"Help" - a good word to use at work

"Help" is useful when delegating responsibility and "thanks" keeps motivation levels high.

How do you feel when someone asks you for help? It makes you feel important and needed, doesn't it? That's what makes "help" such a powerful magic word. 

However, if you need help or someone offers you help, you have to work with that person in a specific way. Say you ask for help with writing some code, for example, and the person who volunteers is a beginner. Should you let them give it a go?

Yes. You never know what beginners might come up with. He might develop some innovative new way of getting the program right. And, if he fails, he'll learn from it and be honored that you let him try. Either way, he'll become a happier and more satisfied employee. 

The last magic word is "thanks." "Thanks" is important in business: businesses need to thank their customers and bosses need to thank their employees. "Thanks" keeps customers happy and makes employees feel more valued and motivated.

An employee always feels more motivated to stay at a job if they see value in it. So employees should feel accomplished and proud when they finish a project or their boss gives them praise. If they don't feel appreciated, they might not stick around. 

Furthermore, the more often you repeat the same task, the less satisfying it is. When you get used to doing something, it doesn't feel rewarding anymore and your boss will probably stop praising you for it. 

So keep your employees happy by showing appreciation for all they do. Don't forget – your business couldn't exist without them! You can start by simply smiling more often. Aim to create a thanks-culture in your company, where everyone's contribution is recognized and valued.

Calm down and keep things small, aim to be happy not right

If you're determined to always be right, you'll destroy your relationships and happiness.

Most people want to look important, so they push themselves to do things that'll be well perceived. We create a lot of problems for ourselves when we do this. It's natural to want to be in the spotlight. We want to speak our minds and impress people. Unfortunately, this can be very harmful to our relationships.

When we interrupt people or fail to listen to them respectfully, we make them nervous or irritable. Instead, try to let go of your ego, be patient and let them finish. That can be difficult at times, but it'll certainly improve your interaction and help you work through any problems.

If you're determined to always be right, you'll alienate yourself from the people who really matter. So even if you feel the need to correct something a loved one says, just stay calm and let them keep speaking. This will create a much more relaxed atmosphere between the two of you.

We also tend to harbor resentment for anyone we've had an argument or misunderstanding with. When we do this, we turn small stuff into big stuff in our minds.

Don't hold on to your anger. It can lead you to turn a small argument with a friend into something big – like deciding to never talk to them again.

Why do we do this? Well, we tend to see forgiveness as a sign of weakness and insecurity. We subconsciously want to protect our images by giving up relationships with loved ones in hopes that they'll come back to us.

You can avoid this by simply letting go of your need to be right, and focusing on being happy instead.

The broad context - not just the operational details

Successful leaders are aware of the larger context in which they operate

Successful leaders lead with a focus on the future. To do this requires exploring the broader context in which their organization operates, as this enables them to identify opportunities for growth in the market.

For example, Steve Jobs took the brave step of reorganizing Apple's portfolio: rather than concentrating their efforts on many different products, Jobs decided that Apple should focus on just four computers – a desktop and a laptop, each for two markets: consumer and professional.

On the other hand, unadventurous leaders who remain rigid in their focus on exploiting existing products and technologies end up as victims of their own narrow vision. One of the best examples of this is the smartphone company BlackBerry.

By the mid-2000s, BlackBerry had become a favorite with corporate IT, but just five years later it lost 75 percent of its market value.

BlackBerry was slow to notice the burgeoning popularity of the iPhone and other touchscreen smartphones with which companies allowed their employees to connect to the corporate network. Also, the company overestimated the attraction of long battery life, failing to recognize that users were more than happy to sacrifice it for the use of a touchscreen.

BlackBerry is a classic example of what can happen to an organization with a rigid, narrow focus. Because the company trained its focus squarely on the existing, established technology rather than exploring for the next big thing, what was once an innovative company fell behind and couldn't keep up with the tech waves which followed.

To avoid being blindsided by the competition, leaders should devote much of their attention to exploring new opportunities for development.

Adopt a Total Addressable Problem model instead of TAM

Adopt a Total Addressable Problem model instead of TAM.

We need a different mind-set, which runs from top to bottom. This is the difference between the Total Addressable Market model and the Total Addressable Problem model.

Let's begin with the Total Addressable Market, or TAM, model. This framework has been used for decades – it's the main religion of the corporate world. 

Established companies are hardwired to use it. It addresses the problem of how big a market is, and how big a share of that market the business can reasonably expect to command. It works with what is knowable and battles competitors for a market share, modifying their existing products or services only.

Rather than prioritizing new customer pain points, they focus mostly on their own – like stock prices and short-term financial success. And as we've seen, businesses that follow this approach in today's world can begin to stagnate. In the worst circumstances, they can become obsolete.

Of course, the TAM model isn't completely misguided. If you're in the lipstick business and you want to manufacture a new lip-gloss, you could use the TAM model to estimate how big a market you could reasonably expect to conquer. But, beyond that, it loses its authority. It's like exploring the flora of a new planet with a guidebook from earth.

By contrast, the Total Addressable Problem model is the way to achieve exponential growth. Because the TAP model is based on discovering brand-new customer problems or needs, it can uncover new markets. It is the untouched markets that will lead to growth, rather than those with lots of competition already. 

Take the mobile phone. When it first came on the market, it was a bulky device aimed almost exclusively at high-powered executives. The Total Addressable Problem area seemed small. But as they became lighter, smaller and more affordable, demand blew up. Electronics designers had sensed that mobiles were addressing a far larger problem – mobile communication for everyone. This was the untouched market that would yield enormous returns for the first mobile phone manufacturers.