Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Happy new year

A deep breath for life, each step towards your goals, small little successes and failures, smiles at home or work, mother nature, its seamlessness, and discovery of purpose resolutions and the will to achieve them..
Wishing all of you a great 2015 on this eve of a great year that was!! Thank you for being a part of my life.

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Create your own life

Sooner or later, only the inner happiness shall lead to contentment , not falling prey to groupthink, chasing what others do..

Saturday, 27 December 2014

India warming up to coaching

Coaching is fast spreading its wings in India. Time for corporates, individuals and entrepreneurs to take cognizance. Visit

Friday, 26 December 2014

Commit yourself to success

Of late I have had this realization that some clients keen on my professional services, had vague imageries of what they wanted to do, not just one, but directionally opposite goals and kept fluctuating between them on priorities. Some excitedly wanted to begin but disappeared. During the pre-emptive discussion, the low intensity of commitment was visible as the responses were weak, while the enthusiasm to move forward was quite evident.

If the need for change is felt, it is inevitable that the drive has to be backed up by commitment. On whichever side, but one has to make a choice, and move ahead. Imagine a weight loss program fizzling out on day 5 either by weakening routine or undisciplined eating habits relapsing. Without commitment, the drive will only have a limited life, resulting into procrastination, ignorance and lack of forward movement. In fact I pro-actively suggest my clients to take up the coaching effort only when they are ready to commit themselves.

The discomfort of moving the existing position always has the opportunity of a positive change that can open the doors for individuals. Once the realization is strong, one must commit himself towards the cause and reap disproportionate benefits. ( )

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Discover the Santa in you

On the occasion of Christmas, I wish all a great time full of fun and frolic.

This is one day where all of us invoke the Santa within us, one that is capable of blessing us with many gifts that we inherited as human beings. A powerful and pervasive mind, our cognitive abilities, our unending quest for happiness, the mindfulness to decide our goals, the course, and the destination. Conceptual and experiential learning that equips us with a compass that helps us navigate our path, the capability and rationale to understand the right and wrong for ourselves, and sail through the complexity of balancing diverse spheres we live in and continue the tight rope walk.

May every day of this journey be full of enjoyment and happiness. May we be more of ourselves than others. May we relish and improve every moment that we have, and eliminate regrets. May we become better individuals than ever before, each day. Its about discovering every day, and which day other than Christmas is more appropriate to discover that Santa within you !! Merry Christmas!! And, Thank you Santa for timing your trip this morning, as I write my 50th blog. Merry Christmas !!

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Having holistic view of work or business

I come across professionals and entrepreneurs who keep complaining about what they do, business or work. What started as a dream job or business startup, seems to be turning into a nightmare in their explanations.

Probing deep makes it obvious that their approach to work actually changes over time. What used to be a passion or a dream, becomes an addiction, energy gets sucked up by routines and monotony, fulfillment begins to build inertia, larger dream is killed by myopia. Imbalance between social, emotional, financial, health, family, professional and spiritual spheres causes havoc over time and dissatisfaction, worthlessness, and loss of direction become imminent and require urgent attention before they have serious implications.

Most begin with a goal that keeps swelling in size but is rarely reviewed on balance and quality. For instance, most commonly, Professionals chase growth and money; entrepreneurs chase scale and varying benchmarks, realistic or unrealistic. The other facets of their individual entity are either consistently ignored, or take a back seat. In majority of cases, even the cognizance and acceptance of the issues with them faces internal resistance. As a coach I see only those people making significant progress, who successfully overcome this resistance.

It may be a good idea to keep looking at goals over time, and continue to have a holistic view of what one wants. Growth is about being holistic, and that is the key to happiness. ( )

Monday, 22 December 2014

Cut the clutter and make more of life

A lot of people carry around with them a lot of undesired “baggage” or “clutter” in their minds.

When I say this I mean that they are still holding onto things that they say they should do but don’t, the person who they had a row with but both are not speaking to each other – but both want to, the could’s and should’s in your life that hold you back – you need to let go, but you don’t.

These people carry around with them a lot of emotional attention that you could be doing without and focusing on something more productive instead! Are you like this? If the answer is Yes, I would like you to rethink deeply, it had a negative influence on your confidence and self esteem.

