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You do what you are

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In the 2001 movie Along came a spider, there is an interesting quote by Morgan Freeman where he says "You do what you are" and then he further goes on to explain "I mean, you do what you are. You're born with a gift. If not that, then you get good at something along the way. And what you're good at, you don't take for granted. You don't betray it."  Ive always wondered while watching the numerous talent shows, how the hell do they do what they do or sometimes you see someone do something at work and they are just so amazing at it. Corelating this to what Morgan Freeman quoted in the movie, they are just born with that talent to do it or it is through sheer hard work that they learned to do it. I believe that you would put in the hard work only in two circumstances, one if you are in a perilous  situation and you have to learn to do it you don't have much of a choice or you love what you are doing and want to become the very best at it.  Finding o

Process for freelance permit and visa through RAKEZ

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I just went through process of getting a Freelance Permit and the visa to accompany that and I had to go through a few twists and turns as I learned about the process and accomplished getting my new visa. I did my freelance permit through Sajeev ( sajeev@fmaaudit.com  contact number +971 55 694 2016) at FMA Accounting & Auditing ( https://www.fmaaudit.com/ ) and they in turn used Al Baraka Typing Center to assist with the Immigration formalities. The whole process was done through RAKEZ ( https://rakez.com/en/ ) and almost all of the process was done online without the need to visit their office. It was smooth, logical and straightforward.  One of the limitations of the freelance permit is you cannot open a corporate bank account and you do not get any office space. If these 2 are not needed for those working from home in a gig economy this type of visa is perfect.  The total cost came to about AED 19,000 for a 2 year freelance permit + one visa for 2 years (including all payments

You are not a machine

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This is an interesting illustration that resonated with a discussion I was having recently about doing ones best. It perfectly encapsulates how you need to give your best each day, but the outcome is not always better than the last.  Some days the outcome is amazing, a high that you need to cherish and the next day as you give your best, the outcome might not be as good or better than the last. This should not lead to disappointment and dejection. It is to be expected as we are not machines, and we have our good days and our bad. We are also influenced heavily by the environment around us and circumstances each day that may not be in our control that will not allow the same.  Enjoying what one does makes it easier to give ones best. When you do not enjoy what you do it is hard to commit yourself to it whole heartedly. So find what is it you enjoy doing and then master that and deliver your best to get the best outcomes. 

Traits of an effective manager

Effective Managers are those that can leverage the strength of their teams and achieve their goals. But to be able to do this they need to posses and showcase some important traits  Effective Managers are not focused only on short term wins. They have a growth mindset that focuses on the goal.  They are able to work through the difficult challenges and keep their cool. The task of solving the problem or achieving the goal is never easy and they are able to weather the storms by keeping theirs and their teams focus.  An effective manager has a curious mind, they are always thinking of different possibilities on either solving problems or possible paths to achieve the goal. An effective manager is able to make tough decisions and they are ready to face the consequences. Quick informed decisions are important to be made in order to move the team forward.  A good and strong manager should be able to inspire their team. They are effective communicators that can communicate clearly and can a

Management Reporting

 All managers want reports at varying frequency or even ad hoc. The question is why do they need these reports? I feel it is for anyone of the below reasons  They need them for decision making. This is mostly analysis of the past data or a report predicting the future based on various options.  To give them an understanding on the working of a process. Are the key metrics being tracked, maintained within agreeable limits?  Understanding the overall status of the project, how is it progressing against a timeline are there any risks or bumps ahead that can derail the project.  Most of these reports are expected to be done by subordinates and most subordinates find it hard to build these reports and end up spending hours if not days doing these reports, taking them away from crucial operational issues that might require their attention.  When managers request for reports they need to carefully consider the following  Are the current systems and processes tracking the information necessary

Building Trust with your team

As a leader or manager ensuring that trust is built with the team is very important. Trust is what ensures the team works confidently and without any doubts.  Gaining the trust of the team is not easy and it takes time. It has to be gained through words and actions. The behaviors one must portray to build trust are  1. Being open and frank with your team As a leader one needs to be open with their team. Ive had managers that would give a deadline 2 days earlier than the actual deadline. The team is eventually going to find out and they will never believe in the manager again. A leader should be able to give bad news as easily as giving good news to the team. Its necessary to be open and frank with the team.  2. Showing courage in decision making A leader needs to have courage. Courage to make decisions, tell a team member when they are not performing well, tell stakeholders when things are not going to plan and so on. They should not shy away from the hard decisions and should be ready

