Category Archives: Business

How To Win Friends And Influence People – Dale Carnegie

I heard about this book when I was looking for business culture experiences. There is a start up, Buffer, which is a role model for me. Reading about its business culture a discovered Joel and Leo (Founders of Buffer) read and reread this book several times. As they say  “A lot of the Buffer values are derived from his deeply impactful words”.

So I read this book looking for values I want to implant in my start up and I wasn’t disappointed. Dale Carnegie give us several advice in his book, many of them are common sense but you need someone tell you to be aware.

At the end of each chapter you will find a summary with the principles shown, here you are my own summary with these principles and other interesting advice I found:

Make a lively game out of your learning by offering some friend a dime or a dollar every time he or she catches you violating one of these principles.

Check up each week on the progress you are making. Ask yourself what mistakes you have made, what improvement, what lessons you have learned for the future.

‘Don’t complain about the snow on your neighbour’s roof,’ said Confucious, ‘when your own doorstep is unclean.’

Any fool can criticise, condemn and complain – and most fools do. But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.

‘A great man shows his greatness,’ said Carlyle, ‘by the way he treats little men.’

PRINCIPLE 1: Don’t criticise, condemn or complain.
THERE IS ONLY one way under high heaven to get anybody to do anything. Did you ever stop to think of that? Yes, just one way. And that is by making the other person want to do it.

General Obregon’s philosophy: ‘Don’t be afraid of enemies who attack you. Be afraid of the friends who flatter you.’

PRINCIPLE 2: Give honest and sincere appreciation.
the only way on earth to influence other people is to talk about what they want and show them how to get it.

First, arouse in the other person an eager want. He who can do this has the whole world with him. He who cannot walks a lonely way.’

Tomorrow you may want to persuade somebody to do something. Before you speak, pause and ask yourself: ‘How can I make this person want to do it?’

If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own

When we have a brilliant idea, instead of making others think it is ours, why not let them cook and stir the idea themselves. They will then regard it as their own; they will like it and maybe eat a couple of helpings of it.

PRINCIPLE 3: Arouse in the other person an eager want.

You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.

It is the individual who is not interested in his fellow men who has the greatest difficulties in life and provides the greatest injury to others. It is from among such individuals that all human failures spring.

Publilius Syrus, remarked: ‘We are interested in others when they are interested in us.

PRINCIPLE 1: Become genuinely interested in other people.

It isn’t what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it.

‘There is nothing either good or bad,’ said Shakespeare, ‘but thinking makes it so.’

PRINCIPLE 2: Smile.

Jim Farley discovered early in life that the average person is more interested in his or her own name than in all the other names on earth put together.

Franklin D. Roosevelt knew that one of the simplest, most obvious and most important ways of gaining good will was by remembering names and making people feel important – yet how many of us do it?

PRINCIPLE 3: Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.

Harvard president Charles W. Eliot, ‘There is no mystery about successful business intercourse . . . Exclusive attention to the person who is speaking to you is very important. Nothing else is so flattering as that.’

PRINCIPLE 4: Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.

Whenever Roosevelt expected a visitor, he sat up late the night before, reading up on the subject in which he knew his guest was particularly interested.

PRINCIPLE 5: Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.

Always make the other person feel important.

Emerson said: ‘Every man I meet is my superior in some way. In that, I learn of him.’

Disraeli, one of the shrewdest men who ever ruled the British Empire. ‘Talk to people about themselves and they will listen for hours.’

PRINCIPLE 6: Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely.

PRINCIPLE 1: The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.

PRINCIPLE 2: Show respect for the other person’s opinions. Never say, ‘You’re wrong.’

If we know we are going to be rebuked anyhow, isn’t it far better to beat the other person to it and do it ourselves? Isn’t it much easier to listen to self-criticism than to bear condemnation from alien lips?

Any fool can try to defend his or her mistakes – and most fools do – but it raises one above the herd and gives one a feeling of nobility and exultation to admit one’s mistakes.

By fighting you never get enough, but by yielding you get more than you expected.

PRINCIPLE 3: If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.

Lincoln said: ‘A drop of honey catches more flies than a gallon of gall.’

PRINCIPLE 4: Begin in a friendly way.

PRINCIPLE 5: Get the other person saying ‘yes, yes’ immediately.

La Rochefoucauld, the French philosopher, said: ‘If you want enemies, excel your friends; but if you want friends, let your friends excel you.’

PRINCIPLE 6: Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.

PRINCIPLE 7: Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers.

try to think the whole thing through from another person’s point of view.? Ask yourself: ‘Why should he or she want to do it?’

