3 Keys to Build a Winning Culture

Culture is one of the keys to sustaining an organization. It is also one of the keys to get the organization to the next level. Culture is the secret sauce of all winning organizations. I had earlier written on 8 ways to build a winning culture you can check it here. 8 Ways to Build a Winning Culture One book I liked recently on this topic is “The Culture Code” by Daniel Coyle. He had earlier written The Talent Code and The Little Book of Talent which are both great in their own way. He has done extensive research citing examples right from Navy Seals to Pixar among others. Here are the three keys to build a world class culture and put your organization into the stratosphere. Safety – This has been mentioned in all books around team building. This is based on the Google project Aristotle which basically mentioned that the number one requirement for any employee is a feeling of safety. This means they should be able to come to work and speak candidly on issues. They should be able to sp…

7 Practices to be Great at Work

We all want to be great at work. Great at work by Morten Hansen is a wonderful take on how we can get the most out of ourselves. The main thesis is it is not just about working 60 hours a week. In fact, the research confirms that you cannot work more than 50 hours without losing your edge. So, it pays to really ensure we are paying attention to burnout.
The book starts with the story of Roald Amundsen and Robert Falcon Scott when they were trying to reach the South Pole. This story has been documented in multiple books. Obviously, Roald Amundsen won the race and it was not because he had bigger resources. In fact, Scott had the bigger budget and a bigger team. However, Roald Amundsen focused on only one mode of transport which is using dog sleds. He also ensured he got Greenlander dogs instead of Siberian huskies because they were stronger. He also ensured he got the best dog handler in his team. This shows his meticulous preparation. This was in stark contrast to Scott who had ever…

5 Books I liked Reading in February

The following books have a lot of valuable information which can help our personal and professional lives. Here are 5 terrific books I liked reading in February.
Thinking in bets by Annie Duke – This was an informative read. If you have read Thinking Fast and Slow this might sound familiar. Basically, the thesis is the quality of your life comes down to the quality of your decisions and luck. Don’t assume that a bad outcome means it is a wrong decision. Involve others in decision making, create a decision matrix (for example never accept if someone says I am 100 percent certain), and finally say I am not sure. The basic point is uncertainty is the name of the game and you can never really know if your good decision will always lead to good outcomes. There are lots of examples like Pete Carroll the Seattle Seahawks coach making a decision for which the outcome didn't turn out as expected. However, the author successfully argues that the decision was correct even if the outcome didn…

10 Ways to Prevent and Beat Stress

All of us have moments of stress. It is prevalent in all areas of our lives. Stress can be caused by anxiety and it may also lead to it. Stress is generally due to a perceived lack of control. It is also prevalent when we feel we don’t have any time. One of the things I have learned is when stress is about to show up just stop everything you are doing and really understand what you are trying to do. Here are some musings on how we can nip the bud of stress.
Do something physical – I have heard a lot people say when you are stressful do some exercise. When you are under stress it is very difficult to motivate yourself to exercise. That’s the reason you are under stress. I would rather try to prevent stress by making physical activity a daily habit. This way it is a habit and since it is daily your chances of staving of stress is far easier.
Get a good night’s sleep – If you sleep through 8 hours you are generally more relaxed. So again, prevention is better than cure. Make sure every we…

12 Ways to Develop the Attitude of Success

What makes some people very successful? What are their thought patterns which make them super successful? This is an interesting area I would like to analyze and deep dive. Here are the 12 ways the super successful think and act. As the cliche holds successful people don't do different things they just do things differently.
They define what success means to them – This is truly the most important step for anyone to take. Without defining what success means to us it will be very difficult to be content or happy. One of the best definitions of success I have come across is by Earl Nightingale "Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal." This means that as long as you are moving forward towards something you want you are successful. It doesn't matter if others think that is success. Only thing that matters is if you are happy with this definition of success. Comparing with others usually doesn't work because we don't know what their definition of…

