Wisdom from across the ages


As a leader, what is the one skill you definitely want to demonstrate during these tough times?

My pick would be listening.

Listen with your whole being.

Pay undivided attention.

Do not judge.

Create a sense of safety for the other person.

Confirm/validate their feelings.

Follow your natural curiosity. Ask questions that show interest.

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To train or not

A HR head was recently debating whether to go ahead with a series of big-budget trainings for his leaders. What if we invest so much and they go elsewhere?

The following quote by Richard Branson helped him gain clarity:

Train people well enough so that they can leave.

Treat them well enough so they don’t want to.

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Be yourself!

Are you losing yourself trying to please others?

Stay true to who you are.

““You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.” – Dita Von Teese

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Happy giving!

What makes you happy?

1) Giving/helping?

2) Getting thanked for giving/helping?

If 1) makes you happy, your happiness is in your hands.

If even a small amount of 2) comes in, you have given the remote control of your happiness to others. You lose your happiness the moment you do not get thanked as per your expectations.

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Leading through the pandemic

As a leader, here are a few basic things you can do in this time of crisis.

1) Send an email or a message reassuring employees that you are there for them. Please do this immediately if you haven’t sent one already. Do not underestimate the power of this.

2) If you are not planning to do job or pay cuts, convey that explicitly. It will be very reassuring.

3) Allow employees to work from home. Do not compel them to come to office, unless the nature of their work demands it.

4) Reduce the number and duration of calls/meetings to what is absolutely essential.

5) Do not penalize employees for Covid leaves taken for themselves or for their family members.

6) If possible, offer financial assistance in the form of salary advance.

Please feel free to add to this list in the comments.

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Helping handle grief

This is a very difficult time for many of us. One of the companies I consult with has a majority of their employees in Delhi and is taking a hard hit. As I was going through past research, I came across this HBR article “Helping your team heal” by grief expert David Kessler. Here is a short summary that may be helpful to many:

Every individual may need help with his or her grief. The support needed is different and depends on which of the following groups they belong to.

1) The worried well are healthy but concerned. About loss of normalcy. About all the news coming in. About what the future holds. Work may help distract them from their worries.

2) The affected have either been sick themselves or experienced trauma first hand. Accommodation and validation will help them. Some may need counseling.

3) The bereaved have lost a loved one. They need time and space to be able to eventually move towards acceptance.

Please keep the above in mind as you help yourself and your employees deal with this painful time.

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Our beliefs are our personal truths. We bring them to work every day.

A common belief I see among many of my coaching clients is that remote work is not productive. Imagine this: The place where I did one of my coaching certifications also believed this for a long time. This served them well till it was possible for everyone to work out of one location or meet in person.

When the pandemic started last year, the environment changed. Many continued to operate with the same belief. But it was not in tune with the new environment. Those who were able to reframe their beliefs, understand what can be done remotely and adapt survived. Those who didn’t got badly hit.

One year later, the pandemic is hitting all of us hard again. Please evaluate your beliefs. See which ones serve you now and which ones don’t.

For example, do not make your employees come to office in today’s situation if work can be done remotely.

Is remote work possible and is your manager/company still making you commute to work today? If yes, its time for you to move on. Or the right time to get them a coach to work on their beliefs 🙂

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What’s your viewpoint in any situation?

1. Looking at your own needs

2. Empathizing with the needs of others

3. Detached and looking at it from a larger/wider context

Which of these viewpoints do you find yourself the most in?

Failure to Success

“These celebrities are so successful. Success evades people like me” said a participant in a recent training program.

I asked her who were these celebrities she was referring to. She said people like Amitabh Bachchan, J.K. Rowling and Thomas Alva Edison.

So I googled and found this:

Amitabh Bachchan’s job application was rejected by the All India Radio because of his voice.

J.K. Rowling’s book Harry Potter was rejected by 12 publishers before one accepted it finally.

Thomas Alva Edison created 10,000 prototypes before getting the light bulb right. And he said “I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”!

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Wake up!

Once upon a time, a chicken farmer found an eagle’s egg. He placed it with his chickens. The egg hatched. The young eagle grew up with the chickens and did what the chickens did. The chickens could fly for a short distance. So the eagle learnt to fly a short distance too. He thought that was all he could do. So that was all he was able to do.

One day the eagle saw a bird flying in the sky gliding majestically with its wings. “Who is that?” he asked. The chickens replied “That’s the eagle, the king of the birds. Eagles belong to the sky. Chickens belong to the earth”.

The eagle believed he was a chicken and continued to live like one.

Did you grow up with chickens? Are you surrounded by chickens? Are you truly a chicken? Do you have a limited understanding of your potential?

Wake up! Be what you are meant to be. Don’t live like a chicken if you are an eagle.


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