To write or not to write?

Posted by Michael on July 2, 2014 in Blogging, SAP with Comments closed |

It has been over a year sense I posted last, I think I am going to write more about SAP and IT leadership, Politics has gotten rotten.

I am getting Married this month so I will need a place to focus my energy.

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Time is the most valuable and limited commodity

Posted by Michael on March 11, 2013 in Project Managment with Comments closed |

No one has enough time on one day to get their important items done.  to be successful you need to prioritize what you will focus on. I have been using a tool called Priority Matrix by Appfluence for a couple months on my iPad and on my Windows laptop. I sync them together which is one of the outstanding parts of this application.

I started using the default  Important & Urgent /  Not Important & Not Urgent matrix but now use a Now, Next, Open, Complete matrix for my priority matrix. I don’t allow more than 5 tasks in each Now and Next boxes.

I love the iPad version and I like the windows version. It still has some development work being done and can’t wait for the email updates. But it is a useful tool and the sync really makes it useful.

I email status reports with my notes from my iPad for each of my specific projects. this will come from my laptop if they update the email format to look like the iPad email format.

this has allowed me to really manage the priorities and make sure I am focusing on what is my priority and move tasks from one priority to another. I remove tasks from the ‘Now’ to the ‘Next’ priority when something gets escalated in priority showing exactly what I am working on each week.

The development group has a blog that I would recommend to anyone working on projects. I really liked this post Good project management skills and agree that Priority Matrix is a good tool to assist in my projects.

Check them out.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Posted by Michael on February 26, 2013 in Uncategorized with Comments closed |

Want To Be Taken Seriously? Become a Better Writer

This strikes a cord because of so much information out there.

3) Make it more concise. Less is often more, so during my editing process, I’ll often ask, “How can I say the same thing in fewer words?” People don’t have time to read a long email, or memo, or article, so out of respect for your intended audience, practice making your writing short and sweet. I’d even argue that tweeting has helped me a lot with this, as it obviously limits you to 140 characters. If you’re not on Twitter yet, this is another reason to get tweeting.

I scan pages and only read if I see specific information I am looking for. What do you think?

Are you selling yourself short?

Posted by Michael on February 21, 2013 in Leadership with Comments closed |

Stop Using These 16 Terms to Describe Yourself | LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20130117141235-20017018-stop-using-these-16-terms-to-describe-yourself

I really like number 3

3. “Authority.” Like Margaret Thatcher said, “Power is like being a lady; if you have to say you are, you aren’t.” Show your expertise instead.

Good article on rights…

Posted by Michael on January 31, 2013 in Leadership with Comments closed |

Real Rights vs. “Rights” (State-Dispensed Privileges)
Edward Cline (2013.01.30 ) Politics
I developed a dislike for Franklin D. Roosevelt in high school because he was oversold by my history teachers. He was portrayed as a kind of canonized secular saint who had saved the nation and the world from the ghastly phenomena of the Depression and the Axis. Too young to judge FDR’s political accomplishments, what inculcated an unshakable suspicion in me was the tone with which FDR was uncritically presented by the teachers to my history classes. (They were still called “history” classes back then, not “social science.”) He could do no wrong, his intentions were unquestionably noble, he had sacrificed himself for the greater good, and to criticize him was to belabor the picayune and the arcane and reveal oneself as an ignorant, reactionary lowbrow. So it was also with JFK and Woodrow Wilson.

Trust but verify. I love history, but I don’t trust history teachers…

SAP HANA for the NFL

Posted by Michael on January 26, 2013 in SAP with Comments closed |

Check this SAP for NFL.com fantasy football Player of the year

This is a great way to show how SAP HANA is and can be consumer friendly.

Here is the main article I found this from.

SAP Unveils Online Dashboard to Provide Fans With Analytic Insights for NFL.com Fantasy Football Player of the Year

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Life will be tougher in the future

Posted by Michael on January 6, 2013 in Leadership with Comments closed |

There is an interesting article talking about today’s College Freshmen and their belief system.

