Isa Aliyu

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Transform your life by transforming your habits

Where you are in your life is a result of your habits. Will Durant (not Aristotle) said it best:<p>“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is …

Self-improvement

Testing times for Europe's banks

<b>The results of European bank "stress tests" have been announced, with the aim of establishing how well the banks could cope with a new financial shock.</b><p>Banks have done them on their own account for many years.<p>But this type of exercise has been adopted by official regulators in the wake of the …

Most Commonly Used Islamic Banking Contracts

It is reaching the end of the year and I thought it will be good to have a quick look on how many Islamic Banking contracts that we have in and …

Report: Central Banks Seen as Risk Factor to Global Economy

(REUTERS) — In 2008 central banks, led by the Federal Reserve, rode to the rescue of the global financial system. Seven years on and trillions of …

10 tips on risk management and cost control for growing businesses

What are the risks and issues that businesses gearing up for growth will face? Here are the top ten.

How better note taking can improve your memory

If it feels like you forget new information almost as quickly as you hear it, even if you write it down, that’s because we tend to lose almost 40% of …

How Managers Can See the Future More Clearly

Management is a lens. It’s the best way yet invented to focus the organization’s capital, human, and time resources toward the goals of the business. Many have observed that companies can have admirable goals; but, if poorly managed, success proves elusive.<p>Suppose the management lens was smeared, …

Ferguson’s Formula

Photography: Sean Pollack<p>Some call him the greatest coach in history. Before retiring in May 2013, Sir Alex Ferguson spent 26 seasons as the manager of Manchester United, the English football (soccer) club that ranks among the most successful and valuable franchises in sports. During that time the …

What to Do First When Managing Former Peers

<i>STEVEN MOORE FOR HBR</i><p>You just learned that you’ve been promoted and will now be managing a team of your former peers — exciting news! That is, until the moment you realize that your good fortune means disappointment for your coworkers who didn’t get the job. When you’re promoted over people who have …

A Quick Guide to Avoiding Common Writing Errors

You’re looking at an e-mail you just wrote, and you’re not sure whether you have the right word: Do you want affect or effect? Further or farther? Gray or grey? Getting it wrong can make you look bad — people do judge you by the way you write — but you also don’t have all day to look up words. It …

What It Takes to Learn to Be a Leader

After a decade of teaching leadership courses at Harvard Business School, Robert Steven Kaplan has fielded the question of whether leadership can be …

First-Time Managers, Don’t Do Your Team’s Work for Them

Not long ago, I worked with a client who was stepping into management for the first time. Terry, a highly regarded marketing associate in a pharmaceutical firm, had just been asked to lead a marketing team. In this new role, she was responsible for directing a group of bright, but inexperienced …

3 Things Managers Should Be Doing Every Day

“When are we supposed to do all <i>that</i>?” That’s the question we constantly get from new managers, only weeks or months into their new positions, when we describe the three key activities they should be focusing on to be successful as leaders: building trust, building a team, and building a broader …

The Essential Guide to Crafting a Work Email

You, like me, probably rattle off emails quickly, all day (and sometimes all night) long. And that means the people receiving your emails are doing exactly the same thing. Whether this is good or bad for us, generally speaking, is an open question. But until we all get better at dealing with email …

The Future and How to Survive It

We’d call it the opposite of a perfect storm: a set of external circumstances that together create an exceptionally favorable economic environment. The largest North American and European multinational corporations have been sailing through one for the past 30 years. In that time they have enjoyed …

Why use negative interest rates?

<b>Interest rates are now negative, below zero, for a growing number of borrowers, mainly in the financial markets. It means in effect they are being paid to borrow someone else's money. So what on earth is going on?</b><p>Perhaps the first thing worth stating is that negative interest rates are probably not …

The Best Things to Say before, during, and after Sex

The right words can turn her on, boost her confidence, and keep her coming back for more<p>It doesn’t matter if you’re having a romantic dinner for two or getting busy between the sheets—regardless of the situation, women love to talk to you.<p>That’s because for women, verbal communication is key to …

Sexual Health

Seven Things Great Employers Do (that Others Don’t)

For most people, paid work is unsettling and energy-sapping. Despite employee engagement racing up the priority list of CEOs (see, for example, The Conference Board’s CEO Challenge 2014), our research into workplaces all over the world reveals a sorry state of affairs: workers who are actively</i> …

The First Step to Being Powerful

“I am such a big failure. I can’t believe that I’ve made this mistake and it’s cost me months and months of time. I might never recover…What an idiot to not see that one coming.” On and on, he went. In distress, my colleague was clearly suffering because of a recent fiasco.<p>Seeking counsel, he had …

The Small Personal Risks That Actually Change Behavior

One of the things I love about my synagogue is its commitment to inclusiveness. The community welcomes people of all faiths and integrates practices from other traditions.<p>This year on Yom Kippur, the Day of Repentance, the most solemn day in the Jewish Calendar, after several hours of prayer, I …

How can central bankers avoid another financial crisis? With the immediate threat of global meltdown behind us, Avinash Persaud examines the options for a more resilient economy: http://wef.ch/1sbteWQ Image: http://wef.ch/1sbth4Z

How to Stop Procrastinating and Get Back to Work

At times, it seems like procrastination is an actual affliction. It sneaks up when we least expect it, undermines our productivity and then diminishes our ability to get anything done. In the end, we're left feeling defeated and wondering why we can't get motivated to tackle the things we know we …

An Exercise to Become a More Powerful Listener

Listening is often considered the softest of the soft skills. So the idea of being a <i>powerful</i> listener can seem like an oxymoron. And yet, my work with executives has taught me that when they really listen to discover what is essential, the impact can be astonishing. It’s one of the most important …

The Truth About How Your Brain Gets Smarter

“What’s your greatest fear?” I asked Bill Gates one night, over Tom Yum Gai.<p>“Easy—not getting smarter.”<p>Bill then laid out his plan to ensure he’d always be surrounded by super smart people.<p>Maybe he didn’t know about myelin.<p><b>The Smarter Secret</b><p>Let’s assume “smarter” means making better choices, …

7 Mistakes to Avoid When Conducting Interviews

Recruiting new team members is an important challenge for any CEO to address. Whether you’re scaling your company and looking to hire 10 people in one month, or need to quickly identify a replacement for a departing team member, it can be easy to forget effective interview practices in the face of …

Can Leadership Be Taught?

This is an old question, even a hackneyed one. Many might say that research and experience over the past decade or two demonstrate that leadership is far better learned than taught. On-the-job – and its first cousins action, experiential, and community learning – are held in the highest regard. The …