Thursday, April 29, 2010

It is a leadership failure

Is you company facing bankruptcy?

Is your team failing to produce better results? 

Is your group not functioning well as it was supposed to be?

Are your leaders blaming the economy?  Come on give me a break.  If they are leaders how they couldn't see it coming.  

Absolutely it is a leadership failure when anything goes wrong in any company, organization, personal life or groups.  

Leaders are responsible for making a company successful or go bankrupt.  Leaders can bring the change into an organization.  It can be for good or for bad.

If you are dealing in stocks then is it a safe bet to bet on the company or on the leaders?

Do you invest in the company or in its corporate culture?

Leadership absolutely matters and we are leaders in our lives too.  So if anything goes wrong don't blame others take charge and solve it. 

Leadership Rocks !

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

ME WE

Lots of projects are undertaken every single day and most of them fail.  Many organizations and companies are formed and 9/10 shall not see the sunlight.  It is because most of them consists of ME.


For example....

It is not my job....

I am not involved in this....

Who did this....Why I am only the target .......

See I told you this will happen...

Its not my fault... I did not do this...

It is because of him....

This is evident in most of the organizations and projects I have seen.  Sooner or Later people fall into the trap of "ME".  They forget that it is a TEAM effort that it takes to succeed.  It is always about WE.

Stop playing the blame game...Stop complaining.....Stop pointing fingers on each other.....

Stop the ME....and embrace the WE..

Work together as WE (The Team) and ME will automatically will become Great...

For every failure it the leader who has failed to create the WE....

Monday, April 26, 2010

Theory of Relative Feelings

This will sound very stupid but I will ask.  Why everyone is happy and everyone sad in the world when the conditions are same?  Different people in the same situation are happy and sad.  Why we have different feelings in the same situation. 

It is because everything is all relative.  Your experiences, your happiness, your sadness and your perceptions, your beliefs are all relative and based on relative experiences of the community around you.  Everything we see, we feel and we judge is based upon the relative perceptions of the engaging community or the social experiences.

You feel super happy when you get high grades, whereas your fellow mate getting C grade is also equally happy.  People feel jealous when they see someone passing by with a Mercedes whereas  people below you feel jealous about you owning a Hyundai car or a motorbike.  

This is because our relative experiences change with the changes happening in our social environment.  We move upwards and our standards change, our social network changes and our emotional intelligence evolves.  We do not react to same situations with equal anger or happiness any more, because we are now used to it.

So next time before getting sad think about people who are happy.   Before complaining about food think of those who do not get to eat food but still are happy.  Before criticizing people think people who will appreciate it.


You will react differently to a situation if your social circuit is changed.  Your social network is working overnight to influence your behavior to any situation.

Friday, April 23, 2010

TGIF Abundance

After all, now restaurants are named after this mentality "Thank God Its Friday" famously known as TGIF.  The factory mentality - work, work all week and just wait for the weekend to party, party and party, has led to an abundance of such workers.  I called them TGIF workers.

In my definition, A TGIF worker is  a one who is always pissed off at his/her daily work, just waiting for the 5PM everyday, always complaining about boss, always looking for every weekend as long weekend, and trying hard enough to convert every day into a Friday.   Well that's not going to happen anytime sooner. 

Everyone wants to celebrate the weekend and everyone love to but nobody loves to enjoy the work like enjoying a sunny sunday.  Very few take get excited everyday to get up and do exciting work.  Very few say ...JWFM....Just Waiting for Monday.  The only way to enjoy everyday at work as a sunday  is to- "Include lots and lots of fun to your work".

Networking Tip: Everyone Is In The Same boat

If you ever went to a Networking event and felt that you are a bit shy to talk to people then don't think that way.

I went to a conference and met some people. Earlier that day I was sitting at one place, not talking to people other then very next to me. I asked one gentleman sitting next to me, "what should I ask people and I am unsure as to how others would react and so on". He said one nice thing to me, "Don't think too much, everyone here is in the same boat. And everyone wants to make a contact with people here. And that is the reason everyone came here. So don't think. Just start talking."

After some time I realized that I don't have anything to loose to get started so let's talk.

So don't think too much, get started. And always try to finish with the sentence, "let's see how can we help each other".

