Tag Archives: ability

Five Ways to Manage your Secretary, for you to Operate at Peak Performance

In my previous article, I emphasize that your secretary can make or break you. Your secretary is the extension of your hands and feet in just getting all the things done that you can’t take time “mechanically” to do yourself.

Here are the five ways to manage your secretary, for you to operate at peak performance:

1.  Your secretary must be specially selected by you. He or she must be specially or carefully selected by you to suit your temperament.

However, if you are in government offices, whenever you are assigned to your new office, you usually inherit the secretary of your predecessor.  So, it takes a lot of patience and perseverance to adjust to each other.

2.  Establish warm and friendly relation with your secretary. Although a majority of you are aloof at some people, you must have a harmonious working relationship with your secretary in order to perform effectively.

3.  Keep your secretary informed. As anticipated, he or she will be handling confidential information, it’s important to stress to your secretary the need for a tight lip.  It is quite futile, however, to anticipate him or her to assist in the management of your office without being aware of what they need to know to get the job done.

4.  Know what your secretary is doing. This is one of your basic requirements in using a secretary.

5.  Make your secretary adapt to you. The main requirement of a secretary is that he or she be flexible in adapting his or her work habits to those of the executive.  In other words, a good secretary requires the personality of a chameleon.

I know you have also some ways in your list and I will be glad to read your thoughts by leaving your comments below this post.

Your friend,

Nimia Acebes

Four Attributes of an Effective Performance Management System in the Workplace

The year is about to end and it’s time for the preparation of documents for the performance appraisal of each employee for the current year and for each employee’s performance targets  for the ensuing year.

The Human Resources Glossary defines performance management as the process of creating a work environment or setting in which people are enabled to perform to the best of their abilities.

Likewise, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management defines performance management as the systematic process by which an agency involves its employees, as individuals and members of a group, in improving organizational effectiveness in the accomplishment of agency mission and goals.

These two definitions are geared towards the attainment of company goals and targets through partnership with the employees.   As managers and leaders, you are encouraged to have an effective performance management system to meet this challenge.

Here are the four attributes of an effective performance management system in the workplace:

1.  Use of Simple Formats.

Not all managers like performance appraisals.  This activity requires a little extra work and competes for their attention to the many other business demands and concerns.  They do not want to waste time interpreting difficult formats.  Simple formats give them more time to discuss work activities of each employee.

2.  Meeting with the Employee at least Once every Two Months or even more Frequently.

Frequent meetings with the employees will enable us to assist them in addressing their performance concerns and needs in order to improve their performance.

In the book, First, Break All the Rules, Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman says: “If you meet only once or twice a year, you are forced to drop your criticisms on the employee all at once, like a bomb.  When the employee inevitably recoils, you then have to dredge your memory for examples to support your argument.  But by meeting frequently, you can avoid this battle of wills.  You can introduce areas of poor performance little by little over time, and each time you raise the subject, you can refer to recent, vivid examples.  Your criticisms will be easier to swallow and the conversation more productive.”

A manager is conducting a performance meeting with her employees.
A manager is conducting a performance meeting with her employees.

3.  It is Centered on what the Employee can Achieve in the next six months  or one year.

Although, you assess the past performance in the first few minutes of the meeting, the rest is dedicated to what the employee could be or could do in the next months.

4.  The Employee is asked to Record his or her Accomplishments and the Lessons Learned

This will make the employee feel that his or her work is important to the company.  The employee shall record his or her goals, accomplishments, lessons and skills learned and breakthroughs.  This makes the employee responsible and accountable to his or her own performance.

This record will enable you to identify which area in the employee’s performance needs improvement.

If applied, these attributes will make performance management system in the company effective.

If you have more attributes to add, please do so by leaving your comments below this post.

Your friend,

Nimia Acebes

As a Leader, How do you Boost your Capability to Implement the Business Plan?

In less than two months, the year will end and it’s time to prepare the business plan for the ensuing year. A business plan is prepared by the leaders or the management team of the business entity.  Whether well articulated or not, a business plan aims to improve the products and services of the company.

But, what usually happens is that the employees don’t know about the plans  or doesn’t fully understand the details of the business plan.  So, the year ends with the unimplemented business plan and this same plan is again used in the subsequent year.

Employees, who have been in the company for a long time, have their practices.  Younger ones are often inexperienced or  deficient in  business outlook which could give them insight.  New hires often bring old routines developed in a previous work culture.  To improve productivity and optimize company’s performance, the company must have a shared, well understood plan .

