July 30, 2012
By Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic in Harvard Business Review Blog Network Article
“… extremely low confidence is not helpful: it inhibits performance by inducing fear, worry, and stress, which may drive people to give up sooner or later. But just-low-enough confidence can help you recalibrate your goals so they are (a) more realistic and (b) attainable. … If your confidence is low, rather than extremely low, you stand a better chance of succeeding than if you have high self-confidence. There are three main reasons for this:
- Lower self-confidence makes you pay attention to negative feedback and be self-critical:Most people get trapped in their optimistic biases, so they tend to listen to positive feedback and ignore negative feedback. …
- Lower self-confidence can motivate you to work harder and prepare more: If you are serious about your goals, you will have more incentive to work hard when you lack confidence in your abilities. In fact, low confidence is only demotivating when you are not serious about your goals.
- Lower self-confidence reduces the chances of coming across as arrogant or being deluded. … the consequences of hubris are now beyond debate. According to Gallup, over 60% of employees either dislike or hate their jobs, and the most common reason is that they have narcissistic bosses.
… people with low self-confidence are more likely to admit their mistakes — instead of blaming others — and rarely take credit for others’ accomplishments. This is arguably the most important benefit of low self-confidence because it points to the fact that low self-confidence can bring success, not just to individuals but also to organizations and society.”
July 30, 2012
From Business Ethics and Leadership Source
“If you don’t have integrity, you have nothing. You can’t buy it. You can have all the money in the world, but if you are not a moral and ethical person, you really have nothing.” – Henry Kravis
July 30, 2012
By Pascal Dennis on Lean Pathways Article
“Like most people, I went to business and engineering school with the best intentions – get a better job, learn interesting stuff, become a better manager and so on. But we pick up more than we bargain for – including dysfunctional mental models, which I’ve written about at length. We begin to believe that, because we are so smart and well-educated, we can manage from a distance. And the corollaries:
- What can front line workers possible teach us?
- Improvement means head office INITIATIVES dreamed up by people — just like us!
Result? Endless INITIATIVES stream out of head office. They crowd out real work and often crush our managers and team members. Everywhere, I see good people struggling under the weight of actual work plus the funny work head office insists on. Executives are like crows – they like shiny things. …
At our old Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada plant – we never had INITIATIVES. We had tough performance targets set through Strategy Deployment, and the expectation that we’d figure out root causes & countermeasures. Result: we focused entirely on making the day’s production and improving our management system. We were free to balance continuous improvement with breakthrough. We owned our management system.”
July 30, 2012
By Eduardo Porter in New York Times Article
“Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the Libor scandal is how familiar it seems. Sure, for some of the world’s leading banks to try to manipulate one of the most important interest rates in contemporary finance is clearly egregious. But is that worse than packaging billions of dollars worth of dubious mortgages into a bond and having it stamped with a Triple-A rating to sell to some dupe down the road while betting against it? Or how about forging documents on an industrial scale to foreclose fraudulently on countless homeowners? …
Trust in big business overall is declining. Sixty-two percent of Americans believe corruption is widespread across corporate America. According to Transparency International, an anticorruption watchdog, nearly three in four Americans believe that corruption has increased over the last three years.
We should be alarmed that corporate wrongdoing has come to be seen as such a routine occurrence. Capitalism cannot function without trust. As the Nobel laureate Kenneth Arrow observed, “Virtually every commercial transaction has within itself an element of trust.””
July 30, 2012
By John Jantsch in Duct Tape Marketing Article
“I attended a meeting the other day and before we got down to the business of the agenda the leader asked us each to reflect on one thing in business and one thing personally that we were really excited about. … What I observed gave me reason to believe every meeting I ever conduct should start this way – all hands meetings, one on one meetings, project meetings, planning meetings, even meetings with outside vendors and suppliers.
Here are a few reasons why:
- You could physically feel the energy in the room lift as each individual shared something positive
- Everyone in the room became centered – yesterday and the last email were put away
- The meeting was immediately collaborative
- I deepened my relationship personally with each attendee
- I learned more about each professionally than I had in a year
I think the rush to get on with on it keeps us from understanding each other. With understanding comes empathy, compassion, knowledge and perspective – and from these things we are all better prepared to work with each other.”
July 30, 2012
By Washingtons Blog Article
Many Other Core Economic Figures Manipulated As Well
“[Bank of England executive] Paul Tucker told MPs that Barclays’ abuse of the Libor system may be only one part of the banks’ dishonesty over crucial financial information, suggesting that other markets should now be investigated. An official inquiry into Libor – which helps determine interest rates for householders and businesses – should be broadened to include several over markets where banks are trusted to report their own data, he said. …
The Libor scandal could be repeated in a number of other “self-certifying” markets where prices are determined, he said. “Self-certification is clearly open to abuse, so this could occur elsewhere,” he said. A Financial Services Authority inquiry into Libor should be extended to other self-certifying markets, he said. …
An expansion of the FSA review could take in a number of other interest-rate-related data as well as some complex financial instruments measuring the difference between banks’ borrowing costs and that of the US government. [i.e. the Ted spread]. Some markets in gold and oil are also based on self-certification.
