Monday, December 22, 2008

Leaders In Transition...


The Future?!
And what do we mean by “leaders in transition," anyway?
Well, this implies to change… but more than change, these Leaders
are those who are enthusiastic and confident to lead the future.
Sounds simple, eh.

Let me guess, many could be thinking that the “leaders of the future”
are the up and coming generation… that they are those who are still
in school… or maybe the ones who just entered the labor force.

Well, literally speaking, these youngsters ARE “leaders of the future”;
and while there’s a need to develop leaders of tomorrow today – this
is simply to ensure leadership continuity. So again, it’s JUST literally
speaking. Although there could be a few exceptional ones, this does
not necessarily mean that the one’s being developed are destined to
be greater than those who mentor them. To be great is to have more
than one facet.

Thus, for those who are hesitant, why be insecure?

“No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself,
or to get all the credit for doing it.”
- Andrew Carnegie

Still a lot of leaders could also be insisting – “why should we train
leaders for other companies?” Yet most organizations import leaders
at one level or another and at certain times, and so they should be
willing to export them as well.

Greatness in leadership is much more a matter of teamwork:
it is in creating and leading a leadership team.

As I mentioned before, TRUE Leaders surface when there’s a crisis.
A TRUE Leader is not really about age or experience; then again,
a Leader can NEVER be a Great one without that “heart”. History
tells us that. And it’s simply common sense. We can never really
accomplish anything worthwhile without “courage”.

“Anybody who runs a successful high-technology company has to be
an eternal optimist, has to be able to take big risks.”
- John Sculley

Again here, we are not only talking about high-tech companies but
most every undertaking. Leadership implies the personal willingness
to go out in front – accepting the risks involved – in order to ensure
that your team go in the right direction at the right speed.

Are you still in the bus?

So, now, have you heard of recent predictions?

That by 2013...
a supercomputer will be built that exceeds the computation capability
of the human brain… that by 2049 a $1,000 computer will exceed the
computational capabilities of the human race.

And what do we hear? Shift happens.

Of course shift happens! This conclusion is just for the simple minds.
We know that since time immemorial, man continues to evolve and
innovate to make life easier and better. Hence, “shift” IS expected.
But if you really think about it, nothing is really new except for the
presentation of that “newness”.


Because nothing really changed to the needs of man.
Humans would still eat bread not stone. We would still use our eyes
to watch, mouth to speak, ears to listen, and so on.
Thus, innovations are just about speed or appearance or just logical
except if “everything” would then be processed
in the brain.
The bottomline is that… we are still made of flesh and

Therefore… Think deeper. Think farther.

How would these advancements REALLY affect man? Leadership?

If computers created 5, 40 years from now would exceed human
capability… then we could already be seeing the gradual takeover of
“robots” where the children of tomorrow would just be mere
assistants to “robots” , if not computer operators … unless they got
those strings attached at the top.

What we would then see most of the time is…
of Charles Darwin’s “survival of the fittest”.

Here’s more…

That according to former Secretary of Education Richard Riley…
the top 10 jobs that will be in demand in 2010 didn’t exist in 2004.
That we are currently preparing students for jobs that do not exist
yet… using technologies that haven’t been invented yet… in order
to solve problems we don’t even know are problems yet?

What is then so “awing” about these predictions? NOTHING.
Of course, these things would happen – because of technological
advancement. But see, in actuality, we are really just creating our
own problems. If we stop innovating then there is nothing to
prepare for… and no new problems to worry of. Yet we need to
create not only for our convenience but for the survival of future
generations. If there’s no “new” job, literally new… we would
need more new companies of similar structures to provide jobs to
a growing populace.

Yes, we are living on exponential times… and again, it’s expected.
However again, this does not inevitably mean that the youngsters
are the
REAL “leaders of the future”. What most of these leaders
would do is just take over a vacancy or an aging leadership, create
their own enterprise, or for a few potentials, lead a new
technological undertaking.

“TRUE Leadership is not about power; it is about a person’s legitimate
right to lead through example and self-discipline.”
- Ann Mansell

Example is contagious. It is action or conduct which induces
imitation. Children are naturally imitative: it is the way they learn.
As adults we retain that characteristic. In creating the right
climate of purpose, unity and teamwork, how you bear yourself
as a Leader can be decisive.

“Leadership is the art of accomplishing more than
the science of management says is possible.”
- Colin Powell

The Best Leaders have something of a philosopher in them.

The future is about change… therefore, the Leader in Transition
is the
REAL Leader of the future… Leaders with a fertile yet open
mind; that rare breed with the willpower and stamina conducive
to technological change… to positive change.

How about leaders in their “current positions”?
Well, we know that most are “scared” to touch the “status quo”,
therefore, they can NOT facilitate change – but ONLY a handful
WITH courage, humor, resourcefulness, creativity, people skills,
resilience, temperance, and ENERGY can be one.

The Leaders of Tomorrow are already in our midst... and,
it could be you… and/or an “underrated” Network Connection.

Future Leaders are Catalysts … "gutsy” and Creative Thinkers.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Emergence of THE LEADER...

In life, heroes emerge when villains rise. This has even been constantly
“depicted” in stories and movies when police authorities could no longer
contain criminality.

In business as in life, heroes are the TRUE Leaders who surfaces when
everything around tumbles down, collapses and explodes yet feeling like
fishes in its native element. These are the “rare” breed who can find
strength, will and organizational talent inside to change things for the
better. These are the kind that won’t be afraid of pushing a situation to
the extreme to find the final solution.

These are the TRUE Leaders… and “courage” is their most obvious mark.
People of this psychological type may unfold their professional potential
and occupy leading positions during crisis; or in situations demanding
strong-willed, responsible decisions.

“Courage is the quality that guarantees all others.”
- Winston Churchill

These are the TRUE Leaders…
They are those who Thinks Big. Believes Big. And Acts Big.

