Tag Archives: Goodness

Biggest blunder in our world – dealing with “wrong” by going wrong!

When things go wrong! Source: http://www.flickr.com/

To deal with what has gone wrong, we tend to adopt wrong ways! Most of us feel justified in doing so and in that process, we go more wrong and commit more blunders!!

Above self-justification usually comes in 2 ways:

  1. No; we are not doing anything wrong by going wrong, since that is the only way a wrong person or thing can be corrected!
  2. We can’t help going wrong; after all we are human beings!

Justifying what one does is in our DNA. Therefore, we generally don’t care whether our actions bring right results or make things worse.

Open any chapter of history or observe current happenings; writing on wall is very clear –

“Whenever things had gone bad, people had lost their balance or goodness, resorted to bad means and hit the wall. Then either they had come to their senses to do right things and restore normalcy or continued to struggle with no sign of “bad or wrong attitude, approach, behavior or things” abating!”

This saga continues at all levels – from personal to companies to countries. If employees could not meet their targets, hell would be broken loose by bosses. If some sub-ordinates are weak in performance or personality, first thing that a supervisor would do is to ignore or avoid communicating with them. If a profit center in a company has incurred losses, heads would roll. If a kid or household help has broken a glass, we will break lose our temper.

Let us look at what happens when there is conflict among a group of people. Emotions and temper would run high. Conflict escalates. But it ebbs, when counsel by one wise person within the group or from outside prevails on wisdom of the rest and if that does not happen, the conflict would only engulf many more!

Take fanaticism or fundamentalism in several parts of world at this time. Some people are imposing their doctrines or dogmas at global level through terror and killings. To counter or suppress that, some countries use their weaponry technology, power and money muscles, resulting into more killings and further maligning and multiplying those, who are already malignant!

When something goes wrong with our health – common cold, catch in the legs to cancer – most manage to mess it up further. We would become pessimistic, sad, irritated…, though every doctor would advise – be cheerful and hopeful! No doubt, treatment would do its job to cure/heal; but all researches show that evergreen advice of doctors and a good frame of mind would accelerate restoration of health and/or make it much less painful!!

Simplest problem like being in rush, majority mismanages to do everything (avoidable) to go in reverse gear! 

From above examples, it is very clear that wrong approach can never mutilate wrong; instead, it would help it mutate and multiply!

Why nearly all of us go wrong in dealing with wrong

Here is the deal:

  1. Action on basis of 1st reaction of our mind is the easiest thing to do!
    Majority confuses 1st reaction of mind as their instincts and that is a worse gaffe!!
  2. Above spontaneously satisfies our ego and that gives birth to our biases and a feeling of being justified in our actions.
  3. It then leads to cementing the thoughts at the back of our mind that what we perceive as bad or wrong things must be dealt by giving back, pointing fingers, banging, anger, accusation or shouting to physical harm in worst case.
  4. Negativity always sits on our nose and hence is handy; whereas positivity needs patience and peace of mind that we find difficult to practice!
  5. Our history and hormones have inculcated hero cult in us, which gives us sadistic pleasure of seeing offenders or villains being thrashed out verbally or bodily or even finished.
  6. It is for above reason that we feel compelled to retaliate against wrong doings!

Why only “right” has possibility and power to root out “wrong”!

We seem to ignore the simplest analogy or logic, nature has beautifully presented to us:

Identical polarities or charges repel each other e.g. two negative or positive charges would move apart and can’t impact each other; therefore, the two survive individually. But, a positive and a negative charge would collide and cancel each other. By the same token, a wrong or bad can be corrected by right or good, but never by another wrong or bad action! It is also precisely for same reason that wrong brings reaction and retribution, whereas right bestows reconciliation and restoration!!

Unfortunately, aforesaid 6 points create illusion in minds of most what exactly is wrong or right. Clearly, wrong is what creates reactions, raises emotions or temper, conflict or controversy and interference with others.

