Smart Tips for a Smarter Business in 2012

About a few years ago, I read an interesting post from Guy Kawasaki, which basically was a wish list for students, in order to prepare them for the real world after graduation. At that time, I found the list extremely practical. And now almost 6years after, I feel it’s worth having a look for all of you who are starting fresh again in the New Year.

image (c) one%inspiration

Here’s the full list (in bold) with my take (sometimes on the lighter side) on each of them:

  1. How to talk to your boss. Give solutions instead of problems! After all if your boss had the solutions he’d have been incompetent for his position! Remember Peter Principle?
  2. How to survive a meeting that’s poorly run. Poorly run meetings are characterized by a lot of “passing the buck” deals. The trick is to stay focused and stay out of it! Therefore JUST CHILL and promise you’d never let it happen in your company!
  3. How to run a meeting. I’ve found that the so-called “effective meetings” happen when you lead – and decide to take things further in the next meeting! But of course you should mix the usual ingredients, i.e. Starting and finishing on time, calling only the participants possible, set agenda / objectives and send the “minutes” to all! Make sure however that your invitees do not go the point #2-way!
  4. How to figure out anything on your own. I learned that the way to do this is to find someone (not your boss!) who does this for you – one who enjoys giving you free information. However when in doubt, the 1st rule is “The Boss is always right” and 2nd rule is “If still uncertain, follow Rule#1” Rest is easy!
  5. How to negotiate. Pure first hand advice is: Once you know each party’s goals, go to any extent to make the other party feel that he has won! Just make sure that you don’t lose by doing so!
  6. How to have a conversation. The simplest of all!! Just introduce yourself and let the other parties babble to their fullest! Don’t forget though to ask encouraging questions to keep this going on and on. This is also true for those networking events where you get invited, but soon find that even staying half an hour will be a waste of your precious productive time.
  7. How to explain something in 30 seconds. Guy’s mantra is to use fewest possible words. I used the technique to the best when I commented on my appraisal in 2 words: “It sucks!” I was better placed than the response of 3 words: “You are fired!”
  8. How to write a one-page report. I learned the technique when preparing for short speeches in school: (a) Say what you’re going to say (b) Say it (c) Summarize what you’ve said! Just make sure you start with 12 pt. font and 1.5 line lead!
  9. How to write a 5-sentence email. Most of the heavy Facebook users are perhaps perfect in this. But the best part of it is that the reply is even shorter… 1-2 sentences!
  10. How to get along with co-workers. Again my own experience is: Be a sucker! Not up, but down!
  11. How to use PowerPoint. Guy’s best advice is: 10 slides, 20 minutes, and a 30-point font. The 1st time I tried this, I did it in 30-slides; 20-minutes; 10-points. No points for guessing the outcome!
  12. How to leave a voicemail. Go ahead! Tell your long stories in full! I can promise you the recipient will call you back in no time, to thrash you on the phone. The other option is: Leave a name, say your number twice, Ask for a follow-up place / time. That’s all!!
  13. How to prepare for a living. “Do what you love OR love what you do” Not sure who said it first, but it’s foolproof! Example: You love reading blogs – hence you’re reading this one. Although many of the above is known to you, you still loved reading the same! (Or otherwise you couldn’t have reached this far!

The best thing Guy does is that he removes hype and adds insights in the most uncluttered way possible!

I’d like to add 3 more to the list above, to make it more relevant to our times, this New Year:

  1. How to achieve Multitasking. Doesn’t mean you leave each of your limbs to attend to each point of your task list. It simply means: How to chat in Google, Facebook, Yahoo, etc., while listening to your boss’s orders, e-replying to your friends, responding to status updates on multiple platforms, etc. – all in a matter of minutes!
  2. How to be culturally smart. It’s a simple method… just be ready to pose as a trainee/ junior / incompetent / unaware person with your colleagues – senior / junior / boss / reports – and participate in all their stories.
  3. How to get more social. The simplest of all tips, it essentially means making sure you’ve digital footprints in all the top social media platforms, where you generate enough nonsense. My own experience: as long as you talk nonsense in the most sensible manner, you develop meaningful social networks.

Over to you, good people! Wishing all of you a Happy New Year!

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