How college students think they are more special than EVER: Study reveals rocketing sense of entitlement on U.S. campuses

A simple statement makes me worry about how America is going to continue to grow and improve when our young is not willing to work hard and put in the effort needed to succeed.

While students are much more likely to call themselves gifted in writing abilities, objective test scores actually show that their writing abilities are far less than those of their 1960s counterparts.

Though they may work less, the number that said they had a drive to succeed rose sharply.

These young egotists can grow up to be depressed adults.

This is a really good point because we have many people mistaking  the measure of success (money) as success (production).

Twenge said that’s a trait that is often negative and destructive, and blames its boom on several trends – including parenting styles, celebrity culture, social media, and easy credit – for allowing people to seem more successful than they really are.

Back in the early 2000’s I read an article that makes a lot of sense.

Among the Inept, Researchers Discover, Ignorance Is Bliss

One reason that the ignorant also tend to be the blissfully self-assured, the researchers believe, is that the skills required for competence often are the same skills necessary to recognize competence.

This leads to the questions about what to do about it. How do we do the jobs the teachers wont do?

As I go through hiring processes I look for talents of the person I am interviewing. I break down some talent items in these ways.

  1. Organizational talent
  2. Attention to detail talent
  3. Moral ethics
  4. Drive
  5. Goals

When I talk about Organizational talent I mean, do they come to the interview prepared? Do they have extra resumes, notes, references, etc. all of these items take effort to prepare for. They take work of the individual to prepare. It is about what effort they are going to put into getting the job and how much effort they will put into being successful in the role they are applying for. Do they have a natural talent to be organized.

When I talk about ‘Attention to detail talent’ it is about do they have a natural talent that shows they pay attention to the small things as well as the large things. Do they have attention to details of the tasks they are working on? This was drilled into me when I was young and reinforced and refined in the Marine Corps.

As a business owner and a manager in corporate America we need to reinforce morality in what we do. It is morally correct to work hard and succeed and gather the rewards of that effort as a measure of success. But this reward is only moral if it is honest efforts and not done with any manipulation of  facts or credit.

Drive, is to produce, not to get as much as possible out of a company. it is to do what ever it takes to get the job done. It is the sometimes working at night, working all night and on weekends. it is to continually look for ways to improve yourself and others and not how to do the job the easiest way possible. it is called work for a reason. it is not always fun but in the end it is rewarding. 

Goals, Goals, Goals, I talk to interviewees about their long term goals, what success do they want, I believe my jobs is to get the best people around me and help them grown and step into the role that I currently hold. If they have goals that are really the measure of success I dig in. Schools today teach the lifestyle without the effort. People that want the lifestyle as played out on MTV and in movies have been harder to motivate to complete the work required. My Goals are to be as productive as possible and produce not only work effort but produce the next group of leaders that will continue growing and teaching so everyone I come into contact with and everyone they come into contact with will produce more.

I like the email incorrectly attributed to Bill Gates.

Some Rules Kids Won’t Learn in School

Rule No. 1: Life is not fair. Get used to it

Rule No. 2: the real world won’t care as much about your self-esteem as much as your school does.

Rule No. 3: Sorry, you wont make $40,000 a year right out of high school.

Rule No. 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait ‘til you get a boss.

This is not a overnight change that brought us to this but an evolution. it is all of the political correct teachings in schools. The lack of winners and losers. The Question of tomorrows leaders:

  • How do we motivate the next generation (or two) to become producers?
  • What are we going to do to enable the next generation to learn about effort required to succeed while in school?
  • How are we going to change what we teach kids about what success is and how it is measured?
  • How are we going to spread the equal opportunity to be successful around instead of the equal outcome?

