Tag Archives: CEO

Best Methods for Motivating Teams

Motivating Teams – Granger Whitelaw


Working with teams, whether as leader of a single team or manager of several, is an essential part of a manager’s remit. Teamwork is rapidly becoming the preferred practice in many organizations as traditional corporate hierarchies give way to flat, multi-skilled working methods. This section is an indispensable and practical guide to leading teams with expertise, covering subjects such as defining the skills required to complete a project, establishing trust between individuals within a team, and maximizing the performance of that team. The section is vital reading for any one involved in teamwork, whether as a novice or as an experienced team leader.

This month we will discuss:

1) Understanding How teams work

Understanding How Teams Work

Teamwork is the foundation of all successful management. Managing teams well is a major and stimulating challenge to any manager, form novice to experienced hand.

1) What Makes A Good Team?

A true team is a living, constantly changing, dynamic force in which a number of people come together to work. Team members discuss their objectives, assess ideas, make decisions, and work towards their targets together.

A) Working Together

All successful teams demonstrate the same fundamental features: strong and effective leadership; the establishment of precise objectives; making informed decisions; the ability to act quickly upon these decision; communicating freely; mastering the requisite skills and techniques to fulfill the project in hand; providing clear targets for the team to work towards; and – above all – finding the right balance of people to work together for the common good of the team.

B) Analyzing Team Tasks

Successful teams can be formed by 2 to 25 or more people, but much more important than size is shape – the pattern of working into which team member settle to perform their given tasks. There are three basic methods of performing a task:

Repetitive task and familiar work require each team member to have a fixed role, which is fulfilled independently, as on assembly lines;

Projects that require some creative input require team members to have fixed roles and working procedures, but also work in unison, as when generating new products;

Work that demands constant creative input and personal contributions requires people to work very closely as partners. This style of working is prevalent among senior management.

Working Well Together

A team of manager’s discuses a new plan that has been put forward by a member of the team. All of the team members are free to join the discussion. Later, the team leader will assess the contribution.

C) Achieving Potential

There is no limit to the potential of a good team. Given an “impossible” task, team members will reinforce each other’s confidence as they seek to turn the “impossible” into reality. The collective ability to innovate is stronger than that of individuals because the combined brainpower of a team, however small in number, exceeds that of any one person. By harnessing this power, a team can go beyond simple, useful improvements to achieve real breakthrough. For example, in one company an engineering team was asked to double machine reliability. They thought it impossible, but went on to produce a plan that pebbled performance.

Working Towards Understanding Encouraging open communication and the free flow of information within a team ensures that each member is fully aware of the talents and experience available within the group.


Remember that team members must support each other Break long-term aims into short term projects.

D) Knowing Team Goals

Once a team has been formed, the next major step is to establish its goals. There is little point in having a team that is raring to go if its members are all pursuing disparate aims. Goal may very well change over a team’s existence: for example if a new product is being launched on the market, the first priority will be for the team to concentrate on research into its competition. If the aim is to improve customer satisfaction, the first goal will be to find ways to provide a higher standard of service.

According to the circumstance, teamwork goals might include:

Increasing the rate of productivity in a manufacturing company;

Improving the quality of production;

involving all employees in decision making process to increase job satisfaction;

Looking at working systems and practices to reduce time wastage;

Working together with customers to build closer relationships so that the need of the market can be better understood.

Improving Performance

In a survey of 230 personnel executives, the American society of training and development found that teamwork led to a substantial rise in performance in key areas.

Cultural Differences

Cross-functional, multi-disciplinary, interdepartmental teams are spreading fast in the west, having been established in Japan for many years. In some British companies, managers already spend half their time working in such teams; and the democratic attitude of many North American’s has helped them to adapt well to this way of working. Continental Europeans still tend to be more comfortable with traditional hierarchical systems, but increasing competitive pressure and the need for speed-your-market are now forcing change on mangers in many industries.

