NABC

In business, as in life, you come across many situations where you find yourself needing to address an issue of some sort.  The challenge, often, is that many of us do not take a holistic approach towards dissecting the condition and applying a logical framework to move us towards resolution.

This is the concept behind the acronym N-A-B-C.

Now, before you can apply NABC, you have to implicitly clear on the problem you are trying to solve.  Then, and only then, can you begin to apply the framework outlined below.

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Life’s Resets…

If there is one thing that I have come to learn, accept, and expect throughout my life, it’s that, whether in a personal or professional capacity, people will experience what I call, “life’s resets”.  In fact, people will experience many of them and in some cases cause them.  Basically – this is something that throws your whole world upside down – a S.E.E. (significant emotional experience), if you will.  Often, these are things that you cannot prepare for.  As one of my favorite song lyrics go, The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.”

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The Trio of Trust

At the foundation of any real relationship, whether personal or professional, is trust.   In fact, a relationship itself cannot sustain or survive without it.  Imagine asking a friend for a favor and not trusting in the fact that they would actually deliver – what’s the point of asking in the first place?  Or, in a business transaction, when you verbally agree upon terms – if you don’t trust the other party to honor their commitment, why would you want to do business with them?  It’s a pretty straightforward concept to get your head around.

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Time to Say Goodbye…

At some point in every manager’s career, there comes a time when you will need to terminate someone’s employment.  Typically, this situation falls into one of two categories – a corporate layoff due to cost cutting / restructuring or letting an employee go for performance-related issues.  Regardless of the reason, it’s a difficult situation that requires careful planning and execution, compassion, and, for legal reasons, brevity.

The challenge in letting people go is acknowledging the fact that it’s not personal and doing your best to remain cognizant of that throughout the process.  Now, while I understand this is easy to “write”, I am very well aware of the fact that work becomes personal for many people.  Further, for many people, some of their closet relations have formed through their work so, again when I say, it’s technically not personal, I recognize that it very much is.

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“I’m Golden, baby!!”

Ahh… to be “golden” – what a great feeling!  For those of you don’t understand the context, being “golden” is when you can do no wrong.  Be it in your career or in your personal life – you basically have reached living bliss!  Everything you touch – turns to gold!  People love you!  They want to be around you!  It just doesn’t get any better!

All of us, at some point, have enjoyed being golden at some point.  Note the past tense?   That’s right – being golden isn’t, for many of us, a constant.  It’s a state that we enter and exit at different points in time.  Remember when Michael Phelps set all those world records for swimming?  No – what you remember is his being in the news for possession of marijuana!  Sorry Michael – not golden!  Or how about Tiger Woods and the fact the he’s probably the greatest golfer ever?  You get the point.

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My Thoughts on Taking “Vacations”

You put in the long hours at the office and after a period of time, you have earned enough hours to go on vacation!

In fact, given today’s naturally stressful work environment, vacations are important to help get recharged so you can continue to push forward and climb the corporate ladder.

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Sustainable Competitive Advantange

Recently, I was attending a session at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, where I am a class mentor, and we were talking about new venture opportunities. Specially, after you have gone through the screening process of identifying your next venture, you have to identify your sustainable competitive advantage and how that will map to your grand strategy.

Unfortunately, what I find is that many (inexperienced) entrepreneurs’ don’t place enough emphasis on this – partially because they believe, given what they are doing, it may not be that important and, in many cases, don’t really comprehend what a competitive advantage really is and what it can do for a company.

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