Thursday, December 25, 2008

Leadership....You either Lead, Follow or get out of the way...

As competition gets stronger day by day, the word leadership assumes many more meanings. One of the strongest and the lasting pillars of entrepreneurship is leadership. It’s not just enough to be a manager but also a leader, to be an entrepreneur. To quote Robert Kiyosaki’s words “On the right side of the cash flow quadrant leadership is not an option”; it is mandatory.

Now let’s analyze what makes a leader? The dictionary defines a leader as the ‘One who is in charge or in command of others’. But we all know that a leader should be multi faceted to get his work done.

May be, in the 18th or 19th century, the most charming and authoritative person was called the leader. The king was usually the one who led because he’d got power in him. But we know, in the 21st century we seldom respect a person who is an authoritarian, leadership is no longer commanding power – it’s the ability to socialize and get things done in the quickest time possible.

A Leader is a person who mostly initiates something. He needn’t be always correct in judging the best possible way to do something but is the one who spreads enthusiasm around, cheers others and makes them all feel important enough, to get the work done in the best way possible. To be a leader in any field, the quality of education or a lofty degree is not the benchmark; it’s the ability to handle people that matters.

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader

By now, most of us would have identified our area of functioning. Instead of trying to become a manager in that field, try to become a leader in it. Show others the way and spread the cheer around. Volunteer to do tasks and make sure the right kind of resource is provided to the right person. The payoff to you is directly proportional to the work you delegate to people. It’s the function of a leader, to give a person the work that he is best suited for.

As we all know, in a locale, any field cannot have more than 10% leaders, which means we all cannot simultaneously be leaders. Some one will have to follow orders, work without lifting their head and meet the deadlines. In any enterprise, there’ll be some who lead and many others who follow. The probability is that the followers will remain followers for their entire life. If you feel you’re not going to get to that elite 10% someday, it’s better to quit and take up some other initiative.

Our idea is to render service to mankind in the best way possible. It is possible for all of us to be leaders because nowadays we have plenty of opportunity. Wealth is multiplying faster than ever in history. Newer firms and organizations are coming up everyday. People are getting rich faster. All we need is to stay focused and improve our skills as a leader.

We all have a leader in us, we are all born geniuses – the only hitch is that mostly we do not realize our vocation. If your interest is in automobile engineering and you have tons of dreams related to mechanics and automobile; are you not wasting your time and energy by taking up a job in the software industry?

It would be easier if we kept in mind the following traits of a leader. He is the one who is Responsible, Enthusiastic, Disciplined, Assertive, Energetic and a Legend.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Power to influence...Not just in the papers….

Power is a term which is familiar to all of us. It is a representation of the strength of a person, be it muscle power or the influence he has on society. The physical strength of a human being is of little value when compared to the whole animal species on earth. However, our mind power is our biggest asset that has helped us accomplish so much and keep achieving more.
Power as such is a vast topic to be discussed. I would like to comment on the innate power in each one of us. How we can utilize our inbuilt power to conquer more, to achieve more. Each one of us has some goals in our lives which motivates us to go forward. Wherever we are, whatever we are doing – we are equipped with some latent power that aids us to perform better.
Suppose we have taken up a job for a living, the most important factor we need to concentrate on is the learning and growth we need to extract out of it. Not only in a job, but in any phase of life, if we compromise on the learning aspect then surely we’ll be outrun by our peers.
If we analyze the structure of any organisation, we’ll find that it’s a system where there is a top management followed by an intermediate management and then the working class. We all know that the power to influence is highest at the top level and reduces to zero at the lowest working class level. Each responsibility brings with it equivalent power.
The most efficient company is the one in which the people with authority use their power effectively. Can you imagine what would happen if someone with power exerted them wrongly or didn’t exert them at all? In an effort at achieving maximum efficiency, we are beating our own records by trying to get 12 hours work done in 8 hours and better. We work with the mindset that “customer is king” so as to become more customer oriented.
We also know that any team for the sake of productivity is governed by a boss and inturn by a manager. This newsletter simply came out because of the frustration that came my friend’s way, when his manager was not willing to accept a change as devised by the team to deliver the product in a better manner.
After listening to him, I sat down to think about the power given to the manager, but his fear in using it. If the manager does not exercise his power for his team’s and his own benefit, the team will naturally perish. No individual in the team will gain the confidence of their boss simply because the manager is unwilling to exercise his authority and power.
This manager does not use his power to help his team grow, to give his team member an appreciation, cannot keep his promises to the team, cannot convince the team why he cannot give them an appraisal – the end result, the team migrates away from the companies goals. I wonder if all these people who become managers are truly qualified enough to sit there or is it because the company gave them the coveted seat simply because of the years of service they have rendered.
We all have some influence to do things and to get things done. We need to be very sharp but modest in using them for our benefit, be it for a career growth, closing a sale, settling an argument or helping our subordinates.
If the topmost people don’t use their powers for the growth of a company, there is very little the intermediate and lower management can do. If you are a bad manager its time to change – you need to learn to exert the power vested in you. If you work under a bad manager – you need to change your job, else your growth will be curbed.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Punctuality...Your tool to save time…

We all know that for any business, time is equal to money. We all have the same 24 hours everyday, and we all have agreed that the way we spent our time really matters to what we are achieving. The more time we save, the more productive we become. Most cost cutting methods are time centric activities.

