Friday, February 8, 2008

Jack Canfield: The Success Principles

When Jack Canfield talks about perseverance, he speaks from experience. His best-selling Chicken Soup for the Soul series was rejected by over 144 publishers before going on to sell over 100 million copies. He's been a teacher, facilitator, and psychotherapist. His seminars and trainings have touched millions of individuals from welfare recipients to corporate leaders.

- How what you think makes you weak or strong
- Seven key areas in creating a personal vision
- Two simple questions that accelerate the achievement of your goals
- How to change the outcome of any event, simply by changing your response to it
- The Rule of Five for achieving your "breakthrough goal"

Jack canfield is uniquely qualified to coach you on success. He's devoted more than 30 years to uncovering universal principles for achieving extraordinary outcomes. In this fast-paced, entertaining and powerful program, Jack will share his latest breakthrough principles and detail how you, too, can use them to rapidly achieve your goals in your career, your finances and your personal life.

2007 NADA Convention, Jack Welch

Bill Gates Speech at Harvard (part 1)

Bill Gates Speech at Harvard (part 2)

Bill Gates Speech at Harvard (part 3)

Bill Gates Speech at Harvard (part 4)

Bill Gates Speech at Harvard (part 5)

Steve Jobs Stanford Commencement Speech 2005

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Dr. Covey and the four Ps

Craig Silverman

Dr. Stephen Covey, author of the celebrated book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, has begun talking about a different topic every week on his website, and he recently took on the issue of work/life balance. There was one paragraph in particular that I thought was particularly good: “[people] are driven by an addiction to the urgent and continually respond to the four P’s—those things that are Pressing, Proximate, Pleasant and Popular—leaving very little time to do those things that are truly important.”That’s a lovely way of expressing how workers often manage to avoid genuinely important tasks. It’s contained in the answer to a question below. Underneath that exchange, I also included his thoughts about the need to find personal success in things such as health relationships in order to achieve work/life balance.

Q: What does it mean to have work/life balance?

…Today the average college student or corporate worker considers themselves a “multitasker”. It’s not unusual to meet people in their 20s who are working, going to school, starting their own company, married, raising kids and enjoying hobbies. They end up with a huge list of things that fracture their attention. This isn’t wrong in any way–for the most part it’s admirable–but there is an old saying: to a hammer, everything looks like a nail. To a chronic multitasker, everything is a task. Soon, the things in life that are really important to them are in the same list as everything else, and the only tasks that get done are the ones that have become urgent, but often aren’t very important.Because of this they are driven by an addiction to the urgent and continually respond to the the four P’s—those things that are Pressing, Proximate, Pleasant and Popular—leaving very little time to do those things that are truly important.

Q: But I’m worried that if I make time for personal things, like my health or relationships, that I’ll lose chances to be promoted in the workplace.

A: I suggest the opposite will happen. Reaching a level of life balance where you are learning to say “no” to the urgent and unimportant gives you time for things such as professional development activities. You are enabled to go the second mile in your efforts to help solve problems; you carve out time to mentor and be mentored, to look for other opportunities; you are able to anticipate needs long before they come up because you are not so urgency-addicted. Therefore, you are really promoting your promotability and increasing your options by choosing to spend time working on things that are most important. Of course, there will be some employers that won’t see things this way. They will look at you as a workhorse that should be given as much work as possible until your back breaks. My question to you would be, if this is the case, and you can’t focus on what is truly important to you, then why are you working there? You are worth more than that.There are no quick-fixes to achieving work/life balance. Your priorities may change as your circumstances change. Thus, I invite you to consider the things that you value most and allow those to serve as the foundation. Then commit to consistently re-evaluate your current priorities, given your current circumstances and based on what you have identified as your core values. It takes courage, but remember not to trade in what you want most, for what you want now.


Winners often will bend rules a bit

Whether in business or in sports, the success of a dynasty is the result of vision, talent, aggressiveness and some good fortune. But dynasties also can be ruthless.