To boost  the capability to implement the business plan,  do these ways:

1.  Distribute the business plan. Employees must know and understand the plan.  They must be helped and coached and then held accountable for attaining the necessary skills to lead others in implementing the plan.

2. Conduct a planning session for shared understanding among the managers and employees of the company. It is necessary that the leader shall clearly discuss with the employees what roles they are to play in the plan and the criteria for solving cross-functional conflicts.

There is a need to measure performance against the plan and the planning process as a whole, for the organization to most likely  benefit from a shared understanding across the leadership team.

Once your plan is out there, encourage questions.  Each question a chance to address the issues that build and uphold inefficiencies. Seek indirect feedback, like a suggestion box or whatever methods to show employees that you value their perceptions.

A planning session conducted by a management team.
A planning session conducted by a management team.

3. Set Performance targets of employees towards the execution of the plan. Align work activities of the employees with the business plan.

If you see some employees struggling to comprehend what needs to be done, or that they lack the know how to do it well, there is an opportunity for follow up or coaching.

Conclusions:

All businesses have plans to be flourishing.  Leaders can boost their capability to implement the business plan by distributing the plan, conducting a planning session and setting performance targets of employees towards the execution of the plan.

Your friend,

Nimia Acebes

5 Tips On How the Secretary Shall Handle the Mail and Paperwork with Efficiency

My previous article talks on the importance of the secretary to the executive.  Realizing this significance, I find it appropriate to list down these tips on how the secretary shall handle the mail and paperwork with efficiency.

1. Opens and Sorts  Incoming Mail

The secretary shall read diligently all incoming mail. Mail, such as routinary reports and other documents which do not require decision,  shall be immediately endorsed to offices concerned.

Mail received and endorsed shall be accurately recorded by the secretary and signed by the endorsee or his or her receiving clerk.  This is to facilitate tracing of documents.

Mail which need the decision or approval by the executive shall be placed under the “IN” basket items.

2.  Handles and analyzes  “IN” basket items

Items that could not be handled with confidence could be carefully organized, prioritized, and brought to the executive with a recommendation or a note or a previous communication on the issue which serves as a guide to the executive on the action to be taken on the item.

This requires that the secretary shall keep himself or herself abreast of the happenings in the office.  He or she shall keep a journal of the daily office activities, which he or she or the executive could glance from time to time.

3.  Handles routine inquiries

The secretary shall equip himself or herself all the basic data in the office which the clients shall initially need.  For example, he or she shall have ready data on the prices of products and services, number and location of branches, the contact information for each branch and other basic data.

He or she shall act with courtesy and politeness in dealing with clients and employees.

4. Reviews communications, reports and other documents which require signature of the executive

The secretary shall make a review and preliminary correction of the communications before bringing them to the executive.  He or she shall check the grammatical errors and whether the subject and body of the letter or memorandum jibe with each other.

A secretary reviews a paper before bringing to the executive.
A secretary reviews a paper before bringing to the executive.

So it is important that the secretary shall be focused on his or her job and has a good command of the English language.  There are many English books which the secretary may use for his or her review of the vocabulary and grammar.  One good book to use as reference is English for Business by Stewart, Lanham and Zimmer.

He or she shall meticulously review reports and other documents before bringing them to the executive for signature or approval.  He or she shall see to it that all other signatures are complete and in order.

5. Serves as confidential journalist and caretaker of most critical secrets in the corporate body

This one is added by my good friend and former classmate, Steve Hermosisima. Steve is a  Licensed TourGuide/Conductor atOldTown TrolleyTours in the USA.

It is necessary that the secretary is discreet, cautious, trustworthy and loyal to the company.

If these tips are followed, the busy executive shall be relieved of the paperwork and effectively perform his or her planning and decision-making function.

If you have any other tips to include in this list, I shall be very glad if you write them down by leaving your comments below this article.

Your friend,

Nimia Acebes

101 Best Leadership Quotes

Here are my choices for the 101 best leadership quotes arranged alphabetically according to author’s first name.

Adolf Hitler

1. The art of leadership . . . consists in consolidating the attention of the people against a single adversary and taking care that nothing will split up that attention. . . . The leader of genius must have the ability to make different opponents appear as if they belong to one category.

