It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.

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

The first duty of a leader is to make himself be loved without courting love. To be loved without ‘playing up’ to anyone – even to himself.

Customers don’t buy from you because they understand your products. They buy from you because they feel your products understand them.

Joe Polish, Success Magazine, July 2012


A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all.

Boost your spirit with wise words from these sideline legends.
February 7, 2016

The Super Bowl brings together the best of the best on the most-watched gridiron of the year. Find your best with these inspirational words from some of the greatest NFL coaches of all time:

1. “Leadership is a matter of having people look at you and gain confidence…If you’re in control, they’re in control.”

—Tom Landry, Head Coach Dallas Cowboys (1960-88)

2. “Excuses are the tools of the incompetent.”

—Mike Tomlin, Head Coach, Pittsburgh Steelers (2007-Present)

3. “If you want to win, do the ordinary things better than anyone else does them day in and day out.”

—Chuck Noll, Head Coach Pittsburgh Steelers (1969-91)

4. “Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.”

Vince Lombardi, Head Coach Green Bay Packers (1959-67)

5. “Try not to do too many things at once. Know what you want, the number one thing today and tomorrow. Persevere and get it done.”

—George Allen, Head Coach Los Angeles Rams (1957, 1966-70), Chicago Bears (1958-65), Washington Redskins (1971-77)

6. “You fail all the time, but you aren’t a failure until you start blaming someone else.”

—Bum Phillips Head Coach, Houston Oilers (1975-80), New Orleans Saints (1981-85)

7. “Stay focused. Your start does not determine how you’re going to finish.”

—Herm Edwards, Head Coach New York Jets (2001-05), Kansas City Chiefs (2006-08)

8. “Nobody who ever gave his best regretted it.”

—George S. Halas, Head Coach Chicago Bears (1933-42, 1946-55, 1958-67)

9. “Success isn’t measured by money or power or social rank. Success is measured by your discipline and inner peace.”

—Mike Ditka, Head Coach, Chicago Bears (1982-92), New Orleans Saints (1997-99)

10. “Self-praise is for losers. Be a winner. Stand for something. Always have class, and be humble.”

—John Madden, Head Coach, Oakland Raiders (1969-78)

11. “If you are afraid of confrontation, you are not going to do very well.”

—Bill Parcells, Head Coach, New York Giants (1983-90), New England Patriots (1993-96)

12. “I’ve observed that if individuals who prevail in a high competitive environment have any one thing in common besides success, it is failure—and their ability to overcome it.”

—Bill Walsh, Head Coach, San Francisco 49ers (1979-88)

13. “Adversity is an opportunity for heroism.”

—Marv Levy, Head Coach, Kansas City Chiefs (1978-82), Buffalo Bills (1986-97)

14. “The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.”

—Jimmy Johnson, Head coach, Dallas Cowboys (1989-93), Miami Dolphins (1996-99)

15. “The superior man blames himself. The inferior man blames others.”

Don Shula, Head Coach, Baltimore Colts (1963-69), Miami Dolphins, (1970-95)

16. “Confidence is a very fragile thing, and it certainly is something that has to start with your mental approach and your ability to respond and stay focused and not allow negative thoughts to enter into your own mind. When you’re successful, it’s easier to expect success. All of a sudden it’s not there, it becomes more of a challenge.”

—Bill Cowher, Head Coach, Pittsburgh Steelers (1992-2006)

17. “Failures are expected by losers, ignored by winners.”

—Joe Gibbs, Head Coach, Washington Redskins (1981-92, 2004-07)

18. “When you win, say nothing. When you lose, say less.”

—Paul Brown, Head Coach, Cleveland Browns (1950-62), Cincinnati Bengals (1968-75)

19. “My philosophy? Simplicity plus variety”

—Hank Stram, Head Coach, Dallas Texans (1960-74), New Orleans Saints (1976-77)

20. “Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.”

—Lou Holtz, Head coach, New York Jets (1976)

Read the original article at Success Magazine by clicking here.



Written by Verne Harnish

Here’s how Rx Management created a matrix of Pleasers, Pullers, Plonkers, and Providers to protect profits, drive up gross margins, and eliminate the money-losing duds in its business.

When Jim Harriott walks into one of Rx Management’s 18 retail pharmacies in Australia, he usually has four words for his managers: “Show me your plonkers.”

