January 23, 2013


David did not get his raise but it’s not his fault because he did not get his promotion because he did not get all his work done on time because they gave him too much to do and because he was late yesterday because he had to stop for gas because he didn't stop for gas the night before because he was late coming home because he was working late because he came in late that morning because he had to iron a shirt because he had nothing clean to wear because he forgot to pick up his shirts from the cleaners on his way home the day before because he was rushing to get to his softball game and he had to stop and get air in his leaky tire because he forgot to get it fixed last weekend because he had to answer the phone all day and watch the game on Sunday because the guys would all be talking about it on Monday and he did not want to feel left out because that happened before when he missed a game and the guys laughed at him because he didn’t know about it and that whole day he could not get anything done at work because he felt so badly and he spent the entire day speaking with his co-workers asking them if he was really being treated fairly because he always tries to please other people first because their opinions of what he should be doing are more important than his own because even though he has the tools and techniques to better control and manage his time and life they are uncomfortable to use because it is so much easier to drift and spend the day responding rather than take the initiative because, after all, “What would THEY say?” if he tried to achieve new goals that he never reached before because a lot of what David really wants is not what he is entitled to and can qualify for because others have what it takes to succeed rather than David because they got the lucky breaks in their lives and hit it just at the right time while for David, without having bad luck he would have no luck at all because that’s what’s true for his family and always has been and always will be because we cannot change who we are or where we came from or the luck and bad fortune we have because we have to learn to accept what life gives to us and ask for no more because that would be impolite and selfish because David already tried that route once when he went to his boss and asked for a raise and the boss said that, “You have to do more now than what you are already being paid for to qualify for a raise. To ask for what you do not deserve and for what you have not earned is to be selfish and impolite,” but David did not like what he heard and looked for another reason why he did get his raise and he found it.

David did not get his raise but it’s not his fault because…

January 21, 2013

Navigating Integrity: Transforming Business as Usual Into Business at Its Best

By Al Watts
Brio Press (2011) - ISBN 9780982668740
I am honored and glad to receive a beautiful business book Navigating Integrity: Transforming Business as Usual into Business at Its Best from the Author Al Watts.
Reading this small book is like snuggling up with a friend next to a fire on a winter evening, sipping a glass of your favorite coffee, and listening to him tell you the accumulated wisdom of his life. Al Watts is a veteran consultant who focuses on organizational integrity and also provides dynamite team-building lessons on board his sailboat. He combines these two passions in his new book.
Al Watts, author of “Navigating Integrity,” is a veteran consultant of nearly thirty years to all sizes of public and private corporations, all government sectors, and not-for-profits. His passionate, timely book makes one wonder if he saw, sooner than most of us, the appalling lack of values and ethics that has come to the fore in an alarming number of leaders and businesses. 
Watts’ goal in writing “Navigating Integrity” is to provide “...a catalyst for you and your organization to live up to your promise and be among those who are transforming business as usual into business at its best.” The identification and articulation of a leader’s and organization’s core values – “what we value most” - is a cornerstone of Watts’ model. As you would expect, integrity is at the top of his personal list of core values. His other core values include freedom with responsibility, invest in the next generation, good work (“for me and for others”), enjoy each day as if it is the last and as if I will account for it another day, and enjoy and respect nature. Upon reading the list, I couldn’t help but wonder what was on Bernie Madoff’s list.
The book offers an abundance of intelligent, hard-hitting quips from respected leaders in diverse fields that support the author’s model. Watts continually challenges the reader with stimulating questions that result in immediate self-reflection, i.e., “In what ways do you display the courage of owning who you are and standing up for what you believe?” This device makes for an especially engaging, interactive read. Readers are also invited to complete the online self-report, “Leadership Integrity Survey,” that gives them a measure of how they are currently navigating integrity with suggestions on how they can do so more effectively.
Al Watts’ “Navigating Integrity” reflects his considerable experience and expertise. This book suggests that the author is indeed living up to his promise. “Navigating Integrity” is a highly recommended addition to any business and family library, and to parents who are striving to nurture good kids who will grow up striving to “do the right thing.”
Watts’ thesis is that organizations, leaders, and teams need to balance four aspects of integrity if they are to be ethical, engaging, and effective. The model of integrity he has developed combines identity, authenticity, alignment, and accountability. Organizations that master the integrity challenge know who they are, where they are going, and what they value. Mastering the authenticity challenge involves modeling trueness to the mission and values, truth-telling, and transparency. To be in alignment means being congruent with what matters most, crafting unity from diversity, and continually adapting and growing. Organizations that are accountable are responsible, deliver on their promises, and exercise sound stewardship. 
He includes chapters on each of these aspects of integrity. Each chapter includes a discussion of the concept, along with numerous quotes by wise people through the ages, and questions to guide your thinking around that aspect of integrity. He also freely draws from his own experiences and those of his clients with these concepts, and frequently uses sailing metaphors to make his points. 
He frequently lightens up the serious nature of the concept with funny asides. I particularly liked his pointing out mistakes that leaders made in predicting the future. For example, Thomas J. Watson, Board Chairman of IBM, in 1943 said that “there is a world market for only about five computers.” And Decca Recording Company in 1962 turned away the Beatles, saying: “We don’t like that sound, and groups of guitars are on their way out.” In 1968 Business Week declared: “With over fifty foreign cars already on sale here, the Japanese auto industry isn’t likely to carve out a big slice of the U.S. market for itself.” 

