Good article that sums up what I view as perhaps the biggest single threat to future success of the United States of America. Its painfully obvious that we are going to see a surging gap in the needs of older Americans and the ability of younger Americans to provide them the services they expect.
This point, more than anyother single motivator is why I’ve become some focused on the BPO industry. I forsee countless types of services that will have to be done overseas for the simple reason that there are not enough people here to do them. Our shortsighted immigration policies, our neglected vocational education programs and lack of global intergration all lead me to the conclusion that American will have no choice but to source more andmore servicing jobs overseas.
On the other side of the Pacific, the Philippines has a young, predominately college educated, English speaking popluaiton who undertsands American culture. To me there is no simpler math then 1+1=2… American demand and Filipino supply = a bright and lucrative future for BPO Elite!
After reading Seth Godin’s blog this morning, I was reminded of the day I decided to not follow the narrative anymore and started to change my story.
It was a cold and rainy morning in November and I had been considering leaving my stable, safe and financially enticing career of 15 years for several months. Up until that morning, I would wake up, think about an alternate path to the future, but in the end go about living the same narrative.
With so many considerations on my mind like health care, retirement benefits, financial stability it’s no wonder most people ever change the narrative of their lives. But finally I had decided to take the leap of faith, to dive off into the unknown… to start writing my own narrative and change the story.
Through a combination of love, faith, connectedness and passion I walked into my boss’s office and tendered my resignation. Since that day I have faced even more challenges and difficulties then before, but my capacity to handle them and my ability to remain positive have been supercharged. In the five months since that day the story changed from a slow-developing, methodically paced novel to an adventure story worthy of Indiana Jones.
When you wake up tomorrow, will you extend the narrative or will you change the story of your life?
I want to give you all an update on two incredibly significant events that happened last week and that have pushed our company’s Philippines expansion plans closer to being a successful reality.
In conjunction with my own viewpoint, please read this recent article from Reuters
I attended a CEO briefing sponsored by the Business Process Assoicaiton of the Philippines. I was able to network with and meet with several significant players that will be beneficial connections as we build our credibility and tie-up with various BPOs to provide them with much needed talent. The figures are staggering when it comes to the projected needs of the BPO industry when it comes to the types of training we do… analytical skills, problem solving and critical thinking combined with hands on training are a very rare commodity and as the BPO industry grows they will only be more scarce. BPAP has a committee charged with instituting a BPO preparation tract within the top schools. The tract in includes classes in among other subjects, Fundamentals of BPOs, Analytics and Call Center Management.
I also had discussions with one of the top schools in the Philippines, De la Salle – College of St. Benilde, they will begin implementing these BPO centric types of classes as soon as the 2nd trimester of this upcoming school year. Its very exciting to see them take on some of the innovative ideas that will better prepare tomorrows leaders in the Philippines. Many, many of the things BPO Elite has been doing the past year with our analytics focus and our internship program line up with CSB’s plans.
Overall, we (meaning BPO Elite) are indeed looking at an opportunity that I will compare to the California Gold Rush of 1849. There already are and will be many more “prospectors” trying to get rich off of all the money being allocated by the government and invested by multinational corporations trying to get a piece of the pie. But it’s a huge pie and there is ample room for us if we are able to execute our plans.
Ok, I know that was a lot of information, but it’s the way I roll! LOL!
We have come a long way in just a week of me being here and with God’s grace our progress will continue to be productive and our efforts will bear much fruit!
Time for to let my inner geek out and imagine for a moment that BPO Elite is my Enterprise. LOL! Yes, it is kind of silly, but I really do believe that we can learn lessons from fictional captains especially ones from the Star Trek Universe. SO much of Star Trek is grounded in reality, which why its science fiction and not fantasy. That said, here are how I apply these leadership lessons to my own mission of boldly going where no man has gone before.
1. Never Stop Learning – “You know the greatest danger facing us is ourselves, an irrational fear of the unknown. But there’s no such thing as the unknown– only things temporarily hidden, temporarily not understood.” – I 100% agree with this philosophy and am always seeking knowledge. I’m always reading, scouring the internet and connecting with new people. Lately I’ve been researching and networking to better understand the BPO recruiting industry in the Philippines. There is always something new to explore, and the best way to do it is by sharing experiences, teaching what you’ve learned and being open to differences of opinion.
2. Have Advisors With Different Worldviews- “One of the advantages of being a captain, Doctor, is being able to ask for advice without necessarily having to take it.” – This to me is one of the best things about Kirk’s management style. He listens to others to validate his assumptions, make corrections when appropriate and then make more informed decisions. I look at my partners and the people I surround myself with and know that they will shoot straight with me, but also have my back once a decision is made. For me, this is a key to my successes.
3. Be Part Of The Away Team – “Risk is our business. That’s what this starship is all about. That’s why we’re aboard her.” – Leaving behind a 15 year career, a good salary and lots and lots of stability to take a huge leap of faith is all about taking a calculated risk. I say calculated because, like Captain Kirk, I am not doing this alone. The choice to take the risk is based on research and done in partnership… blindly taking risks can be foolish, but knowing letting opportunity pass because of being afraid is even more foolish.
4. Play Poker, Not Chess – “Not chess, Mr. Spock. Poker. Do you know the game?” – A good poker face is so undervalued. I tend to wear my emotions on my sleeve in general, but when necessary I can put on a pretty convincing façade. Its something that I’ve had to learn over time and the better that I get at it, the further I get in life. However, of the five lessons listed here… this is the one I need to continue to work on the most.
5. Blow up the Enterprise – “‘All I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by.’ You could feel the wind at your back in those days. The sounds of the sea beneath you, and even if you take away the wind and the water it’s still the same. The ship is yours. You can feel her. And the stars are still there, Bones.” – See Lesson #3… only I didn’t blow up my ship, I jumped off my stagecoach! Seriously though, we tie ourselves down to a place because of material commitments and societal pressure and we lose the ability to be free. I am so blessed that my life is in a place where I can set sail and seek adventure across the Pacific.
Special thanks to the author of the original post, Alex Knapp of Forbes for the inspiration for this blog post. His final paragraph summing up the lessons he learned from watching Captain Kirk are all very, very applicable to me right now. Like Kirk, “I need to keep exploring and learning. I need to ensure that I encourage creativity and innovation by listening to the advice of people with vastly different opinions. I need to occasionally get down in the trenches with the members of our teams so I understand their needs and earn their trust and loyalty. I need to understand the psychology of our competitors and also learn to radically change course when circumstances dictate. By following these lessons, I can lead our organizations into places where none have gone before.”