Highest RoI Management Tool – the power of Thank You


I really like the articles that Jeff Weiner’s (CEO of LinkedIn) writes. A lot of it resonates with the Engineering Manager’s mind. Short and crisply written, they portray problems and solutions of every day things in the day of an Engineering Manager.

This article on the power of thanking someone is another classic article. In summary, Jeff suggests to be mindful of the following things when saying thank you to someone:

Be thoughtful – I think this is super important. A quarterly award is an award and can make an employee happy; but being thoughtful and seeking out something that the employee would cherish and remember you for, is King.

Be Genuine – Mouthing out the words or nominating for an award with hollow words just wont cut it. You need to be genuine.

Pick your spots – Balance between over-complimenting and not rewarding enough.

Solicit suggestions – Ask around if others want to nominate someone for great work. You would not know everyone and the great work that everyone does.

Learn how to accept a compliment – This is by far one of the biggest things that I have a problem with. And I see this with so many other people. Especially very strong in the Indian culture – where humility is taught in extreme proportions. Indians just suck at accepting compliments. Try complimenting an Indian person; and they will gush out – “Oh it was nothing.”; “Oh you shouldnt have.”; “Without you, it would not have been possible”. Sure, one should be humble, but at some points, when you are complimented on something that has been successful because of you, we should accept it with grace. Yes, I am still working on this as well.

Read this article in Jeff’s words here.

(image courtesy: flickr:@nate)

Three Signs of a Leader

A great Inc.com article on signs that you might be a good leader. Contrary to some people who think, only folks who are in action all the time are good leaders, these 3 point to subtle soft skills that good leaders exhibit.

1. You lead only when you have to, not all the time.

2. You see much more than you do.

3. You change people. They achieve outcomes.

Read the full article here.

Doing what you love

Great talk by Sean Wes.

Slideset on Slideshare for those who want to flip through this quickly. Great set of informative, simple, yet very powerful slides. The slides are all black-and-white. They all have the same font. They all have 2-3 bullets or numbers per page. But the message is delivered.

He also gave this talk at Creative South. You can view the video here.

The McDonalds Effect

I use a trick with co-workers when we’re trying to decide where to eat for lunch and no one has any ideas. I recommend McDonald’s.

An interesting thing happens. Everyone unanimously agrees that we can’t possibly go to McDonald’s, and better lunch suggestions emerge. Magic!

Read the full article here.

My key two takeaways are:

  • You can use a ‘blatantly bad’ initial first step – so that people get so revulsed into getting a better quality.
  • However bad a first step is, resist the temptation to analyze it rationally. Just pause your brain right there and dump it into a first step.

(via daringfireball)

Best Advice ~ Jeff Weiner

I have been following Jeff Weiner on his LinkedIn influencer feed for a while. He is a pretty darned good writer, and his posts are very insightful. In fact, some of them are so down to earth and pragmatic, that you wonder, if this guy is really a CEO.

In his post on the best advice he ever got, he goes over some pretty deep stuff. Three things that stood out to me are:

You can do anything you set your mind to — My dad

My wife keeps telling me this, and I kept refuting it until recently. To put this to practice, I applied it to an extremely simple thing such as ‘waking up early’. You ‘really’ can do anything you set your mind to.

Everything that can be converted from an atom to a bit, will be — Nicholas Negroponte

This is deep. Very deep. Especially in the current world and time. How many times a day, do you hear – “there is an app for that.”. Be it tracking the mileage my car gives per liter of petrol, to remembering to buy a few groceries on the way back home, to figuring out the best seat in a plane, to anything that you can think about. Just anything that can be digitized, … will be.

If you could only do one thing, what would it be? — Steve Jobs

This is the one thing that I have always admired in Apple. Do one thing, and do it so darned well, that you are the best. Nothing short. The story that Jeff shares in the post is that of, how Apple had started on the iPad first. At some point in time, when they realized the iPhone makes sense to be done first, they actually shelved the iPad project. They moved to the iPhone. Delivered it. And then moved back to iPad.

The story that comes to my mind is the famous quadrant that Jobs drew when he first came back to Apple. The four quadrants were laptop for consumers, laptop for business users, desktop for consumers, desktop for business users. Thats it. They focussed on one product in each quadrant. They trashed every other variant that was introduced during Sculley’s time.

Wisdom without compassion is ruthlessness, compassion without wisdom is folly — Fred Kofman

This is so deep that it took me a few seconds to digest this. But once you understand it, it is so true.

Read the original post from Jeff here.

Apple vs Mac

Haha. ClientsfromHell has this amazing piece, which is too good not to share.

The Forbidden Fruit

Client: Hey, just one final question before I send the deposit. Do you use a PC or a MAC?

Me: I use a MAC.

Client: That is a problem. Do you have access to a PC? I am not a supporter of Apple products.

Me: No, I don’t have access to a PC, but this will have little to no effect on the work itself.

Client: I am a Christian and Apple products are sinful, I do not want our website to be created by a product made by this corrupt group. You need only look at their logo, an apple with a bite taken from it. Do you not know the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden? If I allowed you to create my website on a MAC I would be just like Adam, taking a bite of the forbidden fruit.


“Take my advise, destroy your mac and repent for when judgement day comes. It shall be you who is cast to hell for your sins.”

Me: [Block Contact]

Original piece is here.

The Internet – A Lawless Prairie

Wow, after Senator Ted called the Internet a series of tubes, this is the next interesting description. This time it comes from a judge in Milan, Italy. In her description of her judgement against Google, for an objectionable Video case which made its way into Google Video.

“With images of the Wild West evidently in mind, Judge Oscar Magi wrote in a 111-page explanation of his decision to convict the Google executives: “There is no such thing as the limitless prairie of Internet where everything is permitted and nothing can be prohibited, on pain of a global excommunication by the people of the Web.”

Wow. Read the article on MacWorld here.

Image courtesy: Library of Congress (Creative Commons) on Flickr.

Quickies : Intelligent Sticky Notes

(Image courtesy: Discovery news)

Wow. Just when we thought, people are atlast, going back to analog productivity systems,
like to-do-lists on paper, and 3M postits for reminders, researchers at MIT come up with this brilliant system.

To summarize:

  • write note on special quicky post-it kept on a special electronic pad
  • electronic pad recognizes the post as a reminder, or a contact, or a label ; and categorizes it into its database.
  • the postit note has an RFID tag on it. The tag id is added to above database item
  • when user searches for a keyword, the database is searched, the RFID tag is retrieved, the location of the tag is then retrieved, and displayed on the screen.
  • these quickies can also send reminders to your phone, for appointments etc

Read the full post here at Discovery news.

Or, visit the MIT project page here.