Friday, February 27, 2009

To Be THAT LEADER... Create Wealth.

We now come to the part that entrepreneurs and shareholders
are most concerned with - Generating Revenue.

Everything has a price. There is no such possibility as "something
for nothing." And so, to earn money, you got to spend money.

Well... are all assets spelled in dollars anyway?
Not necessarily, but in business at least, that is the bottomline.


"In the end, all business can be reduced to three words:
people, product, and profits." - Lee Iacocca

If we examine the words of a successful leader in Lee Iacocca...
Wealth is found in these three factors. People. Product. Profits.
Hence, it now boils down to how we squeeze the juice out of these.

PEOPLE. If to this date you are still skeptical on the value of
investing in talents THEN how could businesses thrive?

Understand that businesses make money from people. People
are producers, therefore, people are assets. They are there to
help you in your objectives.

"Coke was a little like the Wizard of Oz - so powerful was its
image that few foresaw that the company was vulnerable to
attack by new ideas." - John Sculley

Look, even for an established product like Coke, market share
could be eaten and has been eaten by alternative colas because
of those "new ideas."

Yes, Coke may still be a powerhouse but didn't some of those
who dared thrived?

And so... may I ask you where do we get those "ideas"?
From people. From the "fertile" minds of Real Talents.

Now, if you do not invest on talents for whatever reason you may
have, how will you get "new ideas"? How can you create wealth?

If you believe that you are creative yourself, don't you think
"two heads are better than one"? As we know, time is gold
so invest on talents... Leaders or Creative Thinkers.

PRODUCT. Without a product, what will you sell? Of course,
there's still service but it's still classified as a product. Well,
altho there may be many categories, I say there are just really
two basic product categories: quality, high-priced products and
the alternative, low-priced products.

For whatever category, a product is a product and it is there for
the "big bucks" if you know how to do it. For quality, high-priced
products, positioning is key; while for alternative, low-priced
products, economies of scale would be crucial.

Still, if you do not know what product to produce - look at a child
at play. Observe the child's behaviour, likes and dislikes. And
more importantly, look if the parents will give in. More often than
not, they would, right?

See, that's a fact in consumer behaviour, the heart is more
powerful than the mind. Thus, if you know how to love then
that emotion could bring you the tangibles in business as well.

"No great marketing decisions have either been made on
quantitative data." - John Sculley

So when you decide to produce something, try to touch the heart
to strengthen the 4 P's. Make your imagination work first, don't
just think of the cost yet. Consider yourself or a loved one as the
consumer; and look at possibilities before checking your pocket.

"The surest foundation of a manufacturing concern is Quality.
After that, and a long way, comes cost." - Andrew Carnegie

PROFITS. In the long run, a business can not afford to go by on
break-even, it really has to create wealth. For whatever the vision
of the organization is, it has to gain profits to continue operations.

Ok, we already know of optimizing profits and minimizing costs.
And I am sure as Leaders, you know how to do it, too; and there
are many ways on how to. Great customer service is a given.
It results in loyalty consequently contributing to profits. And so,
I would like to give particular attention to process improvement.

We know that if we make our manufacturing and work methods
more efficient, it would naturally save on time and capital; and
increase in productivity and even quality. Nevertheless, we don't
just cut here and cut there, a thorough study is definitely the
sensible thing to do.

Another area would be logistics, or the availability of products and
services anywhere, anytime... of course, with consideration to
costs and labor.

Process improvement and Logistics are just basics. So, master
the basics and we step on solid ground at least in an ideal
business environment. Here, flexibility is central.

"I am the world's worst salesman, therefore, I must make it
easy for people to buy." - Frank Woolworth

To have constant flow of water, we need a spring, a stream.
We need to gain customer loyalty and build on it to have greater
market share. For Frank Woolworth, customer loyalty came in the
form of items at very affordable prices; and in all sites he deemed

Learn from plants. All we need is to plant a tomato and in time,
with its seeds and proper care, we can then grow a plantation of it.

