Books by Leaders ~ John Adair

JohnadairfinalJohn Adair is world’s leading authority on leadership and leadership development and one of the 40 leading people who have contributed to the development of management thought and practices across the world. This international leadership consultant advises a wider range of organizations in business, government, voluntary sector, education and health. He has written over 50 books on leadership, management and history that have been translated into eighteen languages. Here, we are mentioning books that help small business owners in developing and encouraging your employees for the organization success.

“John Adair is the first professor of Leadership Studies in the world and he remains the most distinguished figure in the field.” ~ The Sunday Times

“Authoritative and Wise.” ~ Warren Bennis, Distinguished Professor of Management, University of Southern California

  • How to Grow Leaders: The Seven Key Principles of Effective Development ~ John Adair
  • This is a groundbreaking book on leadership development, helps managers and trainers to encourage and develop the leadership skills in others while gaining excellence as leader by themselves. This provoking book is divided into two parts:

    1. Part 1: “Exploring Leadership – A personal Odyssey” (In this part 1, the author takes you to a journey of discovery on the nature of leadership, and how it can be taught)
    2. Part 2: “How to Grow leaders– The seven principles” (In this part 2, author identifies the seven key principles and answers the questions on how to select, train, educate leaders at team, operational and strategic levels)
      1. Principle 1: Training for leadership
      2. Principle 2: Selection
      3. Principle 3: Line managers as leadership mentors
      4. Principle 4: The chance to lead
      5. Principle 5: Education for leadership
      6. Principle 6: A strategy for leadership development
      7. Principle 7: The chief executive
    3. This book is available in Kindle, Hardcover and Paperback

  • Effective Leadership Masterclass: Secrets of success from the world’s greatest leaders ~ John Adair
  • This is a wonderful guide that teaches aspiring managers on the essential leadership skills required to be a successful leader. In this book, author illustrates the principles and philosophy of great leaders such as Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great and Napoleon; Churchill, Charles de Gaulle and Abraham Lincoln; Field Marshalls Slim and Montgomery. This helps managers how to apply these principles in their own methods.

    The author elucidates various issues such as whether knowledge and experience are enough to make someone as a leader, what the critical leadership styles are. This books teaches managers to become a better manager by illlustrating on:

    1. How to remain calm under pressure?
    2. How to make the right decisions?
    3. How to communicate effectively?
    4. How to inspire while informing?

    This book consists of 10 chapters:

    1. Leadership through knowledge
    2. Leadership skills
    3. A leader of leaders
    4. Charisma
    5. The servant leaders
    6. Nelson
    7. Making the right decisions
    8. The art of inspiring while informing
    9. Styles of leadership
    10. Leadership for tomorrow

Books by Leaders ~ John C Maxwell

John MaxwellJohn C Maxwell is a renowned leadership expert, entrepreneur, speaker, coach and author. He founded EQUIP and the John Maxwell Company. He trained more than five million leaders in 126 countries. He has inspired numerous Fortune 500 companies, international government organizations, non-profit and educational institutions. He is enthusiastic to leadership, and likes to learn and grow in leadership, to help other grow as leaders. He tailors each presentation such that it is in sink with the specific audience.

In the words of Kevin Turner, Chief Operating Officer, Microsoft Corporation, “We have seen a positive impact on our business since we brought John in to speak to our global leadership team. His influence and teachings lifted our leaders and improved our leadership capability. We look forward to having him back.”

Maxwell is a best-selling author of New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Business Week who has sold over 19 million books. He authored over 70 books on various topics in leadership, communication, success, relationships, teamwork, attitude and personal growth. In this article, we are going to review one of his best books that help small business owners in enhancing leaderships skills and help boost their employees’ productivity.

The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You – John C. Maxwell

In this book, John C. Maxwell highlights 21 irrefutable laws on leadership and explains each law with a story relevant to it. Each law works like a tool and is easy to learn, practice and apply them at your workplace. At the end of each chapter, exercises are given, which help you to put them into practice.

