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Showing posts from 2018

5 Business Books to Read this Summer

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We are at mid-point in 2018. Hope your year has been great thus far. Here are 5 business books I liked reading recently.
Dream Teams by Shane Snow – The premise of the book is simple. It is that the sum is greater than the individual parts. Also, it is not a team of super stars that win all the time. There are a lot of anecdotes here and one of them I liked was about the Wright brothers. They would like to discuss about one issue and then after some time they would take the opposite view and argue for that as well. The Daimler-Chrysler merger is also discussed here and why it didn’t work as expected. His other book “Smart Cuts” is also a delightful read.
Build an A-team by Whitney Johnson – Again another book on building winning teams. There is something called learning curve which she encourages everyone should undertake. Make sure you have everyone on your team on a steep learning curve. Once they achieve one accomplishment use the AID principle which is applaud the accomplishment, i…

9 Lessons to learn from Richard Branson

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Richard Branson is an icon of business. He is also a model of fun and success. His book Screw it, let’s do it was a fun read and here are the lessons I gleaned.
Just do it – This is just like the Nike slogan. Whatever you want in your life just do it. All the movers and shakers of this world have been men and women of action. They decided what they wanted and just went ahead with their plans. They were not worried about the opinion of others.
Have fun – If you need to perform at your best week in and week out then you need to love your work. Keep on bringing the passion to your work. Keep loving what you do for your living. That is the number one route to happiness. Also have fun in your life whatever fun is for you. Maybe going on a hot air balloon is not fun for you but that’s fine as all of us are different and have different aspirations.
Be bold – This is the most important word we all need to pay attention to. The actions you take daily determine where you end up in life. If you do…

8 Ways to Win the Playoffs

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In my opinion we are already in the playoffs of life. Sometimes we wait for the right time to do something or think that there is some other time which is more important than now. However, the truth is we are all in the playoffs already and we don’t get too many other chances to showcase our talent. So, this is the main game. Here are the actions needed to win in the playoffs.
Perform – I love this word because all of us have need to perform with the talent we have. Some of us are even gifted but only if we do the work required to discover our talent. Performing every week over a long period of time is the key to our success.
Love your work – If you need to perform at your best week in and week out then you need to love your work. Keep on bringing the passion to your work. Keep loving what you do for your living. That is the number one route to happiness.
Action – This is the most important word we all need to pay attention to. The actions you take daily determine where you end up in l…

3 Leadership lessons from Peter Drucker

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In an era where there are so many leadership experts are providing their own jargons Peter Drucker stood as someone who went for the basics. Peter Drucker is to business what Vince Lombardi is to football. He has 3 principles of leadership which I liked.
Leaders think through organization’s mission – Nothing complicated but the number one responsibility of the leader is to set the organizational mission and then achieve it. The leaders set the goals, sets the priorities, and sets and maintains the standards. I think this is also the key to personal success. Knowing what you want and then going after it is what the journey of success and leadership is about.
Leadership is a responsibility not a rank – Yes lot of experts talking about this now. That is, you can lead from where you are planted. Leaders must take responsibility for results. When things go wrong they take personal responsibility and when things go well they give credit to the team.
Leaders earn trust – This is very important…

Resilience is the Signature of Greatness

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Resilience is truly the signature of greatness. This line comes from Jim Collins in one of my favorite books Great by Choice. Please read this quote from Churchill “We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.”
Every great leader worth their salt were resilient. They believed in a cause larger than themselves and they defined themselves by impact and contribution. Finding our cause is the main aim of life in my opinion. Here are some ways we can display resilience and ensure we remain unperturbed by chaos and uncertainty. I have expanded each letter of the word Resilience.
Responsibility – As Harry Truman said, “The buck stops with me.” This is truly the attitude of the visionary leader. Always take responsibility for results. Give praise to the team when things go well and take the blame when things go …

8 Ways to Unleash the Inner Champion

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We all have champion qualities. For example, the book Talent is Overrated by Geoff Colvin clearly shows that genius is due more to deliberate practice than natural gifts. He persuasively argues with data that even superstars and child prodigies became great due to relentless practice and hard work. His main argument is this insight gives us less excuses to why we cannot be great. The two things he says you need to be a total champion is you need to know what you want. In other words, the only way you are going to be committed is to know exactly what you want. It is not a maybe but a clear set goals for which you are totally committed to. Once that is determined you need to decide if you believe you have a say in it. This means do you really believe that if you put in the practice you will attain the goals. If you do then as per the research with practice it is attainable. Here are the qualities I identified to be a total champion in all areas of your life.
Courage – This is not the t…

12 Rules for Life

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The 12 Rules for life by Jordan Peterson did resonate with me and has become quite a huge success. It made me come up with my own rules for life. Here are the 12 rules I came up with.
Develop a high appreciation for life – What you appreciate does appreciate more. Only if you develop a deep appreciation for your life will you feel happy and peaceful. You will understand that there is a deeper meaning for your existence. Love your life for what it is and it is a wonderful opportunity for all of us to bring our talents to light.
Appreciate your uniqueness – The fact is even identical twins are not same. This means we are all unique and I can’t be anyone else other than me. Even if I try to be someone else I will only be a poor imitation. So, appreciating the value of our uniqueness is a great starting point to enjoying life more. We are all in the game of life and each of us has a role to play. As they say the jungle is neutral and none of us are insignificant compared to each other no m…

