Success is a matter of signaling.
To Sylvia Ann Hewlett, that signaling is a matter of “Executive Presence,” which is the title of her new book. Hewlett says executive presence is a matter of “communicating that you have what it takes.”
It’s that it quality that draws people — and job offers, promotions, and opportunities — toward you. But getting it wrong can repel people.
In an earlier post we looked at those positive signals, which were identified by Hewlett and her team at the Center for Talent Innovation in their survey of 4,000 professionals in the U.S.
Here are a few of the behaviors to avoid.
1. Not having emotional intelligence.
If you want to lose an election, be tone-deaf toward people’s emotional lives.
Cut to: Mitt Romney.
“That he could say things like ‘binders full of women,’ that 43% of the population are losers — it gave a real sense of a man in a bubble who was clueless to how real people live,” Hewlett says. “Obviously that did him no good in the election.”
Such an ire-drawing insensitivity can find its way into the workplace, like with racist or sexist language. Hewlett’s research finds that those are reliable ways to look like you’re not to be trusted with responsibility.
2. Checking your phone incessantly.
Projecting capability requires you to look like you’re actually in the room — not sucked into your phone.
“We found that constant device checking was a huge piece of resentment amongst bosses and a big black mark for up and comers who did not have the courtesy to focus,” Hewlett says.
It’s not enough to know your facts, she says; you have to have the body language of being present. Since body language is one of the strongest forms of communication, being alert and attentive to your colleagues is one of the easiest ways to evidence your ability to get things done.
3. Looking physically sluggish.
“There’s a real premium on fitness and looking as though you exercised recently,” Hewlett says, “and that is much more important than the size of your waist.”
Again, she says, it’s a matter of signaling: showing that you can take care of your body demonstrates that you can take care of whatever responsibility might be headed your way. It goes for men and women equally, whether they’re 28 or 40. Hewlett says we’re all under scrutiny to look physically able.
4. Getting into sex scandals.
If people are going to trust you with power, you need to appear trustworthy. For this reason, Hewlett says that “sexual impropriety takes some kind of prize as a career killer.”
For a few examples, notice the word “former” for all these one-time headliners:
Extramarital, intra-organizational dalliances are such career killers since they call into questions people’s judgment, Hewlett says, and their very ability to lead.
5. Not having spontaneity.
To signal that you’re able, you need to show that you have a deep knowledge of your subject area. For example, notice how Elon Musk and Marissa Mayer drill into any pitches that come their way. To Hewlett, spontaneity is a natural outgrowth of that understanding.
“When my first big book came out I was overwhelmingly boring,” Hewlett says. She had been a college professor for years, she said, which trained her in not telling stories, hiding behind podiums, and generally going over “like a lead balloon” in public settings.
The solution is to be overwhelmingly prepared — so you can improvise when you’re overwhelmed, like the best TED speakers do.
“You have to know the arc of what you want to say so that it comes out even when you’re super nervous,” Hewlett says.
The takeaway: signaling that your capable — showing that you have executive presence — is a lot like a duck gliding across the water. Above the surface it looks relaxed, but take a look underneath, and those feet are pedaling hard.
Mozilla is best known for its desktop browser, Firefox. But it also has a mobile operating system, Firefox OS, that gets so little attention you might think the company was tryingto keep it a secret. (To see what it looks like, check out this Fortune story.)
Mozilla’s big problem in getting people to use Firefox OS is that if you’re an Android or Apple iOS user enjoying top-notch hardware and the myriad apps available for either system, why would you ever want to switch to an upstart, unproven OS with few developers working on cool new software? You wouldn’t. And Firefox OS’ competitors already dominate the existing smartphone market—globally, in the last quarter of 2013, Android OS had 78% of smartphone users, Apple’s iOS had 18% and the rest was split between BlackBerry, Windows Phone and various small-fry operations.
So if people who already have a smartphone won’t switch to Firefox OS, how could Mozilla possibly get a bigger slice of the mobile OS pie? Simple: Create new smartphone owners.
