Sunday, May 23, 2010

Book Review By Prof.M.S.Rao “100 Ways To Motivate Others” Authored By Steve Chandler and Scott Richardson

“The first duty of a leader is optimism. How does your subordinate feel after meeting with you? Does he feel uplifted? If not, you are not a leader.” – Field Marshall Montgomery

I have read the book titled “100 ways to motivate others” authored by Steve Chandler and Scott Richardson recently. The book helps you know what motivates and how to motivate yourself and others. It contains several quotes that are apt and useful to the readers. The authors explain the contents through their experiences and anecdotes.

The book helps you to slow down and enjoy a new level of focus. It unveils that multitasking is a myth and the truth is to keep life simple and straight. It provides a simple and creative way to hold people accountable. It suggests enjoying the art of supportive confrontation.

What Do Authors Say?

“A boss creates fear, a leader, confidence. A boss fixes blame, a leader corrects mistakes. A boss knows all, a leader asks questions. A boss makes work drudgery, a leader makes it interesting.” – Russell H. Ewing, Author

1. The authors compare managers as firefighters who indulge in firefighting. In the process, the fire controls the mangers not the managers control the fire. They are unconscious of opportunities elsewhere as they are busy firefighting.
2. They compare between a healthy and insecure ego wherein a healthy ego asks: What needs to be done? An insecure ego asks: How do I avoid looking bad?
3. Multitasking is the greatest myth in modern-day business. The thinking part of the brain itself does not multitask, and so people do not really multitask. The human system is not set up that way. The system has one thought at a time.
4. One of the best ways to motivate others is to learn from those who have motivated you. Learn from the great leaders you have had. Channel them, clone them, and incorporate them into who you are all day.
5. One of your skills as a leader is to show your people that they can accomplish more than they think they can.
6. Professional managers fall into two categories. There are doers and there are feelers. Doers do what needs to be done to reach a goal that they themselves have set. They come to work having planned out what needs to be done. Feelers, on the other hand, do what they feel like doing. Feelers take their emotional temperature throughout the day, checking in on themselves, figuring out what they feel like doing right now. Their lives, their outcomes, their financial security are all dictated by the fluctuation of their feelings.
7. A doer has high self-esteem. A doer enjoys many satisfactions throughout the day, even though some of them were preceded by discomfort. A feeler is almost always comfortable, but never really satisfied. A doer knows the true, deep joy that only life’s super achievers know. A feeler believes that joy is for children, and that life for an adult is an ongoing hassle. A doer experiences more and more power every year of life. A feeler feels less and less powerful as the years go on. Your ability to motivate others increases exponentially as your reputation as a doer increases. You also get more and more clarity about who the doers and feelers are on your own team. Then, as you model and reward the doing, you also begin to inspire the feeler on your team to be a doer.
8. Change a single word in what you say, and you can scare a child to death. One scary word can make a child shake and cry. Change that word back, and the child is fine. Words communicate pictures, energy, emotions, possibilities, and fears.
9. The greatest value of planning and goal-setting is that it gives you your own life to live. It puts you back in charge. It allows you to focus on what’s most important to you.
10. We deserve someone talking to us, and really talking to us. From the heart. Loud and strong and with passion and without notes.
11. Leadership requires high levels of humanity. To be great leaders, we need to share our humanity and receive our people’s humanity all day.
12. You were “born” when you woke up, and you’ll “die” when you go to sleep.
13. Every communication from a manager to an employee is an opportunity to instill optimism. Don’t waste that opportunity. A true leader never does.
14. Behavioral studies continue to show that positive reinforcement works more than seven times better than negative criticism to change behaviour.
15. To a good motivator, the past really has only one purpose: to provide building material for creating the future. The past is not used as something to get hung up on, or an excuse for regret, placing blame, nostalgia, personal attacks, and having a defeated attitude. A leader knows that leadership means leading people into the future. Just as a scout leader leads scouts into the woods, a true leader leads team members into the future.
16. When you talk to members of your team, keep paying attention to the end results you want, not the effort to achieve them. When you praise your managers, pay attention to results they achieved that you wanted, not the trying, the effort, or the attempt to do it.
17. Dedicate a certain portion of each day to rewarding people, even if it’s only a verbal reward. Ten minutes at the end of the day. Get on the phone. Send out some e-mails. Reward. Reward.


“The failure to give appropriate and timely feedback is the most extreme cruelty that we can inflict on any human being.” – Charles Coonradt, Management Consultant

