Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What schools failed to create?

Schools are a classic example of mass production of goods with same batch number, identity, degree and no specialty.  Schools mastered the phenomenon of producing graduates at an enormous faster rates creating abundant labor, lack of linchpins, full of complacency and non-experimental workforce.

As we all are seeing economic and environmental disaster unfold before us, it is evident that schools have failed miserably at finding a solution and at best preventing it.  There was a time when if you had an engineering degree you could have easily survived.  But now survival is not enough.  Engineers and doctors are facing the same problems faced by everyone out there.  MBA graduates are working for multinational corporations doing same mistakes and struggling for finances and careers opportunities.

So what is broke.  Our school system is broke and is becoming more and more irrelevant in current times.  The training periods of a new hire in companies are increasing because it turns out that what they learned in school is outdated by the time they start to work.  The famous saying you might have heard, "Schools don't teach you everything."  There are some life lessons which you have to learn on your own.  But the way schools provided education and the way they made students complacent is more evident and exposed than the past.

Schools passed the test of creating students who cannot think different, who will follow the tested path, who will not experiment, who not think out of the box, who lacks true leadership and are average machines producing average stuff.

Schools miserably failed at creating life long leaders who
1) Think Different
2) Lead from the front
3) Manage their own careers
4) Contribute beyond the job manual
5) Work without directions
6) Seek for high standards in everything
7) Can do their art
8) Find innovative solutions to complex problems
9) Are a team player
10) Evolve with time and technology

Change is evident and the only industry unchanged since decades is the education industry.  Looking forward for the revolution in education industry.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Seth Godin’s Linchpin - Are you Indispensable? Book Review

This book I got for FREE from Seth Godin as a gracious gift from Michael Hyatt of Nelson Publishers.  Thank You both of you from the bottom of my heart for this gift.  

Linchpin is an amazing book by legendary marketing guru, best selling author, entrepreneur and my favorite mentor, Seth Godin.  Linchpin is a book about how you can become indispensable in this fast changing world.  This is by far a master piece written by Seth Godin and it is one of the greatest gift you can expect from him.  

This book teaches you the importance of shipping your ideas, products and what ever you produce by overcoming the resistance and fear within you.  On shipping I would like to quote my favorite line, “There is no shortage of talent in this world, but there is shortage of shipping.”  So to elaborate, there are thousands of people with great ideas but how many are actually building products, writing blogs, creating music and shipping it to masses.  Very few.  It doesn’t matter how good you are if you are not shipping.

Seth Godin with his unconventional wisdom brings examples from real life and illustrates how linchpins are shipping their art.  He has frequently compared linchpins with artists and how they are different than other replaceable cogs in organizations.  By comparing with artists he focuses on how artists are great givers of gifts.  And he frequently emphasizes us to do our art.  Do what we are best at doing and how can we be different than others who are replaceable.  He explains how their art is a gift to an organization.  He says if you give a gift to some other person than that person will have to reciprocate.  

This book is the best gift I will cherish forever because it is gift from the person whose blog I read every single day.  Apart from Linchpin, I have also read other Seth Godin’s bestseller books like Tribes, Dip, Purple cow, Permission marketing and Unleashing the Ideas virus.  One of my favorite praise about Linchpin is from Jacqueline Novogratz of Acumen Fund as she says,  “This book is a gift”.

If you care about somebody who is a linchpin then please buy this book here and gift it to the indispensable.  


Monday, June 28, 2010

How to get more followers and fans?

Go and check every famous brands who have lots of fans and followers.

The first important factor you will find in them is that they are very best in doing one thing.  They are best at it.   The second important factor is they all are leading a tribe of people with similar interest.

Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and name others who have more fan following.  They are best at producing music that is liked by their audience. got more fan not by saying how they are feeling but by writing about technology that makes a difference in people's life.

Seth Godin didn't got more followers by being online on twitter or facebook.  He got more followers by leading a tribe of marketers and advertisers by continuously shipping his talent to masses by his blog, speeches and making real connections. 

President Barack Obama got more fans not by sitting in a cubicle but by leading.  Doing campaigns on the streets, knocking the doors of people and doing the hard work to fulfill his vision of change.

