Entrepreneurship, Business Management, Leadership, Emotional Intelligence

What's an Entrepreneur? The Best Answer Ever 

This classic 25-word definition by HBS Professor Stevenson :
 Entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity without regard to resources currently controlled.
 I talked to Stevenson about this classic definition this weekend. Back in 1983, he told me, people tended to define entrepreneurship almost as a personality disorder, a kind of risk addiction. "But that didn't fit the entrepreneurs I knew," he said. "I never met an entrepreneur who got up in the morning saying 'Where's the most risk in today's economy, and how can I get some? Most entrepreneurs I know are looking to lay risk off—on investors, partners, lenders, and anyone else." As for personality, he said, "The entrepreneurs I know are all different types. They're as likely to be wallflowers as to be the wild man of Borneo."
 By focusing on entrepreneurship as a process, his definition opened the term to all kinds of people. Plus, it matched the one demographic fact HBS researchers already knew about entrepreneurs—they were more likely to start out poor than rich. "They see an opportunity and don't feel constrained from pursuing it because they lack resources," says Stevenson. "They're used to making do without resources."
 The perception of opportunity in the absence of resources helps explain much of what differentiates entrepreneurial leadership from that of corporate administrators: the emphasis on team rather than hierarchy, fast decisions rather than deliberation, and equity rather than cash compensation.
 What would you expect, asks Stevenson: When you don't have the cash to boss people around, like in a corporation, you have to create a more horizontal organization. "You hire people who want what you have and not what you don't have," Stevenson says. In other words, entrepreneurs offer their team members a larger share of a vision for a future payoff, rather than a smaller share of the meager resources at hand. Opportunity is the only real resource you have.
 Or, as Burgstone puts it:
Every time you want to make any important decision, there are two possible courses of action. You can look at the array of choices that present themselves, pick the best available option and try to make it fit. Or, you can do what the true entrepreneur does: Figure out the best conceivable option and then make it available.
And that, folks, is what makes entrepreneurship so friggin' hard. And so friggin' necessary.

Who will not Like to be a Enterprenuer !? But is it your cup of Tea

The flashy cars. The fancy watches. Flats in Paris or with views of the ocean. Flying first class anywhere they want to go.The life of an entrepreneur can look pretty sweet. People are fascinated with the material rewards and the freedom that can come with starting a business. It looks like an easier route to a better lifestyle than the career path they might currently be on.
And it’s true that these days, anyone can start a business. The Internet has broken down so many barriers to entrepreneurship, making it relatively simple and inexpensive to hang out your digital shingle so to speak and get started.
But it’s a long way from registering a web site to a location independent lifestyle or a six figure paycheck. Anyone can start a business, but it takes a certain type to turn it into success.
If you’ve been thinking about trying your hand at starting your own business, ask yourself these questions first:

Are you confident that you are (or can become) the best at what you do?

Being great at what you do is important in any niche, but being confident is almost more important. Successful entrepreneurs are, almost by default, confident in their abilities both to deliver their product or service, but also in their ability to make their business idea work.

How do you feel about networking?

I don’t necessarily mean passing out business cards at your local chamber of commerce meeting, but that might be required as well. Entrepreneurs tend to understand how to make connections — both for their own use and to help others. Becoming a connector is a huge plus when it comes to starting a business.

How essential is a steady paycheck?

When starting a business, any paycheck — let alone a steady one — is not a given. People who start successful businesses tend to be willing to work for free — or for trade or for perks — at first, because they are so passionate about their idea or product. If you’re not in a position to do that, even for a short time, chucking it all in to start a business is probably not for you. It’s true that you could see exceptional rewards from starting a small business, but it’s likely not to happen right away; you need to be ready and willing to make some sacrifices up front. That might mean you start your business on the side of your full-time job, or that you live off your savings for a while. This Dave Ramsey quote applies: “If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.”

How do you feel about risk and uncertainty?

If you can’t handle feeling uncomfortable, entrepreneurship is probably not for you. The most successful business owners practice feeling uncomfortable on an almost daily basis. Growth happens well outside our comfort zones, and when starting a business, you will be pushed to do something new nearly every day. Most people prefer some level of certainty over a roller coaster ride, but if you can’t push through that discomfort, you won’t be able to reach true success.

Do you get stage fright?

You may or may not be required to stand onstage in front of a huge audience, but as the CEO of a business, you will almost certainly be required to present to investors or clients, speak to potential partners, and even address employees. If being in the spotlight is anathema to you, you might need to reconsider your desire to be an entrepreneur. You don’t have to love it, but you do have to be able to overcome any stage fright you might have when the moment calls for it.

Are you willing to work days, nights and weekends?

There’s the wonderful image of the “work from wherever” lifestyle with Instagram selfies of entrepreneurs working on the beaches of the Bahamas or from the balcony of a Paris flat. But the part people tend to forget is the “work” portion of that equation. Location independent lifestyles don’t mean less work — in fact, being able to work from anywhere means you often do. So, if you’re a big fan of bank holidays or long vacations you might need to rethink your entrepreneurial plans. Micro-businesses that are one-man or one-woman organizations make it especially difficult to take time off or have a proper vacation. It’s not impossible, but it’s not likely in the first few years.

Do you like being the boss?

This may seem like a silly question in a post about entrepreneurship, but there are some who thrive on being in charge and others who would rather… not. There’s nothing wrong with either, but an entrepreneur needs to be ready to be the boss. If having the buck start with you isn’t your idea of a dream job, you might reconsider your career goals.
It’s not to say that an introvert who prefers the sure thing over taking a risk can’t be a successful entrepreneur, but it will be much harder. But if you do naturally have some or all of these personality traits — combined with a product or service that truly solves a problem for people — you can probably go far.

Entrepreneur vs Manager

The following are some of the differences between a manager and an entrepreneur.

· The main reason for an entrepreneur to start a business enterprise is because he comprehends the venture for his individual satisfaction and has personal stake in it where as a manager provides his services in an enterprise established by someone.

· An entrepreneur and a manager differ in their standing, an entrepreneur is the owner of the organization and he bears all the risk and uncertainties involved in running an organization where as a manager is an employee and does not accept any risk. 

· An entrepreneur and a manager differ in their objectives. Entrepreneur’s objective is to innovate and create and he acts as a change agent where as a manager’s objective is to supervise and create routines. He implements the entrepreneur’s plans and ideas.

· An entrepreneur is faced with more income uncertainties as his income is contingent on the performance of the firm where as a manager’s compensation is less dependent on the performance of the organization. 

· An entrepreneur is not induced to involve in fraudulent behavior where as a manger does. A manager may cheat by not working hard because his income is not tied up to the performance of the organization. 

· Entrepreneur is required to have certain qualifications and qualities like high accomplishment motive, innovative thinking, forethought, risk-bearing ability etc. Conversely it’s mandatory for a manager to be educated in the fields of management theories and practices. 

· An entrepreneur deals with faults and failures as a part of learning experience where as a manager make every effort to avoid mistakes and he postpones failure. 

“An entrepreneur could be a manager but a manager cannot be an entrepreneur”. An entrepreneur is intensely dedicated to develop business through constant innovation. He may employ a manager in order to perform some of his functions such as setting objectives, policies, rules etc. A manager cannot replace an entrepreneur in spite of performing the allotted duties because a manager has to work as per the guidelines laid down by the entrepreneur.

On the downside, typical manager brings professionalism into working of an organization. They bring fresh perspectives, ideas and approach to trouble shooting which can be invaluable.

