Teammate to Leader

An interesting read which I came across somewhere. Don’t know who wrote it but felt its worth sharing.

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What do you do if you’re suddenly put in charge of a team, a project, a division – or even a company?
Having been an exceptional team member in the past doesn’t mean you’ll automatically be a great captain – in fact, what made you a star performer could actually get in your way. If your individual success hinged on doing superior work, for instance, you may need to overcome a pitfall familiar to straight-A students who end up doing all the work themselves when participating in group projects.

Suddenly accountable for people you can’t control, for work you can’t do on your own and maybe even for the output of people you’ve never met, you might panic. Many new leaders do. But realizing that not even the world’s most spectacular track star can beat the time of a just-average relay team may help you realize that the power of a team can outstrip your own performance, even if it’s world class.

That’s a good starting point for getting out of your own way. Consider some of the following advice, as well.

1. Visualize “winning.” To do this, you’ll need to project all the way to the finish line. Create powerful images in your mind, and then express these objectives in ways everyone will remember – from the boardroom to the shop. It’s important to turn rudimentary wishes into specific goals; to go from earning a profit to earning $1 per share, to go from having happy customers to having a net promoter score of over 75, to go from being socially responsible to setting up 20 scholarships for employees’ kids.
Establishing quantifiable measures and time-frames turns wishes into goals. Goals then transform capable individuals into powerful teams. Unified teams lead to world-class performance. And articulating, measuring and celebrating meaningful goals means attracting highly qualified employees.

2. Build a great team. If you hire talented people and put their interests ahead of your own, good things will happen. Your own commitment to serving your team will spur them to become stewards for clients, vendors, shareholders, other employees – and anyone else who has a stake in achieving shared goals. Once the right team is on the field, your own tasks are simply to make sure they have the resources they need and to clear any obstacles out of their way.

3. Don’t play the popularity game. You may be tempted to be popular, and to that end, you might use the proverbial carrot or another type of enticement to garner support. But don’t give outsized bonuses or spackle over real issues with any sort of “free lunch.” If you build fake esprit de corps by giving stuff away, it means you’re failing as a leader, because in actuality, there are no free lunches. Everything comes at a cost. And as leader, you’re accountable for the yet-to-be-reckoned expense of keeping people in line with bribes. You’ll find that not only do their appetites return, but you’ll eventually need to pay for the “food.”

4. Do play the long game. On a related note, only yield to pressures to fix things in the short run if you’re sure your solutions won’t have negative ramifications in the long run. If you keep an eye on the full array of short-, medium- and long-term consequences, not only will your team come to trust you – even though they won’t always agree with you – but so will the market.

5. Be ready to pivot. New problems will flow from every decision you make, so pick solutions that generate a next set of problems suited to your management abilities. You’re not solving a puzzle where finding the perfect piece will complete the picture; you’re dealing in ever-changing probabilities. So adapt, adjust, iterate until you find a good-enough course of action. Then, carry out your plan as if your life depended on it – it’s more reasonable to strive for perfection in execution than in decision-making.

6. Don’t pass the buck. In private enterprise, power can shift from manufacturer to distributor to retailer to customer, and back again. It all depends on an ever-changing balance between supply and demand. In government, politicians calculate how taking from one generation to give to another may keep them in office – until the wheels of society fall off. As a business leader, you’re a steward, not a politician, so resist the temptation to simply shift burdens. Success rooted in inequity spawns instability and strife, whereas applying fairness, durability and equity will pay dividends over time.

7. Listen to your team. Listening is an important part of your job, so be sure to ask for input. But also remember that the most popular ideas are often the least feasible, so don’t base your decisions on popular opinion or politics alone. Martin Luther King, Jr. said it best: “A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.” Build the personal capital that allows you to make tough, unpopular calls – then make them. Explain your reasoning to your team, and if you’ve listened well to them, they’ll listen to you when you make the tough calls.

8. Pass the baton. If you insist on making every single decision, you’ll have a less-innovative, less-energized and less-committed team. So decentralize decision-making where possible; empower those closest to the facts and then make them accountable.

9. Know that sometimes, there actually is an “I” in team. People are naturally self-interested. Don’t be surprised by this, and don’t punish them for it. Instead, reward those who have enlightened self-interest – who take into account the long view, who consider the concerns of the community in which they’ve chosen to live and who work for the many non-financial interests other people have. Expecting others simply to deny self-interest altogether for an objective you’ve set will merely unleash instability – and can even destroy your organization.