The $25 Mozilla smartphone—packed with Firefox OS, of course—will be sold in emerging markets like India and Indonesia, theJournal reports. Old-school “feature phones” still dominate in those countries because they’re ultra-cheap devices in countries where a few dollars can make the difference between poverty and sustainability. Mozilla’s bet is this: Bring smartphone prices in emerging markets down to $25, where they can compete on cost with feature phones, and people will jump at the chance to upgrade. And when they do, boom, a bunch of people are suddenly using Firefox OS, finally making it a relevant player in the global mobile OS wars.
Even if Mozilla breaks even or takes a loss on the hardware, it could eventually turn some kind of a profit on software, a model used by Amazon’s Kindle and most gaming consoles. And there are good reasons to root for Mozilla’s $25 smartphone gambit: If it’s successful, it has the potential to ignite a new wave of software entrepreneurship in emerging markets, where a comparatively small number of developers have mostly been focused on low-tech—but still impressive—apps based on SMS and WAPP, two technologies largely considered outdated in the U.S. but still widely used in many countries abroad.
What could thwart Mozilla’s plans, however, is largely outside of its domain: infrastructure. For smartphones to do smartphone stuff, they need a mobile data connection. India and Indonesia have both been taking pains to improve their respective mobile broadband infrastructures—and there’s clear demand for it in both countries—but both countries have plenty more to do before penetration rates hit satisfactory levels.
If there’s clear customer demand for Mozilla’s $25 smartphone in either country (and elsewhere), that could convince lawmakers and telecom leaders to build more cell towers, lay down fiber and make other capital investments in their networks. But for now, infrastructure remains the weak link in Mozilla’s mission to conquer emerging markets $25 at a time.
Is it a case of panic as equity sets to join the industry ?
Safaricom is bracing itself for an upcoming ruling by the competition watchdog, which could force it to open up its M-Pesa agency network to rivals.
M-Pesa’s popularity, which has won it 18.1 million customers since its launch in 2007, has largely been attributed to its vast network of agents across the country that makes it easy for users to deposit and withdraw cash from mobile phones.
Airtel, Orange and yuMobile, on the other hand, have relatively small networks of agency shops, making it difficult for their users to transact business using their phones.
However, a ruling by the Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) which is expected by June 30, could force Safaricom to allow Airtel, yuMobile and Orange users to withdraw and deposit cash freely at M-Pesa agent shops.
Safaricom says its already preparing for this eventuality, which threatens its dominance in the lucrative mobile money transfer services.
“Due to the growing pervasiveness of mobile money platforms globally, it is now necessary to pursue a standards-led discussion on interoperability,” said Nzioka Waita, the director of corporate affairs at Safaricom.
Last week, three Tanzanian telecom operators – Tigo, Zantel and Airtel – announced an agreement that will allow customers to send mobile money freely across their networks, indicating the shifting ground in the industry.
CAK director-general Wang’ombe Kariuki said the authority will give its ruling on Safaricom’s alleged abuse of its dominant position by locking out rivals from its vast network of mobile money agents by the end of this month.
The petition had been filed by Airtel. Safaricom, which has repeatedly denied the accusation of unfair dominance and Airtel’s push for interoperability, now says it is not opposed to the idea of opening up its M-Pesa network to other players.
The telco, however, says there is need for rules to be set detailing just how inter-operability will work, including the sharing of earnings between competitor firms and their agents.
The duration to set rules of mobile money network interoperability could take up to two years, buying Safaricom time to prepare for the change.
Liberalisation of the platforms could be a huge victory for Airtel, which has been relentlessly pushing this agenda. Last year, it filed a complaint against Safaricom at CAK and at the High Court.
Airtel accuses Safaricom, whose share of the mobile money market stands at 73 per cent, of pricing it out of business by keeping the costs of transactions for unregistered users at double that of registered customers.