“For better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even
though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits
who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they lie in the gray
twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.” - Theodore Roosevelt

In this present world of "insecurity" and just "paper-pushing", finding

TRUE Leaders is like looking for a needle in a haystack…
you would only know one when you get pricked

See, most organizations are just filled and continue to be filled with
“technical” or “mainstream” leaders… thus, the crisis has been cyclic.

17 days ago when I posted a “question” at LinkedIn, Futurist Frank Feather
aptly responded with an excerpt from his book, “Futuristic Leadership”…

“There is a big difference between routine leadership and truly futuristic
leadership. Leadership is not a job title. Leaders routinely hold executive
positions, but routine leaders rarely renew organizations to attain fresh
success in an ever-changing world. Routine leaders tend to manage the

status quo, and they thus fall behind what the ever-changing operating
environment demands
. By contrast, futuristic leaders stay well ahead
of the trends. They simply make the future happen.”

Now, as companies “blindly” seek leaders who fits the glass slippers,

they fail to realize that anything could happen with these “slippers”.

TRUE Leaders
arise when these “slippers” get broken or damaged.
They are those who understands if the slippers could still be mended

and used again, or if they would need to create a new and better one

“Experience in wearing” these slippers are just for the lesser breed.
“Understanding the feet” is for the rare breed… the TRUE Leaders.


Actually, it is in fact difficult to predict who will be the “high-flyers” in
Leadership; however, Good judges of character may be able to sense
by intuition when they interview someone with this potential for
Great Leadership.

Often s/he may seem to be someone who “does not fit” the jobs
available, for s/he will come into his/her own at a higher level, or
perhaps in some situation in the future with the leaders of organization
today have not even dreamt about.

“As far as the leader is concerned, he is not one of a group; and if he
is a TRUE leader and not just a bell-wether, the lead sheep in a flock
with a bell around its neck that the rest will follow, he never will belong.
A leader is always something of an outsider. He must see over the heads
of the group and beyond it. He has more ‘stature’ in the sense that one
can measure the stature of a man by how far he sees. Very often leaders

see so far that they are not recognized early. They are prophets whom
lesser men fail to understand
. It is only when the coincidence of vision
and moment is right that what the leader has to say makes sense to
lesser men.” - David Stinton

For lesser men, they want to see you become a successful leader (CEO)
before they would even listen to what you have to say. For them,
your history is important as they do not really comprehend the Depth of
your Vision. In fact, they do not really appreciate your Knowledge,
for them it’s just theory. They do not see that it is really Character that is
responsible for decision-making. They do not really value your Imagination…
for they simply lack the creativity that only Great problem-solvers possess.
Yet although, these “leaders” could not even articulate, many “blindly”
follow them because they themselves are “confused” as to what
credibility and REAL capacity is.

Leadership is just really a matter of Aspiration and Opportunity… and,
…TRUE Leaders emerge when you accept that it’s time for a Better World.

“Give us the tools, and we will finish the job.”
- Winston Churchill


A TRUE Leader is a “secure” Visionary with great inner strength and drive.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Leading In The Midst Of Unprofessionals...

To be CEO... you got to do what it takes to pave the way towards
being one. Still, to be CEO is simply a matter of Opportunity.
This is just like being given the chance to play; all you have to do
now is to make your shots.

As the saying goes...
"Chance favours the prepared mind." - Louis Pasteur

Nonetheless, to be a Great CEO, you should have the "courage"
to take that chance. After all, life is about taking risks...
but in business, we certainly know it's calculated risk.
Mind you, we won't really accomplish anything without "courage".
As to just deal with investors, shareholders, etc. is "peanuts".
It's simply relationship-building to get the "green light" among
those who already likes you.

Now, what if they don't like you? Of course, you will be out.

Remember the case of Jesus Christ?
The Pharisees did not like Him as their Messiah and so, with
the support of the greater majority - He was crucified.

Yes, to be That Leader, you should have that "courage" to be
"steadfast" specially when the chips are down.

To be liked goes beyond one's ability to deliver - even in business.
Look at Jesus and many other "great" leaders of different fields...
they got "cut off". This is why there's chaos in this world since...
because of INSECURITY.

To Lead in the midst of Unprofessionals...
this is Leadership Purification

Think about this...
Why would there be "insecurity" if a person has REAL Talent?
A "confident" person IS cooperative to good endeavours, while
PRIDE is a sign of "insecurity". And INSECURITY sprouts
when a person sees there is "someone better" than s/he is...
that the "confidence" of this person is soon replaced with
destructive energies.

"For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there
you find disorder and every evil practice."
- James 3:16

Envy is made manifest when the ball is no longer passed to
you... when you are no longer heard... when you hear "talks"...
when your responsibilities or authority is curbed OR when you
are removed from any sort of group (business, sports, etc.)
without "justifiable" reasons.

Consider this...
When you are REALLY good and Ambitious - it creates critics...
it creates enemies. This is when your path is shaken... when
your Leadership skills undergoes purification.

Envy affects relationships... affects teamwork... affects objectives.

Even so, to "quit" is NEVER an option. Ever.

"The Greatest Leaders of men are purified
by the water of affliction."

Hence, it is for you to handle such negativity with "decisiveness".

Here's something to ponder in Jeffrey J. Fox's Rule Number 61,
"Assassinate the Character Assassin with a Single Phrase."

One of the most dangerous impediments to one's career is the
character assassin. The character assassin usually thrives in a
firm racked by office politics. But he can be anywhere. He can
be your boss. He is always dishonest, ambitious, and treache-
rous. The character assassin targets the up-and-comers. He
goes after all potential rivals, but upward striving managers are
likely victims because they tend to take more risks and make
more mistakes.

The character assassin instinctively understands Mark Twain's
brilliant observation on falsehood. Twain wrote in his essay
"Advice to Youth" that the "truth is not hard to kill," but "a lie
well told is immortal."

The character assassin is obvious and apparent to the keen
observer, and he will and does attack everyone. These two
traits are his vulnerability.