• According to Warren Bennis, “The first rule in any kind of coaching is that the coach has to engage in deep listening. Which means that the coach must relate to the context in which the ‘other’ is reasoning-they must ‘tune in’ to were the other is coming from. In short, perhaps the basis of leadership is the capacity of the leader to change the mind-set, the frame work of the other.”
• As a motivational practice, leading from the front hits harder and lasts longer than any other practice.
• Most managers try double negatives as a way to motivate others.
• A great motivator doesn’t fight fires 24/7. A true motivator leads people from the present into the future. The only time a fire becomes relevant is when it’s in the way of that future goal. Sometimes a leader doesn’t even have to put the fire out. S/he sometimes just takes a path around (or above) the fire to get to the desired future.
• Leadership is a skill, like gardening or chess or playing a computer game. It can be taught and it can be learned at any age if the commitment to learn is present. Companies can turn their managers into leaders.
• To be a motivational leader as you can possibly be, you might want to show your people that life with you is a game.
• It is hard to motivate others if you don’t have time to talk to them.
• One of the most vital aspects of motivating others is the ability to see what’s possible instead of just seeing what’s happening now.
• It is a fallacy to say that a great leader should be egoless.
• Always hire the best talent. The best way to create a highly motivated team is to hire people who are already motivated.
• A true leader does not try to become everybody’s big buddy, although he or she values being upbeat and cheerful in communication. A true leader is not overly concerned with always being liked, and is even willing to engage in very uncomfortable conversations in the name of being straight and thorough.
• Simplify your life to feel your full power.
• It is important to use your best time for your biggest challenge.
• According to William Irwin, the secret of effective leadership is to learn to use 10 minutes intelligently. It will pay you huge dividends.
• According to Lance Secretan: “Leadership is not so much about technique and methods as it is about opening the heart. Leadership is about inspiration – of oneself and of others. Great leadership is about human experiences, not processes. Leadership is not a formula or a program, it is a human activity that comes from the heart and considers the hearts of others.”
• The less of a quitter you are, the more of a motivator you become.
• To really motivate, talk less and demonstrate more.
• According to Dee Hock, founder and CEO of Emeritus of VISA International: If you seek to lead, invest at least 50 percent of your time leading yourself – your own purpose, ethics, principles, motivation, and conduct. Invest at least 20 percent leading those with authority over you and 15 percent leading your peers. If you don’t understand that you work for your mislabeled ‘subordinates’, then you know nothing of leadership. You know only tyranny.
• According to S.I.Hayakawa, professor of linguistics - There are basically two kinds of people: the kind of person who fails at something and says, “I failed at that” and the person who fails at something and says, “I’m a failure.” The first person is in touch with the truth and the second person is not.
• According to Greenleaf, “It is part of the enigma of human nature that the ‘typical’ person – immature, stumbling, inept, lazy – is capable of great dedication and heroism if wisely led. The secret of team-building is to be able to weld a team of such people by lifting them up to grow taller than they would otherwise be.”
• Great leadership by example (the ultimate motivator of others) comes from getting independently better at what you do, and not living in anticipation of other people’s opinion of you.
• Negative criticism causes resentment, depression, anger, and sabotage. People will sabotage your leadership if they feel alienated and underappreciated.
• Unmotivational managers will unconsciously disown and spread fear about the future.
• Victims blame others and victims blame circumstance and victims are hard to deal with.
• You cannot motivate someone who can’t hear you. Your people have to hear you to be moved by you.
• Human beings crave for real feedback, not just some patronizing, pacifying words.


“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill

The book provides tools and techniques for managers and leaders to learn and practice. The book is useful to executives, senior level leaders, and others who would like to know about leadership and motivation.
It fills you with lot of confidence to take on the real life battles and challenges. It is written in layman’s language so that an average reader can understand and appreciate the contents of the book.

The book is worth reading and investing your time to learn the ropes of motivation and leadership. It is useful to leaders and managers who constantly need to motivate their people.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Book Review By Prof.M.S.Rao “Great Failures Of The Extremely Successful” Authored By Steve Young

“Learn from the mistakes of others. You cannot live long enough to make them all yourself.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Recently I have read a book titled “Great Failures of the Extremely Successful” authored by Steve Young. It contains the brief biographies of people who had toughest times in their lives. It presents the lows and highs of successful people. Their list is: Erin Brockovich, Jim Marshall, Mike Espy, Nanette Fabray, Norm Pattiz, Clive Cussler, Jane Goodall, Pat Croce, Morton Downey, Jr., Dr. W. French Anderson, Jamie Goldman, Gabriel Ruelas, Debra Wilson, Jim O’Brien, Teddy Pendergrass, Stephen J. Cannell, John Wooden, Dr. Audrey Manley, Tony Curtis, Chris Crutcher, Scott Ellis, Ann Bancroft & Live Arnesen, Dr. Anthony James, Sonny Hill, Betty White, Dennis Palumbo, Guy Gabaldon, Dr. Joan Borysenko, Mark Victor Hansen, Robert Pinsky, Billy Idol, Nolan Bushnell, Kathy Buckley, Jimmy Breslin, Ed Asner, Pat Boone, Venerable Grand Master Hsing Yun, Sam Donaldson, Jeanie Buss, Dr. Howard House, David Henry Hwang, Charles Joffe and Syd Field

The book starts with Lincoln’s road to the White House through his successive setbacks and ultimately being elected as the first Republican President and the 16th President of America in 1860.

What Do the Contributors Say?

