Friday, March 27, 2009

Shape The Future... The Special Edition.

Before we come to the second half on what it takes to shape the
, let’s use this time to realize the depth of the water.

In our first installment on shaping the future, we talked about how
important time and intuition are in molding what is yet to come.
Some or even many could have raised their eyebrows when I
suggested to trust their intuition.


They could be thinking that the suggestion is to disregard facts
in favor of hunches. For most, it could be a separation of logic from
decision-making; however, did I say to just “guess”?

Using intuition has it’s “special” time in business. It is when you
deal with people, whether hiring or people management; it is when
you get into product design; and in many cases, it is when your
back is against the wall. Haven’t you realized how much creativity
could propel your undertakings to success?

Creativity, in business, makes use of imagination which fuses with
“intuition.” Intuition is essential to being a futuristic leader. Hence,
creativity, imagination, and intuition go hand in hand into grasping
the cycle of birth and death; and seeing past the end of a cycle.

Now, understand that “intuition” is forecasting; and “forecasting” is
simply the proper use of one’s brain cells to predict the future.
It is also in the ability to see beyond the initial idea, through the
building process, and yes, past the completion of the project.

See, if Leadership were just being objective without the balance of
subjectiveness then we are like “robots”… and this explains why
there is stereotyping and bias, the two deadly sins that deprives
a company of “great ideas.”

More so, think about this…

Notice that some of the greatest corporate thefts happened
because we chose what looks nice on paper instead of balancing
things out with our intuition. Good for those crimes that have been
discovered, but what about those that has not been uncovered yet?

Well, to this date, they continue to milk your company of valuable
resources – and with your approval via your traditional thinking!

America can not be an ostrich with it’s head in the sand.”
- Woodrow Wilson

Intuition is “courage.” Courage is an integral part of Leadership.
Intuition is not about “guessing.” Intuition is understanding the
situation with faith and confidence. And mind you, faith and
confidence are central to being A Leader; without these qualities,
you can never be a good Leader.

Look, we know that before we get to war, everything should be
considered. However, there are times when you do not have that
immediate access to resources; there are times when you are
just caught fighting without any bullets.

If so, would you just flee?

Good for you if you could. You could just then regroup and fight
another day. But what if you can not? Now, this is really when your
strength and abilities are tested! This is when intuition is specially
useful. Crisis makes a Hero!

Remember the first component to shaping the future? Fix yourself.
Do not be traditional but think out-of-the-box. Trust intuition to
release creativity. Have that courage.

“A little blindness is necessary when you undertake risk.”
- Bill Gates

Again, realize that we are not guessing nor throwing in the towel,
but in business, we should know how to blend logic with
intuition to our advantage. Nobody is in business to lose money
but see, only those who truly dares are those who really flourishes.

“When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the
old man who said on his death bed that he had had a lot of trouble
in his life, most of which had never happened.” - Winston Churchill

So, if you think you will lose, then you most certainly will... Success
begins in the mind. To win, you have to trust yourself. To thrive
in business, you got to be positive… to attract people and
. And to shape a better tomorrow, you got to learn how to
use intuition for everyone’s benefit.

Our best preparation for tomorrow is the proper use of today.

To Shape The Future… get out of that shell.

Friday, March 20, 2009

To Be THAT LEADER... Shape The Future.

The last piece to being “that” Leader lies in one’s ability to see…
and shape the future.

“Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours
to win or lose.” - Lyndon B. Johnson

Although leaders already know about this, it continues to be a
missing piece in the arsenal of many leaders.

Do you still remember the first six components on “to be that
Leader”? Well, true leadership is first and foremost for the
courageous yet humble spirit. Learn from the learned, however,
learn to listen to everyone.

“I know of no case where a man added to his dignity by
standing on it.” - Winston Churchill

It is certainly good to be ambitious but it is far better if you
achieve while playing fair.

As the final piece of the puzzle in being “that” Leader, shaping
the future could sound a bit absurd to some; after all, nobody
really knows “exactly” what will happen in the future. The key
then here is just to “trust” that little voice and go for it; again, not
in haste but with quick, thorough thought.

“Neglecting to broaden their view has kept some men
doing one thing all their lives.” -THE LAW OF SUCCESS

How do we shape the future? We hear many say by getting
ahead of change, but how exactly??

