Monday, November 18, 2013

Thought to Action: Aspire --> Persevere --> Achieve!!

A guy who never ran 1 mile, never thought of running and never dreamed of running a marathon completed Philadelphia Marathon - half marathon 13.1, a goal achieved that was aspired earlier this year and persevered that was inked on April 22nd, 2013.

It was an overwhelming experience as I crossed over the finish experience that can only be felt with running a marathon.

It all started on December 25th 2012, when I decided to leave behind remaining a couch potato and doing something for my mind, body and to a make a difference for myself. With a brand new pair of $100 Nike running shoes because someone had told that is the only wise investment to be made for running, I started running with baby steps. Everyday 6 am sharp putting on shoes to get on road and practice running irrespective of rain, shine or snow putting on headphones and nice music. And this is how I registered to run my first 5K in April 2013.

It slowly became a habit to put on the headphones and start training with the podcast for 5K101 with a breaths of fresh air. I was always intrigued of what is like to put on headphones and do running or cycling? My wish was thus fulfilled experiencing it myself of what is like to get into zone being with yourself, nature and music. I got opportunity to get some fantastic sunrise pictures and bored people by posting it sharp 7 am while I complete my morning training routine. And this is how I fell in love with nature, a endless love bestowing cradle.

A 12 week program to get ready for 5k is something which I will never forget and be always grateful to have got started with it and ran my first 5k race on April 7th, 2013.

With fever of running still on and excitement on full throttle, I decided to run half marathon amd registered on April 22nd, 2013 to run on November 17th, 2013.

It came down to a full circle of a journey of mine to become a Marathon runner today on November 17th, 2013. As I prepared for half marathon, I went through self training for mind and body to endure pain and fatigue with singular focus. There is not a single day when I have thought of giving up or thinking of may be I won't be able to do it. That is the power of making a goal, putting it down on paper and getting to work on it. I have seen doors of motivation and encouragement opening by itself to keep the fire burning for a desire to change myself into person who can make things possible from zero with sky as a limit. One thing I learnt is one you make a resolve and commit to it, universe comes to help for achieving it which I had in form of fellow running mates, co-workers, and family which made preparation possible and to an ease. So thank you to all.

Today, the atmosphere was just phenomenal with 30 thousand people running @philadelphiamarathon, clamorous supporters with waving and cheering and dedicated volunteers giving Gatorade for sips to stay hydrated to make 13.1 mi run a breeze. There was only goal in mind and that was to complete a marathon which overpowered all my body pain and believe me I had excruciating pain in right knee. But after all, it is the mind that makes you run while body follows. Thus, I totally agree to the fact that preparing for marathon is strengthening your mind as much as strengthening your body.

As I crossed 10 mile mark, for me it was like world has come to stand still and it is only me and inner self who were just running with a feeling that I am what I was supposed to be and have everything in me to become what I want to be. Such an powerful feeling is something I will probably never get over it. And that is why I guess once a runner is always a runner and only runner knows that.

Running is now part of my life, a way of life, something that I will be passing on to my son Aarush who is already a runner and determined to run his 5K next year for which I am so proud of!!.

Roopak Desai

#inspire #motivate #innovate #succed

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Power of Visualization for Actualization: Personal Leadership

We all have dreams but we fail to see the future view of ourselves as part of our dreams. Most of the time our dreams are short lived and don’t make it to a vision. Why is so? What is limiting us to go for it and fulfill our dreams? 

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you this strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the starts to change the work” - Harriet Tubman

In order to persevere towards your dream with a vision, the key differentiating factor is how strongly you believe in yourself and your vision. With a powerful purpose, you can do anything. But you have to have that knowing inside you, in a deep and resonating way. Visualization technique is a process that allows you to connect deeply with your purpose, and you will be able to persevere through any obstacles you encounter. Not only that, it helps and guides you to taking small steps as you go along and build your vision into a reality.

The technique of visualization according to me is a process that helps to drive your vision into a  reality through intention which creates Focus, attention that gets you Committed and manifestation to see Possibilities.

I happen to learn visualization technique and process while attending the Happiness Advantage: Level 1 program delivered by Institute for Advanced Human Performance (IFAHP).  Recently, I had an opportunity to have a very exciting conversation with Braco Pobric founding member and Chief Happiness Officer of the Institute. And it led to unleash some very grounding research on how this visualization technique came to existence and understanding of power of visualization to actualize your vision and dreams.

In late 1960, it all began with the extensive research by Dr. Ira Progoff who then developed the Intensive Journal Method to provide a way to mirror the processes by which people become dynamic and develop themselves. The fundamentals around this method focuses on ability to connect to your true self and then to become immersed in your own growth, drawing forth your unique potential and unfolding life process. 