When conversation with a colleague turns to the character
assassin, and it will, if you are a target, simply say, "Of course,
with Mr. X, no one is spared."

Your colleague, knowing of Mr. X's style, will assume he, too,
has been a recent target. Assassin assassinated.


Never lose your head.

A coach in panic has his players in panic. A President in panic
signals uncertainty and gloom to the organization. If you lose
your head, you would not be able to control the situation.
Therefore, be strong and always be guided by objectives.

As John Feeney has commented on my blog...
"Secrets To Mastering YOUR Field" (10.22.08)

"Bringing a dream to life will be the greatest challenge anyone
can undertake. What needs to be addressed is the simple fact,
the minute you try to do something good in your life, the natural
forces of evil will appear to stop you at every turn. It only proves
your decision was right. Now do you have the determination to
fight through the obstacles?"

See, we all have dreams to achieve... just be "steadfast and fair."

"Know it's your decisions not your conditions
that determine your destiny."

So, how has the ambitions and abilities of others affected you?

If you are indeed CEO, you must be confident enough to produce
Leaders (not eliminate) without feeling threatened in any way.

"And as ye would that men should do to you,
do ye also to them likewise."
- Luke 6:31

To be a Great Leader... make everyone (specially fellow Leaders)
realize that THERE IS enough Opportunity for us all to be happy
and successful - it's just a matter of "cooperation."

Lead by example... Grow and uphold Integrity at all times.

To Lead in an Insecure World... be empathic yet decisive.

Monday, December 1, 2008

To Be A TOP Global Executive...

Does one have to be in Fortune’s Top 1000 Corporations to be
considered among the Top Global Executives? Is it logical enough
to correlate Top Corporations and Top Executives?

Many average thinkers would certainly agree on this proposition,
however, think about this first… “How did they become Executives
anyway?”… “What are the factors that influenced their rise to
the Top?”

Certainly, we are aware of factors such as work habits, timing, luck,
competitors, personality, supporters, talent, circumstances, and so
on. But to simply enumerate these is like not having any definite
goal. Why?

Sure, we need all of those but we can’t acquire them all at the
same time; at most, we should already have developed good
Work Ethics and People Skills to go with our Talent while picking up
on the other elements.

Since this is the case, what we need is to apply pressure on what
would then help us most in our aspirations… while setting up the
rest into favourable conditions to ascertain our climb.

In “How To Become CEO” by Jeffrey Fox, consider Rule Number 20
“Earn Your Invitation Credentials”…

In every corporation there is, at the top, a cosa nostra, an inner,
special family. This is the group that ultimately decides on who
becomes CEO and for how long he will be in office. You must be
invited into this inner group. You can not simply work your way in

or earn your way in with outstanding contributions. You must
have more than talent
. You have to acquire the same credentials
that characterize those in the inner circle.

These characteristics are usually different in every corporation.
In some corporations all the top people were salespeople early
in their careers, or worked in a favored division, or were there
“at the beginning,” or are Jewish or Boston Brahmin, or members
of the founding family.

Find out who is in the inner circle. Find out why they are.
Determine the necessary credentials. If the credentials are
impossible to acquire, judge whether they might accept a token
outsider (they often do). If you can’t ever get the credentials, go
to a corporation where you can.

If the top bank executives are all ex-loan officers, be sure to serve
a stint making loans. If everyone in the executive suite is an
engineer, you’d better be an engineer. If the top people were
once salespeople, then carry the bag.

You can become CEO of the organization without being invited
in, but you won’t last. You will be kicked out in three to five years
by either a powerful manager, a large shareholder, or by the ruling
clique of the board of directors.

Now, does being the Head of an MNC put one in a position into
becoming a Real Global Executive? Not necessarily.
For one, you don’t have to be CEO just to be called “Executive”;
next, there are several things that induces a professional’s path to
make it to an MNC; and, this cosa nostra is not so much about
talent but political clout. This means, there certainly are others
not just in the organization (but outside as well) who could be
better than the CEO; but because of this inner circle, the choice for
the Top Post is influenced.

Are you with me?

Hence, to be among the Top Global Executives, the single most
important factor to affect would be – SUPPORTERS. After all,
what is a Leader without “followers”?

And to be among the TOP 1000 Global Executives…
We need the Global Trumpets of MEDIA

Thus, it is but sensible to start “gaining supporters” now by learning
to inspire towards objectives and subsequently, “give due credit.”

“No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself,
or to get all the credit for doing it.”
– Andrew Carnegie

What more? “Build Reputation” by spotting, investing, and
developing Great Talents.

“The only irreplaceable capital an organization possesses is the
knowledge and ability of its people. The productivity of that
capital depends on how effectively people share their
competence with those who can use it.”
– Andrew Carnegie

By “giving due credit” and “building reputation”, the voice of
your Supporters would echo throughout the Organization…
helping you strengthen that Image of being a Success Builder.

Consequently, to be among the TOP 1000 Global Executives... you
need to shout to the world that a Great Talent like you Exist, just
like campaigning for the Presidency!

“I want to be at the table and a player when they move the pieces
around in America.”
- Rupert Murdoch, Australian-born U.S.
media magnate

Therefore, make everybody if possible, realize that…
“Accomplishments would Obviously follow WHEN YOU’RE HEARD.”
For with Great confidence and determination among others,

a chance to perform is an invitation to succeed. It’s just simple
logic… those who make shots are the ones given the “opportunity”
to play; whilst the Great ones are those who has the “courage”
to take that shot at crunch time.

As, if you are indeed “ambitious” , an Achiever – it is expected
that you would “really” exploit on every Defining Opportunity.

To be a TOP Global Executive… let your “voice” be Heard.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Who Deserves To Be CEO?

Is it the one who is afraid to rock the boat OR is it that “Christopher
Columbus” daring to discover new territories? Is it the one who milks
the organization OR the one who nurtures his/her company? Is it the
one who just holds on to his/her hat OR is it the “change master”?