Note: Allocate a clear deadline for each of your projects.


article source: adzines.com

Granger Whitelaw


Making Leadership, Genuine, Meaningful, and Productive

Leadership, Genuine, Meaningful and Productive

One of the best lessons I have learned is the impact and importance of leadership. It is so easy to identify dysfunctional leadership in a company (or of a governmental entity!). Many times, the common misconception is that the executives in the “ivory tower” sit around and relax, while the “workers” do all the work. Of course, happy and motivated employees are essential to a company (I still teach that in seminars that I conduct). But I have observed and learned that it is the leadership in an enterprise that makes the difference … and that is not exclusive to commerce.

I am an avid devotee of Right Action, and I believe it is the umbrella for everything worthwhile in life, in our endeavors and, in my opinion, a solemn responsibility of every human being. Power comes not from dictatorship but from respect, logic and compassion … all given by and returned to a quality leader. The substance of any situation is, of course, important … but what makes any enterprise function well, easily, profitably and with verve and passion is people working together. That is when Spirit is at its best, when respect and honor are not just words and when a truly great company shines in daylight and in darkness. For many years, I counseled and taught this very principle. I gave a seminar called “The Magic of People” in which I taught the value and wisdom of “people first.” It is the essence of leadership.

Vision is extending ideas, sometimes simple ideas, “outside the box” and creating a new, really new, thought. The person who conceived of eBay is a good example of this … they thought that the Internet had in it, as a part of its intrinsic nature, some characteristic that would fit some human need that was not yet conceived. They thought about many commonplace human endeavors and matched them up with Internet capabilities … and, yes, they came up with the activity “auction” and realized that the net was an ideal vehicle to carry that concept. This venture capitalist took the idea and translated it into action. It was a billion dollar idea!

Not to veer from the point here, it is essential for the leader to constantly be projecting, envisioning, visualizing … that is the root of entrepreneurial genius. Of course an action plan is required … but only after the leader has set the stage for the performance.

Excerpts from a new book, “Looking for a Better World.” Read more at: http://www.buybooksontheweb.com/description.asp?ISBN=0-7414-2134-8

Dr. Malkin holds a B.Sc. in Business and a Masters and Ph.D. in Religion. He has made hundreds of visits to schools with a moving and effective motivational presentation, urging teens to do their personal best. His mentoring programs have empowered many, many children. His quest for years has been to teach the power of Right Action, working towards the goal of a better world.

article source: adzines.com

Five Crucial Components of a Business Plan

Five Crucial Components of a Business Plan

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The format of a Business Plan is something that has been developed and refined over the years and is something that should not be changed. Like a good recipe, a business plan needs to include certain ingredients to make it work.” />

Five Crucial Components of a Business Plan

The format of a Business Plan is something that has been developed and refined over the years and is something that should not be changed. Like a good recipe, a business plan needs to include certain ingredients to make it work.

When you create a business plan, don’t attempt to recreate its format. Those reviewing this type of document have expectations you must meet. If they do not see those crucial decision-making components, they’ll see no reason to proceed with their review of your business plan, no matter how great your business idea.

Executive Summary Section

Every business plan must begin with an Executive Summary section. A well-written Executive Summary is critical to the success of the rest of the document. Here is where you need to capture the attention of your audience so that they will be compelled to read on. Remember, it’s a summary, so each and every word must be carefully selected and presented.

Use the Executive Summary section of your business plan to accurately describe the nature of your business venture including the need that you plan to fill. Show the reasons why people need your product or service. Show this by including a brief analysis of the characteristics of your potential market.

Describe the organization of your business including your management team. Also, briefly describe your sales and marketing plan or approach. Finally include the numbers that those reviewing your business plan want to see the amount of capital you seek, the carefully calculated sales projections and your plan to repay the loan.

If you’ve captured your audience so far they’ll read on. Otherwise, they’ll close the document and add your business plan to the heap of other rejected ideas.

Devote the balance of your business plan to providing details of the items outlined in the Executive Summary.

