Tag Archives: Laggard

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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Fine dividing line between Passion and Obsession or Dogma/Doctrine!

Passion to live in a home! Source: http://www.flickr.com/

On the face of it, this topic may not be very interesting to you. But hang on a bit and think it over – you want to do what you love or you want to love what you do? Which of the 2 options you choose can make a difference of day and night! If you believe that, you must know the following:

In modern corporate life, time and again you would hear – you must be passionate about what you do; in other words, you must love what you do. How does that differ from desire to do? What happens, if your love changes to lust? Is it not the same as passion changing to obsession?

No leader had ever become laudable, unless he/she had passion for what he/she pursued! Look at some examples – Mahatma Gandhi, Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy, Steve Jobs or Jeff Bezos of Amazon Inc.

But, then there are also very successful personalities like Michelangelo, Michael Jackson, Leonardo DiCaprio, David Beckham or Donald Trump – Republican Party hopeful for 2016 US Presidential election. They have been adjudged by many as obsessive. Even Charles Darwin was known to suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). How about Vladimir Putin – current Russian President, who is a real hero in the eyes of his countryman? He is dogmatic!

Now, see the effect of fine line between passion versus obsession or dogma. According to author Joshua Kendall, Steve Jobs was obsessive. Though he made Apple as the most imaginative successful company in the world, his obsession costed him happiness, health and family! Though Winston Churchill has been acclaimed as a passionate statesman, he had visibly showed signs of being dogmatic!!

Distinguishing passion from obsession or dogma/doctrine

Here below are the key differences among the three:

  1. Passion is consequence of consciousness; whereas obsession is an emotion and dogma/doctrine is driven by strong biases.
  2. Passion means mindfulness; on other hands, obsession is mindlessness and d/d is rashness or even madness.
  3. Passion is backed up by rationale; but the base of other two is rigidity.
  4. Passion thrives on reasonableness; obsession on recklessness and d/d on ruthlessness.
  5. Passion is coupled with consideration and kindness; however, the other two are devoid of concerns and cultivate cruelty.
  6. Foundation of passion is wisdom; but obsession is weird and d/d is vindictive.
  7. Passion allows freedom to focus on all aspects of what you are passionate about; other two generate fear as well as focus on single aspect of what you are obsessed or dogmatic about.
  8. Passion has peace! Obsession or dogma/doctrine has noise and turbulence!!
  9. Passion is what you implement for self; obsession and d/d are what you impose on others.
  10. An impartial observer would love you for your passion but hate you for your obsession and dogma/doctrine! 

Notwithstanding the above, a very common and confusing element in three of these is very intense feeling, though in 3 different shades, for a person, object, idea or activity; only the method to execute the same and attitude underneath change! 

Preventing to cross-over from passion to obsession or dogma/doctrine!

When you become passionate, you come on a slippery slope and can easily slip into obsession or dogma/doctrine and hence, always be aware of perils of the latter two illustrated in ten points above!

Catch the phrase mentioned in the beginning of this article once more – “What works – Do what you love or love what you do”. There is an extra-ordinary meaning behind this ordinary phrase! 

If you do only what you love or like, you would run eminent risk of converting your love into lust; make a maniac. If your passion for beauty migrates to love for body, you would fall prey to obsession. If you love or respect only God or godmen, and not godly messages and acts, it would generate in you religious fanatic. Your focus or passion for your duties is what would turn into great performance and ownership; however, doing it for love or attracting attention of employer/s would no doubt brand you loyal but make you laggard!

If you only do what you like or love, you would tend to overlook or omit what you ought to do, because you may not love that. This is what seemed to have troubled Steve Jobs, Steve Ballmer, former CEO of Microsoft and several famous leaders. 

True passion is to love what you do and not love for whom you do! Love your objectives and not the objects to achieve same! If you put your trust in this, you can never transgress into obsession or dogma or doctrine!!

Passion is always positive! Apart from bringing to you what is elaborated in above points, it makes you highly focused and dedicated, brings you tremendous purpose and ownership and promotes innovation and creativity at the same time. It is in your hands to develop your passions. Never carry false notion of passion being necessarily a gift of your genes. To be passionate for what all you do should be your top agenda!

Best option is to determine and develop passion after setting your goals. Whereas passion and goals are individually golden, alignment of the two together is what makes it platinum and that also helps you to prevent crossing the fine dividing line between what is desired and what is to be damned!

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Why geniuses rarely have good looks; reverse also applies!

Legacy and looks of a genius! Source: http://www.flickr.com/

This is one of nature’s perspectives or paradoxes, you may find it hard to believe; but you simply cannot write it off! Turn the pages of history or look at present time, you would discover that one, who has been acclaimed as genius, is seldom has a great personality or looks! On the other hand, those with attractive looks are hardly genius!! That does not mean that your average or un-kept looks would make you genius; nor your impressive personality forbids you to become a genius.

