What if you wanted to study more about leadership, marketing, sales and strategy? What if you wanted to do an MBA but didn't have the time, money or opportunity? Below are 25 handpicked books that I think are an excellent crash course in business. No, they don't cover every area, in particular finance has been omitted. But they do teach a lot of valuable lessons and have been of huge value to me personally.Read More
"One of the best paradoxes of leadership is a leader's need to be both stubborn and open-minded. A leader must insist on sticking to the vision and stay on course to the destination. But he must be open-minded during the process." Simon SinekRead More
If you get a chance, there's a top podcast by the Harvard Business Review on the 4 Behaviours of Top-Performing CEOs. You would be forgiven for thinking that CEOs are the most well educated, business-savvy, mistake-free people in the corporate world, but you'd be wrong.
[There's] almost an equal amount of CEOs who graduated from Ivy League school undergraduate (degrees) as there were who didn't actually graduate from college at all.
- Elena Botelho, co-author of the article “What Sets Successful CEOs Apart”.Read More
Are you familiar with the daily bombardment of email, text, instant chat and social media while trying to get real work done? Don’t worry, Jason Fried, the CEO of base camp, has some tips for us all, especially those who work in small team environments and want to find better ways to concentrate. I picked up these lessons from the Harvard Business Review podcast, which I highly recommend for anyone interested in business or organisational psychology.Read More
Hopefully, you don't struggle with this yourself, and you believe taking action towards your goals will yield good results. But not everyone feels like that. Recently, I met a young man (19) who was fully convinced that he would be poor, and a slave his whole life - that there was no alternative. This was a very sad thing to hear. Imagine if you thought that nothing you did would make any difference, that you would always be poor and that you'll always have to work 12 hour days for minimum wage. You might find it hard to keep hope.Read More
'Motivation' is a tricky topic, mostly because we are all motivated differently. For example, we know that money isn't the only way to improve employee engagement and that giving people extra money can actually harm morale. The reason for this is that by giving someone money in direct response for work done suggests that there is a clear monetary value to be placed on their efforts and that you have rewarded them accurately. Obviously, this leaves more than a little room for disagreement.
On top of that, the next time you aim to financially reimburse someone for their hard work, they will ask themselves, 'how much do I get this time'? Or maybe even worse 'is this extra work really worth the money?'.Read More
I was working with an intern recently and was struck by how much her work improved over a week. The reason: I gave her useful feedback that was clear and implementable. Her performance and commitment weren't issues - my poor feedback was the issue. Like everything else, it's simple when you know how!
We can't give employees results to aim for if they're not clear on how to actually achieve those results. Saying 'you need to improve' or 'get more sales' doesn't help anyone because it's not actionable.Read More
Strategic visions, strategic plans and strategic goals all look and sound great, but what actually comes of them? According to research carried out by the authors of the book '4 Disciplines of Execution' only 15% of employees actually understood the strategic goals of the company. In other words, only 15% of employees knew the meaning of their work. Naturally, this begs the question: 'how could they expect to achieve the goal or feel good about it if they don't know what it is?'.Read More
'Managing out' refers to when management makes an employee's working life so unpleasant, the employee decides to hand in their notice. Some employees aren't aware that this is a management tactic, even though they may be the victim of it.
It's quite difficult to legally sack a worker if the management of a company is unhappy with them; that's why they have to use covert strategies to make life unpleasant for the individual. This process could include: criticising an employee's work repeatedly and never giving them credit; not supporting them in learning or developing; keeping them out of communication loops; ignoring their requests or making their life at the company difficult in general.
Now, let's think about what it's like for both parties involved.Read More
In his book published in 1969, Laurence Peter proposes the Peter Principle: "In a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence.”
Many promotion decisions are beyond logic, such as promoting an engineer to a manager because they are an excellent engineer. The decision is made based on the employee’s performance in an engineering role, but engineering and management are completely different sets of skills and should be treated as such.Read More
Firstly, let’s distinguish between failed and failure. If a project doesn’t achieve the desired result - we could say that it failed, whereas if we believe that it hasn’t gone well and nothing could be improved, then it’s a failure. ‘Failure’ doesn’t leave much room for hope; it sounds so terminal. So let’s consider the alternative - never failing.Read More
“Men don’t talk” - that’s what I’ve been told. The statement is not just harsh and unfair; it’s untrue. I’ve met lots of men who talk, about their feelings too. Many of them love it. I’ve also met female clients who would prefer not to talk about anything. Generalisations are always wrong and there’s always an exception to the rule...Read More