Did You Know The Shocking Truth Of Successful Entrepreneurs?

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Successful Entrepreneurs don’t take risks.

Yes, you read correctly. They infact go to lengths to reduce risks.

I was shocked too when I read this article by Malcolm Gladwell (Best Selling Author of Outliers, Tipping Point, David vs Goliath) -> http://bit.ly/XHVvNO

Gladwell makes a persuasive case through couple of high profile examples like Ted Turner and John Paulson (Big Short Fame) of how they intentionally keep the risks lower so that they increase the chances of their success. He goes on to overturn commonly held beliefs around risk and their downsides.

The article persuaded me. Here’s four reasons why?

Continue reading “Did You Know The Shocking Truth Of Successful Entrepreneurs?”

8 Warning Signs That Your Boss Will Fire You

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Nobody likes to be fired.

But the new millennium has shown that the chances of being fired from a job have increased.

So what are the signs that you could be the next?

  1. Your boss tells you that you are distracted and not focused

Once in a while, your boss comes over to your cubicle and while chatting tells you that “John, nowadays I find you very distracted, not focused on your job”. While you are busy trying to turn over the monitor so that he can’t see your Facebook comments, he was actually laying down the ground for the further discussion which is going to come up.

  1. Every time you talk with your Boss he tells you how unhappy he is with your performance

You are doing a review of a recent assignment or have gone to him with a proposal. He gives his assessment but follows up with “Off late, I am unhappy with your performance. We had agreed on some clear deliverables and you are behind. John, you need to pull up your socks”. He stresses on the words “unhappy” and “performance”. He is making sure that you register that your performance is being evaluated.

  1. Your HR person has started talking to you

Generally your HR knows you as “employee code A321” but now, over the past one month, someone from HR has started talking to you and asking probing questions on “how do you find your work?” “How do you handle criticisms?” “How are you improving your performance?” “How do you keep on top of your assignments?” If this is done with everyone, then, it is different matter. But, if you find you are the only one or only one among a very few, then it is a sign that the HR department is making its own assessment.

  1. Key projects and assignments are going to someone else

In the past, Key projects were given out democratically or you were one of the few who were considered. Now none are coming your way. Even when you are best qualified or best experienced. This happens multiple number of times. When asked you are told “You were considered but looking at all factors we decided to give to Debra”. The organization is preparing itself and training other people so that when time comes, they will handle your exit.

  1. You are getting a mid-year appraisal when that is not the norm

Your boss calls you over or schedules a mid-year review when that is not the norm. There could even be a HR person in the room “for quality monitoring purposes” Both of them look very keenly at your answers. In fact, your boss was never so attentive in your appraisals before. You are carefully asked to explain what actions you took and why you did it. You are asked leading questions like “Did you consider collaborating with ….?” “What policy rules did you apply …?” “How did you make sure your performance was to the desired standards as prescribed in …?”  They are building a case so that when the termination case is made, they can cite the “self-confession” you made.

  1. A senior executive in the organization who cares for you tells you to “Look Out”

There is always someone in senior leadership or in Exec Team who must like you. (If not, get yourself noticed). He would have a wind of what is coming. In an informal place probably in office party or an event, he strikes a casual conversation with you and says “John, nothing in this world is permanent. It is ever changing. You must keep your options open. Gone are the days when people used to retire in their companies. So, look out. Nothing to be done in haste. I am not asking you to leave the company, quite the contrary. But you know, keep options open”. What he is actually telling you is “I have been in a meeting where it has been decided to fire you. I can’t rat on the organization but I like you, so I am giving you a hint. Hope you are smart enough to get it”

  1. Your boss reminds you of an opportunity in the past you did not take up

In your journey of one year or ten years, you must have passed up a career move which the organization wanted you to take. The more the number of years, the more such opportunities. Off late your boss brings this up in the middle of an unconnected conversation “We need to close this sales number soon and it requires you to really step up your game. Get Marketing to give you a campaign soon. John, if only you had taken that stint in designing Performance standards seriously, you would not be in such a situation” The case is being prepared that the organization had given you all the opportunities to improve your game but you did not take them.

  1. Your discussion on your career path does not happen

You have been pressing for this discussion for past one year or six months on what are the next steps for you in the organization but nothing is moving. Your boss is stonewalling it by saying “We will discuss when the time is appropriate”. When you have approached the HR they have said “Talk to your boss” The situation is: the organization has no plans for you.

All of the above taken together is pointing to one door. Your Exit.

Take action. Engage with your boss and step up if you want to remain in the organization. Or start writing your resume, if you want to exit too.

Why you need to hire the Hare now and not the tortoise?

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Do you know the famous tortoise and the hare story? How did that turn out? We all know the Tortoise won. So why should you hire a hare?

