The endless year

It´s comfortably cold outside while a glass of wine warms me up inside, writing the past page of the last chapter of this book called 2016, better known as the endless year. But midnight is getting closer and, without a chance to breath, let´s start to write the next book.

                Many of this year´s chapter were sad, very sad… so many good people were gone, terrorist attacks, fights, political arguments, friends apart because of ideologies, Siria, Chapecoense… other were scary, tragedies, free violence, racism, wars… not a lot to laugh, unfortunately. In every chapter, though, I missed something, I missed the lovely people that have been around us since 2007… I missed the barbecues, the unplanned parties, I missed drinking and laughing out loud all night long. I missed mom, mother in law, my kids, cousins, friends.

                But his book is all about change!!! December 2015 looks like a totally different world as it is today. We moved from home, to a new country, there were political, economic and even geographical changes. But we found new and valuable friends, we learnt a lot, absorbed part of a new culture at the same degree we could teach part of our culture as well. Barbecue without coal and picanha, but with beer and sausage. I stepped on the snow, fell in the iced pathway, I was freezing and I loved it! At the end of the day, even Palmeiras was National Champion, the Buckeyes made the play offs and the Cowboys let the entire NFC!

                I will learn from the bad things, I will let the sadness behind, I will value what was good and will learn from what made me feel bad. I will keep the names of those that, for any given reason, decided not to be part of our history. I will forget what made me angry, because I want to remember the love only. And I got and gave much love this year. Much, from everywhere.

                Now, it is the time to look ahead. I have already drafted what I want to write in 2017 and where I want to be and I would love to invite you, my lovely friends, to be part of this history and to help me writing some (if not all) the new chapters. Are you coming with me? I am looking forward to have you shoulder by shoulder with me.

 

Happy 2017



Escrito por Luiz Totti às 18h49
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The woman with no name

It was a winter weekend, grey clouds in the sky, temperature cooling down, a shining sun watching between the clouds wanting to impose itself, but being too weak to heat those who insisted on staying there. Facing the lake, looking in distance, seeking for an answer to what seemed to be such a simple question, but almost impossible to answer. Among them, successful business people, famous mathematicians, bright students and many, many curious. On the stage, some meters behind, hidden behind a sly smile, wrought for more than 6 decades of fights, wins and losses, was the “woman without a name”, that no one knew where she came from nor why she was there .

Yes, she had no name, like many women, anonymous that, since the farthest era known by humans, who are battling for a role but are denied and restricted by "beings" that subjugate and try to put them down. But she, ahhh, she was different! From an early age, she learned to understand that the women´s role was not restricted to taking care of the house, husband, and children. No, no, she had dreams and made those dreams a reality, never easy, ever neglected. On the opposite, at 25 she was sent out of the house, considered "reactionary, too modern", according to her father. How could she discuss politics, talk about football, criticize the man´s way of life?

However, like every women, she persisted, she was heroic, intelligent and went to the fight using all the weapons given to women by the Universe, and she conquered her space. She was girlfriend, mother, wife, housewife, worked in manufacturing, in the office, wrote books, drove trucks, voted, fell down and rose again, was an executive… All without losing the humor, the joy of life, and this force, a given for the ladies, was enough to move mountains, to create life and still be able to smile, dress up and delight the world with a kind smile.

The woman with no name wasn´t one, but all, was not the only one, but several, a remarkable symbol that has 2, 3, 4 jobs at the same time and never, ever becoming discouraged. Because they were given a strength that us, poor men, are not even close to understanding. That is to do 100 things at the same time, do all of them well done and still say: "it was easy." In her memory it was still fresh how many times she was humiliated for being a woman, just because of having success, being happy, being ... better than any man. But still she smiled that sly smile, of a life experience, a smile of power and a victory smile that only women can have. As they are the only ones to know the answer to a quite simple question, but one almost impossible to answer. Because, from the depths of the soul, from the bowels of the heart and with a superior intellect, seasoned with all the goodness of the world and skills to forgive and overcome any obstacle, only the women are able to know, feel and breathe the true meaning of the happiness. No one else can answer in such wonderful way what happiness is about.

And, just like any other on the edge of that lake, looking to nowhere and seeking for an answer without being able to find it, I wish you, ASK women and all women in the Universe, 365 days of success and joy.  In addition, I hope that you, from the top of your modesty, forgive our ignorance and, perhaps, give us a small portion of your wisdom, so that we can feel a little of that huge happiness that is to be: WOMAN.

HAPPY WOMEN´S DAY.

Luiz Totti

 

 



Escrito por Luiz Totti às 20h09
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The golden rules of the "10 BEs" for an effective feedback

As the door clicked behind him, Sérgio stopped, stared at the ceiling and took a deep breath… What was he doing there?, he wondered. Here. Now. At this company that had once looked so attractive and  promising from the outside...