Don't get bogged down by the medium.  It is just a place where followers and fans can connect with each other.  It is a place where they can comment and share stories about their leaders.

If you are doing real work and leading people with similar interest groups then you will have a fan following.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

What is next in the menu?

"I want to make one movie, one day".  "I want to write one book, one day",  "I want to have my own store, one day",  "I want to write a book, one day".

So what if you want to do it once.  So what even if you did it.  What is next?   Many Nobel prize winners haven't shipped another Nobel prize winning act after that.  After writing a book they haven't written anything after that.

After launching first store some haven't launched another one.  If you want to do it to satisfy your ego then don't do it.  It is waste of time.  Have a long term vision to accomplish some thing quantifiable. 

Have a vision to have a computer in every home(Bill Gates).  Have a vision to digitize every book ever printed(Jeff Bezos of  Have vision to achieve excellence in customer service.  Have a vision to achieve superior quality in every product you ship. 

Technology is evolving fast and so if you keep you agendas in place and remain focused you will be able to execute your dreams one day. But that doesn't matter.  If you don't have the drive you will not ship another great idea. 

So what is next in the menu is what matters.  How much tastier is your next item in menu is what matters?   Apple doesn't stop innovation after iphone or ipad.  They always have something to offer in the next meal.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

What holds you back?

What holds you back from taking a decision?

What holds you back from writing the agenda for your next board meeting?

What holds you back to ship your ideas?

Is it Fear?

Is it others' Judgment of your work?

Is it the outcome of your shipping holding you back?

Is it Ego?

Whom are you trying to please?

Is money holding you back?

The only thing that holds you back is "YOU".

You need Guts

If you want to be creative the first thing you need is to become fearless. 

When nobody is with you, to follow your instincts you need guts.  To ship you ideas to masses you need guts.

In order to be yourself you need guts to withstand the judgment of the society. 

Everyone around you is busy following the system, to challenge one you need guts.

To launch a sale offer of selling pizza for just 23 cents(Papa Johns did it) or give Chipotle for FREE you need guts. 

Of course guts for doing wrong things is not bravery but stupidity.   To stop everything and focus on one product you need guts. 

Friday, June 25, 2010

Leadership lessons learnt from Rollercoaster

Recently I had a great trip with my family to cedar point.  Yes ! the best place for a roller coaster fanatic in Ohio.   To enjoy any ride you have to stand in long queues to get in.  While I was standing in line I was always worried and tensed about whether I will be able to do it or not.  I knew that as soon as the ride would be over I would be fine.  But I could not get away with the tension. 

Many times while in queue I thought of backing out but I could not because my inner sense told me not to do so.  I kept saying to myself that the time to quit has passed long back. If I were supposed to quit I could have done it long ago.  Now the time is to get onto the ride and experience the adrenaline. 

I could not stop my self from correlating the experience with my leadership experience I had in the past.  So here are the lessons learnt from my recent roller coaster cum Leadership Thrill Rides. 

1.) It takes sheer guts 
It takes guts to stand in the line to experience the adrenaline flow through your body.  It is easy to blame yourself for not being brave enough to take the pressure.  It is easy to blame your health for not being fit for the roller coasters.  But it takes guts to sit on one and experience the thrill you get from sitting one.  In leadership you have to have sheer guts to accept the responsibility of being a leader. 

It is easy to blame others for not doing work but hard to become a leader and do the work.  It take guts to experiment, decide, control, manage, inspire, motivate, forget personal differences, ego and simply lead from the front.

2.) Leaders don't quit
Once you are in the line, you will come out only after enjoying the ride or crying.  In leadership, once you have accepted the responsibility you will not quit.  You either come out wining or loosing.  But surely there is an outcome associated with your choosing to sit on a ride.  When you sit on the ride you have no control over it.  You have no choice but be on the ride.  You can't quit nor anybody will listen to you.  At best you can close your eyes, cry, shout or enjoy it. 

3.) You feel the adrenaline
When you are enjoying the ride you feel the adrenaline flowing through.  You experience it again and again.  By the end when the ride is going to end you feel, "It was so short", "It was great", "I want to do it again".  When you are a leader giving speech to thousand people you feel the adrenaline going through your body.  You feel anxious and you are excited and nervous.  When you are done you feel so great and accomplished that you want to do it again.  Leadership is such a thrill ride.