Think about the following;

  1. Things that you are putting up with ; at home office or work, and those that can be given up.
  2. The WIP (Work in progress); unfinished, unresolved, pending or waiting for clarification, things that can be completed faster for closure. Avoid could’s, would’s, should’s, maybe, ought’s as you can to the most.
  3. Listing your standards; Your self defined new benchmarks of how would you like to take in and process the future tasks, on quantity, time and quality. Think of idols you follow !!

Life runs at its own pace, not waiting for your resolution. Remove clutter and breath and do more. ( )

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Building confident task teams

There are many routes to building confident work teams. Most of the time, senior executives have the worries about good people with them, and majority of them get success if they did something different to mend it.

Whether you are working with a new team, or an established already well-functioning team, the guidelines included in this blog can support you in building an even stronger, focused, more cohesive team. Building confident, cohesive, well-functioning teams is an ongoing focus for managers.

Although often managers “inherit” the teams with which they work, rather than start them from scratch, the same rules apply:

Recognize that teams go through various evolution stages: Define your team’s roles and responsibilities early on. Make sure you to take the lead in this.

Have a clearly defined mission: – Provide direction and purpose to the team. Say what your objectives are and where you want the team to go.

Define clear roles and hire for fit: Explore the handoffs and how current processes help or hinder their success. Hire additions to staff whose values mirror those of your group

Define and share your team-specific “ground rules” or terms of engagement: Do this as soon as you can so people know what to expect and what your standards are.

Provide a vehicle for teambuilding: As well as taking this on yourself, delegate the “Teambuilding” responsibilities to some people in your time also. Like a “social secretary” for organizing team night outs.

Lead your group: You don’t need to start this, you should be doing this ALL of the time! List down all of the things that you can do to make sure that this happens. No teams ever thrived without untiring efforts from the leader. ( )

Friday, 19 December 2014

Ten steps to claiming a dream promotion

Have you been waiting quietly for someone to acknowledge your contributions? 

-                      The late nights you’ve put in. 

-                      The occasional weekends you’ve been having. 

-                      The mega-sale you made last month.  Well, stop waiting.  Let me show you how to take charge of your career, and get that promotion!

1.                   Generate a list of your achievements over the last year and emphasize those of which you are especially proud (e.g. that mega-sale—one of the company’s biggest).
2.                   Generate a list of your intrinsic worth—the ones you feel are especially helpful to the team (e.g. your team spirit).
3.                   Have a clear idea about where you want to go.  What position?  What additional responsibilities you want to take on?  What salary you’ll command?
4.                   Learn as much as you can about the expectations of this role and the requirements for the position (e.g. education, experience, responsibilities)
5.                   Align your testimonials with the requirements for the position you seek—prepare a case for yourself.

6.                   If your credentials are a clear match, go for it!  If not, learn more from your boss and/or HR about what you might need to meet the requirements in the near future.

7.                   When you are ready, send a meeting request to your boss to discuss your role, and follow-up until the date has been set.
8.                   Be an accomplished professional—wear appropriate business dress.  How do those who currently occupy the position you seek, dress?  Emulate them as best you can, of course within the range of your personal style.
9.                   When you meet with your boss, present your case confidently, speak clearly and help him/her make the same connections you’ve already made.

10.               Should your boss not agree the time is right, be sure to inquire about specific skills, knowledge, and performance you can demonstrate in the coming months to ensure your growth.  Specify a timeframe in which you intend to obtain them, and agree to revisit this discussion once that period expires.

 Most employees do not make and present a case for themselves due to fear or beliefs, sometimes the culture of the organizations. Make sure you do it right, and time it well.

“Be courageous.  It’s one of the only places left uncrowded”
—Anita Roddick

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Why constructive feedback works

Constructive feedback enables us to give honest, and sometimes, “tough messages” to those with whom we work. 

However, instead of insulting, shutting-down others, or alienating those who receive the feedback, and thus lowering their morale and their resulting productivity, it motivates them to ask for help, and acknowledge a skill or competency deficiency, while feeling supported and respected. 

Two of the most important factors influencing employee retention/satisfaction are:  “great boss,” and “feeling part of a team” (Hay Group Study on retention).  Constructive feedback, because it is delivered out of respect and a genuine desire for the individual to improve, accomplishes both. 