5 Books on Leadership, Culture, Productivity, Entrepreneurship and Happiness

With 2018 in full swing we all have resolutions and goals we want to achieve. We also want to make sure this excitement doesn’t just last for two weeks but lasts for the entire year. So how do you keep this excitement going for a long time?
For me one of the ways to keep this motivation ongoing is to keep reading. Reading is one way to be positive about your future and it is also relaxing for me. It also provides a great relief from the negative news cycles. So here are 5 books I enjoyed reading on leadership, culture, happiness, productivity and entrepreneurship.
Lincoln and Churchill by Lewis E. Lehrman - I think we can learn more from real leaders than leadership theorists. This is a well-written book. The main thing I learned was both had an indomitable will. They also worked crazy hard. Churchill was great at writing but that was not due to innate talent it was due to relentless hard work. Lincoln was a great listener, was humble and at the same time had a desire to succeed for …

15 Keys to Building the 21st Century Organization

Organizations are the life blood of humanity. Organizations provide all of us a reason to find meaning in our lives. They also impact the world in a positive way. So, it is pertinent that organizations survive and thrive in the future as well. We need both closely knit families and organizations to ensure solid lives for future generations. Here are my musings on what it takes to build the 21st Century organization.
Eliminate red tape – There is no room for red tape in a thriving organization. Bureaucracy no longer works and organizations that want to win should minimize this as much as possible.
Reduce friction – Reducing barriers to communication is the key to unleash the imagination of your workforce. Ensure everyone has access to all the information needed to succeed. The only way to overcome friction is to reduce barriers and ensure everyone has a voice.
Increase transparency – As they say beat the news home. It is better to be transparent about substantial changes than withholding…

Federer - 6 Keys to Champion Mindset

Roger Federer beat Marin Cilic in a five set thriller to win the Australian Open 2018 which is his 20th grand slam. This is nothing short of sensational especially considering that Federer maybe at the twilight of his career. Well the twilight is something only tennis pundits speak about whereas Federer is taking the game to new levels which is unfathomable. He is getting better with age in a game where the young use to rule the roost.

Federer knows when to step up and he has a knack of overcoming failures quickly. I believe that is the Champion Mindset. Let’s face it all of us will lose or encounter failure but what separates the champions from the rest is the way they ultimately respond to the negative event. If like Federer we keep looking to the future with possibilities, then we can overcome any failure and this is the key to develop the mindset of a champion.

On the topic of mindset it was interesting to read what was written in the Power of Habit (a wonderful book) by Charles Duh…

1937 or 2018 or 2088 - Success is Dreams and Goals

In 1937 Napoleon Hill wrote that definiteness of purpose is the key to success. He gave a six-step formula for success. The first step was desire that is deciding exactly what you want and then providing the service to achieve that. In 2018 even, most books still talk about the same because it is true that success is going after what you want. I believe in 2088 as well anyone can define success the same way because it is going after what you want which is the key to a happy life.
In his wonderful book Shoe Dog Phil Knight says the following “I wanted to leave a mark on the world, I simply didn’t want to lose.” The more important thing he said was "Seek a calling. Even if you don’t know what that means, seek it. If you’re following your calling, the fatigue will be easier to bear, the disappointments will be few, the highs will be like nothing you’ve ever felt." I think that defines success more than anything else.
You don’t need to win to feel confident. You need to be conf…

5 Books to make 2018 great

With 2018 in full swing we all have resolutions and goals we want to achieve. We also want to make sure this excitement doesn’t just last for two weeks but lasts for the entire year. So how do you keep this excitement going for a long time?
For me one of the ways to keep this motivation ongoing is to keep reading. Reading is one way to be positive about your future. It also provides a great relief from the negative news cycles. So here are 5 books I enjoyed reading this year.
When by Daniel Pink – The premise of the book is simple. It is that when you decide to do something is as important as how you do it. For example, if you are an early morning person you should schedule the most difficult tasks for morning. You should take breaks during the day. Take nature walks even if it is for 5 min. Take a nap when you can for 20 min and take the coffee just before you take the nap. If you are in a midlife slump set new goals, be self-compassionate and appreciate how good you have it. For you…