One of the most listened to audio authors on personal and business success today, Brian Tracy’s seminars on leadership, sales, managerial effectiveness and business strategy are loaded with ideas that people can apply to get better results in every area. Here are some of Tracy’s ideas on management success:

Your goal is to become a transformational leader, the kind of person that motivates and inspires people to perform at levels far beyond anything that they had previously thought possible. Transformational leaders empower others by keeping them “in the know,” by keeping them fully informed on everything that effects their jobs.

People want and need to feel that they are “insiders,” that they are aware of everything that is going on. There is nothing so demoralising to a staff member than to be kept in the dark about their work and what is going on in the company.

An empowering behaviour practised by transformational leaders is regular feedback on performance and results. People need to know how they’re doing so they can improve if performance is below standards and so that they can be proud of their successes.

The more feedback you give to people, the better it is, as long as the feedback is objective and not critical. My friend, Ken Blanchard, says that, “Positive feedback is the breakfast of champions.”

Learn how to get more done through others and how to plan, organise, staff, delegate, supervise and measure performance. Loaded with practical, proven ideas and methods you can apply immediately to get better results.

Be generous with your praise and encouragement. Remember, people are the only asset that can be made to appreciate in value by giving them warmth, respect, approval and by creating a climate of positive expectations.

What companies and countries and institutions need today are courageous visionary leaders who’re committed to creating an exciting future for themselves and others. You have the ability to evolve and grow as a leader and to make a real difference in the world around you.

And the one thing you can know for sure about yourself is that, no matter what you’ve accomplished up to now, there is far more that you can do. As you practice the behaviours of effective leaders, you will grow more and more toward the realisation of your full potential. It’s completely up to you.

Here are two things you can do immediately to put these ideas into action in your work. First, hold regular meetings with your staff and tell them everything that is going on. Invite their comments, questions and concerns. Make everybody feel as if he or she was an insider in the organisation.

Second, continually look for opportunities to give positive feedback, praise and encouragement. People need praise and encouragement like roses need rain and sunshine. Take very opportunity to make people feel better about themselves and their work.

The Economic Times Network,
15th May 2006.

Sagarika Gupta, a project manager in a leading IT company, was thrilled when she got a large software project. She had the best people in the team. And she was promised bonuses if the project went well. But unfortunately clients rejected it. Her boss assumed that she had not put best efforts in the project, although she knew she had. It was a failure – and worse, she had no assurance that she would do any better on the next project. If this scenario sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Repeated studies have shown that the failure rate for IT projects is more than 50 per cent. This is tolerated only because software is vital to the running of modern organisations. Today three out of four projects are still failing. Why, though, do these failures occur? And why project managers (PM) are held responsible to it? How can corporate India deal with project mismanagement? One would claim that every project that fails is the result of poor management. A poorly funded or ill-conceived project will fail regardless of the skills of the project manager or project team. Projects that lack buy-in from top management are doomed, as are projects that lack ties with company objectives or that have no clear return on investment. Sometimes a shift in business priorities requires that certain projects be abandoned. But project mismanagement plays a significant role in many project failures. Nevertheless, companies typically ensure that their employees have the technical skills they need to work on whatever tasks they are assigned, but as the Standish Group International, Inc.’s survey has reported, “When projects fail, it’s rarely technical.” Projects, like business, often fail because they are not properly managed. So, even if the project failures are caused by technical problems or business problems, they come down to people problem.

Hiring the Right Project Manager: Are tech companies recruiting the right project managers? Most companies give little thought to project management, let alone the appointment of project managers. The employee appointed to manage a project may be the person who suggested it, a volunteer, an individual perceived as having the time to manage the project or the person with the most in-depth technical knowledge needed for the project. “Managing a project may require technical knowledge, but, like managing a business, it also requires business knowledge,” says K Subramanyam, CEO Covansys India. He further adds, “The project manager must be well organized and self-confident, and must have the right attitude. Technical knowledge is important, but so are business acumen, an understanding of the corporate culture and an ability to lead people to do what is expected of them. In other words, knowledge is important, but so is the ability to execute it.”