4.) Second time is more fun
When you enter another ride you know what is going to happen.  You are prepared and you know that it is going to be fun.  You are getting used to it and now on the way you have figured, how to enjoy it.  On your first leadership assignment you will be tensed, nervous and anxious.  Second time you will be more prepared and will try to enjoy the role.  You will also make others feel comfortable.  You will be prepared for the ups and downs, shakeups and mash-ups associated with Leadership Thrill Ride.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Live like you are dying

Steve Jobs - "Even those who want to go to heaven don't want to die".  Death discovers the way we should live.  If you have met someone who survived from a life threatening disease or an injury or who was counting his days, then only you will realize how it feels like dying.  "Until people experience they will not realize how they should live." - said my one of my favorite mentors.  

1) Appreciate everyone and everything
You walk into McDonalds order a coffee and you met the guy.  On your last day you would take time to appreciate his efforts and thank him for what he is doing.  You will even stop by your favorite gas station to say thank you and appreciate.  You will stop complaining about what they have done wrong and simply appreciate.

2) Stop worrying
On your last day one thing is sure that you know tomorrow is when you will leave everything.  Nothing to loose, nothing to gain.  You will want to stop worrying about all small things like pay bills, respond to messages, follow what others say, care about others.  When you know there is nothing that you can do about it, you will try to adjust with it.  You will stop worrying.

3) Follow your heart
You will do what your heart says.  Want to eat out with friends, you will.  Want to see a movie, you will.  Want to work on your favorite piece of music, you will.  Want to ask a girl for a date, you will.  Want to ship your idea, you will.  You will only follow your heart.  Because you don't want to disappoint your bleeding heart at that point of time.

4) Give your 100%
When you know you have only one shot at doing anything, then you will put your best step forward.  You will be 100% yourself in whatever you are doing.  You will be responsible for yourself.   You want to be happy with what you are doing in that moment.  You will be engrossed in the movie so much that you want to enjoy 100% of that movie.  You want to be 100% yourself when you are with friends. 

5) Stay closer with your loved ones
You would spend more and more time together with your family and friends.  You realized that this is your last chance to be with them.  You need them and so they need you.  They are closest to you and so it makes more sense to be with them.   Life is strange and has made us so busy that we are spending more and more time on our projects, bosses, job, virtual worlds, distant places and irrelevant connections. 

Why not do all these things now when you know how important it is.  Ask yourself, "If this was my last chance to do, would do it anyway differently then this or better than this?".

Sunday, June 20, 2010

How to retain employees?

You loose employees because of many reasons:

1) Lack of trust
2) Poor incentives
3) Lack of respect
4) Lack of fun
5) And you can count as many as you can.

But the biggest reason for loosing employees is "Lack of fun at work".  If your employees are not having fun at work they are surely not going to come back with enthusiasm.  You want them to come everyday with full energy and full commitment to work.  You want them to become linchpins along the way.

You have to incorporate creativity and playfulness in their daily job description.  You as a leader has to bring in games, competitions, movies, playful atmosphere and joy from contributing linchpin work.

Ask your employees frequently if they are having fun?  If the answer is no then address it as quickly as you can by bringing in some fun to work place.  You could either bring in food like Professor Clint.  Or you could give away ice creams like CEO John Chambers of CISCO. 

Why people log in everyday on facebook for an average of 1hour a day?  Because there is so much fun involved in interactions with people.  There is fun involved in playing games.

Fun is an integral part of our life snatched away by school enterprise mentality.

Friday, June 18, 2010

You are already a leader

What is leadership?  Leadership is to lead people who believe in a common belief that you too believe in.  In simple words to me leadership is "The way to live".  If you have never led, you have never lived.  Leadership is a philosophy to live by.    Leadership is the essence of life.

If you feel uncomfortable being a leader then think again.  Reality is you are already a leader.  You have no choice.  By already being a leader, I mean you are already leading your family.  If you are a father or mother then you believe in some principles that you want your children too should believe in.  Because those beliefs shall change the course of their life.

You are already a leader because you believe in something that you feel that has the potential to change this world.  And you know that you need more people to follow your belief to make it happen.  The reality here is that you haven't mentally accepted the fact that you are already a leader and you have to behave like one.  

