Posts Tagged ‘economics’

One may ask

One may ask? Wow! Why did Dr. Baiz, pick “The relativity In Leadership” as a topic of discussion? We all know that the word “Relativity” is typically referenced to the man whom has been recognized as perhaps the smartest man who ever lived; and, so therefore why make such an attempt? Well, if I may, I would like to paraphrase what Albert Einstein once said about the subject of relativity. Einstein said it would take a well versed trained physics scholar, two weeks to understand just the very rudiments of relativity, just to understand what relativity is, just the “rudiments”. You see Albert Einstein was denied the Nobel Prize eight times; and quite frankly denied because the Nobel Prize committees reviewing his work just did not understand fully what he was trying to explain, he truly was a man way ahead of his time. Einstein in his time was the premier scientist of his day and beyond. He was a leader, In spite of being denied eight times for the grand Prize all scientists seek. He held firm and worked away at his theories.

Albert Einstein is the innermost figure in our world that taught us that: “everything is relative” – now one must be careful and not just simplify the issue of relativity and think that you are now an expert in relativity by applying it in any random approach to the problem solving process of resolving challenges. The scope of “Relativity In Leadership” is to understand like Einstein understood in his theories of Relativity that In the end there is no end. Some have said plan with the end in mind. My answer to that is how? As there are no ends to: things, beings, or developments. Action is an evolving manifestation and leadership is constantly in the face of relativity. How? Let’s take a brief look at leadership and relativity and synthesize how the two are partners in progress. Let’s review the political, psychological, and social aspect of leadership as it pertains to relativity. In politics it is a broad base stratum of economics and finance, in psychology it is a broad base strata of philosophical approaches to human behavior and treatment while in the social it is a complex application of a cultural trends and social solutions to society’s sicknesses. The relativity In Leadership within the above mentioned social factors are the ever ending explorations of finding where the truth lies in leadership and what is the best mechanism to apply the best system; within the realm of all that we have at our finger tips that is Relative to Leadership! It is definitely there one just has to look for it.  

Be prepared to apply relative conceptual solutions to leadership approaches and define your leadership by applying the relative relationships to the heart of your business astuteness.           

Copyright © 2006 the national learning institute

Copyright © 2006 The National Learning Institute

When was the last time you felt excited, motivated and extremely keen to be at work? Chances are it was when you had a job or project that really interested you, you had control over what you did and the way you did it, and you didn’t have any worries about “over zealous boss” interference or lack of job security. It’s a great feeling and we can all probably relate stories of how and when we were most “motivated” at work.

But as managers, do we consciously try to provide this same level of motivation for all of our employees? Or, are we merely fixated on striving to achieve the deadlines, budgets and targets that are set for us (and that seem to be getting tougher and tougher and placing more and more stress on us and our people), and forgetting what it was really like when we worked in an environment that was truly “motivational”.

My challenge to practising managers, is to think back to when they were most motivated at work and identify the reasons why (list them on a sheet of paper as dot points). Then, set about implementing these same conditions for their own people. (Draw up your own list now and see how it compares with mine)

I’ve issued this challenge to managers over the last 20 years in management development forums and invariably their “motivational conditions” they identify are:

– Autonomy the chance to take control over a complete project or unit of work in which I am really interested
– Responsibility for setting goals and targets and being accountable for achieving them
– Recognition for achieving meaningful results
– Development of my skills, knowledge and capabilities to their full potential

I then ask them to identify the things that really irritate and annoy them and (often) change what could have been a motivating workplace into a drudgery. They are:

– Bosses who do not recognise them for their efforts, or worse still, take the credit themselves
– A lack of feeling of “team”, ie., “we are in this together”
– Constant implied or implicit threats of demotion or dismissal
– Insufficient salary (by comparison to others in the firm or in the industry)

If these sound familiar, then you’re right! Frederick Herzberg in his classic HBR article “Once More, How do you Motivate Employees?” ( came up with two similar sets of lists nearly forty years ago that he labelled “Motivators” and “Satisfiers”.

Do they hold true today? Recent research into the turnover rates for young employees (20 30 yrs) shows that in some industries, the turnover rate of young employees is as high as 25% annually due to lack of perceived career development and training, and limited opportunities for involvement in other areas of the firm and their profession. These younger people, by comparison to their predecessors:
– Are more opportunistic in taking new jobs.
– Are more mobile.
– Have greater expectations.
– Are easily bored.
Andrew Heathcote ( in answer to this challenge suggests that managers need to:
– Be honest during interviews.
– Be serious about performance reviews.
– Do more career mapping.
– Create a forum to develop a greater spirit of involvement.
Tailor the workplace:
– Provide more job rotation.
– Arrange more rotation between offices.
– Develop specific training.
– Introduce variety.
– Develop forums for social interaction.
Be flexible:
– Consider providing sabbaticals (so they can travel without resigning).
– Increase the availability of unpaid leave.

So today’s younger employee is not so different from the generation who manage them maybe they want their motivation and satisfaction a little faster!

By the way, notice that the majority of items on Andrew’s list are what Herzberg called “Motivators”. In fact the only two that could be termed real “Satisfiers” are the last two sabbaticals and unpaid leave.

But, to return to my initial question, does motivation equate with happiness? Richard Layard ( suggests that work plays a very important part in our happiness and that a lot of our happiness actually comes from the work we do. And the job that we do is affected by how we are allowed to do it. In addition, he found that in regard to the “Satisfiers”:
– Not having a job when you should have one, is much worse than suffering a sudden drop in income
– People who feel insecure about retaining their job, suffer a loss of happiness (relative to those who do feel secure) that is 50% greater than the loss of happiness suffered by people whose income drops by a third.