Right is clearly what creates solutions initially or eventually and would result in:

  1. Evoking tolerance, patience and positive vibes
  2. Eliciting understanding and acceptance of the way others are and why they do things in consonance or contradiction to your expectations
  3. Encouraging open communication on your part
  4. Ebbing or Erasing past memories of your prejudices
  5. Evolving your response, action or judgment without fear but with fairness and frankness

So, if you can rely on what is right as above, you can comfortably deal with or manage what is not right or conflicts, controversy, crisis or even crime at personal, professional or public level, regardless you are employer, employee, supervisor, sub-ordinate, buddy or bête noire!

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What simple and sincere employees or people can do to prevent being manipulated!

Simple but smart at same time! Source: http://www.flickr.com/

To be simple and sincere are invaluable qualities; but irony is employees or people in general, possessing these, are often at the receiving end! I have witnessed and I am sure, several or most of you have experienced how simple and sincere people suffer and complex personalities succeed. The latter walks over the former and thrive.

Bitter pill of our life is that it has become complex, more so in corporate life. One, who is able to talk others out, is considered an effective communicator; those, who are able to play games and put peers into trouble, are perceived as smart and strategists; those with dual faces are recognized as robust! Simple and sincere people are considered as holy cows and harmless creatures, who can be taken as granted. They can be shaken, juggled around and made scapegoat in event of your own failure, without any fear of reaction or rebellion from them.

Is not it unfortunate that instead of rare qualities of being simple and sincere be revered and rewarded, those are constantly subjected to repression, be it a company, society or family? Holy homilies in face of complex world goes for a toss! Seeing such a scenario, those, who by their nature or genes cannot be anything but simple, end up cursing their noble qualities and charter, to their chagrin, a course to become complex and callous!

You can notice what is in vogue in corporate and public life – take pride to talk about simplicity and sincerity but walk out, when it comes to practicing it.

Does it mean to be simple and sincere is a sordid saga?

Weaknesses, simple and sincere (S&S) people unknowingly associate to!

S&S people need to understand that if they go through sufferings, it is their own making. Like it or not, fact is that every problem starts and stops with you.

Here below are cruxes of the problem:

  1. S&S people gain lot of satisfaction and success to start with. As a result, they put more faith in simplicity and sincerity. They start to exercise these qualities blindly and fail to notice when their ownership (on these qualities) crosses over to obsession! Once that happens, they would be willing to make undue sacrifices, retreat and relent often in order that they may not be seen as complex; dividing line between sincerity and over-sincerity or in-sincerity becomes hazy to them!
  2. Consequently, they become meek and mellowed.
  3. For fear of being caught in controversies or complexities, they start to tread safe. They lose appetite for risk taking and avoid taking initiatives.
  4. They become poor in conflict management – a highly sought after quality!
  5. They become averse to assert and hold ground, when they are right.
  6. They dislike to be decisive and firm.
  7. Their self-esteem ebbs and that is a starting point for loss of their confidence!

You can now imagine with so much going wrong as above with S&S people, why difficult and dishonest ones would not have a cake walk over them. That is what you can witness all over the world!

Making Simplicity and Sincerity as your super strength!

If good qualities do not give you good results, believe that you are surely going wrong somewhere. Find out what and why and address what is wrong.

Every good quality, simplicity and sincerity included, comes by thoughtfulness and consolidates through practice and planning. Watch out that wrong qualities are spontaneous and would mutate and multiply by themselves. Good qualities are self-limiting; whereas bad ones have no limits; yet ultimate winner is what is good.

To make S&S your super strength, you can do following:

  1. Make sure that your faith in S&S is complete. Then, you would become straight-forward, suave and honest! You would rise above self and would not fear about complications, controversies or conflicts.
  2. Complex, callous, toxic or temperamental people try to exhibit their courage by creating chaos; as a matter of fact, they are coward. So, never yield grounds to what they claim or choose to do.
  3. Never get perturbed, when complex people push you to the wall. Just observe them with patience. They are bound to commit mistake sooner or later, when you need to catch and tell them to retreat.
  4. Listen more –> talk less –> act more. 
  5. Make silence as your strength and smile as your sword!
  6. When faced with crisis, you may feel insinuated to seek shelter under faulty qualities or practices. But, remember, there is no situation in any walk of life, when you have to become bad to tackle bad! Bad is best tackled by being good!
  7. Be tactical, but never political, be clever/smart, but never cunning; be firm, but never ferocious!
    So, be tactical, smart and firm; otherwise you would be swallowed by sharks around you! 
  8. Link S&S to purpose or goals of your life, raise the bar and make persistent and consistent efforts to reach there. Never be afraid of difficulties, since these are milestones that direct you towards destination! 
  9. Last and most important thing – never mix good and bad qualities; it can only create a mess or make you bad. This is the fundamental mistake, masses commit!
    Goodness can only exist and evolve as a whole and never in parts! Goodness alone can bridge gap between you and God!! If this be the case, why should you ever abandon it?

