Archive for » August, 2012 «


Being First: Ten Innovation lessons from Mount Everest “Well George, we knocked the bastard off”. These were the first words of Edmund Hillary to his old friend George Low meeting him near the South Col of Mount Everest¹. It was just after his historic climb with his Nepalese Sherpa Tenzing Norgay on May 29th 1953. George welcomed Ed with hot tomato soup from a thermos flask. Hillary and Norgay were the first ones confirmed as having reached the summit of Mount Everest. Hillary’s book View from the Summit describes his adventures in detail. In the fifties, the route to Everest was closed [ ... ]


How much does the first hour of every day matter? As it turns out, a lot. It can be the hour you see everything clearly, get one real thing done, and focus on the human side of work rather than your task list. Remember when you used to have a period at the beginning of every day to think about your schedule, catch up with friends, maybe knock out a few tasks? It was called home room, and it went away after high school. But many successful people schedule themselves a kind of grown-up home room every day. You should [ ... ]


Rather than seeking to maintain the status quo during difficult times, the new book Adaptability by Max McKeown argues that successful organisations understand the value of responding to turbulence. This management-issues book explains that adaptability is ultimately about “looking reality in the face” and responding with experimentation rather than trying to avoid challenges: Nelson MANDELA very profoundly said, “It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership. “ If people around you won’t accept as [ ... ]


Joshua MarstonEugene Gagliardi One night in the late 1960s, Eugene Gagliardi was lying awake in bed trying to figure out how to save his company. He was thinking about the Philly cheesesteak. Gagliardi ran a family business that sold hamburgers and other meat to restaurant chains in the Philadelphia area. But within the span of a few months, the company had lost several of its biggest customers. Gagliardi was trying to figure out a way to turn the Philly cheesesteak into something people would want to make at home. But the meat used for the sandwich was, as Gagliardi says, “so tough you [ ... ]

leaders must learn : strategy about saying “NO”

Strategy sounds like a complex subject.  It isn’t.  It boils down to one word – no. Strategy is about saying “no” to things that will distract you from reaching your destination.  Too often we become enamored with the latest cool new idea when it would actually be best to say no to pursuing it.  Why?  Resources (including focus and energy) are limited.  If you go chasing every new initiative you can think of, the core of your work is likely to suffer unless you’re adding resources to continue running that piece of your business well. You can avoid the distraction trap though.  [ ... ]


Just when we need to empower front line knowledge workers to think for themselves and take more ownership, the last thing they need is to be served by their managers. John F. Kennedy got the direction of service the right way around when he said: “Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country.” A novel idea often has two senses. In one sense it is interesting and controversial but false. In the other sense it is true but trivial because it isn’t saying anything new or distinctive. Interesting but False Servant leadership is most [ ... ]

Leaders are fast learners even though they are at NO- 1

To Be Number One, Get the Right Number Two Picking a number two is among the most important decisions any leader makes. Getting it right shapes a leader’s direction, effectiveness, and legacy. In U.S. Presidential elections, the choice of a running mate can influence voter views of the candidate and shift the dialogue, as happened following Mitt Romney’s naming of conservative budget-chopping congressman Paul Ryan as his vice presidential pick in the race for the White House. Pundits proclaimed immediately that Mr. Romney would succeed or fail based on this single choice, making the number two the prime mover in the fate [ ... ]

Discipline always cut the distance between you and goals

The Disciplined Pursuit of Less Why don’t successful people and organizations automatically become very successful? One important explanation is due to what I call “the clarity paradox,” which can be summed up in four predictable phases: Phase 1: When we really have clarity of purpose, it leads to success. Phase 2: When we have success, it leads to more options and opportunities. Phase 3: When we have increased options and opportunities, it leads to diffused efforts. Phase 4: Diffused efforts undermine the very clarity that led to our success in the first place. Curiously, and overstating the point in order to make it, success is a [ ... ]


12 Tasks That Killer Employees Always Finish Before Noon ! A recent study published in an American Psychological Association journal, Emotion, suggests that early birds are generally happier than night owls. More than 700 respondents, ranging from ages 17 to 79, were surveyed and asked about their emotional state, health, and preferred time of day. Self-professed “morning people” reported feeling happier and healthier than night owls. Researchers hypothesize that one of the reasons could be because society caters to a morning person’s schedule. It’s certainly true that the working world does. Working “9-to-5″ is more than an expression, but a standard shift for many [ ... ]


Here are eight verbal slip-ups you should try with all your might never to make: 1. Mangle a client’s name. Nothing frustrates people more than hearing their name pronounced incorrectly—or called by another name altogether. This is perceived as a clear indication that you don’t care. Do your research in advance and know all the names (and pronunciations) of the people you will be working with. When you meet someone new, write down his or her name along with the phonetic spelling in your notebook—or just simply ask the person how his or her name is pronounced at the very beginning to [ ... ]