Posts Tagged ‘himanshu jhamb’

Week In Review: Oct 3 – Oct 9, 2010

by Magesh Tarala on October 10, 2010

Project Leadership #1: 7 Ways to have a kickass kickoff!

by Himanshu Jhamb, Oct 4, 2010

A project manager’s real purpose is to provide CLARITY to a project. That happens when all the stakeholders are on sync regarding the purpose and outcome of the project. Project kickoff is a golden opportunity to provide this CLARITY to the team. If you follow Himanshu’s tips in this article, you can make your project kickoff purposeful and it will lay the foundation for a successful project. more…

Chaos and Complexity #4: Push on or Regroup?

by Gary Monti, Oct 5, 2010

A hallmark of a complex situation is unpredictability. One doesn’t know where things are leading. That’s why the situation is “complex” or worse yet “chaotic”. A good project manager (PM) should enable the team to identify possible solutions that will help eliminate the complexity. That’s just the first step. Coming up with the right schedule, dealing with the politics, etc can put the project at risk. Ideally the PM should avoid these situations by staying with reality. more…

Social Media and Tribes #25: A tribe of foodies – Connecting food to life

by Deepika Bajaj, Oct 6, 2010

Still in India, Deepika has been exploring the various tribes. Food is an integral part of the culture, but the tribe works differently. Food is not a standalone interest, but it is tied with other local flavors like Bollywood and roadside stalls. more…

Flexible Focus #22: New degrees of freedom with a digital mandala chart

by William Reed, Oct 7, 2010

Owning a car does not preclude you from using your feet. Similarly, you can print out a Mandala Chart and use it. Or, you can access an online program to create, save and share them. http://www.mandalachart.net is an eMandala Chart website that you can leverage. more…

Alternate Sales Partnerships #4: Ways to keep a healthy sales relationship (Part-2)

by Tina Burke, Oct 8, 2010

When the head of Sales in an organization changes, there will be radical changes. The new person will shake things up. This may lead to loss of revenue for agents. So, it’s very important to have good contracts and have them reviewed by attorneys. It may not be cheap, but in the long run it will help save tens of thousands of dollars. more…

Project Leadership #1: 7 Ways to have a kickass kickoff!

by Himanshu Jhamb on October 4, 2010

“I promise that I will produce a kickass kickoff for the client”.

Repeat this to yourself at least a hundred times before you go for the next project kickoff meeting.

I have been through many projects – some of them as a team member and some as a project manager (please picture me as ashamed and trying to hide behind my chair at this very moment) – where the kickoffs were either for namesake or worse, were non-existent. The projects just started automatically – no memo, that’s it. I just found myself in the midst of a project already underway. PS> These projects did not do well.

For a long time I tried to demystify why my projects got delayed, got derailed (had enough of the de’s?). I would lock myself in my office (it was a cubicle, really) and try to figure out what was going on – why I could not control my schedules and how come I found myself struggling with just organizing the project in manageable chunks of work.

This post is my humble attempt at sharing what I found I was doing wrong (or not doing) to find myself in this position time and again.

The problem, it turned out, was that I was trying very hard to be a good project manager. In doing so, I was missing out on the fact that what the project really needed was a leader to guide everyone through the project with CLARITY. This last word is perhaps the most important… It is the project leaders’ job to continuously be in the quest for CLARITY on the project. Clarity comes when everyone involved in doing a particular task as well as everyone impacted by the task are in agreement over a number of attributes. The project kickoff meeting is a golden opportunity to get this CLARITY and champion the project. A well organized, planned and delivered kickoff meeting gives huge returns whereas a poor one (or none) haunts the project right till the end of the project (and beyond).

Here are a few tips on how to have kickass kickoffs!