So, to be simple and sincere is superlative, which in its true form can never frustrate or fail you!

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Is goodness good beyond a certain point?

A taste of Goodness! Source: http://www.flickr.com/

If your answer is yes, it is not right!

If your answer is no and you mean to turn to bad after that point, it is completely wrong!!

If your answer is yes and you chose to be neutral – neither good nor bad – beyond that point, then only it is right!!!

Here is why?

During my tenure with a German multinational organization, my colleagues in another group got a new boss. Within few days, these colleagues discovered that he was difficult to deal with. These colleagues decided to stick to their decency, with a hope that boss would change. But that did not happen, even after several months. Over next few further months, some colleagues decided to act difficult with the boss; few would not co-operate or ignore his direction by making one excuse or another. This made the boss very toxic and vindictive against them. There were others, who continued with their good attitude towards the boss. Instead of appreciating, boss started to take his frustration for those, who were acting difficult, on them, overload them with work, yet term them under-performers and timid. Net result was that all employees were unhappy and boss was unrelenting but with increasing frustration.

In a relationship, if you keep tolerating truant behavior of your partner or spouse, you may run risk of lending support to his/her toxic leanings. If your good attitude does not bring a change and you turn it towards bad, it would spell a disaster.

If you keep fulfilling demands of a kid out of love, reasonable or not, you would encourage that kid to become demanding and in turn dictatorial in latter part of life; but if you don’t, without making her/him understand, you would drive kid to become obstinate.

Belief “When goodness does not work, switch to be bad” is a big bane!

This belief is thoroughly blended in the blood of majority. If kindness does not yield result, resort to cruelty; if friendship does not work, find an answer through ferocity; build or break! Most of us seem to swing between two extremes. We don’t let go; don’t call it quits or ignore. And this is what turns a beauty into burden, blessing into bane and great into grim. We would justify our wrong action under cover of having tried right one. That is bunk!

This goes on micro to macro levels. Look at how handling of terrorism has been goofed and lives of millions made ever unsafe!

When things don’t work out for us, most of us have learnt to derive emotional satisfaction through blame games, biases, bashing, banishing, booing, anger, antagonism or abandonment! Often, one sees immediate results; but that is an illusion; it is actually the making of worse things to come!! World over, everyone thinks that wrong means can win him/her right; but every time everyone has been proved wrong. That is what human history shows. Moreover, if you rendezvous with or resort to bad means, you run risk of losing your goodness for good.

So, if good does not give results, going for bad is never a good option!

Endless goodness is not good either!

If you do it right or good, you would get good results. You would then be tempted to do more of it. At one point, it would give rise to greed, addiction to good and then things start to go down. Take any example – loyalty of an employee beyond a certain level becomes a liability and employer would subtly start to dislike it. Dedication above a certain decibel is disastrous.

Endless goodness would end you up exploited in hands of evil or bad ones! Worst still is that any strong attribute such as endless goodness is like an electric charge, which would attract the opposite and set you on a course of collision.

So, never forget that good is really good until it hits a limit!

Being neutral is next to good!

Learning and practicing to be neutral is one of the nicest things to do. When things don’t work out despite your best try, it is pointless to keep trying same way. Leave it and come to a neutral point. Just take no position, neither left nor right. Be at the center and watch for things to settle on their own.