“Each disaster became a steppingstone for growth.” – Erin Brockovich
“Face the music. Make things right. The rewards are unimaginable.”- Jim Marshall
“I found that whenever you have to face adversity, you have to gauge how much of it was beyond your control. In my case I had to be realistic and understand that some of this was my fault. I discovered I could respond successfully to a crisis. That is empowering. But you must prepare yourself in all ways. My fight was a legal one, but I did not confine myself to accomplishing legal goals. That would not have been enough, I had to fight to gain more spirituality, a better body mass, to improve my psyche and personal spirit and, at the same time, gain income. All of that aided my battle in the legal arena. You cannot segregate one aspect from the other. You have to work in unison. Most important, if you put things in perspective, you will find that things aren’t as bad as you think, and you can make it.” – Mike Espy
“I was actually trying to be someone I wasn’t and that wasn’t anywhere near how good I could be by being myself.” – Nanette Fabray
“You’d have to be incredibly shrewd to think I would have gained such an advantage out of seemingly so negative a situation. But I did.” – Norm Pattiz
“If good books get roses, and bad books get skunks, Cussler’s book would receive four skunks.” – Clive Cussler
“Overcoming challenge strengthened my faith in God and myself.” – Jane Goodal
“… take whatever obstacle you run up against and figure out how to turn it into an opportunity.” – Pat Croce
“I was a kid who was a rebel with a cause, but I didn’t know what the cause was.” – Morton Downey, Jr.
“It’s the experiment that fails that tells you the most.” – Dr. W. French Anderson
“Everyone has bad days. So do I. It’s normal. But the fact is, I have my life. You don’t appreciate how precious life is until it’s almost taken away. Appreciate what you have today. Take time out for the simple things. Tell your family you love them every day” – Jamie Goldman
“Some people are born with confidence. Some only need to prove it to themselves one time. But me, I was forced to learn it over and over.” – Gabriel Ruelas
“If I hadn’t gone what I went through, I would have not been able to do what I do with such force and conviction.” – Debra Wilson
“If you do the job you need to do in the short term, the long term takes care of itself.” – Jim O’Brien
“I was given a choice: live or die. I chose to live.” – Teddy Pendergrass
“It’s important to remember that rejection is simply someone else’s opinion, not everyone else’s. It’s your own persistence that will win out over all those rejections. If you don’t quit, you can’t lose.” – Stephen J. Cannell
“Failure to prepare is preparing to fail.” – John Wooden
“If you take care of each day, each task, and do it the very best that you can, then the big picture will take care of itself.” – Dr. Audrey Manley
“There hasn’t been a moment in my life, in anything that I’ve achieved, that hasn’t involved some difficulty.” – Tony Curtis
“When you are a trial-and-error species, you shouldn’t go knocking the errors.” – Chris Crutcher
“If I had gone into something to which I was more suited, I would have never won the Nobel Prize.” – Dr. Peter Doherty
“While the Nobel Prize was a wonderful recognition of my work, I don’t consider it to be my greatest success. It was my experiments themselves that took me to my discovery. The Nobel Prize was only the acknowledgement of that success. It is always the journey that leads to the breakthrough that is the real success.” – Dr. Peter Doherty
“When I’m beaten into submission and I become teachable, then it seems I make choices that turn out to be stunningly good ones.” – Chuck Lorre
“It wasn’t until I lost the ability to play that I was able to understand.” – Bill Walton
“I learned that you can’t really die of embarrassment. It only feels that way.” – Garry Marshall
“Alcoholism and my additional treatment ended up becoming the most wonderful, most instructive, most important experience I’ve had in my life.” – Ann Richards
“The fact is, there’s no logical reason why someone should be able to create anything.” – Al Franken
“I had always worried about being perfect. I found that only in imperfection could I be my best.” – Amy Hill
“You can choose to feel sorry for yourself and remain isolated, or you can realize that there is an opportunity to invent yourself all over again, to create yourself as a new person.” – Michael Medved
“When bad luck does strike, which it occasionally will despite all our precautions and prayers, we can emerge from such experiences not only wiser but often with material benefits.” – Steve Allen
“You can’t worry about missing a pass or a ball getting knocked down. If you worried about stuff like that, you’d never do anything.” – Johnny Unitas
“Whether you’re a writer, actor, athlete or you dig ditches, the more you do it the better you get. You’ve gotta be willing to work, sacrifice and put a lot of time into whatever you do. Work to the best of your ability and don’t let anyone or anything stand in your way.” – Johnny Unitas
“Sometimes you need to first discover what you can’t do before you’re able to discover what you can.” – Julia Sweeney
“Internal messages of failure sap our confidence, energy and creative juices.” – Dr. Arnold Fox
“Help someone else. Take the focus off your fear, your failure and yourself. Even if that only means offering companionship or support to someone else. Focus only on the things you can control, and most important, remember, you don’t have to go at it alone. If you need it, always ask for help.” – Dr. Arnold Fox
“I don’t believe there’s any right or wrong road. I believe you make your choice and whatever choice you make, if you’re open, you learn from it.” – Scott Ellis
“Look for what makes your heart beat; what makes your blood run. When you find it you will find what is important to you.” – Ann Bancroft & Live Arnesen
“Since there’s a good probability we will live a long time we should do something we actually like.” – Dr. Anthony James
“My stumbling blocks became my steppingstones.” - Victoria Williams
“It’s not so much the adversity you face, but how you deal with it that counts.” – Sonny Hill
“I felt I had my big shot and I blew it.” – Betty White
“I stopped acting like I had to know everything.” – Dennis Palumbo
“What appeared to be a personal disaster was a blessing in disguise.” – Guy Gabaldon
“I refused to give in to despair. I told myself that if I could help even one other family avert such a tragedy, my father’s death would have meaning.” – Dr. Joan Borysenko
“Practice gratitude. Spend a few minutes each morning and evening listing five things for which you are grateful. This will help you focus more on life’s gifts instead of its burdens. - Dr. Joan Borysenko
“No one buys short stories.” – Mark Victor Hansen
“Proving those teachers wrong, at some point, became an attractive idea.” – Robert Pinsky
“Like many poets, I received plenty of rejections, but my attitude was, “Good, other poets who aren’t that serious would quit over this.” – Robert Pinsky
“Failure gives me something to prove. It is a source of aspiration to excel. Just looking for approval and recognition can cause a person to become satisfied and complacent. " – Robert Pinsky
“If your world doesn’t allow you to dream, move to one where you can. If you don’t believe in something, find something to believe in.” – Billy Idol
“People are always looking for innovation until they find it.” – Nolan Bushnell
“The only thing I really ever failed was myself.” – Kathy Buckley
“If you write something that turns out being wrong, you correct it and write it better tomorrow. But you never quit writing.” – Jimmy Breslin
“If you are struggling, work hard to find out what your strengths are. Be they physical. Be they cerebral. Be they scientific. When you find what they are, develop them as fully as you possibly can. When you use them, use them to do the right thing.” – Ed Asner
“God is available.” – Pat Boone
“When we experience the difficulties of planting seeds and tilling the soil, the sweetness of harvest will come naturally.” – Venerable Grand Master Hsing Yun
“At that moment of uncertainty, when things could go either way, I said to myself, ‘… they’are going MY way.’” – Sam Donaldson
“It is so important to find what you’re passionate about, whatever it is. When you do, commit to it and no matter how they try, don’t let anyone talk you out of it.” – Jeanie Buss
“Mr. House, you’re not serious about becoming a doctor.” – Dr. Howard House
“My mother used to say to me, ‘Just try to do one thing and be the best you can at it.’. It doesn’t matter what that one thing might be because no matter what it is, it will provide you with self-confidence and the ability to focus. And you can apply that to anything.” – David Henry Hwang
“I realized that before you throw something away because you find it imperfect, you first look for what gold there may be. And when you find it, you mine it for all it’s worth.” – Charles Toffe
“If you are doing something that you know to be true to you, you must follow it.” – Syd Field


“The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all.” – From the Disney movie Mulan

