Archive for March, 2009


By Colin Powel

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Colin Powel

1. By treating everyone equally “nicely” regardless of their contributions, you’ll simply ensure that the only people you’ll wind up angering are the most creative and productive people in the organization.

2. Real leaders make themselves accessible and available.

3. Experts often possess more data than judgment. Policies that emanate from ivory towers often have an adverse impact on the people out in the field who are fighting the wars or bringing in the revenues. Real leaders are vigilant – and combative – in the face of these trends.

4. Don’t be afraid to challenge the pros, even in their own backyard. If you have a yes-man working for you, one of you is redundant.

5. Never neglect details. When everyone’s mind is dulled or distracted the leader must be doubly vigilant. Good leaders delegate and empower others liberally, but they pay attention to details, every day. The job of the leader is not to be the chief organizer, but the chief disorganizer.

6. You don’t know what you can get away with until you try. Good leaders don’t wait for official blessing to try out. If you ask enough people for permission, you inevitably come up against someone who believes his job is to say “no”. So, the moral is, don’t ask.

7. Keep looking below surface appearances. Don’t shrink from doing so just because you might not like what you find.

8. Organization doesn’t really accomplish anything. Plans don’t accomplish anything, either. Theories of management don’t much matter. Endeavors succeed or fail because of the people involved. Only by attracting the best people will you accomplish great deeds.

9. Organization charts and fancy titles count for next to nothing. In well-run organizations, titles are also pretty meaningless. But titles mean little in terms of real power, which is the capacity to influence and inspire.

10. The most important question in performance evaluation becomes not “How well did you perform your job since the last time we met?” but “How much did you change it?”

11. Leaders honor their core values, but they are flexible in how they execute them.

12. Perpetual optimism is a force of multiplier. Leaders who whine and blame engender those same behaviors among their colleagues.

13. You can train a bright, willing novice in the fundamentals of your business fairly readily, but it’s a lot harder to train someone to have integrity, judgment, energy, balance and the drive to get things done. Good leaders stack the deck in their favor right in the recruitment phase.

14. Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate and doubt, to offer a solution everybody can understand. The result? Clarity of purpose, credibility of leadership, and integrity of organization.

15. Once the information is in the 40 to 70 range, go with your gut. Don’t wait until you have enough facts to be 100% sure, because by then it is almost always too late.

16. Shift the power and the financial accountability to the folks who are bringing in the beans, not the ones who are counting or analyzing them.

17. Surround yourself with people who take their work seriously, but not themselves, those who work hard and play hard.

18. Command is lonely. You can encourage participate management and bottom-up employee involvement but ultimately, the essence of leadership is the willingness to make the tough, unambiguous choices that will have an impact of the fate of the organization.

SWOT Analysis

Posted: March 28, 2009 in General

Strengths – Weaknesses – Opportunities – Threats (SWOT)

Answer the following questions in each category. than think of additional SWOT statements specific to you and your business.

To gain an even broader picture, once you complete the SWOT Analysis, run through it again as though you are one of your competitors. Obviously, you will have less inside information on this perspective, but flipping the point of view to another business owner with a different set of apparent strengths and weaknesses might give you some interesting insights.

Keep your answers short, simple, specific, and realistic.

Strengths

  • What is your strongest business asset?
  • Do you consider your team strong? Why?
  • What do you offer that makes you stand out from the rest?
  • What unique resources do you have?
  • Do you have any specific marketing expertise?
  • Do you have a broad customer base?
  • Additional strengths

Weaknesses

  • What can be improved?
  • In what areas do your competitors have the edge?
  • What necessary expertise / manpower do you currently lack?
  • Do you have cash flow problems?
  • Are you relying primarily on just a few clients or customers?
  • Additional weaknesses

Opportunities

  • What trends do you see in your industry?
  • What trends do you foresee?
  • What trends might impact your industry?
  • What external changes present interesting opportunities?
  • What have you seen in the news recently that might present an opportunity?
  • Additional opportunities

Threats

  • What obstacles do you face?
  • What is the competition doing that you’re not?
  • What challenges can be turned into opportunities?
  • Are external economic forces affecting your bottom line?
  • Additional threats

Did you consider…?

