Category : Leadership

If you want to begin 2017 with a bang, put your faith on four fundamental equations

abcThere are 4 fundamental forces, which govern all what happens in our universe – gravity, electro-magnetism, strong and weak forces. Likewise, there are 4 basic equations that govern all what we do.

We spend days and decades doing our things; but most of us fail to see how things are interwoven or interconnected. There exist clear cut relationship between causes and consequences or events and effects.

Here below are 4 equations that are universally applicable from the strongest person to the weakest in our world and give you command on the results from what you do:

  1. You believe = What you perceive or conceive repetitively
    This equation is the mother of your ideas, beliefs, tendencies, traits or habits. It shows that beliefs do not come from blue; but you actually build them. Whatever you think or observe on a repetitive basis or you are made to do so, you would start to believe it, regardless it is right or wrong.
    This equation governs your learning in school, college or elsewhere. It builds your fantasies, fascinations, faith to fundamentalism or fanaticism.
    One of the far reaching repercussions of this equation can be observed across the world – humans are very prone to negativity; our attention is very quickly drawn by adverse scenarios or news. We tend to think, talk and see more of wrong or depressive things and in that process, we build up wrong beliefs or ideas resulting in our anger, anxiety, fear, frustration, doubts, depression or superstition.
    So, to develop good ideas or right beliefs, you have to perceive or conceive right things.
  2. You become = What you believe
    If you believe in dynamism, you are bound become dynamic. If you put your belief in leadership qualities, you can never be a laggard. You want to stand tall, nobody can make you small.
    If you believe that you can be a singer, engineer, professional or public icon, you would become that. All that you need is a belief, which is unquestionable and unshakable; which you would not doubt or dither, go back and forth. You would relinquish anything that comes as a roadblock; but not reverse that belief. Then, such powerful belief would automatically push you to pursue what you want to be, develop a passion and open door of opportunities to get there.
    This relationship works both way; so if you believe you cannot become someone you like, you would not.
  3. You get = What you give
    Often bosses complain that their sub-ordinates do not respect them; but then they are oblivious of the fact that they do not deal with them with respect. If you give smile, then it is not possible that people would not return it with smile. If you give trouble, you would necessarily get in trouble. You love someone sincerely; it is impossible that person would not fall in love with you.
    So, you get what you give. It is universally applied to all of your actions without exception.
    If we fail to notice such a simple cause and effect relationship, it is only because of our ego, biases or obsession, which blinds us to see what exactly we are doing or giving.
  4. You see = What you sow in your mind
    One morning, you wake up in great spirits and you find everything going great that day. But, another day, you get up with low energy and esteem, though nothing has changed externally.
    So, what has actually changed?
    It is ideas and images, which you have sown in your mind previous day, during dreaming or first few moments after waking up that have actually changed for good on 1st occasion and for worse, in case of 2nd.
    So, you would always see, what you have sown in your mind. Positive and negative aspects or angles of everything exist side by side. Depending upon what is in your mind, you start to focus on plus or minus or mix of the two and you fathom things accordingly.
    If you want to see things in order, you have to put your mind first in orderly state. If you like to witness happiness around, you have to be happy. But, if you have roped in miserable ideas in mind, you would only reap miseries.

So, these equations give you complete control on whatever you want to believe, become, get and see!

What else do you need in 2017 and beyond?

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Change under crisis or constraint is compelling; but it is costly n chaotic!

abc“Change” is the most celebrated term in corporate life, leadership circles, professional and personal lives and even in country governance across the globe. Most people take pride in speaking for change, but fall short is imbibing and implementing it. Many talk about it but don’t know what to do with it.

An aspirant gets a new job of his choice and hence he loves it and puts in hard work. Years pass by and his conviction gets consolidated that he would never like to leave such a job. His management starts to perceive him as a liability; but he believes in his loyalty and one fateful day, he faces termination.

