A paycheck or self-actualization?

May 15, 2017

By  via linked.com   Article

Do You Want a Paycheck or Self-Actualization?

“To illustrate how Maslow’s hierarchy plays out in an organization, let’s look at a well-known highly profitable firm, Apple:

1. Physiological

Apple is known for paying employees above minimum wage, providing health and retirement benefits to part-time employees, and having a generous parental leave policy. Meeting basic needs allows their employees to move higher in the hierarchy to focus on innovation and customer experience.

2. Safety

Apple’s in-store employees are not paid on commission. This creates a sense of security. Not worrying about financial safety enables them to authentically help customers without being distracted by their basic needs for survival.

3. Love/belonging

Apple unites their workforce behind the Apple brand. Saying, ‘I work at Apple’ means I’m in the tribe of cool kids. Apple provides iPhones to all of their employees, as both a symbol of belonging and a gesture of appreciation. Leadership wants their people to connect with each other. They encourage employees to spend non-work time together and provide opportunities to do so.

4. Esteem

Rallying the Apple tribe around the brand fosters loyalty and self-esteem. Employees derive esteem not just from the name Apple, but also from what the company actually produces. They put 10,000 songs in your pocket, they connect people around the world, they bring creativity into classrooms, and the list goes on. It’s a source of pride for employees.

5. Self-Actualization

… Steve Jobs’ original contention was the personal computer was a bicycle for the blind, giving people the ability to explore like never before. Jobs was famous for saying he wanted to put a dent in the Universe. Employees have a purpose larger than themselves; their work is changing lives.”


Humility casts a wide net

May 8, 2017

By Michael McKinney via leadershipnow.com   Article

“HUMILITY casts a wide net and makes possible the work of leadership. Nothing facilitates community, collaboration, and innovation like humility.

In Humility is the New Smart, Ed Hess and Katherine Ludwig define humility as ‘a mindset about oneself that is open-minded, self-accurate, and not all about me, and that enables one to embrace the world as it is in the pursuit of human excellence.’

Their definition encompasses the mind of a leader that will be able to lead in a changing and uncertain world. Humility is inclusive. It is inclusive of others ideas, others needs, others strengths, other contributions, and the realities that exist outside of our own head. A humble leader asks more questions and is open to more answers thus deepening the pool of resources they have to draw upon. But it requires a strength of character. As senior vice president of the NBA’s Orlando Magic, Pat Williams writes in Humility: The Secret Ingredient of Success:

  • Humble leaders are strong enough to listen to other points of view
  • Humble leaders are strong enough to admit their mistakes and learn from them.
  • Humble leaders are strong enough to celebrate their achievements of others.
  • Humble leaders are strong enough to surround themselves with talented people without feeling threatened or diminished.

Additionally,

  • Humble people treat others as equals.
  • Humble people don’t claim to know everything.
  • Humble people are better team players.
  • Humble people are willing to set aside their egos.

Humility is the antidote to insecurity that often plagues us. A lack of humility actually drives insecurity. Humility makes your strengths productive and multiplies the strengths of others. Humility acknowledges a world beyond our own thinking and minimizes our own limitations. A good leader knows this and acts accordingly to produce the best results.”


Ditch the ‘engineers rule’ mentality

May 8, 2017

By William Hall via entrepreneur.com   Article

High-Tech Startups Need to Ditch the ‘Engineers Rule’ Mentality

“Over the past few years, I’ve seen an alarming amount of ‘Engineer First Company,’ ‘Engineers Rule’ and ‘Engineering-Centric Organization’ language. This perspective is as arrogant as it is short-term. Yes, it might be fun, disruptive and edgy. It’s also a sure recipe for failure.

A quick look at some basic marketing history proves the point:

  • Apple. What would have happened if Steve Jobs hadn’t advanced the value proposition of the personal computer? Apple wouldn’t be the Apple it is today,
  • Intel. Anyone remember ‘Intel Inside?’ I’m not convinced Intel would be around if a lot of someones in marketing, sales, operations, logistics and HR hadn’t kept the enterprise in balance.
  • Nike. ‘Just Do it!’ In reality, Nike isn’t known for its stellar engineering. Neither is Under Armor. Granted, these aren’t high-tech companies, but I guarantee you each has an engineering division that studies materials, physics and much more.

Now, imagine if these companies had made a statement like ‘Engineers Rule Our Company’ early in their development. None of them could have flourished into the success it is today. Recall the proverb, ‘It takes a village to raise a child.’ Your small company is that child.

What if you focused on balance instead of bravado?

Uber is showing us the effects of an engineering-first culture, and the story is unfolding in very public real time. I’m sure many fine people are at work within Uber. But it appears that untrained engineers are dragging the organization down to its lowest common denominator. … A well-balanced company considers engineering, sales, marketing, operations, strategy and HR. It’s more staged for success because it’s a more complete vision.

Leaders of startups and large, established companies are no different in a few, critical respects. It’s up to you to ensure your company is balanced, healthy and set up for future success. It’s also up to you to behave fairly, legally and like someone who’s here for the long term.”

 


Grateful and impressed would be an understatement

May 8, 2017

By Todd Wolfenbarger via entrepreneur.com   Article

Why Leaders Should View Themselves as Servants

“Twenty years ago, I received a unique gift. This gift impacted my career by introducing me to a servant leadership model I’ve tried to emulate since.

