Monday, November 29, 2010


Paul Summerville, a visiting Associate Professor of History from the United States who has been in the country for six months said it is appalling and ahistorical to see a bunch of politicians who want to rule a complex and dynamic nation like Nigeria not having a clue on how they intend to address fundamental issues that are at the core of the unity of the country.

“I am yet to see the aspirant that has told Nigerians how much the country makes from crude oil sale daily, monthly, quarterly and yearly; how he intend to move Nigeria forward when close to 70 percent of the annual budget is spent on recurrent expenditure and how he hope to use the remaining 30 percent or less to ‘make Nigeria great’ again.

These are the fundamental issues that Nigerians should impress on their leaders to explain.” Summerville added.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Rauf Aregbesola

The Court of Appeal in Ibadan has finally decided the case between Action Congress candidate and former Lagos State commissioner, Rauf Aregbesola as the legitimate winner of the last bgubernational elections 3 years after the elections held. It will be remembered that the Federal High Court had dimissed his case.

Mr. Aregbesola is now the governor of the state and People’s Democractic Party candidate Olagunsonye Oyinlola has been removed

Monday, November 22, 2010

Investment Club: Vehicle for Wealth Creation

Investment Club: Vehicle for Wealth Creation

We all aspire to be rich and retire comfortably someday. What are you doing about this?
In addition to having personal savings and investment or registering with an Asset manager or Pension Funds Administrator, I will suggest that you form an investment club with likeminded people. The beauty of an investment club is that it helps you to be disciplined enough to save and invest consistently.

An investment club is a group of people( 5 or more) who pool resources together on a regular basis ; preferably monthly to save and invest. It is similar to a Cooperative society but here you save to invest for the long term i.e. 10 years and above. The club may allow members contribute an equal amount of money monthly (e.g. N5,000) or different amount in multiples of the minimum monthly contribution permissible for ease of valuation.

Experience shows that if 20 people begin an investment club, by 2 years later only 50% or 10 of them will be left. So you may need to get on board more people than you need to make room for dropouts. However, you must be very careful and selective in your choice of members to ensure only people of like mind are invited. You must also ensure you have some members with useful skills and or experience. E.g If possible, it is advisable to have a lawyer as a member to provide legal advice and guidance. It is also advisable to have someone with accounting or book keeping skills to ensure all the financial records of the club are properly kept.

I advise that for the first year the club should just focus on savings, registration, exploring different business ideas/proposals and working out the blueprint.

An investment club should have executives i.e. chairman, vice chairman, treasurer, fin sec, investment director etc. members of the executive must meet at least once in a month hence the need to have sacrificial and passionate people on board. To help members remit payment faithfully, it is advisable post dated cheques are collected on an annual basis. This enforces discipline and reduces the chance of default in contribution.

The investment club should have an investment plan and stick to it.

An example of an Investment Plan

Total Contribution = 100%
Capital Market (Preferably via a well managed mutual fund ) =20%
Money Market (Savings for opportunities) =20%
Investment in real business (Education; Agriculture; Commerce etc) = 50%
Soft loans to members = 10%

The club should have a bye law or constitution guiding members conduct, signing up of new members, exit procedure e.t.c. Members must be fully involved and engaged. Beyond prompt contribution of money, members must be willing to contribute their ideas and time to the club for her to be able to realize its objective. Knowledge sharing is critical. Fines might be introduced to compel members to attend meetings.

An investment club could serve as a safety net for members in times of dire emergencies, a loss of job etc. it also provides a platform for horning entrepreneurial skills. It is good to allow members who bring up ideas to champion its implementation. Members who offer to manage a business idea should be given an incentive E.g 10% of the profit to serve as a compensation for productivity and motivation for success.

Business set up by an investment club has a high rate of survival. It is not easy for a group to give up. The club also serves as a board of director for businesses set up which encourages good governance; accountability and best practices. This is something that most SMES lack and is partly responsible for their high rate of failure. Two good heads are always better than one.

