Monday, November 12, 2012

Self Development - Do something unusual

Recently I attended a sales training program in Singapore. It was striking to note that there were many ladies (and few gents) pin their very much mature years attending the program. 

Some of them were making career changes while others were completely out of the box, meaning they were housewives. There were quite a few who have just started their careers as real estate agents. 

Leaving their demographics aside, key thing that struck me was their hunger to learn. Many of them diligently took down notes and took serious trouble to understand complicated and interesting topics such as buyer psychology and rapport building. Given the kind of questions they were asking it was obvious that they mean serious business! 

Hats off to these ladies for taking a path which is not typical. In fact I volunteered to help these ladies to set up things such as blogs, twitter and FB accounts. Yes, they are very keen on being engaged in Social Media. 

I certainly expanded my horizons on the subject and our coach was a fantastic person! Leroy you were great! 

There is a powerful lesson in all this. In life unless you explore certain new things you really don't know what the water feels like. 

To those who are taking the roads less travelled! I salute you! 

Feel free to share your thoughts or feedback on this posting under the comments column

Monday, October 8, 2012

Leadership Secret Number One -- Pure Energy!

I am reproducing this blog article from Anthony Robbins. Great read. After watching yesterday's World Cup T 20 Final you can relate to this even better!

Leadership Secret Number One -- Pure Energy!

October 03, 2012

The Seven Core Qualities is not a complete and perfect list, but rather designed to show you the common qualities of successful leaders that I’ve worked with over the years. How many of these qualities do your favorite leaders embody? How can you strengthen these qualities within yourself to enhance your ability to lead?

The first quality we’ll look at is PURE ENERGY.

Change, transformation, and results all require enormous energy. Many people fail to achieve what they want simply because the mind is willing but the body is weak. Their mind says, “let’s go get ‘em” and their body says, “I can’t get out of bed.” Whenever you think of someone who has charisma or impact, isn’t it true that they also have a significant amount of psychological, emotional, or physical energy? Of course, there are many different styles of energy. Some are external in their style of communication and intensity, but everyone who is successful somehow brings energy—a physical, emotional and spiritual energy—into their environment. Being able to tap into that energy even when you are exhausted, even when things aren't going your way, often separates those who achieve and lead at the highest level versus those who fall short.

There are certain fundamental things that people do to increase their energy regardless of how much sleep they’ve had or where their blood sugar is. We’ve all had tough days where in spite of the circumstances something inside snapped us into a state where we took off and made something extraordinary happen.

What was it that shifted? Our energy and our psychology, because they are tied together. Virtually everyone knows someone whose psychology is so poor that they can walk into a room and suck the energy out of the building. And, we also know there are others who do the complete opposite: they bring energy to any environment they live in. People gravitate towards them.

The scary part is when the person in the position of leadership has no energy. We all know what that does to the momentum of an organization. Look, it’s no secret that we’re living in tough economic times. Your ability to find a competitive edge—to tap your capacity and the true capacity of your team—often will be based on your ability to shift your energy and the emotions of those around you. I’m not talking about some naive approach to life where you delude yourself through positive thinking that everything will be just fine. I’m not talking about BS’ing yourself. The type of person I’m talking about is someone who can make the tough decisions and take the necessary action to turn things around in spite of the challenge. In other words, a real leader…someone who can talk about the real issues, get everyone to face the challenges, and have enough energy to find the solutions necessary, even in the most dire of circumstances.

Without energy, nothing moves—nothing changes. But with energy, anything can be expanded or transformed. It is important to remember that there are multiple ways to expand your energy. One is to physically take care of yourself—to train your body so that you have that expanded sense of energy and endurance. But you can also find energy (even when you’re exhausted) by tapping into a vision, a sense of purpose, which brings energy not only to yourself but to your team as well. Often, people feel exhausted not because they’re not in great physical shape or don’t have a vision, but because they have inner conflicts. They are trying to meet two different “masters” that don’t support each other, so their energy becomes divided. Finding and unifying vision and purpose is what has given power to so many great leaders. Steve Jobs was famous, or in some cases “infamous,” for his relentless intensity. It came from his undivided focus to create the greatest products and the greatest company in the world. Similarly, the standard that Steve Wynn holds for himself and for every member of his team creates an energetic momentum that not only affects him personally but everyone he has the privilege to lead.

The important distinction here is you can’t manage what you don’t measure. How would you rate your level of energy on a consistent basis (especially when things are not going your way)? What would you give yourself on a scale from 0 to 10? If the number is not high enough for you to be an effective leader, what could you do to improve it? On a scale of 0 to 10 where would you rate your energy? We’ll touch on some of the simplest and most powerful ways to increase your energy in a future blog and video.

Feel free to share your thoughts or feedback on this posting under the comments column

Friday, October 5, 2012

Peddling down the road less travelled

Recently I peddled from Colombo (from Parliament grounds) to Hiru Villas Maggona which I am told is 57 KM . It took me almost 5 hours for the journey. If not for my new found riding mates Dirk and Gareth I would have never made the journey. During my peddling journey I passed some of the beautiful scenaries inclduing paddy fileds, large ponds etc.

