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Archive for September, 2008

When Reducing Cost is More Than What It Is

September 27, 2008 Leave a comment

I’ve been following the progress of Tim Sander’s book “Saving The World At Work” and found a great perspective on cutting down on cost (didn’t I say I’m a fan of Tim Sanders?) I’m really good at finding means to cut down on costs, coming from a third-world country where resources are scarce. In businesses where making profit is a top priority, the common message is to increase revenue or lower down costs to make sure profits go up. The ideal case would be to do both at the same time, hence, maximizing profits. Today, cutting down costs means more than that. It means saving the environment, as the book highlights. Whether you are turning off the lights when not in use or simply reducing the amount of paper used to print documents, it’s a means to saving your environment. And this is one message you need to convey to customers, staff, partners and stakeholders. Not only do you get their support (who wouldn’t want to save the environment with what is happening around us?) but also gives you a different perspective on increasing your profit margins.

Brag About Your Staff…and do it often

September 27, 2008 1 comment



One thing managers are really good at is bragging about their accomplishments. There’s nothing wrong with that so long as you do not take credit for what is not yours. But what they need to do more often is brag about their staff and make sure they do it real good. I had an opportunity to do just that last week where our project director asked me if I can deal with an immediate project. I know its not my field of expertise but I know somebody from my peers who’s really good at it. I started talking to my director about the guy and made sure he gets to do the job. I acted as the coordinator/project manager for this until the issue has been resolved. I requested for a comprehensive report of what the guy did to fix the issue and formatted it very well to make sure my director would perceive of it as a highly critical project. After submitting the report, I made it a point that he gets compensated for what he did. To make the long story short, the guy got compensated for what he did because I pushed so hard for it. But my job didn’t stop at the point where he got the payment. I’ve crafted a very nice email thanking the customer for their confidence in our team and that we under my director’s leadership are committed to excellent customer service and are always ready to be of help. I asked the guy to send that email to the customer and copied our director. That guy became a somebody from a nobody in a span of a week and the management realized his value in the organization.

As managers, we get much of the limelight especially when our team did really good on a project or two. It wouldn’t hurt if we let our staff take the spotlight once in a while and make sure they shine within the organization. They will feel good about themselves, about you as their manager and the organization for recognizing their potential. So, for the weeks to come, find something about your staff that you can brag about and make sure they feel it. They’ll love you for doing it

Categories: people management

The Power of a Smile

September 19, 2008 Leave a comment

I was renewing my driver’s license in Manila, Philippines two weeks ago and learned a very important lesson. The renewal process was quite efficient with all the information necessary to renew one’s driver’s license posted on billboards inside the office. The staff were very helpful and know exactly what they were doing. It took much longer than expected as there were a lot of people trying to renew at the same time but, overall, the process was very efficient, I should say. One of the staff approached me as I was waiting for the release of my ID card and asked me to fill up a survey form about their process with the usual questions on the form. I answered every question with something like “very good” or “very satisfied” until I came to the portion where you were given a chance to provide additional feedback. There’s just one thing I noticed about their staff – they rarely smile. And that’s exactly what I’ve written in the additional comments section. And that hit me hard. Efficiency doesn’t matter when you’re dealing with people. You may be very good at what you do, know exactly what needs to be done and how to do it but if you don’t include the “people factor” with what you do – in this case, a simple SMILE – you’ll still apear to be inefficient from other people’s point of view. So here’s a word of advice for subject matter experts (SMEs) out there or just about anybody: SMILE. Give a smile to just about anybody you see today. You’ll never know if the person on the receiving end needs one badly or has the authority to give you your most awaited promotion or increase
Categories: Positive Mindset, SMILE

I’m speaking at PASS – again

September 10, 2008 Leave a comment

I was privileged enough to do another presentation for the PASS Community Summit this year in Seattle, WA. PASS stands for Professional Association for SQL Server. While this may be a technical conference, my session topic isn’t. I will be speaking on Using Emotional Intelligence in Information Technology. My goal for presenting at PASS is to help people grow and develop their full potential, which has been my personal mission statement. Now since the attendees are all tech savvy, it would be best to complement it with self-help topics to make them a well-rounded IT professional.

So, if you’re attending the PASS Community Summit this year, please drop by my session
Categories: Uncategorized

Life’s Lessons from Humpty Dumpty


You definitely know this if you were required to memorize nursery rhymes when you were a kid. Who would ever imagined a nugget of truth embedded behind those lines
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.
A lot of people claim that they’re on a slump, having a bad day, just fortunately unfortunate and everything else they can think of. They blame their misfortunes to life itself and expect the situation or somebody else to help them bounce back and pick them up. Sad to say, we are the only ones who can help us. And that’s a fact. Not the king’s horses nor his men.
And if I were to add a second part to this nursery rhyme, here’s probably what I’ll write
Had Humpty Dumpty realized the fact
That nobody else can help him get back
He’d probably think twice on sitting atop the wall
Or design a nice armor so he’ll survive the fall
We all fall in a slump or a ditch every now and then. No one’s exempted. But make sure you make that decision to bounce back in because no one else can help you do that but yourself