Businessman Vs Entrepreneur

Leadership and Management  Lessons
(including from Hollywood Movies, politicians and cricketers)

The Top Skills Every Manager Should Have

If you want people to go that extra mile then you have to be prepared to show them how it is done. The best managers and leaders are those who set an example by working the hardest and making the most effort. Managers who are complacent will either attract like-minded individuals or create a sense of resentment from their staff.
Good communication removes any doubt or misunderstanding from the workplace. That means making it absolutely clear to your staff what is expected from them. Steer clear of unnecessary jargon and double check that when you have briefed someone they have properly understood everything. However, the art of good communication is also about explaining the vision and values of a company. Every single employee should grasp exactly what the company stands for, and as a manager it is your responsibility.
The soft skills of management should never be underestimated. If you want to get the very best from people you have to be able to understand exactly what it is that makes them tick. We are all complex and complicated individuals and are motivated in many different ways. Some are driven by financial incentives whereas others are focused on constantly developing their skill set. Some people need constant encouragement but others are more individualistic. The very best managers are the ones who are psychologically tuned in to all of their staff. Get that right and half the battle is already won.
This is important at all times, but particularly in tough situations. Managing is not something that can be done half-heartedly and every decision should be taken with real purpose and decisiveness. Employees can very easily spot when somebody is not in control, so it is important you are never unsure of yourself. Whatever the situation; remain calm, gather all the necessary information, and make your decision with conviction.


Checklist to become a great boss

Management fundas from Deeksha Singh, WCH Training Solutions :

If you can't stand your boss and dislike your job because of it, you are just a small part of a large community who feels the same. But what if you have recently moved into the role of a teamleader, boss or people manager yourself?

While the 'perfect boss' is a utopian concept, here is a quick checklist that will save you the heartburn of dealing with attrition and unhappy employees.

Always meet your people with a great smile
A smile can make a lot of difference. Always be cheerful and energetic and spread the attitude within your team or organisation. It drives great results. A smile and a warm handshake can wear off the stress that most employees go through, not to mention that it adds to your desirability factor at work. Also, smiling is contagious, and most people will find it easy to forgive you even if you happen to be a bit demanding on occasions.

Catch people doing things right
People make mistakes and sometimes they can repeat them, sometimes doing irreparable damage. But, have patience and let them grow. When they do things right, find them out and tell them it's a valuable contribution thay have made. Every interaction with your colleagues in the office is either a deposit or a withdrawal. As important as the Big Picture is, it will mean little if the boss shows little value for his team members' performance on a regular basis.

Appreciate generously

There is nothing more encouraging than appreciation for the smallest of difference one makes. For eg, when you enter the office after struggling hard with the traffic jam and the office looks clean or different, appreciate the person behind the effort and make him/ her "feel" how important the effort is to the organisation. Send your team emails, create a section where people can give compliments, etc. Positive feedback helps in building long-lasting habits. If you take certain positive behaviour for granted, you will be wasting time in reinforcing them later.

Be ready to say "I am sorry'"
If you erupt in a meeting, criticise a colleague's work or make ill-timed comments that you regret, how do you bounce back? Apologise immediately to the targeted person and to everyone around. Don't offer a long justification about the work pressure or a possible misunderstanding like most bosses do. Just say "I should not have reacted that way" and "I am sorry". This will show that you are professional and reflects positively on your character. It takes years to build up a reputation, and only seconds to destroy it. No matter what, don't snap or your people will think of you as a 'reactive boss'.

Help people prepare their goals and create a checklist
Be clear in communicating the desired goals from an individual in a team or the team as a whole. You should know your people, their strengths and opportunity areas. Team your people in a way where everyone learns and compliments each other's strengths.

A good manager not only coaches an employee to develop a skill but also helps in conditioning it as a behavior. In simple words, become a mentor, ie, a wise and trusted counselor/ teacher/ trainer, who can act as a catalyst for growth and nurture potential and talent. Building teams is not a one-time effort but an everyday process. Good managers involve, engage and inspire their teams on a daily basis.

Stay sharp

Read industry publications, reports and magazines and be aware of market trends. Your knowledge will reflect when you communicate with your team and they will look to you for advice and information. They will also talk positively about you with other members of the team. There is nothing better than third party publicity as it establishes you as a thought leader within your team.

Leader has to be pathfinder - Story of Akbar

The enemy army was almost at the gates. The city would surely fall. The only solution was to get Akbarto lead his soldiers. Mansingh ran into the palace to fetch the emperor and found Akbar in the garden listening to Tansen. Birbal stopped Mansingh from entering the garden. The emperor did not want to be disturbed. Tansen's song ended. 

Akbar asked him to sing another song. An impatient Mansingh said, "The city is on the verge of being destroyed and he is listening to music ! What's wrong with him." Birbal retorted, "He is not listening to music. He is figuring out battle strategies." Mansingh retorted, "What nonsense, all I can hear is the notes of Tansen's wonderful voice. No strategies there." Birbal laughed, "That is why you are merely a commander and Akbar is the emperor." 

Wisdom comes from the oddest of places. Ideas can come from anywhere. The difference between a pathfinder and a follower is the pathfinder's ability to see similarities between even the most distinct domains - music and battle strategies, for example. Followers are unable to understand the underlying principle and so need clear domain-specific examples. 

When Michael moved to Mumbai to take up a job at a pharmaceutical company, he realised that rules that worked back home in Germany would not work in India. When asked why, he said, "Oh, just look at how Indians eat!" Nobody understood. He explained, "In Germany, a proper meal is a course meal: soup, starter, main course and dessert. You eat what the chef cooks. But in India, a proper meal is a thali: all dishes are served simultaneously, the sweet and the sour and the pungent and the crispy. Everyone mixes and matches the food differently. 

So what one person puts in his mouth is very different from what another person puts in his mouth. This is the ultimate in customisation. A culture like this would not be comfortable with rules. People here would always like to bend the rules to their convenience, unlike Germany, where we enjoy following rules. I have to work harder here to get everyone to align and comply." Unlike most expats, Michael figured out a way to work with his Indian colleagues without being autocratic or authoritarian. He was wise enough to see common patterns between office behaviour and the way we eat food - a true hallmark of a pathfinder. 

During interviews, Narendra would ask the interviewees about Bollywood. As they spoke, he would see how they analysed the plots and the characters and the stars and by that he would be able to figure out how their mind functioned. Did they think originally? Did they follow the trend? Were the trend followers or trendsetters? Were they open to suggestion? Were they opinionated? Were they arrogant? The study of principles that are not impacted by the domain is known as tattva-gyan. 

[ The author is the Chief Belief Officer of the Future Group. He can be reached at devdutt@devdutt.com]


"The day the soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help them or concluded that you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership." - Colin Powell

Management is collaboration of Vision Strategy and execution
Sudhakar Ram who graduated from IIM-Calcutta in 1982 writes :

It is over 25 years since I graduated from B-school and many things may have changed since then. At the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, I learned how to use the tools, not how to be a craftsman.

However, like any other craft, management is best learnt at the feet of several master craftsmen. Over the years, I have distilled three basic abilities required to build a business or even lead any aspect of a business - the ability to envision, to strategise, and to execute.

The ability to envision: Vision is at the centre of any creation. Being able to envision the end state of a business or initiative is the key to making it happen. When groups of people are involved, explaining and enrolling people to a common vision help in converting groups into teams.
The ability to strategise: If vision comes from the heart, strategy is a product of the mind. It involves finding alternative routes to make things happen and selecting the optimal route. It is about making the best use of available resources and coming up with a game plan to deploy these resources to achieve victory.
The ability to execute: Execution is at the physical level. It is about ensuring that teams understand the plans, the processes and their roles, and have the necessary training and equipment to perform their roles effectively. It is also about ensuring progress is tracked, mid-course corrections are made and there is good communication flow across the entire chain.

While at a craft level, the master painter or the music virtuoso are able to bring all these abilities to bear in his creation, I have found that in mid-sized and large organisations, no individual has all these three qualities to the required degree. To ensure that the organisation grows over the long run, people with these different abilities must learn to collaborate and synergise.

