Thank you for the Rain!

“After rain there’s a rainbow, after a storm there’s calm, after the night there’s a morning and after an ending there’s a new beginning.”

Anonymous

The preface of rain is the evaporation of water. Saturation point is when vapor condenses into clusters of tiny water droplets and frozen water crystals. We call these clusters – Clouds!

Our life is clouded over by the struggles we face. Simply put, it’s the condensation of our tiny troubles that form these clouds. A clouded life always seems hazy.

In order to dance in the clouds, you will at some point have to juggle lightning and taste the thunder. I say so because without having to struggle in life nobody would realize the true comfort of happiness.

We often land in situations where life gets tough and unworthy of living, yet it is this time where our inner strength counts the most!

At some point or the other, the “CLOUDS” in our life reach saturation and soon water droplets grow heavy enough. Gravity then pulls these saturated clouds and brings them down as raindrops….

The monsoon season is often disguised in the form of Thunderstorms. Painful endings are followed by New beginnings.

 Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of Fear – Mark Twain

 Let’s welcome the Season of New Beginnings, The Season of Growth, The Season of Acceptance – Rains!

So walk through the storm Fearless and Strong, sprout new leaves and spread your roots. If it never rains, then we’ll never grow. Regardless of your circumstances, take every day as a new beginning in life. A new year is not always necessary to begin afresh, every drop of rain brings along smiles, hopes and expectations!

Start your day beautifully; laugh your heart out, sense the smell of rain, cherish the moment and ignore the pain! Anything that has a beginning must also have an end. And anything that has an end will also have a new beginning… but what is most important is believing that you are your own silver lining.

There’s always a chance to begin; to begin a new pattern of thoughts, a new wave of emotions, a new connection to the world and a new belief system within you!

Do not lose hope, believe that there are a thousand beautiful things waiting for you. Joy comes to all who feel the rain; hence, trust in the magic of new beginnings!

Hope you enjoy playing in puddles this rainy season…

 

Leader as a Salesperson

“Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that the impact lasts in your absence”  – Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook

As I interact more and more with Leaders in my sessions and meetings, one thing I notice emerging rapidly is the fact that Leadership is Salesmanship… simply put, today, an effective Leader is a Salesperson who has to sell – whether it’s a Vision or Ideas or Thoughts to his Circles of Influence.

In today’s Multi-Level Competitive Environment and the Age of Social Media, selling is everywhere. Every stage of selling includes a level of Customer Acceptance and Acknowledgement. I often say in my sessions, that The Sales Person Persuades the Unpersuaded.

The critical question – Are we Telling Or are we Selling? According to me, the element which differentiates between Good and Great lies in the two words – TELLING OR SELLING … Telling is stating what we have to offer and Selling is offering what the customer requires – so let’s put them in the context of a Leader and a sweet spot emerges.

Leadership is the Art and Science of gaining a Buy-In using a combination of various Leadership Skills. The Leader’s Value Proposition is Realizing the Vision and Gaining Stakeholder’s Acceptance. Now when these two align, we create Leadership Impact and Presence. The Onus is, and will always be, on the leader to sell the Vision to the Stakeholders.

Leaders need to constantly Sell and not Tell. Successful Leaders use Multiple Techniques and Processes such as Opening Lines, Image Creation, Understanding Requirements, Storytelling, Objection Handling and Closing. In sales, the process traditionally has been Pre Call, Closing and then Relationship Building. Whereas in the Leadership journey, the process emerges as Vision, Execution and Employee Engagement.

I call Leadership as the power of the 3Vs.

3V's

In a leader’s endeavor, his Proposition is towards his Circles of Influence.

Emotion is the Power of Connecting with employees.

And Fulfillment is felt through the Employees’ Engagement with the Organization.

When we look back at history, we realize that great Leaders were also great Salespeople – with great Beliefs and Commitment. Leaders like Thomas Edison, Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Steve Jobs, right down to the current generation of successful worldwide leaders.

As I often reiterate “A leader is a factory of Thoughts and Emotions that creates the Persuasion for his Vision”.

So, Keep Leading or rather as we say, Keep Selling.

 

S.M.A.R.T in Life

future-blog-2017

The best way to predict the future is to create it.

– Peter Drucker

Just look at where we are today. Powerful technology is changing our world. Today we complete a lot of work by using smart phones and computers. Scientists have created advanced technologies to make life smarter for humans. Technology has seeped into all aspects and its noteworthy impact can be seen in Education, Health care, Workplace, safety and security, and Transportation.