As you read this book, you will come to know some of the laws that are already in practice and some are not. Author says, “No matter where you are in learning process of leadership: the greater number of laws you learn, the better leader you will become.”

Takeaways from the book: There are many positive things that a reader can learn from this book such as leadership develops daily, and not in a day; trust is the foundation of leadership; leaders find a way for their team to win and many more. This is one of the most recommended books for those who aspire to become leaders.

John C Maxwell has distilled the art of leadership into 21 laws. These laws not only help at your workplace but also at your personal life. Enumerated are the laws:

  1. The Law of the Lid: Leadership Ability Determines a Person’s Level of effectiveness.
  2. The Law of Influence: The True Measure of Leadership is Influence- Nothing More, Nothing Less.
  3. The Law of Process: Leadership Develops Daily, Not in a Day.
  4. The Law of Navigation: Anyone Can Steer the Ship, but It Takes a Leader to Chart the Course.
  5. The Law of Addition: Leaders Add Value by Serving Others.
  6. The Law of Solid Ground: Trust is the Foundation of Leadership.
  7. The Law of Respect: People Naturally Follow Leaders Stronger Than Themselves.
  8. The Law of Intuition: Leaders Evaluate Everything with a Leadership Bias.
  9. The Law of Magnetism: Who You Are Is Who You Attract.
  10. The Law of Connection: Leaders Touch a Heart Before They Ask for a Hand.
  11. The Law of the Inner Circle: A Leader’s Potential is Determined by Those Closest to Him.
  12. The Law of Empowerment: Only Secure Leaders Give Power to Others.
  13. The Law of the Picture: People Do What People See.
  14. The Law of the Buy-In: People Buy In to the Leader, Then the Vision.
  15. The Law of Victory: Leaders Find a Way for Their Team to Win.
  16. The Law of the Big Mo: Momentum is a Leader’s Best Friend.
  17. The Law of Priorities: Leaders Understand That Activity Is Not Necessarily Accomplishment.
  18. The Law of Sacrifice: A Leader Must Give Up to Go Up.
  19. The Law of Timing: When to Lead Is As Important As What to Do and Where to Go.
  20. The Law of Explosive Growth: To Add Growth, Lead Followers-To Multiply, Lead Leaders.
  21. The Law of the Legacy: A Leader’s Lasting Value Is Measured by Succession.

Prominent reviews on this book:

  • “Our nation and its institutions are crying out for leaders. John Maxwell . . . shows us the true path to leadership through the application of timeless principles supported by the bedrock of personal character.” – Edward C. Emma, President & COO, Jockey International, Inc.
  • “An irrefutable must-read on leadership that is a simple and powerful list of guidelines to help build leadership in many arenas.” – S. Truett Cathy, Founder and Chairman, Chick-Fil-A, Inc.

This book is available in Kindle, paperback and hardcover.

Importance of Compliance for Your Small Business

Compliance is one of those things that many small business owners tend to overlook at the start of their business ventures. They do so because many feel it is not essential. But to meet your legal obligations and to protect your business, compliance is necessary. The concept of compliance is to make sure people follow it and act responsibly.

Small business owners should understand that compliance is important for their business, otherwise they may land into unintended expenses. According to the latest study conducted by ADP research institute, 30% of SMBs in United States have reported unintended expenses that include fines, penalties or law suits because of noncompliance with government workforce and payroll regulations. These firms that were fined reported an average cost of $91,300.

As a small business owner, you may be flooded with loads of work. Due to lack of resources, the focus could be more on project execution. Of course, it is critical to deliver projects on time, but at the same time neglecting the importance of workplace compliance, not only puts you at risk but also increases the costs to the company.

Why compliance is important for your business?
“Good compliance means good business”, this applies to every business irrespective of size or type. It protects your business from both regulatory and non-regulatory means. A good compliance will help you:

  • Avoid breaking the laws and sufferings from the consequences. Therefore, it saves your time, money and keeps hassles away.
  • Protect the health, safety and welfare of the business. (Hiring, firing, discrimination, harassment, wages, payroll and others).
  • Create a better working environment for your employees, which indirectly boosts the productivity.
  • Prevent or minimize workplace accidents (injuries, fires, damage to the property) that hurt your productivity.

