Lessons On Management


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A compilation of my reading from various sources, blogs, articles, books and listening to various personalities in forums such as TED talks.

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Lessons On Management

  1. 1. Lessons on Management This not my work, but a compilation of my reading from various sources, blogs, articles, books and listening to various personalities in forums such as TED talks. While some lessons I already practice, I work towards internalizing many. Pralabh Verma E-mail – pralabhv@gmail.com
  3. 3. THREE ENTREPRENEURIAL STRENGTHS THAT CAN ALSO BE WEAKNESSES 1 3 2 Persistence Vs Stubbornness: Persistence has proven to be rewarding but can turn into stubbornness. Pick up signs for redirection and be willing to abandon ideas. Control Vs Enabling Empowerment: When a start-up grows big, attention to detail, can be counterproductive. Learn to delegate and let go when its time! Loyalty Vs Competency: Close ties developed during start up phase can cloud your judgment later. Detach and objectively assess capabilities and skill gaps.
  4. 4. THREE WAYS OF BEING A MINNOVATOR NOT JUST AN INNOVATOR Get the timing right: Not all business models, product or innovations are right for the consumers. Successful entrepreneurs sense the right time to introduce such innovations Bring in the expertise: Experienced people who have done similar ventures in other markets leads to accelerated learning and execution Great execution: Entrepreneurs hard drive execution and find creative ways to bootstrap and get rolling. 1 3 2
  5. 5. THREE SURVIVAL LESSONS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES Agility: Small businesses have a great advantage in a fast-changing world: they adapt quickly. Without layers of bureaucracy slowing them down, small businesses can act fast to changing circumstances Rapid testing and refining: Social media and online marketing tools allow even the smallest of businesses to do real-time market testing. They can also engage customers and build a community around their business. Planning: Plans are often outdated as soon as they come out of the printer. Small businesses tend to focus more on planning and less on plans. They watch their surroundings and act accordingly. 1 3 2
  6. 6. THREE THINGS TO DO BEFORE YOU GO FREELANCE Assess demand: Consider how well established you are in your field and whether your skills are in demand. Assess your financial situation: Freelancing is a risk and you need to be sure you have enough money so that you can weather any slow times. Be honest with yourself: Understand what it is that appeals to you most about freelancing: flexibility, more freedom, or variety of work? Be sure freelancing is going to meet those needs before you take the plunge. 1 3 2
  7. 7. THREE WAYS TO OVERCOME “NEW PROJECT BLOCK” Initiate small steps that isn’t “work”: Stealth initiation can help overcome procrastination. Start by classifying material, write short notes or arrange tools required for the project in one place. Integrate your first step with things you are already doing: Making small preparations for the new project while you're doing something else is one of the best ways to create an environment in which you feel the project is already underway. Build on the initiative: Just like setting your watch ahead is no guarantee against lateness, stealth initiation is no guarantee against procrastination. Build on your small starts and undertake larger tasks. 1 3 2
  8. 8. THREE WAYS TO “FAIL” CHEAPLY Make your experiments cheaper: Experiments need not be expensive. You don't need to recreate a concept exactly to test it. Find low-cost ways to test assumptions. Change the order of experiments: Test strategic assumptions before logistical ones. Confirm the market need before perfecting a product. Make decisions faster: Larger organizations often let bad ideas linger. Accelerate decision-making when it comes to innovation and get rid of flawed projects before they cost you time and money. 1 3 2
  9. 9. THREE STEPS TO SURVIVE, NOW THAT YOU’VE QUIT Focus on the work, not the pay-check: You left your job because it wasn't satisfying. Don't ruin your new-found freedom by stressing daily over the finances. Enjoy the work you have chosen to do. Learn, learn, learn: Any new experience gives you the opportunity to learn — take note of the valuable lessons you gain and where possible, share what you're learning with others. Ride the wave: Be prepared for a bumpy ride with many ups and downs. Enjoy the highs of the ups and remember to laugh when you're down. 1 3 2