For those aspiring to be super-managers, the journey is exciting and rewarding. The purpose of management is to lead and organise people to achieve results that they would not have been able to achieve as individuals, leading to prosperity for the whole team. What could be more fulfilling?

 from the front and he is a much better role model for young cricketers than those who went before him. In the past, the biggest problem with the Indian team was temperament. Which is why we would lose matches we were all set to win. Today, the team is temperamentally stronger, thanks to Dhoni. He is capable of leading Indian cricket itself, not just the team."

Dhoni certainly seems to enjoy being the captain, unlike Sachin Tendulkar, who was never happy taking charge. Bhogle believes Dhoni is a political animal at heart, which is why he's so inscrutable: "He wouldn't do anything to jeopordise his captaincy. He knows when to stay quiet and what to say in any given situation. He prefers to wait and watch rather than speak out."

by Timothy F. Ryan,Vice Chairman - Markets, Strategy and Stakeholders Leader at PwC

I’ve had all of two employers during my career: Roche Bros, a local Boston supermarket chain where I worked in high school, and PwC. Most of the experiences I share tend to be about PwC—after all, I’ve been with the firm for over 25 years now. But the time I spent in the produce department at Roche Bros was formative: I learned lessons there that continue to influence my work ethic and my leadership style today.

One of the young boys in the produce department was a bit slower than the rest of us, but very thoughtful and considerate. One day, the other guys and I were goofing off and chatting up girls, while preparing lettuce for a display. Our manager, Richie Ordway, reprimanded us because the presentation wasn’t to his liking. We got a little defensive and asked, “What about the slower guy? Why isn’t he in trouble? Why don’t you ask him to do a better job?” Richie’s answer was swift and has stuck with me ever since, “Hey – knock it off! He’s giving 100 percent of what he can give. What more do you want?”
That incident was an early and lasting lesson for me. Richie had never gone to college, but he didn’t need a college education to be a great leader. He intuitively understood the importance of empathy, an appreciation of the specific talents and capabilities that each individual brings to the team, and he created an environment where people were respected, included and valued. He knew what each of us was capable of, and expected us to do our personal best.
I have faced some tough decisions over the course of my business career, and Richie’s example has provided great guidance. Ultimately, leadership is about how you treat people—your talent, your investors, and your clients. Leaders who treat others with respect command respect themselves. I feel very fortunate to have been taught that valuable lesson at the beginning of my career. It’s amazing what you can learn while stacking lettuce.

Learn their story

Not Just knowing everyone’s name in his building, but learn their stories. Instead of making a generic, “hi!”make every greeting specific: “Bob, how’s your mother doing?” or “Susan, congrats on the promotion!” And people will love you for it.

                                                        LEADERSHIP QUALITIES

challenge the status quo

Scholars of electoral politics have associated leadership with charisma, oratory and the ability to motivate an organisation. In this rendition, Kejriwal and Modi are leaders who have made an impact. Both are charismatic. They are skilled public orators and can motivate their organisations. Rahul Gandhi too may have some of the same talents. However, in our view, Kejriwal and Modi have a large advantage because they are leading sentiments that challenge the status quo. In India, movements that challenge the political establishment have unique advantages. 
The contemporary political history of India has several examples of those who challenged the establishment - from Indira Gandhi challenging the 'syndicate' to Jayaprakash Narayan challenging Indira Gandhi's autocratic rule to NT Rama Rao, VP Singh and BSP founder Kanshi Ram and his colleague Mayawati challenging the leadership of Dalits in Congress.

Leadership is primarily about the credibility of a political message. This is where Kejriwal and Modi have a large advantage over Rahul Gandhi. Both Kejriwal and Modi have challenged the existing order. Kejriwal is challenging the collusion among mainstream parties engaged in high-end corruption, favouritism to certain private players and needless populism. He represents the frustration of common citizens who believe that they have no say in political system dominated by politicians with family  history and criminal background. His main message is that AAP and he offers a challenge to "politics as usual". 

Similarly, it would be naive to overlook Narendra Modi's high level of popularity. Modi's ascent within the party was marked by a challenge to the Delhi coterie of BJP. It is the first time in Indian political history that a state leader with no prior experience at national level has been officially anointed a PM candidate 
Modi too represents the challenge to the centrist consensus in Indian politics in multiple ways. He has constantly reminded voters that Congress had sidelined important leaders of the independence movement, like Patel, in its overzealous acclaim of members belonging to the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty. Second, his economic policy is considered synonymous with a market model. This stands in sharp contrast to Congress' far more centrist vision of Indian economy. Third, his speeches also suggest that he will continue to spearhead a campaign that advocates unapologetic majoritarian politics. 

Given this situation, an anointment of Rahul Gandhi as a PM candidate is unlikely to boost Congress' electoral fortunes in 2014. Rahul Gandhi is not a challenger. He is part of the establishment. Therefore, his ability to mobilise and move voters is far more limited than that of either Modi or Kejriwal. Spearheading a losing campaign would undermine his leadership credentials completely 

By: Pradeep Chhibber, Harsh Shah and Rahul Verma .The writers are with the Travers Dept of Political Science, University of California, Berkeley, US http://economictimes.indiatimes.com

Lessons salespeople can learn from politicians

While some salespeople may not be flattered, there’s no escaping that they’re a lot like politicians; both tend to over-promise and under-deliver. But there are some important lessons salespeople could learn from politicians.

With the coming provincial elections, congressional mid-terms and civic elections in Toronto in the fall, federal elections next year, and the never-ending Presidential campaign cranking up right after the next Super Bowl, there are plenty of opportunities for sellers to observe and learn.

The first thing salespeople can learn from politicians is the benefit of having a plan and sticking to it. salespeople are notorious for straying off course and not fully adhering to the company’s sales process. While their reasons may vary, it’s been been shown time and time again that the companies that continue to grow, even in the toughest market conditions, are the ones that have adhered to a clearly defined and dynamic sales process.
A clearly defined sales process should make it possible for even ‘complex sales’ to be mapped out and followed, and will include contingencies for common roadblocks, and ways to allow representatives to respond to unexpected scenarios. A dynamic sales process is less about being exciting or charismatic, like some politicians, and more about being able to adapt and evolve with market conditions and buyers’ expectations. Many organizations have a process, but it’s static; often introduced when a CRM was rolled out or when a new leader arrived. That’s a step up on companies without any process, or reps making it up as they go along. But if a process fails to reflect changes in the market, especially advances in buyer expectations and changes in the buying process, a static process can quickly become ineffective and often a barrier to revenue success.

When you think of good political campaigners, planning and then staying on plan, on task and on message, is a core capability. The good ones are able to do so while gauging public sentiment and incorporating changes into their talking points, plans and wins. The great ones are superb at striking a balance between the needs of their constituents – both the needs of their customers and the needs of their party – or company.

Another lesson for sellers is that politicians know they can’t do it alone. Given the state of buying and selling these days, a successful lone wolf is rare. Buyers have moved to buying by consensus, team buying, sellers should also use their teams to win. Those who leverage the resources available to them from their company, not just the process, CRM or other tools, but colleagues and specialists as well, succeed more often than those sellers who are selective and unsystematic in their use of resources. Buyers know that the sales rep is just that -- a rep -- and they want to leverage the full bench strength of the company. Politicians are adept at staying in the spotlight while benefiting from the work of their extended teams.
Of course, the biggest thing sellers can learn and practice is to stay on message, which starts with getting the message right from the start. Like it or not, polling is central to the message, and politicians love their polls. Politicians and their organizations continuously gauge the public’s opinion, directly and indirectly. One thing sales organizations and sales reps can do more of is talk to their customers, asking specific questions that not only help them understand what the objectives of the clients are, but why and how they plan to achieve them, and what is standing in their way of succeeding. But most importantly challenging the buyers by opening their eyes to alternate possibilities to succeeding.

