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Showing posts from February, 2016

12 Qualities of Outstanding Winners

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What are the qualities that separate the winners from others? This is a wonderful topic which I am really excited in exploring. I have been a student of success in sports like tennis and cricket. I have in the past 5 years also researched the success secrets of business superstars like Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Andy Grove and others. At the outset I don’t mean to say that you have to be a CEO to be successful but understanding what makes these people superstars is well worth a look. If we can incorporate some of those qualities we can reach our personal summits. Here are the 12 qualities of winners that I have identified Self-Discipline– There is nothing that is more important to be a winner than developing the quality of self-discipline. If you want to be a winner then it goes without saying that you need to do what winners do. My favorite role model is Rahul Dravid. He may not have the natural talent of a Laxman or Tendulkar but he made that up with sheer self-discipline and tenacity. …

You are Contagious, Show up Fully

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Contagious culture by Anese Cavanaugh is a wonderful take on how to lead and thrive both in business and life. What I really liked are the questions that are asked of you. Ultimately determining your true values will help you personally and then by determining the organization values you make the organization better.  Here is the summary of the book with key points that can help leaders develop themselves and the culture of the organization.  The first thing to know is that you are contagious and you have control. The main aim is to show up bigger and create great impact. The method you do this is by staying connected to purpose. Here the IEP method is introduced which is working your Intentional Energetic Presence and by doing that you are creating culture every day with your team and clients and families. All of these interactions are contagious.  The author shares that executives and employees from Fortune 500 companies, startups, small businesses, consultancies like IDEO, Cooper …

6 Ways to become a Charismatic Person

One definition of Charisma is “compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others.” When we think of leaders the first thing that comes to mind is their charisma. We want to be charismatic. I think great leaders are charismatic however not everyone who has charisma maybe a great leader.  It is something that can be developed and we can all aspire to. Here are the key elements of charisma identified by experts that we can try to incorporate to become greater leaders.  These elements were mentioned in the book The Happiness Track by Emma Seppala.  Here is my take on each of the elements. Empathy - Empathy is the key21st century skill. With information asymmetry and buyers having the same information as sellers we need to understand the real needs of the customer before we sell anything. If you think you are in technology and not in sales think again. Whatever you do for a living you need empathy to win in the market place. As Howard Schultz said “We are not in the co…

A Passion for Leadership - Robert Gates

Leadership has been endlessly dissected. There are in-numerous books on this topic. There is a standard checklist for what leadership is. Most of them include vision, integrity, character, courage, passion and many more. So it was with a little bit of skepticism that I read the latest book “A Passion for Leadership” by Robert Gates. However I actually found it to be engrossing and very well written. I like his definition of leadership which is show the way and guide the way. This is the key as once we know the way anyone can execute. It is defining the way that differentiates the leaders from others. When Gates took over the Texas A&M he told them that if they want someone to maintain the status quo then he is not the guy. He is a change agent. When challenging the status quo it doesn’t matter if there is no consensus. The very act of leadership is to go where no one else is going. Leadership vs management has also been endlessly dissected. I have always felt that we have overemp…

6 Keys to Manage your Career like a Start-up

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This is about the new world of work. Everyone is an entrepreneur meaning you are responsible for your career. Here is a great quote from Mohamed Yunus "All human beings are entrepreneurs. When we were in the caves, we were all self-employed finding our food, feeding ourselves. That’s where human history began. As civilization came, we suppressed it. We became 'labor' because they stamped us, 'You are labor.' We forgot that we are entrepreneurs."  I have read a few books on managing careers but this one is very relevant to our current age. The book “The Start-up of You” was written by Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha. The authors say that with the death of traditional career paths you can no longer count on employer sponsored training to enhance your communication skills or expand your knowledge. It is now your job to train yourself. I think companies are still doing a lot in this area but still the onus is on the individual to take charge of their career. Just …

6 Lessons from The End of Average

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We have all looked at averages everywhere from sports like cricket or baseball to grades in school. The questions to consider are 
1.Are we looking at the averages in the right way? 2.Is the way we view the world the only way out? 3.What if the averages are not really true?  For example what if you became an outstanding engineer but only thing is you need six years and not four. Imagine if someone could become the best engineer that ever lived but needed six years would we want to stop them because of a standardized formula. So often we get trapped into thinking that only fast learning is good learning or only if we complete a degree faster we are more intelligent. 
Well the good news is some of these questions have been answered very well in the book “The End of Average” by Todd Rose.  It really addresses the question of averages with great research and insights. Here are the 6 lessons I gleaned.  Jaggedness principle – Don’t engage in one dimensional thinking. For example we believe to be…

Get on The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster

I love reading books but the ones that move me are few. The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster by Darren Hardy was one of them which had my heart racing. Believe me you don’t need to be an entrepreneur to read this book. In fact even if you are working for someone else thinking like an entrepreneur can help you succeed even more. Once you are on the Entrepreneur roller coaster it is going to be tough. We look at Oprah and Richard Branson thinking that they have fun all the time but most of the time they are not doing great work they are working on lawsuits and other dry stuff but yes 5% of time it is very cool. So if you don't have the passion for your work you don't need to worry but have passion for why you are doing the work as that is the main thing. Get passionate why you are doing the job and then you will give your best. Look at Elon musk or the late Steve jobs they didn't show up for the paycheck. Would you do what you are doing even if it is Saturday if it is a yes then…

11 Inspiring Lessons from Originals by Adam Grant

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Originals – How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant is a wonderful inspiring book. Adam Grant has done an excellent job in communicating succinctly that creativity is something which is within the grasp of all of us. Yes there are some deja vu moments but as Adam Grant suggests we should look for vu jade moments as well. Originality is an act of creative destruction. Here are the 11 lessons I gleaned from the book. Question the default – In an interesting study in a call center they found that people who use Firefox and chrome are more productive at work and are less likely to leave compared to IE and Safari users. This is because they took initiative and chose to change default. Rejecting the default is the starting point of curiosity which is a key to creativity. Vuja de is when we see things in a fresh perspective and only when we do that we can question the default. Another example sighted is Donna Dubinsky who stood up to Steve Jobs many times and still managed to get pr…