  10. 10. THREE THINGS TO ENSURE A PRODUCTIVE SABBATICAL Talk to some one who has done it: By talking to some one who has already conducted a sabbatical successfully, is the best way to find out what to do to figure out what you might like rather than you, yourself envisioning it. Device a daily plan: Once you decide on when and how to take a sabbatical, put it in a daily planner book to help conducting your sabbatical. Vacuum of unplanned time to get inspired ideas is most often counter productive. Prepare a list of things you are interested in and divide your time according to your level of interest. Share with as many people : By sharing with people you ensure that you can not chicken out later. It acts as a counter balancing measure. 1 3 2 Source: TED TALK by Stephen Segmeister; July 2009
  12. 12. THREE THINGS TO FINISH YOUR DAY FASTER Get three things done before lunch: Ensure you have ticked off three things before lunch. Try to do it for three most important things for the day. Sequence for speed: Mind feeds off repetitions, hence sequence similar tasks together. Pick larger components first: Completing large parts before smaller ones will provide more breathing space while you are walking the last mile in a day. 1 3 2
  13. 13. THREE STEPS TO MANAGE YOUR DAY BETTER Set a plan for the day : Spend five minutes before turning on your computer in the morning to write down what you want to accomplish that day. Be realistic. Schedule time in your calendar to get each thing done, putting the harder tasks at the beginning of the day. Refocus: Every hour take a minute to stop what you're doing, look at your list, and reflect on your last hour. Was it productive? What can you do to make the next hour productive? Review: At the end of the day after you shut off your computer, review your day and ask yourself what you were able to accomplish. What will you do differently tomorrow? 1 3 2
  14. 14. THREE WAYS TO DECREASE YOUR TECH-DEPENDENCE Memorise numbers instead of fast dialling : Using memory to remember numbers will not reduce dependency on speed dialling. Keep your calendar in your mind’s eye: Memorize appointments in the buckets of days and one week at a time. Memorising key appointments not only act as a regulating you mind but also your day. Write notes instead of e-mails for appreciation: When you need to appreciate a colleague’s work write down your message instead of sending a mail. 1 3 2
  15. 15. THREE WAYS FOR BETTER MULTI-TASKING Prioritize Value over Volume : identify the tasks that will create the most value and focus on those. By prioritizing value over volume and sharpening your focus on the things that truly matter, you'll increase the quality of your work, and ultimately, the value you provide. Create a “do-later” list: Put all those tasks that didn't make the high value list, on a "do later" list. Revisit after some time. Drop tasks that remain in “do-later” list for long: If tasks remain in “do-later” list and fail to make the high value list, ask yourself why do them at all? 1 3 2
  16. 16. THREE WAYS TO MAKE PURPOSEFUL MEETING AGENDA What do you want to inform : Mostly meetings are called to inform or bring people up to speed on certain tasks. By saying “I want to inform you about two things…” will cut the agenda clutter. What input you need to seek: Put issues on which you need inputs from participants as separate agenda points. Circulate them in advance if possible. What approval you are asking: List all approvals in third bucket of agenda points. 1 3 2
  17. 17. THREE WAYS TO MAKE MEETING SHORTER Keep everyone standing : It's one thing to sit through a long meeting, it's another to stand. Without chairs, people will likely focus on the topic at hand and keep their points precise and relevant. Schedule 30-minute meetings: We default to hour-long meetings because that is what Outlook tells us to. Challenge your team to cut to the chase, solve the problem, and get out of the room in 30 minutes. Or less! Ban distractions: Ask everyone to leave their BlackBerrys and iPhones at the door. If the meeting is kept short, it won't matter if they're out of touch for a little while. 1 3 2
  18. 18. THREE WAYS TO OPTIMIZE YOUR WORKSPACE FOR PRODUCTIVITY Cut the clutter: Get rid of the papers, extra hole-punch, books etc. Be ruthless, throwing away the things you really don't need and filing away the things you might need later. Keep frequent-use items close: If you don't use your stapler every day, you don't need it front and center. Reorganize so commonly used items are within reach and less-used items aren't taking up valuable real estate. Put related items together: Group items by task. Store your stamps with the envelopes and your file folders near the file cabinet. 1 3 2
  20. 20. SIX BASIC STRAITS OF A MESSAGE THAT STICKS (1/2) Simplicity: Messages are most memorable if they are short and deep. Glib sound bites are short but they don’t last. Proverbs are short but also deep enough to guide the behaviour of people over generations. Unexpectedness: Something that sounds like common sense won’t stick. Look for the parts of your message that are uncommon sense. Such messages generate interest and curiosity. Concreteness: Abstract language and ideas don’t leave sensory impressions concrete images do. Compare “get an American on the moon in this decade” with “seize leadership in the space race through targeted technology initiatives and enhanced team based solutions. Source: Interview with Chip Heath published in McKinsey Quarterly Nov 2009 1 3 2
