Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Are you having fun?

Life was always meant to have lots of fun and in all of our endeavors.  When we include fun in our lives we tend to start enjoying the process, right?  Mass production at school, churning out molded students with one single skill set, has forced us to leave all the fun at home.   Yes schools take away all our fun.

Did you enjoy going to kindergarten?  Absolutely yes.  Why? Because it was all about having fun at school.  I am taking class right now in Leadership under Dr.  Clinton O. Longenecker(Two minute drill) and it is so much fun.  Time passes by and a 2:15 hour class is done, Boom!  He bring cookies and milk, lots of candies, pop and lots of fun to the class along with disciplined education.  

I always wonder at the end of the class why aren't all of our classes at school conducted the same way.  I cannot describe my wonderful experience in Clint's class but most of you can relate it to your kindergarten experience.

So when was the last time you had fun at school or your work place.  Mix it up and include some fun activity in your life.  Life can't get better than this.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Spare some "Me Time" everyday

Very well said Dr. Clinton, my professor for leadership class, "You should have your "Me" Time everyday".  It is the time you spend with yourself. 

You spend time with yourself to read books, listen music or imagine.  We forget in our daily busy lives to spare some "Me" time.

It is very important and that will enable you to become a learning individual.  For our self performance we need self evaluations and we need some time alone.

So I will leave you with some "Me - Time" to think on this.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Let's Simplify

My last post(keeping it real simple) mentioned about simplicity.   Here is a great presentation on  simplicity by Alan Siegel featured on TED.com.  Small presentation, easy to understand and making a strong point.  You cannot handover a project implementation plan of 22000 pages and tell your operations team "Go implement this now".  It's not going to work.  It has to be simple, simple and in plain English.

Keeping it real simple

You know the KISS principle right!  Yes ! Keep It Simple Stupid(KISS) principle.  Its really tough and a challenge for most of the people to keep it really simple.  They just love to make it complex as they can and sound stupid as much as they can.

But in real life its all about simplicity.  The more simple the better.  Easy to understand and easy to share.

Guy Kawasaki in his interview says
  Two things business schools should really teach students
   1. How to make a 10 slide presentation.
   2. How to write emails in just 5 sentences.

Because in real life you don't have enough time to sell your idea.  Exactly Nobody has time for you. 

If you really care about your presentation keep it simple and easy to understand.  We present every single moment in our life not only in business or schools or to a startup.  You pitch your idea to your son, father, mother, wife, husband and friends every now and then. 

Just be simple and remove the unnecessary.

Twitter sells because in 140 you sell your idea or your gone. 

"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" - Leonardo da vinci and Steve Jobs



Saturday, March 27, 2010

Work for your own brand

Yesterday I had a wow feeling reading the article "The Brand Called You" By Tom Peters on Fast Company.  Simply amazing view points on personal branding.  Today personal branding is very important and crucial for success in a world that is changing so fast.

Tom Peters emphasizes on the personal branding, the most powerful brand you have.  It's is the only brand for which you should work for.  It is not being selfish when we say that work for your brand.  In fact it is working for your own ideologies and philosophies that define you as "YOU".

There are millions of individuals just like you out there ready to stand along with you and will out do you.  Unless you are exceptional, Unless you are a powerful BRAND.   You need to differentiate yourself among the crowd and you need to find ways to do it. 

Think yourself as a premium brand highly priced and sold at stores where only few can afford.  And start working on making it better.  The rewards are exceptional and joy is enormous.

So yes, we all are branded.  And some brands command premium while some sell at discount.  The choice is yours.

Read the article(link)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Burn the FREE fuel


Every organization under utilizes the great power that lies within them.  The organization is powered with so many resources and so much free fuel to burn.

As a leader you need to do this often.  And yes we are leaders in our everyday life.  We lead our philosophy of life, our ideas, our family and our belief so yes we are leaders.

And we need to burn the FREE fuel to get the most out of everyone in our life.  Abbreviated as A.R.E

A - Appreciation

R- Recognition

E- Encouragement


Use them, do them as often as you can.  Burn the Free Fuel. 