I would rather walk the sidewalk in front of a person’s office for two hours before an interview than step into that office without a perfectly clear idea of what I was going to say and what that person – from my knowledge of his or her interests and motives – was likely to answer.

PRINCIPLE 8: Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.

PRINCIPLE 9: Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires.

PRINCIPLE 10: Appeal to the nobler motives.

PRINCIPLE 11: Dramatise your ideas.

Let Charles Schwab say it in his own words: ‘The way to get things done,’ says Schwab, ‘is to stimulate competition. I do not mean in a sordid money-getting way, but in the desire to excel.’

PRINCIPLE 12: Throw down a challenge.

PRINCIPLE 1: Begin with praise and honest appreciation.

PRINCIPLE 2: Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly.

PRINCIPLE 3: Talk about your own mistakes before criticising the other person.

PRINCIPLE 4: Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.

PRINCIPLE 5: Let the other person save face.

PRINCIPLE 6: Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement. Be ‘hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise.’

Give a dog a bad name and you may as well hang him.’ But give him a good name – and see what happens!

PRINCIPLE 7: Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.

PRINCIPLE 8: Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct.

The effective leader should keep the following guidelines in mind when it is necessary to change attitudes or behaviour:
1 Be sincere. Do not promise anything that you cannot deliver. Forget about the benefits to yourself and concentrate on the benefits to the other person.
2 Know exactly what it is you want the other person to do.
3. Be empathetic. Ask yourself what is it the other person really wants.
4 Consider the benefits that person will receive from doing what you suggest.
5 Match those benefits to the other person’s wants.
6. When you make your request, put it in a form that will convey to the other person the idea that he personally will benefit.

PRINCIPLE 9: Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest.

 

I Give Up…

Since I started using internet (18 years ago) I’ve been avoiding put my personal data in public. I didn’t want to put personal data accessible to anybody because I think it’s a security risk (too much paranoid ?).

From today, I have decided to be more transparent in my business and the first step in this process will be to expose myself and be accessible to anybody.

profile2

I will share my mistakes in previous startups and my success too, it will be great if anyone can benefits and learn from them.

Another point at which I’ve decided become public is because I have been avoiding social networks all the time, no Facebook, no Linkedin, no Twitter… I thought I didn’t need them but now I think from other perspective and I want to know people with my interests (startups, entrepreneurship, technology…) In my personal environment there aren’t much of them.

With Social Network you can reach lot of interesting people and know them before contact. I usually used e-mail when I wanted to contact somebody, but I think e-mail are dying (somebody should make a drastic upgrade in the protocol) and it is very hard to contact to unknown people through email.

I’d like to know about your experience in startups, business, personal projects or technology. Don’t hesitate to contact me!

Remote – 37signals

I’m going to join a new team to build a great idea, but we are not in the same city. So we had an argument about distributed team or traditional team. I looked for references about successful distributed teams to show the team we don’t need a physical place. Nobody has to move to same city and we don’t have to hire people from our selected city.

A have read lot of articles and most name a couple of time to 37signals and their book Remote. So I had to read it. 37signals culture is awesome, is not only because they built a healthy company with a distributed team, it’s the way they are doing. Everyone want to to hire the best skilled employee, but many time his/her behavior don’t match with yours. They don’t hire based on more skilled but the guy share some interests with the team (sports, hobbies… etc).

remote

The book give you good advice about how to manage a remote team, below you can find my notes from it.

Where do you go when you really have to get work done? Your answer won’t be “the office in the afternoon”

A company that is efficiently built around remote work doesn’t even have to have a set schedule. This is especially important when it comes to creative work. If you can’t get into the zone, there’s rarely much that can force you into it. When face time isn’t a requirement, the best strategy is often to take some time away and get back to work when your brain is firing on all cylinders

How many breakthrough ideas can a company actually digest? Far fewer than you imagine. Most work is not coming up with The Next Big Thing. Rather, it’s making better the thing you already thought of six months—or six years—ago. It’s the work of work.

if you can’t let your employees work from home out of fear they’ll slack off without your supervision, you’re a babysitter, not a manager. Remote work is very likely the least of your problems.

The whole point of innovation and disruption is doing things differently from those who came before you

we’ve found that we need a good four hours of overlap to avoid collaboration delays and feel like a team

The point is to avoid locking up important stuff in a single person’s computer or inbox. Put all the important stuff out in the open, and no one will have to chase that wild goose to get their work done.

At 37signals, we use a chat program we created called Campfire. Other techy shops use IRC servers to achieve the same. The idea is to have a single, permanent chat room where everyone hangs out all day to shoot the breeze, post funny pictures, and generally goof around.