Is this irony because geniuses have no time or bent of mind for keeping themselves well groomed or beautiful people don’t work on their intellect? Research shows that this true only by a small percentage!

Geniuses like Einstein, Charles Darwin, Isaac Newton, George Bernard Shaw or living legend Stephen Hawking are not known to have great looks. On opposite side, we have iconic personalities like John F. Kennedy, Bill Clinton or seductive beauties like Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor or Monica Bellucci, who have put their firm footprint in history for their leadership or looks; but not for their intellect. Cleopatra, a legendary lady, seems to be an exception where historians differ – whether she was “beautiful beyond belief” or she was average looking but her allure came from her intellect, character and tone of her voice! Let us keep the latter part in mind how intellect and character can change the whole game!

Even when you look at mythologies, intellectual people have been depicted as simple, sober and ordinary looking; powerful people have been shown as masculine and tough looking; but ones with attractive looks are more feminine in features but without great wisdom!

People with intellect and those with impressive looks tend to behave opposite!

Let us see few examples of these 2 classes of people:

  1. Genius or intellectual people avoid public glare, whereas those with impressive looks tend to love publicity and popularity.
  2. Intellectuals are more secluded and seen as introvert; whereas impressive ones like to be seductive and hence extrovert!
  3. Intellectual people are highly or excessively rational; but impressive looks induce people to be very emotional.
  4. Former type is highly engrossed and can be eccentric; on other hand, latter type is egocentric, which seems to be pitfall of urge for getting attention.
    Research also reveals that handsome or beautiful people tend to be selfish and short in temper.
  5. Genius or intellectual people are highly passionate about their pursuits and tend to ignore their health and looks; but people with impressive looks are particular or even obsessed with their physique, features and what is in fashion!
  6. Genius people often commit gaffe due to absent mindedness; whereas handsome or beautiful people goof because of losing control over their mind!

Above explains why geniuses or intellectuals lack good looks and people with impressive looks are laggard on intellect! There seems to be only one thing common with both classes of people – their personal lives are most likely to be pathetic! Microscopically, nature does not seem to favor eccentrics or egocentrics. What appears to go down well always is center of a scale or given parameter.

If we combine pluses of both intellectual and impressive, a new persona pops up – gracefulness! Grace has nothing to do with how you look outwardly. It balances what is inside and what is reflected outside.

True glitter of grace is product of inner beauty and intellect with ingenuity!

So, would you not love to be graceful in every walk of your life?

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Mediocrity is an essential evil, as it works as a great equalizer!

Ordinary could have extraordinary appeal! Source: http://www.flickr.com/

Truth is often bitter! When we know it at heart, many of us hesitate to speak it!! Same seems to be true of relevance of mediocrity in companies and societies.

Leaders and preachers alike are often engaged in bashing and banishing mediocrity or mediocre persons to earn ovations from their followers, completely forgetting that the survival their status depends upon them. Fact is a leader comes in limelight only when the audience applauds him/her, though the audience by itself may constitute of mainly mediocre! So, mediocrity merits due respect!!

Let us face the facts – at micro level, for every positive (charge), a negative (charge) is necessarily created. The combination of two becomes neutral and that is why every atom is neutral. At macro level, every good creates its opposite i.e. bad; extremely good would create its mirror image i.e. extremely bad. Either the two would come close to make a deadly combination or conflict to damage each other or they can be kept away by neutral people, who are classically mediocre.

If you lock 2 strong leaders in a room and give them a topic to discuss, they would rarely reach a consensus, even if one happens to be spouse of another! Leaders of leading companies like GE, Exxon Mobil, Microsoft, Apple, Siemens etc. may claim that their organizations are leadership factories; but reality may be very different! There is a threshold on % of leaders depending upon nature and structure of an organization, beyond which it can only become a laggard! This threshold is not more than 10 % of total employees. So, if an organization has more than 10% leaders, it is likely to be unstable and chaotic; it would witness high turnover of leaders! It also implies that 90% or more employees are average or mediocre with some being above average and some below. It would be interesting to know that more than 55% of employees, whom companies declare as their present or future leaders on an average are not real leaders. They are either blue eyed boys/girls of bosses or it is number filling game to please top management!

If you look at closely, you would discover that through process of evolution, nature continuously strikes balances. Mediocrity or average quality plays a very important role in such balancing to avert major upheavals!

On the face of it, many may not agree; but fact is that modern technologies are churning out more mediocre than before! 

Why mediocrity is an essential evil in companies and societies!

