Build a stronger work ethic for success…

Work ethic refers to a set of principles around work, such as reliability, productivity, autonomy, and ability to collaborate. While work ethic may come naturally to some people, it can also be learned and sharpened. Here’s how.

  • Develop self-discipline. This comes down to better understanding your impulses so you can manage them, creating systems to hold yourself accountable, and setting yourself up to have the energy you need to do good work.
  • Reset your priorities every day. Spend a few minutes in the morning identifying which items you need to get done. The trick is to find a balance between tasks that are urgent and must be finished today and tasks that are contributing to longer-term, but equally important, projects.
  • Be a team player. Collaboration doesn’t just increase the impact of your work and serve your team, it also demonstrates your dependability.
  • Own your work. Take pride in your to-do list. If something doesn’t make sense to you, don’t wait for direction—ask questions to get clarity. If you have an idea that you think is great, pitch it.

Plan your work relationships for career success…

As you advance in your career and climb the corporate ladder, your relationships with your peers are bound to get riskier and more complex; your collaborators can become, in many ways, your competitors. Here are three ways to effectively navigate these potentially messy — and critically important — relationships.

  • Don’t always expect friendship. While it’s important to be cordial, there’s a limit to how much emotional bonding is healthy as you ascend to the top. Keep it friendly, but maintain boundaries. Oversharing personal information can cause conflict and awkwardness in the long term.
  • Manage sideways. When you’re being considered for the executive ranks, leaders may ask your peers for their opinions about you. It’s often an informal dialogue and generally isn’t acknowledged as part of the formal performance review process, but it matters. So nurture your peer relationships, and stay attuned to how your colleagues experience you on a day-to-day basis.
  • Assess the political landscape. Candidly evaluate the behaviors that are rewarded in your organization. Figure out who gets promoted and why. Be strategic — broker mutually beneficial relationships with colleagues who are in favor and influential, and pursue mentors who make decisions and can sponsor your development.

Don’t Lose Sight of These Critical Leadership Behaviors

Consider this paradox: As you grow in your career, your brain develops in ways that undermine your ability to excel as a leader. Here are three essential leadership behaviors you need to commit to and protect as you develop professionally.

  • Being future-focused. The higher up the ladder you climb, the farther out you need to think. Resist the urge to value the immediate and short-term future over the long term. Rather than just ensuring the quality of today’s work, you must constantly scan for what’s next—and ensure your team is prepared.
  • Being good with people. As you accrue responsibility, it’s easy to give too much attention to high-level strategy and not enough to your relationships. Becoming a truly transcendent leader means finding a balance between technical and social skills and between goals and people.
  • Being able to drive realistic results. More power tends to make leaders more optimistic about what’s achievable. Make an effort to stay grounded: Pay attention to the data, details, and your employees’ perspectives and set sensible targets accordingly.

The best teams use these six tactics…

The best teams use these six tactics to separate substantive issues from personalities and resolve conflicts.

  • Focus on the facts – Arm yourselves with a wealth of data about your business and your competitors. This encourages you to debate critical issues, not argue out of ignorance.
    • Example – Star Fisheries’s top team “measured everything”: bookings, backlogs, margins, engineering milestones, cash, scrap, and work-in-process. They also tracked competitors’ moves, including product introductions, price changes, and ad campaigns.
  • Multiply the alternatives – In weighing decisions, consider four or five options at once — even some you don’t support. This diffuses conflict, preventing teams from polarizing around just two possibilities.
    • Example – To improve Triumph Computer’s lackluster performance, managers gathered facts and then brainstormed a range of alternatives, including radically redirecting strategy with entry into a new market, and even selling the company. The team combined elements of several options to arrive at a creative, robust solution.
  • Create common goals. Unite a team with common goals. This rallies everyone to work on decisions as collaborations, making it in everyone’s interest to achieve the best solution
    • Example – Start Electronic’s rallying cry was the goal of creating “the computer firm of the decade”. Premier Technologies’ was to “build the best damn machine on the market.”
  • Use humor. Humor – even if it seems contrived at times — relieves tension and promotes a collaborative spirit within a team. Practical jokes, Halloween and April Fool’s Day celebrations, and “desert pig-outs” relax everyone – increasing tactfulness, effective listening, and creativity.
  • Balance the power structure. The CEO is more powerful than other executives, but the others wield substantial power as well — especially in their own areas of responsibility. This lets the whole team participate in strategic decisions, establishing fairness and equity.
  • Seek consensus with qualification. If the team can’t reach a consensus, the most relevant senior manager makes the decision, guided by input from the others. Like balancing the power structure, this tactic also builds fairness and equity.

Don’t tell them show them…

Telling is different from showing, when you show it’s visual whereas telling is dull.

Telling – Ravi went to fetch water from the well.

Showing – Ravi, picked up his old socks and shoes, with a stained red mark from the previous night’s adventure, wore them, and then took a bucket. While marching on the muddy road to fetch water from the nearby well.

When you are storytelling you are visualizing things and it’s important that your audience also visualize it, because even a trivial visualization gives the audience the connection and liveliness as if they are living through that memory.

And that’s the difference between a great communicator and a mediocre one. So next time whenever you are communicating either through presentation, email, or talking to a group, try to do it visually with words rather than just telling.

How to improve your presentation immediately…

Follow these rules to immediately improve your presentation.

  • Make slides that reinforce your words not repeat them.
  • Create slides that demonstrate, with emotional proof, that what you’re saying is true, not just accurate.
  • No more than six words on a slide. EVER.
  • Don’t use cheesy images, use proper stock images.
  • No dissolves, spins, or other transitions. Keep it simple.
  • Surprise them – Put up a slide that triggers an emotional reaction in the audience. Let them sit up and want to know what you’re going to say that fits in with that image.

Conflict Resolution…

Sure shot way of resolving any conflicts, in these 3 steps:

1. Listening to understand the conflict.

2. Put your ego aside to find a solution.

3. Once decided take the path to solve, however challenging it may be.

Follow this and you can resolve any conflict in life.