26 August 2010

How to make a Gantt chart on Excel video (brilliant!)

I am now responsible for taking care of the plan in my team (my previous and dear team will laugh at me), so I came up with an awesome way to plan using Excel:

16 August 2010

Learning leadership again and again everyday

According to a research made by the Corporate Leadership Council, the ten most important leadership characteristics are:

1. Honesty and integrity
2. Clearly communicate expectations
3. Recognize and reward achievement
4. Adapt to changing circumstances
5. Inspire others
6. Put right people in right roles at the right time
7. Passion to succeed
8. Identify and articulate long-term vision
9. Persuade and encourage others to move in the desired direction
10. Accept responsibility for successes and failures

Sounds great and I fully agree they are definitely outstanding characteristics that will make a leader successful. BUT, here is the catch, no one can be perfect in all of those, all the time, with all the people. Read the list again and check out, each of these characteristics can be subject to very wide interpretations. And, if there is big room for interpretation, there is a big room for the same behavior that subject A consider as “honesty and integrity” be considered “too direct and hash” by subject B. Worse: the same behavior can be identified as “honesty and integrity” or “too direct and hash” by the same person, depending on the mood he/she is in the moment or the subject the leader is touching.

What now? Despair? Chaos?

No, business as usual for leaders: adapt constantly to the people. For each person, you have to “learn” leadership again. Maybe even for every moment. Leadership is being 100% present at the moment – which is weird because one of the main characteristics of leaders is to look to the future and articulate the long-term vision. Well, no one said it would be easy :)

07 August 2010

Become a 100% leader

Mark Murphy, CEO of Leadership IQ, says that the “two most important differentiating factors in separating exceptional from average leaders are Challenge and Connection.” Challenge is the extent to which a leader pushes his or her people. Connection is the strength of the emotional connection they build with their people. You need to decide how much you want to challenge your people and how tight an emotional bond you want to build with them.

Working for the Appeaser. You’re given enjoyable assignments, you’re allowed to spend most of your time on work that plays to your strengths, your boss gives you lots of positive feedback, and your boss seems to care most about making sure you’re really happy.

Working for the Intimidator. You’re given seemingly impossible assignments; you don’t feel like you’ve got all the skills you need to complete those assignments; when your boss gives you feedback, it’s usually pretty harsh and critical; and your boss seems to care most about achieving his goals no matter who’s with him at the end.

Working for the Avoider. Your boss doesn’t really force too many assignments on you, you’re not really required to learn new skills, your boss lets you figure out for yourself how you’re doing, and your boss seems to care most about not getting in your way.

Working for the 100% Leader. You’re given really challenging assignments, you’re required to learn new skills even in areas you might not consider to be your natural strengths, your boss gives you lots of constructive and positive feedback, and your boss seems to care most about pushing you to maximize every ounce of your potential.

What kind of leader are you? What kind is your leader?

From The Leading Blog.

06 August 2010

The 12 elements of great leadership

To identify the elements of worker engagement. Gallup conducted many thousands of interviews in all kinds of organizations, at all levels, in most industries, and in many countries. These 12 statements -  the Gallup Q -  emerged from Gallups pioneering research as those that best predict employee and workgroup performance.

1. I know what is expected of me at work.
2. I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right. 
3. At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.
4. In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work.
5. My supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about me as a person. 
6. There is someone at work who encourages my development.
7. At work, my opinions seem to count.
8. The mission or purpose of my com company makes me feel my job is important.
9. My associates or fellow employees are committed to doing quality work.
10. I have a best friend at work.
11. In the last six months, someone at work has talked to me about my progress. 
12. This last year, I have had opportunities at work to learn and grow.
Think of great team experiences you had and count how many of those were there (or bad team experiences that those 12 were not there). Which ones?

05 August 2010

AIESEC alumnus knows the secret of life (and exchange)

If you ever been in AIESEC you know there is one phenomenon that is equal everywhere: when current AIESEC members meet the organization’s alumni, the alumnus almost always regard their period in AIESEC the best in the universe possible and giving the impression that the current AIESEC members don’t know what they are doing (and start giving advice – obviously not considering the current situation of the organization). It’s an illusion of the bright past, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is that now that I am an alumnus, I can do the same!

So here are my hints for AIESEC, now that I am only an alumnus:

MyAIESEC.net – the massive intranet were 50.000 interact.

Outsource it´s collaboration tools – if you want to use it as a collaboration tool, do it right or not at all (because there are loads of collaboration alternatives for free online). Instead of trying to develop functions to collaborate, look at what is available in the market. 2 examples of collaboration online here and here.

External apps integration – what are you waiting to integrate it with Facebook, Twitter and all that? Geez, to have a networking function in myAIESEC.net is ridiculous. Get a grip, integrate with Facebook profiles. Ok, you can even make a Ning integration if you wish. The other way around would also be insanelly fun: open myaiesec.net statistics for external apps so users could remix and improve them as they see fit.

Beat the crap out of monster.com – make the exchange forms available to anyone to see (without the contact details and names when not logged in). Let companies search for student profiles to see if they find someone interesting. Let non-AIESEC students search for exchange opportunities and them to apply to AIESEC online to get those opportunities. Of course, for this to work there need to be a major revamp in the way that information is presented and searched. Talking about search…

Use Google search – stop that crappy search from hindering people to find what they want.

Customizable measures of success report – want to see exchange realized in terms, not in years? Impossible today. Want to check your committee’s exchange results 10 years ago? Nope. Come on, the data is there, you just need a good way to organize and present it.

Integrate with Google news (or whatever it´s called) – Present the latest mentions of AIESEC in the web automatically in myAIESEC.net. Can´t be so hard, can it?

Kill the alumni module – I know you put money on it (I helped to pay), but sunk cost will not come back. Make only an alumni Facebook or Ning integration and everyone will be happy.

AIESEC internal processes and stuff – how you run your business

HR business partnering – lots of companies do this: some people in HR are “partners” to certain managers. So they help the manager to implement HR processes. This has an interesting side effect: traditionally-aloof-to-business-performance-talent-management members will be inside a core work team, bringing them closer to how the business is really run without HR mambo jambo.

HiPo program (national) – High Potentials program. A series of stretch assignments for members that we believe have a great potential inside the organization to assume key positions. The national HR would take a co-responsibility in developing these people.

Let successful people talk to wanna-be successful – new leaders interviewing successful leaders in their own units and elsewhere. Connect the HiPos above to each other and to successful ex-HiPos. Create a network of success.

Forget balanced scorecard – as the main planning tool at least. You can use to access the organization if you wish. Almost no local committee needs the complexity of a balanced scorecard. Talking about complexity…

Make “simplicity” a value – that’s it, you know why.

Option to stop the spamming in the exchange promotion – user-centric, remember?

Strategies, focus, actions, whatever…

One blog to rule them all – a global blog that collects exchange, leadership and partner stories all over the world. Obviously can be customized to see only one kind of experience or only people from one country or in another country.

University partnership – there need to be a much much bigger focus in becoming closer to the university. In the future, the right move would be to include AIESEC as an extracurricular activity to get some study points and so on.

Sell university engagement – which organization can provide a fast access to students in 800 universities all around the world? NONE. But AIESEC could, if there was a system that other entities could sell certain kinds of access to certain universities. This is worth a fortune if it’s efficient and customizable enough, AIESEC.

65 years, start the plan now – Start the planning (and execution) of the 65 years of AIESEC now.