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The 5 Champion Qualities of Rafael Nadal

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I had written earlier on the champions mindset of Federer and Djokovic. Here are the articles Djokovic Champion Qualities and Federer's Champion Mindset. However, if I don’t write about Nadal I would be leaving out my favorite player Nadal. While some Federer fans might not want Nadal to win and vice versa I take a nuanced approach to sports. My philosophy is to learn from every winner even if you are not rooting for them. So, I love all 3 of them and all of them are great champions. Here are the 5 Champion qualities of Nadal.
Self-Belief – I love this word because all of us need to have this if we want to win big. He believes in himself even if no one else does. In 2005 he was considered a clay court specialist and he was someone who had a good chance only in the French open. How he turned that around to win multiple Wimbledon championships, US Opens and Australian Opens is the stuff of legend. The key is never put limits on yourself based on others opinion. As Henry Ford said if…

The 6 Habits of High Performers

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We all want to be high performers in whatever we do. I have been studying this topic and immersed myself in many books on this topic for well over 7 years. The most recent addition to the literature is Brendon Burchard’s High Performance Habits. He has identified 6 habits which I found to be simple but if implemented can be life changing for all of us. Here are 6 performance habits with my take on each.
Seek Clarity – I love this word because all of us need to have clarity or we will not be able to win big. The first step to develop clarity is to get to know yourself. You should know who you are, what your strengths are, what your weakness are, what your goals are and what your ambition is. One of the keys I have found is to write your own obituary and really get clear on what you want to be send at the end of your life. Once you are clear on that make sure every day you take steps towards that ultimate vision you have for yourself. Of course, we will not live to our highest ideals a…

The 5 Champion Qualities of Novak Djokovic

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Novak Djokovic has won his 4th Wimbledon today and his 13th grand slam overall. This is an amazing feat considering the quality of the opposition he had. People had written him off for the last 2 years. What makes him a true champion is how he has bounced back in-spite of his critics.
He made history by winning the 2016 French open and became the first person since Rod Laver to hold four grand slams at the same time. That was an amazing feat. Considering that super stars like Federer, Nadal, Sampras and Agassi have not been able to do that this is beyond comprehension and a testament to the champion in Novak.
I remember watching him in the 2007 US Open Final against Federer which he lost and thought this guy has a lot of talent but does he have the heart to survive the onslaught from Federer and Nadal? Well he has proved beyond doubt what it takes to be a champion. I have expanded his name Novak with the champion qualities he displays. Here they are
N – Never Say Die Spirit –Not since…

John Wooden's Pyramid of Success

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John Wooden the legendary coach created his "Pyramid of Success," which defines 15 "blocks" of personality traits strategically arranged to generate "competitive greatness." I love his definition of success which can be applicable to all of us. “Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming.” That’s all what success. It is a very individual thing and everyone must define what success means to them. Here are the 15 blocks of personality traits.
1.      "Industriousness" – This is absolutely required to win in any field. Hard work is truly the key to a great life and career. So, there are no easy formulas for success in any area of our lives.
2.     "Enthusiasm" – When you are enthusiastic you do better in all areas of your life. Be enthusiastic about your life and you will enjoy it more. Your enthusiasm is also contagious to the peopl…

The Last Career Guide you will ever Need

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Careers are always interesting. We all want to get the most out of our careers. However, considering the pace of change how does a 10-year plan sound or even a 2-year plan. The fact is the product lives are getting shorter and so are the project lives. The question is how to navigate through this fog and uncertainty with some level of calm.
This is where Daniel Pink’s book “The Adventures of Johnny Bunko” can help. Of course, Daniel Pink makes the audacious claim that this is the last career guide you will ever need. Review this with me and see if that is indeed true.
Here are the 6 keys to navigate your career going forward.
There is no plan – This should stop all of us on our tracks. Truly there is no plan. We should be more flexible and ready to pivot at any point of our career. While this is not meant to be taken literally I think it does require us to go with the flow. Career plans may not be that useful but what maybe more useful are career pivots.
Think strengths, not weakness…

The Motivation Myth

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The Motivation Myth by Jeff Haden was pretty good. It was a reliable guide for authentic success. One of the tenets of the book is to decide what you want and then invest in the process to getting there. Here are my key takeaways.
Focus on process not goals – Process could be things like wake up early, exercise daily, write daily lists and watch only 1 hour of TV. Jeff gives some thoughts here like exercise first thing in morning, drink a glass of water before any meal, stop eating when you are full, eat slower, don’t eat anything light and try to eliminate as many decisions as possible.
Serial achievers – The main point here is don’t stick to only one thing you can succeed in many areas. You might be doing great at work but you might also have a hobby you are good at. Venus Williams is a tennis super star but she is also an entrepreneur.
Preserve Willpower – Here are some ideas to make willpower irrelevant Step 1 Decide what you want to accomplish and let everyone know you won’t be a…

Five factors to Become a High Potential

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We all want to reach towards the stars and our unlimited potential. We all want to get the most out of ourselves. There are lot of self-help books which promise a lot but there are a few which are data driven and immediately practical. One of the books I liked on the subject is The High Potential’s Advantage by Jay Conger and Allan Church. Here are the five factors:
1. Situation sensing
This is the absolute clarity to understand your boss’s priorities. Once you know what your boss wants you can then align your daily activities to the larger cause. The bottom line is it pays to ensure you and your boss are singing of the same hymn book.
2. Talent accelerating
This is all about leadership. The ability to identify the skills of a talented team member is one of the keys to be an outstanding leadership. Become an extraordinary talent scouter.
3. Career piloting
This is all about ensuring your career reflects your priorities. It is about getting the right projects and executing them flawless…

Nine things Successful People do Differently

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It is mid-point in 2018 and it is an appropriate time to reevaluate how this year is going. We can also see what is working and what isn’t. Most people make resolutions at the beginning of the year and most of them fall away after a few months. I believe it is far more important to set goals for the long term and make lifestyle changes. One book which I liked is “Nine things successful people do differently” by Heidi Grant Halvorson. This is a book that can be read in 2 hours but it really boils down what success. Here is my take on it.
1. Get Specific – This is so obvious but worth repeating. If you know where you are going you will be more focused and inspired. So, the first step towards success is determining exactly what success means to you. Set goals which are specific in every area of life like physical, career, financial and contribution. This will keep you inspired most of the time.
2. Seize the moment to act on your goals - Obviously without action goal setting is a fa├žade. …

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…