Lets all understand that punctuality has an important part to play in saving precious time. We need to be meticulous in our activities. We all have had numerous instances of wasting time, waiting for the CEO, MD, Director or other dignitaries to come and convene some meeting. On all these instances, we've complained about people not being punctual. Just think, had you been the owner of the company, would you have left your employees to unnecessarily waste half hour simply waiting for you to start the meeting?

One of the vital credential of all major personalities is their ability to adhere to their time schedule. Not only are they saving their time but many other's as well. By definition, punctuality saves time, but more importantly, it narrows down uncertainty also. Can you not recollect instances of being tensed and nervous when a train was unduly delayed? Will we not get restless when a meeting runs into an extra hour?

Most of our daily calculations are based on time, its simply because we need to fit in our jobs, relationships, fun and frolic all in one day. We need to adjust the time so efficiently that anything does not become a compromise. The busier we get the better we need to manage time.

There is a particular reason that I had to write a newsletter about punctuality. Recently we had a felicitation ceremony that was to commence by 4.00 and conclude by 5.00. Me, along with my friends attended the same in the mindset that at a max the function would get over by 5.15 so that we could return to work. The importance of being punctual became clear to me, when the function actually started at 4.45 and went on till 6.15.

Not only did things go out of balance, but it had a serious after effect for me. I got heavy rounds of firing from my manager as there was another meeting scheduled at 6.00 and I was unable to attend it. The minutes of nervousness I went through are more than explanatory.

Punctuality applies to all occasions – be it business, academics, building relationships, attending seminars or work out at a gym. Discipline more or less accompanies those who are punctual. Suppose we need to check in our offices at 8.00 AM sharp. The very thought of getting in office on time, will make us start following a disciplined system – say waking up at 6.00 and getting ready for office.

May be in our country the value of being punctual is not that significant. Usually we are not thrown out of jobs or college if we are late by 5 or 10 minutes. We all have started loving the uncertainties of delayed lectures, trains, flights etc. Lets tidy up. In countries like Germany you will be fired if you are 3 minutes late. Lets be more professional and build a better race.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Association...The key to achieving your goals…

The person that you were yesterday, that you are today and will be tomorrow depends on your circle of friends more than any other factor in the world. You will never remain poor when you are in a circle of rich people. Conversely, it’s also true that, you cannot have millionaire thoughts when you are mixed with mediocre people.

This is true not just for humans, but also for all living beings in this universe. The newborn of an eagle will not be able to fly high if it’s mixed with chickens. So is true for a cub when mixed with kittens; it will not grow up to be as ferocious as it ought to be.

Years of study and research has only corroborated this fact. Let’s analyze the principle behind it. Who are the people, who influence us the most? Upon whose advice do we decide to attempt or not attempt something? Ultimately, who are the people whom we trust the most? Undoubtedly, it is our friends and this is the simple principle behind the theory of association.

The society we live in also decides the limit of our dreams and aspirations. As we discussed earlier, if the society puts us in an assisting state of mind, we naturally tend to exceed our limitations and perform better. What if everyone around us de-motivated us and put us in a hampering state of mind? Will it not arrest our growth?

You start to achieve only when people around you start achieving as well. The money you take home monthly is actually the average of the salaries of your 10 good friends. The whole idea of being a millionaire, when you associate with people who are amongst the rags, simply won’t work out because they are not going to visualize your plans and dreams. Just like the chickens cannot be taught the meaning of flying, people who wish to be mediocre cannot be taught the importance of being rich.

You can quickly change your destiny by changing your association. This is very true. Imagine you are having breakfast with Narayana Moorty, lunch with Ratan Tata, tea with Mukesh Ambani and dinner with Adi Godrej? Will you not equip yourselves with some new tools and fresh ideas to become a top personality like them? It will occur to you naturally. If we study the lives of these people, it can be found that they had spent majority of their lifetime with people having great mindsets. We know “People with rich ideas are always rich”.