It was a warm day in January 2013, just a few months after he had completed his first year with the company. He was just leaving Roberval´s office, the Operation Vice President, following a feedback and performance review meeting. It had not been an easy year, from the new organization adaptation, and culture assimilation; moreover, engulfed in a very complex economic scenario, with a huge demand fluctuation that caused several impacts on the process for which he was responsible. His relationship with Roberval would not be what would normally be considered negative, in fact, it was comprised mainly of friendly conversations during the off-chance meeting in front of the coffee machine or at occasional business lunches and dinners. Follow-up meetings to evaluate results were not a common practice, neither were those for planning and goals definition, and there was really no push for results whatsoever. The exception, of course, was at each quarter’s closing when reports had to be sent to headquarters. As performance explanations were never discussed, Sergio had the belief that he was doing a good job, although his individual goals were extremely generic. With that, he was extremely comfortable with his results delivery and was feeling very confident that he would have an excellent year end evaluation.

Unfortunately, this was not the case; and he could hardly believe what he had just witnessed in the last few minutes in that room. It had all started in a seemingly normal fashion, Sérgio began the meeting by  giving an overview on the year´s achievements, but was cut-off abruptly when the ring of a cell phone interrupted him. After sitting through a ten minute conversation on a stock option opportunity, Sergio was finally able to proceed with his presentation. He progressed through all the relevant details for which this meeting was called, albeit to an inattentive Roberval who was then reading an e-mail on his laptop, and shaking his head disapprovingly.  Sérgio felt extremely uncomfortable as he handed the floor over to Roberval so he could make his points on the prior year. It was then, that the big surprise happened: Sérgio´s performance was summarized in 5 minutes! The key points: he was defined as marginal according to Roberval´s own results based on the department´s performance, and given a rating of 45%! The next 5 minutes were spent on competencies evaluation, with ratings of intermediate in all areas without even one single explicative comment or developmental suggestion to follow. Finally, while reading another e-mail, Roberval asked Sergio to prepare his action plan and training plan for the next year, and instructed that he had  4 days with which to submit them to the HR manager.

Sérgio was now asking himself what his next steps should be.

Feedback

Feedback is a highly positive process.  On the one side, it helps leaders to quickly shape behaviors and culture and get more effective results. And on the other, it gives team members a great chance to understand their leader´s vision, while adapting and enhancing their growth on both personal and professional levels; simply put, it is not punitive, but developmental. Nevertheless, it is not an easy task and most of us have experienced (or witnessed) a situation similar to what was described in this case at one time or another.

Feedback will be most effective when it happens immediately after the situation has occurred and when both sides are free from the emotional impacts of the facts.  Unfortunately, all too often, companies will solely offer feedback to their employees during a performance review, which usually occur in semi- or bi- annual intervals. This pattern, however, can send the wrong message to the organization and confuse your employees. The performance review meeting is more about checking achievements against goals, reinforcing positive points, discussing areas for improvement, preparing development plans and aligning expectations for the next period, and really, shouldn´t be surprise to anyone! Additionally, feedback should be given when both sides are free from the emotional impacts of the facts and a good rule of thumb is to never give or ask for feedback when you are angry or irritated.

Use the “10 BEs” theory (*):

·         Be specific: explain exactly what the behavior is, without judging or generalizing.

·         Be analytical: have on hand (or in mind) data and/or facts that highlight examples of the behavior

·         Be fair: give the other the opportunity to express his/her opinion. Use questions to help on his/her perception (“What impact do you think your attitude has caused?”; “Were there any other option you could use in this situation?”)

·         Be direct: never use “I think”, “it was told me”, etc. Talk about what you saw and what you heard.

·         Be candid: explain the impacts that behavior had on you, on your team and on the organization

·         Be explicit: don´t let the other take his own conclusions; articulate exactly what you expect regarding this behavior

·         Be persistent: behaviors don´t change after only one discussion! Maybe you will have some more sessions on the same subject in the future

·         Be open: at the end, ask your employee how he evaluated the feedback session

·         Be wise: either on talking or listening do not react! Give answers only after you have digested the facts and heard the other´s position

·         Be grateful:  always be thankful when receiving feedback; accept it as huge opportunity to grow.

Obviously, the aforementioned case is fictitious and scenarios and characters were created specifically for this article. Despite this, be empathetic in thinking about what your answers would be for the following questions:

1.       Wearing Sergio´s shoes, what would you do?

2.       Sitting in Roberval´s chair, how would you act during this feedback session?

3.       If you were asked, what would you change or keep in this company´s performance review process?

Think about it and have a great week!



Categoria: General Management
Escrito por Luiz Totti às 21h37
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Invictus

Somewhere between Hong Kong and S~ao Paulo, I got a chance to watch to the movie Invictus, directed by Clint Eastwood with Morgan Freeman playing the main hole as Nelson Mandela. It is a movie about a man, but also about the leadership stiles and its nuances through a long process (I will write about it in the future, I promise), but today I want to register a poem, written in 1875 by William Ernest Henley, that inspired Mandela in keeping his life flame and desire of freedom on. In this movie, as in life, he uses this poem to inspire the South African rugby team’s Capitan to get the best from the team and win the World cup.