Here are the first three of Six Components to Shape The Future…

FIX YOURSELF… is simply a matter of refreshing not only the
values we learned from mom and dad, but the “focus” we were
encouraged to use.

To know what we really want and to put all our positive energies
to it. This is all about trusting your inner being, that little voice…
your intuition. For only by doing so would you be able to release
that creativity within. And as we know, “creativity” is central to
professional and business success as it creates that ripple effect.

“The only preparation for prospering in the global economy is
investing in ourselves.” - Bill Clinton

By honestly knowing yourself, you will know what to fix… what
works and what does not; and so, you will be able to realign your
goals with real time.

HOOK UP. Remember our previous discussions about alliances
and relationships? Yes, to shape the future, you need help to
clear the pathway to success. Hook up.

“It is not whether people like you but whether they share the bright
dreams… and understand the heartbeat of the country.”
- George H.W. Bush

Bridging people is initially about goals, about interests… and not
about “likeability.” Build on those as dreams and you will stand
firm on common ground. When you strengthen your allies, you
strengthen your hold on tomorrow. Realize that connecting with
the right people is crucial to shaping the future.

“A wise man has great power, and a man of knowledge increases
strength; for waging war you need guidance and for victory
many advisers.” - Proverbs 24:5-6

SEE BEYOND. Foresight. Forecast. Foreknowledge. Foretell.
All synonymous to “predicting” on what would likely happen before
it happens. Accept it or not, intuition has a lot to do with what is
yet to come; yet why are many still skeptical about “intuition”?

”Some men see things as they are and say why? I dream things
that never were and say ‘why not?’” - Robert Kennedy

Obviously, this skepticism is blocking what many would have far
accomplished if they only learned to trust their hunches...
skepticism then is proving to be the invisible barrier towards
achievement; and unfortunately, intuition has become the unseen
key to survival in trying times.

We see many leaders not rely on intuition when they should have
specially in people management and product development.

Let me ask you…
Do you need a full-length of data just to grasp what’s bugging your
men? Do you need all those figures to know what makes ‘em tick?
Do you need a “piece of paper” just to spot and invest on talents?
Don’t you think that all you need is to fully understand the person
without bias or stereotyping?

Hence, all you should do is know what motivates them… what they
are good at… as well as their learning potentials and... how you

can maximize those abilities for the benefit of concerned entities.

See, if we have time to study our competitors and customers,
why not have time to study our people? Don’t you now realize
why leaders never really learn? Many are just too focused on
conquering without being acquainted with what they have and
“really” need… many are just misusing time, energy, and
eventually more money on what they believe is good for the
company, when it is only really good for themselves…
and their “status quo.”

People are Assets. They help oil your organization. They help
you attain goals. To know your men is to prepare for victory.
To invest on talents is to see beyond. To trust in intuition is to
shape the future. All we need now is to clean our scope.

What you want the world to be… depends on what you do now.

“Time waste differs from material waste in that there can be
no salvage.” - Henry Ford

To Shape The Future… Time and Intuition are of the Essence.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Steer The Company… The Final 4 Keys.

As expected, we now come to the final four keys to victory…

ARMY. If you believe that most organizations have the right
people, you are right. But why do they still falter greatly?
Well, because “right” is not enough, you need “better” people.

“Personnel selection is decisive.
People are our most valuable capital.” - Joseph Stalin

Yet, once you attract “better” people, it doesn’t stop there.
You got to invest in them. You got to grow them, keep them
happy, reward and discipline as well. And take note, when you
delegate, it should come with some power.

“I stand for the square deal… I mean not merely that I should
stand for fair play under the present rules of the game, but that I
should stand for having those rules changed so as to work for a
more substantial equality of opportunity and of reward for equally
good service.” - Theodore Roosevelt

Thus, to effectively lead people, you should know how to handle
people. In many instances, a Leader who is a good story-teller
would prove to be critical. He would be able to bring clarity to the
team through embodiment; and the balance of reward and
discipline through the moral of the story.

Childish? Think again.

It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.

“A simple and proper function of government is just
to make it easy for us to do good and difficult for us
to do wrong.” - George H.W. Bush

ENVIRONMENT. While we talk about terrain in battle, here in
our business analogy, we would specially look into its weather.
Therefore, it’s knowing when to bring an umbrella or what is it for.
It’s having the nose of when to be sober or when to attack.