You develop a taste for sugar coated donuts and get hooked to eating couple of them every morning. You believe you are young with no family history of blood sugar problem; so, why not enjoy it. In time to come, you discover alarmingly high level of blood sugar and then you start spending time and money on medical experts and medicines; at the same time, you find it painful to miss taste of donuts.

Look at the iconic companies like General Motors, Ford, Siemens, BlackBerry and many more. These organizations did not change in or with time and hence faced blow to their businesses or serious crisis, resulting into painful restructuring, sell offs or even closure of several of their units.

Rise of right wing voices or parties in USA, Europe and Brexit are clear indications of ruling parties giving a cold shoulder to changing their policies in time and now their people are forcing them to change albeit in wrong direction.

Is it not a clear indication that waiting for crisis to come and then change is very costly and complex? Very often, changing under constraints may not be a blessing but a bane.

Why “Change” receives more of lip service than living examples

It has become a fashion to talk about change; but hardly anyone is willing to walk for a change. Celebrities proudly pronounce “Change is the only constant in Universe”, not knowing what exactly it means. Change is a continuum; not a constant. Universe actually has no constant.

Then, we are ever ready to pass our sermons how and why others should change, forgetting that if we want to change others, that change has to first originate from us. A step ahead, people talk about grand changes in systems at company, community or country level; but most prefer to be spectators and fight shy of becoming part of system. Unless you become part of change, bringing change is only a pipe dream.

In more than 90% of cases, it is a decorative word in speeches and essays, until crisis descends.

Biggest confusion is “Why and what change”

Homilies aside, herds hardly understand correct definition of change!

Nothing is static around us. We and our environments are continuously changing. So, change is nothing but adjusting to changes happening internally and externally to us with time, so that we can accomplish our short and long term goals in least time and resistance.

So first of all, to talk of change without your goals in mind is foolhardy. Then comes, identifying what incremental changes have happened in and around you, followed by planned steps to effect the change.

Crisis comes out, when accumulated changes crash the system

By and large, people like to be inert to changes, because of inertia that they develop from their comfort zones.

Changes not made but accumulated over time burst out in form of crisis or even conflicts. You or people at large than have no choice or time but brace or face changes thrust upon you. You like it or not, such forced changes are bound to be painful; some of these may be right but a lot would not be. You would react against such forced changes; but would have no recourse left and hence, these become chaotic.

Changing by choice is indeed chaste

Very fact that change is continuum tells us that we must live side by side of changes that are arising and align with them in time. This alone can make us very efficient, ebullient and agile.

Changing by choice makes the Change a pleasure and not pain; it can be a nice asset but never liability.

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Why best of partners part their ways in worst manners!

abcGeorge Clooney, famed Hollywood actor was adjudged as one of the most eligible bachelors in the world, until he decided to tie the knot with Amal Alamuddin, an international and human rights lawyer, in September 2014. Press has written lot of love stories and quotes for the couple; but, it has now reported that their marriage is on the rocks. A more than decade old fairy tale like relationship of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie has completely fractured few months back. All the fanfare behind courtship and marriage of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West seems to be in doldrums.

Stories of Bollywood or Indian celebrities are no different – break-up of industrialist Nes Wadia and actress Preity Zinta, tennis player Leander Paes and actress Mahima Chaudhary, Sarika and Kamal Hasaan – both from film industry, actor Hrithik Roshan and interior designer Sussanne and so on.

Forget the celebrities, look at common people as partners, whom you believe as best in your neighborhood and you may discover that their partnership is not easy.

It seems to a very common feature that what ensue on the best nod ends on a worst note. What was prominent to start with, equally or more painful is to end with a relationship. It appears as if it is an order arranged by nature.

Our notion or definition for what makes it best is much fractured

Two very attractive faces, two equally and highly qualified spouses, two strong or influential personalities or pair from two famous families are perceived as best partners. But, history shows that such pairs cease to live at ease sooner and eventually break up sordidly.