Andrew Oswald of the University of Warwick ( staff/faculty/oswald/homejobs.pdf) confirms some of the importance of the “satisfiers”:

– Having a lot of job security is important to feeling a high degree of satisfaction with your job
– People with relatively high incomes or university degrees tend to get more satisfaction
– Women tend to be more satisfied than men
– The self-employed tend to be more satisfied
– People who work in a small workplace tend to be more satisfied than those who work for large employers
– Working at home tends to lead to higher satisfaction
– A job that involves dealing with people tends to bring higher satisfaction

Herzberg would be very pleased with the results of the amazing amount of today’s research that confirms his contention that it is important for managers to concentrate on both the “Motivators” and the “Satisfiers” if one is to have happy and motivated employees.

The message? Managers, revisit your own list of “Motivators” Start working on implementing the things on that list of your’s with your employees today!

If you would like to find out how motivated and satisfied your people are, you can do so with a simple feedback profile such as CHECKpoint ( CHECKpoint has been developed on the work of Herzberg and another great social psychologist, D.C. McLelland. It not only provides feedback on employee motivation and satisfaction, but also how to maintain these and address any problematic issues.

Ambit energy is fortunate to have its current ceo, jere thompson, jr

Ambit Energy is fortunate to have its current CEO, Jere Thompson, jr. leading this company to greatness. His apparent understanding of the marketplace and future economic trends is evident.

Mr. Thompson received an AB in Economics at Stanford University and an MBA from the University of Texas in Austin. He sits on the boards of two schools, two hospital foundations and several civic organizations. He was Chairman and a member of the Board of the North Texas Tollway Authority for twelve years.

There is no question that the demand for electricity and natural gas over the next few years will sky rocket. Daily we read about the ever rising price of oil. Those prices certainly will not be coming down anytime soon. Yet, as the price of oil is up, so is the demand.

The same could be said for electricity and natural gas. Everyone on the planet uses natural gas and electricity, and the pay for it habitually every month. The demand is growing at an incredible rate.

As an independent consultant with Ambit Energy, I believe that he is positioning Ambit Energy to be a true flagship company in this industry. His leadership rises to a standard that is refreshing to see today.

After reading Mr. Thompson’s bio, and learning of his investment banking background with Goldman Sachs, and his it has helped me to better believe that I have truly found a real opportunity. From an independent consultant’s point of view, it is a true blessing to be lead by someone who is trained to be futuristic in thought and action. His visionary approach to building this network marketing mlm business opportunity creates a climate of total confidence that Ambit Energy will be around over the long haul. There is no doubt that Ambit is a solid legitimate business opportunity.

Of all the business opportunities I have seen, and of all the mlm CEO’s i’ve met, it is exciting to imagine what the future holds for all us visionaries who actually go out and build a global network of marketing consultants and loyal customers. Through Mr. Thompson’s leadership many people will, in my opinion, create independent distribution networks that will enrich the financial lives of themselves and the lives of countless numbers of families for generations.

Economy and economics as a topic is being discussed in board rooms , bored halls and bedrooms alike

Economy and economics as a topic is being discussed in board rooms , bored halls and bedrooms alike. All are agreed on the consequential aspects of economy  like business losses, earnings erosion, customer defection , closures, lock-outs and retrenchment. The overall feeling of gloom and anxiety is the order of the day. Given this environment  how does one manage people on a day to day basis ?

Provide Parental leadership

With a supportive leadership environment , the shared success and failure is an outcome of collectivism and not individualism. ORPAT watch company a family owned enterprise has been successful in creating a business model where employees and employers have integrated their professional and personal lives seamlessly. All the factory employees are women. It is said that some of the major distributors of the company are from the same village  and are today nationally dispersed. The leaders provide a parental role to the highly committed workforce. Here is a company which has prospered, and survived using traditional management as a competitive advantage. The company has a strong market share in the country.

Believe in collaborative working – It is natural to us Indians as our heritage is based on collectivism.

In late eighties and early nineties Japan became a benchmark for Quality and quality management practices. At the root of the success lay total reliance on innovation, error free work processes and collaborative team working. Japan has a history  of family based entrepreneurship and hence collaborative working was a natural outcome. Post world war II and near total destruction ,the spirit of survival took precedence. They studied the western management practices closely and could easily adopt these practices with two notable exceptions :- a renewed vigour to better than the best and a collaborative yet competitive  team working . Sony Corporation’s rise to fame can be explained by the disruptive invention of the walkman where music became a personal experience. Toyota’s legendary performance is an example where they created global teams and yet maintained the Japanese ethos of people management. Closer home Maruti Suzuki entered India, and with it a new era of management practice evolved. Common denominator, in all these time tested companies, focus on issues and not people. Reward teams, rather than individuals and create incentives for success that can be shared and seen by all consistently.

Listen to team members – Nobody want’s to be a failure.

Most management reviews in a downturn environment tend to rely heavily on analytics and as a result risk mitigation acquires a disproportionate share of priority. The information is rational but has an overhead of irrational negative feeling on people. Several organizations struggle with the usual communications syndrome where information and announcements are meant to dispel anxiety and fear with little impact. Customer service managers learn to deal with data and with people feelings. This department thrives on challenges of the day with one exception. By force they are compelled to be innovative, and process compliant. Talking to an Elevator company service manager, threw up an interesting best practice. All the service reps and the managers meet once a week  to discuss people issues and each offers a suggestion for improvement. This is a grassroot practice where despite constraints people love challenges as opportunities of success.

Examples abound where organizations have emerged out of downturn conditions. Even after the dot com bust IT services business emerged . With  cross-pollination of people from FMCG industry  the Telecom industry scaled unprecedented growth. It is therefore a reasonable conclusion that while processes and technology help create value, people alone make it happen or else we end up wondering what happened.

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