See, once people, product and profits have been established -
we can then think of mergers, acquisitions, diversification, and
expansion to name a few. Again, these are just "basics."

The bigger you are, the more space you occupy.

With that in mind, we should keep our eyes and ears open for
opportunities to grow, to exploit, and to watch out for.

"I don't look to jump over 7-foot bars. I look around for 1-foot
bars that I can step over." - Warren Buffet

Realize that while Warren Buffet refers to the obvious, we should
also be careful of subtle landmines. And in opportunity seeking,
more than trends or crises, Intuition and Negotiating Skills are vital.

TO CLOSE A DEAL, be guided by the following:
  • What opportunity or need does my deal address?
  • What qualifies my prospect(s) or target buyer(s)?
  • Who and what are the gut values of the gatekeepers?
  • Who and how can I help those who helped me?
  • When on the negotiating table, ask critical and relevant questions to control the conversation. Consider the prospect's need at that time, budget, experience or knowledge, constraints, decision-making responsibility, information needed by the committee, and the next committee meeting among others. Write down all data gathered and listen for keys.
  • Use a third-party Endorsement.
  • Do follow-ups.
In negotiating, do not forget to apply the principles of relationship
building; and remember, clarity and timing are critical to closings.

When you master the art of negotiating, you will create more wealth
than you thought possible. Bet you have heard of Donald Trump.

"The trick is to make sure you don't be waiting for prosperity
to come." - Lee Iacocca

Survey the field. Weigh possibilities. And altho timing is crucial,
do not procrastinate. What you plant is what you will harvest.

Remember... "To Create Wealth...
Focus on People, Product and Profits while sharpening your Negotiating Skills."

Friday, February 20, 2009

To Be THAT LEADER... Cultivate Teamwork.

Have you ever wondered why, in military trainings, do they include
"marching" and similar drills? After all, what's the use of
synchronized marching in "war", or even in "community service."

Teamwork. Team Works!

And as the saying goes, "two heads are better than one."

This could just either be between or within cubicles, or amongst
group mates resulting in greater productivity and job satisfaction.

Blogs ago, I posted an entry entitled "The Valued Team Builder..."
and there I discussed, well, team building. For this posting, the
fourth part of this series "To Be THAT LEADER...", we shall delve
into important issues concerning a team; and how we should be
addressing those issues.

But before proceeding, as a reminder, in order for a group of people
to attain their maximum potential as a team, the following conditions
must be met:

COMMON GOAL. To proceed without a reasonable objective is
obviously a waste of time, money, and effort. See, when people
has that "meeting of the minds", they agree to a common goal
then goes for it... and with persistence comes success.

"Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children
of your soul; the blue-prints of your ultimate achievement."

MUTUAL TRUST. Trust is born out of goodwill, out of sincerity,
out of concern. The key, then, would be Communication.
Through open and sincere discussions to sort out facts, feelings,
assumptions, and expectations -- "fear or worry" would soon be
replaced by Trust.

Have you ever thought of why some bird species fly in "V" formation?

This is like "as if" we know that "that" someone will catch us when
we fall. So, we have to positively build on that Trust. But first, we
should learn how to be and express sincerity.

Understand the heart before taking the hand.

TEAM SYSTEM. We are talking of people here, so, this means
each member must have a thorough understanding and acceptance
of the system of rewards, discipline, and work sharing. This system
must be clearly articulated and embraced by upper management.

Remember this is a t*e*a*m we are building and maintaining; and
therefore, we need people who are enthusiastic to be part of the
group to be capable of contributing positively.

"Instead of the question 'what must I do for my employer?'
substitute 'what can I do?'" - Andrew Carnegie

Now, after meeting these conditions and assuming a team already
exists... Leaders have to cultivate teamwork by addressing
perennial issues.

