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People are People Around the World

People are People Around the World                                                   

By Greg Kozera

Shale Crescent USA was at Select USA this week in Washington, DC. This is an event put on annually by the US Commerce Department. Companies from all over the globe are invited by Commerce Department representatives in US Embassies around the world. Over 3,000 people from all over the world attended. States and businesses set up exhibits to show off their advantages and answer questions from prospective foreign investors. The West Virginia Development Office and Jobs Ohio both had booths and were well represented. Nathan Lord and I attended from Shale Crescent USA.

Many governors attended as well as congressional representatives and US Senators. Nathan and I  met with Governor DeWine of Ohio. Both WV Senators spent time at the West Virginia Exhibit. Main stage speakers included many Governors, Corporate CEOs, Ben Carson- Secretary HUD, Wilbur Ross- US Commerce Secretary and Ivanka Trump. The purpose was to encourage foreign investment in the USA and to help companies that want to invest here with information and contacts. The Shale Crescent USA Region was promoted from main stage by Chad Holliday, Chairman of the Board of Royal Dutch Shell who talked about their cracker being built near Pittsburgh. It was an impressive event.

This conference was a melting pot of all races and ethnic backgrounds. Dr. Ben Carson told the story of black ants and red ants. Both are very industrious but if they ever meet they will fight to the death because of their different colors. Dr. Carson added, “Have you ever seen the brain of a black or red ant? It is really hard to find under a microscope. Aren’t we smarter than black or red ants.” At this Conference, the World Petrochemical Conference and Global Plastics Summits we have attended, we have had the opportunity to meet people from all over the world. No matter what country they are from or what their skin tone is, I have learned that people are more alike than they are different.

We believe in what sales expert, Jeffrey Gitomer says, “If they know you, like you and trust you, they may buy from you.” Sales is all about relationships and helping people. Before we can sell any person on the Shale Crescent Region we need to build a relationship with them. People need to trust us before they will believe our information. If they like us they might want to become part of our Region. Even large buying decisions like siting a plant are based on emotion and then justified with logic and data. I have never bought anything from someone I thought was a jerk and didn’t trust. There are always others we can buy from.

We have made a lot of friends that we are now working with. I’m struck with how similar people are no matter where they are from. They are concerned about their family and their children’s future. They want to do a good job for their company. They want to advance. They want financial success. Politics isn’t important except when it directly impacts them and their families like some of the tariffs we are now dealing with. They like America and love to come here. They want to take their kids to Disney World and most haven’t been there yet. Family is more important than business. Business is more important than skin color. There are so many different skin colors and tones that I don’t believe anyone can be a racist and succeed long term in the business world.

 Business is more important than gender. The VP of Shell Chemicals in PA where the cracker is being built is an impressive female executive. We met her for the first time at WPC in 2018. She was part of the panel on stage when our first study was presented to the world. Women in positions of authority are more common but they still have challenges to overcome. One Asian woman we met this week commented, because she didn’t play golf she was at a disadvantage in her company. She found she had to work harder and find other ways to get her boss’s attention. Bringing back our Region’s opportunity to her CEO was one of those ways. Her CEO had no idea that the Shale Crescent USA is the most profitable place in the world to build a petrochemical plant. She had our IHSMarkit Studies to confirm that with hard data.

Countries have their differences. I have become personal friends with people from India and Pakistan. They are very similar. They are good people. They love their kids. They commute to work. They build new homes and disagree with their spouse on the kitchen design. The two countries don’t get along. The dispute goes back hundreds of years. I learned that you can’t fly directly from one to the other. Even though the counties don’t get along business people can get along and find ways to do business. The politics and dispute is at the top. Ours wives like each other and find a lot of commonality like kids, travel and health. They are like us.

Hopefully humans are smarter than red and black ants. Power can corrupt. At the top of countries and organizations there are differences. People are very similar and want the same things everywhere. We can work together. We don’t need to look very deep to find the similarities. If we focus on the similarities and common ground we can work through the differences. We have some exciting opportunities if we can do that.

Thoughts to ponder.

© 2019 Shale Crescent USA

Greg Kozera, gkozera@shalecrescentusa.com is the Director of Marketing and Sales for Shale Crescent USA. He is a professional engineer with a Masters in Environmental Engineering who has over 40 years’ experience in the energy industry. Greg is a leadership expert and the author of four books and numerous published articles.