• No one is immune to failure.
• A waterfall begins with a single drop.
• In the stock market crash of 1929, many people committed suicide. People who had worked hard to make their fortunes did not commit suicide. They knew how to make money. Most of those who committed suicide were those who received their fortunes from inheritance. They had no experience in building their wealth.
• In order to learn you must start from where you are now.
• We gain strength through adversity.
• Sometimes you have to work harder to prove your critics wrong.
• Although setbacks and difficulties may defeat an ordinary person, they cannot overcome a capable young person. This because unfavorable causes and conditions motivate a person to develop his or her potential.
• Being able to bear hardship is like tonics for our life.
• People are not saints, so naturally we all have faults and err from time to time. It is not bad to make mistakes as long as we are willing to correct them. Those who refuse to admit and correct their faults are like a wall painted black. They refuse to add colors. We all make mistakes. But correcting the mistakes we make is the best virtue. No one wants to make mistakes, and mistakes are not necessarily bad.
• Don’t ever get so comfortable that you are not prepared for another set of adversities.
• Youth is such a wonderful time to make mistakes. Don’t get tied down thinking that in your teens and 20s you have to figure out what you’re supposed to be doing. You can still make mistakes, fail and try things that don’t work in order to get closer to what does work. Life is an adventure, a journey, a mystery. Just keep your eyes forward, your heart pure, and when you’re ready, follow your bliss.


“Don’t fear failure so much that you refuse to try new things. The saddest summary of a life contains three descriptions: could have, might have and should have.” – Louis E. Boone

A young man always looks at the future, the middle aged man always looks at the present and the old age man always looks back at the past. The book cautions the realities of life to young people, reflects the adversities of life to middle aged people and reminds the bygone era to the old age people.

The book energizes the readers with motivational quotes by great personalities and the quotes by the contributors for this book. It is a motivational book with apt quotations that rejuvenate the readers. It is beautifully crafted content with simple language with simple sentences. It delivers punches effectively.

Throughout the book the contributors maintained conversational tone to make the book interesting to read. The book clearly states that failure is only a comma not a full stop. The book is worth investing your time as it provides valuable takeaways.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

“Dale Carnegie and Change Management” – Prof.M.S.Rao

"People support a world they help create; and support a process that helps them succeed" - Dale Carnegie

Change is the thing everyone is scared. When we talk of changing the clothes, the foods and the lifestyles we get excited. However, when we are asked to change place of location, nature of work or if there are changes in roles and responsibilities and policies and procedures, we get tense. Why is it so? Does it not sound contradictory? But it is a fact that people resist change. We shall find out the same from the perspective of Dale Carnegie.

Dale Carnegie stated of six kinds of fears people have to overcome. They are ‘fear of criticism’, ‘fear of failure’, ‘fear of old age’, ‘fear of poverty’, ‘fear of ill health’ and finally ‘fear of death’. In the context of change, it is the ‘fear of failure’ and ‘fear of criticism’ that are the obstacles for embracing change. The people at the workplace are scared of embracing change as the results of change are unpredictable and they doubt about the capability and competency in effecting the change. At times the loss of authority, fear of losing job and fear of coming out of the comfort zone make the change process complicated.

In fact, the fear of change is worse than the real change. When the real change takes place, people gradually overcome their apprehensions provided there is a strong and visionary leadership that guides the change process.


Everyone talks of change and everyone knows that change pays off well. Everyone admits that change is the only constant thing in the world. Yet, people resist change. Is it because change is painful and stressful? The fact is that change is always helpful. If there were no change, the mankind would have remained in Stone Age only. Therefore, let us mentally prepare to shed the old outdated practices and procedures and wed new ones that lead to all-round peace and prosperity. To conclude in the words of Benjamin Disraeli, “Change is inevitable in a progressive society. Change is constant.”

Monday, May 10, 2010

“Employee Retention” – Prof.M.S.Rao

“Profits are related to customer retention. Customer retention is related to employee retention. Employee retention may or may not be related to benefits, but benefits could be part of the package that causes people to stay and -- by the way -- engage in discretionary effort. ... If you go into any organization that's customer-facing, you can tell in five minutes when the employees are feeling abused. They retaliate on the customers.” - Jeffrey Pfeffer

One fine day your key employee tells you that s/he is leaving for better opportunities elsewhere then what will be your position. What will be the status of your projects and how can you respond to clients whom you have committed deadlines. It sounds strange right! Therefore, do you think that it is essential to empower your employees and motivate them to retain by all means so that your projects sail smoothly and you can ensure organizational excellence and effectiveness.

Employee Retention:

Employee retention is all about retaining the employees for longer time within the organization through both financial and non-financial means by finding out their aspirations and expectations. It is essential for both the employers and employees as the former don’t get the work disturbed and the latter build credibility and credentials in their CVs. In fact, it is win-win for both the employers and employees.

Employee retention has become a thorny issue for employers. There is no fixed formula for employee retention as people are different and their emotions, egos, needs and expectations are different. It is certainly a challenging task to retain the employees. The days of ‘carrot and stick’ policy don’t work anymore. People want to have freedom in every aspect and even about their work-life balance as well.
Employee retention involves hiring the talent, positioning them in the right slots, valuing their contributions, motivating them both through financial and non-financial means, keeping them in the career pipeline through training and development and offering them challenging roles and responsibilities and finally making them accountable and productive.

Organizational Challenges:

Let at look at few statistical findings related to employee retention.
The average cost to recruit and train one employee is estimated at 2.5 times an employee’s salary.
It costs $678,000 in recruiting, training and missed sales opportunities every time a SAP sales person quits!
U.S. businesses spend over $200 billion annually recruiting and replacing their employees.
Lot of time is lost when trained employees leave organizations. As the saying goes, “Known devil is always better than an unknown angel”, the known, proven, tried, tested and trusted employee is far better than the potential employee. Who knows the potential employee might prove worse than the existing employee.
Employee retention is a Herculean task where employees are getting sensitive and leaving the organizations for silly reasons. The employees, in general, are more demanding and it has become a big challenge to meet their expectations and aspirations.
When the employees leave, the company loses not only the skilled and knowledgeable employees but also the precious information about the projects and the company’s sensitive information.

