Fifty Five Quick Tips On Leading and Managing in The Workplace

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As today is the first day of 2018, I’ve written down several “Management Lessons and Quick Tips” to recap the various management situations that I’ve encountered throughout the year of 2017.

Here are 55 of them.

1. Every time a problem occurs, follow these quick three steps to lessen your headache, – (1) Discuss with your team to clearly define the problem (make sure the problem is defined correctly and agreed collectively), – (2) Understand why the problem happened and, – (3) Find more than two alternative solutions to act upon.

2. Never send a long email while you are emotional, write it down and sleep on it before sending it. It can take you 4-5 edits before you sending it. Remember it is better to discuss in person or by phone if you think the situation can get more emotional if you send that long email.

3. When giving your point of view on a certain issue, always differentiate between your point of view as a friend and your point of view as a professional. Mention it when having one-on-one conversations with your employee.

4. Always be kind to everyone, you never know what they’re going through at the moment.

5. Don’t have sympathy and empathy, but be compassionate instead to help your employees.

6. Take a risk in pressing the ‘sensitive’ buttons to employees you want to see improve. The process can be hard at first and shake things up, but the result will always be good in the long term for the employee you want to see improve.

7. Understand that part of being a leader is to make the hard decisions that no one wants to make and be accountable for.

8. Realize when being a leader, not everyone is going to like you. That’s just part of the job.

9. At times, how you say something could be more important then what you say.

10. As a leader, be present, show up when your team is in need. Sometimes just being present will make the difference.

11. Get to know all your employees, know their names and have a basic knowledge of their backgrounds.

12. Conduct one-on-one meetings with your direct reports to align what you expect of them, and to get to know them as a person.

13. It’s not always about work, having informal conversations about non-work related topics will help you have better relationships with your employees. This relationship will help when problems arise and a teamwork effort is needed to solve the problem.

14. Be blunt and direct during difficult conversations to find the root cause of the issue, then find optional solutions to work with.

15. Continuous reading helps your mind grow. Find the time to read. It’ll help you.

16. Remember that it’s never too early to start preparing your future leaders.

17. Give everyone equal opportunity to succeed.

18. Remember to have faith and pray. Serendipity does happen.

19. Learning to listen is a key management and leadership skill.

20. The best teachers/instructors for your employees are your senior staff that’s been in the company for several years. Utilize their knowledge to develop your employees and your business.

21. As a leader, you will always be under the microscope. Mind your actions and the words you use to your employees.

22. Don’t let negative gossip take control over lunch talks and coffee break talks.

23. Remember to always focus on positivity when dealing with people issues.

24. Give opportunities for your employees to shine at every given moment.

25. Praise your employees in public and give feedback for constructive criticism in private.

26. Understand the unwritten rules within employee social interactions. Understand the silos and work to crush it if its limiting your organization to move forward in improvement.

27. As a leader, always take the blame for failures and never take the credit for success.

28. Involve your employees when making change. You can’t succeed alone.

29. Forget what you’ve given in the past and never forget to forgive people.

30. Don’t take direct action when your employees make mistakes. Let your employees make mistakes for them to learn on their own. If they keep making the same mistake without learning from it, then take direct action.

31. Tell your employees to have a balanced-life. Remind your employees that they should have lives outside of work for them not to be burned out and bored of work.

32. Remind your employees to not only have a healthy mind, but also to exercise their body to be in shape. Being in shape and physically fit is very important for work.

33. Comprehensively learn about yourself before learning about your team and your business. Learn to be self aware and have routine self-reflection sessions for yourself. Know how to talk to yourself as an important process of becoming a better leader and manager.

34. Respect everyone. It’s that simple, but hard to execute if you focus too much on your ego.

35. You must “Learn to unlearn”, and look at things differently in how you’ve always looked at certain things. Start looking at certain things with a different perspective; press the restart button and act as a new student for you to improve.