At 37signals we’ve institutionalized this through a weekly discussion thread with the subject “What have you been working on?” Everyone chimes in with a few lines about what they’ve done over the past week and what’s intended for the next week. It’s not a precise, rigorous estimation process, and it doesn’t attempt to deal with coordination. It simply aims to make everyone feel like they’re in the same galley and not their own little rowboat.

At 37signals, we try our best to encourage our remote workers to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Everyone gets a $100 monthly stipend for a health club membership, and we cover the cost of weekly fresh fruit and vegetable deliveries from local farmers.

keeping everyone’s outlook healthy and happy. That task is insurmountable. No assholes allowed. But for remote work, you need to extend it to no asshole-y behavior allowed, no drama allowed, no bad vibes allowed.

The benefits of a physical company (restaurant, gym, laundry) sets a challenge for a manager directing a remote workforce. He has to ensure that this diversity of human experience happens for his troops as well. The job starts with putting together a team of people who are naturally interested in more than just their work—and it continues with encouraging those other interests to bloom.

as a remote worker, you shouldn’t let employers get away with paying you less just because you live in a cheaper city. “Equal pay for equal work” might be a dusty slogan, but it works for a reason. If with regard to compensation you accept being treated as a second-class worker based on location, you’re opening the door to being treated poorly on other matters as well

We call these regular check-ins “one-on-ones,” but other companies simply call them “check-ins” or “regulars.” The key is to make them casual and conversational. This is a “what’s up, how are things?” call more than a specific critique of a specific project or a response to a piece of work. These chats typically last twenty or thirty minutes, but it’s good to keep an hour open—just in case.

At 37signals we’ve created a number of ways to eradicate roadblocks. First, everyone gets a company credit card and is told to “spend wisely.” There’s no begging to spend money on needed equipment to get the work done, and there are no expense reports to fill out (just forward all receipts to an internal email address in case of an audit). Second, workers at 37signals needn’t ask permission to go on vacation or specify how much time they’ll take. We tell them: just be reasonable, put it on the calendar, and coordinate with your coworkers. If you let them, humans have an amazing power to live up to your high expectations of reasonableness and responsibility

Trying to conjure motivation by means of rewards or threats is terribly ineffective. In fact, it’s downright counterproductive. Rather, the only reliable way to muster motivation is by encouraging people to work on the stuff they like and care about, with people they like and care about.

If you’re a manager and notice that one of your employees is slacking, schedule a one-on-one and find out what’s up. Is the person bored with a project that’s not challenging enough, or are they feeling stuck and, in reaction, procrastinating to avoid a situation that feels impossible? See what you can do to get your employee back on track. The roadblock may be structural, or it may be more personal. Perhaps the employee is feeling burned out.

“In thirty years’ time, as technology moves forward even further, people are going to look back and wonder why offices ever existed.” —RICHARD BRANSON, FOUNDER OF VIRGIN GROUP

Remote work has already progressed through the first two stages of Gandhi’s model for change: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” We are squarely in the fighting stage—the toughest one—but it’s also the last one before you win

For the Win – Gamification

forthewin

We have decided to launch our first app for mobiles. So I have been researching about gamification. I found a Coursera course about it, by Kevin Werbach (next course will start in January 2014, more info here). The teacher wrote a book too,  For the Win, I found the course more interesting that book, more complete and more entertaining.

Gamification is nothing new, only one name for some stuffs, which companies already did (rankings, prizes, badgets…), but Gamification try to collect and explain  in proven ways to apply them successfully. In resume, with gamification, we will try to apply game elements in ordinary or boring task to make them more entertaining and get more productivity from your “players” (clients, employees, partners… ).

I took lot of notes and memos from book and course, at the end there is some references and examples of gamification.

 

1. What is gamification.
The use of game elements and game design techniques in non-game contexts.
– Game Elements: Points, Level and Progression, Resources Collection, Quests, Avatars, Social Graph.
– Game Design Techniques:
– Non-game Context: Some objective other than success in the game: Business, school, social impact, personal improvement, running…
Gamification can motivate, it can be apply to many domains: external, internal, behavior change and Gamification encompasses many techniques.

2. Why it might be valuable.
3. Ho to do it effectively.
4. Specific applications.

Takeaways for Gamification (takeaway = key fact, point, idea to be remembered):
– Voluntariness.
– Learning or problem solving.
– Balance of structure and exploration.

