1. Welcome

    July 19, 2009 by Radha

    Hey there! Thanks for visiting my blog (:
    Here you can check out the stuff I write/share on different topics – from Spirituality & Religion to Entrepreneurship, it’s all here 😛

     


  2. I AM INDIAN

    June 23, 2015 by Radha

    A must watch for everyone!!!


  3. How Emotional Intelligence Became a Key Leadership Skill

    May 31, 2015 by Radha

    Anyone trying to come up to speed on emotional intelligence would have a pretty easy time of it since the concept is remarkably recent, and its application to business newer still. The term was coined in 1990 in a research paper by two psychology professors, John D. Mayer of UNH and Peter Salovey of Yale. Some years later, Mayer defined it in HBR this way:

    From a scientific (rather than a popular) standpoint, emotional intelligence is the ability to accurately perceive your own and others’ emotions; to understand the signals that emotions send about relationships; and to manage your own and others’ emotions. It doesn’t necessarily include the qualities (like optimism, initiative, and self-confidence) that some popular definitions ascribe to it.

    It took almost a decade after the term was coined for Rutgers psychologist Daniel Goleman to establish the importance of emotional intelligence to business leadership.  In 1998, in what has become one of HBR’s most enduring articles, “What Makes a Leader,” he states unequivocally:

    The most effective leaders are all alike in one crucial way: they all have a high degree of what has come to be known as emotional intelligence. It’s not that IQ and technical skills are irrelevant. They do matter, but…they are the entry-level requirements for executive positions. My research, along with other recent studies, clearly shows that emotional intelligence is the sine qua non of leadership. Without it, a person can have the best training in the world, an incisive, analytical mind, and an endless supply of smart ideas, but he still won’t make a great leader.

    The article then goes on to introduce five components of emotional intelligence that allow individuals to recognize, connect with, and learn from their own and other people’s mental states:

    • Self-awareness
    • Self-regulation
    • Motivation (defined as “a passion for work that goes beyond money and status”)
    • Empathy for others
    • Social skills, such as proficiency in managing relationships and building networks

    An understanding of what exactly constitutes emotional intelligence is important not only because the capacity is so central to leadership but because people strong in some of its elements can be utterly lacking in others, sometimes to disastrous effect.  You can see Salovey, now Yale’s provost, making this point vividly in a talk he gave at a 2010 leadership conference in which he describes how a single picture (which we can’t even see) illustrates the remarkable disparity in the emotional intelligence of  President Clinton, who was so remarkable in his empathy and yet so devoid of self-control.

    In subsequent work, Goleman focuses more deeply on these various elements of emotional intelligence. In 2001, with Case Western Reserve professor Richard Boyatzis and U.Penn faculty member Annie McKee, he explored the contagious nature of emotions at work, and the link between leaders’ emotional states and their companies’ financial success in “Primal Leadership.” In 2008, in “Social Intelligence and the Biology of Leadership,” Goleman and Boyatzis take a closer look at the mechanisms of social intelligence (the wellsprings of empathy and social skills). And most recently, in “The Focused Leader,” Goleman applies advances in neuroscience research to explain how leaders can increase each element of emotional intelligence by understanding and improving the various ways they focus their attention, both expansively and narrowly.

    It is perhaps an indication of how young this field is (or perhaps how fundamental Goleman’s typology is to it) that pretty much the entire canon of thinking on the subject in HBR also focuses on one or another of these elements of emotional intelligence as Goleman laid them out.

    –  By Andrea Ovans – a senior editor at Harvard Business Review


  4. How to speak so that people want to listen

    May 1, 2015 by Radha


  5. Motivational Quote – 001

    April 30, 2015 by Radha

    “In each of us are places where we have never gone. Only by pressing the limits do you ever find them.”

    – Dr. Joyce Brothers: American psychologist, television personality and columnist


  6. New MBAs Should Start Their Careers in Frontier Markets

    April 13, 2015 by Radha

    Hey everyone..As I am planning my MBA program, I’ve been doing some research on MBA related stuff. My Dad came across this article, and sent it to me. Found it useful so thought of sharing with ya’ll.