The Business Section

Be sure to include the legal name, physical address and detailed description of the nature of your business. It’s important to keep the description easy to read using common terminology. Never assume that those reading your business plan have the same level of technical knowledge that you do. Describe how you plan to better serve your market than your competition is currently doing.

Market Analysis Section

An analysis of the market shows that you have done your homework. This section is basically a summary of your Marketing Plan. It needs to show the demand for your product or service, the proposed market, trends within the industry, a description of your pricing plan and packaging and a description of your company policies.

Financing Section

The Financing section must show that you are as committed to your business venture as you expect those reading your business plan to be. Show the amount of personal funds you are contributing and their source. Also include the amount of capital you need and your plan to repay this debt. Include all pertinent financial worksheets in this section: annual income projections, a break-even worksheet, projected cash flow statements and a balance sheet.

Management Section

Outline your organizational structure and management team here. Include the legal structure of your business whether it is a partnership, corporation or limited liability corporation. Include resumes and biographies of key players on your management team. Show staffing projection data for the next few years.

By now you’re probably thinking that you don’t need Business Plan just yet. Well you do, and there is business plan building software that can help you through this immense project. These software packages are easy to use and affordable. Use one today and produce a professional-quality Business Plan including all critical components tomorrow!

Copyright © 2004 Cavyl Stewart. Get more software tips, strategies and recommendations to help you create your business plan by signing up for my Exclusive 100% free, 100% original content ecourse: “How To Failure-Proof Your Business Instantly.” To sign up please visit: http://www.find-small-business-software.com/bizplan-ecourse.html

article source: adzines.com

Another Great Article on the Rocket Racing League.

This article originally appeared on airport journals.com

Rocket Racing League—NASCAR-style Racing in the Sky Jul ’08

By Henry M. Holden

Courtesy Rocket Racing League Inc

The prototype Rocket Racer takes off for a test flight from the Mojave Desert in October 2007. The rocket produces a 10- to 15-foot long, bright yellow flame and a roar heard and felt for miles.

The Rocket Racing League of Las Cruces, N.M., combines the competition of air racing with rocketry. X-Prize founder Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, who serves as co-founder and chairman, and Granger B. Whitelaw, a two-time Indianapolis 500 champion team partner who serves as co-founder, president and CEO, established the RRL in 2005.

The Rocket Racing League will use a rocket-powered Velocity, a four-seat pusher canard experimental aircraft. The Rocket Racer, currently under development, began test flights in the fall of 2007. The aircraft will use a single 1,500 to 2,000 pound thrust liquid oxygen and kerosene rocket engine that emits a 10- to 15-foot long, bright yellow flame and a roar heard for miles. Mesquite, Texas-based Armadillo Aerospace will provide the LOX engines.

With the acquisition of Velocity Aircraft by Rocket Racing Composites Corp., a subsidiary of RRL, Velocity will produce an airframe that will be consistent for all competing Rocket Racers.

“The first aircraft we tried was the Long EZ, but we retired the precursor vehicle called the EZ-Rocket,” said Whitelaw. “The EZ-Rocket used a modified Long-EZ aircraft frame and two 400-pound liquid oxygen and alcohol engines. We thought the Velocity was the most stable aircraft for racing that we could make modifications to and add our rocket engines and avionics. It’s an easily crafted composite aircraft, and we liked its flight profile.

“People have contacted us from the very first day asking if they could enter their aircraft into the league. We’ve been saying that after the first two or three years, we’ll announce new engine manufacturers. We’ll certainly look at other aircraft as we get the racing series going and we have some safe vehicles we can add to the mix.”

Courtesy Rocket Racing League Inc

The Rocket Racing League plans to use the Armadillo Aerospace engine, seen here during a test firing. The combination of liquid oxygen and kerosene produces multi-colored exhaust flames.

The Velocity airframe needed major modifications.

“We had to build a new aft section to mount the rocket engine and the LOX tank,” said Whitelaw. “We had to increase its size to hold the larger tank. We made some other structural changes, such as changing the rod system for the ailerons and rudder. We also added some cameras and radios for tracking and viewing. From the wings forward we made very few modifications.”