Providing feedback, in this way, enables you to build the competency and cohesiveness of your team, while effectively managing performance issues.  It also enables you to remain respected, well liked, and overall, considered “a great boss.” Make sure that the rapport and mutual dependency which are basics for the relationship are in place before constructive feedback is initiated. ( )

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Be cognizant of who you hang around with

The people whom you have the most contact with and hang around will have either a positive or negative implication on your levels of self-esteem and confidence. We all know those people who are positive, happy and joyful to be around. How do they make you feel?

Yes, they make you feel the same! They can but zest into a boring atmosphere and can fill the room with positive, can do vibes that has a knock on effect onto everyone else. We also know of those people who could grumble for everything! They never had the opportunities, they are always putting people down, they don’t like others to be successful, they are jealous and are negative thinkers - need I go on!

These people drain your energy and bring you down to their level, miles away from the level that YOU want to be operating on. Family members can be a lot like this sometimes, also but you can always choose your friends, you can never choose your family! Many a times, people get stuck with jobs with organizations living with negative, suppressive cultures that may affect a perfectly normal individual.

So what should you do to make sure that the people who you hang around with empower and support what you stand for rather than bring you down all of the time?

1.                   You have the power to choose who you hang around with. Ideally you want happy, vibrant and positive people. Choose cultures that are acceptable, positive and productive.

2.                   If you have good friends who are negative and yet you still want to hang around them, make a point of letting them know how you feel – if they are a true friend they will respect you for this. If they are negative from time to time just acknowledge that this is what they are like and block out the negativity.

3.                   The same can be said with family. Your more mature family members have behaviours that have been conditioned for years and years and from different eras. Appreciate where they have come from and as in number 2 above, elicit and select the information that filters through to your brain.

Remember, that nothing has meaning in life except the meaning that you give it. Make sure that your peace, satisfaction and performance is not sinking for people around you or organizations you work with. ( )

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Ten signs of a burnout

The world around us is growing increasingly competitive, leading to stress and anxiety as one keeps grappling with uncertainties all around. Long, and sustained pursuits at work, be it business or job, chasing business or career growth, profitability, scale and size, or financial security slowly and subtly begin impacting the overall well being for individuals. Initially, the symptoms are bleak and most overcome or ignore them, till they gain insurmountable strength. Here are a few tell tale signs of what can be called a burnout;

1.       Going to work does not excite anymore; It’s a daily ritual and a steep climb.

2.       Actions at work place begin to get driven by routine responses than fun. Neutrality and indifference towards work, people, or tasks.

3.       Loss of confidence and self image; Dissatisfaction with self, on ability, potential, negative self portrayal with self projected unreal reference points.

4.       Low sense of achievement at work place, and ridiculing/underplaying good work by others.

5.        Professional and personal spheres begin to affect each other. Attributing personal worries on work and vice versa frequently.

6.       Physical health indicators like insomnia, elevated glucose or blood pressure levels, indigestion, stress eating and gaining weight etc..

7.       Brooding, without acting on reference frames; Remaining dissatisfied, but not clarifying through exchange of communication. Getting opinionated within. Yet not looking at alternative satisfiers or motivators.

8.       Loss of communication or sudden outbursts; Limiting communication to essential but not sufficient levels. Fluctuating responses like anger, emotional outburst or reactions to usual stimuli at work place.

9.       Performance begins to slide; Almost similar to a heated engine, the efficiency begins to come down.

10.   Insensitivity towards self; One most common sign most people nearing burnout exhibit. Inflicting pain and distress on self, not enjoying breaks, workaholic tendencies characterize such phase.

It is extremely important to take cognizance of these symptoms and get professional assistance to manage and correct them well in time for a better physical and emotional health and wellness. These are times when one needs to stop, and have a complete rethink on the goals, path and destinations before it gets too late. After all, life is a journey to be enjoyed at every milestone, than a blind dash towards irrelevant goals. ( )

Monday, 15 December 2014

Ways behaviours affect business or work?

Ever thought about the results people get at work or business? Ever thought about how these are linked to our ‘internal processes’? If not already, it may be an august time to begin taking stock of such correlations.

