What are Some One-on-One Manager Best Practices?

Management is an art, not a skill that can be put into an easy list of rules. Your question is kind of like asking how do I paint a perfect work of art? Even Leonardo Davinci could never answer that as it takes years, even decades of experience to learn.

However, that said, some important foundational philosophies are known to be very effective. I’ll list a few below. I would recommend reading The Daily Drucker or other Peter Drucker books first. I also have a Recommended Reading List below with many great classics and serious Entrepreneurs and business owners should read most, if not all, of them.

Tried and true management philosophies:

1. Set up a win-win scenario between every employee in the company providing challenge, learning, career growth and encouragement. More for those that put in the extra effort to study and learn on their own time. This will allow you to attract and keep the best people. As the best people want challenge, growth and appreciation. These are...

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Is Management Still Relevant As A Course Of Study Today?

Of course.  Anytime people are needed, management is a required skill, or more accurately a required art.  It is also a philosophy which generates the culture of a company that should be appropriate to its own market circumstances.

And yes, I agree with Elon Musk and others that our university system cranking out MBAs is not a solution. Colleges and universities are failing to adapt to the new world. There are now so many specialties, industries, and skills that few programs provide the practical learning needed to be a successful Entrepreneur or manager.  That is why I created The CEO & Entrepreneur Boot Camp in 2004. 

People change on an evolutionary timescale, and almost all still need to be managed.  No amount of technology will replace the need for managers and management.  At least 80% of people need to be guided in their work.  And they always will.  Because most people are followers, not leaders.  They do not want to take...

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What are the comprehensive differences between managerial and non-managerial?

Almost too broad a question to be worth answering, and you could write many books on the topic. But in short, managers are expected to:

Think, analyze, plan, hire, fire, improve productivity, budget, motivate and be accountable for results (not activities).

Individual contributors do little, if any, of these things. Of course, some professionals are required to do some of these things too as their main job. i.e. Accountants budget and plan money. Architects design and plan projects and budgets.

Typically, there are four levels of ability and skills in an organization, and almost all professions:

  1. Individual contributor - does the technical work
  2. Manager - Manages those ICs. Typically, the “Span of control” is 7 to one ratio. Though this can vary by industry and company structure.
  3. Executive - Manages the managers. Generally requires 15+ years experience and deep domain experience in one area of sales, marketing, finance, operations, product...
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Has the age of a manager affected your opinion of them?

And what to really look for when hiring

Age should never be a factor. Experience, or years doing that exact job, is a big  factor. Of course, there is often a correlation between experience and age. Some people continue to learn for life, while others stop learning all together at a young age.  So, you are asking the wrong question, really. 

When hiring there are 100+ variables, and you should always hire for these, with age not really mattering, except maybe for exotic dancers. Here are some factors I think are far more important:

  1. Raw intelligence and curiosity that drives a person to learn constantly. I always ask what book they are reading.  If none, then minus lots of points. 
  2. Grit, drive or stick-to-itivness = Personality of never give up, even self-confidence. Some see this as positive attitude. The "I can do it" mentality. 
  3. Creativity, if a management position or something requiring creativity. Thinking out of the box is important for many...
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Do managers need management training to be effective?

Absolutely, but that is not to say most people do not learn on the job. Teaching management is like teaching art, it is an art.  You can study and learn foundational principles, but practice is required to get good.  I recommend reading several books by Peter Drucker first. Especially The Daily Drucker.

There is so much to the art of management that comes only with experience. But you will learn foundational principles and philosophy from these texts.  Key systems, for good management, include:

A) A regular meeting and Management By Objectives process (MBO = specific goal setting).  Some call this OKR now, but it is the same thing, really. This is key to corporate productivity. Research shows a 56% impact on enterprise value creation. That is HUGE! 

B) Having a dashboard with clear metrics (KPIs) that are all “owned” by someone and directly tied into the corporate strategic plan. Needed when > 7 people involved in a company or department,...

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What are some common misconceptions people have about raising capital?