Michael

Interesting View of Social Media

Posted by Michael on January 5, 2013 in Leadership, SAP with Comments closed |

Looking to re-make the identity of IT in the business? Better get Transparent and connected to the business and to the customers.

the hard part is the CIO will need to make time to focus on being social and learn how to become approachable and then enable the rest of IT to embrace transparency. Fear over bad information should not stop this process, Control breaks this down. Train employees on how to communicate, set the example, Lead the teams, share insights.

Follow the CIO of SAP

Here’s how SAPs IT department has become more effective:

1. SAP’s IT department is perceived by the organization as a group that improves products by gathering customer input and that sells products by educating SAP customers through blogs, Twitter, SAP communities and other social communication channels.

2. Most of SAP’s enterprise customers want to communicate with the CIO over their salespeople – Bussmann obliges when necessary.

3. The IT department reaches out to SAP’s external customers to test concepts. Bussmann realized quickly, how big an opportunity it was to help the company convey the SAP story. It’s become so popular, that as a result, Bussmann has taken over 250 meetings in the last 12 months.

4. By interacting with people on Twitter, Bussmann has learned of several key trends that have helped SAP prepare to be more competitive. As an example, in 2010, Bussmann was alerted by several analysts on Twitter  that the iPad was an enterprise product and not just a consumer product.

Where would you rank?

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Leadership is a key in ERP Success

Posted by Michael on January 5, 2013 in Leadership, SAP with Comments closed |

 

Here are a list of books I like and refer to on leadership.

A select few form my Marine Corps Training and Mindset.

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    Marine Corps Leadership Traits

    Posted by Michael on November 11, 2012 in Leadership with Comments closed |

    14 Leadership Traits

    The fourteen leadership traits can be remembered with the acronym JJ- DIDTIEBUCKLE:

    - Justice

    - Judgment

    - Dependability

    - Initiative

    - Decisiveness

    - Tact

    - Integrity

    - Enthusiasm

    - Bearing

    - Unselfishness

    - Courage

    - Knowledge

    - Loyalty

    - Endurance

    Justice

    Definition – Giving reward and punishment according to the merits of the case in question.  The ability to administer a system of rewards and punishments impartially and consistently.

    Significance- The quality of displaying fairness and impartiality is critical in order to gain the trust and respect of subordinates and maintains discipline and unit cohesion, particularly in the exercise of responsibility.

    Example – Fair apportionment of tasks by a squad leader during field day.

    Judgment

    Definition – The ability to weigh facts and possible courses of action in order to make sound decisions.

    Significance- Sound judgment allows a leader to make appropriate decisions in the guidance and training of his/her Marines and the employment of his/her unit.  A Marine who exercises good judgment weighs pros and cons accordingly when making appropriate decisions.

    Example – A Marine properly apportions his/her liberty time in order to relax as well as to study.

    Dependability

    Definition – The certainty of proper performance of duty.

    Significance - The quality that permits a senior to assign a task to a junior with the understanding that it will be accomplished with minimum supervision.

    Example – The squad leader ensures that his/her squad falls out in the proper uniform without having been told to by the platoon sergeant.

    Initiative

    Definition – Taking action in the absence of orders.

    Significance- Since an NCO often works without close supervision; emphasis is placed on being a self-starter.  Initiative is a founding principle of Marine Corps Warfighting philosophy.

    Example- In the unexplained absence of the platoon sergeant, an NCO takes charge of the platoon and carries out the training schedule.

    Decisiveness

    Definition – Ability to make decisions promptly and to announce them in a clear, forceful manner.

    Significance- The quality of character which guides a person to accumulate all available facts in a circumstance, weigh the facts, and choose and announce an alternative which seems best.  It is often better that a decision be made promptly than a potentially better one be made at the expense of more time.

    Example- A leader, who sees a potentially dangerous situation developing, immediately takes action to prevent injury from occurring.

    Tact

    Definition – The ability to deal with others in a manner that will maintain good relations and avoid offense.  More simply stated, tact is the ability to say and do the right thing at the right time.

