Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Valued AB Member...

“He that builds a fair house upon an ill seat, committeth himself
into prison.” - Francis Bacon

What happens when a company takes in an AB member?
More than one’s ability to perform his duties, what makes a good
AB member?

Is it just knowledge of business practices and its impact to the
organization and industry as a whole? Is it experience? What?
Remember, everything can be learned, though you have to learn
it fast enough. What then are the underlying factors to consider
in getting AB members?

Understand that the Advisory Board is a group of personalities…
some strong, some prideful, others what have you. Therefore,
one’s ability to communicate well is one key factor. With this
in mind, we then have to consider those who are able to work with
such diversity; while having the spine to say what’s wrong, what’s
really going on, and to stand his turf when necessary.

The Advisory Board isn’t there to be either so agreeable or
otherwise but formed to leave no stones unturned in its
quest for the gold.

Hence, dedication here is another important factor.

“A man who is good enough to shed his blood for the country
is good enough to be given a square deal afterwards. More than
that, no man is entitled to, and less than that, no man shall have.”
- Theodore Roosevelt

Conflict of interests… I am sure you know this. But then, it is not
about preventing one from engaging in other activities. It is about
understanding one’s responsibilities and being accountable for it.
It’s about giving one’s heart to his duties without prejudice to the
company he serves.

Consequently, integrity comes into play.
As Viscount Slims defines it… it is the quality which makes people
trust you
. Integrity is wholeness but it also has a moral sense.
That is why most people virtually equate integrity with honesty or
sincerity. Although it is impossible to prove it, simply holding firmly to
sovereign values outside yourself grows a wholeness of personality
and moral strength of character. The person of integrity will always
be tested. And the first real test comes when the demands of the
truth or good appears to conflict with one’s self-interest or prospects.

“A man who will steal for me will steal from me.”
- Theodore Roosevelt

Now, if you have control over yourself then you have temperance,
a vital factor that displays your potential to be calm and analytical
in every situation… resulting in better decisions and your ability to
act appropriately.

“A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself
under control.” - Proverbs 29:11

In the end, it's just all about one’s personality.

Is your company ready to move forward?

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

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Virtual Leadership...

Remember those times when there was still no internet? Those
times when it took us more than a second to process international
transactions? Those times when we need to fly each time we need
to meet people? Well… that was just yesterday.

Today, with the advent of the internet, our way of life has changed
and of course, this includes how we conduct business, how we
recruit talents, and yes, how we lead.

“A fundamental new rule for business is that
the internet changes everything.” - Bill Gates

Virtual Leadership. How different is this from other means of
leadership? No, we are not talking about leadership styles here
but “means.” So, how do we go about virtual leadership?

A good example that is comparable though not totally the same
as virtual leadership is the “home-and-away” business set-up.
This takes the form of having, as we know, the company’s
headquarters empower its branches and mainly acts on
strategic goals.

Like the home-and-away set-up, virtual leadership is the central
brain that guides the rest of the company. However, unlike the
former, the latter is virtually connected 24/7… making a seamless
information link throughout the organization.

“You know you have built an excellent digital nervous system when
information flows through your organization as quickly and naturally
as thought in human being… it’s business at the speed of thought.”
- Bill Gates

This link that crosses borders and cultures is like putting the world
on the palm of your hands… as we now know, businesses then
becomes more efficient with automation but not necessarily replacing
human “power.” And with information flowing at the speed of thought,
we are able to fully utilize our people’s potentials while better
understanding our customers needs. In turn, decision-making then
becomes even more precise… this is the essence of Leadership.

“The CEO’s role in raising company’s corporate IQ is to establish
an atmosphere that promotes knowledge sharing and collaboration.”
- Bill Gates

Yet more than information flow, more than teamwork, what does
virtual leadership bring to the whole organization?

OMNIPRESENCE. We can never be in more than one place at the
same time, even the mythical superman can not; but with the
advancement in technology, Leaders can now serve and connect
their people and customers from all over the world.

FLEXIBILITY. As a Leader, the aim is to develop maximum flexibility
within our chosen field… so that we are the master at reading the
changes in situations and responding with the appropriate leadership
style. When we are able to widen our work knowledge and develop
the general abilities of leading others, this will increase our flexibility.

