Showing posts from July, 2010

The power is shifting

..from corporations to the people.  Companies are now keen on customer feedback and become customer centric.  Extreme customer focus is the new mantra.  [ Apple, Zappos and]

Even in the political landscape things are changing.  More and more government information is available to public.  People's opinions and feedback are of more value. 

More and more collaboration softwares are coming in the market, sorry flooding the market.  In academics more emphasis is on group and team work.  Student involvement into organizations is increasing. 

Recently Youtube announced to make film by gathering videos from all around the world. 

So what is the point of all this?  In such a changing world, one scare resource is needed desperately : Leadership. 

Leadership which can organize things, ideas, people of similar types and lead them to make something happen.

Active Listening

What would you do if there is conflict between two entities?  How would you solve that?

Seems pretty straight forward.  You will answer that "first listen to both the sides and then react accordingly.

Looking from outside it is so easy to listen both the sides and pay attention to what they are saying.  However it gets difficult when you are one amongst them. 

Emotions get involved, thinking goes on a personal level, Mr. Ego comes right in front, personal differences and as a result: There is no active listening.  And matters get worse. 

When you are actively listening to other person you should not think.  You are just listening to what that person is saying.  Not thinking if that person is right or wrong.  Not thinking whether you are right or wrong.  Not thinking how to knock that person down. 

Most of the people in a conversation don't seem to enjoy the art of listening.  Always trying to figure out when and where can I jump in and prove my point and win an argu…

Life is too

....short not to do something that matters.  What is that something you really care about?  And what you will do about it?

Sit and relax?

Watch on TV or read about it on Website?

Tell it to friends?

Form an organization? 

Lead the tribe?

Become an expert at solving the problem?

What will you do?

Barriers to Creativity

....are gone and now you can create everything which you thought you cannot 10 years before. 

Barriers to create a music video, audio song, podcast, drawing, convey an idea and ship to masses are diminishing.

The TV broadcasters, Radio, Print Media since decades had the rights to create and distribute ideas to masses.  And it was very costly to buy a TV spot in the prime time.  They used to be kings of broadcast technology.  Not anymore.

Technology has made it much more easier to take your ideas to the world in a cheaper and faster way. 

The only thing that prevents you from showing your creativity, your art and your talent is your fear. 

Now is your opportunity to create.  The only way to spread your idea to masses is by 2 simple rules.  Keep doing it and become a master.

Everybody doesn't need a blog

Does everybody need a blog?  Should everybody be good at blogging?  No. Everybody should not start a blog tomorrow. 

Neither should read blogs if they are irrelevant and not adding any value.

You should only blog if you want to say something which you feel is great.

You should blog if you want to communicate with a tribe of people with relevant ideas.

To make a difference in this world you don't need a blog and it is not the only way.

Even if you are a sweeper you still can make a difference in this world by showing your art.

You should blog if you want to share something.

You should blog if want your ideas to be spread.  

And Ideas that spreads wins - Seth Godin

A Kick in the Butt

A Kick in the Butt gets you two steps ahead in life.  People correcting you are the ones shaping your life.  Those who are always happy and sold on your idea aren't doing any good to your personal development.

Take a moment and think who are those people giving trouble everyday.  Who are giving you hard time at everything?  Who are criticizing you?  Who are unhappy with you?

Those are the ones waiting to give you a kick.  It depends on you how you take it.

Key to Word of Mouth Marketing

Marketing is not something you do after your product is built.  Those days are gone.  New age marketing begins from the moment you have an idea.   It is the DNA of most competitive organizations.  It starts from getting your first customer and it is driven by the customers' word of mouth. 

It is ironic that when most organizations despite knowing that word of mouth is the best marketing approach, they do things that are contrary.  Word of mouth starts from the employees and not from the customers.  If employees are not obsessed and passionate about their products, organization, work environment, with meeting people then forget the easy way of doing marketing.

You can still spend hundreds and millions of dollars on marketing your product the traditional way and end up getting average or no results.  Or you can shake up your organization, focus on the core experience associated with people(employees, customers and partners) and make it full of awesomeness. 

