Category Archives: Leadership

Uber’s Management by Committee: Good or Bad Idea?

Hailing an UberFrom Yahoo! Finance: “According to three sources familiar with the matter, Uber will be run by a committee consisting of 14 executives, all of whom directly reported to Kalanick before he announced on Tuesday he would be taking time away from the company following recent scandals and the death of his mother.

“Whether Uber’s new governing structure succeeds — and how long the team will govern for — are two questions that will follow the executive committee, particularly over the next few days and weeks. With over 12,000 employees, Uber is a large company faced with many layers of decision-making and the serious challenge of transforming Uber’s culture following a recent slew of scandals related to allegations of sexual harassment.”

Putting it mildly, this leadership situation is unique. But will it work? To find out, I asked a couple of the best experts on leadership that I know of for their opinions on this matter.

Dr. Atul Teckchandani, Assistant Professor of Management at CSUF, leads our CSUF Consulting teams that focus on leadership issues for our business clients.

Travis Kalanick never had a second in command at Uber. Recently the company announced they were going to look for a COO – but things have deteriorated significantly since then and finding a COO is no longer a top priority. My suspicion is that the governance-by-committee approach is more out of necessity than out of effectiveness. Having the top 14 executives at the company come together every time a decision needs to be made is extremely inefficient. But there’s no logical replacement for Kalanick and bringing in an outside hire would be even more disruptive. I suspect that the governance-by-committee approach is going to stay in place until things stabilize for the company.

Dave Kinnear, Executive Leader Coach for Vistage International, mentors our students in the classroom and has office hours at the CSUF Startup Incubator frequently.

Governance By Committee

There is an old saying that “A camel is a horse put together by committee.” I’m not at all sure this is fair to either camels or horses, however, the sentiment that too many conflicting opinions can ruin a project holds true.

For the Uber Executive Committee to effectively lead Uber and transform its culture, they will have to agree on who will make the final decision and empower that person to do so. From what I have been able to learn, Kalanick was that person who made the final call. They must also agree on how information will be brought to the committee, be processed by the committee and be communicated to the rest of the Uber organization.

I seriously doubt that the Board of Directors will be totally absent from the significant decisions that the team has to make. This particular board has shown that it knows how to step in and govern (see the above background information on how they handled the Covington report). I am confident that the Leadership Committee will have guidelines from the board on what committee recommendations must be run by the board prior to final decisions and actions.

Absent Leaders are Not That Unusual

One of the goals I like to establish with business leaders is that they build a high functioning leadership team that can operate without them. If we do not build such a team, then we earn the epithet of micromanager. Plus, we limit the scalability of the organization by being the bottleneck for decisions. My observation is that just like a wine bottle, the bottleneck is always at the top in organizations.

My concern for the Leadership Committee at Uber is that they may not have been allowed to be autonomous up until now, and so will not understand how to function without direction from the top. I hope I’m wrong about that concern. That is why I call this an interesting experiment for Uber.

Many of the leaders with whom I work have no concern or problem taking long vacations — mostly unplugged — and letting their teams run the show. They avoid making decisions from afar. Most have reported that things actually seemed to run better while they were gone! And their teams love the autonomy.

Growth Opportunity

A spokesperson for Uber declared that the leadership team was strong and that “The entire team is excited by the opportunities ahead of us.” This rings true to me. But it remains to be seen if this group can actually perform as a team. As a friend (an entrepreneur and athlete) puts it, “I’d rather play on a championship team than on a team of champions.”

If the Leadership Committee members at Uber truly believe that the team and company is more important than individual egos, then they have a good chance of coming together as a championship team and transforming Uber. I wish the Leadership Committee and Kalanick good luck and success.

What do you think?


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Focus on your Character First – Knowledge @ CSUF Entrepreneurship

Jim Reichert has had thousands of business relationships throughout the years so it’s safe to say that he knows a thing or two about people. And he has some simple, straightforward advice for people who want to build stronger relationships, whether for business or otherwise.

To Jim, Dr. Stephen R Covey’s words on building character rather than working on creating a better personality really ring true. You can have the most engaging, gregarious personality in the world but that doesn’t really matter if you can’t follow through on what you say you will.

That’s why you have to focus on building your character. Even if you aren’t the life of the party if you do what you say you are going to do, be honest, trustworthy, and everything else that is the mark of someone with strong character, then you will be in a better position to accomplish the things you want to accomplish.

Why? Because people will come to rely on you. They know that  you are a trustworthy person. Someone with character that won’t just tell you what you want to hear.

This Knowledge @ CSUF Entrepreneurship clip was taken from a talk at the CSUF Startup Incubator

Edited by Bo Kim


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For more details on CSUF Entrepreneurship:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/

For more details on how we help people become entrepreneurs:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/Incubator

For more details on how CSUF Consulting can help businesses thrive:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/Consulting

Attend one of our events for entrepreneurs or sign up for a free mentoring session:
http://bit.ly/CSUFEntrepreneurEvents

Knowledge @ CSUF Entrepreneurship video series:
http://bit.ly/csufknowledge

 

#1 Rule for Better Communication at Work – Knowledge @ CSUF Entrepreneurship

How do you create a great atmosphere at work? It’s all about communication. If you cannot have productive conversations with your coworkers, subordinates, or superiors then how are you going to get things done?

