Careers Slideshow: Business School Truths for the Career-Minded CIOBy Dennis McCafferty | Posted 07-21-2010
Mission/vision statements that cannot be debated contain little value.
If saying the opposite of your statement is clearly undesirable, then it is not providing any information that is helpful.
Learn about an organizations culture before working for it.
Some encourage "open door" leaders. Some discourage them. Many embrace creative freedom and a "campus" vibe. Others are regimented. Determine your best fit and work for that company.
The most difficult, time-consuming problems in business are not business problems.
They are human problems: absenteeism, egos, confusion. Good managers minimize root factors that create these difficulties.
Most employees want to do good work.
They are motivated by extrinsic factors (praise, recognition, money) and intrinsic ones (fulfillment, challenge).
You must decide if you are a "command," "consensus" or "consultation" leader.
Command leaders are top-down. Consensus leaders allow a majority of those impacted by direction to decide. Consultation leaders are a blend of both.
A manager should have no more than six to eight employees as direct reports.
A new layer is generally needed after eight. Then another after 36. Then another after 64, and so on.
In negotiations, those who care less about the outcome are best positioned to "win."
Indifference is the strongest impression to convey at the table.
"Free" can be part of a successful business model.
Example: Adobe gives away Reader software but charges for the Acrobat program that makes screen-readable docs.
Promoting your best IT performer to manager can be a big mistake.
Star performers get frustrated when managing less-skilled employees. Remember: Magic Johnson was one of the all-time NBA great point guards. He was 5-11 as a coach.
Six effective steps in running a meeting:
1. Create and distribute an agenda three to seven days in advance.2. Designate a note-taker and a clock-watcher. (It can be the same person.)3. Begin on time no matter who shows up late and set rules for behavior (i.e. no more than two minutes per comment made from meeting participants).4. Do not stray from the distributed agenda or allow discussion to wander from the topic at hand.5. Draw clear conclusions by the end and designate concrete "action steps."6. After the meeting, distribute a summary to all participants and outline what will happen next. Welcome comments and questions.