Thank you!

Conferred with the “Most Talented Coaching Leaders in India” during the Silver Jubilee Celebrations of “Times Ascent – World Coaching Congress” at Hotel Taj Lands End, Mumbai on 16th Feb.2017dsc_0167

 

 

 

 

 

I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the learned and distinguished jury who found me worthy of this award. I am honored and humbled to be in the same league as the luminaries who have been bestowed with this award in the past. It gives me immense pleasure to share this honor with all the leaders in different organisations with whom I have had the privilege to work with as their Executive Coach. I am here today because of them.

Wimbledon 2016: What Roger Federer’s marathon five-setter teaches us about champions

What are the ingredients that go into making “Mental Strength”?

How do you tap into this strength, especially when you are in a challenging situation and the odds that you are surrounded by, seem absurdly insurmountable?

What is that magic ingredient that defines a Champion?

In light of Roger Federer’s “Epic” win at The Wimbeldon 2016, I was asked these questions at an interview conducted by First post, Network 18. My views as a Life Coach, from a vantage point of observation, where I have had the privilege to see many leaders unleash their greatness, for over a decade now, are summed up here.

A token of humble thanks to Ms. Sulekha Nair, Features Editor at First Post who has summed up our discussion so beautifully.

 

 

 

The ‘Vulnerable’ Leader – Do you have the courage to show your authentic self?

The fifth game would decide the clincher of the title between Chicago Bulls and Utah Jazz, two of the best teams in the game during the late 90’s. The five game series had tied 2-2 and the best player in the world, Michael Jordan was going through sleepless nights between the fourth game and the fifth. He wished he be injured during practice, wished that his food be poisoned and he be admitted to the hospital. He wished that some calamity befall and the games stay as they are!

The reason? He did not want to be a part of the fifth match and stake the reputation of Air Jordan, the greatest player centre court had ever seen by losing the penultimate game. At the pinnacle of his career, the greatest basketball player of the world faced the most interesting challenge of his life – “The Challenge of Vulnerability.” It is a different story that he played the game, with all his heart and went on to win the most valuable player trophy at the NBA, but his story certainly resonates with the stories of some of the greatest people who’ve lived their time on earth.

How many of us have faced this situation when the odds are stacked against us, when we really want to quit and give up, when we are haunted by the demons that lie dormant deep within us? How many times in our lives have we almost given up, feeling a sense of desperation and deprivation ready to call it quits when your leadership is challenged? How many times have you felt like a vulnerable leader?

There’s good news. When a Michael Jordan can feel vulnerable, so can you and I. We all have our moments when the odds are stacked against us and we question our own ability and capability.

During those moments you need to realize that vulnerability is not an act of cowardice, but the ability to propel yourself and show your authentic self, first to yourself and then to the rest of the world. It is that force that you experience during the most testing of times, yet you break out of its shackles and emerge triumphant. Vulnerability is what brings out the best from within us and makes us stronger.

vulnerable

There are a few myths which are associated with vulnerability which is very important for us to get done with. The top three myths regarding vulnerability are as follows –

  1. Vulnerability is weakness: No it isn’t. It is the strength that gives us an opportunity to surpass our weaknesses
  2. You can stay away from vulnerability: It is a part of our existence and hence a part of us. No one can stay away from vulnerability, however we can cope with it and emerge victorious.
  3. It is not about going all alone: Vulnerability is also about disclosure, about the confidence to confide in someone who you trust and possibly guide you out of the situation.

There are moments during your course of engagement that you feel low, feel the need to back out, feel that the time and the situation are not suitable for your mind to propel towards action, fret not! Vulnerability could be an asset if used well could guide you into your next orbit of confidence and conviction.

Vulnerability is an asset, use it well!

Sometimes the biggest ideas are the simplest ones!

Aditya Ghosh, MD Indigo Airlines, had a problem. Cabin crew was required to count full meal boxes entering, & empties leaving the aircraft at flight end. This was a critical activity but took a lot of time. Also, counting errors cost the crew part of his/her salary. All this put together was often causing flight delays.

Ghosh turned to his friend, Rajiv Bajaj, Managing Director of Bajaj Auto Limited, who suggested – Weigh in, and weigh out the boxes all together. The job was completed in seconds, without chances of human error.

Sometimes the biggest ideas are the simplest ones!

Hold Your Beliefs Lightly or Tightly?

“Do you hold your beliefs lightly or tightly?

When I hold them tightly, I arrogantly believe everyone should believe as I do. When I hold them lightly, I appreciate others perspectives/points-of-view, even if they may not be mine. The spiritual path is not about trying to get rid of or not have beliefs. It is about holding them lightly because you know that they are simply one perspective among billions. When we cling to a belief, we are stuck. When we hold it lightly we are not stuck… we are free.”

