This is a topic that sparks lot of different opinions. There's always a tug-of-war between tangible and intangible contributions. Much of the support functions come under serious scrutiny when the parameter for judging their overall contribution is the much hyped tangible financial contributions alone. It totally negates the worth of those functions when the yardstick is money creation. Well it depends on the way we look at wealth. First & foremost, wealth is a much broader term and means a plentiful supply/abundance of a particular desirable thing. Money alone is not wealth. If money would have been the criteria then I am sure all the rich people on earth would have been so fulfilled, happy and satisfied in life. More the focus on money, more is the inner vacuum, more the scarcity of the desirable things in life. At the end, why are you even creating money?! Because you want to create abundance of desirable things in life which eventually leads you to fulfillment, joy & happiness. Isn't it? Let's dissect this and see as to who actually is wealthier?
I am not an advocate against money creation, but more than money I belief in creation of abundance, fulfillment & happiness. I was having a discussion with one of my female friends who left her successful corporate career to pursue her passion & have a fulfilling life, having it all. While in the corporate, she had a great bank balance and was holding a high position. But, it was exactly at that time that she was going through a difficult patch in her relationship nor she could give her time to her kids. She was full of guilt and was just moving ahead with life going nowhere. To the world she was worthy, seen as someone contributing. But, when we stand in front of the mirror and try & see through us, we get the answers which may not necessarily be the same as the people around us think so. Finally something dawned on her and she decided to leave her job. Her health was also one of the contributing factors to that decision. So here she was at this stage of her life sitting with a decent bank balance, with an almost broken relationship with her spouse, with two unhappy kids on the verge of becoming unruly and her ill-health. Slowly with the passage of time, she picked up her passion and converted it into her profession; her relationship with her spouse started improving, they became friends if not anything else; kids became responsible and started mirroring her calm presence; she has more nurturing time to rejuvenate; her illness got cured and she started to have a healthy, balanced and fulfilled life. What about her bank balance?! She obviously doesn't earn that much money because it is her choice, but whatever she earns, it gives her comfort, joy & fulfillment.
Someone tried to judged her recently based on what her financial contributions were to her family, to this she gave an apt reply: "I am wealthier than before. I have those things which money cannot buy, nor take away from me. I now know how to manage resources much better than before. I now know what is important and what isn't. I now know that I am making a difference to my kid's life which money never brought earlier. Now, costly toys have been replaced by family time together that helps creating a deeper bond with the children; diamond sets have been replaced by personal dates with my husband, we are friends; my external sense of worth has been replaced by my love for authentic self; I now have a successful fulfilling career, loving relationships, happy responsible kids, nurturing me-time & I am using my skills to contribute to a bigger cause than self, I donate to an NGO close to my heart. So, you decide who is wealthier? My earlier self or this one? "
Next time you decide to judge/demean anyone based on the financial contributions that they are making, do remind yourself of this real episode and try to see the person beyond money. Likewise, a support function's contribution cannot just be equated with money. The contributions are way beyond. Only if you are willing to see, you will see it.
"The smallest of actions is always better than the noblest of intentions." - Robin Sharma
For a while, I was confused because despite of having intentions around my career, different aspects of life, I wasn't being able to actually manifest all that I truly intended. I was wondering if having intentions is at all a good idea or letting default life flow through would be the best one. Over the period, I have realized that whatever you chose to do, you have to embrace one thing for sure and that is taking ACTIONS. Without action, however small it may be, neither you will achieve your goals, nor life will flow through you. Actions are the prerequisites. Let's say, you want to learn a sport. You have a great intention. You back it up with numerous good thoughts about fitness, about nourishment of self, learning tactics that will help you in your work and life in general. Yet, being consistent at it & pursuing it till its completion gets in our way. You procrastinate, you give excuses, you do but don't see any results and the like. We all have been there. Why then despite of having good intentions, we fail to fulfill them? What works under the surface that acts as a deterrent towards fulfillment of our intentions?
Let me quote a small example for you to understand what exactly happens. I am a tea-lover. I hail from a place that is full of tea-gardens. Tea is like a health drink for me(that's what I thought so). I joined kick-boxing along with my son just a couple of weeks back. I picked this up because I want to be on a higher scale on fitness & also inspire my son to adopt fitness in his life. Alongside, we will have our time together as buddies! My fitness Coach from whom we are learning kick-boxing, checked my diet plan and cut out tea from the list. I was so sad! I tried to convince him to at least allow me to drink tea and cut out on other things. But, he explained me the ill-affects of having tea and how it impacts my fitness level. It's a tough job to convince a tea-lover like me! But, I understood his points and made an intention to drop tea. First day, I had severe head-ache. I was unable to bear with the loss of not having tea. My morning cuppa was like my life-line. Had it been other times, I would have given up. But this time I decided to sit on this anxiety and see what comes up. I went through an emotional processing of thoughts process that I learnt from my Coach and found out the reason as to why I wasn't able to do away with tea. I had attached something to tea. Tea was a distraction for me. A way to run away from discomfort. I figured out what that discomfort was and allowed it to leave me. I no longer now need tea to soothe me. I dropped tea from my diet list. I do have healthy green tea once in a while as antioxidant but not for soothing purpose. My intentions to move towards a healthy lifestyle got fulfilled because I decided to take actions, analysed my habits, went to the root cause of the problem and released that which wasn't serving me. I learnt this the hard way. It took me lots of years before this intention of mine got fulfilled. This time I took actions, I uncovered the deeper reasons and stuck to it.