How to be the Perfect Project Manager: Here are some tips for mastering the art of project management:

• Everything can be represented in an ordered list. Most of the work of project management is correctly prioritising things and leading the team in carrying them out.
• The three most basic ordered lists are: project goals (vision), list of features, and list of work items.
• They should always be in sync with each other. Each work item contributes to a feature, and each feature contributes to a goal.
• There is a bright yellow line between priority 1 work and everything else.
• Things happen when you say no. If you can’t say no, you effectively have no priorities.
• The PM has to keep the team honest and keep them close to reality.
• Knowing the critical path in engineering and team processes enables efficiency.
• You must be both relentless and savvy to make things happen.

A good project manager’s primary role is to ensure that people at all levels within and around the project environment are doing their best to enable the project to be successful. This means the companies should look primarily for a people person as PM who is focused on success. And it is important to choose the right people to manage projects. As much care should be given to the appointment of a project manager for a mission critical project as is given during the hiring process for a key position within the company. And yet, most organizations have no process for choosing project managers. They also have little idea what skills and personality traits are needed by project managers to help them succeed. However everyone can’t be a project manager. Certain people have an innate ability to do it well, and others do not. But what is required in PMs is the ability to make things happen. Some people are able to apply their skills and talents in whatever combination necessary to move projects forwarded, and others cannot, even if they have the same or superior individual skills. As to the number of years’ experience required depends on the person and the project. Still, it will give an edge if you are a ‘certified’ project manager. There are no project management associations in India except NICMAR (National Institution of Construction Management & Research) which has a leadership training programme for the construction industry. However, institutes like Project Management Institute (PMI) from US which has centers in India conducts exams to certify junior and senior project managers. Nevertheless, industry experts feel that India doesn’t have quality project managers when compared to US. And it requires perfect managers to avoid project mismanagement.

Blogging is latest tool for IBM Companies learn about Web diariesBy Julie Moran AlterioGannett News Service

When Christopher Barger started a blog almost three years ago, he wanted to write about something other than technology and business — topics that filled his days as an executive speechwriter at the Armonk headquarters of IBM Corp.

Barger, a 37-year-old Yonkers resident, wrote in his online journal about the Indianapolis Colts and trivia such as who was likely to be Time’s person of the year.
So, about a year ago, he was surprised to learn that his readers included some people he wasn’t counting on: his bosses.

“I realized that the powers that be were aware of this,” he said. “They were reading it frequently.”
“Panic” is how he describes his initial reaction.
Even though he had never blogged about IBM, Barger wasn’t sure how managers would feel about his extracurricular activity. But instead of getting disciplined, Barger got promoted.
Today, he is IBM’s “blogger in chief,” and he is helping lead the computer giant’s efforts to make everyone in the company familiar with blogs. “My hobby became my job,” Barger said.
Blogs are multiplying
Blogs — regularly updated online journals that mix commentary with links to news on the Web — are in the sights of such corporations as IBM, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Sun Microsystems, General Motors and Boeing as they multiply.

Technorati, a search engine for blogs, reports that 70,000 new blogs a day join the 23.7 million already in existence.

Corporations are joining the “blogosphere” to take part in the online debates that involve their brands, products and industries.
For instance, a search on Technorati shows 218,855 postings containing the word “IBM,” including 20 in one hour alone on a recent Friday night.

David Sifry, chief executive at Technorati, said corporations are worried by the idea that a disgruntled customer can reach thousands or millions of people with a blog.
“In the world of the Internet, you don’t own your brand. Your customers and your users own your brand. You’re lucky if you get to shepherd it. That loss of control is very scary,” Sifry said.
Companies want to get smart about blogs with the idea that “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em,” said Debbie Weil, an online marketing consultant and author of the forthcoming book, “The Corporate Blogging Book: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know to Get It Right.”
“They’ll be knocked over unprepared if the blogosphere starts talking about their brand, product or service and they’re not listening to what’s being said about them,” Weil said.
Irving Wladawsky-Berger, IBM’s vice president of technical strategy and innovation and the company’s highest-ranking blogger, said Big Blue is encouraging employees to bone up on blogging for the same reason it asked them to get savvy about Web commerce in the 1990s.
“We absolutely recognize that blogging, just like the Internet, World Wide Web, Linux and open source, is a major initiative in the marketplace that we should be part of. The best way to be part of it is not to observe it passively but to do it actively,” Wladawsky-Berger said.
Sifry said the ranks of corporate bloggers are growing. A year ago, there were about 7,400, a number that doubled to 15,000 six months ago in the most recent survey.
“We’re still very much in the early stages of how corporations are learning to use blogs,” said Sifry, who said the most important thing blogs do is give a human face to the corporate facade.
For instance, Robert Scoble, who writes the “Scobleizer” blog for Microsoft, has mitigated some of the hatred directed at the software giant by talking candidly about the company’s faults, Sifry said.

