Archive

Tag Archives: #niche

To develop our personal brand, many of us struggle to find our niche. What is an area that can define my expertise?

The best way to find out is to Ask!
1. Who is the person in the mirror? Ask yourself, do a personal reflection.
2. What is my preferred style?
3. Am Iikeable? Do I like myself? (Many people would rather do business with people they like, rather than with a jerk.)
4. Do I have access to people who need my services or products?

For anyone who is feeling a little lethargic after the New Year Break, here is a networking challenge for the brave hearted.

Let’s start your networking challenge

Day 1: come up with positive adjectives, strengths and weakness that describe me
Day 2: draft my personal brand statement
Day 3: come up with 5 ice breakers
Day 4: Bring my closest friends to lunch and ask positive adjectives describe me.
Day 5: start my daily list of 10 thanksgiving items. Creative positive energy.
Day 6: list my rewards or motivators on challenge. (Positive energy)
Day 7: Rest Day, Reflection
Day 8: write home call home (parents, siblings), plan next family gathering. If not convenient, send positive thoughts and thank them in mind. Send postcard.
Day 9: start my project of saying hello to a different colleague or classmate everyday for 30 days. Ask: what are you working on? What’s a trend that may bother you? What’s a skill you wish you had time to pick up?
Day 10: create a Linkedin account
Day 11: join a public speaking group such as toastmasters in your area
Day 12: identify an area of professional interest
Day 13: join a group in professional interest
Day 14: Rest Day, Reflection
Day 15: identify a person to start a personal friendship group
Day 16: List 5 latest books affecting your area.
Day 17: Arrange to have coffee with former internship supervisor or colleagues
Day 18: Keep in touch with (one) classmate from past. Repeat with different person next cycle.
Day 19: Sign up for a talk in area of interest
Day 20: join a group of personal interest, faith or hobby, eg. Mahjong or tennis
Day 21: Rest Day, Reflection – list 10 topics you have collected from conversations.
Day 22: Start a blog, write your first article
Day 23: List of social causes, pick one Volunteer for a social cause
Day 24: Congratulate a friend
Day 25: Rest Day, Reflection
Day 26: Update my Linkedin. Write my first post
Day 27: Celebrate friend’s birthday or anything worth celebrating!
Day 28: Compliment a service staff (stranger).
Day 29: Send postcard to relative
Day 30: Celebrate with loved one!

Repeat cycle!!

image

Photo: Visit to Adecco Singapore office with RMIT (HRM) students.

image

Still on Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft who in 2014 at a Conference of Women in Computing.

When asked what advice he had for women seeking a pay raise who are not comfortable asking, Nadella replied,

good karma. It’ll come back. Long-term efficiency solves it.”

Backlash from many angry women at the implied advice to just bide your time.

So was Nadella right? Or its better to put your hands up and negotiate?

Asking for a pay raise may not be the best answer. Nadella was caught by surprise and his answer was not complete. (Don’t listen to what he says, watch what he does /did.)

When I researched deeper into Nadella’s background, he gave what he deemed as actually good advice.

What if you feel the system is rigged against you with bias and exclusion?

My earlier post “How to ask for a pay raise?” Suggests knowing your value and worth.

Competence aside, Nadella’s road to CEO underscored the importance of good collaborative skills and finding mentors.

Nadella found one in Doug Burgum, who became his champion, grooming Nadella to become his successor in the business solutions group. In the Black recounted, “Doug Burgum, who ran Microsoft’s business solutions group and is now governor of North Dakota, became a mentor.”

Burgum groomed Nadella to be his successor. In 2007, at Burgum’s last customer conference at Microsoft, he lavished praise on Nadella in front of an audience of thousands and then handed the keynote off to him. But right after the conference, Ballmer stepped in, reshuffling the staff. He decided that Nadella would be more valuable running a different group, the engineering arm of Windows Live Search, later known as Bing.

Although Bing was an underdog in the search engine world, Nadella honed an outsider perspective at Bing, and led him to his next mentor. Netflix CEO and then-Microsoft board member Reed Hastings invited Nadella to shadow him at Netflix meetings. Nadella did so on and off for about a year.

“Oh, my God, I learned so much,” remembers Nadella. “One of the things I felt was a big handicap for me was, having grown up at Microsoft, I’d never seen any other company.”

His Netflix adventure was shortened when Nadella was given control of Azure, Microsoft’s web-tools division that competes with Amazon Web Services, he leveraged the experience to make a case for his promotion to CEO.

“Netflix pivots very quickly based on new data,” ValueAct’s Morfit recalls Nadella telling him. “He thought that was very interesting compared to the bureaucracy Microsoft had built up.” Morfit, a major investor who had a big say in the Microsoft successor was more inclined in bringing an outsider to the position. Nadella ticked that box, with his Bing, Azure and Netflix experience.

Networking outside of Microsoft helped him gain an “outsider”-“insider” mentality. Breakthrough ideas, research shows, generally come from those at the fringe, not those in the centre.

Perhaps memories of these experiences floated in Nadella’s mind that day in 2014 when he answered that karma and taking a long term perspective into your career journey. Where one day, everything seems to fit together.