Safaricom treats cash recipients in other networks as unregistered users. Since M-Pesa is an SMS-based service, Airtel argued in court, the cost charged should not be more than the Sh2 it costs the operator to terminate an SMS from a different operator.
“We have made extensive progress on this matter as part of an out-of-court settlement agreed upon by both parties. By the end of this month, we shall have made a ruling,” said Mr Kariuki.
Airtel also says that since Safaricom’s agents account for 88 per cent of all agents in the telecom industry, the bulk of the mobile money transactions are restricted to its network, allegedly denying Kenyans freedom of choice.
whats your say?
Ok lets get going with the first strategy.
Last year I had the privilege of sitting in Trump Tower in New York, in Donald Trump’s Offices with George Ross, Donald Trump’s right hand man and #1 advisor. George is 86 years old and has run a number of businesses in New York since the early 1950s. He shared a number of insights with me but one stood out and has helped me achieve success in the last year.
When I asked George what is the best advice he could give entrepreneurs, he said protect and manage your resource. The most common mistake small businesses make or even people in general, is they say yes to too much and do not protect their primary resource, which is their time.
You can only do so much with your time, your employees time and other related resources you have in your business. Ensure you protect your resource, especially time, and use it as wisely as you can.
Let me share 3 ways you can protect your resources and make sure they get used in the best way possible.
Be clear about what you want to achieve. Crystal clear. Write it down and then create a plan. Work out the exact steps you need to take in order to achieve it. Work out how much time and resource each step will take and who will be responsible for it. Then go back and double those allocated times. Rather over budget how much time and resource you require than under budget.
There are critical task you as the owner or leader must do. Ensure you identify what these tasks are. This is how you best serve the business, so ensure you spend most of your time doing those task. Everything else, outsource, delegate or get rid of. So often we get caught up in the chaos instead of doing what we need to do to best serve our own business and lives.
As humans we tend to be YES people. We say yes to far to much and then end up letting people down by not being able to deliver on what we said yes to. Success is more about what you say no to than what you say yes to. Get comfortable with the word NO, do not worry about what other people will say or feel and start committing to a lot less and focussing on the right things for you and your business.
In the next article I will share what research has show is the #1 habit of wealthy people and the one thing wealthy people do more than “poor” people than anything else out there. You will be surprised when you find out that the people who need this the least, do it the most and those who need it the most do it the least.
I will release this article in the next few days. If you want to make sure you get it, please fill in your name and email below and we will email you the minute it is released.
Please also feel free to leave comments or ask any questions you might have. I will do my best to answer what I can timeously.
Google buys Word Lens, The Real-Time Translation App, is Now Free
Android/iOS: Word Lens, the app that can translate the words and language it sees in real time, is free to download today.
Google has purchased Word Lens’ parent company, Quest Visual, and their first move was making the app free to download. Additionally, all of the language packs added since it’s release are available for free within the app too.. Hit the links below to download it and try it out for yourself.
According to a report by Kenya’s Business Daily, Lauder, who is worth about $3.8 billion, is offering Mobius Motors an undisclosed amount in debt which is convertible to equity. Mobius will use the money to assemble its first 50 units and establish a distribution network in Kenya.
Lauder is making the investment through his New York-based, African-focused investment vehicle, Pan African Investment Co(PIC), which makes impact investments in African companies providing solutions to some of Africa’s social problems. PIC was founded in the summer of 2012 by Lauder and Dick Parsons, TimeWarner’s former CEO (who was just appointed interim CEO of the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team). The company makes investments in the region of $1 – $5 million and is run by Dana Reed, an investment banker who has done stints at Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan.