Jim Reichert is an entrepreneurial executive with decades of experience in this area and he believes that the best way to promote good communication at work is by starting off on the right track. When you are hiring someone you will of course need to make sure that they have the skills and the experience to do the job they are being hired for but you also need to ascertain whether or not they are a fit culturally. That means they have to have values that align with the company.

And what happens when someone just doesn’t end up fitting well with the company’s culture? This is a tough situation and can become very emotional but the correct course of action would be to let that person go. It’s not that they are a bad person, per se, it’s just that they aren’t a fit for the company. In the long run this decision is better for the person that is being let go and better for the organization as well.

This Knowledge @ CSUF Entrepreneurship clip was taken from a talk at the CSUF Startup Incubator

Edited by Bo Kim


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For more details on CSUF Entrepreneurship: http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/

For more details on how we help people become entrepreneurs: http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/Incubator

For more details on how CSUF Consulting can help businesses thrive: http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/Consulting

Attend one of our events for entrepreneurs or sign up for a free mentoring session: http://bit.ly/CSUFEntrepreneurEvents

How to Build Your Startup Team – Knowledge @ CSUF Entrepreneurship

How to Build Your Startup Team - Knowledge @ CSUF EntrepreneurshipThe early days in any business are tough. The entrepreneur, the person with the idea, ends up doing most of the jobs. And this is important because it is during these formative times that processes are created and the startup’s culture starts to take root.

But after some time you need to start hiring people. After you have figured out how to do something, like QuickBooks, you will need to hire someone to start doing that for you. And then, more or less, you wash, rinse, and repeat that process until you have developed your team.

Oh, and you better like your lawyer because you will be working closely with this person from day one. Your lawyer will obviously help you with legal matters but they are also a tremendous source for business intelligence and they can make key introductions for you as well.

This Knowledge @ CSUF Entrepreneurship clip was taken from a talk at the CSUF Startup Incubator given by Jeff Greenberg. Jeff is currently the Managing Director of Tech Coast Works and a serial entrepreneur.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeffreyrgreenberg/

Edited by Bo Kim


#CSUF

For more details on CSUF Entrepreneurship: http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/

For more details on how we help people become entrepreneurs: http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/Incubator

For more details on how CSUF Consulting can help businesses thrive: http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/Consulting

Attend one of our events for entrepreneurs or sign up for a free mentoring session: http://bit.ly/CSUFEntrepreneurEvents

CSUF Student’s Passion Leads to Good Works in DC Internship

Rachel Herzog Cal State Fullerton student interning in Washington DC

CSUF student Rachel Herzog at the 2017 Presidential Inauguration. Rachel is in DC to do an internship that aides sufferers of mental illnesses and their families. She is also taking classes focusing on political issues while interning there as part of the California State DC Scholars Program.

Interning is a rite of passage for many college students and some internships have a profound impact on students by shaping the way they view the world and their place in it. One Cal State Fullerton student, Rachel Herzog, is currently doing one of those internships and is having an experience of a lifetime in our nation’s capital.

Rachel’s search for a consequential internship led her to the California State DC Scholars Program, where she found an internship she loves and it has enabled her to attend school in Washington, DC for the spring 2017 semester. In this program, Rachel is currently interning for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), an organization that provides education, support groups, and courses about mental illness across the country. NAMI also has a team that advocates for individuals with mental illnesses.

Rachel’s tasks for NAMI consist of working in the call center where she counsels individuals in distress and their loved ones. It’s not an easy job but Rachel is the kind of person that loves to take on challenges.

Rachel has thoroughly enjoyed her experience at NAMI, “[Working at NAMI] is dynamic because every call is different and every person has their own situation.” The experience has also been one she is quite passionate about, as obstacles she has once gone through are “struggles that are being used to help others.” If possible, Rachel would like to align her interests in mental health issues and entrepreneurship to improve the care in that industry.

Rachel also has been able to enjoy some of DC’s historic and must-see sights, including the presidential inauguration, “I have a list outlining everything I want to do and see while I’m living in DC, including museums, memorials, historic restaurants, cultural events, and heritage trails, and I have a goal to check at least seven items off every week.”

Checking those seven items off every week can be a difficult task because Rachel interns during the day until 4 p.m., and then attends class in the evenings. Per the requirements of the California State DC Scholars Program, Rachel is taking a variety of political science classes; ones that have challenged her with a unique selection of topics and advanced discussions.

While the classes are challenging, Rachel wouldn’t have it any other way: “It’s unique, unlike anything I’ve done before. It’s opened my eyes to a lot of new things. There are topics I’ve never learned about before and this program allows me to do that in a special way…. The insights I’m gathering are relevant to more than just my education or career, but actually to all of life.”

Upon returning to California after the spring semester, Rachel looks forward to spending more time working and staying involved on the Cal State Fullerton campus. She will also continue to work with CSUF Startup Incubator graduate Aidtree by helping it launch its philanthropically inspired service in and around Cal State Fullerton. While uncertain about post-graduation plans, Rachel is passionate about working in travel, e-commerce, and mental health-related fields, and also plans to pursue her Master’s degree in the near future.

