Tag Archives: Confidence

Why likes of Trump would not only survive but always thrive

Portrait of angry boss shouting at his secretary through megaphone who is indifferent to it

How not to get bulldozed by bully! Image source – flickr.com

Look at any country, company, community or family – difficult person or people always dominate and decent ones lie low. In a school classroom, naughty students are always noticeable and receive teachers’ most attention; but nice ones find themselves neglected.

In just concluded US Presidential race, it is widely believed that both of main contenders were difficult personalities; but then what made Donald to trump Hillary?

Few days back, a respectable Indian newspaper carried an article penned by a well-known writer about 2 drug lords – Pablo Escobar of Colombia in real life and Walter White in reel life. She narrated how impressed she was by their sheer dynamism and determination, sharp minds and wished that such unmatched talent could be channelized for good cause of our society. She is not alone in her thoughts of compassion and sympathy. Most of us are very fascinated by villain-heroes, who are on relentless pursuit and ruthless run for a cause they believe as fair but by flouting every law. What most or masses always mistake in understanding that massive energy and enigma of such heroes exist only because they are villains!

The seed for power and popularity

The seed for power, position and publicity is in man’s Ego. If level of ego in a person is above certain threshold, it creates uncontrolled desire and drive for name and fame, nurtures blind belief – “I am the one, who alone can be right and can do it.” Mind of such person gets shut from realities and respect for others.

If you have watched Donald Trump, he enjoys extra high level of ego, much beyond the threshold, when compared with his rival/s.

By-products of ego are arrogance and reckless run for one-upmanship and showmanship. On a larger platform in a country or company, ego and its by-products are often misunderstood – ego is perceived as esteem or pride; arrogance is projected as great confidence and reckless pursuit is pronounced as passion. It is more prevalent in developed societies, who like to gloss over qualities in preference to quantities. I have been privy to host of such incidences during my tenure with a US multinational company.

Spreading negativity and then making positive promises

It is very easy to declare things are bad; but it is difficult to say things are good since that would need intelligence and patience to substantiate. People easily get alarmed when they are told that things are going to be bad. It evokes their emotions and creates confusion.

Likes of Trump master the art of painting a dismal picture of present even if it is rosy, exploiting people’s emotions and manipulating those with positive promises. Therefore, the slogan “I would make America great again” has gone down pretty well with public, not knowing by which account USA has indeed gone down!

People sympathize with who they perceive as victim or powerless

We often misunderstand mindset of masses.

If you have noticed, throughout election campaign in USA (and that happens even elsewhere), rivals and media were busy exposing (bad) truths about Trump but never brought his myths in focus. He was smart enough to project himself as victim in the hands of media and party in power. He could translate it into public sympathy. On other hand, Hillary could never be seen as victim of allegations by her rivals, as she was once in powerful position and now backed up party in power.

Virtues of one in power can easily be translated into vices by the one who is powerless.

So, as long as we succumb to our ego and negativity especially fears, likes of Trump would always succeed and we will not be able to wield our true strength!

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9 unique but simple steps to build/boost your confidence!

Confidence and charisma go hand in hand! Source: http://www.flickr.com/

Confidence is one quality, which you need universally at all times and spaces. You need it in board room or bed room; whether you are an interviewer or being interviewed; you are addressing an audience or asking a question; whether you are a supervisor or subordinate; you want to build a relationship or break it; whether you are joking or juggling around!

Confidence brings you dynamism as well as optimism. It improves your body language, as also spoken language!

What exactly is confidence!

Surf the internet and you would find host of articles/information on what is confidence; but it does not hit the right chord and leaves you confused.

Correct definition of confidence is “Alignment of mind and body, with no thoughts that drag you in the past”!

So, when you feel confident, you would observe that your mind and body work in full synchronism. You feel good, when you are confident. Therefore, your body releases happy hormones – endorphins, dopamine and serotonin.

