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Famous Quotations

He who is prudent and lies in wait for an enemy, who is not, will be victorious. -Sun Tzu
 

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One of the most important abilities I’ve found most useful in both my personal and business life is the ability to read people accurately and to have a decent sense of their personalities and emotions.  For some people they have a natural instinct or sixth sense that allows them the uncanny ability to know if people are telling the truth, how they will react and what they will do. However, other than natural instincts, there are ways to increase one’s awareness and observations to a point where they too can read people accurately and predict how people will react and behave.  Basically, if you want to be able to understand people better, you must work at it and keep practicing.  Here are some simple guidelines I personally follow with great success over the years. With simple practice and determination, you too can better your instincts on reading people accurately and learn how to build sensitivity to gauge other people’s emotions and behaviors.

Before you can start reading other people at all, you must first have the correct frame of mind. If you do not have the right mind set, no matter what you do, you will not understand other people at all and you will actually become a very negative and irritating presence amongst others. First off, take a look at this list and see if you can honestly compare yourself to these concepts.  If most of them apply, then you are off to a good start and more than likely already are very good at reading people.  If not, see if you can apply these concepts to your own personality and force yourself to follow them for your own benefit.  Now let’s take a look at the list:

  • One must generally like people
  • One must have an open and aware mind (Try not to be stubborn and pig headed)
  • One must pay close attention to details of people (Physical & Emotional)
  • One must be sensitive to all these details of people
  • One must be patient to these details
  • One must care to have this correct frame of mind

Once you have begun with the correct frame of mind, we now need to go back and discuss about people’s general instincts. Of course some people have better natural instincts than others; however, you must understand that everybody still has natural instincts. It’s just the matter of honing & trusting your instincts, which can be done to a point. Once you have built up your experiences and know how through learned skills, then you will be better equipped to understand your own instincts and learn how to follow them. There are 3 basic principals about general instincts that one should consider for their own purpose of improving their abilities to read others.

  • One needs to have good Instincts! (Start to trust yours and learn to recognize them)
  • Unfortunately, Instincts are innate but learned skills can enhance your Instincts to better serve oneself
  • Trust ones 1st instinctual feeling not ones 1st superficial impression(difficult to do, due to the heavy influence of first superficial impression)

With the right mind set and understanding of how instincts come to play, you can now apply these learned skills to better hone your abilities to accurately read people. I have described a simple 3 step process to sharpen your instincts and experiences that will give you the learned skills needed to improve your abilities. Here are the 3 process needed to develop your learned skills:

  1. Training
  2. Categorizing (Physical, Mental, Environmental)
  3. Research and Analysis

The first step is training and it is the most straight forward process. You need to practice, practice, practice and then practice some more. You need to practice by interacting with different types of people through socializing, business interactions, observations, negotiations, arguments, etc (The more, the richer the experience, but it needs to be face to face and not electronically).  You need to read and observe as much as you can, so that you are knowledgeable about many different topics and have a broad understanding of different opinions.  Finally, the most important aspect of your training is to teach yourself, train yourself, beat yourself, do whatever it takes to make sure you, Listen! Make sure you listen carefully to examples, experiences and situations of others, so that you learn to advance yourself and observe more accurately. I can not stress enough about this point, if you don’t listen, you don’t see, and if you don’t see then you are just an idiot that stands there listening and seeing themselves only.

The second process which is actually a more detailed aspect of your general training is the understanding of categorizing and how it allows you to better sort out the differences and similarities of people. Once you can sort out and categorize people into a mental form or shape in your mind, then it becomes easier to figure them out and predict what, how, and why they will react in a certain way. Categorizing can be sorted into 3 distinct parts; Physical, Mental, and Environmental.

The physical aspect of Categorizing can be broken down into 3 key components, that one needs to be aware and keenly observant of:

  • Specific physical traits (Look and Appearance)
  • Specific movements or gestures (Body language)
  • Specific sounds or sayings (Verbal language style)

The Mental aspect of Categorizing can be focused on 4 areas of thought with the 5th one an extremely useful technique by “Wilson’s Learning (4 Quadrants of Personality)”.