Plonkers are slow sellers with low gross margins. Once he sees them, Harriott will ask what the manager plans do with them. “The idea of having lines in the stores that aren’t selling is madness,” says Harriott, whose stores are about the size of a Walgreens in the U.S. “But that happens. We get all excited about the new lines that come into the store but we never get rid of them.”
Harriott has created a powerful matrix to keep these money-losing product lines out of his Sydney-based chain that is relevant to many industries. The matrix divides the products stocked in the pharmacies into four quadrants — pleasers, pullers, plonkers and providers — each with its own role in the ecosystem of a store. By providing a simple visual representation of how every product is performing, the matrix has helped the chain protect its margins from industrywide pressure for decades.
“It’s important that you don’t lose sight of the metrics that make a business successful,” says Harriott.

Waterfall Graphs

Stocking money-losing product lines isn’t a hazard unique to pharmacy businesses. As I discussed in my recent book Scaling Up, many companies hold onto money-losing product and service lines. “For strategic reasons” is usually the excuse.

Yet what is strategic about losing lots of money over a period of time? Apple could have easily argued that selling its money-losing handheld computers was a bad strategic move, but Steve Jobs eliminated the product line when he came back to run the firm a second time. Any loss leaders you might need — and these should be kept to a minimum — should be treated as a marketing expense in your accounting.

Having your accountant create waterfall graphs can force you to face the brutal facts about your own plonkers. Waterfall graphs are simple graphics that let you see gross margins or profit percentage by customer, location, sales people, product line or stock keeping units, usually called SKUs. The point is to have an easy way to see where the company is making a bunch of money from a limited part of the business and losing some in other parts. Harriott’s matrix is a creative application of this concept.

“When I saw the waterfall graphs, I said, “This is an opportunity to see things a little bit differently,” says Harriott. “It helps me make better decisions. That’s what the pleasers and pullers do for me.”

The power of simplification

Harriott started his first pharmacy in a small town in Australia in 1990. He sold that business in 2000 and then purchased a much larger urban pharmacy, followed by another. In 2011, he combined those pharmacies with others run by the company Rx Management to create his current operation. He and three other directors own the pharmacies and are franchisees of the company Priceline.

As Harriott scaled the business, he saw that it was hard for managers of the stores to keep an eye on which product lines were performing well. With 13,000 individual items — or SKUs — the task was overwhelming.

Harriott’s matrix simplified decision making for them by showing them exactly where each SKU falls in the four quadrants:

Providers: These are the lines that sell at a low rate but have a high gross profit. They are not price-sensitive. There are many items in this category, allowing the business to showcase the wide range of products it sells. (Top left)

Pleasers: These are star products that have great sales and great profits, such as popular skin care items and supplements. Pleasers have moderate price sensitivity. (Top right)

Plonkers: With a low sales rate and a low gross profit, these products have little going for them — and in most cases should be purged. (Bottom left)

Sometimes, new products that don’t have much sales history show up in this quadrant, in which case the managers remove them from the list. Other plonkers have the potential to become providers if a store raises their prices — which managers are encouraged to do.

But in many other cases, the plonkers should be dropped. The store may be stocking them because the manager fell in love with a product or is reluctant to disappoint a customer. Harriott often hears, “I know we haven’t sold many but Mrs. Jones comes in every three months and buys them.” In those cases, Harriott will suggest another approach, like special ordering the product for Mrs. Jones.

“You can’t have it sitting there not paying its rent,” says Harriott. “Each product has to pay its proportion of the rent.”

Pullers: These are popular, competitive lines that attract customers but are very price sensitive. “The pullers are the lines that you don’t make much money on but people buy a lot of,” says Harriott. One example is fish oil supplements which, as in the U.S., are a popular item in Australia. (Bottom right).

It’s hard to get stores to the point where they have no plonkers. Typically Harriott has found his stores will have 200 SKUs that are pleasers, 200 pullers, 6,000 providers and 6,000 plonkers. The managers must continually cull the plonkers, to keep the number down. And to prevent more duds from creeping into the stores, any manager who wants to add a new line is strongly encouraged to drop a plonker.

Higher Gross Profits

By doing an analysis of their stock each quarter, Harriott’s managers have been able to identify the products consumers really want and use that information to improve gross profits at their stores. All of the chain’s managers know to keep pleasers and pullers in stock at all time and root out plonkers.

“If you don’t have a compelling reason people should be coming to see you, some other provider will take the business from you,” he says.

The matrix also shows them which products to promote. If there are promotional opportunities in stores, managers know to allocate half to pleasers and half to pullers — and never to promote providers or plonkers.

One pharmacy manager has been able to increase her store’s gross profit by 1.5% to 2% over a 12-month period by concentrating on increasing the mix of pleasers in certain displays, says Harriott. “This ‘pleasers and pullers’ concept was key in growing the retail gross profit of the store from the 29% mark to the 30 to 31% mark,” he says. Most of this margin goes right to the bottom line.