It was in 2001, when Dr Laura King after extensive research in field of positive psychology, personality processes, meaning in life, motivation and folk theory of good life who really put forward the power of intuition, magic and meaning. She pioneered the first experimental study of optimism by having a group of participants do what’s come to be known as the "Best Possible Self" exercise.

And the research publication by Dr. Sonja Lyumomisrky on “How to increase and sustain positive emotion: The effects of expressing gratitude and visualizing best possible selves” in 2006 gave us correlation around visualization of best possible self, positive emotions and well being.

Question: What is the first step to be done for applying visualization technique to achieve your vision?
Braco: The vision is not a single statement or a thing that magically presents to you. It is something you want to become or achieve in finite period of time. You must first find what is it and then write it down of what you want or become in next 5 years. The key to visualization technique is ability to see, feel and experience the vision coming alive through minds eye. And then taking action towards it as you find the opportunities.

Question: Why do you think visualization plays the vital role in achieving the vision?
Braco: There is science behind the visualization technique. As per neurosciences, the brain releases a neurotransmitter called dopamine which enables us not only to see rewards, but to take action to move towards rewards. Thus, the very act of providing the detail picture of your end goal is enough to release the same dopamine as to actually meeting success to steer you towards success.

Question: What is the impact of visualization on NP (Neural Programming) of brain?
Braco: Brain undergoes changes throughout the entire life like body goes through changes. The changes are based on what you think, act and experience. This can be related to Neuroplasticity which is ability to create new neural connections throughout entire life. And as research suggested that with visualization of best possible self it generates positive emotions to induce positivity and optimism which translates brain to reorganize its responses to new situation and environment of greater belief in yourself.

Question: How does visualization help mind to drive toward the goals and vision?
Braco: If you don’t see goals being achieved, then you may end up into negative mindset and your mind will give you responses of it cannot be done. But with visualizing that your goals are being met, you are seeing them happening through mind’s eye. And it has been studied and researched that mind does not like the gap of what you see and what is the reality. So it helps you to steer and  take action for inching forward towards your goal and vision.
Question: How does visualization help in connecting deeply with the purpose and feel strongly about the vision?
Braco: The first level where you can apply the visualization it by setting goals with defined objectives and seeing it happening. The second level is seeing yourself in let’s say 2, 5, 10 years of what you become on the broader scope and building that vision into reality. The third level is dream which is at much larger level encompassing long term vision. As you visualize yourself beyond goal, vision and dream it helps you to realize with underlying purpose of your thoughts, actions and beliefs. You then slowly evolve in connecting your vision and dream to larger purpose which becomes internal source of motivation and drive to fuel yourself. 

I have undergone a transformation as I continue to practice visualization through visioning meditation for my goals and vision. With seeing myself successful in my vision of what I plan to become in 5 years, I am able to see and unlock the doors of opportunities to build upon in a way that otherwise would not be even come close to thinking of the possibility. 

The visualization technique can help you to overcome obstacles and difficulties as you march towards your goals. It helps you go beyond your self-limiting beliefs about yourself and move you beyond current circumstances. It instills the strong belief of your ability to achieve your goals and thus if makes you ask questions like “what if’ or “what else” and thus opening doors of possibilities and opportunities.

The power of visualization to actualization according to me is nothing but power of believing yourself. The only enemy of oneself is self. You need to look, feel and experience beyond your personal circumstances or limitation to achieve what you vision and dream about. 
The vision to see, the faith to believe, and the will to do will take you anywhere you want to go.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Why routine matters?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Becoming successful..

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Leadership >> Make it happen!!

Leadership is many things to many people. For some it is about about leading an effort, for some it is about steering a ship, for some it is about bringing in a new idea, for some it is paving a path for success, for some it is about motivating people, and the list does not end here. But according to me, Leadership is about making things happen!

To be a leader takes much more than what you are made of and rise above any odds that comes on the way in the execution of a task, a goal or a project.

We are into highly competitive environment where everything is being watched under microscope that includes time, effort, resources,  team dynamics, work-life balance, changing priorities and at the same time ability to get things done in time with utmost quality meeting core objectives of a project. Leadership is about how effectively and efficiently you juggle all these dimensions and making it happen in a way that management could count on you for even tougher and challenging task.