  • Look for patterns, people tend to show or develop signs or portray images subconsciously (Habits).
  • Pay attention to how they think, their thought process, the way they come to conclusions.
  • Specific emotions or reactions (Non-verbal language)
  • Know and understand their interests
  • Wilson’s Learning, 4 quadrants of personality (Amiable, Driver, Expressive, Analytical) . Note: This technique is very useful and if possible you should study it or take their seminars.

The Environmental aspect of Categorizing can be summarized through observing 7 types of environmental factors that distinguish the different types of people. Pay close attention to these factors to help you categorize the traits of the people you are reading by:

  • Understanding their culture and cultural preferences
  • Understanding their religious beliefs and backgrounds, and how it may affect them
  • Know where they live and come from
  • Know family backgrounds and Value systems
  • Understand how their Gender may be affected by their environment (Family, Culture, Tradition, etc)
  • Know their educational & professional backgrounds
  • Know and understand what type of Social or Business circles they come from

Finally, the third and last step is too continually do Research & Analysis of your results,  while you are training and categorizing the details of the people you are trying to read accurately.  By fine tuning these actions and results, you should also compare and asses the information with people you know of personally or compare with people of history, because, most likely they will behave similarly (remember; due to human nature, history repeats itself).  Remember, to listen carefully and learn from other people’s experiences, but most of all, learn to trust your own instincts and know that you can do it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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In my 14 years of management experience, 4 key principals were deeply ingrained into my very existence. These principles were taught to me as I was groomed and trained to lead successful businesses by my Father whom also is my cherished Mentor. These principals consist of 4 simple & basic concepts; however, achievement of these principles takes determination and strength to push through the ranks of your organization. You must constantly remind yourself and your people to follow these guidelines and periodically check your organization to make sure these principals are adhered to and met with unquestionable tolerance. Now onto these 4 Principals, which are Culture, Attitude, Behavior and Style.

So the first principal is Culture and it is the most important principal that needs to be established without fail. All companies whether they are great or lousy has some kind of corporate culture. It is this culture that defines you as a company and will either lead you to great success or great failure. This culture is deeply defined by the company’s leaders and how they run their organizations. Culture is consistent with their personalities, habits, the way they carry themselves and the way they treat their employees. The more clearly you define a set of guidelines for your culture the better understanding you will get from your employees and the positive effects on morale will definitely increase your operations’ productivity and efficiency. Your employee needs to be molded and guided on all aspects of their daily lives within your organization. You can think of it as being a cult or a finely tuned military machine. In either case, strong guidelines are set on their organizations’ culture and their people are effectively led to achieve their organizational goals.

What makes up a successful Corporate Culture? Successful corporate culture needs to align the people to the organizations long term strategic goals and needs to allow people to clearly understand that without fail. This Culture does not need to make everybody happy but it does have to be clear and precise. It also has to be applied to everybody equally. If you can achieve this basic underlying fact with your Corporate Culture, then you have achieved probably at least 98% success.  In my past experiences, we have always defined our Culture from these basic vales and made sure everybody was aware of these: Customer, Technology, People;  Integrity; No politics, bureaucracy, OPM (Other people’s Money) spending & empire-building;  Productivity & Efficiency;  Loyalty & Performance;  Decency, honesty, & fairness; Ethical, moral, & legal.

The second principal is all about attitude and the importance it has on the well being of the organization and its members. Attitude is very important in that it sets the stage for these principals to work successfully. Once you can guide your organizations attitude into one that is positive and productive, anything is possible. Remember positive attitude can be guided and developed, but negative attitude needs to be quickly nipped in the bud so that it does not grow and fester. Once the correct attitude is fostered, people’s behavior and styles will fall in line with the overall Culture you are trying to achieve. Here are some specific attitudes we have fostered in our past organizations like: Making sure we take pride in our Quality on everything; Have pride in yourself but don’t discriminate; Believe our Customers are the King & make sure we keep all of our commitments;  Take calculated risks;  Be persistent;  Be competitive;  Understand that change is normal and stability is only temporary; Work hard & smart, but also play hard;  Use your brain power & consistently break your own records; Can –Do, Will Win attitude; Be competitive and have a never-quit fighting spirit; Don’t say it’s difficult or impossible – just do it; Demonstrate leadership throughout the organization;  Be humble & willing to learn;  Don’t be cocky or arrogant; Make sure your humble, read more and willing to learn; Be Positive; Have a sense of ownership & treat the company as your own; Take care of Stakeholders.