Politicians understand that if they’re going to win, they need constant feedback. The ones that don’t take input or miss the public’s signals are the ones that come up short on Election Day. The same is true for sales. Failing to challenge buyers and incorporate feedback, and simply pitching solutions, will leave them short when the prospect votes with their wallet.

Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Mar. 11 2014, 5:00 AM EDT

Tibor Shanto is a principal at Renbor Sales Solutions Inc. He can be reached at tibor.shanto@sellbetter.ca. His column appears once a month on theReport on Small Business

Leadership Styles from Cricket
MS Dhoni's leadership style and the lessons it holds for corporate CEOs

How does Mahinder Singh Dhoni maintain an aura of calm even when the Indian cricket team is getting a drubbing? Why doesn't the captain exhibit signs of anguish in the face of defeat, like Rahul Dravid and Saurav Ganguly quite often did before him? Doesn't he care? "Winning is important to Dhoni," says for player and cricketer commentator Sanjay Manjrekar, "but losing is not that important. It's a very rare leadership quality."

A calm mind is the most dangerous and Dhoni's ability to stay cool when the heat is on allows him to make the uncanny calls that others find hard to fanthom. "For champions, the big day is like every day," says cricket commentator and author Harsha Bhogle. "The great captains of the world know that if you fear losing, you will be agitated, which invites losing. We can never know what's going on inside Dhoni's head. If he is stressed, he never lets it show."

Dissecting Dhoni's leadership style for a corporate audience at the ESPNCricinfo 20th anniversary event in Mumbai earlier this month, the two commentators, along with Prakash Iyer, managing director of Kimberley Clark, agreed that this sense of detachment in times of crisis is the hallmark of the captain's leadership style. Manjrekar says that one of the reasons Dhoni remain unruffled is because he insulates himself from extraneous influences. "Dhoni is either unaware of what commentators say about him or he doesn't care. He didn't seem affected by the conflict of interest scandal, when he was in the headlines. In that way he's different from a captain like Ganguly, who was always attuned to what the press was saying about him."

Dhoni's ability to insulate himself and his team from extraneous influences in order to focus on the game is one of his biggest strengths. He is also known to back his players, giving them time to gain full potential. "The players know that Dhoni will not hastily judge them," says Manrekar. "They just need to have the right attitude and show courage in the field. He empowers them. He's not a controlling kind of captain."

Dhoni may empower, but when it comes to key strategic decisions, he is his own man, seldom seeking advice. Manjrekar compares him to Azharuddin, who would always huddle with senior players during the drink break and ask their advice on what to do next: "Dhoni doesn't do that. He doesn't need advice. And after losing a match, he doesn't need comforting."

In cricket and in the corporate world, there is always a tendency to promote the best player to captaincy. This often creates tension between personal performance and team performance. In the corporate world, people do look askance at leaders who fail to perform. "A corporate leader needs to personally effective. People in office would point at a CEO who fails to swing an important deal," says Iyer.
In cricket, however, a captain's personal performance and team performance need to be separated. "If you're not doing well yourself, you still have to get performance from others. These are two different things. I remember Gavaskar in 1985-86. He was willing to sit back and let everyone else get ahead," says Bhogle.

Is Dhoni the best captain Indian cricket ever had? And is he going to leave the game better than it was? While the rest of the panel is ambivalent, Manjrekar is unequivocal: "I'm a fan. Dhoni leads

Top 10 Movies for Management Students

After the books it’s the time for movies which provide us some meaningful insights. Right from being a leader to running a business, ethics and profits, Purpose of Company and the importance of People for any business. All these movies teach us something or the other. Please enjoy reading as KP takes you along with these movies.
1)        The Secret of My Success | 1987
Starring : Michael J. Fox, Helen Slater, Richard Jordan
A great comedy about a young Midwesterner (Michael J. Fox) traveling to the big city to begin his corporate career. The Movie is a must watch for Young Graduates at the brink of Starting their corporate career. Although the plot seems stretchy at times but it is spot on teaching us how to handle the Work Pressure. Brantley Foster is into Two jobs simultaneously. Watch his two lives push you to the edge of your seats.
 2)     Something Ventured | 2011
         Starring: Bill Bowes, Herbert Boyer

It's about the history of the VC industry and Silicon Valley.
It did a fine job of communicating what the founding actors of VC are really like. One gets the feeling that if this hadn't been captured like this today, it might never have been captured in this first-person way
3)   Inside Job | 2010
     Starring: Matt Damon, William Ackman, Daniel Alpert

 A post-mortem of the most significant global economic crisis in decades, pointing to shared culpability across many institutions, government and organizations. The Movie is systematically divided into 5 Parts, starting right from how we started to get into the Trap of Financial Crisis to the Culpability of the same. Also won the Academy award for the Best Documentary. The film is described by Ferguson as being about "the systemic corruption of the United States by the financial services industry and the consequences of that systemic corruption."
 4)  The Social Network | 2010
    Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake
A must-see primer on how the millennials think, invent, and connect—and how bumpy the ride can be from rags to riches. The movie portrays the changing dynamics of Business World in today’s Scenario. It tremendously portrays about how small small decisions make to a Big Empire.
Though the Plot is a bit far from factual, but is embedded with Management Lessons.
5)  The Godfather | 1970
     Starring: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan
An all tym Great and Classics. This is awesome movie when we give regard to Leardership styles. The Gang Wars shown are very similar to the Corporate Wars which take place now a days except that they are less about bullets. Don Corleone plays the role which has Charisma and Foresight to look into the tym after him.
Michael Corleone, in ordering execution for a top lieutenant's switching loyalty says, "Tessio was smarter," indicating that it did not surprise him that Tessio would be the first to switch allegiance to a new leader when the old leader was past his prime
6)  Wall Street | 1987
     Starring: Charlie Sheen, Michael Douglas, and Tamara Tunie
The story is about a character (Charlie Sheen) who is torn between the moral and ethical upbringing he received from his father (Martin Sheen) and the allure of wealth and power as embodied by Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas). The Movie shows to the people how insider trading takes place in corporations. But the Movie is not just about financial knowledge but more about how one needs to make his decision.
Its nice to make money but not at the cost of common good to the People
7) Up in the Air | 2009
    Starring: George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, & Anna Kendrick

As the Golden Saying Depicts that Business is all about people. It tells the leaders the Responsibility of Organisations towards the employee.  Reminds all leaders that organizations—no matter how complex or technologically advanced—are about people, not "things". The Best Capital available to the Company are its people.
Remember, “ Business is all about people”
8) Tunes of Glory | 1960
    Starring: Alec Guinness, John Mills
How does a leader "take charge?" This movie raises a host of lessons about leading. It also offers rich insights about the psychology of managerial bullies. Dramatic kudos to Alec Guinness, who plays the bully. A must watch for all the managers and the persons who are striving to become managers. The Plot is set up in an Army Compund where John Sinclair (Alec Guiness) announces his last day as commanding officer. What happens next… Watch and Find Out !!!!
9)   Risky Business | 1983
      Starring: Tom Cruise, Rebecca De Mornay, Joe Pantoliano

Though the Plot is a little dramatic but so tremendously it displays the certain management tips about how not to be swayed by circumstances. It gives a lesson that relentless efforts are ultimately paid off.  The most important lesson is the way Joel Goodson achieves his ultimate objective in the midst of all the Drama.
10)  A Christmas Carol | 1984
Starring: George C. Scott, Frank Finlay
The film addresses the most fundamental question of what business is about. Is it simply profits or some broader purpose? As Marley answers the question: "Mankind was my business! Their common welfare was my business!" This movie throws light on the Famous Stakeholders Theory about how important it is to actually for the Business to take care the of all the stakeholders. Also when it comes to setting the Vision and Mission of the Organisation then this movie can be path breaking for decion Companies.
Drama/Thriller (2000)
Actors: Giovanni Ribisi, Vin Diesel, Nia Long, Ben Affleck
Recommended by: Philip Hatlem
Plot: Desperate to please his father who is federal judge, Seth Davis, an ambitious, intelligent college dropout gets a job as a stockbroker for a small firm. Lured by big commissions and dreams of wealth, he becomes very successful at sales, but comes to question the legitimacy of his firm’s operations.
Worth the watch: “Boiler Room” is a movie about ethics in business during the dot-com bubble of the late 1990s and the ‘get-rich-quick’ mentality that defined that period. It also teaches a lesson about the importance of thoroughly investigating a potential job before accepting it.

