Secret to Persuasive Strategy: To Persuade Others that you’re Right, Talk about why you might be Wrong

All senior level executives and managers are asked to develop and present a strategy, whether global, regional, or simply for a domain that they oversee. Many create long slide presentations with lots of data to justify why the strategy is right, and feel they need to persuade others and convince them. Their arguments provide support for their conclusion. However, the most effective way to persuade others that your strategy is right is to talk about all the reason it might be wrong. Continue reading

The Productivity of Doing Nothing

The best way to achieve rapid progress in your profession is to regularly schedule doing nothing. Management is primarily brain work as opposed to hands-on manual labor. The higher the level of the manager, the more significant the brain work becomes. We advance our businesses by the power of our ideas and innovation. One good idea can eliminate countless fruitless meetings, unnecessarily lengthy processes, rapid growth in profit, or an improved capability of staff. Ideas are not the product of brute force labor, but rather emptying of one’s mind.  Continue reading

The Middle-Aged Mid-Level Japanese Male Manager: The Bane of Business Leaders

No creativity or innovative ideas. Overly risk-averse. Fearful of change or anything new. Just going through the motions of their jobs, often working late, but more often just working slow. They’re not hungry! They are not assertive! They’re indecisive!. They’re afraid to speak up—afraid to say something with which others might disagree. Abominable at English, they wince at the mere suggestion of trying to learn. The problem is Japanese culture say some. I have encountered many such Japanese managers in Tokyo. Continue reading