The car, dubbed ‘Mobius’, was developed by 29 year-old Kenyan computer engineer Joel Jackson and will cost $10,000. Mobius, which is devised for off-roading in Africa, cuts down on its production costs by eliminating non-essential parts like power steering and air conditioning. Jackson and his team had initially planned for the car to cost $6,000, but as a result of the increasing cost of procuring steel spare parts, Mobius has had to raise its selling price to $10,000 to make the product commercially viable. But even at $10,000, Jackson believes his car is a preferable option to acquiring a pre-owned vehicle for the same amount. The start-up claims it has received pre-orders. The cars will be manufactured in a facility in Thika, an industrial town 40 kilometers north east of Nairobi. The company will start by manufacturing 50 units in June and will increase production in 2015. The startup also plans to develop an upgraded version of the Mobius, dubbed Mobius III, which will be produced in 2016.
Dana Reed, the CEO of PIC, told the Kenyan newspaper that the company is investing in Mobius to “help create value in the company while driving job growth and entrepreneurism in Kenya.”
Dismissals themselves can backfire and lead to cost-prohibitive and stress-inducing legal clashes. That’s why it’s crucial to have your bases covered from the outset.
The infographic below, compiled by Louisville, Ky.-based social media marketing company NowSourcing, breaks down how to fire underperformers — without being sued in the process.
From providing ample warning to detailing what to say — and when to say it — read on for pro-tips that can help to defuse what often amounts to a fraught and trying interaction.
Is this how Apple hopes to get its groove back?
Imagine buying a mac book which comes with a complete set of beats by Dre .
Apple is close to buying Beats Electronics for $3.2 billion, according to a report late Thursday in the Financial Times. Bloomberg, The New York Times and theWall Street Journal have since confirmed the report with their own sources.
The deal would mark Apple’s largest acquisition to date by far and comes at a time when other tech giants like Google and Facebook are spending billions on acquisitions like Nest and WhatsApp, respectively.
Beats was founded by rapper Dr. Dre and famed producer Jimmy Iovine. The company sells a near-ubiquitous line of headphones and earlier this year launched a music streaming service similar to Spotify, though the latter hasreportedly gotten off to a bit of a rocky start.
The deal could be announced as soon as next week, according to the reports, though The Times reports hearing from a source that the deal could fall through.
As part of the deal, Apple would acquire both the company’s audio hardware and streaming service. Beats could provide Apple with additional talent and resources for designing hardware like wearable devices. The deal could be also useful in helping Apple to improve iTunes and iTunes Radio in particular, and better adapt as consumers shift from downloads to streaming.
A rep for Apple declined to comment on the reports. Beats did not immediately respond to our request for comment.
Apple has ramped up its pace of acquisitions in recent months. CEO Tim Cook has said in the past that he’s open to the idea of making a 10-figure acquisitions.
Apple stock was down by a little less than 0.5% in after hours trading following the report.
Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.
World’s richest woman Gina Rinehart is enduring a media firestorm over an article in which she takes the “jealous” middle class to task for “drinking, or smoking and socializing” rather than working to earn their own fortune.
What if she has a point?
Steve Siebold, author of “How Rich People Think,” spent nearly three decades interviewing millionaires around the world to find out what separates them from everyone else. It had little to do with money itself, he told Business Insider. It was about their mentality. “[The middle class] tells people to be happy with what they have,” he said. “And on the whole, most people are steeped in fear when it comes to money.”
“The average person has been brainwashed to believe rich people are lucky or dishonest,” Siebold writes. That’s why there’s a certain shame that comes along with “getting rich” in lower-income communities. “The world class knows that while having money doesn’t guarantee happiness, it does make your life easier and more enjoyable.”
“The rich go out there and try to make themselves happy. They don’t try to pretend to save the world,” Siebold told Business Insider. The problem is that middle class people see that as a negative––and it’s keeping them poor, he writes. “If you’re not taking care of you, you’re not in a position to help anyone else. You can’t give what you don’t have.”
“While the masses are waiting to pick the right numbers and praying for prosperity, the great ones are solving problems,” Siebold writes. “The hero [middle class people] are waiting for may be God, government, their boss or their spouse. It’s the average person’s level of thinking that breeds this approach to life and living while the clock keeps ticking away.”
