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Friday, June 05, 2009

ASIA PACIFIC: Assumptions

by Victor Cattermole

Asia Pacific Bureau Chief

Over the last month I’ve been giving some serious thought to the power and persuasion that a simple assumption has over people. We have all done it, assumed something that turns out to be wrong, chosen not too look closer perhaps because “we know already” or even more likely because we are too busy too care. Three separate incidents have spurred me to question my assumptions though, one small, one big, and one personal.

The small, well perhaps not so small (with over 50 million web views) is the british singer Susan Boyle on Britains got Talent. And in fact many of the performers on shows like that. Ms Boyle is a great example, an amazing voice looked over for so many years because of what, I have no doubt, is a great many assumptions. Because surely no-one with a voice like that simply hides away, and so no-one went to look (until now).

The second is the global crisis we find ourselves in now. Not so much the crisis itself, but the news coming through that we should have seen it coming, that the writing was on the wall and that so many people simple assumed that the world would continue rising. Technically it could be considered ‘business confidence’, which is just a nice way of saying we are willing to assume things are still going to be going well in the future. I have the blessing of living in Hong Kong, where so many markets are assumption based that there were still apartment complex launches, even as the global market turned in on itself.

The third great example is a friend and fellow New Zealander Denyse Saunders. I chose her as an example of what assumptions can do for one simple reason, she blonde, beautiful and was a cat walk and fashion model. So easy to put her in to a category that by many business people would be dismissed. Denyse has built a following and credibility in the business of fashion and beauty based on simple moral principals she holds that is the envy of many.

Her achievements are too many to list, they can be found on her website Some of the great ones for me include:

· Being a 50 year old grandmother and looking 30 something with no surgery

· Over a decade of successful involvement in Miss World contestants

· Numerous celebrity involvement including people like Elle McPherson and Julio Iglesias, the list goes on.

· Her own weekly TV show on SKY TV

When it comes to event design, marketing and production Denyse has an extensive network of contacts at all levels and is unquestionably the Australasian provider of quality. A real gem in the Pacific.

Through her life she has built herself up to be a great businesswomen, a great networker and a great person. I can only wonder as I talk with her and listen to some of her wisdom, how many people may have written this woman off in her life as “just some blonde” or “just that model”. How many of the business men that ogled her on the cat walk assumed so much about her that they failed to see the amazing and gifted person behind the glitz and glamour.

It is a lesson all business people should take, especially in these tougher economic times, that sometimes taking a second look, giving just a moment of your time and pushing aside any preconceived ideas can uncover things you may have never thought possible.

Posted to THE NATIONAL NETWORKER (TNNW). All rights reserved.

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