36. Being a leader starts in the mind of the leader. Changing your mindset will change your results.

37. Proactively talk to your employees to understand whats going on. Don’t be left in the dark.

38. Have integrity and always tell the truth.

39. Don’t ever surprise your supervisors unless it is something good.

40. Coordinate with others before making a decision. Coordinate with others when rolling out something new.

41. Expand your skills by being out of your comfort zone. You don’t grow when you’re in your comfort zone.

42. When you want to learn something new, before conducting classroom training that will take time away from the office, look for online training courses (e-learning) that you can do on your time. It’s the most effective way for you to learn something new.

43. Technology will continue to improve and enhance, learn about the latest technology in how it can help your work.

44. Continuously ask questions to probe on solving issues and coming up with creative solutions.

45. Don’t act like a “know it all”, even though if you feel you do know it all. No one likes a pompous jerk that acts like he/she is better than everyone else.

46. Understand the background of all your employees. When you have the chance, ask about where they grew up and their life story. It’ll give you an understanding about who they are, and the foundation of how they look at things.

47. When dealing with angry customers who are complaining, don’t spend too long apologizing, rather address that you acknowledge the problem and directly give alternative solutions for them to choose what best fits them.

48. Empower your employees to make decisions that they can be responsible for.

49. Speak out to make a difference, be brave to be unpopular if needed.

50. Figure out work that will not make your employees bored of routine monotone tasks that they’ve been doing for years. Give your employees the opportunity to explore how they can contribute more for your organization by modifying their daily tasks to prevent boredom.

51. Make the change if it is necessary even though it is hard for the short term. It usually pays off in the long term. Be brave to fail and make that change.

52. Give confidence to your employees. No one likes to always be told what they’re bad at. Don’t be greedy to give out compliments.

53. Treat your janitor with the same respect as your President Director. This will help your reputation in the long run and change the way people look at you.

54. Your reputation is a million times more expensive than the amount of money you’ll ever have.

55. Don’t discriminate your older employees with your younger employees. Being younger doesn’t always mean faster-better. Your older employees have lots of good things to say to improve your business.

Learning Lesson from Cinderella

When you reach a certain point in your life, you understand and believe for a fact that ‘Leaders are learners’. And in every situation you’re in, you’re always learning; That is the trait of a leader. Today, I watched the new movie Cinderella with my family and one key take-away learning was Cinderella kept saying, “Have courage and be kind”, as Cinderella’s mother told her this before she passed away in the beginning of the movie.

I completely agree with the simple saying (“Have courage and be kind”) as it will take you very far in life. I’m a witness and believer of this saying as I also value this statement. So again, have the courage to make the hard the decisions, be brave in innovating and make a difference in people’s lives. Remember to always be kind to people no matter what happens. Genuine kindness always has a positive impact towards people’s lives. You will always be remembered.

“Have courage and be kind.”

#LeaderizeYourself

Developing Your Employees

I believe that one of the most important factors for your business to grow is to develop and grow your employees. One of the ways to help develop and grow your employees is through online learning. Through online learning, employees can focus on learning anytime they like without bothering their productive work time. Within the learning process, employees learn best when objectives are clearly informed beforehand and the expected learning outcomes are mentioned.

Here below is a list of ten objectives of what online learning can do for your employee’s growth and in the end will help flourish your business.

1. To improve knowledge, feed new insights, share latest concepts and add skills of employees to obtain maximum individual development in order to achieve organization goals.

2. To broaden the minds of employees.

3. To provide employees job satisfaction as learning enables employees to use their current knowledge and abilities to maximize the job with the opportunity to gain financial benefits from enhanced productivity.

4. To increase productivity of employee performance within their current tasks and assignments.

5. Enables employees to stay updated with what is going on in the current world to create continued relevance.

6. Prevents employees from being obsolete.

7. Improve employee quality to limit operational mistakes.

8. Personal growth creates employees to be more of an impact to the organization.

9. Easier to adapt to change for filling-in needed vacancies.

10. To create a positive company culture of a learning organization while promoting social interaction amongst employees.