Businesses are operated by individuals, owners/entrepreneurs or executives/employees. Each individual has these set of internal processes specific and unique to him/her, that determine the response to decisions, perspectives and responses to the stimuli confronted on a regular basis. While collective viewpoints filter anomalies in the organizational process, yet they do not insulate people and organizations from the afflictions these can cause. The bigger issue is that these remain silent killers in the system at both levels and continue to slowly eat up the efficiencies and rationale. Here are few key implications dysfunctional or unproductive behaviors can have on people and organizations;

1.       Conditioned responses: A chain of past behaviors and their acceptability kills innovative thinking and prompt them to produce ‘like effort’, therefore ‘like results’. Organizations get in vicious cycles and individuals stray away from goals.

2.       Inertia or homeostasis: It becomes increasingly difficult to break comfort zones. These may grow so strong that organizations have to undergo OD interventions to defreeze them.

3.       Emergence of ‘Group think’: people tend to follow the ‘prevalent beliefs’, as outlaws do not get accepted or appreciated. New thinking dies in the organizations and even individuals resist thinking new ideas for careers and get stuck in an arena they are in much longer they originally planned.

4.       Perception driven culture: Rationale takes a back seat, as decision makers tend to drive their areas with coloured/preconceived views. These begin to harm organizations with attrition, insensitivity to customers and their needs, and uncalled for responses to decisions they face. Individuals let go of great opportunities and possibilities as they begin to apply filters.

5.       People overpower processes: Personalities tend to dominate processes irrespective of need. This may be a very silent occurrence in the beginning with weak symptoms. System becomes people dependent making individuals important over business. For individuals, emotions begin playing stronger role that push them away from the pre-culled path.

By now, you may have begun thinking of examples at your workplaces, and the perspective to recognize and diagnose them, and rightly so as these are like ticking time bombs that may have detrimental, and sometimes incurable implications on businesses and careers. It is more than urgent to seek professional interventions to course correct these dysfunctional behaviours at individual and organizational levels. ( )

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Thinking of change? Applying ‘Separate entity’ concept..

The first lesson that is taught in commerce curriculums is the separate entity concept that assumes that companies or businesses have a completely different entity or identity even other than owners or shareholders.

Be it entrepreneurs or executives, the most common phenomenon that remains grossly unnoticed is ‘attachment’ or identification with businesses or jobs. This is one sure step to longer term concerns wherein businesses and jobs begin enslaving them and their individual identities are affected. Emotions and personalities begin driving businesses and business objectives take a back seat.

People tend to argue strongly about their passion at jobs or businesses and they increasingly enjoy it, and own it as ‘their’ creation. While this argument walk the edge, the reality is that their being and style begins to dominate the business calls and subtly cause sustained damage to the entities.
The point I am putting forth is for individuals to look at lives in a ‘holistic’ perspective wherein business or work is a part of a much larger being, and being appreciative of the fact helps in building more sustainable and balanced lives for them as well as help keep businesses in ship shape with their own entity, unaffected in the long run by who operates them. ( )

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Thinking of change? Applying the concept of Opportunity cost..

For some reason I have been obsessed with the concepts from finance, and thus here is another one that is borrowed from there. This emerges from the fact that besides every decision or action we take, there lies a cost of not taking an alternative course. This applies to our own lives when we think of acting on anything,, and my statement has a positive connotation.

When we write a new story for ourselves, we always face some inner resistance or inertia against that change and the comfort of our current story loom large on future possibilities and actions. In the light of the concept of opportunity cost, this course that gives way to the inertia comes with a huge opportunity cost, and I call it the cost of positive change. Denial, postponement, procrastination, fears, lack of commitment to a cause are some of the barriers that push people back and drift them from their potential success, and that is the opportunity cost of not moving in that direction.

This opportunity cost actually grows when seen in light of the concept of compounding and thus the individuals are unable to reap disproportionate benefits of such positive change, and lost, what could have been a great opportunity in an area. It is evident that rational decisions need not be withheld, and the opportunity behind what may look momentarily difficult, is not lost. ( )

Planning to change? Think of the power of compounding..

