Tag Archives: Myths

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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Practices give repeat/peak Performance; but Breakthroughs come only when same are broken!

Good practices are great to give repeat and consistent performance. But these by themselves cannot enable breakthroughs or innovations to improvise further. If that was to happen, you would have already got those! If you think that laid-down “practices and processes” alone would give you best results at all times to come; it may be your pipe dream!

Progressive approach and attitude demand that unless old order is abandoned, a new and better one cannot be ushered in. Individuals, professionals and companies not doing this would get out of sync with trends and times, get in peril or even perish!

Proven Practices needed for Peak Performance!

It is important to evolve and establish practices and processes in any organization or institution. Then, these have to be implemented to check that same work and deliver results or else need to be modified, until these become proven.

Thereafter, the performance can be driven to the peak, since:

  1. Everyone has clarity of direction.
  2. Coherence and consistency are driven automatically across organization.
  3. It fosters team spirit.
  4. It encourages disciplined approach.
  5. It builds up experience and expertise in optimum time.

So far so good and performance of individuals, groups or organization would reach a peak. You can sustain this peak for a period – I would term it as an optimum time, beyond which trouble would start to stare at you!

Peak Performance is also a starting point of Problems!

  • Beyond peak, where do you go? You can only go down! This is true to happen, if an organization has peaked its performance with given set of practices and processes.
  • Individuals and management would get in comfort zone.
  • Complacency would descend.
  • Erstwhile Excellence would entice Adversity.
  • Organization tends to become sluggish, lose its momentum and lean character!

Therefore, proven practices are good till we reach a peak or steady state; beyond that these would bring issues and ills!

Break proven practices to reach another peak!

Practices or processes invariably have 2 parts – one which has no alternative or option. Evaluate this part very carefully and once satisfied that there is truly no alternative, retain it. Then, we are left with second part, which has to be broken, given up or relinquished, especially after peak performance has been attained. We need courage to do this!

It is rule of nature that –

Every system has 2 sections – one with no alternative; so discover and retain it. The other one has an alternative; so relinquish it, especially after peak has been attained”.

If we follow the above rule, we would see the path to another peak opening up!

Reason for which you relinquish becomes source of your renaissance

This is the secret behind from where “the source of new ideas, inspiration and innovation in most people” comes in. Reason for which you relinquish certain things that you have been doing or living with, becomes the focal point of your revival, redefinition, rediscovery, rejuvenation, restructuring or resurgence!

If we look at emergence of famous leaders and legends, we would find that this is true; examples – Mahatma Gandhi, Steve Jobs and several others.

Therefore:

  • Breakthrough in your business or profession or pursuits would come, if you break away from that part of current practices and processes, you don’t need to retain.
  • You can best discover or design a new product, when you genuinely decide to drop existing one.
  • You can cope-up with new challenges, if you do not cling to old customs and traditions, which are not indispensable.
  • You can’t innovate, unless you renovate your current practices and procedures.
  • You can’t discover truths, unless you discard myths on which your beliefs hinge.

So, the game needs to change, when you reach steady state or peak with your current perspective.

The reason, for which you need to break prevailing practices, also becomes reason for your breakthrough!

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Idealism fans out to Fanaticism, Ferociousness & more

It is very common to follow what you believe as “ideal ways and ideals set (by others)” in your pursuit and passion for achieving your goals. When success starts to turn in, a turning point also comes when your passion for such ideal ways and ideals set becomes stronger and stronger. Such strong passion invariably leads to obsession, which is Idealism. In short, it evolves as:

Innocent Ideas –> Ideal ways –> Ideals –> Idealism –> onset of Ills!

Remember, every individual has his/her own definition or understanding of what he/she perceives as ideal, ideals and idealism. But one thing is blatantly common – beneath idealism is obsession!

How Ideal ways leading to Idealism gives birth to Autocratic Bosses

In corporate life, for instance, many are very dynamic and believe in quick actions and results. They perceive it as their virtue, passion and an ideal way to turn over great performance for the company. Such people would be highly demanding by nature and expect team to take prompt actions and deliver. In most cases, such drive over time becomes their obsession, regardless of comfort or crisis in the team. They would then impose their decisions on team, set tough targets and disallow dissent under garb of getting results for company. Unless conscious, which most are not, they would develop strong belief in their methods. For them, it is an ideal way; but it has already got translated into Idealism and gives birth to their autocratic leadership with toxic behavior!

Turn to private life – it is not bad to behold old traditions and values; but if you, as head of your family, become strong advocate or hard headed for same, you would impose these on younger generation in your family, refuse to compromise and in that process, crush their desire to lead a modern life! Such idealism would invite several ills!!

Ills of Idealism

So, idealism hurts in several ways:

  1. Isms trigger Issues, except few like optimism.
  2. It instills inflexibility.
  3. It inculcates hard notions.
  4. It insulates you from realities and rationales.
  5. It instigates you to over-zealously protect your ideas.
  6. It makes your vision and perspective parochial.
  7. It makes you inconsiderate and self-centered.

Ugly side of Idealism

Hard ideas/thoughts/notions go hand-in-hand with idealism. Hard ideas cannot remain stagnant and still in our mind. These are bound to come out in our actions or behavior; otherwise, these cannot remain “hard” anymore! Therefore, we feel strong urge to practice the same and proliferate around.

People, who are already in power and position, would demand that their ideas be implemented; failing which they would even enforce. Let us categorize them as “A” for corporate or institutional leaders/bosses and “B” for political and religious leaders, wielding formal power.

Those, who do not have formal power or position on public or professional platforms, would seek surreptitious methods to propagate. They generally take route through faith, indoctrination, public movement or preaching! Let us assign category “C” for them.

Methods and measures of categories A + B + C bring ugly side of Idealism! As a consequence, it shows up in variety of ways:

  • Ideology in case of A+B+C
  • Ferocity (Ferociousness) for A+B+C
  • Fundamentalism for C & partly B
  • Fanaticism for C & partly B
  • Extremism for C

You can see that category C, who swears by Idealism but without accountability, can unleash the most havoc and this is what history has witnessed!

Above 3 categories of people have several characteristics in common:

  1. Overwhelmed by obsession.
  2. Mistakenly perceive their obsession as passion.
  3. Wrongly believe their ideology as legacy.
  4. Foster fear factor.
  5. Live in fantasy, rather than reality and induce others to do so.
  6. Ruthlessly protective of their ideas.
  7. Thoughts are mixed with myths and mythology.
  8. Have vanity and vehemence.
  9. Implant ideology in your mind through indoctrination!
  10. Shut your mind, so that thinking beyond perimeters of what they preach and proliferate is not possible.

Inferences, you would be amazed with!

You need good ideas/thoughts for anything that you pursue.

You need to focus on these to get success and your notions are still soft (can be subject to change).

When success comes, you develop liking and love for those ideas and you start to believe those “ideas” are “ideal” for you.

That is how every passion gets developed, as also hard notions.

You see more wins coming your way.

This is when you start believing those “ideas” as your “ideals”.

Here is when you come on the edge!

If you stop being more possessive and passionate about these ideas/ideals, you would sustain and continue to swim through successes superbly.

If you push and perpetuate your passion and hard notions further, your ideals would translate into idealism. And you would invite ills!

You, then, run the risk of being fierce, ferocious, fanatic…….

 

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Myths about Mentoring in Corporates

I doubt that Employer and Employees world over realize that good mentoring is not only a great passage to great career and personal growth; but also great for company’s growth!

Few years back, I was requested by my overseas HR colleague to mentor one of high potential employees working in our company’s unit in a 3rd country. After receiving my consent, she wanted to match my profile with a potential mentee. I wondered how effective such program can be for an employee, with whom I have had no prior contact and resides in another country. So, I had no option but to refuse to be a mentor.

In another instance, I had nominated one of my senior colleagues to a leadership program, part of which was also mentorship for about a year. His mentor was selected from overseas location and both might have spent less than 25 hours over 4 occasions in more than a year. At the end, my colleague was nothing but frustrated.

Above 2 examples are very common in most companies!

Every corporate desires mentoring program; but lacks depth for its details. It talks tall; but falls short in execution.

Meaning of Mentoring

Several definitions have been floated in corporate world. Essentially, mentoring means inspiring a change and sharing ideas to upgrade one’s soft skills and abilities, to take her/his performance to higher levels and facilitate growth.

Myths about Mentoring

There are lot of myths and misconceptions about mentoring. Therefore, real success rate of current mentoring programs across globe is not more than 5%! Some of myths are:

  1.  Regardless of merit, Bosses and senior management personnel are automatically deemed as “qualified mentors”.
    This is a farce!
  2. Recommended qualities of a good mentor are known.
    These are actually grey and garbled.
  3. Notwithstanding pt. 2 above, the models of match making (mentor n mentee) are considered as working!
  4. It is a collaborative era and hence locations of mentor and mentee are not important – it can be anywhere anytime (time zones).
  5. Emphasis is more on making mentee to learn company processes, its values and achievements, and financial performance data, rather than focusing on how to set targets and achieve/exceed same, how and why to value “the value system of company” and then to enhance this.
  6. You do not need to live by mentoring; rather leave mentee alone to figure out!
  7. Training to train and develop mentors is not important!
    Ironically, almost all corporates put their belief in mentoring; but are clueless on necessity of such training.

Making Mentoring meaningful and impactful

  1. Give mentoring its due, by top leadership driving it.
  2. Introduce Chief Mentor’s post in the organization, who should be assessed and approved for his /her competence by a neutral agency. He/she should report directly to top management.
    Ex CEOs have become Chief Mentors in few well-known companies.
  3. Induct program to train mentors, preferably by engaging a competent person or agency from outside. It would be best, if person or agency is familiar with organization.
    Objective of this program should to train and qualify all top managers as mentors.
    It is very likely that some of the managers would fail to qualify. One, who cannot mentor, can also not be successful leader; yes boss he or she can be. Hence, this program would also serve a great cause to chalk out career path for managers.
  4. Best mentor for employees or mentees is always their manager, provided he/she qualifies as above. Next best option is peer of such manager, if qualified for mentoring.
  5. It should be made mandatory for all managers to manage 20% of their office time to mentor the designated mentees in his/her group.
    Above would push managers to develop their back- ups, where most take back-seat and promote delegation.
  6. Mentoring must monitor and address all qualities and behavioral aspects of mentees, as a professional.
    Most make mistakes in picking and choosing just those, perceived as required for leadership. Most qualities – good or bad, strong or weak, are interconnected in humans. For example, you cannot address mentee’s listening abilities, without paying attention to his ability to focus, extent of his ego and respect for others’ views!
  7. Measurements are must for performance of mentees and mentor. These should be taken as major inputs for yearly appraisals.

It is an established fact that Mentoring brings magnificent benefits to both Mentors and Mentees! It is an instrument to inspire and introduce an Epic Change!!

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