Reference no: EM13260464
Interview of David Young owner of David Young Distributers
• When you think about your career as a manager, certain events or episodes stand out in your mind--things that changed you in some way and have ultimately shaped you as an executive. Please choose three of these experiences that have had a lasting impact on you as a manager or executive in international work. When I meet with you, I will ask you about each of these "key events" in your career: What happened? What did you learn from it (for better or worse)?
The first time I bought product from overseas, I had found what I thought was such a good deal that I over evaluated the situation to a point where I Lost The opportunity.
I took on a manager's position that was probably a little more than I was prepared for when I was Younger
I found Jesus Christ to be my Lord
• Now think about someone else--someone whose career you have seen rise and fall. This should be a person who initially was very successful as a manager or executive in international work and who was expected to continue to be successful--but who failed to live up to those expectations. This previously successful person may have reached a plateau, been passed over or demoted, or even fired. Without revealing the identity of the person, please be prepared to discuss with us your views of: (a) why this individual been so successful prior to the derailment; (b) the flaws eventually were his or her undoing; and (c) the circumstances that led to the derailment.
A person's career I saw rise and fall was a fellow business owner. He tried to acquire products from overseas, and did not do any research on them. The products, which were very low priced, were also very low quality. The bad purchases gave him a bad reputation within the industry, and he had to close his business do to the poor quality of his purchases. If he had communicated what he wanted from the supplier, and done his due diligence I believe he would still be in business today.
1. For your first time buying product overseas, why did you lose the deal from over-evaluating?
It reminded him of the situation that his former colleague had been in. In the US, the price was tremendously higher. He also felt that he did not have the knowledge to understand what was being offered since it was his first time buying the product. He did not want to be in the same position as the person mentioned above, and so he over thought, and talked himself out of a good deal.
a. What did you learn to do from then on?
He learned that there is a risk in everything and it is not just doing business internationally. When he started his business he also started international business at the same time so it was a lesson in business in general.
2. Why do you feel the manager's job was too much for you
He was young and did not have much business experience.
a. What did you learn from the experience?
He put himself in a position where he wasn't completely comfortable, but he was able to be successful because he had some knowledge of the situation. It helped him learn how to manage people which opened up more opportunities because he gained the experience. He was more nervous about this position than opening his own business.
3. How has your beliefs affected the way you do business within the US and Internationally?
In life there is a power that gave you skills for your life and you recognize that a higher power, regardless of religion, has a hand in helping with that. If a person has the arrogance in believing that they control all of it, then the failures will overbear them. Even though people internationally have different faiths, if they believe in a higher power they are more likely to behave morally and therefore are better business partners.
One of his best suppliers used her faith to pick him as a partner simply as her judgment of him. Even without knowing his background in business. She used it as a judgment on his character and decided to do business with him.
4. What were the biggest surprises about attempting to purchase products internationally?
The biggest surprise about attempting to purchase products internationally is a misunderstanding in communication and the culture. Their distribution methods are different. In the US you have to acquire a distribution right. In China, if you have the money you can buy it.
a. Did you make any other mistakes when dealing with the representative other than over-evaluating the deal?
He took in one partner that put a large amount of inventory in his building as a consignment deal; they began to change the product without his knowledge. Since he did not officially control the product, his supplier began changing the product and trying to push their own sales. He did not like that he did not have the control of the product that he was selling. He did not realize it right away and when he did he terminated the contract. It hurt his reputation some.
5. What are the special challenges you face when dealing with people from different countries/cultures?
Communication. Usually there is a miss-communication in what you want and what they desire. Most of the time in business overseas, their first question is "How much can you sell", but there is a lot that goes into that answer. There seems to be impatience with growth. He has had times where he has had to cancel a contract and start over with a new supplier because the supplier became impatient with the growth of sales.
Contracts don't seem to hold with small businesses overseas in terms of rights.
6. If you were to expand internationally, what qualities would you look for in a person that you would want to send abroad?
Patience, in the respect of other cultures. Communication skills, so the data is communicated back to him. Have to know both languages well. Key thing is that they are able to relay information back and forth. Also someone that will be sure to stand up to his moral expectations of all his employees and suppliers.
7. Was there anything special in the way you grew up or early in your life that caused you to seek out or be especially effective in an international context ? ie: interests or languages
What caused him to seek international contacts is the nature of the US business world at this point in time. Everything is made overseas in his industry. Also, a respect to the fact that the world does not revolve around one particular person. The realization that he is one spec in the universe and that he is insignificant in this world, and knowing that everyone else is that same spec in the world.
When he was younger, the civil rights movement was in full swing. He decided that he did not want to be judgmental like people he saw when he was younger, so he treats everyone with respect.
8. How have you changed over your career in respect to dealing with different countries/cultures?
It is just an evolution of reality and the ability to have a better understanding of different cultures because of technological advances. He has grown because of the amount of information available.
9. Is there anything you have learned about the international market that you would want to pass on to a younger manager?
That you will find the same thing you find internationally that you find domestically. You will find people that you disagree with in both. It is ok to make a judgment on facts and knowledge of the person you are doing business with, both the company and the individual. It is okay to say you do not want to do business with a person because you do not feel comfortable with them. That is different than not doing business with someone with a different view. You will make mistakes. If you don't make mistakes you are probably sitting on the couch watching football. Don't do business with a representative or an agent without meeting the company. What is the desire, what is their process, who are the owners etc. He finds that they find that desirable as well.
Make sure you don't have all your eggs in one basket because they will sell to anyone even your competitors.