CONTROL. If we have omnipresence, if we have flexibility then
leading, as in this case globally, would be more effective. Policies
and procedures would be more aligned with objectives. Creativity
and problem-solving would be more proactive. Risk-taking would
be taken with more courage. And exploring opportunities would
yield more benefits and good investments, both human and capital.
All these spell one thing… better control.

We can not do everything and everywhere on our own, it’s a fact.
We need to properly utilize people and technology to serve our
customers better to meet our goals… this is Virtual Leadership.

It is all about blending.


“I not only use all the brains that I have, but all that I can borrow.” - Woodrow Wilson

Friday, May 15, 2009

Situational Leadership...

If business is unpredictable as we know it, then we are periodically
faced with different situations to deal with. Social, technical or
economic developments make business seem like the weather.
This is the test of our mettle as a Leader.

How then do you face such situations? Do you just jump and swim?
This can’t be, if so, most all businesses would be at risk of losing
money more than achieving their objectives.

But what about courage? Isn’t it that courage is the one key quality
that can be found in successful Leaders?

Well, yes.

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

But this courage does not mean business suicide. This courage does
not mean to put your organization at great risk of crumbling. This
courage is about having the guts to move forward… to explore…
to think out-of-the-box... to invest in potentials… to step out of your
comfort zone, your status quo. Courage is about not waiting for the
perfect, but bending rules to get the better.
This is how to create opportunities.

Consider an excerpt from a leadership book by Jeffrey J. Fox:

Become a member of the “shouldn’t have club”…
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 nondoers, the risk averse.
They never go for it. They are so afraid of losing,
they never plan to win.

The “should’ve club”... 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… there will be ten other times
when the results will prove you should have.

No guts, no glory.

But then, is courage enough? Well, you have just read some
thoughts from Winston Churchill. Thus, courage is the master key
but not the only key.

“Chance favors the prepared mind.” - Louis Pasteur

To lead effectively in different situations, you got to have the basic
knowledge of your field and grow it with time, thought, and practice.
Yet like courage, such knowledge and experience does not make
you into a leader, but you can not be without it. That does not mean
that leaders can not change fields, like becoming a Managing Director
of an electronic company after running a car assembly plant; but it
implies that they will not be successful unless they can quickly learn
the essentials of the new industry or occupation.

Still, courage and expertise or learning ability is not enough…
as a Leader, a vital trait would be to possess the kind of temperament
required by the working “situations” you are in.

Business has it’s ups and downs… and in times of crisis, one’s ability
to think fast yet accurately and then decide well is greatly determined
by one’s ability to get hold of himself.

Remember… “People who are incapable of relaxing should never be placed
in positions of responsibility.” - Lord Chalfront

Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Origins Of A Leader...

“But what then am I? A thing that thinks. What is that?
A thing that doubts, understands, affirms, denies, is willing,
is unwilling, and also imagines and has sensory perceptions.”
- Rene Descartes

We all have ideas on what makes a Leader. We even have heard
of timeless arguments such as whether leaders are born or made.
So now, we go into probing on the origins of a Leader.

First, let’s be reminded that we are talking about humans here,
so leaders if for this reason alone, are born. However, generally
life does not end at one’s birth otherwise, nobody would be a leader.
At this stage then, leaders although born with qualities such as
intelligence, is more of raised. Thus, if a child Is raised in a
supportive and constructive environment, a leader would be born.

Yet again, life does not stop here.

As people gets older and are exposed to different situations, his
decision-making skills are honed… and other traits like confidence,
determination, humility, compassion, resourcefulness, and
resiliency come into fore. These traits which are developed through
time and intensity
become the foundation of a Leader.

What do we have now?

As we have observed, Leaders are then in a way both born and
made. As in, although IQ is an in-born quality, if you do not acquire
knowledge in some way and learn to apply it, intelligence becomes
a non-factor. This is like having a supercomputer, if you do not put
any data or command for it to operate with, it’s useless. Still even
if you have a slower chip, if you know how to upgrade and program
your computer for a purpose then it would meet the requirements.

See, Leadership, like any high calling, is a continuous process.
It does not end at being CEO. It only starts to get even more
challenging and exciting
… because now, you are not only the
primary factor in your organization, but you also have a greater
chance to influence your industry as well.