Safety measures and methodology borrowed from the Formula One and Indy cars will help provide a safer vehicle and better protect pilots and passengers. Reinforced cockpit seats will enable the Rocket Racers to withstand impacts up to a 20 G-load.

Rocket racers will debut at the world’s largest air show.

“We’re going to our first exhibition race at EAA AirVenture, in Oshkosh, Wis., Aug. 1 and 2,” said Whitelaw. “The first flight will be on Tues., July 29, for a press conference, and then on Friday and Saturday for the show. We’ll field one or two aircraft, depending on which aircraft we feel are safe and reliable at the time, to fly in front of the public. The Rocket Racers will have speeds up to 350 miles per hour, and we hope that for the first time, two Rocket Racers will compete head-to-head in a demonstration race on the raceway in the sky.”

He said they might add two or three more at future exhibition races.

“We’re doing it as much for us and for the FAA, to get a feel for what we want to do, and what kinds of modifications we may need to make,” he said. “We’ll be adding other things to the show, and by the end of 2009, we may start the flight series with eight to 10 aircraft racing at one time, and put on a good show with patterns that are safe to fly. It’ll be its own venue and a race, similar to NASCAR racing, with prize money. We’re going to do exhibitions first to let the people see what it looks and feels like. At the end of the day, we want people to have a new experience as well as a fun air show.”

He said the first exhibition race would be an important milestone in the progression of the Rocket Racing League.

“We’re looking forward to sharing the experience and thrill of rocket racing with the public,” he said.

Courtesy Rocket Racing League Inc

Granger Whitelaw, CEO and co-founder of the Rocket Racing League, oversees the league’s management, operations, partnerships and corporate affairs.

Raceway in the sky

Instead of racing high performance cars around a ground track, the RRL will fly manned rocket-powered airplanes within a virtual three-dimensional track in the sky. The track is one mile high, two miles long and one-half-mile wide. Virtual GPS “tunnels” will shape the closed circuit track. The race will consist of four-lap, multiple elimination heats over a five-mile closed circuit Formula One-type raceway. The thousands of fans in attendance will witness the racing action live and displayed on multiple large projection screens. The fans watching on TVs and PCs at home will experience the thrill of the race via unique remote and rocket-mounted cameras that’ll give them the sensation of riding alongside the pilots.

“People will actually see the rocket planes racing on the tracks,” said Whitelaw. “There’ll be special effects for rocket planes that go through a virtual barrier and are penalized, similar to Formula One races. Viewers will have a view from the cockpit unlike anything that’s been done before. The races are projected to be about an hour and a half in length.”

The Rocket Racers will fly at a safe distance from the crowd, will never fly directly towards or away from the crowd and will follow all air show regulations set forth by the FAA.

“Safety is a number one priority with us,” said Whitelaw. “A team of dedicated engineers and scientists with years of experience in the given fields are charged with ensuring safety for all those involved.”

The teams

Currently, the league has six teams: Thunderhawk Rocket Racing, Santa Fe Racing, Bridenstine Rocket Racing, Rocket Star Racing, Team Extreme Rocket Racing and Canada-based Beyond Gravity Rocket Racing. Down the road, Whitelaw expects a maximum of about 14 teams.

“We’re still working out those details,” Whitelaw said. “The teams, pilot and pit crew will probably be about 10 people. If you include all the support staff, there’ll probably be about 30 to 40.”

World-famous aviators, including retired NASA astronaut Rick Searfoss and aerobatic pilots Sean Tucker, Len Fox and Jim Bridenstine will fly the Rocket Racers, capable of accelerating from zero to full-throttle in a split second.

Photo By Diane Bondareff for Rocket Racing League

Granger Whitelaw and actor Timothy Hutton examine a scale model of the Velocity Rocket racer. Hutton is a Rocket Racing League advisory board member.