    By Jonathan Berman

    APR15_28_95498460

    “Where are the stores?” asked the Scandinavian executive. Strive Masiyiwa was interviewing him to be CEO of the Nigeria telecoms venture lead by Econet Group, which Strive founded and chairs.

    “We had an enormous amount at stake, over $1 billion in planned investment, and our board wanted to recruit the best in the world,” says the Zimbabwe-born Masiyiwa, whom Fortune ranked last year as one of the 50 Greatest Leaders in the World. “We recruited globally, and this candidate was absolutely top flight.   But when he got to Nigeria, he asked ‘Where are the stores? We’ll need stores to sell airtime.’ I told him that we needed no stores, that we were in Lagos, the world’s largest supermarket. I took him to the window at the back of the office, and said ‘See down there. The rows of women selling vegetables. The groups of young men selling fresh meat. This city has some of the world’s most effective sales teams, if you know what you’re looking for. And that’s how we’ll sell airtime, the same way.’”   Under a different CEO, Econet Wireless Nigeria went on to build a nationwide network of street-side airtime sales.

    Most Western executives have limited exposure to a frontier market until they are relatively senior in their careers. By then their worldviews are largely formed, and at best they graft frontier market experiences onto that mature-market base.     At worst, they misjudge or simply stay out of markets vastly different from their own.

    For example, I once helped survey US global money managers.   We asked them how many companies in Africa make over $100 million annually.   These executives –each responsible for advising clients or deploying money in emerging markets – underestimated the number by a factor of ten.

    Spending time early in your career in a frontier market has a lasting impact on all your subsequent management decisions.   Of course, it helps you understand those foreign markets. But it also sets you apart when thinking about markets at home.   Consider those street vendors selling Econet airtime, or the small vendors who make up the agent network at the heart of Kenya’s most profitable bank, Equity Bank.   They reflect a decentralized, de-institutionalized commercial structure that’s now clearly part of the US economy (think of food trucks or Uber).   Executives who haven’t spent time in frontier markets imagine those markets are rooted in the past. Young professionals who spend time there can perceive the future.

    Two programs afford that opportunity to young MBAs today.   Launching this week is the ambitious African Business Fellowship, which Masiyiwa is chairing with implementing partners the African Leadership Network and Management Leadership for Tomorrow.   It focuses on bring top US MBAs into the most successful, vibrant companies in Africa for up to 6 months of work and mentoring by senior African executives. 

    It’s no accident that ABF is being launched at the Milken Institute Global Conference this week in Los Angeles. It’s one of the largest gatherings of US capital, and where investors and money managers go so they won’tmisunderstand global opportunities by a factor of ten. “Milken understands the intersection of capital and social change in emerging markets” Masiyiwa explained.   That’s why we’ve sought their partnership.” (Readers should know that I recently affiliated with the Milken Institute as a non-resident fellow, for the same reason Strive describes).

    Other programs are already up and running, putting MBAs to work in frontier markets. Since 2013, BizCorps has placed top MBAs in Colombia and Kenya. The focus is on smaller companies than in the ABF, but with comparable value for its participants.   Yulia Khvan graduated Yale’s School of Management and decided her next step should be a stint with a high-end Colombian coffee producer. “When you don’t have data to make a decision, a western manager can be paralyzed,” Yulia said. “When it comes to Colombians, they’re more likely to adopt the Nike slogan – they just do it.” The ability to advance smartly in the face of data scarcity marks successful leaders in many emerging markets. According to Warren Buffet, it’s a habit US executives could stand to learn. In his 2012 letter to shareholders, Buffet castigated US CEOs for deferring decisions in the face of uncertainty.   “If you are a CEO who has some large, profitable project you are shelving because of short-term worries,” he offered, “call Berkshire. Let us unburden you.”

    BizCorps and ABF deliver precisely what young business leaders need to succeed in a globalized economy, and what the US itself needs to remain globally competitive. A few weeks from now, the US will graduate about 100,000 MBAs. Instead of marching into the marble halls of finance or consulting, some might consider leaping out to the frontiers of business. They will return with insights that separate them from their peers for decades to come.