Real World Building Blocks:
– E-business 2.0: analytics, cloud, mobiles, etc.
– Social network and media.
– Loyalty programs.
– Management and marketing research.

Case Studio:
DodgeBall/Foursquare situation.:
– Needed “Engagement Gap”.
– Didn’t have many “Choices”.
– Didn’t have any “Progression”.
– It was very “Social”.
– They want to convert this in an “Habit”.
DodgeBall/Foursquare Solutions:
– Badgets for checkin.
– Top Users.
– Differnet Level inside badgets.

Think like a game designer.
– The component that you have to put together to create that experience (experience: what the players feel when play the game).
– “I am a game designer” (Different than being a game designer).
– Differnet than thinking like a gamer.
– Think on your participants as Players (customers, employees, community, target population).
* Players are the center of a game.
* Players feel a sense of autonomy/control.
* Players paly.
– Goal: Get your players playing, and keep them playing.

Design Rules:
– The Player Journey:
* Onboarding (how to get the player into the game as quickly and easyly as possible).
* Scaffolding (ways to overcome difficult aspect of the game or help the player figure out how to play).
– Guides, Highlighting, Feedback (well done!), Limited options, Limited monsters Impossible to fail.
* Pathways to mastery.
– Balance: Not to easy not to difficult.
– Create an Experience: People particpate in something that mean something (like Turntable, people pick music and form part of the crowd).

Tapping the Emotions:
– Games become engagement because the are fun.
– What things are Fun ?
– Winning.
– Problem-solving.
– Emploring.
– Chilling.
– Teamwork.
– Recognition.
– Triumphing.
– Collecting.
– Surprise.
– Imagination.
– Sharing.
– Role Playing.
– Customization.
– Goofing off.

Anatomy of Fun:
Nicole Lazzaro’s 4 Keys:
– Easy Fun (goffing off, chilling, go out with your friend…)
– Hard Fun (challenge, problem-solving, mastery…)
– People Fun (working together as a team, socializing…)
– Serious Fun (giving to other, good for your family, )
Marc LeBlanc’s 8 Kinds of Fun:
– Sensation
– Fantasy
– Narrative
– Challenge
– Fellowship
– Discovery
– Expression
– Submission
Takeways:
– Fun can (and should) be designed.
– Fun can be challenging!
– Appeal to differnet kinds of fun.

Finding the Fun:
-progress bar to complite your profile: feedback, progression, completion.

Game Elements (tools for gamification).
– Tic Tac Toe elements: Board, Tokens, 2 players, competitive, turns, win and draw states. No progression or scoring.
– The Pyramid of Gamification Elements:
* Dinaymics: Big-picture aspects; “grammar” (constraints, emotions, narrative, progression, relationships).
* Mechanics: Processes that drive action forward; “verbs” (challenges, chance, competition, cooperation, feedback (very important), resource acquisition, rewards, transactions, turns, win states).
* Components: Specific instantiantions of mechanics and dynamics; “nouns” (achivements, avatars, badges, boss fights, collections, combat, content unlocking, gifting leaderboards, levels, points, quests, social graph, teams, virtual goods).
– The PBL Triad:
* Points: keep score, determine win states, connect to rewards, provide feedback, display of progress, data for the game designer, fungible.
* Badges: Representations of achievement, flexibility, style, signaling of importance, credentials, collections, social display (status symbols).
* Levelboard: Ranking, Personalized leaderboards (don’t show your position relative to first, it could be your: 555 and leader: 127.000.242. You can show the middle ranking, with you with 555, and some people above you with 834, 999… and others under you: 453, 322… Or shoy only the levelboard with your friends.).
– The Elements are not the game!
– Not all reewards are fun / Not all fun is rewarding.

Bing Gordon Interview:
– Scoring is demotivation.
– People like more cooperation than competition.

Behaviorism:
– Influence behavior through stimulus.
– Consequences.
– Behavioral Economics:
* Loss aversion.
* Power of defaults.
* Confirmation bias.
– Takeaways:
* Observation.
* Feedback loops.
* Reinforcement.

Cognitive Evaluation Theory (Rewards):
– Tangible / Intangible
– Expected / Unexpected
– Contingency:
* Task non-contigent.
* Engagement-contigent.
* Completion-contigent.
* Performance-contigent.

Reward Schedules:
– Continuous. (the less interesting).
– Fixed Ratio.
– Fixed Interval.
– Variable. (The more interesting, because it is surprise).