This does not apply to being rich alone. Your interests can be shaped by the people around you. Whether you become a musician or a social worker or a beggar or even a terrorist depends on your association. The people you like have an invisible power to move you, inspire you and make you do things. It’s always better to be in a crowd of people whom you respect. It is more important than your abilities and capabilities because only then will you learn to use them. If you are in a poorer crowd, you become complacent and stop learning.

There is an interesting point to be understood between association and your goals. Our association should be always directly proportional to the goals and desires we have in life. If our association and goals don’t match, it’s almost sure we won’t reach our goals. Instead we end up spoiling the association as well. For eg: “If our goal is to cut down on our body weight and become slim, then we should not get mixed with people who rely on junk food and people with careless food habits”. Most probably we will hurt them unintentionally because they come in the way of our goals.
It’s always better to be with people who are a step ahead of you, irrespective of the field you are in, just like the way we learn English by mixing with people who are far more proficient than us. The moment you do that your growth starts and you’ll be on you way to achieving your goals. Never make the mistake of associating with negative people or the ones with lesser capabilities than you. Make sure your association always assists and motivates you to scale new heights.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

“KISS”...Keep it Simple and Stupid...

Most often we see business deals or proposals simply flying out of our hands, just because we cared too much to explain all the complexities in the plan. Many of us have personal experience of the same happening and others must have seen it happening around them or read about it in the newspapers.
We all have some services to sell. And we all have accepted that every one of us is a born salesman. The only difference is that some people accomplish far more sales than others; they become millionaires. It has also been agreed that the total money being circulated in any market is more or less the same; when some people become rich naturally the others end up becoming poor.

There has always been a constant effort from the governments' part to protect the interests of the poor. Certain private organisations have also sought to alleviate poverty. Everyone truly wants poverty out of our as well as our loved ones' lives. But nothing anyone has done, has ever made it possible to eradicate poverty from our society. No matter how much money we take from the rich and give to the poor, as long as the rich have some wealth creating mechanism in their hands, the spent money simply returns to them.

If we sincerely want to help the poor, show them a wealth creating system. Only then, equality will be achieved. Now is the best time to think and act so. We all know, there is a global slowdown as well as an economic recession. But how many of us have really felt the pinch of it? Not many.
If the economy is perishing then it's for sure that the rich have lost money. Rich people and their services contribute to the economy, If the economy is hit then we can almost state that the rich are getting poorer. So if the poor have to close the gap, then this is the time to get into the system and narrow down the differences...

Just because the economy is crashing or people have reduced their purchases doesn't mean that we need to stop selling. If we stop selling, our family stops getting its daily bread. The best strategy to adopt is "selling more during tough times makes you rich faster."
The best tip that I received in the last 2 months from an economist is to "KISS - Keep It Simple and Stupid”. Keep the vouchers, pamphlets, description and presentation of the product you sell, simple and stupid. In these tough times, it gives off a better return than a complicated and sophisticated approach
I got this idea of "simple and stupid" when I chanced upon a college’s placement website. Let me tell you, the website was the most basic version. It was sold to the college by a team for the cost of a premium package version. When I asked the co-founder of the college, how come they bought this basic version at a higher price when a lot many features were missing, the response I got was "The web company never mentioned any features or addon packages in their brochures. All it said was they had websites to sell. Because we wanted one badly, we took it".
Had it been me selling the website, I would have taken the pain to educate the customer about the pros and cons of the different versions and simply ended up losing them. The golden rule is “If the customer is not willing to learn about the product, you do not elaborate on any advanced feature. It’s a safe bet that the customer will buy anyhow".
Now lets consider ourselves as a customer, do we buy things seeing the feature or the benefit? We shop for the benefit; the feature will create confusion in us. I went to an electronic store to buy a home theatre kit. I would have bought anything on a compromise of the price and quality. Fortunately the salesman was an engineer, he quickly added on additional features like "Dolby pro logic II', 'Quarter to quarter surround'. This made me revoke my decision to buy right then, I said I shall make a study and return.
Now that most companies are cutting down costs, this definitely improves the efficiency of the firm. But it also ensures the end product has only a marginal profit. Thus we have stricter competition and it’s almost certain that we will be thrown out of business if we don't make sales. One way to face the cost-cutting paradigm is to ensure that the end price of the product is a summation of the components. Here again it's the “simple and stupid” phenomena that’s working.

I got this idea when I visited an upholstery shop to get the cars seats done. They said “the total cost for the leather seat cover would amount up to 20,000. We can help you decide by providing a split up.”

