self-development

Significant Leadership : How to find where it lies

Take a look at the accompanying visual. Visuals simplify the appearance of complex reality. With the caveat of this being a conceptual model, it is still a useful one to find our place in the world. Significant leadership is the space where your greatest competence, your greatest passion and the world’s greatest need overlap. Where does one begin? Sachin Tendulkar began with his passion, and you might be surprised to know it was not batting! Tendulkar wanted to become a tearaway fast-bowler. When he went for Dennis Lillee’s fast-bowling camp, Lillee saw him bat and told him to forget about fast bowling. Isn’t that interesting? One of the greatest batsman in modern times needed feedback on his greatest competence! What comes in the way of identifying our competence? Ironically, it is the sheer ease of it, so much so that we do not think about it at all. What comes easy to us is dismissed. You can reflect on what is it you find very easy to do that is something of a task for your peer group ( people who…

The Olympics at Rio : Inspiring achievements

The curtains have fallen over the Rio Olympics. The applause is yet to die down. The adrenalin is still surging through my brain. After all, our mind can soak in the glory of sport even when the body is not in the contest. Which is what I experienced when the Brazilian volley ball players were on the gold medal podium. This is Rio. This is their home. And their anthem is being played. Can anything top this?! They are weeping tears of joy. Clutching each other. Hearts beating as one, and stuttering because the moment is one to die for. Who doesn’t know that feeling?! Everyone does. Each one of us who has played team sports has that one electrifying experience of a closely fought game, be it any sport. When we know the contest has chiselled something within us, something deep and lasting, that goes beyond the game. Call it Self-belief or the power of We or by any other name. It is near impossible to define it and no definition is required for those who have experienced it. All we can say is that, it…

What Disruption means for HR : Summary of a learning Session for marketing professionals

The Young & their interests We put ‘The Young’ as a customer category and spelled out what interests them. When time came to identify the industry/sector, we found that we had to scratch our heads a bit. This is significant. KEY POINT – The boundaries between industries and sectors are disappearing or getting blurred. Certain industries or product/service categories are fighting for survival itself examples – music industry, mobile service providers, movie halls, publishing industry, retail shops. This is because of disruption caused by technology. Disruption – Examples Netflix/ rentals ; Internet movies/  theatre screenings ; Uber/ rental cars &  ownership itself ; Amazon/book stores ; itunes/Spotify / Rhythm house ; Kindle/ Printed books; Mobile apps/ television viewing ; Online booking/ travel agencies ; Paytm/ card-swiping. Bottomline is that a company can move into an entirely different product line or service category. is the most famous example. If watching television via app catches on, ‘television’ as a product category gets wiped out. Hotels will struggle big time if one house in every street decides to become an Air B&B partner. E-commerce…

How to be an Employee : Peter Drucker’s classic career advice

Being an employee is an art, says Drucker.  And he says getting fired from your first job may be a good thing! Isn’t that interesting? Peter Drucker wrote on this topic almost forty years back. The Basic Skill  He starts off by asking, ” What can you learn that will help you in being an employee?” The answer, unsurprisingly, is communication. Drucker calls it a basic skill which very few students bother to learn. This one basic skill is the ability to organize and express ideas in writing and in speaking. For Drucker, an early start is beneficial. ” The foundations for skill in expression have to be laid early : an interest in and an ear for language; experience in organizing ideas and data; in brushing aside the irrelevant; in wedding outward form and inner content into one structure; and above all, the habit of verbal expression. If you do not lay these foundations during your school years, you may never have an opportunity again. You should take courses in the writing of poetry and the writing of short stories. Most…

Triggering the ‘active’ in Active Listening. What scuba-diving & the hospital emergency scene teach us?

You are scared and excited about being underwater for the first time! As the scuba-diving instructor speaks on how to go about the whole thing one last time, you hang onto each word for dear life. You grab tighter as the instructor moves on to ‘trouble-shooting’ instructions. You ask anything & everything that comes gushing onto to you. You repeat instructions, paraphrase the meaning as you understand it, ask whether you got it right. You are determined to get it right & you care a little less of what others make of you! If you are going to do sky-diving or bungee jumping, you will likely be the same. You may have never heard or known about ‘active listening’ in your whole life & you still end up practising it! Active listening is listening in a way that reaffirms we are communicating; the speaker & listener both experience that they are making a real effort to understand each other. We are exhorted to learn it & get trained on tips & techniques. We don’t know any of it, & yet we…

Stranded in a sector?

Quite a few people experience being stuck in their jobs, especially their sectors. Dissatisfied at work, they bide their time for years. They shun jobs within the sector, as they want to make the switch. As time goes by, they are frustrated waiting for that one elusive call from a recruiter looking to place them in a different sector. And when that call comes, it admittedly looks a little too average, too common-place. It is an unexceptional job on all counts. The only thing it has going for it is your sector-switch. Let us say, you are marooned on an island for years. You are self-sufficient on the island replete with all the resources a human needs to survive. But you pine for human company, to rejoin civilization. You never sight any ship after countless hours of keeping watch. You languish on this island for years. Survival on the island is not at all a challenge, getting out is. One day, a small, worn-out but sea-worthy boat miraculously kisses the shore of your island. An uncouth fisherman is barely civil…