In this in-depth talk, ethnographer and leadership expert Simon Sinek reveals the hidden dynamics that inspire leadership and trust. In biological terms, leaders get the first pick of food and other spoils, but at a cost. When danger is present, the group expects the leader to mitigate all threats even at the expense of their personal well-being. Understanding this deep-seated expectation is the key difference between someone who is just an “authority” versus a true “leader.”
For more on this topic, check out Sinek’s latest book Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t now available for pre-order.
A trained ethnographer and the author of Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, Simon Sinek has held a life-long curiosity for why people and organizations do the things they do. Studying the leaders and companies that make the greatest impact in the world and achieve a more lasting success than others, he discovered the formula that explains how they do it.
Sinek’s amazingly simple idea, The Golden Circle, is grounded in the biology of human decision-making and is changing how leaders and companies think and act.
His innovative views on business and leadership have earned him invitations to meet with an array of leaders and organizations, including Microsoft, Dell, SAP, Intel, Chanel, Members of the United States Congress, and the Ambassadors of Bahrain and Iraq.
Sinek recently became an adjunct staff member of the RAND Corporation, one of the most highly regarded think tanks in the world. He also works with the non-profit Education for Employment Foundation to help create opportunities for young men and women in the Middle East region. He lives in New York, where he teaches graduate level strategic communications at Columbia University.
Your concerns are valid. In order for people to help you, they need to know what you need and to receive feedback and direction along the way. Your workflow that was uniquely yours will now have to account for another person. With the right systems and communication, this process can run relatively smoothly. But without them, the people who were supposed to help can end up creating more work.
To make sure that your investment in an intern, contractor, or employee pays off, follow these strategies.
Prior to bringing someone on, clarify exactly what you want him or her to do. “Help with administrative tasks” isn’t specific enough. Think of specific job responsibilities and outcomes such as “write monthly newsletter,” “follow up with clients,” or “organize events.” Then estimate about how much time you think these activities will take. (Make sure to plan for more time than they would take you, since you’re the pro.)
Once you’ve define the specific activities, you should start to get a sense of how many hours a week you need someone to work for you or if you only need help around certain times, such as the holidays or a big conference. This clarity on what exactly you expect others to do for you will help you look for the right skill set and hourly commitment (and give you something to measure against after you hire).
If you’ve found someone who is smart and eager to learn, you can expect that in time she will have the capacity to act on her own. But at the beginning, you need to slow down and explain the action steps required for each assignment. This means not making assumptions about what she knows or doesn’t know, providing both good and bad examples, and offering to review work when it’s still in the initial stages.
This keeps the person you manage from heading down a divergent path or producing work that you need to redo. Your new hire can be the most entrepreneurial self-starter in the world, but if you don’t take the time to teach her the ropes, you put her in a position to fail. Remember: delegate, but don’t abdicate.
Constant interruptions with questions throughout your day have a huge negative impact on productivity. Conversely, never knowing the status of projects can leave you on edge. From the beginning, set expectations for when you both should communicate with each other. It’s likely the work will determine the frequency of status updates. For example, weekly one-on-ones work with some individuals, while others will need check-ins daily or multiple times a day. Clarify how frequently you want communication and the mode that will work best, such as e-mail, instant message, phone, or in-person meetings. This puts your mind at ease and helps set expectations for your new hire.
It’s very easy for to-do items to get lost or forgotten in the swirl of activities. One of the best ways to ensure that what you delegate gets done is to set up a tracking system. This could look like a shared document, task list, or project management program. The tool isn’t as important as the purpose of both you and the person you hired having a clear understanding of what needs to get done and if it has been accomplished.
Not telling someone that something she’s doing or not doing is driving you crazy until you’re ready to fire her is not helpful to you or to her. Give feedback early and often about what’s going right and about areas where you would like to see improvement. Set up monthly lunches or quarterly meetings where you can each focus on the big picture of what is working and what isn’t. When you give ideas for growth, keep your focus on specific enhancements that can be made to the workinstead of giving blanket judgments of the work, and even more confidence-busting, criticisms of the person’s character.
If you are a freelance web designer or own a web design company, then you should know that one of the biggest obstacles starting out is getting customers. The web design and development industry is full of competition. It’s not hard for a person interested in getting a website to get on the Internet, perform a quick search for web designers, and to then have a list of thousands presented to them. If you are a web designer and understand the competition aspects, then you should take all necessary steps possible within your means to attract those Internet customers who need your website services.
Create a website to attract and showcase your work. To attract Internet customers, you are going to need an attractive, clean, and professional website. Your website should explain your services, skills, and should include a portfolio of your previous work. Make sure that you have a user contact form on your website.
Perform keyword research and use on-page optimization. Go to Google keyword tool website (Look in Resources for a link). Come up with and submit 6 keywords you think people may type in search engines to find web designers (e.g., web designers in new jersey). Place those keywords in the Google Keyword Tool. Click on “keyword ideas.” This will generate similar keyword phrases searchers have actually been searching for. Look at the keyword phrases that get the highest search volume and lowest competition. Take those keywords and place them in the Meta Tags of your website including Meta title, Meta descriptions, and the overall content of your website.
Post, submit, and respond to ads off popular classified websites. Open your web browser and go to websites such as Craigslist.org and backpage.com. Click to post a free classified ad, add a title and description of your services. You can also find people looking for website designers in your area. Click on the job for web designer wanted ads and respond to the ads offering you web design services.