What are the consequences of not being in compliance?

  • Can damage your business, reputation and brand which may result in lost revenue.
  • Frauds or breaches may range from fines to court action, work stoppage, withdrawal of license/shutdown of your business, etc.

If your business starts facing court cases filed by your employees, customers or others, your public image is damaged and people will not trust your business. By being in compliance, your business will have a positive image and will build consumer trust.

How to manage compliance in business?
You need to set rules to make sure everything is fair and safe for your business, employees and customers. For that you need to:

  • Identify: Identify the common risks that your business comes across.
  • Prevent: You can protect your organization by designing and implementing controls from those risks.
  • Detect: Regularly monitor and generate reports on the effectiveness of those controls
  • Respond: Resolve the compliance issues as you come across.
  • Other ways of managing of compliance in business
    • Clearly communicate the compliance with all the members of your organization. Example: By conducting regular training program – summarize expectations how each member of the organization should conduct themselves at the workplace, general goals of your organization, outline how tasks should be completed, the consequences of violating compliance and so on.
    • You can detect the compliance violations in your organization by audits, reviews and regular monitoring.
    • Take appropriate measures, if someone in the organization violates compliance.

What should you expect?
As a small business owner, you expect that all your employees obey and abide by the law. And you will not tolerate or entertain any violations.

With right compliance in place your business will have reduced legal issues, better public relations and higher employee retention that will lead to higher productivity and better market performance.

Best Books by Leaders ~ Jack Welch

JackwelchJack Welch is a legendary leader and an author ever in business history. He is a commentator, business executive and was a chairman and CEO of General Electric between 1981 and 2001. After his retirement in 2001, he traveled around the world – speaking with more than 250,000 people on the wide range of topics. He has written philosophical and pragmatic books that boost people at every level of an organization. Here are some of his best books.

– Winning ~ Jack Welch & Suzy Welch: Jack Welch’s main goal is to help everyone who has the passion to succeed. This book is packed with Jack Welch’s personal anecdotes on original thinking, solution to every problem that will change the people the way they think about work. In the introduction of the book, he highlights the importance of values, candor, differentiation, and voice and dignity for all. The book is split into three sections:

  • In the first section, Jack Welch talks about leadership, how to pick winners in the organization to make change happen.
  • In the second section, he talks on outside the organization – competition with strategies, mergers and the Six Sigma.
  • In the last section, he talks about the career i.e., right from finding a job to a work-life balance.

Prominent Reviews on this book:

  • “Reading Jack Welch’s plain language, high-energy book Winning is like getting the playbook of the Super Bowl Champions before the game. It’s a big head start on how to master the corporate game form the entry level to the corporate suites, He is the master” ~ Tom Brokaw, former anchor and managing editor, NBC Nightly News
  • “When you talk with Jack about management, his energy and passion fill the room, You get a similar experience with this book – the same qualities jump at you from every page.” ~ Warren. Buffett, chairman, Berkshire Hathaway
  • “A candid and comprehensive look at how to succeed in business-for everyone from college graduates to CEOs” ~ Bill Gates, Chairman, Microsoft Coroporation

The book is available in Hardcover, Paperback, Kindle in

– Winning: The Answers: Confronting 74 of the Toughest Questions in Business Today ~ Jack Welch & Suzy Welch
In this management book, Jack Welch sparked off questions from college students, business professionals, entrepreneurs’ treatise on fundamentals of business practices and many more. It is a best management book worth to place it in your bookshelf. This book is split into six sections:

  • The first section talks about “Global competition” like getting global before it gets you, why Paris is burned and so on.
  • The second section talks about “Leadership – on being a better boss” outlining ‘Are the leaders are born or made’, the leadership mindset, Winning the Whining game, Building the Trust from top down, etc.
  • The third section talks about the “Management principles and practices” outlining on getting the best people, the danger of doing nothing, the real job of HR, paying big time on failure, etc.
  • The fourth section talks about the “Careers” outlining on what, should I do with the rest of my life? I am who am I, The bad boss no brainier, why can’t I get hired, etc.
  • The fifth section talks about the “Private held” outlining on the consequences of cashing out, bringing the outside in, etc.
  • The sixth section talks about the “Winning and losing” – outlines on what do you call winning? The real verdict on business, What to tell the grand children, etc.