There are immense examples like this including bigger ones. After analyzing the reasons, I have tried to compile a list of reasons because of which our intentions don't get fulfilled. Also, today while I was listening to Master Coach Steve Chandler, I got many insights around this same topic and hence sharing with you all in the form of pointers so that you too can have a look and see why intentions don't get fulfilled:
1. We don't believe deeply in our intentions.
2. We don't seek for right help to get them fulfilled.
3. We mask our weaknesses and fear getting access to them.
4. We aren't aware of our own strengths, hence we don't have the access to wisdom, creativity, innovation.
5. We get affected by external opinions because we lack the depth to lead ourselves.
6. We have no faith in our abilities & innate potential.
7. We lack in courage to stand by our intentions through thick & thin.
8. We don't really want them. We aren't that serious about our intentions.
9. We put the locus of control on others by blaming them rather than taking responsibilities.
10. There is inner conflict around our intentions & commitments.
11. We don't take the actions. We are fearful of outcomes.
12. We are repellent to hard work.
13. We fear change, the process & the results.
14. We resist change & comfort being in comfort zones.
15. We give up on our actions looking at our past records of failure/assumptions based on our rational-brain data.
16. We become immune to change.
17. We have difficulty letting go off habits not contributing to our growth.
18. We lack in patience.
Leaving you with these thoughts: What's your personal inner commitment? What's the inner conflict that is holding you back from fulfilling it? What is the tiniest of the action you commit to take? Make a commitment to self and no one else. If the world is not judging you/you are not judging yourself, what would you be creating for yourself?
May you fulfill all your intentions & realize all your dreams.
mindset is the determinant
"No matter what your ability is, effort is what ignites that ability and turns it into accomplishment." - Carol Dweck
Mindset is simply a person's way of thinking & his/her opinions about self, people & life in general. According to world renowned Standford University psychologist Carol Dweck, there are basically two types of mindsets: FIXED MINDSET AND GROWTH MINDSET. Our mindset typically determines and shapes the life that we lead & the success that we achieve. We can live in the expression of our highest self only when we drop the fixed mindset & chose to cultivate the growth mindset. All those who attained mastery in their fields, interestingly had growth mindsets.
Let's check out the traits of both the mindsets to understand this better. A fixed mindset usually avoids challenges, likes being in the comfort zone, dislikes failure, feels threatened by others, adheres to past accomplishments & intelligence, is averse to learning new things, new perspectives, ideas. A growth mindset on the other hand is open to learning, embraces failure, imperfections, takes risks, draws inspiration from other's successes, enjoys putting in effort & developing.
It is very important to analyze one's mindset and check if it growth focused or fixed. Whatever it may be, there's always a scope to drop something that doesn't serve us and embrace the one that will not only help us grow but discover our own potential which we might not have even thought of. We can cultivate the growth mindset. We are all victims of the victim. When circumstances fixates our ability to think, create & see beyond, we become victims and thus low performer in every aspect of life. When we know how to deal with the demons, rise above the circumstances, we become fighters & thus high performers. We keep struggling to win, to rise up. The last stage is the stage of a peaceful warrior. A peaceful warrior has a growth mindset & thus is a super performer, the master. In this stage learning becomes the focus without caring for approvals, achievements, validations; without the need to prove anyone but to walk the path towards self-actualization. Our aim should be to walk the path of a peaceful warrior. Now the question is, how do you change from having a fixed mindset to growth mindset. Here are few ways to do that:
1. Make learning you goal & not achievement. Your energy flows in the direction of your focus. We are bound to fail at some point in life. When learning becomes our goal, we see the lessons in the failure & work towards improvement rather than breaking down & giving up.
2. Look at your inability to do something as your opportunity to grow. Efforts make you stronger and doesn't mean that you are not good enough. Life is a process of progress. We move from one level to another and it's a journey. We have the capacity to create with due efforts that what we want to no matter what the circumstances or stages of life are.
3. Challenge your thinking patterns & habits.
4. Acknowledge your weaknesses & look for ways to make a shift. Every gift has a shadow and every shadow can be turned into a gift with effort. You got to dig deep.
5. Change is mandatory. Accept this fact & look for your inner resistance to change. What could be the triggers inside you not allowing you to embrace the change?