10.Acknowledge your bloopers. Embracing feedback, particularly the negative kind, is one key to recognizing mistakes. Be humble, vulnerable and willing to learn. If you are, your whole team will learn from its mistakes, too.
Leadership is not about being the best producer, or about being liked, or about making speeches – it is, at its very core, about getting the best all-things-considered results. Incorporating the above tweaks into your already well-established pattern of great individual performance will put you on your way to transforming yourself from manager to leader.

As management-consulting pioneer Peter Drucker noted, “Management is doing things right. Leadership is doing the right things.” In my experience, doing the right things the right way is the mark of a great leader.

 

Travel for Living

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When I look out of a window from my hotel room where I stay when I travel for office work, I see completely different environment filled with strangers. People so different yet so familiar. I have a tendency to make good relations with hotel waiters, car drivers, guards and other people.

People say I am very good in my people handling skills. I always try to make them happy by asking them about their personal lives and show respect. They love to talk about themselves and you understand how tough life is for some people in this world. Most important they will go to that extra mile just for you and believe me it feels simply awesome.  

In turn I get respect and personal touch which keeps me motivated and makes me feel I m not far from home.

I love to travel on business as this means u meet lots of people, experience various cultures, understand uniqueness among similarities and gain knowledge. Most importantly there is no worry on food and stay expenses.

Travel means for me is to get out of routine life

  • You have lots of “me” time which means you can eat what you want, and do anything like watching movies, play games, talk to friends, surf sports channel. Actually the list is quite long which u are unable to do it at home due to several obvious reasons.
  • You introspect on your life and job. You try to think what’s ur expectations from these and how life is treating you?
  • How r u rating urself against your set goals etc etc.
  • You get to see new places and enjoy nature. I always make sure to take a new route and experience new things.

Trust me; I have been through some of the craziest things ever in my life. I guess most of the life’s best experiences are felt while traveling.

  • Once I was traveling in a car in a hilly place and lighting struck near to us in a tree. We went nuts for sometime and started laughing. It was fear for a moment than joy of being alive. 
  • A guy who told me he has lost his wallet and has no money. I gave him INR 500 to reach home as I felt pity for him. He promised to return money when he gets home. I saw a glow in his face when he got money but it seems it was all vain as he never showed up. I feel pity on myself now and lost trust. I feel the deserving people will not get the money now from me.
  • Had minor accident thrice in a single day. Three large dents in a third party car. Thankfuly.
  • Waited five exhuciating hours to meet a customer. Just imagine what I had been through. F&%$^&%^ that customer.
  • Received 5 orders on a single day. It seems like a dream and I was above the sky after this.
  • Woke up at 6 am traveled to a destination, worked all day, reached hotel. Was awake till 3 am to catch a train. After this ordeal slept like there is no morning. Almost missed my destination station back.
  • Saw a 3 foot lizard in the middle of nowhere and got scared as I was alone and had nowhere else to go but to look and wait.

I guess there are numerous other events like those which I experienced when I traveled for work.

These experiences seem never ending and I look forward to more of it. Most important I love being in sales.

I think I love my job for the time being as change is constant.

Letter to the One I Love

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Dear Charu,

I love you and I really mean it from the bottom of my heart. It’s awesome to be with the perfect someone, who is your companion at the same time your “Best Friend”. I have spent half of my life being with you and want to complete it together. You are my beginning as well as end.

It all started when we were teens, we had a spark between us. It slowly and steadily went on to become a bond which is immeasurable and immortal now. I thank god with each passing day for this life and pray him for the same companion in my next life and lives after that. I cannot imagine my life without you. It only grows stronger and mature with each passing day.

Life feels complete being with you. It’s just that I miss you more and realize your true worth in my life, when I am away from you. You are my bright light on a dark and scary path as somebody quoted somewhere “You are my eternal sunshine”.  It fits perfectly here and feels its written for me only. I guess all the lovers think like me.

I regret the days when I have hurt you and made you cry. It seems foolish now as I have put my ego in between our relationship. I promise I will take care of you and will never make you cry. Even if I make you cry ever, I will quickly make it up to you. I will start finding new ways to love you and make you happy.

You are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen in my life. Your eyes tell me everything about your mood in a blink of a second but damn they are so sexy. Your lips are juicy and expressive. They express your inner feelings in a way which can only be understood by none other than me. Your angelic face backed by your brown hair adds up to your beauty and it gives me immense happiness and a sense of proud that I am your companion and I got the opportunity to spend the rest of my life with you.

Yours Love,

Prash