Do you believe that two equally intelligent spouses, two tall partners or two accomplished persons in same profession co-exist congenially? They don’t; they face more disagreements than agreements since each one has his/her own ideas, which he/she would like to prevail with. Arguments fly high and disenchantment grows. It is like two identical polarities repelling each other.

Two best together cannot make best-square or ideal pair. Only when two persons complement each other by their characters and attributes, they make ideal combination. It means that if one is strong headed, other should be mild; if first one is extrovert, other one be introvert. If one is bright; other should be dull. And you would soon realize that it is not very appealing!

So, what is ideal?

The best pair or combination is what is individually balanced!

This is true of any form of relationship. If you want your honeymoon with a customer to last long, you on your part have to be balanced in your dealing – neither too cozy nor too curt.

Popularity or prominence is prone to prejudices

Everyone wants to be popular and be in public eyes. You soon start to enjoy your image and prestige. And, greed goes in your head and you get addicted to have more and more of prominence. This is the starting point of driving a divide between the pair. In initial period, one or both would not even realize or acknowledge that anything wrong is developing; this is stage of denial. By the time one or both wake up, it is already too late normally to normalize back.

So, too much public glare could be gloomy; your high image can lower intimacy with your partner; lot of fanfare about your relationship can turn into source of frustration.

One thing is very clear – if your choice is to build a relationship, you have to choose to banish your biases at all costs!

Partnership is more a game of compromises and not gaining command over each other.

Therefore, your private as well as professional life is at its best if you are balanced and free from biases!

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Six leadership lessons highly worth learning from psychology of a physician

abc

Be your own physician?

We all know that medical practice in any field is a noble profession; but what is little known are unique lessons that we should learn from the mindset of a medical practitioner. We are talking about just a good physician, leave alone successful ones.

Let us look at what does psychology of a physician teach us:

  1. Managing conflict of interest
    Getting into medical profession entails lot of efforts, time and money worldwide. It is natural that motto of getting into this field for most is earning name, fame and wealth.
    It is also clear that every visit to or by a physician fetches a fee for him/her.
    Now, a physician is faced with conflict of interest – treat his/her patients or customers for self-interest or serve them selflessly. Good doctors would always manage this conflict by rising above self and greed, and serve customers keeping in mind their interests. They prescribe minimum medicines and pathological tests and discourage patients to make frequent visits. Many have grace to charge less fees from those, who can’t afford.
    Let us draw a parallel to above the stock options scheme in corporates for employees and top management. Such options have a singular motive of driving employees to perform well, so that company profitability improves, which in turn would reward employees with more options. But, when it comes to top management, conflict of interest creeps in – should company performance improve to increase value of his/her substantial stocks or should it improve to increase values for customers and employees, even if it means slight dent in company’s profitability? Many CEOs allegedly and subtly act in favor of the former – serving self-interest.
  2. Maximum availability
    A physician is available 24×7 to his/her patients, at least in India. Their work-life balance is heavily tilted towards work.
    I am not suggesting that it is good for them, although it is good for their customers. What is more significant lesson is that they don’t make any excuse for non-availability. Their dedication for duties is total.
  3. Memory management
    Did you notice that a good doctor’s memory is very good. He/she would remember history of his/her patients correctly, correct medicines’ name, spelling (usually complex), potency and names of manufacturers for innumerable number of ailments and case histories of other patients.
    What is the key – inbuilt sharper brain or they pop up some pills to sharpen their memory? Not any of these. It is registering the information without any conflict in mind and recalling it without any stress.
  4. Motto of service to customers
    A physician’s actions are completely oriented towards his/her customers and obtaining the results for which they have approached him/her. They never compromise their attitude to serve.
  5. Maximum confidence and concentration
    Successful practitioners give their advice or prescription with total confidence and rarely side or back track. Their focus on duties is deep.
    They are never shaken by patient’s condition, however adverse and do maintain their composure effortlessly. They are attached to their duties but detached from their customers while serving them unflinchingly.
  6. Marvelous understanding of their own body
    In leadership programs or schools, reference to this quality is by and large missing. It is extremely important to understand how you or your body would react to different situations, what triggers your emotions and how to manage the same.
    Doctors do very well on above count and hence, rarely fall sick or fall prey to sickening situations.
    A good leader needs to understand his/her body (including mind) well in order to be robust, consistent and persistent in his/her pursuits.