The third principal is Behavior and its key to the overall success of your organization. Behavior is clearly observable and should be monitored at all times. Much of the behavior will go hand in hand with the attitudes you are trying to reflect in your organization, however, you should it make clear what is acceptable behavior and what is not. Correct behavior should be rewarded and incorrect behavior needs to be dealt with by severe discipline. These are some successful examples of correct behavior guidelines that should be stated and developed: Straightforwardness, don’t play games or try to protect face (ego);  The keeping of high standards;  Fight all battles & win; Be extremely focused;  Fast in action;  Don’t be too comfortable, be paranoid about survival; Strong Teamwork; To sum it all up we have  3 main category of behaviors; “Communication, Motivation, & Relationship-building .”; 3 primary acceptable organizational behaviors which are, “ agree & commit, disagree & commit, disagree & disassociate.”; 5 character flaws to eliminate, “Ego, Emotionalism, Recklessness, Timidity & Over-concern for Popularity.”

The fourth and last principal is Style and how it ties the other 3 principals to give you an effective overall Culture. Style is how you go about in achieving your goals through Culture, Attitude and Behavior. It defines who you are and the methodologies you partake in achieving the greatness you desire. Style sets you apart from your competition and will tie your organizations morale and identity to your Culture. Effective style will allow you to win in the marketplace, increase your revenues, raise your stock price, and gain the productivity and efficiency you need to win. Our style has helped us achieve these goals and allowed us to gain the needed successes in which I will share with you here: Make sure your people are Self-learning;  Effective Training;  ROD (Re-engineering, Outsourcing, De-layering) action;  Try to achieve a Flat organization;  Management by culture, system, & discipline;  Maintain entrepreneurship & start-up fighting spirit;  Speed of implementation;  Be disciplined & persistent; Be extremely focused & fast in action; Make sure your customers are happy;  Push for Technology breakthroughs;  Ensure Product competitiveness;  Recruit superstars & take care of key people;  Always create win-win situations;  Globalization, decentralization, & diversification;  Decision-making has to be simple, fast, & risk-taking;  Accountability, responsibility, & authority;  Balance between “Technical-Excellency” and “Business-know-how”;  Be thrifty, waste nothing; Support charity & return-to-society; and lastly keep your working environment neat & clean.

C.A.B.S is an effective guideline to build up your company’s culture and hopefully my brief summary can give you some insight or ideas on ways you can improve on your own current situations. I would also like to go into a little bit more detail on executing these guidelines for the specific areas of; Customer, Technology, People, Operations, Organization and Business. The following is a quick outline of these areas of execution.

CUSTOMER

  • “Customer is the King”, we must always remember that our bread & butter comes from our customers and we need to be constantly reminded of Customer centric principals and service. The most important concept here is, “Don’t make casual commitments; once made, deliver without fail!”
  • Compete on every deal like your life depended on it. Fight on all benchmarks and product evaluations. Win every deal.
  • Form strong teams to specifically fight every competitor in the marketplace.
  • Make sure you provide all the necessary tools, products, training, methodologies, and resources.
  • Select & establish solid strategic partnerships whether it be in sales, technology and or resources.
  • Always, always improve on Customer Support efficiency.

Technology

  • Develop and implement a clear and precise technology & product road-map.
  • Strive to consistently achieve & maintain market leadership of all your products & services
  • Continuously recruit & develop superstars
  • Provide sufficient R&D resources for key products & services
  • Continuously strengthen your core technology
  • Place specialty centers in strategic locations (near key customers)
  • Move mature or maintenance products to cost-efficient locales.
  • Achieve Software quality & knowledge retention via strict disciplines.