  7. 5 Things App Designers Could Learn From Walt Disney

    April 2, 2015 by Radha

    Soo, as you know I’m a app developer myself I love to get new tips and tricks for it’s design. I found this awesome and inspiring article that may help you with your app designs.

    Among animation and film buffs, Walt Disney’s 12 Principles of Animation is rightly revered, but is that where their usefulness ends?Rebecca Ussai doesn’t think so. With the help of ex-Disney animator Glen Keane, the R/GA senior experience designer explains that UX designers have a lot to learn from Disney.

    Here are the five things Ussai says UI/UX designers can learn from Walt Disney, according to Ussai.

    Walt Disney Pictures

    • Feedback. To Ussai, good feedback in a UI corresponds to Disney’s principle of exaggeration by clearly demonstrating the result of a user’s interaction. In Beauty and the Beast, the titular Beast might drop his jaw and bulge his eyes when Belle refuses to go to dinner with him. Likewise, good UI feedback should be more pronounced than it would seemingly need to be, like the almost head-like shake the iOS password screen makes when you enter your pin wrong.

    • Feedforward, corresponding to Disney’s principle of anticipation. In a Disney cartoon, a diver might bounce a few times on the diving board and comically wiggle his butt before diving in, thus creating anticipation. Similarly, a good UI prepares users for what is about to happen. A good example can be found in Clear, an iOS list making app which allows users to create a new list entry by pulling down on the top of the screen. In Clear, you can see this new entry start to appear even before you’ve pulled the element halfway down.

    Stellar

    • Spatial awareness, corresponding to staging. In animation, staging creates the expectation that empty space will be filled. For example, if a character is standing far left with nothing to the right, you expect something to happen in the blank space. The same is true in apps. Ussai gives Calendar, an iOS calendar app, as an example of staging in UI done right: days in the app are positioned right next to each other, and when you change dates, the entire interface slides left and right, just as you’d expect them to.

    Pinterest

    • User focus, corresponding to Disney’s unwritten 13th principle of animation, clarity. The idea here is never to leave your users behind, by putting emphasis on whatever element is most important at a given moment. In a Disney cartoon, this might be accomplished by making the hammer Mickey suddenly pulls out nearly as big as he is; in UI, this can be accomplished as simply as in the Pinterest app, where contextual controls appear on screen the moment a user touches a pin.

    • Brand tone of voice, corresponding to Disney’s principle of appeal. An app’s UI should reflect the brand of the company that made it, not just looking but moving like you think that brand might move. Ussai points to Snapchat, with its whimsical ghosts playing in the app’s UI margins, or how the UI of Nike+ app feels almost like it runs as much as you do.

    www.Fastcodesign.com

    Article by :

    JOHN BROWNLEE


  8. How Technology Has Affected Wages for the Last 200 Years

    March 15, 2015 by Radha

    APR15_29_550779475

    Today’s great paradox is that we feel the impact of technology everywhere – in our cars, our phones, the supermarket, the doctor’s office – but not in our paychecks. We work differently, communicate with each other differently, create differently, and entertain ourselves differently, all thanks to new technology. Yet since the beginning of the personal computer revolution three decades ago, the median wage has remained stagnant.

    Over the last two hundred years, technological advancements have been responsible for a ten-fold increase in wages. But some people claim that technology has now turned against us, permanently eliminating middle class jobs and portending a future of widening economic inequality. The remedy, they say, lies in policies to redistribute wealth.

    But are we really at an historical turning point? No. In fact, the present is not so different than the past. Throughout history, major new technologies were initially accompanied by stagnant wages and rising inequality, too. This was true during the Industrial Revolution in the early nineteenth century and also during the wave of electrification that began at the end of the nineteenth century. However, after decades these patterns reversed; large numbers of ordinary workers eventually saw robust wage growth thanks to new technology.

