Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Seven point check before you hire your coach


Coaching is one learning theme which is bubbling under, yet not utilized to its fullest potential. Most Entrepreneurs, Organizations and Executives have always had a tacit need for exploring their true potential and life directions, but have taken a backseat due to environmental noise, operating in patterns and unwillingness to challenge the status quo. On the other hand there are some who are silently pursuing their goals and agenda for transformation, priming themselves to embrace a much sought after future. As success of coaching initiatives requires significant commitment from both coach and client, the results are extremely diverged. Some experience radical changes that transform the way they lead their lives, while others do not.

Overconfidence, stubbornness, confusion, resentment, procrastination and laziness are the giant killers that block any meaningful changes. Much as quite a few hire a health instructor in anticipation of weight loss but are never sincere about dieting or exercising right. Some of them undermine and ignore the need for a good coach, which is a prime requirement to drive meaningful behavioural change with consistency, commitment and highest integrity. As the market gets more and more coaches, the differentiation emerges clearly. Like any other profession, there are average, good and great coaches. As coaching does offer high value (not essentially cheap), how does one pick a coach for personal or organizational goals. Here are a few pointers that might come handy while making the choice;

  1. Passion: Coaches who exude passion with the coaching process are a great choice to make. Many studies globally have shown that passion is an innate quality in successful coaches. They are known to fire up and inculcate energy in their clients towards their goals.
  2. Discipline: Coaches who are disciplined themselves can drive the same in their clients. Discipline is infectious, and with time, most sensible coachee’s observe and imbibe it. In my personal experience, I have seen most undisciplined clients disrespecting time, terms and even appointments, change over a period of time.
  3. Experience: Nothing can replace experience. Experience in their niche, or professions is a definite edge that helps one to establish great communication and rapport during a coaching engagement. Irrespective of the industry, or business, fundamentally sound coaches can decipher clients needs.
  4. Diversity: Patterns emerge out of “Like Effort, Like Result”. When one is looking out for breaking the status quo, dissimilar thinking can do wonders, as it challenges ones thinking and cognitively sparks off newer ways and ideas. It is equally important for the client to be ready to accept diverse ideas and negotiate the nest outcomes suited for them.
  5. Empathy: Coaches who can identify with clients issues, yet subtly drive a result oriented agenda are always a good choice for a coaching engagement. At the same time, coachee’s need to be alert to receive the ‘signals’ that are exchanged during coaching conversations. Coaches who are good ‘Relators’ are a great asset to have.
  6. Futuristic: Great coaches are ‘Futuristic’, as they tend to focus not on ‘what it is’, but ‘what it needs to be’, in the best interest and desirability of the coachee’s goals. These are ones who handhold clients and help them attain newer directions and orbits.
  7. Conceptual skills: Coaches with sound conceptual base, offer an enriching experience as they brush up, augment and satiate the need for knowledge and skills that helps coachee’s forever in various life situations.  
    So, next time you are on a look out for a good coach for a life goal, do hunt for the traits that can make your coaching engagements a fruitful, goal oriented journey. Accountability has done wonders in the pursuit of organizational and professional agendas, and it may be a great idea to have a good coach to partner your journey to your next goal.
Write to the author about your life goals on thegrowthevangelist@gmail.com or Visit www.thegrowthevangelist.com

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

The leadership and succession 'Mystery'

It was nerve wrecking for the markets when the news broke out last evening, about the ouster of Cyrus Mistry, the Chairman of Tatasons, a company that has gained truly global scale. A succession that was much talked about, and made headlines then, as it did today. This was in certain ways similar to the clean up at Infosys sometime ago.


Tatas have enjoyed great reputation and 'Corporate Governance Premium' over several years. The stakeholders were stung by the decision, and most surprisingly since it was completely unanticipated, something that markets do quite well ahead of events. While what and why it happened is a debatable subject, it opens up an important area around organization building for top executives and entrepreneurs to take cognizance of.