When you develop a good sixth sense and combine it with sensible
forecasting techniques, you will get a good grip of what to expect.

When you are constantly aware of what’s going on around you,
you will know what to adjust and prepare for.

In battle as in competition, never underestimate your opponent…
you may know their weapons but you may not know their capacity
to make the environment work for them. Hence, do your homework.

As while we can not really stop the rain from falling, take heart,
we can use the inclement weather to surprise the enemy… or to
seek opportunities and advantages; and of course, avoid landmines.

“Opportunity makes a thief.” - Francis Bacon

TIME. We keep hearing from many leaders, “timing is vital.” But
then, I would just like to remind you, “time waits for no one.”
Your future is today. Whatever is lost in time is lost forever.

Therefore, while rushing is never preached but thorough thinking,
do not… I say, do not procrastinate.

“We must use time as a tool, not as a couch.” - JFK

Your future is today. Whatever you do today would affect your
So do not just wait for opportunity to come, but create
that opportunity you want for your organization.

“He that will not apply new remedies must expect new evils:
for time is the greatest innovator.” - Francis Bacon

In Leadership, in goal-setting… time is of the essence.

ALLIANCES. While your men are your allies, getting your
neighbors involved would strengthen your defenses. Countries
that united for a common goal saw their interests served as well.

For companies, it could come in the form of associations and alike.
Joining such, gives you a louder voice on government policies
as well as immediate access to some essential information and
updates in your industry.

“Knowledge is Power.” - Francis Bacon

Yet more than knowledge, without organized effort in the form of
cooperation among peers, crucial training for employees, and
strong management support… everything would be an uphill climb.

“Mr. Morgan buys his partners; I grow my own.” - Andrew Carnegie

We can see then that it is your alliances from within that would
ultimately spell the difference. Hence, strengthening our base
would be like an insurance for the long haul.

To steer a company… with consideration to all 8 keys to victory:
battlefield, resources, attitude, schemes, army, environment, time,
and alliances… inevitably boils down to the control of your army.

"THE CONTROL OF A LARGE FORCE is the same in principle
as the control of a few men; it is merely a question of dividing up
their numbers.” - Sun Tzu

The question now is “how do you get commitment from followers”?
How do you motivate? How do you lead? Is it through “rewards”?
Coercion? Expertise? Position? Charisma?

Your ways determine your strength… as “that” Leader.

Finally, when we have the necessary information, whether it’s
from inside or outside the organization… problem-solving and
decision-making would be more accurate and timely.

With these, steering a company would not really be that tough.
Oh, do I hear theoretical? Well, everything starts in the mind…
and the rest is just a matter of guts, of flexibility, of quick, critical
thinking, of knowing why the company exists and of understanding
what makes it tick.

“In the emerging global economy, everything is mobile: capital,
factories, even entire industries. The only resource that’s really
rooted in a nation – and the ultimate source of all its wealth –
is its people.” - Bill Clinton

Steering The Company is simply a matter of deployment & work methods.

Friday, March 6, 2009

To Be THAT LEADER... Steer The Company.

As Abraham Lincoln said...

"If I had 8 hours to chop down a tree,
I'd spend 6 hours sharpening my axe."

Here, Abraham Lincoln emphasized the importance of planning,
of imagination, of critical thinking, of analysis, of training...
in short, of doing one's homework before proceeding in any
undertaking. Such is an offspring of having an objective.

So, as to steer a company, if we do not have a master plan,
alternative plans, and contingency plans... this is like walking
blindfolded; and just totally relying on luck.

See, steering a company is like coaching a sports team,
flying a passenger plane, or marshalling an army for battle.

Let's consider a phrase in the most significant book ever written
for Leadership, Sun Tzu's The Art Of War.

"The general who wins a battle makes many calculations
in his temple before the battle is fought."

To steer a company to "victory", you do not just put up a
business and boom! Attack! First... do your homework.

Without knowing what you have; without acquiring or knowing
how to acquire what you need; without understanding the
environment, the trends; without recognizing the value of time;
without getting proper support and forming alliances; without
knowing your competitors and customers; without having better
and motivated people; and without believing in yourself and
your product -- you won't win.

Here are the first four of Eight Keys To Victory...

BATTLEFIELD. Know thyself, thy competitors, and thy customers.

To know thyself, here, we refer to our objectives and products.
With objectives as your guide, you will know how to fight; and
of course, with your product in mind, you know the viability of
what you have to offer.