Mainstream commentators are starting to publicly discuss manipulation in the precious metals markets. See this, this and this.”"
July 23, 2012
By Dan Rockwell at Leadership Freak Article
“Young leaders focus on themselves too much. They mistakenly believe success depends on them rather than others. They think about their own potential and neglect the potential of others.
Small dreams are reached alone.
Great dreams require others.
Young leaders limit themselves by sinking into themselves. Shifting from success to significance makes great dreams possible.
Other mistakes young leaders make:
- Reluctance to lead. (Frequently a belief issue)
- Assuming dissent is resistance.
- Making impulsive decisions without doing their homework.
- Hiding ignorance.
- Not asking.
- Being arrogant.
- Assuming collaboration just happens.
- Acting independently.
July 23, 2012
By Al Norva at Lean Pathways Article
Value Added vs. People Being Valuable
“A big part of Lean is observing the work that people do and breaking it down into three categories:
- value added work,
- non-value added work
- necessary non-value added work
When teams go through this exercise, people are always amazed at how small a percentage of their time is actually spent doing value added work. For knowledge workers in an office environment, it could be 15-20% of their time is spent doing value added work. For a product moving through a value stream, the amount of time spent on value added activity is often less than 1% of the total lead time for the product. …
It’s often a shock to people when they learn that 80% of their work is non-value added. Many times they assume we are saying they are non-value added and react accordingly often with anger and indignation. On the contrary, we aren’t saying the people are non-value added, we are saying much of the work they do is non-value added. The people themselves are still valuable team members. We need to separate the people from the work they do. …
When this happens, I always fall back on the pillars of Lean and talk about how Lean is built on Respect for Humanity. Lean is very respectful of people and so sees it as dis-respectful to ask people to do work that is full of waste.”
July 23, 2012
By Mike Myatt, Chief Strategy Officer,N2growth Article
“While many a consultant, author and trainer have made personal fortunes teaching the finer points of negotiation, it is my belief they have accomplished little more than to create legions of inept business people who view themselves as being much more savvy than they actually are. If you’re truly interested in becoming more sophisticated and effective in your approach to reaching an agreement, then I would suggest you replace your tendencies to negotiate with something more substantive …
If you find yourself negotiating you are likely doing little more than posturing, spinning, manipulating, being slick, and perhaps even deceitful. Negotiation by its nature is a zero-sum game (my gain is your loss). In other words, the goal at the outset of a negotiation is to benefit from someone else’s loss, which should be an unacceptable premise for doing business. …
Win-Win Scenarios Do Exist – But Only If You Look for Them
Sure, there are those who say “win-win” scenarios are altruistic fantasies that don’t exist, but I’m here to tell you all good agreements are in fact win-win scenarios. Negotiation is adversarial, and savvy leaders focus on expanding relationships and spheres of influence, not shrinking them by creating enemies. When you’ve concluded an agreement with someone, wouldn’t it be better to have them be excited about doing business with you again, as opposed to spending hours in reflective thought regretting the day they met you?”
July 23, 2012
By Terry L. Mathis, founder and CEO, ProAct Safety | IndustryWeek Article
“There is no denying that we have learned a lot about performance management from B.F. Skinner. His experiments, and the work of those who followed him, gave us an insight into how to change behavior. We started to think of behavior as having a reason or influence, and we began to understand how certain environmental and organizational factors could either encourage (reinforce) that behavior or discourage (punish) it. This thinking has impacted everything from corporate communications and organizational design to motivational strategies, such as rewards and incentives. The only initial criticism of Skinner was that many of his experiments were conducted on animals rather than humans. …
So what does this mean for us, the managers and leaders of organizations? It means that we must re-examine our thinking about the role of human beings in our organizations and determine if we can effectively manage them with the animal science we have been using. If we are still using humans as cogs in a machine, as we were taught to do by Frederick W. Taylor during the Progressive Era, the answer may still be “Yes.” However, if we want our cogs to think, the answer is a resounding “No!”
The dichotomy may be a simple one: when we want people to perform simple (animal-like) tasks which require only compliance behaviors, we can use the traditional management tools including rewards and incentives. However, if we want people to do creative or organizational thinking to direct their tasks, we need to re-examine how to best make this happen. It is important to remember that the new discoveries don’t just suggest that traditional rewards don’t increase cognitive tasks, they actually diminish them. This is not a simple matter of being ineffective. These approaches are highly detrimental!”
July 23, 2012
“An architect, an artist and an engineer were discussing whether it was better to spend time with the wife or a mistress.