  21. 21. SIX BASIC STRAITS OF A MESSAGE THAT STICKS (2/2) Credibility: Very often a person trying to convey a message cites outside experts when most credible source is the person listening to the message. Questions – “have you experienced this before?” are more credible than outside experts. Emotions: Case studies that involve people also move them. “we are wired to feel the things for people, not abstractions” Stories: Research shows that mentally rehearsing the a situation helps us perform better when we encounter that situation. Stories act as a kind of mental flight simulator, preparing us to respond more quickly and effectively. Source: Interview with Chip Heath published in McKinsey Quarterly Nov 2009 4 6 5
  22. 22. THREE THINGS TO REMEMBER WHILE WRITING E-MAILS Ask for something: All business writing includes a call to action. Before you write your email, know what you're asking of your audience. Say it up front: Don't bury the purpose of your email in the last paragraph. Include important information in the subject line and opening sentence. Explain the context and tell the reader what you think: Don't use the dreaded "Your thoughts?" without explaining your own. Express your opinion before asking your reader to do the same 1 3 2
  23. 23. THREE THINGS TO GET YOUR COLD-CALL EMAIL READ Personalize it: Don't send a generic email all about yourself. Focus on what you and the recipient have in common. Mention the group you found her through on LinkedIn or something specific you know and admire about her company. Demonstrate value: What do you have to offer the recipient? Be upfront about what you can give her and why she should respond. Include a call to action: Tell her what it is you want her to do: email you back, reach out to set up a call, or forward your email to someone else. 1 3 2
  24. 24. THREE STEPS TO LOVING YOUR INBOX AGAIN Save, but don't over-file: Rely on your search function to find old email. The time you spend deciding where to put an email — and then later trying to remember what folder it's in — could be spent on replying to today's critical messages. Keep only one email per topic: There's no need to keep every email in a string if the last email has the chain of responses in it. Do daily upkeep: Spend a few moments each day getting rid of emails you don't need. 1 3 2
  25. 25. THREE STEPS TO PREPARE FOR A DIFFICULT CONVERSATION Decide on a realistic outcome: Remember, you and your counterpart may want different things. Think about your desired outcome rather than accomplishing everything on your personal agenda. Focus on the future: What is your ultimate goal? Describe it and the benefits of your vision. If this is a review conversation, explain how you'd like to work with your employee going forward. Identify what's in the way: With the future as your backdrop, articulate what is interfering with reaching the goal. This helps to keep the conversation away from personal barbs and focused on making positive changes. 1 3 2
  26. 26. THREE QUESTIONS FOR BETTER BRAINSTORMING SESSIONS Who's in the room: Bring in a diverse set of people that represents your consumer base as well as the breadth of expertise within your company. Who talks: Many sessions fail to produce fresh ideas because the usual suspects are doing all of the talking. Draw out those who are usually reticent and always ask for further clarification on ideas you don't understand. What signals are you sending: As a leader, you need to create a safe space for innovation. Make sure your body language and tone signal that you want to hear from everyone and that all ideas are welcome. 1 3 2
  27. 27. THREE TIPS FOR GIVING BETTER FEEDBACK Focus on business outcomes: Explain what the company needs — talent development, sales growth, improved service — and frame your feedback as a way to reach those outcomes. Give it often: When feedback is reserved for semi-annual reviews, it is rarely received well. Give feedback regularly. You will be more practiced and your people will be more accustomed to hearing it. Be specific: Identify the specific behavior that needs to change. State clearly what you want the person to do differently. Choose illustrative examples that help the receiver understand exactly what you mean. 1 3 2
  28. 28. THREE TIPS FOR ASKING BETTER QUESTIONS Don't lead OR ask closed ended questions: Avoid asking questions you already know the answer to. Ask provocative questions that encourage team members to think for themselves. Start questions with "why" or "how.” Encourage solutions: "What do you suggest we do to get the best results?" is a great question because it elicits ownership. Create a question culture: Ask team members to bring critical questions to meetings and show that you value their queries. 1 3 2