The concept of compounding is drawn from the world of finance. Wizards preach this to investors and advise them to begin investing early, even if that means smaller sums regularly. I wish to draw a parallel to the world of learning, and changing.
I wrote about resolutions couple of days ago, and I did talk about the weakening drives that bring people back to square one. I wish to now harp a bit on ‘procrastination’ which sends people off guard whenever they think of changing, improving or taking a new position from their state of homeostasis. The inertia keeps building up all the time and the discomfort of leaving their ‘current’ comfort zone becomes a barrier to change.
Many a times, the times elapsed before initiating a change becomes so irrelevant that most either take a step forward and return to earlier behaviours, or the change is made bit too late to fetch desired results in the context of time. Think of practical examples around us, the need to lose weight before entering the risk zone, balancing work life to manage stress, investing time and energy on succession at business, diagnosing a disease early, reacting to markets at the right time (Already thinking KODAK or WALKMAN?) have their own advantages and the results are much more disproportionately rewarding.
I urge that we quickly begin thinking of such most needed changes around us, or at least start identifying those as the first step. Think of habits you want to quit, recover focus on key areas of life, take decisions head on and with rationale than delaying them, build goals and begin with an end in mind, or take inevitable calls before they change you.
I strongly recommend that professional help is sought on various areas to sometimes even help knowing what and why needs to be changed. A change initiated today, even with some rate of failures will impel us forward and fetch much higher dividends. In context of time this builds up to grow, and compound on those who successfully transit into their new world of possibilities and abundance. 

Friday, 12 December 2014

Making the best of collective judgement

Organizations across the world have experienced success when they have had diversity, and in fact, most organizations with truly global thinking are strongly biased towards building it in their DNA. The core purpose of formation of groups, task forces or committees is to assimilate the diverse viewpoints to churn out best solutions. Organizations have experienced high success rates when panels have been deployed for selection of senior talent.

The point that I am trying to put forth here is simple, it is about the organizational culture to accept and make use of collective judgement to best of its potential. A large cross section of organizations display high power play, politics and dysfunctional group dynamics that leads to suppression of views, ‘group think’ and defensive approach by the group participants. This results in completely disastrous environment and ulterior actions by the team members. While such organizations may not display any construct or structural issues, they are likely to have continual swarm of negativity and disengagement that becomes difficult to diagnose for its complexity and ‘informal’ and undesired processes.

In order to benefit from diversity, it is important to create a free and fertile environment for airing viewpoints and exchange of ideas. In fact it may be even better to encourage and motivate people to think surreal. This not only helps organizations become innovative, but also avoid crisis like situations by confronting with best possible solutions, and remain relevant to its markets and customers for a longer horizon. ( )

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Began thinking of another new year… and resolutions?

It has been nearly customary to think, plan and resolve to some commitments as if the dates would turn inauspicious if one did not do it. It is more of a social declaration to make sure that the world knows about what one is going to do next, and as if that would make it happen. These resolutions range from losing weight, being punctual, exercising, to committing to some positive progress in life.

 The reality check will show that nearly all resolutions get shattered within first ten days of the New Year. A few of them see the light of the day but not for the fact that they were taken on a specific date, but for sheer strength of commitment and strength of motivational drive.

Just some food for thought, if a change was necessary, why should it wait another 20 days from this day? Hasn’t it waited enough for the need to grow stronger and direr? It is time to begin and commit to those goals today, and take concrete steps towards them, right away. Need is to have the right attitude, commitment and resources in place, while the earlier two are internal, the latter is external. The need of the hour is to look out for professional help, break inhibitions and collate all that is required to propel one towards the goals.

Only calendars or resolutions never changed anything. Intents give a good feeling, but no propulsion, as majority of individuals fall flat on execution when the drive weakens or dies. This is a call for all those who are waiting for change of another calendar year for changing their lives. Get up and get going. If the resolve has drive, direction, execution and measurement, nothing can stop one from hitting goals, time after time. ( )

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

The need to reinvest on Life 3.0

Most recently, I have been deeply thinking about the concept of life 3.0, as most of the senior managers and entrepreneurs I speak to; inadvertently talk about a void around mid life. Although most do not aptly articulate it, but the undertone is around rediscovering their own selves, resetting their course for the life ahead. I call it life 3.0 basis, the first part spent as learner, followed by the second, as high achievement oriented practitioner which sooner or later begins to pose a question on life 3.0.

I have used the ‘resetting’, as life 3.0 is a new beginning that starts with newer horizons, goals and priorities. It somewhat relates to what conventional wisdom talks about, actualization, with a difference that this is still a stage to acquire knowledge for remaining relevant in fiercely competitive world for upcoming phase of life.