Whitelaw and the board of directors will fund the league privately.

At every Rocket Racing League event, pilots who finish in the top three spots will earn points. The pilot who earns the most points overall at the end of a regular season will be crowned league champion.

“The teams are individually owned, so they’ll have their own funding, whether it’s from private money or sponsors,” said Whitelaw. “The prize monies will all be funded by sponsors. The first prize will be $100,000, with other prizes for fastest turn around, lap, pit stop and so on.”

He said revenues would be generated through six primary sources. Each will fall under a separate revenue unit of the RRL: sponsorship, sanctioning fees (and venue related revenues), merchandising/licensing, broadcast rights, gaming and touring/amusement park offerings. The licensing of intellectual property will generate additional revenues.

“We anticipate our crowds to reach the same level for those who attend other motorsports and air show events—between 100,000 and 500,000 people,” said Whitelaw.

Following the first exhibition race, the RRL will hold exhibition races at Reno National Championship Air Races, in Reno, Nev., X Prize Cup, in Las Cruces, N.M., and Aviation Nation, Nellis AFB, in Las Vegas, Nev.

For more information on the Rocket Racing League, visit http://www.rocketracingleague.com.

A look back at the RRL: Rocket Racing League Earns Experimental Exhibition Certificate From FAA.

This article appeared on the Aero-News Network.

Rocket Racing League Earns Experimental Exhibition Certificate From FAA | Aero-News Network 
Tue, Oct 14, 2008 Rocket Racing League Earns Experimental Exhibition Certificate From FAA Permits Rocket Powered Aircraft Flights At Over 20
Venues In US The Rocket Racing League has announced that it has been granted an Experimental Exhibition Certificate from the FAA for the first
of its next-generation Rocket Racer that has been selected as the baseline design for the fleet moving forward. This exhibition type certification
marks the first time in the FAA’s history that a production level rocket powered aircraft has been cleared to perform exhibition flight demonstrations
at over 20 venues across the US . The DKNY Bridenstine Rocket Racer vehicle, built on a Velocity Aircraft airframe and equipped with liquid
oxygen (LOX) & alcohol engines manufactured by Armadillo Aerospace, was used in test flights to demonstrate the Rocket Racer’s stability, safety,
performance and reliability to the FAA. “I would like to personally thank the FAA for their assistance through this process”, said Granger Whitelaw,
Rocket Racing League Chief Executive Officer. “This historic moment was built upon the unprecedented cooperation between our company,
Armadillo Aerospace, and the FAA. The League will now move forward with solidifying venues for its 2009 Exhibition season and be on course for
the official race season in 2010.” The league plans to work with show, airport and local FAA authorities to select 8 venues from the more than 20 that
have been approved by the FAA. Among the venues approved by the FAA for the Rocket Racers include: National Championship Air Races and Air
Show, Reno, Nevada; Miramar Air Show, San Diego, California; Las Cruces International Airport, Las Cruces, New Mexico; Aviation Nation, Las
Vegas, Nevada; Sebring U.S. Sport Aviation Expo, Sebring, Florida; McGuire Air Force Base Airshow, Wrightstown, New Jersey; Igor I Sikorsky
Memorial Airport, Bridgeport, Connecticut; Oklahoma Spaceport, Burns Flat, Oklahoma; Spirit of St Louis Airport, St Louis, Missouri; Wings and
Wheels Fly-in, Sheboygan, Wisconsin; Lackland AirFest, San Antonio, Texas; Langley Air Force Base Air Show, Hampton, Virginia; EAA
AirVenture, Oshkosh, Wisconsin; NAS JAX Air Show, Jacksonville, Florida; Albert Whitted Airport, St Petersburg, Florida; Moffett Federal
Airfield, Mountain View, California; Mojave Air & Space Port, Mojave, California; New York Air Show at Jones Beach, Farmingdale, New York;
Caddo Mills Municipal Airport, Caddo Mills, Texas; Majors Airport, Greenville, Texas; Grayson County Airport, Sherman/Denison, Texas; Fort
Worth Alliance Air Show, Fort Worth, Texas. Founded in 2005 by two-time Indianapolis 500 winning team partner Granger Whitelaw and X PRIZE
Chairman and CEO Peter H. Diamandis, MD, the Rocket Racing League (RRL ) is a new entertainment sports league that combines the exhilaration
of racing with the power of rocket engines. To be held at venues across the country, the Rocket Racing League will feature multiple races pitting up
to 10 Rocket Racers going head to head in a 4-lap, multiple elimination heat format on a 5-mile “Formula One”-like closed circuit raceway in the sky.