After reading the book I took his Leadership Integrity Survey,” and was notably impressed. The survey is a self assessment of how you do in each of the four areas of integrity, and is offered for free to buyers of the book. My strongest score was in Identity, and my lowest was in Alignment. I wasn’t surprised by these results, but it was fun to see them in print, and to see how the survey supports the message of the book.
Once again, I personally thank you Al Watts for sending this remarkable book to me. To know more about Al Watts and his work please visit : www.alwattsintegro.com.

January 17, 2013

Evolution of a Man

The whole evolution of man has depended on very few people; they can be counted on one’s fingers. The masses have not contributed anything at all. They have been like a dead weight; they have hindered, they have not helped. The crowd mind is always against the new. They crucified Jesus simply because he was so new. The way he was talking nobody had ever talked, the way he was behaving nobody had ever behaved. The mob could not tolerate this man – such a beautiful man, such a lovely person – and the masses decided to crucify him. But that has always been the case; they did the same with Socrates, with Mansoor. Whenever there is a man who brings the new into existence, who becomes a vehicle of the beyond, his life is in danger because the masses feel offended, insulted; their egos are hurt. 

But the strange thing is that these few people who have been killed and murdered and tortured by the people, are the cause of the whole prosperity of humanity, they are the foundation stones of this temple that is still incomplete. Many more sacrifice is needed, many more Jesuses have to be crucified, many more Socrates has to be poisoned and killed.

Man ordinarily lives in darkness. We are born in darkness. In fact darkness is a basic need in the beginning. There is darkness in the mother’s womb. It is needed because light will be a disturbance for the growing child. The child is soft, so tender; it needs velvety darkness around it. And the child sleeps for twenty-four hours a day in the mother’s womb. In those nine months the child is growing so much that there needs to be no disturbance, otherwise energy will be diverted. Everything in the begging grows in darkness. You put the seed in the ground you dig a little bit, and then you put the seed in. If you just throw it on the ground it may not grow because there is too much light there. It needs the womb, the womb of the earth to grow in – there it is dark. Once the seed starts growing it starts rising above the earth. Then it starts reaching towards the sun, towards the moon, towards the stars.

The child is born. Physically he comes into light but spiritually he still remains in darkness. And that darkness can be dispelled only through meditation; hence meditation gives you a second birth. The first birth is physical, the second is spiritual. Physically you are in light, now you need another earth too – so that psychologically spiritually also you are in full light.

Light is another name of existence. The moment you are born into that light you are enlightened. You are not two; you are not the seer and the light is not seen. You become one, you are the light. 

Photo Credit: Google Images 
paragraph courtsey: oshomeditations.com

January 11, 2013

Why Self-Branding is Important?

Branding yourself keeps you current in your chosen field, opens doors for you, and creates a lasting impression on clients. By developing your own brand, you’ll have control over people’s initial perception. If you don’t brand yourself, someone else will, and the outcome might not be in your favor.

Relatively speaking, a strong brand influences its target audience and works overtime to engage those who may not have been targeted at all. A successful brand self-promotes, stimulates a unique experience, breathes loyalty, and offers consistency in the quality of the service it offers.
Brands are also used as a way to connect on a universal level. Here are a few reasons on why branding yourself is important.
You’ll be an Expert in Your Field

Not everyone knows who you are, and since that means they probably have no idea what you do and how good you do it, it’s vital for you to give your skills a bit of recognition.
Branding yourself isn’t entirely about who you are as an individual, but mostly about what kind of services and goods you can offer.
A client will usually choose someone they’ve previously heard of to work on their latest project and if you didn’t leave an impression that shows you’re quite the guru in your field, you’re straight out of luck.
It would be much of an inconvenience if a client knew who you were, but had no idea about the quality of services you offered. They’d have nothing in order to set you apart from the rest, and mediocrity will follow you.
Breaking free from this mold means that you have to brand your services.
Become an Asset

Having an asset that’s unique and commands respect is a good investment, especially if you’re a freelance designer. By branding yourself, you become the asset and the product you market is your set of skills or services. You’re your own unique product and no one can take that away from you.

