Posts Tagged ‘finance’

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.           

How do companies rate the importance of your it dept

How do companies rate the importance of your IT dept? Is the IT dept. invisible in the organization? Does the CEO have an understanding of how technology is meeting business objectives? Do your CEO and CFO view the IT dept. as cost centers rather than profit generators? Are you having trouble communicating tech possibilities with other decision makers of the firm?

The role of the CIO as Chief Information Officer is tough and easily misunderstood. Because technology is closely tied to business results, when a million dollar technology project fails, the CIO gets the brunt of the blame while losing the trusts of the CEO and CFO. In addition, many assume that the CIO only oversees operations and technology—but this is old-school thinking. While the job descriptions of most senior executives have remained relatively stable, the CIO has evolved to have greater knowledge of business and finances. This increased responsibility places the CIO in the strategic position to facilitate business technology innovation for the entire company.

Just as technology and business strategies continue to evolve, so must also the leadership roles within an organization. The new CIO extends beyond the walls of IT and has now become a critical asset to the leadership and functions of any enterprise.

The Bridge for Biz-Tech Communication and Alignment:
The CIO is the liaison for business and technology to come together and align their strategies. Because the CIO has knowledge in both technology and business, he has the advantage of communicating clearly with all department heads. Remember, alignment brings in the money, and alignment is a skill that is more social than technical.

The C-Sidekick for Optimization:
All C-level executives are very busy, and the last thing they want to be in is a meeting about technology resources. The CIO identifies how IT saves time and energy, and proactively contributes to achieving the company’s strategic goals. You can only do this by learning the challenges and abilities of each department. Talk with the CEO and department heads, and share how IT will optimize their performances. They have to see what’s in it for them.

Visionary Business IT Leader:
The CIO is a business IT leader. You should not only focus on operations and technology performances, but should also be aware of business productivity and financial management. Always ask, “How is our technology influencing business results?”

Innovation and Revenue Powerhouse:
Under your guidance, the IT department is in charge of delivering value across the entire enterprise. What is value?—simplifying information access to save time, improving IT to meet business objectives, providing cost reductions, increasing revenues, etc. Have the IT dept. be the competitive advantage in your firm.

Conclusion: Lead the Way with an Eye for Innovation

Take note–The role of Chief Innovation Officer is not only reserved for the Chief Information Officer.

Whether you’re the president, CFO, or IT director, those in office should not be limited to traditional expectations of their roles. Rather, you want to evolve your leadership responsibilities to be a dynamic and intuitive presence at your company. Just as how corporations have abandoned hierarchical structures to become horizontal and more agile, it is the responsibility of leaders to create synergy in an organization.

Innovative officers challenge and guide the company to work more efficiently, promoting productive challenges and changes. For success, you need a leader within each department who constantly identifies opportunities for improvements, draws up the best plan and practices that produce business efficiency, and transforms a company to stand strong in today’s global market. As a leader, your ability to be dynamic while remaining committed to your business goals reflects your company’s potential for innovation.

So yes—if it helps, go ahead and give yourself that title as Chief Innovation Officer.

It is mid afternoon

It is mid afternoon. You are sitting at your desk trying to pull together this important proposal for your boss. It is due the day after tomorrow. As you wrestle with how to incorporate a complex spreadsheet from the finance department, you wonder when your quality analyst will bring in those last two key pieces of production information. Then there is still your own summary piece to write. But what will you write? The recommendations just aren’t coming from your brain.

We have all been there. You hit a point when it feels like you are trudging through quicksand. Everything is difficult. Your energy and enthusiasm for the task is dropping rapidly. It’s no longer any fun. You begin to question your own ability to do this work. You just want it off your plate-done!

How do we typically respond in a situation like this? When we finally stop procrastinating, we typically just grit our teeth, hunker down and try harder to focus on the detailed steps and problems, one-by painful-one. All the while we talk to ourselves, allowing our silent critic to castigate us for our incompetence or inviting our-reluctant-cheerleader self to give us a pep talk… “Go get ’em. You can do this. No sweat, piece of cake.” Instead of focusing on our work, our thought dwell on ourselves and how we are (not) performing.

