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…

10 Ways to Stay Disciplined in 2018

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? To me the answer is one word which is discipline. It is discipline that will keep you going for the long haul and continue to keep your resolutions and goals in focus. This quote is great “Discipline is the refining fire by which talent becomes ability.” Roy L. Smith
In the book "The Motivation Myth" Jeff Haden makes an interesting premise that success is what leads to motivation. Attending a motivational seminar may get you excited but once you are back home you are the same person because you haven't accomplished anything except paying for the seminar. I really liked this book because it hits right into what is needed for genuine success and it is grit, discipline and hard work. Once you get started that's when motivation kicks…

7 Ways to Winning in 2018

Winning is what we all want in life. With 2018 in full view we all want to set New Year resolutions and hope the next year will be better than the last year. Irrespective of how 2017 has been you can make 2018 better. Here are 7 ways to win in any year. I have expanded each letter of the word Winning.
Work Hard and Smart – It is so important to work hard no question about that. However, it is not just about putting 12 hours into your work. It is about maximising productivity with the available time. Focus on top priorities and understand what the key result areas of your job are. Focus only on that and eliminate non-value adding activities. Work hard while being smart. There is so much information now that sleep is very important to be productive so let's make that a priority to get adequate sleep for our bodies.
Stay Inspired – Inspiration is the fuel you need to accomplish all your goals. Decide on things that keep your inspired. It may be reading a motivational book, for others …

15 Ways to Stay Confident and Thrive in 2018

Wish everyone a happy and prosperous new year. As 2018 dawns on us we all want to feel more self-confident. Self-confidence is wonderful quality strongly correlated with success. A lot of times we see people who are highly successful and it is a direct result of their self-confidence. It is not something that you just have when you are born but rather it is something internalized after years of hard work and proving your competence in your area of expertise. Here are the 15 ways I have identified to become a more self-confident person.
Keep track of your accomplishments - Everyone has had success at some point in life either in school, extracurricular activities or college. Write down every single achievement you have ever had right from your start. This can be anything from learning a language, learning a sport, or academic achievements. This will give you a good start on your journey towards increasing self-confidence. Some authors advise to have a victory log of all your accomplish…

Forget Resolutions Install these 13 Habits

Wish all of you a great 2018. I know a lot of us want to create resolutions and most of them don't work. I prefer to have goals instead which are more long term. Instead of having a goal of losing 5 pounds we can instead just install the habit of exercising daily. If we exercise daily then the 5 pounds takes care of itself. My aim with this article is to give quick habits that we can implement not only for this year but for life.
Our habits make us or break us. If there is one thing that will surely help you on this journey of life it is your habits. There is no scientific formula to develop habits but one thing is sure unless you acknowledge the need for change nothing else will happen. Here are 13 habits of remarkably successful people that I have found that can be implemented to get the most out of life.
Get up early – This is totally about discipline. On average most of the highly successful people from history have all got up early. Reading about Eisenhower he slept at 9:30 p…

22 Traits of Strong Leaders

Everyone has their own definition of leadership. Mine is simple it is about dreaming big, inspiring others and leading by example. Leaders really do dream big dreams think of Martin Luther King, Gandhi, Roosevelt, Churchill among others. The current business landscape requires more leaders who are willing to chart new seas and deal with change in a world that has not only flattened but also eliminated geographical boundaries. The 21st Century leader needs to pack the following traits in their kit bags. Leaders are made and of course they are born as all of us are. Here are my muses on leadership and everyone can come up with their own versions.
Leaders are visionaries – What separates a leader from a manager is an audacious vision. Only leaders have vision and vision is something that can get us out of bed and into the market to deliver excellent value. Let’s consider the vision of JFK to land a man on the moon. It was clear and audacious. Clearly set the vision for your life and ente…

Extreme Ownership - 12 Principles of Leadership

Leadership is ultimately taking responsibility for results. I liked the book Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin. It distills the essence of leadership into twelve principles. I think all of us know these at a gut level but practicing it consistently is the tougher part. Here are the principles with my take on each.
Extreme Ownership
Take complete responsibility for all your results. Never engage in blame. The buck stops with the leader. This is an attitude in my opinion and can be applied to our personal lives as well.
There are no bad teams, only bad leaders
This is debatable because even in sports we see that a captain is only as good as the team. However, if a team is performing poorly it does start with looking at the leader. That’s why a lot of organization looks for new leaders when things go wrong. Though this has not proved to be always right.
You have to believe if you want to win
The leader must absolutely believe in the mission of the organization. The leader m…

Playing to Win - 5 Great Choices of Strategy

Playing to win is one of the best books on strategy I have read. It is written by Roger Martin who was Rotman School of Business Dean (He was also voted as the number one thinker for 2017 by Thinkers50), and the former CEO of Proctor and Gamble, A.G. Lafley. Roger Martin’s recent book is Creating great choices which is also a delightful book on thinking.
Strategy was made famous by the redoubtable Michael Porter who said that “strategy is all about creating a competitive advantage over your rivals by deliberately choosing a different set of activities to deliver unique value.”
The authors in the introduction talk about how ineffective leaders think about strategy:
1. They define strategy as a vision.
2. They define strategy as a plan.
3. They deny that long-term strategy is possible.
4. They define strategy as the optimization of the status quo.
5. They define strategy as following best practices.
The book is based on five choices which every firm needs to make to win in the market…

The Optimist's Manifesto - 10 Commandments of Optimism

Optimism is one of the key traits of successful people. All change or innovations that have happened in the world are due to people willing to see something more than others see. Where others see roadblocks, successful people see opportunities. I have come up with ten commandments which can help us be at our optimistic best.
I resolve to take 100% responsibility for my life – I am not the first to suggest this nor will I be the last. Taking full responsibility for your life both personal and professional is the starting point of feeling great about yourself. When you feel you are in control of your life you are more optimistic. You also respond to life rather than react to it.
I resolve to learn from setbacks – Napoleon Hill famously said, “Every adversity carries with it the seed of an equivalent benefit.” It is not easy to stay positive when things go wrong but that is the truest test of your optimism. When you learn from every setback you join the pantheon of greats.
I resolve to lo…

7 Ways to Lead yourself Exceptionally Well

Self-management is the name of the game. How you manage yourself over a sustained period is the greatest predictor of your success. I have a read a lot of John Maxwell books. One book I liked was “The 360 Degree Leader” and it has a chapter which talks about 7 keys to take care for self-management. Here they are with my take on each.
Manage your emotions – Emotions is nothing more than energy in motion. A leader can’t afford to lose their cool often. The ability to manage your emotions is one of the keys to become a top leader. For example, when you are angry don’t take any action and don’t send an email. If you are angry you can get out of the conversation or go to another place. Do something which makes you feel better.
Mange your time – Irrespective of our background all of us get the same time 24 hours a day. It is how we manage ourselves within the time is the key. I have identified 10 keys for effective time management. Please check it out.…