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Not as easy and obvious as it appears for most of us, ordinary mortals – I meant the ‘making happy’ part, not about selling ice-creams:-)

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We all know about one of the most-talked-about routes to take to innovation: ‘value disruption’.

For example:

1 Who Killed The Business

(from Who Killed The Business?)

But “it’s not always an easy situation to deal with, simply because it often creates discomfort and pain.  This usually results in a sense of uncertainty and instability, which we, as people, are neurologically wired to react to and move away from.”

Janet Sernack puts her finger on two important attributes that enhances the ability to disruptingly innovate. While the basic idea may not be new, its articulation certainly is, giving us a handle for building these up – some food for performance coaches’ thoughts and action:

It’s all about ‘gumption and grit.

Gumption is defined by the Cambridge Dictionary as “the ability to decide what is the best thing to do in a particular situation, and to do it with energy and determination.”  

 And grit in the context of behavior is defined as “firmness of character; indomitable spirit” according to Merriam-Webster dictionary, adapted (by Angela Duckworth, in her TED talk) to include “perseverance and passion for long-term goals.” 

 Sernack explains:

This requires people to let go of being “nice” worrying about being politically correct, to develop innovation and collaboration, by being intentionally and safely contrary, provocative and disruptive involving:

  • Gumption; deeply cleansing people’s minds, to let go of old fixed, conventional and avoidance mindsets, risk adversity, fear of failure, complacency and other normal & habitual resistance factors to change they might have, without making them “wrong.”
  • Grit; passionately persevering being contrary, provocative and safely disruptive to achieve innovation goals and outcomes.

necessary to survive, achieve and thrive in VUCA times (situations or environments that engender high levels of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity).

She goes on to combine these two into a single skill-set ‘being provocatively competent’ and identifies its key characteristics in her post here.

 

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Sanmargam

No odious comparison or put-down’s:

Shahid Akhtar, studies Physics & Technology at Ajyal Almaarefah International School, Jizan Quora hpih

Thinking about it, employee engagement is not very diff from bringing up children! A similar situation that readily comes to mind is the recognition of team performance versus an individual’s.

Just when this post was being put together, this comes along: This Burger King employee was shamed on social media – her story here makes a sad reading.

In our daily bustle, we forget garbage needs to be removed, burgers flipped…

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Source: Contributed in Quora by Shahid Akhtar studying Physics & Technology at Ajyal Almaarefah International School, Jizan

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‘Time Management’ is one topic that has had more keys punched for it than any other in management. Even so Eleanor Beaton’s (Founder – Fierce Feminine) is an interesting read for bringing back into focus an oft-forgotten aspect of time management. While she targets her short post at women entrepreneurs, it’s equally relevant for others too. Here’s an extract:

egypt.souq dot com

Why You Need to Quit Managing Your Time and Start Managing Your Boundaries

…But if your time management strategies are missing this one foundational ingredient, they are destined to render you nothing more a highly efficient producer of meaningless results.

So what’s the secret sauce that will catapult your productivity?

Your boundaries, otherwise known as those internally generated laws that govern what will work for you, and what won’t. Boundaries are the single most important and overlooked aspect of setting a priority and putting in the effort required to make it happen.

Think of your boundaries as bodyguards for your time and mental bandwidth. Without boundaries, your time is open for the pillaging by people who “just want to pick your brain,” by volunteer work that’s no longer meaningful, by needy clients or stakeholders who would benefit from a lesson in respecting the time of others.

And while many people struggle to set boundaries, the problem is particularly acute for women entrepreneurs, many of whom are juggling not only the needs of their growing businesses, but also the necessities of supporting aging parents, growing kids, personal relationships, health, and so on.

The challenge? Protecting your boundaries can involve conflict, because it will often mean you say no to someone else’s agenda in order to say yes to yours. This type of conflict can present problems for women, many of whom are socialized from a young age to create harmony and avoid conflict at all costs.

The short article appearing here includes ‘some practical strategies to help you identify, set and respect your boundaries, so you can protect your time and mental bandwidth’.

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Source: egypt.souq.com

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“Amma, Doers K know SH has gone to her dance class today? He needs to get her back.”

“K knows – he had called some time ago and I told him M (neighbour) picked her SH up.” M was taking her daughter too to the same class.

“OK”

End of thread.

 

It was not ‘OK’ – I couldn’t help hearing it all from the restroom.

From the lady’s (Amma) response, it’s certainly clear K knew SH has gone to the class. Not clear if K knew he should go and fetch both the kids back.  Strangely SU (the mother) also dropped the thread.

Unfortunately, once out of the rest room, I was distracted and promptly forgot all about the ambiguity that had struck me right away.

Luckily, no damage done – M had stayed on and brought the kids back once they finished their practice.