Oluyemi Adeosun is an executive member in 2 investment clubs. He has 6 years cumulative experience in Investment Club Management. He is an Investment Club Consultant.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Kind Or Clever by Jeff Bezos founder of AMAZON (Princeton Commencement Address 2010)

As a kid, I spent my summers with my grandparents on their ranch in Texas. I helped fix windmills, vaccinate cattle, and do other chores. We also watched soap operas every afternoon, especially “Days of our Lives.” My grandparents belonged to a Caravan Club, a group of Airstream trailer owners who travel together around the U.S. and Canada. And every few summers, we’d join the caravan. We’d hitch up the Airstream trailer to my grandfather’s car, and off we’d go, in a line with 300 other Airstream adventurers. I loved and worshipped my grandparents and I really looked forward to these trips. On one particular trip, I was about 10 years old. I was rolling around in the big bench seat in the back of the car. My grandfather was driving. And my grandmother had the passenger seat. She smoked throughout these trips, and I hated the smell.

At that age, I’d take any excuse to make estimates and do minor arithmetic. I’d calculate our gas mileage — figure out useless statistics on things like grocery spending. I’d been hearing an ad campaign about smoking. I can’t remember the details, but basically the ad said, every puff of a cigarette takes some number of minutes off of your life: I think it might have been two minutes per puff. At any rate, I decided to do the math for my grandmother. I estimated the number of cigarettes per days, estimated the number of puffs per cigarette and so on. When I was satisfied that I’d come up with a reasonable number, I poked my head into the front of the car, tapped my grandmother on the shoulder, and proudly proclaimed, “At two minutes per puff, you’ve taken nine years off your life!”

I have a vivid memory of what happened, and it was not what I expected. I expected to be applauded for my cleverness and arithmetic skills. “Jeff, you’re so smart. You had to have made some tricky estimates, figure out the number of minutes in a year and do some division.” That’s not what happened. Instead, my grandmother burst into tears. I sat in the backseat and did not know what to do. While my grandmother sat crying, my grandfather, who had been driving in silence, pulled over onto the shoulder of the highway. He got out of the car and came around and opened my door and waited for me to follow. Was I in trouble? My grandfather was a highly intelligent, quiet man. He had never said a harsh word to me, and maybe this was to be the first time? Or maybe he would ask that I get back in the car and apologize to my grandmother. I had no experience in this realm with my grandparents and no way to gauge what the consequences might be. We stopped beside the trailer. My grandfather looked at me, and after a bit of silence, he gently and calmly said, “Jeff, one day you’ll understand that it’s harder to be kind than clever.”

What I want to talk to you about today is the difference between gifts and choices. Cleverness is a gift, kindness is a choice. Gifts are easy — they’re given after all. Choices can be hard. You can seduce yourself with your gifts if you’re not careful, and if you do, it’ll probably be to the detriment of your choices.
This is a group with many gifts. I’m sure one of your gifts is the gift of a smart and capable brain. I’m confident that’s the case because admission is competitive and if there weren’t some signs that you’re clever, the dean of admission wouldn’t have let you in.

Your smarts will come in handy because you will travel in a land of marvels. We humans — plodding as we are — will astonish ourselves. We’ll invent ways to generate clean energy and a lot of it. Atom by atom, we’ll assemble tiny machines that will enter cell walls and make repairs. This month comes the extraordinary but also inevitable news that we’ve synthesized life. In the coming years, we’ll not only synthesize it, but we’ll engineer it to specifications. I believe you’ll even see us understand the human brain. Jules Verne, Mark Twain, Galileo, Newton — all the curious from the ages would have wanted to be alive most of all right now. As a civilization, we will have so many gifts, just as you as individuals have so many individual gifts as you sit before me.

How will you use these gifts? And will you take pride in your gifts or pride in your choices?
I got the idea to start Amazon 16 years ago. I came across the fact that Web usage was growing at 2,300 percent per year. I’d never seen or heard of anything that grew that fast, and the idea of building an online bookstore with millions of titles — something that simply couldn’t exist in the physical world — was very exciting to me. I had just turned 30 years old, and I’d been married for a year. I told my wife MacKenzie that I wanted to quit my job and go do this crazy thing that probably wouldn’t work since most startups don’t, and I wasn’t sure what would happen after that. MacKenzie (also a Princeton grad and sitting here in the second row) told me I should go for it. As a young boy, I’d been a garage inventor. I’d invented an automatic gate closer out of cement-filled tires, a solar cooker that didn’t work very well out of an umbrella and tinfoil, baking-pan alarms to entrap my siblings. I’d always wanted to be an inventor, and she wanted me to follow my passion.