    Of course, circumstances are different today. Information technology automates the work of white-collar jobs and the pace of change is faster. But the key challenge facing the workforce is the same as in the past. Both then and now, in order to implement major new technologies, large numbers of people had to learn new skills and knowledge. This learning turned out to be surprisingly slow and difficult, yet it was the key to higher wages. Today’s workforce must overcome a similar hurdle before it can benefit from new technology.

    Too often, when people think about technology, they only think about the initial invention. In the cartoon version, technology consists of inventions “designed by geniuses to be run by idiots.” Yet most major technologies develop over decades, as large numbers of people learn how to apply, adapt, and improve the initial invention. The initial power loom—one of the transformative technologies of the Industrial Revolution—automated weaving tasks, allowing a weaver to produce twice as much cloth per hour. But over the next century, weavers improved their skills and mechanics and managers made adaptations and improvements, generating a twenty-fold increase in output per hour. Most of the gains from this technology took a long time to realize, and involved the skills and knowledge of many people. Similarly slow progress was seen in steam engines, factory electrification, and petroleum refining. More recently, it took decades for computers to show up in the productivity statistics.

    Because skills were so important during the Industrial Revolution, employers sometimes went to great lengths to build an intelligent workforce that could learn on the job. Lowell, Massachusetts, was the Silicon Valley of its day, and the textile mills of Lowell recruited bright young women by offering them something like a college experience: the mill owners funded schools, lecture series, a library, and cultural events. One mill girl, Lucy Larcom, studied German and botany, and published poems in the mill girls’ literary magazine during the 1830s and 1840s; she came to the attention of John Greenleaf Whittier, who became her mentor.

    These measures by the mill owners might seem surprising because even today factory workers with little education are often considered “unskilled.” Although the early mill workers had little formal schooling, they learned skills on the job, skills that were critical to keeping the strange, new, expensive machines running efficiently. Their skills were narrow compared to those of traditional craftsmen, but valuable nonetheless. These skills eventually allowed factory weavers to earn far more than earlier artisan weavers; steel workers with narrow skills earned more than craft ironworkers with broad skills; typographers on the new Linotype machines earned more than the hand compositors they replaced. Moreover, employers paid these workers well at a time when unions had little power. Technical skills learned through experience allowed blue-collar workers with little education to enter the middle class.

    However, this process took a long time. Many workers could not teach themselves on the job. In the early textile mills, most left after just months on the job, finding the work too hard to learn or too disagreeable. Nor could these skills be learned in school. The technology was too uncertain, changing too rapidly for schools to keep up. The first textile schools were not established until after the Civil War. More important, workers’ incentives to learn the new skills were weak because the labor market was initially quite limited. During the 1830s, the textile mills mainly hired workers who had no prior experience. Experience acquired at one mill was not necessarily valuable at another because mills used different versions of the technology and organized work in different ways. But without a robust labor market, textile workers could not look forward to a long career at different workplaces and so they had little reason to invest in learning. After the Civil War, the market for skilled textile workers became very active. Only then did wages begin to grow vigorously. Weavers’ hourly pay in Lowell changed little between 1830 and 1860, but by 1910 it had tripled. It took decades for the training institutions, business models, and labor markets to emerge that unlocked the benefits of technology for ordinary workers.

    Of course, technology and skills were not the only factors that helped boost wages. Growing capital investments made the workers more productive, and growing opportunities for women workers helped increase their pay. Unions also played a role, especially during the 20th century. But consider the magnitude of these changes: studies have shown that unionized workers earn about 15% more than comparable nonunionized workers. That’s a meaningful difference, but it looks small compared to the weavers’ three-fold increase in wages. Ultimately, the biggest factor in that wage growth was technology, the productivity growth it unlocked, and the development of mature labor markets that valued the weavers’ skills.

    Thanks to these developments, generations of less educated manufacturing workers have been able to earn good pay. Now, however, automation and offshoring have eliminated many of those jobs for weavers and steelworkers and typographers; many of the old skills are obsolete. Nevertheless, new opportunities are emerging because technology creates jobs that demand new skills. However, the transition to new jobs is slow and difficult.