In another example, the face of General Motors to the blogging world is Vice Chairman Bob Lutz, whose FastLane Blog caters to car fans.
Sifry also likes the blog of John Patrick, who was vice president of Internet technology at IBM until he left the company in 2001 to write and consult.
“John is a wonderful example of the power of the authoritative human voice. That’s what blogs are good at amplifying. The corporate voice is what you read in press releases. What you have here with John or Bob at FastLane or Robert Scoble at Microsoft is unequivocally human,” Sifry said.

Unique perspectives
Wladawsky-Berger said that even when he writes about technology, what’s distinctive is his own perspective.
“Even if you’re writing about mainframes or you’re writing about XML, it’s your personal style that comes across. What you choose to write about is which of the contents of your head are you sharing with the world,” he said.
Wladawsky-Berger isn’t shy about being a public voice for IBM by speaking at conferences and giving interviews in newspapers and magazines, but he was originally reluctant to become a blogger.
“Some people, especially John Patrick, had been urging me to take on blogging, and I always resisted. I wasn’t sure who in the world wanted to read anything I had to write,” he said. “I looked at it almost as vanity.”
What changed Wladawsky-Berger’s mind was the growing prominence of blogs in the media as well as IBM’s adoption of blogging as a corporate initiative this past May, led by Barger and a group of fellow bloggers in the company.
IBM is approaching blogs from three directions:
The company is hosting blogs on topics important to its business, such as video games and health care.
IBM is encouraging employees to create blogs for internal consumption on the company intranet.
Employees who do blog on the Internet have IBM’s blessing — providing they follow some practical guidelines.
The rules include identifying yourself as an IBMer if you talk business, not revealing company secrets and stating clearly that your opinions are your own.
IBM’s guidelines were developed last spring by a team of about 25 bloggers in the company. They get a thumbs-up from Technorati’s Sifry.
“IBM has done a really good job here. It’s a very sane document. They talk about being smart about what you’re going to blog about,” he said.
IBM created the subject matter blogs as a way to present its people as experts on more than computers — a key strategy as the company’s expanding Global Services business means more revenue is derived from dispensing advice rather than technology alone.
IBM’s life sciences team, for instance, participates in a health care blog that discusses issues such as genetics privacy.
“Getting our folks out there and getting engaged with communities that matter to them, whether it’s with other developers or customers, is good for IBM,” Barger said. “It isn’t just about us sharing our expertise and telling those communities what they want to hear. We learn just as much.”
Thematic approach
Creating a theme blog is smart because customers are more likely to enjoy reading about a topic important to them than an overt sales pitch, said marketing strategist Steve Rubel, a senior vice president at CooperKatz & Co. in New York and author of the Micro Persuasion blog.
“The secret to a good corporate blog is that it has to be high interest, and if your subject matter isn’t, you have to figure out a way to connect with subjects that are,” he said.
For example, yogurt maker Stonyfield Farm has blogs on babies and women. “There’s not much there on yogurt, but it’s all about a higher calling, which is women and children’s health,” Rubel said.
Bicycle maker Cannondale has adopted a similar approach with blogs that talk about triathlons and finding the best mountain bike trails.
Robin Hopper, CEO of iUpload, a maker of blogging software for companies, said businesses often test out the idea by creating blogs for inside the company first.
For example, McDonald’s hired iUpload to develop a blogging platform on its intranet as an avenue to exchange ideas. “Internal blogs are becoming knowledge repositories,” Hopper said.
IBM had the same idea when it rolled out tools last May that allow every employee to create a blog on the company intranet.
So far, 16,416 people have registered and 2,291 have created active blogs.
Among the most popular bloggers is an IBMer from Japan who likes to discuss idiomatic phrases in English and a researcher in California who is running a pet contest, Barger said.
The blogs also are a place where workers talk about their projects, ask for help and learn about what their colleagues are up to.
“When we started out in May and told people to experiment, there were a lot more personal things in the blogs. As it has grown and evolved, people are using it as a collaboration tool,” Barger said.
“The personal stuff is still there, and we’re glad it is, because any time you can make a company of 329,000 people feel smaller, that’s a good thing.”
What about criticizing IBM? That’s OK, too, Barger said.
He said the proof came just two weeks after the initiative started when an employee blasted the company’s falling stock price and recent layoffs in her blog. The post received 1,200 views by noon.