Its the only fuel that runs in an engine(you) absolutely for free. 

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

9 ways to become a Learning Individual

To be a learning individual you should have the right attitude and the right approach all the times.  There are several ways you can focus to become a learning individual.  Here are few.

1 ) Most important "Be a good listener"

2) Have a mentor (Guru) in every field.

3) Read as many books as you can.

4) Start coaching others or start becoming a mentor

5) Set high standards

6) Involve in some non-profit organizations

7) Have your own Imagination

8) Have patience and do the work

9) Seek out honest feedback from almost everyone.

There is so much learn.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Imagination a key requirement at 21st century workplace

 "The most important economic competition is actually between you and your own imagination." - Thomas L. Friedman, Author(The world is flat), Columnist - NY Times.

World is changing fast and it is changing fast than ever before and faster than you can imagine.  If you start looking at changes that happened over the last decade you would be overwhelmed.

But from now every year's change would be perceived as a change that could have taken decades.  So what does this imply for a career.

Yes.  Jobs are going to change and so are requirements of those jobs are going to change.  Knowing skills to do a particular job would not be essential anymore.

What will be essential is imagination.  Do you have the imagination for the future?  Imagination is a rare skill that is a scarcity in current work and a skill that prevents you from being change ready individual.

Organizations in a modern world require individuals who are change ready.  And if all the employees in a company start imagining future then they start anticipating change and finally accept change faster than every before.

End result such companies will remain competitive and innovative in the 21st century workplace.

"Imagination is the power that can manifest itself into reality" - James Cameroon, Director of Titanic, Avatar




Saturday, March 20, 2010

Think People

We often misunderstood this part "The people" in any key project, event, organization and our personal life.  We never thought about people at the first place accepted failure after doing hard work.

Successful organizations did it again and again.  They always thought about people first and then implemented any project, or program.

With social media and web, people are getting importance again. Organizations cannot be run in isolation.  Ideas cannot spread without people buying into the ideas itself.  People are taking the center stage in planning and execution. 

The same concept was portrayed in the record shattering movie "AVATAR",  the people were at the center.  The army was forced to leave because of the people's resistance. 

Many ERP software implementations have failed just because people and culture didn't accept the change.

So water this philosophy plant in your mind - "Think People".  

Thursday, March 18, 2010

3G = Go Greeting Green

Everybody is nowadays talking about going green.  Presentations after presentations watched in business school and almost every third presentation now talks about Going Green.

Although very few believe in going green.  I am arguing today that we need to make people hungry about GREEN thinking. 


We need to change our mindsets and make room for Green thinking.  We need acceptance on a believable scale.  We need more buying into the Green Ideology. 

We need to greet the ideology of green thinking.  How do you respond if someone greets you? Instant reaction and you don't think twice before saying "I am fine".  

We should not think twice before making a green choice.  It should be obvious and instant.  

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Read more books

"Books what the heck?  I don't even read my course books and you expect me to read extra stuff" most often encountered response when I tell people to read more books.  And I really mean more.

If I tell more then Idea becomes compelling.  At least I hope they will start reading something. 

Famous quote I use this a lot in my presentations.  "If you encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he reads." by Ralph Waldo Emerson, great author.

If you feel boring reading books then here is another good one.  "If people feel money can't buy happiness then they don't know where to shop."

Millions of books and almost on every topic you think are being written.  Get out there and find one that matches your interest.  And now start your counter. 

Which one are you reading right now?  post in the comment below.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Born to ship

The perfect time will never come.  The perfect product will never be there.  And the perfect show will be never made.  There are some people who wait for the perfect and allow the resistance to conquer.  While some just move and start shipping.

Many people have excellent ideas but it is the execution that is difficult.  Shipping is most important aspect.  Write the perfect blog post or have your idea out there.  Saturday night live is live on Saturday no matter what ever happens, even if there is no content.  It is the name that works.  On Saturday no matter whatever happens it live.(This section is from Seth's book Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?)

