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Showing posts from September, 2011

Meeting Management: IPAD

In my earlier post on meeting management I wrote on how to keep meetings shorter and frequent to get the most out of meetings.  Shorter meetings bring a sense of urgency.  Remember people will work their butts off to ship a product on time.  In this post I want to talk on other aspects of how to get the most out of a meeting.  There are many issues related to it but I will just focus on three of them and they are very simple to remember.  
The principle is known as IPAD principle.  Ok.  Very simple just remember IPAD.  It is very simple.  IPAD means I will come to the meeting Prepared with an Agenda and leave with a Deliverable (read outcome).  These three aspects of meeting (Preparation, Agenda, and Deliverable) are very important if you want to get something productive out of a meeting.  So what do I stand for?  It stands for Responsibility.  It means I will be held responsible for not having these things done.  That is why I have written it as an Oath.  I feel that if these aspect…

On Creativity: For Whom Do We Really Work?

Money covers our eye, instinct, emotion and common sense most of the times.  Its domination prevents us from executing our art.  So for whom do we really work?  We spend most of the time in offices staying away from our loved ones and sometimes we get angry or upset with our family for a bad day at job.  After risking everything for whom do we really work for.  Is it your boss? The company? The Money?  No. You work for yourself.  You work for your happiness.  You work for your joy.  If you aren't happy working for yourself then it's not going to produce great work.  It is not going to be a master piece.

Check this video by Marian Bantjes titled, "Intricate beauty by design" on TED.com  In the video she talks about taking a more personal approach in graphic design her art got better.  In art and I believe in almost everything we should keep our egos out.  Marian examines if her work brings to her joy or not.  Let me tell  you a personal story related to Art.  Back i…

Working Backwards

Did you knew that Amazon internally approaches a product from the consumers' perspective first and works their way backwards?  What does that mean? OK. They first write a press release of their product and then they grill down on each and every aspect of the product by asking questions and answering them.  That Q&A stuff gets built into what is known as FAQ section of their product.  Before even starting work on the actual product they have worked on press release, frequently asked questions, user manual, and customer experience. All the questions that people would ask and would be confused about are tackled internally first by the team.  This way they are on track to deliver the most engaging and simplistic consumer friendly products. 

Everyone should approach consumer products or service in a similar fashion.  Recently Steve Jobs resigned as CEO of Apple and lots of comments were made online on various websites regarding his leadership.  He is and will always be a great lea…

On Vision: Multiply Your Efforts By "N" Times

Leadership is about steering like minded people to achieve a common goal, a shared vision, mission or solve a problem.  A project leader might have like minded construction workers who will build something as he says.  His job would be to steer them so that project achieves what it promised to achieve on scheduled time.

How can a leader have everyone agree to a common goal? A leader can create a compelling shared vision that everyone strives to achieve.  A vision that is created in isolation inside board room without public participation will not go too far.  Sometimes leader's persona is enough to have everyone agree his/her vision (Remember Steve Jobs?).  But that is not the case always. 

If you keep telling people about your vision or what you believe in continuously then ultimately you will have people around you who think like you and now instead one person working, now you have n number of people working for your vision.  Again if people in your company or team agrees…

You Are Only Smart And Capable As Your Tribe

Tribal leadership is the book one should read no matter if you are a leader or not. One of the coaching tips offered by the book is deserves to be framed and should be placed on everyone's wall. Here it goes.

Coaching Tip:
The central theme of the book is that you are only smart and capable as your tribe, and by upgrading your tribe you multiply the results of your efforts.
If you think you don't have a great team or you are not satisfied with your results then change your tribe. Or if you think in the future you will be faxing with bigger problems then you have to start thinking ahead regarding upgrading your tribe. As the book further mentions, "What kinds of triads will help us spot and fix problems so big that we can't even think of?"

Why people switch careers? Why people make a move to choose to work for a startup? People want to work with a team or tribe that will be able solve a problem.   People want to be a part of that tribe.

Networking Tip: Everyone Is In The Same Boat

If you ever went to a Networking event and felt that you are a bit shy to talk to people then don't think that way.

I went to a conference and met some people. Earlier that day I was sitting at one place, not talking to people other then very next to me. I asked one gentleman sitting next to me, "what should I ask people and I am unsure as to how others would react and so on".  He said one nice thing to me, "Don't think too much, everyone here is in the same boat. And everyone wants to make a contact with people here. And that is the reason everyone came here. So don't think. Just start talking."

After some time I realized that I don't have anything to loose to get started so let's talk.
So don't think too much, get started. And always try to finish with the sentence, "let's see how can we help each other".

You Can Do It

Have you heard about the story of a tree where the tree gets destroyed?  You may or may not believe it but it has practical implications in our life, so its worth a mention.

Once upon a time there was a tree and a guy named Joe. He used to cruse the tree everyday because it didn't gave him any fruits.  He cursed the tree so much that one day the tree died. The moral of the story is equally true is you take it in a positive way. If everyone around you just said that you can do it then one day you will definitely get it.

I am blessed for having such people around me all the time in my life.  Eventually you too start to be like those people. You will tell everyone that yes you can get it. Imagine how much it can boost the moral of an entire team working on a project.

To stay happy it is very important to surround yourself by happiest people in your life. Those people will encourage you, motivate you and will always say, "You can get it".  And you need an equal num…

Mentoring Women

This is a very challenging topic to write leaving my male ego apart.  However, over these many years I have grown to respect women from all parts of my life even more.  People close to me would agree to it.  Men respect women and they do want to see them reach higher in life.  But sometimes they don't offer enough mentoring required for women to get excited and motivated.  From a husband's point of view, who wouldn't mind seeing his wife succeed in life?  Why wouldn't he mentor her?  He should mentor her enough so that she achieves what she aspires for.  And if I am right most men would do so.  That is not the problem.

The problem starts when you have to mentor another woman which is not your wife or sister or girlfriend.  What if she is a co-worker in your office?  Or some woman or a girl junior to you at your job or your university?  Will there be same level of mentoring?  This is a very tricky pothole in which people fall often to distant themselves from such kind…