I was having my usual cup of office coffee, smoking and staring at the executive office from the open space on our rooftop and I realized how badly we need to extend the pantry area. I am thinking of maybe a canopy and creating a sort of an outdoor eating area that can effectively double the size of the current eating space. The thought put a good smile on my face. Oh boy, what a good problem to have!
It has only been 10 months since I took over the leadership of the Philippine operations and we have cleaned the organization, turned-around our direction, and placed us where we should have been a few years ago. To put things in perspective, we have grown to about 300% in workforce! Since the first time I shook the tree, so many bad apples have fallen. It took a very drastic effort to force the wrong people off our bus and replace them with the right ones. Since then, a few gray hairs started popping up all around my head. Then again, I love change, I love to manage change, and a change for the better is always a welcome treat. I am wired and honed to make lemonades out of lemons in the first place. My skill set is perfect it was exactly what the company needed at that time.
Just like making lemonades, it requires one to have a lemon on hand. Sweetening agents are everywhere, all that it requires to have is a little imagination and a great determination. In a not so figurative application, these are things that someone like me in the position that I am in, must do:
- Examine closely your people – Determine and decide who stays and who goes. Hire the right people and have them work where they are most effective at and have them do what they are great at. Then move forward!
- Find good leaders – I love leaders who possess both “personal humility” and “professional will”, or also known as the Level 5 Leaders. These are diligent and hard-working people. They are as equally dedicated and motivated as I am.
- Confront the brutal facts – Do not ignore reality! Embrace it, come to terms with it, and determine what you need to do to get around it.
- Keep goals clear and simple – How to make money, what are you passionate about as a company, and how can you be the best in the world at it. Right now, we are very good at what we are doing, and we will continue to strive to be the best in what we do. That is just around the corner, mind you.
- Establish a culture of self-discipline – create an environment where people work within a defined system yet emphasizing that they have more freedom to act within that system. Knowing the rules of the game makes the players better at winning!
- Technology is an accelerator, an enabler, not an agent of change – This is coming from a guy who spent most of his career as an IT professional.
- Keep the momentum going in one direction – Momentum is built a little at a time but every time you consistently spin it, it speeds up exponentially to the point where no amount of obstacle can get in its way. This is rather difficult to do and it certainly does not happen dramatically, but they do pay off eventually. All it requires is a direction, consistent motion, and diligence.
Those may sound easy to do, but doing all of them consistently and all at the same time is the most challenging part. Things do get worst before they get any better. The good part is, we are over the worst part, and things really are getting better now. I am relieved. All it requires is sustaining the hard work that we all have to put in.