  29. 29. THREE INTELLIGENT WAYS TO ASK STUPID QUESTIONS Start your question with what you know: Do your homework first. Get enough background information to put your issue or problem in context. Give the other person an idea of what you’ve completed to date or what you know already and then proceed to explain what’s outstanding, where or how you’re struggling, or what you need help with. Then, state the direction you want to take and ask for feedback, thoughts or clarification: Form an opinion on what you think the answer should be. Don’t just ask, “How should I reach out to the brokers?” Instead propose a course of action and get your boss’s feedback: “I’m thinking of sending out a mass email to the brokers but I’m not sure if that’s the most effective format…what do you think of that approach?” If you don’t know the direction to take, ask for tangible guidance: Instead of asking “What should I do?” ask specifically for the tools you’ll need to make that decision yourself, such as a recent example of a similar analysis or a template for a given task. Or, ask for a referral to someone who has worked on a similar initiative or project in the past. 1 3 2
  30. 30. THREE THINGS TO ACE AN INTERVIEW Do research: Find out as much as you can about the interviewer, the job, and the company before you step in the room. Don't try to impress the interviewer by listing all the personal details you found by googling her, but let the information you learned shape how you answer her questions. Show interest: You should of course appear interested in the job, but you should also show interest in the interviewer. Asking her questions about herself demonstrates that you care about people and what makes them tick. Don't forget to listen: Don't deliver a 45-minute monologue about why you're the perfect person for the job. Listen to what the interviewer has to say — she will likely give you valuable information about what kind of candidate she's looking for. 1 3 2
  31. 31. THREE THINGS TO NOT JUST COMMUNICATE BUT EXPLAIN Define what it is: Describe the issue, the initiative, or the problem. For example, if you are pushing for cost reductions, explain why they are necessary and what they will entail. Define what it isn't: Here is where the leader moves into the "never assume mode." Be clear to define the exclusions. For example, returning to our cost reduction issue, if you are asking for reductions in costs, not people, be explicit. Define what you want people to do: This becomes an opportunity to issue the call for action. Establishing expectations is critical. Cost reductions mean employees will have to do more with less; explain what that will entail in clear and precise terms. Click here for link to blog 1 3 2
  32. 32. THREE STEPS TO BETTER COMMUNICATION IN MEETINGS Prepare: Yes, it seems obvious, but too many people come to meetings unprepared. Be on time. Send important documents in advance and keep them concise Think before speaking: So much time is wasted when people get off topic. Ask yourself before you speak, "Is this helpful, productive, and relevant to what we are trying to accomplish?" Make it two-way and listen: If you're holding a meeting just to deliver news, you're better off sending a memo. Engage everyone and get new ideas by asking for differing opinions. Listen carefully; if the meeting isn't worth listening to, then you might as well be back at your desk. 1 3 2
  34. 34. THREE SIGNS YOUR COACHEE MIGHT BE “UNCOACHABLE” He has no problem: If he doesn't want to change, he won't be able to. Don't waste your time trying to force him to see the error of his ways. He's in the wrong job: Ask him, "If the company shut down today, would you be relieved, surprised, or sad?" If he says "relieved," help him to figure out what's next. There is no use in coaching someone who is truly unhappy about his job. Everyone else is the problem: It's impossible to help someone who blames everyone else for his problems. Move on — find someone who is ready to admit his problematic behaviors and accept your help. 1 3 2
  35. 35. THREE THINGS FOR BETTER TEAM-BUILDING EXERCISES Acknowledge tough times: Recognize the difficulties but don't let things devolve into a gripe session. Instead, refocus on the path ahead. Keep it relevant: The best exercises involve real-world problems, not just fun activities. Have your team solve an immediate or pressing business issue and be sure they can build on it later. Customize the program to your team: Don't use an off-the-shelf model, instead use an approach that fits your company and team culture. 1 3 2
  36. 36. THREE THINGS TO BUILD RESILIENCE IN YOUR TEAM Give much-needed perspective: If you and those on your team weren't born before 1945, you simply have nothing to use as comparison. Remind your team that most companies survive financial crises and many more businesses will be born from the recovery. Refocus on what you've got: While layoffs continue and unemployment rises, the reality is that most people still have jobs. If you are one of them, bring your team together to focus on making your company the best it can be. Develop the resolve to ensure it survives the downturn Tell stories: We all know a story or two about someone who survived adverse events. Encourage your team to share stories both as a means of coping and learning. 1 3 2