One has to decide whether they want to be led or lead.  You have to decide.  You are a leader from the day you take the decision to be one.  Leaders take decisions.  A leader has his own principles, has his own agenda, sets his own map, leads without directions and has followers.  When you lead, your followers will follow you.  Whatever you do and whatever you are, will be reflected in your organization, in your family and in your tribe.

Forget whatever your titles "father, mother, son, daughter, manager, brand manager, financial specialist, student, teacher, programmer, dentist, engineer or doctor" may be.  They do not exist anymore.  There is only one title that you own in this new age.  "The Leader".   That title is enough for you to change the world. 

A leader never complains, leads by example, shows others path to follow, makes other work as a team, inspires, motivates, works hard and shows the vision.   A leader is person who says "We can do it".  When any problem occurs leader says, "Its my fault".  Leaders never play the blame game.  Leaders take charge of the situation.

I am not saying everyone become leaders.  Time has passed for those arguments.  I am only arguing that you are already a leader, so behave like one.

FREE Chipotle Gift Card when 100

Only for U.S based fans

If you are the biggest fan of Chipotle then here is your chance to win "FREE Chipotle Gift Card".  I am going to give away "FREE Chipotle Gift Card" when Journey Blog reaches 100th blog post.

This is no crazy.  This is real.  If you think you cannot win then think again.  The first Journey blog Fan to comment will win.

Update: It is 100th right now.  Read this post
and follow the instructions.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

All I wanted was a small help

A genuine help was all I wanted from a customer service, but I was bombarded with all those questions and marketing messages.  I don't want to hear what they have to offer when I am not interested.  Why keep me on unnecessary hold and play those unwanted, monotonous marketing pitches? 

When somebody calls you for a help what you start thinking off.  What am I going to benefit?  What is in there for me?  So you then start offering help clubbed with some kind of personal marketing message to it.  Stop. 

When people want help then simply provide them with what they want.  Don't bother about whether that person will pay you back.  The culture of gift system will cause that person to reverberate.  So don't think when someone is asking for a help.  Just help it out.  The more you give the more you get. 

Check this funny customer video.

 Thank You Rachana for handing out helping hand with your art.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Blogging is not about wasting time. 
Blogging is not about allocating resources.  It is about feeling resourcefulness.
Blogging is not about accepting, it is about giving. 
Blogging is not an activity, it is a philosophy to live by. 
Blogging is not about following, it is about leading.
And great bloggers are leaders.

Monday, June 14, 2010

How to blog persistently?

Blogging is really tough if you are just a starter.  It requires persistence and continuous improvement to become the best blogger in the world.  You have to do it persistently to get through the dipDon't worry if you are not good at it.  The key is "If you keep doing it you will be good at it" - Seth Godin.  Here are three simple steps of a cycle to help  you blogging persistently.  
1. WRITE  

The very first step in blogging - write it down.  You decided to blog because you had an idea so you write it down.  You proof read it.  Go by the rule of no of paragraph.  The number of paragraphs you have proof read it by that number.

2.  SAVE
Next very important step save it.  Stupid it may sound when you have auto saving option but you need to save it.  Save your blog post as a draft.  Don't post at this timeMost of the people get so excited to get it out, they just post it.  Wait for posting for the next day when you have another idea.  

3.  POST
Post the existing blog post you saved it last day. And then repeat step one and two after posting it. So now the cycle repeats by itself.  Have an idea write it > wrote an idea save it > saved an idea post it.

Day 1 : Write and Save it.  Go to sleep come next day.  Waiting for the next day to post it will give you enough time and strength to market your blog and place it strategically to get more audience. 

Day 2: Post existing one and then repeat steps of day 1. 

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Fear of shipping

The following is one from my favorite author Seth Godin.
Fear of shipping: "
Shipping is fraught with risk and danger.
Every time you raise your hand, send an email, launch a product or make a suggestion, you're exposing yourself to criticism. Not just criticism, but the negative consequences that come with wasting money, annoying someone in power or making a fool of yourself.
It's no wonder we're afraid to ship.
It's not clear you have much choice, though. A life spent curled in a ball, hiding in the corner might seem less risky, but in fact it's certain to lead to ennui and eventually failure.
Since you're going to ship anyway, then, the question is: why bother indulging your fear?
In a long distance race, everyone gets tired. The winner is the runner who figures out where to put the tired, figures out how to store it away until after the race is over. Sure, he's tired. Everyone is. That's not the point. The point is to run.
Same thing is true for shipping, I think. Everyone is afraid. Where do you put the fear?

