7 essential skills
- Objective Thinking
You need to be strategic to win. You need an objective to be strategic. If the objective is unclear, you cannot win. Everything has a cost. Mostly resources like money or time. If you do not use your resources wisely, you will not achieve results.
To do so, you need to clearly understand the objective. A clear objective unites teams and puts the organization in the same direction, it clarifies the most efficient way to achieve it, and focuses your resources. An objective must be specific and not open to interpretation, and must always be singular and focused. Objectives should not be incremental. It should be an achievable and ideal result of optimum allocation of resources including time.
- Time Management
Resources are finite. If you think you do not understand the limits of your resources, you cannot use allocate them strategically. Time is a key resource. One who does not manage their time is a fool like the one who does not know his / her objective. To manage time, you will need to break down tasks. To tackle a project you will need to break them into individual tasks with clear time constraints. If you cannot manage your resources effectively, you will be vulnerable to external influences, and will be prone to failure. External influences are rarely the cause of failure. Lack of effective strategy caused by a poor understanding of resources usually is. Risk can be minimized by minimizing time spent. It will create opportunities without reducing the direct effect of other resources. Time spent should be absolutely minimized in any project. As all available resources get naturally used buffers to cope with unexpected incidents cannot be created without conscious minimization of time. Always challenge how fast the objective can be achieved. Never be on “wait” for a project. Always figure out the next step, and take it proactively. Time management is crucial for team leaders because the time of your colleagues and external partners are also valuable resources. By managing your time efficiently, you can avoid creating bottlenecks that waste their time. Unexpected incidents may cause sudden shortages in time. To avoid failure in such cases, advanced planning is crucial.
If the information is available to you, not using it is simply foolish. Information on your brand, target, market, competitor are at your fingertips. No expensive research is needed. 99% of business decisions are intuitive. The correct ones are well informed. If you don’t correct the right information, you will always be wrong. Always research competitor activities as they may influence your target and may work against you, or for you. The only way to make it work for you is by knowing what they do.
Most of our work is communication. We work to change other people’s minds, and in turn their actions. Insights are the relationship between thought and action. Only when we understand people’s thoughts, are we able to influence them, to ultimately change their actions. We must know what it is the user is really buying. They are not buying the product, but are buying the benefit. The product must be framed as a benefit that is relevant to the target user.
All the greatest ideas in the world will be useless if they do not get realized. To make great ideas come true, you will need to convince many people. People want to believe they are rational beings, and they always have their own agenda. Proposals can be framed so that they cannot be rejected.
You can only improve what you measure, and achieve what you set as goals. If you do not have numerical goals, and do not measure your performance against it, there is no way to guide the necessary decisions required to achieve it. Without measurement, we will not know how much cost is required for the output, and will not be able to know our priorities. Big goals can only be achieved by breaking them down. Microgoals need to be set, and monitored frequently to achieve them. Break down company goals into team goals, annual goals into monthly goals. Only by breaking down goals, are we able to estimate the necessary resources to achieve the objective and alter the strategy. Make the progress visible to everyone so that they can adapt and course correct along the way. Measure what can be actionable to improve performance. Without measurement you will not be able to isolate the problem and take appropriate action to solve the problem. Course correction through measurement is the only guaranteed way of success.
Knowledge is power, but only when shared beyond individuals. Knowledge does not accumulate in organizations without proper review and documentation. All projects must be reviewed not just to see whether it worked or not, but why. What factors created success, or failure? Success is only valuable when it can be replicated by others. Professionals can duplicate success through proven processes.the only way to build process is by reviewing success and failure factors thoroughly. Thorough reviews allow us to avoid future failures by expecting and planning for incidents. Factors for failure and success must be reviewed agains the impact on resources, its cost and return.
"We all have limits. Almost no one reaches theirs. You definitely haven’t."
A. Of all of the things you’ve accomplished in your career, what stands out as most significant?
B. Now could you go ahead and tell me all about it?
1. What were the three or four big challenges you had to overcome?
2. What were the actual results obtained?
3. When did this take place and at what company?
4. How long did it take to complete the task?
5. What was the situation you faced when you took on the project?
6. Why were you chosen for this role? Did you volunteer? Why?
7. What was your actual title?
8. Who were the people on the team?
9. What was your supervisor’s title?
10. What technical skills were needed to accomplish the task? What skills were learned?
11. Describe the planning process, your role in it, and whether the plan was met. Provide details of what went wrong and how you overcame them.
12. What was your actual role in this project?
13. Give me three examples of where you took the initiative. Why?
14. What were the biggest changes or improvements?
15. What was the toughest decision you had to make? How did you make it? Was it the right decision? Would you make it differently if you could?
16. Describe the environment—the pace, the resources available, your boss, and the level of professionalism.
17. What was the biggest conflict you faced? Who was it with and how did you resolve it?
18. Give me some examples of helping or coaching others.Give me some examples of where you really had to influence or persuade others to change their opinion?
19. How did you personally grow or change as a result of this effort?
20. What did you like the most and least?
21. In retrospect, what would you do differently if you could?
22. What type of recognition did you receive for this project? Was it appropriate in your mind? Why or why not?