Many might say there’s a striking difference between “theoretical”
leadership and “applied” leadership… as many times, what is written
is not what actually happens… and yes, many times, it’s true.
That is why I say, Leaders should be proactive NOT reactive…
Leaders should be creative NOT traditional… Leaders should be
“change masters” to anticipate and adapt to the volatility of business
while seeking to improve it's environment.

Therefore, since theory could vary from actuality… “more than” just
relevant experience, Leaders NEED imagination and character; for the
Only REAL difference between theory and actuality is the “percentage”
of CHANGE that A Leader can handle.

See, if most CEOs are just “figure heads” who are scared to touch the
“status quo”… if most are just “puppets” who can’t stand his/her own turf…
it’s no wonder why these crisis has been cyclic as they are simply afraid
to REALLY take charge.

Traditional CEOs would probably look at this fact with sneer…
as “skeptics” have one thing in common – “lack of courage”.

Remember, Harry Truman? "The buck stops here."

Yet, many companies are pitifully led and content with their class C “leaders”.

Something must be wrong. No wonder organizations are wanting in REAL
Talent… suffering turn-overs left and right… and just producing mundane

Realize that everything starts from the Top… it’s even the “law of gravity”.
As in building as well… if the “cornerstone” is weak, so would be the

Yet, how did they become CEO??

To be an admirable and dependable TOP honcho – you need FIRE.

Consider Rule Number 62 from “How To Become CEO” by Jeffrey J. Fox…

People who belong to the “should’ve club” are always saying, “I should’ve done
that”; “I could’ve done that”; or “I would’ve done that.” The “should’ve club” is full
of non doers, the risk averse. They never go for it. They are so afraid of losing,
they never plan to win.

The “should’ve club” is boring. The members never get cut or scratched. They
never miss a shot in the last second. There are no reprimands, and they make
no waves. There is not an Arnold Palmer or Chris Evert or Larry Bird in this club.

The “shouldn’t have club” is the place to be. This is the winners’ circle. Each
time you admonish yourself with “Gee, I shouldn’t have done that” there will be
ten other times when the results will prove you should have.

No guts, no glory.

See, “status quo” is simply “cowardice.” Yet this trend continues to affect
companies and society unchecked, why? Structured Thinking.

In the Holy Bible, we can see the ultimate example in JESUS… to which we
now relate it to organizational terms. Here, being the son of a carpenter (lack
of education or experience), the Pharisees (board or others with the power to
recruit) could not accept Him as the Messiah (CEO). They believe that the
Messiah should come from their “known line” (traditional hiring process or one
of them) of kings… without regard to the miracles (ability, etc.) he has done.
So, what did they do? They crucified (ship out or ignore) Him…
ONLY to repent (benefited by another) in the end.

Haven’t we learned?? People like these are bound to Succeed.
If we let cowardice, pride or envy govern us… we will just keep on with
mediocrity. There is just so much to accomplish... and there's no perfect
time but now.

"Perhaps the biggest responsibility of any corporation is to own up
when it makes a mistake."
- Lee Iacocca

An “Achiever” could already be amongst you yet you Never noticed. But if
we continue to live with this conventionality… “robots” would soon take over.
Funny? It’s your choice.

The Age of Knowledge is at hand… but are you “ready” to move forward?

“Your legacy should be that you made it better than it was
when you got it."
- Lee Iacocca

The Deserving CEO has his/her own Mind.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Executive Search...

If you are an A-1 Recruiter, do you "really" know how to spot Leaders?

Many "headhunters" would probably again refer to the traditional
résumé to carefully search their probable candidates for Executive
Posts thereby bypassing what could be the "biggest" catch of their

Let's take the search for a CEO from an "Achiever's" angle...
First, what does a CEO do anyway? Next, what makes you think
that the
résumé really reflects what a company REALLY needs?
Finally, what could be the indicator of a Future, Successful CEO?

One of the primary responsibilities of a CEO is to increase shareholder
wealth which for now is the area that we will focus for the first question.

Next question, it's "traditionally" his/her last or present job (then
track record) "that makes one think" of the prospect's suitability for
the position. Yet for whatever position it maybe, when a prospect
shows up or when you find one... THINK of the
résumé as JUST a
Reference of One's interest AND NOT ability
. Remember, s/he could
be in transition or simply wants continuation. Hence, it is Important to
LISTEN... and NOT be "judgmental" OR you could miss out on
"Gold Mine".

Take note, a person would not be signifying interest for a position
that s/he believes s/he is not yet capable of handling... otherwise, s/he
would just make a fool out of himself/herself. Thus, pay attention to
his/her "guts".

Consider these words of wisdom on "Ability" by Henry Ford himself:
"If you think you can or think you can't you're probably right."

For that, Practice EMPATHIC LISTENING in your searches.

For the final question, let's take Lee Iacocca as an example...
He began working as an Engineering trainee at the Ford Motor
Company in 1946; switched to sales; worked his way up to Assistant
Manager in Washington, D.C. in 1956; and in 1960 succeeded
Robert S. McNamara as Vice-President and General Manager. With
an intuitive flair for the wants of the buying public, Iacocca developed
the Mustang in 1964, which broke sales records. By 1970, Iacocca
had been named President of Ford.

While working with Ford Motor Company, Lee Iacocca demonstrated
a keen understanding of public tastes, which was reflected in his
development of several highly successful car designs.
In 1978, Iacocca became President and CEO of the financially
troubled Chrysler Corporation and within five years rebuilt the
company into a successful organization.

Understanding of customers. Imagination. Determination.
Leadership skills and attributes particularly "decisiveness".

Therefore, FOCUS on the 4 Main SUCCESS Attributes in your
SEARCH and you have spotted the NEXT "Lee Iacocca."

As a footnote...
"people who WANTS to succeed studies successful people."

Are you now ready to take on the Executive "Search" Challenge?

résumé is JUST a Reference of One's Interest AND NOT Ability.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Secrets To Mastering YOUR Field...

