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Month: September 2019

First impressions are corrupted.

They are tinted because of our prejudices, stereotypes and assumptions.

Everyone in our culture has been trained to showcase their best self and game the first impression mechanisms of others.

But, that rarely lasts, a facade is hard to keep up, it doesn’t reflect the authenticity in you and fails to strike a chord.

As Malcolm Gladwell in his book Blink, pointed out that the biggest recent revolution in the music industry which paved the way for women to contribute to the music industry was a screen during the auditions!

To trust the ears instead of the eyes!

Such wonderful insight.

First impressions are indeed tinted. Go beyond, beneath, between.

20 is plenty

Please, don’t measure what doesn’t matter.

If 5 people listen to your podcast on entrepreneurship and 2 are Incubated at IIM Bangalore, One is a professor of entrepreneurship in Pune, one leads Nasscom and one is the founder of YourStory.

It’s a home run!

Don’t be greedy.

20 is plenty.

Go, make some Galata.

Hijacking a group discussion.

Is not the point.

A GD is less about overwhelming your fellow mates, racing to see who breaks the decibel scale! ( I’m right VS I’M RIGHT!), or mindlessly speaking to show that you are participating.

It’s more about exploring the possibilities, discussing the alternatives and understanding others perspectives so you end up with a garden of ideas, insights and information.

If you want to evaluate someone’s speaking abilities, organise an extempore session instead.

Group discussion takes emotional labour to understand the others, to be willing to put your opinion out there and stand behind it, to question your assumptions, stereotypes and conclusions.

A rant on device abuse.

The day we don’t exhaust our data-limits we feel bad. The day we exhaust it early we feel terrible. And then there are days we don’t sleep until we exhaust it.

In every way, we are hooked on to it.

Remember the time when we lasted 300mb for a month? Our appetites have gone way up and so have our consumption of content and screen time.

What does it mean for a culture whose data appetite is rising exponentially?

It’s time to use this opportunity to make something worthwhile. Instead of streaming Tik Tok, scrolling mindlessly through Instagram till your left wrist experiences a moment of paralysis, binge-watching series and movie marathons that run on sugared water, junk delivered to your doorstep.

If you must then discipline your distractions. Fix a time slot and swear by it.

Use that freed-up time, energy, resources and sanity to your advantage instead. To add value to those that care and to make something happen.

Go, make some Galata instead.

Less is lovely!

At times it’s removing, deleting, uninstalling, donating and discarding that makes you go forward.

Till you are left with the essentials.

What’s one thing you can do less of?

Why you need to be money-hearted

Those who are money-minded have a bad reputation. They are opportunistic, proactive and eager to make a buck.

Though it is in complete sync with the wealth maximisation philosophy that MBA’s teach it doesn’t help to build a better society.

We are taught in our formative years not to be money-minded. But nobody ever suggested to us what to be instead.

Though, after growing up we realised that money matters. We are in constant conflict with these two approaches. We want the money but don’t want to look/be money-minded!

Individuals go to great lengths to avoid this image!

Instead, can we be money-hearted? Making a lot of money for better purposes.

To fund your employees’ dreams, sponsoring religious events, to clear the debts of your maid, to adopt a government school, to enable your extended families hopes. You get the idea.

Making money to make things better.

Be money-hearted.

Nurture it in the bud.

Recognition in our culture has become predictable, regular and boring. Just another to-do task on the list of HR.

This approach seems to lead to a motivated, driven and acknowledged team but it doesn’t. Instead, it so often ends up becoming a breeding ground for office politics and unacceptable approaches.

Though there are few instances where regular recognition works. For instance, when merit trumps bias.

A complimentary practice that may work is to recognise randomly. Yes, the behaviours that you want to encourage amongst your team, the best practices that they are doing, the attempts at making something happen(even if they fail at it!)

Do random acts of recognition.

The closer the recognition is to the act the greater its potency! Not a month later or after a week. Instead, When will now be a good time?

Drop a hand-written note, gift flowers, send out a WhatsApp message on your team group appreciating their effort, a pat on the back will also do. If you want to make it even better then ask them what they’d be the one thing they’d want to have and be their Alladin ka Chirag for once!

Their wishes may be as small as a pencil!

Such recognitions cost almost nothing but have a phenomenal return!

Nipping bad behaviour in the bud is preventive, nurturing good behaviour in the bud is progressive!

Random acts of recognition.

Too afraid to pause?

The power of a pause mesmerises me.

Timed correctly it creates tension amongst the audience.

Placed properly it emphasises an upcoming word.

Used purposefully it can drive home a point.

A pause seems risky, makes our stomachs grind, feels awkward and maybe received incorrectly.

You’ll need to find the rhythm of your pause. Just the right silence to kindle the tension, tug the strings of anticipation and keep your audiences at the edge.

BIG picture or the pixel?

Where we stumble is when we hyper-focus on the blossoming tree and lose sight of the forest fire.

The bigger picture and an individual pixel. They both matter. One builds the other and the other makes the one meaningful.

But, what are you laser-focused on?

Are you at 32,000ft or at 3cm?

Both are required, recommended and relevant in certain situations. You need to decide which one to tune in.

Does this problem need micromanagement or delegating will do?

Do you need to get hands-on or outsourcing will suffice?

Is it worth sweating the details, toiling for the refinements and obsessing over final touches or sticking to industry standards will work?

Pick the instrument you think will progress you forward. Metaphorically, At times it’s a microscope and at times it’s a telescope.