Intrinsic Motivation: You do the thing because you want to do. Just for doing the thing.
– Reward could substitute the motivation (Over-Justification Effect).
– Reward types do matter: unexpected, performance-contigent.
Extrinsic Motivation: You are doing something for the reward.
– Status: You are in the top of the leaderboard.
– Access: You get access to somewhere where other people cant.
– Power: You can do something that other cant.
– Stuff: Things that you get.
Give rewards in this order: stuff, power, access and status.
Kind of Extrinsic motivations:
* External regulation: You have to do it because your boss said it.
* Introjection: You do it because other people will think you are cool.
* Identification: I’ll do it because it is important for me.
* Integration: I really want to do exercise, but I don’t.

Self Determination Theory
– Competence: people do it because they can do it.
– Autonomy: The people feel they have the control.
– Relatedness: The activity is related to you in something.

Design Thinking:
– Purposive.
– Human centered.
– Balance of analytical & creative
– Iterative: Prototyping and playtesting.

Gamification Design Framework (D6):
– 1. Define business objectives.
* 1. List and rank possible objectives.
* 2. Eliminate means to ends.
* 3. Justify objectives.
– 2. Delineate target behaviours (the things you want the user to do).
* Specific
* Success metrics (“win states”).
* Analytics (DAU/MAU (Daily Average Users/Monthly Average Users), Virality, Volume of activity).
– 3. Describe your players.
* Demography, Age groups, what kind of thing the want to buy, do…
* Type of players (WoW):
– Achievers: They want to get points and do missions.
– Explorer: They want to investigate the world.
– Socializers: They want help and interactue with others players.
– Killers: They want to win over other players. Compete.
– 4. Devise activity loops.
* Engagement Loops: Motivation -> Action -> Feedback -> Motivation…
* Progression Loops: small steps to achieve a big one.
– 5. Don’t forget the fun!
– 6. Deploy the appropiate tools.

Playbor -> play + labor

Beyond the Basics:
– Inducement Prizes (Competitive).
* A contest to motivate a result.
* SDT: Competence, Autonomy, Relatedness.
* Attributes:
– Multiple individuals/teams capable of competing.
– Costs sufficiently small.
– Balance scale vs. incentives (Karim Lakhani).
– Opportunities to leverage results.
– Collective Action (Collaborative).
*
– Virtual Economies.
* Balance: Economic dynamics driven by scarcity, not money.

Gamification Resources:

Gamification Examples

  • Keas
  • “club psych”
  • “Windows 7 Language Quality Game”
  • dodgeball (foursquare)
  • Open Badges
  • Google News Badges
  • MLB
  • stackoverflow
  • LiveOps
  • Zamzee (health)
  • SuperBetter (health)
  • Opower (energy)
  • RecycleBank (energy)
  • StanfordCapri
  • Inducement Prize Initiatives: X Prize Foundation, Innocentive, Kaggle, TopCoder.
  • Fold it
  • Plants vs. Zombies
  • Bogost

 

Quotes.

  • In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun and snap! The job’s a game. — Mary Poppins.

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

Steve Jobs biography

I just finished reading the biography of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. I didn’t know much about Jobs and Apple, beyond their products were more closed than Microsoft, so I wasn’t a big fan. Now, through this book I have know a little more about  Jobs (and Apple), I’m still not a fan (and never will), but I have recognize his jobs and contribution to the world.

The funny thing is, until now, I  thought Microsoft was the enemy, but now I think I have to be thankful to Bill Gates because he was more open than Jobs and he won the OS battle.

The book doesn’t idolize Jobs, you can found Jobs like he really was. A difficult person (sometimes even evil) to his friends, family and  employees who took their ideas as his own. But thanks to that he got the best of each and bring to the world a great company.

I didn’t take many quotes from the book (It wasn’t that kind of book). But you can learn a couple of things, knowing about Jobs.to be successful in your business (or whatever you do), the more important: Focus.

Warren Buffett video.

My partner David give me this video, where Warren Buffet answer some questions of MBA students.

I didn’t hear about Warrent Buffet before. He is an investor and you can get many tips from his answers.

 

 

While watching the video, I took some notes:

– Don’t risk something important for your in exchange for something that is not important for you.

– You only have to become rich once.

– Be sure to have a “moat” and expand it.

– You don’t need to do lot of ideas, what you are looking for is 1 good idea a year and then carry out to full potential.

– McDonals (and burger’s king) need to make promotions to compete to each other. They don’t sell product by itself, they need the promotion to sell them.

*Moat: idea associated to your product: CocaCola -> Happiness; Kodak -> Quality; Seas Candy -> Love; Disney -> Kids.

I hope you enjoy and find the video useful too.