To come to center or neutral state, you can do one or most of following:

  • No reaction or emotion, just observation of what is going on
  • Be silent and serene; but not stern
  • Ignore, if need arises
  • Neither bend nor back-out
  • Never give-in; but you should let go
  • Stick to facts and stay unruffled
  • Maintain calm and candor
  • Do communicate but concisely and precisely
  • Remain firm and fair

When you are neutral or at center, you would make unique experience of:

  1. Sowing in you seeds of decisiveness
  2. Learning divinity in detachment
  3. Understanding what it means to hold your feet firmly on ground
  4. Raising your self-esteem
  5. Finding real purpose in your pursuits

To sum up, if goodness is gold, your ability to go to center would add to its glitter!

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When being good is not good enough in your professional or personal life!

Be good enough at what you do! Source: http://www.flickr.com/

Are you one of those, who face dilemma time and again that they do their best; but their desires or dreams do not come through? You are sincere, serious and honest in your endeavors; yet, do you encounter disappointments that results are seldom up to your expectations? Does that leave you wondering and often frustrating that while you have done all what you can, why you are being deprived of what you deserve? If yes, then here is what can help you to create better understanding of how things happen and how those can be changed!

First and foremost thing to understand is that if good does not work, then becoming bad is a very bad idea. Try whatever you want to with bad frame of mind, it would never ever serve your purpose. Often it has been seen that when good sense does not bring success, people lose their cool, doubt relevance of goodness and fall back on wrong ways – anger or anxiety, reaction or remorse, frustration or fear! Interestingly but ironically, bad or wrong ways suppress the realities and show up immediate results, which are either short lived or lead to bigger issues of other types now or later.

I have seen many bosses in corporates, who were initially very nice and empathetic to their employees. They would give them freedom and motivation. But later on, due to tough competition or faulty strategy, when their business units started performing poorly, they changed their attitude towards employees. They started to lose their temper for no rational reasons, became poor listener and disinterested in understanding the challenges employees were facing. Few bosses multiplied their woes, when top talents in their team started to desert them and the rest fell out of grace of the top management and faced a bad patch in their career! So, it is an illusion that being bad can ever pay off.

Then, being goody-goody is also bad. People like to be goody, when they want to avoid controversies or tough decisions. Therefore, they make attempts to please everybody and in that process, they lose their peace!

Real issue with most of us is that we believe or perceive that qualities and caliber that we possess are good enough! If things do not work out or results do not turn out as expected, we would put blame elsewhere – market conditions, coincidences, stroke of luck etc. This prevents us to reach to the root of the issue. Key lies in challenging our own perceptions or beliefs and comprehend where we are going wrong!

Indicators when your goodness is not good enough

  1. When your repeat efforts do not yield expected results.
  2. When your ideas or work does not elicit encouraging response from your target audience.
  3. When even 15% of your perception about self does not echo in what others have to say about you!
  4. When there are few takers of your talent!
  5. When your supervisor, sub-ordinates or peers do not approach you for support or guidance!
  6. When you manage to please one section of people especially seniors but displease another section.
  7. When your near and dear avoid interacting with you.
  8. When you often miss to do things, which matter to you.
  9. When you are prone to making mistakes and do not implement the lessons learnt.
  10. When you are low in patience and short in temper!
  11. When you do not feel like looking into eyes of others and communicate or others do the same with you!
  12. When your fellow beings keep a distance or disregard you!
  13. When you are not getting sense of accomplishment in what you do!
  14. When you don’t feel happy and get distracted too often.

Above list can help you to check whether you are good enough in your professional and personal life. If you are not, then you are likely to fail to get what you want.

What can you do to be good enough!

Please look at the parameter and emphasis on the right side of each point below:

  1. It is good to be simple and straight forward; but more important is to be sound and strong mentally and physically!
  2. Be flexible; but never falter in being firm!
  3. Be compassionate; but equally important is to be courageous to take tough decisions!
  4. Take lead in developing new ideas; but never lag behind to disseminate and communicate to as wide an audience as you can!
  5. Be cordial; but never shy away from inevitable conflicts and discords!
  6. Be respectful; but never repress your legitimate feelings or compromise your self-esteem! 
  7. Have always good intentions; but greater should be your thrust on implementation!
  8. Be energetic but don’t make attempts to exhibit it through your body language or oratory skills; instead allow it to be experienced by others on their own!
  9. Believe in actions; but completely regulate your reactions!
  10. Be confident; but avoid at every cost to be arrogant!
  11. Be open as well as ardent observer!
  12. Believe your people; but never be blindfolded and biased!
  13. Charisma helps, but not without character and convictions!
  14. Generosity is as relevant as gratefulness!