Instead of chastising the employee, Barger posted a comment on her blog that thanked her for her candor, acknowledged some of her points and challenged her logic where he felt it was flawed.
“This is a new medium with new rules. A lot of folks aren’t used to the idea of candor being OK,” Barger said. “Now, we’re saying it’s OK to share your opinions.”
The employee gets heard, and the company also learns what people are thinking.
“We can’t be in every happy hour. We can’t be in every car pool. This was an opportunity to communicate with employees on their turf,” Barger said.



Hi,
This is Himanshu here and you have logged into my blogspace and i hope you enjoy this journey of blogging!!!

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NOTE:
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It is just a usual day when i begin browsing on the internet and suddenly realize that there might be many web browsers available which might be offering better facilities than Microsoft’s Internet Explorer popularly called as IE.What exactly made me think about this?May be when i see my task bar full of IE’s(by opening many instances of IE) , i get this feeling that i should get another Web-Browser which would not clutter my tray with so many things and also makes the job easier.

So,i start searching on the internet for Web Browsers and as usual , get many of them.Now i am in a bit of dilemma as to which one is the best replacement for IE or which one can offer more facilities than IE.And the result comes out to be the open source browser Firefox which is now freely available for download on Mozilla.Now,the question to be asked is what additional features does Firefox have which makes it superior to Microsoft’s IE.

May be at the very first glance Firefox seems to be like IE but when we dig into Firefox,we will come to know that there are many,if not plenty of differences between IE and Firefox and it is due to those small additional features makes Firefox stand tall in front of pigmy like IE.It is my bet that once a person starts using Firefox he would never return to IE except for cases where Firefox is not supported.

Imagine opening many instances of Firefox but instead of getting bunch of windows , what you see on your PC is a single instance of Firefox.This is the Tabbed Facility of Firefox where many instances of Firefox windows are seperated by Tabs allowing better navigation between the windows and hence making browsing pleasurable and enjoyable.This feature was original by Mozilla and is now supported by Opera and Safari browsers as well.

There might be many other technical differences between the two browsers but for a novice person,even switching between the windows makes a big difference.

This is the time when Microsoft thinks about its strategies to revamp IE and bring it to the mark of Firefox since we see only some minor upgradation in Windows but IE still remains the same.In this crunch of the competition,such small things matter and may be in the case of Browsers,David “IE” may lose the race to the Goliath “Firefox”

(This article will be updated as and when more information is received and would welcome the reader’s inputs as well).

Source : Economic Times, www.economictimes.com
Date : 09/10/05

  • Set up regular progress reports

Many problems arise due to lack of communication, you can avoid it by interacting with your boss on a regular basis.

Sit down with your boss and bring him up-to-date on projects. He will thus come to know what you are presently working on, is your performance up to the mark. Also, he can give you suggestions as to how you can overcome your shortcomings, if any.

The effect? Developing the boss/employee relationship, which will ultimately make working together more favourable.

  • Focus on the problem, not the boss

At times you just assume that you have a bad boss who doesn’t care about you. Have you ever gone forward yourself and tried to know what he really is?

Perhaps the boss isn’t the problem; maybe you just can’t get a good communication flow going. Don’t be shy to pull him aside when something doesn’t go your way.

Talk things over and don’t take it personally.