The most important tip f…


"A stereotype is a commonly held public belief about specific social groups or types of individuals" - Source.

Stereotypes prevents us from thinking out of the box.  That mindset is damaging.  One cannot get out of that circle.  It creates boundaries around your mind.  And boundaries act as a hindrance to your creativity and imagination.  It also prevents you from doing acts of generosity and makes you less human.  

Out of the box thinking, thinking and doing different and standing out in the crowd is a challenge.

Why do people tweet?

Is it because of Attention?  Is it because of pride?  So why do people tweet.  Is giving so much time to twitter worth?  Do you think people are paying attention to what you tweet?  Well according to me it all depends on what's your strategy.  What is your focus and what are you trying to achieve? I came across the following thought and found it interesting.  It is by Andreas Weigend, a former scientist at Amazon and professor at Stanford." Why do people tweet? What is the driver of them spending time doing this? I think it's because they think they have people giving them attention, and they do everything to play with that attention. The reason Twitter works so well is that they don't have a feedback-loop, where people can realize just how little attention they're getting. I'm not saying the system was set up that way deliberately, but it's a very well setup system. People can fool themselves into believing that others are listening, which is not easy in …

When the message is powerful it doesn't require heavy fonts, too many text-decorations or bullet points.  It requires simplicity to spread, to create an impact, to stick and to last longer.  If there is something important you need to communicate, then don't make it too complex, make it simpler, shorter and easy to remember.

Think brevity.

Problem is not the Problem

Tom Peters emphasizes repeatedly "Problem is not the problem, the response to the problem is always the problem."   Take any company and any leader they have faced public anger because of the way they dealt with the problem.

After 26/11 terrorist attacks happened in India in 2008, the chief minister of state Maharashtra, India, Vilasrao Deshmukh was forced to quit.  It was not the terrorist attacks but his response in the public that led him quit office.

Many times after we have done an error it is not the error but the way we respond to it.  Getting angry, arguing and playing the blame game is a sure way to make enemies.

Small wins

When starting big, always focus on starting from small.  Try to accomplish small tasks and celebrate them.  A couple of small wins turns into a snow ball.  Small wins have the tendency to get big.

If you want to have a huge investment then first start from small.  Start saving $10 per month.   Directly failing big is bad.  Failing small is ok.  It is rectifiable. 

Most managers believe in getting small victories.  Getting small small tasks done on time.  Think if all the managers in a firm focuses on small small victories then the big boss CEO is going win big time.

Want to write a book then develop the habit of writing frequently small articles on a regular basis.  Do it everyday and you will develop a habit of writing faster and better articles.

Change Fast or Die

Everything around you is changing.  And it is changing faster than ever.  Faster than your can comprehend.  See any Walmart shelf space filled with thousands of products and brands.  Most of them are new and handful are able to make a profit and survive.  Come next year and most of them would have been replaced.

In the future only those companies will be able to survive who will be able to change faster.  Yes the key is in the last word "faster".   Everybody wants to change.  Everybody has a change model but very few are able to change faster.

Companies who are able to execute their ideas and spread them faster to masses are able to make a fortune and others will be wiped out of the competition.  If you know a likely trend is the future then are you able to grab it and execute it faster than your competition.

Organizations in order to change faster need to focus on getting solutions to questions like
1.) What is the fastest way to recruit/replace employees for key positions?

Stomach Assault

Eating till your stomach cannot resist to expand is a sign of an unhealthy eating habit.  You are engaged in a phenomenon which I call "Stomach Assault".  It is like participating in a kind of activity that goes on till your stomach cannot take it anymore, or you are tired of chewing or you cannot afford to eat more.

I have seen many people do that all time.  They go on attacking their stomach till it gives up.  It is unhealthy.  Unhealthy because it affects your digestive system in a big way.  Your stomach cannot digest that much food and it gets started accumulating fat in your body.  You feel restless, sleepy and boring.  Stop Assaulting Your Stomach.

Don't eat too much so that you start skipping your meals.  Don't skip meals.

The other side

There are two types of people on both the sides of a line.  You will always find millions on one side and only few on the other side. 