Structuring yourself to become the asset will add value to not only your business, but also your skills and experience. When you’re the asset, your business revolves around you and therefore you’re irreplaceable.
You will be recognized for who you are and most importantly, what you do.
Be a Memorable Force

When companies annoyingly repeat TV and radio commercials, they aren’t trying to sell you the product at that instant; they do it so that the first thing you remember when you go to a department store is their brand. It doesn’t matter what line of product you choose, as long as you go with their brand.

Same concept when it comes to branding yourself. If your brand can successfully reach out and influence potential clients when they start up their browser or need a specific project to be worked on, your brand is the first thing that pops into their minds. Having a catchy name for your freelance business that’s easy to remember is a plus. For example, when you think about quality browsers with customizable elements, who do you think of? For me, it’s Firefox. The name and image behind the brand is simply compelling.

Stand Above the Rest

What define a brand are the services or products behind it. For example, who would WordPress be without its content management services? Just a catchy name and nothing more.

Creating a brand that stands out requires you to develop an image that is consistent with what your brand has to offer. The image you choose to represent your brand should be simple, straightforward, and convey what you or your business does. The colors you choose should provoke interest, and you should use color theory to make your logo creative and unique.

Build Trust and Recognition

Branding yourself allows you to easily engage with your clients and build trust. Once your clients begin to trust you, they’ll never forget what you have to offer. Out of building trust comes recognition. Odds are if a client trusts you, then they won’t hesitate to refer their contacts to you. Over time, this evolves into a strong relationship, which in return turns your clients into loyal customers.

Easier to Find You

A brand that’s easy to remember is easier to find. If your brand has unique properties and succeeds in attracting attention, then you’ll have a much better chance of having potential clients hear about you and easily find you as well.
For example, Apple is a strong brand that has attracted new customers by breaking standards and reaching higher levels of innovation. If you type the word "Apple" in Google, the first thing that comes up is Apple.com, not the definition or content on the actual fruit. That’s a remarkable accomplishment. The Apple brand has become a staple in its own niche, and it will always be easy to find. You should apply these same principles, offer good services, break a few standards, create a unique representation, and your brand will flourish.

How Are You Branding Yourself?

What are ways to establish a self-brand? Who are good examples of self-branding? Share your thoughts and opinion on this subject at deepak@managementthinker.com

Note: This article has been published on PITCH - http://pitchonnet.com/blog/2013/01/10/why-self-branding-is-important/

January 9, 2013

New Appointment in Linked in India: Nishant K. Rao

LinkedIn,  today announced the appointment of Nishant K. Rao as  the new country manager for India. Nishant’s appointment at LinkedIn India comes following the promotion of former country manager, Hari V. Krishnan into a larger role as the Managing Director of Asia- Pacific and Japan.
In his new role as the country manager for LinkedIn India, Nishant will focus on scaling up operations and staying committed to LinkedIn’s value proposition of connecting India’s professionals to make them more successful and productive and helping enterprises hire, market and sell effectively.
“With a member base of 18 million professionals, India is one of our fastest growing markets and the largest outside of the U.S.,” said Nishant K. Rao, Country Manager, LinkedIn India. “Indian marketers and recruiters are fast realizing the potential of LinkedIn’s affluent member base and are leveraging the platform for targeted and thought leadership oriented campaigns. I am excited about the opportunity to work with the LinkedIn India team to serve our customers and members in India.”
Prior to being appointed as LinkedIn India’s Country Manager, Nishant was Director, Business Operations – Head of Global Sales Strategy at LinkedIn’s headquarters in Mountain View. He has been with LinkedIn since September 2011 and has a strong understanding of the company’s business.
Nishant has over 10 years of industry experience with a healthy mix of sales, strategy management and entrepreneurship. He has held leadership positions with companies like McKinsey and ARIBA Inc. and was also one of the founding members of Epicentre Technologies – one amongst India’s first call centers.
Nishant holds an MBA in Strategy, Entrepreneurship, Marketing and International Business from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and also a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Texas, Austin.