Andrew Carnegie

2. No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself, or to get all the credit for doing it.

Anthony D’Angelo

3. You don’t have to hold a position in order to be a leader.

Anthony Jay

4. The only real training for leadership is leadership.

Arnold Glasgow

5. One of the tests of leadership is the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency.

6. A good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame, a little less than his share of the credit.

Arthur Carmazzi

7. Leadership is NOT about changing the mindset of the individual or group, but in the cultivation of an environment that brings out the best and even inspires the individuals in that group to do what needs to be done.

Arthur W. Newcomb

8. Show me the leader and I will know his men. Show me the men and I will know their leader.

Barack Obama

9. Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.

Bear Bryant

10. If anything goes bad, I did it. If anything goes semi-good, we did it. If anything goes real good, you did it. That’s all it takes to get people to win football games.

Bill Bradley

11. Leadership is unlocking people’s potential to become better.

Buck Rodgers

12. A real leader has the ability to motivate others to their highest level of achievement; then gives them the opportunity and the freedom to grow.

Claude Taylor

13. A leader certainly needs a clear vision of the organization and where it is going, but a vision is of little value unless it is shared in a way so as to generate enthusiasm and commitment. Leadership and communication are inseparable.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

14. You do not lead by hitting people over the head – that’s assault, not leadership.

Elbert Hubbard

15. Power flows to the man who knows how. Responsibilities gravitate to the person who can shoulder them.

Frank Tyger

16. One of the greatest talents of all is the talent to recognize and to develop talent in others.

General Colin Powell

17. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them.

Harvey S. Firestone

18. The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership.

Harvey Mackay

19. A dream is just a dream. A goal is a dream with a plan and a deadline.

20. If you wish others to believe in you, you must first convince them that you believe in them.

Henry David Thoreau

21. He is the best sailor who can steer within fewest points of the wind and exact a motive power out of the greatest obstacles.

Jack Welch

22. Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.

23. The world of the 1990s and beyond will not belong to ‘managers’ or those who can make the numbers dance. The world will belong to passionate, driven leaders – people who not only have enormous amounts of energy but who can energize those whom they lead.

24. Giving people self-confidence is by far the most important thing that I can do. Because then they will act.

James Boren

25. It is hard to look up to a leader who keeps his ear to the ground.

James Crook

26. A man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd.

Jim Collins

27. I’ve never found an important decision made by a great organization that was made at a point of unanimity. Significant decisions carry risks and inevitably some will oppose it. In these settings, the great legislative leader must be artful in handling uncomfortable decisions, and this requires rigor.

Jim Rohn

28. A good objective of leadership is to help those who are doing poorly to do well and to help those who are doing well to do even better.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

29. Treat a man as he is and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he can and should be and he will become as he can and should be.

John F. Kennedy

30. Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.

John Maxwell

31. A great leader’s courage to fulfill his vision comes from passion, not position.

32. Most people who want to get ahead do it backward. They think, ‘I’ll get a bigger job, then I’ll learn how to be a leader.’ But showing leadership skill is how you get the bigger job in the first place. Leadership isn’t a position, it’s a process.

33. Leaders must be close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them.

34. Leadership is more ? if not much more ? influence, rather than position.

35. Leadership is influence.

36. A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.

37. People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision.

38. Remember, man does not live on bread alone: sometimes he needs a little buttering up.

39. Anyone can follow a path, but only a leader can blaze one.

40. Once our minds are ‘tattooed’ with negative thinking, our chances for long-term success diminish.

41. Character creates consistency, and if your people know what they can expect from you, they will continue to look to you for leadership.

42. Great communication depends on two simple skills—context, which attunes a leader to the same frequency as his or her audience, and delivery, which allows a leader to phrase messages in a language the audience can understand.

43. Earn the right to be heard by listening to others. Seek to understand a situation before making judgments about it.

44. Take the emotional temperature of those listening to you. Facial expressions, voice inflection and posture give clues to a person’s mood and attitude.

45. Credibility is a leader’s currency. With it, he or she is solvent; without it, he or she is bankrupt.

46. A highly credible leader under-promises and over-delivers.

47. The key to becoming a more efficient leader isn’t checking off all the items on your to-do list each day.  It’s in forming the habit of prioritizing your time so that you are accomplishing your most important goals in an efficient manner.

48. Talented performers flock to the best and brightest leaders, and these leaders in turn lift the lids off their people and uncork the latent talent inside of them.

49. Leaders don’t rise to the pinnacle of success without developing the right set of attitudes and habits; they make every day a masterpiece.