People

  • Make sure your Leaders have these qualities (decency, honesty, integrity, fairness, simplicity)
  • Maintain entrepreneurship and start-up fighting spirit no matter how big your organization gets.
  • Promote and reward your people who are driven & can win
  • Enforce C.A.B.S (Culture, Attitude, Behavior & Style) & Global Policy throughout the organization.
  • Fill-up vacancies & have back-ups for all management
  • Recruit & train younger (in spirit) & qualified leaders
  • Emphasize & reward loyalty & stability in your organization
  • Quickly eliminate non-performers & lazy-bones
  • Consistently enforce an environment with No bureaucrats, politicians, and money wasters.
  • Reach out and touch someone, don’t hide behind computers (except R&D).
  • Be a real doer & team player – not empty talker or ass-kisser.

Operations

  • Constantly improve on productivity & efficiency in all aspects of the business.
  • Make sure No financial games are played & there are no waste of financial resources.
  • Aggressively collect maintenance income & give no discounts on these incomes.
  • Make sure you keep a stringent policy on price integrity through packaging & sales disciplines.
  • Decentralize all geographical operations; however, you must maintain strict cost control in these locations with innovative checks and balances.
  • Grant autonomy to subsidiaries & form joint ventures to strategically tackle different sectors.
  • Carefully manage all cash flows & pay specific attention to the treasury function.
  • Balance your assets portfolio carefully & conduct smart investments to better your financial diversity.
  • Improve stock performance via litigation removal, strategic marketing, and running investor relations like a sales force with a quota. (Public Companies)

Organization

  • Globalize & squeeze brain-juice from everywhere you can.
  • Allow local people to run local things & govern their own local lands
  • Achieve decentralization & have subsidiary autonomy
  • ROD:  Re-engineering, Outsourcing, De-layering
  • Have a flat organization with maximum 3 management layers below President.
  • Crash Headquarters mentality & central-control work style
  • Emphasize management accountability & delegate authority
  • Allocate sufficient R&D resources worldwide
  • Build-up an efficient & well-compensated sales force.
  • Recruit & take care of superstars, motivate, train, & develop employees
  • Utilize Operations as check-and-balance, but not micro-control.
  • Have an open space & interactive environment, no private offices (except President).
  • Emphasize both loyalty & performance, personal values are more important.
  • Develop people, communication, networking, & leadership skills (not running a popularity contest).
  • Get rid of bad people and poor performers regularly.
  • All managers have no titles (except President) and are reassigned every 2 years (rotating between line, staff, and technical positions).
  • Identify successors, have back-ups in all positions.
  • Know the differences between accountability, responsibility, and authority.
  • Create a non-paper environment, reduce management reports, use e-management.
  • Keep meetings less than 45 minutes (except work sessions) & have follow-up actions.

Business

  • Globalization to combine both centralization and decentralization.
  • Take calculated risks, but move fast & precise.
  • Maintain high standards & keep non-stop improvement.
  • Must have sufficient R&D investment & maintain a start-up mode.
  • Continue M&A activities for needed technologies & resources.
  • Aggressively invest into new business areas.
  • Share company wealth with all stakeholders.
  • Make money, not just give money to people & spoil them
  • Use money to reward existing employees & hire fresh blood.
  • Make sure your Product Line Heads are responsible for business results.
  • Balance “technical-excellence” and “business-maturity”.
  • Make “Business-know-how” a must for all management.
  • Knowledge retention through documentation & discipline.
  • Implement management development & appraisal system.
  • Maintain a strong sales channel & branding, fight all battles thoroughly, create win-win situations, & make all customers happy.
  • Productivity through quality on everything & sound business models.
  • No corruption, bribery, kickback, or stealing of company’s resources.
  • Say No! to non-essential spending, conservative financial management.
  • Efficiency through tight cost control & streamline process.
  • Share profit; reduce company-sponsored fringe benefits.
  • Pay close attention to external marketing, PR, legal, & litigation.

 

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