Monday, June 28, 2010

How few people think ahead

I recently came across a start-up which, although knowing that it would be seeking investors, set itself up as an LLC. It is virtually impossible to have multiple shareholders in an LLC. Any company which seeks them has to be a C-corp, yet converting from an LLC to a C-corp is both time-consuming and expensive. So, thinking ahead would suggest that you set it up as such. It is the same with many things, we do not think about the ultimate consequences of steps we take.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Delegating is very hard

Delegating is one of the keys to being a good manager, yet very few people can to do it effectively. While micro-managing is deadly, so is abandonment. I see so many people who cannot allow subordinates the freedom they need, while remaining well informed and totally supportive. This is one of the many key skills which are not really taught effectively in any environment, but should be. I will cover more of these in future posts.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Reaching out to people should not be scary

So many people do not feel comfortable reaching out to people. I have increasingly come to believe that if you come across someone whom you can help, can help you, or is simply interesting, you should never hesitate about contacting them. I see job hunters hesitate about calling people, or they call once but do not persevere. Even if you want to talk to someone interesting, it is often astonishing how much they appreciate someone who approaches them.

Regulation vs. none - the role of government

There is much evidence that "top down" regulation does not work as well as regulation which appeals to self-interest. For example setting mileage standards for cars is slower and less effective than raising fuel prices through taxes. Yet, so many in government keep on believing in top down regulation. This is because legislators and regulators do not understand how business works, nor its complexity. As a result, regulated companies spend much time learning how to get around the regulations and this results in the "law of unintended consequences."

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Peer Group counseling or practitioner coaching improves performance

Vistage recently looked at growth rates for member companies and found that over 2005 to 2009, growth averaged +5.8% vs. an average decline for D&B companies of 9.2%. This kind of relative performance is true for any company or individual who asks for and receives advice. Whether the advice is through peer counseling as in Vistage or YPO, or individual coaching from a practitioner, who has "been there, done it," the results are better than if someone tries to go it alone. Yet, many people resist seeking advice. Perhaps they see it as a sign of weakness, or perhaps they do not realize how valuable another perspective can be.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Do hyphenated Americans have to reject their heritage to be successful politicians?

It is interesting that the two most successful Indian-American politicians, Bobby Jindal, Governor of Louisiana, and Nikki Haley, probably next governor of South Carolina, felt compelled to change both name (from Piyush to Bobby and Nimrata to Nikki) and religion (from Hindu to Roman Catholic and Sikh to Methodist). Was this a wish to seem more "American," or simple happenstance. I find it sad that they felt comfortable in walking away from their cultural and religious heritages.