Story #1. I gave David, the board member, several ideas privately on how he could improve the new business strategy of the startup. I expected him to go directly to the CEO and explain these to him. To my pleasant surprise he made all the suggestions in an email and attributed all the ideas to me, thus giving me full credit for them. My respect for him increased exponentially. I will always be willing to help David.
The 2002 Winter Olympic games was won from the experience gained by losing the 1998 bid to Japan. The Utah bid committee had spent over $16 million on the 1998 Olympic bid. Later analysis implied that they had been out “gifted” by the Japanese. The Nagano Japan region’s governor said the city had provided $4.4 Million in just entertainment costs alone to win the bid. The 2002 bid committee made an adjustment.
Many years ago I worked with someone who applied for the CIO position in my company, yet they had no technical skills. They had never programmed, built a server, or installed a network, because they had never worked in Information Technology. What they had done, was design the requirements for an Intranet project that had failed. Mainly, because they wanted every feature, and the vendor was saying yes to anything because he needed the project’s money through his financially hard times.
The amazing thing for me in this process, was how this person was going to manage something they could not understand. It was like someone who wanted to manage a medical research project with scientists, but they had never studied medicine, or even organic chemistry. They had described a cure once, and in their own mind that qualified them. Now this could have been a different situation had this person kept learning through their career instead of relying on their political connections to carry them. Continuous learning as a leader is essential. Continue reading
In 2005 I received probably the best advice in my career. I was Director of Infrastructure at an International firm with offices worldwide. I was energetic and looking for opportunities. In February of that year I was called into the Global CFO’s office and offered the Global CIO position from a man named Andre Pinto. Continue reading
If all the people in the world suddenly disappeared except you, all the money and inventions in the world would suddenly have no value. Money would be useless, because there is no one to spend it with. Things of themselves have no value without people. Therefore, the most important product created in the world is human beings.
Learning to like people who are difficult to like is a skill you need to learn to become a great manager. If you want to have control and become a great manager here is one big step on the way. Continue reading
Nothing is more frustrating than a manager who is not a good listener. Like the manager who types on his computer off and on while meeting with you, or is working his IM as you talk to him. Multitasking while you talk to someone sends a really bad message; “your not worth my FULL attention!” Unfortunately, there are more and more of these types of managers. Society is also changing what is acceptable technology behavior, so it looks like there will be even more of them in the future.
Anyone can become a good, or even a great caring listener by practicing three basic skills and one “no no!” If you do, it will give you a big advantage. Continue reading
Great leaders do not need to have authority or positions of power. There are many examples of leaders who have changed the world without any type of authority, such as Mahatma Gandhi and his Salt March in 1930, or Dr. Martin Luther King and his March on Washington in 1963. They did not hold political office, or military authority. They had no authority over employment, wages, or social services. Yet, it was still only through authority that the laws were eventually changed to reflect their goals. Leadership may provide the motivation, but authority still holds the necessary keys to change.
A business leader will need to have the following five required leadership skills and the authority to be the most affective. Continue reading
Leadership, just like good photography, has to take advantage of the “Golden Hour”
Photographers are acquainted with the term “the golden hour”. It refers to the timing related to where the sun is when you take photographs. The golden hour is that time just around sunrise and sunset and it usually is no longer than an hour. Colors and shadows are unique and vibrant, and you can take advantage of the angles of natural light. To catch the golden hour takes time and effort. I took the above photo during this golden hour in 2014 on the Island of Hawaii’s Mauna Kea. Continue reading