Prominent Reviews on this book:

  • “There is a lifetime of wisdom about business, and life, packed into Jack Welch’s Winning. It is unquestionably the best management book to come along in a while – breezy, concrete, and spiced with the right amount of humility and refreshingly void of management hokum.” ~ The Washington Post
  • “In Winning Welch dispenses the sharp-edged business acumen that earned him a reputation as a daunting corporate reader. He is giving back what he learned and not just to follow CEOs. He is able to write a book that might just reach the rest of us.” ~ USA Today
  • “An engaging, free flowing book that every executive should read.” ~ Business Today

– Jack: Straight from the Gut ~ Jack Welch and John A. Byrne
This remarkable autobiography is full of anecdotes and insights explaining that management is an art and a discipline that can be learned, improved and mastered. It is a story about a man who is demanding best from others and from himself. The book is split into five sections:

  • The first section talks about “Early Years” outlining on building self-confidence, getting out of the pile, blowing the roof off, swimming in bigger pond, etc.
  • The second section talks about “Building a philosophy” outlines on dealing with reality and superficial congeniality, the visiting thing, the people factory, Boundary less: Taking ideas to the bottom line, etc.
  • The third section talks about “ups and downs” – outlines too full of myself, when to fight and when to fold, etc.
  • The fourth section talks about “Game changers” and outlines on globalization, six sigma and beyond, E-business etc.
  • In the fifth section talks about “Looking backward and looking forward” – Go home Mr. Welch, What this CEO thing all about, etc.

Prominent Reviews on this books:

  • “All CEOs want to emulate Jack Welch. They won’t be able to, but they’ll come closer if they listen carefully to what he has to say.” ~ Warren Buffet, chairman, Berkshire Hathaway
  • “True confessions of a CEO…of interest to anyone who really cares about business.” ~ Newsday
  • “Jack Welch gave team leadership new meaning as he took an industrial giant and turned it into an industrial colossus with a heart and a soul and a brain.” ~ Michael D. Eisner, chairman and CEO The Walt Disney Company

Jack Welch is a legendary leader of business industry who taught us many lessons on management, business and leadership.

As a small business owner, it is imperative to have skills to boost yourself and your employees for the business’s success. Reading these books helps you build qualities that are essential to run your business.

Top 10 Communication Books for Small Businesses

Communication plays a critical role at personal as well as professional level. Small business owners need to understand that without communication it will be really difficult to interact with their employees, clients, customers and business partners. Therefore, reading communication books will help them in communicating effectively. Following are top 10 communication books for small businesses.

1. Crucial Conversations Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High, Second Edition ~ Kerry Patterson
The New York Times and Washington bestseller book will shape your life, relationships and your world. This book outlines a process – start with the heart, stay in dialogue, make it safe, don’t get hooked by emotion, agree a mutual purpose, separate facts from story, agree a clear action plan. All these 7 steps uplifts you in crucial conversations. This book deserves a place in your bookshelf.

2. Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time ~ Keith Ferrazzi
Keith Ferrazzi in this book outlined timeless strategies of great people from Katherine Graham to Bill Clinton, Vernon Jordan to Dalai Lama. This book helps in creating your own network, how to handle rejection, getting past gatekeepers and more. In short, this book will help you in winning at your personal and professional life.

3. The Definitive Book of Body Language ~ Barbara Pease
This international bestseller is an excellent book to understand the secrets of non-verbal communication. In this book the author made drawing of more than 30 years in the field and with cutting edge research – demonstrated what happens in brain. This helps to read the state of mind of people with their gestures. When you encounter face to face, it helps you to analyze the true intentions of other party by their gesture as well as it also helps in building effective body language which is required to achieve success in life.

4. Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone ~ Mark Goulston M.D.
Mark Goulston is a psychiatrist, business consultant and a coach. He narrated beautifully on how to persuade people whether they are harried co-workers, stressed out client, insecure spouse and enemies. In short, this book helps you to reach to those people’s lives which you assumed impossible and unreachable.

5. Influencer: The Power to Change Anything ~ Kerry Patterson
This is a thought provoking book where Kerry Patterson has taught a stepwise influence process along with robust strategies. This books takes you to a journey from San Francisco to Thailand where you can find insignificant people making incredible improvements in solving the thing which others felt impossible.

6. Power Questions: Build Relationships, Win New Business, and Influence Others ~ Andrew Sobel
This is a thought provoking book written by Andrew Sobel. In this book, he explained thirty five compelling real conversations of CEOs, billionaires, clients, colleagues and others. At the end of the book, more than 200 thought provoking questions are summarized.

7. Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most ~ Douglas Stone
Douglas Stone with his 15 years of research at the Harvard Negotiation Project has written this book ‘Difficult Conversation.’ In this book, he has explained how to win the toughest conversation with less stress and explained how to prepare yourself, how to start the conversation without defensiveness, how to keep it constructive and focused irrespective of how other person reacts.

8. The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience ~ Carmine Gallo
This book is a Wall Street Journal Bestseller written by communication expert Carmine Gallo. The author has studied and analyzed Steve Jobs presentation secrets. In this book, he explained point by point examples, tried and true techniques, proven presentation secrets in 18 scenes. After reading this book, you will know how to capture your audience with your presentation.

9. Writing That Works; How to Communicate Effectively In Business ~ Kenneth Roman
‘Writing That Works’ is written by Kenneth Roman. In this book the author has tried to explain what to say with less effort and more confident. The author explained importance of writing in various fields such as presentation, memos, letters, plans, reports, speeches, resumes, email writing,etc.

10. Skill With People ~ Les Giblin
Les Giblin’s book ‘Skill With People’, has sold over 2,000,000 copies. The author conducted more than 1000 seminars for hundreds of organizations like Johnson & Johnson, National Association of Insurance Agents and Generic Electric. This book helps to improve relationship at home, at work and in business.

Small Business Owners: Protect Your Business from Botnets

Cyber criminals are on the lookout for different ways to access your data through virus, Trojans, hacking, phishing, botnet, etc. They consider small businesses ideal platform for botnet use, and presume that these businesses don’t take much security precautions.

Being part of botnet is so terrifying that it badly affects your business, your partners and customers. It will also create a situation of potential liability. You will not even know that you are part of a botnet. In this article, we will discuss botnets briefly, and learn how to protect computers from them.

What is a botnet?
‘Bot’ comes from robot. When malicious software infect your computer, it becomes a bot. Online fraudsters use your computer to infect a large number of computers. These computers form a botnet. A botnet is, thus, a network of computers that work under the command and control of cyber criminals.

Simply put:

  • A bot/robot/zombie is an infected computer. Cyber criminals distribute malware (Trojan virus or other malicious software) that can turn your computer into a bot that responds to their command.
  • A bot network/botnet/zombie is a group of infected computers or PCs. A single bot is not much benefit to hackers. Therefore, they use a bot as a medium to spread malware to a large number of computers. This group of infected computers forms a network – a botnet.

Purpose of botnet
To get control over the bots to perform automated tasks online without the owner’s knowledge.

What are botnets commonly used for?
Cyber criminals use botnets in numerous ways such as for stealing information, sending spam/junk emails, phishing messages, viruses, spyware to other computers for increasing their network further; click fraud, Adware, flash flux, for DOS (Denial of Service) attack on websites or servers and cause crash.