January 5, 2013


You develop your jam packed “to do” list the night before. You awake to the new day ready to conquer the world. But the sun is shining after a long winter. It warms your soul. The birds are singing and the fresh scent of new flowers breaking ground is all around you.

Ouch! You just got bit by the spring fever bug and all the ambition of your plans from the night before go out the window as you proceed to fill your day with unimportant stuff like shuffling piles of paper and dusting your desk again and again. Sound familiar? It should because it happens to all of us from time to time.

When you get bit by the spring fever bug, one of two things will happen.

First, you may give in to it, blow off the day and then feel guilty about it. Or second, you will give in to it, blow off the day and feel good about it. Either way, you’re going to give in to it.

What to do, then? Give into it, blow off the day and feel good about it. The spring fever bug bites you for a reason. You are not some robot or machine. You need an occasional break from the stresses of high performance. Give in to it. Blow off the day.

Now, if you have made commitments to others about getting something done today then you have to honor that obligation and let the spring fever bug come back another day. But most of the things you have to do can probably be pushed off to another day. Give into it. Blow off the day.

Think about this. Will your overall productive output for the year be greatly diminished because you took a goof off day in April? One day lost out of 365? Probably not.

When you get the bite, give in to it. Use the day to recharge your batteries while taking time out to literally smell the flowers around you.

But what if every day you get bit by the spring fever bug? Then you’ve got a problem. But every now and again? 

Take advantage of it. Your overall productivity will be enhanced in the long run.

Article reprinted with prior permission from Don. Link: www.balancetime.com/article_archive/Spring%20Fever.doc

January 1, 2013


The old adage reminds us that “People don’t plan to fail but a lot of people do fail to plan.” During a war, we find a tank operator and a general. Which function is more important? It is probably the general, at least in this sense. One can be the best tank operator on the line, get out there everyday and shoot off more rounds of ammunition and shoot them more accurately than anyone else on the line, but if he is not shooting at a target that makes any sense, then his whole day is wasted. The general, through advanced planning, decides where the tank operator ought to go and thereby increases his “productivity.”

A lot of people run their days like a tank operator without a general. Awake in the morning, get dressed, off to work, grab the first fire hose someone throws their way, get caught up addressing the demands coming from the loudest voices shouting in their direction, come home at night, sometimes beat and exhausted, get rested, get up the next morning and repeat the cycle. That is living life by accident. I encourage people to live their lives on purpose.

I want each of us to be a general. And there’s a war out there in that either you are in control of your time or someone else is. And the best way for us to be a general and in control of our own time is doing effective Daily Planning every day.

Here’s five nifty Planning Principles to help maximize your Daily Planning

Do your planning the night before. I try to set aside time each night for Daily Planning. I’ve wound down from the workday and I am less pressured. The major benefit, however, it that by having a plan of action completed the night before, we go to bed with a sense of certainty and control about our next day and with a sense of anticipation we would not ordinarily have. After getting into the habit of accomplishing our Daily Planning each night, the quality of our sleep will be enhanced because we have established a plan each night that gives us the roadmap or game plan for the next day eliminating the need to wrestle with all the loose ends in our heads during our sleeping hours, interfering with the quality of our sleep.

Put the plan into writing. There is extraordinary power in the pen. Putting our plan into writing helps us to increase our feelings of control and, indeed, the reality of control. When we try to keep track of everything in our heads, things tend to slip through the cracks.

“Have to’s” and “Want to’s.” Good planning involves more than just properly administering our “Have To’s.” Sure we ought to better handle our “Have To’s,” but we also need to do a good job taking care of our “Want To’s.” Plan out not only the things you “have to” do, but, more importantly, the things you “want to” do.

Over plan your day. “If you want to get something done, give it to a busy person.” The more you plan to do, the more you can get done because you take advantage of Parkinson’s Law which says, in part, that a project tends to expand with the time allocated for it. If you have one thing to do for the day, it will take all day. If you have three things to do for the day, you’ll get all three done. If you have twelve things to get done for the day, you might not get all twelve done, but probably will get nine completed. See, having a lot to do creates a healthy sense of pressure on us and we almost automatically become better time managers.

Prioritize your list. Our list will almost always include “crucial” as well as “not crucial” items. Some items are more important, others less so. Without some direction, we tend to gravitate towards the “not crucial” items because they are typically easier to do, take less time, and may even be more fun than many of our “crucial” items. A simple numerical listing will suffice. Put a “1” next the most important item on your list, the one item you would want done if you could only accomplish one item. Then place a “2” next to the second most important item, continuing the process until all the items on your list are prioritized in order of their importance.