Boss, Hire Better People!

romero-britto-in-the-parkOn a consulting assignment, many years ago, I got into a conversation with a business owner who told me that she was careful to hire low-skilled individuals, who asked fewer questions and would not challenge her ideas.

If you were educated beyond high school, showed too much smarts or opinionated, you had no chance in her organization. I was stunned!

Then, it was hard to believe that this individual would deliberately seek out low-skilled, ‘yes’ folks for her business. I didn’t expect that kind of thinking at that level

Well, I’m way past the initial shock because I’ve seen this thought pattern displayed in various ways in the corporate world. Instances where entrepreneurs and business leaders stifle sharp minds due to the leader’s insecurities – abound.

There’s a downside though. These leaders forfeit the benefits of good feedback which in turn hinders business growth. In such organizations, innovation is rare because the atmosphere is designed to frustrate it.

A leader’s insecurities should be properly managed to avoid the alienation of brilliant minds. This is vital because in the face of current business challenges, you need all the mental ‘firepower’ you can find.

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Startup Tip: Keep It Simple

IMG_1362-waechter-guardians-of-time-guards-contemporary-art-arts-arte-design-sculpture-statue-light-art-installation-show-fair-manfred-kielnhofer-kiliAn idea is a living thing – it has a life of its own and a starting point. Finding the right start is the entrepreneur’s challenge.

It’s a challenge because startup excitement often makes it hard for entrepreneurs to recognize simple steps in the startup process.

Every idea can be broken down into simple steps – and ideas evolve from stage to stage. This principle brings ease to the entrepreneur’s effort.

Find a simple start. For instance, you don’t have to rent out the traditional office space, a virtual office could do for now. Irrelevant business practices are traps. They make the new venture tedious. Avoid them.

Fortunately, we’re in the 21st century. Communication is cheap, the internet is effective and social media has slashed the cost of advertising and marketing. It’s a great time to start anything – on a simple note and still make a decent profit.

For starters, keep your business framework simple, flexible and change friendly because the startup is genetically designed for growth.

Should Every Idea Be Sold?

Forming Attachments Layers Merged 750My first book will never be published.

It’s a manuscript of over 34000 words written within a 30day burst of inspiration – many years ago. It was my first attempt at a full-length book and I don’t want it commercialized. It’s for me, not the public.

At first, I thought I wanted it published, but later realized that I didn’t want to share it. Apparently, this behavior isn’t unusual; creative minds – writers, artists and songwriters – experience it.

The Vault is where the profusely creative singer/songwriter, Prince, stores some of his works. BBC reported that, “…if Prince was to die tomorrow, he has so much unreleased music, he could release an album a year for the next 100years…” He records and simply puts them away.

What’s his plan? We’re not sure. He’s in no hurry to make them public – we may never hear the works. But the songs are finished and kept away.

In the creative process, you’ll discover ideas that are just for you and for some reason you feel no pressure to share. It’s okay to share these ideas when you’re ready and if you don’t want to, it’s fine.

Say it: “I Was Wrong”

contemporary-artworkIn certain communities, getting older means that you’re supposed to know ‘everything’- it’s an unwritten rule, a common notion.

It’s worse if you’re an elder or a leader, folks get shocked if you show that you don’t know – you’re expected to know. It’s shameful not to know.

Sadly, the ‘know-all’ attitude doesn’t work well with people today. Folks are smarter, more sophisticated and exposed than you think – and can easily call you out on your bullshit. It’s hard to manipulate people these days; they see right through your act.

Hence, if for some reason you were wrong, made a poor judgment, messed up or missed it in anyway, your best bet would be to own up and admit you were out of line.

As a CEO, it’s now harder to lord it over your management team. In the 21st century, effective leadership entails that you get comfortable with admitting your mistakes and then seeking ways to make amends.

You don’t know it all – not even with Google at your disposal. On that note, you’ll make mistakes; we all know that you will – and that’s OK!

Do I Follow My Dreams Or Keep My Real Job?

Van-Gogh-Paintings-10Or: Are you living in fear?

That’s the real question.

Fear is a dominant factor in the life of many adults and its power to regulate decisions and actions is profound.

I’m not entirely for the ‘just-do-it’ school of thought because sometimes you have to scheme your way out of certain limitations in order to step into your dream. Neither am I for over-planning; there are times you just have to jump in. Rather, my concern is this: is fear keeping you where you are?

Fear can make you quit a great job and pursue your dream at the wrong time. Also, it can make you stay too long on your job and miss the right timing for your goals.

So for now, you probably need a job – stay the course and do great work. Or, it’s time to follow your dream – then make the moves. But don’t stay anywhere due to fear and if you are, start plotting your way out.

Fear is blinding, but once you assess and confront it, you’ll start to see exactly what you’re supposed to do.

The Art of Waiting

ArtOfWritingMy confession:

Waiting is one of my least favorite things. I do it only when necessary, otherwise, I don’t see the point.

But life thinks differently. That’s why it schedules periods of waiting – when all we can do is: chew on ‘patience pie’.

If waiting is part of life’s reality, can we get better at it? Yes we can!

How?

One: Identify The Gains

If I must wait as part of life’s process, I can’t wait for nothing. Now, I ask myself: what do I want to get out of this wait? What benefits do I want to leave with by the time its over? Once I was put on hold by life and I decided to write three books. That was my take out.

Two: Every Wait Ends

This is an invaluable mental poise. For you to survive the waiting process, you must understand that every wait comes to an end. It’s a law.

Three: Get Busy

Waiting doesn’t mean that we sit around doing nothing. We’re in a process that requires that we change focus – not be inactive. While you’re waiting, create something. Put your mind to work.

How To Avoid The Illusion of Success ~ 2

BoatIf I dig deeper into the success picture that you currently display, would I find a solid foundation or some flaky structure?

The truly wealthy are careful to study, understand and apply the process of success so that success becomes their name. To these guys the process is more important than the appearance of success.

They know that wealth is sustained by consistent, hard work and systematically applying success principles – not gambling through life.

This might be shocking to some of us ‘entitled’ millennials, who believe that simply putting up a YouTube video and having it go viral is all that we need to ‘make it’.

You’re better off using a time tested approach – which is to: roll up your sleeves and do the real work. Grow from level to level and be your best at every level.

Make it. Skip the fake part. I’m tired of watching entrepreneurs struggle to keep up with things for which they lack capacity.

The illusion of success is a stressful take on life. I suggest that you figure out what it takes to succeed and pay the price. Don’t fake it, make it!