The “Entrepreneur” World

Last few weeks feels like I am driving a Ferrari, too fast for my liking. And when things move too fast, I always try to pull back the leash and focus. It helps me to come out of my comfort zone but often leads to confusion and dilemma. Well, it is always like this in the world of any “entrepreneur” or anyone working with a startup. Now I understand why many startups fall back and fail. When things don’t go the way you think, you always feel the need to change. That change cause the fall back and ultimately the result is failure. You feel huge weight, not on your shoulders but on top of your head. Anyway, lets focus on what this post is really about. I am sharing few thoughts and hope some of you can relate to them and relax and even pitch in your thoughts which could help be relax, too. Here we start!

1. Don’t promise too much to your customers/clients. It puts you in a lot of pressure. If you are a type who promise many things then be strong and rub off the negativity that comes along when you fail. #strive_for_improvement

2. When you do too many things, you’ll start forgetting even the simplest of the lot. Here, a good team plays a huge role. Try to talk to them as openly and friendly as you can. Thus, first few team members are very important to a startup’s success. Choose wisely and slowly. #failure_sucks

3. Don’t scale too fast. Many of you would argue but its okay. #world_dominance_is_a_drug 

4. Knowing when to talk and when to zip your lip is important. #go_slow_and_steady

5. When your product is not working, it means its not working. Full stop. #accept_the_reality

6. From time and time, try to feel the weight of your employees. The more they are, the more it is. #be_serious

7. Everyone is trying their best. Nobody wants to fail. #don’t_blame

8. Don’t worry about revenues. #do_the_right_things

entrepreneur

P.S. Don’t dwell too much into my thoughts. I am a rookie and these opinions may change 😀

 

Necessary Perceptual Shifts for Leaders

Read Ten Leadership shifts that change everything Very insightful blog post with an array of hard facts. I want to re-share the traits leaders must acquire, as cited in the blog, in order to sync with their team efficiently and timely.

Top ten leadership shifts:

  1. Me to we – humility.
  2. Doing to delegating – letting go.
  3. Talk to action – initiative.
  4. Answers to questions – curiosity.
  5. Problems to solutions – optimism.
  6. Past to future – forward focus.
  7. Control to release – trust.
  8. Avoiding to addressing – courage.
  9. Urgent to important – priorities.
  10. Receiving to giving – service.

As always, I leave you guys with a quotation.

It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership – Nelson Mandela

Pointers by Dominic Barton

Last week, I was a part of a rampant YouTube drive [my own creation], revving my knowledge on major business issues. It, not only, retrenched my intern work but also galvanized office bandwidth. It was a fun week as I was less saddle with onerous work. My drive shrouded by Dominic Barton and here are his pointers to the business world:

1) Center of gravity of world’s GDP is shifting back to Asia (North of India).
2) Technology is running at a jarring speed as compared to management.
3) China, Indonesia and India have copious investments opportunities.
4) Ethics among business executives is an obnubilate topic.
5) World is facing an adrift inequality (42% people in Spain are unemployed).
7) Need to shift focus from “Time” management to “Energy” management.
8) Agri-Food has a humongous business potential.
9) Businesses have to study consumer markets as cities not as countries.
10) Infrastructure is a solid motivation behind China’s GDP.
11) Issues related public, private and social sectors are now interconnected.

His advice to future leaders:

1) Take risks to learn resilience (one has to fail a lot to succeed).
2) Chuck out boring aspects of your personality (Be a story teller).
3) Coming days will be about “who leaders are” rather than “what leaders do”.
4) Leadership is about character (it is a muscle and can be build).
5) More successful people have more bad luck. Posturing should be avoided.
6) The more you give (without expecting to get back), the more you get.

Business, more than any other occupation, is a continual dealing with the future; it is a continual calculation, an instinctive exercise in foresight. – Henry R. Luce

“Rocket Science” behind Team Building [Part-3]

After, hiring and decentralization and coaching, one may argue that’s it. I hired, prepared teams and also coached my employees well for both good and worse times. I’m done with my part. I ask you! is he right to assume that his role is finished. Sadly, the answer is NO. There still one task left for him i.e. finding his successor; that is what we are gonna dig deep in this post.

Last brick in the wall: Finding your successor

I, recently read The curve of Talent, in which, Eric Paley, the writer, discusses about A, B, and C type of players in an organization; A being the most productive, basically the top dogs, B are good followers and C, the least productive. So, by common sense, finding a successor is a easy pick. One must put A on the hot seat! Isn’t it. Sadly, the answer again is straight NO. This step is similar to the hiring process [we discussed in the first part of this series], the only difference being that, it is a much broader and difficult task as here, we are looking for someone who could take the whole organization forward.