Rachel enthusiastically recommends the California State DC Scholars Program to prospective and current students who are looking to step out of their comfort zone and gain real life experience before graduating. “It isn’t necessarily for everyone, as the nature of living in DC is to be immersed in a very political environment, but the rich history of the United States that is so well preserved and accessible makes it a wonderful, unique experience… Participation has made available for me copious exciting resources and a brilliant network, as well as the experience of a lifetime!”

Way to go Rachel!

Written by Traci Muldoon. Edited by Travis Lindsay.


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For more details on CSUF Entrepreneurship: http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/

For more details on how we help people become entrepreneurs: http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/Incubator

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Attend one of our events for entrepreneurs or sign up for a free mentoring session: http://bit.ly/CSUFEntrepreneurEvents

Management 540 Trains CSUF MBAs for the Real World

students-working

Before the start of every semester, students begin the process of picking and choosing their classes. Almost all of these classes have students reading textbooks and taking exams but there is one class that is designed to give MBA students an immersive experience by having them put to practice what they learn with a real business.

Management 540 is this class and it exposes students to the skills needed in order to be successful business leaders of tomorrow and if they have any room in their schedules they should definitely add this class. In order to achieve this audacious goal, Cal State Fullerton has selected Dr. Atul Teckchandani to lead this class. What makes this class so valuable is that Dr. Teckchandani demonstrates superior academic skills while also using the experiences he gained while working in the technology industry to provide lessons that focus on real-world situations.

“This class is very practical. Rather than focusing on academic theories of leadership, this class focuses on skills that leaders need to be successful. Leaders influence others to help achieve a vision or set of goals. To be an effective leader, you must have a mastery of the ‘soft’ skills. This course has a number of modules on how to be a more effective leader by learning how to build professional relationships, how to persuade others, how to make decisions while minimizing the negative effects of biases, and how to improve your emotional intelligence. It also discusses how to create an organization where employees are productive and feel like they are thriving.

“In addition to the practical skills, this class also offers a consulting project. Students will work in teams to help a local business address a leadership/HR challenge. While the consulting projects are a fair amount of work, they are an invaluable learning opportunity. Being able to examine a real-world problem and devise recommendations is something all employers want their employees to do. MGMT 540 is one of only two classes in the MBA program that allows students to become more proficient in this area,” said Teckchandani.

And the businesses students consult with in this class are very diverse.

“The businesses we work with can vary widely. To give you an idea of how wide-ranging our clients are, in the past couple of years we’ve had retail stores, restaurants, technology firms, auto mechanics, non-profits, restaurant supply firms and boutique consulting firms as clients. Most of the clients are small firms where we work directly with the owner or founder,” said Teckchandani

Upon completion of this course, students will be more prepared for what lays ahead for them in their careers, which makes them more appealing to employers looking for those with concrete skills and experience. With this course on a resume, students have the opportunity to stand out among the growing amount of applicants that are applying for the same job. In essence, the experience and knowledge from this course could mean the difference between getting the job over someone else.

“The consulting project is a great addition to the resume and makes for an excellent talking point during an interview. As mentioned earlier, most bosses want to hire someone who can look at a problem, analyze it and come up with realistic and actionable solutions,” said Teckchandani.

With the competition for jobs growing more fierce every year, it is abundantly clear why CSUF MBAs should enroll in Management 540 for the spring 2017 semester. The skills and experiences provided by this class not only help build the foundation of a good worker but ultimately sculpt students into the business leaders of the future.

Kevin Emery is the author of this post. Travis Lindsay edited it.


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CEO and Business Owners Workshop in Orange County

Tom Northup, one of our most dedicated mentors, has been gracious enough to invite the CEOs and business owners of our community to a wonderful event that will teach them the skills they need to take their businesses to the next level! Info about the event is below and to reserve your ticket please go to: http://ceoworkshops.com/


jim-muehlhausenThis is the perfect time to hone your thinking and learn innovative techniques to take your business to the next level!

Best-selling author, Jim Muehlhausen gives a fast paced workshop based on lessons he has learned from thousands of businesses. He will challenge you to unleash the true power of your business.

This nationally renowned program features bestselling author and business expert Jim Muehlhausen. Jim’s fast paced, dynamic, and interactive workshop is based on the lessons learned from consulting to thousands of businesses throughout the country. Jim is the author of two best-selling books – The 51 Fatal Business Errors and How to Avoid Them and Business Models for Dummies.

This is your chance to join other business owners & CEOs to learn how to take your business to the next level and thrive in this dynamic economy. We do expect the workshop to sell out so register now.

You will get at least 2-3 actionable items you can use right away.

There is no sales spiel.

There is nothing to purchase.

You receive a copy of the speakers book The 51 fatal Business Errors and How To Avoid Them.

Here is the invitation.

http://ceoworkshops.com/

Make a commitment for you today. Follow the link and signup. And please pass on to others you think might enjoy it.


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