  37. 37. THREE THINGS TO SPEED UP TEAM LEARNING Design teams for learning: Teams learn faster when fast factors are present. One such factor is the team design. Teams designed for learning in a collaborative manner by carefully identifying a person’s ability to work in teams minimize subsequent substitution. Frame challenges that motivate: A motivating challenge is characterized by its wider impact on organization. Emphasize on being part something new and big instead of acquiring new skills for the individual Create an environment of psychological safety: Fear of being wrong and paying the consequence of a mistake discourages experimentation. Neutralize this fear of embarrassment by creating robust back and forth communication to keep ideas alive. Reassure by words as well as action. 1 3 2
  38. 38. FIVE STEPS TO DIFFUSE DISCORD IN YOUR TEAM (1/2) Diagnose the root cause: What people are seemingly disagreeing over is likely not the real reason for the conflict. Often the problem is the result of something that happened long ago. Find the underlying cause first. Don't take sides: As the leader, taking sides will only deepen the conflict and feed resentment. Defuse the conflict: Make clear that cooperation in the solution is mandatory and that grudges will not be tolerated. 1 3 2
  39. 39. FIVE STEPS TO DIFFUSE DISCORD IN YOUR TEAM (2/2) Find common ground: Focus team members on what they have in common and what they want and need to achieve together. Follow through: Your work isn't over yet. Continue to monitor the situation and address any residual issues promptly. 4 5
  40. 40. THREE WAYS TO ACHIEVE BEHAVIOURAL CHANGE (1/2) Take ownership: If you don't think you can change, you can't. Believe in your ability to change and take ownership before getting started. Be patient: Positive, lasting results take time, usually 50% to 100% longer than most people initially think. Accept difficulties: Real change takes real work. When setting out, be prepared to face challenges you didn't anticipate. Source: Michael Goldsmith Blog (Link) 1 3 2
  41. 41. THREE WAYS TO ACHIEVE BEHAVIOURAL CHANGE (2/2) Refuse to be distracted: Something more important will inevitably come up. You need to make your development a priority and refuse to let distractions divert your path. Maintain: Once you've started to see traction, don't declare victory. Sustainable change requires maintenance over a lifetime. Source: Michael Goldsmith Blog (Link) 4 5
  42. 42. LEADERSHIP
  43. 43. FIVE TRAITS OF NEW CREATIVE LEADER Instead of commanding, coach your team and organization toward success Don't manage people, empower them. The know-how, experience, and solutions are often out there; it's a matter of helping people discover them Cultivate respect by giving it, instead of demanding it 1 3 2
  44. 44. FIVE TRAITS OF NEW CREATIVE LEADER Know how to manage both success and failure Show graciousness in your management rather than greediness. Be humble about your successes and whenever possible, give someone else the opportunity to shine 4 5
  45. 45. THREE WAYS TO EFFECTIVELY RALLY THE TROOPS Go to them: Sure your schedule is packed but don't invite employees to headquarters because it's easiest for you. Visit them where they work. This signals that what they do matters. Praise their efforts: No one tires of hearing they're doing a good job when the praise is genuine. Explain how their output is significant to the organization's long-term health. Watch their backs: Employees often suffer first when things get tough — show them that the company supports them. 1 3 2
  46. 46. THREE TIPS FOR LEADING WITHOUT AUTHORITY Remember enthusiasm is contagious: Your genuine excitement about a project will motivate others to become engaged and care about it. Take care of your own ego: No one wants to be responsible for making you feel important. Assume authority by demonstrating excellence in your field, not soliciting others' approval. Lead quietly: When you don't have formal authority propping you up, others will be suspicious if you grab the reins too forcefully. Don't be overinvested in the outcome; lead quietly, get everyone involved, and ask questions along the way. 1 3 2
  47. 47. THREE THINGS TO DEMONSTRATE HUMILITY Temper authority: Don't use authority just because you have it. Encourage your people to make decisions, set their own goals, and take responsibility as often as possible. Promote Others Often: Grooming talent is good for your organization and for you as a leader. Promote people around you, giving them opportunities to match or even surpass your success. Acknowledge the accomplishments of others: If things go well, give away the credit. If things go poorly, take the fall. This humble approach will ensure your team rallies behind you. 1 3 2