So if you make “being good enough” as your goal, then growth and successes are bound to greet you!

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When were good leaders in good number?

If good things were to be in good number, that would go against the rule of nature! This could be surprising to most; but is real!

If we turn any page of history, we would discover that there were always calls for better leaders, as the ones present in societies or companies were not good enough or in good enough number. I can’t remember any time ever since I gained consciousness, when intelligentsia was not giving call for good leadership cadre to prevent crisis; but that hardly arrived, yet we have all survived.

Further, concerted efforts and coaching to create leaders have only multiplied over years, so is clamor and cry for better ones!

So, where are we missing the point?

Why good leaders are always in short supply!

  1. Illusion around definition of a good leader –
    Pick up any article or book, you would find that good leader is not supposed to be less than a god! Some would advocate 5 qualities and others may advance need of 19 attributes!!
    Why can’t there be an agreement on a simple and single sentence to define good leadership – may be this one:
    Inspiring Change in self and stakeholders to secure performance better than the rest”
  2. Euphoria around development programs –
    Take few leadership courses, learn competency matrix, get 360 degree feedback and pick leadership buzz words, and you would be stamped as leader – that seems to be a popular perception in most companies and societies!
    Leadership development programs are all about “What you are” and “What you should be”; but with most important link missing “What would take you there”! So, it is natural that people don’t get there!!
  3. Means have become Models
    Power, position, money, media, technology, tools….the “Means” have taken over “Morals” and have become popular “Models” today. Most have forgotten that leadership can’t be borrowed or bought from outside; but has to be built from inside.
  4. Mistaken identity –
    Most company or country bosses live in illusion that they are good leaders; they are actually not. Many managers of big companies with healthy bottom lines are mistaken as leaders and even visionaries (of universe), especially by media and masses!
    I know of couple of global companies with good product range and great dividend paying records. That has made their shareholders happy and general belief developed that their leadership is great. Is that something to do with quality of leadership or product range commanding a premium in market places? A closer look reveals that if leadership was to be good, these companies would have scaled unprecedented heights by now!
  5. Performance in pulses –
    This is the most perennial problem! It comes from the fact that majority of people in leadership position imbibe some qualities of a leader; but not the most. Some are say passionate about business strategy; but lack people skills. Many have good communication skills; but lack courage and fail to manage conflicts. It is precisely for this reason that a leader, who looks good today does not survive tomorrow; who fares well in one situation fail in another.
    Rise of most of leaders is prompted by performance in pulses! It is rare that people go on top due to performance as a whole!!
    There are 2 rules, which really rule over minds of people:
    1. When going is good, we take things as grated and that is when we start to go down!
    2. We fall prey to –ive tendencies or traits much faster than +ives!
  6. Aversion for certain but crucial areas –
    There are areas that are very critical to society, which deserving people just desist to join. Politics is one of such areas! Politics brings power and the two together becomes poison, which kills the goodness!!
    In these areas, there is always famine of fair leaders.

Is the scenario grim?

No; at least I for one don’t believe that. Good leaders in poor number seem to be a normal phenomenon.

There would always be demand for better leaders and bashing of current ones! In a way, it is healthy!! It keeps the bad ones under check!!!

Whistle blowing is an important part of our lives and that’s where authors and activists come from!

Reversing the trend and tendency

If we want to arrest natural trends and tendencies, we have to go off the track! Let us do at least following:

  • Make definition of a leader simple and put “sincerity” above all qualities.
  • Create focus and force behind “what would take you there”.
  • What should matter to all us are “Performance as a whole, not in part” and “Goodness as an obvious, not as an option”!

By just doing these three things, we would render one great service to self and society – keep wrong or bad ones under check. This may also unlock possibility for nature to redefine its rule to “Good ones do exist in good number”.

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