I was working at a financial firm in New York City with a bunch of very smart people, and I had a brilliant boss that I much admired. I went to my boss and told him I wanted to start a company selling books on the Internet. He took me on a long walk in Central Park, listened carefully to me, and finally said, “That sounds like a really good idea, but it would be an even better idea for someone who didn’t already have a good job.” That logic made some sense to me, and he convinced me to think about it for 48 hours before making a final decision. Seen in that light, it really was a difficult choice, but ultimately, I decided I had to give it a shot. I didn’t think I’d regret trying and failing. And I suspected I would always be haunted by a decision to not try at all. After much consideration, I took the less safe path to follow my passion, and I’m proud of that choice.
Tomorrow, in a very real sense, your life — the life you author from scratch on your own — begins.
How will you use your gifts? What choices will you make?
Will inertia be your guide, or will you follow your passions?
Will you follow dogma, or will you be original?
Will you choose a life of ease, or a life of service and adventure?
Will you wilt under criticism, or will you follow your convictions?
Will you bluff it out when you’re wrong, or will you apologize?
Will you guard your heart against rejection, or will you act when you fall in love?
Will you play it safe, or will you be a little bit swashbuckling?
When it’s tough, will you give up, or will you be relentless?
Will you be a cynic, or will you be a builder?
Will you be clever at the expense of others, or will you be kind?

I will hazard a prediction. When you are 80 years old, and in a quiet moment of reflection narrating for only yourself the most personal version of your life story, the telling that will be most compact and meaningful will be the series of choices you have made. In the end, we are our choices. Build yourself a great story. Thank you and good luck!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Interview with the Nigerian Tribune on Budgeting

1 Can we meet you?

Oluyemi Adeosun, a native of Ilesa, Osun State is a graduate of Economics from the University of Ilorin. I have a Masters Degree in Economics from the University of Lagos and recently concluded my MBA programme from the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. I am a member of of the Project Management Institute,USA and Toastmasters International. My work experience cuts across telecommunications, Consulting and, broadcasting. I am an author, broadcaster and public speaker and I blog on Presently, i produce and present motivational programme twice weekly on Gold FM 95.5 Ilesha Osun State (5:55am Mondays & Wednesdays) and once weekly in Yoruba language on Amuludun FM 99.1 in Ibadan (8:30am every Monday) for an NGO (Young and Excellent Club) as part of my contribution to adding sustainable value to the society. I am very passionate about People management, Project management, Organizational development, Social entrepreneurship, Youth development and Good Governance

2. In your recent write-up, you talked about budgeting, what prompted this idea?

The recent global economic meltdown with its lingering effects which included loss of jobs, salary cuts amongst other things shook a lot of individuals; a lot are yet to recover from it. In the wake of the recession, it became obvious that people especially salary earners /workers survival depended a lot on how much savings they had. You can’t save if you do not make financial arrangements to do so.
Economies flow in a cycle from prosperity to recession (or poverty) and vice versa. Budgeting helps you to navigate through the changing season smoothly. Budgeting isn’t a gift rather it is an art that has to be learnt that is why it is referred to as “the art of spending wisely”. A money plan is called a budget and it is crucial to get us to our desired financial goals. It is a time tested and trusted method of enhancing the ability to live within ones means. Without a plan we will drift without direction and end up marooned on a distant financial reef.
A good budgeting plan helps to guide ones financial path as it helps to set up guidelines for reaching our goals. The import of this is that you will be able to control your money and not your money controlling you. This mindset prompted the need to encourage people in that very important aspect of life which a lot of people neglect-art of budgeting.