While some prior understanding set up among M, SU and K had worked out well in this instance, the outcome was not guaranteed. Especially in view of SU’s opening question.

 

This kind of communication without a pucca confirmation of comprehension on both sides could easily undesirable outcomes; and they do.

Am sure, now that I brought this up, you recall a number of similar personal experiences, most likely not pleasant.

This short video (5.2 mins) below presents an interesting example of how we make assumptions while communicating. By no means a new phenomenon – only serves to bring it back into focus:

 

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Source: vide Moushami Vennu

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Kaleidoscope

It was a Monday morning.

Ravi entered his manager’s cabin with some paper in his hand.

Wishing to be left alone, the Manager looked up, offering little encouragement for a commencing conversation.

Ravi announced softly: ‘Sir, I am resigning.’

He could have said ‘there was no cream for the coffee-maker’ or even ‘the office printer had run out of ink’.

Manager: ‘What is it?’

Ravi repeated himself, raising his voice a wee bit: ‘Sir, I’m leaving.’

Words going home this time, Manager yelped like a puppy hurt in an encounter with an unyielding object: ‘What happened?’

Ravi stood his ground: ‘Nothing sudden, Sir, have been thinking for a while. Got a job in Bajaj Allianz!’

Manager let out a long breath: ‘I know you have talked to me sometime ago about a rise. I had meant to do something about it. Is that the issue? If it is, we can…

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M is your guy to grab…not many around like him.

Read on to know what I meant:

Episode 1: When he stopped ‘it’ in its tracks…unbelievable!

He was visiting Hyderabad (Begumpet airport, Secunderabad) from Chennai, in by the morning and scheduled to return by the evening flight 6.30 pm, flying both ways on propeller-driven Avro.  Till 5.30 he was checking up regularly on flight departure and he was told it was uncertain due to unfavorable weather conditions at Chennai. And then they said the flight was cancelled for the day. M happened to be nearby and hence rushed to Indian Airlines office to check on alternatives available – booking wasn’t online then.

He was in their office by 6 pm when he learnt the Avro flight was after all leaving on time! He blew his top for the  misinformation and insisted on taking that flight as he would be able to reach the airport in the next 10 minutes. It wasn’t possible, he was told. Not one DNA’ed to take a ‘no’, M insisted they inform the duty-officer (DO) at the airport about his coming in regardless. Disconnecting without waiting for a response, he rushed to airport and was at the counter by 6.25. The staff quite expectedly refused to check him in. He rushed to the DO who also regretted his inability to help, pointing out to the aircraft all ready to move with the ground staff closing the formalities and giving thumbs-up to the pilot. He threatened the DO he’ll rush out and stop the aircraft which is what exactly M did next! He jumped the security; chased by all including DO, he outran all of them reaching the aircraft just then beginning to move.

Fearing worse, the DO did what he could to keep M out of his hair: the aircraft was halted, the ladder expressly brought in, a boarding-pass printed…was he happy to see M’s back as the door closed!!

Today, of course, a mere attempt in the direction or even an expression of such intent would get him arrested!

Episode 2: Just the man for the herd

The Air-India flight from Dubai to Mumbai was for some reason diverted to Delhi. Obviously there was total commotion and clamor for seats to make the onward journey. The staff at AI counter were simply unable to handle the onslaught. Just the scene cut out for our man to jump in. M managed to push himself to the front – his lean frame lets him move edge-ways! – climbed onto the counter and raised his voice to cow down the belligerent passengers to some order. He then asked them to make up different queues: one for families with small children, another for senior citizens and, lastly, others. Further M declared seats shall be allotted in the same order of the queues i.e. beginning with the families with small children. Some in the third lot were not happy with it, pressing on their needs as urgent over others. He got the duty-officer (DO) also to make a concurring announcement and stick with it.

M made his wife and children (not small) to stand aside, not wanting to be seen as self-seeking. Thence it was smooth-going: the first lot and the second were accommodated in full. About a third of the rest could also be pushed through before the flight was full up. The remaining, including his family, had to perforce wait for another flight. He arranged with the DO to authorize priority seating for them on the next flight. Finally when the counters opened for their flight, our man duly queued up with others. That’s when he was called to meet up with the DO. The DO thanked M heartily for helping them manage a chaotic scene and gave him the glad tidings of an upgrade for his family and him to first-class – a fine gesture from AI!

These two episodes – it wasn’t easy to choose from the many on hand – give you a flavor of what M was and is.

It may just be possible yet to tempt M with a challenge, to come out of his peaceful retirement in a community off the city of Mysore. A word of caution however: liaising, lobbying, scratching people’s back…are not M’s cup of coffee as also underhand dealings of any kind. A square-shooter of the old school, that’s what Mani is and what you get, dealing with him.

 

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