The Millionaire Fastlane – MJ DeMarco

Looking for an entrepreneurs’s forum, I found The Fastlane forum. It looks interesting, there is lot of people who will give you feedbacks about your idea or project, but I found too that everyone refered to a book The Millionaire Fastlane.

I research about it and decided to take a look. Really I don’t read it entirely, because this book try to change your mind from “consumer thinking” to “producer thinking” and I think I’m already. The book encourages people to launch your own business.

In the Appendix B you can find a summary with 40 guidelines. These are my notes from there:

  • Don’t focus marketing messages on features, but benefits.
  • Don’t engage your business like checkers, but chess.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen Covey

I started a project in 2011 about lawyers. We was a team of 4 guys. One guy left the group, and the 3 of us continued with the project. In this project, I assumed the rol of leader.

I wanted to improve my skills in leadership, so the group could be more motivate.

I searched and found The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, from Stephen Covey. I think his tips about motivation and leadership are very useful. I already shared many thoughts with Dr Covey in this book, but there was others, like “Quadrant”, organization, or how to treat people that they were very interesting for me.

Here you are my highlights and notes for this book:

Listening involves patience, openness and the desire to understand.

Knowledge, skill and desire.

Inside-out

Dependent people need others to get what they want. Independent people can get what they want through their own effort. Interdependent people combine their own efforts with the efforts of others to achieve their greatest success.

P/pc balance (production / production capability ): Don’t care only about results, but what generate these resuslts too.

Its not what happened to us, but our response to what happened to us that hurt us.

Circle of concern: things over which we have no real control and others that we can do something about.

Circle of influence: inside circle of concern. Only things that we can do something about.

Problems areas:
– Direct control: problems involving our own behavior.
– Indirect control: problems involving others people’s behavior.
– No control: problems we can do nothing about, such as our past or situational realities.

Solutions:
– Direct problems: are solved working on our habits (private victories)
– Indirect problems: are solved by changing our methods of influence (public victories)
– no control problems: accept them and learn to live with them.

We can choose our actions but we can’t choose the consequences of those actions .

Mistakes: acknowledge them, correct them and learn from them.

Make commitments and promises to ourselves.

Exercises: page 79

Begin with the end in mind.

All things are created twice: mental and physical.

Develop a personal mission:
-plan weekly work schedule.
-facilitate the success of subordinates.
-Listen twice as much as you speak.
-Concentrate all abilities and efforts on the task at hand, not worry about the next job or promotion.
-Be open to know new people.

Four factors interdependent. That create a balanced character when are in harmony with each other.

Security: Represent your sense of worth, your identity,your emotional anchorage, your self-esteem, your basic personal strength or lack of it.
Guidance: Means your source of direction in life. Criteria that govern moment by moment decision making and doing.
Wisdom: Your perspective on life, your sense of balance, your understanding of how the various parts and principles apply and relate to each other. It embraces judgement, discernment, comprehension. It is an oneness , an integrated wholeness .
Power:Is the faculty or capacity to act, the strength and potency to accomplish something. Is the vital energy to make choices and decisions. It also includes the capacity to overcome deeply embedded habits and to cultivate higher, more effectives ones.

Personal mission statement: break it into roles.

No involvement, no commitment!

Exercise page 171

Putting First things first.

We react to urgent matters. Important matters that are not urgent require more initiative, more proactivity.

-Quadrant I: urgent and important matters.
-Quadrant II: things that are not urgent, but are important.
-Quadrant III: urgent, but not important matters.
-Quadrant IV: not urgent, not important activities.
Effective people spent more time in II.

Peter Drucker: effective people are not problem minded, they’re opportunity minded.

Pareto Principle: 80% of the results flow out of 20% of the activities.

You have to decide what your higher priorities are and have the courage to say “no” to other things.

“If you want to get something done, give it to a busy man”

Organization tips (pag 185):
-Organize your life on a weekly basis.
-The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.
-Your planning tool should be your servant, never your master.

Exercise pag 187.

Gofer delegation: it means: go for this, go for that, do this, do that, and tell me when it’s done.
Stewardship delegation: Its focuses on results instead of methods.

Stewardship delegation five areas:
-Desired results.
-Guidelines.
-Resources.
-Accountability.
-Consequences.

Emotional Bank Account: you make deposits (kindness, courtesy, honesty and keeping my commitments to you). Your trust toward me become higher and i can call upon that trust many time if i need to.

6 major deposits that build the Emotional Bank Account:
-Understandig the individual.
-Attending to the Little Things.
-Keeping commitments.
-Clarifying expectations.
-Showing Personal Integrity.
-Apologizing sincerely when you make a withdrawal.