1. Cost of material 15,000
2. Labour 2000
3. Adhesives, foam and fitting 3000

I made a deal with them saying I would get them the material, they can do the stitching and fitting. They agreed to it without any problems. Now the catch was that when I enquired about the price of leather, I realised it would cost me 16500 for the material alone. Since they had tie up with the agencies, they would get it at a lower price. And so I went back to them and accepted their price. For them they got their sales closed by showing the customer a split up of their service.
To make the most out of any tough situation, it is simple strategies like these that we need to concentrate on and get working…

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Super Conscious Mind...And it’s ability to switch states...

We human beings have a body, mind and soul. To control the soul is humanly impossible, but we have heard extraordinary stories of people performing superhuman activities by controlling their souls. Miracles can be performed by us, ordinary folks, too, not by gaining control of our soul, but through controlling our minds.

By controlling the mind, we can naturally control our body. Gaining control of the mind is similar to driving an automobile; we are attempting to control a machine 1000 times more powerful than ourselves.

Our mind has various states like love, emotion, anger, frustration, jealousy, greed, satisfaction etc. Broadly it can be classified into the assisting states and the hampering states. All emotions like love, enthusiasm, satisfaction, helping mentality, sharing, caring and affection comes in the assisting state while negative qualities like anger, frustration, greed and jealousy make up the hampering state. [Courtesy: Unlimited Power –Anthony Robbins]

According to the studies conducted by various researchers, the best human performance comes when our mind is in the assisting state. This is when we are at our best. We will do our work meticulously with a smile on our face because we’ll be loving it. Our relationship with others also tends to be cordial. But when we are in the hampering state – we lose control; we end up hating everything and everyone around us. Not only does the hampering state bring down our efficiency, we also pull down people associated with us.

We’ve learnt in physics that a molecule always tries to attain the lowest energy level possible. In the case of our mind, the hampering state of mind is the lowest energy level because it de-motivates a person to do work making him lethargic and thus in the least energy level possible, whereas the assisting state of mind is the highest energy level possible. Energy has to be spent not only to attain the state, but also to maintain it.

The greatest ability of our mind is that it can switch states i.e. our mind can transform from a state of frustration to love by putting in some creative energy. It can go from anger to affection with a slight addition of energy and also from enthusiasm to laziness by giving out energy. Here again our mind is in sync with the principles of physics. Just like an electron can switch from a lower energy state to a higher energy state by absorbing energy, our mind can also switch states.

We all know this; we have all gone through situations when we were totally frustrated with work or business and then took a quick holiday, enjoyed and later came back to work, rejuvenated.

In fact, the origin of these newsletters can be traced back to this very principle of switching states of mind. I needed to engage myself in activities that would bring my mind to an assisting state, to get rid of the frustration I was amassing due to my nature of work. I had to come out of that negative state because it was ruining my self-esteem and enthusiasm. I decided to gather immense energy by reading books and listening to audio programs that I would then redirect for a better cause. Now every time I am bored with work, I relax and write these articles and get back to work feeling a lot better!

Just like that, each one of us needs to find out ways to switch states. Since it’s only through an energy addition that you can bring yourself into an assisting state, you need to find out the tools for that. It can be some good music, a tête-à-tête with a friend, a touch from your loved one, a good book but, don’t misinterpret me; it cannot be a pack of cigarettes.

We all should put in an effort to bring ourselves into the assisting state, so that we’ll be helping ourselves as well as others. If we can achieve this, we become natural enthusiasts or putting it very simply, happy!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Boldness of Character...Lets not live in fear...

If we look around and analyze, we find that most people succumb to fear. It’s quite natural that we do something when fear dominates us. We have been brought up that way, we cannot complain. Fear is something that freezes our mind. Neither will we be able to think sensibly nor react because of the dominance of fear in our lives.

If we look back to our childhood days, we’ll find that we were all made to do things out of fear. We must have heard more than a thousand threatening “NO”s from our parents even before we were 3 years old. But not every one of us has been brought up that way. Special thanks should be given to those parents who encouraged their kids to do things because they were motivated by it, rather than by inculcating fear in their young minds.

Sometime back I went to my aunt’s house. She had a boy who was almost 3 years old. I still remember what she said when he wanted to climb up the stairs to the first floor of the house; she said “Don’t do it! Or the ghost in the first floor will eat you”. The moment he heard it, he dropped the idea of climbing the stairs, because he was scared of “ghosts”. Just imagine how badly it must have affected his morale. Will it not harm the consciousness of a young boy?

The process of pouring in fear does not end there. All those who are elder than us, conspire to make us do or not do something, by frightening us. “Do this or else I am gonna beat you”. I still remember the teachers who told me “Do the homework or else you are going to stand out the entire day”, and I can recollect the days when I have actually stood outside too, because I was not motivated to do the homework. I’m sure many of you have had similar experiences, haven’t you?

