I have had the opportunity to work in four Asian countries – one of them my own – and the main challenge I faced has always been the same. Do I act in full alignment with the new way of working or do I adjust to the way things are done around here?
My dilemma is specific to my role. For the last seventeen years, I have been in the HR profession which is largely perceived as the function that moderates the “community”. Harmony is the name of the game, especially in Asia where it is almost always expected that working environments have a “family” feel. Projects and deadlines are tackled with patience and tolerance and where one-hour meetings begin with twenty-minute small talks among meeting participants. Continue reading
Lately I’ve become fascinated with the concept of ‘Flow’. I came across it through the work of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, who I believe is a preeminent thinker in this area. Now, the more I read about it, the more I can relate to it through either personal experiences or the experiences of others. Warren Buffett in Alice Schroeder’s “The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life” describes why he enjoys his work and what he enjoys about it; the key word being “intensity”. This is a simple word that changes our understanding about doing what we love and loving what we do. The word “intensity” clarifies that we enjoy doing something not because it’s easy, but rather that it’s something that challenges our capabilities. I remember experiencing ‘Flow’ on a professional level while working with an outstanding management team in Dhaka, Bangladesh. We worked hard and despite having regular conflicts and obstacles, we would solve everything together with sense of a bigger purpose than our own individual selves. This led to a leap in the overall business performance and productivity. I didn’t realize at the time that this was a type of professional Flow that resulted in constant progress and achievement. Continue reading
If you read the vast number of books and internet posts on leadership it is easy to become confused. Different terminologies are used every other year to give almost the identical message. Some books talk about the competencies and talents you need. Other books talk about the role you need to take and what your main focus should be. Some books even make a clear distinction between men and women in leadership positions.
But in reality leadership is quite basic. Leadership is not related to being male or female. Leadership is the result of your actions, not your personality or genetically induced qualities (if there are any).
Leadership is always the result of your daily habits. Continue reading
by Artem Minaev
One of the most important purposes of business and leaders in business is to find new ideas and inspiration to manage companies and people. The worst thing one can do is to be ignorant to the sources of information within the general environment in which the company operates. It is far better to look for good practices in different markets. There are also a lot of examples surrounding us which could be helpful: It’s possible to find innovative solutions by using experiences of people in arts, science, nature, history, music and of course sports.
Sport is very closely related to business and not just in terms of promotions, sport brands, sport management, commercial activities of ticket sales, but also in terms of sportspeople leadership behaviour and being results oriented. In sport we can find answers to many questions concerning motivation, teamwork, goal setting and key performance indicators, building connections, relationship building, collaboration and more. Continue reading
by Romy Coomans
As I’m asked to write this article I’m just experiencing the law of Murphy first hand. The people who came to see my car didn’t take it, I got some cancellations on gigs I presumed where set, I’m broke and the sandwich I ordered is not the one I got…
I’m annoyed, irritated, like anyone else would be.
So now there are three things I can do:
- I can sit back and talk myself into believing I am doomed to fail;
- I can get up and try to do something with this in the back of my mind; its useless no matter what.
- I can get up and try to do something with this in the back of my mind; where I want to go.
“Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them – work, family, health, friends and spirit – and you’re keeping all of these in the air. You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls – family, health, friends and spirit – are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for balance in your life.” – this paragraph was a part of the speech of Brian G. Dyson, the President and CEO of Coca Cola Enterprises at Georgia Tech’s 172nd commencement back in 1991.
I happened to read the full text of Brian Dyson’s speech several years ago, at the time, when I was seriously considering quitting my high level job in a large multinational. During my corporate career, I accumulated valuable, enriching experiences, met outstanding people, led challenging projects and game-changing business initiatives. It was fun. But, at the same time, I felt juggling faster and faster, at higher and higher pace, trying to balance and keep in motion the spheres of my life. And in my daily struggle for balance, I had impression that the life was passing by me… Continue reading