3 Why do you think Nigerians have problems with budgeting and savings?

There is an African Proverb that “Those who don’t have to watch their spending got theirs by watching it” How much you make is not as important has how you spend it. I have been opportuned to come across people who earn approximately the same income but have different standard of living five years down the line. I know we live in a consumer-driven economy and broad array of products and services are available in the market. I am also aware that it is sometimes difficult to resist the temptation (“of buy me now”) of spending money through Impulse buying and spending. You have to be an educated consumer i.e. someone who knows how, why, and when to spend money. A budget should never be a financial starvation diet. That won’t work for the long haul. Make reasonable allocations for food, clothing, shelter, utilities and insurance and set aside a reasonable amount for entertainment and the occasional luxury item. Savings should always come first before any spending. A lot of people have found themselves in debt and deep financial mess today because they fail to budget and also do not live within their means. Most often than not, the cause of Nigerians having problems in budgeting and savings is impulse spending and engaging in mundane things of this world. We want to attend every party, we want to buy every aso-ebi, every jewelries brought to us without factoring which is really important. There is a need to prioritize and save for the rainy day.
Managing money through budgeting is a proven method of becoming a prudent consumer. There are a whole lot of techniques out there that could be utilized to make the best (use) of your money; they range from the mundane to the sophisticated – it all boils down to how we apply how heart to what is needful.

4 What do you think are the basic steps or simple tips to having good budgeting?

Draw up a budget, stick to it, be prepared to make adjustments in your lifestyle or spending habits and pay yourself first by saving regularly.
Save through payroll deduction and take advantage of any employer-sponsored savings plan – deferred compensation, retirement accounts, etc. Use a piggy bank to keep your loose change.
Keep an emergency fund and save any bonus income you earn. Consider whether it is worthwhile to have one or two incomes, if you have childcare expenses.
Protect your vital assets adequately; home, cars, personal belongings, business, life health etc. – “a stitch in time saves nine”. Carry only one health insurance plan for your family and save on premium payments.
Car pool when and if possible and use public transportation.
Learn to do basic repairs or fix simple things in your home, such as decorating, painting, changing light bulbs, etc. the savings would amaze you – check out major home improvement outlets for class schedules.
Keep lights off when you are not in a room, buy long-lasting energy saving bulbs and appliances – don’t be “fuelish”.
Conserve and re-circle every material that you can. Use glass instead of paper cups.
Pack your own lunch as often as possible and cut down on meals away from home. Buy in bulk if discounts are offered. Minimize on snacks or "junk food”.
To stay healthy, develop good health habits and consider the cost of addictions. Learn to take temperature, pulse and respiration. Learn about symptoms of common diseases to determine whether to see a doctor or not.
Learn to give sensibly - give of your time and assets or merchandise when possible instead of always giving cash. It’s not compulsory you buy the ‘aso ebi’ of every dick, tom and harry. Learn to say no to what you can’t afford and don’t need. Set reasonable amounts for children's allowances and encourage them to save – let prudence be a family habit early enough. Watch your credit limit.

Prudent Man-Prototype Budget
Total Income – (100%)
Savings- (10%)
CHARITY/Giving – (10%)
Transportation- (10%)
Housing- (10%)
Sustenance- (30%)
Investment - (20%)
Continuous education- (10%)

5 How can somebody earning, for example, N20,000 budget and save in the present Nigerian environment?

First and foremost (the act of saving) savings is a mindset. If you believe you can save, then you will. 20,000 naira is not a lot of money; however, it is not too small either to save out of to save out of. That is why I recommend that people should use percentage to allocate their income whatever the figure.
It is best to save first and spend what you have left and not the other way round. Proper Planning will give one financial rest. It takes a lot of creativity and self-denial or delayed gratification to live within ones income. I know quite a number of people who earn less than 20,000 naira and yet drink many bottles of alcohol on a daily basis. People do things that are priority to them. Once any demand is more than the budgeted amount for that sector my advice is that the demand should be delayed till when it can be met or out rightly forfeited. There's a saying that "you can't help but think about the future because you are going to spend the rest of your life there".

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Paradox of the Overaged Underage

I wrote this piece while watching the Falconets of Nigeria play against the USA team.

In spite of how interesting the match was, my mind kept wandering back to the last world cup and the dismal performance of the Green Eagles (super????).

At the senior world cup where there are no age restrictions; teams like Germany, Ghana etc came with teams with an average age ranging between 22-24. Nigeria came with a team with an average age of 27-29 years. Recent developments tend to show that it takes more than old age / experience to win or perform well in international tournaments. It also requires youthfulness and strength

At age-grade competitions, some countries are world famous for using “overage” players. These countries usually perform excellently at such competitions using “experienced players”. The irony of it is that when these players are supposed to blossom and mature with time in subsequent senior tournaments, the players become tired-legs, “expired” and no longer effective.