What is thinking extreme?

What is thinking on the extreme?  Assuming everything remains the same and situations don't change then taking an assumption to far heights and thinking what will happen is thinking extreme. 

For example what would happen if the U.S. Oil spill continues for 2 years?  Or What would happen if people don't change their eating habits and obese population goes on increasing at even faster rate for 20 more years?

Remember movie Wall-E where everyone is in the space and obese?  Remember the whole earth was portrayed as a garbage dump yard? That is thinking on the extreme which is based upon an assumption that things won't change. 

Ridiculous it may sound but theoreticians and scholars have been able to hypothesize many theories and researches since ages.  And that has helped us to take action against a cause or to make a difference in this world. 

Because things don't remain constant forever.  The beautiful part of this word is it is continuously changing and evolving.  Technology changes everyday and so do people change over time. 

Think on the extreme, expand your thoughts, explore new boundaries of your imagination even if they are wired and totally impractical.   You will start thinking BIG. 

Last one what if  your expertise on a subject takes on the world?  You are the only genius by all means in a particular field like chemistry.   Think what will happen then.  So if it looks bright ask yourself how can you make that happen.  I call it thinking BIG.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Now and the real news: Kirk Citron

This is one of my favorite Ted Video of all times and it also resonates with what I believe in. I believe in one simple philosophy and that is "when I will be 90 years old, what will matter to me the most". Would I be happy seeing myself living a life of fear? Would I be happy to see myself being settled for something less in life? What would matter when I would be 90 years? The video below takes a much more broader approach. I love it.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

3 ways to get more ideas

3 Dead simple rules and they are very simple to get maximum ideas out from you.   I am 100% sure these will work for you.  But you got to be fearless.  You have to be fearless from everything - your own judgment towards your own ideas even if they are right or wrong.   Fearless from others judgment and fearless from the outcome of the acceptance of your idea.  And fearless people are creative.  I will share 3 simplest rules to get more ideas with you.  So here is the first one.

Rule no 1: Ship your existing products first.
Answer this utterly simple question : Can you eat more if your stomach is already full?  I don't mind if you want to stack more food on top of it.  But the answer is you cannot dump anything in an already full garbage can.  Right.  You have to empty your brain.  You have to get it out.   For a new idea to get into your brain you have to ship your existing ones first.

 By shipping your ideas, I meant publish your blog post, write articles, tell others about what you think, document your product design, write your marketing campaign or storyboard your future.  By shipping it means you have to empty your warehouse(your brain).

Rule no 2: Find relevant customers for your product.
If you are new get this one very clear.  You cannot please everyone at first.  You simply won't be able to.  Don't try to sell your idea to everyone.  It is a stupid mistake.  Find relevant people who care about what you believe in, who want to be listened, who want to be sold on your idea and those relevant people will bring in more and more.  You cannot sell a Boeing airliner to a person who cannot afford it.  It is as simple as it is.

By customers, you could be selling your ideas in a blog post to hundreds of thousands of people on the net.  You could be telling the fascinating story of a car crash survival to your friend.  You can document your ideas in a book.  You can sell your idea to a customer through a book, website, blog, podcast, pictures or even youtube. 

Rule no 3: That's it there is no rule no. 3
Yes, absurd it may sound but there is no rule no. 3.  So how can these two rule be sufficient to get more ideas.  Once you have sold your product what do you think your factory workers are going to do?  Sit Idle, certainly not right.  They will be on to next thing.  It is a repetitive cycle.  If you have existing inventory of ideas in your factory(brain) then your workers will be preoccupied with ideas and they won't know what to do with them.  As a result, they will be frustrated and will create chaos.

If there is nothing then there is an urge to create something.  I don't want you to believe in me certainly not.  I want you believe in the reasoning behind this.

Take a pen and paper.  Write down three ideas that you are fascinated the most about.  Leave them as it is and come back after an hour or so.   Read them and think if you can write down another three.  Do you think you could have written all 6 at once?  Don't keep your ideas in the air but write them down.