6. Learn to accept & give constructive criticisms. There's no point taking anything personally. Constructive criticisms shows you your blind spots & acts as a catalyst for your growth.
7. Learn to unlearn.
8. Be gentle on yourself.
Last but not the least, remember that you are whole, complete, resourceful & a work in progress. You have to just pick up from where you left & keep walking the path. Cultivating a growth mindset will enable you to attain your highest potential. Remember, however successful you are today, this is not your highest expression because it's a journey & not a destination.
Where are we heading to?
It's been a while that I stopped reading newspapers in the morning. You know why?! Is there anything inspirational in the news that I start my day with?! Well, you have the answers. No offense to anyone, but let's get real and talk real. 70% to 80% of the content in news channel, print media are more about news of victims and only 20% are positive & inspirational. This has nothing to do with the publishers but this is a yardstick for us to see where we are heading to. This is a reflection of the direction in which we human beings, humanity is moving. And this is alarming! You would agree, the picture is not so rosy. I have always been a supporter of righteous causes and values. I have faced the burnt of being different, not following unethical ways and standing up for what is right, never being silent about hard things. It does scare me but gives me immense fulfillment. Because that's my being, that's who I am. Yes, I have made a difference this way to larger mass of people. In fact, all of you in your own way have impacted the world around us. Just by your being, you can make a difference. How do I say this?! According to Dr. David Hawkins, when one reaches a high level of consciousness sourced in love & not fear, it can offset the negativity of huge number of people. This means, one single person holds the capacity to offset the negativity around us. Imagine how this world will be when few of us chose to be in this path of consciousness that is sourced in love & not in fear?! But, this path is not easy. It is difficult. However, you have to keep walking this path because it is fulfilling, joyous & worth walking.
Here I am citing a small incident from today's experience of mine while I was driving. It was the rush hour in the morning wherein everybody on the road seemed to be rushing to their destination. As if time is running out and if they do not come first in this race, they will loose out. I see cars zooming, people crossing the roads in hurry and honking sound all around. Because of the fear of the traffic police, at major traffic signal points, the cars stop. But, places where police isn't there and where not much traffic is there, people tend to move past despite of the red signal. I stopped my car when I saw the red light despite of the fact that everybody around me was speeding to their destinations. If you notice me, you'll feel as if I am the only one who had lost the rat race and clinging on to the traffic rules. Earlier I used to get angry to see people around me not following them. But, with self-awareness & deeper understanding about where to put focus on, I just thought of doing my bit not bothering if others are doing it or not. Anyways, I have always been known for not following the herd. So, it didn't matter to me to follow something which I felt wasn't right. But that was not enough. There was this truck driver behind me yelling at me using all the abusive language that he could use to instigate me to move forward because I was obstructing his way. I was not letting him pass the red light. I put my window pane down and told him that it's a signal for red, so wait till it turns green. He wasn't satisfied. He kept yelling and raced his truck forward to scare me so that I move. I was scared. But, I chose to do what I felt was right. I hung onto my decision of obeying traffic rules. I saw all cars plying on the road moving swift pass me. I was there alone with the angry truck driver behind me. I was also wondering if the traffic light was alright?! Also, for a fraction I was tempted to move forward out of fear. But, I chose trust, love & greater consciousness for myself. Sometimes, you have to just do what is right & ignore everything. After a while, the light turned green and I headed off to my destination. I again met another rat race which I was least interested to participate in. As a human being, the survival instinct in me told: "What was the need to be righteous in a world when your main focus should be to survive?" Then my emotional mind cropped up and said: "That's why probably you are not in the rat race & not winning any worldly games!" Much to my satisfaction, my limitless mind with greater consciousness sprung up and said: "Be proud of yourself for choosing this path of uncommonness. Because of people like you, the world is a balance place with it's beauty still intact.That you are making a difference to millions of people through the small actions that you take by being emotionally responsible, conscious & right, this world still has hope, love & joy. This is a gift not only to them but to their next generations as well." That's the moment when I realized my victory of consciously walking the path to higher self-actualization. It's like coming home to that power which created us.
Hats off to all those, who by their tiny actions are making a difference in the world. At least, you can be proud of the fact that all those 20% inspirational news still popping up in media, news channel and around are because of your intangible contributions which necessarily may not be recognized, but you know it when you feel the warmth & joy. You are happier, fulfilled & your life is purposeful.
I welcome the peaceful warrior in me. From a fighter, I now walk on the journey of a peaceful warrior. I urge you all to do the same at your right time.
insightful life tips
Almost a year back, I had shared a post in LinkedIn, with an intention to know from my LinkedIn community about a particular life tip...a one liner, something that they believe has worked well for them to move ahead in life...I urged everyone to share and enlighten each other. I also mentioned my tip as the initiation & it goes like this: The choice to create a beautiful life is always yours & not someone else's. I got an overwhelming response for this and many people shared their life tip which is the mantra of success. I just chanced upon that post the other day when someone just liked it. I then thought of collating all the tips here so that you all can have them handy, can see what others have to say & whenever you put yourself down, you can just remind yourself of these tips to rise smart again. I thank each one of you who engaged with my post and shared wonderful insights. I learnt so much from you all. #Gratitude.