Why Do Employees Leave?

1. Employees don’t leave organizations but they leave bad bosses.
2. They leave when there are no career opportunities in the present organization.
3. When their services are not recognized and rewarded.
4. Organizational politics take a toll where few people who are close to top management find themselves insecure and they carry forward information and create problems for talented employees.
5. When there is no adequate compensation.
6. When they find it difficult to maintain work-life balance.

What Do Employees Want?

Employees look for attractive compensation and right work ambience. They look for challenging roles and responsibilities. There must be more scope for learning and development. They like to work in professionally run organizations that are free from organizational politics having flat structure. They look for respect, recognition and reward with a boss who can encourage risk taking and who can handhold them through thick and thin. They expect clarity in their career growth and advancement with a proper career lay-out. And above all, they want to work with fun and there should be joy at the workplace. Precisely, workplace should not become pressure but must become pleasure to work with.

Myths and truths of Employee Retention:

We shall look at few myths and truths about employee retention.

Myth: Employees look for money.
Truth. Employees basically look for challenging roles and responsibilities.

Myth: Employees leave organizations.
Truth: Employees don’t leave organizations but leave bad bosses.

Myth: Employees leave for better opportunities elsewhere.
Truth: Employees leave when is no scope for learning and development. When there is no career growth within the organization and due to personal reasons.

Retention Strategies:

“Compensation is only one of many factors in the recruitment/retention equation.” - Paul Schwartz

• Hire the right talent. Take proper precautions so that right talent comes in and stays within the organization for longer duration. It avoids agony for the employees and saves precious time, money and energy involved in recruiting and training the precious manpower.
• Provide them regular feedback for their improvement.
• Inform them about their career status and where do they stand in the career pipeline within the organization.
• Keep the morale of employees always high.
• Conduct regular get-togethers and picnics where employees break their traditional hierarchical positions and gel well with others and develop fraternity and loyalty towards the organization.
• Employees can be retained through both financial and non-financial motivation. Employee Stock Options (ESOPs) falls in the category of financial motivation where the employees are offered with shares to encourage and make them feel that they are the part of the company. However, it must have a lock-in period to realize and encash the shares. Non-financial motivation like job rotation, job enlargement and job enrichment motivate the employees. Job rotation is all about rotating from one job to another to widen the job skills and to have cross-functional skills and it takes the employees to higher positions quickly apart from breaking the monotony when they do the same job regularly. Job enlargement is another non-financial motivational aspect where the role of the employees are widened with challenging work so that they feel that their work is highly challenging. Finally job enrichment is another non-financial initiative where the employees are given higher designations for time being due to the absence of their superiors either due to sudden resignation or long leave.
• Companies should provide regular training and develop their precious resources as that motivate them to be loyal to their organizations. There should be emphasis on employee development and career growth.
• Employees don’t leave companies but leave because of bad bosses. Therefore, it is essential to train the senior executives and those who act as bosses to develop interpersonal skills and learn respecting precious human resources.
• Provide right organizational culture and climate.
• It is rightly said in HR circles that to keep employees retained in companies adopt ‘3Rs’ approach. 3Rs stand for respect, recognition and reward. It is essential to treat employees as assets and respect them. Recognize the hardworking people and reward them through both financial and non-financial means.
• Finally, provide inspiring leadership.


Employee retention is no longer a tension as long as you know their pulse and attend and address them sympathetically and empathetically.

Recruitment and retention are two sides of the same coin for effective organizational excellence. People often think that with recruitment the major task of HR is finished. In fact, the real task involves retention where the hired manpower is motivated and kept ready in the pipeline.

Recession compelled employees to stay in organizations currently. Once the recession ends many employees will leave their current employers. It seems that there is lot of dissatisfaction among the workforce and they are compelled to stick to their jobs. Therefore, the employers must take precautions to retain their precious skilled manpower and prepare accordingly to avert any kind of organizational eventuality.

Treat your employees as assets. Don’t treat them as robots that are paid for delivering their goods. There are costs involved in hiring the talent and it is essential to retain the existing employees failing which leads to financial drain for organizations as well as intricacies involved in hiring fresh talent.

Employees don’t leave organizations for money. But they leave for other reasons beyond. It is essential to know what their needs as needs differ from person to person.

If you don’t love your employees you lose them. Therefore, decide yourself whether you intend to love them or lose them. To conclude, respect employees. Value them. If the employers handle their employees effectively then ‘employee retention’ is not at all a tension.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Book Review By Prof.M.S.Rao “The Top 10 Mistakes Leaders Make” Authored By Hans Finzel

“This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized my yourself as a mighty one; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.

I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no “brief candle” to be. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations (Shaw, 1972:84)

I have read the book titled “The Top 10 Mistakes Leaders Make” authored by Hans Finzel that has several valuable takeaways. The book is based on his personal and professional experience. It reminds me of a proverb, “A fool learns by his experience whereas an intelligent man learns by other people’s experience”. Of course, everyone becomes fool at some point of time in life. Hans lists out ten mistakes leaders make and provides solutions to overcome the same.

According to him, leadership is influence and a leader takes people where they would never go on their own. He outlines five challenges in learning to lead. They are:

1. Today’s leaders replicate the poor leadership habits they have observed in others.
2. Today’s leaders often lack basic skills for common leadership demands.
3. Today’s leaders lack good models and mentoring.
4. Today’s leaders lack formal training in leadership and
5. Today’s leaders suffer confusion over the conflict between secular and biblical leadership values.

Leadership Mistake # 1 – The Top-down Attitude:

Hans unfolds that the top-down attitude as the number-one leadership hang-up. He lists out what turns on and turns off the young workers. He outlines five reasons for getting trapped into top-down leadership attitudes such as being traditional, most common, easiest and it comes natural and reflects the depravity of man.

To overcome the challenges of top down approach Hans outlines participatory management, facilitator style, democratic leadership, flat organizational characteristics and servant leadership.