9 steps to secure and soar up your confidence

There are lot of material and advisories available on subject; none other than following steps can drive you towards the very definition of confidence:

  1. Do only what you believe
    Do not venture into any talk or task for which you don’t have conviction. You would always be better off by not doing anything when you lack belief.
  2. Believe in self
    If you can feel your thoughts and breaths, it proves that you have all powers as anyone else on this planet. Rope this in your mind as your top belief!
  3. Listen and learn
    Talking is least important but listening cum learning is most. Read and learn the subject, you want to deal keeping no pressure on mind.
  4. Make and take notes
    Very important is to write down key points when you listen, read or mull. Supplement those by your own explanations.
  5. Be optimistic
    What has to go wrong would go wrong; but what has to go right would also go right! So, shade away your anxieties, fear and pessimism.
  6. Be enthusiastic
    Whatever you do, do it by your heart; love it; take pride in it whether big or small. That makes your mind positive!
  7. Keep it simple and straight
    Surprised that simplicity brings confidence? It certainly does!
    When you keep it simple, your mind will not get cluttered with too many thoughts. It would keep only relevant thoughts and that it key to bring clarity and confidence in you.
    If simplicity is gold; keeping it straight adds to its glitter. You would hit the point directly and avoid getting digressed.
  8. Be respectful
    You can be truly respectful only when you raise your self-esteem and reduce your ego. When you give respect – be it your boss, customer or audience – you get it back and that is a sure shot to swell your confidence.
  9. Keep fit
    Staying fit is one of our top duties. Put your faith in balanced diet and exercises. Yoga and focusing on your breathing with eyes closed (extremely simple and effective form of meditation) help you to align your body and mind.

So, how about taking above steps forward to bring/boost confidence? Return gift that you would get is charisma!

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Are Companies doing good job to pick & retain Stars and treat other Employees less important?

Every company faces this question and usually it is most reluctant to allow its stars to part ways. Retaining stars is not easy and is generally expensive. It can upset the balance of wages and/or organization structure and there is still risk that some or most stars would leave, living the management high and dry.

So, is it prudent to depend so much on star performers of the company?

Before, we answer above question, we need to assess whether companies are picking up their stars right!

One needs to be a Star to pick-up a Star!

To my knowledge, most companies worldwide are oblivious of above fact! It has been researched and also witnessed that consciously or unconsciously, following criteria go in shortlisting “stars”, “high potentials” or even “faces to watch”:

  1. 45% of stars are selected just of the basis of their “confident and stylish” or “assertive” communication skills, even when they are short on other qualities.
  2. 10% are selected, if their physical personality is good, with all other qualities of middle order and even when their temperament could be an issue.
  3. 19 to 20% are selected, if they are very sincere, hardworking and obedient, though they may lack dynamism, initiative or innovativeness.
  4. 17% are selected based upon bosses’ liking or disliking, whims and fancies.
  5. 2 to 3% are indeed good performers and shining.
  6. 6% are selected to fill the gap or list; being a familiar face is the only major consideration!

Above is an approximate break down of the basis, on which company management and its HR list their elites! This is a bitter reality of corporate life; most may not relish knowing. Let us not forget that it bears out of straight fact that you need to be a star to correctly identify and justify your choice. It raises a basic question, how many stars; a company is able to muster on its panel of selection? Sometimes no one!

So, first and foremost need is to set the process of picking stars right. If there are no stars on selection panel, management must accept its limitation and use the collective wisdom of members as wisely as possible.

The bottom line is that most companies are unable to do a good job in picking its stars!

Dependability on and of Stars

Should companies rely on their Stars? Yes, they should and put stacks on them, provided company can keep them challenged, offer a career path, which appeals to them and provide opportunities accordingly, while strategizing that it does not impact organization structure adversely. It is possible to do this by proper planning.

If an organization holds too many stars, it may create friction, unless the management is of super star caliber! There is high risk of collisions among stars and resultant firework would only hurt other employees!

Most stars may not hang around and therefore, their loyalty factor could be questionable. If the organization is big, then it is desirable to have more frequent job rotations for stars as opposed to other employees. They may still not latch on for too long; therefore, companies must always develop their backups. Beyond a certain point, it is not prudent to hold back a star, in terms of cost and creating opportunities for other employees.