The irony is that these same countries bring tired-legs to tournaments with no age restrictions and perform woefully. Perhaps the football leadership of these countries have forgotten that the purpose the age group competition is to identify talents early and encourage football development. The objective of the tournament to member countries should not be primarily to win but ensure that talents are discovered and nurtured to maturity over some periods of time. While it is desirable to win under 17 and under 21 competitions, the method should not be through the use of overage players but through proper preparation and having under 13, 15 clinics and competitions to discover talents which abound in the Nation.

In 1989, the great Pele predicted that “Uncle Godwin Okpara” would become one of the best players in the world by virtue of what he displayed on the pitch. Luis Figo played in that same competition but nothing was said of him, but you and I know Figo became a shining star before he retired from active football. One commentator said regarding Mikel Obi in 2005, “this ‘boy’ plays with a charisma of an experienced and exposed player. He holds the ball and makes excellent passes”. Mikel and Taiwo eventually became 2nd and 3rd best players of the tournament behind Lionel Merci. Today, five (5) years after, Merci is world best. Our dear brothers are probably African or Nigerian best (sorry if I hurt you).

All major towns and cities should by now have a secondary school that focuses on football and athletics generally. Regular competitions should be organized between them at State and National levels under the watchful eyes of the national team coaches. I sincerely hope that a “good” coach will be hired for the national team with a 4-year term contract. Quality friendly matches should also be organized for eagles i.e. against Germany, Holland, Argentina, Spain etc as against poorly rated teams to expose the real weakness and strength of our teams.

I look forward to seeing the green eagles “super” again.

Written by Oluyemi Adeosun

Friday, July 23, 2010

Focusing on the Fundamentals

Written by TM Oluyemi Adeosun

We need a leader who we can identify with not on the basis of tribe, tongue, political party and religious affiliation but on his the capacity to understand the fundamental challenges we are facing as a people/nation, identify the strengths and numerous potentials within the nation as a result generate and implement ideas that could harness these potentials to deliver our nation from the doldrums of poverty and ineptness/ineptitude.

I am bored with newspaper report about zoning, northern, eastern or minority agenda. My challenge is not and will never be where the president comes from but lack of electricity, infrastructural decay, monolithic economy, educational decadence, the beast called corruption etc

Earlier in this administration, we had a manifesto built on 7-point Agenda covering all basic and essential aspects of the Nigerian lives – according to the ruling party. (you could mention the 7 points). But one thing that was lost amidst the propaganda and braggadocio was the absence accountability and a measuring scale what has been done from day one the campaign started. Now, 7-point agenda seems dead or out rightly dead. Imagine if each point were taken as a project with milestones and deadlines! Imagine if Minister of Power had a mandate to deliver 1000Mega Watt as his KPI! Imagine if Minister of Education need to ensure less failure in National exams before he gets his next project approved. Imagine if the Minister of Labour was appraised on the number of jobs created in three (3) months! Imagine what I am imagining!

It has been recommended that we perhaps should focus on one agenda and see it to a logical conclusion i.e. electricity. If an administration can make uninterrupted electricity available to all Nigerians, we can name all transformers after the president as a memorial. Providing this critical resource will have a multiplier effect on all aspect of the socio-economic milieu. SMEs will thrive and more jobs will be created. In our individual lives, I believe this is one step we can take now and likewise have an overwhelming impact on our entire lives.

Our multifaceted developmental problems may appear to require multi-dimensional strategy to face it headlong. In each sector, we can identify one project that will provide succor on multiple fronts to the citizenry of this great nation.

I wish the government or minister of transport can select the railway sub sector and connect the hinterland with the cities. I.e. connect Lagos to all the major towns in the southwest i.e. Ibadan, Abeokuta, Ijebu-ode,Sagamu with high speed train systems. This will mean you don’t have to live in Lagos to work in Lagos (population distribution). This will result to the over hiked price of rents in Lagos to fall to realistic levels (reduced housing problem). Jobs will be created for train drivers and officers (employment generation). Income will be generated by the train operators. What interest me the most is that our roads will last longer since their will be less traffic on the road (traffic decongestion and cost savings). Heavy duty goods will be moved more through the rails than the roads.