Leadership Mistake # 2 – Putting Paperwork before People work:

Hans clearly differentiated between task oriented and people oriented leadership styles. He devised simple test to discover the same that is reliable although it is unscientific.

He describes tools to push aside the paperwork such as:

• Love your wastebasket
• Do lunches away from work
• Take time off with your spouse, children, and friends
• Plan get-a-ways with combinations of the above
• Pray for people
• Jog with your colleagues
• Change locations to get out among people
• Delegate more
• Learn to “ransack” instead of reading everything
• See people as priority one
• MBWA, manage by wandering around.

Leadership Mistake # 3 – The Absence of Affirmation:

Hans highlights that everyone thrives on affirmation and praise. We wildly underestimate the power of the tiniest personal touch of kindness and learn to read the varying levels of affirmation your people need.

It is essential to affirm the good work done by others. We must encourage others by listening, empathizing, comforting and carrying burdens. A good leader learns to read the signs of upness and downness in the countenance of his people.

Leadership Mistake # 4 – No Room for Mavericks?

Webster defines a maverick as, “a pioneer an independent individual who does not go along with a group.”

Hans wrote in beautiful English language where he says that movements become monuments and inspiration becomes institution. He outlines life cycle of organizations from various stages such as birth, infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, middle age, graying, old age and death.

He highlights few mavericks that made a difference such as Martin Luther, The Apostle Paul, William Carey, Lee Iacocca, Chuck Colson, Martin Luther King and Stephen Jobs. He reveals few techniques put mavericks in their place:

• “That’s impossible.”
• “We don’t do things that way around here. It’s too radical a change for us.”
• “We tried something like that before and it didn’t work.”
• “I wish it were that easy.”
• “It’s against policy to do it that way.”
• “When you’ve been around a little longer, you’ll understand.”
• “Who gave you permission to change the rules?”
• “Let’s get real, OK?”
• “How dare you suggest that what we are doing is wrong?”
• “If you had been in this field as long as I have, you would understand that what you are suggesting is absolutely absurd!”

Leadership Mistake # 5 - Dictatorship in Decision-making:

“Leadership is the ability to recognize the special abilities and limitations of others, combined with the capacity to fit each one into the job where he will do his best.” – J. Oswald Sanders, Spiritual Leadership

Hans firmly believes that the best comes from the “bottom” and the greatest ideas bubble up from the workers.

He describes how dictators like to operate such as hoarding decisions, making decisions alone, in a vacuum, viewing truth and wisdom as primarily their domain as the leader, restricting decisions to an elite group and surprising their workers with edicts from above. In contrast, the facilitators lead by pushing decisions down-line, involving others as much as possible in key decisions, viewing truth and wisdom as being distributed throughout the organization, being a developer, seeing their people as their greatest resource for ideas that will make them – and their people – successful, giving their people space to make decisions and finally letting those who are responsible decide how the jobs will be done.

Leadership Mistake # 6 - Dirty Delegation:

“I’d rather get ten men to do the job than to do the job of ten men.” – D.L.Moody

People must learn how to delegate effectively. Hans states few reasons why leaders don’t delegate such as:

• Fear of losing authority
• Fear of work being done poorly
• Fear of work being done better
• Unwillingness to take the necessary time
• Fear of depending on others
• Lack of training and positive experience

The four stages of delegation: assignment, authority, accountability and affirmation. Hans narrates the article published in Harvard Business Review about delegation way back in 1950 about ‘pass the monkey’. That means handing over the responsibility to others through delegation.

The author covers the key ingredients for clean delegation:

1. Faith in the one to whom you delegate.
2. Release from the desire to do it better yourself.
3. Relaxation from the obsession that it has to be done your way.
4. Patience in the desire to do it faster yourself.
5. Vision to develop others with your delegation freedom.

Hans provides guidelines for clean delegation. They are

• Choose the qualified people.
• Exhibit confidence.
• Make their duties clear.
• Delegate the proper authority.
• Do not tell them how to do the work.
• Set up accountability points along the way.
• Supervise according to their follow-through style.
• Give them room to fail occasionally.
• Give praise and credit for work well done.

Leadership Mistake # 7 - Communication Chaos:

Hans highlights about the importance of listening as “Nothing stops the progress of an organization more quickly than leaders failing to listen. Like hardening of the arteries, hardening of the categories and a closed mind will destroy a leader’s credibility.”

Under the nuts and bolts of clear communication, Hans outlines the vision and values of the group, the chain of command, organizational charts and job descriptions. Besides, Hans lists out a summary of principles to avoid communication chaos:

1. Make internal communications a top priority of your job.
2. Keep your followers informed as to what you expect of them.
3. Find ways to articulate vision and values.
4. Make sure that formal communication systems are in place.
5. Avoid the great surprise. If people are not doing their jobs well, tell them so.
6. Manage by wandering around.
7. Find ways to tap into the underground within your organization.
8. Practice HOT communication. Honest, Open, and Transparent. “Nothing happens until people talk.”

Leadership Mistake # 8 - Missing the Clues of Corporate Culture:

Hans defines corporate culture as, “The way we do things around here.” As people religiously follow their religions employees follow corporate culture. He starts with a quiz to assess whether an individual runs into the corporate culture.

He provides six reactions to culture conflict. They are:

Conformer – “I’ve just got to accept things the way they are.”
Complainer – “I may have to work here, but I don’t have to like it.”
Innovator – “Let’s change things around here!”
Ritualist – “Job? What job? I’m just going through the motions.”
Retreatist – “I’ve got to get out of this situation ASAP”
Rebel – “They can’t make me conform – I’ll show them!”

He shows the way to harness your corporate culture:

• Put your own culture down on paper
• Come up with your group’s list of corporate values
• Develop a vision statement for your group
• Communicate your culture clearly to insiders and outsiders.

Hans says, “At times, I suspect, God places individuals into organizations where they don’t fit for a reason, either to teach the organization things it needs to learn, or to work on the development of the person who is the poor fit.”