A hero is not someone who is 'perfect.' We'd have no heroes if this were our standard. We all make mistakes, but that doesn't invalidate the contributions we make in the course of our lives." -- Anthony Robbins

The New England Patriots were heavily favored to win the Super Bowl on Sunday, although this New York native is celebrating today if the Giants were able to pull off one of the greatest upsets in NFL history.
New England has already won three Super Bowls this decade. They are the first team to win 16 regular-season games. A win Sunday would have made them the equal of any NFL dynasty in history.
Yet an odd scandal marked the beginning of the 2007 season. In September, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell punished the Patriots after a team employee was caught filming an opposing team's coaches during a game, in an attempt to decipher their signals to players. The Patriots organization was fined $250,000, coach Bill Belichick was personally fined $500,000, and the team will forfeit its 2008 first-round draft pick.
Why would Belichick, already considered an all-time great coach, be driven to take such a petty risk, filming opponents in plain sight? His reputation is already assured. He's proved himself repeatedly as a coach over the past 25 years: first, as the innovative defensive coordinator of the great New York Giant teams of the 1980s, under coach Bill Parcells; then, by winning three Super Bowls in four years with key players injured. He's considered one the greatest game-film analysts and defensive strategists of all time, and created a "value investing" approach to selecting and retaining players, refusing to overpay players in the era of free agency and the salary cap.
Belichick's behavior is not unusual, sadly. Winners, when faced with the prospect of defeat, are often tempted to bend the rules. In sports and in business, dynastic champions eventually run out of steam, when their players or products get older, or when their competitors adjust.
This raises an interesting question: What distinguishes dominating organizations from the merely successful? It is not only ability and opportunity, but a desperate need to prove oneself, regardless of past accomplishments.
The tendency to mythologize winners as heroes runs deep in all cultures. But despite their surface charm, real-life dynasties, in almost any endeavor, are likely to be ruthless and insensitive.
Another example of a long-time winner bending the rules to perpetuate his dynasty was Jack Welch, the retired CEO of General Electric. Welch, named "Manager of the Century" by Fortune magazine in 1999, grew GE's market capitalization in his time as CEO from $15 billion in 1981 to nearly $500 billion in May 2001.
Like Belichick, Welch won through a combination of aggressiveness and innovation, taking an already successful company to new heights. He insisted that all GE divisions excel (No. 1 or No. 2 in their markets) or be sold; that underperforming or unnecessary employees be identified and fired, and he pursued a series of management initiatives in an attempt to grow GE's performance and profitability. Wall Street analysts and investors venerated Welch for his consistent growth of GE's profit, and its stock price rose accordingly.
Welch's successes were substantive and real. But the remarkable consistency of GE's earnings under Welch, quarter after quarter, was a phenomenon unnatural for a large company, and it would be near impossible to achieve today. He accomplished this feat by leveraging two financial tools, which though entirely legal at the time, would be derided as gimmicks today.
First, Welch leveraged GE Capital, the firm's highly profitable financial arm, for "revenue smoothing," to achieve the desired consistency of earning performance. At the time, GE Capital, although GE's single most profitable division, reported earnings as a single unit, a practice changed by current CEO Jeff Immelt in 2002 in response to investor pressure for more transparency. --(StarTribune)