Monday, April 19, 2010

PDF - Plan, Delegate, Follow up

Three biggest secrets of leadership and management are very simple to understand and easy to remember.  I don't want to beat around the bush, they are Planning, Delegating and Following up.


 Planning
One of the biggest reasons why people are not able to get desired results is Planning.  If you do not spend time in planning then how can you expect to get desired results.  The single biggest resource for all the managers is "TIME".  You need to plan about the future because it will be the place where you will spend your most of the time in the future.  Include everyone in planning process in any project you undertake.  Short term and long term planning both are equally important for any company or an individual.  "He who fails to plan, plans to fail."

Delegation
This is a skill managers and leaders learn over a time.  It is not obvious to most of the manager when they take up responsibilities.  The first time I accepted a leadership position for Indian student organization, I was good at planning but I was not good at delegating.  End result was obvious to anyone - "you end up doing most of the work".  If planning is good and delegation is perfect then you end up in doing little to no work.  The key in delegation is delegating to right people with right set of skills.   Discovering the skills in people early helps managers in maximizing productivity and get results faster. 

"The first rule of management is delegation. Don't try and do everything yourself because you can't." - Anthea Turner

 
Follow up
This the third most important leg of a chair.  If this leg is missing from a chair then you won't be able to sit on it and relax.  Yes ! this is very detrimental for your success or failure.  If you are not able to follow up then no matter how much plan how much efficiently you delegate you won't be able to produce better results.  In this fastest century ever, success is almost expected but with significant better results.  Beating share holders expectations and producing phenomenal products is what corporations are looking for and following up with the tasks is very important.  Sales managers are very efficient in following up since they are trained through these years in calling customers and following them up.   Most of the managers tend to assume that people are just doing their work.  Stop ! Follow up.

After success is achieved you know the next step - Start over for the next challenge.  Start planning.....

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Change readiness


Have you seen the movie AVATAR by the legendary director James Cameroon?  If you haven't go watch it now.  In the movie, people from earth try to invade a distant lonely planet Pandora to get a precious element.  The real challenge in getting it was the resistance from community of people who dwelt there.  At the end of the movie, men from earth had to give up and finally return to earth empty handed.

Before any project think about people.  In Avatar - people were unwilling to relocate and didn't buy into the change process.  Most systems fail because of people's resistance.  Softwares don't cost as much as the training does.  So is the reason why consultants are highly expensive.  Before implementing new process or a new technology, or a new project in your company or organization then make people hungry for change.

It is no different case, either for you or your family. 

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Treat people the way you want to be treated


Are you upset with the way people treat you?  Are your customers unhappy?  Do you feel left out?  It is because the way you treat them.  It is no magic but a golden rule of moral conduct.  Treat people the way you would like to be treated. It could be greeting your customer, or to your boss, or to your secretary or to your children.  This is no magic, it is theory of reciprocity.  Your surroundings reflect yourself.  Ask yourself before you react to any situation, how would I feel if I was in the same situation? 

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

BIG PICTURE

This is not about a big movie ..it is about creating BIG Picture - to visualize what the whole concept looks like...what the world out there looks like.  Our schools most of the time failed to create a BIG PICTURE about REAL life.

Teachers love to stay in their dreamland or status-quo land and have always objected the real world.  They didn't want to create a big picture because then they would have to change their life style and learn new things to teach students the same.  I am not here to brag about them.  Let's get out of that mentality of working in a factory.  Follow instructions, Give test and find job with no knowledge about real world.

Imagine what if one created a BIG picture in your mind early in age about changing work place.  What would be future like if you became an entrepreneur?  How does a small technology or a programming language would help you in the long run?  How can you become a leader and lead a tribe?  How can you solve any problem in the world irrespective of your skills and talent?  The world would have been much different than it is today. 

Nobody taught us how to think BIG.  Nobody taught how to imagine and relate things with each other.  Nobody taught us how you could profit from your talents.  Schools are good at putting holds on your accounts, on your thinking and on your imagination. 

Thank you Sergey and Larry for inventing Google, we are now able to find answers to most of the "how to do" things.  We want to know the BIG PICTURE.  Professors and teachers should stop teaching "How to do" and start inspiring students.    Inspiration, Imagination and Motivation are the things our generation need the most.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

CEOs be prepared like a Bride

What a presentation by Timothy Hayes !  Tim is a friend of mine in our leadership class and last night he gave wonderful presentation on "Two Minute Drill".  One of the great presentation I saw recently and it was full of energy and enthusiasm.  He emphasized on how a CEO of the company should be prepared.