Think Win-Win

6 paradigms of interaction:
-Win-win: all parties feel good about the decision. See life as a cooperative, not a competitive arena.
-Win-lose: if i win you lose. Competition.
-Lose-win: i lose you win. Step on me again, everyone does.
-lose-lose: if i havent it you either.
-win: they don’t want someone else to lose. That’s irrelevant. What matters is that they win.
-win-win or no deal: It would be better not to deal than to live with a decision that wasn’t right for us both.

5 dimensions of win-win:
-Character:
Integrity: keeping meaningful promises and commitments.
Maturity: balance between courage and considerations.
Abundance Mentality: there is plenty out there for everyone.
-Relationship: emotional bank account.
-Agreements: stewardship delegation.

Compensation system: the managers only made money when their salespeople (subordinates) made money.

Four step process to get win-win solutions:
-see the problem from the other point of view. Understand it.
-identify the key issues and concerns involved.
-determine what results would constitute a fully acceptable solution .
-identify possible new options to achieve those results .

Exercise page 256

Seek first to understand, then to be understood.

Most people do not listen with the intent to understand, they listen with the intent to reply.

Satisfied needs do not motivate. Its only the unsatisfied need that motivates.

The amateur salesman sell products, the professional sells solutions to needs and problems.

Presentations: ethos, phatos and logos (page 278).

Exercise page 283.

Synergy: the whole is greater than tne sum of its parts.

Synergy Comunication: the middle way. If both parts have different and incompatible desires/needs. Look for a middle solution between both.
Exercise page308

Sharpen the saw

Four dimensions of your nature:
-Physical: beneficial eating, exercising and resting.
-Spiritual: Spending time in nature, expanding spiritual self through meditation, music, art…
-Mental: Learning, reading, writing, teaching…
-Social/Emotional: Making social and meaningful connections with others.

Exercise page 329

The 7 habits:
– Be proactive.
– Begin with the end in mind.
– Put First things first .
– Think win-win
– Seek first to understand, then to be understood.
– Synergize.
– Sharpen the saw.

References:
Books:
– search of identity (anwar sadat)
– getting to yes (roger fisher and William ury)
Plays:
– les miserables.
Movies:
– chariots of fire

The Personal MBA – Josh Kaufman

As I said in About section, currently I have to fight more with business and less with systems. I started with The Personal MBA of Josh Kaufman.
I took lot of notes, as you can see below and I think you can get good tips from him.

If I have to say something negative about the book, it is that the first 50 pages (50 from 500) of the book, the author only complain about MBAs courses. He could have saved these 50 first pages.

Another negative thing, I found one section very interesting, it talks about willpower and how it is related to the glucose. I research a little about this topic and I found this is not entirely true. There was a study which try to relate willpower and glucose, but currently that study is not 100% credible. Independently of glucose, his advice about willpower it is very interesting.

Here you are my notes, interesting quotes and stuff for research that I wrote down while I was reading it:

Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is. – Isaac Asimov.

Value creation + customer demand + transactions + value delivery + profit sufficiency = business.

Value creation: the purpose has to be always to make someone else’s life a little bit better.

10 ways to evaluate a market (page 64):
– Urgency:
– Market size:
– Pricing potential:
– Cost of customer acquisition:
– Cost of value delivery:
– Uniqueness of offer:
– Speed to market.
– Up-Front Investment.
– Upsell potential.
– Evergreen potential.

Perceived Value: the higher the perceived value of your offering, the more you’ll be able to charge for it. Page 84

Prototype: show your values without fear that someone could steal your idea.

If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late – Reid Hoffman, founder of Linkedin.

Pick three key attributes or features, get those things very, very right, and then forget about everything else… By focusing on only a few core features in the first version, you are forced to find the true essence and value of the product – Paul Buchheit, creator of gmail and adsense.

Don’t make me think. Steve Krug, usability expert.

Currencies for negotiation: resources, time and flexibility.

The first thing for decide before you walk into any negotiation is what to do If the other fellow says no -Ernest Bevin.

3D Negotiation (page 166):
Setup
Structure
Discussion

If you don’t already have a Risk-Reversal policy , implement one and you’ll see your sales increase.

Investment provided you use those funds to purchase and maintain Force Multipliers (tools), not to pay yourself or maintain rents.

Breakeven: The point where your business’s total revenue exceeds its total expenses.

Amortization: Is the process of spreading the cost of a resource investment over the estimated useful life of that investment.

Purchasing Power: The sum total of all liquid assets a business has at its disposal.