This was a large Indian global corporation, that came into limelight due to media and investor community interest. The phenomenon though is quite widespread where most of them live in today and 'hope' that things will move on like this forever. Fewer senior managements are actually consciously planning, developing and investing on the future of businesses, be it family managed, or professionally managed businesses. In my experience, very few have convincing answers when quizzed about the futures of their business, probably because they have not been confronted with the right questions themselves for longish time. I have known a few who many who are holding on to the status quo, 'hoping' that things will happen with 'intent' than action, and quite a few on the other hand, who are silently working on their future.


The fact that feeble number of businesses stay relevant in their current models, succession planning becomes even more important, when companies and entrepreneurs have to sow their futures. The spearheads have to spend quality time in identifying, building and smoothly transitioning their businesses into future. There may be some important areas worth pondering to ensure this doesn't remain a mystery anymore;


  1. Fears around delegation: Conviction about a reasonably hands off delegation, once a decision is taken, overcoming fears and sense of 'competition'. Good leaders have always believed future will be bigger and brighter a it gets newer perspectives and styles. I have used 'reasonably' to provide for risks. There are examples where mentors have stepped in to salvage when required.
  2. Alignment with 'Values': This has been in taking rounds since time immemorial and most leaders like to build clones. The reality is that adherence to dysfunctional values may be suicidal. Businesses evolve and so do adopting relevant yet 'functional' values may be the order of the day. In many ways, this is about reinventing a self imposed homeostasis.
  3. Organizational adjustment: Organizations, specially those with legacy, develop inertia and take time to adjust and embrace styles and diversity. As long as integrity and strategy are in consonance, sufficient time may be required to inculcate new thinking and a 'buy in.
  4. Investing on 'skills': Leadership can be developed, and there is enough evidence to suggest this. Opportunity, learning, building emotional intelligence, communication and consistent focus on 'future' skills over just daily and weekly considerations are some tools to build leadership and succession. This is not just financial investment, but requires time, effort and energy on 'identified' people. Leadership skills are above and beyond the functional or executive skills after a point of time. Letting potential leaders explore that area for themselves helps in the longer run.
  5. Space for performance: Constant goading, tracking, frequent course corrections are forms of imposed learning which soon turns out to be a recipe for disaster. Instead, 'Accountability' and cognitive learning works out better for permanence and retention of skills. Leadership is in many ways, about managing uncertainties, and ready answers tend to suppress it.
It is time that leaders took cognizance of the need to be conscientious of  their succession plans than just replacing people on positions. After all, leadership is about the right decisions for business and its sustainability and longevity, and that is the hallmark of leaders who are remembered for good.


Visit www.thegrowthevangelist.com and plan a great future for your business or company, or write to thegrowthevangelist@gmail.com

Thursday, 8 September 2016

How people aim at nothing and hit it at amazing accuracy

There is an old saying: “Most people aim at nothing in life…and hit it with amazing accuracy.” It is a sad commentary about people, but it is true. It is the striving for and the attainment of goals that makes life meaningful.

People who have no goals feel emotionally, socially, spiritually, physically and professionally unbalanced. This can only cause anxiety. People who have goals make decisions that affect the direction of their life positively, which is a sign of strength. Goals create drive and positively affect your personality.

Rules of Goal Setting

Most people, when asked, “What are your goals in life?” say something like, “To be happy, healthy and have plenty of money.” On the surface, this may seem fine. As goals leading to actions, however, they just do not make it. They do not have the key ingredients necessary to make them effective, workable goals.

Your goal must be personalYour goals must be something you want to do rather than something you think youshould Know your reasons for having the goal. Whether you want to achieve something for status, money or good health is secondary as long as you want it badly enough to work hard for it.

Your goal must be positiveWe tend to focus on ideas and actions from a positive framework. Rather than saying, “I will not smoke today,” phrase it differently, “I will breathe only clean air today,” which is a statement that serves the same purpose and is more positive.