Leadership Mistake # 9 - Success without Successors

“Of all the leadership transition mistakes, two occur most frequently: leaders tend to stay too long in a position rather than not long enough and leaders who stay too long do much more damage than those who don’t stay long enough.” – Lyle Schaller

There are several barriers to successful successors. They are:

1. The organization just doesn’t like the new person.
2. The new person just doesn’t like the organization.
3. There is a corporate culture conflict. Values and beliefs don’t match.
4. The leader falls miserably in his newly assigned responsibilities. He lacks either the ability, capacity, experience, or knowledge to do the job.
5. The old guard sabotages the efforts of the new leader.
6. The old leader sabotages the efforts of the new leader.
7. The old leader fails to leave, or reappears.
8. The new leader lacks persistence to implement change.
9. The new leader is recruited away by a better offer or challenge.
10. The new leader fails to win a following because of poor interpersonal skills.

According to Stanley and Clinton, people who influence the next generation of leaders have these common characteristics:

• The ability to readily see potential in a person.
• Tolerance of mistakes, brashness, abrasiveness, and the like in order to see that potential develop.
• Flexibility in responding to people in circumstances.
• Patience: knowing that time and experience are needed for development.
• Perspective: having vision and ability to see down the road, and to suggest the next steps a mentoree needs to take.
• Gifts and abilities that build up and encourage others.

Leadership Mistake # 10 – Failure to Focus on the Future:

“My interest is in the future because I am going to spend the rest of my life there.” – Charles F. Kettering

Creating vision and direction toward the future is one of the primary tasks of leadership. The leader is responsible to take the lead in planning for the future. He or she must lead the team in developing organizational goals, plans, and strategies that flow out of a crisp purpose or vision statement.

He provides some concrete advice about building for the future:

• Set aside time to think about the future.
• Perform a “vision audit.”
• Develop a fresh vision statement.
• Get together and set short and long-term strategic goals.
• Concentrate and eliminate.
• Read all about it and
• Attempt and expect great things.

The book concludes with the quote of George Bernard Shaw, “I am a dreamer. Some men see things as they are, and ask why; I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?”

Leadership Takeaways:

“Stay one step ahead of your people and you are called a leader. Stay ten steps ahead of your people and you are called a martyr!” – Author unknown

• A good leader learns to read the signs of upness and downness in the countenance of his people.
• An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of good leadership.
• The top-flight leaders really aren’t born, they learn by trial and error. Poor leadership habits and practices can spawn new generations of poor leaders.
• Leadership is basically a people business. Experts confirm that the most effective leaders spend most of their time being with people and solving people problems.
• Dictators’ style is more akin to keeping the workers in the dark, with the lid on the pot.
• The greater the leader’s responsibilities, the more he or she recognizes the intrinsic worth of the followers.
• The higher you go in leadership, the more headaches you bear from other people’s problems.
• Dictators never delegate, they just look for the weak-willed who can implement their every desire.
• Task oriented people tend to want to just get the job done instead of waiting on others to do it through delegation.
• The bigger group, the more attention must be given to communication.
• The more people you lead, the more you must listen. Effective leadership has more to do with listening than with talking.
• Leaders usually find themselves under a constant sense of pressure from more deadlines and responsibilities than they can handle. The image of a soldier in battle comes to mind: Here I stand in the trenches, with bullets flying, planes buzzing overhead, and tanks rolling in our direction. My radio is crackling with news from many fronts. Then along comes one of my people who wants a quiet, long talk about his or her concerns. The intense pressures of leadership sometimes make it very difficult to listen attentively. Therefore, make time for people.
• Anyone who has an interest in leadership or management will run into the concept of “corporate culture” on a regular basis.
• As people religiously follow their religions employees follow corporate culture.
• Success without successors is like a childless couple.
• Effective leaders help their followers feel good about change.
• Leaders are paid to be dreamers. In fact the higher you go in leadership, the more your work is about the future.


The entire book is based on the experiences and anecdotes of author that provide valuable lessons to the readers. It energizes the readers and makes them glued with the book. Hans is successful in connecting with the readers quickly through his conversational tone. The book is easy to understand as the language is very simple and straight for the readers to understand. It is worth investing your time. The book is useful to all managers, leaders, academicians, students and others who like to learn lessons from the mistakes of others.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

“Performance Management and Performance Appraisal” – Prof.M.S.Rao

Performance Management:

Performance management does not mean merely collecting and passing on the information to higher authorities. It is much beyond that wherein it involves checking the performance of the employees as per the benchmarked standards and if there are any deviations, it bridges the gap. It improves the performance of the employees with set of tools and techniques by aligning them with organizational goals and objectives.

It focuses on the ways and means of enhancing performance among the employees. Its main objective is to enhance production and productivity. It checks if there are any gaps between the actual performance and the desired performance.

There has to be an effective coordination amongst the human resources, top management, the immediate managers and the employees to ensure successful performance management.

In this cut throat competitive world it is essential to emphasize on performance constantly where the employees are appropriately aligned with organizational goals. Ultimately it ensures organizational excellence and effectiveness.

We shall now look at other concept of performance appraisal which is directly linked with performance management.

Performance Appraisal:

According to Flippo, "performance appraisal is the systematic, periodic and an impartial rating of an employee’s excellence in the matters pertaining to his present job and his potential for a better job."

A performance appraisal is the process of evaluation of performance of an employee by his or her supervisor. It indicates the worth of an employee and how far is he or she is contributing towards the organization goals and objectives against the expected standards. Precisely, performance appraisal is a feedback to an employee about his or her past performance.

The objectives of performance appraisal are to find out the strengths and weaknesses of an employee for further training needs. It helps in evaluating the rewards, promotions and awards that an employee deserves. It also helps in correcting the performance vis-à-vis against the benchmarked standards and with other employees. It provides clarity in roles and responsibilities about the employees.

Performance appraisal is not a new concept. It exists since time immemorial but in different names. However the concept acquired prominence in 20th century. The concept is here to stay in the years to come as it is considered one of the effectual means of evaluating employees.