Azure, reported in Fast Company, posted 93 per cent revenue growth in the most recent quarter in 2017.

🥕Who would have thought a small step in a non descript technology could be a game changer for your career?
🥕 Are you stuck, like Cinderella, in an insignificant part of your business?
🥕Are you spending time grooming mentors, champions and advocates?
🥕 Do you know your niche?

Nadella is no business martial arts expert like Balmer and Gates. But he knows what he is good at. He is a cloud computing expert and can articulate his strengths as the solution Microsoft needs for such a time like this.

🍒🍒Take courage. Do not be a “Know it all”. Be a “Learn it all”.

“When you’re offered a seat on a rocketship you don’t ask, ‘What seat?’ You just get on,” Sheryl Sandberg recounting the advice given by Eric Schmidt, then CEO of Google

Future of Microsoft and cloud, growth mindset
https://news.microsoft.com/2018/03/29/satya-nadella-email-to-employees-embracing-our-future-intelligent-cloud-and-intelligent-edge/

Why Microsoft Got It Right With New CEO Satya Nadella
https://www.wired.com/2014/02/microsoft-ceo-satya-nadella

Its recruiting season soon and time to start writing resumes, preparing for interviews. One question which students don’t need to take seriously is “Do you have a hobby?”  I often see “Reading and running” at the bottom of the resume. As if, anything else too lavish connotes a lack of focus on work and job hunting.

In Nolan Bushnell’s book “Finding the next Steve Jobs“, he shared that his boss, Kurt Wallace hired him in part because he was so impressed with his ham radio hobby. Bushnell is the “founder of Atari, and the man who launched Steve Job’s career”, writes Walter Issacson, author of “Steve Jobs“, the autobiography.

Hobbies aren’t just a sign of passion and creativity, they are also about diverse knowledge. Bushnell cites Stephen Gillett, COO of Symantec, who publicly credited his obsession with online role-playing game World of Warcraft with helping him manage his on-the-job tasks.

Others who start businesses based on hobbies, [you mean besides Mark Zuckerberg, Mchael Dell, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs?]

Australian-born American entrepreneur Megan Duckett always loved the stage.  Growing up, she would perform as a dancer, cellist but she knew she wasn’t of the league to perform professionally. During an internship at High School, she applied to Melbourne’s Victorian Art Centre to do the lightings. Instead of going to a college, she went to work as a freelance lighting technician and got into the ecosystem of rocknroll bands. She later went on to work for an events planning company. One day, she got a request to dress up 10 coffins to look like Dracula beds. [She didn’t even know how to sew. But that didn’t stop her.] Soon she went on to make costumes for children during weekends etc. One day, while they were doing their taxes, her husband commented that she was making more from her weekend crafts than from her day job. Today, revenues of her company stood at US$5.4 million. [Bushnell wrote that Duckett sewed the coffin drapery because of her child’s Halloween party but I couldn’t verify this in her interviews found on the internet. Nonetheless she has an inspiring story off the beaten track. Read more: http://www.more.com/reinvention-money/careers/she-got-rich-doing-what

Being connected to the eco-system is really important.  Someone once said, that in Silicon Valley, you can change jobs without changing parking lots.

Unfortunately, a number of young people today, would just want to sit in front of their computer. [When I was in university, I recalled spending my time studying and relaxing with friends. Anything else was a waste of time and distraction from studies. My sociable parents would force me to volunteer at the neighbourhood community centres. My dad would try to strike a conversation around international affairs (on newspaper) at dinnertime. Which eventually helped in my entry into the Foreign Service. So, I didn’t know better either.]

Someone sent me a cute cartoon on how modern man has evolved.  It certainly describes L. In his youth, L would play squash, keep a small aquarium, try different restaurants, meet interesting friends. Today, he’s sitting in front of his computer reading his favourite graphic novel.  Come to think about it, so am I, in front of the screen.

Anyway, a little about the artist, Levni Yilmaz. According to his interviews, it was an accident how he got into cartooning. The evolution of his work from a hobby to a career seemed more out of practicality.  “I had just moved to San Francisco, and I didn’t know anybody. I was a transplant from Boston. I was finding it difficult to meet people, so I started keeping a journal just to keep myself company. I would write down what I did on any given day, and after a while, I started illustrating it as well with these goofball little sketches. One day, I woke up with a hangover, and read what I had written the night before on the bus, on the way home from a rather disappointing party. …  There was no planning, or proverbial lightening bolt of inspiration. I find that most life changing excursions can come from looking at banal events with a slightly heightened sense of curiosity.”   “I stared doing screenings around town that were getting good responses, and it occurred to me that I should try selling DVDs.”  [Drawing cartoons was something he did as a child, and returned to, as a way of letting out steam in his journals before he decided to commercialise it.]

Read more: http://therumpus.net/2010/11/tales-of-mere-existence-the-art-of-lev-yilmaz/

http://rascalmag.wordpress.com/2013/07/30/it-was-an-accident-an-interview-with-cartoonist-lev-yilmaz/

http://www.ingredientx.com/

IMG-20140811-WA0004