Learning from 2011 ( #3lessons )

December 31, 2011

When reflecting on 2011, as most of us do each year, I find the year very successful and I find myself fortunate enought to have made significant improvements in personal and professional lives. It made me interested what others are thinking.  Twitter was good source and here is compilation of 3 lessons hash tag on twitter. I have tried my best to provide credit to all contributors as I noted in tweets.

  • @CJamesCatStrat
    • trust your heart then head;
    • know you can change the world;
    • connect with depth and meaning.
  • @nowaffle
    • make a difference;
    • lover yourself;
    • respect others.
  • @mariemilligan
    • open-hearted risk taking;
    • belief & action in greater good;
    • laugh & love like its your last day on earth.
  • @kevindaugh_herty
    • don’t take anyone for granted;
    • enjoy the moment;
    • have a great haircut.
  • @umairh
    • ignore the haters;
    • listen to what matters;
    • create the future.
  • @ohheygreat
    • be okay saying “I don’t know, can you teach me?”;
    • to what scares you and learn from it;
    • love like crazy.
  • @letuboy
    • go big;
    • embrace failure;
    • be better.
  • @mosharrafzaidi
    • put yourself in others’ shoes;
    • give everyone more than once chance;
    • avoid unproductive negative energy.
  • @kulveervirk
    • add value to whatever you do;
    • life if good if you work for greater good;
    • quality of questions determines what you get as an answer.
Advertisements

The Best Advice I’ve Ever Been Given..

September 6, 2011
  1. Don’t ask for what you don’t want.
  2. You carry five balls in the air; all but one is made of glass. Glass is health, family, friends, spirituality. Rubber is career. Juggle well.
  3. Be passionate but not emotional.
  4. Master hard skills early in your career. Master soft skills to get ahead later in your career.
  5. Know when to ask questions – sometimes in a group, sometimes one-on-one.  There is big difference in perception and outcome in these two situations.
  6. Always do what you say you will do.
  7. Take lunch – you are not that important.
  8. Read the cover of sports page every day (no joke!).

I was reading Canadian Business magazine‘s The Next Power Elite cover story and found these gems at the bottom of the page.  I could not resist sharing with my readers. Credit for the content goes to August-September issue of Canadian Business.


How to Become a Trusted Advisor?

July 30, 2011

How to build trust with the Boss or Customer? What do you think of your boss or customer? 

I guess more important question for your success is – what does your boss (or customer) think of you? Does your boss (or customer) trust you? Trust is invisible currency of faith. Once you have earned it,  you become trusted advisor. It takes time to develop trust, but can be lost in a flash.  Trust makes work life more enjoyable, gives satisfaction and makes one more productive.   I believe that if someone genuinely applies below given 7 pointers, sure will gain trust. 

He who does not trust enough, Will not be trusted. – Lao Tzu

Lets imagine customer is also a boss.  Getting a good boss is mostly in our hands.  I say mostly, because there might be some bosses with whom you can not connect at all because their wavelength is quite different from yours.  In spite of it, I think one must take initiative to build trust and get connected with boss instead of waiting for boss to realize how invaluable and resourceful one is for the team and organization. 

So how to become trusted advisor?  Answer is – by cultivating trust.  My understanding is “Giving trust leads to earning trust“. You got to understand the uniqueness of every individual in terms of how one thinks and operates.

Here are 7 key pointers to build trust over time with your boss and work on addressing the questions –

  1. Be reliable and competent: can your boss count on you? can you get things done you are supposed to do?
  2. Be accountable: are you ready to own your mistakes? are you concerned about success of your organization?
  3. Learn to anticipate: do you know what questions will be asked on the subject? are you strategic thinker?
  4. Be solution oriented: are you just posing questions or problems? do you strive to help resolve issues?
  5. Seek feedback and be candid: are you engaging your boss? are you holding back something from your boss? 
  6. Be professional: are you delivering value to your boss/organization? are you respectful to your boss on his/her back?
  7. Be a good communicator: do you understand how your boss wants to know things? do you connect with your boss?