  1. Meritocracy actually survives on mediocrity!
    Imagine if we do not have mediocre to compare with, how would merit look like! Merit would lose its sheen. Extraordinary lose its meaning without ordinary!!
  2. It is expensive and futile to develop big number of people with big merit. They would not survive together!
  3. Mediocrity encourages competitive spirit.
  4. It makes changes in organizations an imperative.
  5. Mediocre people are back bone of an organization. They are loyal to their job and hence horses of long race in company’s history.
  6. They represent continuity.
  7. They are less ambitious and hence least controversial.
    Their expectations can be managed easily.
  8. They may not be very smart; but are sincere and hardworking.
  9. They have much better work life balance and hence, level headed!
  10. They dampen polarization, if an organization, community or even country has higher number of stronger personalities or high headed people.
    So, they do stimulate state of equilibrium, which is indispensable for continuous growth!

So, it is a blunder to write off or give a raw deal to mediocre people.

Managing Mediocrity or mediocre people

Above analysis does not mean that we should glamorize mediocrity; need is to give a good look and guide it towards merit!

  1. First and foremost is to embrace and empathize with mediocrity.
    Remember that the biggest merit of mediocrity is that it does not have its “negative opposite” and hence, always harmless!
    This would create acceptance of the fact that it exists, had existed and would always be present, that too in majority!
  2. Institute a continuous development program, which they can digest easily.
  3. Set your expectations and guide them how to meet same, if not exceed.
    But, never make a mistake to penalize them for under performance. Instead, make them aware where they slipped and help them to salvage.
  4. Raise the bar of your expectations, once current ones are met.
    The best thing an organization can do is to systematically raise performance bar for merit and mediocre alike! This would help mediocrity to inch up to a new normal!!

To conclude, a right balance between mediocre and meritorious people (90 to 10 or less) would bring startling results for organizations or their leaders. Then, raising performance bar systematically for both would add sparkle and pride for mediocre people!

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Why vices go viral; but virtues get stuck in spiral!

Success after success is not what impresses people; but failure after success or success after failure does! No story makes sense to people unless it is sensational, emotional or for worst, sexual. Look at wardrobe malfunction of celebrities; it would go viral in no time and attract anywhere near million clicks. But a sane script or scene would go a begging for even sixteen likes!!

Winston Churchill had his own vices; but those became virtues when given charge to manage crisis. It was World War II, which shot him to fame like never before. People highly respect and remember economists – Nouriel Roubini and Dean Baker for predicting doom from US Housing bubble and 2008 economic crisis; but not those, who have foretold or are predicting the boom times ahead!

Negativity sits right on our nose

If we get a call early in morning from our loved one, first thing that would occur to us something might have gone wrong! That is how negativity rules our mind!!

Nature appears symmetric; but it is not! To lose temper is easy; but not the opposite – to keep cool. All vices – anger, worry, frustration, corruption, obsession, rhetoric or greed are easy to pick and grip. These are like cache memory of a computer and would appear on a click or flick.

Rule of nature is that positive prompts a positive and a negative clicks the negative! The difference is as much as what is between prompt versus click. Prompt requires a further push to be there; whereas a click would just get you there.

Even so called golden age in human history was not free from villains and vices. It seems that we need them to understand the significance of heroes! It is not that most of us don’t understand that all of our problems – confusion to commotion come from our vices; yet we find it convenient to click same for making it viral. Then, why do we beat the chest and cry hoarse, when things go haywire? Is it not a normal part of our life?

It is precisely for above reasons that most believe – talking about (not taking to) virtues tantamount to washing away vices!

Poor sustainability while being positive

On other hand, when you are positive or virtuous, it brings success, gives growth and powers you to prominence. What is extremely important to know here is that getting success makes you also vulnerable! Your vulnerability comes from a simple fact that success brings you on the cross roads – one road, which requires constant push to remain positive and other one looks lucrative but turns you negative. Since vices are easy to follow, you fall or lean on the latter.

By and large, people have poor sustainability, when they start to get fruits from being positive. Look at innumerable names – Tiger Woods, Britney Spears or Rajat Gupta, they could not keep pace with the very virtues, which brought them to hallmark of success and fame.

So, it is this poor sustainability, which is the sole reason to put the virtues into spiral or spin. That is why, leaders turn laggards, confident ones become arrogant, being big becomes a bane and heavy-weights create hell for themselves! The cycle would reverse, if one pushes back for positivity.

Shattering the spiral

What you don’t crave, you tend to carve! That’s what we do, when we fall prey to our unconscious mind. This leads to living in the spiral of positives and negatives, highs and lows or ups and downs. If you wish to unshackle yourself from these, think of doing the following:

  1. Shun 1st reaction of your mind.
  2. Observe and evaluate 2nd and 3rd reactions or thoughts and then Go!
  3. Don’t do the mistake of following masses.
  4. Overdoing or multiplying positivity is actually negative! But, you can multiply negativity to become more negative!! Is that not interesting; but true?
    Just remain positive. Most mistakes happen, when you overdo or under do.
  5. When your past memories make you emotional, believe it or not, you are negative.
  6. When you are neither offensive nor defensive, it is then that you are positive.
  7. Heaven may fall on the earth; but never believe that positivity can ever harm or hurt you.
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