Category Archives: Leadership

Why managers are pushed away by Talents and Leaders

Here are the main points in this brilliant session by Ade McCormack on the new age of workplace, employment and skills

Managers were needed in the Industrial Age to keep an eye on employees that did not like the automatic tasks they had to do
Now automation took over those jobs

There is no room for laziness

The need is for talented people and leaders

Those are passionate people who are eager to do much more than any manager could demand

Talents look for innovation, mobility/flexibility/fun-ability , work/life balance, playing with other great people – all those so much worthy than money, yet so hard to create

When you create a great workplace, great people will join, driving great customers to you as they provide massive value

Nowadays risk is hooked to value

You have to bring risk into your work plans to make real progress

As you play in risky arenas you need some peripheral sensory – data about new risks

You need to spend time trying out the new risk related technologies even if there is no guarantee they will materialize into actual danger

Leaders must make sure their teams don’t have any interference to gain and maintain a state of “flow” – joyful focus on exercising their maximum abilities

Treat your career as a lean startup – choose what you are passionate about, have great skills at, and got market demand for

Ask yourself everyday- am I working in a place that allows me to gain my maximum market value

How hard do you practice and learn to become world class in your arena?

Choosing the right risk for your Career or Product

Choosing the right position for your job or product should be driven by market related risk rather than competition based risk

Market related risk is about finding a solution for a problem and dealing with the risk that no one will actually need it, or that we would not be able to create it. The mechanisms this kind of challenge triggers are related to learning, achieving, growth, contribution, abundance and satisfaction, all are healthy to our progress, mind and body.

Competition based risk is about protecting and defending from or attacking others who might grab a portion of the benefits we look for.Our perception of reality is of scarcity. This triggers the mechanisms in our brain that limit our creativity and hurt our health and joy.

(This is one more reminder I got reading “Disrupting Yourself”. More insights later…)

Pulling Innovation out of Patent Black Holes

How to build World Class Products and Services

How to build World Class Products is a bullet point summary from the Episode 527 of This Week in Startups Podcast as Jeff Weiner, LinkedIn CEO shared:

  1. Focus on a single value Proposition
  2. Provide World Class service
  3. Offer Simple, intuitive interface that anticipates and delivers on customer needs
  4. Exceed expectations – then even when you occasionally fail, your customers  would still love you
  5. Resonates emotionally with a need that seeks expression

Now you can test those with your own product or service… What did you find?

Manager, just had massive layoffs in your team?

Here is your must do list, that is if you want to get the rest of your team get up from the ground…and get team work back in…

There are two words for you to burn into your mind: Empathy and Integrity.

1. Create a “black list” of the concerns, fears and frustration. Create a “white list” of recovery and progress items, that could take everyone forward.

2. Add your own “black” and “white” items (how will I succeed now as a manager? what new opportunities do I see in spite of this crisis?)

3. Get your trusted leaders to add more to the list.

4. Get the team together and read out loud the “black list”. Then ask them to comment on it. If they don’t, comment as if you were them. Then respond to each item. Then share the “white list” and get people to comment on it.

5. Let the team send more items via anonymous means.

6. Respond to the additional topics candidly. You are NOT wasting your time. You are actually saving time lost over fear and frustration water-cool discussions as well as slow and careless work, and contagious low moral.

7. Don’t blame anyone for the getting into this situation, but do refer to what needs now be done. Otherwise all what your team will be doing, is arguing, defending and attacking.

8. If the “powers that be” made a mistake in going through the layoffs, discuss it with them, until you are convinced in the necessity of this painful act, or if they admit of their harm doing and aim to correct it, now or in the future. Only then you can stand up and gain your team’s trust and energy. If you don’t agree with the decisions taken, speak up and tell it to your team. You may get into trouble if you have unworthy management, and in this case, you are better off going somewhere else. You can’t lead anyway, if you can’t truly accept the decisions taken, or object them.

9. Acknowledge that these layoffs may have been reduced, if you had prepared your team, to be valuable for the next future challenges the company needs to tackle. Your team’s career should go through an innovation process, same as products and services do. This means you should get your team trained in the realms that would turn their current expertise irrelevant. This also means team members would have to put into this learning process, extra work hours, to bullet proof their future.

Not every fear or concern can be resolved, but going through the steps I revealed here, will put you in a much better position, than most managers, right?

What would you add to this list?

Why Leadership Sucks and so much Worthy at the same time

Listen to this post Listen to this post here: 

I haven’t read this book yet, but it is free now on Amazon, and this note on its review caught my attention:

“…It (Leadership) sucks because real leadership is hard, requires selfless service, and because the buck stops here.