Technologies like Augmented Reality, 3D Projection Mapping, Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality and Robotics have transformed our present and future.  With the help of all these technologies, some companies have moved towards smart and advanced work.

For example: Domino’s has launched the first commercial drone delivery service in the world.

Tesla’s Enhanced Autopilot hardware in their car enhances its journey as it correctly follows the rules of the road by identifying road signs, traffic management systems and other vehicles.

Advanced 3D mapping technology has been used in launching the campaign of “Make In India.”

Some Advanced technologies like Natural language processing, voice recognition technologies, vision processing algorithms etc., all will be placed on micro chips and those systems will make intelligent decisions and manage all work for us.

Looking forward to enhance our mobility, the introduction of Hyperloop, could enable us to travel from one city to another in matter of minutes. Machines could start thinking like humans; Virtual reality could replace textbooks; 3D-printing could be used to construct houses; Self Driving vehicles could be everywhere.We’ve really welcomed technology into our lives.

Not only the smart phones but our homes would be Smart Homes, our city would be Smart cities  and vacations would turn into Space trips. Ultimately, artificial intelligence will control the human brain. During operations, surgeons would be able to see through anatomical structures such as blood vessels without cutting open organs by the use of Augmented reality. 3D printed organs will soon start replacing damaged organs in the human body.

These advanced technologies would make our life Simpler, Smarter, Better, Easier, more Active and Happier than before.

Surprising Marvels of Advanced Revolutionary Technology in Life are the reality of near future.

 

The Art of Having Less and Doing More

Haveless Do More
“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say No to almost everything”- Mr. Warren Buffet

Minimalism aka Voluntary Simplicity is an interesting phenomenon. It means we consciously and diligently focus on the critical elements of our life – these would vary from individual to individual. However the broad areas could be family, work, team, social interactions, and one’s passion and knowledge enhancement. What is of paramount importance is to ELIMINATE the unnecessary clutter surrounding us. This brings in clarity of purpose in the beginning of the day and a sense of achievement when the day ends. It’s a focused attempt to live more intentional and targeted life, thereby pushing its quality notches higher.

How does the paradox of having less while doing more work? Simply by “making do with less”. It means saying “No” to superfluous stuff in your life and granting that extra space to the critical elements which hold more importance.

Minimalism doesn’t mean there is anything inherently wrong with owning material possessions. All of us do require a certain degree of consumerism to maintain the quality of life. However the complexity occurs when people assign more value to things than to people. Our happiness should not be linked to the number of things we own. Thus, minimalism is a technique of prioritizing which enables us to zero in on the most important aspects of life.

As rightly said by Mr. Ken Blanchard- “It is my observation that too many of us are spending money we haven’t earned to buy things we don’t need to impress people we don’t like.”

Budhdha and JesusMinimalism is not a recently introduced concept; it has actually been around for centuries- various saints and gurus such as Gautama Buddha and Jesus Christ have propagated minimalism and its benefits. The spiritual value of living a simple life can be found in most religions, their teachings as well as the Sramana traditions of Iron Age India.

In 1936, a writer named Richard Gregg published an essay titled “The Value of Voluntary Simplicity,” thus coining the term for the first time. Over time the concept evolved into a movement, though it has remained a fringe lifestyle.

So how can Minimalism help us? It makes us more appreciative of people in our lives; value experiences more, and gives us freedom to pursue our passion. It can also help us be more proactive to situations instead of reactive.

In the professional scenario, minimalism helps achieve a higher emotional quotient by increasing self awareness. Balancing EQ and IQ facilitates in dealing with professional and personal relationships.

However, simple living isn’t as easy as it sounds. It requires a high level of self awareness and mindfulness of what truly matters to us. Being an absorbing concept, like all good things, minimalism should also be done in moderation. Since it’s a subjective concept, it looks different to different people therefore it is a decision of discretion.

“The secret of happiness is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.”- Socrates


Pursuit of Happiness

Pursuit of Happiness

Certain things catch your eye, but pursue only those that capture the heart.

Ancient Indian Proverb

The employment landscape of today is overwhelmingly complex, but the great thing about it is you get to decide what you want to do. And if you don’t like what you’re doing, you can change.