We all heard about the adage that goes like this…

“Jack-Of-All-Trades, Master of None.”

What does this imply then?
That to master something, we got to concentrate our efforts in one field of interest…
before we even think of jumping to another basket.

Here, we see an integral part to “mastery” is FOCUS.
Epending our energy on what we really want from our careers,
from our lives
would shorten our route to success.

Imagine trying to hit three (3) different targets with a fully-loaded .38-caliber pistol…
now, imagine concentrating on just one target with the same resources.
If we can recall our statistics well enough,
don’t you think there would be a better chance for us to hit that single target?

However, understand that before we could even “focus”, it should be preceded
This element is always a basic requirement in starting
any undertaking;
without it, we won’t even get off the block.
It is the vital force that impels action.

Now that we have “focus” and “enthusiasm”,
we now try to inject “curiosity, analytical ability & astuteness”
to the fore in developing mastery.

As we know, CURIOSITY is about one’s eagerness to know about something
or to get information. Many times an introduction or orientation is not enough
for people to remember or get answers they want; and this is when
a bit of tinkering is necessary in getting things done.
Still being homo sapiens, we also recognize that not all data is useful,
so we call on our ANALYTICAL ABILITY… to separate things into
their constituent elements in order to study or examine them,
draw conclusions, or solve problems.
But, not without our ASTUTENESS can we do these.
A shrewd and discerning mind would always know what’s best for any process.

As the days log on, our stamina is tested; and with it comes the question
of “perseverance, hard work & efficiency”.

With PERSEVERANCE and HARD WORK, we could go through the
thick and thins of a protracted war for “mastery.”

Yet all our efforts would be wasteful if we can not achieve EFFICIENCY
in our course of action.

And competence is only tested when we have the FLEXIBILITY to adapt
to new situations, to change or be changed according to circumstances.
This is when “proactiveness & goal-orientedness” would prove vital
in making things work to our favor without swerving from our objectives.

As we notice, the elements in “mastery” are really all about personal attributes.
Why? Because “mastery” is just a matter of Interest and Repetition.

And how do we acquire REPETITION? Experience.
Nonetheless, while it’s true that we’d learn a lot through Experience…
Is it the only way to gain knowledge or practice??

First, consider this fact… would it take you “years” just to learn something??
And if we already have that knowledge,
do we need a 20-year experience just to justify our “mastery”??
Experience is basically “repetition”… it’s Intellect and Character that defines.

Obviously those who would really endorse Experience is lacking in Creativity.
(Creativity is key to product development, customer and employee satisfaction,
better negotiating and problem-solving to name a few)

Because Experience is the only thing that they could bank on.
Mind you, Everything has a counter-part, we just have to be forward-thinking.

Don’t you think Education in any form could give you that “technical knowledge”?

Realize that by reading, studying, attending workshops or talking to experts…
we could gain those valuable insights, right? Just get out of the box.

Many may say, what about “practice”?
See, if we want to enhance our Public Speaking or Teaching,
we could get it by speaking in church congregations, socio-civic clubs and alike.

If we desire to practice our Leadership and People Skills,
we could get it from coaching or training sports teams or by being at the forefront
in socio-civic clubs among others.

Only True Leaders could fathom this fact
That the higher you advance in the corporate ladder…
the less important would technical knowledge be
while the more important Leadership and People Skills will be.
The REAL Secret To Mastering YOUR Field lies in your IMAGINATION.

This is the ability to visualize or form images and ideas in the mind,
Specially of things Never seen or experienced directly.
Here, the only limit is what you impose on yourself.

“You are what you think all day long.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson, U.S. Essayist
Let’s take a look at what “The Power Of the Subconscious Mind” has to say…

You create your own reality with your own thoughts…
as your thoughts become your experience.

Your nervous system can not tell the difference between an imagined
and real experience. In neither case, it reacts automatically
to information
which you give to it from your forebrain.

Your nervous system reacts appropriately to what you think or imagine
to be true.
Realizing that our actions, feelings and behaviour are the
result of our own images
and beliefs gives us the lever that psychology
has always needed for
changing personality. It opens up a new
psychologic door to gaining “skill”,
success and happiness.

Mental pictures offers us the opportunity to “practice” new traits and
which otherwise we could not do. This is possible because
your nervous system could not tell the difference between
an actual experience
and one that is vividly imagined.

If we picture ourselves performing in a certainly manner
it is nearly the same
as the actual performance.
Mental practice helps to make perfect.

Some years ago…
Research Quarterly, a respected scientific publication reports
an experiment
conducted by the University of Chicago on
the “effects of mental practice”
on improving skill in sinking
basketball free throws.

One group of students actually practiced (20 minutes each day)
throwing the ball everyday for 20 days and were scored on
the first and last days.

A second group were also scored on the first and last days
but engaged in no sort of practice in between.
A third group were scored on the first day then spent 20 minutes
a day
imagining that they were throwing the ball at the goal;
when they missed, they imagined that they corrected
their aim accordingly.

Here is what happened after 20 days:

First group improved by 24%.
Second group had no improvement.
Third group improved by 23%.

Do you know that mental pictures can help you sell more goods?
In his book, Charles B. Roth tells how a group of salesmen in Detroit
that tried mental imagery and increased their sales by 100%;
another group in New York increased their sales by 150%;
while individual salesmen increased their sales up to 400%
using the same idea.

Conrad Hilton imagined himself operating a hotel long before
he ever bought one.
When a boy, he used to play and pretend
that he was a hotel operator.

Henry J. Kasser has said that each of his business accomplishments
was realized in his imagination before it even appeared in actuality.

Arthur Schnabel, a world-famous concert pianist took lessons for
only seven (7) years and hated practice. In fact, he seldom does
for any length of time at the actual piano keyboard.
When questioned about his small amount of practice as compared
other concert pianists, he said, I practice in my head.
Experience is essentially “repetition” or “habitual thinking”…

it’s learning ability, decisiveness, problem-solving skills, and
among others that matters.