50. The best leaders are humble enough to realize their victories depend upon their people.

51. Passion creates energy and magnetically pulls co-workers and customers into a shared vision, and it is exceptionally strong when linked with a leader’s values.

52. Leadership involves the heavy burden of responsibility, and the fear of getting it wrong can paralyze a leader.

Ken Blanchard

53. Feedback is the breakfast of champions.

54. In the past a leader was a boss. Today’s leaders must be partners with their people… they no longer can lead solely based on positional power.

55. People who produce good results feel good about themselves.

56. The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.

57. Too many leaders act as if the sheep… their people… are there for the benefit of the shepherd, not that the shepherd has responsibility for the sheep.

58. Vision comes alive when everyone sees where his or her contribution makes a difference.

Lee Lacocca

59. You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get them across, your ideas won’t get you anywhere.

Marcus Buckingham

60. There’s something unique and different that makes a leader, and it’s not about creativity or courage or integrity…. A leader’s job is to rally people toward a better future.

Mark Sanborn

61. Your success in life isn’t based on your ability to simply change.  It is based on your ability to change faster than your competition, customers and business.

Marshall Goldsmith

62. To help others develop, start with yourself.

Mohandas Gandhi

63. I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people.

Nelson Mandela

64. It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.

Peter Drucker

65. Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.

66. Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes.

67. No institution can possibly survive if it needs geniuses or supermen to manage it. It must be organized in such a way as to be able to get along under a leadership composed of average human beings.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

68. Trust men and they will be true to you; treat them greatly and they will show themselves great.

Robin Sharma

69. The deeper your relationship with others, the more effective will be your leadership. People will not follow you if they do not trust you, and before someone will lend you a hand, you must first touch their heart.

70. Mastery in work and in life is about committing yourself to being excellent in everything you do, no matter how small and no matter if no one is watching. Do you practice excellence in your most private moments?

71. The first fifteen minutes of your day should be spent planning your day. Set specific goals as to what you will accomplish. These clear goals will give you focal points on which you can govern your actions and provide your with a template you can live your day from.

Ronald Reagan

72. Surround yourself with the best people you can find, delegate authority, and don’t interfere as long as the policy you’ve decided upon is being carried out.

Sam Walton

73. Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.

Stephen Covey

74. Effective leadership is putting first things first. Effective management is discipline, carrying it out.

75. In the last analysis, what we are communicates far more eloquently than anything we say or do.

76. Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall.

77. The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.

Ted Turner

78. Innovate, develop, motivate, inspire, trust — be a leader.

Theodore M. Hesburgh

79. The very essence of leadership is that you have to have vision. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.

Theodore Roosevelt

80. The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it.

Thomas Woodrow Wilson

81. Power consists in one’s capacity to link his will with the purpose of others, leading by reason and a gift of cooperation.

Tom Landry

82. Leadership is getting someone to do what they don’t want to do, to achieve what they want to achieve.

Tom Peters

83. Leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders.

84. The simple act of paying positive attention to people has a great deal to do with productivity.

Unknown

85. Be enthusiastic as a leader. You can’t light a fire with a wet match.

86. Leadership is one of the highest forms of service. It is best exercised when it freely motivates others to a decision that is really theirs — but which may never have been reached without the leader’s beneficial influence.

87. A leader’s job is to look into the future and see the organization not as it is, but as it can become.

Warren G. Bennis

88. Becoming a leader is synonymous with becoming yourself. It is precisely that simple, and it is also that difficult.

89. Excellence is a better teacher than mediocrity. The lessons of the ordinary are everywhere. Truly profound and original insights are to be found only in studying the exemplary.

90. Failing organizations are usually over-managed and under-led.

91. Good leaders make people feel that they’re at the very heart of things, not at the periphery.

92. Great things are accomplished by talented people who believe they will accomplish them.

93. Leaders keep their eyes on the horizon, not just on the bottom line.

94. Leaders must encourage their organizations to dance to forms of music yet to be heard.

95. Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.

96. The manager accepts the status quo; the leader challenges it.

97. The manager asks how and when; the leader asks what and why.

98. The manager has a short-range view; the leader has a long-range perspective.

99. The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born-that there is a genetic factor to leadership. This myth asserts that people simply either have certain charismatic qualities or not. That’s nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. Leaders are made rather than born.

Winston Churchill

100. The price of greatness is responsibility.

WoodrowWilson
101. The ear of the leader must ring with the voices of the people.