  • Work with your boss, not against him

Remember he is a more experienced person than you. There is so much you can learn from him.
Doing joint work will promote chemistry between you and your boss.
Be proactive and let him take some credit for your good work, so long as he’s aware of the source of it.

  • Go over his head

If you feel he is hampering your growth, it is about time you took some action. Don’t let him kill our efforts. Talk to him directly about this. Observe for some time, if he is trying to make things better, fine.

Still, if you see that you’re going nowhere fast, then consider talking to his supervisor.

Being productive is far more important than pleasing your boss, at the expense of the company.

  • Plan an out-of-office meeting

Do you keep trying to catch your boss for two minutes to pitch him a new idea, but he doesn’t have time?
Invite him for a quick drink after work to discuss some things.This encounter will serve the dual purpose of showing you take your job to heart and want to better your boss/employee relation.

  • Change departments, or quit

You have tried everything, still there are no signs of improvement.

Its about time you asked to be transferred to another department if you work in a big enough firm – or simply hand in your resignation letter.

Only you know your own worth, and if you don’t feel respected, motivated and so on, then move on.

Move from one job to another, but only for the right reasons

It’s yet another day at office. As I logged on to the marketing andadvertising sites for the latest updates, as usual, I found the headlinesdominated by ‘who’s moving from ne company to another after a shortstint’, and I wondered, why are so many people leaving one job foranother?

Is it passe now to work with just one company for a sufficientlylong period?
Whenever I ask this question to people who leave a company, the answers Iget are: “Oh, I am getting a 200% hike in salary”; “Well, I am jumpingthree levels in my designation”; “You know, my job profile is verydifferent there”; “Well, they are going to send me abroad in six months”.
Then, I look around at all the people who are considered successful todayand who have reached the top – be it a media agency, an advertising agencyor a company. I find that most of these people are the ones who have stuckto the company, ground their heels and worked their way to the top. And,as I look around for people who changed their jobs constantly, I find theyhave stagnated at some level , in obscurity!

In this absolutely ruthless, dynamic and competitive environment, thereare still no short-cuts to success or to making money. The only thing thatcontinues to pay, as earlier, is loyalty and hard work. Yes, it pays!Sometimes, immediately, sometimes after a lot of time. But, it does pay.
Does this mean that one should stick to an organisation and wait for thatgolden moment? Of course not. After a long stint, there always comes atime for moving in most organisations, but it is important to move for theright reasons, rather than superficial ones, like money, designation or anoverseas trip. Remember, no company recruits for charity. More often thannot, when you are offered an unseemly hike in salary or designation thatis disproportionate to what that company offers it current employees,there is always an unseen bait attached. The result? You will, in thelong-term, have reached exactly the same levels or maybe lower levels thanwhat you would have in your current company.

A lot of people leave an organisation because they are “unhappy”. What isthis so-called-unhappiness? I have been working for donkey’s years andthere has never been a day when I am not unhappy about something in mywork environment-boss, rude colleague, fussy clients etc.
Unhappiness in a workplace, to a large extent, is transient. If you lookhard enough, there is always something to be unhappy about. But, moreimportantly, do I come to work to be “happy” in the truest sense? If Ithink hard, the answer is “No”. Happiness is something you find withfamily, friends, maybe a close circle of colleagues who have becomefriends. What you come to work for is to earn, build a reputation, satisfyyour ambitions, be appreciated for your work ethics, face challenges andget the job done. So, the next time you are tempted to move, ask yourself why are you moving and what are you moving into? Some questions are:

* Am I ready and capable of handling the new responsibility? If yes, whatcould be the possible reasons my current company has not offered me thesame responsibility?
* Who are the people who currently handle this responsibility in thecurrent and new company? Am I as good as the best among them?
* As the new job offer has a different profile, why have I not given thecurrent company the option to offer me this profile?
* Why is the new company offering me the job? Do they want me for myskills, or is there an ulterior motive?

An honest answer to these will eventually decide where you go in yourcareer- to the top of the pile in the long term (at the cost of short-termblips) or to become another average employee who gets lost with time inthe wilderness?So decide before changing your job!!!!!!!!!