  • Stealing data: Most people store their sensitive information on their computers such as business or work related documents, personal identifications, and email addresses of all contacts, bank account credentials, telephone numbers, social security numbers and other important data. If your computer is in botnet, criminals can access the information, take loan and purchase under your name, and may commit other frauds.
  • DdoS (Distributed denial of service) attacks: With thousands of zombies, bot masters attack at a time to impair or bring down the website and to disrupt its services by creating loss of connectivity or connection bandwidth.
  • Click fraud: Bot masters use botnets for generating revenue for a website on pay-per-click advertising or for creating web-traffic. In other words, they repeatedly access the site by using user’s computer for personal or commercial gain.
  • Phishing: Botmasters use botnets for hosting phishing sites. They harvest the information from bots by turning them into web server for conducting phishing.

How do botnets enter your computer?
Botnets reach your system via Trojan viruses that carry botnet’s code as the payload (disguised in software or attachment). They can reach your computers in the following ways.

  • Email attachments: When you open infected email attachments or download unverified files or software, botnets access your computer.
  • Infected network: When your system is connected to an infected network.
  • By fake warnings: Criminals provide a link or button with fake warnings such as that your computer has virus. That provokes/scares you into clicking.
  • By malicious websites: When you download the software, videos, and audios from malicious websites.

How to detect botnet infections?
Here are some common signs of botnet infected computers

  • Your outbox will have email messages that you didn’t send
  • Your computer suddenly starts operating slowly or crashes or stops responding frequently
  • Your network or internet connection is unusually slow
  • When you are using the Internet, there is an unknown network activity
  • Your system cannot access a few or any website
  • You will receive more number of spam emails than usual
  • Your firewall alerts you on unknown programs accessing the Internet

How to avoid and protect your computer from becoming part of botnet?
As mentioned earlier, botnets use multiple attacks (DDos attack; phishing; click fraud) so that no single technology is able to protect your computers against them. Packet filtering, port-based and signature-based techniques will not be able to mitigate the evil effect of botnets. This is because botmasters modify the code, shuffle the use of zombie hosts and so on.

Defend yourself

  • Install firewall: Firewall acts as a barrier or protective layer between your computer and the Internet. Note: Don’t turn off your firewall even for a while. There is a potential risk that your system will be infected with malware.
  • Install anti-virus and anti-spyware software: These software scan and monitor your system for known viruses and spyware. When they find, they alert you to take an action.
  • Keep all software up-to-date: Update all the software on regularly. Make sure to subscribe to automatic updates wherever required.
  • Keep an eye on your network traffic: Watch out for unusual traffic. Make sure to keep track of the traffic.
  • Use encrypted passwords: Use encrypted passwords for your home and office networks.
  • Web browsing habits: Don’t click or open or download the files that you receive from unknown sources or the one you suspect.

As the owner of a small business, it is sensible to protect your computers, computer networks against the harmful effects of botnets.

Suspicious E-mail Attachment? Be Cautious it can be Impair Your Small Business

As a small business owner, you may be receiving tens of emails (sometimes hundreds) in your in-box every day. You have to be careful while opening your emails – a small neglect on your part can significantly ruin your business – your important files may get deleted, someone might get access to your financial and customer information. I am not trying to scare you off but this is reality. There are many cyber criminals out there looking to make easy money. 95 percent of Americans receive emails with malicious programs while nearly 9 percent opened the attachment infecting their computer (Halon and TNS Global survey).

In this article, we will discuss the common threats that come as email attachments and what precautions you can take.

Common threats as email attachments
Opening a suspicious email attachment can infect your computer with a virus, Trojan horse, botnet and you can even become victim of phishing and hacking.

  • Virus: Virus is one of the common threats that small businesses come across. These malicious programs are mostly sent as email attachments with the intention of either damaging your computer programs or spreading the viruses to the computers in your network for creating problems.

    When such email attachments are opened some programs will get installed in your system. They can do many things – can gain access secretly your sensitive information, wipe out all the files on your hard drive, replicate and spread to USB keys and external hard drives. Sometimes they display unwanted ads.