ROLES. This includes responsibilities, accountability, and
authority among others. In office settings, the effects and
significance of roles are not as distinctly seen and appreciated
compared to a "team in action" -- like a sports team or a ship
and it's crews.

Can you imagine if every crew member were engineers, then who
would be in-charge of navigation? Of food, maintenance, etc.?

Realize that staffing is vital but more so is the recognition of
abilities; hence, delegation, empowerment, and the degree of
would prove crucial in team productivity.

And since we are operating as a team, issues of control and
duties could still surface. It is, therefore, key for the group leader
to see to it that the work environment (and as perceived by team
members) is fair, reasonable, and friendly.

"Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when
your position falls, your ego goes with it." - Colin Powell

And this, as many may have overlooked, is done by building on
trust for cooperation.

DECISION-MAKING. Obviously, the one who could better solve
problems should be given weight. However, "insensitively" doing
so could diffuse team morale and enthusiasm; hence, Leaders
need to optimize the problem-solving and decision-making of
their groups to meet challenges and sustain that competitive

"Everything should be made as simple as possible,
but not simpler." - Albert Einstein

As we know, there are several tools to arrive at the best decision,
now it's simply a matter of knowing how to choose the problem
solving approach to fit a given situation. Then again, understand
that the decision-making process and responsibilities should be
made clear from the start to progressively move forward.

TEAM BEHAVIOUR. Forming and maintaining a team takes
more than just organizational skills, it takes good "people skills."
And any undertaking that involves people, requires patience,
sensitivity, and care. (see 04.09.08 blog)

"Leadership is not manifested by coercion, even against the
resented. Greatness is not manifested by unlimited pragmatism
which places such high premium on the end justifying any
means and any measures." - Margaret Chase Smith

Since a team is normally made up with a diversity of people,
of different cultures and perspectives, there is sometimes a
problem in communication that can lead to misinterpretation.
Language barriers can be difficult to overcome unless you take
genuine interest to understand.

Stereotyping and Discrimination then could also pop up in a
team setting; but more than "communication" problems, this is
more of that "superiority" complex. And this could be because
of expertise, status or actually "cultural" in nature among others.

"You may, if you like, cut us into pieces. You may shatter us at
the canon's mouth. If you act contrary to our will, we shall not help
you and without our help, we know that you can not move one
step forward. It is likely that you will laugh at all this in the
intoxication of your power." - Mahatma Gandhi

Stereotyping and Discrimination are the poison to unity...
the venom that would slowly drag the team to oblivion.
Face 'em with a clear mind, an open heart, resolvent eyes,
empathic ears, gentle voice, honorable tongue, and firm action.
Stop the vicious disease... and you cut discord into pieces.

"There are no 'white' or 'colored' signs on the foxholes or
graveyards of battle." - JFK

These complications could then result into low morale, a shaky
loyalty, non-participation, low productivity, negativity, resistance,
and conflicts. Thus, occasional discipline may be needed for
the misconduct of team members on their job. This would be in
the form of an agreed-upon process that the team encourages to
handle before management becomes involved. (see 01.20.09 blog)

"Let us never negotiate out of fear, but
let us never fear to negotiate." - John F. Kennedy

On the other hand, what if Leaders and members become
How would this affect the corporate culture, the

Well, ok, we have heard of greater productivity and job satisfaction
in such alliances; however, there are caveats to it such as gradual
decrease in productivity, conflict of interest, biases, and questions
on accountability to name a few.

Yes, everybody is a friend; but everybody should be "professional"
enough to understand that "work is work" and that we have to
constantly watch that line to maintain respect and professionalism yet
with a friendly business environment towards the accomplishment of
objectives. In this case, Leaders should strike a balance between
closeness and distance without sacrificing friendship.

There is a time and place for everything.

Consider developing a good sense of humor. It would show to be
invaluable for relieving tension in the group or individual, or, for that
matter, in the Leader himself... as it is closely related to a sense of
, a useful asset in anything involving people.

