Analytic Vision

Posts Tagged ‘values’

10 Useful Skills That Will Make You A Better Entrepreneur

Posted by Ştefan Alexandrescu on 31/07/2017


Working as a consultant for entrepreneurs is exciting and stressful in the same time. I know, because I’ve done it for years. So I decided to share some of my observations that might come as very useful for entrepreneurs and not only.

Not having these skills will not ruin you, but it would certainly slow you down. This is not an exhaustive list, just a “top of my mind” approach that I think would be very precious especially for those in the beginning of the road that make the leap from freelancing to entrepreneurship.

  1. Creating rules based on your principles. Any company is similar to the entrepreneur which creates it. In the beginning, especially if you don’t have a lot of employees, it will be easy to express how other people should behave, act or think concerning your business in order to respect what you want to create. Principles are like a lighthouse in the dark and in the night. In the beginning, they might be clear and easy. But the best way to share them is to express them as laying foundations for the rules: not too many, not too few, but clear for everybody. Once set, everyone must respect them. You must respect them the best. In the same time, it is important to train this skill, because your principles evolve and so do you.

  2. Express gratitude. Train yourself to use any anniversary, any opportunity in order to thank people which have made a contribution. Thank your clients after buying from you. Thank your collaborators for doing a good work. Thank your employees for reaching the goals. Thank your partners for supporting you. If you believe in God, keep this in mind: do not wish for God to give you how much you can take! You can take and have as much as you want as a burden in this life. Whatever you want, God can give you. But, in order to keep it, you must remember to be satisfied with less and with more, to take any success as a gift from God and not as a merit. The gratitude is a key skill for an entrepreneur.

  3. Recognize the teachable people. There are no real incompetents, only people who don’t manifest or have lost the capacity to learn. Therefore, choose wisely to work with only those people who can be taught. Do not hope that giving chances to seemingly talented people will make them fly and become stars. Most oftenly, the people you like the most are not those which necesarrily perform the best. Welcome the people who you choose to improve their careeer working with you!

  4. Train yourself to make distinctions between options, possibilities, opportunities and probabilities. All might sound similar, but they are very different. Anything is possible until you have to chose options. Those options must be at least probable. Between the options which are probable, you have to prioritize your opportunities and decide wether you want to choose them or create them. But remember, whatever you do, your options must not only be possible, but probable also! Many young professionals start their entrepreneurship career doing business plans like they did during faculty, but fail miserably. Know your territory and act upon that knowledge!

  5. Constantly develop yourself. What happens when the one thing that you are able to do for your clients is the thing that stops you the most from developing yourself? The competition will likely take over in a matter of time. You need to constantly be a source for re-invention. Working for your own development should not be in a competition with working for your customers or with your employees. Time for yourself to develop is also needed in order to enhance your business.

  6. How much do you allow yourself and others to act authentic in a relationship? Find and recognize the other people’s values, beliefs and convictions. Beliefs are convictions we believe to be true. Attitudes are collections of beliefs and values around a certain topic. There isn’t such a things as a “non-value” or “anti-value”, there are only different beliefs, values and attitudes. Erach person is motivated by different scopes and if you learn to discover those asking specific questions (such as some from LAB profile), it is worth to use them and to link them with each of the important actions that need to be taken for your business plans to work. Values lead to motivation. Motivation leads to vision. Vision leads to strategy. Why? Because where there’s a will, there’s a way. If the strategy does not take into consideration the values of the employees, it will be a difficult to implement strategy.

  7. Use the faults of the employees in the favor of the teams. Knowing that a certain person has a low performance in a certain area means that you know not to delegate to that person something (s)he might do which is wrong. Creating teams taking into consideration both their strong points and their weak points is a service that you can do creating the kind of complementarity that the collaborators could and should appreciate.

  8. Constantly shape in your mind the model of the best entrepreneur that you can be. How does that feel? What does this model do? How do you see him or her? Remember, it’s a model, it’s not Superman, it doesn’t have to be perfect. Practice in your mind what you would do in different types of situations: with your employees, with the clients, with the partners. Put yourself in the shoes of people who need to make difficult decisions. What’s worth doing to become such an entrepreneur? What is it important to giv up in order to become this model?