  1. Say No to Remote kickoffs: There is yet to be a technology that replaces the handshake. Put yourself in front of the client – it is a future declaration that you are approachable and reachable and goes a long way in building a relationship with the client, and it will come handy when things are not going as planned on the project (and they won’t!).
  2. Prepare relentlessly for the kickoff: Know your audience. Know the material and make sure it speaks to their concerns, not only to what you are offering. You might be ready to promise them the stars and the moon whilst they might just be looking for a way to look at the stars and the moon.
  3. Declare (through a presentation or whatever suits your purpose) what you stand for in the project & how you will run the project: This is not for the weak of heart. You need to state what you stand for, what you expect from them as much as what you commit to. The presentation is not fluff for killing time & checking off a task in the kickoff meeting with pretty bulleted slides; it should set you up for delivering very important messages, in your meetings after the presentation.
  4. Meet with the stakeholders: The fun part begins here! Make sure all stakeholders are there. This includes people who will lead the team from the client side as well as the people who are impacted by the project.
  5. Ask lots of questions & listen for agreements: Firstly, you don’t have to know the answers. This is really important (It took me about 2-3 years to learn this one). You just have to ask the right questions & listen the people in the room arrive at agreements on stuff like goals, roles, responsibilities, success criteria, processes (and many other things that I cannot put here lest I will be writing a book instead of an article!).
  6. Jot down agreements and follow-up with confirmations by exchanging notes.
  7. Clearly communicate next steps to keep things moving forward and in the direction of the project goals.

How do you know if you have had a kickass kickoff meeting? Don’t worry about that part… your project will tell you that!

Have fun!

PS> Both Guy & I were recently interviewed for our book, #PROJECT MANAGEMENT Tweet on Blog Business World by Wayne Hurlbert. Wayne asked a number of thought provoking questions on Project Management that both Guy & I did our best to answer… for those interested, you can find the interview here. Disclaimer – it is a 1 hour interview… you have been forewarned.

Week In Review – Sep 5 – Sep 11, 2010

by Magesh Tarala on September 12, 2010

The trap of entertainment!

by Himanshu Jhamb, Sep 6, 2010

It is common practice to get together and bitch about things because it is entertaining. What good does it do? It will be beneficial to everybody if we can engender something positive in these conversations. more…

Character and Personality #10: A simple honesty

by Gary Monti, Sep 7, 2010

What others observe with a leader who shows integrity regarding the character and personality traits discussed in previous blogs is a simple honesty. While the need for this simple honesty increases, achieving it is a daily challenge. You can achieve this by practicing moral and emotional integrity. more…

Social Media and Tribes #11: Leverage the language of the tribe

by Deepika Bajaj, Sep 8, 2010

During her recent visit to Spain, Deepika had a new observation of what a Tribe is in the context of Social Media: A Tribe is a set of people who communicate in the same language in any given conversation. Language is important for nurturing and maintaining your social media tribes and so leverage language to empower and engage your tribe! more…

Flexible Focus #18: Engage visual thinking

by William Reed, Sep 9, 2010

A picture is worth a thousand words. Similarly, it is simpler to have a set of pictures to help keep our Mandala in focus. In this article, William has assembled images that can help you recall and recreate new ideas around the central theme. more…

Forget Project management. Let’s talk Project leadership!

by Himanshu Jhamb, Sep 10, 2010

There is a difference between managing a project versus leading a project. Leadership is out there… it screams responsibility and accountability. It is about reaching out and getting what you need to get the job done, fearlessly. This give an introduction to the genesis of this series. Over the subsequent posts, Himanshu will share his journey of how he transformed the way he did things in various areas… and will share the challenges, the fears & the situations. more…

Forget Project management. Let’s talk Project leadership!

by Himanshu Jhamb on September 10, 2010

I equate managing to something that is not fully expressed. It leaves out that something, that edge that is needed for getting you across the finish line. The difference in what you do is simple, the result is transformational.

There is a difference between managing the project versus leading the project. Leadership is out there… it screams responsibility and accountability. It is about reaching out and getting what you need to get the job done, fearlessly. Management usually turns out to be working with what you have and making the best out of it (whatever that means!). Leadership is about creating solutions, management is about figuring out solutions. The difference is simple, the result is transformational.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not going all critical on project management. After all, it wouldn’t do me much good if I criticize my own bread and butter, now would it! My point is simply that project managers need to essentially become project leaders. Once you get that distinction, the landscape of what needs to be done suddenly transforms (and so do the results). From personal experience, I spent the first few years of my project management….errr… managing projects. Then, I realized that what I was doing was not doing full justice to me or my client(s)… that realization was the starting point for me to take action so that I lead my projects and not only manage them.

That introduction brings us to the purpose and genesis of this series. Over the subsequent posts, I will share my journey of how I transformed the way I did things in various areas… and I will share the challenges, the fears & the situations I had to face and how I overcame them (some successfully, some not so successfully) with personal examples. Like any other sharing, the real fun and value lies in engagement. The real learning will BEGIN only when you participate in this conversation. So, if you like (or for that matter, dislike) what I write, I invite you to participate, regardless.