  • Trojan horse: Trojan horse records all keystrokes you enter in your system. That is how it gains unauthorized access to your organization’s financial information, customer information; disrupts the performance of your computer; deletes or modifies your data, etc. Cyber criminals can even notice you through web cam.
  • Phishing: Phishing emails look legitimate and appear as if they came from known sources like businesses, banks, government agencies, friends, relatives, major online retailers, social networking sites, etc. They motivate you to download HTML form and sometimes motivate you to click the links in the email.

    These emails come with subject lines like “update your information” or confirm your user-name and password” and sometimes state the consequences if you don’t verify your details.

    Phishers generally attach html form to the mail. When you open such attachments, the form asks you to fill your credentials. These attachments are less likely to be blocked by anti-phishing mechanisms, because the form is stored locally.

    Sometimes you will be asked to click on the link provided that leads to the phisher site that site looks genuine and they motivate you to enter details of your accounts. The phishers gather your information based on your inputs and use this information to gain access to your account with a bank etc. to misuse it.

  • Legitimate PayPal URL looks like:
  • Disguised URL from the phishing email:
    Disguised url

These phishing links are constructed in such a way that looks like it goes to, but it leads to the phishing site. You can see the difference instead of forward slashes – there are dots in the URL and also you can see in the URL – instead of https it is http. (Note: HTTPS in the URL signifies your information is secure. Legitimate sites will only able to get this security certificate)

  • Botnet: Botnets are generally a group of computer networks that are remotely controlled by cyber criminals over the Internet in an effort to perform automated tasks without your knowledge. These email attachments contain viruses, spyware with botnet code. When they are installed in your computer. The creator of malware takes control over your system, your Internet browsers and monitors your keystrokes. They sometimes use your email account to send thousands of spam emails and involve in click fraud.
  • Hacking: Typically hacking targets a specific person. Hackers are very smart they send emails with convincing subject line, attached with a virus. Sometimes, they send emails from your friends’ or business partners’ account (the one which they already hacked). When such attachments are installed, they gain access to your system without your knowledge. Once the hacker gains access to your system, they look for information to steal your financial accounts, trade secrets, client details or your intellectual property.

Precautions to take

  • Update your operating system or enable ‘automatic update’
  • Install anti-virus and anti-spyware software in your system. Because this will inspect all files in your computer as well as your attachment files for viruses and spywares. Whenever they find any infection, they will remove it or immediately alert you
  • Back up all important files on your computer
  • Install and maintain a firewall on your computer – configure it. This will alert you whenever a program or process is attempting to access your system
  • Use attachment filters that will block certain file names or extensions
  • When you are not using your system, shut it down
  • Disable settings in your email program that automatically download the attachments

Precautions to take while opening email attachments

  • Don’t click, open, save or run any email attachments that you suspect
  • Be cautious about the executable files that end with the extensions such as .exe, .vbs, .lnk, .pif, .scr, .bat and so on
  • If you think the file is legitimate, check the contact details whether they are matching with the original source
  • Don’t give personal or sensitive information by email. Remember, no legitimate source will ask for information through emails

Small businesses are common target of cyber criminals as they often give least attention to this kind of matters. Use your emails sensibly and safeguard your business.

Innovative Management Methods from Real Life – Holacracy

The Las Vegas-based online retailer Zappos – replaced the traditional top-down hierarchy approach with a new Holacracy approach where there are no formal bosses, no job titles and where the employees set their own priorities. This innovative approach was developed by a business guru Brain Robertson with the idea to give employees more of voice and to keep the organization from becoming too rigid or bureaucratic.

This model is not only adopted by Tony Hsieh, Zappos’s founder but also Twitter co-founder Evan Williams (in his new company, Medium) and Time management guru David Allen in his organization.

Holacracy is a self-governing system that aims to organize a company around the work that needs to be done instead of around the people who do it. Job titles do not exist. Multiple circles are formed where employees have to collaborate cross-functionally to perform different functions. This helps the employees to get more exposure in learning and gaining skills that may not be possible within a single circle or team.

In the place of traditional managers, there are people who are designated as “lead links” who have the ability to assign employees roles or remove them from roles within the circle – but they don’t have the ability to tell the employees what to do. Hope this holacracy approach may empowers the employees to emerge as a leaders.