All those homework or assignments never helped me clear any examinations. If someone asked me why I did them, the reply would’ve been “the teacher wants this on time”. The truth is that, if something has to beneficial, we need to put our heart and soul into it. We should be doing it, because we really want to do it.

Death is not the biggest fear we have; our biggest fear is taking the risk to be alive -- the risk to be alive and express what we really are.

We have atleast heard a billion refusals, rejections, NO’s in our entire life till date. This has somehow become a habit. We naturally tend to stop attempting things or doing things in a different way because of the fear of failure. We can’t be blamed, because it’s the society that gave us this habit.

We cannot stop attempting things or try to change the natural course of things. What we can do is to strengthen our minds so that the fear of failure will not overwhelm us. We need to strengthen our character so as to nullify the negative emotions that drive us away from our destination.

It’s a big crime to stop attempting things thinking of the failure. Lets all be motivated by success than failure. Even though we were brought up thinking of failures in our lives, let’s not be stuck with the past habits and ruin our lives.

Your life ahead is going to depend on how you react. Be bold, because you can’t live in fear…

Thursday, November 06, 2008

In pursuit of happiness...Always ask the golden question...

It has been very rightly said that life is a journey, not a destination - a journey in search of happiness. The greatest yearning of a human being is to attain the state of blissful joy. Man is perpetually trying hard to keep himself and people around him happy. Our lives would have no value if we had everything else but happiness. The topic of this week’s newsletter is not happiness, rather the question you need to ask yourselves to be happy; i.e. am I happy with what I’m doing right now? If not, will I be happy when I do what I love to do?

Each individual has a distinct character and taste. Some love to rack their brains, in pursuit of a discovery; some love to freak out at the pubs and discos; yet others may love to sit in front of their computer all day or toil in the field to become an Olympic champion. Even though happiness is spelt the same, the meaning is different for each of them.
If you continue doing what you where doing until now, will it make you happy?

We humans are behind any possible occupation; what motivates one may not necessarily motivate the other. I am pretty sure, if someone were to ask you “what is the number one thing you want out of life?” the answer would be happiness. Happiness as such is not defined. Over the years, we’ve found out many ways to be happy. Man has explored at least a thousand roads to happiness. If you’re still unhappy, the only possible reason could be that you’ve not found the road to excellence. If you’ve set foot on the road to excellence, will that not make you happy?
One who loves the research lab will find it hard to befriend the one who loves the discos; the person glued to the computer cannot adjust with an athlete. Same is the case with you. That is the reason as to why you have friends of the same wavelength, as yourselves. You need to be surrounded by people who enjoy the same things as you do, so that you can be happy. Always ask to yourselves “the thing I am doing right now, will it take me closer to my goals or further away from it”. The only way for you to be happy is to be on the path that will take you to your goal.

You’ll be tagged the highest earning individual only if you are practicing your number one earning skill. If you are doing anything else, it will be just mediocre. A carpenter is meant to carve furniture, a doctor to cure diseases, an engineer is an expert at constructing, and a plumber excels in pipe fittings. Even a doctor could fix pipes, but that wouldn’t make him happy as it’s not what he’s been carved out for.
If you haven’t discovered what your skill is, practicing which will make you happy, then ask yourselves “Do I love what I’m practicing; will it take me closer to my goals or further away from it?”

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Networking.... The guide to unlimited power...

The word network is a most common but least understood word in our day to day vocabulary. Network is something which you built initially and later it builds you.

Let me begin with the definition of a network. Network is a cluster of entities bound together by a common purpose. We have the electric transmission network, which brings power to our households; we have the satellite communication network which brings home entertainment and telephone utilities. If we look around, we can actually see a network behind all successful systems.

All successful personalities for that sake are highly net-worth individual. It’s the secret behind building a fortune out of your life, because it awards the individuals involved, with power beyond our imagination. It is this latent power of networking that helps the rich become even richer.

Let me explain; suppose you start a cable TV operation in your town; you start of by providing connections to around 20 families in the first phase. Surely you’ll be able to sell the service at a cost which gives you a marginal profit. Now suppose you wish to expand the service to 100 families, the moment you go for it – you will be facing the strictest competition from big players like TATA SKY, DISH TV etc. You’ll not be able to match the quality/price provided by these giants and they may even reduce their rates of subscription, without suffering a loss, to throw you out of business.

Networking is a highly misunderstood word in our society. The reason may be because of the numerous ‘get rich quick’ schemes like the money chains and illegal pyramids. Factually speaking the power of networking is indescribable.

There is another fascinating twist about networks. Not only information but money also flows through it. Thomas Edison’s bulb would have been of no market value, if the electricity network was not well established. Edison actually exploited the power of this network to make his business grow. What Edison actually did was to take advantage of an already established network to sell his product. Edison was smart enough to utilize someone else’s network to build a fortune.

