Top execs must share values

It starts with your founding partners. If your partners or top execs don’t share your values, then the people they hire will not share your values either.  Once that happens you will always have a schism in your organisation. Your people vs his people.  And that will end badly.

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When the parents fight, the kids get upset

Get on with your partners, or part with with your partners. Staying together just leads to bickering. Staff will become confused and your company will grind to a halt. And you will fail. When the parents fight, the kids get upset. 

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Don’t talk of the future

When making public pronouncements, never talk of your plans for the future. Only talk of what you’ve achieved. Talking of the future means you have nothing to say about what you’re already done. Which means you’ve done nothing. Which means you’re useless. Only talk of your achievements, not what you’re planning to achieve.

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Beware ass-kissers

Don’t be fooled by smart, smooth-talkers that blew smoke up your ass. Rather surround yourself with realistic sounding boards, even if they’re not eloquent. Dreamers and conmen will egg you on. Ass-kissers will tell you what they think you want to hear. You will then faill. Stay away.

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HR drives culture

HR is not a back-office dept. It strategic. HR doesn’t define culture. It drives culture. It’s no good coming up with a great mission, vision and values, if you don’t effectively communicate them to staff. Communicating them to staff means marketing, training, pushing, pestering, process-engineering, admin, and most NB, recruitment. That’s what you need HR…

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Reporting lines, measurement & job description

If you want happy staff, just do this: Make sure everyone knows who they report to, how they’re measured, and what their job is. Such a simple rule, but hard to implement. Why? Because it’s so easy to keep reporting lines and job descriptions vague. Much harder to be hard and clear, especially on performance…

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Take a firm line

Racism? Sexual harassment? If the charges stack up, don’t hesitate. Fire. There are some things where the line is non-negotiable. Don’t hesitate. Don’t wiffle waffle. Fire.

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Hire people that make you feel insecure

Weak people know they’re weak, so they bring in even weaker people to make sure they’re not threatened. Never hire weak people. When filling important positions, only hire people that are cleverer than you. If she doesn’t make you feel a bit insecure, then you’re aiming too low. 

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Fire people fast

It’s tricky knowing whether someone is adding value, especially when they’re in a crucial role. The test is whether you find yourself asking the question: Is he adding value? The moment you have toask that question, you have the answer already. He isn’t. Cut him loose. 

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Tell the truth

If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember what you said. The truth can be scary. I lifetime of white lies can make it difficult to just be honest.  Sometimes even when the truth is acceptable you’ll find yourself dissembling.  Stop it. Don’t be afraid.  Tell the truth.

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Expect nothing

You can’t be disappointed if you’re not expecting anything.  You can’t be taken by surprise if you’re expecting nothing. Give people the benefit of the doubt, but don’t project your definition of how the world should work. Just because a person doesn’t have the integrity of Gandhi, the wisdom of Solomon, or courage of Winston…

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Believe in yourself

You have the magic. No one else could have done what you’ve done. You are special.  You are not an imposter. You are the real deal.  You can make a success of anything. But first, believe in yourself.  If you don’t believe, you have zero chance.

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