  9. How do you manage to diplomatically tell the truth and be convincing without lying? Practice rethorics and argumentation. What’s worth doing in oder to prove that you are right? Sometimes, it’s not enough top be right. It also depends how you say it. Having different reframing strategies in order to make each person think in his/her way is required, because not everybody will be convinced by the same arguments. In business, it doesn’t matter so much who is right, it matters what makes things profitable. Also, please keep in mynd, what others perceive as a message matters, not what we intend to transmit.

  10. Serve your clients, for their own good, don’t please them. Politicians, coaches and psychologists may oftenly be “punished” for actually serving those who chose them. Pleasing the clients is something which others can do very easily, but it takes some courage to educate your clients to recognize their own deep needs and to be glad they are actually served by what you are offering.


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Which Are Your Values for Success?

Posted by Ştefan Alexandrescu on 04/09/2011

As a exemplification of the checklist presented here, I want to share with you how I apply some of the concepts for myself. Of course, each person has his or her own values for success. The values of the successful businessmen they say, are: the leadership abilities, the communication skills, the delegation of tasks, the wide network of people known, the ability to work hard, team playing, enthusiasm, strategic vision, uprightness, analysis, loyalty, direction and sincerity.

Tony Robbins talks about the seven key traits of the great winners as being the passion built on motivation, the faith built on perspective, the strategy built on techniques and methods, the values clarity based on alignement, the energy built on equilibrium, the charisma built on the power of personal branding, the communication excellence built on efficient techniques.

Your goals are important. For you and for others. Plan, manage, monitor and evaluate your goals well. You will only receive the results for the expectations you envisioned. Live your purpose and enjoy it. The trip matters more than the result. You will only get the result if the trip was well set. Work smart, or else you’ll work for others.

Invest in planning to gain abilities, not knowledge (I will write about improving your abilities in a few days). Knowledge is everywhere, and it’s getting cheaper. Those who have the abilities to search, find and apply the right knowledge, also have the access to the resources thatmatter.

Give what you feel to who is appropriate. Don’t expect anything in return and everything you will receive will be a gift and not a disappointment. Use your gifts, your abilities, your knowledge and all your resources every day, serving others (not like this). Don’t let anyone tell you how much you worth. Sclavagism ended. People worth more than what they can produce. You only have these resources for a short period of time, make them serve others and grow. Take care of your needs without hurting others.

This is the only way you will not only obtain your goals, you will sustain them. Keep your eyes on the prize! Think, act and talk in a positive, affirmative manner. Beware of what you wish and what you concentrate on. Focus follows attention, energy follows intention. Every word you say, everything you read, say and hear, creates an I M P A C T and you will have an effect. May it be an effect you expected (or even better, planned) and not one you just suspected.

Ask yourself if you like and trust the people you get energy from. Ask yourself if they respect you, if they have common values. It’s so difficult to live with or  to learn from someone who despises you, or has opposite values from yours! The people who truly know you should believe in you.

The professional values which matter the most for me are development (beyond the security, beyond the comfort area), efficiency (creating a lot of quality with a small quantity of resources) and sharing (offering tools you can use).

The limits of acting according to these values are:

1. I will not share something for free if I don’t think you will be motivated to use it. I will only share  stuff I think you can use for your information and development. I will not use all of my resources, but only some of them.

2. I will not share anything without getting permission from those involved (especially photography and video). Anyone can ask for retraction of a published material from this blog, (although not without explanation after initially publishing it, at least personal).

3. I will not work for organizations (clients or employers) having the goals I’m working for, against any of my values, or against civil or human rights liberties. I include here all forms of abuse depicted in Debug Your Mind.

4.  I will not give up my friends for accomplishing my goals. I will not develop myself on the expense of others’.

5. I will not overplan tasks. I will consider my physical limitations.

The message I would like to send to myself is: develop your personal brand. The message I would like to send to my readers is: Be your brand.

If you’ve liked this article then you’re gonna love this book [en, scribd].

Please also read the articles in Romanian about finding out what is important for you and for any person:

“The Principle of  Necessity and Priority” part Ipart IIpart III.