So how is this done? What it takes to get all the ducks lined up for a perfect score? Here are 5 core components which are crucial for a leader:

1. Attitude

The first and for most is the attitude which which you take up the task  and plan around its execution. You are in the game to win and not just play. You must come up with a wining strategy and mindset which sets the course from the get go. Seeing of the big picture and getting on with positive foot hold from the get go is the key to get the project off the ground with a solid start.

2. Purpose

You must be very clear on the purpose of over all task on hand and establish the clarity with the team. It is very important to not limit the goal to list of tasks but to tie with larger objective which could be performance improvement, cost savings, customer satisfaction, technology innovation, process improvement, global campaign or product innovation. This plays a vital role in team engagement as all individual tasks are being implemented.

3. Motivation

Any rock can be moved but for that it is not only requires you to be motivated but entire team and partners involved to make it happen. You need to have both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation to help motivate your team. This does not come easy. It requires total dedication, commitment and positive mindset to drive yourself and team.

4. Focus

With the continuous changing environment and priorities, it is very difficult to keep focus and stay on the course. The key differentiator here is to have agility and nimbleness to adjust, adapt, respond,  and be resourceful in the face of change. And ability to seek opportunities to learn and learn quickly as things happening as well from experiences to apply as needed.

5. Skill

To achieve results, you must effectively manage people and processes. This requires skills along with attitude, motivation and focus. Based on my experience, the skills needed the most are:

  • Self-awareness - You must be able to continuously evaluate the proceedings and health of project under way. This includes team spirit, dynamics, and external environmental factors which are not in control. Along with this you must be in total understanding of style, shortcomings, strengths and motivation to help take day to day decisions, delegation and taking a stand on approach to be taken keeping partners/stakeholders into perspective.
  • Communication - Clear, direct and inclusive communication is must to set the direction and guide the implementation. You have to make sure that the channels of communications are open to enable sharing of ideas and induce creativity. It is very important to learn and have skill of communicating top, down and accross of the same message to have its impact in its respective space. It is always good to share more information rather than hide it with team, partners, stakeholders and sponsors.
  • Influence - It is vital to develop variety of influencing styles to help you get different people with different people perspectives on board. This involves networking and building lasting relationships with people on team and outside of team to help reaching out in times of need where time is of essence. For any project to succeed, it requires 4C's:  Cooperation + Coordination + Communication + Collaboration. And each of it requires good influencing skill to have commitment from all parties involved to achieve successful results

With these 5 core competencies under belt, leader can navigate through any storm, twists, uncertainty and roadblocks to guide the ship to MAKE THINGS HAPPEN!!!

Roopak Desai

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Half way through year 2013 >> Learn to change...Learn to live!!

Change is inevitable. Change is constant. There is nothing permanent but Change.

"Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning." – Benjamin Franklin.

If you keep on doing things the same way, you ought to get the same results. In order to grow and get noticed, it is important to look into ways you can do things differently.

Don't get intimidated by what you don't know. They can be your greatest strength and ensure that you do things differently from everyone else. - Sara Blakely

Change is never easy whether it is to new habits, attitude or direction. But if you don't change with change in times or requirement then you will either get dull or obsolete. In order to keep that spark going it is important to do self evaluation of what you have doing at your work, home and see where you can change either approach, style or pattern to feel rejuvenated.

Lot of times the boredom or feeling of stagnancy is due to non ability to change the course of action with time and need or fear of change. 

Today, being June 30th 2013 a half way mark for year 2013 it is the best time to look into last six months and see what you have been doing, how you have been doing an why you have been doing?

The secret to making change is first getting aware of need of change. Once you are aware and decide you will find resources and help at your finger tips to make it happen. Again, I don't say it is easy and it is following schedule, routine and creating new habit but then you focus on the purpose not on activities and needs around the change while approaching it persistently.

Richard Boyatzis, a professor at Case Western Reserve University, created the Intentional Change Theory (ICT) and published it in the Journal of Management Development in 2006.The model recommends that you use the following five steps to make a lasting change:
  • Discover your ideal self.
  • Discover your real self.
  • Create your learning agenda.
  • Experiment with and practice new habits.
  • Get support.
You can use the framework to customize your change process to suit your own life, learning style, and environment. However, change will only happen if you build small changes into your life, practice them to build new habits, and ask for support when you need it.

Change starts with changing your thoughts and you change your world. It's your Road and yours alone. Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you!

Roopak Desai

Monday, June 3, 2013

Leading and Building a Successful Career.....

According to me, career building is to be on a scenic route and winding lanes. It is never straight. You must be ready to gather experiences along the way, keep learning as you build experience, develop relationships as you meet new people and enjoy as you find new stuff and things to do. 

Keeping open mind and positive attitude to what come along the way is the key to build and lead a successful career.

There is no short cut and there is no easy way out..It is smart work, showing keenness and adopting as you grow along the way.

Leading and Building a successful career involves primary 5 steps:

 (1) goal setting
 (2) personal evaluation
 (3) experience building
 (4) relationship building
 (5) continuous progress assessments

It’s a basic process - determine where you want to go; figure out where you are today; identify what you need to do; and do it.
Goal Setting - Studies show that people who set goals often achieve success and those who don’t generally achieve very little. You need to know what you want and put building blocks in place. 
Set clear and actionable targets for the short-term and long-term.
Personal Evaluation - It’s critical to have an objective and realistic perspective of yourself. You should understand your strengths, weaknesses, and gaps in skills, knowledge and experience (especially in relation to your goals). 

We all have areas in which we excel and leveraging your strengths should be your primary area of focus. It’s unrealistic to expect to eliminate your weaknesses – the key is to make sure they don’t derail you. So recognize your weaknesses and tackle them by limiting their negative impact on your performance and reputation. 

Make sure you get ongoing feedback from as broad a group as possible (trusted business colleagues, managers, family, friends) and take it non-defensively.
Great feedback mechanism is to observe behaviors of people who you respect and compare yourself to that standard.
Experience Building - Simply put, take personal responsibility for your career – you own it. Talk to your manager about your aspirations and discuss options that can get you there.

Always seek opportunities for continued learning, development and growth – read, take classes, ask questions and try to build as broad a knowledge base as possible.

 But most importantly, move around. Studies show that 70% of learning comes from experience, so your best bet is to try different roles, accept stretch assignments or work on different projects. 

Don’t view each opportunity solely through the lens of whether it is a promotion or larger role; assess whether it will strengthen your foundation. 
The genius of Steve Job said this right in his the famous Stanford Graduation speech as his first take way "You can only connect dots backwards, seldom forward"

Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook, described her career as a “jungle gym scramble…I could never have connected the dots from where I started to where I am today,” she said. 
Relationship Building - Per Mark, it's not enough to be good – the right people need to know that you’re good. So you need to build your personal brand. 

How do you do that? First and foremost – be great at what you do. Build a reputation for excellence and have really high standards.  Mark's on of the fav quotes is from the famous National Football League coach Vince Lombardi - “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” 

Secondly, always collaborate well, develop strong relationships and don’t compete with your colleagues. Become widely viewed as trustworthy, helpful and team-oriented. 

Third, get your work and talents noticed. Don’t’ shamelessly market yourself, but find a way to make sure people hear your thoughts and see what you do (dialogue, sharing of ideas, selective emails, etc.). 

And fourth, build your network with substance – you never know who can help you in the future. Reach out to people you want to get to know better and engage them or ask for their advice on real business issues (not networking for the sake of networking). 

Key to build a relationship through face-to-face and phone interactions. 
Don’t shy away from difficult encounters or relationships; you need to build effective working relationships even with challenging people.

Focus on 4C's: Cooperation, Coordination, Communication and Collaboration
Continuous Progress Assessments - Always have a critical eye on yourself and self-assess how you’re doing. Are you happy? Are you sufficiently leveraging your strengths? Are your weaknesses becoming less of an obstacle? Are you closing gaps in your knowledge, skills and experience? Are you building the right relationships? You can and should course-correct along the way.
Do what you do keeping things in perspective and always be open to change with time!!

This is a based on coverage of keynote speech by Mark Alexander of Bank Of America - Merrill Lynch during Learning and Development Days (May 20, 2013).

Mark Alexander is Chief Information Officer, head of Technology and Operations for Global Wealth & Investment Management business.

by Roopak Desai

Friday, May 24, 2013

Living a decorated life!!

Who has gone for a journey by road to a some beautiful and exotic location that takes around 8 hours to reach ? I am sure each of us at some point of time.

Now the question is during that 8 hours journey are we just interested of what is in destination or we enjoy during journey? Like stopping over for nice coffee and break fast, taking some nice pictures on the scenic spots on the road, taking a break for lunch in service area to just try something that you normally don't choose.

Well, all these forms the sweet memories to our point of destination. And of course at destination we have the best fun ever to remember for long time to come.

The idea is journey of life gets more exciting, joyful and worth living if you start celebrating small but significant events along the way. It is about making a note of events that was happy or sad, success or failure, good or bad, positive or negative.

This forms your personal memory lane which you can always visit down the line and get valuable insights. If it failure event, then could be a learning experience to use in current situation if need be. You can go to a happy space of an happy event. And if you are going through rough patch, then recalling bad event realize that this bad time shall also pass knowing that some sad event was eventually overcome with happy times.

Life is not about just living but living it decorated. This helps us to realize the fact that there is nothing like happiness or success only once final goal is reached but living in moment and celebrating significant events along the way. This makes living a living with essence and purpose.

It can be easily related to a decorated marine commandeer who starts as cadet, then in national reserve force and then rise in ranks with marine training and deployed at various combative assignments. At every instance that marines keeps decorating with stars, badges of recognition, medal of honors, and so on. It then reflects on his dress, display at home and overall his persona.

I also haven't  been living a life decorating in a way that you can travel down memory lane, but now I am. In fact, I plan to back fill significant events like writing a biography till the current state. And the going forward decorate  life with life events that make a difference now to play it back as DVR down the road.

With advent of social media giant Facebook, this become even more easy since concept of decorating yourself with life event in any area of interest is built in feature and we just have to make use of it.

Once you do this, you will never find yourself alone, intimidated with unknown issues or feeling missed living. I am sure we all at least couple of significant events every six months to decorate our life lets pledge to do it. It will change your perspective to celebrating life instead of living life.

You what you come with. (prarabdha)
You what you make of life (+ purushartha)
You how you decorate your life. (+ celebrate)

Live a decorated Life....Celebrate Life!!

Roopak Desai

Friday, May 17, 2013

Charisma ....that illumimates Character!!

Charisma is something you develop, nurture and expand which illuminates your character that defines you and your brand image!!

By definition, it is a collection of traits and behaviors that make you appeal to other people. The word comes from the Greek word "charis," which means "grace" or "gift."

The one extraordinary example that strikes me is Bill Clinton when we talk about Charisma. He is a Charismatic leader with qualities that lures you to him once he steps up the podium, walks on the stage or utters one word.

Why charisma is so important? What makes it illuminate your character?

A person who is charismatic is exceptionally engaging, likeable, trustworthy, and, in many cases, a bit "magical." 

  Larger-than-life personalities like Marilyn Monroe, Martin Luther King, Jr., Oprah Winfrey, and    Sir Richard Branson, Amitabh Bachchan have all been known for their charismatic personalities.

People with charisma are assertive, confident, inspiring, and warm. They make a point of listening to others, and they have an innate grace that often stops people in their tracks.
  When you have charisma, people want to work with you. They're drawn to your ideas, they trust     your opinion, and they're more likely to be influenced by you.

How do you develop Charisma? 

  Charisma is nothing more than a set of traits and behaviors that, when put together, turn you into a magnetic, engaging personality. 

   The Body language and "presence" are important  aspects of charisma. Without saying a word, the right body language can transmit strength, warmth, and likability.

Start by standing up straight, with your shoulders back and your head up. Good posture not only makes you look confident and in control, but it also makes you feel this way!
Research shows that charismatic people tend to be very positive, so do your best to maintain a positive outlook.

Next comes to have presence when you interact with one person or crowd or in a social setting.
To develop presence, start by learning active listening skills. When someone is speaking, make sure that you devote your full attention to what the person is saying, and don't worry about what you're going to say next. Do your best to stay in the moment and stay aware. You may be surprised by the impact this has on your 

How charisma illuminates character? 

 The biggest factor that differentiates a good leader and charismatic leader is "feel good factor". The charismatic personality make the other person feel good, motivates, excites, inspires in the right direction.

It happens via transmission of positive energy which again is contagious so gets caught on with the other person. 

The simple way to start is with smile, greetings, eye contact, positive words, and sincere appreciation!!!

We all have Charisma in us. It has to be dug out, polished and put to use. You have to first feel charismatic and then be charismatic to act with charisma.

This article is inspired by Developing Charisma - Career Development From MindTools.comi.

"Charisma is a sparkle in people that money can't buy. It's an invisible energy with visible effects." — Marianne Williamson

Monday, May 13, 2013

How to fuel creativity and out of box thinking?

8 Techniques For People Who Don’t Think They’re Innovative |

I have learnt that Richard Bronson, the flamboyany CEO of Virgin Atlantic applies these techniques to drive innovatuon and build tempo amonst employees to generate new idea!!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Evolution of Soical Business...

Ray Wang Surveys the Evolution of Social Business | MIT Sloan Management Review

My favorite networking, crowd sourcing, gamifiaction and innovation through information!!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Are you a rational or intuitive problem solver?

For carrying any problem can be done by either adopting rational thinking or with an intuitive thinking process.

According to Brian Tracy, author of "How the best Leaders lead" - "Your entire success as a person and a leader is determined by your ability to solve problems effectively and well. Whatever title is written on your business card, your real job is problem solver"

Rational problem Solving Technique:

Brian Tracy suggests 10 steps for rational problem solving:

1. Define the problem
2. Ask yourself, What else is problematic?
3. Restate the problem in a way that is clear and helpful in solving the problem
4. Determine all possible causes of the problem
5. Determine a variety of possible solutions
6. Decide which solution to try first
7. Assign responsibility for the solution
8. Set a timeline
9. Implement the plan
10. Evaluate the outcome. If the problem isn't solved, go back to the first step.

This is analytic, deliberate, conscious and cyclic process.

In this methodology, it is important to take a decision on a particular solution based on information collected to act upon. If the action doesn't result in a solution, it still helps to gain information that may ultimately lead to a solution

"A weak solution vigorously carried out is usually better than a excellent solution weakly pursued" - By George S Patton, as quoted by Tracy.

The classic example is Bill Gates...who has used the rational style of the problem solving in leading Microsoft.

Intuitive Problem Solving Technique:

It is an automatic thinking process. It can produce "aha" moments for people how prefer it and are familiar with using it. 

The genius of Steve Jobs have been viewed by many and also in his biography by Walter Isaacson as a intuitive problem solver whose success was based on his unique style of thinking. He did different acquisitions, birth of Pixar Animation, birth of Mac and all his "i" inspired products (iTune, iPhone, iPad....) are based on his intuitive vision.

How does intuitive Problem solving work? 

1. Ponder the problem as a question in your mind during a quite routine time, such as before bedtime, on a walk or run, in the shower or when you doing some systemic chore like folding laundry.

2. Leave the question alone - unanalyzed and untouched.

3. Pay attention to dreams and random thoughts so when the answer pops into your mind you will see or hear it. 

4. Seek new experiences, such as starting a new hobby, making a new friend or talking a different route to work.

5. Engage in brief meditation. It enhances the  intuitive problem solving process.

In end up solving it with "eureka" moment either from a gut feeling or in middle of night you will get a vision or just while talking with your close partner/team or by your creativeness feeder.

An example that we all can relate to is "House, MD. (Hugh Laurie)" from the award winning medical fiction TV serial . He is a genius Doctor but does not follow rational path to diagnose and get a solution to a death nearing disease. He exactly follows to above intuitive process mentioned and guides his team through it. It surely seems eccentric to some who believes in book way of figuring out a cause of disease or medication for disease. Instead keeps all solution open on table, focuses intuitive process and thinking out of the box because obvious course of action does not help any how.

"I get anxious about a lot of things, that's the trouble. I get anxious about everything. I just can't stop thinking about things all the time. And here's the really destructive part - it's always retrospective. I waste time thinking of what I should have said or done." -- Hugh Laurie

Picture Credit:

I certainly believe in intuitive problem solving technique to get a visionary ideas, solution and breakthrough diagnosis which may not be then possible with rational solving process.

Roopak Desai

- This article has been inspired by Brian Tracy book "How the Best Leaders Lead" and article in Toastmasters International Magazine by Judith C. Tingely, DTM, Ph.D

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Leadership Model

What is the Leadership Process Model?

The Leadership Process Model was developed by Randall B. Dunham and Jon Pierce, and was published in their 1989 book "Managing." You can see our interpretation of the model in figure 1, below. (It has been redrawn this for clarity.)

Figure 1 – The Leadership Process
The Leadership Process
The model shows the relationship between four key factors that contribute to leadership success or failure. These are:
  1. The Leader: This is the person who takes charge, and directs the group's performance.
  2. Followers: These are the people who follow the leader's directions on tasks and projects.
  3. The Context: This is the situation in which the work is performed. For instance, it may be a regular workday, an emergency project, or a challenging, long-term assignment. Context can also cover the physical environment, resources available, and events in the wider organization.
  4. Outcomes: These are the results of the process. Outcomes could be reaching a particular goal, developing a high-quality product, or resolving a customer service issue. They can also include things like improved trust and respect between the leader and followers, or higher team morale.

Key Points

The Leadership Process Model highlights the dynamic and long-term nature of leadership. It shows how your actions and behaviors influence your people, just as their actions and behaviors influence you.
As well as having an awareness of the model, you can also apply lessons from it by doing the following:
  1. Providing regular feedback.
  2. Being aware of actions and reactions.
  3. Leading honestly and ethically.
  4. Leading with the right style.
  5. Assigning tasks consciously and intelligently.
  6. Focusing on relationship development.

“The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly.”  - Jim Rohn

"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader." - John Quincy Adam

Monday, April 22, 2013

Unlockin the managerial nightmares!!

A popular framework for thinking about a leader’s ‘task versus person’ orientation was developed by Robert Blake and Jane Mouton in the early 1960s. Called the Managerial Grid, or Leadership Grid, it plots the degree of task-centeredness versus person-centeredness and identifies five combinations as distinct leadership styles.

Understanding the Model

The Managerial Grid is based on two behavioral dimensions:
  • Concern for People – This is the degree to which a leader considers the needs of team members, their interests, and areas of personal development when deciding how best to accomplish a task.
  • Concern for Production – This is the degree to which a leader emphasizes concrete objectives, organizational efficiency and high productivity when deciding how best to accomplish a task.
Using the axis to plot leadership ‘concerns for production’ versus ‘concerns for people’, Blake and Mouton defined the following five leadership styles:

"The leader is the one who takes less of the credit and more of the blame"

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Life Ways....

23 years back I went to L.D College of Eng for doing my bachelors in Chem. Eng. We were around class of 50 and around 6 to 8 girls as minority. But that is hardly the point...:-)

Through out 4 years of engineering, I hardly interacted with girls can call me shy or may be too much into studies not to look for beauty around :-). Nevertheless, it were most exciting and fulfilling years of my life. I do have regret for not have to seat a girl on my the Vespa PL 170 which was one of the kind scooter which I loved it. I used to drive it like a rocket and would not trade for anything if given a choice.

Moving on...I did my M.Tech from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Mumbai and my one and half years in powai, mumbai are the most treasured years as of date. The amount of learning by interaction with some awesome young B.Tech fellows, hostel experience, and rigorous learning are some of the highlights of it. Yes..while in IIT I did not make the mistake twice. I had taken my Vespa PL 120 on campus and the backseat was happy to have girl take a ride :-). I still recall the hostel wing water fun fights, sunday mess menu that we awaited every week, eating maggie noodles at midnight and funda of learning with sharing while burning the midnight oil.

After couple of other adventures like going to Phillippines, I came to US for further studies. I am now ingrained in lifestyle of US and love it here. Though miss India especially friends with whom I grew up with and who have been partners while learning and growing.

And after 19 years of leaving L.D engineering , I happen to meet climax of connecting with a classmate with whom I did not exchanged a single word. It is through a common friend A, with whom again I must have hardly interacted but we came to meet each other in L.D Alumni meet last year. This was a trigger that lead to other events which again was not foreseen at all.

Thanks to Face book and social networking that made it possible. I added A as a friend and I happen to click "like" to one of the nice family pictures of A after 6 months since that drew my attention since it was very nice picture will everyone wore bright red dresses. Well, that got attention to someone in India who was a classmate too. She happen remember me by name, not that I was famous among girls :-) ..but yes may be as some one who never bunked classes!!!

Instantly she sent me friend invite. I was taken by surprise since I had no idea who she was. But then though I was intrigued how could I deny a friend's request. So I accepted it. We then happen to exchange notes about having studied together in L.D and she tried to remind me of other girls whom she hanged out with. Still I could not recollect...must be surely disappointing to her. Coincidentally, B who is another classmate put our class photo on internet and that was was a changing factor. She was tagged on the photo and then she asked me if I could now remember her. I still said no...but then I thought hard ring my bells in brain looking at her photo...and light bulb went on!!

I did remember her and instantly mentioned it to her. For me that was no less than Archimedes "Eureka" feeling. And then while exchanging notes some some amazing coincidences....that she is born on the same day, date and year as me. And around same time. How crazy is that?

I still am not able to fathom the fact that we never talked for 4 years of Engineering and got connected in mysterious ways after 19 be a closest friends and found an instant connection and bond between each other. She is C.

"When it is meant to be...It happens...All out of the Blue..And that is destiny!!"

GOD has His mysterious ways...He has created you with a plan…it is up to you how you lead it along the journey and make it into a beautiful masterpiece!!!!

"Treat everyone important and worthy, there are some strengths and qualities in each individual which you can learn from, share with or get help with at the needed time".

"Always keep the open heart and mind when you meet some one on the way, since you never know in which shape and form you will meet some one GOD send and you will be grateful forever"

(p.s: names are fictitious for privacy)

Monday, April 15, 2013

Managing Stress

Thought Awareness, Rational Thinking, and Positive Thinking are simple tools that help you turn the stress around you!!

Key Points

This set of tools helps you to manage and counter the stress of negative thinking.
Thought Awareness helps you identify the negative thinking, unpleasant memories, and misinterpretation of situations that may interfere with your performance and damage your self-confidence. This allows you to deal with them.
Rational Thinking helps you to challenge these negative thoughts and either learn from them, or refute them as incorrect.
You can then use Positive Thinking to create positive affirmations that you can use to counter negative thoughts. These affirmations neutralize negative thoughts and build your self-confidence. You can also use Positive Thinking to find the opportunities that are almost always present, to some degree, in a difficult situation.

Stress is the product of Mindset...Work on changing the Mindset...Positivity...Awareness...automatically stress will be replenished with Joy and happiness!!!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Happiness Project

Who Am I?

Where did I come from?

Where am I going?

Why I am here?

These questions always goes on in our subconscious mind. But just because we are so intertwined in this transaction life that we don't have time to reflect upon it.

There is no quick recipe to know it all and figure out in steps 1, 2 and 3 like the Secret Agent OSO. But YES by following few practices to enlighten ourselves,  you surely can come closer to the self realization. As we know many saints have achieved it ...for example Buddha, Jesus, Mahavir, Sri Sri Ravi Sankar  to name a few.

It is a spiritual journey along with our transactional life which is equally important.

A Sanskrit term used to describe the supreme reality is sat-cit-ananda, which means "existence-knowledge-bliss.

Today I intend to take you through 3 key concepts and practices. This will help you to embark on the journey of self-actualization and transform yourself into positive individual onto path of experiencing bliss 24/7.

Are you ready...Then please tighten your seat belts and flight is ready for a take off.

3 Concepts/Practices:

  1. Meditation and Mindfulness
  2. Building meaningful and extraordinary relationship
  3. Gratefulness

1.       Meditation & Mindfulness (MM) 

It helps in the process of self-realization. It is about living in a moment. Being present 100% in what you do.  Acceptance of things as it is along with accepting your body, sensations, emotions and thoughts.

With meditation and mindfulness (MM), you start realizing your true nature which is loving, caring and joyful. It increases self-awareness.

You start observing the things happening around with detachment and without judgement.

Just because we are in this unyielding race and busy life ...we forget our true nature which prevents us to enjoy simple and pure joyful moments.

Let me share a very simple example:

Tom and Jerry cartoon - When we were child and watched gave us immense joy and happiness. We immersed ourselves into it and enjoyed it. Think of that state of mind? 

It has been researched, studied and documented that MM is an effortless path of achieving that state of mind to help us enjoy each moment dissolving ego to experience pure joy and succeed in whatever we do giving 100%.

"Just be in the present moment, and you will start unleashing the simple moments of joy around you"

2.       Meaningful and extraordinary relationships 

It is about caring for people,  reaching out, providing selfless help, smiling, spreading happiness, being kind.

It feels good to hear someone say "take care" but it feels so much better to hear  someone say "I will take care of you".

Relationship is one of the prime single entity that can help to you make a difference...for you and for other person.

You are in control of it and choose to do more with your meaningful interactions with other person.

Care more...involve more...give more..understand the context and meaning when you do conversation...have deeper feelings....provide extended help that is not asked for

Couple of simple examples that we can use on daily basis:

- When you hold door for person behind you, hold with feeling of caring and awareness of doing kind gesture.
- Smiling or saying Good Morning to the Security Guard when you come to work in morning.
- Wave a thank you when someone allows you to pass by...or let other person pass or turn before you with awareness and intent.

We all are thirsty of spread the luv and will all come back to you...that is the law of universe!!

 I love this saying: "Try to be a rainbow in someones cloud"

3. Gratefulness 

It is about developing attitude of gratitude. Being thankful for what you have. Being grateful for life you have and making the best of it.

We need to be grateful and feel blessed for small things that happen in life. Today is a gift from God - that is why it is called the present.

I am grateful to everyone who has come in my life and to be where I am, how I am and what I am. I am grateful to my parents, my wife, my friends, my family.  I am grateful to breathe the fresh air every morning. I am grateful to wake up with a smile every morning. I am grateful to be grateful.

In conclusion, these three principles have transformed my life. Meditation has been center of these 3 - Mindfulness, Building Meaningful Relationships and Gratefulness.

I am sure it will transform yours too and will make a positive difference in quality of your life.

Let me play this small video that summarizes the core around the Happiness Project.

Pickle Jar

Many times you have to choose to happy...And with that I want to leave you with these words:

“Happiness is not a goal…it’s a by-product of a life well lived.”  Eleanor Roosevelt

I believe in Art of Living and it is the secret key to happiness!!!