Art of the Start – Guy Kawasaki

September 1, 2010 Leave a comment

Finished the audio book “Art of the Start” by Guy Kawasaki.  It was great in some parts.  Gave affirmation of some of the things that I already knew by trial and error.  The 10-20-30 presentation style , ask forgiveness rather than ask permission, start change in a small way were things that I picked up earlier and this book confirmed that these are the right approaches.

There are many chapters that are very specific for start-ups and for businesses.  Since that was not my focus, I paid attention only to those ideas/concepts that would help me as a Program Manager.  There were a definitely a few of them.  One of them being “Get Discovered”.  This was in relation to starting a process/change/product from the ground-up and building enough momentum that the process/change/product gets discovered.  The Art of Speaking, The Art of Pitching and The Art of Recruiting ha some tidbits for anyone doing some public speaking, pitching and recruiting.  Overall I will keep this book as a reference for future browsing.

Looks like Guy Kawasaki has a lot of following on the internet with his blog ,  “How to change the world”  and I am going to add it to the links on this blog.

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Categories: Uncategorized

99 Best Business Books List

August 28, 2010 Leave a comment

I have been reading a book a week mostly non-fiction business books from the beginning of this year .  My selection of the books to read was mostly accidental.  I was maintaining multiple wish lists of the books to read and some books got randomly on top of the existing books because the titles attracted me when I was at the Library or in Barnes & Noble.   So, when I came across the Personal MBA Reading List it was like a solution to my problem.  I can now use this one list that has been reviewed by multiple people as the 99 best business books to read.

I had already read 6 books from this list.  Since I came across this list, I have read 4 books.  Currently I am reading the “Making Things Happen” by Scott Berkun and listening to the audio book “Art of the Start” by Guy Kawasaki.  My reading strategy is to read at least 30 minutes every day and to use the Speed reading techniques that I learnt from “10 Days to Faster Reading”.  I also want to track my progress on this blog weekly.  I was thinking of reviewing the books I read and the last one I read was “Tribes” by Seth Godin.  Today, I came across the book review on Sid Savara’s blog and he has done a fabulous review.  He has added multi media links and interviews.  So, I have decided to skip the review because I can now spend that time reading instead of reviewing.

Categories: Learnings

Metawork – Liked the post

August 28, 2010 Leave a comment

I liked this post by Sid Savara where he talks about the difference between meta work and real work.  I now understand that I spend quite sometime on metawork than real work.  Metawork feels like work but at the end there is no accomplishment.  Metawork is lot of planning but no real work.  In Program management world, lot of time spent on defining and refining processes, building and tweaking project plans etc.,  All this is good and is needed but the idea is to work the plan and not working on the plan.

How to avoid this?  The first step is to ask the question whether this is metawork or real work.  There is some amount of meta work that is necessary.  I read somewhere that if you spend 10% planning then your chances of successfully completing the task increase manifold.  For example, if you pick a book to read and you plan ahead how many hours you are going to spend on this book, which chapters you are going to read and which ones you are going to skip then there is a great chance that you will complete the book and get the benefit that you expected from the book.  So, meta work is necessary but it needs to be 10% or less of the real work.  I am going to follow my own rule of thumb to avoid any meta work.

Categories: Learnings

New Links – Purpose

August 28, 2010 Leave a comment

I have added many new links this week to the blog.  Most of them are blogs that I want to follow.  Someday when I find time, I will start using the Delicious site to book mark all my favorite sites.  Someday, I will start using Google Reader to subscribe to the online content that I would be interested to read.  Someday, I will start fully using EverNote.  Someday, I will  ….. I know that the road to someday leads to nowhere.  I digress…

Categories: Purpose

Single-Tasking – The New Trend

April 3, 2010 Leave a comment

Single-tasking has now become the new mantra on increasing employee productivity.  Back in the 90s, multi-tasking was a skill that companies asked for in potential job seekers.  Now multi-tasking is less productive and a huge time-waster.  Many companies have realized that multi-tasking is counter-productive and research proves multi-tasking is slower and ineffective.

Since many companies are now virtual , the single most common multi-tasking activity is being on the phone and doing any of the following activities – e-mailing, Instant Messaging, browsing on internet etc.,  Multi-tasking has become an addiction or in some cases a disease.

Back in 2006, I was a huge multi-tasker and I was stressed out all the time.  To understand the link between multi-tasking and stress, please read this blog.  Then I came across some articles by which I got more and more drawn towards Single-Tasking. Now, one of the things that I have started doing is to turn off my monitor when I am in a conference call.   I have also turned off my outlook e-mail notifications.  So, no audio and no video to distract me from the conversation.

My next challenge is to be patient when I come across a habitual mutli-tasker.  Since multi-tasking is so ingrained in the virtual workplace world, I come across multiple multi-taskers on a daily basis.  Just yesterday I almost lost my patience when I had to explain the purpose of the meeting (agenda was sent a day before) multiple times to the same person in a 20-minute conversation.

Categories: Learnings

Accomplishment Driven Life (ADL)

April 3, 2010 1 comment

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about how to focus on accomplishments rather than activities.  The idea is to plan out the accomplishments on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly basis.  This idea has been floating in my mind from quite some time but sort of solidified from the “Do More Great Work” by Michael Bungay Stanier.   Just this Thursday, I was in back to back conference calls from 6 AM onwards till 3:30 PM and the 3 PM call was a daily checkpoint meeting.  I knew I was very busy that day but could not jot down any accomplishments to speak about in the daily checkpoint meeting.  This is what Mr.Stanier describes as “Good Work” which is you are very busy but cannot recall what you accomplished/completed.

So, need to go away from activity based day/week etc., to accomplishment based day/week…  I am searching for a a good excel template or a mind-map that I can start using to plan out the accomplishments and track their completion.  I am also planning on chunking my day out in such a way that I spend 30 minutes a day on e-mail, 3 1/2 hrs on meetings, 3 hrs on the planned accomplishments for the project/s I am assigned to and the rest 1 hr towards the long-term goals.

Categories: Experiment

Good To Great – Kickoff

March 28, 2010 Leave a comment

Who am I? I think I am, at best, a good program manager.  My goal is to become a great program manager.  The main reason is the inspiration from Jim Collins’s book “Good to Great”, “…..those who strive to turn good into great find the process no more painful or exhausting than those who settle for just letting things wallow along in mind-numbing mediocrity” .  So, if it is takes the same amount of pain to wallow in mediocrity (GOOD) or strive for greatness then it definitely makes sense to choose great over good.

Why this blog? This blog will be my journal to document my journey as a Program Manager, from good to great.

When will this blog be updated ?  My commitment is to spend at least an hour a week to update this blog.

What will this blog contain? My learnings and my progress on a weekly basis in 250 words or less.

How will this blog help?  I am expecting that this blog will attract folks who will guide me towards my goal and also set some metrics around my goal.

So, here’s to getting started.  Ready !!! Aim !!! Go !!!

Categories: Purpose