Drama/Mystery (1941)
Orson Welles, Dorothy Comingore, Joseph Cotton
Recommended by: Dr. Patti Williams
Plot: Charles Foster Kane is a newspaper tycoon who starts out with good intentions but gets obsessed with the pursuit of power. This movie takes the audience through a sequence of flashbacks as a reporter attempts to untangle the mystery of the mogul's dying words, “Rosebud.”
Worth the watch: Kane starts his career as an idealistic newspaper man and accumulates much wealth but loses his soul in the process, dying old and alone. This movie emphasizes the impact of greed and the fact that money does not bring happiness

Drama (2014)
 Kevin Costner, Chadwick Boseman, Jennifer Garner
Recommended by: Dr. Kathryn Adamson
Plot: As the general manager for the Cleveland Browns, Sonny Weaver has the opportunity to rebuild his team on draft day when he trades for the number one pick. Professional complications and pressures abound as the day unfolds and Weaver must weigh his personal convictions and decide what sacrifices he’s willing to make.
Worth the watch: “Draft Day” illustrates the complicated process of decision-making, especially when under pressure. Business decisions are influenced by multiple factors including time, money, other individuals, and personal motives. This movie demonstrates the importance of keeping the main thing, the main thing, and the power of negotiation.

Drama: (1992)
Actors: Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Alec Baldwin
Recommended by: Philip Hatlem
Plot: Adapted from the Pulitzer Prize winning play by David Mamet, the film focuses on four desperate real estate agents who sell investment properties in retirement developments. Under corporate pressure to increase performance, they are forced to compete in a sales contest. Since the losers will be fired, the agents resort to treachery to fool potential clients.
Worth the watch: While potentially lucrative, sales is usually viewed as a competitive and somewhat risky career path; therefore, many companies today are having a difficult time filling sales positions. This film depicts sales tactics to follow such as acting with confidence, speaking with passion, paying attention to details and connecting with clients as well as numerous obvious tactics to avoid, including lying, cheating and stealing.

Drama (2011)
Actors: Brad Pitt, Robin Wright, Jonah Hill
Recommended by: Dr. Ronda Mariani
Plot: Oakland A’s General Manager Billy Beane has his back against the wall to assemble a winning baseball team with the lowest salary constraint in baseball. He hires a young Ivy League grad to scientifically analyze data based on Bill James’ statistic approach so that Beane can select undervalued players based on their on base percentages.
Worth the watch: For management students, this film demonstrates the value of innovative thinking and the importance of implementing new processes to drive change and create solutions. It’s also a great example of having the courage to take calculated risks.

Comedy (1999)
Actors: Ron Livingston, Jennifer Anniston, David Herman
Recommended by: Dr. Patti Williams
Plot: Continually humiliated by their soulless boss, computer programmer Peter Gibbons and his two friends hate their jobs at Initech. When the company hires efficiency exerts as the first step toward corporate downsizing, they devise a plan to extract revenge.
Worth the watch: The young professionals in this movie took the right path by going to college, choosing a stable career and working hard; yet they found themselves confined to cubicles with managers who lacked the skills to inspire or stimulate them. This film stresses the importance of being an effective manager. Getting to know subordinates, their roles and abilities, and conversing with them about their desires creates a more satisfying and more dynamic workplace.

Drama (2007)
Actors: Josh Hamilton, Ayesha Dharker
Recommended by: Dr. Ronda Mariani
Plot: Call center manager for a novelty company in Seattle, Todd Anderson travels to India to train his replacement when the company outsources center operations to Bombay. Cultural differences and misunderstandings abound as Anderson tries to teach the new staff about American culture and what American customers expect, while learning more about Indian culture so that that he can help the workers be successful.
Worth the watch:
 Dr. Mariani recommends this film particularly for international management students since it provides insight into the influence of cultural differences when conducting business in a global marketplace and a glimpse into the impact of a global economy.

History/Documentary (2004)
Directors: Mark Achbar, Jennifer Abbott
Recommended by: Dr. Chris McChesney
Plot: Winner of numerous international awards, this film is based on the book The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power by Joel Bakan. It includes interviews with 40 corporate executives from a range of industries, business insiders and critics.
Worth the watch: This film teaches students about the various aspects and intricacies of corporations in America and how the corporation has evolved in the business world of today. It covers important topics for business students including: branding, capitalism, corporate crime, marketing, social responsibility, regulation, strategies for change and more.

Drama (2010)
 Jesse Eisenberg, Rooney Mara, Justin Timberlake
Recommended by: Dr. Sherrie Lewis
Plot: A movie about Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, the youngest billionaire in history and the legal and personal complications that result from creating the social networking site known as Facebook. It begins with website’s inception in a Harvard University dorm room and continues through the battles over ownership among its originators.
Why it’s worth the watch: Dr. Lewis says this is another good film about business ethics, emotional intelligence, power and leadership.

Biography/Dark Comedy/Crime (2013)
Actors: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
Recommended by: Dr. Sherrie Lewis
Plot: Involving crime, corruption and the federal government, this movie documents the rise and fall of Wall Street stockbroker Jordan Belfort who served 22 months in prison for defrauding investors in a massive securities scam. It’s the story of corporate greed and excessive affluence in the late eighties.
Why it’s worth the watch: This movie could be used to discuss business ethics, emotional intelligence, power and leadership. According to Dr. Lewis, her students enjoy discussing Belfort's charisma and how he used it to defraud others

Drama/Crime (1987 and 2010)
Michael Douglas, Charlie Sheen, Daryl Hannah, Shia LaBeouf
Recommended by: Dr. Patti Williams
Plot: Ruthless, greedy corporate raider Gordon Gekko mentors a young, ambitious and impatient stockbroker who ends up trading on illegal insider information. Gekko spends time in prison for money laundering, but in the sequel comes back to extract revenge on his Wall Street enemies and rebuild his empire.
Worth the watch: This movie reflects the extent people will go to make money and the consequences of these actions.  It offers a look at what influence and greed can do to the human soul.

Documentary (2005)
Lee Scott, Don Hunter, Jon Hunter
Recommended by: Dr. Chris McChesney
Plot: Interviews with former employees, small business owners impacted by Walmart’s presence in their communities and archival footage of Walmart executives combined with statistics create a critical documentary and negative picture of Walmart’s business practices.
Worth the watch: This movie gives students an idea about how Walmart works as a corporation, how they treat their employees, their feelings toward union negotiations, and the overall strategy of the company. Dr. McChesney says that while this movie is a little dated, it still provides valuable information for business students.

Personality, Charishma, Likability impact your acceptance level as a leader or as a speaker 

"Likability" is becoming a bigger factor for success at work as social networks and videoconferencing grow. The impact goes beyond a high-school popularity contest. The ability to come across as likable is shaping how people are sized up and treated by bosses and co-workers.
Likable people are more apt to be hired, get help at work, get useful information from others and have mistakes forgiven. A study of 133 managers last year by researchers at the University of Massachusetts found that if an auditor is likable and gives a well-organized argument, managers tend to comply with his suggestions, even if they disagree and the auditor lacks supporting evidence.