5 practices of Effective Executives

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Peter Drucker is a business genius. He is a giant in the field of management. There are two books which has everything he has taught one is “The Essential Drucker” and “The Daily Drucker.” It is amazing how far ahead of his time he was. The other book which I like is The Effective Executive. Here are 5 practices of effective executives.
Know where your time goes – This is such a simple suggestion but so effective. Anytime we feel that we don’t have enough time all we need to look at is where the time goes. Once you have that you can then eliminate the non-value adding activities to free up time for more value adding activities. In my opinion this is what time management is.
Focus on outward contributions – The bottom line is the results we produce that determine our success. We should really understand what the final victory looks like for us and our organizations.
Build on strengths – Drucker is truly famous for saying this. It is better to focus on strengths and align your work to …

Life is like a Test Match in Cricket

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I love the game of cricket. I was an avid cricket follower at least till the time Rahul Dravid retired. The five-day test match is the true test of patience. Believe it or not even after 5 days you can have a game with no result which is perplexing to some.
To me the 5 days that a cricketer goes through is the same all of us go through during our work. We all get usually five days in a week to perform at our best. The only difference is while cricketers may not play test matches throughout the year or even a life we all will get easily 40 years of playing test matches week after week.
With the advent of Twenty Twenty the viewership for test matches are dwindling but the drama of a test match is something that can never be replaced. Imran Khan once said to succeed in 20-20 you need a lot of talent, a little technique and not much temperament. However, for test matches you need all the other T’s in abundance.
The epitome of a test match player for me is Rahul Dravid. He had an abundance…

6 Books on AI, Power, History, Excellence and Finance

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This year in the first four months I have read more than any other year and it is inspiring. The following are the books I dived deep into recently.
Life 3.0 by Max Tegmark – The premise of the book is simple AI is here to stay. The book offers a primer on AGI and different ways AI will rule the world. This is very important knowledge if we want to help our kid’s future as well.
New Power by Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms – Well-written book overall the new power structure is explained in detail. The old power structure was based on centralization and hierarchy. The new power structure is based on community, crowds, decentralization and self-organized teams. Examples are plenty here and the point is there are more avenues for us to stand out in this new media frenzied world.
Darkest hour by Anthony McCarten – I thoroughly enjoyed this book which read more like a novel only thing this is real. Churchill’s bull dog tenacity and courage is very much evident. His 3 major speeches during t…

12 Keys to Build Brand You - Tom Peters

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In the last 4 months I have got into a lot of Tom Peters books. Even in the bygone eras Tom was surely ahead of his time. He does make his books exciting to read. His latest offering is “The Excellence Dividend.” If you have not read anything from Tom Peters this would be a great place to start. He started the Brand you philosophy well before the social media revolution. He spoke about this in 1999 and released a book with the same title. He advises the following 12 things to keep yourself at the top of your game in an age of turbulence and uncertainty. Here they are with my take on each
Mastery – Be absolutely specialized and great in something. With the amount of information at our disposal we have an enormous responsibility to use this information to our advantage. Most of the information in the form of blogs, podcasts, books are free. My formula is simple connect with the experts in your field, read their books, listen to their podcasts, read their blogs, document what you learned…

9 Podcasts that are informative and enjoyable

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Podcasts are great ways to learn and relax at the same time. Here are my favorite podcasts and yes, I listen to them at 2X speed. You can subscribe to them in iTunes.
How I Built this by Guy Raz – This is one of the best podcasts on entrepreneurship. It is so well done and I loved the interview with Michael Dell. It is inspirational and short enough not to lose interest.
Ted Radio Hour by Guy Raz -  I love this one really the best information from more than 5 Ted talks condensed into 50 min episodes. It is very informational and actionable.
The Tim Ferris Show - This is the holy grail of all podcasts. Of course, they are longer in length and some of the ones I do skip. Overall it is a great viewpoint and has some great advice across various domains. I liked the one with Naval Ravikant.
Masters of Scale by Reid Hoffman – This is one of the best podcasts on business. It has so much good information. I am happy with the amount of information on this podcast.
Bregman Leadership Podcast – Th…

The Four Behaviors of World Class Leaders

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The CEO next door by Elena L. Botelho and Kim R. Powell is a wonderful book for anyone in a leadership position. The basic premise is that whatever assumptions we have about where CEO’s come from are mistaken. Some of them have been very educated and not all of them have an IVY league education. It is also interesting that not all of them have too much talent. Here are the four best practices mentioned that make great CEO’s with my take on each.
Decisiveness – Being decisive is one of the key traits of strong leaders. Even if you make a wrong decision it is better than being indecisive. For example, Henry Ford was known to decide quickly but he was very slow in changing a decision once it is made. Decisiveness is a trait that can be developed. One great book on making better decisions is Decisive by Chip Heath and Dan Heath. The recommendation from the authors is to make decisions faster, make fewer decisions and get better every time.
Engage for impact: This is basically about managin…

3 Keys to Build a Winning Culture

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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…