Ambal’s Work Life

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Tribal Leadership

Merriam Webster dictionary defines tribe as a social group comprising numerous families, clans, or generations together with slaves, dependents, or adopted strangers.

We all have our tribes – our families, our hiking tribe, our fundraising tribe, our school tribe, our work tribe etc. Each of the tribes function at different levels of cohesion. Don’t they?

What is the big idea?

TRIBAL LEADERSHIP details each of the five tribal stages and helps readers identify which actions affect it and which strategies will enable the tribe to upgrade to the next level. The authors discuss how each stage has a unique set of leverage points and why it is critical to understand them—more than three quarters of the organizations they studied have tribal cultures that are adequate at best.

The five stages include:

Stage One: The stage most professionals skip, these are tribes whose members are despairingly hostile—they may create scandals, steal from the company, or even threaten violence.

Stage Two: The dominant culture for 25 percent of workplace tribes, this stage includes members who are passively antagonistic, sarcastic, and resistant to new management initiatives.

Stage Three: 49 percent of workplace tribes are in this stage, marked by knowledge hoarders who want to outwork and outthink their competitors on an individual basis. They are lone warriors who not only want to win, but need to be the best and brightest.

Stage Four: The transition from “I’m great” to “we’re great” comes in this stage where the tribe members are excited to work together for the benefit of the entire company.

Stage Five: Less than 2 percent of workplace tribal culture is in this stage when members who have made substantial innovations seek to use their potential to make a global impact.

Source: emergentbydesign

Source: http://www.triballeadership.net/book

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The Challenger Sale

There are only 2 types of role in any enterprise – Sales role and Sales enablement role

Don’t believe anything else anybody else says about job roles. Whether you are in engineering, marketing, product management…your singular goal should be to make the cash register for your org go “ching-ching”.

To do that we all need to be honing our sales skills. That brings me to this week’s book recommendation.

What is the big idea?

What’s the secret to sales success? It is not just about relationship building with customers.  The best salespeople also challenge customers. They teach, tailor and take control.

Gartner: The Five Profiles of Sales Professionals
Gartner: Percentage of Core vs. High Performers Per Profile

More links

A 5-Minute Summary Of “The Challenger Sale” Book Your Boss Told You To Read

The Challenger Sale: Summarized

The Challenger Sales Model In 8 Minutes

The 5 Types of Sellers of The Challenger Sale

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A Mind at Play

At the turn of the century, in interned for a summer in Bell Labs in New Jersey. It was my first real work experience and was a thrilling period of my life to work at a place that had produced 9 noble prize winners. Many geniuses ihad worked there and to walk the halls was a privilege. One of those geniuses was Claude Shannon who was an American mathematician, electrical engineer, and cryptographer known as “the father of information theory”.

You will be fascinated to find out how genisues like Shannon laid the stones for machine learning and AI as we know it today.

Jimmy Soni and Rob Goodman’s book A Mind at Play is a biography on
Claude Shannon.

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The 8th Habit

What is the big idea?

The eighth habit is “Find your voice and inspire others to find theirs.” Voice is Covey’s code for “unique personal significance.” Those who inspire others to find theirs are the leaders needed now and for the future, according to Covey.

Covey talks about the freedom of choice and the consequences of behavior.

Covey also talks about the four kinds of intelligence:
Physical intelligence
Mental intelligence
Emotional intelligence
Spiritual intelligence

A few favorite quotes from the book:

“Life is a mission, not a career.”

“The greatest and most inspiring mountain climbing achievements in history are not so much stories of individual achievement, but are stories of the extraordinary power of a unified, talented, prepared team that stays loyally committed to one another and to their shared vision to the end.”

“The successful person has formed the habit of doing things that failures don’t like to do. Successful people don’t like doing them either, necessarily. But their dislike is subordinated by the strength of their purpose.”

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On Intelligence: How a New Understanding of the Brain will Lead to the Creation of Truly Intelligent Machines

I am fascinated my the brain and all things neuroscience. 

On of my favorite books on the brain and what I can do is: On Intelligence: How a New Understanding of the Brain will Lead to the Creation of Truly Intelligent Machines.

This book was written by  Palm Pilot-inventor Jeff Hawkins with New York Times science writer Sandra Blakeslee.

Hawkins develops a powerful theory of how the human brain works, explaining why computers are not intelligent and how, based on this new theory, we can finally build intelligent machines.

What is the big idea?

Hawkins’ basic idea is that the brain is a mechanism to predict the future, specifically, hierarchical regions of the brain predict their future input sequences. Perhaps not always far in the future, but far enough to be of real use to an organism. As such, the brain is a feed forward hierarchical state machine with special properties that enable it to learn.

Here is one of my favorite snippets from the book called altered door experiment:

When you come home each day, you usually take a few seconds to go through your front door or whichever door you use. You reach out, turn the knob, walk in, and shut it behind you. It’s a firmly established habit, something you do all the time and pay little attention to. Suppose while you are out, I sneak over to your home and change something about your door. It could be almost anything. I could move the knob over by an inch, change a round knob into a thumb latch, or turn it from brass to chrome. I could change the door’s weight, substituting solid oak for a hollow door, or vice versa. I could make the hinges squeaky and stiff, or make them glide frictionlessly. I could widen or narrow the door and its frame. I could change its color, add a knocker where the peephole used to be, or add a window. I can imagine a thousand changes that could be made to your door, unbeknownst to you. When you come home that day and attempt to open the door, you will quickly detect that something is wrong. It might take you a few seconds’ reflection to realize exactly what is wrong, but you will notice the change very quickly. As your hand reaches for the moved knob, you will realize that it is not in the correct location. Or when you see the door’s new window, something will appear odd. Or if the door’s weight has been changed, you will push with the wrong amount of force and be surprised. The point is that you will notice any of a thousand changes in a very short period of time. 

How do you do that? How do you notice these changes? 

The AI or computer engineer’s approach to this problem would be to create a list of all the door’s properties and put them in a database, with fields for every attribute a door can 5have and specific entries for your particular door. When you approach the door, the computer would query the entire database, looking at width, color, size, knob position, weight, sound, and so on. While this may sound superficially similar to how I described my brain checking each of its myriad predictions as I glanced around my office, the difference is real and far-reaching. The AI strategy is implausible. First, it is impossible to specify in advance every attribute a door can have. The list is potentially endless. Second, we would need to have similar lists for every object we encounter every second of our lives. Third, nothing we know about brains and neurons suggests that this is how they work. And finally, neurons are just too slow to implement computer-style databases. It would take you twenty minutes instead of two seconds to notice the change as you go through the door.

Check out Jeff Hawkins on Firing Up the Silicon Brain

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_Intelligence

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