    Significance – The quality of consistently treating peers, seniors, and subordinates with respect and courtesy is a sign of maturity.  Tact allows commands, guidance, and opinions to be expressed in a constructive and beneficial manner.  This deference must be extended under all conditions regardless of true feelings.

    Example- A Marine discreetly points out a mistake in drill to an NCO by waiting until after the unit has been dismissed and privately asking which of the two methods are correct.

    Integrity

    Definition – Uprightness of character and soundness of moral principles.  The quality of truthfulness and honesty.

    Significance - A Marine’s word is his/her bond.  Nothing less than complete honesty in all of your dealings with subordinates, peers, and superiors is acceptable.

    Example- A Marine who uses the correct technique on the obstacle course, even when he/she cannot be seen by the evaluator.

    Enthusiasm

    Definition - The display of sincere interest and exuberance in the performance of duty.

    Significance – Displaying interest in a task and optimism that can be successfully completed greatly enhances the likelihood that the task will be successfully completed.

    Example- A Marine who leads a chant or offers to help carry a load that is giving someone great difficulty while on a hike despite being physically tired, he encourages his fellow Marines to persevere.

    Bearing

    Definition – Creating a favorable impression in carriage, appearance, and personal conduct at all times.

    Significance – The ability to look, talk, and act like a leader whether or not these manifestations indicate one’s true feelings.

    Example- Wearing clean uniforms, boots, and collar devices.  Avoiding profane and vulgar language.  Keeping a trim, fit appearance.

    Unselfishness

    Definition – Avoidance of providing for one’s own comfort and personal advancement at the expense of others.

    Significance - The quality of looking out for the needs of your subordinates before your own is the essence of leadership.  This quality is not to be confused with putting these matters ahead of the accomplishment of the mission.

    Example – An NCO ensures all members of his unit have eaten before he does, or if water is scarce, he will share what he has and ensure that others do the same.

    Courage

    Definition – Courage is a mental quality that recognizes fear of danger or criticism, but enables a Marine to proceed in the face of danger with calmness and firmness.

    Significance – Knowing and standing for what is right, even in the face of popular disfavor. The business of fighting and winning wars is a dangerous one; the importance of courage on the battlefield is obvious.

    Example- Accepting criticism for making subordinates field day for an extra hour to get the job done correctly.

    Knowledge

    Definition- Understanding of a science or an art.  The range of one’s information, including professional knowledge and understanding of your Marines.

    Significance – The gaining and retention of current developments in military and naval science and world affairs is important for your growth and development.

    Example – The Marine who not only knows how to maintain and operate his assigned weapon, but also knows how to use the other weapons and equipment in the unit.

    Loyalty

    Definition- The quality of faithfulness to country, Corps, unit, seniors, subordinates and peers.

    Significance – The motto of the Marine Corps is Semper Fidelis, Always Faithful.  You owe unswerving loyalty up and down the chain of command.

    Example – A Marine displaying enthusiasm in carrying out an order of a senior, though he may privately disagree with it.

    Endurance

    Definition- The mental and physical stamina measured by the ability to withstand pain, fatigue, stress, and hardship.

    Significance- The quality of withstanding pain during a conditioning hike in order to improve stamina is crucial in the development of leadership.  Leaders are responsible for leading their units in physical endeavors and for motivating them as well.

    Example- A Marine keeping up on a 10-mile forced march even though he/she has blisters on both feet.

     

    11 Leadership Principles

    Know Yourself and Seek Self Improvement 

    · This principle of leadership should be developed by the use of leadership traits.  Evaluate yourself by using the leadership traits and determine your strengths and weaknesses.