I meet senior executives and entrepreneurs who continuously keep pressing snooze button on the obvious ‘alarms’ that they get from time to time, even within themselves. Success either eludes them, or remains another dead milestone without happiness, inner motivation begins to see new lows, and the routine eventually enslaves them, drifting them away from their destinations and goals.
This is the time I strongly recommend, for re-calibrating the compass, and taking stock of where one wants to go. This is the time, a good coach is essential, when one cannot come out of the situation himself, with his resources and well in time. This is the time to reconcile that what brought one up to this point, may not propel him for future course of journey. This is the time where one needs to go beyond the boundaries of conceptual and experiential modes of learning, and take up self discovery to define goals, path and destination of the journey…and this is the time to REINVEST in Life 3.0. ( )

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

What not to expect from a Coach

I have been arguing for some time, that coaching cannot be bought or sold, just like health, sleep or peace of mind. It is a way of life, a learning theme that requires attitude, trust and commitment to one’s own goals, and in that sense it is not even altruism. It just requires coachee’ to be responsible and committed to ‘himself’ and ‘his’ goals. I strongly believe, most entrepreneurs and executives need one, even if the need is dormant today.

As many clients think coaching is similar to training, advisory, counseling or consulting, which currently requires herculean effort to explain differentiation, they also think that a coach may shower ‘Gyaan’ (Knowledge) and leave you with consequences.

1.       Coach will have a magic wand: Expect and allow reasonable time period to work on barriers and blocks that one has lived with for several years. Think of a possibility of losing 25% weight in two weeks when you think of super quick turnarounds.

2.       Coach will judge, preach or advise: Coaches can help your structure, strategize, discover or at best reflect, but not inflict his viewpoint. Your success banks on mutual commitment and energy invested on creating a desired outcome.

3.       Coach will know your business: Coaching is a universal skill and there are many examples where great coaches behind success of an individual never knew his business. However, coaches with rare combination of strong conceptual, experiential and practice base offer high probability of success for clients. In fact in many ways coaches out of clients arena bring the advantage of diversity and a outsiders point of view.

4.       Coach can succeed without client’s success: Good coaches have accountability partnership with clients that traverses across milestones of time and results. In fact what most need to strongly realize is that they gain disproportionately as they transform their lives. Also these engagements and relationships grow and strengthen over time when clients succeed.

5.       Coach leaves you with consequences: Good coaches are with the clients on co-created results that are produced with human effort. They may jointly face successes and some failures too, but the outcomes undergo scrutiny and resolution for a better futuristic outcome.

6.       Coaches come Cheap: Like most industries, it is common to find differentials depending on ability, skills and practice. It is important to understand that coaching has a diagnostic and remedial course, and unless practiced well, it can have adverse or no effect. Coaching is intensely effort and result oriented learning theme, and this investment should be made keeping in mind the transformation, and not short term results.

So, should one think about coaching, begin with need for patience, time, effort, focus, accountability, realism, and investment in mind. Remember, good coaching does not produce change; it enables transformation, and those, that remain with clients forever. Wish you a great day ahead.

Friday, 5 December 2014

Five things you need to succeed as an entrepreneur

My apologies to be late on this sequel, for I have been moving into my coaching practice full time, after my corporate pursuit for little over 25 years. Carrying on the threads from where we left last time, most entrepreneurial ventures begin with the feeling of fear and anxiety, and it is natural and human to have one. In fact this feeling is responsible for most successful ventures. Some successful entrepreneurs I have asked have admitted with reluctance, that despite their confidence people keep hearing about, they were the most scared lot when they made a beginning. They could only factor in risk and mitigate it to the extent of human capability. As a coach, I believe that some basic elements could make or mar the success of a venture;

1.       Start up idea: For those who ‘follow’ others in terms of idea or genre and believe that they would succeed too, the reality is, followers rarely made it big. It was always the idea relevant to time that made it to the customers.

2.       Emotional build: Entrepreneurs put comforts at risk, and toy with uncertainty, needing some metal in their hearts and mind to enjoy the camel ride. The emotional build is although a combination of contrarian ‘soft’ emotions like passion and belief, and some truly ‘hard’ emotions like willingness to commit and withstand the tide. A good professional coach can come handy on this one.