And those few are those people who will challenge the status quo, who will go that extra mile, push their limits, who will change faster than any body. 

If the side with millions believe in taking all the FREE stuff then the other side believes in giving away most of the things for FREE.  One side believes in Following, the other side believes in Leading. 

One side thinking starts from money and stops at money.  Where as the other side starts thinking beyond money.

The reality is that these people in real life are amongst us and we need to recognize them.

Love v/s Hate

Love is not authentic and love is not real.  Love is an illusion.  It is a forced belief induced by repetitive expressions of "I love you".  When somebody says he/she loves you then we feel uncomfortable.  Sometimes it is questionable.

People do acts that are contradictory to what they are saying in love.  When  you hear about extramarital affairs you smell the betrayal.  Your beliefs are reinforced about illusionary love.

However, hate is pure and hate is real and authentic.   When you hate somebody, you will do acts that support your feelings.  You foster your hatredness by your acts.  Your actions are a direct reflection of your hatredness when you hate somebody.

So ask yourself if you really mean when you say, "I love you".

Social Network creates illusion

Social networks create an illusion of being connected with your friends when in fact there is no real connection taking place.  Seeing faces of friends and people on your social network profile pages makes you feel that you are connected and closer with them.

Just by being online you feel that you have done your part of staying in touch.  And it is not true.  Whereas the opposite should be the case.  Staying in touch with them should make you feel being connected.

A real connection means you are communicating and mutually making a difference in the relationship.   In real life you don't wish a friend because others are wishing.  You wish him because you remembered and cared for them. 

Whereas online networks have forced people to wish others on their birthday just because others are wishing.  I am not against social networks.  Use them to your advantage if they add value to your brand.  I am against of people doing things just because others are doing it.

Get out of the illusion o…

Stupid Moves

Of course its stupid not to do the right thing at the right time.  Knowing what is right and not doing it is stupidity.  What are you trying to focus right now and doing something contradictory is stupidity. 

When everybody is using twitter to market their brand, you not using it, is not stupidity.  You certainly want to market your brand but you don't want to waste time and resources for not doing it right.  If you are wasting your time and resources then it is a stupid move.

If you are not responding to customer complaints on twitter or facebook (if you are active) then it is stupid move.  You can abandon these networks if you are able to reach your customers and respond them over phone or a casual email.

What everybody is doing may be looked upon as a smart move but may not be in your best interests.  There are hundreds of social networks available if you want to be present on everywhere.  But being everywhere is not a smart move.

Instant Messaging is Dead

Guys remember Yahoo !! And those Chat rooms !! Where have they gone now?  There are still people living on Yahoo messenger.  The chat is almost none existent in the world of social media.  I don't say that it is working excellent in facebook even.  Or even MSN.  Instant messaging is dead. 

The problem with Instant messaging is people tend to go offline after some time.  And then you start seeing a pattern.  More and more people tend to be offline.  They expect others to contact them and they will chat.  But the same is the story other side.  And as a result the communication gap is created and fewer people get attracted to the platform.

Because people want to stay where crowd is.  They want to be at a place where they can watch things go by and participate if they want to say anything.  That is why twitter is great and so facebook had to integrate real time stream into their ecosystem. 

With instant messaging people don't want to go online and show off their status because t…

Addiction to Activity

With latest technological inventions and so much distraction, our attention is at stake.  People are spending  less  time alone and more time doing something along with something.

Go watch people walking, doing exercise, commuting in subway, working and along with that they are constantly engaged in some kind of activity.  Man has found different ways to get engaged with some kind of activity like listening to songs, smoke a cigarette, eat something while watching or reading something, even do internet in classroom.

The problem with this is people are spending less and less time with themselves.  They are spending less time thinking about things that matter to them the most.  Asking less questions that would make their future bright and make them more creative and imaginative.

Why do you even want to listen to music while you are walking in the woods?  Why not just be in that moment and enjoy the beauty of nature?  Why do you want to engage in some kind of activity while some body is …

How to motivate your workers? - Dan Pink

This is an old video perhaps some of you might have even seen it.  The video is an animation version of a talk given by Daniel Pink on how to motivate people in different situations. He also gave talk in TED conference.