I was living in Seattle and had taken off for Christmas Eve. It was a typical December afternoon in the Northwest — cold and rainy — and I was out on my front porch with my young daughter, sprinkling homemade magical glitter oats along the path for Santa’s reindeer that night. My little girl was loving the adventure, and so was I.

Amid our fun, I looked up as an unknown SUV pulled into our driveway. To my surprise and mild discomfort, my boss — our company’s CEO — got out of the car. After exchanging greetings, he knelt next to my daughter and asked, ‘What does your daddy want for Christmas?’ Taylor said, ‘He wants a bike.’ My boss smiled, opened the back of his SUV and pulled out a mountain bike with a bow on it.

He had called my wife in the weeks before (as he had with all of his direct reports) and asked her if there was a Christmas gift — something I really wanted — that he could get for me. To say I was grateful and impressed would be an understatement.

In the years since, I’ve duplicated his efforts with my own team and have received similar sentiments in return. As much as my team appreciated the experience, though, I found that I loved the style of leadership even more.

The term ‘servant leader’ was first coined by Robert Greenleaf in a 1970 essay, and it describes leaders who seek to serve first, accepting that true leadership will be the result. As the years have gone by, I’ve become convinced of this approach. I believe in the concept because I’ve experienced its effectiveness from both sides of the equation.

Looking to try the approach for yourself? Here are four quick ways to begin: ….”


Investing $3 in the stock market

May 8, 2017

By Ryan Vlastelica via marketwatch.com   Article

I drove myself crazy by investing $3 in the stock market 

“Turns out, it doesn’t cost much to drive yourself batty over your investments.

For the past week, ever since I broke one of my cardinal investing rules by buying an individual stock, I have experienced pronounced emotional swings over the company’s every tick and trade, feeling accomplished when the price rises and despondent when it falls.

The size of my investment is $3.44. Total. Here’s what happened. I recently realized that my portfolio account had about $10 in cash—a years-old dividend payment from a fund I had subsequently changed to reinvest them (as long-term investors always should). It seemed silly to request a $10 check just to put it into my savings account, so I decided to roll the dice and buy something. Evidently I was feeling wild that day.

The stock in question, of which I am the proud owner of two—count ‘em, two—shares is Navios Maritime Acquisition Corp. NNA, +2.42% which is evidently in the ‘marine transportation business,’ according to FactSet, which means it owns a fleet of oil tankers and other vessels. I say ‘evidently’ because I didn’t know what the company did when I bought the stock. So help me God, I bought it because it was the first thing I found that I could ‘afford’ with my $10, and because, in the scant research I did, I liked its dividend yield (an admittedly impressive 12.1%, which amounts to an extra dime for me every three months).

It should go without saying, but this is not how you should compile your portfolio.

The way one should put together his or her portfolio, generally speaking, is to load up on low-cost index funds and hold them for the very long term, getting the benefit of compound interest. Index funds track broad parts of the market, and are considered a safer investment than individual stocks by reducing single-security risk. According to data from Charles Schwab, investors have a 40.1% chance of losing money if they hold five stocks, a risk that drops to 25.5% if they own 20 and to 12.9% if they own 40. Index funds, such as ones tracking the S&P 500SPX, +0.73% give investors exposure to hundreds of names.

When it comes to single securities, your odds of outperforming are even lower. The average stock, when taken individually, not only underperforms when compared to the overall market, but also may even lose out to Treasurys, considered among the safest and most static of assets.

Read more: Here’s why you shouldn’t buy a stock ever again


Obedience and inquiry

May 1, 2017

By Seth Godin via sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/   Article

 

“The first rule is that you follow the rules.

That’s the mantra of the obedient organization. And there are many of them. You follow these rules, restrictions and systems. Not because they’re up-to-date, effective or correct, but because that’s what makes us who we are.

Obedience is its own reward. Obedience is required. And obedience is prized.

It ensures a reliable homogeneity, it gives the illusion of solidarity, it evokes power.

The alternative is an organization based on inquiry.

Do what’s right and ask useful questions.

This is a supple organization, one more likely to deal with change over time. It certainly has more raucous meetings, and it sometimes appears disorganized, but the resilience can pay off.

Obedient organizations get better when they find more obedient team members and enforce their systems on them. And organizations based on inquiry get better when they ask better questions, and when they create a culture based on what’s right, not merely what’s come before.”


It’s not smoking

May 1, 2017

By Felix Gillette, Jennifer Kaplan, and Sam Chambers via bloomberg.com   Article

Big Tobacco Has Caught Startup Fever – It’s not smoking. It’s platform-agnostic nicotine delivery solutions.

“Mature industries typically have a hard time disrupting themselves, but, flush with cigarette profits, the big competitors have decided to try. Since the rise of e-cigarettes, it’s no longer such a stretch to imagine a messianic engineer in a garage somewhere inventing a nicotine-delivery gadget capable of doing to cigarettes what Uber did to taxicabs or Napster did to the compact disc. If your profits hinge on nicotine addicts, you might want that visionary in your employ.

Everywhere you look in the industry, companies are pouring money into product development while borrowing liberally from the style of Silicon Valley. They’re funding tech incubators, running venture funds, hosting TED-style talks, and developing apps. The new dogma has spread. Cigarettes are the industry’s past. Reduced-risk tobacco platforms are the user interface of the future.

Tobacco executives often sound like media owners talking about content. That is, they’re open to delivering their drug via whatever pipe the consumer chooses—be it e-cigarettes, heat-not-burn devices, gum, lozenges, dip, or some medium that hasn’t been invented yet. They are, as the media gurus would say, ‘platform-agnostic.'”