Equal Development and Growth program for all

It is most effective that companies institute identical development and growth program for every employee in each of main functions like Sales, Technical, Finance, HR etc. and not make any differentiation between stars and others at program level. This would be a tremendous motivation and morale booster for all employees.

It is clear that high potential employees would go through such program faster by virtue of their performance and under performers would move slowly and some of them may not make even half way mark. Such program would automatically bring distinction between good, average and under performers. It would also bring strengths and weaknesses of individual employees on table and a right plan to address the weaknesses can be put in place.

This program should be dovetailed into chart or tree of career path, allow cross functions, when appropriate and should provide opportunity to everyone to reach top position in his/her function. Not that everyone can or would be capable of reaching; but he or she sees a path to reach and that would stimulate his/her efforts.

There is paramount need for companies to take such bold steps and throw challenges to employees.

Another critical point is some employees bring with them inherent qualities to become a star; but they are very few. Greater number is for whose potential to become star needs to be unlocked! At the core level, everyone has a potential. What is required is for Management and Managers (HR included) to lay down correct guidance, direction, program, coaching/mentoring to bring out startling results, which would convert:

Unpolished –> Polished –> Shining

Docile –> Dynamic –> Dazzling

Isolated/Introvert –> Imaginative –> Innovative

Drop ideas to retain; institute mission to “develop n grow talent”

Objective of companies or its HR to hire and retain employees have become outlandish and outdated! They should turn to mission “develop and grow talent”! If this is done, there would be automatic correction to their direction and retention would chase this mission!

Employees feel slighted when they are told time and again that management or HR’s aim is to retain them for company’s sake; instead, they should be encouraged to feel that they need to be there for their own sake and good!!

Moral of the Story

  • You need to be a Star to pick a Star!
  • Don’t be obsessed with Stars; create orbit (opportunities) for them to remain on course. If you can’t, be graceful to give them graceful exit or outside placement.
  • Treat stars and other employees on equal footing and give them identical program to develop. Survival of fittest would do the talking; so no need to show your preferences.
  • Everyone has a potential; if you fail to unlock, blame and amend your attitude and approach!
  • If management would do above, their company would dazzle and become darling of every employee!


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Our worst Enemy is what we Embrace most – Ego & how to nab it!

Most of us confuse ego as our pride or self-esteem and therefore, miserably fail to comprehend the damage ego inflicts on us! One would be amazed to note that this is more rampant in developed societies and countries!!

I have encountered enumerable times the paradox that this very ego of people prevent them even to understand real difference between their pride and ego. Let us clear this difference first.

Ego is not what Pride or Self- esteem is!

  • Pride is feeling good about Self; Ego is feeling good in comparison to others.
  • Pride makes you humble; Ego makes you harsh.
  • Pride brings confidence; Ego gets you arrogance.
  • Pride galvanizes you to be composed; Ego excites you to be controversial.
  • Pride prompts you to give credit and praises to others; Ego encourages you to take credit and self praises.
  • Pride inspires you serve others; Ego entices you to serve self.
  • Pride motivates you to be a good listener; Ego imposes your will on others to listen to you.
  • Pride promotes inquisitiveness to learn from others; Ego instigates you to expect others to learn from you.

From above, it becomes very clear that pride or self-esteem is all about feel happy /satisfied for self, own qualities and accomplishments with no recourse to others. On other hand, all attributes in Ego are about feel good in relation to others.

So, first drop your ego for a while, if you want to understand what follows now!

Ego – a malady

Judge for yourself, what kind of leader would you be if:

  • You are more interested to hear your own voice and do not encourage your people to speak.
  • You impose your ideas and do not encourage others to share theirs.
  • You relish being respected; but reluctant to respect others or their sentiments.
  • You like to enforce your likes and dislikes, instead of giving freedom to others to choose what they like.
  • You have fractured empathy for your employees.
  • You show your inclination to know others’ problems; with no intention to help.