This principle is excellent and it holds very true in current economic situation.  You have problems coming from all the sides and you need solutions to some very complex problems.  Those problems can't be solved by paying more.  Those can only work when people are allowed to do stuff they are willing to do.

What I liked about this video is the animation style of presenting a complex idea.  The cognitive media guys have done a superb job.  This and other ways are taking over to explaining some new and complex ideas.  Those ideas can't be explained by traditional power point methods.  Power points simply don't work in a modern world. 

Enjoy the video.

Hourly and Monthly Wages

When you get paid hourly or weekly your psychology is totally different.  You start working for the hour, counting hours to complete your job.  Finish the task and go home.  It's done and there is no tension about the job.  But you keep worrying about payment dates.  You are thinking twice about spending money. 

Most of the problems are associated with money.  And most people of hourly tribe worry about small things in life, paying bills, buying small things, getting happy on buying and fighting over small issues.

When you get paid monthly you work for a company with more responsibility.  You are more attached to the company. You take it seriously.  But still there is a problem with both weekly and monthly mindset. 

When you get paid monthly or to be precise on a regular basis you are used to spend so and so much money.   Because you know you will get paid next month so you don't worry about saving.  Sometimes you even get broke because you knew that by next paycheck it will b…

Showcase only the best

Does your showroom consists of only the best product? Or it is filled with other junk too which nobody buys.  Where are you trying to build your expertise?  Are you trying to be on all the social networks?

Seth Godin once said in an interview that he does not want to spend time on facebook or twitter because he is not best at it.  He wants to be best at blogging and so is his focus.  If he spends time on these networks then he will be not best at blogging.

So it is as simple as it is.  You can't be present in all the countries just because each country is so good.  You can be only at one place.  If you are a photographer the you might click hundreds of pictures but only few might turn out excellent.   And only one picture gets selected as the cover page of a magazine.  Not all the pictures are placed on the cover page.

If you are trying to build your brand then showcase only what you are best at doing.  So if you love photography then showcase only the best pictures on your online …

What role are you playing today?

We face different and unique situations in our daily life.  Some times we even don't know if our reactions are correct or not.  Those harsh words perhaps should have never come.  It is natural phenomenon occurring to human beings. 

Instead being a boss have you ever tried to act like a consultant.  Perhaps a more friendly approach was required.  We have to continuously shift our roles in our day to day life in order make things go easy. 

You could be a manager, a consultant,  a friend, a leader or follower, a great lover, a father or a sister.  You could be also a child.  If you had a bad day with someone, then try to shift your role.

What role best describes you?

Build your track record

Nobody trusts you without numbers backing your success.

Numbers like number of box office hits, number of products in your portfolio, number of awards, number of projects completed and recognition.

Nobody is even willing to hear you if you don't have a track record.  There are thousands of people with identical schools and resumes.  Why should anyone waste time on you and pay you higher?

Your friends are no different and they all need to see numbers.  If you are excited about anything then first build your track record and then approach someone.

And the winner is Josh Schinagle

Hello friends,

Got some awesome reactions to "the discovery of life- death"  and I had great time reading them from some of the greatest fans.  Last post was the 100th post for Journey blog and I had promised to give away free chipotle gift card to the best fan sharing views on Journey blog.

Finally the winner of the contest is "Josh Schinagle", a leader, tech lover, my friend and a great guy.  He is a true fan and has been following Journey blog since very long.  Congratulations buddy.

His views on the last post were
"I agree completely with your opinion on letting your family be independent and not spoon feeding them. I think that you and your spouse or loved one should set up a solid foundation on which to live, but your kids should learn from their experiences, whether good or bad. Over all this was a great post. "

That was an amazing thought Josh.  His philosophy of life is
 "I try to live my life by the old saying, "An eye for an eye a toot…

The Discovery of life - Death

In my previous post "live like you are dying" I mentioned about how everyone should live life.  How people live after surviving a major heart attack.  Some will never realize until they experience death.  But according to OSHO, everyday everybody dies momentarily.  And yes you die every single day.  You sleep and nothing is in your control.  