  48. 48. THREE THINGS TO CHANGE YOUR CULTURE Change stories people tell: Stories are the fabric of a culture and communicate what a company is all about. Do something that represents the culture you want to create. Do dramatic story-worthy things: If your actions deviate from the norm, you can be sure people will tell stories about them. Find other people who do story-worthy things: By finding and sharing people who do story worthy things, you can more examples for the change that you wish to create. 1 3 2
  49. 49. THREE WAYS TO INSTILL PASSION IN YOUR PEOPLE Focus on the positive: Employees know when a leader truly cares about a company or a project. Passionate leaders can't help but talk about what's working well and try to find ways to fix what isn't. Don't ignore the negative: Passionate leaders aren't all about sunny skies — they address negatives in a realistic way and help people solve problems. Set high expectations: This doesn't mean unattainable workloads. Passionate leaders should inspire and challenge people to do their best, without overloading them. 1 3 2
  50. 50. THREE WAYS TO OVERCOME “DON’T FAIL” MINDSET Take a leap of faith: Pushing yourself in areas where you are not tested and proficient will provide a chance to know your limitations. Take a leap of faith not just a small step. Volunteer or undertake tasks and projects above your ability. Keep a growth mindset: Your talent will continue to grow when you develop a growth mindset and take effort to learn from your failure. Having a fixed mindset will ensure you never fail, but you will never learn or grow. Set goals with 50-70% chance of success: The sweet spot of success for high achiever is when they set goals with only 50-70% chance of success. They figure out what they need to do differently and keep trying new ways. 1 3 2
  51. 51. THREE WAYS TO ALIGN EMPLOYEE’S AND COMPANY’S PRIORITIES Know your employees' priorities: Don't wait for review time. Regularly ask your employees what they care most about. As a manager, you need to know what drives them. Communicate company priorities: Tell employees what the company needs to achieve in the next week, month, and year. Be clear and consistent, and do this often. Align interests to responsibilities: Now that both agendas are clear, try as much as possible to channel employees' interests into relevant company priorities. 1 3 2
  52. 52. THREE WAYS TO SPUR INNOVATION Look outside: When faced with the need to innovate, most companies turn to their inside talent. Instead, reach across corporate boundaries to your extended network. Mobilize passionate individuals: There are likely people out there who are passionate about your product, idea, or area of focus. Find those people and connect them so they can share ideas and mobilize one another to innovate. Embrace new technology: Look to younger generations of employees to see what technologies they are using. Support and embrace these technologies as they may be the source of your next innovation. 1 3 2
  53. 53. THREE WAYS TO DELIVER AND RECEIVE BAD NEWS Tell early and often: Get surprises out there as soon as possible. If you're not going to make your numbers, your boss can manage the situation better in July than she can in November. Remember the past: It's likely you have some past experience you can draw from. Let this help you prepare mentally, but be humble — don't assume you know exactly what this bad news will bring. Don't shoot the messenger: If you want people to be open and honest with you, don't blame the person delivering the bad news. Thank them for sharing and reward their courage to speak up in difficult times. 1 3 2
  54. 54. THREE WAYS TO IDENTIFY HIDDEN TALENTS Turn a compliment into an interview: When congratulating an employee on a job well done, ask exactly what helped her succeed. By better understanding her process, you may uncover an unseen strength. Ask why employees prefer certain tasks or projects: Preferences can be a view into someone's talents. An employee might enjoy a project because it involves a product she cares about or because it gave her a chance to design surveys. Knowing which will possibly uncover talents. Inquire about dreams: Ask your employees what they would do if they had their career to do over again. Peoples' dreams often include an aspect of themselves they don't regularly share. 1 3 2
  55. 55. THREE THINGS TO LOOK BEFORE HIRING PEOPLE WHO DISAGREE WITH YOU Strength of ideas: Leaders need alternate views based on facts and data. Contrary ideas should be well thought-out and put in context of what's best for all stakeholders. Ambition: Someone who disagrees with you shouldn't just be there to stir the pot. Look for someone who is interested in moving up in the organization and is in for the long haul. Track record: Willingness to disagree is not enough. Be sure that the person's track record shows an ability to follow through on ideas and get things done. 1 3 2
