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Preview: Business Fables and Management Lessons

Business Fables and Management Lessons

Powerful lessons for CEOs, executives, leaders, managers and marketers on business, management, corporate strategies, leadership, and decision making tools, drawn from famous fables and stories.

Updated: 2018-04-24T04:57:58.062-04:00


Effective Delegation of Work


Effective managers and leaders know that they can climb greaterheights and achieve remarkable goals only if they delegate workto the good, able and talented people around them. The logic issimple – if they are able to rope in more brains and bodies to dothe tasks, they are able to get more things done within the sametime frame. Having these tasks out of the managers' hands willfree up their

Workaholics with No Balanced Life


There is no indefinite job security. Market conditions fluctuate sofast that workers would rather play it safe by working into thegood books of the employer. What better way to do that than tobe the first person to step into the office and the last to leave. Whatstarted out as pure work enthusiasts end up being workaholics.Workaholics' lives center around work and nothing else.Workaholism was

My Boss is an Idiot


Working hard and being extremely competent in what you do isnot the key to getting a promotion. Not when you have an idiotand a fool as a boss, supervisor or manager. All of us may at onetime or other work with bosses who belong to that “no-brain,no-skill” category, and our favorite happy-hour conversationsalways center upon how these bosses got to that position ofpower in the first place. It

Control and Overcome Procrastination


Procrastination – putting off till tomorrow things that we shoulddo today. At some point in our lives, we are either guilty ofprocrastination or know of friends or colleagues who are. Isprocrastination a bad thing? Would you call procrastinators lazy?Are they poor decision makers? Would you marry or stay marriedto a procrastinator? As you will read, we do not viewprocrastination as an act of

Self Help, Perseverance and Success


A startup business crumbles after 2 years and needs a couple ofmillion dollars of funds to keep it afloat. Entrepreneur A seeksfinancial help from banks, negotiates scheme of arrangementwith creditors, and when all these don't materialize, he praysthat a white knight will come to his rescue. Entrepreneur Badopts a similar approach with banks and creditors. However,instead of waiting for help,

Higher Purpose and Job Satisfaction


A purpose is a mission statement. An organization invariably hasone, which it expects every employee to live up to. Sure, theemployee will do what he is told to do, but he is motivated towork for a different reason. He works because he has to supporta family; he has to work in order to survive. Although theemployee is committed to the work, there is no alignment betweenthe employee's mission

Turn Adversity into Opportunity


A life without obstacles is as good as dead. Whether they areeveryday problems or crisis situations, how we handle them willdetermine how good we are as a leader. The weak leaderscrumble when the odds stack up and surrender even before anyattempt to overcome the obstacles. The great and successfulleaders on the other hand see adversity as a challenge. Againstall odds, they rise above the

Teamwork - A Competitive Advantage


To value the importance of teamwork, we have to appreciatethe value of every individual. Many managers think that theyare good team players. When they get into action, they beginto “take charge” of the whole process and dictate their beliefs.They are deaf to other people's inputs and suggestions.Sometimes, they may ask for ideas from the members andappear receptive. At the back of their minds,

Boss's pet and Favoritism


Favoritism is a human trait found in many relationships, e.g.,parent-children, teacher-students. As long as there are twopersons we have to interact with, it is in our nature to compareand favor one over the other. CEOs, employers, bosses andmanagers who deny that they have pet employees aredeceiving themselves. They should accept that they have, butbe skillful enough to manage the feelings

Value Ideas and Staff Suggestions


Many of the success stories begin with simple ideas. In thecourse of work, your employees or staff may likewise havecreative ideas and innovative solutions to carry out their workmore effectively and efficiently. Sometimes, they improvise theprocesses without the Management being aware of it. It couldvery well be that the same improvisation can be applied to otherwork processes across the

Problem Solving: Define Problem


One mistake that people often make when they are faced with asituation is to jump straight into finding solutions, giving littlethought to defining the problem. For example, a hotel managersaw a sudden dip in occupancy rate, and asked the staff topropose “ways to increase the occupancy rate.” Everyone wentfull steam into publicity, promotional offers, events and othergimmicks. Months later,

The Boss is Always Right


In many places of work, there is only one rule – “The Boss isAlways Right” or “The Boss is Never Wrong”. What if we knowthat the Boss is wrong? Well, simple ... refer back to the rule.All around us, we see and hear of double standards andinequality. The recent case of celebrity heiress Paris Hiltonbeing released after three days in Los Angeles jail sparkedfierce debates on the seemingly unequal