Networking is crucial for the growth and sustenance of any business. The same is true when it comes to building and sustaining personal relationships. The better your network of friends, the better will be your lifestyle. We all wish for more and better friends in our lives. We are all interpersonally connected and most often we may find that we’re better off as a network than as an individual.

Like the previous newsletters, this one also has an inspiration behind it. It was a small incident that happened while I was traveling home by train the previous week on someone else’s ticket bought from an agent. During verification by the TTR I was asked for my ID card. I had no other choice but to admit that I was traveling on a wrong ticket. I was fined Rs 550 and I found myself short of money to remit the fined amount. I started becoming tensed.

That was when the power of networking came to my help. I called up my friends who in turn called their friends and enquired who else was traveling by the same train. Fortunately after 15 minutes I got around 8 responses from different people traveling by the same train. I was about to get their help when a total stranger came forward to help me. But the important point was the information had already been passed on to many people within that short span of time. That incident really made me think about the power of networking.

I did not have the strongest network of friends, but my friend had, I could use his network to find a solution to my problem. Now, what do you feel, isn’t it possible for us to solve any problem through networking, just like Edison used someone else’s network to render a great service to our society?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Mistakes...The more you make, the more the chances to win...

“Mistakes”- the very word brings fear to our minds. Everyone fears making a mistake but we’re even more scared of having to admit one. Have you ever thought why making mistakes is one of the most fearful aspects of our lives? Ever since childhood, our parents and elders have taught us the importance of being earnest. But even then all of us have lied on some occasion or the other. Why? The answer to the earlier question lies here as well. We’ve all lied because we were not ready to face the consequences. If some one told us, “Its ok child – tell me the truth, I am not going to punish you for it”, we would most often have ended up telling the truth.

Any mistakes we make in our life, whether personal or official is also to be dealt with in the same way. If our boss, client or business partner has an attitude which tells us, “Its ok that you made a mistake – after all mistakes are stepping stones to success”; then we wouldn’t have any issue in admitting that we made one.

It’s only human to err; but the important thing is to learn from the mistake and make sure it never happens again. Twenty years back, if you committed a mistake at work, you would’ve been fired without any second thoughts. But situations have changed today. It’s no longer an unpardonable sin to make a mistake provided you learn from it. The biggest mistake would be to repeat the same error twice. To an extent, the management of most companies go soft on trivial mistakes, so that it’ll be taken as a learning experience and employees will refine their skills accordingly.

I was in a meeting last week with a client, which turned out to be a real character testing one. I made mistakes after mistakes. At the end of the presentation, had it not been for the client, who very frankly pointed out my mistakes to me personally, I would have gone home unaware of the blunders I’d made. I sincerely appreciated the mindset of the client to help me realize and improve on my mistakes. He advised me to take this as a learning experience and to narrow down my margin of errors in the future. Those words of his really hit me. I spent a sleepless night with his words echoing in my thoughts. For a moment I lost all my confidence and self-esteem.

Now I guess you all realize the inspiration behind this week’s newsletter. It’s simply human nature to make errors. But it takes character to realize the blunder you’ve made, own it up and make sure you never repeat it. Making a mistake once is not a crime but repeating it definitely is one.

When you make mistakes, it shows that you are trying out new things and that definitely is a good sign. The more things you attempt to do, the better you will understand your area of functioning. Universal law of success says, “Attempt all things, keep what works and discard the ones that don’t”. So the good news is – not to worry if you’ve made a mistake, but take it as an opportunity to grow.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Momentum Revisited...More of speed than skill…