To give you a little preview, here are the topics I plan on touching in this series. I will keep adding more depending on what comes to my mind and the level of engagement we reach.

  1. Unforgettable Kickoffs
  2. Relentless Planning
  3. Courage vs. Stupidity: The thin line
  4. Bidirectional trust
  5. Community of Help
  6. Anticipating Change
  7. Kick Panic
  8. Fearless Negotiating
  9. Improve your Improvisation skills
  10. Navigate like the conductor

Enjoy the posts!

The trap of entertainment!

by Himanshu Jhamb on September 6, 2010

On a recent business trip to New York, I was presented with a unique opportunity in a most unexpected way. I was going through my day like clockwork – attending client calls, leading my team through the initial stages of a big project & in and out of meetings – when a colleague of mine came into my office and started talking about leadership. The conversation started with my colleague sharing his opinions about how leadership had been assumed in the past (in our organization), rather than earned… and soon went further into other undesirable facets of the company that had plagued the organization.

Before I knew it, the conversation took a bit of a negative turn where I observed myself contributing to it as well by going over the undesirable past events… like they mattered! I have been in these conversations in the past… they happen all around us; in our homes, in businesses and even in hair cutting salons! I have, inadvertently, been an active participant in these conversations for hours together and in the end, always come out feeling a little “better”, but there has always been an accompanying feeling that something still wasn’t right.

I boil down this feeling to the nature of “complaints”, especially the ones that are repeated. It is important to notice that whenever we complain about the same thing repeatedly, without attempting to change the way we act – we are usually getting some “juice” from our complaint – which is, in a very weird way, ENTERTAINING, to us. What’s worse is, this is something we humans get simply hooked to! … And this, my friends, is what I call The Trap of Entertainment.

Think about it – Have you ever caught yourself in an argument that started with a complaint, lasted more than 30 minutes and you forgot what you were arguing about … while you still continued to argue? Why did you do that? There is some Entertainment you are getting from the situation – it’s important to note that though this might be entertaining, it is dangerously so. Why? Because the consequences are usually not so entertaining!

How does one get out of it?

So, given that it is natural to get into this, how does one go about getting out of this? Here are 4 questions that would help:

  • What can we learn from the past mistakes so that the same situations do not happen again?
  • What can we do NOW to make sure that the complaint we have of others in the past – Others do not have that same complaint of us in the future?
  • How can I make a positive difference to the other person’s life RIGHT NOW, in this conversation?
  • How can I provide VALUE to this conversation without getting sucked into sharing my opinions about the past events?

Avoid the entertainment trap by guiding your conversations with others with the help of these four questions and see how things start turning up for you… and share how it goes for you!

Week In Review – May 16 – May22, 2010

by Magesh Tarala on May 23, 2010

How to avail of opportunities that you cannot see?

by Himanshu Jhamb, May 17, 2010

Himanshu had a thought provoking moment when a long time friend wanted to invest in one of his ventures. It brought home for him the question of how you can be an opportunity to others. The answer lies in providing what others are looking for, i.e., be of value to them. On the flip side, you need to do the same to recognize value in others and build relationships. The two work together to increase your capacity. more…

Leadership and Mythology #2: The mystical and co-opetition

by Gary Monti, May 18, 2010

Can you compete and co-operate with somebody at the same time? If you are having difficulty with this concept, think about Apple, Microsoft, Google, Intel, Yahoo, etc. Do they only compete, or sometimes co-operate too? To be an effective leader, you have to balance competition with co-operation. more…

Performance Procrastination

by Guy Ralfe, May 19, 2010

Guy, donning his new business owner hat, has to take charge and take action. He had to deal with an employee performance issue and concludes that bearing short term pain is good for the long term gain. Of course, dealing with employees is an art and science – there are way too many considerations in play. But ultimately, it all boils down to the question: Is the employee pulling his or her weight and, are you getting your value for the money you pay them.  more…

Flexible Focus #2: Are goals traps or opportunities?

by William Reed, May 20, 2010

Goals are overrated. Yes, you read that right. In the western world, there are several traditional ways people think of goals and work towards achieving them. Following them, you either miss the big picture or miss the details or simply follow a beaten path. Flexible focus, epitomized by the Mandala Chart, is the product of eastern spiritual thinking. It is a philosophy that enables you to be free of your goals. You are not goal free, but you approach them in a detached manner that removes your bondage to your goals. more…

