Friday, 12 June 2015

The power of accountability

Most people who succeed in their initiatives, have one thing in common, and that is accountability. Being responsible and answerable to the end result is something that keeps them on track and make course correction, while staying put and persevering on the task.

Simplest example is an alarm that gives a wakeup call every morning, reinforcing need to get up and stick to a routine morning task, say a walk, or exercise. Even on the days when people feel lazy, this follows and there are high chances that one sticks to the routine. Such behaviour is learnt over a period of time and gets ingrained as a new program, and that slowly builds up into a new habit of getting up well in time even if the alarm doesn’t ring.

All self- initiated, self- diagnosed or self- driven change initiatives fail, as, accountability to self gets soon overtaken by the powerful force within, the comfort zone. It is for this reason, accountability partners are required in most areas, be it health, finances, professional, behavioural or life change. Managers/Supervisors become accountability centres in companies while entrepreneurs choose their accountability centres within or outside of families.

The rationale is simple, which is to commit to an initiative, commit to hold yourself accountable to ‘someone’. Who is that someone, is a matter of trust, choice and his competence. Unless this accountability keep one on track, and keep his culpability on results, change initiatives are more likely to slip and move away from the desired direction.

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Monday, 8 June 2015

Avoiding appraisal surprises

It is common for teams to complain of ambiguity in the appraisal process, while leadership blames naivety and unrealistic expectations of teams at the appraisal desk. The struggle and confrontation  goes on and organizations suffer the consequences in terms of attrition, disengagement and disgruntled teams, causing both tactical and strategic damage to the cultural hygiene and performance. Research indicates over 70% Executives and entrepreneurs strongly feel that it is the most stressful time of the year (Industrial Psychology Journal, 2012).


Leaders, whether Executives or Entrepreneurs, need to be sensitive to the idea of consistent coaching at work, as the ingrained, unsaid skillset that they need to deliver as a mandatory hygiene factor. It is common to see most leaders doing what they like, or what excites/occupy them the most. Be it inefficient duplication, micro management, or their inability to perform tasks as good as people meant for it. Obsession (often confused with passion) tends to occupy routines, functions and therefore results. It is therefore vital to understand leadership has to consistently build on to the coaching effort, and, in fact, large part of their time needs to be invested in this area. Here are five critical functions leaders need to adhere to;


Development: Developing is about transferring skills and experiences, and not hoarding information that never gets shared for organizational benefit. It’s about creation of learning opportunities irrespective of method, conceptual or experiential. It is about any value addition that helps teams to produce an alpha.


Relationships: Subconsciously, we build, sustain and fortify relationships. Nearly 80% of time is invested on relationships. This ensures fearless culture and people do not hesitate to raise hand when they need help or support. It is an effort to build transparent and mutually respectable behavioural norms, and eventually a bridge.


Direction: This is about clarifying without ambiguity, on, where is the business or the team goal headed, what is how teams can contribute, time and measurable milestones in the journey, how would results look like, and what are the acceptable behaviours expected from the teams. These need to be reinforced repeatedly.


Accountability: Once the norms are set, it is important to create opportunities and willingness to share and accept honest, constructive feedback. Without accountability, it is likely that performance would drift.


Results: The effort has to end in a result and more often than not, the planned or course corrected result. The attribution of result, appreciation, and, ratings have to follow at appraisal meetings.


This ensures that there is a little room for surprises on either side when it comes to appraisal process as the outcomes become more predictable and certain. Seek help in building managerial coaching competencies? Visit or call +91 9893222222

Friday, 5 June 2015

The swamp of external expectations

I meet quite a few entrepreneurs and executives putting their happiness at stake, living year after year in the mould that they never wanted to, from their inner self. The pretence of wellness costs them dear on their social, financial, professional, spiritual and health fronts. The culprit is not their skill or competence, but lack of their willingness to action what they think is good for them, for the sake of posturing to the external world, and exhibiting their ‘Control’.


This transition is not sudden in most, but a result of years of subtle submission to competition with external world, or finding emotional security amidst the applause over time. Unknowingly, people get sucked into it. This begin to build a concrete wall of these self-learnt, and constantly reinforced/rehearsed behaviours, that become very tough to break even they are contextually inappropriate. They resemble swamps, where, the more one tries to escape, the deeper one sinks. Inertia looms large on decisions that are internally desired or driven.


They are not damaging only at individual level, but they affect organizations as silent killers of culture, efficiency and eventually, results. Very low or no attrition, legacy heavy structures and innovation devoid cultures are tell-tale signs of managing external expectations, both within and outside the organizations. These can prove to be fatal in the long run to the intellectual, cultural and financial health of the organizations.

The biggest barrier to coming out of such situations is self- inflicted ‘ego’ and resistance to accepting the reality under external pressures. Only those, who have an ability to be themselves, and reconcile with their inner self, stand a chance to win over and discover their happier inner self. For professional help, visit or call +91 9893222222

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Exterminating dysfunctional behaviours

As humans, we like homeostasis, any change in the way we behave, live, or respond is a pattern unique to each individual. Many a people discover implications of such sticky behaviors, and also develop conviction to change them. A drive that begins at a high magnitude slowly dies down or weakens, unless it is tied up with accountability and strong motivation in the individual. It may be realistic to understand that these are difficult to change.


These limiting behaviours develop over a long time, and having tasted success in a different context, become comfort zones with hardened beliefs. It is only a matter of time that they tend to become obsolete, but more and more difficult to change with passage of time and change of context.


While dealing with such stubborn subconscious behaviors, people tend to make a good start but only those, who attain threshold on their effort, succeed. These behaviors are like a nail being pulled out of magnetic field, and unless it crosses the effect of magnetic field successfully, it gets haunted and affected by the magnetic field. Most people lose on the change effort midway due to complacence, inertia, overconfidence, self-diagnosis and ridicule. This failure causes complete reversal or relapse, and in most cases, worse than before.


Keeping faith, accountability, willingness, professional help and self- discipline are necessary to stay on course, and it is imminent that one makes effort with very high integrity when one decides to begin.


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