Communicate, communicate, communicate

 As a community manager it is very important to ensure that a 2 way communication exists between the residents of the community and the Community Management Office. I am not so focused on the modes of communication such as the call center, email, social media, messengers, walk-in and so on, this post is more about the types of communication that needs to exist.  1. News and Information  Everyone likes to be aware and more so aware of the things happening around them. News of happenings in the community should be sent out in a timely manner. These can be periodic once a quarter for the planned news information (Newsletters) and information that cannot wait for a newsletter. Some examples of such information that needs to be sent out are  Utility service interruptions due to water tank cleaning, disruption in supply, breakdown, etc Pest control activities and which areas to avoid Community Events Road diversions due to works happening New rules/processes implemented  The information shou

Having heart in what you do

13 years ago I wrote about how " Having pride is key to quality " and this was written in the context of the software services industry. But having worked since then mostly in the services industry, I have come to realize more and more that one needs to have "heart" in their work to give their best.  What do I mean by putting your heart in what you do? It essentially means you care. You care about how the service is delivered, you care about the quality of the service, the timeliness of the delivery, you care about the happiness of the customer.  When one cares, automatically every detail is addressed. This ensures a high quality of delivery, the customer experience is great and you end up with a happy customer.  Happy customers end up giving you more business.  Putting ones heart in what they do, has to come from within each one. It cannot be thrust upon or commanded. So find the job that you want to put your "heart" into what you do and excel at what you

A case for ANPR Cameras in residential communities

 Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras are cameras that can capture and digitize vehicle number plates. We know them very well for the speed radars and that is how speeding fines are issued instantly. Ive known them to be around for 8-9 years but off late they have become affordable and more widely used with integration into resident portals.  Once ANPR cameras are installed at all the entry gates and exit gates, the most important thing to do is to integrate it into the resident portal, so that tenants and owners can register their vehicles into the system and also they can register their visitors into the system. This way every private vehicle entering into the community can be recognized.  What are the benefits of such a system? There is no recurring cost needed such as issuing RFID cards or tags. This reduces the cost of issuance of the access control.  Improves the safety and security as every vehicle that is entering and leaving the community is recorded and is there

Show Empathy, deliver better

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If one desires to be very good at what they do, they need to do their job with empathy. Empathy is defined as " the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. " Here are some situations When listening to an issue on the phone/in person/in an email put yourself in the customers shoes and think about how you would react if you had the same issue and what would you expect the response to be. That would help you formulate the right response to the customer. If a complaint has been outstanding for a long time and has not been resolved, imagine how would you feel if you had raised the same complaint with a service provider and it was not resolved for a long time. This will help you react and address the complaint a lot quicker, knowing that you would not have liked that to happen to you. You want to make the numbers look good for your manager and you end up closing a complaint even though it is not yet resolved. How would you feel if such a complaint you raised is clo

Customer Service in the Digital Age

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Customer Service is defined as " the assistance provided by a company to those people who buy or use its products or services. ". In the digital age we live in Customer Service goes much beyond how we greet and serve our customers. It also includes how and where we serve them. 1. Go to your customer No longer do customers have to come to you to buy a product or a service, technology enables us to go to the customer and provide them with the product or service they require. At the very least, its important to have a good technology platform both on the web and mobile where customers can get their service or product at the click of a button.  2. Provide services in a predictable standardized manner  From the colors used on the website/app to the navigation to each service, its important to be standardized and at the same time the company needs to be very predictable in how the service is delivered. This is where automation plays a big part, reducing human intervention in the pr

Communicate like a leader

In the last post I was looking at why is it important that leaders have good communication skills. But what do I mean when I talk about communication skills, does it mean just the fact that I can write a good grammatically correct email or can talk the fluently and clearly? Its far from that, yes those skill are important but leaders communicate differently, they have some additional skills that make them so effective. 1. Trust and Belief When leaders communicates, they communicate so that the team trusts and believes in what they are saying. It is the foundation on which all teams are built. If at any point of time trust of belief in the leader is lost, the team is lost. So when a leader communicates he should build the confidence of the team to believe in what he is saying and he should stand by his word.  2. Know your team  However big the team might be, leaders take the trouble to know and empathize with individuals in their team. They know how to engage each and everyone in their

Why leaders should have good communication skills?

We all start our careers in the junior levels and then work our way up the corporate ladder. As you rise up in the hierarchy it is very important to have good communication skills and to keep improving them, this includes both oral and written communication skills. Here are some of my thoughts on why communication skills important Leaders need to inspire  The team is going through a difficult phase, could be tough deadlines, things not working according to plan, unexpected roadblocks and so on. It is at this time you see leaders stepping in and inspiring a team to march on, to continue to strive forward and overcome this tough period. A leader should be able to raise the morale of the team and to remind them that they are capable of overcoming all challenges. This is done by communicating with the team effectively and inspirationally.  Leaders need to show vision  Leaders should always understand the bigger picture. They should be able to communicate this bigger picture to the team. Th