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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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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What is your ugly duckling story?

The Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Anderson is one of my favourite fairy tales. To me it is a story of hope, dreams and aspirations. I was recently reading the story to my toddler and as I read, it dawned on me how relevant the story really is to all of us and how many of our lives are shaped by similar experiences. Here is my interpretation of the story. A mother duck is incubating her eggs. One by one the eggs hatch except  the biggest egg which takes a really long time. The mother duck gets impatient wondering why the last egg is taking so long. The last egg finally hatches but the duckling is different. All of the other ducklings are yellow and pretty but the last one is ugly, large and grey. The other ducklings point and whisper because he is different. The new hatchling wants to be accepted and loved by his siblings but they shun him because he is not like them. The ugly duckling feels sad and lonely because he doesn’t know what to do. All of us are born with our own uniqueness but from the time we get some level of cognition the world……

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If you are a manager – get good at sharing bad news

The dilemma of sharing bad news Leaders are often the messenger and sometimes the creator of bad news. While the saying goes “Don’t shoot the messenger” unfortunately that is exactly what some employees want to do when they hear bad news. Bad news can be of different proportions and impact. It could range from mass lay offs and salary cuts to asking someone to work over weekends or asking a low performer to leave. Often the manager may have taken the decision due to circumstances or business needs. At other times the decision may be taken by someone else and the manager is expected to deliver it to the team. At such times leaders often feel uncomfortable with doing the job because at a human level they may not want to impact another human being. Often managers anticipate a negative reaction from the team or are uncomfortable dealing with emotional outbursts. Some managers avoid sharing bad news or delegate it to someone else. Some try to mask it with jargon or logic. At the same time there are a few who handle it with finesse . Why is it important to get good at sharing bad news: As a manager it is part of your job and it will be……

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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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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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The difference that makes the difference

This week in India was marked with the sudden demise of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, the Missile man, the extraordinary scientist and most importantly the man dubbed as the People’s President during and after his tenure in the Presidential office. What made him so admirable was not just his academic and career success, his knowledge and simplicity but everything that he stood for. He came from a poor, rural, Muslim family in Tamil Nadu and rose to the highest office in the country, through sheer determination and hardwork. For young India he is an Icon of what is possible. In the midst of scam, corruption, high competition and unequal opportunities Dr. Kalam’s life was an inspiration of aspirations, dreams and success. This post is a dedication and a reflection on the great man and his greatness. What makes someone who comes from a life of hardship and challenges make it the way someone like Dr. Kalam does? And more importantly what prevents others in similar circumstances from doing the same?   The biggest difference is not what the world throws at us but how we perceive it. Perception is the way we see and experience the world and it varies from person to……

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Is perfectionism your imperfection?

Perfectionism is not a quest for the best. It is a pursuit of the worst in ourselves, the part that tells us that nothing we do will ever be good enough – Julia Cameron Most of us have been brought up with the quote ” Practice makes perfect”. We believe that perfection is a virtue to aspire for. Perfection is very useful in making us want to do a good job and delivering outstanding results. However when perfectionism starts driving us rather than we driving for perfection it is time to take a closer look and understand if we are in trouble. Perfectionism often leads to the following problems: Limits thought, inclusivity and creativity: Perfectionists live with the idea that there is only one best way and that is the way they like it. As a result it limits respect for individuality and diversity when working with others. We have all worked with a boss or colleague who is never happy with the outcome. Working with such an individual besides being highly stressful is bound to limit creativity and thought as there is no place for deviations or opinions other than those believed in by the perfectionist. Science and research on the other hand……

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