Category Archives: Mangement

Are you winning?

Are you winning?I have just finished reading an enlightening book from professor Ian Robertson, The Winner Effect: How Power Affects Your Brain.

Of all the very interesting things I read, there is one which caught my attention more than anything else: the concept of responsibility.

Basically, what prof. Robertson asks himself is: “why does the winning factor of great personalities not affect automatically their children?”. He was bringing the example of Pablo Picasso, whose son Paulo could never succeed in his life despite such a wonderful example of geniality given by his father.

Well, what prof. Robertson discovered is that in all those cases when the children of very powerful genius were basically losers throughout all their lives, something peculiar had happened: their parents had hidden the ladder of their success.

This means that they had hidden a ladder representing all the steps they took to become successfull, so that nobody else could be able to reproduce the same.

And this happened only when such parents perceived themselves as Gods, Kings (Pablo Picasso would refer to himself as “The King”) and in general attributed their success to a sort of genetic or natural predisposition, rather than to commitment and practice (it has been shown that “genius” only comes after 10.000 hours of practice).

To conclude, not taking responsibility of your own actions will, in general, assume that all the outcome of your current existence only derives from external factors or external circumstances. And this can hardly lead to something good.

As a matter of fact, all of the depressed people I know refer to their situations as “unlucky, impossible to change, predestinate” and use words as “bad luck, the future can only be worse, there is no work for people anymore in this society, there is no place for me in the world”.

The thing here is, whether you are successful or not, circumstances are just an ingredient of your situation. Giving them a 100% of the responsibility means you basically have no power on anything, you do not deserve anything, you will not be able to achieve anything with just will of power and your own strengths.

And if you perceive yourself like this, who will ever invest on you?

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The unbearable lightness of being a LEADER

the unbearable lightness of being

I “steal” the quote from this incredibly intense book I read when I was a teenager to explain the paradox of leadership.

Why paradox?

Well, I guess it’s because Leaders need to be able to carry a lot of weight without being overwhelmed, carry weight but stay light.

Leaders who cannot do this will eventually surrender because of the too much pressure.

What are, then, the prerequisites for being a Leader? Not only lightness, I say, but also the environment around him, even though even the best possible environment will not help if Leadership is not in the DNA.

The best seeds will not grow in cement.

Being in an environment where you can say what you think, when debating and challenging other leaders’ ideas is not only accepted but expected, that is the right place for a Leader.

There are not many places in the world where this is possible, but if you stumble upon one of those, please stop.

 

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Ode to my enemies

 

Have you ever met a bad person?

By “bad” I mean someone who is unexpectedly and unreasonably mean to you and you just  can’t understand why. Those aggressive people who try so hard to make your life difficult.

Recently I’ve had the opportunity of spending some time with some very important people to me. They were talking about those people who constantly try to sabotage you and your work, people who are never happy with anything you do whose only aim in life is to show to other people (the powerful ones) how good and amazing and skilled they are.

Pointless to say, these people hardly have any talent.

There is a very simple reason for this: if I am talented, I don’t need to jump and scream and punch other people to show myself off.

My value will speak for itself.

Anyway, I was chatting with these old friends of mine and kept telling them, as well as I repeat it to myself, treasure your enemies.

I wouldn’t have achieved what I have now if it wasn’t for my enemies and the negative role models I met in the past. Ok now, I’m not a multimillionaire (yet, LOL), but I am pretty lucky: I have a good job that I love, the people I work with are good people, my bosses are good people, I have a happy family.

Achieving all this wasn’t easy, though. I had to prove my value several times, I had to destroy all I had and re-build it, I have to study a lot to be always up-to-date (but this is good because I actually enjoy studying) and last, but not least, I have to work hard.

Now, clearly I met some negative role models in my past (and I’m pretty sure it’s not over: life is always testing you and pushing you beyond your limits), but I was lucky enough to understand them, see the reason laying behind their absolutely mean behaviour, perceive them in all their weakness, fragility and poor spirit.

My “enemies” are always in my heart. They are printed in my mind with indelible ink. They help me keeping always in mind 2 things:

1) The person I don’t want to be

2) The people I don’t want around me

Negative role models have such a stronger power for your psychology than the positive ones.

Sure, a good boss or a talented colleague will always be in your heart somehow, but a very mean person will never ever leave your mind, especially if you managed to remove his/her power.

And when you do it once, you can do it 100 times: life gets so much easier 🙂

*also, I have to confess this: the incredible behaviours I ran into are strongly culturally bounded. Some unapologetic kiss-feet dynamics I saw are extremely common in Italian companies and would be quite embarrassing in international structures. Also, from my point of view the return-on-investment of such behaviour is very low (taking for granted that it is something I abhor!)