  56. 56. THREE LEADERSHIP SECRETS OF MARINE CORPS Communicate the mission: Marine officers are evaluated by how well their soldiers understand their mission and their role in it. Instead of dictating how things should be done, explain the mission and challenge your people to figure out how to accomplish it. Earn your respect, don't expect it: Formal authority has little value in today's world, even in the Marines. To lead effectively, you must earn the respect of your people. That's the only way your mission will be carried out when you're not there. Trust your soldiers: While there are strict rules of engagement, one of the fundamental principles of Marine leadership is to push decision-making to the lowest possible level. Trust your people's expertise and decision-making and empower them to do what's right. 1 3 2
  57. 57. THREE QUESTIONS TO CHECK YOUR CHANGE READINESS Do you see opportunities others don't? Change breeds opportunity. Don't out-compete your rivals; reinvent the rules of the game by finding new opportunities first. Can your customers live without you? Customers' options constantly evolve. If your products and services aren't indispensable, customers are likely to move on. Are you learning as fast as the world is changing? As a leader, you can't afford to stop learning. Seek out ways to evolve and be humble enough to know you don't always have the answer. 1 3 2
  59. 59. THINGS TO LEARN IN MBA* 1 3 2 Be productively competitive: learn to use your natural competitive instincts in a focussed and productive manner. Learn to avoid unfocussed competition Learn to learn continually and how to accelerate the acquisition of skills: If you are not keeping pace with rapidly changing market space you will be a dinosaur. How to function in a team: Learn different roles of a team members and how to shift from one to another depending on the situation. Its all about collective performance. 4 Expand perspective and build critical thinking skills: Broad level thinking and ability to evaluate alternative scenarios with the limited information at hand. *Source: Interview of Robert Mittlestaedt Jr, Dean of Wharton School of Business
  60. 60. THREE THINGS FOR SOLVING PROBLEMS WITH FUN Focus on real problems that matter: Avoid fun for the sake of fun. Find real problems and opportunities that people can tackle. Choose problems that require creativity: Those problems are the most fun to crack. Money isn't fun: Don't offer cash as a reward. That makes people compete in a serious way and robs them of the fun. 1 3 2
  61. 61. THREE WAYS TO AVOID MICROMANAGING YOURSELF Keep your eyes on the prize: D on't focus on details before the big picture is laid out. Keep the larger project goal in mind and resist temptation to dive into minutiae. Don't second guess yourself: You'll inconvenience yourself and the people who work for you if you shift project direction midstream. Take a complete pass through a project before deciding to change course Micromanage when it's time: Almost every project requires some detail work. When you reach that point, unleash the micromanager in you and handle it 1 3 2
  62. 62. THREE SIGNS OF STRESS TO WATCH OUT FOR Working too hard: hen times are tough, we tend to double our efforts. Putting in 10-hour days will not save your company from the recession — it will tire you out and render you ineffective. Loss of self: Stress can cause us to withdraw or do things out of character. If you're losing your personality or skipping things that used to be important to you, step back and evaluate your stress level. Delusions of grandeur: We all like to think we're important. However, it is unlikely that your job directly affects the fate of your entire company. Keep your role in perspective — taking a break won't break the company. 1 3 2
  63. 63. THREE TIPS FOR BETTER NETWORKING Don't be self-promoting: It's possible to sell yourself without sounding like a salesman. Instead of singing your own praises, talk about your accomplishments. Results speak for themselves. Don't be afraid to ask, and be ready to give: Networking is a transaction. If you need something — the name of a colleague or an introduction — don't hesitate to ask. Offer help in return; it may not be long before the tables are turned. Always say thank you: Whether someone gave you 5 minutes or 5 hours of their time, exercise good manners. Send an interesting article or event notice along with your thank you note. 1 3 2
  64. 64. THREE TIPS FOR GIVING PRAISE THAT MOTIVATES Be specific: When giving praise, a simple "thank you" is not nearly enough. Identify the specific accomplishment you are praising and describe the impact it had on you. Try: "Thank you for staying late and making sure the presentation was error-free; it really made the difference in winning that client." Praise with action, not just words: After you've praised someone specifically, follow up with an important gesture of confidence. Let him lead the next presentation, send an email to the company acknowledging his hard work, or ask him to train others in what he did so well. Don't praise as a preface to critique: Token praise uttered before criticism sounds empty. It will only undermine the value of the praise you give in other settings. 1 3 2