You wake up and realize that world is still running rock solid.  Experiencing death in advance makes you think about life.  Makes you think how you should live.  Death is not permanent, it is a brief moment of time which passes by and a new life is born, just like you sleep and wake up.

Certainly the world will not come to an end if we die tomorrow.  The world will still continue to function as it is functioning now.  Then why worry about death.  If worrying about death makes you dispensable then it is good otherwise it is useless consumption of your emotional health. 

Do you worry about going to sleep every night?  No, not at all rig…

Creating Working Relationship

It doesn't matter how many friends you have on facebook or followers on twitter or any other social network.  It doesn't matter how many people you meet and greet everyday.  What matters is are those connections and relationships working for you?

Creating a working relationship is the key.  When you needed something and those people helped you is what matters.  You have to build your bridges to cross the river.  An invite for a dinner, breakfast or lunch is a great way to build a working relationship. 

How can you have a relationship that works?  How can you help each other is essential in building long term relationships.  Go find who can help you and do some good for that person and keep doing it forever.

How to follow a to-do list?

In my previous post on "To-Do" List I mentioned how to write a to-do list that is effective and works.  Remember the rule of three.  Well everything is great if you follow your "To-Do" list.  You should have some kind of ritual if you want to follow a habit.  I am going to propose three ways you can follow your to-do list.

1.) Have yourself accountable
The first reason people don't follow what they write is accountability.  If you don't follow your boss instructions then you are held accountable for that right.  You have to be held accountable for not following your own to-do list.  So give your personal "To-do" list to your wife or to a close friend.  Report them if you did what you wanted to be done today.  You can also have your mentor or any one who trusts you.

2.) Publicize
What people hate about failure is being a public failure.  You don't want yourself to be criticized in front of the whole company or your whole family.  So find a way yo…

Blogging and safety stock

Safety Stock.  A safety stock is the minimum amount of stock you have to keep before you stock out of inventory.  So simple right.  This is most common terminology for operation management.

In layman terms, you have to keep a safety stock of one gallon milk in your fridge before you order another one.  If it take two days for one gallon to finish then you have two days to order another gallon of milk.  Consequences of not having a safety stock are unimaginable from a business stand point.  You incur heavy cost for not having a safety stock.

In blogging you have to keep safety stock of your blog posts.  Most bloggers don't realize this and they end up missing their posting time line.  Ideally if you have decided to post 2 blog posts a week then on the same week you are not writing for the same week.  You are already set for that week.  You are now writing for next week.

For example, if you have ten blog posts for ten days all set for posting this week then 10 is your safety stock. …

What is the value of losing an Idea?

Have you ever encountered a person who didn't listened to your idea?  Do you have a boss who never listens to your idea?

Then finally you get discouraged and give up.  Some great opportunities are missed and you hear the news in the industry about bankruptcy, layoffs, customer complaints, lawsuits, takeovers.

Only those who have missed the bus will come to know about the importance of timing.  In this new age, losing an idea from any person or a corporation is unacceptable.

Sometimes some great solutions to great problem will come from a receptionist or the guy cleaning windows or your linchpin.  If you are not writing your ideas as soon as they come you are at risk.

Getting yourself familiarized to writing your own thoughts and ideas.  And get off the chair and start spreading your ideas. 

If you have good boss then he/she will tell you to document your idea and present it in the next team meeting.  That's how great start ups and thriving companies work.

How to make one to-do list that works?

Some to-do lists work better than the other.  Some just don't work.  While some might keep you on track. 
Here are some tricks to make a simple, working and effective to-do lists.

1.) First make one with everything
Make a to-do list of everything that you want to accomplish in one day.  Make a to-do list for a week and for one year too.  But right now if this is your first one, then form for one day.  Developing a habit of making one and sticking to it is important. 

2.) Break it down
After you have formed one, break the to-do list into different sections "Personal, Work, Health, Family".  Don't mix it up.  And please write it down even "to call someone is on your mind" as a to-do list.

3.) Follow the Rule of 3
Don't include more than three things in the list. Our brain cannot remember effectively more than 3 things at a time.  If you have more things to do then schedule it for another day. For example you go to work then write three things that you want…