Hare, tortoise! What is the relevance to your business?

Speed is the essence in the millennium. What we need are people who think agile, act agile.

Between a thinker and a person with bias for action, I will choose bias for action.

Why so? Disruption is everywhere. There is technological disruption. There is business model disruption: somewhere out there is a young guy writing an App which will substantially speed up the business, cut traditional layers and remove the cost of discovering solutions for the customers. Then there is the demographic disruption: Millennials move fast, act fast.

Whether you like it or not, you need to hire people who have agility. People who are willing to speed up your product or service delivery. Your customers will absolutely love it if you deliver faster than last month and last year. Your business will love it if profits come faster than last month and last year. Your employees will love it if business grows faster than last month and last year.

If you hire a tortoise, chances of his becoming a hare is rather low. There will be enough tortoises in the organization who will balance the need for speed with making sure that the hare is running in the right direction.

So, hire the Hare.

Would you agree?

 

Do you behave like an owner of your business?

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You are the leader of the business and the team and hence, you obviously own the results. And everything which happens between now and the results. But does your team own the business?

Why does this matter?

Are your employees coming to the office just to collect the paycheck? Then there is a serious problem. If the job, for them, means a vehicle to get a “bigger” or “better paying” job somewhere else, then, there is a problem. When someone says “I just follow instructions. If something goes wrong, it’s my boss’ problem” there is a serious problem.

When you own the business as if it is your own, you don’t wait for instructions. You are always on the lookout for opportunities. You will always want to be one step ahead of the competition.

Continue reading “Do you behave like an owner of your business?”

How to dominate the competition?

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Speed is the number one competitive advantage you need to have for a successful business.

If you don’t have it, develop it or perish.

We all have heard the story of hare and the tortoise. What is needed in today’s times is the persistence of the tortoise and the speed of the hare. Grant Cordone in his book 10X Rule calls it “Smokey”

Speed is the number one competitive advantage you need to have for a successful business Click To Tweet

In today’s connected and hyperactive world, you have to be one step ahead of the competition. The only way to do that is Speed.

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How do you develop a testing mindset?

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testing mindset team meetingIn my last post, I talked about developing a testing mindset.

The idea is to approach a new idea as a testing ground.

Whether it is a new distribution strategy or a new pilot production line or a new campaign, you want your team to approach it as a test or hypothesis.

Why? This helps them focus on the process goals rather than outcome goal.

The first step is the concept of a meeting itself. What is a successful meeting? What is a failed meeting?

We all know what a failed meeting feels like: energies are down, tempers are up, it seems like a waste of time.

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Why you need a testing mindset?

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We all know the storyTesting mindset of Thomas Edison and how he made 1000 trials before he got it right and made the light bulb. Once a journalist asked him “what do you have to say about the 999 times you failed? Edison answered, “I learnt 999 ways Not to make a lightbulb.”

We know that Edison was a very shrewd businessman too.

What does this example mean to you?

For me, it shows the importance of a testing mindset. It shows the need to accept failures as a learning ground.

What happens if we don’t? A board room turns into a contest of blames rather than a hotbed of ideas.

What is a testing mindset?

Continue reading “Why you need a testing mindset?”

Do One Thing

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“If a thing is worth doing, then it is worth doing well.”

If a thing is worth doing, then it is worth doing well. Click To Tweet

We often hear this. Then, why is it that, when it comes to our business we tend to get scattered?

Have you walked out of a meeting where a ton of initiatives have been thrown, all exciting, project maps worked out and you are all fired up? 6 months later, you find you are nowhere and all the initiatives are only taking time and not making any money?

I have been in a major initiative where there were 42 initiatives running at the same time. Yes 42! I still remember the painful meeting reviews where nothing was progressing and everyone’s nerves were frayed. Only pet projects were moving and the impact of those on business was still debatable.

I was high strung, as so much time was invested and very little was achieved.

Against this, I remember we were in the midst of transition of a Free to Air Television to a subscription channel. It was a mammoth project involving satellites, people on the ground, advertisers, the works. But, since the objective was only one, all the moving parts were clearly aligned to one objective. And if they were not, they were ruthlessly weeded out.

The Lesson is very clear: Do one thing but do it very well.

Having one initiative at a time, makes sure that all the parts in the organization are focused on delivering it. Remember for a lot of people this itself is extra work. For the production or service delivery guy or sales guy on the ground, this is one more item he needs to finish every day. All this within the same time available and with no respite on the daily deliverables.

Having one project makes sure that to each and every person, you are delivering only one message. This helps every one know what is most important to you and to the business.

It brings in speed and ruthless efficiency. It acts as a building block to the organization on which future success is built.

Do one thing but do it really well Click To Tweet

What action do you need to take to bring this focus? What would stop you to bring this focus?

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