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Articles on Personal Development

* An interesting and seemingly useful article BY Stuart Crainer entitled “Management Executive Ten steps that will make a difference” appeared in the CHANGING BUSINESS section of The Times of London for February 8 2001)

“There are reputed to be three steps to heaven, seven habits of highly effective people and numerous ways to leave your lover. Pithy bullet-pointed lists of what you need to do to become incredibly successful, make better decisions or to become a great leader are the staple diet of business books. Most are sugary wish lists that bear no relation whatsoever to reality.

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“The humble manager is faced with messages such as: “Get in touch with yourself”, “Seek out learning”, “Change then change again” and “Brand yourself”. This does not help.

“So, how about ten steps that are simple, easily done and which could make a difference to you and your business?

“Step 1: Eat more curries. Indian restaurants are a managerial inspiration.

Step 2: Talk to your customers. Novel I know. Last year Apple chief Steve Jobs called a dissatisfied Apple Cube customer. The head of one of the biggest names in the computer industry took the time to call an unhappy customer. It made news. The interesting thing is not that Mr Jobs made the call, but that it was deemed newsworthy.

Step 3: Do the opposite to your competitors. Companies in the same industry tend to follow similar strategies. This is encouraged by consultants with the latest management wisdom. The route to competitive advantage may well lie in doing the exact opposite…

Step 7: Forget about the new economy. Twice in recent days I have glibly mentioned the phrase “new economy”. On both occasions there was a silent pause. Then came the rejoinder: “What new economy?”…

Step 9: Visit museums. The hip and happening American futurist Watts Wacker let me into a secret. In search of the next cool thing, he does not stalk the streets of Los Angeles but visits museums…”

* In “Using 360o feedback and the integral model to develop leadership and management skills” (Leadership & Organization Development Journal 21(8), p 390-404, 2000), Ron Cacciope and Simon Albrecht (both of Curtin University, Perth, Australia) summarise current research and describe a model using elements of 360o feedback to measure roles of leadership and management as well as dimensions of self-development and strategic change skills.