Likability is more important—and harder to pull off—on video than in person. Sometimes this can result in a style-over-substance effect. People watching a speaker on a videoconference are more influenced by how much they like the speaker than by the quality of the speaker's arguments, according to a 2008 study in Management Science. The opposite is true when a speaker appears in person. The use of personal videoconferencing is expected to grow 47% annually through 2017, according to Wainhouse Research, a Boston market-research firm.

Social networking also places a premium on likability. More employers track employees' likability on in-house social networks and chat services. They recruit those who are trusted and well-liked to spread information or push through changes. Some companies take these employees' social clout into account when handing out raises and promotions.
Listeners tend to like speakers who seem trustworthy and authentic, who tell an engaging or persuasive story and who seem to have things in common with them, says Noah Zandan, president of Quantified Impressions in Austin, Texas, a provider of communications analytics. On video, these qualities can be hard to convey.

Many people make a negative impression on video by becoming stiff and emotionless, or by exaggerating their points. "Overacting is rampant. It's easy to go Ryan Seacrest when the red light goes on," says Tim Sanders, author of "The Likeability Factor" and a lecturer on the topic.
Job applicants interviewed on video receive lower likability ratings and interview scores, and are less likely to be recommended for hiring, than candidates interviewed in person, according to a study published last year in Management Decision.

But coaches say that likability can be taught. "Likability isn't something you are born with, like charisma. It's something you can learn," says Ben Decker, chief executive officer of Decker Communications, San Francisco, a training and consulting firm.
The "big three" behaviors most important to a speaker's likability are making eye contact by looking into the camera, smiling naturally when you talk and varying your tone of voice to convey warmth and enthusiasm, Mr. Decker says. To show the importance of nonverbal cues, he has clients role-play on video the first few minutes of an imaginary conversation with a client—then watch themselves with the sound off.

Mr. Decker also urges clients to "really think about the listener" and figure out goals he or she might share with you. The ability to find common ground with others is a cornerstone of likability.

Melissa Temple-Agosta has her salespeople take Decker training partly so they learn to come across as warm and engaging in training videos. Many were likable in person, but "when you put them in front of a camera, they froze," says Ms. Temple-Agosta, assistant vice president, education and training, for Urban Decay Cosmetics, Newport Beach, Calif., a division of L'Oréal. Employees learn to think less about their appearance and more about how to forge a connection with listeners.
Senior executives at Charles Schwab & Co. take the training partly because "making sure you come across as authentic and as someone who can be trusted becomes more important" when speaking to large groups on video or webcasts, says Jay L. Allen, executive vice president, human resources, for the San Francisco-based financial services firm. Managers also learn to speak with more enthusiasm on video, varying their tone, Mr. Allen says.

It is important to get to the point quickly on video, because viewers' attention span is short, Mr. Sanders says. Research shows that watching people on video imposes mental demands, called "cognitive load" by scientists, that make it harder to avoid distractions and process what is said.
Mr. Sanders suggests paying special attention to others' facial expressions in videoconferences, stopping the conversation to acknowledge their feelings if necessary. Empathizing with others' feelings creates a sense of connection.

A common mistake people make on video is to play the comedian. Mr. Sanders says: "If you insist on poking fun at someone, it has to be you."

Likability Tips

Authenticity | To be more likable, behave in a way that feels natural and comfortable, rather than stiff or self-absorbed. Kyle T.Webster
Curiosity | Show interest in others, make eye contact and ask questions about others' opinions and activities. Kyle T.Webster
Expressiveness | Vary tones of voice and smile, and show enthusiasm about what you're saying—even more so in a videoconference. Kyle T.Webster
Listening | Focus on what others are saying and show that you are listening carefully, rather than getting distracted. Kyle T.Webster
Mimicry | Mirror the expressions or posture of the person you are talking to, in order to create a sense of familiarity. Kyle T.Webster
Similarity | Actively try to find topics of interest you share with a listener, rather than talking only about what interests you. Kyle T.Webster
Sue Shellenbarger at sue.shellenbarger@wsj.com

Business Adventures or John Brooks

The Best Business Book I have Ever Read

 by Bill Gates for The Wall Street Journal.
 Not long after I first met Warren Buffett back in 1991, I asked him to recommend his favorite book about business. He didn’t miss a beat: “It’s Business Adventures, by John Brooks,” he said. “I’ll send you my copy.” I was intrigued: I had never heard ofBusiness Adventures or John Brooks.
Today, more than two decades after Warren lent it to me—and more than four decades after it was first published—Business Adventures remains the best business book I’ve ever read. John Brooks is still my favorite business writer. (And Warren, if you’re reading this, I still have your copy.)
A skeptic might wonder how this out-of-print collection of New Yorker articles from the 1960s could have anything to say about business today. After all, in 1966, when Brooks profiled Xerox, the company’s top-of-the-line copier weighed 650 pounds, cost $27,500, required a full-time operator, and came with a fire extinguisher because of its tendency to overheat. A lot has changed since then.
It’s certainly true that many of the particulars of business have changed. But the fundamentals have not. Brooks’s deeper insights about business are just as relevant today as they were back then. In terms of its longevity, Business Adventures stands alongside Benjamin Graham’s The Intelligent Investor, the 1949 book that Warren says is the best book on investing that he has ever read.
Brooks grew up in New Jersey during the Depression, attended Princeton University (where he roomed with future Secretary of State George Shultz), and, after serving in World War II, turned to journalism with dreams of becoming a novelist. In addition to his magazine work, he published a handful of books, only some of which are still in print. He died in 1993.
As the journalist Michael Lewis wrote in his foreword to Brooks’s book The Go-Go Years, even when Brooks got things wrong, “at least he got them wrong in an interesting way.” Unlike a lot of today’s business writers, Brooks didn’t boil his work down into pat how-to lessons or simplistic explanations for success. (How many times have you read that some company is taking off because they give their employees free lunch?) You won’t find any listicles in his work. Brooks wrote long articles that frame an issue, explore it in depth, introduce a few compelling characters, and show how things went for them.
In one called “The Impacted Philosophers,” he uses a case of price-fixing at General Electric to explore miscommunication—sometimes intentional miscommunication—up and down the corporate ladder. It was, he writes, “a breakdown in intramural communication so drastic as to make the building of the Tower of Babel seem a triumph of organizational rapport.”
In “The Fate of the Edsel,” he refutes the popular explanations for why Ford’s flagship car was such a historic flop. It wasn’t because the car was overly poll-tested; it was because Ford’s executives only pretended to be acting on what the polls said. “Although the Edsel was supposed to be advertised, and otherwise promoted, strictly on the basis of preferences expressed in polls, some old-fashioned snake-oil selling methods, intuitive rather than scientific, crept in.” It certainly didn’t help that the first Edsels “were delivered with oil leaks, sticking hoods, trunks that wouldn’t open, and push buttons that…couldn’t be budged with a hammer.”
One of Brooks’s most instructive stories is “Xerox Xerox Xerox Xerox.” (The headline alone belongs in the Journalism Hall of Fame.) The example of Xerox is one that everyone in the tech industry should study. Starting in the early ’70s, the company funded a huge amount of R&D that wasn’t directly related to copiers, including research that led to Ethernet networks and the first graphical user interface (the look you know today as Windows or OS X).
But because Xerox executives didn’t think these ideas fit their core business, they chose not to turn them into marketable products. Others stepped in and went to market with products based on the research that Xerox had done. Both Apple and Microsoft, for example, drew on Xerox’s work on graphical user interfaces.
I know I’m not alone in seeing this decision as a mistake on Xerox’s part. I was certainly determined to avoid it at Microsoft. I pushed hard to make sure that we kept thinking big about the opportunities created by our research in areas like computer vision and speech recognition. Many other journalists have written about Xerox, but Brooks’s article tells an important part of the company’s early story. He shows how it was built on original, outside-the-box thinking, which makes it all the more surprising that as Xerox matured, it would miss out on unconventional ideas developed by its own researchers.
Brooks was also a masterful storyteller. He could craft a page-turner like “The Last Great Corner,” about the man who founded the Piggly Wiggly grocery chain and his attempt to foil investors intent on shorting his company’s stock. I couldn’t wait to see how things turned out for him. (Here’s a spoiler: Not well.) Other times you can almost hear Brooks chuckling as he tells some absurd story. There’s a passage in “The Fate of the Edsel” in which a PR man for Ford organizes a fashion show for the wives of newspaper reporters. The host of the fashion show turns out to be a female impersonator, which might seem edgy today but would have been scandalous for a major American corporation in 1957. Brooks notes that the reporters’ wives “were able to give their husbands an extra paragraph or two for their stories.”
Brooks’s work is a great reminder that the rules for running a strong business and creating value haven’t changed. For one thing, there’s an essential human factor in every business endeavor. It doesn’t matter if you have a perfect product, production plan, and marketing pitch; you’ll still need the right people to lead and implement those plans.
That is a lesson you learn quickly in business, and I’ve been reminded of it at every step of my career, first at Microsoft and now at the foundation. Which people are you going to back? Do their roles fit their abilities? Do they have both the IQ and EQ to succeed? Warren is famous for this approach at Berkshire Hathaway, where he buys great businesses run by wonderful managers and then gets out of the way.