    For example, computer publishing replaced typographers with graphic designers. Yet today’s graphic designers face a challenge acquiring the latest skills, not unlike the challenge faced by antebellum textile workers. Standards, business models, and technology keep changing, requiring continuous learning. First designers had to learn desktop publishing, then web publishing, and now, with the growth of smartphones, mobile design. The most able designers are able to teach themselves, but the average designer cannot. Nor have the schools kept up; many still focusing on print design. The top ten percent of designers have seen their wages grow strongly along with their new skills, but the median designer wage has been stagnant for three decades.

    Since the 1980s, a similar gap has widened within many jobs. In occupations where the majority of workers use computers, the wages of the top ten percent have been growing, but median wages have seen little growth. Even among scientific, engineering, and computer occupations, the median wage has grown slowly, but those with specialized technical skills earn a growing bounty from technology. And the difficulty of acquiring the new skills affects employers as well. In survey after survey, over a third of managers report difficulty finding employees who have needed skills; business groups regularly decry the “skills gap.” In short, firms have plenty of demand for workers with critical technical skills, they are willing to pay high wages for workers who have them, but too few workers do.

    Thus the problem isn’t that technology has eliminated the need for mid-skill workers overall. New opportunities are there, but grasping them is difficult. Overcoming that obstacle will take time as well as policies that promote technical training, certify skills learned through experience, encourage employee mobility, and foster robust labor markets.

    Perhaps in the future, smart machines will drastically eliminate opportunities for mid-skill work, but that is not what is behind today’s stagnant wages. Technology has not turned against us; instead, technology challenges us to develop new capabilities. If we meet that challenge, then large numbers of ordinary people will benefit substantially from new technology, just as they have for the past two hundred years.

    By James Bessen

    Harvard Business Review


  9. A 10-Minute Meditation to Help You Solve Conflicts at Work

    February 10, 2015 by Radha

    An awesome article on meditation! A must read!

    APR15_27_147206906_b

    There are few things at work as stressful as feeling that you can’t communicate with someone who has an impact on how well you do your job and on the quality of your experience at work. How many times have you thought carefully about something you want to communicate to your boss, a colleague, or subordinate, only to find yourself leaving the conversation feeling angry or frustrated by how it went?

    Karen (not her real name), a program officer for a nonprofit organization, had an experience like this when she first tried to convince her boss, Maria, to let her work from home three afternoons per week. She had thought carefully about how to make the most persuasive argument. She was prepared with a rationale that addressed her own needs as well as her employer’s, details of how she would manage communication while physically absent, and buy-in from colleagues.

    Here’s how the meeting unfolded:

    Karen: Maria, I have a 14-year-old son who’s struggling. It’s causing a great deal of stress in my family and making it more difficult for me to perform at work. By being around more in the afternoons, I could provide the structure he needs to focus on his schoolwork. So I’d like to telecommute three afternoons per week. I’m confident that I can work effectively from home. I’ve checked in with everyone I work with and no one has any objections. I have the technology I need in place. I think that I will actually be more productive without the interruptions that go on in the office. I’ll be able to write my reports more quickly, which should be a help to you as well.

    Maria: I don’t have kids, but it sounds to me like helping your son with his homework would be a pretty big distraction during the workday!

    Karen: I’m not going to be sitting next to him helping him do his homework, I’m just saying that by being present at home, I’ll be able to redirect him to his homework if he needs structure.

    Maria: Aren’t there any after-school programs you can put him in?

    Karen: No. Look, my kid is having a really hard time, socially as well as academically. You know I’m totally committed to my job. I work many more hours than I’m paid for, and I’m happy to do it. Can’t you please just let me have this? It’s really not a big thing, but it would mean a great deal to me.

    Maria: I’m not comfortable with putting an arrangement like this into place on such an ad-hoc basis. It’s really important that senior leadership sees our program area as solidly professional. I don’t want to give anyone the impression that we’re not totally focused on achieving our goals. You know how people talk in this organization.

    Karen left the meeting feeling defeated. Why, she asked herself, did Maria have to be so rigid?