To know thy competitors, not only do you have to know their
weapons but if possible, you also have to know their plans.
The most obvious way is through continuous research; but the
more effective way is by getting hold of what they "spat" out.
These are the "exiting" or even the "disgruntled" employees.

Did I hear the word "professionalism"?
Why, did I say "steal" their magic recipe??

"You can tell a lot about a fellow's character
by the way he eats jelly beans." - Ronald Reagan

I'm sure you've heard of "laid-off", "down-sized", "offer sheet", etc..
Well, even simple yet nonintrusive job interviews could make your
imagination go to work. Think about these words from Sun Tzu...

"If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the
result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy,
for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know
neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle."

To know thy customers is to know thyself, to know thy competitors,
and say what? To know thy family.

While we can do surveys and all, why not get "honest" opinions
from your family regarding your products? You then hit two birds
with one stone.

"Seek the counsel of men who will tell you the truth about yourself,
even if it hurts you to hear it. Mere commendation will not bring the
improvement you need." - THE LAW OF SUCCESS

RESOURCES. On open ground and broad daylight, can a cane
defeat a machine gun? Without any assistance, can a ten-wheeler
reach its destination without gasoline? What is your pen for if
it can't write? If you do not know where to get wood, what is the
use of your hearth?

See, if we don't have the materials we need, how can we build?
If we don't know where and how to secure them, how can we
proceed? If we don't get enough of it, how can we successfully
penetrate the market? If we don't get it on time, how can we
satisfy customers?

"You can create excitement, you can do wonderful promotion
and get all kinds of press... but if you don't deliver the goods,
people will eventually catch on." - Donald Trump

In this case, whether capital or products, without understanding
the source... we can not continue operating over the long haul.

Yet, when provisions are low and supplies are scarce or steep,
these are the times when we just have to patch things up and
extend on what we have. This is the test on the Leader's resolve
and it's when creativity and resourcefulness come to play.

If you know where to fish... if you know how to fish...
if you know when to fish... and if you know what to fish,
then you will never go hungry

ATTITUDE. We are well aware of those qualities and traits a
Leader should have but more than any of those... if you do not
believe in yourself or your product, you are in for sure defeat.
The key then is not to get into something if you have doubts or
if you do not have the courage to overcome those doubts.

"The clear light of science teaches us that we must be our own
saviours, if we are to be found worth saving." - Luther Burbank

While Leadership is simply a matter of opportunity;
bear in mind that success is only for those who dare.

Think big. Believe big. Act big. And the results will be Big.

This is more than just to strike and strike; but of having that aim
of where and when to strike and not being afraid of striking hard.

To steer a company, you must understand that you are the
, therefore you should lead by example. You should
command a disposition of trustworthiness that you would stand
by your men and firmness to see the mission accomplished.

The mark of a Leader is his courage to take accountability.

"If you'll be my voice today,
I'll be yours for the next four years." - Bill Clinton

SCHEMES. Just as mentioned earlier... plan, for battles are won
on plans and not by luck alone. Think hard then... and don't be
traditional. Mind you, 3 x 3 is not the only way to get a 9!
You have heard of thinking out-of-the-box, do it; and don't be
discouraged by idea killers. Focus on goals instead.

Take note, that in order to win, you have to outwit your opponent.

"The enviably attractive nephew who sings an Irish ballad for the
company and winsomely disappears before the table-clearing
and dishwashing begin." - Lyndon B. Johnson

Hence, let your strategies be flexible and numerous. Get your
lieutenants involved in strategizing for your company as well.

"Make plans by seeking advice; if you wage war, obtain guidance."
- Proverbs 20:18

In developing your stratagem, answer the basics (NPP):
  • What must be done? What actions must be taken to reach the objective?
  • Why must it be done? Is the investment of resources justified?
  • When should it be done? Dates, time frames and deadlines should be selected and coordinated.
  • Who should do it? Appropriate personnel must be selected.
  • Where should it be done? Where will the appropriate people, materials, and equipment be located?
  • How should it be done? What are the ways and means? Can current methods be used or should new ones be developed?
Realize that greater victories come when you know
how is it to lose before you lose

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

The Final Four Keys... Army, Environment, Time, and Alliances... will be up next.

To Steer The Company... realize that You Are The Company.