“A problem can be said to exist when the way to attain some
desired end or object
is not immediately clear. For most simple
problems that arise in everyday life
the application of concepts,
principles and techniques learnt from past experience
will give
the answer, BUT, in more difficult instances this is not so.

On these occasions a “trial and error” or “hit and miss” approach
at the
ideational level is sometimes successful, but on other
more serious thinking is required.”
- Anand Sagar, Test Your I.Q.

“The power to move the world is in your subconscious mind.”
- William James, American Psychologist

So, dare to dream… and act on it.

In Mastering YOUR Field, Repetition is for the ordinary…
Imagination is for the Extra-ordinary.

Monday, September 29, 2008

The MBA Primer

We now come to the formal foundation of business understanding… the MBA.

Needless to say, many Business Leaders have taken great strides in pursuing
their Master’s. And this is for the simple fact that having such a degree is
an added armor in our profiles. However, more than just the paper factor,
the MBA provides us with that necessary knowledge in the ins-and-outs of
business administration.

This post would be tackling the five (5) core subjects in the MBA yet
the question is… “Can we actually touch on every aspect of the curriculum?”

The answer is No.
It’s just too lengthy and perhaps complex to some that we would need
to do a series on it. Nonetheless to make this primer layman-friendly,
we will try to use the most common terms in a concise presentation.


STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT encompasses the activities of Executives
in attempts to influence the overall direction of their organization.
This is mainly about defining the mission of the enterprise and ensuring
that the right things happen to execute the mission. These two activities
constitute the two (2) dimensions of Strategic Management –
Domain Definition
which is basically what type of business, activity or
venture would the organization get into; and
Domain Navigation
which is the process of rationalizing the stream of
activities within each domain by formulating and implementing business strategies.

As we are reminded that Domain Definition and Navigation refers
to the process of Strategic Management… of equal importance is
the content of a company’s strategy and for business purposes is in
reference to the organizational level at which strategic decisions
are made. (L.J. Bourgeois)

Here now are the three (3) levels of Strategy:

1. Corporate Strategy determines what businesses a corporation
will enter or exit and how to allocate resources among the various
businesses. This strategy is done at headquarter level.

2. Business Strategy refers to the competitive decisions made within a
particular product-market with an eye to achieving competitive
advantage and developing distinctive competences within an industry.
This strategy is performed at the General Manager or CEO level.

3. Functional Strategies in marketing, operations, finance, R & D,
and so on, while formulated at the department manager level,
should provide support for the business strategy.

In any way, it is important to note that formulating a great strategy
is one thing while managing its execution is another.
Hence, it is
highly possible th
at a great plan on paper can fail in implementation.
Therefore, we then have to examine areas such as information sharing,
knowledge transfer, and the management of culture, which happens
to be where many promising strategies fall short.
(Wharton Executive Education)

Keep in mind that if we are able to coalign the organization and
its environment… proactively and constantly, then we have come
a long way in anticipating and solving the strategy problem.

For another perspective on Strategic Management, please refer to
A Glimpse At The Strategist” (
April 21, 2008) of this blog site.

FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT. For those of you who have seen the
“Entrepreneurial Success Model”, managing money in keeping
with some plan or objective is what this subject is all about.
And although a number of objectives or goals could be advanced,
the conceptual foundation of finance is based on the notion that a
corporation directs its activities in order to maximize shareholder
wealth. So, we now have an idea on why Financial Policy can
determine whether a company flourishes or languishes in the
competitive arena… which is what makes Finance an interesting
and important business subject.

Who is the quintessential person responsible for such policy?
The CFO or the Chief Financial Officer of a corporation.
His/her vital duties mainly fall under two (2) broad headings:
(James C. Van Horne)

1. The allocation of funds among different assets. Here we consider
capital budgeting under conditions of risk and the required rate
of return for a project with valuation issues taken into account.

2. The raising of funds both externally and internally. In this area,
the nub would be with leverage, capital structure and actual financing
including the analysis of retained earnings as a source of funds.

It is important to note, however, as a special concern for finance leaders,
we have to take into account Mergers and Acquisitions.

Now with the volatility times, Financial Leaders should always be on
the alert to the changing interest-rate and equity-cost environment.
Take note, many of the financial innovations that occur are in response
to the precarious inflation and interest rates, regulatory changes that
permit increased competition among financial institutions, technological
advances that prompt improved electronic fund transfers, changes in
the level of economic activity, and tax law changes.

. For non-accountants, there are essentially two (2)
sides to the coin – “Financial Accounting” which deals with reporting
to individuals and entities external to the organization; and
“Managerial Accouting” which deals with reporting to individuals
inside the organization. In broad terms, accounting provides a financial
picture of an organization’s activities. (Joel S. Demski)

In other words, “Accounting” is about the measurement of cost and
revenue; with the accounting system as an important source of managerial
. As for the corporation’s expenditures, spendings vary as to
the type of business each entity are into… as revenues do differ as well.
Therefore, planning, monitoring, and controlling is often imperative to
optimize business operations.

If there’s a field in business where words are few… it’s accounting.
It is simply about numbers.

OPERATIONS. For this expanse, focus would be on Quality and
as well as Supply Chain Management. And so we begin
with a framework for understanding operations, a general structure
proposed by Abernathy et al. and refined by Hayes and Wheelwright
that provided a useful starting point. However, for this piece, we would
be presenting
the Perspectives on the Competitiveness of Product
in a descriptive manner. (Steven C. Wheelwright)

The framework’s first quadrant has its foremost emphasis on institutional
laws or policies that can be employed to encourage and support various
objectives in the manufacturing sector. These are actually aspects that
are “macro” (country-wide) and structural where these facets are considered
the pivotal point of industrial policy.

The second quadrant which is also macro in nature, deals with infrastructure
or “software aspects” that includes culture, traditions, and social behaviours.
Consideration here is on the work ethic and the willingness of workers to
submit to and adopt group objectives.