The above illustration is simple and anybody can think about it. The big question is will someone implement it?

We need a leader with the capacity to think and deploy solutions using native intelligence and indigenous personnel. To some extent Lagos has shown us what a strong will can do. We need a thinking President, 36 thinking Governors and 774 thinking Local government Chairmen. (108 Senators, 3XX Reps, XYZ Commissioners, XYZ Councilors) We must embrace the process of beneficiation i.e. Add value to the raw materials before exporting them. We are well endowed we just need to put on our thinking cap, implement and start prospering.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


by Oluyemi Adeosun

A Spanish proverb says “take what you want” Said God, “and pay for it. Andrew Jackson added that “you must pay the price if you wish to secure the blessing. There is a price (sacrifice, money) to be paid for the prize (reward, fulfillment).

When you see a successful man you see someone who has gone through a lot. The university professor has burnt the midnight candle. He has written many academic journals. He has come out a lot of research. The four star army general has many stars yet he has many scars, some of my colleagues have died, he has lost dear ones, he has been through hell and high waters. A Yoruba adage says that the person who will drink the water in the coconut will not look at the mouth of the axe”.

That you are going through some challenges and hard times right now is an indication that you are still on track, you are making progress. People may pity you right now. I am sure that in the days ahead they will envy you. You may be in obscurity right now but I see you coming into limelight.

When I see people with outstanding results and accomplishment, I don’t attribute it to luck or good fortune. I ask them what they have gone through prior this success. In men’s stories I see the principles birthed the glory. I don’t ask successful people for money rather I ask them for insights and wisdom.

Ask yourself what do you need to do right now to move to the next level? Do you need to further your education? Do a certification? Learn a trade or craft? Drop a habit that is affecting your health or progress? Do you need to relocate? Read more in your field endeavour.

If you have peace about it, the go ahead with your personal development plan. Contact the trade training centre school for the admission requirements. Do your research, Google it on the internet make enquiries from the right sources.

Charles Dubois said “the important thing is this! To be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become”. Perhaps you are enjoying some measure of success right now…….. don’t rest on your oars. What you have right now is child’s play compared to what you have ahead.

Reach out to your dream.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Happiness is a choice you need to make on a daily basis. “You need to learn to be happy by nature, because you will seldom have the chance to be happy by circumstance” lavetta Wegman. Be honest with yourself………..what does happiness mean to you……..for me am happy when I make life more meaningful to others, when I provide sustainable help to people’s need. You have to be specific. Jane Wagner said”All my life I always wanted to be somebody, now I see that I should have been more specific”. Don’t be vague or generic. Those who succeed in life know what they want and go for it.
Yes go for what you want the race is not to the swift but to those who keep on running. Sometimes what you want may seem impossible Doug Larson said “some of the world’s greatest feats were accomplished by people not swift enough to know they were impossible”.
You can have what you want. The difference between successful and unsuccessful people is how they developed their minds and applied knowledge in their day to day activities. Somebody said “there are no third world countries we only have third world minds.
Make what you want your focus keep your priorities right. Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. said “the greatest thing in this world is not to much where we are, but in which direction we are moving”.
“Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams, think not about your frustration but about your unfulfilled potential” Pope John Paul III Apostle Paul said “I press towards the mark”. Reach out to your dreams with unwavering commitment. John Collidge said “persistence and determination alone are omnipotent; the slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race”.
No matter what disappointment you have experienced in the recent past…. I charge you to move on. Why wait here and die? Move on to the next level.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

10 Ways to Wow Your Boss

1. Decisions: If you do not want a 'no' or procrastination, give him/her a hand
Your boss has other subordinates, other decisions to make. Thus, her (for simplicity, we use 'her' from now on in this article) best bet, if she is pressed for a decision, will be to say no. No, it is too risky; no, we do not have enough evidence; no, it is the wrong timing; no, it is off strategy, et cetera.
• To avoid the 'no' that will ruin your and your team's enthusiasm, give her a hand.

