Have you ever considered yourself as a company? Probably this is a strange consideration, but is it really?
 
There are people who invest in us - like our parents, our loved ones, maybe even our boss. We have our very own stakeholders. We have competition, fighting for their "marketshare". Clearly – we ourselves are the product, but let's take a minute and reflect on who are our Customers.

09You already know how contagious emotions are. For the curious among us come even more amazing facts when you drill down into neurology science further.
 
It is only recently that the research shows how the different emotionally charged signals coming from outside or inside world create different neurological and behavioral response as they activate two almost fully independent nervous systems. The first one, Sympathetic Nervous System triggers our flight or fight response and when put in alert it takes charge of our survival. It is fundamentally hardwired to look for danger, pain and the negative. Its overriding goal beyond all others is to wake up and send signals to the brain activating survival hormones. This may serve evolutionary functions but arousal of strong negative emotions stimulates the Sympathetic Nervous System, which inhibits access to existing neural circuits and invokes cognitive, emotional, and perceptual impairment.

08It feels so good...
 
... the possibility, the vision, the meaning, the challenge, the goal, the road, the future...
 
...the aspiration, the ambition, the desire, the hope, the dream, the faith...
 
...the fear, the tears, the insecurity, the overtime, the fatigue, the support, the inspiration, the friendship, the laughter, the trust, the belonging...
 
...the anticipation, the thrill, the risk, the will, the speed, the energy, the effort, the run, the struggle, the stretch...
 
...the achievement, the success, the happiness, the explosion, the recognition, the confidence, the satisfaction, the pride, the "Yes, I did it" triumph...
 
...and you, in the middle of all this....
 
...you, larger than life...
 
...you, the king able to move mountains...
 
...you, with wings widespread to fly...
 
Be there, don't miss it. The taste of all achieved with blood, sweat and tears. The taste of fundamental success well deserved.
 
Go for it and embrace each and every second of this experience.
 
As it feels so damn good...
 
Best regards,
Violeta

07As you've read in last week's article from Violeta "The elephant in the room", there is one very important part of manager's daily responsibilities that is missing from our job description. Chances are – nobody has mentioned that to you and the person that has interviewed you as well as your boss have no idea that there is something missing.
 
I'm talking about the ability to control your mood.
 
We are social creatures and it is very easy for us to determine the emotional state of others when we see them. Emotions are contagious and the more we feel someone close to us or the more we trust and respect that person it's easier for their mood to get transferred to us. Imagine your child or mother, or your spouse in a bad mood...Their face, posture, the words they say and how they say them... I bet that even this mental image has affected your current emotional state. Now imagine them happy, laughing or coming around the corner, energetic, with a smile on their face, eager to tell you something funny.
 
And now – try to look at yourself from the perspective of your co-workers. What mood do you bring to the office?

06"People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel." - Maya Angelou, poet
 
In his book "Good to Great", Jim Collins studied what drives average companies to take a quantum leap and become extraordinary. He concluded that a crucial component of greatness was a paradoxical blend of leaders' personal humility, professional will and distinctive mindful, conscious emotional conduct.

05There is one thing I believe in full-heartedly. Every single person has potential for growth. The bandwidth may differ but it is never a zero. And what really ignites this process is simply saying "I know you can". With this short phrase you spark the possibilities for every person to give a try, to step forth, feel the self-confidence and energy of her own capabilities.
 
"Never doubt the capacity of the people you lead to accomplish whatever you dream for them", says Benjamin Zander, a conductor freely granting "A" scores to his students in the very beginning of the academic year, prior all practicing and exams. In addition, he asks them to write a letter, placing themselves in the future, looking back and reporting in details all accomplishment attained and goals achieved to deserve the pre-granted "A".
 
"I know you can" is a statement that creates space for possibility for both manager and employee. It charges the relationship with positive energy, taps on optimism and anticipation, and presupposes accountability and success. There is nothing more challenging and motivating than being trusted.
 
Do try this today delegating a task to a team member.
 
Best regards,
Violeta
 
P.S.: Please do try this at home as well.

04How often and what do you say "Yes" to at the workplace?
 
And I do not mean the "Yes, but" or the "I am saying yes, because I need some time to find out plausible reasons to refuse or to show you this will never work". I mean the Yes that truly has a commitment behind it.
 
Saying "Yes", committing and then delivering is a trait of high performing people. People that are not afraid to go out of their comfort zone and do something new, something extra and often times something seemingly "impossible".

03Managing people is a tough job. You need to realize that well in advance. It is tough because it requires heavy emotional labour; demands awareness, conscious reflection, self-control, persistence, openness, integrity, empathy and intrinsic motivation. Managing people means you are ready to go outside your comfort zone and dealing with others' emotions, attitudes and behaviours. It also means leading those others outside their own comfort zones as well which is challenging by any measures.
 
And there is no shortcut to learning how. You can learn English in six months, financial analysis in three and Excel in just one. But there is no fast track training program to leadership. As leading people does not require simple technical skills but emotional intelligence that is born largely in the neurotransmitters of the brain limbic system, which governs feelings, impulses, and drives. Research indicates that the limbic system learns through motivation, extended practice, individualized approach and feedback.
 
"Red" Redding says in The Shawshank Redemption movie, "Geology is the study of pressure and time. That's all it takes really, pressure, and time."
 
So does learning Leadership.
 
But if you are bold enough to change the status quo, build culture and connect people with ideas; if you have enough will and discipline to commit to a cause and engage followers; if you have that inner motivation to create something that matters, then managerial job is the one made for you.
 
Best regards,
Violeta
 
P.S.: This blog is dedicated to spreading ideas and insights to inspire you, and knowledge and tools to guide your practice. Stay with us and share what works for you being managers.

02What are your goals as people managers? Maybe to increase revenue, to make sure your team hits the sales or performance targets, the successful completion of a project? Maybe Customer Satisfaction percentage?
 
And do you have a goal that tells you to make your team happy? 
 
Sounds silly right? "Happy" is not a business objective or a performance target. "Happy" doesn't seem to have a place in our professional lives full of excel, meetings, systems, phone calls, conference calls, project reviews, deadlines, problematic customers, issues, deliveries, and objectives. We talk about engagement, motivation, being proactive and self-starting - the right qualities for a business environment.

01Every now and then, when we stop typing emails or filling in reporting spreadsheets and look around us, we'll find out something has changed. In a blink of an eye a new world of total connectedness has emerged. For just a few years our lives have been invaded by smartphones, online applications, social media and technology gadgets. And lots of lots of information available. If you Google search a simple word as "cup" you'll get over 350 mil results in less than a second. Nowadays we have more than 4.5 bil social media users and the numbers are mind-blowingly growing.
 
The so called "digital revolution" began in early 70s with the adoption and proliferation of digital computers, and it became global in 2000s spreading to the masses in the developing world. The WWW became publicly acceptable in 1991. The widespread use and interconnectedness of mobile networked devices and mobile telephony, internet websites and resources, and social networking have become a de facto standard in digital communication. By 2012, over 2 billion people used the Internet. Cloud computing had entered the mainstream by the early 2010s. By 2015, tablet computers and smartphones are expected to exceed personal computers in Internet usage. And suddenly a whole new world of possibilities appeared. A world that includes greater interconnectedness, easier communication, and the spanless exposure of information.