The third quadrant represents the more traditional “micro” or company-level
views which contains the structural features of production operations –
such as plant equipment, technology and vertical integration.

The fourth quadrant consists of infrastructure elements of production operations
within the individual firm that includes measurement and control systems,
work-force policies, management selection and training, and attention to detail
which are essential to competitiveness.

And to gain that competitive advantage, we have to address three (3) major
problems in managing production operations:

1. Deciding upon the set of production operation resources that the
firm needs to accomplish its overall objectives and purposes
with consequence to quadrant 3.

2. Providing the day-to-day systems and procedures that will make
the most efficacious use of that set of production operation resources
in weight to quadrant 4.

3. Coordinating the production operations function with the other
functions in the firm.

As we improve our processes, we improve on our Productivity and eventually
Quality; which is truly more than just having the specifications met but
guaranteeing consumer satisfaction.

And to achieve Leadership in our industry
We not only improve our processes but we have to make certain of the
highest possible standards our products and services.

Still, given that our products have excellent Quality, sustaining Leadership
is another matter as this would now fall on how we manage our Supply Chain.
See, although Logistics is a support activity which is really the sum of
physical supply and physical distribution… if we could only ascertain that
our customers could have our products whenever and wherever possible,
then Industry Leadership would be realized.

MARKETING. While operations is the ‘machine’, marketing is the ‘voice’.
Previously, “marketing” was simply advertising and in many cases,
it’s also selling. This is why the attention has particularly been on the
consumer, the competitors, and the economy… while at the same time
being guided by two (2) principles:

1. Meeting customer needs, and;

2. Providing a product or service superior to that of competition.

To meet needs, we got to be able to hear our customers; and we do so
by effective customer analysis.

To provide a superior product or service versus competition
, we do a
thorough competitive analysis coupled with an innovative product development.

Now with the changing times where customer and competitive positioning
is not enough, stress then should be given to
Image Building
from "organizational reengineering" to "public relations."

And yes, given that the 4 P’s has been properly attended to and with
consideration to the ‘bargaining power of suppliers and customers’ as
well as to ‘threats of substitutes’…

would now become a crucial marketing strategy
and by "positioning ourselves as partners of growth –
we have set ourselves as the Key to their Success."



Another quality common to leaders is their willingness to work hard,
to prepare themselves, to know their field of activity thoroughly.
I have often heard it said of some individual: “Oh, he’ll get by on
his personality.” Well, he may ‘get by’ for a time, but if a charming
personality is all he has
, the day will come when he will find himself
looking for a job.

I never knew President Roosevelt as well as I did some of the other
world leaders, but in the few conferences I had with him I was
impressed, not only by his inspirational qualities, but by his amazing
grasp of the whole complex war effort. He could discuss strategy on
equal terms with his generals and admirals. His knowledge of the
geography of the war theatres was so encyclopedic that the most
obscure places in faraway countries were always accurately sited
on his mental map. President Roosevelt possessed personality,
but as his nation’s leader in a global conflict, he also did his
homework – thoroughly.

Dwight D. Eisenhower


Mastering Business Administration is never a daunting quest for the
diligent and determined. Technical competence or professional
knowledge is a key strand to our authority. Yet expertise in a
particular job is not enough; other more general skills are required.
These focus upon Leadership, decision-making, and communication.
These can be ‘transferred’ as we move into a different situation in
our field or change to a new sphere of work. Within our field, we
should aim to widen our knowledge of the work and develop the
general abilities of leading others. Doing so will increase our
within it, so that we master reading the changes in
situations and responding with the appropriate Leadership style.

Erudition can be gained through readings; and
On-the-job experience is not the only way to practice management.

Use your imagination and act on it

To be that Expert in Business Administration… Do your Homework.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Valued Team Builder...

How many times have we heard "Team" in sports,
organizations, and many other undertakings?

The fact is... Team has always been associated with matters
that involves people. From sports to business organizations
to professional associations to what have you.
Yet, management at times feel threatened and may even take
credit away from the team when improvements are made.
Often, they fail to realize that their own involvement in team
activities will promote trust and cooperation between them
and their subordinates... thereby, enhancing their own reputation
as effective Leaders. (Deborah Harrington-Mackin)

Now then, why create such a "fuss" with Teams?


  • Teams make it easier and faster to reach objectives.
  • Teams create harmonious and friendly working environments.
  • Teams promotes cooperation while drowning "competition".
  • Teams increases flexibility in task assignments.
  • Teams improve self-worth, thereby, affecting motivation.
  • Teams respond faster to change.
  • Teams furthers creative problem-solving techniques.
  • Teams encourages healthier communication.
  • Teams come up with better decisions as a result of greater commitment.
However, with all the hype that is given to Teams...
to start a Team is to accept that there would be birth pains as well.

Since members would be required to change, they could have difficulty
leaving their "hats" at the door. Because of that, Team formation could
be time-consuming and therefore, would naturally take a longer-time
to produce initial results. So, whether you are part of the Team or not,
the Team would then appear confused, disorderly and out of control.

All of these, however, are just part of the adjustment period...
that should not, in any way, discourage Management from supporting
Teams. After all, in the long run, Teams make organizations run like
well-oiled machines.

"If you do not believe in cooperation, look what happens
to a wagon that loses a wheel." - Napoleon Hill

So... How Do We then Form A Team?

First, always be guided by an achievable goal with a specific objective.
Then, decide on what type of team(s) to create for that purpose.