 I suggest you to get the last 2 phrases from the last strophe; that it can be everyone’s life direction, specially for each of us that makes the pursuit of the happiness the meaning of our lifes.

 

 

 Invictuous

Out of the night that covers me,

Black as the Pit from pole to pole,

I thank whatever gods may be

For my unconquerable soul.

 

In the fell clutch of circumstance

I have not winced nor cried aloud.

Under the bludgeonings of chance

My head is bloody, but unbowed.

 

Beyond this place of wrath and tears

Looms but the Horror of the shade,

And yet the menace of the years

Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

 

It matters not how strait the gate,

How charged with punishments the scroll,

I am the master of my fate;

I am the captain of my soul.

                                                                                                                               William Ernest Henley 



Escrito por Luiz Totti às 01h07
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Interest rate, GDP and Talent’s time

It has been issued today the new Brazilian annual interest rate: 10,25%, 0,75 pp over last April’s valuation, 9,5%. Back to double digit again!!! Since it went down to 9,3% in Jun, 2009, it has been kept below 10%. The target is, of course, keep inflation under control. Raising interests makes credit more expensive and discourage the consumption, cooling the economy down, reducing the bottle necks possibilities and price speculation. The basics for today’s decision doesn’t lay only at the inflation indicators, despite it is already over 5,5% for the last 12 months ended in April, but also at the strong growth Brazil had during 2010 first Quarter.

Yesterday we saw the confirmation that GDP’s growth reached an impressive result as 9% over same period in 2009. Of course, last year first quarter was a disaster, our economy was totally affected by the Global crisis what make it’s comparison quite unfair. Nevertheless the comparison versus 2009 4th quarter is yet impressive, up to 2,7%, what can indicate a linear projection result as high as 12%.

The following charts show the GDP’s growth impacting on the Banco Central (the Brazilian “Federal Reserve”) decisions on the interests taxes.

Chart 1 – Quarter’s growth versus previous Quarter


 

Chart 2 – GDP’s growth over same period year before


 

It is clear to me that 12% growth will never happen. CNI (Brazilian Industrial Confederation) surveys results as per April 2010 are showing a Real Sales Income reduction by 5% (excluding seasonality) as well a 3,4% reduction on the total working hours, despite the total capacity utilization raised a little. Also, the business community’s confidence went down to 66,2% (still a good ratio) after a pick of 69% in December last year.

Even than, GPD will grow over 7%, still above the potential GDP (theoretical value for the production capacity), that is around 4-5% in Brazil. Good news is that an important part of this growth is coming from the Fixed Assets formation (basically construction, equipments and machines), 7,4% over Q4 2009 and 26% higher than Q1 2009. These impressive numbers indicate that the industry, in general, is getting better prepared for a sustainable and long term growth, what can increase our potential GDP to higher figures and create a virtuous cycle.

While it does not come through reality, we will still suffer from the lack of good roads to deliver our goods, miserable ports structure for an effective and low cost logistic and with Airports that are not totally prepared for a high speed growth.

Finally, with such growth magnitude, it is easy to understand why some segments are already facing lack of well qualified work force: economy grows much faster than our capability to create diferentiated professionals, driving Head Hunters into a frenetic work to find, in the market, the talents for their customers.

It said, if you have in your team individuals that make the difference, take a very carefully look on how you are taking care on their development and careers. If you don’t mind on them, certainly someone else will do.

 



Categoria: Business Discussion
Escrito por Luiz Totti às 22h48
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Totti's Menu - Pork Mignon on sweet and sour sauce over a potato bed with rosemary

Here we are again, this time with an Oriental taste to warm our winter nights (Oh, July, come soon with its chilly nights, what suggests good wines, foundee and exciting foods!!!)

Ingredients

1 Kg of pork mignon rounded cut  
Chopped ginger to taste
1 cup of soy sauce (shoyu)  
Salt
1 cup of vinegar 
Sugar (2 tablespoons)
Olive oil 
3-4 Rounded cut pré cooked potatoes
Chopped chili to your taste 
Rosemary
  

Directions for the Sauce

Mix together the shoyu, vinegar, salt, sugar, ginger and chili; make it as homogeneous as possible and deep the pork meet for 12 hours, at least.
Fry the meat and save the sauce.
While baking the meat (see below “directions for the meat”), cook the sauce boiling it for 15 minutes approximately. This is the sauce to dress the meat.
 
Directions for the meat

Spread the olive oil on a baking dish and dispose a layer of potatoes; put some more olive oil in it and spread the rosemary over it. A piece of meat should be laid over a potato slice, dressing with some of the sweet and sour sauce (enough to avoid the potatoes to stick on the baking dish). Bake for 30-40 minutes at 200 C.
Serve dressing with the sweet and sour sauce according to your taste.



Categoria: Receipes
Escrito por Luiz Totti às 11h56
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What happens when your team says “no”?