1$ today is worth more than 1$ tomorrow.

Compounding: Accumulation of gains over time. Whenever you’re able to reinvest gains, your investment will build upon itself exponentially.

Perception Control represent a fundamental shift in understanding why people do the things they do. Once you understand that people act to control their perceptions, you’ll be better equipped to influence how they act.

Guiding Structure: If you want to successfully change a behavior, don’t try to change it directly. Change the structure that influences or supports the behavior , and the behavior will change automatically.

Reinterprer your past, and you’ll enhance your ability to make great things happen in the present.

Inhibition is the ability to stop: to delay our response until we are adequately prepared to make it.

Willpower: Focus on using it to change your environment and you’ll have more available to use whenever inhibition is necessary.
Willpower Deplete relatively large amounts of glucose and when those stores run low (20:30) we have a hard time using willpower to inhibit behavior.

Loss Aversion: People hate to lose more than they love to win. Remove the perception of loss in your sales (money-back guarantee?).

Newspaper Rule: assume your decision will be published on the front page of tomorrow’s New York Times. What would think your friends ?
Grandchild Rule: what will think your grandchildren of your decision 40 or 50 years from now.

Contrast: When presenting your offer, do it comparing with a huge high price option. It will look like the product you want to sell is inexpensive.

Scarcity: do people understand they will lose something valuable if they wait.

Novelty: People can’t pay attention during long period so you need to introduce updates to keep them focus in your offer.

4 ways to get things done: completion, deletion, delegation and deferment.

Stevepavlina.com

Make your goals action that bring you to your final objective.

State of being: happy, successfull… They aren’t goals.

David Allen : Getting things done. Book.

Self-Elicitation: The practice of asking yourself question, then answering them.

Parkinson’s Law: If you don’t set a limit in your available time, your work will expand to fill it all.

The more Attached you are to a particular idea or plan, The more you limit your flexibility and reduce your chances of finding a better solution.

If a man empties his purse into His head, no one can take it from him. An investment in knowledge always pays The highest return. – Benjamin Franklin.

Influence is the ability to encourage someone else to want what you suggest.
Compulsion is the ability to force someone else to do what you command.

The more Important you make people feel when they’re around you, The more they’ll like you and want to be around you.

If you want your team to perform at its best, make your teams as small and autonomous as possible.

If you treat people with Appreciation, Courtesy and Respect in all circumstances, other people will feel Important and Safe in your presence.

People will be more receptive to any request if you give them a reason why. Any reason will do.

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do, and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.- General George S. Patton.

Bystander Apathy is an inverse relationship between the number of people who could take action and The number of people who actually choose to act. To avoid Bystander Apathy ensure all tasks have single, clear owner and deadlines.

Connecting your offer to one of these Social qualities via Association is a surefire way to make people Desire your offer more strongly.

Obtain a small Commitment, and you’ll make it far more likely that others will comply with your request.

Modal Bias: The automatic assumption that our idea is best. Keep an open mind, and you’ll enhance your ability to make wise decisions.

Let other know you expect great work from them, and they’ll do their best to live up to your expectations.

When something isn’t going as expected, try to know about the circumstances before blame him. Give the benefit of the doubt unless a particular behavior clearly become a Pattern.

Focus on options, not issues, and you’ll be able to handle any situation life throws at you.

6 simple principles of effective management:
– Small elite teams are best.
– Clearly communicate the end result, who is responsible for what, the current status and why it’s important.
-Treat people with Respect, appreciation and courtesy.
– Create an environment where everyone can be as productive as possible.
– Retrain from having unrealistic expectations. Create an aggressive plan to accomplish the project but be aware it could change.
– If what you are doing is not work, experiment with another approach.

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it , doesn’t go away.

When your system relies on The performance of someone outside of your control, do all that you can to prepare for The possibility that they won’t perform as expected.

To analyze a system, Deconstruct complex systems into subsystems that are easier to understand, then build your understanding of the system from the ground up.

Some questions to identify good measurement:
– How quickly is the system creating value?
– What is the current level of inflows?
– How may people are paying attention to your offer?
– How many prospects are giving you permission to provide more information?
– How many prospects are becoming paying customers ?
– What is the average customer’s Lifetime Value?
– How quickly you can serve each customer?
– What’s your current returns or complaints rate ?
– What is your Profit Margin?
– How much purchase power do you have ?
– Are you financially Sufficient?

Don’t look at your data through rose-glasses: always strive to be honest with yourself about what the data indicates you can improve.

For best results create explicit Checklists for The 5 parts of your business, then make sure they’re followed every single time.