Of course, keeping track of the products that fit into the four quadrants requires regular attention. But given that Harriott’s business faces pressure from big box retailers, it’s the best way to ensure the chain can hold onto its position in the industry. “Where we succeed in this is by managing our margins,” he says. If you are facing similar pressures in your industry, Harriott’s approach is an effective way to turn the tide and protect your margins, too.

Click here to read the original article at The Huffington Post

Motivate others

When you do something right, you add. When you motivate others to make something right, you multiply.

Some people are natural-born leaders. Others are cruel, inhuman monsters.
Have you ever noticed this about the way most American companies select people to manage others? It doesn’t make a lick of sense.

They take the most skilled employees and tell them, “Congratulations! You’re great at this! So instead of doing it, you’re now going to supervise others who aren’t nearly as talented. Sure, you may not be good at supervising people, because it requires a totally different skill set than the one you’ve mastered, but this is the only way to grow in the company, so… good luck, boss!”

It’s a little wacky, is what we’re saying. And that wackiness may explain this: When you ask people—friends, associates, strangers—for an interesting boss anecdote, very few start with a positive one. Most of us have had a boss who we thought might be, you know, a high-functioning sociopath. Far fewer can say we ever felt truly inspired by a boss. “Companies often choose the wrong people,” says Linda A. Hill, Ph.D., professor of business administration at Harvard Business School and the co-author of Being the Boss. “The criteria for what makes someone a really good producer, salesperson or researcher may not be the criteria that make a good leader.”

Complicated politics are involved, too. “We live in organizations that are political,” says Deborah Ancona, faculty director of the MIT Leadership Center. “Negativity comes out of that, things like, ‘I did the work, and he got the credit.’ That often pushes people to self-promotion rather than team promotion.”

And while we all may enjoy making fun of the Michael Scotts we have known over the years, these bad bosses are no laughing matter: An oft-cited Gallup study revealed that a gloomy 30 percent of Americans actually feel engaged at work, while nearly 20 percent feel “actively disengaged” (which is totally an oxymoron, but give them a break; they’re depressed). Research has told us that people’s ideas and assumptions about leadership are shaped as early as their first jobs, so if someone forms a bad habit at the ice cream shop where he worked in high school, by the time he’s promoted to senior manager, he’d have had those same foibles for years.

All of which begs the question: Are there really that many more terrible bosses than good ones? The answer: yeah, probably.

“It’s like when you’re cooking,” says Carolyn Goerner, Ph.D., a professor of management at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. “When it goes really well, you say, Mmm, that was good. You don’t really get excited about it. But when it’s really, really horrible, you remember it. The really good bosses who change people and make them better are simply few and far between. Most of the time bosses are just below average, so you just find yourself going day to day without their making much of a difference.”

And, of course, there’s the problem noted earlier. “Say you’re dealing with the best tax accountant in the world,” Goerner says. “They can cite federal tax code at parties. So people say, ‘You’re such a good tax accountant that we’re going to let you supervise other tax accountants and take you away from the thing you’re good at.’ ” In other words, pull that tax-code-citing expert (who probably doesn’t get invited back to many parties) out of his comfort zone, plant him in a supervisory position for which he might not be prepared and might not even have the interpersonal skills or personality, and assign him quarterly goals.

“In some instances,” Goerner says, “We’re taking people who are incredibly proficient technically and then promoting them to a level of incompetence.”

But all this may be missing a bright side, Ancona says. “When we’ve asked people about their development as leaders, we’ve found that people seem to learn more from negative role models than positive ones. People say, Wow, well, this is what I don’t want to do, who I don’t want to be.”

For her part, Goerner is warming to the idea of teaching management skills to the technically gifted. “The idea is that we take people we know have high potential and teach them traditional MBA classes—what it means to think strategically, deal with your assets in a way that can get you good ROI.” The catch, of course, is that it’s easier to teach technical skills than management prowess or, in some cases, a decent personality.

Some aspects of being a good manager can be honed via a mentor. Communication competence can be taught. Planning ability and listening skills can be taught. “You can help people read emotions,” Ancona says. “You can teach them to be more visionary, to be more critical, to pay closer attention.” But self-confidence, likability and the willingness to trust employees aren’t easily learned. “I wish I knew the secret sauce,” Goerner says. “You either have it or you don’t.”