3.       Focus with flexibility: The beginning with end in mind is synchronous with law of attraction, and does propel start up entrepreneurs, without getting bogged down by hurdles that come in way of success. Also some sense of alterations to be made to the strategy in a non-utopian market place may help navigate to the goals successfully.

4.       Intuition: Successful businesses have strong intuition as underlying success factor. Their stories had emerged well ahead of time, and they were built, bought and adopted over time. This is one strong trait most successful entrepreneurs exude.

5.       Readiness: It is common to hear that people take a plunge in a mad rush. Reality check on how many succeeded could be the benchmark of their efficacy. Most better organized entrepreneurs would have had some preparation or warming up while getting into a venture, ranging from genre knowledge, industry connect, insight into customer needs, and the skill pool that get together to make a holistic approach to markets. These have high probability of making it to customers.

Entrepreneurship entails uncertainty, but the thrill of creating on one’s own can be much more fun, and fetch rewards that are self earned, and may help provide fulfillment to those who make a serious effort towards it. Wishing the very best to all those who wish to now make it big on their own.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Bitten by entrepreneurship bug? Read on..

Entrepreneurship is a reality for most professionals who have grown beyond or ‘outgrown’ their professional roles with their employment. For some, it is early and for others, it may be little late. The issues relate to compensation, affordability of employers, ‘recycling’ that most organizations undergo to refresh their philosophy and inculcate new ideas, and beyond everything else, ageing that most professionals naturally undergo. It may sound as a brutal reality but that is how organizations shed old skin and build a new one.  The exceptions are only ones who continue to grow at organic pace and employment remains a satisfier.

Many like to fiddle with this idea when they are doing fine with professional assignments, and for many of such people it is about non alignment of ambition/aspiration with job roles, or intellectual evolution that catapults them to explore their own potential, seeking freedom to practice their own will with ideas.

 I keep hearing the intent to begin on their own from majority of professionals but nearly 90% of them remain intents and are never backed up by solid planning or determination. I wish to address this one to those falling into this category.

Entrepreneurship has risk, but it is not necessarily about a binary gamble. It is about an idea relevant to time, perseverance, belief and value creation. It is therefore possible to mitigate at least some risk before one takes a plunge. For this purpose it is important to ‘plan’ the venture well in advance and make some basic preparations. While in this post, I leave many of you with this idea, I would surely highlight some of my thoughts in my next blog. I would in the meantime like to hear some ideas on

So long, I await some that you may have.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Deadly leadership level hiring blunders

Irrespective of the size, most organizations desire to build leadership that has strategic vision for business, penchant for people/talent management and building a sustainable organization for future. The magnitude of stakes involved at these positions need not be reinforced. Yet, many organizations make the moist fatal hiring blunders at this level. Some of the most prevalent and common ones that immeasurably impact organizations are as follows;

1.       Not assigning quality time on hiring:  Leadership level hiring needs high quality formal and sometimes informal time for knowing a candidate or explaining about organization. It is about this mutual investment of time that builds trust and commitment and confidence. A tight time window with a targeted date for closure only ruins the purpose and ends up queuing up worthless resumes’ , resulting into wasteful  rejections round after round.

2.       Inability to focus on “Must DO” and Can DO”: For no fault of theirs, candidates meet recruiters with their past experience. It is the recruiters who fantasize the fitment of the candidate into the role. More often than not, this fantasy leads to force fitment and assumption that a candidate “will manage to handle this role”. I have seen some very senior professionals taking this approach for leadership level hiring, either under duress of time or just manning a position.

3.       Failing to notice soft aspects and screaming gaps: It is proven time and again that the past is indicative of future behaviour. Inability to ask the “right questions” to gauge the past behavioural patterns often leads to missing the most probable future courses of behaviour in the given situations. It is extremely critical for recruiters to take note of emotional quotient, distortions, contradictions and deletions during the interview. Having had some success with this, I have had a few cases of my interview inferences coming near cent percent true post recruitment.

4.       Segregating “ability” and “potential”:  Leadership recruitment requires a clear understanding of these two which sometimes may be interchangeably used in literal terms. As leadership roles involve strategic investment for the organisation, either both or the latter could be very relevant from a longer time horizon. Ability helps leaders execute quickly, potential keeps them ahead in the “inspirational” bracket of leadership for their given structures and helps them to create and re-create “differential” that keeps them there.