Your goal must be writtenWriting a goal down causes effects that are a bit difficult to explain. It does, nonetheless, prove effective. Written goals take a jump in status from being nebulous thoughts. Perhaps their being written serves as a visual reminder and thus continually reconfirms their importance. When things are “put in writing,” they become official in our minds. A written goal strengthens our commitment to accomplish it.

Your goal must be specificDo not set your goal by saying, “I will increase my sales next year.” You need to be specific to avoid the lack of commitment that comes with being vague. A more workable and motivating goal would be, “I will increase my sales next year by 10 to 15 percent.” This revised statement defines the increase that you are striving for as well as the range of the desired increase. Giving yourself some leeway is more realistic than expecting to hit your goal at exactly 15 percent.

Your goal must be a challengeA goal must motivate you to work harder than you have in the past. It must move you forward. Set your goals just beyond your reach so that you will have to stretch a bit.

Your goal must be realisticEverything is relative to time and space. What is unrealistic today may be totally within reason five years from now. In any field, we never really know what the upper limits are. How, then, do we define realistic? For our purposes, the best definition must come from you and your values. You must ask yourself, “What price am I willing to pay to accomplish this goal?” You should always weigh the payoffs and the sacrifices involved before coming to a conclusion. Realistic is ultimately your decision.

Working Toward Your Goals

Now that you know the rules for setting goals, you can apply them to the goals you set for yourself. Here is an explanation of each of the areas you need to complete while working toward your goals:

Define your goalDetermine whether your goal meets all the requirements of the rules listed above. If it does, then write it down as clearly as possible.

Examine obstacles that stand in your wayThis is a time to guard against negative assumptions and self-defeating thoughts. Remember the definition of realistic. An obstacle blocks you only if you let it. Write down innovative ways to overcome obstacles.

I.I.F.M.—What’s in it for me? Why do you want to achieve the goal? What kind of payoff is motivating you?

Plan your actionYou need to carefully list the action steps you will take to bring you closer to your goal. The smaller the increments, the easier they will be to accomplish. A German proverb says, “He who begins too much, accomplishes little”. As the American Dental Association is fond of saying, “Don’t bite off more than you can chew.

Project a target date for your goal.State your deadline range, such as “between March 15 and April 1.” Think carefully about the amount of time you need. Too little time will increase pressure and frustrate you. Too much time may reduce your drive.

Know how you will measure your successGoals should be described in terms of the final outcome of an activity rather than as the activity. This is part of being specific. Instead of saying “I will be running more in four to six months,” you could say, “I’ll be running three miles instead of two miles in four to six months.” How will you measure this? Probably by having one-third more blisters on your feet.

Inspiration and Motivation

The dividends reaped by investing in yourself are unlike any other found in the financial world. When you clarify your values and set goals in all the major areas of your life—mental, physical, family, social, spiritual, professional and financial—the right roads appear in front of you like mirages in the desert, yet they are real. Choices become infinitely easier to make because you are aiming at something specific and you have taken a giant step toward hitting your goals…with amazing accuracy. Amazing rendition of this thought from Tony Alessandra  makes it a brilliant read.

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Here is why coaching becomes non negotiable

World economic forum has vetted that workplaces in 2020 will be driven more and more by human skills as technology takes back seat as the core competence in the world full of disruption.

Coaching is the only cognitive learning model that enables and empowers people around these skills as the world around us  becomes increasingly dispassionate and even indifferent.

Visit www.thegrowthevangeliist.com or call Dr.Alok Purohit to know how coaching can help you in your circumstances.

https://youtu.be/ssH70sK07AI

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Here is why committing to routines helps build new behaviours


At work and otherwise, I meet many, who have a long list of wishes, and to do’s, that will potentially be the turning points in their lives. Most are statements of benign intents but stated as ‘would like to’, ‘starting next month’, ‘waiting for right time to begin’, ‘caught up with many things’ and not moving forward is eloquently defended. Eventually, it is a state of stillness like a marvellous piece of precision engine that has no drive, or fuel.

