Jan 01

As work gets more complex, 6 rules to simplify

Leadership, Structure/HR Comments Off on As work gets more complex, 6 rules to simplify

Kicking off 2016 with good Ted talks. This is good one on organizational design and how to simplify it.

Jan 04

Read this article on geekwire on increase in wealth of Bill due to growth in MS stock. Smile 

billgatesFrom a financial standpoint, 2013 was a good year for Bill Gates.

The Microsoft co-founder saw his fortune grow by $15.8 billion last year to $78.5 billion, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index. Gates finished 2013 as the world’s richest person, a title he reclaimed back in May for the first time since 2007. His fortune increased by $7 billion in 2012.

Microsoft's stock grew by 35 percent in 2013.

Microsoft’s stock grew by 35 percent in 2013.

Part of that growth is due to Microsoft’s stock, which increased by more than 35 percent in 2013 alone. Gates is still Microsoft’s largest individual shareholder, with more than 4.5 percent of the company, according to Microsoft’s latest proxy statement.

Bill Gates’ fortune grew by $15.8 billion in 2013 as Microsoft stock surged 35% – GeekWire

Jan 23

Discovering Your Authentic Leadership is a great read for people who want to improve their Leadership skills. I have read many articles on leadership and everyone of them focuses on different aspects of leadership.

Best part about this article is it tells you to focus internally to look at your own history and learn from that. Authors focus on following key aspects of your life to learn from

  • Learn from your own life story
  • Know your authentic self
  • Practice your values and principles
  • Balance your extrinsic and intrinsic motivations
  • Build a support team to learn and get guidance from
  • Integrate your life by staying grounded

Original Article: http://hbr.org/2007/02/discovering-your-authentic-leadership/ar/1

Authors: Bill George, Peter Sims, Andrew N. McLean and Diana Mayer


During the past 50 years, leadership scholars have conducted more than 1,000 studies in an attempt to determine the definitive styles, characteristics, or personality traits of great leaders. None of these studies has produced a clear profile of the ideal leader. Thank goodness. If scholars had produced a cookie-cutter leadership style, individuals would be forever trying to imitate it. They would make themselves into personae, not people, and others would see through them immediately.

No one can be authentic by trying to imitate someone else. You can learn from others’ experiences, but there is no way you can be successful when you are trying to be like them. People trust you when you are genuine and authentic, not a replica of someone else. Amgen CEO and president Kevin Sharer, who gained priceless experience working as Jack Welch’s assistant in the 1980s, saw the downside of GE’s cult of personality in those days. “Everyone wanted to be like Jack,” he explains. “Leadership has many voices. You need to be who you are, not try to emulate somebody else.”

Jan 17

This Article by Daniel Goleman is a great read on different leadership styles and how leaders can use them in different scenarios to get results. In this article Goleman explores which precise leadership behaviors yield positive results. He outlines six distinct leadership styles, each one springing from different components of emotional intelligence. Each style has a distinct effect on the working atmosphere of a company, division, or team, and, in turn, on its financial performance.

You have to read the article to get the full picture. You can access it at http://hbr.org/product/leadership-that-gets-results/an/R00204-PDF-ENG . Below is a preview…

  1. Coercive leaders demand immediate compliance.
  2. Authoritative leaders mobilize people toward a vision.
  3. Affiliative leaders create emotional bonds and harmony.
  4. Democratic leaders build consensus through participation.
  5. Pacesetting leaders expect excellence and self-direction.
  6. Coaching leaders develop people for the future.

Leadership Styles at a glance








The leader’s modus operandi

Demands immediate compliance

Mobilizes people toward a vision

Creates harmony and builds emotional bonds

Forges consensus through participation

Sets high standards for performance

Develops people for the future

The style in a phrase

"Do what I tell you."

"Come with me."

"People come first."

"What do you think?"

"Do as I do, now."

"Try this."

Underlying emotional intelligence competencies

Drive to achieve, initiative, self-control

Self-confidence, empathy, change catalyst

Empathy, building relationships, communication

Collaboration, team leadership, communication

Conscientiousness, drive to achieve, initiative

Developing others, empathy, self-awareness

When the style works best

In a crisis, to kick start a turnaround, or with problem employees

When changes require a new vision, or when a clear direction is needed

To heal rifts in a team or to motivate people during stressful circumstances

To build buy-in or consensus, or to get input from valuable employees

To get quick results from a highly motivated and competent team

To help an employee improve performance or develop long-term strengths

Overall impact on climate


Most strongly positive





The research indicates that leaders who get the best results don’t rely on just one leadership style; they use most of the styles in any given week.