A disciple of Japanese quality management

Order and efficiency are hallmarks of the TVS motorbike factory near Bangalore in southern India. To direct foot traffic, arrows are painted on the shiny shop floor of India's third-largest motorcycle maker.
Large banners with exhortations such as "Let Us Achieve Zero Defects" and "Quality is a Way of Life" hang across the bright facility where nearly 2,000 vehicles are built each day on neat assembly lines. Tea breaks are 9:15 to 9:22 and 14:15 to 14:22, according to a memo on the wall.
Japan's veneration for order has been fully transplanted to this TVS factory in the city of Hosur.
Venu Srinivasan, the mild-mannered 55-year-old managing director and chairman of TVS, has indoctrinated the company with the Japanese management strategy of total quality management. TVS's turnaround has hinged on principles of attention to process, consistency, transparency and employee involvement.
TQM was launched at TVS in 1989 and is credited with reviving the ailing company. Since then, TVS and sister companies in the $2.2bn TVS Group have won the prestigious Japan Quality Medal and the Deming Prize, a quality award from Japan.
TVS rolled out 923,000 motorbikes last fiscal year in India with sales growing 19 per cent to reach about $900m. It recently opened a factory in Indonesia and aims to globalise its business over the next few years.
The scenario before and after TQM reflects how far TVS has come in nearly two decades. Productivity, quality and sales have improved dramatically. Previously, the rate of "re-work" - parts plagued by faults - was 15 per cent. That figure has fallen to 100 parts per million. The factory used to make four deliveries a month to customers compared with two daily now.
It was no easy task to overhaul the family-owned company that was founded in 1911 by Mr Srinivasan's grandfather, TV Sundaram Iyengar. For three decades after 1960, India closed its markets to global competition. Imports were restricted and licences were required to start businesses, creating little incentive to improve or strive for quality.
After earning a degree in engineering from Madras University in today's Chennai, Mr Srinivasan went to the US for graduate studies, like many scions of India's business families. In 1979 he earned a master's in science and management at Purdue University in Indiana - the degree became known as an MBA in 2001 - where he received a "strong dose" of industrial engineering.
He visited factories of US automakers such as General Motors but was unimpressed. "US factories did not have that exactness," he recalls.
A trip to Japan in 1981 and visits to the Suzuki and Honda factories proved pivotal. "Even the bullet train aligned exactly on the platform. People were highly motivated and committed." He was inspired by "a country that could create this kind of excellence" and sought to restore the high quality for which TVS was known in the 1940s when it ran a highly-efficient bus network and General Motors dealership.
Mr Srinivasan began reading books about TQM and "desperately tried to get hold of Japanese professors, but India was not on the radar" in the early 1980s.
The mission to restructure TVS grew more urgent in the 1980s when, profits slipped although sales grew. "That triggered the need for change. I knew that if we continued like that we wouldn't be in business."
Mr Srinivasan introduced TQM to the company in 1989 and implemented and improved it over the next nine years. Experts from Japan still visit the company.
TVS's adaptation of TQM rests on five pillars. They include policy deployment; involving every person at the company; kaizen, or continuous improvement; standardisation of processes; and new product development.
Seated at a long boardroom table at the TVS office, Mr Srinivasan takes a pen and draws a series of boxes to illustrate the "silos" that hobbled the company before. There were six layers of management. With little co-operation or communication between divisions, "most meetings were full of fault-finding and finger pointing".
Under the new regime, silos were broken down. For instance, different teams collaborated on design of new motorcycles so staff from R&D worked jointly with production and assembly.
As a result, innovation has been boosted. TVS rolled out its first 20 models in 21 years but it has produced 10 new products in the past three years alone. This year TVS expects to roll out six new models.
On the factory floor, inefficiencies were identified and weeded out. TVS used to keep 10 weeks of inventory at its factory compared with two weeks now. The assembly line suffered frequent delays. "We couldn't predict what we could supply to customers," says Mr Srinivasan. "It used to be a real mess."
Mr Srinivasan recalls that previously the factory floor was haphazardly organised. "One man operated one machine with another man doing inspections. Relative to today it would be dirty." Today employees are trained to operate different machines, allowing for a leaner workforce.
In traditionally hierarchical India, Mr Srinivasan shocked employees by picking up cigarette butts from the factory floor in keeping with one of the pillars of involving every employee.
He started tracking all the company's statistics and breaking them down, line by line. Figures were conveyed to employees through charts displayed in the factory.
"Everybody could see the actual graph. Before, people would fudge," says Mr Srinivasan. "But every hour productivity is displayed. We created a feedback loop."
Changing an entrenched mindset was a difficult task. "It requires a high degree of understanding between employees and management," says C. Narasimhan, formerly president of Sundaram-Clayton, the auto components firm and sister company of TVS.
But employees were encouraged to offer suggestions for improvement. "Some employees give 200 suggestions a year," says Mr Narasimhan. "Awards are given for the best suggestion."
Roles of each employee are now clarified and targets clearly assigned. Results are displayed for everyone to see in order "to hold the gains". Changing his own role at TVS was also a challenge for Mr Srinivasan, whose position as family trustee shifted as the company's president became more empowered.
"For me to move back and change my role took a lot of change myself," admits Mr Srinivasan. "You've got to look at yourself in the mirror honestly. But you have to make the change to get other people to make the changes you expect of them." --(Rediff)