    Karen fell into the same trap that ensnares leaders daily: thinking that a strong argument alone is the key to effective communication. Equally important is therelational agility to work with whatever comes up in the dynamic environment of human interaction, especially all that is felt but not articulated by both parties to the conversation. The trap shows up in Karen’s defensiveness when Maria pushes back on her argument as well as in Maria’s discomfort with Karen’s request.

    The first step to building relational agility is to become more aware of how you think about and interact with others, especially people you find difficult. The second step is developing curiosity about and compassion for their perspectives and experiences. A simple and effective tool for building these capacities is the practice of metta (“loving-kindness”) meditation.

    Practicing loving-kindness meditation yields two substantial benefits for increasing relational agility. First, it helps you to become much more aware of yourself and of how you relate to the other person. You learn to recognize thoughts (such as “I don’t trust him”) when they enter your mind and to let them go without judging or reacting to them. This prevents you from being ensnared by thoughts that can trip you up when you’re navigating a high-stakes conversation.

    Second, the meditation exercise helps to cultivate greater awareness of and compassion for the other person. This is especially crucial in relationships marked by frustration or resentment because those emotions narrow our perceptions and make our interactions more clumsy, rigid, and prone to failure. Like caricaturists who exaggerate their subjects’ most prominent physical features, we mentally distort our perceived opponents, reducing them to a narrow collection of traits and behaviors. (Perhaps you work with someone you think of as an ogre, a witch, a fool, or a snake.) Then we interact with that caricature rather than with the whole person. Meditation opens up our view to include the person’s many facets, roles, and the experiences that may have shaped their patterns of thinking and behavior. The practice also helps us see how we engage in ways that break down communication. With awareness and compassion, it’s much easier to find common ground.

    Reading this article alone won’t develop your relational agility. Indeed, intellectual learning can be a crutch for inaction. I see this time and time again in leaders who say, “Oh, yes, I’ve read about how important mindfulness is,” but who have no direct experience of it themselves. Practice is essential to developing and maintaining relational agility. As with physical exercise, a single session of loving-kindness meditation won’t make you fit, even though it may well yield tangible short-term benefits.

    Before you head into your next stressful meeting, take ten minutes to clear your mind and tune your brain for interpersonal effectiveness. Here’s the practice:

    Find a quiet place to sit or stand comfortably. Close your eyes if you wish. Breathe in, filling your lungs with oxygen. Exhale slowly, releasing any tension you may be holding. Let your mind settle gently on your natural breathing, paying attention to the feeling of air flowing in and out of your body. When your mind wanders off, gently bring it back to your breath. Lift the corners of your mouth into a slight smile. Continue this mindfulness meditation for two minutes.

    Loving-kindness meditation begins with a focus on the self. Without self-compassion, it is difficult to cultivate compassion for others. Continuing with your breathing, slowly repeat the following phrases to yourself multiple times:

    May I be safe, may I be happy, may I be healthy, may I be free from suffering.

    As you repeat the phrases, settle into the intention of goodwill they convey. Connect your breath to the positive intentions you are directing toward yourself. Smile if you wish to.

    Now bring to mind a person who has cared deeply for you, such as a mentor or close friend. Focusing on that person and continuing with your breathing, slowly repeat the following phrases to yourself multiple times, settling into the positive intentions you are directing to this person:

    May you be safe, may you be happy, may you be healthy, may you be free from suffering.

    Next, repeat the phrases and positive intentions while focusing on a person with whom you are acquainted at work, but don’t know well.

    Finally, focus on a person with whom you have difficulty. Notice what sorts of thoughts and emotions arise. If they are negative, it may help to repeat a few phrases such as the following:

    You have hopes and dreams, just like me.

    You have anxieties and fears, just like me.

    You have known suffering, just like me.

    You wish to be happy, just like me.

    Then, continuing with awareness of your breathing and focusing on the person, repeat the phrases several times:

     May you be safe, may you be happy, may you be healthy, may you be free from suffering.

    Conclude your meditation practice and continue with your day, carrying with you the intentions of goodwill for yourself and others.