Here are the Types of Teams with their basic description (DHM):

  1. Organizational Policy-Making Teams (Multifunctional). Identifies major areas of concern/opportunity. Articulates organizational needs. Sometimes called Quality Councils. Can function as the organization's management team if so empowered.
  2. Task Force (Cross-functional). Sometimes called Process Improvement Teams or Product Launch Teams.
  3. Department Improvement Teams (Functional). Restrict scope of activity (select problems and identify solutions) to within the department.
  4. Quality Circles. Includes members from functional areas who work together on specific quality, productivity, and service problems. Have first-hand knowledge about a task but may not have the power and authority to transform ideas into action. Although often temporary in nature, QCs serve as a forerunner of self-directed work teams.
  5. Self-Directed Work Teams (Functional). Limited to a particular work unit. Functions semi-autonomously; and are responsible for controlling the physical and functional boundaries of their work and for delivering a specified quantity and quality of a product or service within a specified time and defined cost. Note, however, that the shift to self-direction represents change, and with change comes resistance.
  6. Self-Managed Teams (Functional). Operates with varying degrees of authority. Contract with management to assume management responsibility in addition to performing its specific jobs, including planning, organizing, directing and monitoring. Identifies, analyzes and solves task and relationship problems.
Now that we know the types of Teams,
let's get to the Basics of Team Functioning:
  1. Forming a Team. When in some cases, having the Team define its own goal means that the Team will take longer to get started on specific tasks than if a design team or steering committee had determined the initial goal.
  2. Determining the Level of Authority. When a Team is created to perform a specific task or to deal with a specific issue, it should be assigned a clear level of authority, defining the limits within which it may act autonomously.
  3. Establishing Team Membership. A Team can comprise a complete working unit or can include people from throughout the organization, including hourly staff and Top management. The critical issue that surfaces wjtb Team membership is inclusion and exclusion. Members on a Team begins to flaunt their special status; while employees not on teams are often left behind to "do the real work", and resentment grows. Generally, a Team that is experiencing problems or has suddenly entered into a new phase of development will not readily welcome a new member; if problems exist, members may use the new member to avoid confronting them. The larger the percentage of new members on an existing Team, the more resistance there will be to their inclusion. For Best Team functioning, a minimal amount of training should be required of all team members in such areas as interpersonal skills, leadership skills, and problem-solving skills.
  4. Determining the Optimal Team Size. If the Team's goals and tasks are complex and demand considerable skill, small teams (from 6 to 12 members) are most effective. If tasks are relatively simple and redundant, Teams can be sufficiently large to provide something meaningful to manage. If the Team is responsible for a task requiring a lot of technological know-how, the team size should be large enough to include people who can perform the job, as well as those who can manage - and even design - the product (a cross-functional team). The decision about Team size must be based on how willing members are to help the team function smoothly.
  5. Orienting New Members. Orientation of new members is the responsibility of the team, not the new member. To shorten the startup time for a new member, make sure he or she is properly oriented for the team, its members, and its work to date. Orientation should occur within thirty days of placement on a team and should include: (a) An overview of training specific to that team. (b) A review of the team's history and it's purpose in forming. (c) A review of team minutes, with an emphasis on decisions made to date. (d) The sharing of all pertinent information and date. (e) A discussion of roles and responsibilities agreed to by the team.
  6. Using Member Substitutions. A substitute person is a person who sits in for a team member when he or she is unable to attend a meeting. Substitutes are used when members sit on several teams and have occasional scheduling conflicts.
  7. Removing a Member from the Team. Removing a member from a team is an act of tremendous significance for both the member and the team. When a person is asked to leave or chooses to leave a team, it is up to the team to handle the situation as effectively as possible. Once the teams has determined that a team member is not working effectively, a procedure that basically follows these steps has proved to work with most teams.
  8. Handling Resignation Requests. In the normal course of events, Teams can expect to lose up to 30% of their members in the first year. Resignation requests should be presented to the team in writing. Whenever a resignation occurs, every effort should be made by the team to conduct an exit interview to determine why the member has resigned.

Key Points On Getting Started on Team Building:
  1. Describe Key Activities the team is expected to undertake, including specific objectives to be achieved or strategies, recommendations, or analysis to be performed. Require work plan, charts, reports, and presentations, if necessary.
  2. Identify The Results Expected of the team, such as improvements, savings, gains, and benefits.
  3. Identify The Resources Available to the team, including the team adviser, subject matter expert (SME), or single point of contact (SPOC).
  4. Identify The Type Of Frequency of Reporting and the Communication expected of the team, including who should receive copies of the team minutes and any interim reports.
  5. Identify Any Nonnegotiable Requirements of rules the team is expected to adhere to or that it needs to be aware of.
  6. Identify The Skills And Abilities necessary for the team to accomplish its task.
  7. Identify The Authority Level the team will have - what decisions it may or may not make and any spending limitations.
  8. Identify The Owners' Roles and Responsibilities (if applicable).
  9. Select A Core Team to build the first meeting agenda and to identify the first step. Select an interim facilitator for the first meeting.
Note again that there are some points to remember though in
Assigning Team Roles... Team roles should be assigned and/or
clarified at the beginning of each team meeting.
A healthy team allows members to be flexible in their roles.
This flexibility may be encouraged by rotating duties and responsibilities.

Here, Participative Leadership is a requirement of an effective team.
All team members must develop team leadership skills.
The facilitator must neither dominate the team nor decide team rules alone.

Therefore, supervisors have the greatest role change during the transition
to teams, and most need training to gain confidence in the new role.
Management plays an important role here, helping the supervisor cope
with the loss of power and control.

With Management support, the eventual success of the Team now really
depends on the member's commitment.

Share this paragraph (from Business Desk Reference) with team members
who believe that "doing your own thing" is all that matters.


My supervisxr txld me that teamwxrk depends xn the perfxrmance xf
every single persxn xn the team. I ignxred that idea until my supervisxr
shxwed hxw the xffice typewriter perfxrms when just xne single key is
xut xf xrder. All the xther keys xn xur typewriter wxrk just fine except xne,
but that xne destrxys the effectiveness xf the typewriter. Nxw I knxw that
even thxugh I am xnly xne persxn, I am needed if the team is tx wxrk as
a successful team shxuld.


As we know... "In Unity, there is Strength."

To be that Ultimate Team-Builder, Be that Relationship-Builder who can see Beyond.