I could understand from the feedback received on the previous newsletter that some of you had difficulty in assimilating the new definition of momentum that I had put forth. So I have decided to revisit the topic and explain a bit further.
In the previous newsletter I’d defined business momentum as the product of skill and speed. Most often we see in business, that leaders tend to increase their speed infinitely so as to compensate for their lack of skill, to keep pace with the market. This phenomenon can be clearly seen in the billion dollar retail industry. Almost all major players focus primarily on improving their customer network prior to improving the quality of products. This is because of the immense latent power in networking.
It would be foolish for a retail distributor to limit his operations to a single centre and concentrate on improving his products rather than on improving the quality of operation. This phenomenon can be seen all around us, but we may not have given it serious thought. Let me explain with an example. We know of many small hotels in our town providing excellent idly’s and dosa’s. Their products may be awesome, but they will never be able to compete with the Saravana Hotels or Nirulas.
Momentum in business is something which helps the businessman to climb from one peak to another. When there is a momentum; simply ride on it. If it’s absent, then create it. Most people think they cannot create momentum because their skill sets are low. But the truth is they are unable to create momentum not because their skill sets are low but because their speed of skill utilization is zero.
This is the reason as to why people fail miserably in business. They lose their confidence and self esteem, thinking they lack the ability to make it to the top. Now if you see someone on the street who has gone broke in business; you know why they got there.
The most interesting part of this equation for momentum is that speed is more important than skill. If skill were the most important aspect, then this world would have been ruled by rank holders, Doctorate and Post-doc holders and the like of such people. Instead, the sad part for these people, is that most of the big giants, enterprises and economy building companies are run by college dropouts and C grade students. [Courtesy: Rich Dad Poor Dad – Robert T Kiyosaki].
Everything in nature has a natural course. If you have started on a job, you will continue to do so until and unless acted upon by an external force – very true isn’t it? That is the natural momentum. And guess what, if you follow nature’s course of doing things; you will perform well when times are good and there really won’t be a difference between you and the person who is swimming against the tide. But the difference becomes notable when times are bad; then you’ll be in real trouble.
Wherever you are, whatever you do; develop the habit of increasing your speed of accomplishing. You may not get immediate results, but it will set the wheel rolling. Once that is done, you will be on track to accomplishing all that you’ve noted down in your personal diary as your GOALS!!!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Momentum...The product of skill and speed.....

Physics defines momentum as the product of mass and velocity. We all know how powerful an attribute momentum really is, in science and otherwise, not just because of the meaning it conveys but also because of the dangerous impact it can have. It’s just not enough to have mass alone or velocity alone, they need to complement each other, so that their product is maximum.
We all know the power of a moving neutron; it is capable of disintegrating an atom 1000 times heavier than it. Let’s analyze the principle behind this. Even though the mass of the neutron is very less, the momentum it has gathered makes it possible to create one of the most disastrous bombs ever discovered by humans. Apply this principle to your business and you’ll be able to solve any problem.
If we just apply a little thought now, won’t we get the answer as to how to build the largest business empire? The answer lies within you. The important thing is not how talented you are, but how many times in a day you use that talent. I define business momentum as the product of skill and speed. Just like how mass can be acquired, we can acquire skill too. Skill is actually a refinement of talent. Now what matters is how often and how well you use your skill.
I can illustrate this with an example; suppose making hamburgers is a skill – all that counts is how many of them you can make in a day, month or year. The combination of a skill (making hamburgers) multiplied by the speed (speed of sales) creates a momentum which keeps the business ticking. This is what Mc Donald’s have been doing for almost half a century now.
Now imagine that you have the ability to make the hamburger even tastier, still you are not going to succeed with a slow speed of delivery. Like mass, skill has an upper limit – you will not be able to improve the quality of hamburger beyond a certain limit. But let me tell you; there is no such limit to speed. You can increase the sales to any number per minute.
For those of you who are still confused about the whole new definition of momentum, let me explain this topic more specifically. We all have got some kind of talents and skill sets. Many of us have already discovered it and some of us are really digging it out. For those of you who are not attempting to rediscover themselves, VISWARAM PUBLICATIONS cannot be of any help. It’s like 80-20 principle; the people who read the blog are as low as 15-18%, because they want to have that spark to keep them going.
If you know you are particularly good at something, then let me tell you, that’s going to be your number one earning skill. You are going to amass huge wealth, thanks to that skill. But somewhere in your life you need to take a decision to go for it. Once you do that, all you need is to sell your skill; if you yearn to be extraordinary you need to learn the skill of selling yourselves.
All that takes for you to pick up momentum is a decision. Once you do that, everything around you keeps changing to aid you. I suppose you are at your best today; five years from now you will be a weaker person, you will be financially brittle, you will have greater liabilities and lesser flexibility. So I guess, today is the day to take the decision. If you step into a wealth creating system, it may take you atleast 5 years to turn successful. But if you create the momentum and learn to live up to it, then I’m sure we are all going to hear your success story very soon.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Commitment....You need to give all that you’ve got...

To be a winner we need to give all that we’ve got; in simple words, be committed to our goal. It is quite natural that we eat up most of our resources before tasting success. Success is not easy, but its simple.

Opportunity comes unnoticed; it rings up the calling bell when it arrives. We usually open the door and see if the opportunity is for us, we either grab it or let it fly by. But it’s a mistake to believe success comes unseen; it doesn’t have to ring up the calling bell for us to notice. In fact, we can see it coming long before it even reaches our doorsteps because it is usually the product of our hard work, wisdom and the decisions we make.