Of course, this is not a productive state-of-mind to be in. In fact, it is the polar opposite of what researcher Michael
Csikzentmihalyi calls the “flow” state. Flow is an optimal performance mental mode where you forget about yourself and merge with your activity. You feel challenged yet in control. It is a timeless state-you don’t notice the clock. People often experience it in sports, at play or when truly engaged by work. Above all, flow is a productive place to be.

There is a way to climb out when you are mired in a “mental valley.” Try it out yourself and coach your employees to do the same.

You must get in touch with two images. First, consciously remind yourself what the goal of your activity is and picture how you will feel when it is done. In the opening scenario, your goal is the finished report. You could decide to replace your self-defeating, negative thoughts with images of handing it over to your boss and how great and proud you feel doing it.

Secondly, remind yourself why you are in this line of work in the first place. This gets you back in touch with your overall purpose and with the real meaning behind your efforts. Again, in the opening scenario, you would tell yourself why this report is important and how it will contribute to the organization and positively affect people.

When you raise your gaze above the sometimes draining details of your job, you will rekindle your energy and begin feeling creative, confident and motivated. Best of all, you will get the job done and achieve the results you are seeking.

Leadership qualities are qualities that characterize effective leadership

Leadership qualities are qualities that characterize effective leadership. What are these qualities?

Let me lay it out clearly.

For starters, effective leaders are . . .

1. Humble

2. Decisive

3. Selfless and self sacrificing

4. Empathetic

5. Disciplined

6. Good communicators (they communicate the agenda clearly and effectively)

7. Fair and unprejudiced

Effective leaders . . .

8. Maximize the potential of their people by empowering them

9. Surround themselves with people smarter than they are

10. Do not care who takes the credit

11. Admit that they are infallible and admit mistakes when they make them

12. Have a burning desire to make a difference . . . a positive difference

This list is by no means exhaustive. In fact, I can go on and on.

But no matter how long the list of leadership qualities is, I can tell you honestly that without three of these leadership qualities you will inevitably fail as a leader.

What are these four uncompromising qualities of effective leadership?

1. Surround yourself with people smarter than you

2. Acknowledge mistakes when you make them. Take corrective actions, learn from them, and move on

3. Maximize the potential of your people and

4. Be selfless. Serve your people and your organization. Abhor personal gain.

The desire for personal gain will colour your judgment and will ultimately lead you to the path of failure.

To illustrate, consider what happened recently in the company where I work.

As I write this, I work for a global beverage company with roots in the UK. I am in one of the offices in West Africa. My company’s cocoa based beverage drink has about 50% share of the country’s total cocoa based beverage market. Clearly, it was a big operation.

Some two years back, my company’s CEO and the finance director were fired. Why?

Over statement of company accounts.

The company wasn’t doing well. Instead of telling his bosses so, the CEO . . . with the collaboration of the finance director . . . tempered with the accounts to make the company look good and thus, retain his position as CEO. This situation went on for about three successive years before external auditors contracted by the parent company in the Uk detected the fraud.

That incident resulted in a loss to the company of over $116 million U.S. dollars. And shareholders have been told they should not expect dividends for the next two years.

The CEO was a young talented fellow who had been CEO of the company for over 10 years. He was well respected in the community, even winning the position of “The Most Respected CEO” in my country twice.

So, what went wrong? What took him down?

1. The desire for greater prominence, greater fame, and personal gain.

2. Arrogance. He refused to admit he was wrong and wind down production to match demand and market opportunities (He had a vision to make the company a billion dollar company by year 2010. He called this . . . project marathon).

When the market wasn’t growing as fast as production was growing, he refused to slow down production. The factories kept on producing at break-neck speed and the company kept on acquiring more warehouses to store what was produced that the market could not accommodate)

3. He surrounded himself with ‘yes men’ – directors who were at his mercy . . . directors who stood by and watched while the life investment of shareholders went down the drain

Make no mistake about it.

No matter how good you currently are, no matter how intelligent you may be, no matter how many awards you have won, you will fail eventually if you are not a selfless leader.

Remember all the leadership qualities discussed above. But whatever you do, do not forget the four most important leadership qualities.

You can be a great leader. Effective leadership is within your reach. It starts by understanding leadership qualities you need essential for effective leadership.

The good news is . . . these attributes can be learned. And . . . this is your big chance.

About The Author

Samson Itoje is a leadership expert in Lagos Nigeria Africa. He provides free advice at

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