Author’s Journey #22: Use one sheets to sell books and build your profits

by Roger Parker, May 21, 2010

One sheets are single page, 8 ½ by 11-inch, marketing documents used by authors to promote their books and build their profits by attracting speaking invitations and promoting their coaching and consulting services. In this post, Roger tells you all you need to know to create one sheets.  more…

How to avail of opportunities that you cannot see?

by Himanshu Jhamb on May 17, 2010

We all have opportunities knock on our doors every now and then. Some might feel they have fewer than others and that might be true to some extent; but I’ll go out on an arm and a leg and claim that we all have our fair share of opportunities in our lives. The differentiating factor is how many do we make the most of. The genesis of this post was from a discussion I was having the other day with my fellow co-founder (Active Garage), Deepika Bajaj. We were talking about a dear friend of mine who is interested in investing in one of my ventures. My perspective in the conversation was that one of the key factors of my friend’s willingness to invest was the fact that it was ME who was involved and not entirely the venture. Put another way, what I was saying was simply that “People Invest in People”!

Although Deepika agreed with me on that, she offered another perspective that resounded with me at a level that compelled me to write this post! This is what she said to me:

“Yes. I agree. Your friend is investing in you but this opportunity would not have come about had you not taken the step to get out of your comfort zone and started your venture. Your friend has been your friend for a long time, and probably has had the resources to invest for a while now. However, what was missing was that you did not have an Offer in which he could consider investing in, until now. And once the offer showed up in your life, so did your opportunity!”

The not-so-obviousness of the above dialogue got me! We go about in life without realizing the number of opportunities we have in our lives, around us, all the time. We go about saying to friends, family and countless people that this is not for us and that we are happy wherever we are. What we do not pay attention to, or notice, is that even within this close network, we have opportunities that have the ability to lift the entire community (family, friends, all of it) with us! Yes, opportunities do have a strange way of showing up in our lives. They show up (or manifest themselves) through our offers. It follows that though we (and this is the obvious part, now) do not have control over the opportunities that will come our way, we do have absolute control over the number of offers we have – which (if I look at the flip side of the coin) are really opportunities for others!

The Question to ask

Suddenly, the question to ask transforms from an elusive “How to avail opportunities that you cannot see?” to a more fathomable “How do you become an opportunity for others?

Here are the top 3 answers:

  • Feel good factor: Are you in relationships that only make you feel good OR is there a real value in the way you mutually help each other?
  • Be a student: Learn something new, today. Everyday. If you do not have enough offers then the place to look is lack of education.
  • Build capacity: By building powerful relationships you essentially build capacity to do more.

… and last but not the least, while you go about doing all this, don’t forget to have loads of FUN along the way!

Week In Review – Apr 4 – Apr 10, 2010

by Magesh Tarala on April 11, 2010

Social media distress – 3 ways to destress

by Deepika Bajaj, Apr 5, 2010

Technology has made it possible to be connected at all times and it’s getting easier everyday. Falling into this trap can cause stress. Deepika suggests some ways to help you overcome the social media stress. more…

Leadership Cancers #4: Adrenaline and testosterone

by Gary Monti, Apr 6, 2010

If you don’t plan, you have to react. In some environments, reaction is the modus operandi and it becomes the culture. Ability to react quickly is a virtue, but if that is the way of life, it causes serious problems. The solution is to plan. If you plan properly, your project will have greater flexibility at a lower cost. Of course there will be detractors and their common refrain is it is a luxury to be able to plan. They are wrong. more…

Support for Success

by Guy Ralfe, Apr 7, 2010

With a family to support, leaving a secure job in corporate America to pursue the dream of entrepreneurship in the worst economic conditions in recent memory takes guts. Guy has done it! He says he could not have done it without the help of others – Business Partners, Industry Knowledge Partners and of course support from family and friends. Moral of the story is don’t try to be the lone ranger. Getting all the support you need is crucial for your success. more…

Don’t hold back. Do ask.

by Himanshu Jhamb, Apr 8, 2010

When people get what they want, it is not magic or miracle. They ask. Unless you let your intent be known, you will not get what ever it is you are looking for. From the outside, it may look like some people are lucky. Not true. Luck is what happens when opportunity meets preparation. more…

Author’s Journey #16: Attracting the right literary agent

by Roger Parker, Apr 9, 2010

One of the most important steps in your journey to a published book is to attract the attention of the right literary agent. The old “shotgun approach” which is very inefficient and will not get the desired results. Branding is the new way that will make the agents seek you. Read this article to find out examples of the “new way”. more…

Don’t hold back. Do ask.

by Himanshu Jhamb on April 8, 2010

Have you ever been in a situation where you were going to ask for that elusive raise, but did not? Ever been in a situation where you wanted to ask for that extra day of vacation and decided not to? Or that time when you wanted to ask … well! you get the point.