Accordingly, with a strong and empathic team leadership...
goals could be monitored and met; and consequently, rewards
would be in order to sustain that "edge" as shown in increased
productivity, loyalty, motivation, and better customer service.

Can you "win" alone?
Then why do you do business or, seek or continue employment?
Or even engage with people? Realize that "team" is spelled with
an "E", not with an "I."

"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

To Cultivate Teamwork... foster Trust and Open communication.

Friday, February 13, 2009

To Be THAT LEADER... Invest On Talents.

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

How can a leader recruit talents when s/he doesn't even know
how to spot them? How can a leader produce leaders when
s/he is "insecure"? How can a leader retain talents when s/he
doesn't even know what good investment really is?

  • One has to have the humility to accept that s/he needs help to achieve objectives;
  • S/he has to have the humility to accept that s/he needs a trustworthy hand to maintain excellence;
  • S/he has to have the humility to accept that s/he needs a creative mind to climb the next mountain;
  • S/he has to have the humility to accept that s/he needs a courageous lieutenant to weather the storms that may come, and that;
  • S/he has to have the humility to accept that one of those talents "could be" better than him/her... and that one day "could succeed" him/her... if not, should be recommended to another organization for one of the top, if not, the Top position of that company.
Does it sound "scary" now, then how could you be THAT LEADER?

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments
of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of
challenge and controversy." - Martin Luther King, Jr.


Consider how Jesus "recruited" His disciples...
Did He use any special techniques, tests, screening, etc. to do so?


Some would say... "It's because it's Jesus.." or "The circumstances
were different.." or "The needs were different..".. etc., etc.. Bunk!

Think about this...
Leadership IS about dealing with people, hence, if you just want
to "hire employees" ... then use the technical process.

But, if you want "REAL talent" -- then think out-of-the-box.
Don't follow the structural form but rely on your sixth sense
more than the conventional method.

See, Jesus wanted "Fishers Of Men."

But How Did He Spot Them?
If He were traditional in His thinking, He would have just gone to
the merchants to "fish." But He used creativity and intuition in
connecting "catching fishes with Fishing for Men."

So then, ask yourself...
How could one recognize a "goose that lays golden eggs"
when s/he doesn't even know what a goose is?

Now, this is the reason why "recruiters" don't really get REAL talents
(leader or creative thinker) and that is because they apply
technicalities more, instead of intuition. It's because they seek
those who fit the glass slippers, instead of patiently looking for those
who could make such or any kind of slippers. (see 11.17.08 blog)

Thus, when you hire, Hire according to the 3 "I's" (Jeffrey Fox):

INTEGRITY. First priority.
"A man who will steal for me will steal from me." - T. Roosevelt

A person who holds firmly to sovereign values outside himself grows
a wholeness of personality and moral strength of character.

I CAN DO IT attitude. Critical.
"Enthusiasm is the mainspring of the soul. Keep it wound up and
you will never be without power to get what you actually wanted."
~ Napoleon Hill

Enthusiasm knows no defeat, so it is imperative to understand the
stimuli which produces enthusiasm.

INTELLIGENCE. As a reminder, experience is simply exposure and
high learning ability could definitely offset such.

"Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted."
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Problem-solving and Innovation is about IQ while "experience"
as you now know, is just repetition. (see 10.22.08 blog)


First, a Leader should be secure of himself/herself before s/he could
even act it out. And with courage and a futuristic mind, the rest
would follow.

The following are the Principles in Leadership Development (ACB):
  • Formulating a policy for leadership development at boardroom level.
  • Placing a priority on leadership potential in selection procedures.
  • Training leaders on properly-designed courses.
  • Planning careers so as to give appropriate experience.
  • Turning all line managers into leadership trainers "on the job."
  • Building a specialist resource in this area.
  • Evolving an organizational structure that favours the exercise of leadership.
  • Encouraging all leaders to "own" their own self-development.
  • Securing a climate or ethos which supports good leadership.
  • Obtaining a positive lead from the top.
"Every man who takes office in Washington either grows or swells,
and when I give a man office I watch him carefully to see whether
he is growing or swelling." - Woodrow Wilson

Here, note that "training programs" should also include "resilience
building and creative thinking" to be able to respond to challenges
... fuel innovation... and "get ahead" of change.