Posted in Debug Your Mind | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

The Ethics in HR

Posted by Ştefan Alexandrescu on 07/12/2009

Beyond making a few jokes to lighten up the atmosphere based on my (little) experience of dealing with corporate HR in Ro, there is a serious point I wanna make, especially considering two of my start-up ideas centered on stress-reduction were publically trashed.

Beyond the fact that many of the people in Romanian HR don’t actually know what they’re doing or don’t actually have a real strategy (I looked for a certain research to quote on this, but it’s quite obvious), I think the ethics in HR is considered as “the way we should act, or if not…”, which is rather determined by an internal frame of reference, developed in the formation period. I can’t really imagine HR specialists from Romanian companies coming to… let’s say ethics training. Usually, the participation at a certain training is viewed more as lack thereof than striving for improvement.

That’s why SNSPA’s initiative of including such a course in the Human Resources master (the best in Romania) is very important. And also very late. When SNSPA started organizing this master’s degree, there were already a loooot of “specialists” witheout any formation or certification, which rather viewed this as a mean to justify or insure their position by acquiring yet another diploma.

Let’s have a look on how a US university looks at such a course.

I don’t know how this kind of ethics can be promoted either as “stress reduction”, “organizational health” or “ethics”. It’s simply too late to label it as such in the market. If it costs, there won’t be money. If it’s for free, there won’te be time. If I were teacher at such a course, I would call a project like organizing a HR ethics training for HR specialists or for students (like I remember a students’ association did in Bucharest).

You might think it’s idealistic to think like that. Well, it’ll cost you even more if you don’t. And I’m not talking about the fines from  ITM (The Labour Inspection Office).

One of the most important things I consider in ethics are the integrity and the respect. It’s much more easier to trust an HR’s inner ethics than what (s)he tells himself/herself to do like in “oh, this is how it’s done because they say it’s correct”. But one of the most important decisions that HRs make in companies is the acquisition of products and services. How can you trust somebody who doesn’t know how to convince his/her boss or who gets fooled too fast by anyone throwing around data about, let’s say, psychological testing? How much integrity does that show? Hmmm, not much. Integrity is not defined by one’s good intentions, but by someone’s ability to have objectives and statements convergent with the company’s interests. How can someone have convergent interests with any other entity, when lacking persuasion and criteria?

Another important thing is the respect [en, blog]. Anyone might agree that is important, especially in Romania. Well, I mean it at a deeper level. The HR specialist has a huge responsability in a company, especially being between the management and the people. The same, the consultant, being between the agency management and the client’s interests. Where is the respect for the person and for the organization. Simply considering: “what are these entity’s needs and how can I supply them?” won’t do it. The discourse for each person, organization, must be adjusted to each one’s terms as a proof of respect to that person’s vision of the world. As a sign of excellence, an HR person must have the ability to figure out other people’s thinking and replying on their terms, with their own words and their thinking styles. That is, if a manager thinks in data, offer figures, numbers. If a consultant talks in resources, talk in money, time, people, equipment, location, information. If a subject at a test talks about emotion, talk emotion.

In HR nobody hires you to be yourself. Act like others, think like others and use your integrity and intuition on making decisions. Aknowledging that might result in a deeper respect. For oneself, for the client, for the consultant, for the manager, for the people, and for the organization. And, as an important distinction to what is stated at the end of the embedded video, “treating others like you expect to be treated” is not respect, but lack of respect, because it claims that others have the same expectations or value the same things as you do in an organization. An HR person’s work is very particular, campared to all other fields. HR people (should) know better.

“Ethics means making decisions that represent what you stand for.” (Alysa Lambert, Indiana University Southeast, Ethics course)

What I’m emphasizing here is values. Before training people on ethics, it’s best knowing their values. And not in general. But especially in HR. That is where the real changes have impact. Of course, I can’t expect that to happen from participating an academic programme, but I’m talking about training. Now, you can find information everywhere. You can sell at best, filtered information. But no intelligent person buys information anymore, in training. You can find that in books. Values development, on the other hand, is something much more worthwile.

PS: To have a first glance at ethics in USA, the country of HR, you should check out  this study [en, html].

Posted in The Art of Respecting Others | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

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