Google once has the basic functionality in any product launches it.  Make product to ship them.  Think about any idea in your mind as a blog post to be out there.   Work to ship your ideas.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Continuous Improvement

Google's founder Sergy Brin and Larry Page once commented about their search engine, "The later to visit our site the better for you."  The reasoning behind this was they would then have more time to improve the site.

Guy Kawasaki says, "If you feel the product is ready then ship it, and then improve it later, users will figure out the flaws and stay with it." 

Every product and organization goes through stages.  They aren't perfect the first time but they improve along the way.  If you feel perfection is preventing you from shipping than think again. 

Think about Google's so many products they all aren't perfect except few.  But they are good at bring to those users who are already there and continuously improve from customer feedback.

If you feel your resume is not perfect, never mind think in terms of versions or drafts.  Think as a Beta version of your resume.  Get feedback from industry experts and improve it. 

If you want to form your own company, go form it.  Don't wait.  Waiting is the least you could afford. 

Think about continuous improvement and receive feedback from absolutely anyone.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

When are you most vulnerable?

Vulnerable : prone to attack, easily defeat-able or prone to diseases

When are you, your organization, company or family most vulnerable to attack or failure or diseases?
Ans:  When you're at the top. Or when you're highly successful.

Organizations are the best examples and they get attacked all the time by competition, technology, economy, politics or customer demand.   General Motors had the highest profit in 2003 in their industry.  Record profits, sales records were broken.  What happened to GM in 2008? 

Individuals get attacked by layoffs(widespread today), diseases flu(most common), relationship(quite possible) or economy(biggest factor for most of us).   What happened to hundreds of thousands of layoffs in the last year?

So why this happens?  Because most of them don't anticipate change and take necessary actions in advance.  We need to be maintenance type people and organizations.  

We need to be good at change management.  Yes this is the most used buzz word today "change management".

What could GM have done with those money in 2003, instead of giving away in bonuses?  Invest in fuel efficient cars, saved money and invested in human capital.

What could laid off people have done before?  Renewed their skills continuously, saved money, invest their money, update resume every 6 or 12 months and escaped from layoffs.

I would say that today we all are vulnerable and everyday something happens that changes the game.  But  the good news it that we can avoid it.

All we need to do is become change ready individuals.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Find what you love

The best way to succeed in you career is finding what you love to do.  Trying to do your job is not the key here.
Seth Godin in his latest book "Linchpin" explains, job is about following written instructions while work is getting things done.  Do the work. 

If you love your job then everyday jobs will be much more easier and truly rewarding.  You will get the work done anyhow no matter how much resistance kicks in.

In fact you will over deliver and will eventually become linchpin - the indispensable on the way.  Finding the work you love is the key here.

If you don't love your "Work" not "Job", work then answer is simple "Quit".

Click to Buy Seth's Book Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? and Do yourself a favor.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Don't mix Creativity and Money

Creativity and money don't go together.  You cannot be creative and think of monetary gains at the same time.   Your not creative because you will be rewarded.  You are creative because you want to be. 


Creatives love whatever they do and whenever they do.  Creatives love problem solving.  How to best solve this problem.

How can I design a product that would solve customer needs?  They do not go for how much would I be paid if I come up with a design that would solve the problem.

Dan Pink in this Ted video tells us same story about how incentives can harm creativity. 

If you focus on being creative then sure you will be rewarded in the long run. 

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Mind your behavior

Your behavior matters a lot to any organization(your family, company or country).  It is a reflects how your entire organization behaves.  The way you work, the way you talk to people and the way you react is totally replicated at a larger level.

 If you feel that important work is not done in your life then your organization too works the same way.  If you don't follow up on task then your org does it too.

A Harvard Business Study reveals that leaders behaviors are closely followed by their followers.  If you want to change your organization or a business or your family then take a peek at how you behave.

It is time to change yourself.  It is easy to change one person(you) then two, a hundred, thousand and even millions in case of a country.