“Many world-class performers have little formal education, and have amassed their wealth through the acquisition and subsequent sale of specific knowledge,” he writes. “Meanwhile, the masses are convinced that master’s degrees and doctorates are the way to wealth, mostly because they are trapped in the linear line of thought that holds them back from higher levels of consciousness…The wealthy aren’t interested in the means, only the end.”
“Self-made millionaires get rich because they’re willing to bet on themselves and project their dreams, goals and ideas into an unknown future,” Siebold writes. “People who believe their best days are behind them rarely get rich, and often struggle with unhappiness and depression.”
“An ordinarily smart, well-educated and otherwise successful person can be instantly transformed into a fear-based, scarcity driven thinker whose greatest financial aspiration is to retire comfortably,” he writes. “The world class sees money for what it is and what it’s not, through the eyes of logic. The great ones know money is a critical tool that presents options and opportunities.”
“To the average person, it looks like the rich are working all the time,” Siebold says. “But one of the smartest strategies of the world class is doing what they love and finding a way to get paid for it.”On the other hand, middle class take jobs they don’t enjoy “because they need the money and they’ve been trained in school and conditioned by society to live in a linear thinking world that equates earning money with physical or mental effort.”
“Psychologists and other mental health experts often advise people to set low expectations for their life to ensure they are not disappointed,” Siebold writes. “No one would ever strike it rich and live their dreams without huge expectations.”
“That’s why people like Donald Trump go from millionaire to nine billion dollars in debt and come back richer than ever,” he writes. “While the masses are fixated on the doing and the immediate results of their actions, the great ones are learning and growing from every experience, whether it’s a success or a failure, knowing their true reward is becoming a human success machine that eventually produces outstanding results.”
Linear thought might tell people to make money in order to earn more, but Siebold says the rich aren’t afraid to fund their future from other people’s pockets.
“Rich people know not being solvent enough to personally afford something is not relevant. The real question is, ‘Is this worth buying, investing in, or pursuing?’” he writes.
Investing successfully in the stock market isn’t just about a fancy math formula. “The rich know that the primary emotions that drive financial markets are fear and greed, and they factor this into all trades and trends they observe,” Siebold writes. “This knowledge of human nature and its overlapping impact on trading give them strategic advantage in building greater wealth through leverage.”
“Here’s how to live below your means and tap into the secret wealthy people have used for centuries: Get rich so you can afford to,” he writes. “The rich live below their means, not because they’re so savvy, but because they make so much money that they can afford to live like royalty while still having a king’s ransom socked away for the future.”
Rich parents teach their kids from an early age about the world of “haves” and “have-nots,” Siebold says. Even he admits many people have argued that he’s supporting the idea of elitism. He disagrees. “[People] say parents are teaching their kids to look down on the masses because they’re poor. This isn’t true,” he writes. “What they’re teaching their kids is to see the world through the eyes of objective reality––the way society really is.” If children understand wealth early on, they’ll be more likely to strive for it later in life.
The reason wealthy people earn more wealth is that they’re not afraid to admit that money can solve most problems, Siebold says. “[The middle class] sees money as a never-ending necessary evil that must be endured as part of life. The world class sees money as the great liberator, and with enough of it, they are able to purchase financial peace of mind.”
While the rich don’t put much stock in furthering wealth through formal education, they appreciate the power of learning long after college is over, Siebold says. “Walk into a wealthy person’s home and one of the first things you’ll see is an extensive library of books they’ve used to educate themselves on how to become more successful,” he writes. “The middle class reads novels, tabloids and entertainment magazines.”
The negative money mentality poisoning the middle class is what keeps the rich hanging out with the rich, he says. “[Rich people] can’t afford the messages of doom and gloom,” he writes. “This is often misinterpreted by the masses as snobbery. Labeling the world class as snobs is another way the middle class finds to feel better bout themselves and their chosen path of mediocrity.”