Business Adventures is as much about the strengths and weaknesses of leaders in challenging circumstances as it is about the particulars of one business or another. In that sense, it is still relevant not despite its age but because of it. John Brooks’s work is really about human nature, which is why it has stood the test of time.

The One Minute Manager Meets The Monkey
by Kenneth Blanchard, William Oncken, Jr., and Hal Burrows

If i let you park your problem with me, i will endup doing injustice to both you and me

If you are someone who feels overwhelmed with the problems created by other people, reading this book and applying the lessons learned from it can change your life. It definitely did to mine. It preaches to the discerning reader an unforgettable lesson;how to save time to do what you want & need to do. Step by step the authors of this book using examples & story-telling show how the managers can free themselves from doing everyone else’s job and ensure that every problem is handled by the proper person. By using the 4 – rules of Monkey Management, managers of today will learn to become effective supervisors of time, energy and their own talent.
The book begins by telling a story about a harried monkey manager who worked for long, hard hours, yet never quite seemed to get caught up with all the work he had to do. He then learned about monkey management and how not to take initiative away from his people so they can care for and feed their own “monkeys.” In this process, he learned to be more effective in dealing with his own manager and the demands of his organization. The performance of his department drastically improved as did the prospects for his career.
In the good old days, when one became a manager things were a lot easier because one’s own performance depended strictly on one’s own efforts. In those days, the longer and harder one worked, the more work one got done. However, in today’s age, the formula works in reverse. Typically all that the managers these days do are to shuffle between papers without ever making progress on the real work that needs to be done. This is defined as triumph of technique over purpose; one is doing more but accomplishing less. How Paradox this is! There is just no time left to implement the ideas for improving operations, to do planning, coordinating, staffing, and other key managerial tasks that will keep the unit functioning well towards the future. And then attempts to address these key issues by working overtime, on weekends, attending seminars, hiring outside help address merely the symptoms of the problem, not the cause itself. It is like taking an aspirin to reduce the fever but ignoring the illness that caused the fever. As a result, the problem gets progressively worse.
In this book, A Monkey is defined as “the next move.” Typically a manager’s subordinate will have a problem. Whilst he is explaining it to him, the monkey is on his back. When they both are talking, the matter is under joint consideration i.e. the monkey had one leg on each of their backs. When the manager says that he needs time to think over a possible solution to the problem the monkey has moved his leg from the subordinate’s back onto the manager’s back and the subordinate walks away 10 kilos lighter. In this manner the manager assumes the worker role & vice-versa. For every monkey there are two parties involved: one to work for it and one to supervise it.
When the manager picks up the monkeys that his people could have handled, he gives the message that he wants the monkeys. So naturally, the more he picks up, the more he gets. And so on a normal workday, he has as many as he can handle apart from the regular requirements of the job like reporting to his Boss and others. This way the monkeys keep coming & multiplying to a point where he has to borrow time from his personal life: exercise, hobbies, and eventually the family. And then the manager starts to procrastinate whilst the staff waits. This is referred as a costly duplication of effort. By spending all his time working on other people’s monkeys means that the manager has no opportunity to work on his own. He is not managing. He is being managed. He is not proactive, but strictly reactive. He is merely coping.
The manager is recommended to attend to a seminar titled “Managing Management Time” which helps him to learn the golden principle “Things not worth doing are not worth doing well.” & “The more you get rid of your people’s monkeys, the more time you have for your people”.As a manager, to the extent that one can get people to care for and feed their own monkeys, they are really managing the work themselves.
This is illustrated in the book by the Oncken’s 4 Rules of Monkey Management. The dialogue between a boss and one of his or her people must not end until all monkeys have:
Rule 1. Appropriate “next moves” identified and specified.
Rule 2. Owners: The monkey is assigned to a person i.e. who is responsible for it, ownership. This must begin from the lowest organizational level consistent with their welfare.
Rule 3. Insurance Policies: The risk is covered. Every Monkey leaving the presence of the Manager on the back of one of his people must be “recommended & acted upon” or “acted & then advised upon.”
Rule 4. Monkey feeding and checkup appointments: The time and place for follow-up is specified. Proper follow-up means healthier monkeys. Every monkey should have a checkup appointment.
The author states an example of these 4 rules by way of a dialogue between a manager and a subordinate. The manager explains to his subordinate, “We do not have a problem, and we will never again have one. I am sure that there is a problem, but it is not ours, it is either yours or mine. The first item on the agenda is to neaten up the pronouns and find out whose problem this is. If it turns out to be my problem, I hope you will help me with it. If it turns out to be your problem, I will help you with it subject to the following condition: at no time while I am helping you with your problem will your problem become my problem, because the minute your problem becomes my problem, you will no longer have a problem and I can’t help a person who does not have a problem!”
The purpose of the rules of monkey management is to help ensure that the right things get done theright way at the right time by the right people. On a precautionary note, the author also states the rules of Monkey Management should be applied only to monkeys that deserve to live. Some do not. He urges to ask the question: “why are we doing this?” If there is no viable answer, shoot the monkey so that the next time one will not be doing more efficiently things that should not have been done in the first place. The monkey is not a project or a problem; the monkey is whatever the ‘next move’ is on a project or a problem.
In order to ensure that the problem does not occur repeatedly i.e. a permanent cure the author recommends:
· Delegation – whereby the people are achieving more and more with less and less involvement fromthe manager. Whilst assigning involves a single monkey; delegation involves a family of monkeys. And once delegation is reached, staying there is easy compared with the job of getting there.
· Practice Hands-Off Management as much as possible and Hands-On Management as much as necessary. People are fully responsible for their projects unless a problem is encountered that requires intervention. This practice leads to self-managementwhich is a lot better than the high degree of boss-management that one experience’s while assigning monkeys. The assignments should be boss-initiated only to the extent that the staff member cannot initiate them.
· It is better to strike a straight blow with a crooked stick rather than spend the whole life trying to straighten the darn thing out.
What are the learning’s that one derives at the end of reading this book? That one must be able to clearly measure success by what one is able to get the people to do, not by what one does by oneself. In order to do that, the mentality has to change from that of a do-er to that of a manager.Learn to replace the psychological rewards of doing with the rewards of managing, namely, deriving satisfaction from what the people do and being recognized, paid, and promoted accordingly.
In the past, one spent much of the time fighting fires; now most of them can be prevented by spending just a little time in advance. In the past, a great deal of one’s time is spent in reacting to other people; now it can be spent a great deal in proactive measures. These include doing some advance planning for a change so as to enable to do the right things the right way the first time instead of having to do them over so often.
Perhaps the greatest lesson learnt about monkey management, at work and at home, is that there are always more monkeys clamoring for attention than the time one has to manage them. Hence unless one is extremely careful about which to accept responsibility for, it is very easy to wind up caring for the wrong monkeys while the really important ones are starving for lack of attention. If we thoughtlessly try to handle all of them, our efforts will be diluted to the point where none of them are healthy.