“Mr. Mandela has walked a long road and now stands at the top
of the hill. A traveller would sit down and admire the view. But a
man of destiny knows that beyond this hill lies another and another.
The journey is never complete.” - F.W. de Klerk

Think about this… what actually puts one in a leadership position is
who he knows… and also being at the right place at the right time.
Many may say it’s their experience or their education, training or
whatever; yet, nobody can really say that he is the best qualified
candidate as there’s just so many to choose from with only the
slightest of differences from each other… if only based for what
they believe they are qualified for.

“There is a commodity in human experience.
If it’s happened to one person, it has happened
to thousands of others.” - Oprah Winfrey

And of course, this speaks for those recruiting as well. See, many
may have the technical tools to assist in their search for talents,
but ultimately they unknowingly end up with the second best at


Many are still traditional in their thinking, so the tools they develop
are traditional in effectiveness as well. They fail to look at the big
picture. All they see is experience which is actually just repetition
gained from exposure by the opportunity given to the individual.
They failed to understand the non-traditional means of Leadership
They failed to realize one’s learning ability and how
one has evolved as an individual, as a Leader.

They simply overlooked the origins of a Leader.

Keep in mind, therefore, that the qualifications required in a Leader
are determined to a large extent by the demands of the situation in
which he is to function as a Leader. Everything can be learned,
hence, the determining factor is really one’s character more than
anything else.

“If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out,
how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in a safe country,
how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan?” - Jeremiah 12:5

When you are brave enough to take that leap... to meet unpleasant
situations… to see beyond the surface… to adapt quickly to change…
to understand what makes the clock tick…to stand firm with goals
and right principles… to just keep going… this is when you are ready
to take on greater responsibilities.

“The one word that makes a good manager – decisiveness.” - Lee Iacocca

Remember… “Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will serve before kings;
he will not serve before obscure men.” - Proverbs 22:29

Friday, May 1, 2009

The Heart Of A Leader...

You guessed it right!
After talking about spirituality, EQ, and the mind
it’s the heart of the Leader this time.

Now, if we look closely, the heart has actually played a key role
in shaping EQ and spirituality; and to some extent, it has also
greatly affected the mind.

With this, let’s clear out some issues surrounding the real impact
of the heart on a Leader’s personality.

ISSUE NUMBER 1: Emotions make a leader weak.
Why? Is it because the heart is more related to feelings rather
than logic? Well, then ask yourself, how could a leader then
truly empathize and inspire his people if not for the heart?

People are not “robots” who would just do everything you say
without tiring. People needs some form of motivation to keep going.
People are not controlled and corrected by “microchips” but would
also need discipline for rectification and rewards for their efforts…
after all, even dogs need to be patted and given food after a job
well done.

Hence, realize that it’s the heart that truly understands
and not the mind.

“Logic! Logic! I don’t give a damn for logic.
I am going to include pensions.” - Woodrow Wilson

Yet the heart is not about disagreeing with the mind, it’s about
affirming the mind of doing the right thing.

Emotions, therefore, only strengthen the Leader’s disposition.

ISSUE NUMBER 2: The heart is subjective in it’s judgments, thus,
being more prone to miscalculations and errors.

Have you considered leaders who disregard the heart in their
decision-makings? What do you notice?? They have this tendency
to be tyrants. Yes, they are followed and “perceived” to be strong
by their followers, but the legacy that they would finally leave would
be on the “dark side.”

“No man can become a great leader of men unless he has the milk
of human kindness in his own heart, and leads by suggestion and
kindness, rather than by force.” - THE LAW OF SUCCESS

Understand then that the heart lapses only when objectives
are not taken to heart.

ISSUE NUMBER 3: To lead with kindness is like “begging” for
What?? Then I ask the skeptics, do you really know
what kindness is? What begging is? What cooperation is?

Better yet, how do you want to be led? Your answer speaks the
kind of treatment you then deserve.

See, does the word “please” and “thank you” degrade your status?
Remember, it’s how you say it that determines your position.
“Please” is never begging then, but to use it well is being educated
and worthy of respect.

Kindness tears the walls of indifference and positively reinforces
cooperation, hard work, and dedication among your people.

A Leader that subtly touches the heart of his supporters, powers
his followers… and weakness is when you can not follow through
with your words.

“In the end, you’re measured not by how much you undertake
but by what you finally accomplish.” - Donald Trump

When everything has been said and done…
the mind is at peace when the heart is satisfied.

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” - Matthew 6:21