Being a leader is not an easy thing, as it involves multiple activities that mix, complete and, sometimes, conflict each other.

Defining development needs, creating a plan to complete this needs and making it fit to the Succession Plan is one of the most motivational tasks a leader may have, always having HR people besides you.

Strategic Planning is other highly motivating appeal task: determining goals, discussing with the team, defining the best way on implementing, executing these plans and seeing it being turned into results is a huge management fuel.

A little bit complex, but stimulating in the same way is being a coach, helping the team members find themselves, to get, from its intellectual and behavior background, different ways in facing the daily challenges and projecting their careers.

But the most difficult is keeping the group’s harmony, the happiness in working as a team and the continuous improvement motivation for the growth of both, business and team. Conflicts and crisis management, taking tough decisions and getting the team comprehension and support to implement such decisions are critical factors for a good leadership.

Everything goes well when everybody on the team think and act on the same way. But, what happens if a deviate appears and disagrees? How should a leader react when he receives a “no” for his decision taken or a proposal? The answer is not easy to be found, because it depends on a sort of factors.

From the old and good soccer can bring a help for our discussion. During the 2010 São Paulo State championship finals between Santos and Santo André, when Santos have had 3 players off and score was 3 x 2 against (one more goal would make Santo André the champion), Dorival Júnior, Santos head coach called Ganso to be substituted, but the young player said no in front of the cameras and million of TV watchers, being clear, with words and gestures, showing a huge self confidence to help Santos keeping the score and holding the title. The coach changed his plan, choose other player to leave the game and kept Ganso until the end of the game, and he was fundamental in keeping the ball away from Santos defense, leading his team for the Title.

What happened could be turned into a real disaster if two extremely important factor wouldn’t be present:

1 – the individual’s perception about his capacity in solving difficult issues;

2 – the leader’s confidence on his team’s decision.

I don’t agree with the format. Obviously that, if it would have happened into a corporation, Ganso’s behavior would have a very bad consequence for the Organizational environment, but fact is, accepting his player’s decision has contributed for the Dorival’s conquest. He listened to his player.

Oh, yes, a complementary factor about the leadership (maybe the most important one) is listening to your team! Listening without barriers nor pre conceived ideas; but, more than listening, it is needed to be humble to recognize that a team member opinion, even being a “no”, can be the difference between success and fail. Accepting this opinion, understanding this “no” as a powerful “yes” can be the differential between being a real leader or simply having a leadership position.

So, when your team say “no” aiming turning it into a huge “yes” (doing it in a balanced way not creating turbulence on the organization), it is good to reflect and evaluate if forcing your “yes” would not turn it into a gigantic “no” for the leadership future and, consequently, the team success.



Categoria: General Management
Escrito por Luiz Totti às 22h46
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Change for surviving or adapt for growing? Part II

April, 02, 2010

Looking back to my first Managerial article in this blog, I wrote about Dr. Gupta’s seminar, based on his book "The Quest for Global Dominance - Transforming Global Presence into Global Competitive Advantage". More information about Dr. Gupta can be seen on his website www.anilkgupta.com.

According to Dr. Gupta, there are 4 main strategies for a company to transform its Global presence into a Global Dominance:

#1 – Become hard-core about emerging markets 
#2 – Master the science of frugal innovation
#3 – Build a multi-polar yet highly integrated Organization
#4 – Cultivate a Global mindset

At that time I wrote about the item#2 above. Today I will explore the item #3.

Dr. Gupta’s position about moving a Global Presence into an Advantage passes through a change from the “Old” to the “New” organizational model. Many modern writers (e.g.: Ancona, Kochan, Scully, Van Maanen, Westney, in “Managing for the future”) say that a new company might be flexible (from the customer to the customer, just like we saw on my last post about it), flat (reducing the company levels), diverse (gender, ethnic, personal options and mainly cultural behaviors), networked (team versus the individual) and Global (rather than being international). By building a multi-polar yet highly integrated
Organization, we can clearly see details on how to become flat, diverse and Global.

Let’s start with the traditional hierarchy: CEO and all of top and powerful leaders (for both, Business and Staff) located at the company’s Headquarters and a local or regional management (straight line report by business and staff - mirror structure). Command close to the strategy and tactic operation and far from the execution. 

In the second model, an evolution from the first one, the core structure remains the same but, to get decisions taken faster, a local Chairman position is created, without creating a new organizational level. Nevertheless, the first command line is still at the HQ, close to the command. It creates a regional pull.

The third proposed model proposes a conceptual change: the local Chairman becomes a local CEO and, the most important, the local leaders “broke” a straight line into a dotted line, keeping it’s direct report but getting a freedom to define a local strategy. The strategy moves from the far HQ to close to the customer, gunning for Entrepreneurship in the Hottest Emerging Markets.

Finally, a structural change: part of the main leaders (business and staff) is now moved into the regions, taking strategy, tactics and execution to where the Money is, being a kind of virtualization of the Head Quarters. It reduces the time for responses, make the company much more familiar to the local environment and lead a company to become Global instead of International.