And what you do if you and your boss are on totally different wavelengths? Keep doing good job and move on when opportunity arises, simple is that.  Its nothing wrong with anyone, we all are unique and bring different perspectives to life and its ok to be on different wavelengths.

Hope you like the post, if you think there is any other valuable point to add, share it.  Thanks for reading and feedback.


Fountain of Wisdom

February 18, 2011

Rose & Robert Skillman Library in Detroit has engraving “The Fountain of Wisdom Flows Through the Books“. To drink from this fountain, I continue to read books and here are some that I have completed recently and would like to share with my subscribers and visitors.  I have more detail posted here.

These 3 books are totally unique but fit in for a balanced approach towards any leadership or managerial role that you play in your life.

  1. Buy-In: Saving Your Good Idea from Getting Shot Down John P. Kotter, Harvard Business Press, 2010
  2. Power: Why Some People Have It and Others Don’t Jeffrey Pfeffer, HarperBusiness, 2010
  3. It’s Not Just Who You Know: Transform Your Life (and Your Organization) by Turning Colleagues and Contacts into Lasting, Genuine Relationships Tommy Spaulding, Crown Business, 2010

Why Should You Read These 3 Books?

Buy-In:  A leader or manager has to sell the idea, proposal or get an agreement.  Getting people buy-into is the critical task.  You will learn two things – first, how to protect your good ideas from being shot down and second, how to win the support of stakeholders when it really matters.  Naysayers will use 4 strategies of fear mongering, delay tactics, confusion and/or ridicule to derail the idea.

As we all know that good idea alone will not survive. This book offers 24 major attacks or objections (that people use time and time again) and how to handle them properly. Link provides 24 responses to these attacks.

Skillman Library in Detroit

Skillman Library in Detroit Courtesy: Wikimedia

Power:  For a leader or manager, being power less is not an option. If you can influence any decision, you got some power. Projects and initiatives of people who are associated with people of authority gets their way in any organization.  Some might have the different opinion of the use of power (i.e. Machiavellian style), but lets use the perspective that if you have power, you can do more good to your cause, organization and society. I will add quote from Baltasar Gracian:

The sole advantage of power is that you can do more good.  The Art of Worldly Wisdom, 1647

This book contains excellent advice and analysis about gaining power in corporations and politics.  You may not agree with all that is said like perception is reality (but for how long?), but its a good read and use what you feel appropriate with good intentions.

It’s Not Just Who You Know: Leaders and managers accomplish a lot by building rapport at all the levels, they are resourceful and get the work done for greater good.  This book fits right where both other left.  If you believe that great relationship in life make all the difference, you will enjoy it. Author does not give out any specific formula but shares his own experiences and then elaborates on how one should apply them in life. I used this book to learn from someone’s life how genuine interaction helps build great relationships.

This book is not you scratch my back and I scratch you back type but follows Carnegie’s classic How to Win Friends…

Author shares many inspiring stories and all underscore that relationship building begins with your genuine and sincere attention on the others and it’s not about you. Do not push for the things that you want, figure out what they need.  Also, author stresses that exploiting relationships for quick personal gains or favors will eventually ruin the foundation and it soon becomes transactional business relationship.

As a leader, you do not want to accomplish a lot in business but also would like to have strong relationships similar to great balance sheet or super annual report.  If you miss out building genuine and sincere relationships at all sectors of life, work and business included, you will be alone at top.

References:

  1. http://www.kotterinternational.com/KotterPrinciples/BuyIn/AttacksAndResponses.aspx

5 Quotes for Leaders

January 14, 2010
 

  

  1. Leadership is a matter of having people look at you and gain confidence, seeing how you react. If you’re in control, they’re in control.  – Tom Landry
  2. People ask the difference between a leader and a boss . . . The leader leads, and the boss drives. -Theodore Roosevelt
  3. Leadership is solving problems. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help or concluded you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership. – Karl Popper
  4. Leadership is a combination of strategy and character. If you must be without one, be without the strategy. – H. Norman Schwarzkopf
  5. The man whose authority is recent is always stern. – Aeschylus

  

 

 


11 Principles of Leadership

August 20, 2009

 I came across 11 leadership principles of Marine Corps in Guide Book for Marines on the Internet and here is my interpretation of 11 principles.  I am interested in hearing from Marines about their leadership experience. 

