A Life That Matters

Ready or not, some day your life will come to an end.

There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours or days.

All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten, will pass to someone else.

Your wealth, fame and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance.

Your grudges, resentments, frustrations, and jealousies will finally disappear.

So, too, your hopes, ambitions, plans, and to-do lists will expire.

The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away.

It won’t matter where you came from, or on what side of the tracks you lived at the end.

So what will matter?

How will the value of your days be measured?

What will matter is not what you bought, but what you built.

What will matter is not what you got, but what you gave.

What will matter is not your success, but your significance.

What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage or sacrifice that enriched, empowered or encouraged others to emulate your example.

What will matter is not your competence, but your character.

What will matter is not how many people you knew, but how many will feel a lasting loss when you’re gone.

What will matter is not your memories, but the memories that live in those who loved you.

What will matter is how long you will be remembered, by whom and for what.

Living a life that matters doesn’t happen by accident.

It’s not a matter of circumstance but of choice.

Choose to live a life that matters.

[via]

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Why You Didn’t Get That Promotion – Excerpt

Think twice when you’re told you need to work on “leadership” or gain more “seasoning.” These can be code words masking more specific concerns, like a failure to demonstrate strategic thinking or an inability to delegate.

In most organizations, promotions are governed by unwritten rules—the often fuzzy, intuitive, and poorly expressed feelings of senior executives regarding individuals’ ability to succeed in C-suite positions.

Nonnegotiables are the fundamental factors without which an executive will not be considered for promotion.
Deselection factors are characteristics that eliminate an otherwise qualified candidate from consideration. Core selection factors are what ultimately dictate promotion decisions.

Nonnegotiables
Factors that are absolutely necessary for you to be a contender

  • Demonstrating consistently strong performance
  • Displaying ethics, integrity, and character
  • Being driven to lead and to assume higher levels of responsibility

Deselection Factors
Characteristics that prevent you from being considered as a serious candidate

  • Having weak interpersonal skills
  • Treating others with insensitivity or abrasiveness
  • Putting self-interest above company good
  • Holding a narrow, parochial perspective on the business and the organization

Core Selection Factors

Capabilities that breed others’ confidence in your ability to succeed at the senior executive level
•Setting direction and thinking strategically; spotting marketplace trends and developing a winning strategy
that differentiates the company
•Building and continually upgrading a strong executive team; having a “nose for talent”; establishing an adequate
level of team cohesion

•Managing implementation without getting involved at too low a level of detail; defining a set of roles, processes,
and measures to ensure that things get done reliably
•Building the capacity for innovation and change; knowing when new ways of doing business are required; having
the courage, tolerance for risk, and change-management skills to bring new ideas to fruition
•Getting things done across internal boundaries (lateral management); demonstrating organization savvy; influencing
and persuading colleagues; dealing well with conflict
•Growing and developing as an executive; soliciting and responding to feedback; adjusting leadership style in
light of experience

When asking for input, project a sincere desire to understand what’s holding you back—and avoid appearing to lobby or argue. Your core question should be “What skills and capabilities do I need to demonstrate in order to be a strong
candidate for higher levels of responsibility at some point in the future?”

Keep in mind that changing deep-seated perceptions about you, formed over years, requires visible and consistent effort

[via HBR Why You Didn’t Get That Promotion by John Beeson]

Posted in Misc. 1 Comment »

Managing Oneself – Excerpt

you’ll need to cultivate a deep understanding of yourself—not only what your strengths and weaknesses are but also how you learn, how you work with others, what your values are, and where you can make the greatest contribution. Because only when you operate from strengths can you achieve true excellence.

The only way to discover your strengths is through feedback analysis. Whenever you make a key decision or take a key action, write down what you expect will happen. Nine or 12 months later, compare the actual results with your expectations.

Manners—simple things like saying “please” and “thank you” and knowing a person’s name or asking after her family—enable two people to work together whether they like each other or not. Bright people, especially bright young people, often do not understand this. If analysis shows that someone’s brilliant work fails again and again as soon as cooperation from others is required, it probably indicates a lack of courtesy—that is, a lack of manners.

Another crucial question is, Do I produce results as a decision maker or as an adviser?

This is a reason, by the way, that the number two person in an organization often fails when promoted to the number one position. The top spot requires a decision maker. Strong decision makers often put somebody they trust into the number two spot as their adviser—and in that position the person is outstanding. But in the number one spot, the same person fails. He or she knows what the decision should be but cannot accept the responsibility of actually making it.

Organizations are no longer built on force but on trust. The existence of trust between people does not necessarily mean that they like one another. It means that they understand one another.

[via HBR – Managing Oneself, Peter F. Drucker]

Things to Adopt in Life

Health:

1. Drink plenty of water.
2. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.
3. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.
4. Live with the 3 E’s — Energy, Enthusiasm, and Empathy.
5. Make time to practice prayer, meditation and yoga.
6. Play more games.
7. Read more books
8. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.
9. Sleep for 7 hours.
10. Take a 10-30 minutes walk every day. And while you walk, smile.

Personality

11. Don’t compare your life to others’. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
12. Don’t have negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present
moment.
13. Don’t over do. Keep your limits.
14. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
15. Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip.
16. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
17. Forget issues of the past. Don’t remind your partner with his/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your
present happiness.
18. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don’t hate others.
19. Smile and laugh more.
20. You don’t have to win every argument.
Agree to disagree.

Society

21. Call your family often.
22. Each day give something good to others.
23. Forgive everyone for everything.
24. Spend time with people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6.
25. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
26. What other people think of you is none of your business.
27. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

Life

28. Do the right thing!
29. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
30. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
31. The best is yet to come.

Tips for Hapiness

Identify the problem
Identifying a problem can often lead to a clear solution, perhaps one so mind-numbingly obvious that you’ll wonder why you hadn’t addressed the situation earlier. Understanding a problem also allows people to keep things in perspective, to understand whether something is really worth getting upset about. It prevents giving in to self-pity and instead represents a more proactive approach that allows for finding a solution and moving on to other concerns.

Mindfulness

Slowing down, appreciating and observing what is around
you. It allows you not to worry so much
about the future and to remain more involved in the present.

[via HowStuffWorks]

Ideal way to interview developers

…have the candidate give a 10 minute watercooler presentation to your team on something they’ve worked on. I think this is a far better indicator of success than a traditional interview. You’ll quickly ascertain:

  • Is this person passionate about what they are doing?
  • Can they communicate effectively to a small group?
  • Do they have a good handle on their area of expertise?
  • Would your team enjoy working with this person?

Also, Phone screen all candidates before ever meeting them in person. If they can’t communicate well over the phone, their resume goes in the trash.
For a technical question, stick to a broad topic not a specific command line option. Command line options can be looked up in 1 minute. Instead, ask them to describe the dangers of SQL Injection and how to avoid it or some other topic that good developers absolutely should know.

[Coding Horror]

Art of Self Promotion

Rather than blurting out self-aggrandizing claims relevant to nothing, effective self-promoters work within the flow of the discussion and offer useful information. And they clothe their self-promotion in anecdotes, enthusiastically told stories in which they happen to have played a leading role.

Telling your story, you have to be as excited as if talking about your child or a favorite niece” . “We need to talk about ourselves with the same passion with which we talk about others we care about. That doesn’t usually happen.”

Stay on someone’s radar through e-mail, voice messages, and the occasional phone call.”When contact is infrequent,” people tend to think the worst about you or, even worse, think nothing about you at all.

[Improve in the Delicate Art of Self-Promotion]