1. Thinking it is easy. It will typically take 3–6 months of full-time effort. 80% will fail.

2. That the “Idea” is worth something. It is not worth $0 because anyone can copy an idea and do better at marketing, sales, product development or just dump capital on that idea  

3. Thinking VCs are the best source, they are the worst for 90% of businesses. They finance at most 1 in 200 plans and represent a tiny percentage of business financing. A narrow niche of rapid growth, technology based companies mainly.

4. A company has value on day #1. It does not!  Value and pre-money valuation come from team + plan + market research + product development. Investors generally put money in only AFTER value is created.

The pitch deck is critical. It separated out the 75% of people looking for money that did not do their homework. A good angel or VC can glean a lot about the team from this 5-minute read. An investor...

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Are You Losing Money on Graduate Degrees?

A new report finds that STEM programs and professional degrees often pay off, while those in arts and humanities frequently do not. Many M.B.A. programs also offer a negative return on investment.

It’s no secret that some advanced degrees don’t pay off. But a new report from the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity offers some surprising insights—including that 60 percent of M.B.A.s and other business-related master’s degrees fail to provide a positive return.

The report, “Is Graduate School Worth It? A Comprehensive Return on Investment Analysis,” analyzes data for nearly 14,000 graduate degrees—11,600 master’s degrees plus 2,300 doctoral and professional degrees—at 1,441 universities.

“I think one of the biggest takeaways is the results for master’s degrees. We find that 40 percent of master’s degrees show negative ROI, that they do not have financial value after accounting for the cost of...

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Does a Startup Need Lots of Capital to Become a Big Company

How to start a company with far less capital and also make more money in the process

Venture capital investors need to put BIG dollars to work and have a short time frame (5-7 years typically). THEY need startups to move fast. And, yes, if you have 5–10 competitors getting market share then more invested capital will pay off. However, the smartest founders take another approach and raise less money at higher valuations later.

This alternative is a multi-step market entry strategy where a startup starts in a smaller niche to get some traction, proof of concept and cash-flow. Which they should always try to do anyway. The niche targeting requires less marketing and sales expense and gets higher sales conversion and ROI. Then they expand the target market with more/better product(s) or by selling in other markets (niches or verticals). Building a portfolio of niches and/or product before they go head-to-head with bigger competitors

You do not need $50 million in investment...

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10 Of The Most Affordable EMBA Programs and their Costs

The cost of an Executive MBA could set you back substantially, but it doesn't have to. Here are 10 of the most affordable EMBA programs.

Choosing to study an Executive MBA (EMBA) isn’t cheap. The world of graduate management education demands high fees in exchange for the return on investment you see if you work hard during your degree.

But going to business school to gain the experience and skills needed for executive leadership doesn’t have to break the bank. Although Executive MBA programs do tend to lean on the expensive side, not all the world’s top programs will set you back six figures.

Here are 10 of the most affordable Executive MBA programs, according to the Business Because Special Report, Executive MBA Insights: 10 Leadership Challenges For 2022.

10. Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business
Executive MBA cost: $111, 715

In at number 10 is the Executive MBA at Santa Clara University’s (SCU) Leavey School of...

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The Things that Annoy Angel Investors when Entrepreneurs Pitch to Them

  1. Profits. Talk of profits, overestimated profits, the failure to understand that investors make money on growth, not profits; startups with high growth rates are rarely profitable; profits in high-growth startups stunt growth and reduce the odds of successful exit. That’s why you need to spend other people’s money, right?
  2. I don't need any stinking projections.” Surprises me how often I’ve seen it. “We all know,” the pitcher says in a cynical tone, “that all these projections are useless.” Or sometimes it’s a holier-than-thou tone. But no. I need you to think though unit costs, realistic volume, the conceptual links between marketing spend and volume, what it takes to fund growth. I want to know that you know, roughly, that your growth will take a ton of marketing spend, and that when you get to $20 million annual sales you are going to have a big payroll and overhead.
  3. Expecting me to believe your numbers....
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