  1. Take responsibility – we need to seek and take responsibilities if we need to grow; never shy away, whatever seems challenging will help you expand your perspective.
  2. Know yourself – reflect upon your strengths and weaknesses; seek improvement and understand that you can achieve only those goals that you set.
  3. Set an example– conduct your business in a professional manner; do not loose temper – small minds are bothered by small problems; not only work in your job but also work on your job as well.  Be a brand that people want to associate with.
  4. Develop your subordinates– consider this as part of your job; learn to delegate; as Zig Ziglar said “You can have everything in life that you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want“; give them opportunities to learn & grow;  guide them if they fit somewhere else.
  5. Be available – in every respect; be available to listen to problems and challenges people are facing; to motivate, to lead and to show right direction; to hear criticism; to take decisions and to act on time.
  6. Look after the welfare of your employees – the way you want your boss to look after your welfare; develop emotional intelligence; connect with people and find out what motivates them; do something that touches their lives; help them when they are in need.  Arrogance and ignorance will not take you to the top or won’t keep you there for long.
  7. Keep everyone well informed  – right communication is the key; make sure that the tasks are understood, supervised and accomplished on time and tell why you need all this done; do no assume –  aks and tell.
  8. Set goals that are achievable – always set the goals – people need to know what they are expected to deliver and by when; let people figure out how;  goals should motivate teams to act; measure the results and reward people.
  9. Make sound and timely decisions– that are aligned with the core principles of your organization and with your job descriptions; there will always be more than one right answer – choose the one that benefits the most and not only you; take decisions like a servant leader.
  10. Know your job – be technically and tactically proficient in your job; know your people; know the processes and challenges; know how can you add value to the organization or your department.
  11. Build teamwork– not all people can perform equally but they should complement each other while working towards a common goal; promote team work and diversity; shield your team from external pressure; be flexible with team.

“Leadership is intangible, hard to measure, and difficult to describe. It’s quality would seem to stem from many factors. But certainly they must include a measure of inherent ability to control and direct, self-confidence based on expert knowledge, initiative, loyalty, pride and sense of responsibility. Inherent ability cannot be instilled, but that which is latent or dormant can be developed. Other ingredients can be acquired. They are not easily learned. But leaders can be and are made.” – General C. B. Cates, 19th Commandant of the Marine Corps

Thanks for reading and welcome your input.  Have a great day.


Time to Thank Entrepreneurs

July 30, 2009

July 30th is Mr. Henry Ford’s birthday.  He was born in 1863.  He was one of the great entrepreneurs America has produced.  He was leader of automobile industry and a great inventor.  His dream of gasoline engine was realized into industrial revolution and a company that is employing thousands globally and improving millions of lives for over hundred years.

To create a new business that makes money, and more significantly, employs others, and more significantly, gives a product to a customer that improves their life, is our greatest challenge, our greatest opportunity, and the greatest gift, far greater than any charity that we can give our fellow person.”  – Paul Zane Pilzer

What a powerful statement it is!  Entrepreneurship is the backbone of social and industrial development.   There are thousands of entrepreneurs like Henry Ford, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Sergey Brin, Howard Schultz, Sam Walton, Jeff Bezos and Jeff Gitomer who continue to work hard to fulfil the dream of others while they achieve their own personal goals.

Time to thank all the global entrepreneurs who dedicated their lives for the growth of their organizations which in turn support the communities and nations; and are innovating to get the economy out of recession.

Thank you for reading and have a great day.


%d bloggers like this: