Tag Archives: Growth

Can your future n fortune be predicted or planned n prepared?


Prediction can go wrong but not planning for future!

While Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are busy taking out dirty linens from each other’s drawers in public, pollsters and respective supporters are agog and busy predicting fate of their candidates in US presidential campaign.

During annual examination, a student is always eager that someone could correctly predict whether he/she would get through or fail. Many people, who have not been successful in their previous job interviews, visit astrologer or tarot card reader to know whether they would get through in next interview.

But, we seldom think, what would happen, if we know our future in advance. If a student knows that he/she would get thru in examination, he/she would stop to prepare. If a sportsman knows ahead of time that his team would be defeated, he would have no heart to play. There would have been no need to spend billions of dollars and bloodbath of words, if the two contestants in current US election knew their actual fate.

So, correct knowledge of our future can instantly kill our thoughts, talent, thrill … and lot more; yet most of us incessantly keep searching or worrying about our future.

Is your future and fortune predictable?

There are modern methods and tools to predict things in advance – surveys, statistical algorithms, mathematical models and now Big Data.

Then, there are age old practices of astrology, horoscopy, palmistry, numerology and many more, practitioners of which insist that these are based on science though some surmise it is divine driven. That is not true. Science is always in black and white; whereas these practices thrive on what is gray. As regards divine hands, it is a clear case of what we fear but can’t fathom, we tend to defer it to domain of faith or god.

All of above tools or techniques are fundamentally governed by law of probabilities. If prediction of fortune teller is closer to higher probability, it has higher chance of coming true and turns out to be false, in case of low probability.

For a variety of reasons, we are saddled with one or more of following perceptions:

  • Our future gets defined by our birth time or zodiac sign.
  • Our future is predefined and stored somewhere, which keeps rolling in – how? Not known.
  • Our fortune has been written on our forehead – by who? God or genes?
  • When we think or dream of future, we are actually dipping into same.
  • When past time vanishes, future is already waiting with its wings (where?) to become visible.

None of above is true. Even science has failed to define correctly what future time is.

When you think or dream of future, you actually do it on basis of past memories or images. Past time is what gets stored as your memory and present time is what you witness now. Frame of present time keeps changing based on what happens now and we perceive it as future. Truly speaking, future is nothing but “Next Now” in relation to “Current Now”!

You can plan and prepare your future; actually you have been doing that!

Surprised? But, it is true that you have been always making your future rightly or wrongly albeit being unaware. Look at last 2 posts on this website –

One on Schrödinger’s cat brings out the fact that anything that has not happened has 50% chances of happening.

Second post illustrates that things around you closely track your thoughts.

To build your future and bring fortune, all that you need is to follow following 4 mantras or mandates:

  1. Become capable of earning without clamoring for it.
  2. Be committed to growth without being greedy.
  3. Be competent to hold and handle without hoarding it.
  4. Be dynamic without doubting or dithering.

World generally follows only left highlighted part of above 4 mantras but that can push probability only little above 50%. If you want to make it 100%, additionally follow right parts of these mantras all the more rigorously.

Then, you are set to enjoy fabulous future and fortune!

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Our Comfort Zones not only create Inertia; but also inhibit Efficiency & Growth!

Psychologically and biologically, we are always tempted to create comfort zones at work as well as in personal life and our natural tendency is then to live in those! Our comfort zones are actually the cause of our inertia, inefficiency and inadequate growth.

When individuals, management included, in companies start creating comfort zones, the result is unwieldy systems, structure and processes, rendering them uncompetitive. That is when companies have to go for costly ways of restructuring, reorganization or reinventing themselves!

Why we fall prey to inertia created by comfort zones

  1. We like path of least resistance.
  2. We talk of challenges; but hesitate to walk the same.
  3. We have implied liking for gap between our desires and drive.
  4. We relish things on a platter; that’s what comfort levels can provide.
  5. We are mostly risk averse and hence like to wander on roads most traveled.
  6. We carry false notion for developing expertise by only doing repetitive activities over a long period of time, which is devoid of challenges and instead develops comforts.
  7. We like Change; but don’t like to change ourselves!

What we crave and create, we own and don’t want to abandon i.e. comfort zones; this is what invites “inertia in our thoughts and actions”.

How inefficiency and stagnancy creep in

Comfort zones are big barriers to achieving higher efficiency and growth.

  1. Comfort levels are invariably coupled with complacency. So, people like to perform same function or work same way, they are used to do. They do not seek or even see areas to improve.
  2. Every activity or function has 2 parts – (a) what needs to be performed on a repeat basis and (b) what can be changed and done differently.
    Part (a) has possibility to execute faster through use of tools, methods and/or experience. But, if one is in comfort zone, he/she would be averse to apply the same, as mentioned under point 1 above.
    What is far more damaging is reluctance, which comfort zones create against implementation of part (b)! It is this part, which brings new ideas, innovation and usher in real change.
    When part (b) remains dormant, it drowns companies or individuals into gross inefficiency and ineffective growth and development!
  3. Rut of routine and repetition make leaders to lose their luster!
  4. Comfort zones are like cancer, which would only spread, unless cut away.
  5. Comfort zones are the cause of illusion that direction is right and drive is smooth.
  6. Companies and cadres lose momentum and rhythm; therefore, they are no longer vibrant and agile.
  7. Being devoid of Change and Innovations, all stakeholders would go downhill and degenerate.

When we are aware of consequences, why we still crave for comfort zones!

There are two main causes:

a. We constantly live in fear of known or unknown. It is because of this that we humans have become habituated to save our skin, seek safe routes and create secured environments!
Above succumbs most of us to tested and tried things. We start to relish things, which are routine and repetitive! That is how we develop inherent inertia and invariably resistance to Change!

b. This is strange; but true! It is easy for us to be complicated; but difficult to be simple. Therefore, we tend to complicate matters, methods or means, rather than simplify the same!

This is rampant across the globe. Such complexities make us to spend more time and energy in doing our things, test our patience and create fatigue. Feeling of comfort comes in when we gain experience by doing or executing these over number of times or we discover some steps to do these faster (which is actually not a simplification; but using familiarity for faster actions).

Comfort zones are nothing but emotions of ease in execution, which arise from past experience; but these are not necessarily efficient and are barriers to new Ideas and Innovations!

How to kill or come out of comfort zones

  • Contrary to your belief, comfort zones provide only temporary relief. It is the constant drive for Change, which provides continuous thrill. So, you have a clear and only one choice – cut out comfort zones!
  • Comfort zones would eventually kill or throttle your career.
  • These can enhance your experience; but not efficiency.
  • Preference for little constraint over comfort would always pay you.
  • Shed away your emotions for comfort; just capture experience or knowledge, which past instances have created. Your inertia would vanish, if you truly do that!
  • Very important to know is that it is easy to complicate matters; but difficult to make those simple.
  • Simplification brings elegance and efficiency.
  • When we reinvent, we actually convert complicated things into simple ones; not other way around.
  • Put stress on simple thoughts and approach, actions and executions. That would bring you out of your comfort zones and make you:
    • Agile
    • Vibrant
    • Innovative
    • Courageous to traverse on roads less traveled and discover how your dreams become realities!
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7 Mistakes most CEOs make!

When going is good and company is on growth trajectory, CEO is like a God. His/her word or action is sacrosanct and beyond challenge. Board of the company, shareholders and media are all praise and plus for him/her. And, then comes the down slide. This is the story of most CEOs worldwide. There are very few exceptions, who may still survive at their peaks.

What is that CEOs do or don’t do, which leads to their rise and downfall?

  1. Shareholders’ value overrides people values
    By people values, I mean here creating values for customers, suppliers and employees.
    No doubt, business is all about making profit and increase shareholders’ wealth. I have seen the most CEOs hammer their hierarchy for these 2 aspects much beyond belief; forgetting that “the end” by itself is not “means”! Shareholders’ value is created by successful business and success in business comes from sound strategies for management, product, marketing, selling, R&D etc. However, behind all these strategies, are people to envision and execute! It is unfortunate but true that “return on capital, cash flow, earning per share and other financial parameters” receives CEOs’ attention the most and people parameters the least.
    Correct focus on making people competent and courageous, enthusiastic and empowered would automatically make lot of performance parameters of company to fall in place like jigsaw puzzle!
  2. Focus on what brings success; not on what causes failure
    This is a wide spread problem – most know what gives success and hence find it easy to focus on that. If success does not show up, it is also convenient to pass the buck and blame. To understand what can cause failures requires time, efforts and energy, which most do not have or want to spend.
    It is the simplest logic that if you remove causes of failures, what you would be left with is Success. Yet, it is least understood and used in practice!
    If CEOs can defer and devote their attention to causes of failure in advance, as opposed to what causes success, they would make a difference in their organizations of day and night.
  3. CEOs gather around them those, in whom they see traits akin to theirs!
    This is a perennial problem. People tend to follow or emulate those in power and prominence like CEOs! And it is also a human weakness that when you are in power, you tend to lean more on those, whose style or flair i.e. trait, you find like that of yours. These 2 factors could spell more than 1 problem:
    –  If CEO’s traits are not terrific, followers would turn out to be terrible.
    Leadership tunnel would go for a toss.
    –  Most managers would attempt to emulate their CEO; but some would make it and others would fake it. If CEO is not careful, he or she may be swayed away by the latter, because ones, who could fake tend to be loud mouth and hence get noticed first!
    –  Most CEOs do not have time to notice these key aspects and corporates often become playground for politics. So, genuine and galvanized employees with leadership mental languish and leave!
  4. Being in hurry most time
    Most CEOs are in hurry, jet set and end up doing multi-tasking. Maladies of running short of time, most time are many and mutilating:
    –  They speak most of time, hear their voice and hence, can become poor listener – an ill for good leadership.
    –  They could lose patience and become grumpy.
    –  They try to be perceptual and judgmental.
    –  They do not get enough time to think; but most time only to act.
    All of above do not augur well for effective and elevated leadership.
  5. Window dressing under their nose escaping their eyes
    Believe me, this is most practiced and many managers or executives do this subtly or surreptitiously. If CEO is a strong leader, his people would do everything to present and speak what would please him/her. Picture and performance, which they may present is rosier than reality and duly wrapped up with complex caveats to save their skin. Such presentations are always complex and lengthy.
    If CEO is a weak leader, people down in hierarchy would twist and turn to suit their agenda and objectives, in any case.
    Either way, true picture of a company is blurred to the extent of 20 to 35% and when surprises show up, people seek shelter under safeguards they have already built in; rather than owning up! Do not be surprised that in corporations, bosses spend 35 to 40% of their time in preparing presentations and attending conferences!
    A CEO cum good leader must direct his top executives/managers vociferously that he wants to see things “as is where basis” every time and a simple roadmap to improve and grow, without if and buts! Spending more than 10% of their time for presentation and reporting should be held against bosses’ performance.
    This simple step is sure to radically change culture and character of the company! Rather than window dressing, they would keep it always well dressed in n out!! I have been a witness to this kind of Change.
  6. Old guards and associates are Loyal; but not necessarily Leaders
    Most CEOs like to count on familiar faces and there is nothing wrong, as they are faithful and need to recognized. But, there are very few, who would evolve with age and be agile to cope up with challenges of current time. Most, however, become dogmatic with age, with fixed ideas and free of risk approach.
    Many CEOs and company boards find comfort zone in old guards and put stakes on them. This is alright, only when you want company to keep going as is; but that would not help it grow or transform.
    CEOs need to get over such biases, if best people are to be picked inside or outside.
  7. Emphasis on “What should be done” as opposed to “What should not be done”
    We all fall prey to pious platitudes and hence, make holy statements – what we should be and do. Seldom, we would speak what we should not be and not do. CEOs are no exceptions. But, repercussions at that level could be repressing.
    It is astonishing that most management books, programs and training do not talk on above lines. The two are diametrically different and can make a dramatic difference to an organization!
    1st is a“Desire  and 2nd is a “Direction”!!! A company needs the 2nd.

My surmise at the end “What CEOs can often fail to do, you (if not a CEO) are more prone to failures. Become aware, how 7 mistakes can make you miserable!”

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