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The glass ceiling myth in the web 2.0 era

I really need to share with you, my beloved readers, something that a dear colleague of mine shared with me yesterday, and that really impacted my way of thinking and doing projects for the future.

The speaker is the enlightening Cindy Gallop, whose motto is “why walk if you can gallop?”. Smart girl. Very smart girl. I wish I had such a surname!

In the video I’m about to show you, she says very inspiring things about how we relate to our work, revealing that we can, we should, we must set the boundaries we want and work the way we want, doing what we love, so that it will never feel as work but as a blessing, a miracle, the dream of being paid for doing something that is not a huge sacrifice.

Also, she mentions a very true quote: “there is no such thing as a glass ceiling: there’s just a thick layer of men” .

Every woman working in the digital world can confirm this. Most of the times when I attend web or digital events I feel like an outsider, it seems to me that it is so much a men thing. Geeks (like me) drinking beer and talking all the time of java.net, jquery, CSS and other super interesting (!) programming things. The ones with whom I can relate the most are the usability experts: usability requires intuition, attention to detail and big picture at the same time (many female friends of mine would define these characteristics as feminine: I don’t want to be too provocative, though. At least not for now!).

Anyway, here is the inspiring, enlightening, life-changing video of Cindy Gallop. Enjoy it, understand it, process it, share it, do it!

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Are you in the right place? Are you happy?

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The premises are that we all deserve to be happy. Uhm … No. The premises are that all good people (and by good people I mean those who do not need to hurt the others to get what they want) deserve to be happy.

The facts are: I don’t see many happy people around me in the world.

The facts are: 90% of the people I meet everyday spend 50% of their time working.

Another fact is (this is the last one, I swear) that less than 50% of the people are not happy with their job.

Now, luckily I’m not one of those (I’d have many things to say but I love what I do and I love the industry I work in, so I can’t really complain that much), but how many people are preventing themselves to be happy by doing the wrong job?

Moreover, since recession is here and finding a job is really really tough, the wish to change job is something that will unlikely come true. That person will not move.

So, basically, because of recession even more people are doing something that does not make them happy. And do you know what happens to these people? In the long run, they become either mean or unproductive. Uhm, no, not a good thing for the company. So the company starts losing money. And that creates more recession.

Do we really want to end up this way, with our professional life full of mean and sad people who do not have alternatives? Do we have the right to stand up and fight for our right to be happy even though it’s tough, even when it seems that there are no alternatives?

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New Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer Is Pregnant. Does It Matter? – Forbes

New Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer Is Pregnant. Does It Matter? – Forbes.

New Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer Is Pregnant. Does It Matter? - Forbes

Forbes asks if it does matter.

I wonder why we are even talking about this.

Italian newspapers say this is a 100% non Italian story; such a young woman with so much responsibility. I say: it is an Italian story, it is a universal story.

It’s called the glass ceiling.

And it’s called “let’s give incredible responsibility to a woman by giving her an extremely delicate position in a company with some problems, and let’s see what happens. We will definitely have someone to blame if things go wrong”.

But this is just my point of view. And Concita de Gregorio‘s.

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I’m young, I’m a woman, I’m a manager and YES, I am trustworthy!

I probably feel inspired today, (and by the way, it’s raining cats and dogs and it’s the perfect night to write) so I need to send this message to the business world out there.

Many times in the last years I felt as I was in a bubble, and I’m pretty sure that wasn’t just my perception. There is this “invisible glass bubble”, similar in a way to the famous crystal ceiling that most women encounter in their professional path, that generally isolates women in business environments.

Most men readers will probably not understand this, and I don’t blame them, it’s just so hard to understand thing we never experienced.

Well, this is the story. In the business world, mor than in any other environment, women have to struggle 10 times more than a man to be perceived as serious professionals. And most of the times hard work just won’t be enough if not associated to a “men attitude”. Which means: austerity, figures-figures-figures and that “I’m a successful businessman too busy to care about anything else but me” . Nothing personal against figures, of course, I love figures! But just when they’re accompanied by a thorough and inspired analysis!

I was recently discussing this with a female super manager friend of mine, and we both agreed that businesswomen (can you say that?) do not have role models. The only role models they have are men. And incorporating those attitudes into your management style is very dangerous. It won’t just fit. It’s against your nature, why should I be forced to move away from my nature?

Why can’t I just be me? Even if I’m a professional, even if it’s a world run by men, why can’t I just be me and still be appreciated for my ideas, my talents, my analytical skills, my creativity, my passions and YES, my instinct? Is instinct really that bad?

It actually seems it helped evolution …  but what do I know, I’m just a woman 😉

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