    To understand why we get clumsy in difficult relationships, consider that habitual patterns of thinking and behavior are like the deep grooves that get carved into a dirt road by the repeated passage of tires. The deeper the grooves, the more likely we are to get stuck in them. This is why we tend to have the same argument repeatedly with certain people, and find ourselves unable to free ourselves from the familiar script. Loving-kindness meditation improves our ability to see those grooves more clearly, to lift ourselves out of them, and to intentionally choose a better, more effective pathway.

    Harvard Business Review

    By Monique Valcour


  10. Lessons from a lemonade stand

    November 11, 2014 by Radha

    A must read article from BBC Capital :

    (Getty Images)

    Carolin Hasse got some of her first business lessons at flea markets in her home town of Kronberg, Germany, when she was just 6 years old.

    Her father taught her about money by coaching her to bid down the price of items she liked. He would then stand back while Carolin worked her magic.

    “Usually it worked. Maybe it was because I was a small child who knew her money,” she said.

    Now 16, Hasse has two jobs — one as a riding instructor and the other as an English tutor. Soon she hopes to have enough money saved to put toward a course to earn a riding certificate. Hasse was lucky to learn about business early on, with lessons based on real-world experiences. Not many young people have the same chance.

    A recent OECD study showed that financial literacy among young people is woefully lacking: In 13 countries and economies, one in seven students are unable to make simple decisions about everyday spending.

    Daryl Bernstein, an entrepreneur in Santa Barbara, California, in the US and the author of Better Than a Lemonade Stand!: Small Business Ideas for Kids, said childhood is the right time to develop business skills. The 38-year-old wrote the book when he was 15. There are some advantages to dabbling in entrepreneurial ideas as a child, he said.

    “You don’t have to quit your job, and you’ve got time on your hands,” Bernstein said. ”A lot of the people who have had huge successes when they were 20 to 25, like the (Mark) Zuckerbergs of this world, were honing their skills for 10 to 15 years prior to that.”

    Bernstein, who just sold a business that provides digital signatures, learned early on to look for a need and build something to meet that need. One need he filled: bringing newspapers from the curb up long driveways to doorsteps.

    “I would see my neighbours very grumpily at the crack of dawn in coats and boots stumbling down an icy driveway,” he said. People were willing to pay more for his service than the cost of the newspaper.

    Of course, there are other important principles children should learn about money. Here are three important ones.

    Principle 1: Work means money

    Peggy Rosser’s granddaughter, Hannah, has been receiving dimes for housework since she was three.

    “Hannah learned that work results in money, which results in the ability to purchase something,” said Rosser, who is an adviser at the Angelo State University Small Business Development Center in San Angelo Texas in the US.

    After Hannah, now age 5, fed 15 dimes into a soda machine to buy a cold drink, Hannah and her mother discussed another point — instant gratification versus the importance of saving. Even at young ages, children can understand these ideas, Rosser said.

    “Hannah’s little purse didn’t have as much money in it,” Rosser said, “She very quickly learned not to spend her money that way.”

    Principle 2: Bucketing

    A system known as “bucketing” among personal finance professionals can also serve as a simple concept for children.

    Where adults may invest into one account for a college fund and save into another for a vacation, children can separate their money just as easily, saving notes and coins into homemade marked cans or piggy banks with special slots for saving, spending, charity and more.

    The “saved” money might be for larger purchases like a new video game or a special doll, while the “spending” money is more like pocket change, used for impulse buys like candy bars or an inexpensive must-have trinket. Money marked for charity or “sharing” is, of course, for donating. Some special piggy banks have a fourth slot, meant for long-term savings for things such as university expenses or a special trip.

    “It’s all about making decisions. If you teach children at a young age to make good decisions, that will transcend into their adult years,” said Rosser, whose grandchildren have savings marked for big money, little money and share money.

    Author Barbara Kettl-Romer suggests that children learn to set priorities with their money by having full control over their allowance.

    Likewise, parents should understand their own relationship to money to better teach money management to their kids, said Kettl-Romer, who is based in Gunzach, in southern Germany.

    “Children are inclined to imitate their parents or to behave in the opposite way. So, if you spend your money on a whim, your kids may do the same,” said Kettl-Romer. “The kids of Scrooge-like parents may swear never to be as tight-fisted as their parents.” She urges parents to think about what money means to them and about their own spending and saving habits before teaching their children these principles.

    Kathleen Gurney, the chief executive of Financial Psychology Corporation and a psychologist specialised in money management, has described nine money personalities. Maybe you’re a “high roller” willing to take risk for the chance of achieving greater financial gain. Or perhaps you’re a “safety player” who prefers a cautious and arms-length approach to money management.

    “When parents discuss money matters with their children, they’ll be sharing values, as well as information,” Gurney said.

    Principle 3: Salesmanship

    Kettl-Romer’s book How To Teach Your Kids About Money was published in 2009 and was one of only a few books about parenting and money in German, she said.

    “In Germany, talking about money is taboo. Maybe it has to do with the Protestant Lutheran heritage or the worry that showing you have money will cause others to be envious,” she said.

    But Germany isn’t the only place where this is the case. While signs ofwealth might be obvious in places like the US and the Middle East, aggressively selling one’s self, one’s abilities or one’s wares is uncomfortable in many parts of the world.

    “In a country where engineers are idolised, aggressive selling is often seen as a form of manipulation,” said Kettl-Romer.

    Yet, learning to sell is a critical part of understanding how to grow money and becoming a business person. Here again, the flea market or a lemonade stand are a good place to learn salesmanship. In the end, sales conversations all have a similar anatomy.

    The seller must create a need (“Boy, it’s hot out here”), show the advantages of the product (“This lemonade is made with organic lemons”), answer any objections (“It’s less than the cost you’d pay at the cafe”) and close in for the sale (“Do you want small or large today?”).

    Rosser said: “With practice, a simple phrase can close the deal.”

    Whichever skills a child is learning, it is practice that will make a difference in the long term, says Bernstein.

    “My advice is to get out there and try things…People say it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert. Many leaders who we look up to in all walks of life… got their 10,000 hours of practice while they were still kids.”

    – Article from BBC Capital


  11. FORBES: Grad Student Invents Flying Ambulance Drone To Deliver Emergency Shocks

    October 30, 2014 by Radha

    – Image from Daily Mail UK

    My words: Is this possible? A drone that “saves” people from dying rather than killing them? Yes, it is – today. Alec Momont, a grad student from Netherlands invented a super drone which is going to be saving many lives. Read on….

    Drones have been used to kill people in war zones and to spy on people. Now a sharp young  graduate student in the Netherlands has come up with an innovative new use for drones that could one day help save thousands of lives.

    The American Heart Association estimates that about 360,000 people in the US had a cardiac arrest last year. Less than 10% survived. One major reason for their grim fate is that first responders with defibrillators that can shock the heart back to life can’t get to them in time. An alternative is automatic external defibrillators (AEDs). These have been growing in popularity and can be effective but they will never be everywhere they’re needed. (CPR– cardiopulmonary resuscitation– is not as effective as defibrillation.)

    Alec Momont, an engineering grad student at the Delft University of Technology, figured he could bring an AED to the victim using a drone. For his master’s degree project he built a prototype of an ambulance drone containing a defibrillator, a camera, and a microphone and speakers. He says the drone can cut the average travel time from 10 minutes to 1 minute.

    The drone can be controlled by a paramedic in response to an emergency call. Using GPS the operator flies the drone to the scene at 60 mph. At the scene the operator, using the drone’s cameras and speakers, gives personalized instructions to people near the victim. The defibrillator itself operates automatically once it is placed on the victim’s chest.

    The Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad reports that interest in the device has already been expressed by Dutch emergency services and the Dutch Heart Foundation. Momont said the device  needs further technical development. Legal issues also need to be resolved. But he hopes the device, which could cost less than $20,000, might be available in five years. Momont envisions additional uses for his ambulance drones, including the delivery of oxygen masks to people caught in fires.

    YouTube video produced by TU Delft dramatically presents a fictional case of a daughter calling emergency services after her father has a cardiac arrest.

    “Let”s use drones for a good purpose, let’s use drones to save lives,” Momont states in the video.

    – Article from Forbes