Look at what kind of team spirit would you have, if:

  • You have own agenda to follow.
  • You resist consensus, if it is contrary to your wishes.
  • You want to swim, regardless others would sink.
  • You are argumentative on what you think is right.
  • You don’t want to compromise in case of conflicts.

What a spouse would you be, if:

  • You want to be always pampered and served.
  • You can find flaws in your partner; but get furious, if yours are picked.
  • Your taste matters more.
  • Your wishes should reign supreme.
  • You can spend; but your spouse should save.

These are only few examples and each one of these emanates from your Ego. “Egoists or Egotists” far outnumber “People with Pride”. Ego is a very common malady with successful bosses, artists, scientists, authors, celebrities etc.

Fine dividing line between Ego and Pride

When it comes to self as opposed to others, you would have 2 set of thoughts – “what you are” say in respect of your strengths, status personality and beauty and “what other/s are” in respect to same attributes. Your mind faces 2 options – respect/accept or react for “what other/s are”. Please note that all these come up at the same time and same space of mind.

If you have pride, you would automatically go for “respect/accept”; on other hand, if you have ego, you would react instantly. Conversely, if you respect/accept, it would attract your pride; whereas your reaction would make you egoist!

The way above “thoughts occur in same space of your mind and one option is selected over the other in flick of a second” makes the dividing line between pride and ego very fine. This creates 3 scenarios:

  1. People, who would most of time, tend to respect.
    Such people would have high self-esteem and enjoy virtues of having pride of what they are.
  2. People, who would most of time, are tempted to react.
    This category of people would suffer from vices of their Ego, not accept that they have any deficiency and refuse to own their mistakes!
  3. People, who would swing between respect/accept and reaction.
    This category is most predominant everywhere. They have false notion that they have no ego and hence, defend themselves vigorously.

Category 2 may improve, since it is bound to get jolts and may take a U-turn or else it would junk itself in time to come.

But, category 3 has little chance to improve, because it lives in illusion that they do not have any problem or ego! This is what you can easily figure out in your own company or family or community!! One real life example – I have observed on more than one occasion that pride and resulting congenial behavior of my colleague was held against him by his supervisors and they persistently refused to understand, since their minds were shut. They would talk about change and improvements, which was just hogwash!

To nab your Ego, you have power; practice it!

  • You are entangled with everyone around you, whether you like or dislike, they are good or bad!
  • “What you are” has lot to do with the “Way others are”. So, it is futile to ignore Role and Relevance of others in your life.
  • Therefore, only right thing is to accept/respect the way others are.
    One may argue that if others are not good, you have duty to do something to improve them. Yes; but your first duty is to accept as they are and then do what would help them, without creating hurt or hate, without any intention to impose yourself or get into visibility and benefit from same.
  • Only when you have stand-alone belief on self and happily respect/accept what others are, that you nab your biggest enemy – Ego!!
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Presence of Paradoxes – A Bane or Blessing?

In previous Post of 28-June-2012, we have seen how glaring paradoxes in our life are. Let us look at some more to gain deeper insight.

  1. Everything that we observe, including ourselves, has been created by nature out of Nothing!
  2. Science has developed devices to receive and relate signals from billions of miles away; but has failed to figure out what happens at distances smaller than billionth of a millimeter!
  3. Things that you live through every moment are least known to you.
    So, do not be surprised if scientists, philosophers, gurus and others have not been able to evolve through ages, correct definitions of Space, Time and Life/ Consciousness.
  4. Medical science has gone to lowest level of Molecules to understand living bodies; but is completely clueless about Mind.
  5. Constant discovery of new medicines, investigation techniques and treatments have added years to life, but not life to years!
  6. “To think” is easy; but “not to think” is not!
  7. Your biggest virtue runs the risk of turning into biggest vice.
  8. Length and breadth of your information have been increasing; but depth of your knowledge has been depleting.
  9. Your high focus can only come at expense of your flexibility.
  10. Lot of surfing (on net) keeping us on surface and killing our ability to dive.