“Peter Drucker and Management By Objectives (MBO)”– Prof.M.S.Rao

Every company has its own vision and mission. It will be effective only when the employees are actively involved in decision-making. The leaders and entrepreneurs set their vision and mission and to accomplish the same, it is essential to take support of managers and non-managers. In this process, the concept of MBO plays a crucial role in aligning employees with organizational goals and objectives and ultimately accomplishing them successfully.

What is MBO?

MBO is a management strategy. The concept has been coined by Peter F. Drucker in his book titled ‘The Practice of Management’ in 1954. It integrates individual goals with organizational goals. It is here where the employees set their goals and achieve their goals and take feedback for themselves. Precisely MBO is all about aligning the goals of employees with the goals of organization.
MBO program helps both the managers and non-managers to have clarity of their roles and responsibilities as they are briskly involved in setting their goals and objectives. There is a vast difference between hearing the goals from others and setting the goals by themselves. Setting the goals have better possibilities of achieving as the people know their strengths and weaknesses and set their goals based on their capabilities and competencies. When goals are imposed by others it makes things little more complicated. Whereas when people themselves set goals it makes them more responsible and accountable as well.


The employees must set their objectives in such a way that they must be SMART. SMART is the acronym for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and trackable. They should clearly specify their goals to avoid ambiguity. For instance, by what percentage or by what means do they want to achieve must be specified clearly. They must be able to measure the duration by which they will be able to accomplish their objectives. The objectives must not be set in such a way that the employees must have competency and capability to achieve. Setting objectives realistically but not based on fantasy motivate employees to work harder and smarter. Finally the objectives must be trackable wherein the employees must be able to track the status of their performance. For instance, if they fail to reach the objectives in time, they must be able to analyze obstacles and overcome the same. It is a kind of feedback about their execution.

Merits of MBO:

MBO ensures clarity in the minds of the employees about their organizational goals and objectives and tune themselves accordingly. It provides a sense of satisfaction and confidence amongst the employees as they involve in decision-making. It motivates and challenges them to take up higher roles and responsibilities.
It helps ensure that both employees and management are well tuned and aligned with organizational goals and objectives. It helps in measuring the performance of employee as per the benchmarked standards. It provides better communication, promotes better coordination between the superiors and subordinates. Let us look at the same succinctly.
• Clarity in goals
• Effective communication
• Better coordination
• Proper facilitation
• More confidence among the people
• Clear demarcation of roles and responsibilities
• Higher morale among the people
• Helps in delegating authority in large organization.
However the concept has been criticized by W. Edwards Deming who doubted the viability and application of objectives. We shall now look at the other side of MBO.

Demerits of MBO:

• It is a lengthy process
• It may affect the main organizational goals
• At times people may not be competent to set their goals
• It may lead to organizational politics as people impose certain goals on their peers which they may not be able to accomplish


Peter Drucker’s concept of MBO is here to stay in this 21st century. The globe is changing due to rapid growth in technology. Employees are clamoring for freedom and active participation in management. Advocating MBO help the employees to have sense of satisfaction and motivation as it enable them in the decision making and management process actively.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

“Industrial Relations”– Prof.M.S.Rao

Industrial relations are the interrelation among employees, employers and government. There are several advantages of having better industrial relations between the employees and employers. For instance, it promotes better working relations and industrial climate resulting into better productivity and performance at the workplace. There are other advantages such as industrial peace, prosperity and democracy leading to organizational effectiveness and excellence.

Objectives of Industrial Relations:

The objectives of industrial relations are to curb absenteeism and employee turnover. There are other objectives such as avoiding industrial conflicts and strikes to prevent the intervention of government. In addition, it also promotes workers participation in management.

Causes for Poor Industrial Relations:

Improper organizational culture and organizational climate are the major reasons for poor industrial relations between employers and employees. Inadequate compensation that includes both monetary and non-monetary are the other causes for strained industrial relations. When there is uninteresting and monotony in work it may lead to unhealthy industrial relations.

Promoting Better Industrial Relations:

It is essential to build trust and confidence among the stakeholders for ensuring healthy industrial relations. There is need for encouraging democratic trade unions so that these can check if there are any imbalances or irregularities. Besides, the trade unions must be willing to resort to voluntary arbitration with a spirit of collective bargaining and to maintain industrial peace all the times.

“Industrial Disputes”– Prof.M.S.Rao

Industrial disputes transpire when there is discord between employees and employers and if there is a rift between them. It results into stoppage of work or working without any effective results.

Objectives of Industrial Disputes Act:

The aim of industrial disputes act is to ensure smooth functioning of organization. It ensures industrial democracy and harmony. It protects the interest of both employees and employers. The disputes are usually resolved through peaceful negotiations with a win-win attitude.

Causes of Industrial Disputes:

There are several causes for industrial disputes such as economic, political, social, cultural, technological, legal and governmental machinery and policies. Other causes are related to individual such as personalities, attitude and behaviour and their educational and cultural factors.

Disputes may also arise out in two ways: one is for fighting for their rights such as if the rules and regulations are not maintained and policies and procedures are not honored. The other way of arising the disputes is due to purely monetary reasons that are related to wages, salaries, pay and perks.

If the grievances of the employees are not addressed adequately it results into strikes by employees. On the other hand, if the employers have any problems with the employees or due to other reasons they can declare lock out. If strike is the weapon of employees, lock out is the ultimate weapon of employers.
It is essential to resolve industrial disputes amicably as failure to do so results into organizational crisis thus affecting both the employees and employers adversely.

Types of Strikes:

There are several ways of resorting to strike by employees such as ‘stay away’, ‘sit down’, ‘go slow’, ‘taken’, ‘boycott’, ‘gherao’, ‘sympathizing’, ‘pen down/tool down’, ‘lightening-sudden strike’, ‘work to rule’ and so on.


Both the employees and the employers have to play responsible role in ensuring industrial peace and harmony through give and take with a ‘win-win’ attitude. It is essential to ensure organizational peace and prosperity for achieving organizational excellence and effectiveness.