The route we took was not the main road but one that was suitable for mountain biking. Hence the route was unfamiliar and I have not personally travelled on that route before.
To make matters worse, iOS 6 upgrade had made sure we were without any form of reliable mapping help that we were so use to!

However I had a general sense of direction and that was all that was required. We started pedding around 5.15 in the morning and yard by yard, kilometer by kilometer we moved in the direction we were suppose to go. By sunrise we had reached a decent distance (10+ KM, I was the weakest and holding the other two guys back). Junction after junction, we peddled past without knowing much about the territory. Our focus was on the immediate few meters ahead of us.

The terrain was indeed challenging. There were puddles of water, pot-holes etc, but we navigated our way thorugh all of that. Our focus was on what was lying ahead of us. That's it. Then there were plenty of 'hilly' areas. The general view is that, when you climb a mountainous stretch you have a nice down hill. It wasn't the case in this ride. When you give all what you've got to ascend, you come to a flatter stretch and then you have another ascend to conquer!!

Despite all of that, we did make it thorugh to Maggona!

The important lesson over here is the fact that I did not know the complete route till the end. All that I was focusing on was the immediate few meters ahead of me. In the end, I still reached the destination!

I beleive it was Jack Cranfiled who said in life you don't need to have clarity of the entire path that it takes to reach your destination. As long as you know you are in that direction all what you need to know is to how to navigate the immediate steps just ahead of you.

If you do that, like me, you'll rech your final destination may be even after 5 hours! Trust me, when you reach there, the feeling is worth every drop of sweat!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Racing your way through life

 Recently I downloaded a simple car racing game on to my i Pad for my kids to play. The objective of the game is to drive as much distance as possible without meeting with an accident. It's a straight four lane drive with either side having concrete fencing. When you start the game it automatically cruises at a speed determined by the game itself. Vehicles will cut across to your ane from time to time and your task is to navigate the traffic and ensure you don't knock any of the vehicles or the side fencing. As you progress in the game the levels of difficulty will increase as more and more vehicles get on the road along with their errant driving.

Difficulty becomes really tough after 5000m with the environment becoming pitch dark to experience night time driving. When this happens all you can see is few steps ahead, to the extent of the coverage provided by your lights that have to be switched on.

At the initial instances when I played the game I hardly managed to reach 300m. But then I realised something so simple but yet very profound. It became clear  to me that I was looking all over the screen when I was playing. There were interesting things to look at such the distance travelled, complete landscape etc. However this was the reason for my down fall. Upon realizing this, I started focusing 100% on the vehicle and what was just in front of me. Amazingly I ended up reaching 3800m. Even then the down fall was due to my eagerness to take my eyes off the car to see my progress!

With the night fall the need for immediate focus becomes much more important. With the environment being pitch dark your focus has to be razor sharp. In my several attempts afterwards I managed to reach a maximum distance of 14,830m.

While it is a fun filled exercise there is an important lesson for all of us,

You have to keep your eye on the ball (in this case "car") all the time. You cannot take your eyes off. The moment you do, you stop short of your full potential!

May be its time you play the same game! More importantly to play it the way it should be played

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Swimming without goggles

Recently I took my family for an evening swim and had to lend my wife the pair of goggles that I normally wear. While I am  not a proper swimmer trained under a watchful eye, I on my own could manage about 20 laps of both free style and breast stroke in a 30m length pool. (probably slow compared to anyone else)

This day the swim was totally different. I could barely make it to the other end in a straight line. The difference was I simply could not swim with my eyes open. I had to close my eyes. The moment I open my eyes they were smarting way too much! I somehow wanted to give it a persistent try. So I tried six laps. On all occasions I was swimming all over  and on two occasions I bumped in to another swimmer. (Dont't think he was amused at all!). Doesn't matter how focused I was to make it right, it was a futile effort.

It taught me an important lesson.

At times in life you need necessary focus and guidance to achieve things or reach a destination. Sometimes we feel that we are on the right direction. But we end up reaching somewhere totally different. Best part is throughout we think we were on track.

There are millions of swimmers who could swim without any goggles or any other supporting equipment. Unfortunately a 'self made' swimmer like me, who took up swimming in my mid twenties, need goggles to swim in a straight line. Goggles allow me to focus and see the path beneath me. It allows me to see the bottom of the pool so I could could focus on a line between three floor tiles and follow that path. That allows me to reach the other end in a straight line.

In life, when you feel like you have lost focus or not reaching the destination required or 'having smarting eyes' half way through, take a moment to think what equipment (or help) that you need. Sometimes all it takes is a pair of goggles! Reach out and seek out for one. (Ask help from someone!)

Feel free to share your thoughts or feedback on this posting under the comments column