So, a good physician is a great case study at business schools and organizations!

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Does phenomenal rise invariably rings in pathetic fall in max. of 4 years?

abcIndian iconic industrialist Ratan Tata retired at the age of 75 years from chairmanship of Tata group and appointed 46 years old Cyprus Mistry as his successor. This was indeed phenomenal rise of young Mistry. But recently, 4 years later, Cyprus Mistry has been sacked from chairmanship of the group for several reasons, one of the main being allegedly not following ethos of the group.

Is the fall of Cyprus Mistry attributable to his young age, inexperience or being a non-conformist?

John F. Kennedy rode to climax of his popularity and became US president at young age of about 44 years. But, less than 3 years later he was assassinated. Dark patches in his private life and assassination still remain a mystery. Bill Clinton became US president at the age of 46 years and rose to the crest of his popular appeal in about 4 years’ time and got reelected; but within 2 years thereafter, he was impeached by house of US representatives for a sex scandal. Barack Obama came to power as President at the age of 47 years and he seems to have sailed thru choppy waters during his 2 terms totaling 8 years but did not do anything phenomenal. Now, Donald Trump, despite a trail of scandals, has risen to peak of his popularity and been elected as US president at the age of 70 years. It remains to be seen how long he is able to sustain this peak.

Phenomenal boom of dot-com companies occurred in 1995 and lasted 4 years. Dot-com bubble started to bust from 1999 and it collapsed completely by 2001. US housing bubble peaked in 2004 and it busted in year 2007/2008, shattering financial markets worldwide. Iconic PC manufacturer Dell Inc. saw peak of its performance during period 1999 to 2003. From year 2004, Dell Inc. started its downward journey.

Do the above examples suggest that a rise, if phenomenal, has a limited period – perhaps a maximum of 4 years and then pathetic fall invariably follows?Non-conformist,

4 stages of phenomenal rise

Be it an individual, industry or institution, generally there are 4 stages of evolution of an exponential rise:

  1. Revolutionary idea or step
    It starts with a dramatically different but decent idea or step (like appointing or electing a very young person as leader) to address a formidable situation, crisis or an ambition.
    This can see a radical change at the top level in an organization, business model, product mix or disrupting existing practice/s.
    This stage brings lot of hopes and optimism at individual or collective level.
  2. Raising pitch
    In order to take all stake holders, customers or public in general together, an euphoria is generated by proponent/s of stage 1. Giving new vision, nice slogan/s or high sales pitches are very normal at this stage to sway the opinion of people.
  3. Razing partly or fully the old order
    Soon, realization comes that some or whole part of existing system is a stumbling block to implementation of stage 1 and only option is to dislodge it partly or fully.
    This is the stage that brings more pains than pleasure and gives birth to bête noire. Legacies and old ethos have to be bypassed.
  4. Rise
    Original idea now starts to show results. This stage also sows the seeds of greed for growth; but no one likes to look back until a climax comes.

Phenomenal rise would always prove to be premature!

Very idea of phenomenal rise is fraught with possibilities of pathetic fall.

At no stage of such speedy rise, there is enough time to broaden the base and strengthen qualities or support structure.

When you drive for height, you lose breadth in proportion. If you are young, you have energy but lack experience; you may be tough in your targets but slip on tenacity; you have to manage conflicts but with missing maturity.

During upwards journey, you are oblivious of fact that velocity and virtues, quantity and quality are mutually exclusive.

Sharp rise is only a short cut to growth and works for a short time – may be a max. of 4 years.

So, put your faith in something steady and solid in forward direction.

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