But, before jumping into the appreciable qualities of a successor, we must see why an organization needs a successor? Here are some of the reasons:

a) Age constraint: Though, with age every manager becomes more and more wise, the problem here is actually not his age but his energy management. Yes, you are reading me correctly. If you are at the top level of management, you have to deal with regular meetings, high-profile clients, fraud and sue cases, competition, so many freaking mails and not to mention your spouse and children. Thus, you have to be efficient in how you manage your energy. With time, of course, everyone face health issues. This calls for someone who is both young [relatively] and efficient to take everything and everyone forward.

b) New era of thinking: Different times, need different type of leaders. This fact perfectly explains the success gathered by the great American president Abraham Lincoln and British politician Winston Churchill. Sometimes, with experience one becomes more rigid and it becomes increasingly tough to bear new ideas. Even if that’s not the case, time and time again organization needs a new era, a new vigor, to shuffle up things around. Thus, the need of a new leader.

c) Not up to the mark/involvement in mal-practices: The former can be sorted out as even the most efficient people sometimes don’t perform to the level others expected of them due to a variety of reasons. But that doesn’t mean the organization should scapegoat them. Instead, everyone should help them out. If surroundings are getting more and more foggy with time, even after dealing with all the issues, then its the right time to look for a new candidate. As far as, mal-practices or wrong doings are concern, there is no room for a another chance. His/her employment should be terminated effective immediately [obviously, after looking into every aspect of his/her fraud].

Now, lets look into the appreciable qualities of a successor as I pointed out earlier:

a) Should be a people’s person.
b) Tough but fair [though sounds more like a filmy dialogue, but its a must].
c) A person who not only has seen success but a lot of failure too.
d) Broad knowledge, a lot of experience, empathy, humility, and conceptually strong.
e) Firm believer of his/her own thoughts and actions.
f) High level of commitment for the organization.
g) A person with highly effective time and energy management [as discussed earlier].

I may be a little off with the facts in this series but that’s what I believe. This completes my 3 posts series on “Rocket Science” behind Team Building, I hope you’ve enjoyed it thoroughly. I will leave you now with an inspirational thought:

I don’t need a successor, only willing hands to accept the torch for a new generation. – Billy Graham

 

Leadership

Change management and developing the right values/beliefs/tradition within a firm is and has been a challenge for all organizations out there. They may struggle to bring/encourage right leadership to achieve high economic and social goals. This makes me ponder: what qualities the leader should have/cultivate. Yes, it is not at all a new topic for discussion but in most of the blogs/websites, you will find random stuff which sometimes can be delusional. Therefore, here, I would first try to en-list the myths surrounding leadership and then will move onto the traits a modern-day leader should possess/cultivate.

a) MYTHS He/she should have/have to:

1) Strong physical personality: Most common and at the same time a debatable opinion. But leaders should be judged and valued on their ability to “inspire” people, and not on their physical personality(appearance). After-all, its not a “Boxing Arena” 

2) Bossy behavior: With 100% conviction, I could say only a foolish will follow this. People who are in this position or want to be, should try to control (if at all they are bossy) because if you don’t, you are dead (not literally but career-wise, yes)

3) Show favoritism: People, sometimes, do favor certain member(s) in their team unconsciously. And that’s okay. But one should learn to identify such trait as it can lead to unsatisfactory team results and many times sends a wrong message to others. Give equal chance to all and the one who deserves and is the best-fit for the position would eventually win in the end.

b) Favorable Traits to have/to cultivate:

1) Keep deadlines: Deadline is an effective mechanism by which you can keep a check on your and others’ work. It is a very powerful tool, if used to its potential. But what all one could learn by keeping a deadline history. Here are some benefits:

        a) Ek teer se do nishan:  By following deadlines, you (with some effort) can find your weak areas or the areas where you need assistance. One, without any second thought, should look for friend(s)/ acquaintance(s) who can help him in such areas. By doing so, not only you are saving your precious time but you also, will be able to focus more on your strengths (which will increase your productivity many folds) and in the meantime, would learn and improve your weaknesses by other’s input.

        b) Mann ki shanti:  If someone says to me that he doesn’t meet deadlines and yet, remains happy, then he is the most stupid being, you will ever find. Anyway, doing things on time, give not only eternal-peace but also boost your self-confidence. For example: In case you find yourself troubled and puzzled due to workplace stress (at first time around) and still manage to meet the deadline, then when you feel the same next time, you would already be knowing (from your past experience) that you can handle this. Thus you feel more relax and happy ever-after.

        c) Added Bonus: You would be bindaas and your life(and job)-expectancy may increase.

2) Indulge with your peers at personal level: We (including me) sometimes, tend to forget the importance of a relationship. Believe me, it works like wonder, infact, it is the real deal. More importantly, they will be your right and left hands. They will cheer you up when you are depressed, they will feel confident around you, they will follow you, believe you. And I think that’s best compliment for any person in a leadership role. Thus prevailing harmony all around.    

What I recommend:  The term “Leader” should not only be used for CEOs, COOs, CFOs, or Managers, to say the least. Instead, people should try to use/learn such qualities in/from their day-to-day routine. One must try to take leadership roles in his/her relationship with spouse, parents, children, brothers, sisters, peers, and friends, in order to lead a successful and contain life.

 Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes. – Peter Drucker