Another definition for commitment would be “to consistently persist”. To have commitment, we need to have a goal. Let me not use the word “dream” and “chasing the dream”, let me instead use the word “goal”. We all know we can achieve anything provided we are given ample time. But the question is can you do it in record time? When we set a time limit for our dreams it is called a goal. It may be our dream to become the CEO of a company. Perhaps some of us may make it towards the end of our careers. But can you achieve that dream at an early age of say 35 years? When you have taken a decision that you will and start working towards it, it is no longer a dream; it becomes a goal.

The attribute that let us put in the necessary efforts for achieving our goal is commitment. Let us not put in effort because of fear or pressure from our boss, friends or relatives. Let us put in the effort because we are motivated by the outcome.

It’s human nature to keep changing goals from time to time. We don’t dream today, what we dreamed 5 years ago. Most often we cut down on our dreams, mostly because we start to see the impossibility of achieving it. But let me tell you, to live your dream you need to commit yourselves to put in the efforts. The real sense of commitment comes when you fix up in your mind that you are going to achieve your goal come what may!

To live life in style, we need to commit ourselves to something. Don’t be content with a mediocre life, you are worth more! Be it a job or a business dig yourself deep into it and make the impossible happen. Develop the habit of working harder and going that extra mile to see yourself through the goal. Rise to the top 20% in your field, the payoff will be awesome. Then, when someone asks you, “Who are you? What do you stand for?”, you’ll have an answer.

Suppose you have started a new endeavor. If you have seen the big picture of where it takes you 5 years from now, if your wisdom tells you its worth putting your efforts for, then don’t wait; make things happen. Commit yourself to put in the effort and stay focused. If you have to do it anyway, then do it now. Try to achieve goals you planned to achieve 5 years from now in 3 years.

There is no alternative for commitment; you need to stay committed and put in the effort to achieve your goals. There is obviously a difference between passion and commitment. You are passionate about something when you like it and continue doing it; Commitment is when you accept no excuses and do something regardless of temptations leading you away from your goal. We would all love to hear your success story, so stay focused and go for it !!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Hope...The medicine that keeps us alive...

Hope is the only attribute that will be with us, even when everything else is lost. Recently many banks in the US went bankrupt. They lost their wealth, their business, their share holders, their vision, their time, their belief, their confidence but they shall never loose their hope.
It is a fact that cannot be questioned. Hope is the only medicine by which doctors have used to cure many terminally ill patients. We’ve heard of many a case where cancer patients have survived just because their hope was alive. Same is the cases with business. We have seen many visionary companies struggle from time to time, but they bounce back each time just because they believe that their tomorrow is going to be better than today. Walt Disney, IBM, and Nordstrom are perfect instances to get inspired by. There were some really trying times that these giants faced, but they came back strongly just because they had some hope deep down in their heart, of a brighter tomorrow, that kept them going. So no matter how much disturbed you are right now, you too can look forward to a brighter future if you have hope.
If you read the last 10 newsletters I have sent you, they where done with a special sequence and precision. Those 10 topics are the essential traits that help you start and run a business organization. In their order, they are:-
6. Plan
VISWARAM GROUP has been in self-sustaining businesses for almost two years now. It recently took over a technological firm which deals with web designing and software product development. Now whether that firm makes it in business or crashes depends on our degree of hope in it. We can inculcate the 10 basic traits into our functioning and expect positively for every thing to just work out, and it should.
Let me just keep it downright simple. When a company commences operation or when it decides on its operational policies it needn’t be a visionary company. It’s a myth that all major corporate giants had clear cut ideas of what they wanted to become. Neither did they have visionary leaders nor did they do anything with clear cut planning. I am speaking of giants like IBM, 3M, Citicorp, P&G, AMEX, Ford, Wal-Mart, Sony, HP, Walt Disney. This is where we should have hope, where we should have a positive expectancy. (Courtesy: Built To Last – Jim Collins.)
Another term used for hope by corporate management is positive expectancy i.e. to expect something to happen positively. Usually people with positive expectancy are natural optimists. And the quality of optimism redefines your degree of success.
We all hope for good things to happen to us. Usually hope and prayer go hand in hand. What we strongly wish to happen, we resort to pray and make it happen. But one thing is certain, merely hoping for good things to happen wont help. You have to put in the required action to make it happen. But the most important quality of hope and prayer is that it stays with you as long as you are alive. You may loose everything say wealth, health, family, status but the only flame that remains burning will be that of hope. The interesting thing is that with the lamp called hope you can light up all the other lamps.
We all have had our share of bad times, instances where we have been in a fix in our jobs or business. Some how we get frustrated up to the point of quitting. There may have been instances even of our goals remaining unachieved. The only way out is to keep struggling, as most things don’t happen when we want it to happen. In such instances, I always look forward to a better tomorrow with the magical thought “The Best Is Yet To Come”.