Here goes the life tips along with the name of the person sharing it:
Life is too big for one liners. This has worked out well for me - Varadraj Pratap Singh
Believe in yourself - Sapna Pathak
Never say die - Uttam Purohit
Live & let live - Venkateswara Rao Alla & Rakesh V
Work like superstar - Heena Agrawal
Just keep doing your karma(work) - M Srinivasan
I give as good as I get - Jignesh Jethwa
Believing in what you believe - Durgaprasanth M
Chorh na yaar - Aman Zaidi
All is well - Thousif M S
Believe in yourself & keep moving & motivating - Shivi Sharma
I am what I think - Seun Odegbami
Now or Never - Mrugadh Moreshwar
Incessant efforts and upgradation - Surrainder Kant Bakshi
Become leader not boss - Prashant Kapoor
Do right, fear none - Shivadhan K M
Everything happens for a good reason - Prashant Patel
Take a decision - Anil Nautiyal
Believe and motivate your self - Alok Jena
Dreams unlimited - Abhishek Srivastava
Choose the right battles - Ramya Ramaswamy
Success comes in cans not in cannots - Mayank Jhanji
This is it, just move on - Chandraprabha Nayak
Have faith in plans of Universe, it can see bigger pictures...and keep believing - Aanchal Khemka
Gratitude for even the simplest thing in life. Asking forgiveness even if I'm not wrong - Renu Ojha
Work hard in silence let your success make the noise - Sujoy Acharyya
Learn to live this moment and enjoy it - Raguraman PC
Lamps are different, but the light is same - Kavita Wadhwa
He has certainly succeeded who purifies himself 87:15 Holy Quran - Mohamed Barakathulla Fasiloul Hac
Self motivation is the key of success and I believe in that - Danish Sayed
What so ever u do in life try to give 110% no matter what it is - Patan Salman Khan
Don't complicate things. Keep it simple - Garvit Gupta
Nothing works beyond Hard Work. Our life comprises of 2 R: Reasons and Results.Reasons never count only results count - Abhinandan Chandra
Life hits you on your head with a brick don’t loose hope - Sibabrata Nayak
Sincerity and honesty always works and how I get up after I fall - Anuriti Bhargava
Be honest, be strong, be positive and smile more - Suchitaa Paatil
If you fail to plan, then you will plan to fail - Gaurav Kamath
I will make the rest of my life .... the best of my life - Shreyas Surya Dasgupta
Be like a postage stamp, stick to it (your Dream) until you get there - Pradipta Rout
If you won't think about your future, you won't have one - Sushmita Jyoti
Aim high, work hard and be passionate about whatever you do and you can achieve what you desire - Manish Bhatkar
Life can become clear and simple if I only get out of my way. Expect nothing; blame no one; do something - Christopher Morrett
Don't compromise for anything unless it's important - Husain Noorbhai
I'm what I am and don't care a damn to what the other person thinks about me.Let it be anything - Akshat Chowdhury
You cannot go back & change the past, but you can always start again & make a new beginning - Anupam Vaid
This too shall pass - Nitin Welde & Chitra Raghukumar
If there is anything in life that you feel uncomfortable about, you either do something about it or do with it - Preeti Kaushik
I was able to do many things in life, I can not do. Sometimes, we underestimate our capabilities - Chalapathi R S
Stay strong...stay positive. Being passionate about anything you do. Positive outlook towards life helps - Sangita Sharma
Set your goals. Stay quiet about them. Smash the shit out of them. Calm for your damn self. Repeat - Prateek Singh
You just have to follow your passion and definitely you'll succeed in life...that will be the exact place meant for you - Ravi Singh
Fight like a warrior; fall down 10 times, 50 times, 100 times, but will always get up every time - Tenjit Dev Sharma
Your choices are your consequences, hence choose to stay happy, be calm and patient in all ups and downs. Everything passes by and show never stops. Learn with the failures and share your success - Rajeev Singh Chauhan
Don't dwell on the past, which can't be changed. Choose a profession where your passion, talent and aptitude merges and visualize each day your big dream . Law of attraction says, it will definitely happen, work towards it - M K Chakraborty
Our decisions make us what we are! Own our decisions and keep marching ahead - Manish Gupta
Live love laugh - Cibi Aananth
Hope and Belief - P Nivedita
Be happy and do what you like it works - Pooja Nimbalkar
Your Mood should not dictate your manners - Sameer Anand
Life do not move with a statement "Other Things Remaining Constant" - Sukhmeet Singh Saini
My Life exists in my mind. So my thoughts are my life - Kesar Patel
Success is limited however happiness is forever, look for happiness rather success - Manmohan Arora
If we learn to be happy in the moment, our life will be like a beautiful dream - Subha Menon
Don't treat others the way you don't want to be treated - Meir Alkabaz
Bow and arrow .. as much as your life will pull you back , you will give it back with same force to the life.. keep moving - Navin Sharma
You can't change others change yourself - Sonal Garga
Happiness cannot be found, it has to be created - Sumit Goel
One step towards smile it makes everything in life - Srinivasa BL
Whatever you do enjoy and do it...!!! & Wherever you are Be Happy - Baburaj Dharmaraj
I've failed to follow my instincts in the past and I ended up making big mistakes. Not anymore - Henry Ihekanandu