Hence ‘Choice’ is what we have.

And our choice decides whether we have a job or are we pursuing our career.

Today we see a huge number of black ties and white collars all around us, but most of them are just doing a job. People strive for the money but forget about the dreams. And by the time they realise their mistakes, it’s too late.

To pursue ones dreams and passion is the biggest career one can achieve, but no matter what the dreams are, they do not become reality easily. One has to dedicate all strength of body, mind and spirit to build career.

While the idea is liberating, it’s also scary and confusing for many.

The trick hence, is to make every job a part of your career. Get rich slowly, as every job provides skills and resources for the future. Follow your energy, follow your interest. Enable you to be your best self in whatever you do, because that’s where you will thrive.

Because as beautifully summed up by Simon Sinek –

“Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress; working hard for something we love is called passion.”

Creative Minds

Creative Minds

“Creativity is intelligence having fun” -Albert Einstein

The human creative spirit is more than an occasional insight. It is the muse of good and at times great ideas. It is turning imagination and exploring new ways of doing things, the desire to innovate, and bringing dreams into reality.

Creativity is the tool to prepare your mind to get ready to explore opportunities. When this is combined with a single minded determination and focus to get through tough situations, it creates the perfect blend for greatness.

“Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine, and at last, you create what you will”

– George Bernard Shaw

Creative ideas often come from unusual combinations. These unusual combinations may seem unrelated at first glance but remotely associated to each other. The most creative people are always in search for interesting things, even if they can’t use it immediately on whatever they are working on now.

The world around us is filled with examples of many such creative geniuses. Viewed as an icon in animation industry throughout the world Walt Disney came up with Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Pluto, Goofy and a number of other cartoon characters using his imagination and creative skills. Steve Jobs was a man of ideas and he left his mark by helping to make the world a global village. His genius was in making products look deceptively uncomplicated and as famously quoted by him

Simple can be harder than complex, You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”

Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein are examples of creative visionaries. They were continuously searching new information to experiment creative discoveries.

“I never made one of my discoveries through the process of rational thinking”

― Albert Einstein

Creativity helps yoCreative Minds2u to become more confident and more flexible, to remain competitive in business and excel in career. So if you want to ignite your creativity, here are few things to channelize your thoughts to go further:

Surrounding yourself with a broad range of perspectives and experiences widens your creativity.

Bringing openness in thoughts and training mind to come up with as many ideas helps to boost creativity.

Brainstorming session with colleagues and team members helps tap into additional information.

Discussing important ideas with less expert people may help seeing a problem or idea from a different angle.

Keeping a track of interesting ideas, articles, images, or even new thoughts might be helpful when you least expect.

“Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you. You can change it. You can influence it. You can build your own things that other people can use.” – Steve Jobs

BEYOND TITLES

Beyond titles

“You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get them across, your ideas won’t get you anywhere”-Lee Iacocca

The essence of Communication is to connect and convey, and the most critical link in this communication circuit is the part that sits between the listener’s ears, i.e. the brain. All we need to do is, exploit the power in this context.

“Tell me, I’ll forget. Show me, I’ll remember…” – Benjamin Franklin

Our brain is hard wired to quickly process visuals and it is always more entertaining for us to see imagery than to read descriptions.

Communication works best when it paints a contextual picture using just a few brush strokes, leaving listeners to fill in details and create meaning based on their own experience. Infographics gets to the heart of todays communication era and crafts “visual” messages.

Infographic is an art that follows the information, and creates a qualitative aspect of data, which helps us to see information in new ways, gives us greater insight for understanding and problem solving.

The popularity of turning data into visuals has skyrocketed in recent years & businesses are using infographics more than ever to optimise audience’s attention to their websites. The right content with apt designing, and layout has direct impact on the viewership. From Statistical graphs, annual reports, magazine articles, survey reports etc all use an eclectic mix of design elements to enhance comprehension.

The food, snack and beverage giant, Pepsico is among one of the real-world examples of companies who use, disclosure infographics and have an entire website devoted to an archive of infographics. On the other hand, we have Philips which has one of the lengthiest disclosure infographics being distributed on the web right now.

Today, without graphics, an idea may be lost in the sea of words. When words and visual elements are closely intertwined, it creates something new. The visual language has the potential for increasing human bandwidth of understanding as it’s easy to digest, fun to share and easy to recall.                                 

“Infographic Thinking” Is The Future, Not A Fad – Francesco Franchi

KINDLING IDEAS

Kindling ideas

From social media to mobile applications, music to marketing, the world of young talents is building their business around the tiniest of ideas. These young entrepreneurs are moving today at a reckless speed to occupy every nook and corner of your household. From getting you a new house to washing your shoes, everything has been built up as a business idea.

It is the term “start-ups” which has been in limelight over the past few years to describe the young ventures that are spawning a new generation of companies, a trend that is notably boosting the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

With e commerce blazing the trail for this new era of growth, it has become the lifeline of many businesses and it’s changing how businesses develop their global expansion plans. The technological innovations and the ease of information access in the e- commerce world has been the tools of the start-ups which is resulting in quick access to slogans like “Dil Ki Deal”, Bech de”, or “Ab Har Wish Hogi Poori”.

Eric Ries sums it up pretty well in his definition of a start up;

A start up is a human institution designed to deliver a new product or service under conditions of extreme uncertainty.

And yes uncertainty it is!! Today enterprises thrive in the VUCA world in every aspect of its journey. And success is driven only by knowing how to lead, engage, develop, execute and innovate continuously. The goal of these start-ups in this contemporary world is to figure out the right thing to build (as quickly as possible) which customers want and are willing to pay for.

 

A start up is the roller coaster of the business habitat with tireless zeal being the essential unit of progress. From a creative insight, it is a human enterprise.

TICKING AWAY

Ticking Away

“Time”…… what comes in your mind when you hear this word?

Do you think of good old times you have spent…

OR the future you wish to live…

OR how time flies in happier times and it trudges by when you are bored or unhappy.

Have you ever felt that the time you have and the goals to fulfill share inversely proportional relationship?

As the proverb goes,  “yesterday is a cancelled cheque, tomorrow is a promissory note, today is the only cash you have so use it wisely”.

Yes! Time is money! And just like we manage our money we need to manage our time too. Proper time management can help you do wonders. It can help you accomplish your goals efficiently, reduce work and create higher quality of work, because in the end it is all about working smarter than harder.

Did you also know that people who plan out their to-dos have lesser stress levels than those who don’t? So it is crucial to manage time if you want to have a stress free lifestyle. Always remember a well organized life finds a way to do everything and this is what separates great people from the ordinary.

As Stephen Covey stated the key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities’, because managing time without setting your priorities will be like shooting an arrow randomly and calling whatever you hit as your target.

‘One always has time enough, if one will apply it well.’ – Goethe

 

Today’s CEO

Today's CEO

A question that is very often asked in my sessions is …….

HOW HAS THE ROLE OF A CURRENT CEO CHANGED? Is the new CEO very different from earlier CEO?

It can safely be assumed that though the Job Description may not have changed over the period of time, the fast changing business landscape with focus on…….

GLOBALIZATION, DIGITIZATION, CONSUMERIZATION AND “ASPIRATIONIZATION” of Employees, the CEO has to strategize, adapt, switch, align, execute at a break neck speed. The pressure to deliver Profitability and Stakeholders return has only added to the CEO “WHO HAS TO DELIVER”.

The challenges which were regulatory in nature earlier probably still remain….with added focus on the Business Turnarounds. The Leadership Inventory is being tested and the Performance Parameters Matrix is becoming paramount .The Business Scorecard Pressure apart from creating Measurement and Instant Accountability has resulted in fast agility and response time…

What worked earlier may not work today….

Look around us and the companies that are leaders in this Business Game… TCS , Mahindra and Mahindra, Apple, Amazon,   HDFC , Dr Reddy’s Lab. Ultratech , Glenmark , Godrej , Flipkart , Samsung ,Microsoft, Google are rewriting case studies and the authors are the LEADERS OF THE NEW CORPORATE WORLD….headed by the NEW AGE CEO

The restlessness is apparent, both commendable and scary….As it creates like in cricket a 20-20 ENVIRONMENT – DELIEVER NOW ,HIT NOW AND WIN NOW. The CEO tenure also has shrunk on an average, making it a FAST ACTION MOVIE HERO, who has to fight all odds to win in the end..

The very fact that today the Corporate World has showcased the leaders who are redefining the CEO Role itself is a tribute to the Human Endeavour to LEARN, PERFORM AND TRANSFORM. We salute the spirit, we salute the passion, and we salute the LEADER.