We all know that changes never make everyone happy and some of the experts and today’s gurus may say that there is much more marketing then effectiveness or that the new Managerial model can make the same mistakes the “old” ones did, but I have no doubts: it works! And it will make the difference for any company that want to grow and become much more solid in this new brighWorld that we are seeing emerge from the total darkness we saw late in 2008 and in 2009.

 



Categoria: General Management
Escrito por Luiz Totti às 00h47
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The beauty of a mistake - A cirque du soleil analysis

Used as a business case in many courses around the world and used as na example os efficiency by many executives in the world, the Cirque Du Soleil is certainly seen as one of the most effectiveness and results focus examples in the world. Product of a dedication and persistency lovely story, since 1984 it conjugates at extreme art and fun, enchanting the world, creating a world were lights, sound and movements make everyone that can see it, especially alive, hypnotized

In this moment, we transcend our human condition and start to experience other sense, impossible to describe. I had this opportunity. I saw, heard and felt the artists quality very close, the perfect planning execution and the staff quality, assuring the main actor’s show success.
 But I saw mistakes as well… and not a few. And it didn’t make a less bright show.

During the “Diábolos”, one of the Chinese tiny girls left his element fall into the floor and, since them, she could not execute her movements, but the other girls kept the section’s level and moved ahead.

Later on, on the “Spanish Webs” section, one of the athletes strongly hit one of the characters on his nose by pulling the rope. It was a tough hit, but the boy didn’t put himself down and kept on going.

During the “Banquine”, one of the most beautiful sections in the show, a major mistake happen: after a huge fly, one of the boys lost control on the landing movement and felt down. He stand up immediately and continued the planned movement.

At the “Skipping rope”, the Japanese star during his solo show made a mistake and the rope enrolled into his legs.

Mistakes happens, even within the most well prepared and experienced teams in the world, even within Cirque Du Soleil, with exhausted trained and repeated movements and actions.

In our organization we have new and untrained situations every single day and we have an “non error”  implicit commitment. But yes, we can fail, in the same way the most well prepared athletes inside one of the most desired shows in the world can fail. And what we do have in common? We do take the execution risk, we leave our confort zone and seek for the maximum performance. By taking risk, by leading a movement, we can face erros and hits, and the erros might be the fuel for hits in the future.

We can make mistakes, being stop is not an option. Who doesn’t do, doesn’t make a mistake. But does not live as well.

April, 01, 2010



Categoria: General Management
Escrito por Luiz Totti às 00h46
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Fun and Art

Fun and Art

2009 was an impressive heavy year: 11 months ox extreme stress and tension, associated to a complete lack of results, that generated a little bit more stress and this dead wheel continued to move on destroying the pacific and healthy team coexistence fundamentals. This extreme situation lead the leaders to take a stronger positioning and unpopular decision, pushing more the team, pressure and people layoffs. But we survived and we are well positioned now for a new Global scenario.

Well, after the worst moment, we started 2010 having a better vision and seeing a light at the end of the tunnel (not necessary being a train coming through us…), this new mentality allows us to regain the growth with much more strength and consistency.

Numbers! Resusts! Fantastic, we are moving on... the first quarter is promising in giving the shareholder’s smile back, smile they lost over 2009. Will it be enough? What about the most important company’s asset?

I have to confess that since the end of last year I have being thinking about it, how tired and stressed the teams were and what consequences could be brought over the reheating time. And the Annual Meeting had been scheduled for March, 2010. What a great opportunity to enhance the group motivation.
After such long period of time under a huge pressure, it was necessary to have a decompression movement, without loosing focus on the execution. The best medicine against the pain, since ever, is to laugh… having fun is an excellent way out from the sadness and insatisfaction. So, lets have fun!!!
But having fun many times can be considered as a lack of responsibility. And in 2010 we have a bigger responsibility in executing what we planned in 2009. And the execution art is one of the most difficult in the world.

Fun… Execution art. That was how the team’s 2010 theme has been created: Fun and Art! Fun to keep stress under control and art to execute our plans.

The meeting was a success! We had a lot of fun with the outdoor activities and learnt the Convergence Zone importance for the knowledge exchange and tasks execution efficiency. We had fun with the “Improvisation Theatre” and we learnt that, even for the improvisation, we might be organized and competent. And we learnt that including other areas rather than Sales an Technical on the decision process helps to open a wide horizon and make the Convergence Zone even stronger and funny. An integrated company led to integrated results. An integrated results are the most important secret for the sustainable growth.