    · You can improve yourself in many ways.  To develop the techniques of this principle:

    · Make an honest evaluation of yourself to determine your strong and weak personal qualities

    · Seek the honest opinions of your friends or superiors

    · Learn by studying the causes for the success and failures of others

    · Develop a genuine interest in people

    · Master the art of effective writing and speech

    · Have a definite plan to achieve your goal

    Be Technically and Tactically Proficient

    · A person who knows their job thoroughly and possesses a wide field of knowledge.  Before you can lead, you must be able to do the job.  Tactical and technical competence can be learned from books and from on the job training.  To develop this leadership principle of being technically and tactically proficient, you should:

    · Know what is expected of you then expend time and energy on becoming proficient at those things

    · Form an attitude early on of seeking to learn more than is necessary

    · Observe and study the actions of capable leaders

    · Spend time with those people who are recognized as technically and tactically proficient at those things

    · Prepare yourself for the job of the leader at the next higher rank

    · Seek feedback from superiors, peers and subordinates

    Know Your People and Look Out For Their Welfare

    · This is one of the most important of the leadership principles.  A leader must make a conscientious effort to observe his Marines and how they react to different situations.  A Marine who is nervous and lacks self-confidence should never be put in a situation where an important decision must be made.  This knowledge will enable you as the leader to determine when close supervision is required.

    • To put this principle in to practice successfully you should:
    • Put your Marines’ welfare before your own
    • Be approachable
    • Encourage individual development
    • Know your unit’s mental attitude; keep in touch with their thoughts
    • Ensure fair and equal distribution of rewards
    • Provide sufficient recreational time and insist on participation

    Keep Your Personnel Informed

    · Marines by nature are inquisitive. To promote efficiency and morale, a leader should inform the Marines in his unit of all happenings and give reasons why things are to be done.  This is accomplished only if time and security permits.  Informing your Marines of the situation makes them feel that they are a part of the team and not just a cog in a wheel.  Informed Marines perform better.

    · The key to giving out information is to be sure that the Marines have enough information to do their job intelligently and to inspire their initiative, enthusiasm, loyalty, and convictions.

    • Techniques to apply this principle are:
    • Whenever possible, explain why tasks must be done and the plan to accomplish a task
    • Be alert to detect the spread of rumors.  Stop rumors by replacing them with the truth
    • Build morale and espirit de corps by publicizing information concerning successes of your unit
    • Keep your unit informed about current legislation and regulations affecting their pay, promotion, privileges, and other benefits

    Set The Example 

    · A leader who shows professional competence, courage and integrity sets high personal standards for himself before he can rightfully demand it from others.  Your appearance, attitude, physical fitness and personal example are all on display daily for the Marines and Sailors in your unit.  Remember, your Marines and Sailors reflect your image!

    • Techniques for setting the example are to:
    • Show your subordinates that you are willing to do the same things you ask them to do
    • Maintain an optimistic outlook
    • Conduct yourself so that your personal habits are not open to criticism
    • Avoid showing favoritism to any subordinate
    • Delegate authority and avoid over supervision, in order to develop leadership among subordinates
    • Leadership is taught by example

    Ensure That The Task Is Understood, Supervised, and Accomplished 

    · Leaders must give clear, concise orders that cannot be misunderstood, and then by close supervision, ensure that these orders are properly executed.  Before you can expect your men to perform, they must know what is expected of them.

    · The most important part of this principle is the accomplishment of the mission.  In order to develop this principle you should:

    · Issue every order as if it were your own

    · Use the established chain of command

    · Encourage subordinates to ask questions concerning any point in your orders or directives they do not understand

    · Question subordinates to determine if there is any doubt or misunderstanding in regard to the task to be accomplished

    · Supervise the execution of your orders

    · Exercise care and thought in supervision; over supervision will hurt initiative and create resentment, while under supervision will not get the job done

    Train Your Marines And Sailors As A Team

    · Teamwork is the key to successful operations.  Teamwork is essential from the smallest unit to the entire Marine Corps.  As a leader, you must insist on teamwork from your Marines.  Train, play and operate as a team.  Be sure that each Marine knows his/her position and responsibilities within the team framework.