The architect said he enjoyed time with his wife, building a solid foundation for an enduring relationship.
The artist said he enjoyed time with his mistress, because of the passion and mystery he found there.
The engineer said, “I like both.”
Engineer: “Yeah. If you have a wife and a mistress, they will each assume you are spending time with the other woman, and you can go to the lab and get some work done.””
July 16, 2012
By Barry Ritholtz Article
Top 10 Investor Errors: Cognitive Error
“These are the errors that are inherent in our wetware – namely, the way your brain has evolved over the millenia. Suffice it to say that capital risk decision-making was not a big issue on the Serengeti plains. On the other hand, avoiding getting eaten by lions was.
Hence, Humans have a number of unfortunate tendencies as a result. These tend to get in our way when it comes to investing:
• We see patterns where none exist;
• We have difficulty conceptualizing long arcs of time;
• We selectively perceive what agrees with our pre-existing expectations, and ignore things that disagree with our beliefs.
• We tend to forget our losers and over-emphasize our winners.
• Our inherent optimism bias turns out to be hard-wired as well — our brains are better at processing good news about the future than bad.
• We actually get a greater thrill from the anticipation of a financial reward than the actual reward itself. (Think what this means in terms of Buy the Rumor, Sell the News)
• We seek stimulus for the dopamine high — regardless of how. Whether you are a Gambler, Alcoholic, Sex Addict, Shopaholic, or Hyper-Active Trader — its all the same buzz.
• Story-telling is how Humans evolved to share information (Pre-writing). Thus, we are vulnerable to anecdotes that mislead or present false conclusions unsupported by data.
In short, we simply are not wired for the required risk analysis inherent in investing.”
July 16, 2012
Business Ethics and Leadership Blog by Michael Josephson Article
“There are three levels of ethical issues in business.
Compliance: At the base level, ethics in business is directly associated with compliance – the legal and moral obligation to abide by the law. Illegal conduct subjects the wrongdoer to criminal and civil actions that often result in resource-draining and reputation damaging accusations. …
Lawful but Awful. The second level of ethics deals with professional or business conduct that is technically lawful but ethically questionable or clearly improper. An act is not ethical simply because it is lawful nor is it proper simply because it is permissible.Though many situations arise where there is not no clear-cut right or wrong answer (e.g., situations where the moral duty of candor may impose a duty to be more forthright and frank than is legally required) guidance can be found in professional ethical norms and core moral values like honesty, respect, fairness and responsibility. …
Moral integrity. The final level of ethics deals with personal and corporate values and the concept of moral integrity. Thus, every company has the prerogative to define its character by the criteria it uses in determining whether to accept or fire a client and whether to retain or release a highly productive employee who does not consistently abide by the organizations stated values. This final dimension of ethics is grounded in the self-image of a company and its stated aspirations to put ethics above expediency.”
July 16, 2012
Harvard Business School Working Knowledge Blog by James Heskett Article
“Revered management thought-leaders such as Chris Argyris and the late W. Edwards Deming argued years ago that trust is an essential condition for good performance. Trust is an issue on the minds of many people these days. A good portion of the daily news centers around the lack of trust with which leaders are viewed by their followers. …
For example, only 30 percent to 69 percent of employees agreed with the statement, “In my office, management is trusted,” in the organizations I studied. That strikes me as a pretty wide and low range of levels of agreement. The numbers coincided with the financial performance of each organization, by the way. …
If these hypotheses regarding trust in organizations are anywhere near the mark, it suggests that building trust is not rocket science. It should be pretty simple, in fact. Don’t create expectations that can’t be met; share knowledge; hire, recognize, and fire the right people; be consistent and predictable; and avoid large-scale layoffs as much as possible.”
July 16, 2012
“There’s something about the idea of doubling one’s money on an investment that intrigues most investors. It’s a badge of honor dragged out at cocktail parties, a promise made by over-zealous advisors, and a headline that frequents the cover of some of the most popular personal finance magazines. Where this fixation comes from is anyone’s guess.
Perhaps it comes from deep in our investor psychology – that risk-taking part of us that loves the quick buck. Or maybe it’s simply the aesthetic side of us that prefers round numbers – saying you’re “up 97%” doesn’t quite roll off the tongue like “I doubled my money.” Fortunately, doubling your money is both a realistic goal that investors should always be moving toward, as well as something that can lure many people into impulsive investing mistakes. Here we look at the right and wrong way to invest for big returns.”
July 16, 2012
Leadership Freak Blog by Dan Rockwell Article
“Suggestions for taking criticism like a pro:
- Make it easy for your boss to criticize you. Most bosses don’t enjoy giving negative feedback. Welcome their insights. Assume they have positive intentions until proven otherwise.