Luiz Augusto Totti – 13/03/2010



Categoria: General Management
Escrito por Luiz Totti às 22h07
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To the woman of my life (a tribute to the Woman International Day – 08/Mar)


As the time goes by, amplified is my love and it become timeless, multiply itself for the woman the lovely God made crossing my way. For the doubts I had, you were a meteoric answer; for the fears I got, your shoulder were a safe port were my difficulties went to; for the horrible nightmares that lived in my mind, yours were the hands holding my deep breath over the nights; for the agonies that were destroying my peace, you were the balance to control my sweat drops.
My love, desired and beloved sweet girl, wonderful and powerful, strong and fragile, you changed my destiny, rescued me from the lack of life’s pleasure deep and dark cave and took me to a place where I have never had before, drove me to roads I have never had dreamt before, even in the most beautiful dreams I ever had.
Li, you are my fortress, North, South, East and West, a compass for the troubled ways, storming nights, eclipses that many times persist in hiding our steps light. You made my eyes bright again, I rebuilt my commitment to win and keep winning. With you I could find again the happiness in loving someone but, mainly, being loved.
 I can’t live a life that is not inside your life! I love you overall.
Happy Women’s Day... to the WOMAN of my life!!!
You, Li. Mine!
Love you so much!!!!



Escrito por Luiz Totti às 06h13
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Totti's Menu - Salmón Borracho

Borracho, in Spanish, means simply "drunk". And preparing this dish leads you literaly to inebriate a piece of one of the most tastefull fishs in the world: the Salmon. 

So, here it goes:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cleant salmon fillets, wihtout skin and bones 
  • Bacon cutt in cubes
  • Onion
  • Olive Oil
  • Garlic
  • Salt to your taste
  • Beer, specially the ones brewed with wheat (I used a regional one, from a hand made brewery, called Colorado (Caium, brewed with cassava - you should taste it while in Brazil)

Preparation

In a deep pan, heat the olive oil and fry the bacon, onion and garlic. When it is done, add approximately 200 ml of the beer (normaly it cames in a 500 ml bottle - so, drink the rest) and cook it until it has been reduced by a half. Add the salmon and let it cook by 3-5 minutes each side. Remove the fish and keep the sauce cooking until it gets thick and put over the fillets

Serve with roasted potatoes with rosemary.

Easy, fast and you can also impresse your friends!

Keep following my blog. Soon more from the Totti's Menu



Categoria: Receipes
Escrito por Luiz Totti às 21h28
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Paraty, a gastronomic paradise

Vacation is gone... but there are permanent bookmarks in our 5 senses. The landscapes (the exuberance of the Atlantic wood on the hills, sunshine reflecting on the waterfalls water, the sea water, as clear as pool water) will be stick in our retina. In the hands and feet, the perfect temperature of the sea water, touching the sand, stones at the natural swimming pools bottom on the hills rivers. But the best records will be certainly in our taste… it is impressive how such small area as the Historical city center can have such gastronomic variety.  A countless number of restaurants mixed with the thousand of the “pé de moleque” stones (a Historical pavement type built by the slaves), with a mixture of languages and styles. Surprises came one after the other and it makes decision on where to go very difficult. Because of that, we took a familiar decision: every night we would go for a place to take a drink and after that, to other place to have a dinner.

Below you may found some of places we liked most:

 

 

  1. Banana da Terra – we elected as the best option. To start, the waiters look are great: just like the traditional “samba’s cariocas”; great choice. Ana Bueno, the cheff, graduated as a journalist started selling hand made cakes at the Trindade beach, when electricity was still a dream there. Getting married moved to Paraty and got her specialization in several international and local gastronomic courses, she was able to adapt the caiçara (local culture denomination) food to the most impressive contemporaneous kitchen. The menu star is Fish with Banana (the most typical in the caiçara culture), but we choose jerked beef with banana and ox tail, soft and tastefull. It is worth to be tasted. Finally, some exotic caipirinhas prepared with the home made cachaça (such as pineapple with pepper caipirinha). Price is compatible with the glamour, but the investment has a quick pay back!!!
  2. Paraty 33 – Surprisingly, the owner is from Uruguay; with a modern look, black lights that enhances the white color, making clothes and menu almost radiant. Service is fantastic and the food, very good.
  3. Margarida Café – that was the only place when we went twice on purpose… in the first time, for a drink, we have been served by a waiter from Indaiatuba, almost our neighbor, that decided to stay for a life long after being there for a holiday time. I got a Mojito and went back next night intending to eat a special pasta that was impressive. The star, within the desserts, is the flamed banana, made in front of the customer, driving scared the long hair ladies close to the flames.
  4. Bartolomeu – We went to the same restaurant twice, but in a totally casual way. In the first day, when we arrived, dropped the stuffs on the hotel and went out to search for a place to eat. On the main church street we found a place, just like a backyard and decided to enter. Asked for a lettuce salad with gorgonzola cheese (fantastic, it is now part of my personal home menu) and Argentinian empanadas. On the last day we were walking on the streets, liked the restaurant and asked for a special kind of meat, filled with cheese. Delicious.
  5. Merlin, the magician  - probably the most unusual place we visited… a very small place, 4 or 5 tables, but sophisticated. The owner is a very funny Germany guy, named Halo if I not mistaken. Preparing one of the drinks (that had been prepared by him, supposedly), he took more than 20 minutes, choose the wrong ingredients, made a different drink… and gave it to us for free. His partner, or assistant, or friend, is an American guy called Rolland.
  6. Che Bar – Specialized on Cuban food and drink. The owner, Mauricio, is a very experienced guy that decided to spend the rest of his life in Paraty, doing what he loves. Excellent Mojito… excellent.
  7. Casa de Fogo (House off ire) – Just got a drink, beautiful place, specialized in sea food.
  8. Bistrô Brasil – Nice place, in front of the wharf, but the food is not that all.
  9. Bistrô Francês – I sworn that i can’t remember the real name, but it is located just there, at the Comércio Street, close to the main church. Excellent food, fantastic environmental. It was good to have a dinner and listen to the Jazz, played by a very experienced pianist.