A CEO of the company should be prepared to tackle the battle like a BRIDE in a marriage.  Referring to Tim's Sister, he described the whole scene on how she(CEO) of the occasion prepared for the marriage.  On the most important day in one life, she took care of everyone else was just amazing.  A BRIDE takes care of each and every detail of her dress and of others too.

It brought so much emotion to Tim's presentation, it was a point never to be forgotten.  CEO's be prepared like a BRIDE taking care of each and every person and the occasion(company).

(effective presentation tip: Bring emotions to your presentation so that it will be remembered life long)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Enhance your Learning power

Why I can not figure out answers or why does it take me more time to figure out even the simplest solutions?  If you think it is difficult to learn, then think once again about relativity.  May be there are people who think it is way easier than it is.

Where there is no magic involved in this one but you have to foster your four basic skills to empower yourself.  We were some how not trained to exercise our four basic skills regularly.  Reading, Listening, Writing and Speaking..

Some times you jump on directly to find a solution without reading the problem.  Without listening to other person we jump on to a conclusion.  Without writing great we criticize great reports.   We are not effective at our basic skills.   

The reception is interrupted, interpretation is distorted, transmission is full of noise and there is no quality of signal.  At the end there are different signal boosters like the special education classes to improve the signal. 

If you start making all these four skills a part of your daily routine then you will be a life long learning individual who can lead.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

What Adults can learn from Kids - Video

Why can't we learn from Kids?  Kids are the greatest teachers of all times.  They are innocent and at the same time they ask intelligent questions and leave us thinking dumb.  Kids don't limit themselves from imagining anything.  And many new concepts and designs are derived from kids and their creativity.

Check this amazing kid who has an intelligence, wisdom and motivation you will not even find in a 50 year old.  Adora Svitak is such a girl who at 12 writes books, makes presentations at elementary schools, high schools and universities.  See the video below she gave a keynote on Ted.com.  What a presenter !



Check her full profile here

Friday, April 09, 2010

It's okay to switch majors

Are you wondering to switch you major or your subject or expertise?  Is it worth the time to switch and learn a new skill?  Will I be ever able to compete in the new domain?  According to OSHO, one of the great philosopher of all times, believes its okay to switch majors and so do I. 

Here is the why part.  In doing so you bring a unique perspective to your new profession.  Having mutliple talents helps in understanding rules of the game from a different perspective.  You start seeing the company's problems and try to address them.  If you are an art major and switch to business then you bring art to your business skills.  You bring creative solutions to business processes.

Things are changing so fast people have no clue in their company's what is happening.  So if you are able to spot the big problem then you have a shot at your future.  What if you are pursuing nursing and switch over to hospitality industry?  You will start caring about customers like your patients.  As a result, undivided attention to the customer and your boss is happy.

Allan Mulaly of Ford Motor company came from Airline Industry to Automobile Industry and his unique perspective changed the fate of the  company.    Entrepreneurs do it all the time.  And there are countless of examples you can correlate that will only prove that its okay to switch.  The key is switch early.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Can you solve this?

Can you solve this problem? Can you solve almost anything?  Are you seen as solution provider at your job place?  Are you seen as a solutions expert?  We need more problem solvers no matter in whatever field you choose.  There are complex solutions and complex thought process involved which many individuals cannot come up with.

It is difficult to come up with solutions to a business process in a company.  Or come up with a visual mapping of the whole project concept.  Your boss says "you need to make a presentation in the morning about possible solutions to a problem in a project".  Can you do it?

Skills are just not enough at the work place these days anymore.  You need more than just skills.  You need imagination.  You need conceptualization and visualization power.   Your company needs such individuals today, not a cog working 5-8 shift.   We need more Linchpins these days.

Apple does not create products - its a fact


Apple doesn't create products it is an accepted truth world wide.  WTH? is what you would say right.  Well they do create products like ipod, ipad, iphone, and everything with an "i"- preceding to it.  Yes they do create physical products but that is not what they work for every single day worrying about every single detail.