 

In reality, most of such people fears associated with committing to newer behaviors that will offend the current state of inertia and will demand some effort to regain homeostasis. Most behaviors in practice that have been learnt and rehearsed over years get challenged and defences kick in.

 

The other set of much braver set of individuals who begin with high level of commitment but little commitment or perseverance get dared by comfort zones and slowly roll back to either the old or little better set of behaviors.

 

The highest success rate I have experienced is with those who adopt new behaviors and commit to them uncompromisingly, in routine. The results with such individuals are faster, higher in impact, and sustainable. The biggest indicators symptoms like restlessness with the new normal, yet supported by persistence, sustained realization of improved well being, and lookout for ways to overcome than to stop and roll back.

 

Sticky behaviors became stick over years and newer ones shall take their time too. Success lies in being mindful of the change process, and keep building on it. Routines are helpful in this area as they provide higher probability of adoption and expediting the re-freezing process.

 

Please write into thegrowthevangelist@gmail.com , visit www.thegrowthevangelist.com if you are seeking assistance from a coach who can help you catalyze change.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Financial Success – Stepping stone towards holistic happiness


I have hardly found a person so far who is not overly focused on ‘making money’, ‘growing bigger’ or ‘being financially successful’. By ‘overly’, I intend to express that the time spent talking about these aspects far outstrips all other facets of life that may be potentially the happiness quotients. When goaded, some streaks of semblance emerge but the intensity is very weak. As a life coach, the area of financial goals is inseparable part of my work, even though it may rub shoulders with financial advisory.

 

I, fundamentally believe, that everyone has a right to prosperity and abundance, and all are born with innate ability to attract them. The extent of success though, lies in developing financial wisdom, along with skills to make money. The fact is, we all live with bills to pay, and a wide variety of needs to fulfil, and pursuit of holistic happiness may be a utopia without financial success. Here are some pointers around building financial wisdom;

 

  1. Keeping goals in sight – Money can fulfil certain goals, and assigning a budget to each goal helps track progress and maintains focus. Beyond finances, this also establishes milestones of success till the day one may like to fearlessly pursue other passions.
  2. Mitigate risks – Capital protection is the base case scenario in any financial plan, Greed or fear may adversely impact the financial plan. Overly Leveraging is the biggest disaster one can inflict oneself with.
  3. Build assets, not liabilities – With passage of time, it is important to build assets that appreciate and fetch compounded gains, unlike unnecessary liabilities that will dent you with compounded liabilities.
  4. Diversify – Not putting all eggs in one basket is the mantra for long term success. Use cyclicality of asses classes to your advantage over long run while mitigating at the same time.
  5. Start early – Money has ‘Time Value’. Make the most of time, and not always ‘timing’. History suggests that disproportionate appreciation is observed when assets are given longer horizon.
  6. Manage temptations – Most people who hit a bounty get tempted to blow it up. While rewarding oneself is a great idea, it is better if it in proportion to a future need. Each one of us is different, and therefore may use rationale and prudence.
  7. Money depletes – Money eats itself (Inflation) if not mobilised and made to work. The value erodes and it never seems to be plenty with every passing year. Let it work FOR you and beat inflation to retain its value and grow in real sense.
  8. Know your ability to manage money – If one does not know how to manage money, never underestimate the need for an expert. I recall many who could make but not retain financial success.
  9. Money has numbers- Numbers never end, and life is finite. While chasing financial success, understand that it will soon cease to be a driver or satisfier in our pursuit to holistic happiness.
  10. Manage equilibrium- Learning to be calm amidst noise helps in focusing on one’s own goals. Treat ups and down in the journey to financial success may be temporary as long as consistency over long term is maintained. Understand that keeping and building skills is required to attract abundance. Keep learning.