Nov 10

Yesterday got a chance to listen to Marshall Goldsmith, he is amazing. Also received a signed copy of his book “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful”. Have heard it is an amazing book. Will write a review once I finish…

His best advice, think you are 95 years old and on death bed. You have few more moments to go… What advice will you give someone young? Personal and Professional? Now take that advice and live by it because you should have fun and enjoy the life now. Smile 

Dr. Marshall Goldsmith is a world authority in helping successful leaders get even better – by achieving positive, lasting change in behavior: for themselves, their people and their teams.

MOJO was released in February 2010.  It is a New York Times and Wall Street Journal top ten best-seller – and the Shanghai Daily #1 business book in China.  It is already scheduled to be translated into 14 languages.

Marshall Goldsmith Library

Aug 28

Early last week Steve Jobs stepped down from position of CEO at Apple. Steve is one of the most influential CEO’s of our times. I was reading through the news and articles around this topic and came across this commencement address he gave. It is really an amazing speech…

Steve talks about life…
Jan 31

Awesome article questioning if Google is new Microsoft. Google has not been able to build new businesses outside of search. It has tried but failed again and again… Actually on that front Microsoft has many Billion+ dollar businesses other than Windows and Office, there is SQL Server, SharePoint, XBox… Good article.

Investors are starting to ask such questions as how the search engine will cope with the social-networking onslaught

ByMathew Ingram

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One of the justifications that Google (GOOG) provided for former Chief Executive Eric Schmidt’s move into the chairman role and the reemergence of co-founder Larry Page as CEO was the need to become more flexible by speeding up decision-making at the search giant.

Bloomberg Businessweek magazine looks at that issue in a new cover story on the company, which describes how Google is trying to save itself from "the ossification that can paralyze large corporations." But what if Google’s biggest problem isn’t a lack of flexibility or the speed of its decision-making, but a fundamental cultural inability to create new lines of business that can keep the company growing? What if it’s just a gargantuan one-trick pony?

What If Google Is Just a One-Trick Pony? – BusinessWeek

Dec 29

Just read the article "The Quick Wins Paradox" by Van Buren and Safferstone Todd in Harvard Business Review – Jan 2009. It is a good article focusing on things that can make newly appointed leaders successful.

We all agree that new leaders need to show quick wins to gain confidence of their direct reports and the higher level management. Authors suggest 5 main reasons new leaders fail are Focusing too much on details, reacting negatively to criticism, Intimidating others, Jumping to conclusion and Micromanaging.

According to the author new leaders can be successful if they focus on collective quick wins instead of individual wins. They way to achieve collective quick wins are by making people believers not bystanders, understanding uncertainty, showing humility and learning about the team.

The article is very good and you should surely read if you like the brief intro here. Order Here

Dec 24

This is story of Archway bakery in Ashland, Ohio. The bakery was closed in October abruptly and 300 employees were let go. Lance Inc of South Carolina bought the bakery in auction and reopened the bakery. I was really moved by this story. :) I think it is amazing what Lance has done. :)

Nov 30

Another good article By Arik Hesseldahl . I saw a touch screen PC by HP at best buy it was impressive but I already own 2 PCs and 2 Laptops. Could not convince my wife to get one more. :) But touch screen laptop sounds really interesting. :)

Apple watchers assumed Jobs & Co. would be the first to offer a multitouch laptop, but Hewlett-Packard has beaten them to the punch

From the first time Steve Jobs demonstrated "the pinch"—the two-finger gesture used to zoom in and out of photos and Web pages on the iPhone—some Apple observers assumed it was just a matter of time before a multitouch-enabled screen showed up on the Mac.

That hasn’t happened yet. But as of Nov. 19, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) has beaten Apple (AAPL) to the punch, announcing the first multitouch-enabled notebook PC, the tx2. I can’t help but wonder whether Apple just lost an important race.

Hewlett-Packard Out-Touches Apple – BusinessWeek