Let’s have some wa, hansei and kaizen

by Sudheendra Kulkarni

Indian businessmen doing business with Japan are of two types — one, for whom the relationship is short-term and frustrating, and the other for whom it becomes durable and highly fulfilling, not only financially but also in other intangible ways. The first type will complain: “It’s difficult to understand the Japanese. They take so long to take decisions, rarely come straight to the point and conclude the deal. Who has got that much time in today’s world of multiple opportunities?”
Those in the second category will tell you: “For the Japanese, business partnerships are not only about making money. They are about seeking, preserving and promoting wa or harmony, a quintessentially Japanese principle, which they practice within their own companies, in product design, art and society in general. They have an elaborate and often time-consuming way of ascertaining whether a particular decision harmonises with their culture of doing business. But once they know that you are trustworthy and the right partner, decisions are taken very fast, often without the formality of legal documents. You then begin to realise how scrupulously they keep their word, care for your feelings, respect your ideas and suggestions, and make the relationship an opportunity for mutual growth.”
I have mentioned this because in my last week’s column (‘The Toyo-Tata Way to Nation-Building’) I had reflected upon how Toyota’s unique manufacturing principles had not only enabled it to become the world’s leading car company, but also offered important lessons for all types of organisation-building. My reflections were triggered, first, by Jeffrey K. Liker’s internationally acclaimed book The Toyota Way and, later, by a visit to Toyota’s main plant in Nagoya in Japan. Can manufacturing have a moral message? Can it have a cultural and philosophical basis? These questions may sound strange, but the answer, provided by Toyota and many Japanese companies, is yes.
In Toyota’s superior business paradigm, its long-term vision of value-creation supersedes pursuit of short-term money-making. Every employee is made to feel important, honoured, empowered and responsible to achieve the company’s objectives of zero-defect, zero-waste and complete customer satisfaction. This is what helped Toyota beat American auto giants Ford and General Motors in most markets globally. Liker’s book presents amazing case-studies of how Toyota doubled or tripled the speed of every business process, reduced production cost through constant innovation, and made quality control a company-wide obsession.
But The Toyota Way’s principal lessons are not for car-making alone. For example, as a political activist, I believe that all those political parties that are concerned about problems within and genuinely desire long-term growth would profit by paying heed to the following principles.
• “Don’t hide problems within the organisation, but bring them to the surface.”
• “Continuously solving root problems improves organisational learning. Even high-level managers should go and see things for themselves, so that they will have more than a superficial understanding of the situation.”
• “Develop such leaders in your organisation who thoroughly understand the work, live the philosophy, and teach it to others.”
• “Develop exceptional people and teams who follow your company’s philosophy. Make an ongoing effort to teach individuals to work together as teams toward common goals.”
• “Become a learning organisation through relentless reflection (hansei) and continuous improvement (kaizen). Protect the organisation’s knowledge and cultural base by developing stable personnel, careful promotion, and well thought-out succession systems.”
Similarly, Toyota’s constant effort to achieve “zero waste of human, material, energy and time resources” is something that ought to become the guiding principle of a national mission in India. Take energy conservation, for example. When the Japanese government issued a directive to its citizens three years ago to use less energy for air-conditioning in summer, Toyota, Hitachi, Sony and other big and small companies asked everyone, from chairmen down to receptionists, not to wear their ties and jackets in office. When the government set strict new energy-saving targets for consumer and office electronics products, saying they must be redesigned to use 63 per cent less power by 2008, every company got down to the task. It is through such national campaigns that Japan has managed to achieve the impossible: It now imports 16 per cent less oil than it did in 1973, although its GDP has more than doubled. How does India fare in this regard? Five years ago, former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee announced an energy-saving campaign in government offices, in which the PMO and Rashtrapati Bhavan were required to cut their power consumption by 10 per cent. Nobody knows about the fate of that campaign.
The trouble with Indians, especially with those in government and politics, is that we talk more and do less. Though our businesses are now transforming themselves, most of the work processes in government and political parties are extremely slow and deeply flawed. There is poor adherence to any long-term vision and specific goals, and scant accountability to reach them. And little is done to enthuse, empower, involve and reward the ‘small’ man in the achievement of big organisational or national objectives. If we want to build a New India in the 21st century, isn’t it high time we enshrined the Indian equivalents of wa, hansei and kaizen in a nationwide drive for a New Work Culture in governance, politics, business and other spheres of public life? --(IndiaExpress)