Why Paradoxes and what do these mean?

A close look at above 10 paradoxes and 15 earlier one (previous post) would reveal following realities:

  1. Nature has nicely paired parameters, opposite in characters!
    It is because of this, we have plus and minus (electric charges, events and enumerable things), right and wrong, good and bad, strong and weak and so on.
  2. Very existence of one parameter depends upon second and opposite one.
    Therefore, if some where is pleasure, elsewhere has to be pain. Strength has to bring weakness associated with it; that is why we say “your biggest strength is also your weakness”.
  3. Parameters in each pair are canonically connected, which means that if you focus or observe one, you would correspondingly lose sight of another!
    As a result, if degree of your passion goes up, your peace of mind goes down. If you chase perfection, you also chase close mindedness and you would be less flexible and less open.
  4. We and what we see around exist because of parameters with opposite characters!
    Hence every matter or normal part of our body has equal number of positively and negatively charged particles. To become a hero, you necessarily need villain/s. A leader has no relevance without followers.
  5. When pair of parameters are together or close in equal number, overall effect of pluses and minuses is equalized and you witness peace, little activity or turbulence.
    That is why we witness many times pleasant places and peaceful people.
  6. When parameters with opposite characters move apart (does not necessarily mean physical apart), that is when Paradoxes start to build!
    That is when you find that what you want does not often happen and what you do not want can happen. A Beauty creates a Beast.
  7. Parameters with opposite characters; but apart could build individually up to a certain limit, beyond which these would collapse into each other creating turbulent or violent conditions, like lightening from 2 sets of clouds in sky!
    Easy example to understand this is to consider an airtight chamber with central partition. To begin with, it is all quiet inside. Now, we put a mechanism to suck air of one part and pump into second. Vacuum (-ive parameter) would build in 1st and pressure (+ive parameter) in 2nd. We can build vacuum/pressure up to a certain limit, till the partition can hold itself, beyond which it would collapse creating violent disturbance inside chamber. Remember, nothing came from outside of the chamber!
    This is how Adversity brings Excellence; the Best in you can bring the Worst!!
    Above example of chamber also exemplifies how nature can create Something out of what we perceive as Nothing.
    One of the greatest paradoxes is that “There is nothing like Nothing!!!”

So, how can we manage Paradoxes?

Following are four keys:

  1. Paradoxes are and would remain inherent part of your life. Accept this reality.
    Hence, do not react or resist when you experience a paradox.
  2. If you want to have uneventful, quiet and simple life, keep “pluses and minuses”, “good and bad” together. You would be least impacted by paradoxes.
    Be careful in understanding meaning of above – what it means is “live around the center of “plus < –> minus” scale”. So, do not be too dynamic or too dull. Desist from craving to have a lot; but do not resist having what you need.
  3. If you want to have eventful, extra ordinary, imaginative or invigorating life, you have to pull “your pluses apart from minuses”, “virtues away from vices” and build on the same.
    If you want to be a popular leader, you have to be people friendly, passionate, positive, pragmatic and pushy, and build on. Likewise, callous and cruel leaders emerge by building on negatives! In each case, be prepared to face Rewards and Risks!!
  4. Now comes a prized catchyou want the best of both worlds? You can’t get it; actually nobody gets it! It is only a phrase and not a possibility!!
    What you can get is only good of both worlds. You can pull apart pluses (from your minuses), build on same step by step towards the Best. But, you have to stop before Best starts to Bite you. You must not keep building on the Best; give up at the right time. Then, you have the best chance to stay put; otherwise you would definitely drop what you have picked.
    See how this evolves –
    From shy n shaken person -> conscious efforts -> confident -> very confident (now, if you don’t stop) -> over confident -> arrogant

To conclude, Paradoxes in our life are a reality. And a reality cannot be termed as bane. It can turn to be your Blessing, if by this time you know what and why it is and how to manage!

You, now, know one of the top secrets of your life!!

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