Submit your website to web design directories. Open your web browser and do a search for “web design directories” in Google. Find them and submit your website to as many of these free web directories as possible. For a fee, many of them will submit (to your inbox) web design quote request from their site visitors looking for web site.
Become an expert and give out webinars over the Internet. Come up with a way to show how having a website can benefit and improve a person’s business. Detail steps such as layouts, marketing, advertising, budgeting, and overall strategies that go into developing a successful website and how your company can help them execute it.
Attend networking events and give out your business cards. Have a professional business card with your company name, logo, address, and web URL. Give it out to people who have businesses of their own but do not yet have a website.
Sign up for an account on freelance websites such as Guru, Freelancer, oDesk and elance.com. Open your web browser, navigate to any or all of those websites and sign up for an account. List your services, skills and start bidding on web design projects. These websites attract a large number of Internet customers looking for website designers.
Capturing solar energy efficiently and inconspicuously is something that the Solaroad cycle path has attempted in the Netherlands. Now scientists at Stanford University have developed peel-and-stick solar panels, which can be attached to any surface. READ MORE…
It’s no secret that those who find themselves tossed into management with little more than a hope and a prayer aren’t ready to fully engage in all that is required of more experienced managers. But there is certainly something about you that indicated you were right for this job. Your job is to build on these strengths, while you try and master the other skills necessary to be a successful leader. Here are seven ways you can shine from day one:
1. Manage those above you. Some of you may be thinking, “How the heck am I going to manage people above me when I haven’t even figured out how to do my job?” Trust me. I can tell you from personal experience that if you don’t begin with managing up, you won’t have to worry about managing down. It is critical to learn how to manage these relationships effectively so that you can secure the resources you need to be successful in any situation. Observe how others successfully gain resources in the organization and follow suit when their approach aligns with your values.
2. Decode your boss. I can’t recall a time when I’ve seen a boss adjust their management style to that of an employee’s. This means you will be the one who will be doing the adjusting. Begin by observing how your manager uses authority, the way she relates to others, and her communication style as a leader. Most bosses typically fall into one of the following categories: dictatorial, laissez-faire, bureaucratic, consultative. Once you determine the type of manager you’ve been handed, you can then study ways to work most effectively with this type of leader.
3. Become a master player of office politics. You are in the game, so deal with it. In every organization, there are unwritten rules. We call this office politics. The sooner you understand these rules, the better. Politics in the workplace isn’t just about manipulation. It’s about using power effectively to get what you need. People who are masters at this game follow unwritten rules that allow them to maneuver swiftly through the organization to obtain scarce resources, approval of prized projects, and promotions. Can you see now why it’s important to pay attention to this?
4. Toot your own horn. For years we’ve been taught that it’s not polite to brag. But if we don’t do so, how will others know about our contributions? I can assure you when companies are putting together lay-off lists they aren’t including those whose contributions are well known throughout the organization. You may be the best singer in the room, but no one will know this if you never open your mouth.
5. Manage performance. No one likes to tell an employee they are not meeting expectations, but how can they improve without feedback? Clearly define your expectations and communicate regularly so employees know exactly where they stand all year long. Provide timely well-thought-out performance reviews that are specific in nature so employees know exactly the type of behavior you would like to see repeated.
6. Be respectful. Be mindful of your tone. It’s easy to bark orders and have others respond out of fear. But eventually you’ll gain a reputation that will be difficult to shake. Effective leaders do not yell at their employees nor do they chew them out in front of customers or other employees. They speak to them like they matter.
7. Hire the best. At first it may be a bit intimidating hiring people who are smarter than you. You will shine the most when those around you are beaming. Hire bright people who will step things up in your workgroup and do whatever it takes to see that they are promoted.
What your cover letter should do:
Cover letter basics:
Dear Hiring Manager,
I’m a certified J2EE architect with experience in migrating applications to the cloud, and I’m very interested in your job post involving these skills.
I have recently worked in G.ho.st (Globally hosted operating system) as a team leader, where my responsibilities included developing the G.ho.st platform built using Java J2EE technologies. This infrastructure was built entirely on Amazon AWS.
My experience creating J2EE solutions includes building and deploying scalable solutions on top of Amazon AWS. I am an expert in AWS EC2, S3, SDB, and RDS. I have consistently delivered projects on time and under budget, which has earned me the role of team lead on a number of recent projects, as you’ll see in my work history. I believe my skills would be ideal for your project.
I am available to chat by IM, email or Skype, and would be happy to set up a convenient time to discuss the application you’re moving and some ideas about the safest way to get it into the cloud. I will be available 15 hours per week for this position.
· Use the name of the client if it is given in the post. Otherwise, “Dear Hiring Manager,” is sufficient.
· The first sentence offers the strongest, briefest summary of Anand’s qualifications for this particular role. This first line is what’s visible as the client scans the candidate list, and so should be as compelling as you can possibly make it.
· Anand then lists his additional qualifications, highlighting those requested in the job posting, and mentions having served as a team leader, an indication of previous clients’ faith in his work and leadership abilities.
· He directs the client to a particular piece in his portfolio that is relevant to this job, and gives detail on how it is similar to the work requested for this position.
· Anand closes by repeating his interest in the job and his understanding of the client priorities.
· He indicates the means by which he could be interviewed — allowing the client to respond with the chosen method and contact info.
· He indicates his availability and the number of hours he can devote to this position each week.
· Anand does this all in only 200 words.