Siebold theorizes that the wealthy focus on what they’ll gain by taking risks, rather than how to save what they have. “The masses are so focused on clipping coupons and living frugally they miss major opportunities,” he writes. “Even in the midst of a cash flow crisis, the rich reject the nickle and dime thinking of the masses. They are the masters of focusing their mental energy where it belongs: on the big money.”
“Leverage is the watchword of the rich,” Siebold writes. “Every investor loses money on occasion, but the world class knows no matter what happens, they will aways be able to earn more.”
For the most part, it takes guts to take the risks necessary to make it as a millionaire––a challenge most middle class thinkers aren’t comfortable living with. “Physical, psychological, and emotional comfort is the primary goal of the middle class mindset,” Siebold writes. World class thinkers learn early on that becoming a millionaire isn’t easy and the need for comfort can be devastating. They learn to be comfortable while operating in a state of ongoing uncertainty.”
While the middle class squabbles over the virtues of Obamacare and their company’s health plan, the super wealthy are enrolled in a super elite “boutique medical care” association, Siebold says. “They pay a substantial yearly membership fee that guarantees them 24-hour access to a private physician who only serves a small group of members,” he writes. “Some wealthy neighborhoods have implemented this strategy and even require the physician to live in the neighborhood.”
The idea the wealth must come at the expense of family time is nothing but a “cop-out”, Siebold says. “The masses have been brainwashed to believe it’s an either/or equation,” he writes. “The rich know you can have anything you want if you approach the challenge with a mindset rooted in love and abundance.”
I have been house hunting lately, for a 2-3 bedroom apartment in Nairobi. My search was mostly focused in areas around my work place, and with a certain budget in mind.
I have come across many decent apartments, very many. During my search I noticed that most of the vacant units were in the upmarket areas – Westlands, Kileleshwa, Hurlingham, Kilimani..just to mention a few.
I decided to dig a bit deeper, to understand why exactly this was the trend. My analysis yielded interesting results.
In one search, of 13,164 vacant properties available for rent, 73% were in upmarket areas of Westlands, Lavington, Kilimani, Kileleshwa, Runda and Karen. See the below breakdown:
|Rest of Nairobi||3,658||3,658||27%|
|Total Nairobi rentals||13,614||13,164|
In the above search, the source does not differentiate between main houses and apartments. All the same, the findings can be summarised as below;
In a different search, I found that more than 65% of vacant rental apartments in Nairobi are in the aforementioned upmarket areas, with another 15% in areas around Langata, Nairobi south and west and Mombasa road area in general.
|Apartments available for rent in Nairobi||1534|
|Riverside, Brookside, Parklands (rest)||233||1001||65%|
|Rest of Nairobi||533||533||35%|
|Total rental apartments in Nairobi||1534||1534|
This particular source differentiates between main houses and apartments, giving us more accurate results for apartments.
Now, why do we have so many vacant rental apartments in these upmarket areas of Nairobi?
The average monthly rent for a 3 bedroom apartment is those areas is around Kshs 90,000/- and Kshs 70,000/- for a 2 bedroom.
Of the 1,534 rental apartments in Nairobi, 1,173 (76%) of them are going for 50k and more in terms of monthly rent. About 1,090 (71%) rental apartments are going for 70k and more in terms of monthly rent.
Not to mention the other highly priced rental apartments in those areas, charging a monthly rent of between 200k and 602k
Supply vs demand
In an ideal marketplace, the price for a good or a service is determined by the forces of supply and demand. In a competitive market, the price of a good will vary and settle at a point where the supply of that good equals the demand for it.
In Nairobi we are at a time when the supply of rental apartments outstrips the demand for them. Ideally the property owners could lower the rent they charge to attract more customers. This is however debatable, with so many other factors in play such as return on investments and market value of the property.
In another post, I will look at the value of apartments, in particular those available for purchase.
In the meantime have your say, why do we have so many vacant apartments in the upmarket areas?