All those who wander are not lost - Monali Bhardwaj
Today is the first day of the rest of your life - Shireen Kaur
Believe in yourself... Work hard..... Don't expect..... Work in silence.... Your good work will be recognized.... and you will be successful - Anuradha Jamwal
Don't chase people (or things). Be you, do your own thing, and work hard. The right people (or things) that belong in your life will come to you. And stay - Nerissa Fernandes
Honesty and truth are the only things that always work either early or late; but they always work - Dinesh Choudhary
Take care to get what you like, or else you will be forced to like what you get - Shilpa Chibber
Every time you want to give up, think about why you started - Nida Rahman
If you want to find a submarine, put some buoys in the water. (A metaphor for acting decisively based on what I learned in my Navy career) If you want to do big things, you must believe that the impossible is possible - Jeffrey Grant
To be successful in life, one has to be a good human being. And for most of us (including me) it is - work-in-progress - Debangshu Bose
Truth, Simplicity, Love - Dr. Harsh Modha
Failure is the most important thing, because you will never improve without failing. If you never fail, you will never learn and will not become more stronger the next time - Devendra Kulshresth
Be happy in what you do. Without a doubt....RISE you must - Flo Awolaja
If it doesn't challenge you, it won't change you - Sathyanagi Reddy K
Don't just think-Do It - Laxminarayan Gupta
Your attitude define you and your success - Arun Mishra
Never run out of ideas or give up - Udayan Trivedi
My life is a epic. It should be inspiring. It should be read again and again after my passing - Shyam Sunder Sharma
Always respect one's identity irrespective of his position.It gives a self satisfaction in life. Grow in life but with people's regards which will complete your journey much fast - Ankur Mishra
Develop a Vision and work upon to hit refresh - Dhanesh Sadashivan
Achieving a life state of indestructible happiness - Satinder Sharma
Circumstance makes one indifferent than in an ideal situation. So one should learn the variances and adopt new strategy to outcome perfect performance - Rashmita Hazarika
Don't be a ball of other's basket - Amit Nehachalani
Always dream, move ahead because we are not tree, always believe that you can do anything, because no one have boundaries and limitations. Try everything which come in your way, don't depend on past or whatever happens in past, just think now what you want to add in past therefore you have do something in present. Last mother is best inspiration because, she works daily without expectation - Hitesh Rajput
Most of us are not vocal about it but spirituality helps us getting the focus right, being humble about what we are and humility overpowers arrogance.. Once we have this the goals become achievable - Bharat Khanna
Do more and Expect less; Life doesn't give you what you want, it gives you what you Deserve - Premal Gupta
Be You - Tanmay Sinha
Take out 'I' from your mind and keep 'We' in place of it - Karthik Gv
Change, before the change changes you"! Life is all about reinventing yourself - Surbhi Karira
Don't carry the baggage, learn lessons and go an extra mile - Anusree Menon
Let it be on God. Just do your best. Never get disappointed because God know well what is better for us - Abdulvahid Sekh
For me, I surrendered everything to Jesus - Amey Marathe & Samson Thomas
Fall you may, but rise you must - Dhiman Patnaik
Hard work not necessarily pays you always as in benefit but definitely enlightens you - Prajnya Parimita
Believe in yourself... you are your biggest fan - Denise Armstrong
Patience and being grounded helps you to achieve your dreams - Jaspal Singh
If you can't build castles in the air, you can't build them anywhere - Ekhlaque Bari
I am, what I am - Chandrahas Bollabattin
Whatever you do in life, do it with passion so that you do not have to worry about the performance as it will follow automatically - Tony Louis
Just Do It. Always worked whenever I am in doubt. Just do it. Jump and take off - Riyaz Khan
Don't make excuses for why you can’t get it done. Focus on all the reasons why you must make it happen - Meet Gor
Don't let success go to your head and failure to your heart - Ansar Basha
Live your life on your terms, and not by letting others pull your strings - Raman TSK
Your destiny is in your hand, no one determines the results you get except you. Nothing moves if you don't move - Akinola Afolabi
Do not regret anything that you have done in the past - Sonal Satelkar
You can be what you want to be, if you are willing to dream big and work hard - Ajay Saraswat
The one you're looking for is you (by Osho) - Varadraj Pratap Singh
Ask,Believe Are In Our Hands ... But Receive The Same Or Different Is Up To The Time And Situations - Sai Teja Thumuluru
I believe in law of attraction totally!! Always trust your instincts. Your thought process, the gut feeling. Believe in yourself, love yourself. Be happy, be positive. Chase your dreams .. never stop learning - Aishwarya S
26 hours in a day - Manish Sanwal
Learn to face your fear, you'll overcome it - Saba Ahmad
Last but not the least, I am leaving you with this peppy song, "Best Day of My Life" by American Authors : www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjRvbTDhrgs . Enjoy the lyrics.
