.
Quote of the Month:
“Never mistake motion for action.”
—  Ernest Hemmingway

Month of the Month:
It shouldn’t come as any great surprise that November is Adopt A Turkey Month. If Old Tom isn’t to your liking, you can take comfort in knowing that this is also National Peanut Butter Lovers Month as well as National Pomegranate Month. Then again, maybe you can push yourself away from table long enough to recognize Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Month or National Impotency Month.

Question of the Month:

What has more caffeine — a cup of coffee or a cup of tea?

Whether it’s cream or sugar, or lemon or honey, it’s still a weighty question.
It’s The Holiday Season
With Thanksgiving looming in the not-too-distant future, it means that Christmas is not far behind and that we’re already waist deep in what’s become known as “the holiday season.”

As such, many retailers and other purveyors of potential gifts have been bombarding us with flyers, coupons and catalogs overflowing with gift suggestions.

One such retailer is Costco. There is a lot of good to be said about Costco. And then, there is the 2020 Costco “Holiday Savings” catalog.

The catalog features – at a discount of $170 off the $369.99 regular price – the “luxury bidet seat.” Not just any bidet seat, mind you, this one comes with a night light (indispensable); warm seat and air dry (well, duh); and “full bidet function.” (Who would settle for anything less?) Shouldn’t it be a given that it’s available with a round or elongated seat? But wait! There’s more. If you haven’t yet made up your mind, you’ll sleep better knowing that it comes with a “double-sided wireless remote.” (Hey, honey. Where’s the remote?)

No self-respecting bidet owner should be without one. But, buyer beware. There is a “limit 2.”

“You cannot get the water to clear up until you get the pigs out of the creek.”
— Rattlesnake Eddie

Hard Hitting Lessons
A gridiron MBA? OK, maybe that’s not possible, but see how much you can learn about business from football in my book, Hard Hitting Lessons. The subtitle says it all, “Some not-so-obvious business lessons learned from playing football.”

Most people associate football with learning things like hard work, discipline, teamwork, etc. That’s all very true. But what can you learn about business from football? According to Hard Hitting Lessons, a lot. This book will explain it all – from human resources to strategic planning and more. Yes, there’s a lot to be learned from playing football about business – and even about life itself. 

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