 

Pursuit for financial success and stability consumes large part of our lives, time, and many other sacrifices. Persevering this phase with some discipline can help attain financial success over time.I know a few who have learnt the mantra of making their financial success work for them while they pursue their passions and life goals, and paving their way to holistic happiness.

 

Any life goals you may want to share or explore? Visit www.thegrowthevangelist.com or write to thegrowthevangelist@gmail.com

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Ten steps to traverse your journey to change


I was quite astonished to see a sudden surge in enquiries around New Year day, expressing intent to work on changing ‘something’ in life, and what could be better than a new year to begin. I could sense that most had terrific understanding of ‘what’ needs to change in their lives, and also the fact that when people sit back and mull over their ‘as is’ situation over ‘desired’ position, they are able to get great answers. Not surprised though, as I believe in the power of ‘inner core’.

 

I always have followed some basic premises when it comes to committing to a change;

 

  1. Know the need for change – Focusing on areas of highest pain helps focus the effort.
  2. Understand intensity – Usually what pains most is felt at highest intensity. There is no ‘right time’ if you feel higher intensity for a change.
  3. Visualise how future would look like – If it is changed or dealt with, what would it look like.
  4. Understand what you could resist – Behaviours change by thrashing comfort zones.
  5. Commit, invoking all inner strength – Once committed, take it as ‘irrespective’. Establish benchmarks for yourself, not relative to many others. Trust your inner power.
  6. Engage with positive people to soak motivation and goodness. Affirm to the desired.
  7. Be mindful during change – Win over each emotion, feeling that is encountered en-route.
  8. Celebrate, and reward yourself for each win, and re-charge to overcome failure. Feel the change even ‘physically’ in your body.
  9. Look back only to know how far you have reached. Not sideways to where others have.
  10. During the process, build accountability and find an agent of change. One who can help you traverse through this journey. Find a good coach who can support you during the process.

 

Searching for few answers? Want to change but need to discover that ‘something’? visit www.thegrowthevangelist.com or call 9893222222

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Beyond work and Life, it’s about being ‘Alive’!!


Many of my clients have this common expression about feeling choked with work occupying on their mind all the time. The most common symptoms described are neglecting health, negativity, low self-esteem, caught up in comparison, relationship and loss of purpose.

 

Many of us tend to trivialize our most loved pursuits that they have been passionate or happy about, eventually learn to live without them, while pursuing the worldly, yet undesired. Over years, we develop comfort with chaos and ‘noise’, and begin ‘labeling’ it as ‘lifestyle’, till it begins to hurt and we stray on innate, latent life goals. What begins as excitement, dithers over time and rational prevails. The void pushes one to high levels of anxiety, fear, uncertainty and conflicts. ‘Glorification’ of ‘busy’ becomes unproductive.

 

Work and Life can’t exist in isolation, at least over long time. The justification of not ‘living’ holistically may be self-defeating. By ‘Life’, I mean having fewer or many friends, great family life, sufficient recreation, prudent lifestyle and responsibility for actions, high awareness of self and environment, a happy being, positive influences, well balanced priorities and time for everything. It not just about life, it is about being alive, being excited for things beyond the obvious. Sounds like little too much?

 

This isn’t esoteric or utopian at all, though fewer people achieve this over time with conscious effort and mindfulness, crossing short term blocks of cynicism, doubt, fear or overconfidence. I, for one, know some real life heroes, a successful senior executive who has time for health, relationships, and spirituality and he goes out of the way to attain this balance. Another entrepreneur that I work with, is actively managing business, yet practicing detachment, and building succession over time, breaking barriers, and detaching from past. A doctor, who has ambitious goals in philanthropy after 23 years of successful professional success, and has committed time to it every day. If real life heroes fail to inspire, consider Liam Neeson, the lead in French blockbuster ‘Taken’, who signed up this movie only for his passion to live and see France, and learn Karate for three months.