"Becoming a leader is synonymous with becoming yourself. It is precisely that simple, and it is also that difficult." - Warren Bennis
Many a times I wondered as to what exactly is that specific thing, attribute or quality that holds a person back despite of having decent amount of craft mastery and business acumen. Something or the other happens because of which, the person is unable to move forward with greater velocity & depth as anticipated, keeping in mind the knowledge, wisdom, experience and even the lofty purpose of the business. I have read about many start-ups collapsing, many successful people breaking down after a certain point. Many a times I too gave up and succumbed to pressures beyond my seeming control. The ingredient that keeps you going was somehow missing, rather dormant which needs to be developed with conscious practice. Craft mastery alone with business purpose do not guarantee long lasting success. After a self-reflection & studying few leadership patterns, I have arrived at this conclusion and that is: the more the leadership depth in a person, the more his/her success and fulfillment in his/her chosen area. Leadership depth is directly proportional to fulfillment of higher intentions and goals. What is leadership depth then? To describe it in metaphorical way, it is like the base of the ring that holds the diamond. And the diamond can't be held if the base is weak. At some point it is going to crack or fall apart.
Leadership depth is the work done across all the bodies: emotional, physical, mental & spiritual. None is a substitute of another and can't be overlooked. A weak link will distort the entire dynamics and dis-empower the depth to lead oneself from one level to another. Ability to lead oneself and always being consistent in efforts across all the bodies is true leadership. Unless you are able to lead yourself from what should be absorbed/dropped, accepted/rejected, put focus on/ignored, right/wrong etc.; we can never lead others. In a world full of commonness, if you can be the change that you are seeking, then rest assured that you are on your way to developing leadership depth. Now I understand why despite of external influence, opinions, bad economy, difficult situations, challenges etc. some people come out successful and some don't. Giving up your intentions is not at all the trait of great leaders. When no one believes in your dreams, when no one understands your perspective, when no one approves of your ideas, when no one is by your side, how you respond and what actions you take determines your leadership depth. That's the reason probably why we have many successful leaders not having a pedigree to match to that counterparts. Because what matters is leadership depth to move forward and not just accumulation of certifications & purpose alone as validation to our increase in depth.
When you can overcome all your fears (of not being good enough, not being important, not being loved) and viscerally feel the need to make a shift from fear based orientation to freedom from all fears, your breakthrough as a leader happens. The only thing that you need to do is to keep walking this path despite of all odds. When you can take responsibility for what happens in your world and shut the blame game completely, you hold immense power to transform your life. Inward focus gives you power and outward focus dis-empowers you. This shift in perspective is the ultimate journey towards increasing leadership depth.
Always ask yourself this question when shrouded in doubt: What is your assessment of your leadership depth? Is it 10 on 10 across all the bodies: physical, emotional, mental & spiritual? If not, what do you do to increase it so as to experience exponential growth?
Corporate is a place where a professional spends much of his/her time. He/she contributes an enormous portion of his/her life in this space. An organization is formed by the employees; it's growth depends on the employees. They sweat and toil to give their best for helping it grow. You can't deny that. Like a family, all members in their own ways contribute towards achieving the bigger vision. But, when days aren't good, when things start falling, the same employees are laid off, terminated? Why? Who will take the responsibility? Is termination the solution? Do you think it is an emotionally responsible decision to terminate employees or even laying them off? Do you really know what do they go through? Have you been in their shoes? Imagine your job is suddenly taken away from you. Your world crushes down. Even if you give them severance package, that won't suffice the contribution that they made while they were a part of your company's growth. The answer that I get is,"This is how the corporate world functions. We are here to do business and not social service." Really? Then why talk of employee progression, engagement, CSR activity, training & development, employee wellness programs, retreats, emotional development etc? Why the band aid, why the reactive reaction and why not be more sensible & proactive to where the slag is? Who will take responsibility and ensure that not any employee have to go through such dilemma?