Remind her of where you left it last time you met;
• Remind her of the objective rather than rushing to the 'what' and 'how';
• Remind her of past problems encountered because a deci not made;
• Quickly summarize the options considered, your criteria for selecting one option -- the one you are presenting;
• Tell her what you expect from her: simply to inform, to decide jointly, to share the risk, to add one criterion, to re-examine the option;
• Focus on the points where you need her help;
• Be prepared with facts/data for potential disagreements. Help her out with graphics and visuals so that the situation is grasped faster;
• After your meeting, summarize for her the decision in writing to make sure of the understanding;
• And finally, once a decision has been made, your way, her way or no way, do not criticize it externally. You have become the best defender; the best ambassador of what was decided.

2. Manage her time: You may represent only 1% of her problems, don't make it as if it is 100%.
Yes, you have preoccupations, problems to solve and issues to tackle. However, while your time is entirely devoted to them, do not expect your boss's time to be also.
• The more simple the problem or issue at hand is, the less time you should have her spend on it: prepare, summarize, and synthesize information and options. Do not confuse your more frequent problems with the most important ones.
• Book her for several meetings in advance. Nothing is more frustrating than to have to wait days, weeks or months for that extra new meeting needed in order to finalize a decision or a project.

3. An opinion: If you ask for her opinion, she will always have one.
Rare are the bosses who, when asked for their advice or their decision, will use the psychological ping-pong approach of retuning the question to the person who asked.
And their opinion may not always be that of a genius or a visionary. However, once given, the opinion becomes a constraint: was it an order? So, if you don't want your boss's opinion to thwart your achievements, to slow the speed of decision-making, or cloud the viewpoint, then don't ask for it. Best of all, don't ask if you don't need her opinion.
• Choose the right moment to avoid procrastination: not only save her time by focusing on big issues, but choose the right moment to do so. If you present an issue at the wrong moment, the chances are she will procrastinate.
• Prepare for your meeting: first because the advantage is to the one who is prepared, second because the preparation helps you reduce the time taken to come to the central issue.
• Show the forest before the trees in a discussion: if you want to avoid spending a lot of time on going back to basics before she is at full speed with you, start with the basics yourself. Remind her of the objective, where you stand today, and what you want her opinion on.

4. Information: It is not data.
Turn grapes into wine: you are supposed to analyze the results of a market survey, and not be the mailman who passes the thick document full of statistics to your boss. So be selective; be visual; group the data; bring out what is essential. Data overload creates stress, which in turn can create denial, rejection, and numbness. As a manager, you are paid to collect the grapes (data), and turn them into wine, i.e. useful information.
• Don't give her only the bad news: give her also the good news. If you keep bringing only bad news, little by little you become the bad news yourself. Don't minimize good news, because you want to focus on the problems. By doing that you contribute to creating a bad atmosphere.
• Make sure she does not get the information from others too often: sometimes by being shy about what we should give or because we think it is not relevant, we don't feed our boss with key elements. However, other people could do it before you. And then the hassle starts. "I heard that…", "Why didn't you tell me that…"
• And then you need to justify yourself; you may need to modify incorrect information. The trade off is between too little information leading to starvation, frustration, and/or restlessness vs too much information leading to overload.
• Round off: what helps more to give sense to an amount or a size: 886,262.11 or 890K? What makes the decision-making process faster: 79.27% vs 21.73% or simply 80% vs 20%. Look back at all the tables you sent to your boss in the last twelve months.
• Participate in and contribute to her informal network: every manager, hopefully, does not rely solely for managing on formal information given in internal documents and reports. Some people use internal informal networks. Some others also have an informal outside network of experts, friends, business connections that help them shape their vision of the world and how to act. You have yours; your boss has too. Why not volunteer part of yours, so that you do not always have to react and be defensive about information fed by people you do not necessarily think are the best sources?

5. Problems: Don't just come with problems, come also with solutions.
Good bosses hate two kinds of behavior. The courtesan who always comes to tell you how great you are and the pyromaniac/fireman who comes to tell you "There is a huge problem" and then says "but don't worry, I will solve it!"
There is also a third kind, the monkey transferor. She has a problem and she puts it on your shoulders, rather than bringing a solution or at least some options.
Problems usually have several aspects. It is usually a gap between an objective and the result; there are options to close the gap; there is a choice of one option to be made; key tasks, dates, people and resources needed must be defined.
On which of those steps in problem solving do you want your boss's input? Just be clear on what input you want rather than come with the stressful -- "I have a problem…" and throw the monkey.