 At the end of the day, it was a fantastic time and I truly recommend Paraty.



Categoria: Gastronomy
Escrito por Luiz totti às 19h31
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Change for surviving or adapt for growing?

In January, 2010, I had the opportunity to attend to a Dr. Anil Gupta’s seminar, based on his book "The Quest for Global Dominance - Transforming Global Presence into Global Competitive Advantage". More information about Dr. Gupta can be seen on his website www.anilkgupta.com.

According to Dr. Gupta, there are 4 main strategies for a company to transform its Global presence into a Global Dominance:

#1 – Become hard-core about emerging markets 
#2 – Master the science of frugal innovation
#3 – Build a multi-polar yet highly integrated Organization
#4 – Cultivate a Global mindset

Today I want to talk about the item#2 above. 

Firstly, it is necessary to understand the GDP and per capita GDP evolution of the rich countries and the emergent ones, for a better understanding of the market potential. See below the US, China and India data from 2008 and 2025 (expectation)
 
US
GDP (U$)                           2008 - U$ 14 tri       2025 - U$ 20 tri      + 43%
GDP per capita (U$)          2008 - U$ 46 k        2025 - U$ 56 k        + 21%

China
GDP (U$)                           2008 - U$ 3,9 tri       2025 - U$ 20 tri      + 412%
GDP per capita (U$)          2008 - U$ 2,9 k        2025 - U$ 12,8 k    + 341%

Índia
GDP (U$)                           2008 - U$ 1,2 tri       2025 - U$ 5,8 tri     + 383%
GDP per capita (U$)          2008 - U$ 1,1 k        2025 - U$ 4,3 k       + 290%

As it can be seen, both, GDP and GDP per capita will have a strong growth on the emergent countries. But, as the starting point is to small, the relative growth is not reflected into a buyer power comparable with to the richest nations in the world. It means that the emergent countries per capita GDP will continue to be small for, at least, the next 2015 years.

It said, we can conclude that the emergent countries will continue to be a huge market and that someone need to occupy the low cost segments, becoming big enough to attack the big corporation in their own markets in the future. Obviously, innovating with cost increase is something relatively easy, but innovating while keeping costs at as low as possible level is quite hard. But there will not be, according to Dr. Gupta, other way to go to the Global companies than adapt themselves and their innovative mentality to the value and cost needs on the emerging countries.

There are some few companies that have already started this process, jumping up ahead of the other and, because of this, they have a good presence on the emergent markets and start to play an interesting hole in the biggest and mature economic regions in the world. Maybe the most impressive example would be the Indian company Tata. To develop its “Tata Ace”, a mini commercial vehicle with a retail price of U$ 5.000, Tata Motors interviewed more than 4000 customers, pre defining the target price and quality and technical standards. To keep costs under control, there were only 5 Full time people involved with the project and more than 400 working part time, from the core of Tata corporation. Within the innovation in that car, they glued the windshield to the body to get structure strengthen and redesigned a 4 cylinders engine into a 2 cylinders one. Associating it to a new distribution network and aggressive distributor strategy lead Tata to a phenomenal success.

Other example would be GE, that developed a low cost portable ECG machine that was priced at U$ 500, 10 times less than expensive regular machines (U$ 5 k). This portable battery operated ECG was designed to be sell in India’s countryside and took 15 months to be developed. After the initial success, GE noticed that there were room for its machine in other places in the world. This strategy were so successful that 80% of the current sales of this machine comes from outside India.

Finally, DOW Corning, a silicone producer, created a specific product line for China, building a new brand, that was marketed as a “simplified silicon”, with web based sales, invoice and payment only, no technical services. This project had a 6 months launching time for 50 countries and an impressive 3 months pay back time.

According to Dr. Gupta’s speech, the frugal innovation follows the following logic:

1. Customer focus: From customer to the customer;
2. Multiple sources innovation : technology, product, business model and design
3. Requires that the engineering Project team share their knowledge and work closer to the value segmented customers.
4. Allow the local engineering team to develop the projects with high autonomy.
5. Give the Project team the freedom to localize and work with local resources.
6. Scale up to compensate the low margins.
7. Exploit global opportunities, including in the mature markets.