We only see the numbers, profits. That's all! Why not see the employees as human beings, that they also have a life beyond being a professional. That they are someone's child, someone's spouse, a parent and not meant just to serve you & your intentions. They are the resource through which you get your mission accomplished. They are the means through which your hopes are being fulfilled. With no jobs around, with the market being gloom, unemployment all around, what will these laid off employees do? Where will they go? Whom will they reach out to? Will a wellness program serve them? Will coaching help them then? Will money for few months help? NO. It won't.
Why not treat them like human beings and enable them to grow while things are good? Why not prepare for unseen situations beforehand? Why not set their growth path and help them walk it? Why focus only on numbers and not on coaching them while they are growing? If you cannot lead, why not learn how to lead? If you cannot inspire, why not learn to do so? If you cannot hire the right fitment, why not learn to do so? Why crush people's aspirations in the name of ignorance, economic slowdown, profitability etc.? The support that is given during the time an employee is going through a difficult time is what true care & concern is.
I don't know what could be the best answer to : What's the alternative to lay offs & termination? But, all I know is if we all sit in inquiry of this question, we will definitely arrive at a much better solution. We will be able to create better ways and not just go with the most easy way: i.e. termination or lay off. If we can find ways to create wealth, generate business, we surely can find ways to this too. But, the question is, are we & the decision makers ready to take the challenging route to finding solutions that not only benefit them but the employees too? A severance package is not an answer to this. What if all the employees stand together and give away their bonus to help retain the laid off employees? What if all employees not get increment but give away that to help these employees under scrutiny? What if a portion of the CSR is utilized to retain them? What if you do away with luxury to help them? This sounds funny or may be ridiculous for some, but trust me you cannot do this with a fear based & self-centered mindset. You need to have depth, maturity & compassion to give from your share to fill another. It's just a suggestion, looking into the bigger picture. The number of cases of depression, anxiety, trauma is on the rise. What if we do something differently? Something graceful, something for others and not just for us. Why not take responsibility for our actions now, at this moment?
I read somewhere: Only when you are truly invested in the happiness of the other person, you are actually giving them a gift. Otherwise it is not a gift but your hidden agenda & intention underlying it. So, before you launch a wellness program, an employee scheme, do ask what's the hidden agenda there. Employee development truly or something else?
There's joy in not knowing
There's joy in not knowing,
There's happiness in acknowledging,
Your growth areas, your fears...
There's peace in such tears.
Knowing everything never gave me fulfillment,
But realizing my blind spots did;
There's beauty in knowing what you can't,
There's joy in uncovering what you once hid.
When you think you know it all,
Be sure to tumble & fall;
In the same pit of your blind spot,
Which needs your attention a lot.
We spent our lives thinking we know,
And that's how we don't let ourselves glow...
Life is but discovering yourself,
Whenever need be, seek for help;
Shelling ourselves & uncovering,
Our highest version & being.
The more your awareness,
The more your curiosity;
You open up to your own process,
Uncovering the beauty,
Shedding your inhibitions & fence,
Dropping all your arrogance.
You become comfortable,
You have more confidence from within;
You are less gullible,
And you start to beam...
Beam with happiness & self owing,
There's joy in not knowing.
"A leader is best when people barely know he exist, when his work is done, aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves." Lao Tzu
Leadership isn't about instructing others what to do, but it's all about inspiring & enabling your team to be self-driven & purposeful. A team that is self-driven, always makes a difference. The leader's physical presence doesn't matter much, but how the leader show up do matter. The team mirrors the leader's strengths and weaknesses. If you ever have to have a glimpse of the leader, do look at his/her team. You will get a fair idea about what the leader is in sum total. Ironically, many a times when teams don't perform, becomes unproductive and even operates on instructional mode, the entire blame is put on the team members & their efficiency. But if we can really have an honest reflection, we will see that it actually boils down to the leadership depth, style & overall personality of the leader leading the team. The more matured, agile and receptive the leader is, the more he/she has the ability to lead his/her team from good to great. A peep into the leader's world will reveal a lot about how his/her team functions.
It's interesting to note that all excellent leaders have one thing in common and that is: they formed a team that is self-driven. They don't micro-manage their team but, hold in place such structure that enables the team to not only be self-driven but perform at their highest efficiency. There are many good reads on leadership. I am not going to delve into that. I am just going to point out few things that I have realized speaking with many leaders and following top leaders as to how they form self-driven teams. What do they do differently that others miss out?! Here I am not talking about a normal team but a very matured, highly efficient and top-performing team. Based on my understanding, here are the few things that these leaders do, the core ingredients, their 80/20 principle to form a self-driven team:
1. Setting intentions: These leaders set the intentions of the team very clearly. They do this by connecting one on one with their team members, understanding their aspirations, listening to them deeply and trying to make a match between the team's and individual's aspiration. When intentions are clear, then there is no question of expectation mismatch. Expectations lead to communication gaps while agreements lead to setting clear boundaries. Every member of the team is aware of the intention for which the team is created. The purpose of the team i.e. why it is created, what is it that is to be done and how to be done.
