Category Archives: personal improvement

How do i manage?

What manager does? Their main focus is not on people performance and their efficiency, not about rules or KPIs. These are tools that are selected or built with your team. Instead their focus is on value creation, environment and principles. management

Want to share ideas how i manage for some reasons:

  • it might be helpful to others
  • it is extremely curious to me if my point of view is going to be different when i read it later
  • learn from others so comments and feedback are welcome

Environment. Results are very important, but we won’t be successful as a team unless each individual is fulfilled.

Style. “Ask. Understand. Change.” Process is only a tool, understanding your business is essential. Go out and talk to people. Adjust to business demand and make changes fast.

  • Humor (sometimes even rude) is a big part of the game.
  • Direct person. This is my natural behavior. I expect this from my team.

Problem solving. When a challenge is presented, bring along several solutions, one of which does not include spending (more) money. Always try to understand root cause – why, why, why,…

Meetings. Book a meeting only if it can’t be avoided. Prepare, engage invited people, come out with actions.

Professionalism. High internal standards push me to do things in a best way possible. Same is required from team members.

Learning. “Experts” can ruin everything as they are not accepting new information. If you are not changing and learning new things than something is wrong with you.

Change. Processes, tools, structure must always be adjusted to business needs

Winning. My definition of “winning” is that everyone wins: employees, customers, users.



Question everything

There are tons of books where you can read about power of questions – how they are important, how they can help. Questions are powerful for following reasons:

  • demand answers
  • stimulate thinking
  • give us valuable information
  • put us in control
  • get people to open up
  • lead to quality listening
  • get people to sell themselves

Questions also allow you to challenge the status quo and challenge the team. That’s why it is so widely used in Retrospectives by Scrum Masters.

Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers. ~ Voltaire

But wait… But should you really question everything? Isn’t there a risk to reach highest level of absurd? “Asking Questions” is the most powerful tool to encourage, challenge and affect people. Be careful!

question everything

2 seconds management kaizen: communication

Communication is not always about bureaucratic bullshit, policies, sharing info that someone joined or left the company or other pleasant things. Sometimes it’s about problems!

How do you communicate when something critical for you business is happening?

In this case involve everybody into a message if you really think it is serious. Everybody must understand the impact and see clients reactions. And it’s all about only adding additional recepients into the email.

I would treat it a success if at least one person makes a conclusion and tries to avoid similar problems in the future or it encourages someone additional to help. And i don’t care if most treat it as spam, distraction or waste. If i really think it’s important – i don’t care.

How to motivate people

Decided to put interesting thoughts that i am reading in different places for myself into a special section called “Good stuff library”

1.   Analytical types want to know that a project is valuable, and that their work makes a difference to its success. They need a leader who excels in a particular area, and whose expertise they believe benefits the group. They prefer compensation that is commensurate with their contribution. If they have done a tremendous amount of work on their own, don’t expect them to be happy if you reward the whole team.

2.   People who are “structural” by nature want to know their work aids the company’s progress. They prefer a leader who is organized, competent, and good with details. They like to be rewarded in writing, in a timely manner, in a way specific to the task. An encouraging email is appropriate to communicate with them.

3.   Social people want to feel personally valued, and that what they are doing has an impact on a project. They go the extra mile for a leader who expresses faith in their abilities. They prefer to be rewarded in person with a gesture that is from the heart. If your own preference is for written communication, send a handwritten note to a particularly social employee.

4.   Innovative employees must buy into a cause. To them, the big picture matters more than the individual who is leading the charge. They prefer to be rewarded with something unconventional and imaginative, and would find a whimsical token of your esteem very meaningful.

5.   Quiet staffers don’t need a lot of fanfare, but they appreciate private, one-on-one encouragement.

6.   Expressive people feel more motivated when assignments are openly discussed and an open door is available. They like public recognition, with pomp, and ceremony.

7.   Peacekeepers hope everyone will move in the same direction. They’ll never demand a reward or recognition, so it’s up to you to offer it.

8.   Hard-drivers are independent thinkers. If they agree with you, they’ll be highly motivated. They will let you know what they’d like as an extrinsic reward, and they tend to want whatever it is right away.

9.   Those who are focused team members must have confidence in the leader and in the project, or their motivation may falter. They want know up front what kind of reward they can expect. Make sure you follow through on whatever is promised.

10.   Flexible people go along with the team, as long as a project does not contradict their morals or beliefs. They’re also happy with any kind of recognition.


Original link –

Noticing What YOU Notice

During a vacation i had a chance to read very interesting book – “Inner game of work”

I just want to share one part of the book, which explains how observation of critical variables can help to initiate improvement. But most difficult part is not to start throwing solutions on the table too soon or start judging what you see.

In any situation, one of the best ways of finding a critical variable to focus on is to notice what you are already noticing.

What does this mean? If you ask three people to look out the same window and then ask each one to tell you what “stood out,” they will come up with three different answers. Of the thousands of possibilities in the entire scene, one person notices that there’s a hole in the roof of the farmhouse in the distance, another the colors of the sky, another the turning leaves on a nearby sycamore tree.

The same thing takes place when you meet a person, or view a business problem, or look at a product. Everyone’s attention is selective. What is being selected can often tell you something important about the viewer, as well as about what is being viewed.

When coaching either an athlete or a businessperson, listening for what stands out in a given situation gives valuable clues about where to direct the focus of attention. For example, a team of managers I was working with asked me to help with improving the quality of their meetings. When I asked the standard question, “What stands out for you as you observe your meetings?” three simple observations were made: (1) “We don’t stick to the agenda.” (2) “Meetings neither start nor end on time.” (3) “A few of the people do most of the talking.”

It would have been possible to do an in-depth analysis of the meetings and generate from them a set of remedies to change behaviors.

The approach I took was simpler. I asked one manager to focus on “adherence to agenda.” He would do no more than raise his hand each time he observed the conversation wandering. Another manager observed the starting and ending time of the meeting, an observation that evolved into tracking the amount of time allotted and spent on each agenda item. A third manager kept track of the frequency and total length of time each person spoke.

No corrections were ever recommended or enforced. But over the next few weeks, merely by virtue of the team’s heightened awareness of these variables, meetings started and ended on time, there were fewer and fewer instances of wandering off the agenda, and participation became more evenly distributed and speaking more succinct.

I used to tell tennis students that if they didn’t like the instructions coming from a tennis professional or a partner, they could always change the instructions from a behavioral command to the observation of a critical variable. If the pro said, “You aren’t hitting the ball in front of you,” they could simply start observing where they were in fact making contact with the ball, trusting Self 2 to make the corrections automatically. In the same way, many requests for change from a manager, from a customer, or even from yourself are often best handled neither by compliance nor resistance, but by simple observation of the variables embedded in the command.”

In a performance review, a manager might be told, “You have to stop being so critical of your subordinates. I’ve been getting a lot of feedback from them about you on that.” Perhaps the manager agrees. But instead of internalizing the command “Don’t be critical,” what would happen if he simply decided to make “criticalness” a variable to observe, in his own communication and others’? If he decided just to take notice and see what happened? I’m guessing that after he actually became aware of how much of it was happening, he would then find it decreasing—or at least becoming more appropriate…