This book second edition was launched in January/2008, therefore, before the big economic transformation that felt over the world economies after 2008 second half and continues until now. But it is interesting to see that some of the strongest corporation failed shamefully over this period of time, and one of the reasons would be that they didn’t pay attention on the details Dr. Gupta describe in his book and did not adapt themselves to the new environmental.
GM, Ford, Chrysler, just some few examples went on their knees and where obliged to change to survive. Changed concepts, transformed management models, executives being fired. More recently we saw Toyota involved in a huge worldwide recall due to safety failures… a mistake while trying to reduce costs? We will never know, probably, but it can be a signal that in a late attempt to adapt to a new scenario the Engineers made a fatal error (even being a supplier error…).

Meanwhile, Tata and Cherry have adapted and continue to grow, multiplying their Sales network worldwide. Meanwhile, Arcellor Mittal had become the biggest steel company in the world. Meanwhile, the cement producers from Brazil (Votorantim, Camargo Correa, CSN) fight to get the buyout over the Portuguese giant Cimpor to access to the European, African and Asian markets. Meanwhile, Vale do Rio Doce is the biggest minner company in the world. Meanwhile, Inbev got more than 15% of the Global beer market.

Meanwhile… the more adapted companies are ready to execute an important hole on the new world economy, precisely because they adopted a conduct line that allowed them to be within the biggest in the world, that allowed them to fight in the giant’s backyard. And will continue to grow. We will continue to see more and more companies from the emergent regions being part of the richest companies in the world. Forbes list will certainly have more and more “strange” names for those that belong to the developed world.

Because of that, we might be prepared to continuously get adapted to the variations and conditions of the consumption market, looking sharply to the right focus, understanding where the growth is. Because getting adapted in the right way is much cheaper than changing. Both can bring results, but adaptation is a home made lesson, from inside to the outside while changes, most of the times, are made from the outside to the inside.

Totti

18/02/2010



Categoria: General Management
Escrito por Luiz totti às 16h43
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Here we go again! Come in, 2010

This message was written at the end of 2009 and sent to our friends, lovely people that that were close to us during that year and made it a much better time.The idea here is to lead people to think, as much as possible about the good things, because I believe that they always beat the negative points.

 

Ufff!!! We survived… 2009 is gone. There are many people asking for 2009 to be forgotten, to be eliminated from the calendar, but we… For us, here in Salto, 2009 was a fantastic year. Wanna see?

All of you, in one or another way, have been part of our year and left a happy memory that nothing nor somebody will erase; you have been by our side in several moments and have contributed to our happiness.

 

On the first beginning we celebrate 2 years together and got a fantastic surprise from a French cheff in a French Restaurant… he is our friend today. Few weeks later, I celebrated my 41st birthday, being able to add more good families to our friendship cycle, people that contributed a lot for our happiness. In that moment, the baby’s dummy went to the pork’s mouth, literally (poor pork (*)… when December came, we really needed the dummy to stop crying the lost championship). I loved to have my family and friends close to me. What a party!

 

 From the various “little fat groundhog (**)” parties, the one that happened in March became part of the History… what a theater! The main guilty was that actor that created the phrase “it is bombing”!!! But I have to tell that it was the best ever Wedding Party in my life (my own wedding party.. ahahah). Thanks to everyone’s presence… it was wonderful. We were very very happy in having so many people getting together with us that day.

 

In September we were playing tennis and decided to approach some families that were in a barbecue party, got a beer from the fridge and, suddenly, he we are: 4 families living the same experience on the same time, starting a new relationship that will rest for the nexst generation. From that moment until now, I believe that we have eaten near to 5 cows and took some hundreds of beer bottles…

 

Over the second half of the year, our 2 beloved babies came to the world to make this family even more happy! And we got a gift: a godson! Yes, for the first time in my life I will have the honor in having a wonderful little godson.

 

October arrived and brought again many loved people to Salto to celebrate Gabriella’s birthday, a little mermaid girl!!! Once more, new friends coming to our life and our family together again… full house! Wonderful… this taste for parties is my parents best heritage. Thanks God Eliana loves it too.

 

Finally, Xmas.. and guess what? Our house full of people again... food, gifts, party, happiness. Once more we invite all of you to visit us here in Salto… we will be waiting for you with an open arms to hug you. Came on… you are all invited.

 

And… please, came in 2010!!! Salto waits for you… and here we are, waiting for you again.

All of you, with no exception, are truly important for us. Each one of you is part of this huge and endless puzzle called life that we are solving together, what make it even more spectacular. We are waiting for new friends; we expect that our parties can be more and more happy and full of people that we love and love us.

We Love to have our house full of people, we love live,  we love all of you. Thank you so much, from the bottom of my heart for helping us to have such great year.

 

Luiz Totti, Eliana and Gaby

 

          (*) pork – it is the Palmeira’s mascot, and at that party we had an entire pork to be cooked.

          (**) little fat groundhog – that is the way we found to change gifts during the year without a specific reason. If we decide to buy anything to the other we say: “happy little fat groundhog day”.

 

 



Escrito por Luiz totti às 22h25
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