As a Leader, you should recognize that people make things happen,
so... you can't cut people costs "unreasonably" just to save money.
People are assets that you make money on. Make sure they are
satisfied and motivated enough with where they are, so... pay
them a little more than the average industry rate. Give them a little
more of those benefits, specially that which involves their families
like vacation, schooling, etc..

And don't forget to invest on emotional currency... give trust,
autonomy, praise, and encouragement. Be a credit maker, not a
credit taker. Understand that their success is your success as well.

People are not dumb. They are not in business to lose money or
to make mistakes and enemies. All they need is a little wise


Thousands of people walked over the great calumet copper mine
without discovering it. Just one lone man got busy with a pick and
found it. You may be standing on a "calumet mine" right now
without knowing it. Dig down and see what is under the surface.

There is always room for a good man, otherwise, make room.

Take note...
Ideas come from fertile minds. Fertile minds from REAL talents.
Consequently, to invest on talents is to invest for your company's
survival and success. And Leaders who knows how to invest and
acts on it gets that "return on investment" as a Success Builder...
which opens up doors for more and better opportunities for his/her
own career or business.

"No man can rise to fame and fortune without carrying others along
with him. It simply can not be done." - THE LAW OF SUCCESS

Investing On Talents is investing for the future.

Friday, February 6, 2009

To Be THAT LEADER... Build Relationships.

People need people.

This is the rudimentary notion why we need to build relationships;
yet, I am sure that some are aware that not everybody would agree
to this belief, instead treat it as just a whim.

For those who agree:
People need people to survive, to succeed and to be happy.
For those who disagree:
Not all people need people because they already have what they
need to survive; and that they consider themselves successful
and be happy. We could then sense that these people are already

Still, even with money, here're some thoughts to ponder:

  • If you need food, wouldn't you need someone to at least get it for you? Unless you grow your own food and do all the dirty works, then you don't really need someone.
  • If you get sick, wouldn't you need someone to at least get medicine and care for you? Unless you grow your own herbal medicine and do all the dirty works, then you don't really need someone.
  • If you need to express yourself, many times, a pencil or a paintbrush is not enough. We need someone to talk to or at least to feel the presence of.
See, many rich people unknowingly suffer from relationship
imbalance as sincerity is questionable... and commitment only
depends on money.

So, think about Maslow's hierarchy of needs, from physiological
to self-actualization -- people need people.
Hence, building relationships is vital... though you don't need to
be a "social butterfly" just to survive, succeed, and be happy.

Thus here, we choose the kinds of relationships we need to be
fulfilled in our lives... to nurture them to remain fulfilled and to get
the support we hope for specially in times of need.

"The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining." - JFK

  • SPOUSE, CHILDREN. A spouse can either help or hurt; but a supportive spouse and a happy family is your best ally specially when the chips are down. This is the most important of your relationships... the only one you can be "truly" intimate with... your most trusted ally... your buoyancy in the journey of life... your inspiration.
"No one can foretell the possibilities of achievement available
to the man whose wife stands at his back and urges him on...
it is your right and your duty to encourage your husband and
urge him on until he shall have found his place in the world."

What do we do?
Put your family on the calendar. Schedule activities. Schedule
vacations. Leave work early if you are taking your children trick
or-treating. Buy flowers for your wife. Clip a loving note for your
husband. Have dates. Give them top priority. When your
spouse or children speak to you, give your full attention. Build
as many happy memories as possible. Quality time with your
family will reward you a thousandfold.