Here’s the thing about asking. Without the act of asking, the world around you simply does not know what you want. Now, I am not saying that by the simple act of asking, you will get what you want. No. Chances are… 9 out of 10 times you won’t because you are probably not very skilled at asking. Even so, what will happen is that the people around you will know what you want… regardless of whether you can get what you are asking for at that time or not. Eventually, there comes a time when you have something they need… and they know the point at which to align with you… and they offer you that. This is where magic happens!

Here’s a small story that speaks to this point:

A friend of mine bootstrapped a company with a couple other partners who said they all would invest some money together, over a period of time. Another friend of theirs wanted to join the company, was willing to invest but was told that he could invest but could not participate as part-owner since he joined a little later. This did not bode well with this fellow and he stuck to his guns aligning the group with what he wanted – to participate in contributing to the business as one of the part-owners. This request was met with repeated declines for more than 2 years… and then the magical moment came. Not all of the original partners could fulfill their commitments of investing what needed to be invested & guess who the remaining partners went to, to fill the gap? Yep! The same friend of theirs who had been consistently asking what he wanted.

Of course, most of the people called this friend of theirs “Lucky”. Reminds me of the popular saying:

Luck is what happens when opportunity meets preparation

Opportunity knocked on their friends door in the form of the investment needed to keep running the business; Preparation happened all the time with the standing request of participating in the business not as a passive investor but as a player!

One of the quickest lessons I learned as an entrepreneur when I started Active Garage was not to hold back & ask. “What’s the worse that will happen”, said our mentor, Rajesh, “People will say NO or maybe they won’t respond. What have you got to lose?” … and armed with that piece of advice, I asked away. There were more “No’s” than “Yes’s” that came my way but here’s a little secret that they won’t tell you… the No’s have been far better teachers to me than the Yes’s… as they created powerful opportunities for me to grow… and I have a very strange feeling that Rajesh knew that all along!

Oh! … and did I mention you can get all this, too if you just simply STOP holding back and START asking for what you really want!

Week In Review – Mar 7 – Mar 13, 2010

by Magesh Tarala on March 14, 2010

Before you fight them… Choose them wisely!

by Himanshu Jhamb, Mar 8, 2010

Not all customers are created equally. While some are very rewarding to work with, others are a drain on your resources. We need to pick them wisely and conserver our resources to fight the good fight. When you see your competitors taking on high maintenance clients, remember Napolean Bonaparte’s quote: “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake”. more…

Change Management #7 – Products: A tip to assure Darwinian survival

by Gary Monti, Mar 9, 2010

In this concluding post of the seven-part series, Gary draws a parallel between Darwin’s theory of natural selection and product management. Gold plating requirements and succumbing to feature creep will ensure failure and end up the dodo way. But following the natural selection way will ensure survival. more…

Once I make a commitment…

by Himanshu Jhamb, Mar 10, 2010

You are measured by your ability to keep your commitments to others. This is possible only if you possess the integrity. It is easy to understand the concept of integrity in physical structures and Himanshu provides a couple of examples in this article. Just like the lack of integrity will cause a structure to collapse, lack of integrity in your life will cause it to collapse. The bollywood actor’s dialog may help you maintain your integrity – he says “Once I make a commitment… I don’t even listen to myself”. more…

Dancing for your Tribe

by Guy Ralfe, Mar 11, 2010

First off, hearty congratulations to Guy for taking the leap in to entrepreneurship. We wish him the best in his new endeavor.

Reflecting upon how he was able to make the transition to his new career, Guy credits the power of networks for his ability to make such a drastic change. Luck does not come calling, but is a factor of who you associate with. Associating with the right tribes and creating an identity that is portable across tribes, is essential component of success. So, get started and make some noise, tweet, call someone – get out there and pick your opportunity – Dance for your tribe! more…

Author’s Journey #12: How to create a content plan for your book?

by Roger Parker, Mar 12, 2010

Before you can write your book, you need to create a content plan for your book. Mind mapping makes it easy to identify and organize your ideas. In this article Roger explains how he used a three step process to successfully create a content plan for his book using Mindjet’s MindManager and Microsoft Word. more…