Tag: leadership

My Thoughts on Becoming the new President of Business and Economics Alumni at CCNY

As I mentioned in a previous post, on July 1, 2017 I will begin my term as President of Business and Economics Alumni at CCNY (BEAS).

First it is an honor that the School of Social Sciences, the Alumni Association, and my fellow members of the Board of Directors all agree and find me fit to serve in this role.  This is a position that I have always held in a high regard and I will do my absolute maximum to live up to the title.

I have been in leadership roles since I was 18, I am now 35, I have less hair on my head and a bit of what remains has even turned a shade of gray.  I know I have the necessary experience to lead a board of highly accomplished men and women.  Members of this board are both older and younger than I am.  Some members of this board have more experience than I do in many areas.  I will be looking to those members to help guide me.  To those members where I have a bit more age and experience, I will always do the maximum to be there to assist and guide you.  I anticipate having a great time in learning about everyone in a greater level of detail than I have had in the past.

I’m taking over a board in transition.  I will have a new 2nd Vice President, 3rd Vice President, and Secretary.  I am replacing a President that has served for 7 years, and has at the same time achieved a long list of accomplishments in her own career.  As this is a unique opportunity to add members to the board, I will be adding 6 new members that have varied experience in architecture, business, economics, education, and history.  I am glad that I have had the opportunity to add recent graduates too.  The recent graduates come from the new undergraduate Economics Business and Finance Society that I have had the pleasure of working hard to put together over the semesters of FA 16 and SP 17.

To the departing members of the board, I thank you for your service.  Without your contributions, I wouldn’t be in this position.

To the members of the board that are staying on, I may have only been added to the board in the Fall of 2015 but my dedication to the university and to develop an undergrad – alumni community is why I want this position.  Things will be different coming from a previous presidency spanning 7 years; I ask that you please put faith in my leadership and management abilities and give me a chance to show you all what I can do.

To the new members of the board, I have known most of you going back to 2010 and 2011.  I’ve been a student with you, been your friend, and worked with you, we’ve built trust in each other.  I know I can count on you to be your best.

To the 2017 graduates joining the board, you’ve earned my trust over the academic year; get ready for the ride.

Lets all work together to raise BEAS up higher than it has ever been.  I know we can do it.

–END

 

As always, thank you for reading, and comment if you see fit.

 

Leadership

The best way to begin discussing leadership is to start with a quote by Warren G Bennis:  “Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality”.
Whether you lead a logistics operation or small business, this is often the most difficult thing to overcome.  There is a big difference between leadership and management.  Most leaders cannot manage, and most managers cannot lead; it’s why they are in the role they have.  It is rare that to find someone that possesses the exceptional ability to do both.  If you have both, with the addition of a little bit of luck, with some good ideas, and good people around you; you can go far.  But what if you don’t?  What if you have a great idea, but have a hard time rallying others around you to your cause?  What if you are in charge of an operation or a manager at a small business, and want to move up, but are experiencing hardship getting people to handle their responsibilities?  This does not mean that you are destined to be stuck where you are.  Read on readers!
The development of proper leadership methods is essential to being a good manager or leader.  I would like to use the current state of the US government as an example of poor management AND leadership.  I am not surprised that we have a deficit that is ever increasing.  Law is the most common prior profession of people in congress followed by public service/politics according to the CRS (http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R41647.pdf). Economics and how to manage a budget is not stressed in their prior experience and course work.  That is why congress presents more laws and government as solutions to our tough economic problems, but it’s not their fault, it’s all they know!  Because government can run an infinite deficit, they can get away with this.  Business and logistics operations cannot run infinite deficits.  Our 30th president J. Calvin Coolidge also had a background in law, what he did differently was surround himself with experts in economic policy like Barnard Baruch and Andrew W Mellon.  More importantly what he did was listen to advice.  In the book Mr. Baruch, by ML Coit; it is written on page 355 that receptivity to advice was a saving grace to him.  In crafting economic policy that led to the roaring twenties, known as the Coolidge prosperity, he sought out economic advice from experts in that field, not his.
How does all of this relate to leadership, small business and logistics you ask?  A good leader or manager knows that they themselves do not know everything.  Rather than going out on a whim or using methods of trial and error, to be effective in this economic climate means that you make the right decision the first time; you only get one chance.
Going back to Coolidge, he believed we were a nation of laws.  As president he believed it was his job as chief executor to enforce the constitution as it was written, and only that.  He believed the constitution was written to keep government small and focused; that was how he governed.   As a business owner or logistical operator; you would be wise to produce a list of articles (think of it as your constitution) that you and everyone else at your operation or business are held to as a standard.  There should be no double standard; if it is good enough for you it should be good enough for everyone else and vice versa.    After you decide what should be in your operational constitution, and what should not; discuss it with advisors that are experts in their field, like myself.  Once it is ready, unveil your new standard of business to your employees.  Doing this once, the right way, will blow your colleagues away, and help set you apart, internally, from your competition.  The exception here is if your workforce is part of a union.  In that case before unveiling a standard it is wise to review the union contracts (with outside experts) and procedures that you can and cannot have or ask of labor on a jobsite.
A mentor in operations management once told me “I only have one mode, KILL; you would be wise to adopt that as well”.  It is true that a change in the way of thinking must sometimes take place to truly correct shortfalls within your management or leadership abilities.  Through operational observation, and through analysis of current written procedures, you can easily find the problems and solve them.

Your Operation or Small Business Must be a Leader, Not a Follower

Leaders and followers, these are traits that come from within, if you are person that is either or both; there is nothing that is necessarily wrong with that.  In business, both at the small business level and concerning logistical operations, we must always remain leaders of our operations over our colleagues and competing small businesses.  In business there is a fundamental truth.  When competing businesses become preoccupied about what each other are doing, they wind up producing almost the same product at a similar price.  The consumers lose.  Also in logistics, as the leader of your operation; you do have numbers you do need to keep in terms of efficiency.  However, your colleagues will also have their operations; you must strive to differentiate yours from theirs as much as possible.  It will give you the best chance to be noticed, putting your career on the fast track.  Let’s face it, in a logistics operation you and your colleagues are on the same team, but only 1 team member will get moved up while the remainder waits for their turn, which do you want to be?
As always, I will cover the logistics of things first.  In my days as an operations supervisor and manager, I always made sure I had a way about myself that differentiated me from my colleagues; you must do the same.  This means a lot more than trying to think outside the box at staff meetings; let your performance do the talking.  A mentor in operations once told me, always keep swinging, never let your gloves down either.  In small business, to become a leader of all whom you compete against, the onus falls more on the owner than the employees.  The owner ultimately decides what goods the business will sell and/or what services they will provide, and for how much.