  65. 65. THREE TIPS FOR REMOTE WORKER Keep on top of your email: Responding promptly to email assures your boss and colleagues that you are working at home, not doing your laundry. Be present via instant messenger: Use an instant messaging service like AIM, Google Chat, or Yahoo Messenger to be available to colleagues who want to virtually "stop by your desk" for a quick question. Set up regular check-ins: It's too easy to feel disconnected when you're working remotely. By regularly checking in with colleagues and your manager, you can spare long email chains and touch base in a human way. 1 3 2
  66. 66. THREE WAYS TO BE HAPPIER AT WORK Take a different approach: It's easy to get in a rut. Avoid the work doldrums by taking on a new project or changing your responsibilities. If that's not possible, revamp the way you approach your existing work. Lead instead of manage: Motivate your employees to get results by letting them know your vision for your group, connected to the organization's goals. Give your team more responsibility and the broader context they need to succeed. Smile: It's simple and scientifically proven. Smiling leads to happiness. Try it. 1 3 2
  67. 67. THREE WAYS TAKE RESPONSIBILITY OF YOUR OWN CAREER Meet with two former co-workers each month: Talk about your industry and where it is headed. This will keep you tapped into the community. Have one major learning experience each quarter: If your work isn't giving you the necessary challenges, seek out other opportunities. Volunteer for a non-profit, attend a conference, or take a class. Give yourself a performance review: Reflect on your growth and performance, whether through a formal process or not. Be honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses and what you should focus on in the coming year. 1 3 2
  68. 68. THREE SIGNS OF STRESS TO WATCH OUT FOR Working too hard: When times are tough, we tend to double our efforts. Putting in 10-hour days will not save your company from the recession — it will tire you out and render you ineffective. Loss of self: Stress can cause us to withdraw or do things out of character. If you're losing your personality or skipping things that used to be important to you, step back and evaluate your stress level. Delusions of grandeur: We all like to think we're important. However, it is unlikely that your job directly affects the fate of your entire company. Keep your role in perspective — taking a break won't break the company. 1 3 2
  70. 70. THREE THINGS TO EXCEED CLIENT’S EXPECTATIONS Beat the deadline: Getting work done ahead of time gives the client flexibility and demonstrates you are efficient and customer-focused. When agreeing to a deadline, choose one you know you can beat. Ask proactive questions: Clients appreciate it when you act as a thought partner and demonstrate your concern for the process and its result.. Know when to defer: Deference is important but too much of it positions you as hired help. Inspire confidence by acting collegial and proving yourself to be a competent expert, not a lackey 1 3 2
  71. 71. THREE WAYS TO HANDLE CUSTOMER COMPLAINTS Understand the full context: Try to understand as much as you can about the complaint. The more information you have, the easier it is to determine the root of the dissatisfaction. Propose a resolution: Know what would make the situation better for your customer and propose ways you can solve the problem. Show respect: Complaining customers are often upset. Train employees receiving complaints to be empathetic and to reframe the harsh criticism they may receive into constructive feedback. 1 3 2
  72. 72. THREE TIPS FOR EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS Do your homework: Spend time before the negotiation understanding the other side's interests and position in relation to yours. Try to see things from their angle. Don't negotiate against yourself: Stick to your initial position long enough to find out what is important to the other side. Don't give in before you have enough information. Let the other side walk : Make the offer you want and let the other side walk if need be. Don't low ball or be unnecessarily aggressive: just be honest, straightforward, and firm about what you're willing to do. 1 3 2
  73. 73. THREE WAYS TO SELL YOURSELF IN 15 SECONDS Practice, practice, practice: Don't be caught off guard. Practice your self-pitch many times before you need it. Focus on impact: Don't recite your resume. Instead of focusing on years of experience, describe your impact in previous jobs and what you hope to accomplish next. Forget what your mother told you : We were all told not to brag, but selling yourself requires breaking that cultural taboo. Be prepared to toot your own horn, gracefully. 1 3 2