"A strong relationship with a spouse can be a tremendous
source of energy for a leader." - John C. Maxwell
  • WORK-RELATED. These include customers, subordinates, suppliers, employees, peers, and associates even networkers among others. Remember, your sustenance basically comes from this group, so treat everyone special; as your organization is like a machine, you need everyone oiled for it to work well.
What do we do?
Use good manners, all the time, with everyone. Be empathic.
Learn to listen well. Treat everyone's office and belongings as
if they were yours. Know everybody by their first name. Know
something about them. Be a credit maker, not a credit taker.
Send thank you notes. Give informal surprise bonuses for those
who does an extraordinarily good job on something. Organize
annual sports day and excursions. Keep in minda your people's
families, arrange an occasional "weekend for two" for a job well

Understand that customers are the lifeblood of any company.
Be courteous and don't waste their time, or anyone else's time.
Instead use time positively, take one of them to lunch every
Friday. And don't forget to always try to say something nice,
it'd make people feel good and contribute at high levels.

10 Things To Say That Make People Feel Good (Jeffrey Fox):

  1. "Please."
  2. "Thank you."
  3. "You remember Larry Kessler in our Accounts Payable department." (An introduction of someone to a superior.)
  4. "That was a first-class job you did."
  5. "I appreciate your effort."
  6. "I hear nothing but good words about you."
  7. "I am glad you are on the team."
  8. "I need your help."
  9. "You certainly earned and deserve this."
  10. "Congratulations."
"If you don't believe in cooperation, look what happens
to a wagon that loses a wheel." - Napoleon Hill
  • FRIENDS. These include but not limited to people outside your company, like neighbors, schoolmates, and network connections among others. Here is one area where we could really choose whom to connect with. More than sharing interests or going to the same school, we should also muse on one's integrity... and values; as the famous maxim goes...
"Tell me who your friends are, and I'll tell you who you are."

What do we do?
Don't smoke just because everybody is smoking. Think healthy.
Help your friends be better people. Be positive. Avoid gossip.
Do sports. Share news and activities. Drinking is not really bad
provided it's just a shot or two, so drink to socialize not to get
drunk... and be sensitive to time, money, and energy.

"A wicked man puts up a bold front, but an upright man gives
thought to his ways." - Proverbs 21:29

Don't sacrifice virtue especially for fun sake. Now, when your friends

realize your worthiness and that you truly care for them, you will have
a stronger bond. And a strong connection is like having another hand
to help you get further.

Leadership requires energy -- mental and emotional. If we have our
relationships in good shape, it would not only help us a great deal in
stress management; but it would also reenergize us and help us
perform better towards our goals.

Take note, good relationships don't just come on a silver platter but
are built by reaching out and constantly working on it.

As a rule of thumb, apply the following Guidelines to have and
maintain a Good Relationship
  1. GOLDEN RULE. Bear in mind, "what we plant is what we harvest."
  2. SINCERITY. Be truthful in your dealings. Never deceive in any way.
  3. THINK WIN-WIN. Always find common ground to build on. Don't be selfish.
  4. BE CONCERNED. People have feelings, if you really care, it'll go a long way.
  5. COMMUNICATE. Anything can be fixed. Everything can be strengthened. Just talk.
  6. COMMIT. Honor your word. Be there, rain or shine. And sacrifice, if needed.
  7. GIVE TIME. This is the glue that sticks everything together. Give yourself.
Never say or act out anything on impulse... if you do, it'd prove to
be the biggest mistake you'd make in any of your relationships.
Regret always come after saying or doing something on impulse... so,
think and think hard before you "could destroy the good" that could
have been. Patience is key.

It takes a matured person to understand and accept responsibility...
and a thinking Leader to realize that relationships, specially personal,
are key to one's "enthusiasm"... the spring of achievement.

How much you VALUE your relationships... echoes in your life.

Consider what a loved one had to say some time ago...
"We can find many ways so long as we are together."

No one can climb the ladder of success without taking anyone along.

Your success lies on how well you build & maintain your relationships.