    • To develop the techniques of this principle you should:
    • Stay sharp by continuously studying and training
    • Encourage unit participation in recreational and military events
    • Do not publicly blame an individual for the team’s failure or praise just an individual for the team’s success
    • Ensure that training is meaningful, and that the purpose is clear to all members of the command
    • Train your team based on realistic conditions
    • Insist that every person understands the functions of the other members of the team and the function of the team as part of the unit

    Make Sound And Timely Decisions

    · The leader must be able to rapidly estimate a situation and make a sound decision based on that estimation.  Hesitation or a reluctance to make a decision leads subordinates to lose confidence in your abilities as a leader.  Loss of confidence in turn creates confusion and hesitation within the unit.

    • Techniques to develop this principle include:
    • Developing a logical and orderly thought process by practicing objective estimates of the situation
    • When time and situation permit planning for every possible event that can reasonably be foreseen
    • Considering the advice and suggestions of your subordinates before making decisions
    • Considering the effects of your decisions on all members of your unit

    Develop A Sense Of Responsibility Among Your Subordinates 

    · Another way to show your Marines you are interested in their welfare is to give them the opportunity for professional development.  Assigning tasks and delegating authority promotes mutual confidenceand respect between leader and subordinates.  It also encourages subordinates to exercise initiative and to give wholehearted cooperation in accomplishment of unit tasks.  When you properly delegate authority, you demonstrate faith in your Marines and increase authority, and increase their desire for greater responsibilities.

    • To develop this principle you should:
    • Operate through the chain of command
    • Provide clear, well thought out directions
    • Give your subordinates frequent opportunities to perform duties normally performed by senior personnel
    • Be quick to recognize your subordinates’ accomplishments when they demonstrate initiative and resourcefulness
    • Correct errors in judgment and initiative in a way, which will encourage the individual to try harder
    • Give advice and assistance freely when your subordinates request it
    • Resist the urge to micro manage
    • Be prompt and fair in backing subordinates
    • Accept responsibility willingly and insist that your subordinates live by the same standard

    Employ Your Command Within its Capabilities

    · A leader must have a thorough knowledge of the tactical and technical capabilities of the command.  Successful completion of a task depends upon how well you know your unit’s capabilities.  If the task assigned is one that your unit has not been trained to do, failure is very likely to occur.  Failures lower your unit’s morale and self esteem.  Seek out challenging tasks for your unit, but be sure that your unit is prepared for and has the ability to successfully complete the mission.

    • Techniques for development of this principle are to:
    • Avoid volunteering your unit for tasks that are beyond their capabilities
    • Be sure that tasks assigned to subordinates are reasonable
    • Assign tasks equally among your subordinates
    • Use the full capabilities of your unit before requesting assistance

    Seek Responsibilities and Take Responsibility

    · For professional development, you must actively seek out challenging assignments.  You must use initiative and sound judgment when trying to accomplish jobs that are required by your grade.  Seeking responsibilities also means that you take responsibility for your actions.  Regardless of the actions of your subordinates, the responsibility for decisions and their application falls on you.

    • Techniques in developing this principle are to:
    • Learn the duties of your immediate senior, and be prepared to accept the responsibilities of these duties
    • Seek a variety of leadership positions that will give you experience in accepting responsibility in different fields
    • Take every opportunity that offers increased responsibility
    • Perform every task, no matter whether it is top secret or seemingly trivial, to the best of your ability
    • Stand up for what you think is right.  Have courage in your convictions
    • Carefully evaluate a subordinate’s failure before taking action against that subordinate
    • In the absence of orders, take the initiative to perform the actions you believe your senior would direct you to perform if present

    REFERENCE

    MCRP 6-11B w/CH 1, Marine Corps Values: A User’s Guide for Discussion Leaders, Chapter 15. Appendix A, B

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