Monday, April 21, 2008

Didja miss me? ;)

Hey, all! MKShay here!

I have gotten some emails wondering where I have disappeared to - and I am popping in to assure everyone that I am still alive and kicking. LOL

We have just moved into a new house and I am having some health issues - so I am not as active on the blogs and boards right now. I have to get my house and health in order before I can do anything else.

I will try to get a post together soon! I will try to comment more often, too. :D

MKShay :o)

Saturday, April 5, 2008

A Shame Based Culture

This may seem a little off topic for this site at first, but I think it will make for good discussion. I also believe that if you stick with me on this train of though, you will see that it comes around full circle and is very relevant to the discussion we are having (ongoing) about Mary Kay.

Shah Afshar, a man I met several years ago and respect very highly, has posted an interesting and though provoking article on his relatively new blog – SHAHSHANKEDREDEMPTION. I will link to the article in a little bit, but first I want to establish and point out the particular portion that I am interested in discussing here.

Talking about Senator Obama, from the “If Elected” point of view and in reference to Obama’s promise to “sit down with the presidents of Iran and Syria”, he says,

“The first thing Senator Obama and his advisors need to understand is that when it comes to the Middle East they are dealing with a shame-based culture. In that culture, unlike most western cultures, the focus of one’s action is not on right versus wrong, but honor versus shame. What matters is whether an action brings one honor or shame. For example, a person from such a culture would be justified to lie, cheat, steal or kill in order to keep his honor.”

It is an interesting thing, and a concept that is difficult for those of us with a “western” mindset to grasp, this notion of deciding actions based on whether it would bring honor or shame rather than if it is right or wrong.

I would like to discuss this a little bit here. Take a moment to break out of everything that you know about right and wrong. Consider starting your own society. (Not so much a freakish, cult-like, compound-living society – more of a “new-world, like-minded, early settlers kind of society) Would you suppose that life would be better in a world where people decided how they were going to act based on if that act would bring honor or shame to themselves and/or their family? Or, would it be better to agree on a set of (“This is wrong” “This is right”) rules at the formation of this “society”?

On another note, there seems to be a declining sense of shame and honor in our society. Not to say that we were ever “shame-based” per se, but we certainly see people doing things today in broad daylight that would have been considered “shameful” twenty years ago. Have “we” as a society benefited from this? Or have we lost some moral footing because of it?

I would like to hear some of your thoughts on those questions. If you want to get a “big-picture” grasp of this concept go check out the full post (and the rest of Shah’s blog) here. You can do that before or after commenting. While you are over there, feel free to leave a comment and let him know that I sent you.

Now, I promised you that this would come around full circle to be relevant to Mary Kay. I suspect that one of the complaints of anyone that has been involved with Mary Kay may revolve around this concept of shame. Consider that voicing a negative opinion out loud at a meeting when everyone is trying to get pumped up and excited is extremely counter productive. If the “culture” of Mary Kay is to promote enthusiasm for the product and the opportunity, is it not “shameful” to introduce pessimism into that environment? And does it not bring “honor” to ones team to overcome someone’s dreary day with a little friendliness and enthusiasm?

Please understand, I am not endorsing silent, “lemming-like”, follow-the-leader-off-the-cliff behavior by any means. There is a time and a place to raise objections and concerns and if that is NOT provided by a director/recruiter than something is truly out of balance.

That being said, I have heard of people that were negative (or maybe even simply “not enthusiastic enough”) being forced to hold a rubber chicken in the middle of a meeting. In today’s “don’t hurt anyone’s feelings” mindset/culture, this apparently is unacceptable. What do you think? There are many other examples of this in the Mary Kay culture. I would not say that you only find these practices in Mary Kay though. I think if you look at some of the high performing sales organizations TODAY, you will find similar concepts being practiced. However, regardless of whether it is common practice or not, the question is, “Is it right or wrong?” And, if it gets results or fails to get results, does it matter if it is “right” or “wrong”?

I know I have given you a lot to talk about here – and since many of you have been relatively “silent” lately – I hope that you all can find SOMETHING here that you have enough of an opinion about to speak up!

Please don’t forget to visit my friend Shah – here – and say “hi” for me.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

No more skin care?

I just got an email indicating that Mary Kay, in an attempt to return to its roots will no longer be offering ANY products other than beauty.

This change is not being "officially announced" yet because they are still trying to figure out the processes and procedures it will take to make a smooth transition.

Because I know that many of you ONLY focus on the skin care side of sales I thought this would be a relevant conversation to have.

How will these changes affect you?

Please wait until the announcement is official to discuss this anywhere else as I do not want to disrupt the company's plan to release this information in a correctly timed fashion. (That includes discussing this on other blogs... they may not know about it yet) I trust that my readers are all mature enough to not let this get spread all over the internet.

If you have more information about this and would like to add you may do so here.

For Further Reading...

This Week On Pink Truth - Click Here
Pros and Cons of Mary Kay - Read or Contribute or Both!
First Post - Why I Started This Blog
The Article I Wrote For (here) (there)
If this is your first visit please leave a comment here. I would love to hear from you!
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But you are probably better emailing mk4me: