Wednesday, 28 December 2016

From the Notes of Yesteryears 4 - Ten Commandments for an Enthu Team

Background: Over the years I have taken notes from seminars attended, books read or even from articles in a newspaper. I share them here for the benefit of readers...

Ten Commandments for an Enthusiastic Team : -

  • Team members help each other to do things right.
  • They look for ways to make ideas work.
  • If in doubt about the intention or behaviour of a member,they check it out with him/her and don't make negative assumptions about each other.
  • Team members help each other win and take pride in each other's victories.
  • They speak positively about each other and about organization at each opportunity.
  • They maintain a positive attitude no matter what the circumstances are.
  •  Each member acts with initiative and courage as if "all depends on you."
  • Team members do everything with enthusiasm- It's contagious.
  • They give that which they expect to receive from other members-eg. Respect.
  • The team never loses hope; never give up.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

13 Steps to Bloody Good Luck- Book Review

Seeing the title of the book, readers may wonder as to  how and why such a book is being featured or reviewed in a blog dedicated to HR matters in a corporate or business scenario.I myself entertained similar thoughts about its contents  when I ventured to read the book written by Ashwin Sanghi who has made a name for himself as a  writer of three best seller fiction books ( one of them a crime thriller coauthored with James Patterson). This is his first non fiction book As I went past the initial pages, I realized that there was quite a  bit in this book that is not merely 'wishful thinking' and that corporates can gainfully put into practice some of the ideas for achieving success.

In the beginning of the book itself Ashwin relates a conversation he had while socializing with a senior citizen and  family friend. "In life 99% is about good luck. just remember that son" he had told him. When asked what was the remaining 1%, he replied "The final 1% is called bloody good luck." It's all about having the ability to catch the opportunities that fall as a rainfall. The rainfall is available to everyone but only a few use it as an  opportunity to harvest the rain.The rest of us simply keep complaining about the the lack  of water but do nothing about it.

Our good luck is related to our ability to increase opportunities that come our way, recognize the valuable ones among them and respond effectively to the identified opportunities.What this means is to apply the 3R s by (1) raising the number of opportunities (2) recognizing them better and (3) responding better to the recognized or identified opportunities.Attitude and approach are important tools for applying the 3R s.

In this connection the author has given 13 suggestions or focus areas for raising, recognizing and responding to luck.

  • Lucky people grow and strengthen their network. Luck hates loneliness.Network can be built on the principle of six degrees of separation. Today with social media opportunities,sky is the limit. Lucky people not only strengthen their existing networks but also grow new ones.
  • Intuition: Lucky people listen to their intuition and develop it.The key is to listen to the whisper of the inner wizard and ignore the messages of the inner critic.
  • Lucky people are willing to try new things.They go to great lengths to induct variety in to their routines- do new things, meet new people or travel to new places. They are willing to work outside their comfort zones.
  • Risks- Lucky people take calculated risks, cut losses and learn from mistakes. They have developed the ability to distinguish between a dip and a dead end. A good example of this is Mr Ratan Tata taking a calculated risk in setting up Nano car plant in Singur, West bengal, then cutting his losses by exiting Singur, learning from his mistakes and not repeating it on moving to Sanand,Gujarat.
  • Positivity: Lucky people stay positive , persevere and cultivate a thick skin.They are not easily influenced either by applause or criticism.
  • Alertness: Lucky people find ways to remain calm and thus alert even in trying circumstances. Often it is the alertness that allows us to spot opportunities when they arise or come in disguise.
  • Situations: Lucky people make the best of bad situations such as unexpected loss in business, natural calamity, key people leaving your company en bloc, or a death of loved one. In this connection, one of the stories the author has shared is that of of  Ms  Anu Aga former chairperson of Thermax Ltd, who  restructured and  turned around the company(to an  annual revenue of around 50 Billion Rupees serving 75 countries)  at a time when she was facing grave personal tragedies.   
  • Confidence: Lucky people overcome their fears, develop their confidence and communicate appropriately. They open up to the flow of opportunities.By overcoming fear and shyness, we become much more capable of seizing opportunities.
  • Information: Lucky people stay informed and absorb new ideas. Opportunities flow when we are  aware of what is happening around us, listen to informed individuals, keep track of the news and read books.
  • Goodness: Lucky people understand the power of goodness. Mr JRD Tata used to say that "It's nice to be important but it is more important to be nice." Lucky individuals who are nice, polite, humble and considerate understand that the greater the positive  deeds they put out in the universe, the better the chances of their attracting good luck. 
  • Passion: Lucky people find ways to be paid for doing what they are passionate about.The only thing that money gives you is the freedom of not having to worry about money.Try balancing Lakshmi and Saraswati in your life.
  • Unlearn: Lucky people unlearn old attitudes and approaches.John Grisham a lawyer became a successful crime fiction writer which was made possible by his willingness not to be tied down to the profession he was trained for.To repaint a building with new paint, the old paint has to be got rid of first.Stripping off old paint and plaster is 70% of the job.Repainting is only 30%. 
  • Leverage: Lucky people leverage preparation,planning and potential."Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity" said Seneca, Roman philosopher. When we are adequately prepared for an event, meeting or interaction, we are able to respond to an opportunity quickly or effectively enough to attract the luck.
The book has been written in the style of self help books with a number of anecdotes and stories of achievers from all over the world, including that of  the author's own life experiences.The book redefines the word "Luck"in the sense it is not used in the casual , simplistic and fatalistic manner that we tend to generally understand it. It is therefore relevant and interesting for application in organizations and in  one's personal life.

The readers, by now,would have accurately gauged my opinion of the book. I would not like to give a number but would certainly give it a big  thumbs up sign for its relevance and the excellent tips it offers for attracting luck. The bottom line is that you don't  get lucky just by sitting pretty, doing nothing but earning it through some intelligent attitude, approach and action!