 

Work and Life are not metaphors of conflicting facets of life, they co-exist, and complement each other. After all, a happy life is all about being holistic.

 

Visit www.thegrowthevangelist.com or write to thegrowthevangelist@gmail.com about your experiences, or your goals.

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Here is why accountability works


Raj (Name changed) started his career more than two decades ago as a trainee with a large company. Having achieved above average growth with his hard work and performance, he climbed up the ladder up to a leadership role with a large corporate house.

 

This is where the headwinds and tailwinds started, and a fairly decent performer in Raj began to shake up. Having been comfortable with organic growth, and being at right place at right time never germinated an urge to fortify his skills, or to learn/develop a few other genres that have been his latent talents, and, above all, his longing passion that remained subdued under his material pursuits. When I first met up with him, he was neck deep in frustration and negativity, poor emotional quotient and sensitivity towards people around him.

 

It did not surprise me when I heard from him about high attrition in his team, lack of trust with supervisors, and insecurity that kept him cocooned for a while. He had issues with irregular/stressed lifestyle, health and finances. One thing that I could see as his strength was his determination to come out of this cobweb, by accepting accountability for his actions. It was about 8-10 sessions later that he regained control, and has already begun preparing for his next big pursuit.

 

It does feel very lonely on top, but with a supportive coach under an accountable relationship, it is possible to create much more life than we live, break barriers of limitations, fears or perceptual blocks. As I write this, Raj heads operations of a pharmaceutical company.

 

Jatin (Name changed) is an entrepreneur who began his business with hopes and dreams more than a decade ago. Having seen upswings and downturns of the market and business, he was in delirium on many issues relating to work life balance, business scale, efficiencies, business structuring, mitigation, playing to, or, contra to markets. His education that culminated long ago hardly helped as he was in business poles apart from what he was qualified for. In the midst of uncertainty; he struggled for a while to pursue his business goals.

 

Having worked with him over last six months, there is some visibility on the way forward, and we are closely working to build a strong succession plan, his personal efficiency and holistic lifestyle, competencies and diversity in business. He does acknowledge that the risks with entrepreneurs is very high, and success depends on his ability to cognitively build on his journey, adapt to environmental changes and operate with deep sense of balance and detachment.

 

It is for a variety of reasons, people ignore early signals, or keep procrastinating till the point of no return. As experiences become dysfunctional, creating patterns or limiting behaviours, it may be a good idea to deal with them head on, and achieve fulfilment in one’s life pursuits.

 

Do write to thegrowthevangelist@gmail.com if you have a story to share or if you are looking out for a supportive coach to hold you through transition. Visit www.thegrowthevangelist.com

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Mindfulness – Attain your homeostasis


We are born alike, but each one of us is different. We have inherited legacies of social, educational, family, cultural and racial diversity, while the other part is developed over time and experience. As a part of my coaching practice, I get a chance to meet individuals with megalomania of financial, professional, and material success, and on the other hand, depression from social, health, spiritual, family and efficiency failures.

 

Having had intense, deep conversations with my clients around the subject, I realized that each one of us has his own version and scale of equilibrium, and all of us explore it dynamically with many moving parts around our lives. The tailwinds of Influences, stereotypes, cloning, group-think and conflicts distract and push people off-track from their life pursuits.  

 

Learning and practicing mindfulness keeps us from drifting away from our state of homeostasis. It is about being in the moment, and living through not just external, but even internal distractors. Those who master it, are more likely to stay on course, successfully reaching self-defined destinations. It is this homeostasis that helps fearlessly pursuing dreams and goals, and living a life to the fullest potential. A coach is what it takes to discover, explore and reinvent, a new you.

 

Write to thegrowthevangelist@gmail.com  or visit www.thegrowthevangelist.com  if you are seeking an accountable relationship to help propel yourself to the next orbit.