Understanding purpose and why it’s not what you think.

A lot of clients come to me to figure out their true purpose in life. Many of these individuals are bored and frustrated with the work they are currently doing. And they want to know if there is more to life than the monotony of the daily grind. There is also a category of people who meet me almost in a panic because they don’t have a grand purpose in life. Everyone around them seems to have it all figured out but they are still unclear on their intent. The premise seems to be ” I don’t know what I want in life but since everyone else seems to know what they want something must be drastically wrong with me. Hence I need a coach to “fix” me.” I believe that clarity of purpose is important but I sometimes find that the question people want an answer to is not “What is my purpose in life?” but “What is my purpose that will lead me to glory, fame, fortune and stardom?” What is purpose? The dictionary defines Purpose as “the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists” This implies two things. Firstly, purpose gives……

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Newton’s first law of motion and how it applies to your career

Recently Prashant came to me seeking support in his career. We discussed the goals for the coaching engagement which were primarily about reviving his focus on his career.  Prashant told me that his career had been going great till a couple of years back. Then a new manager who was both demanding and dominating took over. Prashant found it difficult to adjust to the new boss’s working style. His performance dipped and he lost interest in the job that he used to love earlier. He needed the paycheck so he stuck with the job. Two years later the boss moved on but Prashant continued to experience a lack of interest in his job. Something like this is a very common with career professionals. They are doing great when something triggers a dip in performance, interest, and motivation. In this case, we were able to identify the source of when and where Prashant lost interest but for most people, it is not always so simple. They just know that something has shifted and they no longer get any pleasure from the work they do. They define the time when they liked the job as” I use to feel charged up”, “I was excited……

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What is the little voice in your head and what does it want?

Imagine this; you are outside an interview room waiting to be called in. The interview is for a job you really desire. You know you possess the right skills and experience. You are well prepared and dressed right. In spite of all that you are feeling a wee bit nervous. A close friend is accompanying you. As you look through the glass door of the interview room, your friend spots the interviewer and says, “That guy looks mean. He probably won’t like you. He may give you a hard time” Hearing this, your nervousness jumps up a notch. As you step into the interview room and come face to face with the interviewer you find that he does look intimidating. You somehow fumble through the meeting. As you walk out of the room you know that you’ve blown it. And your friend says, ” You are a stupid oaf. You couldn’t even get the simplest of answers right. Even if you did get the job you would probably have screwed it up.” By now you are probably thinking that this is not a great friend to hang out. But would you be surprised if I told you that this friend……

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Procrastination is NOT about laziness

Last week I had to prepare for an important presentation. I was pitching for a deal, which, if it went through, would increase my top line by a possible 30%. The presentation was on Monday and until the Friday before that, I was nowhere near getting started on it. I had known about the meeting a good 10 days in advance. I was completely aware of what the presentation could do for my business. To be on the safe side, I had even kept my Friday relatively free to ensure that I would be able to give time to the presentation. But when Friday came I couldn’t seem to get round to it. There were the constant emails to check. My desk had to be organized. Then I had to check my Facebook and LinkedIn accounts to make sure I knew what was happening in the world. And then I got hungry and had to take a break. Then somebody sent me a funny video on WhatsApp that I had to watch. If any of this sounds familiar, these are the typical symptoms of most procrastinators There is an important task with a deadline. You know you need to spend……

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7 Leadership Lessons I learnt from Game of Thrones

  Game of Thrones is a hot favourite right now for all TV buffs. Many claim that its popularity is because of the high drama, violence and sex depicted in the series. The serial does indeed have a high dose of fantasy (with dragons, warlords and wights thrown in for good measure).  But I believe that the one big reason many of us are quite addicted to the show is because of the strong characters that most of us can identify with. There is the noble bastard, Jon Snow, who rises to a high position inspite of his background or the witty dwarf Tyrion Lannister who is one of the strongest characters in the show inspite of his looks or the lack of support of his family. Then there is Jamie the King Slayer, who shows two sides of his character, first by pushing an 8 year old child off a high tower and in another scene returns to rescue his friend Breine of Tarth. And then there is the strong Danarys Stromborm, Mother of dragons, who grew from a  timid girl to a queen on-screen, who rules savages and believes in non-violence. Perhaps we feel a strong connect with Game of Thrones because we see bits……

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Introverts as leaders- why it works!