In all this process you have to accept all your ideas as they are.  They could be weird, bad, ugly, nice, beautiful, plain, simple, not exciting, ridiculous, awesome, superb, sorry, oh it like it or simply great.  You have to acknowledge each and every one of them.

Get started dear reader.  Empty your brains, make room for new ideas,  spread your ideas, new ones will come automatically.       

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Investing or Wasting

Are you investing your time in building the bridges(relationships) on facebook, twitter or in real life or just wasting awful amount of time in replying irrelevant messages, pampering your ego with useless notifications or updating irrelevant status updates? 

Have you done your long term research in investing money in certain portfolio or you just jumped along with the crowd to buy apple stocks?  Did you just wasted money in buying useless stocks? or Did you just sold a cash cow? 

Have you invested your time in figuring out what would you do for the rest of your life?  Or still worrying about the uncertainty of future?  Are you wasting your time or investing it? If you are doing anything that has long term benefits than it is surely investing.

Try to invest your time in such a way that you get long term returns.  Invest your time wisely on facebook to build a lasting relationship or in real life too.  Every person whom you meet is a possible candidate to receive your idea and spread it to thousands of people.

Ask yourself a question when a kind of activity is fruitless,  Is this investing or wasting of my time?  You can make it more interesting and fun from an investing perspective.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Have High Standards

I got an email from my very old friend over the last week.  He wanted to get more information about pursuing MBA in United States.(I have received tons of such emails)   Without knowing much about what he was interested in, I gave the best part of what I learned from my three years of experience at University of Toledo.  I told him to have "High standards in anything you do and you will land up in the best place."

That's it.  Getting more information from me could be his expectation but so was my response.  It was because I realized that it is the best way to reach higher.  This was not out of any movie influence.  And it was instant.  This came out as a result of my trip to Northwestern University in Chicago.  I was at Kellogg School of Management for a conference.  One of the top business school in the world.  Recognized for its great marketing program.  Awesome place to be.

I was among the brightest of students, some of the best faculty and leading entrepreneurs in the world.  I was overwhelmed.  I felt that I had done nothing in my career.  For three years I haven't done anything of that caliber.  Throughout the conference I was wondering, "what made those students the best in the word?", "Why companies pay them so much?"  "What are they learning different that I am not learning?" 

So I asked a student and the same answer I got, "Have high standards."  That's it.  There is no big secret behind their success.  They select top notch faculty for their program.  As a result the faculty hand picks the students who are the best in the world.   And you know the end result.  The best place to pursue your MBA.  

So next time, turn in your best work possible, select the best consultant for your business, pay the best person and you will find yourself among the best.   Final one:  Beat your own standards.  There is no magic rule.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Leaders Decide

One of the great qualities of Leader is the ability to take decisions.  The leader who cannot decide, cannot lead a tribe.  There are times when you have to take decisions on your own.  You can't rely on your board or your support staff.  You have to decide.

Great leaders either thrash the idea or ship it.  In either case they decide.  You could be right or you could be wrong in taking decisions.   Sometimes you have to go by your best guess.  But ultimately you will learn from your mistakes. 

My father told me this while I was very young.  I don't even know when but I still remember this.  He said "The more the time it takes to decide from yes or no, the more it is dangerous for you".   So decide it right now and stick with your decision if you feel it is right.

The human side:  Don't worry if you feel you made a wrong decision, after all we are people prone to errors and we are human beings.  And continuous improvement is the way to evolve.  So if you need to change your decision then you got to do that too.  So adapt according to situations.

Become a leader in your life and decide.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Where automation doesn't work?

Are you getting bogged down by increasing number of birthday notifications on your facebook account?  Do you wish an automated response to a birthday?  Perhaps not.  Automation doesn't work here.

Lets outsource our customer service department to some distant cheap location.   Lets cut every over head expense.  True customer service can't be automated.

You can't have an automated approach to lead teams.  You can not automate the personalized social bonding.  You need emotions to make them work.   Perhaps a phone call to a friend to wish happy birthday would be much more effective than a status update.