Conflict Resolution at Work


No two humans come out of the same mold and differencesin ideas and opinions are bound to arise. Differences lead toConflicts. When well-handled, conflicts are in effect good forthe organization as they often lead to creative ideas andchanges for the better. Conflicts become counterproductivewhen they give rise to enmity, hostility, tension, confusionand sabotage among the workers. If

Cope with Work Stress


It has been widely believed that the most stressful jobs arethose in the IT, nursing care, education, secretarial, andservice industries. There are also surveys that includedlawyers, engineers, marketers, and human resource personnelamong the most stressed professionals. Is it true that if youare in these professions, you must necessarily feel stressfulat work? Can there not be occupational

Leaders as Role Models


Everybody has a role model, someone who has done the samejob we are doing or taken the same path of life we are travelingon. Sometimes, we are embarrassed or are too ego-consciousto admit having a role model. The reality is that withouttapping on the knowledge and experience of the people whohave succeeded before us, we are likely to fall into the samepits that they could have fallen into or

Trust Gut Instincts and Intuition


Are decisions made by gut feelings good? Business writerMalcolm Gladwell seemed to think so. In his bestselling bookBlink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, he presentedcogent arguments on how decisions made in an instant, almostwithout thinking, stood up better than decisions made afteranalytical considerations. Dotted with examples like how afire-fighter suddenly knows when to leave a

Dreams, Goals, and Motivation


One of the important aspects of motivation is knowing whatwe want to achieve. Once we have that, we can go through aseries of goal-setting steps to state, define and execute ourgoals. This first step of knowing what we want is by no meanssimple. Try asking your children what they want to achieve.You will get answers ranging from scoring the perfect gradesin their examinations to being famous.

Learn the Art of Saying NO


“NO” is a two-letter word but one of the most powerful wordsin leadership, management, and career growth. Learning to sayNo when you really want to is one of the important skills in worksurvival. It is not a negative mindset of avoiding work. Instead,it is a way of gaining control over your work and personal life,making work fit into your purpose of life, and seeking fulfillmentand job

Corporate Governance and Transparent Leadership


Corporate disclosure has always been a sore point betweenstakeholders and the management. The decision on what mustgo into the public domain is difficult due in part to the realitythat companies thrive primarily on well-kept business secretsof success. These are legitimate concerns although history hadalso uncovered improper practices which were well-hidden andprotected under the cloak of

Effective and Efficient Meetings


Meetings are such a dread. Haven't you attended meetingswhich are totally unproductive, time-wasting, and boring? Orare you guilty of chairing such meetings? In one of my placesof work, I had meetings almost round the clock. “Remember that time is money.” If you agree with Benjamin Franklin, timeis a huge cost to the company. While I won't say they were allunproductive, I would think that

Christmas tale and generous managers


Leadership is not an inanimate object. It has a face, and moreimportantly, it has a heart. The good leaders do not merelycommand respect, they earn it. A leader who rules with an ironfist will influence people once. A leader who rules with a kindheart will influence people for a lifetime. We like to associatewith leaders who see themselves as humans, and not anextraordinary species. For

Innovative marketing and packaging


In the business environment, there are the Davids and theGoliaths. Occasionally, we read inspiring stories about how onesmall startup company can gobble up a large share of the pieand surprise the older boys. More often than not, they are notabout David killing Goliath, but about the two of them formingstrategic alliances and capitalizing on each other's strengths. Itboils down to

Customer service – accept blame, own the problem


When things go wrong, as they often do, what is your firstreaction? Blame it on others. This blaming game is played evenat the highest levels in the corporate offices and in ourgovernment. When complaints arise and it is obvious that thefault lies in a certain person, he gets the whole troop of officersin the department to share the blame. It sounds unfair, but it isa useful strategy. Here,

Autocrats, dictators, and dominant bosses


A majority of complaints and agitated office gossips are related tothe bosses, either they are too incompetent, demanding,unreasonable, or autocratic. It is difficult to work under thesetypes of managers and supervisors and the frustrations at worklead to misery and low morale and eventually disaster for thecompany. While many of the complaints are fair and true, we havepulled out a fable which

Business strategy based on false assumptions


When formulating theories and business plans, we are usuallyfond of qualifying them by stating the assumptions we have made.The commonly used assumption is the latin phrase “cēterīs pāribus”,basically stating that our plans are based on “all other things beingequal.” Should there be a change in these variables or assumptions,our projections would be different. The critical thing to remember