2. Accountability: Each team member is held accountable for his/her role. They are given the guidance, the resources and a high amount of trust is laid on them in terms of their abilities and potential. The strength of each team member is leveraged and the growth areas are identified and accordingly coached upon. There is no one out performing or under performing. Every one performs 100% of their 50% & thus responsible & accountable for what they do.
3. Transparency: In order to form a self-driven team, it is important to have a transparent environment where very authentic & emotionally responsible communications happen. There is no blame-game, nothing to prove but just to perform to the best abilities. Nothing is sourced in fear but compassion & understanding.
These three core ingredients, help forming a self-driven team that not only performs to it's highest potential but creates a culture of creativity, innovation & excellence. The role of a leader is very crucial. Leadership is not just about the title or the position but it's about the being of the leader that nurtures, inspires and elicits the teams' greatness. A leader who has walked the path of mastery on all the bodies: emotional, physical, intellectual & spiritual will have a better agility to form a self-driven, high performing team.
Leaving you with this inquiry: If you are wondering why your team is not self-driven & under performing, then it is high time that you as a leader, have a look at the mirror and be honest with yourself. After all, intention is bigger than the ego, the small mind and the realization is the first step towards any development.
"If another can easily trigger you, it is because you are off balance with yourself."
We cling on to our narrow views till one day we realize that this clinging is not serving us at all. This narrow view with which we see ourselves, others and life itself is nothing but our blind spot. Our views aren't the reality. It's just a perspective and perspectives are infinite. Our narrow lens limit our growth & bars us from having a holistic understanding of life, everything in it & thus our inability to enjoy it. We assume that our identity lies in holding on to these perspectives that we had formed while growing up. There's a basement inside all of us which is a residing place for our fears, doubts, inhibitions, suspicions. These are those demons which we created based on certain life experiences, some feelings of self we assumed was right to protect us then and carried along. We made some rules, some assumptions thinking that these are the black and white norms based on which our world must operate. Otherwise, we will feel the pain, the frustration, the loss, the negative emotion that made us to create the rules in the first place. In order to regain our positive state as quickly as possible, we try to distract it with something that doesn't trigger us & make us feel safe. But the irony is, it surfaces till you confront it & sit in containment.
Anything that triggers us, irritates us or arouses deep emotions such as anger, sadness in us is nothing but a knock at the door to our basement trying to tell us that there resides some unacknowledged fears that we haven't dealt with, nor accepted and that which needs immediate attention. But, we try to project the discomfort outside us. We don't acknowledge that something needs healing in us. A deeper look into the triggers will tell you that if you look within, you will get all the answers to the challenges that you are facing in your world. We become so good at projection and focusing outward, that whenever there is trigger, we reload ourselves and project a patterned behaviour as a reaction to the trigger. Because of this reaction, we are unable to truly deal with what's actually happening with us. We take solace in associating this discomfort to something outside us i.e. someone's behaviors, someone's words, someone's actions, some instances etc. But the truth of the matter is, our triggers are our unacknowledged fears. Fears hold us back from living a peaceful, happy & joyous life having it all. Fears don't enable us to feel our emotions, to take actions & to change perspectives & recreate new beliefs that would change our life for good.
Containment is the ability to sit in the anxiety and feel the emotion, the trigger. Whenever there is a trigger, and you are tempted to defend yourself by putting across the pattered behaviour, allow yourself to just sit in the anxiety and just feel the emotion rather than trying to cover up with actions & reactions. Why is it important to do this? You will become aware of what resides inside you that you are resentful of, trying to avoid or even acknowledge. You will then be able to give this acknowledgement a name which may be an emotion, an experience or just a belief about self. The moment you understand why you behave the way you behave, half the battle is already won. The intensity of the fear will just dilute and now you would be ready to view yourself, people and life altogether from a new perspective. A perspective which is not the reality but something that will serve you. "What got you here may not get you there", as quoted by Master Coach Marshall Goldsmith. If you want to unstuck, you need to see life from a different perspective.
My personal experience says that it is good to be open to different perspectives. It feels good to know why we behave the way we do, to acknowledge our fears, to let the door to our basement open and take a wider view of it. It will liberate you and your understanding of self, others and life. This will enable you to replace your fears with love for yourself, others and life as a whole. Operating from a space of love is so profound. It energies you not to form strategies to hide your authentic self but to show your real self to yourself, others and be proud of it. You will be able to love yourself unconditionally and also create that space for others to love themselves unconditionally. And then you will surely be able to make a difference to your life & others as well.
Inviting you all to gather the courage and allow yourself to look inside; open the door to your basement. What you will find there will amaze you & shall be life changing. It's a liberating experience!
Life & Organizational Development Coach