- Gratitude is your first, planned response. “Thanks for saying that,” reflects confidence in yourself and respect for them.
- Avoid immediate push back. Pushing back, on the other hand, calls others to push back harder. It’s adversarial.
- Chill out. If you feel emotional, say, “This is hard for me to hear. Do you mind if a take some time to reflect? I’ll get back to you this afternoon.”
- Make few statements.
- Jot it down. Grab some paper and write it down in your own words. Writing is thinking. Show them and ask, “Do you think I understand what you’re saying?”
- Translate negative criticisms into positive behaviors. “I see you want me to _____ (fill in with observable actions).” Is that right?”
- Ask, “How will you know when I make improvements?”
An alternative: ….”
July 9, 2012
SmartBlog on Leadership Article
“Employees complain in engagement surveys that their bosses don’t treat them with respect or as unique individuals. Yet on the flip side, research shows that bosses who treat people with kindness, respect and dignity are “seen as less powerful than other managers.”
What a dreadful paradox: We want to be treated with kindness yet don’t respect those who do so. What’s up with this?
In the workplace, kindness — being friendly, generous and considerate — is often dismissed as a weakness because of the negative stereotypes that cling to it: pushover, sucker, patsy or nice guy (or gal) who finishes last. Kindness isn’t typically rewarded at review time, given that most business performance is evaluated on what’s done rather than how it’s done.
Soft skills such as kindness lose their sizzle (if they ever had any) when compared with off-the-charts sales and other impressive bottom-line impacts delivered by the tough guys whose bad behavior often gets overlooked. …
So how does a character-based leader who wants to treat employees with dignity escape the paradox of the kindness hamster wheel? ….”
July 9, 2012
Up and Running Blog Article
“In order to run a business in the service industry, you’ll need a wide skill set to attract and satisfy customers. A single mistake or lapse in people skills can cause a drastic change, turning your reputation from good to bad. While a variety of factors plays a role in the success of a business, there is one quality that stands out above others – emotional intelligence. …
Emotional intelligence is an emerging factor for workplace success and is defined by the individual’s ability to perceive and manage the emotions of oneself and others. More and more businesses are realizing the importance of this skill, and the service industry is no exception. The following are important reasons why your service business should keep emotional intelligence in mind:
1. Self Awareness …
2. Self Management …
3. Social Awareness…
4. Relationship Management …”
July 9, 2012
The Heart of Innovation Article
“People start becoming satisfied with emulating other people’s lives. Instead of thinking up their own best practices, they imitate. Ouch!
The spirit of innovation gets replaced by the religion of innovation.
Gone is reflection. Gone is the process of discovery. Gone is the ownership that comes with birthing new insights. In it’s place?Simulation. Imitation. And, all too often, the blind following of pre-packaged solutions.
I’m not saying there isn’t value in paying attention to other people’s best practices. There is.
But when when imitation replaces creation, something invariably gets lost — and innovation eventually goes down the drain.”
July 9, 2012
Leadership Freak Article
“Yesterday, I asked an upper-level manager at one of the world’s largest organization how he’d risen through the ranks so rapidly – he lit up and talked collaboration.
He’s succeeding because he
influences people he can’t boss.
Leaders influence without position, title, or rank; they invite loyalty, passion, and commitment. They don’t coerce, pressure, or demand. Begin influencing when you don’t have authority by:
- Know what makes people tick.
More on leading without direct-line authority: ….”
July 9, 2012
Babbling VC Article
“Business is called business for a reason. It’s hardly ever fair. Finally, if you don’t pay attention, it can take you out at the knees before you even know it. If you really want a friend, buy a dog because you aren’t going to find many true friends in the working world. …
Don’t get me wrong….you can find friends in the working world and many times, you’ll have no choice. This is fine as long as you understand that there are different dynamics at play when it comes to work verses a university environment for example. Competition and “getting ahead” change when it’s about money. Go ahead, be nice and learn to play “the game” of business which will regularly involve “social” events. Yet remember, these are “acquaintances” and not always friends. They may be using you to further their career or chances. You may simply be a pawn in their strategy. At the other end of the spectrum, you could just be a distraction. As long as you’re aware of it, not a big deal.”
July 2, 2012
By James daSilva Article
Principles that form the foundation of profit
“The state of mind that ignores risk and favors short-term economic gain above all else is what Tomasdottir considers to be a financial world driven solely by masculine values. There’s no need to abandon such values, nor should “feminine” values act to dismantle the system. Instead, these five values are meant to offer a balanced mindset.
- Independent advice and solutions.
- Assurance that risk is known before decisions are made.
- Due diligence that includes an analysis of people factors along with financial concerns.
- Honesty and transparency in client communications.
- Profit that is principled and is measured in a broad way.
“We want to make profit as a company, we want to make profit on behalf of our customers, but we really care how profit is made,” Tomasdottir says.”