6. Assumptions: Do not assume she knows as much as you do, but assume she can understand; so educate her. Please help, you are the expert. You spend all of your time and that of your team on the issue. You live with data, pressure points and levers; your boss does not. She does not know more than you do.
Most senior executives are even dangerous when they get involved in making micro-decisions, as their point of reference is often not the current one but rather the situation they knew when they were junior managers.
If you need her perspective, it is because it is broader; she has a better sense for inter-relationships with other parts of the organisation. You have two options.
• You inundate her with technical stuff she does not understand, hoping that the amount of technical jargon will knock her down and force her to agree with you. It may work, but it may become a barrier in communication leading to lack of trust.
• You educate him by simplifying, using easy to understand language, feeding him with articles, examples, best practices, summaries that help him see a perspective. By creating understanding, you relieve tensions; create trust that can lead to better decision-making.

7. Delegations: Constantly test the waters.
It is not always easy to define ex ante what is delegated to a person. Some companies prefer to use the principle of subsidiary rather than the principle of delegation: the principle of subsidiary stipulates that you can do everything except the following list, whereas in the principle of delegation you stipulate, "you cannot do anything except…"
Whichever is used, there will always be some doubt whether you have or do not have the delegation. You have two options: either you play it safe by always asking your boss's opinion. This can lead to paralysis, bottlenecks and your own demise, as your boss will think you are unable to take responsibility.
Or you assume too much, take decisions and learn after the fact that it was not yours to decide. In between, there is the 'test the waters' strategy especially for things or areas, domains or steps that are unprecedented.

8. Promises: Do not promise what you cannot deliver, and avoid surprises, trust is at stake.
Trust does not develop overnight and depends a lot on the predictability of the other person: what she says and does, how often she is living up to or not living up to her statements. In the same way, you will not fully trust your boss if she changes her mind too often or says things contrary to what you were told the last time.
You also want to avoid being seen as unreliable by not delivering on what you promise or surprising her with bad news without forewarning.
Do not promise dates for finishing projects you cannot handle. If you see that too much is asked of you, sit down and re-discuss priorities before proceeding, rather than becoming yourself a bottleneck. Involve your boss in the process, so it becomes a common priority.
Avoid bad surprises. If your job is to be in charge of a particular area, then it is also to be in charge of bad results and improving them.
Involve your boss in discussing and evaluating the risks, agreeing on key lead indicators that you will both share, so that neither you nor he will be surprised. For instance, whereas sales are not a good lead indicator, future orders or bookings can be. Cash in the bank is not, whereas good cash flow three months in advance is.

9. Differences: Manage differences in culture.
Sometimes at IMD we use a questionnaire called the Power Map to help participants identify their own culture (i.e. values they cherish, leading to certain behaviors), to identify other executives' profiles and discuss consequences on communication and leadership in a team.
To simplify, the four main types of profiles that our survey identified are:
• People who like to 'control things' and introduce processes, develop more the 'now';
• People who are more concerned with people, develop more the impact on people;
• People who are more concerned with getting things done, start with key actions;
• People who are more concerned with ideas, frame proposals in concepts.
Of course, in managing your boss you should know her personal inclination, as well as your personal bias. If you are process oriented, you will tend to present issues in a systematic and orderly fashion, with pros and cons, chronology of tasks, etc.
If your boss is the action type, she could be bored. So in that case an executive summary, emphasizing the key actions and results would be a handy starting point.

10. Trust: Don't be sloppy in your documentation. It undermines trust.
By making the assumption that she will check what we write or say anyway, and that she will make changes, we sometimes tend to be sloppy in our writing. Tables are not finished, text is not re-read, places we are going to are not visited beforehand, spelling is not checked, and information is missing...
By not finalizing your facts, arguments, memos, spelling, supporting documents, etc., you can be sure some things will get changed, mistakes corrected. And soon you will be asked to show more facts and figures, and you will see more changes, more amendments. Soon all the delegation you had will be gone.
Better work between a boss and his subordinate is not just a matter of leadership. It also has to do with boss 'management', which can stimulate better performance, faster decision making and accomplishment of more … by both parties.