What people want & why they stay

What people want in a job
1. Responsibility
2. Recognition
3. My colleagues
4. The pay
5. Making a difference
6. Achievement
7. The job itself
8. Learning new things
9. Being challenged
10. The work environment

Why people stay at their current job
1. I have a good relationship with my colleagues
2. I enjoy the job role
3. I have a good relationship with my boss
4. I don’t have another job to go to
5. The commute is manageable
6. The pay
7. I have a good relationship with my clients
8. I feel I have the chance to develop my career
9. I’m good at the job
10. I am not under much stress

My Founder Institute Experience

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Towards the end of 2013, I was accepted to the Founder Institute Winter 2013 Jakarta Semester program. To begin the program, we had 43 Founders which were accepted into the winter semester from 200+ applicants with only 9 remaining Founders to graduate; including myself as one of the Founders. The Founder Institute is a 4-month training program and idea incubation which started out in Silicon Valley, USA, where Founders are taught to develop their own business. To graduate, Founders must go through a rigorous process of completing assignments, pitching to mentors with passing scores while incorporating a company to establish a viable business .

What is the Founder Institute (www.fi.co)?

Taken directly from the Founder Institute website; The Founder Institute is the world’s largest entrepreneur training and startup launch program, helping aspiring founders across the globe build enduring technology companies. Based in Silicon Valley and with chapters across 35 countries, the Founder Institute has helped launch over 1,017 companies in 4.5 years. The company’s mission is to “Globalize Silicon Valley” and build sustainable startup ecosystems that will create one million new jobs worldwide.

After Graduating in the Jakarta Winter 2013 Semester, there a five important things that I learned in the program.

The five things are:

1. I learned the process on how to a establish a new business and incorporating a company. The steps and hands-on experiences lets me understand the main processes on how to effectively take an idea into creating a legal company. This is very important to understand when you start your own business.

2. By making it mandatory for Founders to pitch weekly to mentors lets me learn about mental toughness when others tell you that your idea sucks and will not work. Doing the load of assignments within a strict limited time-frame also allowed me to understand about some aspects of a startup-entrepreneur such as meeting deadlines and being laser focused to complete tasks. Also, failing and redo-ing many things from scratch while continuously going back to the drawing board to improve what we have done taught me the importance of resilience and perseverance.

3. I also learned that if we focus on small wins, this will lead us to progress forward to reach our goals. Many times we often only look at the big picture but forget about the steps to get there by focusing on accomplishing the little things first. This is key in starting your own business by completing the small steps or small wins to gradually move forward.

4. I learned that when you face any given situation with a closed mind, you tend to not listen and shut down your opportunities by not hearing what others have to say. Learning to listen, sorting out clutter and prioritizing was a key learning point for me. Throughout the program you will have lots of feedback and one of the key things is to choose feedback you want to use and prioritize your time on progressing forward.

5. I also learned that we should look at our ideas through the challenges aspect and all the things that can make our idea fail for us to learn about how to make it succeed. This is hard for a lot of Founders because they don’t want to be told of the challenges and no one wants to hear that their ideas really suck.

6. Lastly, the importance of the Mentor/Advisor was key in my learning process. I learned that to have a useful and helpful Mentor/Advisor can leverage you to learn things faster. Your Mentor/Advisor should not slow you down; these are signs that you need to find a new Mentor/Advisor. I learned that many successful entrepreneurs had great Mentors/Advisors that will not only tell them good things but will challenge your assumptions because they want you to succeed. I also learned from one of our Mentors, (Adrian Li, CEO of Qraved) that your Mentors/Advisors should be N.I.C.E :

N etwork (relevant Network)
I nvestment (open to Invest)
C redibility (Credibility)
E xperience (have Experiences)

In conclusion, I highly recommend for anyone to apply to the Founder Institute as you will learn something new despite of your current expertise and experiences. I came in into the program as an experienced corporate Manager with an MBA and learned many new things how to start my own business that I would’ve never learned on my own. I accomplished exactly what I wanted to accomplish since the beginning of the orientation assignment of the Founder Institute. Thanks for your time reading this post. Good luck!

“Live your life and learn everyday.”

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