Servant leadership or Level 5 leadership is uncomfortable, humbling, self-denying, painful, and counter-intuitive;

nonetheless, it is the only kind of leadership that brings lasting results, genuine happiness, and true self fulfillment…”

Here is the link to the book (not sure how much longer it remains free): Why Leadership Sucks: Fundamentals of Level 5 Leadership and Servant Leadership

Feel free to share here if you got the book, and what you think about it, or about the note…

How to Motivate with “AHA”i

In the following “What makes us feel good about our work” talk by Dan Ariely, there are few points worth contemplating:

Listen to this postClick Here to listen to this post: 

  1. Acknowledgement is critical, and should be exercised as much as possible. Even the simplest one, like saying “Aha”, when your team member hands you over, their report, is powerful. If you want your team be as twice as productive as they are now, acknowledge them routinely. You don’t need to make up things; you do not need to exaggerate. Simply make sure you clearly show you got it – they did a job, they invested the effort, they desire feedback. If you can thank them, do it. At the end of the week, just before we all go home, I thank each one of my team members, from the bottom of my heart, for the effort they have put during the week. It does not matter how many successes they had, it is all about the time, effort and good will they have put into their work. That way they go off to their weekend, charged with good feeling.
  2. Indeed tossing away an effort people put, is a major energy drainer. However ignoring people’s effort is putting them down, almost the same as shredding their effort in front of their eyes. That’s just to stress how much acknowledgement is important. And there is something else. When you do have to stop a project, cancel a work done, make sure you put enough energy beyond explaining why this need to be done. Make sure you acknowledge the effort put so far. People could reach 150% productivity, if you do your best to preserve their efforts, and it does not matter how much you pay them. So thank them and do the most to make use with what they built so far. Make sure this effort is communicated clearly. All this will put more fuel into your team’s emotion al engines, as they take your ship to a new destination.
  3. It doesn’t matter how much you pay people, if you don’t acknowledge their effort. You can raise a salary once in a while, and still it would not matter as much as a much more frequent acknowledgement of people’s efforts.
  4. If you have an advice to give or feedback to improve one’s performance, they are still considered an acknowledgement and worth more than silence. Acknowledging people does not mean you should forget about mentoring and guiding.
  5. We value our creations much more than evaluators do – because we appreciate more what we put effort into. Make sure you kindly address this gap, as you go through a performance evaluation with your team. Otherwise people will think your review of their performance is too critical.
  6. In the past decades we had Industrial Efficiency govern our work methodology: we preferred everyone repeatedly does just part of the complete creation process of our solution. However now we are shifting into knowledge economy. Now everybody can decide how much effort they put into their work. Consequently success depends on your team’s willingness to invest more acquiring and purifying information. You don’t have the time, and sometimes you could even lack the means to properly measure the quality of the information, your team is creating. So you want them be emotionally motivated to invest the extra effort. Even if they must focus on a repetitive job, at least give them a prospective of its overall project, and an opportunity to speak out their advice, beyond their current role. This means you have to extend into the following areas. Note that each one of those deserves a whole article.
  7. Meaning – Creating a powerful meaning or Context for the job to be done.
  8. Creation – Let your team feel they own the creation of the solution.
  9. Challenge – Take your team through challenges, so they can experience personal growth.
  10. Ownership – Make sure your team see themselves as the source of everything that happens as they ship their solution.
  11. Identity – Make sure your team can see themselves and their job as one.
  12. Pride – Set the opportunities for your team to see the gradual progress they gain. Acknowledge them for their uniqueness and efforts.

As you watch the video, let me know if you see more that we should look into…

How to get your team love doing much more than you ask for

How to get your team love doing much more than you ask for

While negotiating terms, always give or pay your team members more than they ask for, and then ask them to do less than they were willing or expecting to do.

They will be happy that way, and you will feel great as well!

Furthermore, your team will be much more likely willing to go the extra mile, farther beyond what you paid for or dreamt getting.

How do you maintain this good will as days go by?

  1. Firstly, take care of your team members. Don’t worry about getting the job done. It will turn out fine. Keep reading.
  2. During the day to day activities, show your team how much you care about the team’s goals, by going the extra mile yourself.
  3. Clearly describe the goals.
  4. Keep the door open for their prospective.
  5. Ask for suggestions on how to reach those goals.

All this is much more powerful, than telling them they need to do more, or what they should do.