Hopefully your boss has it. Or if you’re a boss, hopefully you do. And if you’re running the show, hopefully you have the stones to replace one of your poor supervisors with a great one. Great management is absolutely vital: A 2012 study by the consulting company Towers Watson found that feeling cared for by one’s supervisor affected employees’ trust in leadership more than anything else that supervisor did, and that employees who had supportive supervisors reported feeling 67 percent more engaged than their counterparts.

In any event, dealing with a screwy boss is a lot like dealing with a screwy anyone. And there are some really good bosses out there. You just might not hear about them as much.

“Leadership is personal,” Ancona says. “There’s no single way of leading, no silver bullet. Every person has his or her own way. We’re all incomplete. We can’t be perfect at everything. So if you’re someone’s boss, the trick is finding out what you’re really good at and what you need to ramp up on, and getting better at both.”

I recomend subscribing to Success Magazine. To read the original article from Success, click here.

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It is not every day that one of the world’s largest technology companies announces a new CEO.

So when Google announced that Sundar Pichai was taking the reins on Monday, his promotion gained thousands of column inches worldwide – not least of all in his native India.

The Hindu newspaper called the news “a bonus for people of Indian-origin world over“. The Times of India hailed the “quiet yet thoughtful” man from Chennai (Madras).

But his ascent is far from unique. In fact, it is becoming ever more common for major international companies to have an Indian-born CEO.

One study, by the University of Southern New Hampshire, says that Indian managers are more successful because of “a paradoxical blend of genuine personal humility and intense professional will”.

Whatever the model is, it seems to be working. Mr Pichai is the latest, and the most high-profile, Indian-born CEO. You can read more about him here – but here are five more Indian-born CEOs who are making waves.

Satya Nadella – Microsoft

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Mr Nadella, 47, who was named the head of Microsoft in February last year, was one of the first to tweet his congratulations to Mr Pichai on Monday.

On his first day in the job, the father-of-three sent an email to all staff, calling it “a very humbling day for me“.

“I am… defined by my curiosity and thirst for learning,” he told staff. “I buy more books than I can finish. I sign up for more online courses than I can complete.

“I fundamentally believe that if you are not learning new things, you stop doing great and useful things.”

Born in Hyderabad, he joined the company in 1992 and was previously in charge of Microsoft’s Cloud OS service, which powers products such as Bing, Skype and Xbox Live.

Microsoft’s man at the top

Ajay Banga – Mastercard

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After working for Nestle, then PepsiCo, Mr Banga – who is from Pune – took over as CEO of the credit card company in July 2010. He began his career with Nestle in 1981.

In a speech in April to his alma mater, the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), he outlined what he called the “grand plan” he had at the start of his career.

“Get with somebody good. Get with somebody global. Do something that interested me. That’s it. So, don’t stress if you haven’t got a detailed plan for your life. Anyone can have a good idea or plan; what makes it great is execution.”

He also outlined six main lessons for good leadership:

  • a sense of urgency
  • a sense of balance
  • the courage to take thoughtful risks
  • be competitively paranoid
  • develop a global view
  • do well and do good

Indira Nooyi – PepsiCo

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Named the third most powerful woman in business by Fortune magazine last year, Ms Nooyi was, like Sundar Pichai, born in Chennai.

She was named CEO of PepsiCo in 2006, having joined the company in 1994.

The company she presides over is a food and drinks giant: some of the brands owned by PepsiCo include Starbucks, Muller, Frito-Lay and Tropicana. The company says 22 of its brands are each worth more than $1bn (£640m).

“In my case, I benefited because I grew up outside of the United States,” Ms Nooyi said in an interview in March.

“I understand exactly how the world works, and I could see the world through the eyes of people from outside the United States.”

Ivan Menezes – Diageo

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Mr Menezes, from Pune, is another IIM graduate. He took over as head of the British drinks giant Diageo in July 2013.

Like Ajay Banga, he began his career with Nestle in 1981.

Among the brands the company owns are Guinness, Johnnie Walker whisky, Smirnoff vodka and Captain Morgan rum.

One of his biggest moves as CEO was to buy a majority stake in India’s United Spirits company, though that deal has since provided Diageo with a number of headaches.

Shantanu Narayen – Adobe Systems

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Mr Narayen, from Hyderabad, has run the software firm since December 2007. He began his career with Apple.

“There’s an Indian community that’s vibrant and thriving,” he said of Silicon Valley in an interview in February. “We attribute a lot of that to the importance of education that we all grew up with.”

In the interview, he said Hyderabad’s schools – modelled on the British public school system – helped his progression, as did having a foreigner’s appreciation of the opportunity the US had given him.


Click here to read the original article from BBC