Sunday, September 5, 2010

Economic View - College Studies for the Business of Life -

Skills for Life- for you personally and so that you will be better prepared for success in your career.
* Learn Some Economics- The "ordinary business of life" will be your most pressing concern. Be Prepared for poor economy. -Learn to see, understand, analyze "the forces swirling around you" and how they influence what you are working on.
-Embrace "rigorous analytical skills"
* Learn Some Statistics/ Probability
-Learn to use FACTS- research, analyze, use to make decisions
- "Number Crunching"- know its potential as well as its limitation
* Learn basics of Finances
-Stocks vs.bonds, mortgages
-"Risks and Returns/ Rewards"
-Get maximum return from your investment in college
* Learn Some Psychology- basic material for leadership and working with others
-flaws in human rationality
- Dealing with Uncertainty, be prepared, confident, flexible
* Advice- Listen but then follow your instincts and PASSIONS
* You hold the future, The Future is not certain. Prepare for Emerging Industries.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Preoccupations - Hearing the Right Notes From a Job Candidate -

Advice on how to prepare yourself effectively for a job, from Carl Diehl, co-owner of the Bar Method.
* Creativity and Problem Solving- Most of the applicants seemed to be wonderful people with great skills and at least some experience. But could they think creatively and solve problems? Most of them said they could. But I needed some proof.
* Understand- about the company, the competition, how they are distinguishing themselves, and why.
* Instead of talking about specific skills, talk about how you might apply what you have learned, to benefit the company.
* Understand human personality- Enneagram- which one seemed to fit you best? What are the complexities of your personality?
* What are the "dark side" of that personality type? Focusing on performance and accomplishing tasks, but can be oblivious to the emotional needs of themselves and others.
* Use imagination, intellect, energy and power of concentration to solve problems
* Passion- "the same passion that helped her master the violin is now helping our company grow."

Sunday, April 18, 2010

18 APR 10

Corner Office - Fuse’s Co-Founder - Scoreboards Aren’t Everything - Interview -

Important Lessons:

* Establish a Culture of Winning-
"I was in this culture of winning, where all the coaches, the players, the kids in that high school and the administrators expected us to win... everyone was judged on how we played."
* Understand the Belief System of others- "I try to evaluate decisions based on what the 25-32 year olds ..are trying to get out of their career, what they want in a workplace."
* Help people develop confidence, independence- "I would rather have somebody make a mistake .. than have to go through an enormous amount of teaching to make the person 'client ready'"
* Giving Feedback- "..being direct is not a personal attack. When my coach was coming down on me or somebody else, I never thought he was doing it for any other reason than he wanted us, as a team, to be on the same page and to be the best that we could be."
* Understanding What is Happening- "If you don't go down the hall and talk to people, you're not going to know the real challenges."

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Leadership Lessons- Create a file of best thoughts

Corner Office - Kip Tindell - Three Good Workers Equal One Who’s Great - Interview -

Leadership Lessons from Kip Tindell CEO of the Container Store.
*Relentlessly communicate everything to every employee- Leadership and Communication are the same thing. (Learn to communicate effectively)
* One Great Person could be as productive as 3 good people. So, pay 50-100% more for great people. (What makes someone great and how do we learn to become great?)
* Hire people you like personally. (Learn to be LIKED).
* Hire people who are a culture fit.(what is your culture?)
* Intuition does have a place in the work force. It is the sum total of your life experience. So- Broaden your experience
* Create a mutually beneficial relationship with everyone you work with. (win,win,win)
* Work to create an "Air of Excitement" around everything you do.
* Mold a business/ career around your philosophy.
* Everyone creates a "wake" around themselves. Everything you do and don't do impacts your business, the people and the world around you, far more than you can imagine.
* Make a file of all the best thoughts- then make them part of your life.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Capitalism Has not Failed.. Companies need to...

Sramana Mitra is disturbed about capitalism.

And our talented youth gets seduced by this profession of speculation known for its easy and abundantly flowing financial rewards, avoiding those that require much greater intellectual capacity. Most importantly, very early in their lives, our talented youth come to realize that fields that may earn them a Nobel Prize--cancer research or multi-core computing--may not make them rich. But moving money from here to there will.

And thus, we lose Berkeley Ph.Ds in nuclear physics to hedge funds and MIT computer scientists capable of delivering computing to 6 billion people to derivative manipulation on Wall Street. Rand, somewhere down the road, you lost me. I don't see how free market capitalism fixes this systemic flaw.

And I am deeply disturbed.

Capitalism hasn’t failed, it is just not enough. Instead, innovators need to change the old approach of “Focus on profits”, to instead put people and planet first. Then sustainable profits will result.

My father used to say, “What is good for GM is good for the country.” We learned that GM was not a sustainable business model, because they did what was best to make the largest profit, rather than doing what was best for the users, the country and the environment. Others came along who did make products that were far better in quality and lasted far longer than the 3 years that GM designed their cars to last.

So, capitalism did not fail. Failure of GM and others could have been avoided if the companies had done the following:

· Look at their products as part of an entire system, that includes all of the stakeholders- Users and everyone else on earth as well as the earth itself. And then determine-

o What is really needed to create the greatest VALUE. Focus on NEEDS not WANTS.

o Critically examine what exists. How could it be made to perform better, cost far less and be far friendlier to the planet

o Then commit to creating what would be better for people and planet.

The good news is that I see a whole new group of young people who “get it.” They truly want to make the world a better place, by putting people and planet first. And they have already started to create meaningful products and companies. See as one example- they have created a sustainable alternative to Styrofoam.

Full Disclosure- This new venture started in my class, Inventor’s Studio at RPI and I am an investor.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Corner Office - Carol Smith - Carol Smith of Elle - Women Are Better Managers - Question -

Carol Smith teaches us about leadership:
* Win over people, instead of bossing them
* "to-do lists"- prioritize, get through them, confront problems that show up
* Learn to be like women managers- better advisers, mentors, rational thinkers
* Men and women working together is best combination
* Get out of our "comfort zones" and walk around, see what is happening.
* Learn to give speeches, presentations
* Managing Time- Allocate time (Sundays are good) for getting email and other things out of the way.
* When hiring- See people at least 3 times, once over a meal, to determine if he/she will connect with others and be part of the team.

Importance of Having a Clear Mission

Important message about having a clear vision and mission for ourselves and for whatever we do.

"We succeeded because of the mission," says Mitchell Baker, chairwoman of Mozilla. She is called the "conscience" of the company. "Firefox was faster, safer and blocked pop-ups. It also offered some compelling innovations, like tabs, which allowed users to have multiple pages open inside a single browser window."

Each of us needs to have a clear mission for ourselves and for any ventures that we are associated with.
Find some examples of good Mission Statements and share them in comments below.
You might start at Wikipedia: