10 Commandments of Leadership

president obama
A good leader?

This is an attempt to extract ten actionable takeaways in ten sentences from our on-going leadership development course:

  1. Be always aware if you’re exhibiting managerial attitude or leadership attitude.
  2. Consciously develop your emotional intelligence, especially self-awareness and self-regulation.
  3. Strive to generate confidence in your followers.
  4. Create a psychologically safe environment, where followers can be authentic and open.
  5. Acknowledge that leaders don’t always have the answers.
  6. Avoid the four vices od bad leadership – incompetence, rigidity, callousness, and insularity.
  7. Keep looking for adaptive challenges and help your followers overcome them.
  8. Know your followers by categorizing them into isolates, bystanders, participants, activists, and die-hards.
  9. Populate your inner circle with participants and activist followers.
  10. Lead by asking tough questions; don’t give answers.
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Day 28: Valuing emotional intelligence, trade finance, and writing lessons

two women and one man eating
Can you judge emotional intellgence from a face?

“When you talk, your eyes must lit up.”

“You’re always communicating the quality of your mind.”

This morning we had our strategic consulting presentations. As I gave mine, the professor brought up a question on break even point to me. Though I gave a satisfactory answer on the spot, it was something we should’ve thought about it our discussions. He also said a little smile (not too much) could help bonding with the audience.

This was our professor’s last meeting with our class. As a parting message, he said that beyond all the skills we’ve gained in this class and in general, there is one thing that would be more crucial to our success in our careers and in lives. It was emotional intelligence. Hello, The School of Life!

We all know Daniel Goleman. So lets talk about The School of Life, to which I’d attribute my intellectual worldview. They describe themselves as an organization dedicated to developing he emotional intelligence. And they do.

Have a peek at their work:

  1. This is a short video on emotional intelligence by The School of Life: What is Emotional Intelligence?
  2. This is an essay on the subject by The School of Life: Emotional Education: An Introduction

.  .  .

International trade finance was the topic of discussion in the International Business Strategy class today. The case surrounded an Indian textile exporting firm that was exploring options for financing its expanding operations. The case was more of an illustration of different avenues of international finance – banks offer pre-shipment, post-shipment finance, letters of credit, bank guarantee; there are factoring agencies which also offered forfaiting service; we also have EXIM bank of India which is niche bank that lends for exports and imports.

It was not an intereting case, but it was essential and useful knowledge to know the sources of financing available, and going about choosing among them.

We started the class with central bank intereventions in currency market, specifically the Japanese central bank spending 30 trillion to buy US dollars. We futhered that conversation by adding exchange rates, imports and exports, debt-GDP ratio, central bank actions. We also discussed the Indian central bank’s actions when the Indian rupee went through a freefall in 2013.

.  .  .

After exploring the valuation methods and theory, we finally moved on to valuating a firm in the corporate valuation class today. It was a furniture retail firm that was growing both organically and inorganically. We were doing a discounted cash flow valuation. It was straightforward, only the excel work was tedious. One unique thing was, the growth rates and the cost structure of the stores that initiated operation in different years was different. Thus, the stores that began operations in a specific year had to be put into a cohort, arrive at the individual income statements for these cohorts and then put them together to find the free cash flow to firm and then discount it.

.  .  .

Towards the night, I sat down to work on the consulting article based on the film Tampopo. I’ve mentioned that here before, and I had been working on this for too long now. I was progressing well the previous night and was determined to get over with it today. I did complete it.

After days and hours of feeling something amiss in the work, an addition of one new element brings closure to the work.

That one element in the Tampopo essay was quotes from the film.

It was an aspiration for me to write on films I loved, but believed that I wouldn’t be upto to. I’m glad that I have written one now. That’s one tick on the list of things I wanted to do. I’ve grown a little bit today. Now I know I can write more on films.

You could read the essay here: Tampopo: Consulting Lessons from a Japanese Food Film