During my 30 month participation within RPI’s weekend MBA program (WEMBA), I kept a word document on my laptop’s desktop and would write down anything that I thought would be useful to me in the future. The goal was to develop a short list of simple and efficacious points that, if reviewed regularly, could add some umph to my strengths as a worker and leader. I didn’t want anything too in depth, just a cheat sheet that I could look at to keep my business direction steady and my personality in check.
As with much business study, the items on the list are very much common sense – but to be reminded of these items regularly is very important.
Here is my list.
1. Brand is Bankable
2. It is far more important to provide a value to your customer than to sell a product
3. Arrogance is the cause of a lot of failures
4. Two avenues for service improvement: Provide a service with less waste, provide a service with greater value
5. When proving a point, it undermines your legitimacy to not mention the strongest counter arguments*
6. New products require flexibility
7. No finger pointing
8. Common root problem: Flawed sense of reality
9. You must work towards a perfect balance of optimism and realism, especially in leadership
10. Follow the lessons of Earnest Schackelton’s leadership** (if you don’t know E. Schackelton, watch all 11 of these. You will not regret it)
11. Charge by the value of what you deliver
*This is also a great tip for trying to argue your way out of being a cylon in the Battlestar Gallactica boardgame.
-Never lose sight of the ultimate goal, and focus energy on short term objectives
-Set a personal example with visible, memorable symbols and behaviors
-Instill optimism and self-confidence, but stay grounded in reality
-Reinforce the team message constantly
-Be willing to take the big risk when necessary
-Never give up, there’s always another move
-Minimize status differences and insist on courtesy and mutual respect
-Find something to celebrate and something to laugh about