Yes ! they work for creating an experience, creating a desire, creating a wow moment when you touch, feel and consume the product. 


Create an experience
Apple wants to create an experience around you when you own an "i" product.  An experience of happiness, joy, pride, a feeling of satisfaction, a feeling of self, and more is created.  Apple is a company that cares not about you but about your experiences and feelings.

Create a desire
You should create a product that would create desires of three kinds in you.
1) If you don't have the money you desire - "If I had enough money to spend I would buy it"
2) If you have the money you desire  - "As soon as the product is launched I will be the first one to buy it"
3) If you already own one you desire - "Whenever the new version comes I will buy that one"

Apple exactly creates products that create all these desires.   Can you create a product that will do that for any person?  Can you create a movie that would create such desires?  Can you create an experience a wow moment during a service call?

Thank you

We need it more and more then ever before.  We need it and we desperately need them.  It fuels my engine, your engine to overproduce, over deliver.  Guess what would happen when you say thank you to your boss for doing all the right things.  Or to your parents, or your professor for helping you or for being what they are.  It empowers your relationship with them.  Do it as frequently you can.

Here I thank you all who are reading this post since you are the real deal devoting your most important asset to me for 3 minutes and i.e Attention.  Thank you folks for all your attention.  I appreciate all your comments and views.

Want to give special thanks to "Journey" blog's regular readers.
@Bhumika - Thank you wifey for making life easy.

@Rachana Shakyawar - Thank you so much for landing every single day to read my post and give your valuable feedback.  Thanks a ton Rachi.

@Prerak Parikh - Hey your posts are excellent and you bring a great deal with your comments.

And all the facebook fans of journey blog.  Please comment to share your thoughts with me.  Thanks a lot everyone.

Monday, April 05, 2010

How to start a movement by Derek Sivers

In  a world that is so fluid like never before, we need how to make movements .  You have all the resources to make it happen. You have all the right reasons to thrive.  This world needs a leader who can create movements and who can solve world's problems.

Below is a short and cute video on TED.COM by Derek Sivers who shows us key points on how can you create a movement.   If you believe in something, stand up and wait there until you get your first follower.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

We need more experiments

Nothing is certain.  A movie with no expectations makes milions and a movie with lots of expectations fails.  Same is true with new startups.  You never know which one will succeed.

In this age of uncertainity, we don't know what is going to be a success or what is going to be a failure.  We simply have no clue.  So what do we do then? Is there any magic trick to succeed in life.  Yes.  Do as many experiments as you can with your ideas and with your company. 

What if I fail? What if we go wrong? What if?  We need to eliminate that "What if" pharse  that prevents us from experimenting.

You can go wrong a hundred times in an experiment but once you will hit a home run.  You can create 5 movies in one year and all can go flop.  But you only need one big hit that will cover up your expenses for other movies.(The Long Tail - Chris Andersen)

We need to treat our life as a platform for conducting experiments.  And truly it is.  You conduct experiments on your ideas and your philosophy and wait if they succeed.  Right.   In uncertainty we fear to conduct "many" of them.  Do as many experiments as you can.  You will hit a home run in one of them.

"In anything you do, failure is an option, fear is not" - James Cameroon

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Let's get out of their way


 Absolutely no nonsense when it comes to product design for APPLE.  When apple designs a product, they want no interference with the content and the user.  No buttons and no unnecessary interface.  Apple believes providing a slick and sexy platform and just getting out of  people's way.

It allows people to touch the content and feel the product.  People should forget about the product when they use it.  All the social networks, communities or organizations should be built with such "superb simplicity".

Build a platform and get out of their way.  That is the biggest reason why twitter is a hit and so is facebook.  And so is orkut not so sexy. 

Friday, April 02, 2010

Leaders like brievity - short and to the point

Whenever you want to make a point to the intellectuals, you make it brief and to the point as mentioned in the holy bible.  My boss conveyed this great message to me on making compelling presentations to leaders. 

That brings me to the point of eliminating the unwanted, things that aren't necessary in any conversation.  You need to eliminate the clutter and focus on the underlying message and the message you want to convey.

Make it short and simple to understand.  Within two minutes your idea you strike a chord with the intellectual.  Go with the half rule if you are making a compelling presentation to a leader.  Divide the presentation into half and see if you can convey the same message.