~ Michael Jeffreys

Leading By Example

“Leadership is by example and that is what motivates people. You need to develop genuine closeness with your people in your organisation.” says Narayanan Vaghul, former chairman, ICICI Bank.

Here is an excerpt from his interview which appeared in The Smart CEO : The Wise Leader on 15 Dec 2011, posted by S. Prem Kumar.

While sharing his experiences on Managing people he says:

Managing people really means staying close to them. So, how do you stay close to them? Not through socialising or by throwing parties or by playing golf with them. We need to understand that gimmickries do not work and develop genuine concern for people.

When I joined ICICI, we had about 800 people in Mumbai. In a short span, I got to know each and everyone by name. I used to leave my door open between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. every day and anyone from the office could walk in and talk to me about anything. It could be about the bank or it could be about their personal lives; I never said, what you are saying here is irrelevant. It showed me an aspect of his or her personality. One thing we need to remember is not to be artificial. Never shut your ears to any kind of feedback you are getting.

The second important aspect is managing people by example. People keep looking at you – how you behave, how you smile and how you conduct yourself. Keep looking at yourself and make an attempt to elevate yourself. We need to motivate people by example and by who we really are. You cannot tell a person, do not be corrupt, when you are corrupt yourself. None of these things can be hidden. Your faults will show up at some point of time.

The link to the article is: http://www.thesmartceo.in/cover-story/the-wise-leader.html

Transitions:Making sense of life`s changes:William Bridges:A beautiful book

They say the only thing you can count on for sure is Change and for people who like to maintain the status quo, that can be more than a little unnerving. Even when change is welcome, it is accompanied by an underlying psychological process that can often be surprisingly tumultuous.

As William Bridges says in his book, when any change occurs, it isn’t the physical change that is difficult but the psychological process that goes on when we leave one situation and enter a new one – and this is what he calls Transition.

Transition, he says, occurs in three phases (and this applies to any change)  first there is an Ending, then we wander around in the unproductive, disconnected space known as the Neutral Zone, until ultimately we embrace a New Beginning.

 

Endings:

Whereas change is usually focused on the attainment of a new goal, transitions begin with a letting go of something, and that something is usually internal. It may be a belief, an assumption, or the way you view yourself, others or the world. The change may be your own choice (such as leaving your job or relationship) or someone else may decide for you, but regardless, the process is the same. Even when you decide to make an outer change in your life, that change is simply the outcome which your transition has prepared you for.

Bridges suggests five aspects of the natural ending experience:

disengagement,

dismantling,

dis-identification,

disenchantment, and

disorientation.  The process of letting go of the past can bring up feelings of sadness, grief and loss as well as some relief or anticipation about the possible new future.

The Neutral Zone:

To me, this is the crux of the whole thing. The neutral zone is that in-between place where we lose our sense of relatedness and purpose. So much of who we are is tied up in the old way of life that we feel lost and empty without it. At this stage, there’s nothing new to anchor us or to give us any context or meaning, and that can be difficult, confusing and painful. Bridges suggests that many people literally go off into the “wilderness” during this phase. There’s a strong desire to be alone, to think and regroup. A lot of people report heightened intuition, personal insights and almost “spiritual” awakenings. I can readily recall The Turning Point in my own life and personally vouch for what Bridges describes in the neutral zone. I would wake up in the middle of the night……..every night…..thinking and analyzing, took up meditation, yoga, chanting, dived into astrology and spent a lot of time going for long walks on my own.

For most people, the neutral zone is a decidedly uncomfortable place to be. People around you wonder what’s going on, and make comments that you’re not yourself. They might wonder when you’ll “snap out of it”. The most important thing I’ve learned from Bridges is not to try to rush through this phase. It’s important and necessary, but for a lot of people the natural response is to grab a hold of something – anything – new, in order to get out of that uncomfortable place. If sufficient time isn’t allowed for the dust to settle and the pieces to fall back into place of their own accord, the wrong decision can easily be made.

New Beginnings:

Finally, after the endings and the wading through the neutral zone, a re-birth happens. There’s no prescription for deciding when it’s time to re-enter the world or how to choose the next “right” path to follow of all the possible options. Bridges suggests that a new beginning can happen as a result of an external cue or an inner signal, but when it presents itself it will resonate with you. You will hear the `clunck`. Out of the formlessness of the neutral zone, a new form starts to take shape and step by step, you start to build a new reality with a new sense of self and possibly new ideals, beliefs and values. Bridges rightly points out that trying to start anew without doing the hard yards of endings and neutrality is a futile exercise that will only lead to more frustration in the long term. It’s like the person who jumps from relationship to relationship without stopping in-between to reassess why the same patterns keep occurring. But when the hard work is done, you can enter a new phase of life with energy and vigour.

I highly recommend this book.