  “I’m not sure I can be a manager, because I am an introvert.” said Anjali. This was her response when I asked about her career plans Anjali’s view on things  is common. We often picture a leader as the quintessential Alpha male or female- flamboyant, visible and extroverted. It is easy to assume that to be a leader these qualities are critical.  For people who don’t “naturally” have these traits, it can be daunting to step into leadership. Introverts often tend to write-off leadership as a career option without even thinking about it. Why people assume leadership equals being extroverted The internal conditioning often starts early. At school and in the playground,  the loudest and bossiest kid in class, most often gets his/her way.  So quiet and introverted kids assume that to be a prefect or class captain you need to be loud. Organisations and media often project a leader as being an extrovert. A lot of political leaders are great orators and socially proficient. In traditional businesses like construction or shop floor management  the leader or supervisor often needs to be commanding and visible.  The image of the extrovert leader holds true in most of these circumstances but in the white……

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The one reason you may not have got a leadership promotion yet

You are really good at what you do. Your management, peers and subordinates agree that you do a great job and you have the awards and appraisal ratings to prove that. You have had a fairly steady career growth in the past till you got stuck at the level you are at now. You know you are working with the same efficiency and getting great results. So why isn’t your career graph moving as fast? More importantly why haven’t you got that coveted leadership promotion yet? How career growth happens at entry levels in an organisation Lawrence J Peter formulated the Peter’s principle that states, “ In an organizational hierarchy, every employee will rise or get promoted to his or her level of incompetence.” This means that employees in an organisation will continue to rise to the next level based on their current performance till they reach a position where they stop performing. Most careers start out this way. People joint at entry level positions. Those who work hard (or smart) and perform well grow to the next level. This continues to happen for quite a few levels up in the organisation including first few levels of management. Often people start assuming that……

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4 ways to master that task that you don’t like doing ……but need to do anyway

Susan(name changed) is one of my clients. We have been working on her transition into a job role she got promoted to recently. In the course of the conversation she mentioned that one of the things that her new position requires is to host relationship building events with customers. She feels extremely nervous just thinking about these because she believes that she is  not good at public speaking. She feels worried about how she speaks on stage and that her lack of oratory skills will show her in a poor light. She is also pretty sure that other than this one thing she can handle the role perfectly and is excited about the opportunity. This is something I hear frequently with my clients. Part of their job that does not feel right and more importantly does not feel like them.

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2 things you need to know about willpower to be able to use it

Will power is defined as : “The strength of will to carry out one’s decisions, wishes, or plans.” or  “Control of one’s impulses and actions; determination; self-control.” or “The ability to delay gratification, resisting short-term temptations in order to meet long-term goals.”   Irrespective of which definition resonates with you, will power is something that very few claim to have and most aspire for. This power can lead you to persevere and achieve anything, be it quitting smoking, losing weight or any other seemingly impossible goal. It is equally easy to discount your  failures to lack of will power. But I believe each and everyone of us has will power inherent in us. What we may not have is a clear understanding of what will power means and how to use it to get what we want.

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The 5 inner demons every leader must tame

Vince Lombardi said “ Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.” If this is indeed true why are so most leadership development programs so unsuccessful in imparting these learnings?  Alternately if leaders are born why do organisations spend millions every year in leadership development? This is because there is a third element to the “made vs born” debate. People can be born with leadership qualities, which the development processes can fine tune OR people can be born sans leadership and acquire it along the way.  

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