Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Interviews - Shucking a lot of oysters to find the pearl?

It was my first start up experience, The fifth person to join. I was working for this company called NetQuest (Now called Aditi) founded by an ex Micro-softie.. Being part of Senior leadership, I was coached by him extensively that we needed to hire for potential and not for skills. We had an elaborate interview process and at any round in the process, if somebody objects, the  person is dropped. No exceptions ! Also, we had a list of the Microsoft questions (for example Why are manholes round ?) to identify the folks with "Out of the box" thinking. My mentor, instilled into me this approach deeply so that it became my default interview process. This helped me immensely  in my career as my success is mainly based on finding the right folks to work for me !

Read on to see how this simple technique can help you find and built sustainable productive teams....

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Slow and steady does win the race in business afterall !

When I heard the story of the The Tortoise and the Hare for the first time, I was filled with questions. Why did the hare stop to take rest? Tortoise are so slow that even if the Hare slept for hours, it still could not win the race etc. All very logical questions and concerns in my kids mind. My father used to have a tough time trying to explain the concepts and convince my "scientific" mind to see the message behind the story and understand what it truly means.

Growing up and struggling to survive in the business world, I always felt that the hares won all the time. The person who can talk smoother, Dress better and network quicker won. The only thing I could do was to work twice as hard to make up for the lack of proficiencies in these departments ! Wallowing in self pity, I was slow to notice that folks who went up too quickly sometime crashed and burned even more quickly. There seems to be some natural force which balanced the inequality. Not all the time I admit (I have seen too many people in leadership roles with absolutely no skills) but enough to make me believe. Also, I noticed that some of the so called "hares" where really smart tortoise who were slow and steady - But too quick by my standards !! It was my short sighted views that labelled them as flighty hares !!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Super Nanny Tips for Managing your team

One of the shows I watch on TV is the Super Nanny and I cannot compliment it enough for the information and tips the shows provides. More importantly, it is a two in one – Tips for managing your children which can also be applied to managing your team – After all to maximize your team productivity and to minimize the Tylenol you take for your headaches, treating your team like you children does make logical sense !

So let us examine some of the key concepts of the show and see how it applies to your team

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Lamplight vs. Spotlight - Can Introverts survive in this business enviornment?

 Coming from an Indian culture, my natural Introvert instincts have been further hardened by the culture which expects kids to be seen and not heard. Growing up, the hierarchy of business food chain was reinforced - summarized as Your Superior is always right ! For the last 15 or so years in the US I have been struggling with the society's deference to the Extroverts - Leadership was decided based on the person's "Charisma" and who cares if the content of what he says sucks as long as he is able to say it in style and sound intelligent. I used to spend sleepless nights blaming everybody for the lack of recognition of the value I deliver. To this day I struggle with this facet of life, even though I sort of accepted this fact of life and moved on. So this book Quiet - The power of Introverts in a world that can's stop talking" by Susan Cain  caught my I eye and I had to read it !