5.       Not identifying the “amiability” quotient:  Leading teams requires acceptability and buy in as the very basic qualities in leaders. All amiability indicators like humility, poise, mannerism, interpersonal sensitivity, focus, and ability to strike “good transactions” and receptivity may be some key indicators of amiability quotient. Someone who has progressed to the eligibility of leadership level hiring may be looked upon more on these than his past successes.

Failure in hiring the right leadership position can have destructive implications and it may be advisable to build caution in the process and have requisite skill to identify the right talent.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Five detrimental havocs at a new work place

In this fast paced professional world, most people end up with average 3-6 assignments in their active working tenures. Over the years, I have worked with many such professionals and as a keen observer, tried to assemble the small dispersed fragments of my observations on the most detrimental mistakes people make at their new work place;

1.       Insensitivity towards the change of Industry: Companies across different industries do not work alike. While most organizations work with a view to encourage diversity and assimilation of ‘best practices’, the business model of each industry is bound to be different. It may not be a great idea to compare and view everything with an already conditioned mind. This may only reflect inflexibility and discomfort in a different environment.

2.       Insensitivity towards organizational culture: Each organization has been brought up with deep rooted values, good, bad or ugly over several years. Building an expectation of organization changing for you, or, you changing the organization too fast, at will could be decimate your chances of success with colleagues and the new environment.

3.       Criticizing the legacy that one inherits: All of us inherit some legacy and also leave one behind. While most of us may expect admiration or appreciation on what we leave behind, a majority of people end up criticizing what has been handed over to them at their new work place. More than this, these are extremely unfounded, premature conclusions which are made and communicated in order to re-set the expectations on the starting point.

4.       Pre-conceived notions about their work place : I observed a few unproductively researching on weak areas to be highlighted or identifying ‘tough nuts to crack’ in their initial learning days rather than focusing to know more about the industry, business, comparables with the best in the industry and improvement areas. This only reflects self serving assumptions that begin to condition their minds and shape their perceptions and beliefs. A different reality only ends up being a shocker while the damage is already done. It may be a good idea to look for data for objective judgment.

5.       Focusing on personal engagements: Arriving at a new work place has its own anxieties and new joiners end up managing them by engaging with presumably like- minded people, irrespective of relevance and value of precious learning time, and the opportunity to meet many others at the work place. While comfortable relationships will address initial anxieties, it may be useful to engage and be visible across departments and peer group to be effective, faster than expected.

A new work place is the ramification of one’s effort to get a new opportunity, environment or setting. It is that time to begin completely afresh with no inertia, notions or past experiences. I would recommend that all of us make the most of this occasion and time.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Stop living with these five degenerating myths

Recently, I spoke to about 30 people among my acquaintances and asked them only one question… ‘do you want something to change in your life’.. expectedly I could see an answer in  assent. I did this in order to gauge the percentage of people who, despite a strong urge and a dormant need to change, keep it suppressed and do not act further to seek help. The most common ‘internal justifications’ or myths people resort to are typically:

1.       I can’t change it: The reality is one can, if one decides to.

2.       I do not know how it will be, in an unknown territory once I step into: A change will happen only when one moves from the status quo.

3.       Time is not right to begin and I will wait: Good time shall never happen by procrastinating. There are advantages of beginning early, in all walks of life.

4.       It is not worthwhile putting in resources (Time/energy, effort, money): Nothing moves without effort and commitment. Once need and ways to bring about a change are bought into, go whole hog to reap disproportionate gains from the requisite change.

5.       My time for learning is over: In fact the time for learning is never over. Without learning, one begins degenerating. It is a sure shot recipe for obsolescence.

The need is to seek professional help and look out for an agent of change who can help you sail through these transitions. It is necessary to recognize and be aware if one is telling these lies to himself. I always argue the concept of ‘Compounding’ and ‘Opportunity cost’ in one’s life. It signifies the time advantage by your side if positive changes are brought in earlier and minimizing relative loss by taking the right foot forward. I wish to embark upon these concepts a little more in my next blog. Meanwhile, wish all of you a very happy Dussehra, and wish that all of us kill the evil forces inside us and let the pure soul prevail.