Automation doesn't work in emergency response teams.   In an increasing world of technological innovation, we tend to automate as much as we can and minimize the cost along the way.   And there is an inherent loss in this approach.

The central theme of this conversation is that we have automated our responses to most of our daily conversations with our peers, friends and general people whom we meet everyday.

Could you greet a burger king guy next door with some sort of personal feel to it? Could you say a thank you to the newspaper guy for delivering news to you?  Despite of talking and complaining about how bad the weather is or how bad time you had figuring out the parking space, can you break the mould?

Can you do it differently with a personal touch to it?  Try for a few days with each and every single person you meet.  Life will soon start off on a smooth JOURNEY.

Friday, June 04, 2010

It is all in the air

Can you do me a favor please for a moment?  I beg you for this one.  Could you recall the best conversation you had in the recent hours, days, months or years?  Could you recall that great idea you heard from your best friend?  Does your boss remembers all your ideas during project meeting?  Do you remember that great article worth framing in your heart?

Of course you can remember some of them.   You can easily recall some great ones and some great ones are all gone.  Your boss could be in midst of 10 different meetings and talking to about 40 individuals a day perhaps more than that.   In those meetings I am sure there would be lots of ideas floating around.  Lots of conversations going on to and fro.  By the time next week comes you can't expect your boss to remember your idea.

Similarly when you had great conversation with your friend or your father, you want to remember the great ideas.  You want them to be remembered forever.  You even want your kids some day to believe in what you believed 10 years ago.  You only wished if you had all those great ones and picked them up when needed.  Wished if you could sort them among the worst and best ones and share gladly with others.

All your ideas and conversations for the most of the time goes undocumented and unnoticed.  Today billions of people on this earth will have fabulous ideas on how to save this beautiful world.  And most of them would evaporate in the air like a volatile liquid.  Imagine if you could visualize words floating in the air and going up in the air.  What would you do?  Grab them and put them into a zip lock right.  Open it and read them as and when you need it.  Or give it to someone when they need it.

After all it is all in the air, remember it.  Great filmmakers, entrepreneurs, bloggers, authors, marketing gurus and creatives have been doing this since ages.  They knew the importance of a great idea.  They story board their idea, write a script, film it and release a blockbuster movie.   They watch it whenever they need it.  Some have managed to change the whole world with this simple philosophy.  And you too can do it.

Yes ! that is the brighter side of the story.  You too can do it.  In order to do so write them down as they pop-up.  Some will be bad, ridiculed or even thrashed by your own mind but please for the sake of future write them down.  Only time shall decided the greatness of one idea over the other.  Only time shall decide the wisdom you had in writing your own story.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Asking the right questions

If you see a blank face after you presented a great idea, then understand that nobody got it.  Or nobody is with you.  Here only one thing you can do to get your idea through.  Either you ask questions as you convey your idea or make them ask you questions.  And the key is asking the right questions.

If you are a sales person and if you don't get any objection then you got your first signal.  The customer is not getting your side of the story.  Asking questions along the way is a key to make them engaged.  If there is no engagement then there is no selling.  

What schools didn't taught us to do it right?  They didn't taught us to ask intelligent questions.  What makes you think so? perhaps would be a very legitimate question in most of the situations.  For example Can you show me some facts behind your assumption?

Don't simply assume what others are saying or don't assume either that what you are saying everybody is actually getting it.  Because we have entered in a routine syndrome where you engage in a conversation and responses like agree, agree, agree.  Or I know, I know, Yeah Yeah and ok, ok, ok are almost habitual.  Without thinking you answer it.  This could make you look really stupid.

Do you think business leaders know every aspect of how a technology works?  Do you think Bill Gates can figure out how to write a chemical formula or design steam engines?  Perhaps not in a very short time.  Business leaders don't know how a manufacturing machine is working.  But they can get others to work on troubleshooting the machine.  How can they do it?  Well they ask the right questions.  That will get answers to how to solve the problem by simple asking basic questions.

Lets be an inquisitive learner.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

TINA Factor

There is no shortcut to success.  Guy Kawasaki entrepreneur behind mentioned there is only hard work behind his success.  Once I found this acronym TINA  which means There Is No Alternative, very influential.  It read like "There Is No Alternative" to hard work.  You have to work hard and hard to get success.  At least that is my mantra for success.