Is Your Boss Too Nice
If your Boss is a Nice man, your career may be at risk

Yes, it can be pleasant to work for someone who is kind and thoughtful but there’s a difference between bosses who are pleasant to work for and those who avoid conflict at all costs. Managers in the latter category don’t give tough feedback, shy away from going to bat for their teams, and give in too easily to demands. If this sounds like your boss, your career may be at risk.

What the Experts Say“I’m 100% in favor of kindness and compassion in leadership. What I don’t believe in is a boss who in the name of niceness, doesn’t do what he’s supposed to,” says Greg McKeown, author of Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less. Working for a manager who is conflict-averse can have deleterious effects on your performance and your career. Linda Hill, the Wallace Brett Donham Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and coauthor of Being the Boss: The 3 Imperatives for Becoming a Great Leader, says that many of these bosses aren’t aware of the effect they’re having on their direct reports. “My experience with leaders like this is that they don’t know they’re behaving that way,” she says. Here’s how to mitigate the potential damage of a boss who is too nice.

Be empatheticHaving a boss who doesn’t stand up for you is frustrating —  but don’t blame him. “New bosses are particularly prone to this. Have a little sympathy that he’s trying to gain credibility with his peers and boss,” says Hill. If you see the situation from his perspective (rather than painting him as the enemy), you’ll be better able to help him.

Directly address the issueStart by talking to your boss. Make clear what you need — and be as concrete as possible. If you’re not getting the necessary resources for a project, you might say: “This is what we’re supposed to get done and unless we have more people dedicated to the project, we won’t be able to do it. Is there a way we can work on getting more resources?” Or if she’s being too hands off and not giving you enough input, you might say, “I need more insight from you along the way and I’m not sure how to get it.” You can also try to make it easier for her to give feedback. “You may want to describe actual events and how you handled them and then ask for advice on how you could’ve handled it differently,” says Hill.

Make the costs clear“People change but not unless they’re dissatisfied with their own behavior,” says Hill. For this reason, it’s important that you help your boss understand the costs of his behavior. Step into his shoes and try to understand what he really cares about. “That way you can show that what he wants to accomplish is at risk,” says Hill. If you can make the downsides of his conflict-avoidant behavior evident, he may be incented to change. For example, you might explain that by not directly addressing underperformance on your team, he’s alienating the high performers. Point to direct evidence, such as a team member’s disengagement.

Take matters into your own handsMcKeown suggests that instead of waiting for your boss to give you guidance and input, do it yourself. “Write a contract with your boss,” McKeown says. “Put down in writing what results you’re trying to achieve, the parameters you’re working within, and how you will be held accountable.” Then ask your boss to react to it and sign it. “At least you’ll have something concrete you can run towards,” he says. For some people, this seems pushy, but McKeown’s research shows it’s effective. “All the managers I’ve talked to say they’d welcome that level of initiative,” he says.

Tap your networkIn some cases, you may need to go above your boss and use your network to get feedback or resources. But don’t sneak around your boss if possible. Try to include him in those discussions. For example, you might discover that there is some slack in another department and tell your boss about it so he can ask that team leader for additional resources.

With a conflict-avoidant manager, it’s doubly important that you have strong relationships elsewhere in the organization, Hill says: “Build your network so it includes people a few levels up and so you have a legitimate reason to talk to them.” McKeown agrees on the importance of these connections: “Find someone who is not your boss’s boss but sits just outside your team who can be your spokesperson.”

Consider leaving if you canIt’s easy to assume that having a conflict-averse manager isn’t really a problem. But there are serious long-term effects. These kinds of bosses may not help you advance your career because they’re afraid to ruffle feathers and get you promoted. Or they may damage your credibility if they are seen as ineffective and others assume those on their teams are too. “People let it go on for a long time,” McKeown says. He suggests that you transfer to another department or leave the company if your boss is unable to change. “I would always prefer to work with someone who has some edge and is willing to challenge me to be better,” he says. If that doesn’t describe your boss, it may be time to find a new one.

Principles to Remember
·         Talk directly with your boss about what you need  —  and be as concrete as possible
·         Build your network so that you can rely on other people for help and resources
·         Make the costs of her behavior very clear — that’s the only way she’ll change

·         Hesitate to take matters into your own hands
·         Think of your boss as the enemy — he may not be aware of his behavior
·         Let it go on for too long — if possible consider transferring to another department or finding a new job

Case study #1: Get what you needFor just under a year, Matthew Hart* worked for a boss who tried desperately to be nice (we’ll call him Bryan). Bryan managed a team of 52 people at the credit card processing company where they worked  —  and avoided conflict at all costs. “He couldn’t step up when it came to making hard decisions,” Matthew explains.  “He wouldn’t make resource requests he promised to and gave in to unreasonable complaints.”

Matthew tried to talk with Bryan about the problem. “I was the voice for the team and explained how his behavior was affecting morale and causing turnover,” he says. He gave Bryan specific examples of the impact he was having on the team. “Everything that Bryan said in response was in line with what you’d read in a book — but that’s not how he acted,” Matthew says.

After failing in his direct attempts, Matthew resorted to going around Bryan: “I ended up getting what I wanted from those above him.” After Matthew got a promotion, he asked Bryan for more resources. When those requests didn’t come through, he talked with Bryan’s boss, the company’s CIO. “I asked him about the status of my requests and realized that he didn’t know about them,” he says. While Matthew didn’t like the idea of going around Bryan, he felt it was necessary: “I had direct reports who were counting on me to get them what they needed.”

It soon became obvious how damaging Bryan’s behavior was. “We lost four senior engineers and two managers in a three-month timeframe.” Eventually, Bryan was let go and Matthew and one of his colleagues were promoted to jointly fill Bryan’s role. “Most of the people that left have come back and our culture has dramatically changed for the better,” he says.

Case study #2: Don’t stay too longFor close to a decade, Carlon Cayenne worked at a petrochemical facility in the Caribbean. During that time he had numerous bosses but his last, a manager named Fred*, was one of the toughest. “He had a ‘country club’ management style. He was very sociable, always courteous, and approachable,” he says. But Fred was also indecisive and often looked to the team to make key decisions by consensus. He gave in to almost all instructions from the level above him, and rarely, if ever, pushed back. Carlon sensed that he did this in order to maintain a friendly and conflict-free work environment.
But if the team couldn’t agree on how to move forward on a particular project, they were stuck. And it wasn’t just their performance that was affected. Their relationships suffered, too. “The team lost credibility in the organization and some people struggled to move their careers forward,” Carlon says. Senior leaders scrutinized him and his peers because they worked for Fred and he felt his professional development opportunities were limited.

Because Fred was very approachable, Carlon felt comfortable raising these issues with him directly. “I would present the potential consequences or outcomes of decisions or situations as they arose and try to influence his choices,” he says. And when that didn’t work, he stepped in. “In some cases, I took charge of the situation and reassured him by assuming responsibility for the outcomes,” Carlon says.
He worked for Fred for three years until he decided to leave the company to take another job. Several of his colleagues have also since left — but Fred is still there.

Amy Gallo for HBR