The following might be strengths or weaknesses for you. If you have not included them in your SWOT Analysis, consider if – and where – they should be added: location; web presence; company image; quality; service; pricing.

The following are additional items to consider, if you haven’t, as potential opportunities or threats: price wars; technology shifts; mergers (your or a competitor’s merger opportunities, plans, or progress); joint ventures (your or a competitor’s joint venture opportunities, plans, or progress)


Steve Jobs’ 12 Rules of Success

1. Do what you love to do. Find your true passion. Do what you love to do a make a difference! The only way to do great work is to love what you do.
2. Be different. Think different. “Better be a pirate than to join the navy.”

3. Do your best. Do your best at every job. No sleep! Success generates more success. So be hungry for it. Hire good people with passion for excellence.

4. Make SWOT analysis. As soon as you join/start a company, make a list of strengths and weaknesses of yourself and your company on a piece of paper. Don’t hesitate in throwing bad apples out of the company.

5. Be entrepreneurial. Look for the next big thing. Find a set of ideas that need to be quickly and decisively acted upon and jump through that window. Sometimes the first step is the hardest one. Just take it! Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.

6. Start small, think big. Don’t worry about too many things at once. Take a handful of simple things to begin with, and then progress to more complex ones. Think about not just tomorrow, but the future. “I want to put a ding in the universe,” reveal Steve Jobs his dream.

7. Strive to become a market leader. Own and control the primary technology in everything you do. If there’s a better technology available, use it no matter if anyone else is not using it. Be the first, and make it an industry standard.

8. Focus on the outcome. People judge you by your performance, so focus on the outcome. Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected. Advertise. If they don’t know it, they won’t buy your product. Pay attention to design. “We made the buttons on the screen look so good you’ll want to lick them.” “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”

9. Ask for feedback. Ask for feedback from people with diverse backgrounds. Each one will tell you one useful thing. If you’re at the top of the chain, sometimes people won’t give you honest feedback because they’re afraid. In this case, disguise yourself, or get feedback from other sources. Focus on those who will use your product – listen to your customers first.

10. Innovate. Innovation distinguishes a leader from a follower. Delegate, let othertop executives do 50% of your routine work to be able to spend 50% your time on the new stuff. Say no to 1,000 things to make sure you don’t get on the wrong track or try to do too much. Concentrate on really important creations and radical innovation. Hire people who want to make the best things in the world. You need a very product-oriented culture, even in a technology company. Lots of companies have tons of great engineers and smart people. But ultimately, there needs to be some gravitational force that pulls it all together.

11. Learn from failures. Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.

12. Learn continually. There’s always “one more thing” to learn! Cross-pollinate ideas with others both within and outside your company. Learn from customers,competitors and partners. If you partner with someone whom you don’t like, learn to like them – praise them and benefit from them. Learn to criticize your enemies openly, but honestly.

Grow wise, not just Old

Posted: March 22, 2009 in General

Warren Buffets tips to beat the recession:

Read his own words:

We begin this New Year with dampened enthusiasm and dented optimism. Our happiness is diluted and our peace is threatened by the financial illness that has infected our families, organisations and nations. Everyone is desperate to find a remedy that will cure their financial illness and help them recover their financial health. They expect the financial experts to provide them with remedies, forgetting the fact that it is these experts who created this financial mess. Every new year, I adopt a couple of old maxims as my beacons to guide my future. This self-prescribed therapy has ensured that with each passing year, I grow wiser and not older. This year, I invite you to tap into the financial wisdom of our elders along with me, and become financially wiser.

Spending: If you buy things you don’t need, you’ll soon sell things you need.

Savings: Don’t save what is left after spending; spend what is left after saving.

Hard work: All hard work brings profit; but mere talk leads only to poverty.

Laziness: A sleeping lobster is carried away by the water current.

Earnings: Never depend on a single source of income.

Borrowings: The borrower becomes the lender’s slave.

Accounting: It’s no use carrying an umbrella, if your shoes are leaking.

Auditing: Beware of little expenses; a small leak can sink a large ship.

Risk-taking: Never test the depth of the river with both feet.

Investment: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

I’m certain that those who have already been practicing these principles remain financially healthy. I’m equally confident that those who resolve to start practicing these principles will quickly regain their financial health. Let us become wiser and lead a happy, healthy, prosperous and peaceful life.