Alan Hargreaves is an established business writer and management advisor. He has held senior positions in financial services, publishing, broadcasting and private equity, including 20 years working in Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and the USA. For the last decade he has been based in Sydney. He is the author of management book Recharge.
Can you do anything about it?
You probably know that you or your firm can go better. You are aware of specific strengths and you know you could knock the cover off the ball if you really gave it your best shot. Trouble is you don’t seem to get around to it.
Output Vs Creativity
I’ve handed out a few bonuses in my time. Some years our results were spectacular; other times poor. Payouts went up and down accordingly. I can only remember two people opening the envelope and saying “thank you”. Both cases were in poor years. It never happened in a good one.
Has the 'celeb' thing plundered this old word?
Charisma derives from Charis, an associate of Aphrodite in Homer’s Odyssey. Charis was beautiful, but not a central character. Nothing about her seemed particularly special. She was like many of today’s “celebs”: she looked OK but didn’t do much.
We could make similar observations about celebrity CEOs. They don’t make much difference either. Several studies show corporate performance to be anywhere from average to disastrous under so-called charismatic leaders.
Disadvantaged families can save the government money
Her concern was not what happened to her. She was terrified of treating her own daughter the same way. It’s why she came to the Newpin centre.
Newpin is a voluntary therapeutic community where struggling young mothers and fathers spend as many as four days a week for up to two years.
They commit because they are troubled parents responsible for raising human beings. Despite often desperate histories of intergenerational dysfunction, they want to get it right.
They are feeling the heat too
What surprises me most in negotiations is when the other side folds. It comes out of the blue. It doesn’t seem to reflect the strength of my position. It’s often contrary to how they had presented, even the table-thumpers.
I’m not a particularly skilled or highly experienced negotiator. But one thing I’ve noticed is it’s always darkest before dawn. Just when I think I have been worn down, I find out they have been too.
I’ve also noticed a few things common to success.
The better half of salesmanship
“He’s so gregarious. He’d make a great salesman.” It conjures up the positive, outgoing personality who always gets the order.
Predictions are usually wrong
It’s February. We’ve made it through another prediction season. We now know what to expect in 2013.
Or do we? After all, most of the things commentators told us would happen a year ago failed to materialize. Mostly, they were wrong.
Some failures were well broadcast. US election predictions were pretty much all wrong. Left and right-wingers were equally hopeless. They had Obama winning or losing by huge margins. The result was a close call. Democracy, as usual, muddled through.
The lever you need to press is attitude
We often think we are letting go of old ideas when in reality we are just adjusting our grip. Our lateral notion of change turns out to be cosmetic, not fundamental.
We sometimes see change only in physical terms, like an actual product or an operational process.
Those things are an outcome of change, not a driver of it. What needs to shift first is attitude.
Thursday, 01 November 2012 Written by Alan Hargreaves
Are successful people right, lucky or both?
The problems with planning
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