Indianapolis 500 Challenges Drivers and Inspires Automotive Excellence (Part 2) By Granger Whitelaw Cofounder, Rocket Racing League

The high stakes and top speeds of the Indianapolis 500 continue to attract huge crowds of fans each year. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway organization chooses not to divulge the exact number of visitors who attend the event each spring. Race-day experts, however, estimate that between the 257,000 permanent seats and variable infield seating, the number of people who attend the Indianapolis 500 each year may well top 400,000.

Over the last 3 years, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway celebrated centennial anniversaries commemorating the construction of the original track in 1909 and the 1911 introduction of the Indianapolis 500. Historians note that the 2011 race was not actually the 100th Indianapolis 500, because the race was not held during the years of World War I and World War II. Nonetheless, the tradition of the race, as well as fans’ deep commitment to it throughout the years on the home front, date back 100 years, making the anniversary a true milestone.

Winners of the Indianapolis 500 usually drink milk to celebrate their victory. The ritual began in 1933 when Louis Meyer drank a glass of buttermilk after coming in 1st for the 2nd time at the Indianapolis 500. When he won again in 1936, he received a bottle of buttermilk rather than a glass. A local dairy manager realized that the milk bottle image represented an excellent marketing and public relations opportunity. The dairy today offers winners of the race a choice of whole milk, skim milk, or 2% milk.

Just as the Indianapolis 500 and IndyCar racing have generated dozens of traditions, the Rocket Racing League reaches out to fans to create new customs and conventions to celebrate their love for the high-powered aerial sport.

About Granger Whitelaw

A fan of racing and high-speed air and motor sports, Granger Whitelaw cofounded the Rocket Racing League to give fans the chance to enjoy the new sport that melds rocket–powered aircraft and a Raceway-In-The-Sky that follows the model for IndyCar races.

Indianapolis 500 Challenges Drivers and Inspires Automotive Excellence (Part 1) By Granger Whitelaw Cofounder, Rocket Racing League

The Indianapolis 500 traces its roots to the 1909 construction of an asphalt track slated for use as a testing ground for automobiles. The humble track became the first fixture of what is today known as the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and launched a series of relatively small races that evolved over time to the event now dubbed “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”


The sport developed with a long series of innovations aimed at providing safety to drivers, pit crews, and the audience. The original asphalt racetrack, composed of a mixture of packed tar and gravel, crumbled and broke apart several times. The obvious safety concerns prompted the owners of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to replace the unstable material with bricks. The $155,000 project also included construction of a concrete wall around the circumference of the track to protect bystanders if a car veered off course.


The new track debuted to the public over the 1910 Memorial Day weekend. Though the event attracted crowds exceeding 60,000 people, subsequent events drew much smaller audiences. Beginning in 1911, the event organizers chose to concentrate their publicity and motor sports team recruitment on a single, large race. To generate excitement, the event entailed 500 laps culminating in a $25,000 prize for the victor.


About Granger Whitelaw


Granger Whitelaw cofounded the Rocket Racing League. The organization oversees the competition for Rocket Racing, a sport that employs high-technology, rocket-powered aircraft and track scenarios similar to those used in IndyCar racing. Before establishing the new race model, Granger Whitelaw owned Whitelaw Racing, Inc., an organization that represented and sponsored IndyCar teams, including two winners of the Indianapolis 500.