Monthly Archives: September 2012


Goals, Expectations and Clarifications for XXXXX

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Thank you for sharing your honest expectations and frustrations during our discussion yesterday. I have provided the feedback to XXXXX and XXXXXXX. After digesting through, I decide to clarify some of the points mentioned by listing them down. You’ve again mentioned that you are not given clearer goals. So I’ll also describe them clearer.

I’m copying XXXXX and XXXXXXX so that we can all be on the same page. If my expectations are out of line or insufficient, they can jump in.

Expectations of a Catalogue Manager

– The qualitative goal will be to take ownership of the Merchandise Product Line and make it successful.

— Constantly improve the portfolio of the product offers; that would mean a constant review on their performance.

— Ensure that the stock is sufficient and minimise reduntancies, that would mean to monitor the various campaigns that Merchandise products are featured.

— Improve any practices that can enhance the sales output from product registration to product ordering to supplier negotiations, etc.

— Ensure the promotion materials (DM/eDM formats and catalogues) are good-looking, show images that bring out the best of the products and effective selling copies.

– The quantitative goals are as specified in the XXXXX and to ensure the profitability of the product line.

– Since this a Catalogue Manager position that you’re fulfilling, I’d expect that you have to perform far more than the Assistant Product Managers and Marketing Assitants in the office.

While I know it’s not an easy product line to handle and it’s very hands-on to acquire the products, I believe your previous experience should help you succeed.

Working Hours

You mentioned that you’re paid a 8am-5pm job. I’d like to correct this understanding. You’re paid to be a Catalogue Manager to undertake all the duties and responsibilities to contribute to our corporate goals. There should be some flexibility in the hours. There are times which you may be required to work longer hours or have meetings/calls beyond the prescribed working hours.

At the same time, I will understand that you may need time-offs to rest or to attend to urgent personal matters.

Bringing home artwork to check isn’t a demonstration of your passion for the job. It’s just part of the job to get the task complete on time.


It’s good that you strive to work efficiently. However, efficiency is not just measured by speed. Work smart and not just work fast i.e. zooming to complete the work fast without reaching the satisfied requirements.

You mentioned that there are a lot of difficulty maintaining consistency with the work requirements with the Marketing Services and Operations team. If this is only happening to you, perhaps you might want to have a chat with the rest of the campaign managers on how they dealt with the issues.

Giving the benefit of doubt that this is not only happening to you but to everyone, I’ve already raised this and other issues to XXXXX. While he works with XXXXX and XXXXX to iron out the problems, we will just need to fight through the battles as they come. I would like to suggest that you try to communicate more with them. You may have to even provide leadership to them and have them buy-in to what you’re trying to achieve.

There will always be situations that decisions will need to be make based on insufficient knowledge. When you encounter new projects that you’re not familiar with, start early and think through more. I always welcome discussions. But I aim not to spoon-feed and dish out solutions when you meet any roadblocks. So do come to the discussions with suggestions on how to proceed. I genuinely don’t believe that you’ll be penalised for making mistakes but you will be frowned on for not being proactive.

You shouldn’t aim to have less mistakes by doing less. I believe you can learn from mistakes. No doubt that might mean a lot of work to rectify them. But all these should be the feedbacks to the efficiency equation to allow you to make better decisions in future.


You raised that there are conflicts in ideas and changes. I can only offer a cliche: Change is the only constant thing. While our company and business needs might be changing faster than anywhere else, that would mean to succeed, one has be even more adept.

In fact, I’ve mentioned to you that if you can identify any improvements, you should aim to apply it. If not, you just have to comply to the systems and process complications that we can’t avoid…at least at this point in time.

There are battles here that I’ve been fighting since 6 years ago. Every now and then, I’ll bring it out to give it a good flog. Do not just suggest or propose, see that they are carried out. I’ve heard many good suggestions from you but I’ve yet to see you carry them out.


This is not my biggest concern but it has been brought to my attention. So here goes my two cents. While there isn’t a need to be suit and tie all the time, I’d suggest that you put on a sharper attire for most of the working days. This will help you to assert a better image to co-workers and business partners. Not sure why you switched from the more professional attires you’re in when you first join, to just t-shirt and jeans on a daily basis. My philosophy is not to dress for the position you are in, but to dress for the position you want to be in.

I hope I’ve helped to bring clarity to your goals and the expectations of the position you’re in. It’s not my style to micro-manage you or cramp your working habits. However, I’ll need you to step up from where you currently are to be a more competent Catalogue Manager.

I really need a team mate that can strive to attain excellence and support me to attain the business goals set for the team. Not sure if all what I’ve mentioned is still in line with what you’re looking for in a career here in XX. As XXXXX will be away for three weeks, let’s have a catch-up when he’s back. In the mean time, feel free to talk to me about it.

Best regards,